Showing posts with label vegetable side dish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetable side dish. Show all posts

Friday, August 2, 2013

Marinated Broiled Eggplant

by Sheila Connolly

Our tiny local farmers market is finally in full swing, and will stay open until October or the veggies run out, whichever comes first.  A week ago I had the last batch of peas from a nearby organic farm, and they were lovely.  I grew up in an era that celebrated BirdsEye frozen vegetables, so I didn't know the pleasure of peas only hours away from the farm.  Yes, you still have to put in some time shelling the peas, but there's something soothing about it, and it's nice to be part of a long tradition.

Anyway, the peas were gone this past weekend, the corn is doing well, and one booth had a batch of Japanese eggplant.  I said, "I want them all!" (Don't worry—it was only a pound.) 



Now, what to do with eggplant…  Again, something I didn't grow up eating (I was a picky eater as a child and wouldn't touch a tomato, so eggplant wasn't an option).  I've come up with a variety of recipes, including one for Mystery Lovers' Kitchen for eggplant pizza that surprised me.  But I'm happy to try new recipes, and I found one with an oriental flair that worked well with, yes, Japanese eggplant. 

While it does involve a broiler, it doesn't take long so you won't heat up your kitchen.  I don't think you could substitute a barbecue grill, but it might be worth a try.


Marinated Broiled Eggplant

1 pound eggplant (you can use one large one or several small ones)

2 1/2 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp lemon or lime juice
1 Tblsp honey
1 clove minced/pressed garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (peeled if you like, 
     and I also added more than a teaspoon!)

Vegetable oil for pan

Whisk together the soy sauce, juice, honey, garlic and ginger.  Pour into a glass baking dish or large non-metallic bowl.

Trim the ends off the eggplant and slice 1/8" thick.



Toss the eggplant slices (carefully, so you don't mangle them) in the marinade.  Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes, but not more than one hour (you don't want them to get too soggy), turning at least once.



Preheat the broiler.  Brush the rack of a broiler pan (I covered mine with foil—less cleaning) with oil and distribute the eggplant evenly.  Broil 5-7" below the flame (probably the upper rack in your oven) until tender and slightly browned, maybe 10 minutes. (Note:  Adora has not one but two broiler heats! I used LO to cook the eggplant, and HI to brown it off a bit.)






It makes a tasty side dish for grilled meat or fish. Served here with chicken and couscous.















Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Alone in the Kitchen with a Cabbage by Cleo Coyle (Easy Vegan Recipe)




I give you The Cabbage...



It looks like a big green planet, doesn't it? See the solar warmth on the left and the chilly dark side on the right? As a food it has quite a history. As the subject of a photo, I think it should have its own atmosphere. As the basis for a recipe, it's a smart choice. It's low in fat and calories and high in nutrition. As for what to do with it, there are countless ways to go. 

I found myself alone in the kitchen with this cabbage the other day, and decided to try Extreme Simple Cooking. ESC. Our culture appears to be enamored with shortcut acronyms and our professions chain us to keyboards where the ESC key taunts us from its upper left perch. How do you like it? An ESC recipe. It lets you escape from the kitchen as fast as possible.

And to that end, away we go! May you cook it with ease and eat it with Extreme Joy. That would be EJ, I guess. :)

~ Cleo





Cleo Coyle, cabbage eater,
is author of
The
Coffeehouse Mysteries

Roasted Cabbage, ESC
Extreme Simple Cooking :)

As I mentioned above, cabbage is low in fat and calories and has great nutritional benefits: dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals for the body. Read more here

This is a delicious way to prepare it. The cabbage wedges are roasted in high heat with olive oil. While the outside edges char, the insides become tender and buttery. It's truly delicious and insanely easy. The first time you make it, I strongly suggest that you use nothing more than just a bit of salt so you can really taste the buttery sweetness of those interior wedge leaves. 

More seasonings can be added to your liking: e.g., dried garlic and onion flakes, rosemary, dill, caraway seeds, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc. Just be sure to go lightly on the seasonings because the roasted cabbage taste is so delicate.

I think a squeeze of lemon before serving is a very nice finish. If you're not a lemon fan, try a drizzle of olive oil or (if you're not a vegan) a bit of butter and...eat in good health! ~ Cleo



To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.







INGREDIENTS

Head of cabbage 

Olive oil 
Salt (kosher or sea salt will give you nice flavor)
(Optional) Your favorite seasoning mix (suggestions in directions)



DIRECTIONS 

Step One - The trick to slicing: As you see in my photos, you'll need to slice up the cabbage, but there's a trick to it. You want most of your slices to include the core. The core will help keep the cabbage wedges together in the cooking. I've roasted cabbages in thick slices and also in wedges, and (frankly) I do prefer the wedges. You can experiment with what you like best.




Step Two - Prep with olive oil and very light seasoning: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease a heavy half-sheet pan with olive oil. Place the slices on the pan. Use a brush to coat the tops with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. If you use pepper or any other seasoning (e.g., dried garlic and onion flakes, caraway seeds, rosemary, dill, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc.), do so lightly. When roasted, the cabbage has a delicate, buttery flavor and too much seasoning can overpower it.

Step Three - Roast in your preheated 400 degree F. oven for 30 to 45 minutes (final time will depend on your oven and pan). FLIP the cabbage slices halfway through cooking. I use two forks to do this. Be careful and try to keep the cabbage slices together. (Yes, they will attempt to fall apart on you, but using two fork and a bit of care, you can keep them together. You can do it! I believe in you!) Roasted cabbage wedges are done when you see the edges char (turn brownish), as in my photos. 




Serve with a lemon wedge 
for a fresh squeeze of
bright flavor 
over the
finished veg and...





Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.







To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 








The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 


 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Corn Casserole Side with a few Asides about the First Thanksgiving by Cleo Coyle














Honestly, I haven't thought about the details of the first Thanksgiving since probably grade school (a long, long time ago). For this post, I decided to do a little homework, which led to today's side dish recipe (along with some ironic asides). The recipe I'll get to shortly. First, some basic American history (asides included).


As the story goes…

An American Indian named Samoset entered a village of people from England. These Pilgrims were not in good condition. They lived in dirt-covered shelters, many of them had died during the hard winter, and they were running short on food. 

(No, they were not part of Occupy Plymouth. The year was 1621. :))

Clearly, these early colonists needed help. So Samoset returned to his tribe and came back with Squanto, who could speak better English. (Wait....The illegal aliens of 1621 didn't bother to learn the native language? Nope. Not gonna touch that.)

Squanto remained with the Pilgrims for the next few months and taught them how to hunt deer, where to fish and find berries, and how to cultivate "sacred maize" by digging holes in the ground, dropping in some corn kernels and small fish, and covering the holes. (Wow. Squanto was one cool guy. I'm seeing The Squanto Story - Tom Cruise with a ponytail. No go? Adam Beach maybe? Fine, we'll do lunch...)

By the time fall arrived, the Pilgrims were getting along much better, thanks to the help they'd received. 

(Yes, I know. Given what came to pass in our nation's history with the Native Americans, this has to strike you as a case of "no good deed goes unpunished," but let's not go there. Like the honeymoon before the eventual divorce, let's focus on the sweeter parts of this relationship's history.)

With the coming of fall, the Pilgrims decided to celebrate their blessings with a feast that was common in rural England. Those who helped reap the fields took part in the Harvest Home, observed on last day of bringing in the crops. This feast coincided with the Green Corn Festival, which Native Americans in that region had been celebrating long before the Pilgrims' arrival. This feast gave thanks for the ripening of maize, one of the three sisters in Native American agricultural traditions. (The other two sisters are beans and squash. Okay, that isn't ironic. But it is interesting!) 

And so, with giving thanks for harvest blessings being the primary point here (along with Squanto's rather obvious play for Academy Award consideration)...

Cleo Coyle, amazed by
the story of Thanksgiving
maize, is the author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries
I am happy to share my own maize recipe with you. (No, I did not make it for the first Thanksgiving. I'm not that old... :)) But Marc and I do sincerely hope that you enjoy the blessings of this year’s harvest in your home.


CLEO COYLE’S
THANKSGIVING
CORN CASSEROLE


A few recipe notes...


My husband and I often enjoy this recipe in the late fall. Its cheesy goodness is incredibly satisfying on a chilly day, and it pairs well with most meat entrees. Because my recipe uses frozen corn, I make it all winter. I like to vary the recipe, too, sometimes using a frozen corn blend, sometimes frozen mixed vegetables. 


WHICH CHEESE, PLEASE? 


The Pepper Jack Cheese adds a nice zing of spicy flavor to the casserole. If you enjoy Tex-Mex dishes, you'll love the use of Pepper Jack here. However, if you'd rather keep the recipe totally creamy and cheesy and not spicy in any way, simply replace the Pepper Jack with regular Monterey Jack. Or you can ask Avery Aames for advice!


FROZEN CORN BLENDS 

"Latino Blend" is our favorite frozen corn and veggie mix to use with this casserole. (It's made by Hanover frozen vegetables and it's what you see in my photos.) This blend includes red and green peppers and even black beans, so don't be afraid to experiment and add a favorite cooked legume to our recipe if you can't locate this frozen veggie blend. 

"Southwestern Corn" is another delicious frozen blend that's wonderful in this casserole and also includes red and green peppers and a bit of spicy heat in the flavoring. Bird's Eye makes this one under their Steamfresh brand.

THE CANNED CORN
OPTION


Finally, if you'd rather make a recipe that uses canned corn, I've got you covered, too! Mary Jane Maffini shared a wonderful canned corn casserole recipe earlier this year. Click here to see that one. 


Riley Adams (aka Elizabeth S. Craig) contributed a corn pudding recipe, as well. For Riley's corn pudding recipe, click here.



Cleo Coyle's
Corn Casserole 

To download this recipe in a free PDF that you can print, save, or share, click here.




Makes one 1-1/2 quart casserole side dish,
about 6 to 8 servings


Ingredients


2 slices bacon, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen corn or a corn and vegetable mixture (See suggestions above and my *Frost Alert note below.) 


2 Tablespoons Wondra flour (See my note below.)
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
2 Tablespoons butter, plus a little more to coat the casserole dish
8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, grated (If pre-sliced from deli, simply break up into small pieces)

1 egglightly beaten with fork


* Wondra flour note: If you've never used Wondra, look for its blue cardboard canister in the same grocery store aisle that shelves all-purpose flour. It's a handy little helper for thickening gravies and making quick sauces. If you can't find it, use regular flour and stir like crazy to prevent lumps. Learn more here.


*FROST WARNING – For best results, use frozen vegetables that have been purchased recently. If you see frost on your vegetables, do not simply add them to the pan or you’ll introduce extra liquid to the casserole. To fix frosted frozen veggies, place them in a colander and run warm water over them until the frost disappears. Drain very well and use paper towels to sop up as much liquid as you can before using in this recipe.

Step 1: Quick prep: First preheat your oven to 350º F. Butter a casserole dish that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts and set aside.

Step 2: Browning your bacon: Slowly cook the chopped bacon in a deep saucepan until brown. Add the chopped white onion. Sweat the onions until they turn a light brown. Stir in the 12-ounce bag of frozen corn (or mixed veggie blend). Continue cooking and stirring over low heat for about a minute. Pour into your buttered casserole dish. Set aside.

Step 3: How to make cheese sauce (and speak French)

(a) In a little bowl, cream the 2 T butter with the 2 T Wondra flour to make a paste. Congratulations, you have just created the classic French "kneaded butter," aka buerre manié. Set aside this little paste and pull out a clean saucepan. 

(To learn why "kneaded butter" is a great technique for making sauces click here.) 

(b) Pour your 1 cup of milk into the saucepan and warm it well. Whisk the butter-flour paste into the warm milk, a little at a time until dissolved. Bring milk up to a simmer and continue whisking and simmering for 1 to 3 minutes. When the sauce thickens, remove from heat and quickly stir in 6 ounces of your grated cheese. Mix well. When the cheese is melted and the sauce velvety, it's done.



Step 4: Assemble and bake:  Now you can assemble the casserole. Into the casserole dish with the veggies (from Step 2), stir the lightly beaten egg. (The veggies should now be cool enough for you to add the egg without cooking it, which is why you wait until this step.) 


Pour the cheese sauce over the veggies and mix well. Top with the remaining 2 ounces or so of grated (or broken up) cheese, and bake in the center of your preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes (depending on your oven). The casserole is done when you see the top is brown and crusty and the edges are bubbling. Allow to cool at least five minutes to firm up a bit. Serve warm and...



Have a Happy
Thanksgiving! 



May we all count our 
blessings and...


Eat with joy!


~ Cleo Coyle, author of 



To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:





The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.




Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mashed Potato Makeover! A Healthier and Prettier Thanksgiving Side Dish from Cleo Coyle

Beautiful, Nutritious, and Tres Tasty! :)
Cleo Coyle's pretty Autumn Potatoes

BUT FIRST, I HAVE SOME SWEET NEWS - Holiday Grind, which was a Top-9 national mystery bestseller in hardcover last year, is now a Top-4 mystery bestseller in paperback for TWO WEEKS in a row. :) 

I just got the word last night from my wonderful editor Wendy McCurdy. Even more exciting: Holiday Grind has moved up a bigger national list. It is now the 18th bestselling title of all paperbacks sold in the Barnes and Noble stores throughout the country. So I have got to take a moment to send... 


What is your MUST-HAVE
side dish at Thanksgiving?

Join the discussion in the
comments section below... 


Congrats to PAM of Oklahoma
for leaving a comment and
winning my Tuesday
latte cup giveaway!
 
BIG THANKS to my Coffeehouse Mystery readers (old and new), and the kind reviewers who took the time to read, review, or post a blog about my holiday book.

AND a HUGE thank you shout-out must go to my fellow, very talented crime-writing cooks on this blog for their generous support: Krista, Elizabeth, Avery, Julie, Jenn: You babes are the best! ~ Cleo


...and now back to our regularly scheduled recipe post. :)


For some people, Thanksgiving Dinner simply isn't complete without one or two (or more!) favorite side dishes. 
Cleo Coyle, counting down the
days to cranberry sauce while
writing her next Coffeehouse
Mystery

My favorite side dish is cranberry sauce. (Okay, so it's technically a condiment, but to me it's a major player.) Baby, without cranberry sauce, it ain't Thanksgiving Dinner.

As for my husband, Marc, he's a mashed potatoes man. Turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes are what absolutely define his Thanksgiving meal.

Given Marc's feelings, you can imagine the stress one year when we were so crazed and busy that we forgot to buy potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner. The horror! The horror!

We did have a few potatoes in the kitchen but not enough to serve at table. Marc came up with the solution, garlic-carrot mashed potatoes. They were beautiful, a spectacular golden-orange fall color, and they were delicious in the extreme.

Not carrot-tasting, at all, by the way, just creamy, buttery, and garlicky. These autumnal taters were so darn flavorful that this recipe has become our all-time favorite way to make mashed potatoes.

What I also love about this recipe is its proportions. Can anyone not remember this?

   3 Potatoes - white is best or Yukon gold (not russets!)
+ 3 Carrots
+ 3 Cloves Garlic
+ 3 Tablespoons Butter (or Margarine)
________________


= 3 Cups of Autumn-colored Mashed Potatoes! (Enough to serve 4)

Of course, a great added bonus here are the health benefits from the garlic and the carrots (more fiber and vitamins). No milk or cream, so it can be made Vegan or Kosher by switching the butter for margarine.


Now let's get this side dish
cooking party started!




CLEO COYLE'S
GARLIC-CARROT
MASHED POTATOES




To get this recipe in a PDF document than you can print, save, or share, click here.





Ingredients:




3 medium white potatoes,
scrubbed, skins on
(about one pound)


White potatoes are best for creamy, smooth, delicious tasting mashed potatoes. Yukon gold will work, as well. But do not use russet potatoes, the results will not be as appealing.






3 large carrots,
peeled and diced
(about 8 ounces)











3 Cloves Garlic
3 Tablespoons butter
(or margarine)

1 tsp. salt and
salt and pepper to taste





METHOD

Step 1: Prepare the vegetables -
Peel and dice the carrots into one-half inch rings. Cut the potatoes into sections about one-half inch thick, halving the sections again if too large. Peel
and chop the garlic. 




Step 2: Start by boiling carrots alone - Carrots take longer to cook than potatoes so you're going to give them a head start. Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Add the peeled and diced carrots, return to boil for 8 minutes, uncovered.




Step 3: Add the potatoes and garlic - After adding these ingredients, return the pot to a boil and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, uncovered, or until potatoes and carrots are soft enough to mash. 






Step 4: Drain well - Pour the cooked veggies and garlic into a strainer and make sure water is well drained. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add butter or margarine and mash. We use a traditional hand-masher. Then, for a creamy finish, we whisk briskly with a fork until smooth (about 30 seconds). Salt and pepper to taste. (You can also go techno and use a hand-stick or immersion blender or throw everything into a food processor.)


We still use a hand masher. But a
hand stick (aka immersion) blender will
work great, too.
  

Our secret to making roughly mashed potatoes into
smoothly whipped is a vigorous 30-second beating,
in a deep bowl with a simple fork.


Yes. A simple fork.
And now we're ready to...





Eat with joy!


~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 



HOLIDAY GRIND:
A Coffeehouse Mystery


The TOP-9 national
bestseller in hardcover
is now a
TOP-4 national bestseller
in paperback!!!!






  
To get more of my recipes,
win free coffee, or learn

about me and my Coffeehouse Mysteries, visit my *virtual* coffeehouse at:
CoffeehouseMystery.com


HOLIDAY GRIND

“Fun and gripping…” —The Huffington Post


“Some of the most vibrant characters I've ever read. Coyle also is a master of misdirection and red herrings. I challenge any reader to figure out whodunit before Coyle reveals all.”
Mystery Scene













Krista's Christmas
Cookie Contest



Krista Davis is celebrating the upcoming release
of her new holiday mystery, The Diva Cooks a Goose.



She's holding a delicious contest!
Send Krista your favorite cookie recipe
at
Krista at KristaDavis dot com and you might win!

Find out more
by
clicking here