Sandy Island Chicken + Spicy Mango and Avocado Salad (Antigua & Barbuda)

November 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Admittedly, the title of this post is rather cumbersome.  But I think this was one of our favorite countries so far!  I was expecting some tropical flavors coming from this tiny Caribbean twin-island nation, and that is indeed what we got — but there was also quite a kick in one of these recipes (spoiler: it’s not the one you think).  We intentionally chose recipes that would allow us to play with mangoes, because there are never enough excuses to use mangoes in cooking, and avocado — well.  Y’all know my feelings on avocado.

Overall, these were pretty simple to put together, and thoroughly delicious.  You could also definitely make either of these alone, as side dishes – and as an added bonus, the mango/avocado salad is vegan!

colorful and tropical

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Spinach + Raisins + Pine Nuts; Rice + Mushrooms (Andorra)

September 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Okay guys so the title of this post is pretty much the main ingredients for the two dishes we made for Andorra, because the dishes are literally called “Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts” and “Rice with Mushrooms.”  Apparently Andorra is not creative with their side dish titles, and I am feeling uncreative in terms of trying to come up with new titles for them, so we’re going with it.

We chose to do these dishes instead of a “main dish” for Andorra because their entrées seemed to primarily involve things like boar, kid (as in the baby goat), pig spine, hambone, lamb, veal, and black pudding (not a dessert. look it up.).  Sometimes all at once.  It was a little bit terrifying and we are kind of poor and also not into consuming eighteen different kinds of meat at the same time, so we decided that we would do something a little unconventional and make two vegetarian side dishes instead.  Turns out this was a pretty great idea!

not our most interesting-looking, but tasty!

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Muenster Sliders

September 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Mini-foods seem to be kind of a thing in foodie circles these days.  I suppose I can see why (the internet loves cute things, and the smaller a food is, the fewer calories it has, so… you can eat more of it, right? No?), and sliders are a pretty classic miniature version of a pretty classic food.  I’ve often seen them served with brie, and we have a goal eventually of making sliders with Kobe or Wagyu beef and brie, but that was a bit…indulgent for the budgets of a grad student and a freelancer.  So we settled on regular (but good quality!) beef and some muenster cheese, instead of cheddar, to put a little spin of our own on these sliders.

cute!

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Cornbread

April 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

J: My mom used to make cornbread for us from scratch all the time when I was a kid, and it was always one of my favorite sides.  She gave me the recipe when I moved down here, and then I heard that Erik had never really found a cornbread he liked — challenge accepted.  We made this a few weeks ago and he loved it!  It’s not so sweet that it crosses into “dessert” territory, but it’s just sweet enough to complement any spicy chili or stew-type dish you might want to serve it with.

cornbread in a teaser photo for our next post!

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Sweet Potato and Asparagus with Lemon

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: A couple of weeks ago over my spring “break,” I had a conference to attend out of town, so Erik went home to visit his parents.  While I was enjoying sunny Puerto Rico, he got the tail end of winter and was able to cook some new delicious recipes, which he told me all about and promised that we would make together soon.  This is the first one we made, and even for 70+ degree weather, it was delightful.  Honestly it is sort of what I had been hoping for when we made this a few months ago (but that dish ended up being a bit on the too-spicy end for me), and I have a sneaking suspicion that because it is easy, fast, healthy, and crazy delicious, it will become a staple around here.  Seriously, with a recipe this unassuming — potatoes and asparagus! who knew?! — you will be amazed at how flavorful and filling this is, especially with a light sprinkling of cheese.

E: Don’t mind the salmon in the photo. This post is all about the sweet potato concoction on the left.

served next to some grilled salmon

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The Veggie-Lover’s Quiche

March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

J: A couple years back, Erik introduced me to the versatility of the simple quiche.  Of course, I had eaten (and loved!) quiche before, but I suppose it never really occurred to me just how much fun you can have playing with different ingredients and flavors to make a breakfast quiche, dinner quiche, or maybe even dessert quiche if you wanted. (Also, as a side note, quiche is a really fun word.  I always want to pronounce it “kweesh” just for the lulz.)

Anyway, while we were home for the holidays this year, for one of our big meals we decided a quiche would be a perfect side-dish.  And, to have some semblance of being healthy, we decided to add a ton of vegetables to it.  That totally cancels out all the eggs and milk that go into it, right?  …right?

look at all that green!

We decided to make the crust from scratch using a simple pie dough recipe from Joy of Cooking, mostly because I will take any and every opportunity to play with dough, but if you are not so zealous about that — or simply don’t have time — you can do a simple pat-in-the-pan crust or of course buy a premade crust if you like.

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Quick Beans

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

E: I am a big fan of beans and Southwestern flavors. As a sometimes-vegetarian (and generally trying and succeeding to eat less meat than I used to, with a few minor setbacks like bacon here and there) I’ve been thoroughly wooed by the heartiness of beans and vegetables. This recipe owes a lot to Susan’s baked beans, with which it shares many of its ingredients. However this is something you can successfully make with any kind of beans in about 20 to 30 minutes, in basically any quantity you want.

quick, easy, healthy, and delicious

We make this or some variant quite often for lunches as well as dinners. I imagine it is a great way to use up any extra vegetables you have in the fridge. We always seem to have extra carrots, so that’s usually what we make this with. I’ll give you the basic amounts of things and you should play around with it to suit your liking. « Read the rest of this entry »

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