Category: Sides

Stuffing

For Christmas Eve every year, Opa would make the most incredible stuffing!  To a boxed mix he would add sausage and chopped water chestnuts.  The resulting stuffing tasted amazing!  When Dad took over he wanted his stuffing to be nearly identical to Opa’s; but, it wouldn’t be Dad if he didn’t tweak it a little.  


INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp sage
1/2 cup dried minced onion
2/3 cup dried minced celery
5 cups water
1-1/2 cubes butter
1/3 cup chicken Better than Bouillon
16 cups bread, cubed and dried
2 lbs sage sausage, prepared
2 cans (4-oz each) water chestnuts, chopped
1 lb mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
pine nuts, roasted


DIRECTIONS
Combine Italian Seasoning (or substitute Herbes de Provence), black pepper, marjoram, and sage in a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder; pour into a small mixing bowl.  Stir onion and celery into the herb mixture.  In a large stock pot, bring water, butter, and better than bouillon to a boil; stir in herb mixture.  Remove from heat; add bread crumbs and stir to moisten.  Cover with lid and allow the stuffing to sit for five to ten minutes.  Stir in all remaining ingredients, reserving some of the pine nuts and dried cranberries.  Place mixture in two 9×13 pans and heat under broiler until the top is slightly browned.  Top with reserved pine nuts and dried cranberries.

(Updated 12/23/2018)

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Belgian Frites


Ok, my friends, don’t get me started!  Just believe me when I say, Fries are NOT French!  Whether it be because of the style of the cut (frenched) or the native language of many of their early purveyors, french and fries have been erroneously linked as the name of a true Belgian creation, Frites!  Calling these spears of deliciousness French is, well, just wrong. 

Real frites are double fried, delivering a soft and fluffy interior and crisp exterior.   They are traditionally salted and served with mayonnaise.  But, if you are feeling a bit more  adventurous, try some of the typical toppings for Frites from the Netherlands and Belgium found under Serving Suggestions at the end of the recipe.  My personal favorite…  Patat Speciaal!


INGREDIENTS
Large potatoes
Water
Oil
Salt
Pepper (optional)


DIRECTIONS
Wash and slice potatoes (either peeled or unpeeled) into thick strips; place in a large bowl of fresh cold water and soak for 20 minutes or more.  Heat oil to 275° to 300°.  Line a large paper bag with paper towels.  Fry sliced potato fries in batches for +/-5 minutes per batch being careful to keep oil temperature in range.  Place fried potatoes in prepared paper bag and allow to cool.  Increase oil temperature to 375° to 400°; fry in batches a second time for +/-5 minutes per batch.  Place fries on a baking dish lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if desired) immediately.  Devour.

Real Belgian frites (french fries) are always pre-soaked in water and then fried twice.  This results in a crisp outside and fluffy interior.


SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Patat Met – Fries with mayonnaise
Patat Speciaal – Fries with mayonnaise, curry ketchup, and topped with onions
Patatje Oorlog – Fries with mayonnaise, peanut sauce, sambal oelek, and topped with onions
Patatje Joppie – Fries with mayonnaise mixed with  yellow curry spices, and topped with onions
Frieten met Stoofvlees – Fries with Belgian stew

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Sweet Potatoes

SweetPotatoesINGREDIENTS
4 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs beaten
1 1/5 cube butter melted
2 cups half-and-half
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Topping
3 cups corn flakes not crushed
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups light brown sugar packed
3 cups melted butter

DIRECTIONS
Combine sweet potato ingredients; pour into 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 375° to 400°. Remove from oven. Combine topping ingredients and spread over sweet potatoes. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

(Revised Dec 2015)

 

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Baked Beans

BakedBeans1 lb navy beans
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 lg onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 lb thick sliced bacon, cut into pieces and fried

Soak dry beans for 8 hours or overnight; drain. Place beans in saucepan and add water to 1 inch above beans. Heat to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour contents of the saucepan into crockpot. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours or until beans are tender. Water can be added during the cooking process, if necessary.

Pressure cooker version: 2 cups dry beans, 32 oz chicken broth, and remaining ingredients (except bacon) in pressure cooker. Cook on bean setting (high pressure) for 40 minutes. Add bacon.

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Braised Fennel

image1-3 bulbs fennel
butter or olive oil
14 oz chicken stock
salt
pepper

Slice fennel into sections and lightly brown edges in butter or olive oil; braise in chicken stock until soft.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Baked Beans

BakedBeans2 lg cans pork & beans, drained
2 bell peppers, diced
2 onions, diced
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 lb bacon, chopped

Cook bacon with green peppers and onions.  Combine all ingredients and bake at 350˚ for one hour or longer.

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Stuffing

1 box cornbread stuffing (Stovetop or other)
1 pkg (18 oz) sage sausage
1 lb dried mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
8 oz orange (or other) flavored cranberries
8 oz pistachios, shelled (or pine nuts, roasted)

Prepare stuffing according to package directions.  Brown sausage in a large frying pan.  Remove sausage; brown rehydrated mushrooms in sausage drippings (for a deeper mushroom flavor, add some of the broth from the mushrooms).  Combine stuffing, sausage, mushrooms, and remaining ingredients; pour into a 9×13 pan.  Place under broiler until top browns slightly.

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Sticky Rice (Short Grain)

4 cups sweet rice (also called “sticky” or “glutinous” rice)
5 cups water
1 tsp. salt

Place sweet rice in rice cooker. Add water and stir. Let the sweet rice stand for 30 minutes (or longer if you want – up to 4 hours). Add the salt and stir once more. Turn on rice cooker. When rice cooker switches off (after 15-20 minutes), let the rice stand for a minimum of five extra minutes before opening.

Sticky Rice Tip: Sticky rice will become sticker the longer it sits, so if you want it very sticky, make it ahead of time.

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Pinto Beans

1 lb dry pinto beans
1 ham hock 1 onion, diced

Sort and rinse beans. Soak beans in water overnight (or, bring beans to a boil for two minutes in 8 cups of water; set aside to soak for 1 hour). Drain and rinse beans. In a large pot, add beans, onion, ham hock, and 6 to 8 cups water; cover and simmer until beans are tender.

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Parmesan Potatoes

1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
1 qt whipping cream
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1⁄4 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1⁄2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 heaping tbsp flour
3 cups Parmesan cheese, divided

Place potatoes in a 9×13 baking dish. In saucepan, combine whipping cream, chicken broth, Tabasco sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Over medium heat, slowly add flour and 2 cups of Parmesan cheese while stirring constantly. Pour over potatoes and bake at 350o for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

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Maple Glazed Carrots

7-10 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
2 tbsp cornstarch
2⁄3 cup orange juice
5 tbsp maple syrup
5 tbsp butter, melted
1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp salt

In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water and carrots to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or al dente. In another saucepan, combine cornstarch and orange juice until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain carrots; transfer to a serving bowl. Pour glaze over carrots; gently stir to coat.

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Garlic Parmesan Orzo

1 pkg (16 oz) orzo
2 tsp garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup butter
3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup milk
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
11⁄2 tsp onion salt
1⁄2 tsp pepper, freshly ground

Prepare orzo per package directions. In a large frying pan, melt butter and sauté garlic until tender. Add prepared orzo and remaining ingredient. Stir, and cook until heated through.

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Funeral Potatoes

7 potatoes, cooked and peeled
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 onion, grated
1 can cream of chicken soup

Grate potatoes and place in 9×13 baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over potatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 350o for 45 minutes.

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Carrots & Onions

6 carrots, julienne
1 tsp chicken base
1⁄2 cup water, boiling
3 onions
1⁄2 cup butter
1 tbsp flour
1⁄2 tsp salt sugar pepper

Boil 1⁄2 cup water; add carrots and chicken base. Boil for 10 minutes.

In second pan, Cook onions in butter for 15 minutes. Add flour, salt, pinch of sugar and dash of pepper. Stir until thick. Add carrot mixture; stir. Heat thoroughly.

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Boursin New Potatoes

1 cup heavy cream
1 pkg (5 oz.) Boursin cheese with garlic & herbs
1 cup chicken broth
3 lbs new potatoes
chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper

Boil whole new potatoes for 15-20 minutes. Cool for 1-2 hours before continuing.

In a small saucepan on low heat, combine whipping cream, cheese and broth until blended. Slice potatoes. Using 1⁄2 of the potatoes, layer evenly in 9×13 pan (some may overlap). Add salt & pepper to taste. Pour 1⁄2 of the cream mixture over the potatoes. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and cream mixture to make a second layer. Bake at 350º for 1 hour, basting regularly. After baking, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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Thai Sticky Rice (Khao Niew / Gao Nep)

Khao Niew (ข้าวเหนียว) is somewhat of an addiction for our family.  The long-grain sticky rice served in Thai restaurants, this rice is an excellent accompaniment to many asian dishes.  Traditionally, diners hand roll this rice into balls and then dip them into curries.  In our area this rice is usually sold in packages bearing its Vietnamese name: gȧo nêp.  Look for packages of “scented” rice.  This term refers to the natural aroma of high-grade rice.

INGREDIENTS
khao niew/ gȧo nêp (long grain Thai “sticky”, “sweet”, or “glutinous” rice)
water


DIRECTIONS
Soak rice for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 12 hours. Place rice in a Thai bamboo rice steamer. Place bamboo steamer over boiling water and steam for 10 minutes. Flip rice in steamer and place over boiling water for an additional 5 minutes. Flip rice again and steam for a final 5 minutes.

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