Can you believe we are now in the month of November? We have exactly 2 months left in 2017 and we have finally arrived at the time of year when we move into daylight savings time, take out the cozy throw blankets and start thinking of about the wonderful world of “Sides”.
I just live for “Sides”. Forget about the main course. I could be just as happy with a side of potatoes and roasted broccoli for dinner. Sides rule and today we get to talk about a new extra special side made with carrots.
Last year I crossed paths with an interesting package of Tri colored carrots at my local Trader Joe’s Market. My first thought was “pretty”. These little carrots looked so pretty in the bag. I knew that once I got them home washed and peeled them they might transform into something drop dead gorgeous. So I did just that and …….Wow in the end they looked stunning.
But this was not the grand finale. I then took these drop dead gorgeous carrots and made a maple/dijon marinade and proceeded to slow roast them in the oven. They tasted out of this world…..OMG ….again I will never be the same. A new “side” to love and my hope is that you will love them too!
2 Pounds multi-colored carrots, rinsed, trimmed and peeled
¼ cup Maple Syrup
¼ cup Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Pinch Sea Salt
pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Handful of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
¼ cup Pistachios, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place trimmed carrots on top. Whisk together maple syrup, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour ⅔ of the mixture on top of the carrots and toss to coat completely. Place in oven to bake for 35 minutes, tossing half way through to cook evenly on both sides.
Once carrots are done cooking, heat up the ⅓ leftover mixture (this can be done in the microwave) then pour over the cooked carrots. Topped with a little extra salt, parsley, and pistachios before serving.
“Go vegetable heavy. Reverse the psychology of your plate by making meat the side dish and vegetables the main course”- Bobby Flay
Why is it good to eat these little “mini cabbages”? Well first off Brussels Sprouts aren’t among the most well-loved vegetables. But as a member of the nutritionally potent cruciferous family, they’re worth a place in your healthy diet. Not only are Brussels Sprouts a good source of protein, iron and potassium, but they also offer other benefits that can boost your overall health.
If you still find you aren’t a fan of Brussel Sprouts I promise by taking this route to enhance them with BACON and Caramelized onions , you will see the most unlikely of people licking their plate and devouring every last morsel.
They are a little time consuming but worth every step.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Caramelized Onions
4 slices bacon, diced (I used Smoked Applewood Bacon for more amazing flavor)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salted or unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts, and cut the larger ones in half (mine must have all been large because I cut them all in half). Spread them on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss until they are all well coated. Spread evenly on baking sheet, roast in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until they are nicely browned, turning once halfway through so they will brown evenly.
While the brussels sprouts are roasting take a large skillet and fry the diced acon until it is nice and brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow the bacon to drain on paper towels. Set aside.
In the same pan (yes, with all the bacon grease…you can take a little bit out if you are feeling really guilty) add 2 teaspoons of butter and the thinly sliced onions, keeping the heat on high until you start to see a little bit of color in the onions, at this point reduce the heat to medium low, to low, lightly season with salt and pepper. Slowly cook the onions until they are soft and brown and caramelized, stirring often… took me about 30 minutes. Combine the roasted brussel sprouts and bacon into the pan of caramelized onions, stirring to mix, when all is heated through serve immediately.
½ stick butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries
Whipped cream and/or ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in the melted butter.
Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the blackberries. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. When 10 minutes of the cooking time remains, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top. Top with whipped cream or ice cream . . . or both!
With the arrival of “Fall” I get excited about inviting some of the world’d best comfort food back into my life. Starting with Chicken Pot Pie.
Do any of you remember those little frozen Swanson Chicken Pot Pies? I did I love them as a kid. Then in the late 80’s Marie Calendars started making their line of frozen pot pies and all kinds of folk became hooked.
Well I am glad those frozen food days are over. The only thing I like frozen these days is my ice cream. One can say that Chicken pot pie could be a little intimidating to make. I say “Be brave” go for it. For you have no idea how much a homemade pot pie could rock your world.
My favorite recipe for this is that of one of my Food Heros– Ms. Paula Deen. I first tasted this masterpiece back in 2007 on a visit to Savannah, Georgia. I stood in that long infamous line at her restaurant The Lady and Sons for well over an hour and let me tell you it was well worth it.
The following is the exact recipe they use at the restaurant. It’s not only pretty but “oh honey it’s so good it will make you want to slap yo mama”…….
4 chicken breast halves, or 2 cups leftover cooked chicken
Seasoned salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil
⅓ cup butter
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
1 quart heavy cream
¼ cup chicken base
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ small yellow onion, minced
1 cup frozen green peas, cooked
1 cup chopped cooked carrots
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg, optional
Special equipment: 2- Pie Dishes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Crust:Cut each sheet of frozen puff pastry into 1-inch strips, 8 inches long. On a large cookie sheet, weave strips into a lattice large enough to cover each pot pie. Brush beaten egg onto each lattice square. Bake for 5 minutes, or until dough has risen and turned light golden brown. Set aside until ready to assemble pies. Leave oven on at 350 degrees F.
Season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into chunks. Alternatively, you may use precooked chicken.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and then slowly add flour, stirring until consistency of peanut butter, but not brown like a roux. Slowly add cream and keep stirring. Add chicken base, garlic, and onion and stir until thickened. Add peas, carrots, nutmeg, if using, and cut up chicken. Remove from heat. Fill 2 individual Pie Dishes with chicken mixture and then top each with a pre-cooked lattice square. Bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly. Any remaining pie filling may be frozen.