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Category Archives: Side Dishes

Twice Baked Potatoes

Nana

Twice baked potatoes were a delicious treat my mother made for dinner when I was growing up. Mom used her father’s recipe, but this recipe from my maternal great-grandmother seems very similar. Mom added melted cheddar cheese to her potatoes. Twice baked potatoes are very filling, so they can be an entree or side dish depending on how hungry you are.

Ingredients:

  • Large white baking potatoes (1 potato per serving), or if very large, 1 potato per 2 servings
  • Butter or margarine to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Milk as needed

Instructions:

  • Scrub potatoes and bake until soft when pinched (about 1 hour at 400 degrees, depending on size).
  • Cut off top of potatoes (at least 1/4 inch) and carefully scoop out insides.
  • Add considerable amount of butter or margarine and salt and mash until bumps are gone. Add milk as needed, but keep on the dry side.
  • Heap mashed potatoes into shells (skins).
  • Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika for color.
  • Re-bake for 30 minutes.

Chef’s Tips:

  • A slicer is very helpful for mashing potatoes.
  • These can be made well in advance.
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Potatoes, Potatoes

 

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Super Sweets

Adrianna

These are my sister’s version of mashed sweet potatoes. Generous amounts of butter, brown sugar, and sour cream are added to sweet potatoes/yams. If you are on a diet, I would try one of the other sweet potato recipes on this site, but if you are looking for a moment of indulgence, these fit the bill.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 yams (1 yam per person)
  • 1 1/2 cubes of butter (6 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 16 oz. whole milk or sour cream
  • Cinnamon and salt to taste

Instructions: 

  • Boil water and cook yams, leaving skin on.
  • Drain yams in cold water and peel.
  • Place yams in a bowl. Stir in butter and allow it to melt in hot yams.
  • Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and milk/sour cream.
  • Mix all ingredients using a masher or whipper until fluffy.
  • Sprinkle a little cinnamon and/or salt on top.
 

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples

I concocted this recipe for Christmas 2011, knowing I wanted to make something with sweet potatoes and apples to go with my homemade cranberry sauce and green beans. After some Google searching, I found a recipe I liked, but thought it was too bland. So, I doubled the measurements for the non-sweet potato ingredients and it was a hit!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (about 5 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I suggest Granny Smith because the tartness of the apples offsets the sweetness of the other ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon to taste

Instructions:

  • Prepare Sweet Potatoes:
    • Add sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender. You know they are done when the skin starts to fall off in the pot).
    • Place sweet potatoes in metal strainer. Run cold water over them for a couple minutes to cool them off.
    • Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently peel skin off with your fingers.
    • Mash in a large bowl using a potato masher or large fork. Set aside. (Be sure to measure potatoes before mashing to confirm you have enough).
  • Prepare Apple and Butter Mixture:
    • Melt butter in a large saucepan.
    • Add diced apples and cook until tender.
  • Combine Ingredients:
    • Add apple and butter mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until well blended.
    • Stir in apple juice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  • When ready to serve, heat over low heat until hot.
 

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Sautéed Spinach

Mom

Mom was an improvisational cook, so the below measurements are just suggestions since she never put exactly the same amount of ingredients in each time. Because I never asked her for the recipe, these were the best estimates Dad and I could come up with.

Ingredients:

  • Abundant supply of freshly washed spinach
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Small amount of diced purple onions
  • 2 Tbsp. sun dried tomatoes
  • 4 black olives, sliced once in half
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 2Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried cranberries (optional- Mom didn’t use these, but it’s a nice addition)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Pour olive oil into pan. Be careful to not overdo the olive oil, as it can make the spinach soggy.
  • Add garlic, then salt, pepper, onions, sun dried tomatoes, black olives, capers, and dried cranberries if you choose to use them.
  • Cook on medium to low heat for 3 mins., slowly stirring ingredients occasionally, moving them towards center of pan.
  • Add spinach and stir towards center of pan as before, but this time, do so briskly. Cook down to desired texture. If you need to add more spinach and it starts to get dry, add more olive oil, but only after spinach has cooked down all the way and it is certain that more oil is needed.
  • Take off heat and add feta cheese, allowing it to melt on top of spinach mixture and then stir in.
 

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Simple Green Beans

Aunt Anni

(Based on a recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook)

Aunt Anni gave me this recipe for Thanksgiving 2010 when I suddenly found myself in charge of holiday food preparations while I was in the middle of studying for finals and writing papers during my first semester of graduate school. Since I was short on time, I started calling all of my aunts asking for quick, easy recipes and these green beans fit the bill.

Ingredients:

  • Green beans
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Butter and seasonings to taste

Instructions:

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil
  • Add a good amount of salt (~ 2-3 tsp. for a medium saucepan full of water)*
  • While the water is boiling, wash and trim the beans (Aunt Anni just chops about a quarter inch off both ends by the handful)!
  • Once the water is boiling, toss in the beans, bring water back to a boil, and cook the beans until they start to turn bright green (about 3-5 minutes for haricot vert and 4-5 minutes for regular beans).
  • Drain beans in a colander. Immediately turn on cold water and add a large handful of ice to the beans in the colander. Mix the ice around so that all the beans are cooled.**
  • Once the ice has melted, return the drained beans to their saucepan.
  • When you are ready to eat, reheat the beans with butter and seasonings (but watch the salt, since the water was so salty!) You can do this up to an hour ahead of time.

*Make sure you use a pot that is large enough for the beans to “swim” a bit. You don’t want them to be too crowded or else they won’t cook evenly.

** The ice gives the beans a pretty bright color and seals in the flavor.

 

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Garlic Tahini Greens

Auntie Jan

Ingredients:

  • Big bunch of washed and chopped collards or kale (I strip the kale from the stalk and chop it separately)
  • 5-6 (or more) cloves of minced garlic
  • ~ 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ~ 3-4 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1-2 Tbsp. honey
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • “A dash plus another dash or two” of sesame oil

Instructions:

  • Steam veggies until just right.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, sauté garlic in vegetable oil.
  • Stir in over low heat:
    • Tahini, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil.
      • If mixture is too thick add more oil; if too thin, add more tahini.
      • Mixture should coat but not get claggy.
  • Mix gently with steamed veggies.

To serve:
Add pine nuts or slivered almonds. Toasted sesame seeds are yummy on top as well. Dash of fresh lemon is tasty too


 

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