Archive for Winter Vegetables and Sides

Anne’s “Cheater” Pickled Beets

When I was working in the executive dining room, we made these every couple of weeks and now, for old time’s sake, I make them at Christmas. My Mom always made pickled beets from scratch which included growing her own beets! Molto lavoro (much work); this seems a whole lot easier to me!  I love pickled beets!

DSC_6351 nx23 tins Alymer’s Whole Rosebud Beets
2 tsp. (scant) pickling salt
1-2 Tbsp. pickling spice
1 cup sugar
1 cup white distilled vinegar

Make The Beets:

Drain off beet juice from beets, reserving 1 cup, pour into a medium sized pot. Add the distilled vinegar, sugar, salt & pickling spice. Bring to a boil on medium heat; lower the heat to simmer & simmer for 20 minutes. Get a nice big jar with a lid; wash well with soap & water, rinse well, then fill it with boiling water, let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the water & add the beets to the jar. Strain the hot beet juice over the beets. Top with 1 Tbsp. of the pickling spice. Cover with the lid. Let cool. When cool, store in the fridge. The beets will keep for approximately 3 – 4 weeks in the fridge.

Tip:  My sister places her pickling spice in a tea-infuser then adds that to the beet juice, vinegar & sugar.  When she’s ready to put the beets in the jar, she takes out the tea-infuser, leaves a couple of teaspoons of spice mixture remaining, disposes of any extra; puts the tea-infuser into the jar with the beets and pours the liquid over the beets.   That way she doesn’t have her beets filled with the bits!

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Scalloped Potatoes With Roasted Garlic And Herbs

Crusty, creamy layered potatoes scented with roasted garlic and fresh herbs. Simple flavours but totally addictive! We even like the leftovers with eggs for breakfast!

_DSC0217.jpg nx2Makes 6 Servings

6 Yukon Gold potatoes (approx. 2 – 2 ½ lbs.)
1 small onion, sliced
1 medium size whole head of garlic, roasted

For the Sauce:

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup unbleached flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp. fresh thyme or marjoram (or ½ tsp. dried)
2 ½ cups homogenized milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the head of garlic on a piece of tin foil; drizzle with EVOO & wrap tightly; place into a small baking dish & roast for approximately 35 – 45 minutes until soft. Unwrap the garlic & allow to cool. You can do this the day before.

Make the Sauce:

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat; whisk in the flour, salt & pepper (if using dried herbs, add them now); cook, whisking for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk; cook, whisking constantly for 5 – 8 minutes or until boiling & thickened. Set aside.

Or: use my microwave method: place the butter into an 8 cup or larger glass bowl or measuring cup; melt on level 4; whisk in the flour; microwave for 1 minute on level 4, or longer, until it bubbles a bit. Whisk in the milk, dried herbs , if using; microwave, in 1 minute increments, until the mixtures comes to a boil & thickens; whisk in the fresh herbs & set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Squeeze the garlic out of their skins. Peel & thinly slice (1/8” thick) potatoes, layer 1/3 of the potatoes in a greased 9” baking dish or casserole; spread ½ the onions over top, dot with ½ of the roasted garlic; repeat layers. Arrange remaining potatoes over top. Pour the sauce over the top. Cover with tin foil & bake for 1 hour. Uncover & bake for 30 minutes longer or until lightly browned & potatoes are tender. Let stand for 5 minutes or so before serving.

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Hawksmoor’s Pickled Red Cabbage

A recipe from the Hawksmoor At Home cookbook that’s become a standard fall thing at #5! We are giving this recipe a definite two thumbs up! The restaurant “Hawksmoor” is a London Steakhouse just around the corner from the Guildhall and I can tell you the next time we are in London, we will be beating a path to their door! Here’s a quote from Heston Blumenthal: “at the heart of Hawksmoor is the sourcing, preparing and cooking of great British ingredients.” This is for all you naysayers about British food!

The Hawksmoor folks serve the cabbage with barbecued ribs or a burger or, or, or…

DSC_0761 nx2Makes 2 (1 Litre/Quart Jars)

1 small red cabbage (between 2 ½ lbs.)
100g Maldon sea salt
300ml red wine
400ml red wine vinegar
300ml water
300g caster sugar (aka Berry sugar or very fine sugar)
1 star anise (whole)
3 cloves (whole)
1 tsp. black peppercorns
½ stick cinnamon
1 dried chilli (whole)
1 bay leaf
2 sterilized 1 litre/quart canning jars

Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, finely slice the red cabbage into ½ or 1” strips. (I prefer it sliced into ½” strips). Place the cabbage on a rimmed baking tray or roasting tin & cover with the salt, mixing them together well so that the salt doesn’t just sit on top of the cabbage. Set aside for 3 – 4 hours.

Next make your pickling syrup. Place the liquid ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan, add the sugar & bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half, then turn the heat down to a simmer & add the spices & bay leaf. Cook for a further 10 minutes over low heat, then allow to cool for 5 minutes off the heat before straining the spices from the syrup. Set the syrup aside to get cold.

Rinse the salted cabbage well under cold water to remove excess salt & liquid. In your sterilized jars place the rinsed cabbage & cover with the pickling syrup. Stir once or twice to make sure all the cabbage is coated in syrup, then seal & refrigerate for a week or longer.  We’ve found the longer it stands the more the flavour develops.  It will keep in the fridge for several weeks.

To Sterilize the Jars: Fill a large pot with water & bring to a boil. Place thoroughly washed & dried jars into the pot, cover the pot & turn down the heat to medium ensuring that the pot is still slightly boiling & sterilize the jars for a minimum of 10 minutes. Leave in the water until ready to use, simply turn down the heat to simmer until you need them.

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Braised Lacinato Kale With Pancetta And Onions

Not that long ago, kale was not part of my repertoir.   But after travelling to Italy the first time, I realized what I we were missing! I actually started growing Lacinato kale just to make this absolutely scrumptious veggie side dish! I have served it with roast chicken, roast turkey and roast pork. If you like, you can prep. the kale the day before, by removing the stalks, then blanching and stash in the fridge until ready to proceed with the recipe. If you are going to make your own stock, do this a few days ahead and keep in the fridge.

DSC_5802 nx2Makes 6 – 8 Side Dish Servings

2 ¼ lbs. kale (cavolo nero, aka lacinato kale, dinosaur kale), stems & centre ribs discarded
2 tbsp. EVOO
¼ lb. pancetta, cut into ¼” dice
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley sprigs
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 whole head of garlic, halved horizontally
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 – 4 cups unsalted homemade chicken stock** or purchased chicken broth

Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add 1 – 2 Tbsp. salt.

Meanwhile, place the oven rack in the middle position of the oven & preheat to 350 F. Cut out a round of baking parchment to fit just inside a 5 – 6 quart heavy ovenproof pot; set the parchment round aside.

Blanch the kale in the boiling water in 2 batches, 2 minutes per batch, transferring with tongs to a colander, set over a large bowl; drain well.

Heat the oil in the large pot over medium heat; add the pancetta & cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, approximately 10 minutes; transfer pancetta, using a slotted spoon, to a plate & reserve. Discard all but 4 Tbsp. of the fat in the pot.

Tie the thyme, bay leaf & parsley together with kitchen string & add to the pot along with the onions & garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Return the pancetta to the pot; add the butter & heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s melted. Stir in the blanched kale & add enough stock to cover ¾ of the kale. Increase the heat to high & bring mixture to a simmer. Lay the round of parchment on top of the kale, then place the pot in the oven & braise, stirring once or twice, until the kale is very tender, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the pot to stovetop & discard the parchment;  boil the mixture, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid is evaporated but kale is still moist, approximately 35 minutes. Discard tied up bundle of herbs & the garlic; season with salt & pepper & serve immediately.

To make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.

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Potato And Turnip Mash With Buttermilk

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We call them turnips, other countries call them rutabagas and the Scots call them neeps! Whatever they are called, I like ‘em!

DSCN8072 nx2Makes 8 – 10 Servings

1 ½ lbs. turnip, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
3 lbs. baking potatoes (russet), peeled, cut into 2” pieces
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ cup (or more) buttermilk
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 – 3 Tbsp. chopped green onions (green parts only or chives)

Cook the turnips in a large pot of boiling, salted water until very tender, approximately 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a strainer, pressing gently to release any excess liquid; leaving the cooking water in the pot.

Add the potatoes to the same pot as the turnips were cooked in & cook until tender, approximately 20 minutes; drain well. Return the potatoes & turnips to the same pot; add the butter; mash well; add the buttermilk; mash until smooth (if you think it might be too juicy, hold back some of the buttermilk, then add if needed); season with salt & pepper.

Transfer the potatoes to a warm serving bowl; sprinkle with the green onions & serve immediately.

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Golden Squash Pancakes

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Totally delicious with roast chicken, pork or if you like, as a vegetarian meal along with a salad.

IMG_0746Makes 4 Servings

1 squash (either butternut or delicata)
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 egg
1 Tbsp. unbleached flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dried thyme
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Peel & remove seeds & stringy bits from squash; grate to make about 3 cups; pat dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, whisk together the onion, egg, flour, salt, thyme & pepper. Stir in the squash

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat; brush with some oil. Place ¼ cup of the mixture per pancake in the pan; flatten with a spatula to ½” thickness; cook for about 2 minutes or until golden. Turn & cook for about 3 minutes longer or until golden brown & crisp. Transfer to a baking sheet & place in a preheated 250 F oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining pancakes.

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Potato Latkes With Sweet Potatoes

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Absolutely delicious with just about anything you can think of! You can always cut the recipe in half!

sweet potatoes 3Makes 8 – 10 Side Dish Servings

5 baking potatoes (russet)
2 sweet potatoes (not yams)
3 small onions, quartered
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Peel the potatoes; cut lengthwise into quarters. By hand or using a food processor fitted with the shredder blade, alternately shred onions & potatoes. Transfer to a colander; squeeze out handfuls of the mixture to remove as much moisture as possible; discard the liquid.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl; mix in the eggs, flour, baking powder, salt & pepper. Place paper towels on baking (cooling) racks & fit into rimmed baking sheets & set aside.

Using two skillets, heat ¼” oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking; add ¼ cup of the mixture per latke, leaving space between each; flatten slightly. Cook for 3 minutes or until browned & crisp around the edges; turn & cook for 3 – 5 minutes longer or until crisp & golden. Transfer to paper towel-lined racks to drain well. Place into a warm 250 F. oven to keep warm will frying the remaining latkes.

Repeat with remaining potato mixture, stirring a bit to re-blend each time before proceeding to make new latkes as mixture may separate. Remove any cooked bits from skillets & adding more oil as you go.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes And Carrots

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One of my go to veggie dishes in the fall and winter! Creamy and delicious! I use the tan coloured sweet potatoes. Goes very well with chicken, turkey or pork.

sweet potatoes 4Makes 4 Servings

2 small sweet potatoes (12 oz.) peeled & cut into chunks
4 medium carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
4 – 6 Tbsp. whipping cream
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ tsp. salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place about 1” of water into a large pot & bring to a boil; add ¼ tsp. salt, then add the potatoes & carrots to the pot. Reduce the heat, cover & cook for about 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain very well & mash the vegetables with a potato masher; when smooth add the 4 Tbsp. whipping cream & the butter & stir until well incorporated. If you would like a creamier consistency, add the remaining cream; season the mixture to taste with salt & pepper.

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Phyllis’ Roasted Roots

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What’s not to love about roasted veggies? You can never have too many recipes for roasting all sort of veggies can you? Or, at least I can’t! I have been making these for it seems decades! If you don’t have fresh thyme growing in your garden, you might want to consider it! The workhorse herb of cooking, so lovely!

DSCN8067nx2Makes 6 Servings

24 pearl onions (or cipolline onions), blanched & peeled**
18 (1”) pieces of turnip/rutabaga
18 (1”) pieces of carrot
1/3 – ½ cup EVOO
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Either oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray a large, shallow roasting pan. Add the veggies to the pan, drizzle with the oil & toss to coat well; season with salt & pepper. Roast until tender & beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme & parsley & serve immediately.

**If you would like to see how to blanch & peel onions, please go to Blanching Vegetables.

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Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta

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C’mon, give this a try! Brussels sprouts are my husbands’ favourite vegetable I think and this recipe is a hit at our house! This is a really excellent way to prepare them. Maybe your mom boiled the you know what out of them &and that’s why you avoid them? I really recommend growing your own thyme and sage if you can.

DSCN8074 nx2Makes 6 Servings

1 lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved through the root ends
1 tsp. EVOO
¼ lb. (1/4” thick) slices pancetta, cut crosswise into 1/3” wide strips
1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh sage
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Cook the Brussels sprouts in a pan of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; sauté the pancetta until crisp; spoon off all but 1 Tbsp. of the drippings.

Add the warm Brussels sprouts to the skillet; sprinkle with the herbs & sauté over high heat until just heated through & the vegetables begin to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes; season to taste with salt & pepper & serve immediately.

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