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Boiled Peanuts

On the snacking menu for tonight – Boiled Peanuts!

Boiled peanuts are definitely one of those things that get really mixed results when you mention them. “What are boiled peanuts?” “That sounds gross…” “Yum! If you are from the South, you’ve likely had had boiled peanuts. If you are from the South and haven’t had boiled peanuts, please mail your Southern card to… I’m just kidding.

Seriously though, if you are from the South, even if you haven’t tried boiled peanuts, you HAVE seen the roadside stand with the guy sitting next to a half barrel or converted beer keg sitting over a low burning fire filled with boiled peanuts. You buy some, and the guy ladles out your peanuts into a styrofoam cup. I mentioned the ladle. The ladle used to get the peanuts is something to watch out for as your purchase is being prepared. It’s almost always a jerry-rigged device with holes drilled in so the water from the barrel or keg can drain as they get your boiled peanuts.

Oh, definitely strike up a conversation with the person at the stand. For me, half the fun of the drive to wherever it is I’m going is stopping to get some boiled peanuts and chatting with the person at the stand. You may also buy some fresh fruit, produce, and / or BBQ as well before you continue on your way.

If you’ve never tried boiled peanuts, I hope the next time you plan to have people over for a game or the holidays you will make a batch of boiled peanuts for your guests to snack on.

Boiled Peanuts

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: unknown
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 8-9 hrs Total Time: 8-9 hrs

Boiled Peanuts

Ingredients

  • bag of green peanuts
  • Kosher Salt
  • Filtered / Bottled Water (tap water has chlorine and other chemicals that don't taste so great)

Instructions

1

Spread out the peanuts from the bag and remove any rotten or moldy peanuts

2

Fill a crockpot about 3/4 full with peanuts

3

Pour in enough water in to the crockpot that the peanuts begin to float and then pour some more. The water will evaporate, so I fill it as high as I can but still able to close the lid

4

Pour in 4 palm-fulls of Kosher salt and stir it in. If you have never made them before, start with 3 palm-fulls if you are nervous they will be too salty

5

Set the crockpot on high for 4 hrs.

6

Once the 4 hrs are up, lower the temperature to low and let it go another 4 - 5 hrs. At the 4 hour mark, taste a few to see if they are the consistency you want. I like mine with a little bite to them... too mushy and you can't get them out of the shell.

7

Once finished, cut the heat, drain, and transfer to another container.

8

Serve hot

Notes

They are great hot, warm, or even cold. They store well in the fridge a few days, if they last that long. You can add flavorings too. You can add some sliced jalapeno, or hatch chilies, or Old Bay Seasoning. When I've done Old Bay, I'll add two spoonfuls (like a cereal spoon) of the Old Bay at the beginning with the salt

Side Dishes/ Vegetarian

Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin with Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Cheese

On the menu tonight – Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin!

I’ve seen so many pictures of Scalloped Potato dishes that I decided to make it. This isn’t a difficult dish to make, but it looks awesome – especially if you take the time to arrange the potato slices neatly. I didn’t have the time to arrange the slices in any particular shape this time.

The trick to this dish is getting the slices the same thickness. Take the help from your food processor or box grater to get perfectly uniform slices – about 1/8″. From there, all you have to do is add the cream and other ingredients to a large pan and cook the potatoes about 15 -18 minutes. Then, transfer the ingredients to your baking dish and bake. That’s it!

So, the next time you are serving potatoes, consider making them a little fancy and try my Scalloped Potatoes!

Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin with Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Cheese

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side dishes
By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin with Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 - 3 lbs Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced about 1/8" thick
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp thyme (2 tsp if using fresh)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese

Instructions

1

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

2

In a large pan, over medium high heat, add the butter and onions. Cook about 5 minutes

3

Add the garlic, and cook another minute or two, lower the temp to medium, then add the heavy cream (don't let the cream burn, keep stirring and lower the temp more if needed)

4

Add the thyme, nutmeg, chicken bouillon powder, and potatoes. Cook about 15 minutes until the potato slices are fork tender

5

Transfer to a 9x9 baking dish and cover with the grated cheese

6

Bake about 15 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden brown on top and the cheese is bubbly

7

Pull from oven and let rest at least 5 - 10 minutes before serving

Seafood/ Side Dishes/ Vegetarian

Shrimp Fried Rice

On the menu tonight – Shrimp Fried Rice!

I love fried rice and this version is SO easy to make. While I know how to make rice, I like to take a shortcut when I make fried rice. Whenever we order Chinese food, we never eat all the rice. You can only have plain rice as a side with so many things. SO, what to do? Fried Rice!

Fried Rice… you can go vegetarian – garlic, peas, carrots, and green onion. OR Pescatarian – same as vegetarian and add shrimp. OR you can go Carnivore – same as vegetarian and add your choice of meat. My recommendation would be Spam. Yes – Spam. Spam and pineapple. Today, I went with shrimp for the protein.

When I say this dish comes together quickly, we’re talking about 15 minutes. I mentioned the Chinese food rice, the second shortcut is frozen peas and carrots. Frozen veggies are just as fresh as fresh – they have to be. The veggies are frozen right away after being picked and processed wherever they are grown. Just don’t let them sit in your freezer for 6 months and expect them to taste fresh. They are PERFECT for fried rice. The carrots are already diced way better than you or I are going to dice them and there’s no prep for the peas. So, for prep on this dish all I had to do was smash and finely chop the garlic, measure out the soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame seed oil.

For the cook, just heat up a large skillet or even a roasting pan, sans the rack, and heat up the oil. Cook the scrambled eggs, remove and let cool. Then add in the shrimp and garlic, cook about 3 minutes. Don’t forget to flip the shrimp so the other side gets to cook. Then, add the peas and carrots, cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Add the rice, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame seed oil. Stir to combine and continue stirring to let the rice get a little crispy.

Serve immediately with a little chopped green onion on top. I hope the next time you are in the mood for Fried Rice, I hope you’ll try my Shrimp Fried Rice.

Shrimp Fried Rice

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By Patrick Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Shrimp Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/4 - 1/2 lb shrimp - deveined
  • 2- 3 cups cooked rice
  • 12 oz pkg frozen peas and carrots
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or smashed and finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

1

Pre-heat large cast iron skillet or roasting pan over medium-high heat (you want some room to groove on this one)

2

Add about 1/2 tsp oil to the pan

3

Add the scrambled eggs and cook to finished - but barely finished and remove from pan. The eggs will get cooked more with the rice later

4

Add the shrimp and garlic and cook about a minute and a half, then flip the shrimp to cook another minute and a half on the other side

5

Add the peas & carrots mix, the rice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil, cook another 3-5 minutes

6

Add the white pepper and stir to combine

7

Continue stirring the mixture to let some of the rice get crispy bits

8

It should be ready now... serve immediately and garnish with the chopped green onion

Notes

This same recipe could be tweaked so many ways. As I mentioned the Spam Fried Rice. For that one, you'll want to add some pineapple and bell pepper.

Side Dishes/ Vegetarian

Patrick’s Packed Pickled Jalapeno Peppers and Red Onions

Today, I made a batch of pickled jalapenos and red onions. I bought more jalapenos than I needed and they were starting to look a little sad. Rather than letting them go to waste, I decided to pickle them.

I’ve made pickles before, but this is the first time I’ve pickled jalapenos. Since this is a quick pickle, I didn’t go through the whole process of a water bath and sealing them. There were only 5 peppers, so it wouldn’t have been worth it to go through that whole process.

To do a quick pickle, all you have to do is put the prepared peppers (Audrey and I have a lot of fun coming up with the name), into a clean jar and then pour the prepared brine in to the jar and let sit at least 30 minutes. That’s it! They’ll keep in the fridge about a month, if they last that long.

If you grow peppers, and I suggest you do, try pickling them after your harvest. They go fantastic on or in anything you want add a little spice to. I’ve used these in eggs, on sandwiches, anywhere you’d like a little extra spice.

Patrick's Packed Pickled Jalapenos and Red Onions

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 15-20
Prep Time: 5 min Cooking Time: 10 min

Patrick's Packed Pickled Jalapenos and Red Onions

Ingredients

  • 5-6 Jalapeno peppers, sliced into 1/8" thick rounds
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper corns
  • 2/3 cup vinegar (plain, white wine... whatever suits your fancy)
  • 2/3 cup water

Instructions

1

Combine the water, vinegar, onion, salt, pepper corns, and coriander seeds in a small pot

2

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes

3

Meanwhile, put the jalapenos in a pint sized canning jar

4

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the jalapenos and let sit

5

Let the jalapenos cool (as long as overnight), then store in the refrigerator

Side Dishes/ Thanksgiving

Classic Mashed Potatoes

On the menu tonight – Classic Mashed Potatoes!

I’m assembling a collection of some classic Thanksgiving dishes and what is more classic than mashed potatoes. To get the best mashed potatoes, you need to start with the right potato. In my humble opinion, Yukon Golds make the best mashed potatoes – it has something to do with the level of starch. I’m not getting into all that…trust me on that one though. 🙂

Now that we know what type of potato we’re using, do you like them with a little chunk or do you want fluffy, smooth mashed potatoes? If you don’t mind a little chunk, all you need is a potato masher. If you want them fluffy and smooth, you will want a potato ricer – think giant garlic mincer. Another option is something called a food mill.

Potatoes will soak up liquid and flavor, so don’t be bashful with the butter or salt. Taste as you season, you can always add but you can’t take away when it comes to cooking.

Mashed potatoes are on every menu that I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t made mashed potatoes before, I hope you will try my version of classic mashed potatoes!

Classic Mashed Potatoes

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Classic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2-2.5 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 4-6 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of milk, warmed
  • 3-6 Tbsp of cream cheese
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 chives, finely chopped (greens only please, save the white part for another dish)

Instructions

1

Prepare a large pot of water on the stove, but don't turn it on yet

2

Peel the potatoes and cut them to relatively equal size - I go for quarters. Don't cut them too small, but you want them to cook evenly

3

As you cut the potatoes, add them to the pot so they don't oxidize

4

Once you have them all in the pot, THEN turn it on high and bring to a boil

5

As the water is boiling, add a couple of tablespoons of salt, like you would when cooking pasta

6

After about 8-10 minutes, test if you can easily pierce the potato with a knife or fork (depending on your application, you may WANT them to be al dente. If you are putting the mashed potatoes on a shepherds pie as an example

7

Once cooked to your liking, drain in a colander

8

Add the butter to the pot along with the milk, then add the potatoes back to the pot and begin mashing. If you are going to use a ricer, have a large bowl ready and start ricing.

9

Add the cream cheese and mix that in along with your first bit of salt and pepper

10

Taste and adjust seasoning

11

Once they are seasoned how you want sprinkle the chopped chives on top and they will look like you got them from a fancy steak house

Notes

While I used black pepper, you could also use white pepper and then you wouldn't see the little black flecks

Casserole/ Side Dishes/ Thanksgiving/ Vegetarian

Corn Casserole with Cheddar Cheese

On the menu tonight, Corn Casserole!

I remember having this a LONG time ago and loving it. SO, I decided to add it to my Thanksgiving menu this year.

Rather than doing a cooking marathon on Thanksgiving day, I’m trying to get a few dishes made the night before that will heat up nicely. This corn casserole will definitely keep tonight and heat up well the next day.

One of the things I love about this dish, besides being delicious, is how quick it comes together. Dump the ingredients in the bowl, mix it together, and bake it. 30 minutes later, you have a DELICIOUS Corn Casserole!

If you are looking for a new side dish for Thanksgiving, or any night, try this Corn Casserole!

Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole

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Corn Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 cup corn meal (I used white corn meal but yellow is fine too)
  • 1 can whole corn, drained
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

1

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2

In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and gently mix thoroughly

3

Add to a 2 quart baking dish, or divide into smaller, individual baking dishes (If you do this, check them sooner as they will cook faster)

4

Bake for about 30 minutes, the top should be golden brown

5

Once finished, remove and let rest at least 15 minutes

Notes

Whatever vessel you use to bake this casserole, leave room at the top as it WILL rise. To avoid spillover messes, you can put the baking dish(es) on a baking sheet.

Seafood/ Side Dishes

Sheet Pan Fried Rice with Shrimp

On the menu tonight – Sheet Pan Fried Rice with Shrimp!

We order Chinese food at least once a month, sometimes more, and every time we have leftover rice. I’ve done a bunch of things with that leftover rice, but this definitely my favorite use!

Take the containers of rice, dump them in a large mixing bowl along with the ingredients in the recipe and mix thoroughly. Spread the mixture on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, scrape the rice mixture from the sheet pan and mix it up. Pour in the scrambled eggs, mix it all up again, and bake another 5-10 minutes.

In this version, I added shrimp. Once finished, chop the shrimp into bite sized pieces. Garnish with scallions and serve with your entree of choice or it can stand alone as a meal. It’s a simple recipe, but one that you’ll want to have in your arsenal.

Sheet Pan Fried Rice

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes Total Time: 25-35 minutes

Sheet Pan Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups cooked rice (Preferably leftover rice)
  • 1 lb medium shrimp
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 12 oz. bag peas and carrots
  • 3 large eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 inch grated ginger or 1 tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1/4 - 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees

2

In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients, except for the eggs and scallions, mix until the rice is evenly coated

3

Spread the rice mixture on the sheet pan and put in the oven

4

Bake for 15 minutes

5

When the timer goes off, add the scrambled eggs to the rice and fold in the scrambled eggs into the rice along with half the scallions

6

Bake another 5-10 minutes

7

When you pull the pan from the oven, garnish with the rest of the scallions and serve immediately

Notes

Feel free to add a protein to the rice at the 15 minute mark. Rice, ham, spam... whatever protein you like!

Beef/ Side Dishes

Classic Pigs in a Blanket

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and I wanted to put out some great snacks for game day. I don’t recall going to a Super Bowl party that DIDN’T have pigs in a blanket, so I’m keeping up the tradition.

There are only a few ingredients for this dish – lil smokies, crescent roll dough, and… that’s it! OK, if you want to dip them in something, ketchup, mustard, and a few other ingredients.

Whenever there are so few ingredients, I try to use the best I can find. Lil smokies aren’t exactly gourmet food, but there are the beef and pork or all beef. I chose all beef.

For assembly, open the crescent roll tube and separate the triangles. Cut each one into thirds and use those pieces to wrap the lil smokies.

Put them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

For the dipping sauces, I put out ketchup and a mustard sauce. The mustard sauce is one part sour cream and one part mustard. I did a half yellow mustard and half grainy mustard mix – it was pretty fantastic.

I hope you’ll make these the next time you need a side dish for your party.

Classic Pigs In a Blanket

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By Unknown Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Classic Pigs In a Blanket

Ingredients

  • 1 package Lil smokies
  • 1 tube crescent roll dough
  • Dipping sauces:
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Grainy Mustard
  • Sour cream

Instructions

1

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2

Open crescent roll dough and separate the triangles

3

Cut the triangles into thirds

4

Open the lil smokies package and wrap each one with dough

5

Put the wrapped smokies in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes

6

For the Mustard Sauce:

7

Combine one part sour cream and one part part mustard

Side Dishes/ Thanksgiving/ Turkey

Turkey and Mashed Potato Wontons and Gravy Sauce

After a couple of days you get tired of turkey and mashed potato leftovers. What’s a guy to do? I decided to make Wontons! You probably already have everything you need, leftover turkey, some leftover mashed potatoes, some green onion, and some leftover gravy.

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t made a lot of wontons. Before tonight, I haven’t made one wonton! LOL! But I was determined to make something new with my turkey and mashed potato leftovers. I looked for various recipes and didn’t see anything I liked. So, I made up my own recipe.

I had some wonton recipes and all the leftovers from Thanksgiving, so I made Turkey and Mashed Potato Wontons!

If you want to try something new with your leftovers, make Wontons!

Turkey and Mashed Potato Wontons and Gravy Sauce

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 6 minutes Total Time: 21 minutes

Turkey and Mashed Potato Wontons and Gravy Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 lb leftover turkey, chopped finely
  • 2-3 tbsp green onion, finely chopped
  • Wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 quarts peanut oil or any oil for frying

Instructions

1

Preheat oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees

2

Mix the mashed potatoes, chopped turkey, and green onion in a mixing bowl

3

Take about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of the mashed potato and turkey mixture and put it on the wonton wrapper. You want to be able to fold over the wrapper without the filling spilling out

4

Put a fine layer of the egg on the wonton wrapper to seal it shut

5

Fold over the wrapper, one corner to the other and seal it shut with your fingers

6

Assemble at least three or four wontons before putting in the oil

7

Gently place the assembled wontons in the preheated oil and fry until golden brown

8

About halfway through the cooking process, flip the wontons

9

Once fully cooked, transfer to a platter with a paper towel or cooling rack

10

Continue cooking until the mixture is gone

11

Heat the gravy in a bowl or ramekin for dipping

Side Dishes/ Thanksgiving/ Vegetarian

Vegetarian Stuffing / Dressing with Cranberries

In addition to sausage stuffing, I also make a vegetarian stuffing every year. This version of stuffing has vegetarian sausage, celery, onions, and sage along with craisins. The craisins give a nice tart pop to the dish.

If you are looking for a great vegetarian side dish, this one is for you. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Vegetarian Stuffing / Dressing with Cranberries

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 10-12
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Vegetarian Stuffing / Dressing with Cranberries

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 packages Beyond Meat Breakfast Sausage, chopped
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 16 cups bread cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2

Grease the baking dish of choice with butter

3

Add 6 tablespoons of butter along with the "sausage" to a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook until browned

4

Add the celery and onion, cook the veggies until soft, about 6 minutes

5

Mix in the sage, then add the broth, salt and pepper to taste

6

Bring to a simmer and remove from heat

7

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the parsley, craisins, and bread cubes

8

Gently fold in the broth and veggie mix together with the bread cubes

9

Top the mixture with about 2 tablespoons of butter and cover with foil

10

Bake for 30 minutes

11

Uncover and bake for another 20 - 30 minutes until the top is golden brown