Category Archives: side dishes

dipping with cheddar potato bites

Cheddar Potato Bites

February 20, 2024

dipping with cheddar potato bites

Potatoes as appetizer? Sure, why not? You’ll find potatoes in salads, soups, as part of the entree and even in desserts. Moreover, restaurants frequently list potato skins and fries in their starters. Perhaps this is simply my justification to enjoy my favorite pairing of cheese and taters. Continue reading

serving of white cheddar cider potato gratin

White Cheddar Cider Potato Gratin

November 28, 2023

serving of white cheddar cider potato gratin

Potatoes and cheese make excellent culinary partners. I adore potatoes with cheese and plenty of cheese with my potatoes. This much is true : you can always back off on the cheese, but keep the potatoes steady and plentiful. Continue reading

bowl of sugar snap potato salad

Sugar Snap Potato Salad

June 8, 2023

bowl of sugar snap potato salad

Picnic season is here. Backyard barbecue season is in full swing. Your task is to prepare a side dish. Preferably this side dish is one everyone can enjoy. That means vegan and gluten free. Here is the perfect easy side salad. In addition, this Sugar Snap Potato Salad makes a tasty base for all manner of grilled proteins. Continue reading

entire kale potato gratin

Kale Potato Gratin

February 14, 2023

entire kale potato gratin

 

It’s Valentine’s Day and I will honor my main squeeze The Potato. As usual, my goal is to sneak veggies and fruits into most recipes. Hence the kale. I bet even the most ardent potato fans will go for this silky gratin. Continue reading

bowl of mediterranean black eye pea salad

Mediterranean Black Eye Pea Salad

December 20, 2022

bowl of mediterranean black eye pea salad

The new year begins in less than two weeks. Are you ready? Got something fizzy for New Year’s Eve? The celebration is complete with good luck food on New Year’s Day. In past years I’ve published dishes with black eye peas, the southern symbol of good luck. They resemble little coins. Paired with something green and gold, the money symbolism inherent in these tasty peas is obvious. Continue reading

platter of balsamic pecan sweet potatoes

Balsamic Pecan Sweet Potatoes

November 8, 2022

platter of balsamic pecan sweet potatoes

 

There are two camps of sweet potato connoisseurs. Sweet and not sweet. I’ve done sweet and I’ve done not too sweet. Seems the classic American route is to top with marshmallows. Those who like the dessert level tuber will dip from the casserole top. The savory coalition will dig deeper in the dish. Continue reading

closeup of colcannon potatoes

Colcannon Potatoes

march 8, 2022

closeup of colcannon potatoes

Unfortunately, the “wearing of the green” for St. Patrick’s Day means that salad has fallen onto my shirt. I am a mutt, like most Americans, meaning there is Irish heritage muddled with the others. Alas, I’m not much for celebrating minor holidays like March 17 and donning apparel matching those holidays. But the food, I am all about the food. By food I mean potatoes and lots of them. Continue reading

bowl of smoky collard greens

Smoky Collard Greens

January 11, 2022

bowl of smoky collard greens

Did you enjoy good luck greens for New Year’s? Along with Pimento Cheese Cornbread, I had Caribbean inspired Hoppin’ John with coconut milk and citrus and purple kale. I feel lucky. Continue reading

skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Make your plan for Thanksgiving yet? Each year I think of new vegetable sides to grace the table of bounty (and it’s all about the sides, right?). I also dream of harvest desserts, which in my mind are second in command.

head of cauliflower

we must place cauliflower on the pedestal it so richly deserves

Behold the cauliflower, Queen of Vegetables. Roasted, riced, in crackers and gnocchi, in wraps and soups and stews, the main affair and the sidekick. Moreover, stores are now loaded with fresh cauliflower, even vivid colors like orange and purple. This is a Recent Thing.

Potatoes occupy the number one place in my heart of hearts and I will never forsake them. A holiday table is not complete unless something like Cheddar Parmesan Potato Gratin makes an entrance. However, let us eat more veggies and fewer starches for better balance. This cheesy side dish holds its own against any creamy potato side, I’ll wager.

Save the Cauliflower Bits for Enjoying Later

Here is my trick for cutting cauliflower : divide into quarters and manually make florets. Cut and save the trimmed bits for a tasty salad; they keep in the fridge for days.

quartered cauliflower

cauliflower trimmings

save those trimmings – they make a great salad

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower is a good make-ahead dish. Once defrosted, run under the broiler to give a nice burnished top and serve hot. Equally important, now all you need is a great accompanying potato dish to complete your holiday table.

closeup of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 6-8 servings

ingredients 

one large head cauliflower
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons gluten free flour mix – I like King Arthur measure-for-measure*
one cup whole milk
one cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
* regular all purpose flour also works well

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut head of cauliflower into quarters and manually break into large bite size pieces, placing on heavy non insulated sheet pan; if desired, save cauliflower trimmings for enjoying later.
  3. With clean hands, toss cauliflower with olive oil and one teaspoon kosher salt, on the pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, giving a good shake halfway through to move pieces around.
  5. If making ahead, turn off oven and if serving soon, place oven on high broil setting.
  6. While cauliflower bakes, make sauce : melt butter in sturdy two quart saucepan over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook over medium low heat, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes, avoiding browning.
  7. Slowly add milk, whisking (few tablespoons at a time to avoid shocking the starch and making sauce grainy), then do the same with the greek yogurt or sour cream.
  8. Increase heat slightly and cook mixture about 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  9. Off heat, add cheddar and whisk well just until cheese is melted.
  10. Add roasted cauliflower to sauce and place all in oiled heavy broiler proof cast iron skillet or baking dish.
  11. Broil several minutes or just until top is nicely browned.
  12. If dish is made ahead and frozen, defrost thoroughly in fridge, then bake at 400 degrees until warmed throughout (time depends on depth of dish), then broil until just browned on top.
bacon tomato potato salad

Bacon Tomato Potato Salad

july 6, 2021

bacon tomato potato salad

Normal kids ate sandwiches for lunch during summer vacation. This kid scrounged around for ingredients in the family kitchen. Then I moseyed out to the back garden for ripe tomato and  cooked up this Bacon Tomato Potato Salad. Continue reading