Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

I love stuffing, and around these parts we like our turkeys sweet, stuffed with apples, raisins and dried plums (prunes, although the connotation may not be so wonderful). We don’t make traditional stuffing and…stuff in it in the turkey. I mean, that’s weird, right? Who wants to eat that? Stuffing should be made delicious and made on the side, away from the turkey’s innards, if you’re asking me. And since you’re reading this blog (Hi again, Mom!), you probably care just a tiny bit about my opinion.

So let’s be honest about today’s recipe. It’s 10:30 on a Sunday evening, and I’d forgotten to blog….but I’m doing so well, posting everyday and all, that I just Googled up some holiday recipes, and this gem stuffing recipes came up. It’s got two of my favorite words that start with ch – chorizo and cherries! I’d say lose the nuts, but hey, I’ve never made this.

This recipe comes from Zach & Clay of The Bitten Word, which I obviously just stumbled upon, but they’re making recipes out of their food magazines, and this year (like 2014), they’re baking every cookie in every December issue of their subscriptions. Wow – now these are the kinds of people I’m looking to make friends with.

Cornbread Chorizo Cherry Stuffing

Cornbread, Chorizo, Cherry, and Pecan Stuffing


  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided, plus more
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries
  • 10 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread, preferably homemade, dried out overnight
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh chorizo, casings removed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

For the rest of the instructions, please head over to visit my (hopefully) new friends Zach & Clay at The Bitten Word. Enjoy!

Cornbread Stuffing

Photo credits to The Bitten Word.

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I’ve got the sads. This was a direct quotation from a friend and I’s gchat today:

I’m just eating fat free cottage cheese out of the container
and working late
feeling sad
there was a fuzzy in my cottage cheese and I felt too sad to pick it out
this is what my life is now
I’m sure this has happened to the majority of us. Sometimes when you’re sad, eating a stray piece of lint seems much better than the alternative of picking the lint out. Sometimes when you’re sad you need to find ways to make yourself not so sad, like searching for lamb cupcakes to be your friends on the internets. Other times, you just want to live in your sads, like your favorite pair of comfy pants. I’ve decided to fully embrace the pitifulness, stepping into the abyss, purchasing what might be the single saddest thing I’ve ever seen, at Aldi of all places, a locale that usually makes me wildly happy with very cheap prices:
Happy Harvest Vegetables
This is what my life has come to – individual cups of green beans, shelf-stable, single serving. SIGH.
Pause with me for a moment, internets, while we really feel the sads.
Aldi Single Serve Vegetables
Ok, are we done? I’m done, because actually, as you can see, these things are awesome for your diet! They’re next to no calories, and they’re totally friendly for desktop dining, particularly if you lack refrigeration at your workplace (sorry). The green beans are 10 calories per serving, the corn is 30. 0 points. Each has 140 milligrams of sodium. Is that a lot? I don’t know.
This is what a serving looks like fancy-style, on a dinner plate with other dinner items:
Single Serving Veggie Cups
They’re kind of pretty perfect, if you ask me. They tasted like (drumroll) green beans, and maybe just a hint classier than those in a can. I’m going to throw the whole lot of them in my train bag for this week at work. And…if there’s a fuzzy or two in there, I may just have the strength to pick it out. Maybe.
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Candied Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad

My love affair with sweet corn and backyard photo shoots continues. I came across the idea for this recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny. At the time, I was searching for something I could bring to a party, and although I ended up going with the super yummy Funfetti Cake Dip, the Candied Balsamic Tomato & Mozzarella Salad was never too far from my mind. Grape tomatoes already taste like candy to me, so I was intrigued by the idea of sprinkling them with sugar and balsamic vinegar.

After a trip to Trader Joe’s for an engagement party present (aside: after blanking on the fact that I should probably get a gift for said engagement party, I thought buying a bunch of different sparkling wines and including in the card “hope the memories of your engagement sparkle” would be a great idea. I ended up finding this super cute picnic basket at Crate & Barrel, and it really came together perfectly. Trader Joe’s obviously played a vital part for their large selection of cheap champagne!), I also ended up with my favorite mini pearl grape tomatoes. I love those little guys, and you can often find me actually dining on them…at my desk! I took a handful with me to work today, but left the rest for this original recipe. Yes kids, this is truly the first (semi) original recipe on Dining at My Desk. Or, at least one with its own back yard photo shoot.

I can already tell you that I’m not super great with measuring, cooking times, recipe-writing, etc… and sort of cook by feel and taste, so please feel free to add a little more of this or that if you want to recreate this one yourself. I didn’t have any fresh mozz in the fridge, but I DID have corn, and I figured that combination sounded sounded pretty tasty to me. It turned out really great, and I’m actually on track to eat the whole bowl myself while I write this post!

Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad


Candied Balsamic Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad

4 cups grape tomatoes (approx 1 Trader Joe’s container)
1 cup corn (fresh cut off the cob is best)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves, torn
Cooking spray

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, coat with cooking spray.  Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes release juices.  Combine sugar, salt and pepper; sprinkle over tomatoes; cook 2 more minutes.  Drizzle with vinegar and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Transfer tomato mixture to a serving bowl.  Add corn, onion and basil and toss gently. Can be served immediately warm or chilled. I added the corn in the serving bowl, but you could also add the corn earlier in the pan. The recipe makes approximately 3-4 servings.

Candied Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad
Tomato & Sweet Corn Salad
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Nothing says “I’m having a super fun time at a New Year’s party” than taking a break to blog. But, seriously, I was the odd man out for Catchphrase, and I needed to get some more recipes in. Looks like I’ll have to finish up the rest of the recipes tomorrow, but this has been a solid effort…enough to make me not feel guilty.

Let’s examine the first recipes that come to mind in my semi-drunken stupor:

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Oh, look. A green bean casserole that’s fresh. I haven’t actually read the recipe yet, so right now it’s a surprise to everyone! Just like I haven’t checked my lottery tickets for the Mega Millions, but completely assume that I am a winner. This looks like a winning recipe. Hailing from the blog, Brown Eyed Baker, this little beaut will be sure to please the crowd at your next family Thanksgiving.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Bake Time: 15 minutes

For the Topping:
4 slices white bread, each slices torn into quarters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups canned fried onions (about 6 ounces)

For the Beans and Sauce:
2 tablespoons salt
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, and halved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound white button mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean and broken into ½-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups chicken broth
1½ cups heavy cream

1. For the Topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with onions; set aside.

2. For the Beans and Sauce: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons salt and beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

3. Add butter to now-empty pot and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add mushrooms, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook until mushrooms release moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to 3½ cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in an even layer in 3-quart (or 9×13-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

*Note 1: You can prep this ahead of time. Store the bread-crumb topping in an airtight container in the refrigerator and combine with the onions just before cooking. Combine the beans and cooled sauce in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and heat the casserole in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes, then add the topping and bake as directed.

*Note 2: This recipe can be halved and baked in a 2-quart (or 8-inch square) baking dish. If making a half batch, reduce the cooking time of the sauce in Step 3 to about 6 minutes (1¾ cups) and the baking time in Step 4 to 10 minutes.

*Note 3: If you want to go 100% homemade and eliminate the canned fried onions, you can make your own caramelized onions. Thinly slice 2 sweet onions and saute in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the onions are golden, caramelized and soft. Set aside to cool before combining with remainder of crumb topping. Proceed with the recipe as directed.

Oh, hey, that actually looks pretty good. I still haven’t read the recipe completely yet, but plan on doing so next year… :)

White Chicken Chili

White chicken chili

Actually not from Rick Bayless, although I’m sure he would approve. This one comes from “Leftovers for Lunch,” a situation I rarely identify with. It’s more like “Lean Cuisine for Lunch” for me, speaking of which, look forward to more Chew and Reviews in 2011!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbls garlic, minced
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers (HOT if you dare!)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 heavy dashes of ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I actually used a mix of chicken and veggie to use opened cartons!)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained (I like a good mix of varieties!)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  1. Throw all the ingredients, except cilantro and avocado, in the crockpot, simmer on low for 7-9 hours.
  2. Shred chicken, add the cilantro and stir well.
  3. Serve.Garnish with avocado slices.

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla

Yet another NOT from Rick Bayless. This one looks like some sort of eggy, breakfasty thing that Wylie Dufresne and Rick Bayless would both approve of. From See…Read…Cook, this can be made for breakfast or whenever your heart desires.


2 medium russet potatoes

2 medium onions

Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

10 large eggs


Note:  If you have a mandolin, it will come in handy for the slicing process.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, then soak in cold water.  Peel and thinly slice the onions and set aside.  After the potatoes soak 10 or 15 minutes, dry thoroughly.  If you have a salad spinner, this would be a perfect time to use it.

In a large pan, heat enough olive oil to cover the potatoes.  Once up to temperature, (check by placing 1 slice of potato in the oil.  If it sizzles, it’s ready) cook the potatoes until tender.  Your goal is not to fry them to the potato chip stage.  They should have next to no color to them.  If your skillet is large enough, add the onions about halfway through the cooking of the potatoes.  If your skillet is not large enough to accommodate both; after you remove the potatoes, drain on paper towels and add the onions to the pan.  The onions should be translucent, not fried.  Remove the onions to the same paper towel as the potatoes and let drain.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs together just until incorporated.  Once the potatoes and onions are well drained, add to the eggs.  Season with salt and pepper.

Now, this is probably best done in a large non-stick skillet, but if you don’t have a non-stick then make sure you use enough of the reserved oil in your skillet to make sure the tortilla doesn’t stick.  (even with non stick, you should have a bit of oil in the pan)  And make sure your skillet is hot.  The egg sets faster and that helps with the no stick issue.

Pour the mixture into the hot pan and stir with a spatula to create some texture.  After about a minute or so on high heat, lower the heat to medium-high and cook until the eggs are mostly set.

Take a large plate or platter and place over the tortilla.  Take the pan and carefully but quickly flip it over so the tortilla is now sitting on the platter.  Slide the tortilla back into the skillet so the other side can cook and brown.  Cover and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.

Once done, carefully slide out onto a large cutting board and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve with Spanish sausage, Crema, Sofrito, or Roasted peppers.

And that’s a wrap for 2010. See you all tomorrow for the last of the recipe roundup!

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Oh, remember when I told you that I was going to post a recipe a day until December 31? Well, what I meant was that I would post a recipe a day until December 31…unless I got really busy, or was celebrating a major holiday and kept on celebrating all weekend. So…whoops. To make up for my lies, here are five recipes. We’ll start with a few ways to get rid of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Turkey Dressing Sandwiches

This one doesn’t have a picture, and it doesn’t have an exact recipe, but it’s easy to make using your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Combine leftover turkey and stuffing in a skillet. Pour leftover gravy over turkey and stuffing until moist. Cook thoroughly. Mixture should be creamy, but not soupy. Once mixture has come to a low boil, serve on bread. I like to whip up cranberry mayo to add to these sandwiches. This recipe can be made using box stuffing (make according to recipe on box) and jarred gravy. Results will still be delicious.

Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Here’s a really good one from The Kitchn. I’ve made these sandwiches before, and I imagine you could easily sub turkey for chicken. This recipe is great if you’re not into mayonnaise (I’m way into mayo, btw).

3 medium (or 2 large) bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion (about a quarter of a medium onion)
1/2 cup chopped celery (2 medium stalks)
1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
handful of chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
12 slices bacon, cooked
12 slices hearty Italian or peasant bread

For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rub some olive oil over the chicken breasts and season them with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, depending on how thick the breasts are. The skin does not need to brown; you just want the meat to cook through. Let cool slightly, then peel away the skin and shred the meat. You should have about 3 1/2 to 4 cups. Drizzle the chicken with a bit of the juices from the pan, just to keep it moist.

Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stream in the olive oil, whisking vigorously, until combined.

Combine the onion, celery, red pepper, almonds, parsley, and shredded chicken in a large bowl. Pour in the vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Make the sandwiches, putting two slices of bacon on each, topped with one-sixth of the chicken salad.

Mashed Potato Puffs

Mashed Potato Puffs

Still working on clearing that mountain of leftover mashed potatoes? Try these quick and easy potato puffs, also from The Kitchn.

2 cups mashed potatoes
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Gruyere, divided
1/4 cup minced chives
1/4 cup diced ham (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease the cups of a regular muffin tin, or a mini-muffin tin.

Whisk together the mashed potatoes, the eggs, 1/2 cup of cheese, the chives, and ham. Taste and season, if necessary, with salt and pepper.

Put a spoonful of the mixture in each muffin cup. Sprinkle the top of each potato puff with grated cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the potato cups are set, browned on top, and hot through and through. Serve immediately.

Chili & Cornbread Jar

Chili and Cornbread in a Jar

From The Givers Log:

Basically, this looks amazing. Chili in a jar with cornbread baked on top – genius! Just whip up a batch of chili, then add cornbread batter and bake. Perfect for picnics, perfect for an evening dinner…just perfect for anytime. Here is the recipe for cornbread, but I imagine you could use a mix as well:

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix until combined and bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Read the whole recipe and story at The Givers Log.

Cinnabon, The Simpler Way

Home made Cinnabon

I love cinnamon. I love cinnamon rolls. And I LOVE getting Cinnabon at the airport. For me, the airport is the Bermuda Triangle of food. There is everything I could ever want, I’m guaranteed to be stressed, I’m typically traveling alone, and suddenly, food just disappears into my mouth… Here is a recipe from Elra for Cinnabon at home. It appears that she’s baking in Europe and has never actually eaten a Cinnabon, so this might not taste exactly like the real thing, but I’m willing to bet they taste pretty damn good.

12 oz  bread flour
2  3/8 oz cake flour
6 oz water
3/4 oz milk powder
2¼ oz eggs
3 oz sugar
1/4 oz  salt
1/4 oz Osmotolerant Yeast
4½ oz butter, cubed
Cinnamon Sugar Filling, recipe follows
Butter, soften at room temperature, for smearing on the dough (you could use water instead

Place everything, but the butter in a mixer bowl, knead on the lowest setting  for 1 minute. Increase the speed to speed #2. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes, add the cubed butter in three or four addition, continue to knead until gluten is fully develop. Oil lightly a container or a large bowl. Place the dough in it, cover with plastic or a lid, let the dough ferment for 1 hour, then refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, roll out the dough into 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and 16 inch (41 cm) wide. Smear the soften butter to the entire surface, sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon filling, living about 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) from the edges. Roll the dough, cut into 1 1/2 inch (3 7/8 cm). Place the dough in muffin pans, cover with clean kitchen towel. Rest for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 385 F (196 C)

Bake in the middle rack for 15 minutes. Invert immediately onto cooling rack to cool completely before glazing with your own desire glaze. Since I am not a big fan of glaze, I drizzled the rolls lightly using a simple confectioner’s sugar and lemon.

Read the rest of the recipe, include the ingredients for the sugar/cinnamon filling here.

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Since there is no threesome I’d rather eat more of than Velveeta, butter and corn, I’m bringing you this honored Thanksgiving family favorite. Corn casserole showed up as a regular item on our Thanksgiving menu a few years ago when my Aunt Deb unexpectedly made this dish. Everyone loved it, and it really is a marvel of simplicity and waistline expansion.

This recipe only calls for 5 ingredients, and 2 of those are just different types of canned corn. I’ve seen this made in a casserole dish or in a crockpot. Either way, the end result is always delicious. If you’re looking for something super easy that everyone will enjoy, look no further than Corn Casserole.

Cheesy Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole

  • 1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (you can also use broken spaghetti or any small pasta)
  • 1 cup cubed Velveeta cheese (feel free to throw in just a little bit more :)
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • In bowl, combine both corns. Add macaroni, cheese and margarine; mix well.
  • Pour into a lightly greased 2 qt casserole dish.
  • Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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