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Savor These Simple Sides (Sans Pictures) – Maple-Glazed Root Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes with Buttermilk

One of the areas that I am trying to do the most improving in during 2015 comes to the pictures that I take for this blog. Very often I just take pictures right after I have finished preparing the meal so that I can have a picture to display, and the pictures do not always turn out to be the best that I can use but I go with it and that is what I have. I admit I am no professional photographer and I do not spend a lot of time working on the photography for the blog, but I would like to try to get a little bit better at it and take some nicer pictures to use. I would also like to be able to remember to take pictures more often. Very often I forget to take pictures of the side dishes that I have made and only remember it after we have already started eating, not leaving me with anything to take pictures of to put up.. This has kept me from putting a lot of recipes on the blog since I do not have pictures of the recipes I want to use. Today I decided I am going to use a couple of the recipes anyway so at least I can share them with you and let you know how they turned out for me even if I do not have pictures to show you. In particular here are 2 side dishes I tried recently, one from Williams-Sonoma and the other from Bobby Flay. They are for maple-glazed root vegetables and for mashed potatoes with buttermilk, black pepper and green onion. Both are really simple to make and make great side dishes for all kinds of meals.

 

Maple-Glazed Root Vegetables

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into wedges 1/2-inch wide

1 1/4 pound carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into pieces 2-inches long and 1/2-inch wide

1 1/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut on the bias into pieces 2-inches long and 1/2-inch wide

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the foaming subsides, add 1/3 each of the turnips, carrots and parsnips. Cook, without stirring, until the vegetables are browned on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Repeat the process to brown the remaining vegetables in 2 more batches.

Return all of the vegetables to the pan. Stir in the chicken broth, time and 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. He uncover the pan and continue to cook the vegetables, stirring them occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are glazed, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and serve.

 

You can pretty much try this recipe with any root vegetables that you like, or just one single type of vegetable that you may happen to have on hand and it works pretty well. While this recipe is for a larger group of about 8 to 10, you could scale it down to fit your particular family size needs. I actually just made this again recently using just some baby carrots that I had on hand and it turned out perfectly, with the carrots having a really nice glaze on it thanks to the maple syrup. It is a great dish to remember to use for holidays or weekend meals and goes really well with beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. The mashed potato recipe is just as easy and just as versatile.

 

Mashed Potatoes with Buttermilk, Black Pepper and Green Onion

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch dice

Kosher salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces

2 1/2 to 3 cups buttermilk

Coarsely ground black pepper

2 green onions, green and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water by 2 inches. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes well. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the butter and buttermilk in a small sauce pan set over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.

Working in batches, pass the cooked potatoes through a food mill or a ricer (or just use a potato masher) over a pot. Stir the hot buttermilk mixture into the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy. Season the potatoes generously with pepper and add more salt as needed. Stir in the green onions. Cover and keep the potatoes warm over a simmering pot of water until you are ready to serve.

 

While everyone makes mashed potatoes pretty regularly, this is just a slight variation that gives you a little bit different flavor thanks to the buttermilk, pepper and green onion. I really like a lot of pepper in my potatoes so this was the perfect recipe since the pepper really shines through and the buttermilk really helps to make the potatoes extra creamy and add a little bit of tang to the flavor. Again this is a great dish that you can use for a holiday meal or a nice Sunday meal but it is also simple enough for you can make it during the week to have as a side dish for just about anything, including beef, chicken, turkey or pork. While using a ricer or food mill does produce great mashed potatoes and I do have a ricer to use, I very often find myself just using the potato masher to make them and they come out just fine. The ricer can be a little tedious to use when you have a lot of potatoes and some people like the mashed potatoes a little chunkier with the potato masher anyway.

 

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

mapleglazecarrots

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Side Dishes, Vegetables

 

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Back to Cooking with a Great Fall Side Dish – Cider-Glazed Root Vegetables

Now that my oven is up and running again I was able to do some actual cooking over the past weekend and a few different things that I can share on the blog. One of my favorite things about fall cooking is all of the great root vegetables that seem to go so well with fall meals come out. You can do great things with carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips, beets and more and while I personally love to roast all kinds of vegetables, I also thought it would be great to bring all of these flavors together and use another great piece of fall produce – apples. Apples are pretty plentiful in this area of New York this time of year so it’s a great time to take advantage of them as well. This particular recipe for cider-glazed root vegetables was in the latest issue of Cook’s Country magazine and uses the cider to give the vegetables some added flavor and punch. The original recipe uses hard apple cider in it, which I did not have on hand. Instead I used some local apple cider as a substitute.

Cider-Glazed Root Vegetables

4 tablespoons butter

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

12 ounces parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

12 ounces turnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

3 shallots, peeled and halved

2 1/2 cups hard cider or regular cider

3 tablespoons sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, parsnips, turnips and shallots and cook until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the apple cider, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and the remaining 3 tablespoons of the butter and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook the vegetables until they are just tender, about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally.

Uncover the skillet and increase the heat to medium. Cook the vegetables until they are fully tender, about 13 to 15 minutes, stirring them occasionally. Stir in the apple and continue to cook the vegetables until the cider starts to become syrupy and the apple is just tender, about another 2 to 3 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the chopped tarragon and the apple cider vinegar. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish and pour any of the remaining glaze over the vegetables before serving.

Other than substituting regular apple cider for the hard apple cider, I also used golden beets instead of turnips since I already had the beets on hand. You can use pretty much root vegetables that you really like and I think they would work pretty well here. The original recipe as it is posted here is also designed to serve 8 people, so I cut the recipe in half when I actually made it for just the 3 of us and we still had plenty of leftovers. You get some really great flavor with all of the vegetables mixed together with the cider and the apple, though I have to admit that using the regular cider probably creates a bit of a weaker tasting glaze than if you use the hard cider, but it was still really good. I made this as a side dish to go with meat loaf, but I think it would go really well with any pork or poultry dish as well.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

IMG_0715

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

 

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