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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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Better Than Delivery: Food Processor Pizza Dough and a Couple of Pizzas

Very often when I make pizza at home I use a store-bought dough to make life a little bit easier for me. I have bought the dough and sometimes a pre-made pizza crust so we can have a quick meal. Recently I came upon recipes both from Williams-Sonoma and America’s Test Kitchen that made pizza dough right in the food processor with minimal ingredients and no real kneading at all, making it very easy to make your own dough at home. I actually ended up combining the two recipes somewhat to make my own pizza dough for this one. The America’s Test Kitchen recipe used bread dough, which I liked, but made too many pizza crusts for me, so I combined it with the Williams-Sonoma recipe to get what I wanted.

Food Processor Pizza Dough

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade, combine the flour and salt and process with 3 or 4 pulses. With the motor running, slowly add the yeast mixture, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute, then process for 1 minute more.

Coat the inside of a large bowl with the olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Divide the dough in half and roll out as directed in the pizza recipe.

This recipe makes two 12-inch pizzas, which was perfect for my needs. It was very simple and didn’t take long at all. I was then able to move on to the pizzas. The first pizza I made was a simple cheese pizza, since that is all Sean really likes anyway.
Classic Cheese Pizza
1 Food processor pizza dough
Flour for the counter
1 recipe Pizza Sauce (to follow)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a baking stone on the rack and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Let the baking stone heat for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and shape it into a smooth, round ball and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
Uncover the ball of dough and stretch and shape the dough into a 12-inch round on a piece of parchment paper. Spread 1 cup of pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch edge of dough uncovered. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan across the pizza to cover it. Lightly brush the edges of the pizza dough with some olive oil.
Slide the parchment paper and pizza onto a rimless or inverted baking sheet, then slide it onto the hot baking stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and the cheese is golden in spots, about 8 to 13 minutes.
Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, discarding the parchment paper. Cut the pizza into 6 or 8 wedges and serve.
I rolled out he pizza dough with a rolling pin instead of working it by hand. I just seem to have better luck working with the dough this way so I went with it, but do what you are most comfortable with. The crust came out great, though I probably kept the cheese pizza in for a minute or two too long as it browned a bit more than I would have liked, but Sean didn’t seem to care since he devoured all of the pizza. The pizza sauce recipe itself is quite simple:
Basic Pizza Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the garlic is sizzling, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I made a second pizza, but decided to try things a little bit differently and went for a sausage and pepper pan pizza instead of using the baking stone.
Sausage and Pepper Pan Pizza
1 Food processor pizza dough
2 links Italian sausage, cooked and sliced 
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cored, sliced thin
1 cup Basic tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coat the bottom of an ovensafe skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Lightly roll the dough into a smooth ball. Roll and shape the dough into a 9-inch round and press it into the oiled pan or skillet. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set it in a warm spot (not in the oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and ladle the tomato sauce on the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the pizza with the mozzarella cheese and then top it with the sliced Italian sausage and the bell pepper. Sprinkle the top with the dried oregano. Bake the pizza in the oven until the cheese is melted and the sausage is browning around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to rest for 1 minute in the pan. Using a spatula, transfer the pizza to a cutting board and slice into the desired amount of wedges.
I really liked the thick crust that came out with the pan pizza and I love the sausage and peppers on a pie, so it worked out well for me. I actually used red, yellow and orange pepper on my pizza since I had some small sweet peppers on hand. Since Sean was full from eating the other pizza, There was plenty leftover so I can have some for lunch today.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. There is still plenty to come – a classic Chinese chicken takeout recipe, some oven barbecued ribs, cinnamon buns, and more. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Pizza

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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