Archive for the Category » Side Dishes «

Finger Food Friday: Cheesy Garlic Bread

Now that football season is here, I know many of you are searching for one or two new items to add to your game-day buffet. I think my creamy, cheesy, garlic bread would be a perfect addition because it can fill a variety of voids. Need another finger food? Cheesy Garlic Bread holds its own as a meatless French bread pizza. How about a bread side to compliment your Creole-Italian themed menu? My recipe’s a tricked out version of the traditional garlic bread accompaniment. In search of a little something to help your guests [ ... ]

Grilled Calamari

This summer, I’m grilling out more than ever. Aside from being a lover of all things hot and humid, I’m still trying to shake the chill from Snowmageddon 2014. Was that not the worst? Okay, maybe not a big deal for some of you. But for this Deep South girl, it was catastrophic. For the life of me, I cannot understand how people endure that type of weather year after year. I’ll take the sweltering heat, runny makeup and sweat-stained clothes over that any day! Which brings me back to the grill, on [ ... ]

Broccoli Salad

I often make big batch salads on the weekends to kick off Sunday suppers with my family and feed me lunch throughout the week. In order for these types of salads to work, they need to be made with tasty and tough ingredients. You know, foods that won’t wilt or spoil before I’ve reached the bottom of the bowl later in the week. Pastas and potatoes are obvious choices for these types of salads, but they tend to leave me sluggish–a feeling I’d rather not fight every afternoon. So I lean more towards hearty greens and [ ... ]

Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Tostadas with Ponchatoula Strawberry Salsa

Have I told you how much I love Mexican food? In my world, it comes in a strong second behind my hometown favorites. I love margaritas. “Big Texas Rocks Salt” is how I order mine at our favorite neighborhood Mexican joint which I affectionately call “The Ranch” (El Ranchero). I love chips and salsa. Thin chips. Smooth and spicy salsa. The Ranch does that right too. I also adore everything on their menu. And if you ask me for recommendations, I’ll usually suggest The Ranch’s Chicken Soup if you’re looking for [ ... ]

Crawfish Soup

While most of the country is welcoming the arrival of spring, New Orleanians are welcoming the arrival of crawfish. In my hometown, the two are a package deal. And when Mother Nature messes with the calendar and cool temps linger, both spring and crawfish season get delayed. That was the case this year (and last, if I recall correctly). Although there were a few sightings of crawfish before Mardi Gras (which was also late), the temperamental crustaceans didn’t start running consistently until a couple of weeks ago. Now everyone’s going crazy. Finally, seafood markets [ ... ]

Roasted Green Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Are there certain vegetables you prepare the same way over and over again? I can name several and until a few years ago green beans was one of them. I kept defaulting to that same old family recipe where we cook them down with new potatoes and pickled meat (I need to get you that recipe) because it was familiar, comforting and flat-out delicious. But when I first introduced that dish to my kids, they wouldn’t touch it. Maybe my timing was off since they all went through that weird stage where they wouldn’t eat potatoes [ ... ]

Creole Onion Soup

Whenever I mention Creole Onion Soup in circles outside of New Orleans, I’m often asked how it differs from French Onion Soup. Well, like many New Orleans recipes, that depends on whose Creole Onion Soup you’re eating.  If you’re savoring a bowl prepared by an old-school Creole or anyone carrying those traditions forward, the soup will likely contain some form of dairy and may even be puréed to a thick, velvety consistency.  Several references to this style of onion soup can be found in various New Orleans cookbooks. The earliest references I discovered were in my mother-in-law’s 1901 edition of [ ... ]

Wilted Kale Salad with Brie Croutons

Do you have your New Year’s Day menu worked out? I’m preparing my Black-Eyed Peas with Jalapeño Oil along with cabbage and pork. I just haven’t decided on what cabbage and pork dishes to make. On the cabbage front, I’m debating between Smothered Cabbage and Cabbage Casserole. Both call for sausage and cheese, but the Cabbage Casserole also includes rice and boat loads of cheese–it’s a meal in itself. The Smothered Cabbage is on the lighter side with its turkey sausage and tangy kick of feta cheese. As for the pork, I’m craving my [ ... ]

Potato and Sun Dried Tomato Gratin

Even during a food-centric holiday like Thanksgiving where huge platters of food are squeezed onto an already crowded table and everyone eats family-style, I think it’s nice to create one savory dish that’s individually portioned. Gratins are the perfect candidates. Baking them in single-serve ramekins or mini-pie pans ensures that each recipient gets a balance of that velvety smooth interior and cheesy, crusty exterior that defines any good gratin. If you’re stressed over washing extra dishes, you can always opt for those disposable aluminum foil cups or pans. Gratins can also be assembled a day or [ ... ]

Green Bean and Artichoke Casserole

I know most of you have your own go-to green bean casserole and I wouldn’t be surprised if each one centered on canned cream of mushroom soup and French fried onions. I love that version too. But if you’re looking to change things up a bit this Thanksgiving or if you’re simply searching for a new vegetable side dish to work into your weekly dinner rotation, try my family recipe. Our green bean casserole also includes artichokes and the flavors are reminiscent of Stuffed Artichokes thanks to the generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, Italian [ ... ]