Monday, May 19, 2014

Sides to Savor!

The Headlines:


These are 2 recipes you can NOT ignore!

I'm putting them here for your benefit… and mine.



One of the reasons I started this blog, honestly, was purely selfish.  I wanted to take all of my best recipes, ideas, decor and put them in one place.  Where I could easily find them.  I'm probably not the most organized when it comes to storing my stuff… but here I can easily search and find.  Not to mention, when I'm old and decrepit… my children can look back and see what we did... through this blog.  It's like my diary.  But it's not private.

That's kind of for that reason I write this post.  These are 2 of my favorite sides of ALL TIME.  Neither of them original, I might add.  The Tuscan Kale Salad is from a local Arizona Restaurant called True Foods.  The other, French "Fried" Smashed Potatoes, a recipe my friend gave me years ago from The Pioneer Woman.  I think she has her own show on the Food Network now.  Anyways, you just can't go wrong with either of them so you're welcome in advance.  Best part, they're almost impossible to screw up (which is so very easy for me to do)!

First, the French "Fried" Smashed Potatoes.  Please note, this is not the best picture… I forgot to take pictures when the dish was fresh out of the oven.  Complete brain hiccup.  I have them all the time.

French "Fry" Potatoes

This is what you need:
small potatoes, any kind
EVOO
salt & pepper
chives or rosemary, oregano or whichever fresh herb is handy

This is what you do:
Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil.
Stick in the potatoes (as many as you want).
Heat oven to 450.
Boil them until they're super soft (you can stick a knife through them).
Take a cookie sheet and dribble lots of olive oil on it.
Smash each potato with a potato masher.


Then take more olive oil and "paint" it on with a pastry brush.
Sprinkle LOTS of salt over them, a little pepper and those herbs.
Shove 'em in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Then switch your oven to broil mode for about 5 more minutes to crisp up the tops a little more without burning the bottoms.
They are major good.  Add ketchup and the kids can't get enough.  For adults, sometimes no ketchup is necessary!
Again, picture not doing it justice!


Next up, this Tuscan Kale Salad.

Tuscan Kale Salad
So simple and pretty and the taste is off the hook.  Heathy too!  And here's the deal:  I always make as much as I possibly can because if I have leftovers - get this - it lasts!  The kale is so tough, the dressing "wilts" the lettuce just enough (it's still crispy believe it or not) and it lasts for days!  Hello lunch!

This is what you need:
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
large pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
14 oz Tuscan Kale
1/2 cup of shaved parmesan plus a little more
2 pieces of wheat bread (optional)

This is what you do:
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a large bowl.  I usually buy 2 bags of Tuscan Kale which equals about 20 ounces.  But you want to rip all the tough/wide "veins" of the lettuce out which means, after that, I'm probably left with, about 18 ounces of edible kale.  So when I make this salad I usually inflate the dressing ingredients a tad.  Meaning, instead of just 1/2 cup of EVOO… I throw in another 1/4 cup of olive oil, another 1/8 cup of lemon juice,  2 extra cloves of garlic, another pinch of red pepper… and so on.  It just means I'll have those leftovers I told ya about!

Anyhow, once you're done ripping the lettuce apart you dump all of it in that large bowl where you made your dressing.  Add the 1/2 cup of parmesan and mix together!  Leave it sit for 30 minutes, then refrigerate.  During this time you can toast the bread.  If you choose.  Some prefer this dish without.  Up to you, it certainly makes this dish even easier if you skip the bread crumbs!  But if you're into it: spray olive oil or butter those babies and toast until they're pretty crispy.  Once they're done, crumble directly in the salad.  Add a little more parm before you serve and done.

The picture below was taken 3 days after it was made… but still a fresh, lemony burst of kale goodness in every bite!


I also love the fact that you can make this far in advance of your function.  When planning a dinner/party/BBQ... there's always so much to do, any relief is appreciated!

So enjoy - eat and be merry - these sides are meant to savor!

Watch my LIVE Periscope on this fabulous SALAD!