Tag Archives: side dish

Brown Sugar Baked Beans with Bacon

14 Jun

Here’s one of my favorite side dishes to take to summer potlucks and barbecues.  These brown sugar baked beans with bacon are beyond easy.  The kind of easy that seriously simplifies your day.  They are so yummy that I always make extra.  Because it’d be a bummer to run out of these sweet beans.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 2

Everyone loves these savory yet sweet baked beans.  They will think you slaved in the kitchen all day, soaking and cooking those beans.  Little do they know that this bean dish took you about 3 minutes to assemble (yes, assemble) and just a bit of time in the oven.  Let’s not tell ’em the secret.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 3

This perfect BBQ side dish consists of canned beans, brown sugar, and just enough real bacon to give it that extra yum factor.  This bean dish is a favorite side, as it’s sweet, salty, and a little bit smoky all at the same time.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to burgers, more burgers, chicken, or whatever you’re grillin’ up.  It’s awesome next to a super easy and delish potato salad.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 4

Even my kids will eat up these baked beans, and kids aren’t known to be bean-a-holics.  People who aren’t bean fans will come back for more.  And it only takes a few minutes to get this dish on the table.  I seriously don’t know if I’ll ever be able to post another recipe with such teensy directions.  Happy cookout season.

Enjoy! 🙂

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BROWN SUGAR BAKED BEANS WITH BACON
(serves 15-20 side dishes)

INGREDIENTS

2 cans (29 oz each) of good quality baked beans (Bush’s Country Style is great)
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 TB brown sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
3 TB ketchup
2 TB onion powder or dried minced onion
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Set oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients, except for bacon, in a serving dish of your choice.  Stir to fully incorporate ingredients.  Sprinkle crumbled bacon evenly on top.  Cover and place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until dish is hot.  Serve warm.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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Asian Sticky Rice

7 Jan

We grew up on sticky rice.  Sometimes it was beautifully wrapped in ti leaves, steamed to a soft and savory perfection.  Other times, the sticky rice was served grub-style, in a big pot and ready to fill up hungry bowls.

Sticky Rice 3

Hubby’s grandmother was especially skilled at creating Asian treats, both sweet and savory.  For Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year), she would begin her kitchen magic before dawn.  She alone cooked up a roomful of mouth-watering goodies that kept her big family jubilant throughout the Lunar holiday.

Sticky Rice 2

Hubby and I are very “watered down” when it comes to Lunar New Year celebrations.  Even though we honestly don’t remember the date each year, we still love the food.  I do make a mean sticky rice, at least.

Sticky Rice

Our sticky rice is definitely of the grub variety.  No fuss; goes from pot to bowl, easy and delish.  Since we’re on a mostly preservative-free lifestyle, I sub out the Chinese sausage with with fresh ground meat.  I use ground turkey, which is delicious in this sticky rice.  If you’re adamant about doing it with the traditional Chinese sausage, go for it!  You’ll find it at Asian markets.

Sticky Rice 4

My kids love, love, love sticky rice.  They down huge helpings of it.  Hubby devours sticky rice, one of his favorite Asian dishes.  We think you’ll enjoy it, too.  It’s a breeze to whip up, and so good as either a main or side dish.  It keeps well and reheats wonderfully.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (about 10 side servings)

INGREDIENTS
3 cups short-grain glutinous rice (not sushi rice)
1 cup dried Shitake mushrooms
1 TB vegetable oil
1 TB finely minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine
4 TB regular soy sauce
3 TB Asian oyster sauce
4 tsp Asian pure sesame oil (typically brownish in color)
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

For the meat mixture:
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 TB Chinese rice wine
2 TB regular soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

Do ahead:  Fully cover rice with water and soak for 3-4 hours.  Drain in sieve and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.  Soak mushrooms in warm water about 1 hour.  Drain and finely chop.  Set aside.

Mix everything in meat mixture in a bowl, incorporating thoroughly.  Cook ground turkey in large skillet, breaking it up into small bits.  Set aside cooked meat.

Heat a heavy large pot (I use my largest All-Clad) with 1 TB oil until hot.  Add ginger and stir fry for a minute.  Add meat and mushrooms, stir frying for another minute.  Stir in rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and drained rice.  Stir to coat thoroughly.  Add broth, stir to incorporate, and bring to a low boil.

Once it reaches a low boil, immediately reduce to simmer.  Cover tightly and cook 45 minutes.  Turn heat off and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, covered.  Do not peak!

Carefully stir cooked sticky rice, from bottom to top throughout.  Cover and let stand another 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with freshly sliced scallions, if desired.  Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Note:  Alternatively, you can use Chinese sausage, found in Asian markets.  Just chop up 5-6 links and use in place of ground turkey.  If using Chinese sausage, no need to flavor or precook it, as it comes fully cooked and flavored.  

I use regular Kikkoman soy sauce.  If you prefer lower sodium, use low-sodium soy sauce.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Crumble – Side dish, or dessert?

12 Oct Sweet Potatoe Casserole with Brown Sugar Crumble

Ooh, it is almost time!  Not much longer until this most favorite holiday side dish gets to make its yearly and highly anticipated appearance.  This is one of those best-est recipes that gets requests every year.  Even people who don’t typically like sweet potato or mashed potato anything become a fan of this one.

Sweet Potatoe Casserole with Brown Sugar Crumble

I wasn’t a huge sweet potato casserole kind of gal until I met this recipe.  Instantly converted.  This sweet side dish has graced both potluck tables and formal tables alike every year in our family ever since.

Sweet Potatoe Casserole with Brown Sugar Crumble

I would be remiss not to give Hubby credit here.  He’s the guy that brought this sweet potato dish over for a holiday gathering many years ago.  Hubby’s been making this dessert-like side dish since his post-college days (that would be eons ago.)  He first saw it in one of his Bon Appetit mags, and I’m glad he kept the recipe.  Yeah, he really did subscribe to food magazines on his own.  And wine ones.  And food + wine ones.  But we’re talking about sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoe Casserole with Brown Sugar Crumble

None of us can agree – is this actually a side dish or a dessert?  We know it’s labeled as a side dish and deserves a place next to the turkey or roast.  I think it’s a dessert in disguise, with its smooth, maple-sweet interior and crisp streusel topping.  The brown sugar and pecan topping is the star of this yummy dish.

My favorite thing about this?  Once again, here’s something that can totally be prepped the night before.  It’s true.  We all have enough going on the day of a major holiday.  This sweet potato dish is one less thing to worry about.  I always assemble the casserole the night before, with streusel in a separate container.  The day you want to serve it, just throw the prepared streusel on top and bake!  How easy is that?  If you haven’t yet tried making sweet potato casserole this way, you’ve gotta give it a go.

RECIPE (one 9×13 dish)

INGREDIENTS

5 lb red-skinned sweet potatoes (or yams)
4 large eggs
3 T pure maple syrup
2 T vanilla extract
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 tsp table salt

For Streusel Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Mix together brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cold butter in a small bowl until mixture is grainy and comes together.  Cover and chill until ready to use.

Wrap each sweet potato in foil and bake at 400F for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are easily pierced by fork and very soft.  Actual bake time depends on size of potatoes.  Let cool enough to handle.  Remove sweet potato skins, and mash potatoes well in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt.  Mix in the mashed sweet potatoes until smooth and incorporated.  Transfer sweet potato mixture to a buttered 9×13 dish.  At this point, you can wrap tightly with cling wrap and put in fridge until ready to use.

Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over casserole.  Bake at 350F until casserole is set and topping bubbles.  About 1 hour.  Serve warm, and enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by Bon Appetit

Notes:

*I always choose to cook sweet potatoes in the oven because I really like the deep roasted flavor it creates.  You can also cook peeled, cubed potatoes in boiling water until very tender.

* If you want, you can make extra crumble topping, for a thicker layer of crunch on top.  Up to you!

Tantalizing Tomatoes and Tofu

30 Jun

“How do you eat tofu?”  I get that question when people see tofu in my shopping cart.  For starters, I rarely eat tofu uncooked.  When seasoned well and cooked right, it is easy to love this amazingly tasty and healthy soy food.   Tofu loves seasoning, especially salt.  Tofu is akin to a sponge that soaks in more flavor as it cooks and sits.

Tantalizing Tomatoes and Tofu (chewoutloud.com)

This one is close to my heart and goes back to my roots.  My folks prepared this Tomatoes and Tofu dish at home frequently, and it is one of the few healthy dishes that we kids would gobble up.

vine ripened tomatoes

It’s a tastefully smart way to use up any variety of tomatoes, serving up great protein and veggies at the same time – not to mention BIG flavor.  That’s right.  Big flavor!

tofu soaking in tomato flavor (chewoutloud.com)

Here’s our family’s tantalizing rendition of Tomatoes and Tofu.

RECIPE (serves about 4, as a side dish)

INGREDIENTS:
4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, diced, reserving juices (if using small tomatoes, just adjust amount)
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 (16oz) package firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
2 TB green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
fresh cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Put chopped tomatoes with juices into large skillet.  Add chopped garlic and sugar.  Cover and cook on medium-high until tomatoes are cooked down, stirring occasionally.  About 10 minutes.

Drain tofu cubes of any water.  Add to skillet with the tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and a few pinches of fresh cracked black pepper.  Cover and simmer about 5 minutes.  Gently stir several times while cooking, taking care not to break tofu.  If desired, taste and sprinkle in 1/2 tsp more salt or to taste.  Remove from heat and stir in sliced scallion.

Serve over white rice.  Happy tofu eating!

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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