I never understood why a side of creamed spinach was so expensive when I ordered it in a restaurant…that is until I made it myself. Now, I would say that a really good creamed spinach is worth every penny because it takes a fair bit of work to make. It’s not a side that you’d make for a quick weeknight meal; rather, it is one that is left for the weekend or a special occasion. I suppose that is why it is often served at fancy steak houses.
There are many ways to make creamed spinach. The spinach can be left whole, it can be chopped up or it can be pureed, which is my preference. The creaminess can come from adding bechamel or some reduced cream. Again, I prefer the latter.
Although creamed spinach goes particularly well with a delicious grilled steak, it also goes well with many other proteins such as fish or chicken.
If you have not tried it already or if you have never had a really good creamed spinach, you might want to try this recipe for Creamed Spinach.
Have a great weekend ya’ll.
Ciao for now
These carrots make for a sexy, yet healthy, and delicious side dish. We just happen to have some nice carrots growing in our garden this year and this has been my favorite way to cook carrots this season.
Baby carrots are tossed with fresh thyme and just a touch of olive oil.
They are grilled on the bbq for about 10 minutes until they are just tender.
To finish, they are tossed with Maldon salt (fleur de sel or another fancy salt would also work nicely. I am just currently re-in-love with Maldon salt. It just feels so great when you crush those beautifully shaped crystals between your fingertips).
If you haven’t yet tried Maldon salt, be sure to give it a try. A box is about $8 but a little goes a long long way.
Here is the full recipe for Grilled Baby Carrots with Fresh Thyme and Maldon Salt (not that you actually need a recipe).
Ciao for now
Just the other day one of my good friends Cindy sent me a note saying that she has been haunted by these roasted red peppers ever since I made them for her a few months ago. I was staying with Cindy and her husband and I thought the least I could do was cook for them to thank them for sharing their home with me.I thought these peppers would be a nice snack while we were sitting around chatting and enjoying a nice glass of wine. I served them with some Grilled Iranian Flat Bread, along with some Hummus and a few different varieties of olives (my favorite being these delicious Spanish olives).
After charring the skin for easy removal, the peppers are baked with red pepper juice, plenty of olive oil and Maldon salt.
Red peppers, once roasted, are sweet and full of flavor…but take roasted red peppers and bake them and you’ll enhance their sweet flavor even more.
These delicious peppers are also great alongside grilled meats, in sandwiches, pastas, frittatas, salads or on crostini as an easy tapas.
Here is the step-by-step recipe for Roasted Red Peppers | Spanish Pimientos.
Believe it or not, this vegan mac ‘n’ cheese contains no cheese, yet it is quite cheesy and delicious tasting. It also just happens to be gluten free – at least if you use gluten-free pasta it is. Instead of the usual cheese sauce, cashews are pureed with water, oil, and garlic powder. For the cheese flavor, nutritional yeast is added. Nutritional yeast is available in many grocery and health food stores.
“Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of parmesan cheese. Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn. It can also be used in mashed and fried potatoes, as well as putting it into scrambled tofu or eggs. Some movie theaters offer it along with salt or cayenne pepper as a popcorn condiment.” – taken from wikipedia.
I am neither vegan nor gluten intolerant, yet I sometimes make this pasta just for something different. I have even fooled a few folks into thinking that it is full of cheese. Okay, maybe it was just Joe, but he can be quite hard to fool.
If you can tolerate bread crumbs, toasted panko adds nice color and a crunchy texture to this creamy pasta dish, but it is certainly optional.
This recipe originated from Pailin at Foodists. Thanks for the great idea, Pailin. Cheers!
Here is the full recipe for Vegan Macaroni and Cheese from Rouxbe, which has been slightly altered from the original.
This white sauce (or vegan béchamel if you will) can be used with many other dishes as well. Have fun and experiment with it. Maybe even pass it along to anyone that you know who is vegan or even vegetarian, as I am sure they would be more than happy to have a new recipe for a chees-less cheese sauce.
Hope you enjoy!
Ciao for now
This carrot salad is a classic in France. I still remember the first time I had it, which was many years ago. I remember thinking “wow, how can just a plain old carrots taste so good?”
Recently, I was reminded once again of how delicious this salad is. I have to say, it is every bit as good as I remembered it! The simple vinaigrette consists of lemon juice, olive oil, sugar and seasoning…that’s it!
I had to use the medium blade on my grater, as the small blade was way too fine. I actually tried every grater in the house (and I have many), but none of them gave me the grate I was looking for.
The picture of grated carrots above is more like what you are looking for. The picture is from David Lebovitz – his post, about this same salad, is really great and worth the read.
Give this salad a try. I am sure you will be surprised at just how delicious it is. I like to serve it with roast chicken, as the vinaigrette sort of acts like a sauce for the chicken as well. I also read that some people even put this salad on sandwiches. I’ll have to give that a try.
Here is the detailed Carrot Salad | Salade de Carottes Râpées Recipe.
ciao for now