Side Dishes

Spätzle

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I was really proud of myself when I first officially cooked on Bounty, not just cooking one meal, not filling in for a few days, but really cooking for a length of time. We were in Maine and I was really glad to move into the galley instead of scrap barnacles off the hull of the ship with the rest of the crew. I went to a local book store and bought myself a cook book as a little treat, I bought a book all about pasta, it was something that I didn’t know much about at the time. With my new found confidence I felt I could tackle a challenge and make ravioli for everyone, oh boy, even me now knows how bad of an idea that is. There were only about 15 of us, but there was only one of me who didn’t know a whole lot and it took forever just to make a few for everyone.

Even though I was discouraged I was still feeling this pasta kick so I looked for something easier and came across spatzle, a fresh egg noodle that requires no kneading, rolling or forming into fancy shapes. A thick gooey batter is poured onto a cutting board and with a wet knife you slice thin ribbons of the noodle batter into boiling water. With this method you end up with thick chewy noodle strands, they are good but using a proper spatzle maker does the trick, you get cute noodles as my friend’s kid says. A little box sits on top of a grate, like a cheese grater and you push the box back and forth pressing the batter into boiling water creating small droplets of noodles.

The only trick to this recipe is finding the correct consistency for your cooking method. If you slice them off a cutting board then you’ll want your mixture thicker so it’s not running away without you. For the spatzle maker it can be a bit looser, but if it’s too loose then I find the noodles end up as long teardrops instead of little blobs. I like my batter to fall off my mixing utensil smoothly, but slowly, no thick blobs blopping off and not running like pancake batter. It’s easier enough to adjust as you go and experiment to see where you like the batter.

Last but not least the one unique thing I like to add to my batter is a heavy pinch of turmeric, I like the color that it lends to the finished product. I’ve also played around with the idea of adding pureed spinach or peas for a bright green color could be fun and peas would add a lovely sweetness to the noodles. Have fun experimenting!

 









Spätzle


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 -4 Tbsp. water
  • ½ tsp. turmeric (optional)
  • butter, caramelized onions, herbs or cheese for serving

Directions

  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, add more water as needed depending on the consistency you are going for and the size of your eggs
  3. When the water has come to a boil place your spatzle maker over the pot, pour some batter into the dispenser cup, push the cup back and forth across the holes until there is nothing left and stir the noodles.
  4. When all the the noodles have floated to the surface cook for one minute. Use a spider or small strainer to remove the pasta from the water and continue with small batches until the batter is all cooked.
  5. Serve the spatzle with butter, caramelized onions, herbs or cheese, you can even fry it crispy.

The post Spätzle first appeared on Seasoned At Sea.

Cauliflower Risotto

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Winter has arrived once more and its time to dial back my elaborate boat cooking and focus on healthier dishes for myself and the husband. We have a lot of go to things we make that are flexible on their flavors so we don’t get board, roasted vegetables with poached eggs, vegetable noodles and cauliflower rice with anything, but now and again you need to break the mold and have a cheat day. I find that I don’t crave a full on cheat day the way I use to, maybe because I’ve managed to squeeze in a few more half cheat meals. This cauliflower risotto is the perfect example of a half cheat, you have the cauliflower replacing the Arborio rice, so that’s the good part and the half bad is the little bit of everything else that makes risotto risotto.

Unlike other recipes out there I’ve crafted this recipe to be as risotto like as possible, it contains the same ingredients as regular risotto with the addition of a little flour and obviously the cauliflower replacement. The cauliflower on its own would never thicken the way Arborio rice does with all its natural starches so you have to make a little bit of a roux, just like when you make mac and cheese. This recipe is basic, it’s a jumping off point for the cauliflower risotto of your dreams, add some peas, sautéed mushrooms or more cheese and herbs.







Cauliflower Risotto


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ a small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • ½ c white wine
  • ¾ – 1 c stock, chicken or vegetable
  • ½ of a large head of cauliflower, grated by hand
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 c grated parmesan

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan on medium high heat add the oil and diced onion, sauté for 5-7 minutes until the onions have softened.
  2. Add the butter, let it melt then add the flour, stir everything together and allow the flour to cook for about 3 minutes until it smells fragrant and darkens in color.
  3. Add in the white wine and stock, simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Fold in the grated cauliflower carefully and turn down the heat to medium, cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy.
  5. Finish the risotto with salt, pepper and grated parmesan.

The post Cauliflower Risotto first appeared on Seasoned At Sea.

Kyoto Coleslaw

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I’ve always had a thing for cabbage, even if I was unaware of my love for coleslaw, it started back when I lived in Singapore.

In middle school one of my really good friends, Margaret, lived down the street from me, we’d often hang out on Friday afternoons. Her parents worked for the American embassy in Singapore and entertained fancy guests often, which meant their fridge was filled with tasty leftovers. We’d raid the fridge, go up stairs and watch movies for the afternoon nibbling on various tasty treats, Margaret’s fridge was the first place I tried tiramisu and that memory sticks well with me, but the other great thing I found among the shelves was this salad.

Spicy green cabbage and crunchy ramen noodles start to become soggy as they soak up a delicious sesame oil based salad dressing all brightened by rice wine vinegar. This makes for a great side dish along side Japanese inspired food or better still on it’s own in a large bowl with some grilled chicken slices.

 







Kyoto Coleslaw


Ingredients

Salad

  • 4 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • ½ c sliced almonds
  • 2 pkg ramen noodles, crushed
  • 1 large head green cabbage, shredded
  • ½ c green onions, sliced

Dressing

  • 6 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ c sesame oil
  • ¼ c canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions

Salad

  1. In a small pan toast the sesame seeds and almonds until they gain a little color and are fragrant, put them into a bowl, add the crushed ramen noodles and set aside for later.
  2. Shred the cabbage thinly by hand, with a food processor or my preferred method with a mandolin, add this to a large mixing bowl with the sliced green onions.

Dressing

  1. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together, wait to dress the salad until right before you serve, it’s no fun having a soggy salad.
  2. Sprinkle the toasted crunchy bits over the shredded cabbage, pour on most of the dressing and toss together, hold back some dressing to ensure that the salad is not over dressed, every cabbage is a different size.

Caramelized Shallot Orzo Salad

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If you dream of caramelized onions but need more substance than this is the pasta salad for you, but I refuse to call it pasta salad. In truth I hate pasta salad, well not every pasta salad, but most of them, they are greasy, gloppy and worst of all their main ingredient is cold pasta, that’s the part I hate. Cold pasta sticks to your teeth in a weird way and isn’t a pleasant texture, but depending on the pasta you use you can combat that problem. Orzo is the answer, the tiny little oval shaped pasta that people mistake for large rice.

Along with a bunch of caramelized shallots, onion’s fancy cousin, you have lots of lemon, bright green onions, spinach and crunches of toasted almond. This salad is great served at any temperature but I like it best slightly warm to room temperature, it also pairs well with seafood like my grilled halibut with citrus butter.

 





Caramelized Shallot Orzo Salad


Ingredients

  • 8 shallots or 1 large red onions
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10 green onions, sliced
  • ½ c whole almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 4 c packed spinach (½lb), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c packed parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemons
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 2 ½ c uncooked orzo

Directions

  1. Put a pot of water on to boil while you prep the salad ingredients.
  2. Slice the shallots into half moons and caramelize on medium low heat with a little oil and pinch of salt. When they start to gain color and stick to the bottom of the pan add the garlic and sauté for another two minutes. Add the cooked shallots to a large mixing bowl.
  3. To the mixing bowl add sliced green onions, toasted and chopped almonds, spinach, parsley, salt, lemon zest and juice and the olive oil.
  4. When the salad ingredients are ready cook the orzo, once done drain and add to the salad ingredients, the heat from the hot orzo will wilt the spinach.
  5. Mix together, taste and adjust for seasoning, serve at any temperature, I like it at room temperature.

Parmesan Garlic Toast

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Garlic bread is an easily gobbled up side dish, the only way to balance out that fact is to make a lot of it. Usually when I make garlic bread I take that extra step and make the bread myself, it just seems like a no brainer on a boat with limited space, why store fragile bread when you can just make it. This recipe skips that step and I’m totally okay with it because it’s a recipe from my grandfather, I can’t imagine doing this on anything but store bought sourdough. Sure I could make my own sourdough bread, but there’s something nostalgic in doing it the same way my grandfather did, plus it’s easier and more of it can be made quickly. This isn’t just garlic bread, it’s parmesan garlic toast dusted with paprika and then toasted in the oven till the cheese is bubbly. That little addition of smoked paprika makes all the difference, not only is it visually appealing, but it adds great flavor to a classic dish.

 






Parmesan Garlic Toast


Ingredients

  • ¾ c butter
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 loaf of sliced sourdough bread (16-18 slices)
  • 1 c shaky parmesan
  • paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler on high.
  2. Melt the butter with the garlic and salt.
  3. Brush and spoon the melted butter mixture onto the slices of bread and divide the crushed garlic bits evenly between the slices.
  4. Evenly sprinkle the parmesan over the bread, about 1 tablespoon per slice and dust the paprika over the top of each slice.
  5. Place the bread onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 3 minutes, keep a close eye on the bread and rotate often, the bread is done when the edges have started to brown.

Mexican Corn and Bean Salad

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I adore Mexican food, but sometimes it can be a bit stogy, heavy refried beans and rich Spanish rice are not always refreshing during the summer. This salad is lighter than those traditional side dishes but just as substantial and filling. Charred corn, creamy black beans and sweet little cherry tomatoes are the base of this salad, some herbage is thrown in and everything is dressed with a little lime juice, olive oil and chili powder. I prefer to serve this salad slightly chilled, but it’s just as good at room temperature just after it comes together.

My two other favorite Mexican side dishes are lemon lime coleslaw and cabbage confetti salsa, yeah I like my cabbages.








Mexican Corn and Bean Salad


Ingredients

Salad

  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 4 c frozen corn
  • 1 -14oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 c packed cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Dressing

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chili powder

Directions

Salad

  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters, toss with a pinch of salt and place in a colander, let drain while you prepare the rest of the salad. You can skip this step but the salad ends up a little watery.
  2. Preheat a pan on high heat, add the corn, cook until the kernels are brown and maybe a few edges are blackened. When the corn starts to pop out of the pan you know it’s done.
  3. Put all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl and make the dressing.

Dressing

  1. Crush the garlic into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, this will remove the strong bite, add it to the salad along with the remaining ingredients.
  2. Toss everything together, serve at room temperature or chilled.

Roasted Ranch Potato Salad

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My favorite ways to prepare potatoes is in salad form and the second best is roasted, this is the best of both worlds. Crispy roasted potatoes are sauced with fresh ranch style dressing, green onions, parsley and dill to make for a pleasing textural combination and tangy side dish perfect for any summer BBQ.

 






Roasted Ranch Potato Salad


Ingredients

  • 5 lb small potatoes
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 1 tbsp. salt

Dressing

  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. ranch powder
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c fresh dill frowns
  • 1 ½ tsp. pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces, if they are small enough potatoes you can cut them just in half.
  3. Toss the potatoes with the oil and salt in a large roasting pan, roast for 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender and crispy.

Dressing

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside until the potatoes are cooked.
  2. Mix together the roasted potatoes and the dressing while the potatoes are still warm, serve immediately.

Coriander Black Beans

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When I make Mexican food I usually end up making salsa or pico de gallo, I like to remove the inside seed gooey bits, the tomato caviar. It’s perfectly good to keep in, but I remove it so that my pico de gallo isn’t too wet and juicy; don’t like to throw it away! I usually throw it into whatever else is going with the meal, some meat for a taco or Spanish rice, but now I harvest that tomato goo on purpose to make these corianders spiced black beans.

Lots of onions and coriander bring simple black beans to life, the tomato caviar adds fresh tomato flavor, some sweetness and best of all no food goes to waste. I like to finish my beans with a homemade Puerto Rican style hot sauce called pique, it combines just a bit of heat with sweet pepper flavor. Chiles, cilantro and garlic are soaked in white vinegar with a splash of pineapple juice and rum, then left to sit for a week or so before it’s ready to use. I really need to make a recipe for that too!

 







Coriander Black Beans


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp. coriander
  • juicy pulp of 1.5lb of tomatoes, tomato guts (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 15oz cans of black beans, drained
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or lime juice

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and salt, sauté until soft.
  2. Add the coriander and cook until fragrant, about three minutes.
  3. Add in the tomato guts and black beans, simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Finish the beans with the vinegar.

Papa’s Zucchini

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During the summer I’d visit my grandparents, all by myself, we called it Grandma Camp. Most of the time my grandma would be the one entertaining and taking care of me, but when it came time for dinner my Papa took over. He always made dinner, there were several classics that we had time and time again, beef stroganoff, braised short ribs and baked spaghetti. The dish that always make me think of my Papa is his zucchini side dish, I can still remember picking zucchini from the garden and them still being warm from the hot Californian sun.

Zucchini or summer squash gets sautéed with red onions, oregano and a little wine, red or white will do. The onions are caramelize before adding the zucchini, they give sweetness and depth of flavor while the oregano adds a little earthiness and you can’t say no to a little splash of wine.

 




Papa’s Zucchini


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 medium zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ½ c red or white wine

Directions

  1. In a large pan sauté the red onions in the olive oil with the salt for 5 minutes or until they are soft.
  2. Add the zucchini slices, oregano and pepper, stir everything together and cook for about 10 minutes until the zucchini has gained some color.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated. Adjust with more salt if needed.

Cilantro Pesto

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52 weeks of cooking – Fresh Herbs

If you haven’t noticed cilantro is my favorite herb, I love the floral notes and brightness it has in comparison to parsley. It can be used in almost any dish but it’s more prevalent in Latin and Asian cuisines, which happen to be the two cuisines I cook the most. This cilantro pesto comes together quickly, just a matter of getting the ingredients in the food processor and pulsing a few times. The pesto is best the day you make it, but it should be allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes before service so it has a chance for all the flavors to meld together. I served my cilantro pesto with a breakfast quesadillas stuffed with scrambled eggs, pinto beans, tomatoes and green onions. I bet it would be great on a Mexican inspired hamburger as well.

 







Cilantro Pesto


Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 c pepitas, toasted
  • 2 c cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Roughly chop the jalapeno and green onions, place into the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic.
  2. Pulse a few times until there are no large chunks, scrape down the sides of the bow.
  3. Add the toasted pepitas, pulse again until the pepitas are about half their original size and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the pesto has reached your desired texture, I don’t like mine too fine.
  5. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until needed.

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