On the Side, Recipes

Country Squash Casserole

This recipe reminds me of visiting the Dillards House in Georgia. My family has a cabin in Franklin, North Carolina; about twenty minutes from the Dillard House. It is one of my favorite places to eat whenever I visit. Think family style with generous portions of the best homemade Southern dishes you’ve ever had. Every time we would go in the summer they would serve up this buttery summer squash casserole. 

This country squash casserole is great for a summer side dish, a cookout, a family dinner, and pretty much any other occasion where you’re feeding a crowd. Another major plus is that it requires just 5 minutes of prep time and only a handful of ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 stick of butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup water, or more as needed
  • 35 buttery round crackers, crushed
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Melkt one tablespoon of butter on a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. 

Place squash in the skillet and stir to mix with onion and garlic. Pour in water. Cover, and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.

Mix cracker crumbs and cheese together in a medium bowl. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions.

Mix eggs and milk together in a small bowl, then add to the squash mixture.

Stir in 4 tablespoons of melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cracker mixture, and dot with the remaining butter.

Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, and starting to bubble and the topping is lightly golden brown in color, about 35 minutes. You can also broil on low for the last few minutes to finish browning the panko topping.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. 

On the Side, Recipes

Grilled Corn Salad

This corn and Shishito pepper salad gets loads of flavor from the grill. Don’t be scared away by the peppers. Shishito peppers are a mild spicy East Asian pepper that is often served in Asian restaurants as an appetizers. They incredibly versatile and work in so many different kinds of recipes. But the real star of this recipe is the summer corn, fresh from upstate New York. My best friend’s mom sent him a bunch and I was lucky enough to grab some!

Grill some chicken thighs or salmon to serve alongside. Trust me this will become your new favorite summer salad!!

Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 1/3 cup, divided
  • 2 shallots, rough chop
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 6-9 shishito peppers 
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

INSTRUCTIONS 

Place a grill basket on a grill; preheat on high for 10 minutes.

Toss peppers, shallots and tomatoes with 2 teaspoons of oil in a medium bowl. Transfer to the grill basket.

Brush corn with 2 teaspoons of oil. 

Place the corn directly on the grates. 

Grill the vegetables, turning occasionally, until lightly charred in spots, 8 to 10 minutes for the corn and peppers. 

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Cut the corn from the cobs.

Add the corn, tomatoes, and peppers to the dressing along with the feta; stir gently to combine.

Healthy, On the Side, Recipes

Grapefruit Salad with a Citrus Cilantro Dressing

This salad is perfect for summer!

It is refreshing and tart, with arugula, sliced red onions and creamy goat cheese, all topped with a citrusy cilantro dressing. It’s great as a side salad or add some protein to make it an entrée! It is especially delicious served alongside salmon!

INGREDIENTS 

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, packed, stems mostly removed
  • 1 medium-sized pink grapefruit, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½  tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

For the salad:

  • 4–5 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large pink grapefruit, sliced with skin on or peeled and split into wedges
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, peeled and sliced thinly

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the dressing:

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend on high until well combined but bits of cilantro still remain.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Just shake or stir before adding to the salad.

Assemble the salad:

In a large bowl, add the arugula, goat cheese, grapefruit and onion. Add the desired amount of dressing and toss to combine.

On the Side, Recipes

Thai Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Butternut Squash

Perfectly crispy Brussel sprouts & butternut squash tossed with delicious Thai inspired flavors!

Add a little Thai flavour to your holiday table with this delicious veggie side dish recipe! 

This is Brussel sprouts and Butternut squash like you’ve never had before. They are tossed with a spicy, garlicky, Thai dressing then roasted in the oven until perfectly al dente. Guaranteed to brighten up your holiday dinner table!

Serve along side my Roasted Red Chili Turkey thighs!

Ingredients 

  • 1 bushel of brussel sprouts
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Butternut squash, cubed 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon roasted red chili paste 
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
  • Salt & pepper 
  • Cilantro, for garnish 
  • Lime wedges for garnish 

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet with foil. 

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together except the cilantro and limes. 

Pour onto the lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes until the veggies are crispy.

Sprinkle with cilantro and limes wedges

On the Side, Recipes

Bacon Jalapeño Cheesy Cornbread

These Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Skull muffins were perfect for our Halloween get together! Of course, you can make these in any muffin pan.

Ingredients

4 packets Martha White Cornbread Mix Buttermilk Cotton Country plus water as directed on package

1 cups haberno cheese, shredded

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ cup diced pickled jalapenos, drained

6 strips thick bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Prepare cornbread as directed on package

Stir in bacon, both cheeses and jalapenos.

Bake in the oven until lightly browned. 

#whiskawaykitchen

On the Side, Recipes

Slow Cooked Mexican Corn

This Mexican Street Corn recipe (also known as Esquites) is packed with fresh flavors and cotija cheese! It’s slow cooked for 3 hours in cheesy cream sauce, and zesty seasonings that make it insanely delicious. The perfect side for any barbecue or summer get-together!

Sides in the slow cooker are also a great way to save space in the oven and keep your house cool during the summer.

Fresh or Frozen Corn? Well, there are benefits to each. You can get frozen any time of the year. Fresh is, well, fresh. Either will work for this dish.

Ingredients 

  • 6-7 ears of corn shucked and broken in half
  • 13.66 oz. can light coconut milk or low fat milk
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice approximately 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbles
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro 

Instructions:

Add the corn to the slow cooker. You can arrange them nicely to get them to fit better.

Pour coconut milk, lime juice, and seasonings in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

Pour  the coconut milk mixture over the corn.

Drizzle over the honey and ½ cup of the cheese. Cut up the butter into pieces and add to the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time. (4 hours for frozen corn)

To serve, sprinkle with remaining paprika, cheese and cilantro

.

Enjoy!

On the Side, Recipes, Small Bites

Get Yourself a Husband Bacon

If you’ve ever been to First Watch, you may have seen Million Dollar Bacon on the menu. This recipe is inspired by that recipe but with a twist! This Candied Bacon recipe is sweet and salty, with a kick of heat. Crispy, thick-cut bacon caramelized with a little bit of spice is a perfect pairing for brunch, a Bloody Mary skewer, or even as a holiday food gift!

My friend, Rhiannon  and I recently hosted a Sunday Fun Day brunch. I knew this bacon had to be included on the menu especially on a skewer at our Bloody Mary bar. As soon as Rhiannon tasted it, she said this will definitely get you a husband and so the name was born!

This is a baked bacon recipe, so you’ll be using your oven. It’s the best way to cook bacon, and it’s very easy to do!

After you bake it, you’ll let it cool on a rack to allow the sugar to caramelize and harden for that perfect, crispy, candied texture.

Ingredients

  • 10 pieces thick cut bacon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Instructions

Place the oven rack on the center rack. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine brown sugar, and seasonings in a bowl. Set aside.

Place foil on a 13×9 baking sheet. 

Add bacon in a single layer.

Cover both sides of pieces of bacon with the brown sugar mixture.

Drizzle honey over top. 

Bake in a preheated oven on the center rack for 20 minutes, 

Remove bacon from oven and place on cooling rack to dry.

On the Side, Recipes

Summer Corn Salad

This Corn Salad is one of my favorite summer sides!  This easy Summer Corn Salad features sweet fresh corn off the cob, crisp bell peppers and feta cheese all combined in a light and zesty vinaigrette.

Summer is the best time of year to serve up fresh salads and vegetables. I visited the Southern Hills Farms with some friends this weekend and knew I had to stock up some fresh summer corn. If you live near the Orlando area, I definitely recommend visiting Southern Hills Farm in Clermont. It is absolutely the best You Pick farm I have ever been to and it’s perfect for photos! 

Such a fun day picking sunflowers at South Hills Farms!

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 cups corn kernels about 6 cobs of corn or frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ½ medium sized red onion diced
  • 1 red and green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon dried White wine, such as Scout & Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Chardonnay
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon Chile Lime seasoning
  • 4 oz. crumbled Feta cheese
  • a generous sprinkle of course salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss.

Season with salt & pepper to taste.

On the Side, Recipes, Small Bites

Fresh Herb Ricotta Cheese Bread

A no yeast bread that is super quick to prepare! 

Ready in less than an hour, this Herbed Ricotta Cheese Bread is sure to become a favorite!

This quick bread is loaded with fresh herbs, ricotta cheese, and a dash of smoked paprika. 

Ricotta is a fresh, soft, Italian cheese with a small curd and a light, mild, slightly sweet flavor. In the United States, it is most commonly known as an ingredient in lasagna. I honestly love ricotta even just by itself. For this recipe, I decided to use ricotta instead of heavy cream or milk, the ricotta gives the bread a light texture that practically melts in your mouth!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
  • ½ cup green onions or scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • smoked paprika

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. 

Grate butter into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the consistency of coarse meal.

Stir in scallions and fresh herbs. 

Add ricotta cheese, then add milk and stir until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. 

Knead 2 to 3 times, then pat dough into a 9-inch rectangle. 

Transfer bread to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops liberally with egg wash. Sprinkle top with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and smoked paprika.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

On the Side, Recipes

Creamy Parmesan & Thyme Polenta

Creamy Polenta!

Looking for a twist on your side dish for Easter? Look no more!

This light and fluffy polenta is perfect for serving with ribs, chicken, pork, lamb, or veal, and is also great with roasted veggies.

What Is Polenta?

Polenta is a porridge type dish popular in Northern Italy. In the United States, it is usually made with coarsely ground cornmeal. Think of polenta as an Italian version of grits! But made with yellow corn instead of the white corn of grits.

How to Make Polenta

Making creamy polenta is so easy that you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it before.

It all starts with caramelizing up finely minced garlic cloves in a small amount of olive oil in a large saucepan.  

Once the garlic is brown in a medium-size pot in olive oil, add in the chicken broth and water, and bring it to a boil.

When the stock is boiling pour in the cornmeal while whisking constantly to ensure there are no clumps in the polenta. Turn the heat down to medium-low. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the creamy polenta is finished it should be smooth with no crunch to it.  At this point stir in some whole butter, Parmesan cheese, thyme, onion powder, and salt, and pepper.

I like to serve my polenta as the base of my dish with the meat on top with polenta absorbing the sauce from the main dish.

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

Instructions

In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic. 

Then combine broth and water, onion powder,  salt, and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Whisking constantly, gradually add cornmeal. 

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer polenta, whisking frequently, until thickened and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, butter and thyme and season with salt and pepper. 

Garnish with thyme, and serve. If polenta thickens upon standing, stir in a little hot water.

Note: If preparing polenta in advance, cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat on stovetop or in the microwave (about 5 minutes on high), adding more liquid if necessary. Stir vigorously after reheating to fluff.