appetizers/side dishes

cowboy caviar

NOTE: I have moved! My site is now http://inthiskitchen.com . There is a slight name change due to the fact that I couldn’t get my old website name – in this kitchen is the new site which has this post and more. Go there and enjoy!

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The first time I had cowboy caviar was about 4 years ago and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t had anything like it before. It is so fresh and flavorful yet dead simple. You can throw it together with whatever beans you have in the cupboard, some chopped up tomatoes, frozen or fresh corn, onion, avocado, and cilantro (unless you are one of the legion cilantro haters in the world – just leave it out. It’ll still be great.).

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It’s good with chips, but I honestly think it would be fantastic wrapped into a burrito with some cheese thrown in (now I want that…..) Make it the night before a party or get-together and people will love it (especially any vegan/vegetarians).

Cowboy Caviar
adapted from Krysta Steen

Serves 8-10 as a side dish/dip

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 cans beans of your choice (I used 2 cans black beans and 1 can black eyed peas)
1 red pepper, chopped (optional – I did not use)
½ medium red onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 1st four ingredients to a simmer on the stove until sugar dissolves. This will be your dressing. Drain and rinse the beans put in large bowl. Add fresh ingredients. Pour cooled dressing over vegetables and stir. You may not need all of the dressing. Refrigerate overnight or at least a few hours for flavors to combine.

dijon braised brussels sprouts

NOTE: I have moved! My site is now http://inthiskitchen.com . There is a slight name change due to the fact that I couldn’t get my old website name – in this kitchen is the new site which has this post and more. Go there and enjoy!

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I’ve had this recipe bookmarked from Smitten Kitchen for many months now and finally made it tonight. I actually really like brussels sprouts, and I certainly love anything cooked with white wine, chicken broth, onions & dijon.

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First, the brussels are seared in equal parts butter and olive oil, until browned on one side.

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Then they get combined with the broth, wine, and shallots (I used onions) to simmer for 20 minutes and get nice and soft.

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The wine/broth is then mixed with a bit of cream and dijon to make a sauce, and the result is absolutely delicious. The mustard is not overly strong and it mixes perfectly with the dish. Make this now!!

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Dijon Braised Brussels Sprouts
from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 pound brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I use salted all the time and its fine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 to 3 shallots or onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Trim sprouts and halve lengthwise. In a large, heavy 12-inch skillet heat butter and oil over moderate heat. Arrange halved sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning until undersides are golden brown, about 5 minutes. [Updated to note: If your sprouts don’t fit in one layer, don’t fret! Brown them in batches, then add them all back to the pan, spreading them as flat as possible, before continuing with the shallots, wine, etc.]

Add the shallots, wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low (for a gentle simmer), cover the pot with a lid (foil works too, if your skillet lacks a lid) and cook the sprouts until they are tender can be pierced easily with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the lid, and scoop out brussels (leaving the sauce behind). Add cream and simmer for two to three minutes, until slightly thickened. Whisk in mustard. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary with more salt, pepper or Dijon. Pour sauce over brussels, sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve immediately.