Vegetables

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is our favorite green vegetable around here, partly because we grow it. I've tried and failed to grow spinach, and we don't particularly care for beet greens or collard greens. But we all really love chard. What a surprise when we found out you don't...

Sauerkraut

I think sauerkraut is delicious right out of the bottle or can. Makes my mouth water to think about it. There's certainly nothing wrong in serving it either heated or cold right out of the package. It goes great with Polish Sausage, Bratwurst, or hot dogs. Most people...

Roasted Vegetables

One of the favorite ways to fix vegetables at my house is also very simple. Roasting them in the oven smells great, looks great, and tastes even better. This photo shows some veggies from the other night ready to go into the oven. As it happens, they are all from our...

Butterstick Squash

We use this recipe for most of our hard-shelled squash, like Butternut and Acorn. One of the tricks to this kind of squash cutting it. So I keep a rubber mallet in one of the kitchen drawers. That's right, a rubber mallet. Instead of sawing your way through a hard...

White Rice

Long grain white rice is a great accompaniment to many dishes, such as the Pork Cashew dish shown here. You can make rice on the stovetop, in a microwave, or in a rice cooker. I usually use a rice cooker because it's foolproof; it calls for 1 1/2 cups of water for...

Ratatouille

Ratatouille (rat-ta-too-ee) is a classic French vegetable casserole that uses eggplant as one of its ingredients. My first taste of it, however, wasn't in France, or even in a French restaurant. Chuck's Steakhouse, one of the pioneering Southern California / Hawaiian...

Potato Pancakes

This has got to be the best thing you can do with leftover mashed potatoes. It just takes a few minutes, and can turn any breakfast (or dinner) into a treat. Of course you don't have to use leftovers. But for me, if I'm going to have them for breakfast, leftovers...

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes can be the most delicious side dish, or can be a starchy, mushy, tasteless mess. Let's use this foolproof method to make some that everyone will rave about, whether you add gravy or not. I use good old Russets mainly, although Yukon Gold work well and...

Boiled Potatoes

Boiled potatoes go great with lots of dishes, and are delicious and easy to prepare. They go especially well with entrées like sausage and corned beef. All you do is peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Cover them with lightly salted water in a...

Baked Potatoes

We call our baked potato recipe "Streeterville" baked potatoes, and probably only those of you in Chicago will know where Streeterville is. For the rest of you, Streeterville is a section of town near Navy Pier, where many years ago a local character named Streeter...

Preparing Chiles

Anaheim (or California) chiles, New Mexico chiles, and Ancho (also called Pasilla) chiles are among the most popular large-size chiles used in Mexican and Southwestern food. Sometimes they are used raw, such as in our recipe for Chipotle Short Ribs. However most of...

Pearl Onions in Parmesan Cream Sauce

Here's an onion casserole that is really hard to beat. The flavor gets rave reviews, and the dish looks beautiful on the buffet table. I served this with Dr. Pepper Ham and Easy Cheesy Potatoes for Christmas Day dinner for a family mob, and everyone wanted more! You...

Pan Roasted Potatoes

The key to this recipe is to partially cook the potatoes before browning them in the skillet. This not only saves time, but it also gets the inside cooked without overcooking the inside. You want the outside crisp and golden and the inside tender, but not dried out. I...

Pan Browned Red Potatoes

These potatoes are very tasty, good-looking, and very easy to make. For small red potatoes, you'll need three or four per person. After washing them cut the potatoes in half, if they're small, or into chunks if they are larger. Put them in a Pyrex bowl with a 1/4 inch...

Oven Fried Potatoes

This is a French method of frying the most delicious, crisp, and tender potatoes you'll find. I used small red potatoes for this recipe, but you can use regular spuds cut any way you like: French fry size, steak fry size, wedges, or chunks. The oil and potatoes are...

Onion Rings

These delicious, crunchy, and spicy onion rings are always a big hit. Use large brown or yellow onions for the best rings. Peel the onions, and slice them in thick 3/8-1/2" slices. Separate the rings and immerse them in a big bowl of ice water for an hour, if you have...

Hoppin’ John

Many people make it a policy to eat blackeye peas on New Year's Day for good luck. We do, too. But let's face it, I don't think blackeye peas by themselves are very good, even when seasoned with ham and Tabasco. Many people just serve blackeye peas over rice. But this...

Green Beans and Onions

Green beans can be fresh or frozen, or even canned. If they are from a can, they are already cooked, and just need warming. Frozen beans are ready to cook, but fresh beans will need the ends trimmed off. The new varieties don't require removing the string any more, so...

Grandma’s Green Beans

Here's an alternate to the modern barely-cooked vegetables you are used to getting in restaurants. This is old fashioned comfort food, which will add a pleasing satisfaction to almost any meal. It's best to start with fresh string beans. Wash them and pick over them...

German Red Cabbage

This is a great cabbage recipe, and is good with many dishes. Of course, it is the classic accompaniment to German food. In the photo above, I'm serving it with Schnitzel (and it can be either veal or chicken) and German Potato Salad. For five or six servings you only...

French Fries

Home made French fries are not only delicious, but making them at home gives you the chance to do them your way. For example, you can peel the potatoes, or leave the peel on. After they are done you can season them with salt, or seasoned salt, or pepper, paprika,...

Easy Cheesy Potatoes

I found this recipe in the CostCo cook book, and decided to try it more or less for fun. Well, it was a huge hit. Everyone from the kids to Grandma absolutely loved it. The following day, I found that someone was raiding the leftovers for a snack. And Ms. Cooking Dude...

Dicing and Slicing Onions

OK, here's real County Fair Food. And man, is it good! Ranks right up there with the Deep Fried Spam and Twinkies. These potatoes are a little bit of trouble to get set up for, but it's worth it. Serve 'em with burgers, steak, or just by themselves. If you want, you...

Deep Fried Potatoes

OK, here's real County Fair Food. And man, is it good! Ranks right up there with the Deep Fried Spam and Twinkies. These potatoes are a little bit of trouble to get set up for, but it's worth it. Serve 'em with burgers, steak, or just by themselves. If you want, you...

Corn on the Cob

What's better for a summer barbeque than corn on the cob? And of course, frozen corn on the cob is available year-round in the market. Here's how to get the best flavor from each. The photo shows grilled corn out at the barbeque. Some of the ears have just been taken...

Brussel Sprouts

These tiny cabbages are not only good but good for you. But a lot of people don't know how to cook them, don't like the smell or taste, and never eat them. That's a shame, because properly cooked and flavored even kids like them. Give it a try. When you pick out the...

Blackeye Peas

Especially on New Year's Day I get requests for blackeye peas from folks who want good luck for the coming year. And every year I try to make them taste good, and don't succeed very well. So I usually recommend making hoppin' john instead. But hoppin' john, as...

Pan Roasted Zucchini

In addition to roasting vegetables in the oven, you can get nearly the same flavor and look roasting them in a pan. It depends on how much zucchini or other similar squash you need; for small amounts, like four or five servings, you might not want to heat up the oven....

Green Beans Italiano

Here's an easy one-skillet way to make delicious green beans. The flavors are wonderful, and always get a rave review around here. Green beans for four or five people (about 1 pound) Small onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon...

Bistro Carrots

These delicious carrots can be made from baby carrots, as in the photo, or from larger ones cut to size. Either way, this has to be one of the most delicious and easy carrot recipes. 2 lbs. carrots 3 tablespoons butter sprig of thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 3...

Mexican Rice

This Mexican rice recipe is better than any other I've tried so far. The flavor is outstanding, and the colors and textures make any dish look better. This makes enough for six or seven servings, so you might have some left over. If so, that's a bonus, because it can...

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles rellenos means stuffed chiles. Typically, this means either Anaheim (or California) chiles or Poblano chiles stuffed with a white cheese, such as Jack, coated with an egg batter, and fried. This is a delicious and elegant Mexican dish, well worth the effort to...

Pinto Beans, Refried Beans, and Drunken Beans

There must be a million bean recipes. Maybe a billion. Anyhow, I've tried and collected dozens myself trying to get the taco shop bean flavor, and finally I'm darn close. If I come across an improvement, you'll be the first to hear about it. The beans always start out...

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Here's one of the family's favorite comfort foods. But it's important to make them correctly, or they may wind up a tasteless pasty or greasy mess. Like meatloaf, there are many more bad recipes out there than good ones. This one is great, and even if you don't think...

Green Chile Casserole

Technically, maybe this is a "strata" rather than a casserole. But whatever you call it, it is always a huge hit around here. I generally make it for breakfast for special occasions or when we have overnight guests. Last time I made it the compliments (and requests...

Potato Salad

Potato salad is just plain yummy, and I make it around here a lot in the summer. We have it with barbeque, burgers, sandwiches, and about anything else where we want a cool and delicious salad. Of course there are lots of recipes for potato salad, and they fall into a...

Chimichangas

Chimichangas are a real taste treat! They are actually deep-fried burritos, usually filled with refried beans. If you don't have a deep fryer, it doesn't matter much; just heat 1/2 or so of oil in a skillet and cook them there. It's a little slower because they only...

Avocado Relish

Here's a delicious relish, or salsa, recipe that is fast to prepare and delicious to eat. Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips, crackers, or pieces of toast or pita. I served it as a relish with steak, and it was great. You can make it hot or mild depending on...

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