Verdure e Contorni (Vegetables and Side Dishes)

DOUBLE BAKED POTATOES

This recipe is a favorite of the kids. I often serve this recipe in the summer, when I am hosting barbeques. You can use this recipe with smaller potatoes, standing them up, for a holiday buffet. These potatoes can be topped with any of your favorite fillings, including crumbled bacon.

Ingredients:
4 Large Baking Potatoes
½ Cup Sour Cream
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 Cup Half & Half
½ Tsp. Salt
½ Tsp. Pepper
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
4 Scallions, Sliced

Directions:
Scrub the potatoes and poke several holes in the potatoes to allow steam to escape. Bake the potatoes in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 1 hour, or in a microwave for approx. 10-15 minutes (until tender). When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half and scoop out potato flesh, setting aside the potato skins. Place flesh in a large bowl and combine with sour cream, butter, half & half, salt and pepper. Add ½ Cup of the shredded cheddar and ½ of the sliced scallions to the potato mixture. Stir potato mixture until smooth and creamy. Spoon the potato mixture into the skins, and top with remaining cheddar cheese and scallions. Place in a greased baking dish and bake for approx. 12 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, until the cheese has melted and the potato is warmed through. Serve warm.

d-baked

MASHED POTATOES

This is my favorite recipe for mashed potatoes. It’s creamy and is a perfect accompaniment for many of the meat dishes in this book, especially the beef pot roast and beef stew. I use a ricer to make the finished potatoes smooth. The potatoes must
be blended and mixed while hot, or the finished product will have a gummy texture.

Ingredients:
5 lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled and Quartered
3 Cloves Garlic, Whole
6 Tbsp. Butter
1 8 oz. container Whipped Cream Cheese
2 Cups Half and Half
1 Tbsp. Salt

Directions:
Place the peeled and quartered potatoes along with the garlic cloves in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for approx. 25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander. In the warm pot, add the butter and cream cheese. Using a ricer, scoop the cooked potatoes and garlic from the colander (in batches) into the ricer, and place the mashed potatoes into the pot with the butter and cream cheese. Add the half and half and salt. Mix
until smooth and creamy. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Serve with a pat of butter on top, if desired.

tatos

ROASTED HASSELBACK POTATOES

I was first introduced to these delicious potatoes at a summer barbeque. The taste was wonderful, and the aesthetic appeal was fantastic. I researched various recipes, and have modified this recipe from the rufusguide website. These potatoes can be served as a side dish to any meal, and a variety of seasonings can be added to create different flavors. Serve with a side of sour cream and fresh chopped herbs.

Ingredients:
4 Large Yukon Potatoes
2 Tbsp. Butter, Melted
1 Tbsp. Seasoned Breadcrumbs
½ Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (or your favorite type of cheese)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ Tsp. Salt & ½ Tsp. Pepper to Taste
2 Tbsp. Cooked Bacon, Diced
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Chopped or Scallions, Chopped (Garnish)

Directions:
Wash potatoes and place on a cutting board. Cut thin slices down the length of the potato, but do NOT slice all the way through the bottom. (Take your time). Rinse the potatoes again and pat dry. Place the potatoes on a well greased baking sheet, and drizzle the top of each potato with the melted butter, making sure to get in the cracks. Roast the potatoes until tender, approx. 45 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the breadcrumbs, shredded cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper. When the potatoes are done, push the filling into the top of each potato. Return to the oven to melt the cheese. Garnish with the bacon, chopped herbs and serve with sour cream if desired. Best when served hot.

hass

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH BACON

I always make this vegetable side dish for Thanksgiving. The rich flavor of the bacon and balsamic vinegar mixed with the roasted brussel sprouts is really delicious. This recipe is definitely worth trying…and more than once a year!

Ingredients:
1 lb. Brussel Sprouts, Trimmed & Cut in Half
4 oz. Bacon, Diced
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Pepper

Directions:
Place the brussel sprouts on a baking sheet along with the diced bacon, and drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the mixture. Cover with salt and pepper and toss well. Spread mixture out evenly on the baking sheet (in a single layer). Roast the brussel sprouts in a preheated 400 degree oven for approx. 25 minutes, until they are tender and browned. Remove from the oven and season again with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

bruss

CARAMELIZED CARROTS

I have made this vegetable side dish many times. This dish is delicious, and the presentation of the whole caramelized carrots looks fantastic on a buffet. This has been adapted from a Garden-Fresh recipe.

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 lb. Whole Carrots with Tops, Peeled & Halved Lengthwise
½ Tsp. Salt
½ Tsp. Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic, Sliced Thin
1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
Fresh Parsley, Chopped (Garnish)

Directions:
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, cut side down, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, for approx. 10 minutes. Uncover and turn carrots over. Add the sliced garlic, cover, and cook for 10 minutes more, until both sides are golden brown and tender. Remove carrots from skillet. Add the whipping cream to the skillet and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over carrots and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm.

carrot

GREEN BEANS WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND NUTS

This is a great vegetable side dish for a dinner party or for a holiday buffet. It looks great plated, especially when topped with toasted nuts. The flavors of butter, caramelized onions and green beans are delicious.

Ingredients:
2 lbs. Green Beans, trimmed
½ Cup Pignoli Nuts (or your favorite nut)
4 Tbsp. Butter
4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Large Red Onions, Sliced Thin
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Black Pepper

Directions:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans for approx. 5 minutes. Transfer the green beans to a bath of ice water to cool. When the green beans are cooled, drain and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the pignoli and toast until golden brown, approx. 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the butter and olive oil to the skillet, and heat until the butter has melted. Add the onions, salt and pepper. Cook stirring frequently, until the onions caramelize, approx. 20 minutes. Add the cooked and cooled green beans and pignoli, and stir to heat through. Season again with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

green

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