Posts Tagged 'Side Dish'

Couscous, Tomatoes and Balsamic Onions

Serves 4

Good food sometimes just happens. Last night we were going to have some grilled shrimp and decided to have it with couscous. I had read a recipe over the weekend that called for balsamic onions. I told my wife that I wanted to try them with the couscous and she said let’s add some canned diced tomatoes. I said, “Why not?”
We put the dish together and it was great. The combination just goes together so well. The onions are sweet and they counter the acid in the tomatoes. Combined with the light, fluffy couscous it was just the perfect dish with grilled shrimp.
I hope you give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Couscous, Tomatoes and Balsamic Onions’


Tasty Japanese Cucumber Salad

Adapted from an old Internet recipe
Serves 4

I am always up for something new. And when that “something new” turns out to be simple to prepare and tasty it’s a win/win.
So it is with Japanese cucumber salad or Sunomono. It is the simplest of dishes yet is crisp and refreshing. It can accompany just about any meal.
There is not much more left to say, except be careful cutting up the cucumbers. See what happened to me here.

Recipe follows
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Toasted Israeli Couscous with Grilled Vegetables and Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Adapted from a recipe by Bobby Flay

Serves 4 to 6

My late sister, Sue, was a vegetarian among other things. She was a great kid and I loved her dearly. One day, I called her up and said, “Let’s have dinner and I’ll cook, vegetarian of course.”
This is one of the dishes I prepared and it was so good I have made it several times for my family and friends. Grilled vegetables are what make it. The slightly smoky flavor comes through and the lemon balsamic vinaigrette adds a nice counterpoint to the whole dish.
If you have never tried couscous, I suggest you do. This recipe uses Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous) which is slightly larger than normal couscous. I like them both, but the larger Israeli couscous is very tasty.

Recipe follows.
Continue reading ‘Toasted Israeli Couscous with Grilled Vegetables and Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette’

Outrageous Baked Beans

Adapted from recipe found at

Makes about 1-1/2 quarts and serves lots of people; this recipe is easily doubled

As my family will testify to, I am not a big fan of taking the easy road when it comes to cooking.   If the recipe calls for lemon grass, go get some. If you are going to the trouble of making a home made pie, why not make your own pie dough? I believe there is something rewarding in mastering a recipe or getting a technique down just right. And, I believe that the end result tastes better. too.
Buy the best ingredients you can afford and use the best recipe you can find. Together these two things will deliver better results every time over anything store bought.
But, as with all rules, rules are made to be broken.
The follow recipe is one my wife found on the Internet and she gave it a try. It’s an “open-the-cans-and-dump-them-in” kind of recipe. It’s quick and easy.  And, it tastes amazing.
Every time we have made this recipe (usually we double it), family and guests leave nothing in the pot.
So even though this is an open and dump recipe, I highly recommend you give it a try.

Recipe follows.

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No-Work Baked Risotto — Excellent Risotto Without the Stirring

Adapted from an old Internet recipe
Makes 4 to 6 servings (recipe is easily cut in half)

We love risotto at our house. We have made it many times and used lots of different recipes. With lots of variations.
Classic risotto is a delicious dish but is somewhat labor intensive (all that stirring, adding chicken stock and stirring some more, ugh). The results are outstanding and the creamy goodness is to die for. Risotto in Italy is as much a religious experience as their pasta.
So, a few years ago, my wife and I ran across a recipe for baked risotto. BAKED RISOTTO! Are you kidding me? Could this possibly work? We had to find out.
The first couple of tries were not so good. So, some more searching on the Internet to find the perfect way of baking risotto. And we found it.
This recipe is as close as you can get to a no-work risotto. We’ve altered it just a bit by requiring it to cook a little longer with the lid and aluminum foil off.
This recipe just uses Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. But, there are lots of variations on this theme. Add the Parmesan cheese and frozen peas that have been thawed. Forgo the cheese and add two tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary, three tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and two teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest (yummy).

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘No-Work Baked Risotto — Excellent Risotto Without the Stirring’