Side dish

Devilishly Delicious Eggs

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For every 6 halves, you’ll need 4 hard boiled eggs. I’ve found that steaming the eggs makes them a lot easier to peel than actually boiling them and they break a whole lot less often.

Peel the eggs and slice in half. Remove the yolks into a food processor or shallow bowl. Add your two weakest egg white halves, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon powdered turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 2 teaspoon ranch powder and 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper.

If using a food processor, pulse to chop the eggs and combine all ingredients. Otherwise, use a fork to work all the ingredients together. Pipe into the egg white halves or spoon the filling on top of them. Top with a dash of smoked paprika.

Makes 6 halves.

 

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Pão de Queijo

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If you’re looking for a bread that’s lovely and melty and that you don’t have to let rise in a bowl for an hour, this has your name all over it. It comes together in a blender and uses a muffin tin. It also doesn’t require the use of yeast so it feels less intimidating as far as breads go.

In a blender (I use our trusty mini food processor) combine: 1 room temperature egg, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup water, 1 1/2 cup tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch, sold at Sprouts from Bob’s Mill), 1/2 cup of grated cheese (I used feta) and 1 teaspoon salt. That’s the basic recipe. I added 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne for some extra flavor. Change these according to whatever sort of cheese you use. Pulse until everything is combined into a batter.

Spoon into mini muffin tins (I like these from Wilton) greased lightly with olive oil. Fill the muffin tin to the brim. This recipe should make 16 full mini muffins.

Cook at 350 for 35 minutes. Cool briefly but serve warm.

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Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

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Wash and skin 2 medium sweet potatoes. Cut into 1/4″ matchsticks; soak in cool water for at least one hour.

Drain sweet potatoes, pat dry with paper towels. Add to large gallon sized ziploc with 2 tablespoons corn starch. Toss until evenly coated.

In a large bowl, combine corn starch coated matchsticks, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Do NOT add salt at this stage or you’ll have soggy fries. Them’s the breaks.

Spread matchsticks out on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet. You want to leave some space on the sheets so the potatoes can crisp up. Bake at 400 for approximately 40 minutes, until crisp. Some will blacken. They’re tasty nonetheless. Once removed from the oven, sprinkle with coarse sea salt or kosher salt. Serve with sriracha ketchup if you’re bold.

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Brussels Sprouts

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You guys, I’ve checked out the only book the local library system has on food photography. That and I read a blog post about food styling, so only time will tell how much of it I’ve internalized.

These Brussels sprouts are pretty easy. And yes, it really is “Brussels” sprouts. Don’t make it weird.

Trim ends off 4 cups of Brussels sprouts. Quarter, then rinse clean. Spin dry in a salad spinner. Be sure to keep the loose leaves that spin off, they’ll be the best chips. Transfer all the green goodness to a large bowl. Sprinkle in 1 tsp. large grain kosher salt. Stir to coat. Let sit for 5 minutes to draw out some of the water.

Add 1 tsp. garlic powder, stir well to coat. Drizzle 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil over, mix gently. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet. You want the sprouts to have a little room to breathe and in a single layer, so you may need a second pan.

Bake at 450 for about 25 minutes. Give the pan a good shake about half way through to move them around a bit. If using an air fryer, cook at 400 for approximately 12 minutes.

You can add finely sliced bacon to the sheet pan before cooking begins if you feel so inclined. Or if you’re making them for Graham. You can also use some fresh minced garlic in addition to the powder, but be advised it will burn.

Serve on its own or with a balsamic glaze drizzled over. Trader Joe’s makes a great glaze if you’re not about that reduction life.

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Spicy Garlic Mussels

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Scrub and de-beard 2 lbs live black mussels. Discard any that do not close within a minute when tapped against another mussel.

In a high walled skillet or Dutch oven, heat 3 cups white wine or vegetable broth over medium high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, and 6 oz tomato paste. Whisk together until everything is combined. Bring to a boil. Add mussels in. Cover and cook 5-6 minutes, until the mussels have opened. Finish by stirring in 3 Tbs butter chopped into pieces. Discard mussels that did not open.

Spoon into a shallow bowl and top with extra sauce. Crusty bread is delicious dipped into the sauce. We make French bread at home, but as Ina Garten would say, “store bought is fine!”

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