Side Dishes Recipes

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Barbecue Tips: Sweet Potatoes Cooked in the Coals Recipe
Our summer season has been filled with pool parties and a lot of barbecues. Grilling vegetables and meat is usually what makes the meals, but who doesn’t love all the yummy side dishes as well? If you’re looking to make something besides potato or pasta salad, here’s a delicious and not so ordinary suggestion: baked sweet potatoes, cooked in the coals or in ashes. Sweet potatoes are so much healthier than regular potatoes and the kids love to scoop the smooth and velvety sweetness.
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Roasted Creamer Potatoes Recipe

Roasted Creamer Potatoes

07.21.10 by Jackie

Creamer potatoes are potatoes that are harvested while they're still young. I recently bought these apricot-sized potatoes at the farmers' market. They were so cute, I couldn't resist!

I roasted them whole with skins on and rubbed them in butter flavored with oregano flowers from our garden. The potatoes have a crisp-skin on the outside, while the inside is tender and moist. If you can't find creamer potatoes, you can use Yukons that have been cut into quarters, but it's not the same as having each bite wrapped in crispy potato skin. Mmmmmm.


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Vietnamese Vegetables with Ginger (Rau Muong Xao Gung) Recipe

Vietnamese cuisine boasts many dishes that highlight fresh ingredients in a healthy manner. Rau muống xào với gừng (Vietnamese pea tendrils sautéed in ginger) is an excellent example of this.  The dish is incredibly simple; the pea tendrils are blanched and then flavored with ginger and a little turmeric for color. I made it recently for my uncle who was visiting us and is a practicing Buddhist, which is why the recipe does not call for onions, shallots or garlic. Don’t worry though; the dish is only light on calories, not flavor.

As a child, our typical Vietnamese family meals were composed of individual bowls of rice, meat, seafood or tofu, a bowl of canh (a clear broth soup), a vegetable side dish and a dipping sauce. I always looked forward to a bowl of rau muống, served with a soy sauce and ginger dipping sauce called mắm gừng. If you have trouble getting your family to eat their greens, give this dish a try. It worked on me!


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Pan Fried King Bananas Recipe

Pan Fried King Bananas

07.13.10 by Jackie

Chuối ngự are Vietnamese bananas that look similar to small plantains. They have a starchy texture and a subtle sweetness. If you look for this particular banana in Asian markets, they're called King, Raja or emperor bananas.

King bananas can be prepared in a lot of ways. Today, I twice cooked them. First, I parboiled them, then I pan-fried the bananas in oil until golden brown. They make great appetizers if you top them with cheese and other condiments, or they also make a wonderful side dish. In this case, I paired them with baked fish.


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Grilled Tomatoes (Simple Barbecue Recipe)  Recipe

This tomato recipe is simple but so flavorful. I always make it when we barbecue. Unfortunately, this year was horrible for the tomatoes from our garden. Lulu planted two dozen tomato plants. I was so ecstatic about getting sweet, juicy tomatoes, but the gophers killed all our plants. If you have a cure for a gopher infestation, please send me a message. Anyway, since we didn’t have enough from our garden, I bought plum tomatoes from the farmers' market for our 4th of July barbecue.

Grilling tomatoes only requires skewers, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. To make it more flavorful, I thread the tomatoes onto oregano sprigs. Once the tomatoes are cooked, I drizzle them with shallot vinaigrette. They're best when they're still warm. Yum!


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