Side Dishes Recipes

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Plantain Stuffing Recipe Recipe

Plantain Stuffing Recipe

02.10.11 by Jackie

We had a little bread left-over from the Superbowl party, and instead of wasting it, I turned the stale bread into a delicious side dish. I added plantains, water chestnuts and green beans, then finished the dish with crumbled goat cheese. I paired the plantain stuffing with veal scallopini.


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Crosnes Sauteed in Butter Recipe

Crosnes Sauteed in Butter

01.18.11 by Jackie

Crosnes, also known as Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot or stachys affinis, are French rustic root vegetables. The little worm-looking tubers were brought to France from Japan around the 19th century and were renamed after an area near Paris (in the Essone region), called Crosne.

The vegetables are considered gourmet and are served at upscale restaurants. They cost 35 Euros  ($46) a kilo. My husband Lulu saw them at an open air market and was intrigued by their shape; he'd never tasted them before. The preparation was quite simple. I boiled them, then sautéed them in butter and squeezed on a little lemon juice. Crosnes can also be eaten thin-sliced raw or pickled in salad. They're very healthy; they're rich in protein and betaine (improves digestion and helps fighting stress). In Asia, they're called chorogi, which means "longevity" because of their nutritional value. So if you come across these "forgotten" vegetables at a farmers' market in your area, give them a try!

Crosnes Vegetable Recipe with Picture


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Olive Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Olive Mashed Potatoes

01.14.11 by Jackie

I came up with the idea of making olive-flavored mashed potatoes (purée de pomme de terre aux olives) while strolling through Parisian open-air markets. Most of them carry the most delicious varieties of olives that are not overly salty. After tasting many varieties, I bought delicious bright green olives that are large, meaty and slightly sweet with a nutty taste to the palate.

Parisian kitchens in general are tiny and contain the bare minimum when it comes to cooking. I mashed the potatoes using the back of a fork, pitted and coarsely chopped the olives and finally mixed them into the purée, adding a little crème fleurette (cream). My husband Lulu loved it and was totally impressed that I was able to pull it off in our tiny kitchen!

Besides visiting museums and monuments in Paris with Lulu, I have to admit that perusing the Parisian open-air markets was my favorite activity! Tasting and seeing the wonderful colors and produce gave me so many ideas and inspirations for new flavor pairings. I’ll be sharing them soon.

Olive Recipe with Picture


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Potato Timbale (Potato Cup Recipe) Recipe

Timbale means "drum" in French. Potato timbale is just a fancy name for a potato dish baked in a drum-shaped round mold. What I like about this dish is that it's very convenient when we host dinner parties because the servings are individual. Plus it makes a nice, appealing presentation.

Potatoes are par-boiled, sliced and placed in the shape of a round mold. Then, it's filled with whatever you like. I packed the potato cups with braised fennel, water chestnuts and blue cheese. This is what I call true comfort food if you want to serve a feast ("un repas de fête" in French) for Christmas.


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Mashed Purple Potatoes Recipe

Mashed Purple Potatoes

12.13.10 by Jackie

My husband Lulu and I are spending the holidays with my family and friends in Paris. We just arrived and have enjoyed our first couple of days in the City of Lights, despite the cold weather. The sights are wonderful, but the real treat is the wonderful products and ingredients that France has to offer. We went to an open air market this morning and brought back some Vitelotte potatoes.

You might know them as purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes, négresse or truffe de Chine. They are small-sized waxy potatoes, with a skinny and oblong shape. The flesh is dark-violet blue surrounded with a white rim. The texture is quite flour-y and have a different flavor than regular potatoes. I prepared them by boiling, mashing and then mixing the potatoes with butter, cream and milk. I flavored the mashed potatoes with blue cheese and dill. It was a delicious way to start our Parisian vacation!


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