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Posts Tagged ‘sides’

All Hail the Sweet Potato

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.


Watch out. Sweet potatoes are having a moment. Like a band that suddenly blew up or an ingenue nominated for an Oscar, these rooty tubers have glided into the limelight and, it’s safe to say, the year belongs to them.

What the hell are we talking about? We’re talking about sweet potato soups and snacks and desserts and cocktails, people. We’re talking about the role of side dish, the duty of being a vehicle for marshmallows being over. Everywhere we look, we see sweet potatoes in new weird iterations. Then we eat them.

But the first rule of sweet potatoes is: Don’t get it twisted. Do not call Ipomoea batatas a yam. Here in North America, we fling around the term “yam” like some people say “nucular.” But a yam is actually a larger, lighter-colored, totally different Asian and African root vegetable. In fact, we’re so accustomed to wrongly saying “yams” that here in America, any sweet potato product labeled “yam” must also say “sweet potato.” So, yeah. They’re called sweet potatoes. Unless they’re yams. That’s lesson No. 1.

But that’s enough talk; let’s chow. Here are a few ways you can get hip to sweet potatoes and use these starchy suckers as more than a sad, neglected potluck casserole. Because a yam — er, sweet potato — by any other name would taste as sweet.

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Right now, you’re probably debating between your aunt’s famous sweet potato casserole and dad’s creamy mashed potatoes. And then of course, buttery biscuits are a must and it’s not quite right without cranberries. Point being: It’s all about the sides. Thanksgiving may be known as Turkey Day but let’s face it — the sides usually outshine the bird.

The great news is that most side dishes are either meatless or can easily (and just as deliciously) be made without meat. It’s as simple as skipping the bacon and swapping in vegetable stock for the chicken or beef varieties. From traditional fare like roasted Brussels sprouts or candied yams to unconventional favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese or pumpkin cornbread, this year’s feast should have something to please everyone, especially the vegetarians. Check out some of our favorites below.

Make-Ahead Crowd Pleaser

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Fall Fest: Chefs’ Best Brussels Sprouts

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

 Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels sprouts seem to strike fear into the heart of most children, but I’ve never understood why they developed such a bad rap. They’re hearty and filling and, when cooked properly, develop a beautifully crispy exterior. All of these recipes can be made in 50 minutes or less, making them easy side dish solutions that will win over even the most resistant of Brussels sprouts haters.

1. Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (pictured above)
Sunny Anderson uses just four ingredients to make these crispy Brussels sprouts. After cooking bacon in a large skillet, reserve the fat and add melted butter before cooking the Brussels sprouts until golden brown. Toss the chopped bacon back in and serve immediately.

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Sifted: Summer S’mores and BBQ Recipes

S’mores Bars by Once Upon A Cutting Board

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. ‘Tis the season for gooey s’mores. If you’re not off to camp anytime soon, Once Upon A Cutting Board’s s’mores bars are a delicious alternative.
  2. What’s your secret to a perfect burger? Set the Table swears by peanut butter and a fried egg.
  3. Grab some chips and whip together This Homemade Life’s nacho cheese sauce for an awesome afternoon snack or dinner side.
  4. If you haven’t made strawberry rhubarb pie yet, now is the time. Andrea Meyers has a tasty recipe.
  5. Use Real Butter’s corn pudding is the perfect summer side for your next backyard barbecue.

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Fall Fest: 4 Ways to Cook Cauliflower

We’re continuing our season long Fall Fest 2011, which welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. First up was the classic fall favorite, apples, then a Thanksgiving staple, potatoes, fun with pumpkin and now we’re featuring cauliflower.

Forget the cauliflower mush from your past. It’s time to give this versatile veggie another try. It’s great in everything from soups to pastas and more. Since it’s a hearty and starchy vegetable, it’s a good way to fill out any dish. It’s also great solo, when you cook it the right way: roasted, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

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