Category Archives: Sides

Marscapone Creamed Spinach

This was another dish we made for our Christmas feast. I had some leftover marscapone from the stuffed mushrooms I made and thought I’d try to use it to make creamed spinach. As if creamed spinach needs to be more decadent?! It worked out well and everyone loved the spinach.

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Gruyere and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

This is another holiday dish that was a big hit.  I have been making mac and cheese for years and it’s my first real dish that inspired all of this.  I actually got the original recipe in middle school cooking class.  For this occasion, I wanted to switch it up and make it a bit classier so along came Gruyere and broccoli!  It was sort of tough to decide what to name this to hit on all of the key parts without saying and, and, and.  In the end, I felt there and wasn’t and much and of a choice.  And.

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Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

When we were in Phoenix for Thanksgiving, my sister made these stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer and I absolutely loved them. It was just a matter of time before I found the perfect occasion to make them myself. I decided to give it a go on Christmas day and served them as an appetizer. They’d also be a great side dish.

As you can see from the photo I super stuffed these mushrooms, stacking extra filling on top. I still wound up with some extra stuffing despite this and they were not the most photogenic or pretty as they could have been, but I figured more stuffing > pretty mushrooms. After later conversing with my sister, she suggested having some extra mushroom caps handy to stuff, as it will be inevitable to have extra stuffing. Good to know!   Continue reading

Cauliflower Gratin

I had the idea to make cauliflower gratin and it turns out I’m not the only one! I thought I was being all original, but no, not so much. I had originally envisioned using my food processor to slice the cauliflower a la scalloped potatoes, but decided to work off the recipes I found online for my first ever attempt at making this and so kept the cauliflower pieces whole (in floret form).

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Homemade Onion Rings

Onion rings are a fun food you don’t often make at home. We were deep frying chicken (you’ll see that soon too!) and figured why not throw something else in there too for a tasty side dish. My mind immediately went to onion rings, so here you go.

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Garlicky Green Beans Almondine

I got some green beans at the farmer’s market and planned to saute them with some olive oil, butter and garlic when I remembered I also had some slivered almonds in the pantry.

Green beans almondine is a classic dish and I decided to give it a try but didn’t want to leave out the garlic. We’re big garlic lovers so I figured it would go over well… and it did! This side dish was created on the fly and was so good that I’ll definitely be making it again!

We served it along with some broiled scrod (which is good and great). I didn’t take any pictures of the process but it was very simple.

I sauteed/steamed the green beans in some olive oil and a little butter. I toasted the almond slices and then added them to the green beans along with some garlic, butter and salt and pepper. That’s about all it took to create this tasty side dish!

– Eileen

Recipe for Garlicky Green Beans Almondine (Green Beans with Almonds)

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

Here’s a quick post on a quick and easy side dish that is sure to please. I’ve been making my creamy slaw using the same recipe for a while now and decided to kick it up a notch and add some blue cheese to it.

First, I shredded some cabbage and a yellow onion in the food processor. You can also buy a pre cut bag of slaw mix or add some red cabbage or carrots for some more color if you’d like.

The next step is to make the dressing. Greg got this blue cheese down the strip.

Then just mix ’em togegther and allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. We served it with some pulled pork and it was awesome!

Recipe for Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

This is an interpretation of burgers and wings and most importantly, buffalo and blue cheese flavors!  This was inspired by our friend Matt that brought buffalo chicken burgers to a cookout a while back.  He got the idea from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I took the basic idea and added some flavors that we have enjoyed with this combo.

Start with ground chicken.

These are made in the same fashion as regular burgers but with a few different ingredients.

Garlic Parmesan buffalo sauce was a key ingredient that was mixed into the burgers and I also reserved some as a topping sauce.

Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Sauce

Get those hands dirty and mix up the meat and form the patties.

Patti Mayonnaise

I prepped the rosemary potatoes and threw them on the top shelf of the grill for about a half an hour before starting the burgers.  It was just foil wrapped redskin potatoes with rosemary, garlic, onion, banana peppers, salt, and pepper, and oil.

Be sure to wrap it well in 2-3 layers of foil.

Ready for battle

About 45 minutes on the grill

Grill the burgers up as you normally would.  Be sure that the grill is well oiled as the chicken has more of a tendency to stick and come apart a bit.

A key component of any buffalo dish is the blue cheese.  Nothing beats a good garlicky homemade blue cheese dressing!

So simple and so great!

Great as a dip, dressing, topping

The final product minus the sauces

Recipe for Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Sauce

Recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing

Greg


Tomato Panzanella Salad

Greg and I were invited to a family BBQ and knew we wanted to bring something good for a side dish. We remembered a great dish that Ash brought over one time, tomato panzanella salad, and decided it would be the perfect thing to make. You can find the recipe here on Ash’s site (I didn’t alter it much as you will see).

We bought the tomatoes at a local farmer’s market. Obviously for this dish the quality of the tomatoes can make or break it. I was so happy to get these tomatoes. As imperfect as they look, they tasted great!

I cut the tomatoes and added some thinly sliced red onion. I actually completed this step the night before the BBQ, as I knew I would be facing some time restrictions the following day.

Similar to the importance of using good tomatoes for this dish, the quality of the bread is also something to be mindful of. We picked up a french baguette from our favorite place on Earth, Pittsburgh’s strip district (wahoo!), the day before the BBQ. On the day of the BBQ I cut the bread into bite-sized cubes (slightly larger than croutons) and baked them for 20 minutes. 20 minutes was about 2-3 minutes too long and some of the pieces were a little too baked for my liking. I recommend keeping an eye on them after the 15 minute mark.

Sorry for the blurry pic! You can get a sense of the size though.

While the bread was baking I assembled the rest of the dish by adding fresh basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to the tomatoes and red onion.

I just love all the colors in this dish!

Once the bread is done baking it gets added to the salad. You want it to absorb moisture from the dressing and tomatoes while still maintaining some of it’s crunch.

The final step in making this salad is to top it with ricotta cheese and a little olive oil. Since we were transporting this dish to another house I felt it would be best to keep the ricotta and olive oil in a separate container prior to serving. Before dinner was served the ricotta was placed on top of the salad.

Overall, this was a true crowd pleaser! I received several compliments on the dish and answered some questions about it too. People seemed to really enjoy it and want to recreate it themselves.

Take advantage of the Summer tomatoes while they last! Hope you like this one.

-Eileen 8)

Slow Smoked Brisket with Horseradish Sauce and Broccoli Slaw

This is our first Kittened dish in Pittsburgh and we have been discovering that food is very cheap.  This was a 9lb cut of brisket for $30, and that was not a sale.  Plenty more to come on the great deals found.  I smoked this similarly to the pork shoulder a bit back.  Slow cooked over indirect heat, but this time it was cooked as the debut dish on our new charcoal grill that we got for our wedding (thanks Mo and Stosh).

First to prep the rub

Started with a quick made rub.

Yeah, $30!

As similar to the pork, I started the grill with a large pile of charcoal and once it was ashed and ready, it was moved and kept to one side.  I also used a store bought foil baking dish as a drip tray below the meat to limit the mess and possible flare up.

The grill will never look like this again.

Opposite the coals

Now a lot of waiting.  The grill was covered with the below air intake about halfway open and the lid air intake also about halfway open.  The lid intake was placed over the meat, opposite the coals so that the heat and smoke are forced to go around the meat in order to escape.  The brisket cooked for about 5 hours total.  Here is is about halfway through.  I turned it about every hour to alternate the side facing the heat.

About 3 hours in.

And after all five hours.

Allow the meat to sit for 15 minutes or so before slicing and always slice against the grain.  It would be great to have a deli slicer here, but that is a bit excessive!

Patient, patient

Hey guys, Eileen here. I am going to fill you in on the sides, which I was responsible for making.

In addition to the brisket, we served a simple horseradish sauce from all recipes (sorry, no pictures of it) and a broccoli slaw from Smitten Kitchen. I have made this broccoli slaw once before for a cook out and people seemed to like it. I decided to make it again, figuring it would be a nice complement to the meat and tangy horseradish sauce.

First, I made the dressing for the slaw, which is composed of buttermilk, mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar and shallots.

Give it a good whisk and set aside.

Next, it is time for the broccoli. I used the slicing blade on my food processor to cut the broccoli for me. This method is a major time saver and produces pretty uniform slices of broccoli. Here it is pictured with chopped red onion as well.

To this, I added dried cranberries and sliced almonds and eventually the dressing.

Give it all a good stir and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.

It’s a great slaw and a bit different than your typical cabbage slaw. If you are looking for something new to have or bring to an event this could be it! The crunch of the broccoli with the tartness of the cranberries and the sharpness of the red onion are all tamed by the buttermilk sauce. It was a great compliment to the brisket too!

All in all, this meal was delicious! We were very happy with the final product and our guests seemed to be too.

Brisket Dry Rub Recipe