Category Archives: Side dishes

SSF: Potatoes and Sunchokes – Gratin Dauphinois

This week’s Liberty Heights bag of goodness contained Purple Skin Caribe Potatoes, Sunchokes aka Jerusalem artichokes, Green Butter lettuce, Satsuma Mandarins, Cucumbers, and Goat’s Milk Yogurt from Drake Family Farms. Lettuce, cucumbers, and mandarins are pretty easy to handle… but Goat’s Mike yogurt and Sunchokes! I’m not a big fan of Goat anything so this was a challenge. I tried to hide the first 8 oz in a smoothie. It was ok, but a little too tangy. So the second 8 oz was hidden in some chocolate chip banana muffins.

Now the sunchokes. I did find a Mario Batali recipe to roast them, but I roast everything and wanted to do something different. Then I ran across Streaming Gourmet’s riff on Jacques Pépin’s Gratin Dauphinois. Streaming Gourmet had changed the recipe to use sunchokes and cheddar. And his picture is a thousand times better than mine! This was really tasty, but I felt like I’d hidden the sunchokes instead of highlighting them. If you are looking for a great potato gratin, this is for you, but I wish I’d roasted the sunchokes after all so that I could taste them better.

Here is my version. My version uses the food processor to prep everything and uses shallots instead of leeks because I still have shallots from last weeks’s bag. I also removed some steps that were unncessary to the end product for quicker preparation.

Gratin with Potatoes and Sunchokes

2 cloves garlic
3-4 shallots cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 lbs red skinned potatoes, peeled
1 lb sunchokes, peeled
4 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine (or butter)
2 cups soy milk (or milk)
Dash of freshly grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, use processor to grate (might use Gruyère next time)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, use processor to grind cheese

1. Prep in the food processor in this order: grind parmesan, grate cheddar, pulse shallots and garlic till finely chopped, slice potatoes and sunchokes.

2. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Layer the potatoes, shallots and garlic, and sunchokes in a well-oiled 9×13 baking dish (**see note), making several repeating layers.

3. Add chunks of the margarine and soy milk to a small pot. Grate nutmeg over the top and season with salt and lots of pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

4. Once the soy milk is heated and nearly boiling, add 3/4 cheddar and stir to melt. Pour it over the casserole and top with remaining cheddar and the parmesan.

5. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes covered with foil. Remove the foil and bake another 45 minutes.

6. Remove it from the oven let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving. That allows the flavors to meld and the cheese and milk to cool into a creamy mixture.

** This made a real mess of the baking dish and I spent a lot of time with a brillo pad. I was lucky I’d made it in my cheap pyrex glass dish. Make sure you use non-stick cooking spray, a pan shaped so that you can soak it in the sink later, or a dish that you don’t mind scrubbing with a brillo (or some combination of the above). My dish was oiled with olive oil, but that didn’t seem to help much.

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Red Chile Tomato Sauce

This sauce is basically the same as the red chile sauce, except that is has the addition of the tomatoes and sugar. This sauce will be used in the next recipe: Chilaquiles.


Red Chile Tomato Sauce

3 dried Guajillo chilies *
3 dried Ancho chiles*
3 dried Pasilla chiles*
4-6 cups of water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp cumin
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp masa harina

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp sugar

Cut the tops off of the chiles and discard the tops. Shake out the seeds. Cut the chiles open with a slit down the side and shake out any remaining seeds. Rinse the chiles to remove any dust/dirt. Cut the chiles in half. Bring 4-6 cups water to a boil in a pot and turn off the heat. Put the chiles into the hot water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.

Drain the chiles and discard the soaking liquid. Place the chiles, cumin, garlic, pepper, and 1 1/2 cups water into a blender. Puree the mixture in the blender. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. You may need to push the liquid through with a spatula. Put the strained liquid into a pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Add masa harina with a whisk to thicken. Remove from heat.

Place tomatoes in a blender along with the red sauce. Add 1/2 tsp sugar. Blend until pureed.

* Feel free to substitute other dried peppers here. The peppers you use will make the spicyness level change and the flavor change ever so slightly.
* You can get dried chiles cheap at your local mexican grocery store. You can also order them online (not as cheap) from Penzeys.com.

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Vegan Crema

Crema is like a sour cream drizzle, so this is pretty easily veganized by using Tofutti Sour Cream (or some other suitable vegan sour cream). Again, I didn’t pay much attention to proportions here, so this recipe is still under development. This looks very pretty drizzled over dishes as a finishing touch.

Crema
1/2 cup tofu sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup soy milk

Mix sour cream with soy milk with a fork. Add the soy milk a tablespoon at a time until the consistency is runny (can be drizzled with a spoon).

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Tofu Queso Fresco

I’ve topped a lot of recipes with this tofu Queso Fresco this week. Queso Fresco is (supposedly) a mild non-melting crumbly cheese with a texture like feta. I’m guessing that this is what it would taste like. I added miso and tahini to give it a little kick and a slightly fermented flavor. And because I was drinking margaritas while cooking and not paying much attention, I am not entirely sure of the amounts I used here. I can’t remember if I used 1 or 2 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast. I’ll make sure to make note next time I make this. If you make this, be sure to taste it as you go along. Let me know how your proportions turn out.

Queso Fresco

12-14 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp light miso
1 clove garlic
salt
pepper
2-4 Tbsp soy milk

Crumble the tofu in a bowl. Add tahini, nutritional yeast, miso, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp of each). Use your hand to mix well. Add in a couple of tablespoons of soy milk and mix with hands to make it moist and kind of sticky.

Use queso fresco crumbles as a topping.

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Annatto Spanish Rice

Seitan Tamales

The spanish rice in this picture was made using Annatto oil. Annatto has a very mild flavor to it and adds a really nice color to the rice. This rice came out a little oilier than I’d like, so I might cut back on the margarine next time.

Annatto Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons Earth balance margarine
2 tablespoons annatto oil, see recipe below
1/2 jalepeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium Spanish onion, diced
1 bay leaves
1 cup long-grain white rice
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups no-chicken stock or vegetable stocl

Melt the margarine with the annatto oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook till soft. Add the jalepeno chile and garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, rice, stock, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer until the rice has absorbed the stock, 12 to 15 minutes. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Annatto Oil

Annatto Oil

1/4 cup annatto seeds *
1 cup corn oil

Add the annatto seeds to a pot and heat up the pot over medium heat. Give it a shake occasionally. The seeds will toast and start to smoke. Add the oil. Bring the oil to a simmer, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

* You can get these at your local mexican grocer or at Penzeys.com. They are also called achiote seeds.

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Red Chile Sauce

The first recipe I have to post to be able to make the yummy mexican food I’ve been posting is the red chile sauce. It is a base in many mexican recipes. I’m posting it separately so that I can link back to it from other recipes.


Red Chile Sauce

3 dried Guajillo chilies *
3 dried Ancho chiles*
3 dried Pasilla chiles*
4-6 cups of water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp cumin
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant corn masa

Cut the tops off of the chiles and discard the tops. Shake out the seeds. Cut the chiles open with a slit down the side and shake out any remaining seeds. Rinse the chiles to remove any dust/dirt. Cut the chiles in half. Bring 4-6 cups water to a boil in a pot and turn off the heat. Put the chiles into the hot water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.

Drain the chiles and discard the soaking liquid. Place the chiles, cumin, garlic, pepper, and 1 1/2 cups water into a blender. Puree the mixture in the blender. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. You may need to push the liquid through with a spatula. Put the strained liquid into a pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour, whisking occasionally.

Add masa with a whisk to thicken. Remove from heat.

* Feel free to substitute other dried peppers here. The peppers you use will make the spicyness level change and the flavor change ever so slightly.
* You can get dried chiles cheap at your local mexican grocery store. You can also order them online (not as cheap) from Penzeys.com.

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Roasted Chile and Roasted Garlic Salsa

IMG_1057.JPG

This recipe is my husband Mike’s invention. He looked in the fridge and saw that we were overrun with hot peppers from the CSA and decided to make salsa. He cannot get enough salsa. Continue reading

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