Delta Slaw

This Delta slaw is by far my favorite go-to slaw. Although I sometimes eat it as a side, it most often finds it’s way onto pulled pork or Sloppy Joe sandwiches, or on hot dogs. Despite being a vinegar-based slaw it has a nice sweetness to it. It also contains celery seed (and a good bit of it too), which is also one of my favorite flavors. I love everything about this slaw.

Depending on how I’m serving my Delta slaw (as in, how quickly I’m going to devour it), I often keep the slaw ingredients separate from the dressing until just before serving. That was the slaw doesn’t get too soggy, which will happen after three or more days in the fridge. Keeping the parts separate means I can easily get a full work week’s worth of slaw out of a batch!

Delta Slaw
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (32-ounce) bag cole slaw mix (with carrots)
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the slaw mix, bell pepper and onion in a large resealable container. Toss with the salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard powder, and celery seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and remove from the heat and let cool until the cabbage mixture has been in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Remove cabbage from fridge and pour sauce over it. Add the oil, green onions, and parsley and toss to combine.
  4. Cover and return to refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.

Buffalo Cowboy Caviar

Anita can attest to my (somewhat) shocking addiction to all things Buffalo wings, so she wasn’t surprised when I served up this Buffalo Cowboy caviar. What was surprising, though, was just how much we both absolutely loved it. Beans, peas, tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, all good things. But the crunch of the corn and the smoothness of the avocado, along with spicy Buffalo wing sauce pushed this side up a few notches on the ‘love it’ scale.
For a twist, use corn-on-the-cob that has been roasted on a grill or under the broiler until lightly charred. Cut the kernels from the ears and add to the caviar. You’ll need 3-4 good sized ears.

Buffalo Cowboy Caviar
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients
For the salad
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black eyed peas, drained, rinsed
  • 1( 11 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 2 large avocados, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup green onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded, diced
For the marinade
Instructions
  1. Place all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and add to the salad. Toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Corn Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes, any way, any time. Grilled on cedar planks, made with roasted garlic, packed with Boursin cheese, it doesn’t matter how they’re made, I’ll eat them. Adding sweet corn takes mashed potatoes to a new special happy place. That great sweet corn pop with the creaminess of the potatoes makes for the perfect combination. These corn mashed potatoes made for the absolutely best side dish.
corn-mashed-potatoesFor a little twist on these corn mashed potatoes, use corn on the cob (you’ll need 3-4 cobs depending on the size), roasting the corn first on a grill or under the broiler. Once charred, remove the cobs from the oven and let cool. Then scrape off the kernels and use them in the potatoes.

Corn Mashed Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 or so minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain and then mash the potatoes using a potato masher.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the corn and saute for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Reduce heat to low and stir in the corn.
  10. Add the corn mixture to the potatoes and stir.
  11. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Macaroni and Cheese Pasta Salad

Maybe, like you, I at first made a face when I came across the idea for macaroni and cheese pasta salad. But then, I thought, hey, I love mac-and-cheese. I love pasta salad. What I thought could be a crazy idea might well be brilliant. And it was. Traditional pasta salad flavors with a bit of cheddar cheese. I often cube cheddar cheese into my pasta salads, so the idea of using boxed mac and cheese really isn’t that much of a stretch. And it’s sure easier.
You can easily double this recipe for a family get-together. And I honestly wouldn’t be afraid to add a minced jalapeno or two to this macaroni and cheese pasta salad for a little kick. I also like to substitute chipotle powder or smoked paprika for the black pepper for a little smokiness.

Macaroni and Cheese Pasta Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (7.5 ounce) boxes Original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups diced celery (1 large head)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pasta from the macaroni and cheese and cook per package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a large bowl combine then cheese packages from the mac and cheese and all of the remaining ingredients.
  3. Fold in the pasta.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. If the salad gets too thick add a bit more mayonnaise and stir lightly.

Grilled Corn Grits

“My, oh, my” is about all we could say when we both took a bite of these grilled corn grits. The talking stopped and the enjoyment began. Creamy grits with fire-roasted corn. The corn adds just a hint of smokiness, a little crunchiness, and even more corn flavor to what are already fantastic corn grits. This is definitely a favorite side dish in our house.
You can roast the corn in the oven, under the broiler, if you’d like. You won’t get that nice grilled smoky flavor, but the roasted corn will still add a lot of flavor to the grits. I grilled my corn on a charcoal grill, directly over the hot coals. It didn’t take long and it was well worth the effort.

If it’s not quite corn season where you are, you can use canned corn. Just drain the corn and spread it out on a baking sheet. Place under your broiler and broil until lightly charred, keeping an eye on it as it broils.

Grilled Corn Grits
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large ears corn, shucked
  • 1 cup (or more) chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup (or more) half and half
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste\
  • 1 cup yellow grits
  • 1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for direct cooking.
  2. Place the corn directly over the fire. Cook, rotating the ears frequently, until all sides are lightly charred. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly before cutting the kernels from the ears.
  3. Add the chicken stock and 3 tablespoons of butter to a medium sauce pan.
  4. Bring to a boil and stir in the milk, salt and pepper.
  5. Continue boiling while whisking in the grits. Add the corn. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until the grits are creamy. You may have to add more stock or half and half if they get too thick.
  6. Serve topped with the remaining butter and garnished with the sliced green onion.

Pickled Black-Eyed Peas

I need a t-shirt that says “Don’t get between me and my pickled black-eyed peas”. I found them to be so dangerously good that I didn’t want to share with anyone. Ever. The peas absorb the vinegar, getting a really nice tart kick to them. For a little heat, jalapenos (they do get tamed down a bit the longer they pickle). Crispy red onions and a little garlic round out what is a perfect side dish.

These pickled black-eyed peas remind me of the Georgia caviar I made a while back. Black-eyed peas are wonderful in a cold salad and even better when pickled. Don’t let the jalapenos worry you if you aren’t into spicy foods. You can of course leave them out but I found that they do not overpower the salad at all. You don’t have to eat them, but leave them in to add flavor.

Pickled Black-Eyed Peas
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup (or more) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the beans, onion, garlic and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil and vinegar.
  3. Add the oil mixture ot the peas and stir to combine.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Note: If you find the peas to be too dry, now is the same to add a bit more oil.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Spiralized Curly Fries

It’s over. Done. My quest for an absolutely perfect curly fry recipe is over. I have reached the end, and the end is good. Perfectly curly. Perfectly seasoned. And perfectly crunchy. I could’ve just skipped whatever else it was I was having for dinner. I don’t even remember what else I had. I just remember these curly fries.

i used the smallest blade on my spiral slicer to make these curly fries. You could use the bigger one, but of course cook times will go up. I think the small blade is the perfect size.

The batter gives the fries their fantastic flavor. I plan on using the same batter on a whole lot of other fried foods. It’s a thin batter, not thick. Perfect for something like fish fillets or even non-curly fries.

Spiralized Curly Fries
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
For the potatoes
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled if desired
  • Water
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for deep frying
  • Kosher salt
For the batter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (substitute Mrs. Dash if you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
For the potatoes
  1. Fill a resealable container with cold water.
  2. Spiralize the potatoes (I used the smallest blade) and place into the water.
  3. Transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour.
For the batter
  1. Place all of the batter ingredients into a large bowl or container and whisk until smooth.
  2. Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 F.
  3. Drain the potatoes and pat dry.
  4. Place potatoes in the batter and coat well.
  5. Working in batches, fry the potatoes until golden brown, turning once.
  6. Transfer cooked potatoes to a wire rack or pan lined with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt.
  7. Serve immediately.


Cheddar Ranch Grits

As much as I love making and devouring mashed potatoes with pot roast and gravy, I love grits even more. The creamy ground corn has more texture and more flavor. At least, in my opinion. Add some cheese (and a little bit of Ranch dressing mix) and well, these cheddar Ranch grits are the perfect tasting side dish and very, very easy to make.
cheddar-ranch-gritsYou can substitute any good melting cheese you want to these cheddar Ranch grits. I like a nice sharp cheddar because I think it goes perfectly with the corn flavors and the Ranch dressing. I think Monterey jack would also work well in this dish. For some kick, go with pepperjack and add a few chopped roasted jalapenos.

Cheddar Ranch Grits
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup corn grits (not instant or quick cook)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup (or more, if you want) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing mix (the dry stuff, not the dressing in a bottle!)
Instructions
  1. Bring broth and salt to a boil in a medium pan over high heat.
  2. Slowly stir in the grits.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. To prevent the grits from splattering you can place a lid over the top of the pan but do not cover it completely.
  4. Add the butter and stir to melt.
  5. Add the cheese and Ranch dressing mix and stir until the cheese is melted.
  6. Serve.