One thing is guaranteed. Put a bean salad in front of me, and it’s going to disappear. For me, it doesn’t get any better or easier. The perfect contrast in textures and flavors. A little sweet. A little tang. There are hundreds of variations on bean salad, and I am pretty sure I’ve made and enjoyed them all. This tangy bean salad is no exception. Made in no time, but better after it gets happy in the fridge for a few hours first. Like with any good ole bean salad you can change this tangy bean salad up to suit your tastes. I little slices fresh jalapeno is great if you like a little kick. Roasted red bell pepper instead of green bell pepper is also a nice change.
Corn is in season and that’s a happy time for me. And as much as I love grilled corn-on-the-cob, corn in salads is tied for my favorite way to get some good fresh corn into my belly. Like this jalapeno popper grilled corn salad. Creamy dressing. Crunchy bacon. Deliciously sweet corn. And a little heat. This is the perfect side dish for a grill-out or picnic. We’re getting our corn from the southern US now, but soon they’ll be harvesting corn here in Indiana. Almost time for my yearly ritual of putting up corn for the winter. I race on down to our local farmer’s market, Binford Farmer’s Market, and load up on corn as soon as it’s available. And I do mean load up. My favorite? My Dad’s Sweet Corn from Tipton, Indiana. Hand-picked and incredibly sweet, they always have great corn.
This creamy dill broccoli slaw is a wonderful spin on my favorite salad, creamy cucumber salad. Loaded with dill and a hint of lime, it has a great summer flavor with plenty of crunch to it. I added a few sliced fresh chili peppers and chives from our garden for garnish. Cilantro would also make a great addition to this slaw. You can substitute ‘normal’ shredded cabbage for the broccoli if you wish. Broccoli slaw tends to stay crunchier longer than cabbage, which can get soggy in no time. If you do make this creamy dill broccoli slaw with cabbage instead, sauce only the amount of slaw you plan on serving. That way the leftovers won’t get drenched in sauce and become soggy.
My oh my oh my these roasted spiral potatoes were good. And kinda pretty, too. But definitely delicious. The potatoes get cooked up perfectly, mixed with smoky bacon, garlic and seasonings. As the potatoes near their journey to doneness they are then topped with butter and cheese. Oh yeah! Garnished with sour cream and green onions, this is one mighty fine side dish. Assembling the potatoes in the pan is the key to having them cook perfectly (and look cool). It’s easier than it looks. Just cut all of your potatoes the same thickness (it’s up to you if you want to leave the skin on or not). Then for each circular layer select pieces that are roughly the same size. You then just lay them into a lightly oiled cast iron skillet at a slight angle, overlapping by about half. You’ll need one hand to hold them in place and one hand to add potatoes. Once you’ve made the full circle they’ll stay in place. When the roasted spiral potatoes come out of the oven they are tender, covered in ooey gooey melted cheese. They look and smell out of this world. You’ll never want to cook potatoes any other way.
Make sure you add a good bit of paprika to the spice mixture. It adds great color.
These potatoes go great with a grilled steak. The perfect meat-and-potatoes dinner!
You'll need a cast iron skillet to make these roasted spiral potatoes. The larger the skillet, the more potatoes you will need. I used a 10" Lodge.
4-5 Russet potatoes, sliced (try to select potatoes that are all roughly the same sizes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus a little more
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and paprika, all to taste
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 stick butter, melted
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream and chopped green onions, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Lightly oil your skillet.
Lightly toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and the minced garlic
Layer potatoes around the edge of the skillet. You'll want to select pieces that are roughly the same size. Over lap the potatoes by about half, using one hand to add potatoes while the other hand keeps the potatoes in place. You'll want them to be at about a 60 degree angle, slightly angled back, following the contour of the skillet.
Once your first layer is done, add two more, each inside of the other. You might need four total layers depending on the size of your skillet and potatoes.
When you get to the end you'll have a little round 'hole' in the middle. Place a potato end (point-side up) in that spot to complete the arrangement.
Combine the seasonings and sprinkle over the tops of the potatoes. Don't be shy.
Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the top and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Drizzle with the butter, raise the temperature to 425 F, and cook another 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with the cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
This cherry tomato salad is crazy good. Tomato season is our favorite time of the year, and this dish definitely satisfied our quest for tomato yumminess. The combination of balsamic vinegar and pesto sauce really makes for a wonderful dressing and marinade. The red onions add a nice bite. The original recipe calls for half an onion, but I thought the onions were so great that I’ll definitely use the entire onion the next time I make this salad. This cherry tomato salad can also be made with whole tomatoes (heirloom would be amazing!) cut into wedges. Of course, it wouldn’t be a cherry tomato salad then but it’d still be great!
If you’re looking for a tomato salad more suitable for kids, try my hot dog tomato salad. It was a childhood favorite of mine.
Summer is such a great time for a stir-fry. Fresh in-season vegetables scream ‘stir-fry me’ out at you as you walk through the farmer’s market or grocery store. In fact, a few heads of broccoli where screaming at me the other day, so I took them home and made a quick stir fry with Hoison sauce. Hoison sauce adds a nice sweet and salty flavor to any veggies. Don’t be afraid to also add a few pinches of dried red pepper flake or fresh sliced chile peppers. I love stir-frying. I actually love it even more when done outside. I fire up my charcoal grill which has a fantastic, large wok insert. The wok gets incredibly hot over the coals, much hotter than I could ever get it on my flattop electric stove. It’s perfect for stir-frying anything, and quickly. If you have a 22″ Weber charcoal grill I can’t recommend the wok enough.
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!
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.
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.
Remove cabbage from fridge and pour sauce over it. Add the oil, green onions, and parsley and toss to combine.
Cover and return to refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.
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.