I needed a side dish for lunches last week. This old fashioned macaroni salad was just what I was looking for. This brought back memories of the macaroni salad people would take to pitch-ins. It is deliciously creamy and has some crunch from the carrots and celery. It has a hint of sweetness from the sugar which is tamed by the apple cider vinegar. Elbow is my preferred pasta for this salad, but you could use whatever you have on hand.
I like that it isn’t runny like a lot of recipes or the kind that you buy in the deli at the grocery store. I used Blue Plate mayonnaise (my favorite) that I order from Amazon since the grocery stores near me don’t carry it. The next time I make this old fashioned macaroni salad, I will add peas to it. You could also add cheese, ham or bacon to make it your own.
I was wandering around the produce section of our local grocery store when I came across the Brussels sprouts. There they sat, on sale, beckoning me. Normally I’d roast them or sous vide them or grill them, but this time I decided to try something new: pickling. It took no time at all to make a few jars of the sprouts. Unfortunately, because I have no patience, they then have to sit in the fridge for four or so days to get ‘happy;.
Pickled Brussels sprouts are delicious. They remind me a bit of cucumber pickles but with a much different texture. The insides are like tender cabbage. I find it hard to stop eating them. They’re great as a side snack or even chopped onto a pulled pork sandwich.
I’m a big fan of Hasselback potatoes. They’re like a cross between scalloped potatoes and baked potatoes. They look cool and are actually pretty easy to make. This time I took my classic favorite Hasselback potato recipe and threw in a twist: I baked the potatoes on my grill on a cedar plank. The plank added a wonderful aroma and flavor to the potatoes. Not too much, but just enough to make me say “Wow, that’s great and different!”.
Cutting a potato Hasselback-style is actually pretty easy. You can just put a wooden spoon along the potato and slice them manually. The spoon will stop you from going all the way through the potato. Or you can ‘cheat’ like I do and get a Hasselback potato slicer (see below). It holds the potato in place. It also makes sure that each cut is the same thickness. And of course, it prevents you from cutting the potato too far. Hey, who doesn’t need another kitchen gadget!
I’m a big fan of Hasselback potatoes. They’re like a cross between scalloped potatoes and baked potatoes. They look cool and are actually pretty easy to make.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 40minutes
4Russet potatoesscrubbed clean
freshly ground black pepper
Soak cedar planks in water for at least 1 hour.
Cut the potatoes in Hasselback fashion. I use a tool to do this (link above). You can also lay wooden spoons alongside the potato. As you cut the potato into slices, the spoons will prevent you from cutting all the way through.
Gently and carefully lightly spread the potato segments apart.
Brush the tops of the potatoes with the oil. Try to get some down inside the segments, but don't over-oil them. You want just a light coating.
Generously salt and pepper the potatoes.
Fire up your grill for direct cooking. Remove the plank from the water and place over the fire. Char on both sides then remove the plank to indirect cooking. You want a cook temperature of around 400 F.
Transfer the potatoes to the plank and cook for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick (I use a thin skewer) inserts easily into the potato. I find it's easier to poke it from the side, into the ends.
If you wish to serve with cheese melted over the top, just sprinkle the potatoes with the cheese and cook another 5 minutes.
When I am making baby or fingerling potatoes, I almost always keep them whole. I know, cutting them in half gives you more surface area for seasonings, but I really, really love the ‘pop’ of biting into a baby potato. It’s probably just me but that’s why I kept these Parmesan garlic potatoes whole. Hey, they’re not that big and boy do they cook up creamy good. Smothered in tons of garlic and cheese, I absolutely loved them. I mentioned fingerling potatoes. This dish would also be great using fingerling potatoes. Ditto with baby yellow potatoes.
Since I’m somewhat of a butter-aholic I added a few pats of butter before serving up these Parmesan garlic potatoes.
I really, really love the ‘pop’ of biting into a baby potato. It’s probably just me but that’s why I kept these Parmesan garlic potatoes whole. Hey, they’re not that big and boy do they cook up creamy good. Smothered in tons of garlic and cheese, I absolutely loved them.
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 35minutes
Author Inspired by a recipe from The Recipe Critic
1/2cupParmesan cheesegrated, plus more for garnish
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
parsleychopped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F or fire up a grill for indirect cooking.
Combine all ingredients except for the water in a baking dish (oven) or disposable aluminum pan (grill). Toss to coat. Pour in the water.
Cover with foil and bake or grill 20-30 minutes or until tender.
Serve garnish with chopped parsley and more freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Yeah, I coulda just turned on the oven, tossed in a few waffle fries, and had a side for my burgers in less than 30 minutes. And I would’ve been fairly happy with that. But why not spend any extra minute or two and turn those fries into something special? These Cajun cheesy waffle fries prove just how easy it is to turn a simple side into something fantastic. Smoky bacon, sharp onion and creamy cheese, all on top of waffle fries seasoned well with Cajun seasoning. Just a bit of heat, just a bit of spiciness. Perfect.
Mix it up a bit. I’ve made these Cajun cheesy waffle fries with smoked cheddar, leaving out the bacon, for a wonderful twist. Don’t have green onion? Red onion, minced, works great too! Instead of Cajun seasoning, use your favorite. I like blackened seasoning. Or smoked paprika. You can’t really mess these up. Oh, and sure, if you don’t have waffle fries, good ole French fries work great too!
Anita and I are always on the lookout for a great, easy recipe for a dish she can take with her to work for her lunches. This Arkansas slaw has quickly become a favorite. It’s one she makes often and never tires of, and that’s a major plus.
On the surface, this Arkansas slaw is pretty much your standard slaw. But, it’s the addition of apple and celery that really make it different. Super crunchy, with a great dressing, it holds up for days, making it perfect for those workweek lunches, a picnic, or a family get-together.
I use pre-packaged slaw mix almost every time I make a slaw at home. Yeah, I could grab some cabbage, some carrots and whatever else and chop it myself, but those little bags are usually cheap, priced nicely, and always look good in the grocery case.
I lived in Arkansas for a number of years and for the life of me I don’t know what makes this ‘Arkansas Slaw’. Maybe it’s just called that because it’s amazing… like Arkansas! There! I figured it out!