Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple glazed Hazelnuts and Bacon

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This side dish is going to blow your mind! Wait… side dish?  What am I saying, it’s more than just a side dish, you don’t really need anything else, it’s that good.

I have to confess that I am a little bit obsessed with side dishes, I think they deserve more attention. It also has to do with the fact that I try not to eat carbs in the evening so I want to have something really spectacular to compensate for the lack of potatoes or rice. When I was eating these Brussels sprouts I almost forgot about the grilled chicken I had on the side and ate the entire dish of sprouts, oops.

Ok, I’ll admit that I was very full, but so satisfied.

Serves 4 (or 2 if you’re like me)

      

Ingredients;

1 lbs. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and shredded

1 small onion, peeled and diced as fine as you can

1 Garlic clove, peeled and grated or crushed

4 oz. smoked Bacon, cut in medium small dice  (* Omit or use vegetarian bacon for vegetarians)

1/3 C. Hazelnuts, skin removed

2 tbsp. Butter

2 tbsp. Maple Syrup

salt and pepper

2 – 3 tbsp. Water

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Method;

Over medium high heat fry the bacon for a few minutes in one tablespoon of butter. Once they start to get a little crispy and golden add the hazelnuts. Fry for about 4 minutes until the nuts become golden.  Now add the Maple syrup and continue to cook for an other  3 minutes until all is nice and sticky and golden.

Place the nuts and bacon in a bowl and set aside.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Once melted add the onions, the garlic and the Brussels sprouts after a minutes or so. Start sautéing, season with salt and black pepper. Add the two  tablespoons of water and put a lid on the pan, leaving a side open, or use a lid with holes in it like I do.

Cook for about seven minutes or until they are tender to your liking. Return the hazelnuts and bacon to the pan and sautee for another minute until heated thru. Serve immediately.

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Endive Gratin with Baked Apples, Blue cheese and Thyme

Serves 4 as a side dish

Who disliked Endives as a kid?… raise your hands….

Well I don’t know about you, but I really really disliked Endives when I was a child. Always prepared so very over cooked. Boiled and then rolled in some cheap ham and covered in cheese. It was bitter and the consistency was just aweful.

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Thank goodness we have come a long way since then when it comes to being creative with endive. Really there is more than just Waldorf salad and the typical gratin.

I actually love this dish and some times I eat it with just some steamed new potatoes, it’s that satisfying. But I think it goes particularly well with white meats like  chicken or pork.

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Ingredients;

6 Large heads of Endive, about 1.5 lbs.

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp. pine nuts

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin.

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme leafs

1/4 C. white wine

5 oz. blue cheese, 2 medium apples, peeled, core removed, cut in wedges

2 tbsp. honey

2 – 3 tbsp. pine nuts

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Method;

In a large frying pan, melt one tablespoon of butter and when hot add the apples. Fry for about 5 minutes then add 1 tbsp. of  honey, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the apple slices to a plate and reserve.

Cut the endive in half lengthwise and remove bruised outer leafs if necessary. Slice away a small bit from the bottom.

In the same pan, add the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Add the endive cut side down and sprinkle over the thyme, season with salt and pepper.Cook for about  5 minutes before adding the garlic and the remaining honey, and turn them once in a while.  Add the white wine. Depending on how thick they are, cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pierce with a knife to check if they are tender but still a little bit firm.

Turn on the grill.

Transfer the endive to a baking dish and gently place the baked apple wedges around the sides.

Cut the blue cheese in slices and divide over the endive. Sprinkle over the pine nuts.

Grill the endives for about 5 minutes until nice and melted and golden. Keep an eye on it!

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Not quite what you were looking for? How about a  Beet Salad

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Beet Salad

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Prep time …. 5 MINUTES

Serves 4 as a side dish

This is such an insanely pretty colored dish. I always serve it either with meatballs or steak for some reason. I think it just goes really well with meat I guess.

I always try to save some for lunch the next day but I rarely succeed. You’ll see for yourself.

The great thing is that you use the vacuum packed beets, so it takes 5 minutes to make, how great is that? Ok, here we go….set the timer.

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Ingredients;

  • 1 lb. pack vacuum packed cooked beets
  • 1/4 C. greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chopped dill
  • 4 spring onions, sliced into fine rings (reserve some for decorating)
  • 2 tbsp pickle juice

Method;

Open and drain the beets. Cut in slices or chunks. Put in a bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients. Toss. Sprinkle over the remaining spring onions. Serve.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Super quick pan roast Jacket Potatoes.

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This is so quick and easy I almost feel embarrassed to post it. Let’s just say it’s more of a “note to self”, for future reference. I was in a big hurry to get things on the table that evening and these turned out so good that I just had to write it down. Try them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients;

1 lb. medium side new Potatoes

Himalayan Salt

2 tbsp. Olive oil

Method;

Scrub the potatoes really well and dry them with kitchen paper.

Pierce them two to three times on each side and place them on kitchen paper in the microwave.

Microwave on high for three to four minutes. Turn them over and microwave for another three minutes or so. It really depends on the size of the potatoes so you will have to test them as you go. They should still be a bit firm, but you should be able to pierce them with a wooden skewer without a problem.

As soon as you can handle the heat, cut them in half lengthwise. Season with salt all over.

Heat a frying pan, add the oil and when hot add the potatoes cut side down. Fry for about 8 to 10 minutes until they are beautifully golden and crusty.

However the best flavour is obtained when you fry them in the same pan as the meat your are cooking so the potatoes get all the juicy flavor from the meat.

Serve straight away with a burger or anything else. Maybe a Black Bean Burger ?

Note: You can even serve these on their own as a snack with a dip or Aïoli.

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Deluxe Beef burger filled with Onions and Crispy Bacon, topped with Gouda

Whole roasted spicy Cauliflower

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Forget florets, whole roast Cauliflower is what it’s all about now!

There is something so spectacular about serving a roast Cauliflower whole. It looks amazing, it has a beautiful golden crust that makes you hungry just by looking at it.

The Yoghurt sauce is full of spices and goes very well with any kind of meat or fish. I serve mine just with some rustic oven fries with the skin still on. Give it a go at you next dinner party, it will be a hit!

Ingredients:

1 head of Cauliflower, washed and leafs removed

1 C. thick Yoghurt, regular or soy

1 Garlic clove, peeled and grated

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Onion powder

1 tsp. Curry powder

1 tsp. Cumin

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Bring a large pot with water and salt to a boil. Add the whole Cauliflower head and simmer for 15 – 20 min. You should be able insert a wooden skewer but still feel some firmness.

While the Cauliflower is boiling combine the Yoghurt with the spices and seasoning, set aside.

Using 2 slotted spoons, transfer cauliflower to a rack and let it steam off a bit.

When it has cooled a little bit put the Cauliflower head on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and rub all the Yoghurt marinade evenly over its surface. If it is too hot you can use a spoon.

Place into the hot oven and cook for about 20 minutes until a crust has formed.

Pierce with a wooden skewer again to check for doneness. It should pierce thru easily.

Serve straight away. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day, cold or warm.

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Fried Coconut rice with Pineapple, Coriander and Lime

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The first time I tried rice with Pineapple was in London. My mom had invited me to go away for the weekend and we ended up going to London. I had never been there before and was fascinated by the amount of restaurants and different cuisines. We went to a very small Thai restaurant that we stumbled upon by accident and they served this dish. It was so good as was  everything else they served. I bought a Thai cook book straight away and could hardly wait to get home and start cooking from it. We even went to several markets to get all the ingredients, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy them in Spain where I was living at the time. I have tweeked the recipe over the years to a quick version.

It is just such a tropical dish, and whenever I make it,  my mind wonders off to a tropical island. It is really quick to make, and it looks as though you have spent hours in the kitchen. This is a great accompaniment to simple grilled fish or chicken.It is best if you cook the rice in the morning and let it cool completely before frying and adding the other ingredients. Or even make it the night before.

It will make any simple meal look spectacular. If you want to go the extra mile. Cut the pineapple in half, hollow it out and use it to serve the rice. I had already peeled mine when I thought of this, but it’s not to late for you. I’m just thinking that this is probably very good with grilled shrimp too. How about using leftovers as a salad the next day?

Ingredients;

2 cups Jasmine rice

1 C. Water

1  12 oz. Can unsweetened coconut milk

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 C. fresh Pineapple, cut in to bite size pieces

1/4 C. fresh chopped coriander

1 red chili, deseeded and chopped fine, stalk removed.

1 tbsp. coconut oil

juice of half a lime

Method;

Rinse and drain rice in cold water. Place in a saucepan with water, coconut milk, and salt. Place the pot over high heat and, bring the liquid to a boil.

Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let stand 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with fork and let it cool.

Put a large frying pan on the heat and add the coconut oil. Add the chopped chili and stir it for about for 30 seconds and add the rice. You don’t want the chili to burn. Stir fry the rice for 5 minutes. Add the Pineapple chunks, and heat through for another 5 minutes. Just before serving add the chopped coriander, reserve some to sprinkle on top. Add the juice of half a lime. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve piping hot.

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