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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Green Beans with Chorizo & Thyme

     

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Serves 4 as a side dish

This is a wonderful side dish, crispy green beans blanched and then sauteed with crispy smokey Chorizo.

Chorizo is a Spanish Pork Sausage with lots of smoked Paprika in it. There are various types of Chorizo. The large whole Chorizo that is sliced and eaten as is, or the smaller variety that needs to be cooked. For this dish I have used the precooked type, that is sold sliced or cubed. The fresh Chorizo would crumble in to bits and I like to see the bits of chorizo in the dish in this case.

You could even eat this as a main dish with plenty of Oven Potato Chips.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. green beans, washed and tips removed

4 oz. cubed Chorizo

5 sprigs of Thyme

1 tsp. smoked paprika powder

1 tsp olive oil

1 C. Chicken Stock

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Method:

In a large frying pan over medium heat add the olive oil and cook the Chorizo until it’s slightly crispy, add the green beans and the paprika powder.

Sauteé a few times.

Meanwhile remove the Thyme leafs from the twigs, you should end up with about 1 tablespoon of fresh leafs. Add to the frying pan along with the stock. Simmer half covered with a lid for 5 minutes, remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes until most of the stock has evaporated and the beans are tender but still with bite.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

Serve straight away. I serve this with Pollo al Ajillo, Chicken in Garlic Sauce .

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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