DomestiKatedLife

A Boston-Based Lifestyle Blog

Category Archives: Sides and Salads

A Simple Summer Salad.

I love my apartment, and I love summer, but gosh is it hot in my home right now. Once the weather gets warm, our place heats up and just never seems to cool down again until summer is over (the perks of living on the top floor, right?).  The idea of turning on the oven can just about send me into a fit of tears, so we’ve been eating a lot of quick, simple summer salads for dinner around here. My new favorite combination is can barely count as a recipe, it’s  just a few quick ingredients tossed together: baby arugula, cubed cantaloupe, chopped up prosciutto, crumbled blue cheese, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, good balsamic, and lemon juice. Need a few more summer salad ideas? I included a list of some of my favorites below: 

 

Antipasti Pasta Salad.

I volunteered to make a pasta salad for a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ and decided to dig for inspiration to mix up my stand-by recipe. I found an old Martha Stewart antipasti pasta salad recipe and gave it my own spin with a few different ingredients. It wasn’t an exact science — I tossed radiatore pasta with balsamic vinegarette and lots of salt and pepper. Then I folded in a handful of chopped tomatoes, capers, provolone cubes, a jar of green olives, diced salami, finely minced red onions and lots of torn fresh basil leaves and chopped chives. It was a hit and will likely be the new ‘stand-by’ pasta salad for BBQs this summer!

Greek Potato Salad. 

Earlier this week I mustered up some bravery and went outside to our tiny little apartment-sized grill and started to clean off the heavy wear it took over the winter. It wasn’t fun, but the result was that delicious smokey smell of the first barbecue of the season. And then poof! just like that, it’s Memorial Day weekend and my summer is packed with invites to friends and family’s backyard BBQs — I can’t wait. I always love to bring a dish along with me and decided it was time to spice up some of the staples in my repertoire. Taking some inspiration from an amazing restaurant in my neighborhood, Sarma, I used flavors from a potato dish I had tasted there over the winter and create a Greek-inspired potato salad. Tzatziki, dill, red onions, and slivers of shitake mushrooms give this side dish a really bold flavor (I can’t stop eating it!). Full recipe below. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of baby yellow potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of finely minced red onion
  • 3/4 tbsp of fresh dill
  • 3 tbsp of minced chives

Instructions:

  • Boil a pot of water and cook the washed baby yellow potatoes until just soft to touch (test them by pressing down on them with a fork — if they start to mush just slightly, they’re ready!). Drain and set aside to cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, saute 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shitake mushrooms with a tiny bit of oil in a pan for 3-5 minutes, set aside on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil and let them cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine tzatziki sauce, sour cream, mayonnaise and vinegar.
  • Next, fold in the potatoes, mushrooms, red onion, dill and chives to combine and coat.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

Thanksgiving Leftovers Stuffed Mushrooms.

Guys! We’re one week out from my very favorite holiday (because it’s all about food and family, my two favorite things!). Being as food obsessed as I am, I’m already thinking about delicious leftovers. The day after Thanksgiving at my family’s house is usually a continuation of the festivities, we dig into leftovers and friends and family pops in to visit. Of course no one would turn down a post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich, but I thought I would mix it up this year and try to repurpose some leftover side dishes to make a festive appetizer to enjoy while family is still visiting at the end of the holiday weekend. Leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, and sweet potatoes got a little dressed up and repurposed as filling for stuffed mushrooms — the taste of Thanksgiving in a bite sized snack! Full recipe below.
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Ingredients:
  • Mushroom caps
  • Leftover mashed potatoes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Leftover baked sweet potatoes (1 potato)
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • Leftover stuffing
  • Cooked italian sausage
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley (for garnish)
  • Green Onions (for garnish)
  • Crispy bacon (for garnish)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Clean the mushroom caps and remove stems.
  • Using a small spoon or melon-baller, scoop out the inside of the mushroom caps to make room for filling (cup the mushrooms in your hand to keep them from breaking.
  • For Mashed Potatoes: fill mushroom caps with leftover potatoes, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • For Sweet Potatoes: combine sweet potatoes with a drizzle of honey and melted butter; fill caps with mixture.
  • For Stuffing: combine leftover stuffing with cooked and chopped italian sausage, fill caps with mixture.
  • Arrange filled mushroom caps in a baking dish, salt and pepper to taste, and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  • Remove and garnish: add green onions to the top of the mashed potato stuffed mushrooms; chopped crispy bacon to sweet potato stuffed mushrooms, and minced parsley to the top of stuffing filled stuffed mushrooms.

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad.

Sometimes a few simple ingredients can be combined to make something wow-worthy — and I totally feel that way about this easy to make summer salad of grilled peaches and arugula. I made this salad for a summer rosé party held by The Urban Grape, and it was a hit — the sweetness of the grilled peaches is a perfect balance for the peppery arugula and tang of reduced balsamic. Check out the recipe below and be sure to click over to Boston.com to read the full article with smart tips from Hadley & TJ of The Urban Grape  to throw your own rosé party!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 Peaches
  • 1 cup of Mozzarella balls
  • 8 cups of Arugula
  • 1/8 cup Pine Nuts
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Peel peaches and cut into wedges. Heat grill and lightly coat with cooking spray to keep peaches from sticking. Grill peaches until marked on all sides. Set aside to cool. In a small saucepan, heat the Balsamic Vinegar on a medium-high heat, and let it reduce in half, about 5-8 minutes. As the Vinegar is reducing, toast pine nuts lightly in a small pan (be careful not to burn). In a large bowl, assemble arugula, layer mozzarella and peaches on top, and then sprinkle with pine nuts and dress with the balsamic reduction. Toss to serve.

Photography: Brian Samuels Photography

 

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes.

I have a major back-log of recipes I’ve been meaning to share here, and with the chilly grey weather in Boston this week, a highly caloric comfort food recipe just seemed like the right choice to share. We celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday in early May and I made a big tray of twice-baked potatoes, loaded to the brim with bacon and cheese-y goodness. They were a crowd-pleaser, which is always a treat when they’re actually so simple to make!

20140504-141733.jpgPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub baking potatoes thoroughly, and use a knife to slice a few holes to let steam out. Pop them in the oven and let them bake for about an hour. While the potatoes are baking, prep your toppings: shred sharp cheddar cheese, chop up scallions and/or chives, and crisp up bacon and chop it into bits.

After the potatoes are done baking, use a sharp knife to slice the top 1/4 inch off the top of the potato horizontally and discard of the skin. Using a spoon (I think a melon-baller works great!), scoop out the inside of the potatoes into a bowl. In the bowl, combine the potatoes with salt, pepper, and sour cream — I used about 1/8 cup of sour cream per potato, you may need a bit more if they’re really big. Mash the combination together to thoroughly combine and then fold in some of the chives, bacon, and cheddar cheese.

Then you’re ready to re-stuff the loaded mashed potato goodness back into the potato skins. You’ve added more to the mixture, so they’ll heap over the edges a bit at this point. Then add more bacon and cheese on top and pop them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted; sprinkle with fresh chives before serving.

Mexican Street Corn.

I shared a Taco Date Night party on the blog yesterday and today I’m diving into the recipes. I’ve noticed Mexican street corn popping up on lots of restaurant menus near me lately (in particular, the street corn at Painted Burro makes me SO happy) and I wanted to try to recreate the idea at home. It was super.duper.simple. In warmer weather I would have grilled the corn on the porch, but in these wintry cold temperatures, I just charred the corn in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet. While the corn is cooking, I made a chipotle lime aioli. Whisk together in a small bowl 1/4 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 to 2 teaspoons of chipotle adobe sauce (depending on your affinity for spice!) and the juice of one lime. When it comes off the pan, sprinkle the corn with chili powder, a little sea salt,  drizzle it with the aioli, and then top it with cotija cheese. YUM!aDSC_0065aDSC_0057

To help you recreate this party look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 – happy shopping!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions and recipes are my own. 

Roasted Garlic Herb Butter.

Guys, it’s hump day — and no one likes hump day — let alone the first one after the holidays, so I saved this recipe from a few weeks ago that’s completely focused on butter to make you feel better. One of the nicest presents I received for Christmas this year was from my grandparents and uncle; they got me a bunch of artisanal pasta and olive oils from a local pasta shop in my hometown. Clearly my family knows me well, carbs are my first love.

Roasted Garlic Herb Butter 1

When it came time to test out one of those pastas I wanted to make it a super special dinner, so in addition to working on a nice sauce and some homemade meatballs, I got a fresh loaf of Italian bread and decided to whip up a special herbed butter to go with it. I roasted a whole head of garlic for about an hour in a  small dish with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then once the garlic was cooked and soft, I used the food processor to combine the cloves with a 3 tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of fresh grated parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of chopped rosemary, and a teaspoon of chopped thyme, plus a little more salt and pepper. The result was a sweet roasted garlic and herb-y butter spread that went perfectly with the little Italian feast I prepared!

Roasted Garlic Herb Butter 2 Roasted Garlic Herb Butter 3

 

 

Homemade Applesauce.

This summer when we were on our cross-country honeymoon road trip, we stopped at a restaurant in Cleveland where I promptly demolished my bridal diet by ordering the baked mac and cheese. When the dish came out the waiter stopped to point out some homemade applesauce accompanying the cheesy dish. All he asked was that I give it a try, dip the steaming hot pasta into the cool, sweet applesauce — he assured me it would change my life. And it did. It makes total sense, I’d heard of people eating a slice of sharp cheddar cheese with apple pie, but it just never occurred to me to try this combination before, but it was completely and totally delicious. So this week I made some macaroni and cheese and had to try making some homemade applesauce to go with it.

Processed with VSCOcamLet me tell you a little secret: making homemade applesauce is as easy as pie (you like that apple joke?).  I peeled and cored 10 apples (a friendly farmer at our farmer’s market recommended using gravenstein apples, if you can find them.) and combined them with half a cup of apple cider, half a cup of brown sugar, one tablespoon of granulated sugar, and three cinnamon sticks. I put it in our crock-pot on high for 4 hours, removing the cinnamon sticks after the first hour, and stirring occasionally. And that’s it, simple as that! Make sure to serve the applesauce cold — I’m convinced the difference in temperature is just as important as the balance of the flavors.

 

Watermelon Mint Salad.

I’m getting creative at not using the oven this week, ready for another cool summer recipe? Just three simple ingredients went into this light salad: watermelon chunks, chopped fresh mint leaves, and a drizzle of orange blossom honey over the top. I mixed everything together and served chilled — there is nothing that tastes more like summer!

watermelon mint salad