Showing posts with label easy side dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy side dishes. Show all posts

02 September 2012

Tomatoes Stuffed with Brown Rice and Cheese

We've had a glorious weekend so far, all sunshine and blue sky and warm breezes. 

September is like that here. It is a month of shimmering shadows as the leaves prepare to make their departure in a blaze of glory.

But rain is in the forecast for most of the coming week, a rare turn of weather events.

The week just past was lovely, much more typical of late summer days here on the border of Wisconsin and Michigan. But it was busy, and I did not have much time to attend to my lovely stuffing tomatoes.

One night I needed an easy side dish, and there they were, easy to clean out as they have very little pulp and few seeds. I blended about two cups of brown rice with 1/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese and two heaping teaspoons of minced onions. I baked them for about 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven and topped with shaved Parmesan at the very end, allowing them a few more minutes so the cheese would melt.

The baked tomatoes gave this dish a wine-like richness. If you are watching carbs, this is a great way to keep servings small, as you can only get about 1/2 cup of rice inside the tomato.

Nothing exotic, certainly, but after posting a photo of the tomatoes, I wanted closure.

It was delicious.

25 December 2007

Warm Brussels Sprout and Shallot Salad with Pecans

Like most people I know, I look upon the end of the year as the beginning of a new one. The Christmas presents are barely opened when I begin making plans for all the projects I will finally get around to doing in the year ahead.

This year, the purchase of a new piece of furniture necessitated a bit of cleaning
and reorganizing - which meant I had to sit around paging through the 100 or so magazines piled in corners of the living and dining room. That was how I stumbled across a recipe for warm Brussels Sprout Salad, which inspired the following dish.

I buy Brussels sprouts each week; along with broccoli and red pepper; they are staples in my crisper. Shallots are also something I keep on hand.

Warm Brussels Sprout and Shallot Salad with Pecans
  • 16-20 large Brussels sprouts
  • 3-4 large shallots
  • tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • tablespoon unsalted butter
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • dash fleur de sel
Wash and trim Brussels sprouts, removing outer leaves and base. Cut into thin slices. Drizzle with olive oil, toss, and place in a skillet or sauté pan. Brown slightly over medium heat until sprouts are just a bit limp. Remove from pan and set aside, covering to keep warm. Peel and slice shallots; using the same pan, brown shallots slightly in butter. Add pecans. Toss shallots and pecans with Brussels sprouts, adding a dash of fleur de sel and pepper.

I served this with a warm bacon dressing. A cranberry vinaigrette would be nice, too, or a mustard-y oil and vinegar blend.

This was the first course of our Christmas dinner, and it was a hit. We followed it with a big juicy ham rubbed with cinnamon and ground cloves and glazed with a cinnamon-y honey-and-apple-jelly blend and a side dishes of roasted root vegetables and candied sweet potatoes.