From the category archives:

Side Dishes

I know it’s a little early for a summer salad, but it was 72 out there today so baked clams and this light salad seemed the right thing to do.

For the clams, follow this link. Baked Clams


8 ounces thin sliced button mushrooms.
8 ounces thin sliced celery (about 2 cups)
Juice of one fresh lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil.
1 ½ teaspoons Greek seasoning (Cavender’s or see bellow for a recipe).
2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

Adjust salt pepper and lemon to taste.


Thinly slice the mushrooms and celery and toss with the parsley in a glass bowl.
Mix the lemon juice, seasoning and oil.
Toss with celery and mushrooms.

Let rest for 15 minutes and toss again.

Greek seasoning:

2 tsp salt
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dill
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Add all the ingredients into a food processor and give it a good whirl. Store in a tight container


Okay, it’s the third day after Saint Patrick’s day and what are you going to do with the leftovers from the boiled dinner? Especially the vegetables. How about a grilled rueben with a hot and crispy potato salad?

The star here is the potato salad. And this is good stuff. Kid approved stuff. Potato crack.

I usually have more vegetables left over than corned beef. So a dish that makes them shin is always useful. Basically it’s a hash with Balsamic vinegar added once the vegetables are crisp. Remember, always add the oil or fat to a HOT pan. This will help keep everything from sticking to the pan.

Also it worth making the Russian dressing from scratch. The recipe below is just enough for 4 sandwiches. I never thought much of Russian dressing on salads so a whole bottle would be too much. You probably have all the ingredients in the fridge and pantry. So why not?

First we will make the dressing. Then get the potatoes started and finish with the Ruebens.

Russian Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 tablespoon finely minced dill pickle (or any pickle really)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Salt to taste


Mix all ingredients together and let it combine for at least 30 minutes.

Warm Potato Salad:

This is leftovers so the amounts can vary. But basically the amounts are as follows. Also, when you chop up the potatoes and carrots we are not looking for a uniform size. I actually broke up the vegetables with my hands.

About 2 cups boiled potatoes.
1/2 Cup or more  boiled carrots
1/2 Cup boiled onion (if you have them)
1 Slice bacon
olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
2 Tablespoons  chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste


Add a good slug of olive oil to a hot fry pan. The temperature should be medium high.
Dice up the bacon and add to the pan.
Fry until the bacon is almost crisp.
Add the potatoes, carrots and onions.
Let the vegetables  fry for 3 -4 minutes. When they easily release from the bottom of the pan flip them over.
Repeat 2 or 3 times until everything is crisp and browned.
Add the green onion and parsley and mix into the pan.
Drizzle in  the vinegar to deglaze the pan and toss the mixture well.


Grilled Rueben:

Basically you want about 4 ounces of corned beef for each sandwich. Traditionally, you would use sauerkraut. But that’s not what we have. So take your cabbage and slice it up. Squeeze out the water and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and some salt. Mix well and we have a decent cheat for kraut.. You will need about 1 cup of the prepared cabbage.

8 Slices pumpernickel/rye swirled bread
16 ounces sliced corned beef
1 cup/8 ounces prepared cabbage or sauerkraut
1/2 cup prepared Russian dressing (see above)
8 slices Swiss cheese


Spread out the slices of bread on the counter or cutting board.
Lightly butter each of them and flip over.
(yes it’s messy, but we are making food here).
Spread each slice with the Russian dressing.
Working on 4 slices, add a layer of one slice swiss cheese, 4 ounces or corned beef, 2 ounces or cabbage, and another slice of swiss cheese.
Cover with the slices of bread, dressing side to the inside of the sandwich.

The next step is to pan grill the sandwiches. It’s probably best to us two pans or a griddle f you have it.
(probably a good idea to check on those potatoes).

Place the sandwich on the pan on medium. let cook for about 3 minutes. Press the sandwich with a press or a spatula to compress.
Cook until the bottom is lightly browned and flip.

Press down the sandwich again and cook until the bottom in browned.

Serve it all up. A Guinness stout might be a good idea as a side dish.


Cajun Rice and Beans

Thumbnail image for Cajun Rice and Beans March 16, 2013

I wasn’t going to post such a simple thing as Cajun rice and beans. But I can imagine chef King reach out from Oregon and smack me on the head with the admonition, “Don’t teach the recipes; teach them how to cook.” How to make this adds up to much more than dinner. I never […]

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Spiced Shrimp & Fish, Spinach & Hashbrowns

Thumbnail image for Spiced Shrimp & Fish, Spinach & Hashbrowns January 28, 2013

I have mentioned that I am a big fan or reading cookbooks. I just don’t often cook from them. Some of the best combinations I come up with are mash-ups of other recipes. I tried to go back and find the inspiration for this but the current set of books that in the kitchen did […]

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Escarole with Cannellini Beans, Sausage and Pan Fried Croutons

Thumbnail image for Escarole with Cannellini Beans, Sausage and Pan Fried Croutons January 6, 2013

Escarole with Cannellini Beans, Sausage and Pan Fried Croutons is based on an Italian style of preparing greens. It would also work well as a vegetarian dish if you take out the sausage. And, it will work with most any leafy green vegetable.  But the slight bitterness of the escarole really works. Any of the greens […]

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Mac and Cheese – The Gooey Version

Thumbnail image for Mac and Cheese – The Gooey Version December 20, 2012

About a year ago I had a request for a gooey runny mac and cheese. I was thinking about never having gotten around to the request. I decided to look up the last time I wrote about mac and cheese (recipe here). It’s not that. Not even close to the request. But, I figured it out. […]

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Summer On a Plate, Insalata Caprese Salad

Thumbnail image for Summer On a Plate, Insalata Caprese Salad July 29, 2012

Summer. It’s not hard to describe. Usually it brings to mind vacation. Lazy days at the beach or lake with little on you mind. I remember the anticipation of hitting the waves in early May. When I was young, it was with my brother as we grew up in Westhampton. As I got older it […]

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More Kale! Duh-Lightful!

January 25, 2012
Thumbnail image for More Kale! Duh-Lightful!

I was going to write about meat tonight. Meat! Instead I write about kale. Kale was so last night. But then there were leftovers. I nuked them up and gave the kids the choice of veg for dinner. Homemade cilantro slaw or leftover kale. Kale wins. “More kale!” “It’s Duh-lightful!” is the word from my […]

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