Category Archives: Sides

Pommes Dauphine (Potato Puffs)

Pommes Dauphine

I first tried Pommes Dauphine at Vincent A Restaurant in Minneapolis.  I was there for a work outing and didn’t think much of the appetizer when it was ordered because it just sounded like fried potatoes but as soon as I took one bite I couldn’t believe how light and fluffy and delicious and wonderful and so on and so forth they were.

I made potato skins this weekend for Sunday Football Funday appetizers and needed to use up the insides of 5 pounds of potatoes so thought this would be a great time to try and make these suckers at home.  It turns out they really aren’t as difficult as I thought they would be.

I’m pretty sure Oscar went one for one on these with his dad.  He honestly ate so many of these he went into a food coma and is on his second 2 hour nap of the day.  We’re teaching him really young what Sundays are all about in this house.  Football, eat, nap, repeat!

Oscar and Dad Pommes Dauphine (2)Oscar Pommes

Potato Mix:

  • 1 pound potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg yolk

Pate Choux Dough:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 oz flour
  • 4 large eggs + 1 large egg white


  1. Add butter to warm mashed potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add egg yolk and mix to combine.  Set aside.
  2. Boil water, butter, and salt over medium high heat in a heavy stockpot.
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and add flour.  Stir to combine.  Return stockpot to burner over medium heat.  Stir vigorously until dough leaves the sides of the pot.
  4. Transfer dough to a kitchen aid bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Turn mixer to first speed and gradually add eggs fully incorporating before each new addition.  Scrape down bowl as needed.
  6. Add potato mixture and mix on first speed until fully incorporated.
  7. Fry batter by spoonfuls in neutral oil (peanut or canola) at 375F for 3-5 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
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Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Appetizers, Sides


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Pan-Seared Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Parmesan

Pan-Seared Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta & Parmesan

Now that it’s November all I can think about is Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday.  Obviously the emphasis on food doesn’t hurt, but it is just a no-stress enjoyable time with the family.

I love brussel sprouts and have decided to add them to our Thanksgiving dinner this year.  We have a couple of gluten-free eaters and this will just be another option for them and me to load up on!

I have made this twice now, both on weeknights and it has been devoured before we can even get to the rest of the food.  It’s quick, easy, healthy, and delicious!

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 1 oz pancetta*
  • 1 tsp. bacon fat, olive oil, or duck fat**
  • 1/2 oz Parmiggiano-Reggiano, finely shredded
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar


  1. Remove stray, ratty looking, or loose leaves from brussel sprouts.
  2. Fill a large bowl with some ice cubes.  Set aside.
  3. Fill a heavy pot with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Add brussels sprouts to water and blanch for 3 minutes.  While sprouts are blanching, fill bowl of ice with cold water.  Remove sprouts from heat and plunge into ice water immediately to stop cooking.
  4. Once cooled, transfer brussels sprouts to a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.  Dry brussels sprouts completely.  Cut brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise.
  5. Cut pancetta in strips, and crisp in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
  6. Melt 1 tsp. bacon fat** in a cast-iron skillet over high heat.  Add brussel sprouts.  Using tongs to turn brussel sprouts until all are turned on their flat side.  Allow to sear for 2 minutes.
  7. Add balsamic vinegar and pepper to skillet and stir to coat brussel sprouts.  Remove from heat.
  8. Sprinkle brussel sprouts with pancetta strips and parmesan.  Serve immediately.

* Pancetta doesn’t have as much fat to it as bacon so will burn if the heat is too high.  Remember we’re talking pancetta here, prosciutto doesn’t deal with heat too well so get your P’s right people!!!

**I used bacon fat because I always have it in my fridge.  That’s how I roll!  You can certainly use olive oil.  I would steer clear of extra-virgin for this recipe because you are going to pan-sear these babies over high heat and you wouldn’t want to ruin their amazing flavor with oxidized oil.  If you want to be super luxurious use duck fat.  I wasn’t going to do this for a Tuesday dinner at home, but I will seriously consider it for Thanksgiving.  It really would bring this dish to a whole new level.


Posted by on November 2, 2013 in Fall, Sides, Uncategorized


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Steak and Twice-Baked Potatoes

Serves 2


  • 2 NY Strip Steaks, ~1 inch thick
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese + 2 Tbsp. for topping


  1. For Steak = Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Drizzle pan with 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter.  When skillet is hot but not smoking, carefully place steak in skillet and allow to cook for 2 minutes seasoning with salt and pepper.  Flip steak and allow another 3 minutes on the other side for medium.  Season other side with salt and pepper.  Repeat with remaining steak.  Allow steak to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  2. For Potato = Preheat oven to 425F.  Rinse potatoes and then poke holes in them with a fork to allow steam to escape.  Place potatoes on foiled cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt turning to cover entire potato.  Bake in the middle rack for ~40-45 minutes until it can be easily pierced with a fork.  Cut tops off of potato and scoop centers out into a small mixing bowl.  Combine with milk, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.  Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on potato and broil on low until cheese melts and turns golden.
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Entrees, Sides, Uncategorized


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Beet Salad with Black Beans and Grilled Halloumi

Beet Salad with Black Beans and Grilled Halloumi

Halloumi is a Greek cheese that gets a beautiful brown crust when grilled.  It’s saltiness pairs great with earthy beets and would be a perfect first course to any dinner party!

2 Servings


  • 1 red beet, 1 inch top left on
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 blood orange, segmented
  • 1/2 cup fennel, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted hazelnuts, skins removed*
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • coarse sea salt and white pepper to taste
  • 4 oz. Halloumi cheese, ask your cheesemonger (that’s right, I said cheesemonger!)**


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Drizzle beet with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, sea salt, and white pepper.  Wrap in tin foil and roast for 45-50 minutes, or until tender.  Unwrap beet and let cool, peel and cut into thin slices.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Reserve 1 tsp. blood orange juice from segmented oranges, add balsamic vinegar and whisk in remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine all the ingredients except the cheese.
  4. Right before serving, heat a non-skillet to medium-high heat.  Drizzle olive oil on cheese and place in skillet.  Flip until Halloumi is browned all sides.  Serve warm Halloumi over salad.

* Heat a dry heavy skillet over medium-high until hot, but not smoking.  Add hazelnuts and swirl pan around until hazelnuts are slightly darker in color and become fragrant.  Transfer nuts to a paper towel and rub  between your hands until skins come off.

** If you can’t find halloumi, substitute with another salty cheese such as ricotta salata, but skip the grilling step.  Most cheeses won’t hold up to the high heat.

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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Beans, Salad, Sides, Uncategorized


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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa 2


  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked, rinsed, and cut in half)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 serrano chiles, deveined and seeded
  • 3/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely diced


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Place tomatillos and garlic in a roasting pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast for 15 minutes then allow to cool.
  2. Blend tomatillo, garlic, and pan drippings in blender until smooth.  Add chiles and cilantro, and blend until chunky.  If mixture is too thick add water to thin out.
  3. Transfer to serving dish.  Stir in white onions.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Made from Scratch, Sides, Uncategorized


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Pickled Onions

Pickled Onions 1


  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 jalapeno (chopped, seeded, and deveined)


  1. Very thinly slice red onion.  Use a mandolin at the thinnest setting.  If you don’t have a mandolin, cut onion in half and then in half again so there are 4 wedges.  Slice wedges crosswise as thin as possible.
  2. Add all ingredients, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours before using.

Note:  Onions will last in airtight container, covered in liquid and chilled, up to 3 weeks.

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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in How-to's, Sides, Uncategorized


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White Bean Guacamole

White Bean Guacamole

Makes about 4 cups


  • 2 (15oz) cans S&W White Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 avocados, chopped and divided
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 medium vine-riped tomatoes, chopped and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. light sour cream
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. Puree beans in food processor with lime juice, 3 of the avocados, and garlic cloves until very smooth.
  2. Transfer bean mixture to a large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Appetizers, Sides, Summer, Uncategorized


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