Monday, January 24, 2011

Can I get a SIDE of that?

Do you ever make an excellent main dish and think, hymm what can I use as a side dish that not only complements what I made, but also makes the plate look even? lol This has happened to me so many times, so I am going to share a few dishes with you that are quick and compliment a few dishes that come to mind.

Firstly, Sauteed Green Beans, one of my personal favorites!

Level: Easy
Ingredient Count: Approx 4

What you're going to want to do is go to the grocery store and get those green beans that you have to get a handful of and throw into those plastic produce bags. Once you get home, with kitchen scissors if you have, or a knife if not, trim off the ends of the green beans and halve them.

Grab a saute pan and drizzle a little bit of Olive Oil on the bottom to cover the bottom of the pan. Add some minced garlic, DO NOT burn the garlic, which is so easy to do. Don't let the oil get too hot before adding the garlic or else you will get a huge splatter and burnt garlic in no time. Another key is to keep the flame at a low level. Once you add the garlic and it has been sauteing  for a few minutes, add the green beans mixing thoroughly to assure the flavors of the garlic are distributed throughout.

I love the part where I see the green beans turn a bright almost kelly green color, this lets me know that they are cooking to perfection. Add salt and pepper to your liking and mix thoroughly once again. Now this part is completely up to you, how long to saute. I like my beans to have a little bit of a crisp to them, I'm not one for mushy vegetables, but if you like them softer leave them cooking a little longer.

Next, Garlic Chive Mashed Potatoes!

Level: Easy
Ingredient Count: Approx 5

Growing up, my brother and I would always ask my mother and grandmother to make mashed potatoes, it was by far our favorite side dish ever. Mashed potatoes are a go to item when cooking a steak or sometimes a chicken as well. They are simple to make and always a hit as well.

You can start by peeling the potatoes if you wish, often when I use red skin potatoes I leave the skin on, adds a delicious texture and taste to the recipe! Add the potatoes cut into tiny chunks into a pot of boiling water which you should season with salt. When the potatoes are soft enough for mashing, drain them and add butter, milk, salt and pepper while mashing and stirring. For the Chives and garlic, use finely minced garlic and wash your chives (found in any supermarket near the produce) and finely chop. Throw these ingredients in the pot with your potatoes and mix all together for a lovely savory side dish!

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