Category Archives: Side dish

Pig Candy – Wyoming

Fries dipped into a milkshake. Chocolate covered pretzels. Prosciutto wrapped melon. Sweet and salty pairings may seem incongruous (see our recent Fluffernutter post) but they are actually delicious. Now comes Pig Candy (a.k.a. candied bacon) made famous

Pig Candy (aka candied bacon)

 

by Café Genevieve in Jackson Hole. You could order this online for princely sum, or try our recipe. Just leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t want the heat. You can also make this on the grill if you prefer.

The National Elk Refuge near Jackson Hole is a conservation area run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its mission is to provide, preserve, restore, and manage the winter habitat for the Jackson Elk Herd. The refuge is also habitat for endangered species, birds, fish, and other big game animals.

Pig Candy

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

With a fork, combine brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Lay bacon on slotted broiler pan with foil underneath to catch drippings. Spread half the brown sugar mixture in an even layer on the bacon, making sure there are no clumps of sugar. Place pan in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and brush on half of the maple syrup. Turn the bacon over and spread on the remaining brown sugar mixture, followed by the rest of the maple syrup. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crisp and browned. Let cool completely before serving.

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Buffalo Cauliflower with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip – Iowa

Maytag Blue cheese is one of Iowa’s most famous products. First produced in 1941, this family run dairy (the same one associated with the appliances) is in its fourth generation of making cheese and

Buffalo Cauliflower with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip - Iowa

uses a small batch method. If you like the flavor of blue cheese, Maytag will knock your socks off. It’s that good.

We love a good blue cheese dip but man cannot live on dip alone so we bring you Buffalo Cauliflower. This alternative to Buffalo wings is much lower in fat but has plenty of flavor and is mighty spicy. You’ve been warned.

Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa, offers daily tours focusing on the history and packaging (note: this is not a production tour), Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 and Saturday 9:00 to 4:00.

Buffalo Cauliflower with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For cauliflower:

  • 4 cups cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For dip:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled Maytag blue cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine milk, water, flour, and spices (garlic salt through pepper). Toss cauliflower into mixture and mix until it is completely coated. Place cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper, shaking off the excess batter. Cauliflower should be on a single layer and the pieces should not be touching. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until cauliflower just begins to brown.

In the meantime, in a large, microwave safe bowl, add butter to the hot sauce. Microwave for one minute or until butter melts. Stir until butter is incorporated. At the 20 minute mark, remove cauliflower and toss it in the hot sauce mixture. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make the blue cheese dip by combining all ingredients including salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower will be done when it is browned. Serve immediately with blue cheese dip.

Walla Walla Onion and Mango Salsa – Washington

The next time you cut a sweet onion and don’t cry, thank a soldier named Peter Pieri. Pieri is credited with bringing sweet onion seeds from the island of Corsica to Washington in the 1880s. Sweet onions

Walla Walla Onion and Mango Salsa - Washington

have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is the compound that makes you cry and gives onions their pungent bite. Walla Walla sweet onions are Washington’s official state vegetable thanks to a persistent group of schoolkids who lobbied the state legislature.

Sweet onion season is fleeting, just like summer. This recipe, slightly adapted from the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee, pairs the allium with summer fruit stand-outs mango and kiwi to make a terrific fruit salsa that will be a hit at your next patio gathering.

Towering over 14,000 feet, Mount Rainier makes its presence known, just 64 miles southeast of Seattle. With over 27 major glaciers and countless smaller ones, this peak supplies six rivers and is also an active volcano.

Walla Walla Onion and Mango Salsa

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Walla Walla onion, diced
  • 2 mangos, peeled and diced
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lime

 Instructions

 In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Feta – Alabama

Summer, summer, summer. Ice cream cones, lazy days at the pool, catching fireflies at dusk. And tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. If you garden, this might be about the time you start wondering what to do

Tomato Pie with Bail and Feta

with your surplus of the red juicy orb. Tomato Pie is just the ticket. This very southern dish dates back to the 1830s. We gussied up the traditional version to include sautéed onions, garlic, basil and feta cheese which plays so nicely with tomatoes. One thing we dared not mess with is the mayo/cheese topping which bakes into a layer of gooey goodness. Serve with a green salad and maybe some grilled chicken sausages and you’ve got yourself a darn good meal.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Feta

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a museum and cultural center that highlights the role of the city in the civil rights movement beginning in the 1950s.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Feta

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • ½ cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1 ½ lbs. tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pepper
  • Basil, diced
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Gently lift into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edge. Set aside.

For filling: Slice tomatoes thinly and place in colander. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside for approximately 10 minutes.

In the meantime, cook onion over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue cooking until onion is just beginning to brown and garlic is fragrant.

With a paper towel, blot tomatoes until most of liquid is removed. Combine cheeses. Reserve ¾ cup for topping. Mix this ¾ cup cheese with ½ cup of mayonnaise. Set aside.

Put one third of the cheese in the bottom of the pie plate. Sprinkle with one third of the onion mixture, then one third of the tomatoes. Season tomatoes with pepper. Finish with a sprinkling of basil. Repeat this step two more times so that there are three layers. Cover top of pie with the mayo/cheese mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Let pie set 10 minutes before serving or serve at room temperature.

Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia – Michigan

Hi folks! We’re back after a fabulous vacation in Scandinavia. The food was terrific! More on that next week. First we have to talk about sour cherries. We’ve talked before about how Michigan is the top producer of sour cherries. The sour cherry season is just a few

Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia - Michigan

short weeks, so you really have to hustle to take advantage of this delicate but delicious fruit. Living close to Michigan, we’ve been indulging for a week now with sour cherries in our morning yogurt, sour cherries on top of salad and this fabulous focaccia recipe topped with sour cherries from Martha Stewart. Don’t be put off by the amount of time it takes, most of that time is hands off when the dough is resting. The finished product is delightfully crisp and chewy, and the sour cherries and dusting of sugar add a hint of sweetness. Don’t fret if you can’t find sour cherries, just use bing cherries instead.

Sour cherry and rosemary focaccia - Michigan

Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. Bicycles reign supreme on this vehicle-free island where Somewhere in Time was filmed. Golf or horseback ride, tour Fort Mackinac or the Grand Hotel, and don’t pass up the many fudge shops throughout town.

Martha Stewart’s Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

Instructions

Combine flour, water and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until tripled, about 2 hours. Add salt, then switch to a dough hook. Beat on low speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds longer. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface (it will be very runny and sticky). Fold dough into thirds as best you can, patting as you go so the dough deflates. Return dough to well floured mixing bowl. Cover and let stand for one hour or until doubled. Repeat folding process. Cover again and let stand for one hour or until doubled.

Take a large baking sheet (preferably 13 x 17) and add 1/3 cup olive oil. Using your fingers, make sure the oil covers the entire baking sheet. Turn dough onto the baking sheet, spreading it out evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes, and continue to press out the dough until it fills the entire baking sheet. Drizzle dough with 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Add cherries, then rosemary. Dust with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until focaccia is golden brown.

Year of Pulses: Slow Cooker Pinto Beans – Colorado

You’ve probably heard by now that the U.N. declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. What are pulses? They are a group of 12 crops that includes dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils.

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans - Colorado

High in fiber, protein, vitamins and low in fat, pulses are heart healthy and a meat alternative you should consider.

Pinto beans are popular in the southeast and southwest and Dove Creek, Colorado, is the self-proclaimed pinto bean capital of the world. If you’ve got a leftover Easter ham bone you don’t know what to do with, this recipe is just the ticket but it’ll work just as well without if you are vegetarian or vegan. Soak the beans overnight, then rinse and drain before throwing them in the slow cooker with some onions, garlic and spices. Add some cornbread and an easier meal cannot be found.

Taste of Vail takes place March 30-April 3, 2016, and is considered one of the best spring food and wine events in the country.

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 ham bone or 2 ham hocks (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4-5 cups water
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional, for serving)
  • Scallions, chopped (optional, for serving)

Instructions

Pick through dried beans, making sure there are no stones. Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water, let soak overnight.

The next day, drain beans and then add to slow cooker. Add ham bone (if using), seasonings, onion, and garlic. Add enough water to cover beans. Stir well. Cover with lid and cook, approximately 5 hours on high or until beans are very tender. If you used a ham bone, fish it out and remove any meat. Shred and return meat to slow cooker. Season again with salt and pepper.

 

Get the Skinny: Pizza Potato Skins – Idaho

Idaho’s most famous export is the potato. The Gem State leads the states in potato production, with 13.1 billion pounds harvested in

Pizza Potato Skins - Idaho

2013. Potatoes get a bad rap nutritionally but they are actually high in potassium and Vitamin C — providing almost half the recommended daily value.

We confess to being slightly addicted to potato skins. We decided to revisit the traditional recipe of bacon and cheddar. Our take uses common pizza ingredients for a fun twist on a classic.

There’s just a few more weekends for you to catch WalkAbout-Boise, a 90 minute guided walking tour through 150 years of history and architecture.

Pizza Potato Skins

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium baking potatoes
  • 1/2 pound bulk sausage, mild or spicy, cooked through
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • Pizza sauce

Instructions

Bake potatoes at 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour. Allow to cool. Slice potatoes in half. Scoop out the potatoes, leaving about 1/8 inch of flesh. Reserve flesh for another use.

Place potato skins on a baking sheet. Combine sausage, pesto, tomatoes and a cup and a half of the cheese in a large bowl. Scoop filling back into skins. Top with remaining half cup of cheese and then parsley. Heat under boiler set to high until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately with pizza sauce.

 

Giddy Up: Cowboy Caviar – Oklahoma

The Sooner State is lucky enough to have designated an entire state meal which consists of fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbeque pork,

Cowboy Caviar - Oklahoma

biscuits, sausage & gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, black eyed peas, and pecan pie. Quite a list, isn’t it? All of this food reflects the history, culture and agriculture of the state.

We decided we needed to highlight one of these products. We chose black eyed peas, the main ingredient in this lovely little salad/appetizer dip known as Cowboy Caviar. Black eyed peas, also known as cowpeas or southern peas, are grown in Oklahoma and all over the south as it tends to do well in hot and dry climates. This legume is high in fiber and a good source of protein.

If you are hosting a gathering for Memorial Day or need to bring something to a potluck this weekend, this is a great dish especially because it can tolerate being at room temperature without refrigeration. Just double the amounts if you are feeding a large crowd. As an added bonus, this dish gets better with time. Make it the night before and let the lime Sriracha dressing permeate the veggies so the flavors meld.

If you need to get your cowboy on, check out the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The museum is the host for the 25th Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Children’s Cowboy Festival on May 23-24, 2015.

 

Cowboy Caviar

  • Servings: 4-6 as a salad, 8-10 as a dip
  • Difficulty: easy
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 Ingredients

  • Juice from 2 limes, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, depending on your heat preference
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) black eyed peas, drained
  • 1/2 can (15.5 oz.) yellow hominy, drained
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix lime juice, honey, and Sriracha sauce. Add black eyed peas, hominy and all vegetables except the avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in fridge at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. Add avocado right before serving. Serve as a side dish or with tortilla chips as an appetizer.

Spuds to Die For: Three Cheese Funeral Potatoes – Utah

We admit, we were a little taken aback when we heard about funeral potatoes. Apparently, they have a long history in the Beehive State, heavily influenced by the Latter Day Saint tradition of hosting potluck dinners after funerals. Truly, this is comfort food.

Three Cheese Funeral Potatoes

Endless versions of this recipe exist, some with frozen hash browns and American cheese, others with sour cream or cream of chicken soup, some topped with crushed potato chips or Ritz crackers. As usual, we opted for a version with less processed ingredients, using fresh Idaho potatoes and cheddar, parmesan and manchego cheeses. But use whatever cheeses you like best, it’s all good. This dish is so beloved in Utah, it has spawned a cook-off at the Utah State Fair.

You won’t want to miss the chance to hobnob with celebs at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, January 22 to February 1.

Three Cheese Funeral Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup manchego cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3/4 cup crushed cornflakes or panko

Instructions

Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add water until potatoes are covered. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart. Drain. Place potatoes into a greased, ovenproof casserole dish.

In a large saucepan, melt half of the butter. On medium heat add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the flour, and whisk vigorously to make a roux. Slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk until the mixture thickens slightly. Stir in the cheeses until melted. If cheese sauce is too thick, add in a bit more milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes, stirring slightly so sauce covers all the potatoes.

Place the remaining butter in a small bowl and microwave until melted. Add crushed cornflakes or panko. Spread on top of the potatoes. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until potatoes are bubbling and topping is golden brown.

Tart-n-Sweet: Cranberry Orange Sauce – Massachusetts

The humble little cranberry — tart enough to make your mouth pucker — has a long history in Massachusetts. Native Americans ate them, and the first commercial beds were planted in 1816. The name

Cranberry Orange Sauce - Massachusetts

 

is a bungled derivation of “craneberry,” so called by the Pilgrims because the spring blossoms resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. The geography of the area is an ideal environment for cranberries. Glacial deposits left kettle holes which filled with water and decaying matter, creating bogs. In 1994, after two years of lobbying by school children, the Massachusetts legislature finally recognized the cranberry as the official state berry.

You can usually find fresh cranberries in stores from mid-September to December. We love this sauce at Thanksgiving with our turkey. It literally takes 15 minutes to make and once you try it you will never go back to the canned stuff. As an added benefit, this tart little fruit promotes urinary tract health and is a nutritional powerhouse, full of antioxidants, and a good source of fiber and Vitamin C.

If a visit to the Bay State is in your future, go back in time at Old Sturbridge Village, a New England living history museum that depicts rural life in the 19th century.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (orange part only)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

 Instructions

Wash and drain cranberries, pick over to remove any bad berries. Add water to saucepot along with sugar. Heat water on medium until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Add cranberries, heat on medium high for about 10 minutes or until cranberries split open. Berries will slightly pop. Remove from heat. Add orange zest and orange juice. Cool.