Onion Topping Better Than Green Beans

Fri, Jun 27 • 0

My wife exclaimed that while the green beans are “good,” the onions are “fab! Just like onion rings!”

I tossed together some green bean casserole last night for dinner. Just some frozen haricot verts, parboiled for 5 minutes, and some pre-made alfredo cheese sauce. I was thinking about topping the whole thing with Parmesan and panko bread crumbs, but then I remembered Alton Brown’s recipe for green bean casserole, where he eschewed all premade badness (the canned crispy onions and the cream of mushroom soup) in favor of homemade. He topped them with fresh made onion crisps. As leftovers, my wife exclaims that while the green beans are “good,” the onions are “fab! Just like onion rings!” So I guess I’ll be making them more often. The recipe isn’t that hard, though it’s a little heat intensive for a hot summer day.

1 or 2 onions, sliced thin
2 T AP flour
2 T panko bread crumbs
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 475°. Slice the onions as thin as possible. (I use a slicing gizmo.) Separate into rings, and put in a large bowl. Add flour and bread crumbs and salt. Toss so that all the rings are relatively well coated. Spread on a sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray, and cook in the middle of the hot oven for 30 minutes, tossing every 10.


Corn on the Cob

Sun, May 4 • 1

As far as I’m concerned, there are only two ways to make corn on the cob … the good way, and the better way.

The good way has you boiling a pot of water with a handful of salt and a handful of sugar, and once the water is at a full boil, you put in the shucked corn, let it boil for 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat, and let it steep for another 7 to 10.

The better way to do it has you put the corn, husk and all, on the grill, turning every few minutes, for 15 minutes. This will give you a delicious smoky flavor, and the corn silk will come right off. (Some people dunk the ears of corn in water first to prevent burning. I actually like the husks to char a bit, for the flavor.)

In either case, slather it with butter and kosher salt.

I’ve read suggestions that you can cook corn in the microwave, wrapping the corn in plastic wrap, and steaming it in the husk. I’ve tried it with very mixed results, so I generally stick to the two methods above.


Potato Gratin

Mon, Dec 31 • 0

Traditionally, this recipe calls for shredded gruyere cheese, but jack cheese, or even smoked gouda works well, too. If you want to save some calories, you can replace the cream with either milk or chicken stock that’s been thickened on the stovetop with a roux of a tablespoon each of butter and flour.

2 or 3 yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
2 shallots diced; or 1 onion, diced; or 1 leek, cleaned and diced
2-4 oz of your favorite cheese, shredded
¼-½ c cream
salt and pepper

Potato Gratin

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an oval gratin pan, or even a small cast iron frying pan, with a little butter or olive oil. Lay down a layer of potato slices, covering the bottom. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and the diced onion. Add a little cheese, and moisten the layer with cream. Repeat 2 or 3 more times. Cover the pan with foil, and bake for 60 minutes. Remove the foil and cook 10-20 minutes longer until the liquid is bubbly.


Creamed Shallots

Sun, Dec 23 • 0

A nice side dish for steaks or roasted chicken.

10-12 shallots
1 tsp. salt
1 T sugar
2 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 oz cream
salt & pepper
¼ t thyme

Clean the shallots by slicing each end, and peeling it down to the first clean layer without the papery skin. Place shallots in a small saucepan, cover with water, and add the sugar and the salt, and bring the water to a gentle boil, parboiling the shallots for about 10-15 minutes.

Grease a gratin dish with a little butter or canola oil. Add the shallots, the cream, top with cheese, and seasoning. Bake for 10 minutes in a hot oven or toaster oven until hot and bubbly. Optionally, broil for a few more minutes to brown the top.


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