Beer and Vegetables One-Pot Dish

Put all the vegetables in a pot. Get a six pack of beer. Drink five of them. Cook the vegetables in the last beer.

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Roasting vegetables is a go-to winter move in our house. Adding a splash of beer never hurts, either. And by splash, I mean a bottle or two. That’s why we’ve taken to a one-pot vegetable dish that lets us combine our love of vegetables, beer, LeCreuset and fancy things that did not require as much effort as they would appear.

 

 

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Thanksgiving Side-Dish Face-Off: Winner of the salad round

vs.

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Raw. Healthy. Pretty. These salads have it all. But only one can win the Thanksgiving Side-Dish Face-Off.

Whether you’re hosting or bringing a dish, Thanksgiving side dishes should strive for two things: being fairly easy to make amid a dozen other things going on in the kitchen, and convincing everyone at the table that you are a genius. That’s what everyone goes for, right? The ability to say, “Oh, that? It was easy to make!” and sort of mean it while also presenting something that looks quite complex.

Both of these dishes win in that regard. They’re not hard to make. They’re essentially fun takes on slicing — one through a mandolin and the other through a shredder — that result in unexpected salads.

So let’s stack these dishes up according to some common Thanksgiving conundrums:

Easier to make: Shaved Root Vegetable Salad. If you have a mandolin, anyhow.
Will impress people at the table: Shaved Root Vegetable Salad. It’s just so pretty. Seeing paper-thin radishes hanging out with beets — it’s hard to beat (see what I did there?) that. The Kale and Brussels Sprout salad was just green on green, though it pepped up once I turned it into Kale Slaw.
Can be prepped ahead of time: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad. In fact, massaging the kale with salad dressing and letting it sit for a day helped bring the flavors together. Yeah, I got sensual with my salad. So?
Will satisfy fussy eaters: Both lose here. But they’ll satisfy smart eaters. Focus on them.

All that said, the ultimate winner is … the Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad.

As gorgeous as the Shaved Root Vegetable Salad is, you’re still eating a plate of raw root vegetables. Healthy and beautiful, yes, but so is the Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad. Using a familiar ingredient in a new way, where the taste still comes through but it’s transformed into a new texture, worked really well. And one batch lasted for several days. I do recommend the Kale Slaw trick with your leftovers — it added a nice sweetness, and brought more color to the dish. I was really happy with how it turned out.

The Shaved Root Vegetable Salad looks so great, but each bite is just a raw root vegetable with some dressing. It has a great wow factor if you plate each serving individually … but who does that on Thanksgiving? We’re looking for stuff that’s OK getting trampled by mashed potatoes and drowned in cranberry sauce and gravy. The Shaved Root Vegetable Salad is too dignified for such things.

Throw the Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad on your Thanksgiving menu for an easy-to-make, filling, unique crowd pleaser.

Next Up: Some traditional dishes take on some modern dishes. We’re talking green bean casserole and Israeli couscous with butternut squash.

Thanksgiving Side-Dish Face-Off 2: Shaved Root Vegetable Salad

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad: So pretty. So thin. We should all try to be more like Shaved Root Vegetable Salad. I mean, not you. You're already so pretty and so thin. But those other people. They should try.

Thanksgiving Side-Dish Face-Off continues today with a Shaved Root Vegetable Salad facing off against the Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad, which then morphed into Kale Slaw.

Shaving things, as it applies to food, is more appealing than it first appears. I will now provide examples: chocolate shavings, shaving a paper-thin slice of apple and placing it in vodka, shaving potatoes and baking them instead of sitting in your pantry eating potato chips and crying. I am now out of examples, but you see the possibilities here.

Or perhaps it’s just my love of mandolins, a device that provides magical slicing options and the ability to accidentally commit suicide while cooking. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Side-Dish Face-Off: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Behold: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad. So good that you ignore the fact that "brussels sprout" is a weird thing to say. They should have called it "Baby Cabbage on a Stick." Imagine the state fair tie-ins and trickery. Damn, sometimes I wonder why no one checks with me on these things.

We’re kicking off the Thanksgiving Side-Dish Face-Off today, as I am the type of person* who documents hosting his first Thanksgiving and then creates a fake movie trailer about it. First up, Salad No. 1: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad. Next, Salad No. 2: Shaved Root Vegetable Salad.

If you hated brussels sprouts as a kid, I hope you’ve apologized to your parents for being wrong. Because you were wrong. They are delicious. They are what would happen if cabbage were miniature and grew on stalks. You cannot deny that that is nature at its finest. Think of something you like, and then imagine it miniature and on a stalk. Better, right? Yeah. Better. Continue reading

Happy Halloween: Black vodka, apple brie panini and our party’s mascot

Happy Halloween! We hosted our Boo! Boo! Booze party two nights ago and the house is still in recovery mode. It was well worth it, though, to get a chance to  throw in some creepy twists to our kitchen skills.

The Zombie Attack! game, with everyone hunting the house and yard for zombie versions of the guests, was a nice distraction as we kept food and drinks going in the kitchen.

The other highlights:

Boo! Boo! Booze!

Mummy Apples: white chocolate, then layers of peanut butter, caramel and pecans.

We’re hosting our Boo! Boo! Booze! Halloween party tonight. Among the treats: Mummy Apples, which are covered in white chocolate, peanut butter, caramel and pecans.

I’m turning the black vodka screwdrivers into shots, served in layered shot glasses, alongside a Witch’s Brew of orange juice, sherbet and other mysterious things like dry ice and probably a soy version of eye of newt or some such thing. That’s what witches drink, right? Continue reading

Bachelor Weekend, and why you need Bacon Salt

Bachelor Chow! Totino's Party Pizza, Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese, Bacon Salt.

Scott was on a business trip this weekend. As is tradition, he left me a care package filled with the makings for Bachelor Chow.

You may recall that Bachelor Chow, a delightful mix of Totino’s Party Pizza and Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese, is my comfort food. And what better reason to seek out comfort than being without your loved one for a few days?

I added Bacon Salt this time. Have you had Bacon Salt? It’s three things: 1) vegetarian, 2) delicious, 3) not on enough things you eat. Let’s review things that are better with Bacon Salt: Continue reading