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Posts Tagged ‘side dish’

  1. Vegan Refried Beans

    May 16, 2011 by Lisa

    I was a little random last time I made these – this is what I think I did!

    Rinse and drain one package of dried pinto beans and place in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and soak over night. By morning, they will have absorbed most of the water, so add additional water so that they are, again, covered with water. Pour into a large saucepan and add:

    • 3-6 gloves of garlic, crushed
    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon powdered cumin

    Simmer slowly for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are very tender. Make sure the pan does not run dry and add additional water periodically if needed. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher. Stir in about a cup (I used three heaping desert spoons, which I think was close to a cup) of shortening or margarine until well-absorbed.

    If you’re not concerned with a vegan version, lard is more traditional as is soaking the beans overnight with a hamhock or some bacon drippings!

  2. Borsch(t)

    December 2, 2008 by Lisa

    I was looking for a recipe for a borsch similar to what I had at the very lovely Troikka in Helsinki some months ago. This, sadly, isn’t it. Nice, but not right. Part of the problem is that I couldn’t find fresh beetroot, only vacuum-packed, precooked. I also think that it would be nice if the vegetables were pureed prior to adding back the cubed beetroot.


    • 1 kilo stewing beef
    • 1 carrot, chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 2 liters water


    • 2 carrots, julienned
    • 1 small head cabbage, sliced thinly
    • 8 small cooked beetroots, cubed
    • 1/3 red onion
    • 250gm tomato paste
    • juice of half a lemon
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • salt, pepper
    • fresh dill
    • soured cream

    For the stock, cover the beef in water, add a bit of salt and bring to the boil. Skim off the scum that forms and reduce to a simmer. Add the carrot and celery and cook for at least an hour and a half. I actually cooked it for nearly three. When it’s done, put the meat aside and strain the stock.

    Add the cabbage and cook for 15 minutes. Add the julienned carrots and onion and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add the cubed beetroot, tomato paste and lemon juice and cook another 15 minutes. Mix the flour with a little water and stir into the soup. Finally add the meat back to the soup and cook until thickened.

    Add salt and pepper to taste, serve with dill and soured cream.

  3. Balsamic Grilled Onions

    November 20, 2006 by Lisa

    Lovely, lovely, sweet red onions. No one in my household liked onions when I made this, so this made just enough for me, me, me (plus a little extra). Would have been nice with some sliced fennel grilled with the onions, I expect.


    • 1 medium sized red opinion, sliced into thin slices
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 clove minced or crushed garlic
    • salt and pepper

    Heat the vinegar, garlic and rosemary in a sauce pan until hot, but don’t let it boil. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes. If it seems that a lot of balsamic has evaporated off, add another tablespoon or so. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Place the onions in a single layer in the pan and coat with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Fry over a medium heat for 4-6 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned. Toss with the vinegar mixture.

    Especially nice with any sort of pork dish.

  4. Coriander and Mint Couscous

    June 17, 2006 by Lisa

    Obviously you can put anything you like in couscous, but I was rather pleased with this combo:

    • 250g couscous
    • Boiling water
    • knob of butter
    • 2 ripe tomatoes, cubed
    • 1/2 large cucumber, cubed (cucumbers in the UK are massive, so use a whole US sized one)
    • crumbled feta cheese to taste
    • handful of chopped fresh mint
    • handful of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
    • juice from 1 1/2 limes
    • 2 tblsp olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Prepare couscous according to directions and let cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and chill for an hour.

  5. Pico de Gallo / Guacamole

    January 2, 2005 by Lisa

    Two simple fresh garnishs for all sorts of Mexican dishes.

    Pico de Gallo:

    • 2 or 3 chopped ripe tomatoes
    • 1/2 diced red or white onion
    • 1 or 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
    • handful of chopped fresh cilantro
    • a few splashes of tabasco or a chopped red chili pepper to taste
    • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least an hour.


    Same as above, but stir in two mashed avocados and the juice of half a lime (prevents avocados from going brown – for a while, at least).