Some Quick and Delicious Sides

Some Quick and Delicious Sides

Yesterday was Sunday and it was really sunny and warm here for a change. It finally felt like summer so I was motivated to work in the yard all day. It was great but before I knew it the day had flown by and it was dinnertime already.

Luckily I had taken a steak and a piece of chicken out to thaw earlier in the day so the main dish problem was solved, I just had to throw those on the grill and we would be eating in 10 minutes or so. Now I just needed some sides to go with it.

I had some fennel in the fridge and some potatoes that I needed to use so I thought I’d make a gratin. I love gratins but I don’t like all the fat that comes with them. For years I have been making a version of a potato gratin that comes from the famous southern cook Edna Lewis. Her version just uses thinly sliced potatoes and chicken broth and it is delicious so i decided to adapt that.

For my version I layered the potatoes and fennel and sprinkled S&P and a dusting of grated parmesan cheeses in between the layers and added the chicken broth and baked it. It turned out amazing! It was so delicious and light and it felt healthy to eat so there was no guilt.

I also had brussels sprouts which I roasted and then added a drop of chicken broth to for some added flavor and they were delicious as well. I love brussels sprouts and cook with them all the time, they are so versatile and add an unexpected flavor to many dishes. But really, my favorite way to eat them is roasted with salt and pepper.

If you want to check out Edna Lewis’s recipes you can get her book here:

Fennel and Potatoes Gratin

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
1tsp Olive oil
1lb small yukon gold potatoes
1 fennel bulb
Chicken broth
Parmesan cheese

Lightly oil a small casserole. Thinly slice the potatoes and fennel. Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish. Top with salt and pepper and grate some parmesan cheese to cover the layer, just a thin layer of parme is fine. Top this with a layer of fennel. Top the fennel with another layer of potatoes and repeat the process. End with a layer of potatoes but don’t top with cheese. Pour about 1/4 of chicken broth in and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and top with grated cheese and salt and pepper. Cook for another 20 minutes and then broil for a minute or so to get the cheese golden brown. Serve immediately.

Brussels Sprouts
1lb Brussels sprouts
1TBS olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2TBS Chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Slice your brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and put in a ziplock bag. Add 1tbs olive and some salt and pepper. Make sure to coat the sprouts well. Arrange in 1 layer cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 11-12 minutes and then turn over and roast for 8 more minutes. Pour into a serving bowl and add 2 TBS of warm chicken broth. Serve immediately.

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