Whenever we saw our Mom and Grandma Florence mixing a batch of asparagus patties it sparked our excitement for the upcoming holiday meal. The aroma of cooked asparagus, seasoned bread crumbs, garlic, and grated cheese filled the air and made our mouths water. As kids, we really didn't like a lot of vegetables but asparagus patties were always one vegetable we looked forward too. We would always sneak some from the covered aluminum tray where they piled them up until cooking was complete. To this day we are brought back to our childhood when we make them with loving memories. We adapted Mom's recipe to be Gluten-Free for Jack and found it to be just as good as the original. You don't have to wait for a holiday to make this wonderful side dish. It's a great side that goes well with most poultry, beef, and pork.
1 ½ bundles fresh asparagus
4 Tablespoons Gluten-Free Italian seasoned bread crumbs (add additional bread crumbs if the mixture is too loose)
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
5 tsp garlic powder
2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Pepper to taste
Canola or Vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the grated cheese, parsley, pepper & garlic.
Mix together until everything is combined.
Add cut asparagus to the mixture then add the bread crumbs and mix well. The mixture should be on the thick side but not dry. If too loose add additional bread crumbs 1 tsp at a time. (Not too dry) If too dry, add another egg.
Heat the oil in a skillet until hot then lower flame to medium-low. Using a regular tablespoon drop mixture into skillet to form patties.
Let cook until brown. Turn over and cook another minute or two.
Remove each pattie with open spatula and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Make layers of patties using paper towels in-between to absorb the excess oil.
When all patties are cooked, pat excess oil off and place on a serving platter.
Serve warm or room temperature.
Notes: Try adding some crumbled bacon or diced pancetta to the mixture for a punch of savory.
Jasmine rice, with its fragrant characteristic aroma, is a wonderful side dish on its own; however, when we added just a few simple ingredients it exploded with flavor and has become a family favorite. Although Jasmine rice is typically used in Thai cuisine it is equally popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and has become our go-to rice for many side dishes. Although it has a unique fragrance it won't interfere with any cuisine and is delicious.
2 cups Jasmine Rice
3 cups water or chicken broth
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup EVOO, for sautéeing
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 Red Bell Peppers, seeded and diced
1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Add rice, salt, water or broth, and butter in a deep saucepan.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
When it comes to a boil, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover the pan tightly and cook without stirring 18-20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Keep covered and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
In a large deep skillet or wok heat EVOO until hot.
Sauté onions and bell peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add fresh or frozen peas and continue to cook 3 minutes.
Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir to combine well on low-medium heat.
Remove from heat and serve.
Notes: The fresher the rice is, the more aroma it will have.
Every year Gary & I along with Teresa & Jack, celebrate 4th of July on the USS Battleship NC. We sit on the deck with our friends and neighbors and have great conversations, shared laughs and view the most spectacular fireworks display. Everyone brings their own chairs, snacks, food, and drinks. My friend and neighbor, Rob Sherman, brought the most delicious cucumber, tomato & dill salad to share. It was delicious! He said he found the recipe on the internet some time ago & has been making it ever since. We are happy to share Rob's recipe with you. It's light and refreshing for these hot, humid summer nights & naturally gluten-free. Rob, we thank you for sharing your recipe with us so we can pass it along!
4 medium cucumbers, sliced 1/8 inch thick rounds, skin on. (We used a mandolin slicer for uniform slices)
2-3 whole tomatoes, quartered or 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half (more or less if you prefer)
2-3 Tablespoons red onion, sliced thin then chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons EVOO
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 ¼ tsp sea salt, or more to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
In a large bowl combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Whisk together.
Add the sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and dill then toss to combine.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to come together.
Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if needed before serving.
Notes: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.
I recently made this salad with grilled flank steak, chimichurri, and a jasmine rice medley. Pairs well with our Slow Cooker Spare Ribs and corn on the cob.
Today my dear friend Valerie Kachura served this delicious cauliflower side dish while hosting our weekly social bridge group. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of cauliflower but I know it has many health benefits so when I saw our good friend Roz's face light up with delight, I knew I had to try it! It was delicious! I think this will be my new favorite side-dish. Thank you, Valerie, for feeding our group so well, and graciously letting me share your recipe. 😋❤
1 large head of cauliflower, rinsed and separated by large florets
1/4 cup pignolis
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground curry powder
1/4 -1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350°F
In a large bowl combine, cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and curry powder. Mix well.
Place in a casserole dish and bake 20 minutes until almost done.
Sprinkle pignolis and grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the top of cauliflower.
Place casserole back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes until starting to turn golden brown.
Stuffed Mushrooms Alla Grandma Florence, Gluten-Free
One of the dishes we missed most at the holidays was Grandma Florence's stuffed mushrooms. Wow were they delizioso! 😋 We are excited we nailed it as they taste just like Grandma's did. We're happy to share it with you and hope you enjoy them as much as our family does. These can be served as appetizers, a side dish to a roast, chicken, veal or pasta or a main dish if using large Portobello mushrooms.
We have been experimenting with cornbread for a while now. Not only did it have to taste good but we wanted to make it gluten-free as always for Teresa's husband. We don't want to leave him out of our recipes because anyone that knows Jack, knows he loves to eat!!! Traditionally northern style cornbread is sweet while southern style is savory with no sweetness. To us the perfect combination would be both slightly sweet & savory. After may experiments we finally agreed we really liked this one; you won't know it's gluten-free. We hope you like it as much as we do.
We're not sure where this family favorite recipe came from, our Mom or Grandma Florence, but we do remember how we looked forward to eating it on the holidays and everyone taking home leftovers (Mom lost many Tupperware containers over the years). Our family always cooked a lot more food than was necessary as do we, typical Italian style! We have so many fond memories of sitting down to dinner with our grandparents, parents, all the aunts, and uncles and of course the cousins always seated at the kid's table. Over the years we have shared this recipe with many friends who love it. It's so rewarding to know our family recipes have become part of another family's holiday traditions.😋
Optional: 2 apples, chopped & coated in lemon juice to prevent browning (Barbara includes apples for her family and Teresa’s family prefers to leave them out)
In a deep 8-10 qt pot brown the onion, celery, and sausage in butter. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning.
Mix in the herbed stuffing cubes into the sausage mixture along with the apples if using.
Heat the chicken broth and add as needed until moist and mixed well (everyone has their own preference for moistness).
When cooled, stuff the turkey and cook according to turkey weight.
This stuffing can be prepared the day ahead and refrigerated until ready to stuff the bird or baked in a casserole dish. Take out of the refrigerator at least a half-hour to be room temperature before stuffing the bird.
Fill both cavities of the turkey loosely with the stuffing mixture. Roast turkey according to package directions for a stuffed bird.
The remaining stuffing can be baked separately in a covered casserole dish at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Remove cover and let cook until top starts to brown and gets lightly crusted.
Note: Barbara always serves her stuffing with a Cranberry, Orange Relish. You can also use traditional sliced cranberry sauce or turkey gravy.
Many years ago while hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner I was looking for something different to serve in place of the traditional cranberry sauce. I don't remember if I found this recipe in the food section of a local newspaper or a magazine but it quickly became a family favorite. I took oranges and cut them in half, scooped out the insides, cut a zig-zag pattern around the rims then put the relish recipe below into each orange cup. I then placed them all around the turkey on a large platter. It makes a beautiful presentation for special dinners.
2 apples, chopped (put in lemon juice to preserve color then drain)
Fresh asparagus marinated in olive oil & garlic are combined for some heavenly flavors on this light side dish. Top it with crumbled blue cheese (our husbands favorite, Boursin garlic & herb (Barbara's favorite) feta or Parmesan. Whatever cheese you choose, you will love these asparagus! 😋
ice water in a large bowl (have ready while asparagus are cooking)
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the asparagus & cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Immediately remove asparagus & put them into a bowl of ice water. Drain well & pat dry with paper towel.
In a large plastic resealable bag, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, green onions, salt & pepper. Add asparagus; seal the bag and turn several times to coat well. Refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour.
After an hour, remove from refrigerator and drain asparagus. (Discard remainder of marinade if not using for salad dressing or a rice dish)
Place the asparagus on a serving platter and sprinkle with your favorite cheese.
Note: Left over marinade can be used to season rice or as a salad dressing. It’s really good and why waste all those great flavors!
Don't know what to do with those leftover veggies? Why not turn them into a delicious side or appetizer that is sure to please kids & adults! We often have leftover broccoli or zucchini as it's our husband's favorite vegetables. We were inspired to make these patties as a result of all the leftover breadcrumbs & egg while making breaded chicken cutlets. Our Mom taught us to not waste so she would mix these leftover ingredients together and form patties to fry with the chicken cutlets. As kids we loved them more than the chicken cutlets! 😋
12-ounces chopped broccoli florets, cooked
1¼ cup Italian style breadcrumbs (we used Progresso, not gluten-free)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
3/4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt (omit if salt sensitive)
dash of pepper to taste
Cooking Spray to coat baking sheet
1 3½” lid (we used the lid from a 16-ounce Argo cornstarch container. Any size lid of your preference will work but the Argo lid was the perfect width & thickness of our patties)
In a large bowl combine beaten eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, cheddar cheese, oregano, cooked chopped broccoli, onions, garlic, salt & pepper, mixing well. Add the breadcrumbs mix together with a fork then mix by hand as you would making meatballs or meatloaf. Must be a thick, pasty texture.
Preheat oven to 400ºF and spray baking pan with cooking spray.
Place the plastic wrap over the lid, overhanging 3-inches in all directions. Fill with mixture slightly mounded, press down with your fingers, flip the patties over onto the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.
Flip patties and continue baking another 7-10 minutes.
Remove from oven let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.
Can be dipped into your favorite dipping sauce i.e. ranch dressing, blue cheese, or tzatziki sauce.
Note: This is a great way to make use of any leftover vegetables and makes a great grab-n-go snack.