Category: sensational sides

Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Cranberry Glaze & Pomegranate

Grilled Koolheads Cabbage Steaks with Cranberry Glaze & Pomegranate

This recipe is for cabbage lovers. You might not find Koolheads cabbage but you can still make this tasty grilled cabbage with what you find at the store!

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Pork Tenderloin Sheet Pan Supper with Sweet Potatoes & Caramelized Onions

Pork Tenderloin Sliders & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Supper

You won’t go wrong serving your holiday company this Peggy Rose’s pepper jelly glazed-Heritage Farm bacon wrapped NC pork tenderloin…. nestled among seasoned NC Sweet Potatoes!

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Spicy Fried Red Tomatoes With Cilantro Tartar Sauce

Spicy Fried Red Tomatoes with Cilantro Tartar Sauce

Use firm and meaty ripe red tomatoes for these crispy cheesy fried red tomatoes! Spicy hot potato chips are perfect, but use your favorites (dill pickle are yummy)…

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Grilled Eggplant with Blueberry Mustard Vinaigrette …and how to freeze eggplant

Grilled Eggplant with Blueberry Vinaigrette & Stone Ground Mustard

Grilled eggplant drizzled with blueberry mustard vinaigrette and fresh herbs

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Tomato Swiss Slab Pie

Tomato Swiss Slab Pie with fresh dill

What makes a juicy ripe tomato even better? How about a cheesy, buttery flaky crust underneath with the bright, fresh flavor of dill! Serve this Tomato Swiss Slab Pie in small wedges as an appetizer, or in bigger wedges as a side dish. Perfect alongside a salad for a light, meatless meal.

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Grilled Southwestern Romaine Salad with NC Shrimp

Grilled Southwestern Romaine with North Carolina Shrimp

Let your grill do the work on this one… dressed up or down as you’d like, grilled southwestern romaine with NC Shrimp is as quick a side as you can fix … but watch it closely, it is ready in a flash!

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Summer Squash Spoonbread with Pimento Cheese

Summer Squash Spoonbread with Pimento Cheese

Tis the season … for scores of squash! Our spoonbread pairs pimento cheese with squash to create an all-in-one, veggie-laden cheesy bread. Add a cool summer salad and serve alongside some grilled goodies on the porch, along with an icy glass of lemonade.

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Traditional Hawaiian Macaroni Salad… with my little twist

 

Published in Carolina Country Magazine  May 2018

OK… for starters, let me just say that if you are no fan of mayonnaise, you’ll want to skip this one!  Because THE big “thing” about Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is mayonnaise, and a LOT of it. The noodles are cooked soft… well past al dente (it is said so it will absorb more mayonnaise)… mucho mayo to make it very creamy… and you’ll find carrots in there too!

Macaroni salad dates back to the 1880’s in Hawaii and was a staple part of lunch for the pineapple field workers. This salad is found on just about all diner and “plate lunch” menus in Hawaii, often alongside of and served with rice (which is weird to me).  For the most part, the only ingredients are soft macaroni, MAYO, carrots, salt and pepper.  You might see some with a bit of celery and onion, but that’s not often in authentic macaroni salad. And my research found that you NEVER.EVER. put ham or pineapple in there!!  I also found that Best Foods is their preferred brand of mayo, but I’m sure that’s only because they haven’t had Duke’s there!  So my version is made with Duke’s. Period. 
And a couple of tiny twists to make it mine.

I made this one to pair with my Aloha Hula Hot Dogs… it’s hard to fault such a simple recipe and one that goes nicely alongside all sorts of foods. I hope you will give this one a try. I’m not a big fan of pasta, but do love me some mayonnaise, Duke’s… so I’m a fan of this creamy salad.

Aloha y’all!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Authentic Hawaiian macaroni salad is all about mayonnaise, and a LOT of it! Usually slightly overcooked (to absorb the dressing), it is a staple on their “lunch plates” alongside grilled, fried or teriyaki meats. Enjoy this simple tropical make-ahead side salad this summer!

Course: Brunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Tailgating
Keyword: Hawaiian, macaroni salad
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle juice*
  • 1 large carrot. grated
  • 1/2 large onion, grated
  • 1 small bunch green onions, diced
  • 2 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni per directions plus 2 minutes until soft. Drain. Stir in pickle juice. Cool 20 minutes.

  2. Add carrot and onions. Combine remaining ingredients and mix into macaroni. Chill 4 hours, or overnight (best). If not moist and creamy, stir in more milk at serving time.
    Remember... this salad is all about the creaminess!

Recipe Notes

*Vinegar with sugar can be substituted for pickle juice. This is important for mayonnaise absorption into the macaroni.

 

Dilly Grilled German Potato Salad Packets

This Dilled Grilled German Potato Salad will be a “go to” side for your cookouts and gatherings. Make ahead and stack in fridge to throw on a hot grill… sensational side in only 15-20 minutes!

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It’s Asparagus time… Spring Green Veggie-Pasta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Spring Green Veggie-Pasta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

It’s Asparagus time… and here is a simple way to put this bright-in-color-and-flavor salad on your spring table!

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Winter Citrus Salad… with blood orange & red wine vinaigrette ~ Sunshine!

Winter Citrus Salad with Blood Orange & Red Wine Vinaigrette

Vibrant citrus fruits are plentiful in the dead of winter, and this is a great salad to brighten the dreariest of days. Don’t worry about exact measurements for salad ingredients. Use as much or as little as suits your fancy.

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Sometimes you win… sometimes you lose! This time, I have a winner~ with Aunt Nellie’s!

Aunt Nellie’s Bacon & Rosemary Roasted Pears n’Onions… kissed with Cinnamon Honey ~ Aunt Nellie’s 2018 State Fair Cooking Contest ~ 3rd Place Sides/Salads Winner


I love entering cooking contests.  There’s rarely a win with so much great competition out there, but it’s fun coming up with ideas and getting in my kitchen to make what’s in my head come to life. But… every now and then, I end up with a winner, like my Aunt Nellie’s Bacon & Rosemary Roasted Pears n’Onions… kissed with Cinnamon Honey  

Aunt Nellie’s 2018 State Fair Contest Winners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few months back, friend Lisa Prince, who knows my passion for both entering and judging cooking contests, sent me a note about Aunt Nellie’s “State Fair” Cooking Contest.  In case you don’t know, Aunt Nellie’s is a 90 year old company born in Wisconsin.  Their products now include six varieties of glass-packed beets, onions, three bean salad, and red cabbage.  Turns out, Aunt Nellie Jones (yep, there really was an Aunt Nellie) was a Home Economist like me… at the University of Wisconsin! And I didn’t realize until recently their first product was peas. 

The contest had 5 categories, and I spent a ton of time (not to mention money) creating, testing, styling and photographing a recipe for each category.  Of course, I surely was hoping for something more, (don’t we all?!?), but grateful for my 3rd place win in the “Sides and Salads” category.  The prize was $25 and a box full of Aunt Nellie’s products.  And I was very pleased with how this and all my recipes turned out. So maybe I will find other contests where I can tweak them and enter somewhere else since my entries are now the property of Aunt Nellie’s.  That is the downside of most contests. Their fine print in rules usually states that entries become the property of the company where you entered… they can publish, use, and even change the name of it!  

BUT… for those of you that don’t know but may be interested, recipes cannot be copyrighted. Processes to make a recipe can be, as are head notes/descriptives, but the recipe itself… nope. Anybody can take anybody else’s recipe and call it their own! But there is usually a way I can make revisions to a recipe to turn it into something else.  And like others, I sometimes get inspiration for a new recipe from another I run across. My goal is to always create something that hasn’t yet been done 1 or 100 ways. That can be challenging, but most ideas in my crazy head are unique.
I don’t know I will do that (revamp) with my Aunt Nellie’s entries… but I did come up with a few mighty fine recipes and it would be a shame not to share some day!

The Aunt Nellie’s categories were…
Appetizers, Salads/Sides, Soups, Main Dishes and Desserts/Sweets. 

So… one of these days, if I tweak my other entries, I’ll share those too.  And since most contests prohibit entries that have been previously published, I’ll refrain from sharing them now in case I tweak to enter somewhere else.  For now, I will enjoy this win as I’m sure there were hundreds, if not more, entries in the contest, and to be one of 15 is an accomplishment I’m tickled to enjoy!  I “beet” out a many a fine cook for this honor and am excited to share with you… be sure not to miss my recipe down below.

I do hope you will pick up some Aunt Nellie’s Onions and make this really easy recipe and if you do, come over to my facebook community and tell me all about it!

Aunt Nellie’s Bacon & Rosemary Roasted Pears n’Onions… kissed with Cinnamon Honey
We all love tasty speedy side dishes and this one can be thrown together in the time it takes to preheat your oven. This rustic sweet and savory combo is perfect alongside roasted meats. Roast a pork tenderloin at the same time for a complete supper. Or, turn it into a warm wilted salad by drizzling in a bit of balsamic vinegar when done and while hot, tossing with a big bowl of fresh spinach. No matter how you serve it, it’s sure to please… especially when BACON is involved! 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted pears and onions, bacon, aunt nellie's
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 8 sliced bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 pears, unpeeled-cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 large red onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 15-ounce jar Aunt Nellie's Holland-Style Onions, drained
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crumbled with fingers
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Scatter pieces of bacon on large roasting pan and place in oven while preheating.  
  2. Prepare pears and red onion and place into large mixing bowl. Stir in drained onions and rosemary.
  3. Once oven has heated and bacon fat has started rendering, remove and pour bacon and drippings over pear mixture. Toss to coat well. Spread out onto hot pan and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until onions and pears are caramelized and bacon is cooked. 
  4. Combine honey and cinnamon.

  5. Once this roasted goodness is removed from the oven, drizzle with the cinnamon honey. Scatter with toasted pine nuts and blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Another Serving Suggestion: 

For a rustic salad, while warm, toss the pear and onion mixture into a big bowl of fresh spinach to “wilt,” drizzle with the cinnamon honey and some great balsamic vinegar.  Scatter with the pine nuts and blue cheese. Also great alongside roasted chicken, turkey, pork or grilled steaks!