Category Archives: Sides

Toasted Garlic Asparagus

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Asparagus with toasted garlic — SO DELICIOUS!

SO EASY!  LETS DO THIS!!

This is quite possibly my favorite side dish to make. It’s simple, quick, delicious, and requires just one pan. The asparagus is cooked in water first, the garlic is toasted next, then they are combined. The toasted garlic takes on a delicious nutty flavor that seeps into the olive oil and coats the asparagus and makes a heavenly combination.

If you’ve never prepared asparagus before, then this is the recipe you should try for the first time. There are no measurements, no cooking times or temperatures, no rights or wrongs. It’s all done by feel, and I’ll walk you through it.

First, I want to show you what pan I use so you can find one similar to it. I trim my asparagus by cutting the bottom parts off because they are tough and woody. I like them to be tender and yummy. Then, they all fit nicely in my 10″ Stainless Steel, Copper Bottom pan. It doesn’t have to be exact, it doesn’t have to be stainless, it doesn’t have to have copper. But it does need to be large enough to fit your asparagus, and it does have to have high sides like a family -style pan… so take a good look at my pan, and then go digging in your cabinets to see if you can find one that works. Ready, set … GO!!

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Did you find a pan that works?

Ok. Once you find your pan, and you’ve trimmed about 2-3″ of the hard woody part of the asparagus off (the bottom part), fill the pan with water and bring it to a boil. Place the asparagus in the boiling water and cook the asparagus until “fork-tender,” which means your fork goes into the asparagus easily but with a bit of resistance. You do NOT want the asparagus to be mushy. Drain the asparagus. Place the pan back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and three fat garlic gloves that have been finely minced. Stir the garlic around until golden. Add the asparagus and toss the asparagus, garlic and olive oil around to coat the asparagus. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Serve and enjoy! Easy peasy!

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This picture shows me adding the asparagus on top of the toasted garlic right before I toss it all together.

 

A Quick Side

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I love potatoes. There. I said it. Out loud. Sort of….

And I have a quick side dish for all potato lovers that are frantic to get dinner on the table quickly before the screaming crazies take over the kitchen and begin eating all the cookies, chips and other delicious things you try to hide from them. Then it won’t matter how yummy that chicken is that’s been roasting in the oven, because the bellies will be full of junk.

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So, all you’ll need is a 28-ounce bag of baby potatoes, three cloves of garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, ready-set-go…

  1. Place the baby potatoes in a microwave safe container, add 1/4 cup water, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 8 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, mince garlic. Prep the rest of your meal for serving because the rest will go very quickly.
  3. When potatoes are done, strain them and place them on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle some olive oil on them and roll them around with the minced garlic.
  4. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and pop them on the top shelf of the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes until garlic is crispy. Pull them out of the oven and sprinkle with parm cheese. Broil 2-3 more minutes and SERVE with your meal.

That’s ALL! Sometimes, you can even find them in microwaveable bags, which makes the whole process easier. BOOM! You are the superhero mamma. Or Pappa… because pappas cook too, although according to my experience, they are MUCH MORE MESSIER than mammas and leave a long, LOOOONG trail of cleaning upstuffs… What? Huh? Nothing to see here. Move along, move along…

Really, it took me longer to type this up than it will actually take to make the potatoes! Here are some yummy variations — keep the garlic and olive oil, salt and pepper, and add the following:

  • Before broiling, sprinkle with smoked paprika, chili powder and cumin, toss well (do not us parm cheese). Broil for 5 minutes and serve.
  • After broiling, sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar, toss well (do not us parm cheese) and serve.
  • After broiling, sprinkle with cayenne pepper, diced jalapeno and shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or a smoked cheese), toss well and serve.
  • After broiling, sprinkle with Old Bay, a little bit of Malt Vinegar, toss well and serve.
  • After broiling, toss with 1/4 cup pesto and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and serve.