Tag Archives: side dish

Pickle and Potato Salad

I’ve discovered I’m picky when it comes to potato salad. I don’t like celery, I don’t like hard-boiled eggs, or caraway seeds, or big hunks of onion, or mushy potatoes — ok, ok I’m a potato salad priss!

I needed to use up some thin-skinned potatoes in my pantry so I turned to Pinterest and couldn’t find just what I was looking for. I did find something close. This recipe from Mrs. Happy Homemaker calls for pickle brine instead of vinegar or lemon juice. That piqued my interest.

So I came up with my own version and it was everything I’ve always wanted in a potato salad. It’s creamy, tangy, salty and has a good bite.

Pickle and potato salad - a perfect potato salad recipe from Alaska Knit Nat

Pickle and Potato Salad – the perfect potato salad without celery or eggs

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds small, thin skinned potatoes
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • generous 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup pickle brine
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for about 12 minutes until potatoes are fork tender but not mushy.

Drain potatoes and run cold water over them to cool.

Combine the pickles, mayo, brine, mustard, and green onions in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When potatoes are cool enough to touch, slice them half lengthwise and then slice into 1/4-inch wide pieces.

Add potatoes to the sauce and mix until potatoes are completely coated. Serve warm or chilled.

Pickle and potato salad - a perfect potato salad recipe from Alaska Knit Nat

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Perfect Grilled Corn

When you grow up in Alaska you become accustomed to lackluster produce: flavorless cantaloupe, dry lemons, grey tomatoes and often unsweet corn.

At the beginning of our long weekend we had dinner up at my parents’ place and my dad served the best grilled corn I’d ever had. He’s always got a few culinary tricks up his sleeve and this recipe is no exception.

Sweet, caramelized, and just the perfect amount of char – this recipe is just what you need for your Memorial Day barbecue.

Perfect Grilled Corn | A tasty summer recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Memorial Day Recipe: How to Grill Corn on the Cob Without the Husks

Have you ever tried grilling husk-on corn on the cob? Tastes great, but what a mess you make of your grill what with all the pieces of black, burnt husk which get over everything, including the burgers or franks you’re going to grill next.

Continue reading Perfect Grilled Corn

Moña’s Fried Cauliflower — A Mexican side dish

Our family just came back from a two-week vacation in Nayarit, Mexico. One of the perks of the place we stay in is a housekeeper who cooks for us. Moña used to run a restaurant out of her home and she’s the best Mexican chef I know. I yearn for her chiles rellenos and chilaquiles.

One of her specialties is battered, fried cauliflower. I’m not a cauliflower enthusiast, but when it’s prepared like chiles rellenos, I’m sold.

Florets are coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a simple tomato sauce. The florets turn out perfectly tender, almost like al dente pasta.

The difficulty with my trying to make Moña’s recipes back home is our lack of delicious produce. Our fresh tomatoes are usually terrible and our onions aren’t nearly as sweet.

Here is my attempt at one of Moña’s signature side dishes. It’s accompanying pulled pork enchiladas and mexican rice. Look for the rice recipe below.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña’s fried cauliflower

Serves 4

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed into small/medium florets
  • 5 eggs
  • 1, 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • about a cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the flour, chicken stock, sugar, chile powder and tomatoes in a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff. Fold in the yolks.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Pour oil in a small sauté pan. There should be about a half-inch of oil in the pan. Heat over high heat. When hot, dip florets in the egg batter till covered and drop them in the pan. You’ll need to do several batches but they brown pretty quickly. Spoon oil over the florets as they brown on the first side, then turn them all over and brown on the other side.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Drain the florets and place on a paper towel-lined platter. Set aside.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the blended tomato mixture and oregano. Stir until thickened. If too thick, add more chicken stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Add the cauliflower florets and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Serve on a platter and sprinkle with cojita or monterey jack cheese.

Mexican rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the butter in a large sauté pan. Toss in the rice and cook, stirring for a few minutes until the rice is lightly toasted. Pour in 1 cup of stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for five minutes.

Add another cup of stock, the carrots, onion and garlic. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Check the rice every now and then to see if it needs more liquid. Add more stock if necessary.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

The best green beans ever

I seem to struggle with basic recipes such as steaming peas and frying bacon. Green beans fall into this category.  I either undercook them or overcook them; either way they turn out not good. Welp, I finally figured it out. Slightly sweet, tangy and caramelized, these green beans were the easiest.

The best green beans ever | A simple recipe from Alaska Knit Nat

The best green beans ever

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • A splash of marsala
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • salt and pepper

The best green beans ever | A simple recipe from Alaska Knit Nat

Directions:

Heat a cast iron pan over high heat. Add the butter. When melted, add the green beans. Cook on high for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in the marsala and thoroughly coat the green beans. Keep cooking until beans start to brown and caramelize, about three minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking another few minutes until green beans are tender.

How to Cook Perfect Beans

Taco night is always a big hit in our family and one of the most requested ingredients from our son is beans. Sure, canned beans are convenient and inexpensive, but there’s often a bit of sodium in them and when you reheat them, they can easily be overcooked.

Many are hesitant to cook dry beans due to lack of experience and convenience, but with a little planning and minimal effort, you can easily cook creamy, flavorful beans to accompany many food genres. And they are much cheaper than canned beans!

How to cook perfect beans | Alaska Knit Nat

Perfect Beans

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

One cup of dried beans such as pinto, great northern or black

1 Tbs. salt

water

How to cook perfect beans | Alaska Knit Nat

Directions:

The morning you want to have beans for dinner, toss your dry beans into a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Add beans and salt to a medium saucepan. Fill with water so pan is about 2/3 full. Cover and let sit all day, about 7-9 hours.

Put pan on stove, still covered, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer beans for 1.5-2 hours. Be sure it’s not at a full rolling boil as the beans can get torn up if overly disturbed. Drain and serve.

*Beany tidbit: If your beans appear shriveled after soaking them it means they are past their prime. They will still taste all right but you may want to buy new beans next time.

How to cook perfect beans | Alaska Knit Nat