I can’t even begin to count the endless number of times I have been approached by foodies, friends, and family with their frustrating experience of their meals not being ‘spiced’ enough. So many recipes and restaurants are guilty of under-seasoning or no-seasonings in some cases. The distinction is just that – food doesn’t need to be so ‘spicy’ that your lips burn and your palate go numb. Just enough spice to create an incredibly satisfying dish, full of flavors yet also taste, light and healthy.
This week’s edition of #Spicychat is bringing overlooked sides into the limelight with innovative recipes. These recipes are an extra special treat for spice lovers as Ms. Lois Martin is sharing her delightfully spiced recipes with #SpicyChat readers. She is also generously agreed to Co-Host for today’s #SpicyChat at 8 PM EDT.
Lois Martin (@LoisMarketing on Twitter) is a marketing and public relations advisor in Atlanta, Georgia. She began cooking and baking as soon as she could peer over the counter and “help” her mother and grandmother in their kitchens. In addition to collecting cookbooks and recipes, she enjoys gardening, painting and sports.
Without further adieu, let’s fire it up Lois:
It is an honor to join my friend and fellow foodie Rashmi as a guest co-host for this week’s #SpicyChat on Twitter! This week’s theme is “Spicy Sides”! Do you enjoy adding a bit of spice to vegetables, rices, potatoes and salads? Join us to share your favorite recipes, “secret spices” and tips. To start the conversation, here are two of my favorite recipes to “spice things up” …
Chipotle & Cheddar Smashed Potatoes
These smashed potatoes are the gooiest and cheesiest potatoes I have ever had. The addition of chipotle peppers is simply brilliant. Not only does it impart spice, but the hint of smokiness is addictive. Once you taste these potatoes, I reckon you will never look at mashed potatoes the same way again.
- 4 pounds new red potatoes, cubed (I prefer to leave the skin on for nutrients and for a
- more rustic flavor)
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 tablespoons light unsalted butter
- ½ cup low fat milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and finely minced
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the chipotles)
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Add diced potatoes and peeled garlic cloves to large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook at a rolling boil until potatoes are tender, about 18-20 minutes. Drain water and return potatoes and garlic to pot.
- Add butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, leaving chunks of peel and potato for extra flavor.
- Add chipotles, adobo sauce, and cheese and mix well with large wooden spoon. Add more salt and pepper as desired, to taste. Spoon into casserole or oven-safe serving dish and place in 200 degree F oven to warm if needed before serving.
Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
One of my favorite summer vegetables are tomatoes. Oh, the markets are brimming with juicy, ripe, and sweet tomatoes. Ms. Martin’s recipe showcases these delicate tomatoes beautifully with the spicy buttermilk dressing. Light and refreshing, this might be my new favorite summer salad or side. The spicy buttermilk dressing is the highlight of this dish. Feel free to substitute any fresh vegetables of your liking.
- 2 pounds green beans, whole and trimmed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved and set aside
For spicy buttermilk dressing:
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 3 cloves pressed garlic
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the trimmed green beans and cook for two to three
minutes until blanched yet crispy. Strain the green beans into an ice water bath to stop
cooking and crisp further. Drain ice water and place in chilled bowl.
- In separate bowl, combine the above ingredients for the dressing, whisking lightly until
blended. Spoon over the chilled green beans (in one large serving bowl or on separate
salad plates), topping with the cherry tomato halves just before serving.
Ms. Lois Martin has shown me that there is always room for improvement and you can always something new, all you need is to keep your eyes and most importantly heart open. You never know when flavor comes knocking by.