Charleston SC · Charlotte · Hickory · Lowell · Restaurants · Rock Hill SC

Best of Restaurants: Sides

Sometimes I think I get more excited about the side dishes of a meal than the actual protein.  Here’s a list of some of my favorites:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Fourk in Hickory, NC

Roasted Sunchoke, Mixed Mushroom Saute, Fried Corn and Stone Ground Grits from Roosters in Charlotte, NC

Polenta from Aria Tuscan Grill

Macaroni and Cheese and Black-eyed Peas from Mert’s Heart and Soul in Charlotte

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese from the Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, SC

Fried Squash from Grits ‘N Greens in Lowell, NC

Summer squash & tomato risotto at The Pump House in Rock Hill, SC

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Recipe

Good ‘ole Comfort Food

Sometimes I like fancy, and sometimes I like comfort.  Last night I was in the mood for sandwiches, but my husband wanted meatloaf.  Ugh.  No one else in the house likes it, but he pulled the “I’ve been working all day” card, so I acquiesced.  Turns out this meatloaf was pretty darn good, even though I made it under duress.

Here’s the Comfort Food Night Menu:

  • Glazed Meatloaf
  • Darn Good Mashed Potatoes
  • The Lady’s Macaroni and Cheese
  • Marie Callender’s Cornbread

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The Very Best Glazed Meatloaf

The Very Best Glazed Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb chuck (ground beef)
  • 1/2 lb veal (optional. Use half pork and beef if you can’t find ground veal or don’t buy veal)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a skillet over moderate heat, add the oil. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, and hot sauce together. Add marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper.In a large mixing bowl, combine the meats, egg-milk mixture, bread crumbs, parsley, and the cooked onion mixture.
  4. In a small bowl stir together ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.
  5. Form 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture into a small patty, add it to a small oiled skillet, and cook until no longer pink. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  6. Transfer meat mixture to an oiled loaf pan.*.
  7. *NOTE: The best way to make the meatloaf is to use a baking sheet, lined with foil. Place a cooling rack on top. Cut a piece of foil to be larger than a the loaf– and shape the meat into a loaf. Using a metal skewer, poke holes along the foil — usually every other hole.
  8. Place the shaped loaf on top of the foil. I prefer this method, as the loaf is less likely to “steam” in a loaf pan. You can also glaze all around the meatloaf, which is even better!
  9. Brush meat with ketchup glaze.Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, until glaze has set.
  10. Brush meat loaf with remaining glaze and bake for 15 minutes more; glaze again.
  11. My oven takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the desired doneness. Times do vary, so allow for that!
  12. Internal temperature of loaf should be 160 degrees F.

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Darn Good Mashed Potatoes

dgmp

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream

directions

  • Place the potatoes in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, (15-20 minutes). Drain well.

  • Place the drained potatoes in a large bowl, add butter and whip the potatoes with an electric mixer until there are no lumps. Pour in the cream and continue whipping until the potatoes are fluffy.

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The Lady’s Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 cups elbow macaroni, cooked & drained
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot and add the cheddar.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture.

Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Top with additional cheese if desired, and bake a few minutes more until cheese is melted.

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Marie Callender’s Cornbread

Marie Callendar's Cornbread
Marie Callendar’s Cornbread

  • 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup real butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease an 8×8″ pan on bottom and sides; set to the side.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until well blended.
  4. Add sugar, milk, melted butter and whisk thoroughly.
  5. Add Bisquick and cornmeal to egg mixture, and mix just enough to completely moisten dry ingredients and leave no lumps.
  6. Do not overmix.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry and top is firm to touch.
  8. Doubles easily into 9×13″ pan; adjust baking time accordingly.
Recipe

Pioneer Woman Recipes

I love love love Ree Drummond!  That sweet disposition, that beautiful smile, that fiery red hair.  She’s just a delight.  And it doesn’t hurt that she’s a heck of a cook.  Anyway, she is my hero, honey.

reeMain

This post is going to be all of the recipes of hers that I try.  You’ll love it.

First up: Simple Sesame Noodles.  You’ll love them.  We ate ours with teriyaki chicken.

To Try  PW Simple Sesame Noodles

You can find P Dub’s Recipe here:  Simple Sesame Noodles

 

Recipe

Grilled Corn on the Cob

It’s feeling like Fall in the Carolinas!  That means it is cool enough to go back outside, fire up the grill and enjoy a cookout without sweating your fool head off.  When my jokesters wanted a cookout, we headed to Lake Hickory and grilled some chicken.  We brought the fresh corn pre-wrapped at home and put them on the grill to cook with our chicken.  The greatest thing?  We didn’t need to bring any butter, they were already buttered up for us.  Perfect cookout side dish!

Grilled Corn on the Cob

ingredients

  • 6 ears corn
  • 6 sheets aluminum foil (8 inches long)
  • 6 tablespoons butter

directions

  • Heat up grill.

  • Take each sheet of foil and butter with one tbs where corn will be touching.

  • Roll it and pinch the ends.

  • Put on grill with medium low flame and turn after five minutes to other side.

  • Listen for crackling, whereas it might be burning!
Recipe

Recipe: Quick and Easy Deviled Eggs

Quick and Easy are not words I’d use to describe the time I’ve had since our “unfortunate run -in” with a drunk driver back in December 2009.  What you see above represents the 6th surgery I’ve had since that date, trying to fix my legs that were crushed in that accident.  Please ya’ll, don’t drink and drive.  Or text and drive.  Or do anything else and drive that causes you to lose focus for even a second.  That’s all it takes.

OK, so PSA over.  I’m healing nicely now, beginning PT tomorrow with high hopes.  Because of this little injury, I’ve had to find ways to create easy meals for my family, while still worrying about my reputation as a Barenaked Chef.  These eggs are simple, quick and easy and everyone always devours them.  I hope you like them, too.

 

Quick and Easy Deviled Eggs

ingredients

  • 12 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Miracle Whip
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • paprika, to taste

directions

1. Peel your eggs.

2. Slice vertically down the center.

3. Empty yolks into a medium-sized bowl, setting aside the egg halves.

4. Add Miracle Whip into egg yolks, adding a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper.

5. Mash or mix ingredients until creamy.

6. Spoon yolk mix into egg halves.

7. Top with dashes of paprika.

Recipe

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

Summer is here, yes!  I’m so thrilled that the weather is warming up so we can do some outdoor cooking on the grill and eat outside on the deck.  The other night we had ribs and macaroni and cheese (and other stuff) and it was so fabulous.  As much as I love grilling, my side dishes are favorites for me.  This macaroni and cheese recipe comes from Taste of Home magazine and is creamy on the inside with a crispy topping for texture.  I hope you love it as much as we did.

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces process cheese, cubed (Velveeta)
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the cheeses, stirring until cheese is melted. Drain macaroni.
  2.  Transfer macaroni to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni; mix well. Melt the remaining butter; add the bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden brown.
  3. Serves 6