Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Balsamic Vinegar

brussels sprouts with pomegranate and balsamic vinegar

Brussels sprouts with pomegranate and balsamic vinegar Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Balsamic VinegarTurkey day is almost here – and it is, perhaps the one day of the year when side dishes get top billing along with the star of the meal – turkey.  Everyone has their favorites – the sides that must be present or else it just isn’t Thanksgiving!

In my house  that would be Potatoes Hashed in Cream (be still my beating heart!), buttered green beans, and some form of sweet potatoes since we don’t have a favorite!

But what about the other 364 days of the year? Do you rely on your standard favorites? Well, if you do, do I have something for you – Rick Rodgers  fabulous new tome – “The Big Book of Sides” – and when it’s says “big” it is not kidding – there are more than 450 recipes in this book!!!

Brussels Sprouts with pomegranate and balsamic vinegar 2 Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Balsamic Vinegar

For me though, the true allure of this book isn’t just delicious and well tested recipes  but the  wonderful head notes for each recipe – serving tips, history, substitutions… and best of all… what to serve with what – one of my favorite topics!

So, I decided to test out this theory and looked for a recipe to go with a simple pork tenderloin and settled on these Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Balsamic Vinegar.

brussels sprouts Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Balsamic Vinegar


If Brussels Sprouts aren’t your “thing” you may just change your mind after making these – and they could not be easier! Pan roasted, the sprouts are glazed with a little balsamic vinegar and topped with a sprinkling of sweet and tart pomegranate arils – making the dish not only delicious but beautiful and one worthy of space on your Thanksgiving table!

Note: I was provided with a copy of the The Big Book of Sides by Melissa’s Produce for review. All opinions however, are strictly my own.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Balsamic Vinegar
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pomegranate balsamic vinegar works beautifully in this dish. If you don't have it, plain balsamic works OR you can substitute 1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Recipe type: side dish, vegetable
Serves: 4- 6 servings
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise unless smaller than a walnut
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, pomegranate balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sprouts and stir occasionally until they are lightly caramelized - about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and ½ cup of water . Bring the liquid to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sprouts are almost tender when pierced with the tip of a knife - about 10- 12 minutes. If there is liquid remaining, turn the heat up to high and cook until the liquid evaporates and the sprouts are sizzling. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and the pomegranate arils. Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sprouts to a heated serving dish and serve.




Grilled Asian Pineapple Salsa

grilled pineapple salsa

Grilled Pineapple Salsa 1 Grilled Asian Pineapple Salsa

My poor grill.

During the summer, my grill rarely gets a night off – just about anything and everything gets thrown on there for dinner – salads, chicken, fish, burgers, steaksand even dessert have all taken their turn on those hot little rods. And yes, I even grill the ingredients for this Asian Pineapple Salsa. But one thing that does not get on that grill? Olive oil.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa 3 Grilled Asian Pineapple Salsa

Not that I don’t love olive oil –  if you’ve spent any time here at the Table, this should come as no surprise. But during the summer, well, my affections turn to another –  Mazola corn oil. Yup, that beautiful, golden hued beauty who far too often is passed over in favor of… olive oil.

And this folks, is a shame.

Why? Well, olive oil, despite it’s lovely color, flavor and nutritional benefits does not belong on a grill!! It’s smoke point is far too low – 325 – 375 degrees. With grilling, medium heat is about 325 – 375 – and if you want those lovely grill marks? Your grilling at 400 – 450 degrees.  Using olive oil for  grilling is at best a waste olive oil (as the heat destroys all those lovely flavors) and at worst will impart an acrid, rather nasty taste to your food.

Which is why I like using Mazola corn oil – it’s smoke point is around 450 degrees.

But I like it for other reasons – flavor being one. To me, Mazola corn oil has a richer flavor and mouthfeel than canola oil and I love pairing it with grilled foods – it’s a no brainer with anything mexican but works surprisingly well with other cuisines as well – like this Asian Pineapple Salsa!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa 2 Grilled Asian Pineapple Salsa


Last, but certainly not least is that  Mazola corn oil has a great nutritional profile – 14% saturated fat, 29% monounsaturated and 57% polyunsaturated fat. If you use a lot of olive oil like I do, corn oil is a perfect compliment to it in your diet – giving you a nice balance of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Speaking of diet, you’ll be pushing that guacamole away in favor of this grilled asian pineapple salsa to dip those tortilla chips in – at least if you are like my son who braved the far reaches of my fridge to find it!  A mixture of grilled, fresh  pineapple,  sweet onion, cilantro, mint, jalapeno, garlic and ginger and wrapped up in a little fresh lime juice and corn oil it’s a delicious dipper for tortilla chips – or on top of some grilled chicken… or salmon… or tossed with greens and leftover grilled chicken… see where I am going with this?? Yeah, you can use this salsa on just about anything!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa 5 Grilled Asian Pineapple Salsa

Your grill might not thank you… but your taste buds? Oh yes!!!

Grilled Asian Pineapple Salsa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Your yield on this will vary a bit depending on the size of your pineapple. For an average sized pineapple, my yield was a little over 3 cups! This salsa is great served with tortilla or wonton chips, on chicken, salmon or other fish!
  • ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch thick batons
  • 1 sweet yellow onion (maui or walla walla) peeled and cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 2 Tbsp. Mazola corn oil
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ red fresno chile, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, minced
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilanto, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp. Mazola corn oil
  1. Pre heat the grill to medium high heat. Brush the pineapple and onion with Mazola corn oil. Add to grill and grill until pineapple is caramelized and has turned a deeper shade of yellow - about 3 - 4 minutes per side. Add the onion slices and cook until onion is lightly browned.
  2. Remove from grill and let cool.
  3. When cool enough to handle, cut the pineapple into ½ inch dice and put in a large bowl. Dice the onion into ¼ inch dice and add to the pineapple. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings - if you like it spicier add more fresno chile! Serve




Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup

Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup


Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup 1 Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup

I have amazingly talented friends – some are photographers, fabulous food writers, bakers, food stylists…. and now product developers! My friend, Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen has recently launched a line of sauces called Not Ketchup.

So what exactly is Not Ketchup??

Well, these are condiments  that have the same consistency and sweet/sour/spicy characteristics of ketchup… but aren’t made with tomatoes so they are “not ketchup!” Erika has come up with some fabulous combinations like  Cherry Chipotle, Smoky Date and Blueberry White Pepper (and is rumored to have other flavor combinations in the pipeline!) As soon as I tasted them, my mind started spinning with all the possibilities for these sauces …. like these Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup.

Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup 2 Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup

Truth be told, I’ve been on a bit  of an Indian food kick lately – we recently returned from a trip to London and had some absolutely fabulous Indian food, including an amazing Aloo Tikki Chaat from one of the food vendors at the Borough Market… which started the wheels turning for these  Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup. The Aloo Tikki Chaat was served with a couple of different chutneys – mint and a Tamarind Date one, which reminded me of  Erika’s Smoky Date Not Ketchup.. As I sat in the market happily devouring my chaat, I was sure that this Smoky Date Not Ketchup would pair beautifully with Indian inspired flavors – and I was right.

And after all, what could be more appropriate than ketchup and fries – or in this case,  Indian Chickpea fries and Not Ketchup!

If you’ve never made chickpea fries they are incredibly easy to make and are a great choice for a side dish or for an appetizer – you can fry them a bit ahead and keep them warm in the oven – but they even taste good at room temperature.

Indian Chickpea fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup

So, where can you get “Not Ketchup”? Well, it’s available from a number of stores here in Southern California or you can order it from Not Ketchup!

Looking for some other ideas of what to make with Not Ketchup? These are on my list to try ASAP!

Chinese Long Beans and Cashews with Smoky Date Not Ketchup from She’s Cookin’

Kale Salad with Chicken, Garbanzos and Oranges and Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup from Shockingly Delicious

Gruyere and Thyme Goureges from Adventures in the Kitchen

Indian Chickpea Fries with Smoky Date Not Ketchup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 2¼ cups chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1½- 2 cups vegetable oil for fying
  • 1 bottle Smoky Date Not Ketchup
  1. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pyrex with cooking spray and set aside. In a heavy saucepan combine the chickpea flour, salt, spices and garlic. Slowly add the stock and whisk until the batter is smooth. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens (about 8 - 10 minutes) and resembles wet sand. Pour the mixture into the pyrex. Press plastic wrap directly on the chickpea mixture and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Chickpea mixture can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
  2. After chilling, turn the chickpea mixture out onto a cutting board. Cut mixture into batons about 3 inches by ½ inch. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. The oil is hot when it bubbles after dropping in samll piece of the chickpea mixture. Add the batons to the hot oil and cook until the fries are golden brown - about 2 minutes per side. Remove fries and drain on paper towel lined plate. Continue cooking the fries in batches. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve with Smoky Date Not Ketchup




Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes Hatch Chile Pesto PotatoesThey’re coming!!!!!!  The date is now circled on my calendar and I am counting down the days.  You see, my “stash” is almost gone… I feel a little (ok, a lot) like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory with his Wonka bar… I’ve been doling out miserly bits in order to stretch my supply out as long as possible.

So, what exactly am I talking about??? HATCH CHILES!!!! Thanks (or not!) to Melissa’s Produce, I was introduced to these amazing chiles a couple of years ago…. and well, my life has just not been the same since.  After laying in what I thought was a sufficient supply, I was down to one baggie… ONE!!

But as always, Melissa’s Produce came to the rescue!!! I recently attended the launch party for Melissa’s new book – The Hatch Chile Cookbook!!!! Not ONLY did I get to feast on Hatch chiles (ahem… it seems some people are better at planning ahead than I am!!) , get my very own copy of the book,  but I also received a “care package ” to tide me over until the chiles arrived – a fabulous bag of roasted, peeled and frozen Hatch Chiles!!!

Hatch Chile cookbook Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Be still my beating heart. Crisis averted.

Hatch Chile Pesto BC1 Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Well, the bag is now over half gone… I’ve been putting them into casseroles, eggs, salads and into this Hatch Chile Pesto. Yup, pesto… and according to one taster, it was “the best pesto they’d ever had!!! I don’t know if I’d go that far but I have to tell you it was amazingly good!! So good in fact that I was sneaking small spoonfuls and getting a bit carried away by adding it to sandwiches (divine with roasted chicken), thinning it out for salad dressing (which was a hit with the guys) and tossing it with roasted potatoes!

I know what you are thinking – ” we know you love Hatch Chiles Nancy, but isn’t this going a bit too far??” Nope. Not even close. One of the best kept “secrets” about Hatch chiles is that you can only use them all kinds of dishes – like Hatch Chile Pesto! One of the things I love about Melissa’s Hatch Chile cookbook is that it explores all kinds of delicious uses for Hatch Chiles… everything from Flash Fried Pizza Nibbles to Chicken Lettuce Wraps and even S’Mores!!

In a little over two weeks, Melissa’s will be celebrating with Chile roastings and as soon as I have the schedule I will be posting it here at the Table!

The wait is almost over!!!

Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
  • Pesto
  • 2 cups, packed, fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups, packed, fresh italian parsley leaves
  • 2 scallions, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 - 3 roasted, peeled Hatch Chiles
  • Juice of 1 - 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp. corn oil
  • ¼ cup roasted, salted pepitas
  • 2- 3 Tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 lb. Melissa's small dutch yellow potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. corn oil
  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes and cut in halves. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Put the potatoes on the pan and toss with the 1 Tbsp. corn oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper or Tajin. Place potatoes in the oven and roast for 20 - 30 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
  2. For the pesto combine the cilantro, parsley, scallions, garlic, 2 Hatch chiles, juice of 1 lime, corn oil and pepitas in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a chunky paste is formed. Taste. Depending upon the heat of the chiles (and your own tastes) you can add another chile is the pesto is not spicy enough. Add more lime juice if desired. Add the parmesan and mix. Taste and adjust seasonings. If the pesto is too thick, you can thin it with a little water. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. You can store the pesto for 2 - 3 days in the refrigerator.
  3. Toss ½ of the pesto with the warm potatoes and serve.


Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 11.07.10 AM

Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet Salad with Siracha Dressing Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha DressingJust when I thought it couldn’t get any better… Melissas Produce went and introduced NEW produce collections. The newest additions are – Organic Purification Boxes! Melissas graciously sent me the Organic Purification Box B to play with… and play I did!  Overflowing with grape tomatoes, leaf lettuce, spinach, romaine, beets, sweet potato, cucumber, ginger, garlic, apple, kiwi and orange, these  boxes  are a  bonanza for juicing – or  in my  case,  for making salads – like this Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha dressing.

Screen Shot 2013 05 07 at 11.07.10 AM Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing


If you are like  me, you can’t always make it to your weekly farmer’s market,. Well, Melissas has solved that problem –  the “market” can come to you!!! Filled with beautiful, fresh and nutritious vegetables these Organic Purification boxes area a terrific and easy way to add more vegetables to your diet. So what can you do with Melissa’s Organic Purification Boxes? The possibilities are almost endless as I discovered when I started making a list of everything I could make with all the ingredients in the box!

Looking for some ideas? Well, here are some delicious ways to use those veggies! The tomatoes and Romaine would be perfect in this Romaine Salad with Hatch Chiles (making use of those Melissa’s Hatch chiles you roasted and froze from last season). The kiwi would be terrific in this Strawberry and Kiwifruit Pavlova and the beets and sweet potatoes? This  Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha dressing is just the thing. Tender roasted sweet potatoes and beets combined with an orange siracha dressing, the salad is sweet, spicy and  chock full of vitamin A and C, fiber, iron and calcium.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet Salad with Siracha DressingBC2 Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing

Like Melissa’s other fabulous produce boxes, these Organic Purification boxes are available for $25.00 and include delivery within Southern California (if you live outside So Cal you can still order the boxes however the delivery cost will be higher due to shipping). I think this would make a terrific Mother’s Day gift, or a gift for a recent graduate… or even better,  order these for yourself – truly one of the  best “gifts”  you can give yourself and your family – fresh, delicious and nutritious produce!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The beet and sweet potato can be roasted 1 day ahead. For the best flavor, make the dressing shortly before serving.
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 Melissas Organic Beet
  • 1 Melissas Organic Sweet Potato
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 Melissas Organic Orange, juiced
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tsp. Siracha sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stems from the beets and wrap in aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan. Roast the beets in the oven for approximately 40 - 50 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Cool.. When cool, peel and cut into slices.
  2. Spray a sheet pan lightly with cooking spray. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1 inch chunks. Place on the sheet pan and toss with 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Roast the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender and lightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the orange juice and the siracha sauce. Whisk to combine. Drizzle in the siracha sauce and whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the beets and sweet potatoes between 2 salad plates. Drizzle with the siracha dressing and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the goat cheese and cilantro. Serve


Browned Butter Cornbread Recipe


Brown Butter Cornbread 2 Browned Butter Cornbread Recipe“Necessity is the mother of invention”.

And sometimes, accidents are too.

Because it is solely by accident that this cornbread recipe came about. The other night I decided to make a quick skillet cornbread to go with a Tanjin crusted chicken and salsa  that I was making for dinner. Like most cornbread recipes, it’s very easy.  Pre heat the oven, plop a cube of butter in a cast iron skillet  and let it melt in the oven while you assemble the dry and wet ingredients.

Easy peasy, right? So easy it sort of got away from me. There I was in the kitchen happily assembling my ingredients, catching up with my husband on the events of the day and … forgot about the butter.

Oops! But I was in luck …. it hadn’t burned but browned and although the idea hadn’t occurred to me I thought “hmmm… this could be good!” (Duh… when is brown butter NOT good??) So I pulled the skillet out of the oven,  finished assembling the wet ingredients (to which I added a healthy dollop of some good bourbon) stirred it into the dry ingredients , poured it into the skillet and popped it back in the oven.

About 30 minutes later, out came the bread … and oh, the smell!! Sweet corn with an underlying nuttiness….  my fingers were crossed that it would taste as good as it smelled!!!

Brown Butter Cornbread Browned Butter Cornbread Recipe

The verdict was… “oh yeah”.. and a new favorite cornbread  recipe has been crowned!!!

Looking for something to serve this cornbread with? It would be great with..

Chicken and tomatillo soup BC2 Browned Butter Cornbread Recipe

Chicken and Tomatillo Soup

Salsa Chowder BC2 Browned Butter Cornbread Recipe

Salsa Chowder



Browned Butter Cornbread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 cube)
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal ( I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp. good bourbon (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cube of butter into a 10 inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven. Let butter melt and brown - about 7 - 8 minutes for cold butter (if your butter is at room temperature, it will take a bit less time). While the butter is browning, combine the flour,cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir. Add the corn and toss with the dry ingredients (this helps the corn from sinking to the bottom of the pan). In a small bowl, combine the milk, honey, egg and bourbon. Stir until combined. When the butter is finished browning, remove skillet from the oven. Pour all but two tablespoons of the browned butter into the wet ingredients and stir. Quickly add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the skillet and place back in the oven. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the cornbread is brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with small crumbs attached. Remove skillet from oven and let cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Salsa Chowder


Creamy and hearty salsa chowder Salsa ChowderIf anyone knows where last week went, could you email me? Because I honestly I have no clue – none whatsoever.

Although last week was MIA, the meals were not. But they definitely were on the simpler side – mostly roasted or grilled meat or fish, an easy vegetable and rice/grain/pasta. In short, nothing worth sharing here at the Table.

But then  there was this soup.


Read More »

Potato Lover’s Month with Idaho Potatoes: Romesco Fingerling Potato Salad


A few month’s ago, I got a call from Patti Londre of  Worth the Whisk and the genius/mastermind behind Camp Blogaway. Patti was working with the Idaho Potato Commission on a Valentine’s project  to celebrate Potato Lover’s Month and wondered if I would be interested.

I think I said “YES”!! before she even completed the question.


Read More »

Yogurt Flatbreads


I always forget about the bread.

It’s not that I don’t love bread – I do – especially homemade bread.

And that’s the problem. I always “think” I am going to make homemade bread to go with the soup or the salad I am making for dinner. But somewhere between “thinking” and “doing” life seems to happen and all of sudden it’s 5:00 and I haven’t made the bread. In fact, I haven’t even started it.



Read More »