Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Sides of Potatoes and Evil Vegetables.

Now that the warmer weather has finally made itself known here, time to get the barbecue grills and smokers primed and ready to work.  In the freezer I have already stocked up on Johnsonville brats (original and beer); slabs of ribs and mounds of brisket as big as babies.  Pork and chicken are still on my list, and that'll be taken care of on the next big shopping trip to Cortez, Colorado.  Now all that protein is a wonderfully beautiful sight to behold; but I still need some side dishes to help enhance the eating experience.

Oh yeah, got those cobs of corn waiting to be slathered with herb butter, wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked up on the grill alongside that meat.  Huge bell peppers to be cut in half, cleaned, oiled and roasted up with the corn as well, but it doesn't seem to be enough.  Potatoes!  Got to have a potato dish; and for those people yelling at me about a bigger assortment of healthy vegetables...the dreaded evil vegetables.

The first recipe is for my Nanny's Potatoes, Nanny as in my maternal grandmother.  She made a simple German style potato salad with only olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper; no bacon.  However, there are so many more options you can add to this simple recipe besides bacon; diced sweet pickles (not relish, but real pickles) or diced green onion are two.  Julienne up some tart green apple or sweet pear to give added flavors and crunch.  Well let me just give you the simple recipe, and let your own imagination take it from there.

Nanny's Potatoes
Nanny's Potatoes


3 lbs red skinned potatoes, cut into wedges or chunks, washed and leave skin on
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp fine sea salt


Place potatoes in a large stockpot, cover with water and set on high heat.  Boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and place in large serving bowl.  Mix potatoes with other ingredients; add additional salt and/or black pepper is necessary.  Serve hot to keep oil from cooling and coagulating.

Makes 8 servings.

Now for the second recipe, grilled evil vegetables; either use an aluminum foil grilling bag, or wrap up the vegetables in heavy duty aluminum foil, not the typical kitchen foil.  You're probably wondering why I'm calling them "evil vegetables"; I'm referring to cauliflower and brussel sprouts which I think are the two most foul tasting and smelling vegetables around.  My husband and his mom love them though, so I make this for them; they're my family, I love them and want them to have good meals that they enjoy.  Yes, you can spice these veggies up a bit by adding chile powder or diced chiles; or give a more Italian flare with crushed, dried herbs.

Grilled Evil Vegetables


1 head of cauliflower, broken up
2 lbs brussel sprouts, remove stem ends and cut in half; quarter if very large
1 small onion, diced
1 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp fine sea salt


Set barbecue grill to 350F; spray inside of large grilling bag with nonstick spray.  If using heavy duty foil, create a large bag by folding foil (32 inch sheet folded to 16 inches), seal short sides by folding ends three times; spray inside.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; spread out evenly inside foil bag being careful not to puncture the foil.  Seal the long end of the bag by folding it three times.  Place on top rack of the barbecue grill and let it grill for 20 minutes.  Carefully open the bag by cutting a slit through the top of the foil, spoon out into a serving bowl and serve hot.

Makes 8 servings.

This recipe can also be made in the oven by spreading out the mixture into a rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan) or baking dish; sprayed with nonstick spray.  Set oven on 450F and roast for 20 minutes.

There you have it, two sides to serve up with your barbecued meats or poultry.  Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour

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