I’ve had a crazy week. The organization that I work for hosted a huge conference this past week, and I was responsible for a very large part of it. After staying in downtown Chicago and running around all week listening to compliments AND complaints, I’m wiped out! I’m very happy to finally be home relaxing. One of the great things is that I will be taking this next week off. I plan on spending it creating new recipes and researching grape purchases for my winemaking this fall. I’m really looking forward to it!
My husband is and always will be my rock, but never more so than this week. He’s heard every single crazy story and commiserated with me through it all. He’s also been there to make me laugh and give me a hug and a kiss when I need it. And boy did I need it this week! The Dude rocks! So, while I plan on just chilling out today, I still want to get in the kitchen and make something for Sunday dinner.
I took some steaks out of the freezer so I’ll be firing up the grill. But what to make for sides? After scouting around the refrigerator I found some parboiled baby potatoes. I decided to make some homemade hash brown potatoes, and add some red and orange peppers, red onion, and a touch of smoked paprika for some depth of flavor.
For greens, I’m making my all time favorite veggie – spinach. When I was in Italy, I think I ate spinach every single day. Sautéed with olive oil and garlic – oh my! So simple, so quick, and so good!
So let’s get in the kitchen and whip up some quick sides for dinner.
- 2 large bunches of spinach, de-stemmed but whole leaf, cleaned and drained well
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, rough chop
- 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add garlic and saute, but don’t brown. Drop the spinach into the pan in handfuls. It will wilt down and then add your salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Lower the heat and let it cook until most of the moisture evaporates. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Hash Browns with Something Extra
- 4-6 TBSP canola oil
- 6-7 small potatoes, parboiled and cut in small cubes
- 1 red pepper, cut in small cubes
- 1 orange pepper, cut in small cubes
- half of a red onion, cut in thin slices
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat up a heavy (cast iron is best) skillet over medium high heat. Add your canola oil and get it hot! Add your potatoes and cook until a nice brown crust forms. Add your peppers and onions and continue to cook until soft. Add your smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cover. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the peppers cook through. Serve hot.
Note: Vegetarian? I love this dish with firm tofu added. Just brown your tofu in the olive oil and remove from pan. Cook potatoes and the peppers as above. Before serving add back the tofu and warm through. Yum!