Diva Tasting: Perfect Sides…

Perfect Sides for Everything

Must Make Mashed Potatoes


4 Large Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Cut In Half Lengthwise

½ Cup Butter

½ Cup Half-And-Half

1 4 oz. Cream Cheese Softened

Kosher Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder


Step 1 Place the potatoes into a large pot, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and return the potatoes to the pot. Turn heat to high, and allow the potatoes to dry for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.

Step 2 Mash the potatoes with a wire potato masher twice around the pot, then add the butter and milk and cream cheese. Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy. Whisk in the salt and black pepper, garlic powder until evenly distributed, about 15 seconds. Don’t overwork or potatoes won’t stay fluffy.

Garlicky Green Beans


1 Tablespoon Butter

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Large Shallot, Chopped

8 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1.5 Pounds Fresh Green Beans, Trimmed

Kosher Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Step 1 Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook shallot and garlic in the hot butter mixture, stirring frequently, until soft and slightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2 Stir green beans with shallot mixture; season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir green beans until tender, about 12 minutes.

Step 3 Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the green beans. Serves 6

Mushrooms on the Side


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Butter

1 Pound Button Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Clove Garlic, Thinly Sliced

1 Tablespoon Red Cooking Wine

1 Tablespoon Teriyaki Sauce, Or More To Taste

¼ Teaspoon Garlic Salt, Or To Taste

Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste


Step 1 Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir mushrooms, garlic, cooking wine, teriyaki sauce, garlic salt, and black pepper in the hot oil and butter until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 8 more minutes. Serves 4

Note: You may use any mushroom you like. I usually use cremini and oyster mix.

Green Bean Casserole


For the onions:

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Large Yellow Onions, Thinly Chopped

Kosher Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar

For The White Sauce:

2 Tablespoons Butter

3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

2 Cups Milk

1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Pinch Ground Nutmeg

1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper To Taste

¼ Teaspoon Ground Thyme

For the topping:

2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

2 Pounds Fresh Green Beans, Trimmed

5 Ounces Shredded Gruyere Cheese, Divided

1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Step 1Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.

Step 2 Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir the onions into the pan; cook and stir until very soft and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Transfer to a small bowl, and reserve.

Step 3 In the same skillet, melt 2 more tablespoons butter. Whisk in 2 tablespoons flour. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until the flour smells like baked pie crust, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, then whisk in nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and thyme. Bring to simmer, and cook until thickened, whisking constantly, 3 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl and reserve add the soup and whisk in evenly. Fold in the Cheddar Cheese.

Step 4 Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in clean skillet; stir in panko until all crumbs are coated; reserve.

Step 5 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium heat, and boil beans until bright green and crisp but not raw tasting, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain very well.

Step 6 Place everything but the topping into a large bowl and combine evenly. Pour and Press into the baking dish. Top with the buttered panko crumbs, the remaining Gruyere, and Parmesan cheese.

Step 7 Bake in the preheated oven until hot throughout and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving

Roasted Cabbage:


2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

½ Head Green Cabbage, Cut Into 4 Wedges

1 Pinch Garlic Powder, Or To Taste

1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, Or To Taste

Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

2 Lemons, Halved


Step 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Step 2 Brush both sides of each cabbage wedge with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper over each wedge. Arrange wedges on a baking sheet.

Step 3 Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; flip cabbage and continue roasting until browned and charred in some areas, about 15 minutes more. Squeeze lemon over each wedge.

Note: Keep the core attached to the cabbage when cutting into wedges to help it hold together.

Scottish Bubble N’ Squeak


1 Pound Potatoes, Peeled And Cut Into Chunks

2 Cups Shredded Cabbage

1 Carrot, Grated

1 Onion, Minced

1 Teaspoon Prepared Yellow Mustard

½ Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Salt And Pepper To Taste


Step 1 Place the potatoes into a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes, then set aside.

Step 2 Meanwhile, combine cabbage and carrot in another saucepan and add just enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain off liquid and stir into the mashed potatoes along with the onion, mustard and Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3 Shape the mixture into 4 patties. Heat a greased grill pan over medium-high heat. Plac

Japanese Zucchini and Onion


2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 Medium Onion, Thinly Sliced

2 Medium Zucchinis, Cut Into Thin Strips

2 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds

Ground Black Pepper


Step 1 Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook 5 minutes. Add zucchini, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Cook until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground pepper, and serve immediately.

Roasted Butternut Squash


1 Butternut Squash – Peeled, Seeded, And Cut Into 1-Inch Cubes

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste


Step 1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Step 2 Toss butternut squash with olive oil and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet.

Step 3 Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Zucchini Pasta


2 Zucchinis, Peeled

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

¼ Cup Water

Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste


Step 1 Cut lengthwise slices from zucchini using a vegetable peeler, stopping when the seeds are reached. Turn zucchini over and continue ‘peeling’ until all the zucchini is in long strips; discard seeds. Slice the zucchini into thinner strips resembling spaghetti.

Step 2Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir zucchini in the hot oil for 1 minute. Add water and cook until zucchini is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pan Fried Sprouts


6 Slices Bacon, Fried Crisp and Cut Into Bite-Size Pieces

½ Onion, Diced

1 (12 Ounce) Package Fresh Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed And Sliced

1 Teaspoon White Sugar, Or To Taste (Optional)

Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste


Step 1 Place bacon pieces in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, leaving grease in the skillet.

Step 2 Cook onion in the bacon grease in the skillet until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and toss to coat in the bacon grease. Cook and stir until browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, salt, and black pepper; sprinkle in bacon pieces.


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