Appetizers · Savory · Sides

Fire Roasted Herb Butter Corn on the Cob

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August is upon us in the beautiful state of Minnesota, which means we are in the final lap of summer break. This time of year always seems to fly by as we soak up the remaining weeks before another year of school begins. The days are still deliciously warm, the sunlight doesn’t wean until well past 8 pm, and I relish summer activities with my girls. In all honesty, August is typically the month in which I bury my head in the sand and pretend autumn and back to school isn’t looming around the corner. Each season and stage of life has it’s beauty, but there’s just something about summer break that feels like a favorite lounging chair with a good book.

There is always a highlight to the end of August in the Twin Cities, and that is the Great Minnesota Get Together, our State Fair. People travel from all across the Midwest to attend – and the sights, activities and food are no small offering! From Sweet Martha’s Cookies to anything on a stick, everyone I know has a favorite staple of which they can’t visit the fair without consuming.

For me, it’s the corn on the cob booth. The smell of fire roasted corn, still in their husks mixed with tubs of melted butter is unmistakable. There’s bits of burnt husk flying around in the breeze and people young and old nibbling at the cobs with butter dripping down their arms. It’s a 10 plus napkin kind of snack, and it brings me fond memories of when I was a teenager snacking at the fair with my family.

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This recipe is an homage to said food stand at the Great Minnesota Get Together. It’s incredibly simple to make, and celebrates the freshest produce of summer with locally grown corn and herbs from my garden. Albeit you can make this year round, nothing compares to a sublimely fresh piece of produce in the peak of it’s harvest season. Recipe yields 6 ears of corn – but there is enough herb butter for 12. I used the remaining half of my herb butter the following week tossed with a gluten free pasta and sautéed vegetables, which left me equally satisfied.

There are a bunch of really talented bloggers who have created copycat recipes from the Great Minnesota Get Together, and we’ve teamed up to share them with you in a recipe round up!

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Below are the links to these recipes:

Vegan Nachos: Kelly & Dustin with Dining Duster
Watermelon Kombucha Slushie: Sharon with The Honour System
Breakfast Pronto Pups: Janel with Nellie Bellie
Fried Pickles with Sriracha Ranch Dip: Greta with Pickles Travel Blog
Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts: Lane & Holly with With Two Spoons
State Fair Cookies: Alice with Dining with Alice
Corn fritters + maple butter: Haley with Cheap Recipe Blog

What’s your favorite part of your local State Fair? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 stalks of locally grown organic corn, still in their husks
  • 1 stick organic butter at room temp
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • salt + pepper to taste

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Method:

  1. Place the room temperature butter in a bowl and add in the freshly diced herbs. Stir until well combined. You can leave the butter at room temp for coating each cob, or make the butter in advance and store in the fridge. To store, wrap and roll in parchment paper and store up to 1 week. (see photo)
  2. Peel back the corn husks halfway to remove the silk from the cobs, enclosing each cob with the husk once removed. You want each cob to be covered as much as possible to protect them from burning.
  3. Place the cobs with their husks repositioned in an ice water bath for 30 minutes to ensure they don’t start on fire during the grilling process.
  4. Preheat your gas grill to medium heat.
  5. Gently dry off the excess water from the cobs and place them on the grill, directly over the fire,
  6. Rotate each cob every 5 minutes for a total cook time of 15-20 minutes. Remove from grill.
  7. Peel back the husks and generously spread each cob with the herb butter. Finish with salt and pepper + enjoy!

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Appetizers · Sides

Parmesan Zucchini Rounds

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Summer means farmer’s market finds + fresh garden spoils – which are undoubtedly some of my favorite foods. The labor of love that goes into growing and preparing food from garden to table is filled with far more flavor and love than any store bought item I’ve tasted (local co-op fare aside.)

Zucchini deserves far better, in my opinion, than a restaurant side dish of a quick sauté in EVOO or in a pasta primavera. A beautifully fresh summer variety of squash, I love to cook it so that it retains a bit of it’s crunch. I’ve been making this side dish for years and it’s quickly become mine and my husband’s favorite summer alternative to fries. It’s loaded with flavors, and sometimes I like to add in fresh herbs readily available from the garden like dill, chives or rosemary.

This recipe is a great canvas for layering flavor. I’m particularly fond of the sharp hint of parmesan cheese and crunch from the gluten free bread crumbs. If you’re not running with the gluten free crowd, panko bread crumbs are a lovely substitute. Enjoy the spoils of summer + all their beautiful bounty!

Recipe yields 2 sheet pans – or approximately 32 rounds,
depending on the size of the zucchini.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 medium to large size zucchini, sliced about 1/8″ thick
  • 2 gluten free bagels or 4 slices of gluten free whole grain bread – I love using Canyon Bakery Everything Bagels
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs + splash of milk, whisked together
  • Salt + pepper to taste

 

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Slice the zucchini into 1/8″ rounds.
  3. Using a food processor, pulse the gluten free bread, parmesan cheese + a pinch of salt and pepper until it resembles bread crumbs. Place in a glass container.
  4. Whisk together the eggs + splash of milk until incorporated. Place in a separate glass container to use as a dredge. (see above photo)
  5. Coat each zucchini round in the egg + milk dredge, followed by a thin coating on each side of the breadcrumb + parmesan mixture. I gently press the crumbs to each round while applying to ensure it’s properly breaded.
  6. Place each round on the lined baking sheets + bake 25 minutes, noting that smaller rounds will bake quicker than larger rounds (read as keep your eyes on the little darlings as they bake.) I like to flip mine over halfway through the baking process, though not necessary. They should have a nice golden brown hue, but still be firm enough to hold. No soggy vegetables here.
  7. Eat as is, or with your favorite sauce. My husband enjoys a horseradish sauce on occasion.

Enjoy + thanks for stopping by Girl Meets Kitchen!

~Julia

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Appetizers · Savory · Sides

Garlic + Dill Potato Wedges

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Since the onset of my struggles with gluten earlier this year, I have learned to satisfy my cravings for carbs in a variety of ways. Potatoes are definitely one of the vehicles that delivers this carb satisfaction – though I’ve always had an affinity for potatoes. We are Midwesterners, after all!

I recall thoroughly enjoying wedge potatoes from the deli often as a child; the crispy outside + the fluffy insides covered in copious amounts of salt + seasonings…they were the ultimate comfort food. I wanted to recreate them in a healthier version that was gluten free, and did so completely unintentionally the other evening.

The end-result was an evening where my two blonde babes and I sat around the dinner table on a mommy/daughter date night and devoured said potato wedges in a state of giggles and bliss. While the recipe is perfectly satisfying, the memories of that night spent with my girls will be the one I think of every time I make these going forward.

The key to the wedges turning out with the crispy exterior and fluffy inside is the ice bath. When it comes to your seasonings of choice, I recommend using what you love most. For me, it was a combination of garlic, salt, pepper + dill. Happy cooking, friends – from my kitchen to yours.

Yields approximately 24-30 wedges.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized organic potatoes, peeled and cut into equal sized wedges.
  • ½ cup organic corn starch
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • Salt + Pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

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Method:

  1. Soak the peeled + diced potato wedges in an ice water bath for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper + set aside.
  3. Combine the corn starch, garlic salt + pepper in a medium sized bowl and stir. Strain the potatoes and toss them in the seasoned corn starch. (I gently tapped each coated wedge on the side of the bowl to ensure they were not over coated before placing them on the lined baking sheet.)
  4. Bake 20 minutes on the center rack of the oven. Remove and lightly drizzle the wedges with 1 tbsp of the EVOO. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. In a large sauté pan on your stovetop, heat the remaining EVOO (the ½ cup less 1 tablespoon) over medium high heat. Add the garlic clove and sauté for 1-2 minutes to season the oil. Remove the garlic clove from the oil + discard prior to pan frying the potatoes.
  6. Sauté the wedges in small batches until each side is a light to medium golden brown. Place the batches on a paper towel lined plate + season immediately with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl and garnish with chopped dill. Serve immediately.

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Appetizers · Savory · Sides

Loaded Mashed Potato Pouches

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In my humble opinion, appetizers and the Holiday Season pair together much like wine and cheese. November and December bring family + friends alike together with greater frequency, all of which makes my heart sublimely happy.

Following our Thanksgiving dinner, we had an excess amount of mashed potatoes (thanks to you CostCo + your 15 pound bag of love!) While we usually have no trouble consuming the leftovers, the amount we had was a bit more daunting than usual and I hated to waste them. I also had a fair amount of bacon from hosting Thanksgiving morning breakfast and a variety of cheese + herbs I wanted to utilize. The end result was putting these little pockets of love together for a neighborhood gathering.

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If you’re seeking a low carb, low calorie option — try hitting up Cooking Light, because you aren’t going to find anything of the sorts in these. But my position on food is that it should be real, high quality and meant to not stress over the calories when enjoyed in moderation. I also think eating low fat foods stripped of their nutrients and overly processed in the name of “health” is 1.) an oxymoron and 2.) a huge disservice to both your body and tastebuds. This recipe calls for real butter, whole fat milk, nitrate free bacon and a good quality gruyere. Trust me when I suggest shortcuts would produce a less flavor-packed punch.

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I made two versions of the appetizer to appeal to carnivores and vegetarians alike. Each was delicious, but the bacon delivers a perfect salty crunch if you’re entertaining the first mentioned group. Start to finish, the apps take about 60 minutes unless you use leftover mashed potatoes. Just be sure to warm the potatoes prior to baking them in the filo cups. Substitute to your hearts desire with a cheese or herb that tickles your fancy.

But do enjoy with loved ones and pause to drink in the moment deeply.

There’s beauty in the gathering.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!

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Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs organic yukon gold potatoes, peeled + diced into 2″ cubes
  • 8 oz organic butter, divided
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 wrapped packet (1/2 the box) of frozen filo dough, thawed per directions on the package
  • 1 lb. nitrate free bacon, cooked + chopped
  • 6 oz freshly grated gruyere cheese, or a preferred alternative
  • Freshly diced chives
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 muffin pans

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 Method:

  1. Cook the bacon + set aside to cool slightly. Chop into small pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 300.
  3. Cook the peeled + diced potatoes until fork tender, drain and return to the pot.
  4. Add 7 oz of the butter, cubed and 1 cup milk. Mash the potatoes and season with salt + pepper per your preference. Cover and set aside in the pan to remain warm.
  5. Lay out the thawed filo dough and cut into thirds, horizontally. Cut the thirds in half, resulting in 6 square shaped piles. Place a slightly damp towel over the filo dough to prevent from drying.
  6. Select 4-6 filo squares at a time, fanning them out with the centers aligned. Gently press them into each muffin tin. Complete until all 24 tins are lined.
  7. Melt the remaining 1 oz of butter and use a pastry brush to moisten the bottom of each filo filled muffin tin. Gently brush a little butter up the sides and tops as well, but the goal is not to soak or oversaturate the dough.
  8. Take a freezer bag and put the mashed potatoes into the bag, creating a piping bag. Use a scissors and cut a small opening in the bottom corner of the freezer bag and pipe the potatoes into each filo lined tin.
  9. Top with the grated gruyere, followed by the bacon.
  10. Bake 30-40 minutes until the filo cups are gently browned on the tops and the cheese melted.
  11. Let sit 5 minutes, then using a spoon or cake spreader remove each pouch from the muffin tins. Top with chives + serve hot.

 

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Appetizers · Meals · Savory · Sides

Fried Rice

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I have scoured the internet for the quintessential fried rice recipe that brings me back to my childhood years with no luck. While there are a lot of great ones out there, very few hit all my criteria of what it ought to taste like. Memory has a strong attachment to flavors, which is why so many people tend to never stray from favorite recipes passed down from generations.

 Growing up, we were fortunate to have friends that lived nearby and also worked with my mom who’s heritage was Vietnamese. Her recipe for fried rice was, far and away THE BEST recipe I’d ever tasted. Her recipe is the standard by which I judge every other fried rice.

I grew up playing with her kids that were near my age I have fond memories of performing “on stage” in her basement for all of her family, playing dolls and laughing a lot. Those play dates also included so much love via her mom’s kitchen, where the scents of spices and ingredients made with love made you float into the kitchen on an aroma cloud, much like any cartoon scene. My mom would often come home with fried rice and egg rolls made that morning because her friend knew just how much we loved her cooking.

We’ve been asking for this recipe for years, and just recently the blessing of memories washed over us as she shared it with us. We made the simple + unmistakable version of the dish, and what struck me most was its simplicity. Real ingredients and simple technique shared with people whose company you cherish. It was a sweet couple of hours spent with my mom and family reminiscing and reconnecting. I hope you enjoy – the recipe offers a very minor tweak or two, but every ounce of delicious goodness I so vividly remember.
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Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of uncooked Jasmine, long grain rice
  • 1 frozen bag of peas & carrots mixed, thawed
  • 1 lb. protein of choice, cut into 1″ pieces. I used chicken breast, though shrimp or pork are wonderful options as well. Vegetarians — skip the protein altogether!
  • 3 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large bunch green onions, diced. Use the entire onion, greens included
  • 2.5 tbsp. soy sauce

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Method:
  1. Cook or steam the rice per the package instructions and set aside.
  2. In a small nonstick saute pan, cook the eggs until scrambled and set aside.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a separate large frying pan on the stove top over medium heat. Season the protein with the 2 tsp. of salt and saute until fully cooked.
  4. Add the thawed peas, carrots, and yellow onion to the chicken and saute 3 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, then add the cooked rice, butter, sugar, black pepper and soy sauce. Stir until combined, noting the rice will still be relatively light in color. The soy sauce should merely act as a season to the rice. (note: bean sprouts would be a lovely addition to this, or any other favorite vegetable you prefer. Just ensure anything you add is similar in size to the peas and carrots.)
  6. Stir in the diced green onions, saving some to garnish atop and serve hot.

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Appetizers · Savory · Snacks

Spicy Maple Glazed Rumaki

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I love how social media connects people. It’s a gathering space where people from all different walks of life can connect and share; come together. This is very much akin to my philosophy on meeting at the dinner table – we gather not only to feed our bodies, but also our minds, relationships and foster emotional connections that nurture our emotional well being.

Social media is my cyber dinner table. I’ve met some incredibly talented, kind and interesting individuals that have both challenged and inspired me – both related and unrelated to food.

I love collaborating, and when Nicole over at Uniquely Women asked to do so, I enthusiastically embraced the opportunity. Head over to her site and check her out, you won’t be disappointed!

While you’re there, check out the recipe I created for this Spicy Maple Glazed Rumaki. It’s a great little unique and quirky appetizer. You can find the recipe link below. Cheers, friends – and continue the gatherings that feed both your bodies and souls.

Spicy Maple Glazed Rumaki

-Julia