Saturday, February 13, 2010


Side Dishes - Said it before, say it again. When done right, a great side dish will help define a terrific meal. But a bad side dish will ruin a great main course. Mashed potatoes and corn... Nothing too spectacular in these staples, but given a little extra Cajun effort, and these two side dishes helped define a great meal (and one of them is the best I've ever had... but I am ahead of myself...)

My review of the cookbook, Da Cajn Critter - The Lifestyles, the Rules and Makin Groceries continues. Take a look at my last 5 posts to see an incredible cake, a Crab Salad, Fried Catfish and TWO very different, but very tasty Pork Tenderloin recipes. I really do have enough recipes to give a review, and at some point soon I will cook something other than Cajun, but for now... I am lovin' this book!

And here's TWO of the reasons...


Sadly, it's the middle of winter and fresh ears of corn are not to be had. But, we hardy mid-westerners suffered through a can of sweet corn instead. Worked great, here's what I did...

Mise en Place

4 ears of Corn
1/4 cup Butter (one stick)
3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
Garlic Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Dash of Cayenne Pepper

Cut the kernels from the cob (or open the can). Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute' for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the corn, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and mix well. Cook over low to medium heat until the corn is cooked through.

And that's it, makes 6 servings and it was indeed VERY good. the extra za za zing of the cayenne and the extra sweet of the butter made an average can of corn something special. Didn't take much time, didn't take much effort, but it added up to a wonderful little side dish!

But the star of the side of the plate was the...


Oh sure, you're thinking just average mashed potatoes, but these were beyond average and bordered on something GREAT! I would eat these every day, the best mashed potatoes I have ever eaten (it's got a secret ingredient)

Mise en Place

3 pounds of Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
Salt to taste
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
1 cup Whipping Cream (I think that's the secret)
2 tsp Salt
2 TBS chopped Garlic
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup sliced Green Onions

Combine the potatoes and salted water to cover in a large saucepan. Bring to boil and cook until tender; drain. Remove to a mixing bowl and beat until medium speed until smooth. Add the butter, cream, 2 tsp salt, garlic and Parmesan cheese and beat at low speed until smooth and creamy. Add the green onions and mix well.

And beyond wow! Makes six servings, or since it is so good, one serving where you just can't stop til you are gorged. Not sure what makes these Cajun. In fact, with the creaminess, I could better call them Creole instead. But, close enough. Butter, cheese, the snap of the green onions and the creaminess of the whipped cream made this the best mashed potatoes I have ever eaten. No exaggeration

I plated these up two nights in a row with the different pork loin recipes...

See why I am loving this book!


  1. You are so right - good sides can definitely make a dish. I am actually obsessed with side dishes. They are usually the deciding factor whenever I order food at a restaurant. You should submit these to Reeni's Side Dish Showdown event over at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice. I'm sure she would love to have them!

    Isn't Tyler a genius? Only he coudl take something as simple as mashed potatoes and make them the most amazing thing you've ever eaten.

  2. At first I was like "where the hell did Dave get cornon the cob in winter??!!" Then I saw it was canned - both look delicious to me!

  3. Mmmm, mashed potatoes. Love it.

  4. Yep, I could make a meal of just the potatoes and corn! (Don't worry about meat)! They look delicious! Thanks for sharing and a Happy Valentine's Day to you and "Sugar"! :)

  5. I'm with you on side dishes. In a restaurant, I can usually predict which entree Mr. H will order . . . if there is a side of mashed potatoes it wins. These sound magnificent. And I love fried corn! I will post my super little recipe this summer when the garden is going strong.

  6. Brilliant side dishes! I was given a gadget for stripping the kernels off corn for Christmas - I think it's first outing will be to make this!

  7. In agreement, sides can make or break.

    I know you read Katherine (Smoky Mountain Cafe), have you ever tried her summer corn? Spectacular and easy.

  8. One of my daughter's favorite things is mashed potatoes mixed with corn. She'd love these :) I'm making these mashed potatoes tonight. They sound great!

  9. Cream is the secret... I usually make mine with whole milk and then at the end... add heavy cream to round out the flavors and smooth them out... made garlic mashed a couple of nights ago....

    These sides look terrific!

  10. I'm going to try the sauteed corn recipe, it looks good!

  11. I've got to have me some of those potatoes. I'm loving the cookbook as much as you are.

  12. Wow, that's quite the high praise! These look fabulous. I usually make skins-on because I'm slow with a potato peeler (and quite lazy), but hopefully they're still as good that way!