Category Archives: side

Not your grandma’s Cabbage Slaw

I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking the same thing. Cabbage coleslaw? Bleeeccch! Well this version couldn’t really be further from Bleeeccch! This is another fantastic recipe from the fabled Marissa. I know many of you have never seen her. Maybe she doesn’t exist… but if you believe she just might. Anyway, this is the stuff if you need a nice fresh summery/fallish/ really anytime salad and are tired of the boring old greens and with Newman’s Own dressing you usually make. Yeah, I’m watching you. Let’s spice it up. I can hear your hunger from here.

1 Head of red cabbage
1/2 Red pepper
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion
4 carrots grated.
3/4 juice of lemon
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp oregano
4-5 Tbsps olive oil

batterjunkie-1 The details of this slaw are inconsequential, it’s not hard to make. It is however hard to make correctly. Thinly chop the red cabbage, red peppers and onions. Grate those carrots and toss them all in bowl. The thin-ness of the chop seems to regulate taste, the thinner the better. Now mix in the other ingredients and in just a few minutes, you’re done!batterjunkie-2Let this mother sit for a while so that the flavors can really marry. This is really the key to making it good!

Thanks Marissa!


Spicy Corn Bread

Hello all. This Corn Bread was adapted from the Smitten Kitchen recipe. It once changed the course of a young boy’s life. I’m not sure how but, let’s just say he gets a lot more attention now. I find this is a good winter staple as it is hearty and dense. Let’s get on with it.

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP brown  sugar
1 egg
1 cup of jalapeno pepper jack cheese (or whatever kind you like)
4 jalapenos, seeded and chopped into small pieces.
5 or so green onions chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).

Toss the butter in a cast iron skillet or in an 8-inch square baking pan over medium heat until it melts all over the pan like groupie backstage at a rock concert. Then turn off the heat.

Chop up the Jalapenos, the green onions, and grate that cheese.

Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.Then add the jalapeno bits, green onions and cheese to the dry mixture. I find that adding chunky stuff to the dry ingredients incorporates it better into the bread.

Mix the egg into the buttermilk like it belongs there. Add that liquid mixture into the dry ingredient bowl. It will form a pasty dough. It should be kind of malleable and not too dry, somewhat like my wit. Add a bit more buttermilk if it’s too dry.

Glop the batter into the cast iron skillet full of butter and smooth it out with a spoon.

Bake about 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown and the sides have pulled away from the pan. Check it with a heroin needle, a toothpick or anything sharp you have sitting around precisely for sticking things.

Serve it up hot! Your friends will thank you.



Mama’s mashed potatoes

As mother’s day was quite recent it only seemed fitting that I post something terribly yummy and quite precious to my heart, taught to me by my mom. Now mom has been featured on the blog many times before but this recipe is really a family favorite. Every Thanksgiving mom makes these mashed potatoes and people come from miles around to eat them. In recent years my brother has taken on the task but it has always been under the watchful eye of mom. One of the beautiful things that she taught me about cooking was to always experiment, try new recipes, make up recipes and most of all cook with no fear. In that vein I decided to give this recipe a little kick with some rosemary and garlic but the rest is essentially the family method.

Thanks mom for this, one of hundreds of fantastic recipes with which you have graced the world.

You may not know this but mom also serves as on of the primary editors here on the Batter Junkie helping to make the prose as sweet as the recipes. Happy Mother’s Day and thank you and moms everywhere.

7-8 Large potatoes (red, yukon gold, whatever you like though they vary a little between species)
55 grams (1/2 a cube) of butter
1 cup of milk (to taste and texture)
2 tsp Angostura Bitters
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Optional addition:
2 Tbsp Chopped fresh Rosemary
5-6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 Tbsp olive oil

The way you usually start is to peel and quarter the potatoes. This is not entirely necessary if you like a bit-o-skin texture in there. I usually peel the bad bits off and leave on most of the skin. Then chop the potatoes in quarters and throw them in a large pot of boiling water. They will need to boil for about 25 minutes depending on how many potatoes you are doing.

Stick a fork in to one of them, if it slides away easily then you are all ready to go. Drain the water using a colander and place the potatoes in a large bowl.

If you have an electric mixer USE IT to beat them. If you do not then you’re in for a bit of an arm ache. Whip them while they are hot and toss in a little bit of the milk to soften the mixture. Once it has started to become smooth throw in the butter. Sweet sweet butter!

Add a little more milk and the bitters, salt and pepper. Make sure to taste it often.

In a small fry pan toss in the olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Saute for about 2 minutes until they make your kitchen smells like a small Greek village. Mix them in with the potatoes.

Now if you don’t have your guests coming for a while you can put them in the oven. This is a good plan if you don’t have a microwave. I put mine in an over safe bowl and turned it on 350 for about 15 minutes. That way the top of the mashed potatoes is a tiny bit crispy and it adds a nice texture.

As Richard Dryfus would say: “This means something.” Maybe we were looking for this?

Dad, Mom and me standing in front of a mashed potato sculpture,

These are amazing with gravy (the potatoes, not the people), fantastic with nothing but salt and pepper and a whiz with some steak and salad. Please enjoy them as much as our family has.

Love to all.

Hummus – The Great Unifier

With all of the strife in the world, it is a wonder that one thing continues to unite people. This paragon of food is spawned from the simple loins of the courageous chick pea, resilient, proud and strong. It is known by many other names, the Garbanzo bean, Nohut, Indian pea or Ceci bean. I have had hummus in many countries and with varying degrees of garlic but one things remains the same, it is almost always good. This particular recipe was given to me by a one Ali San, Rana’s papa.

For fun I have included many of the comments Ali made when he gave me the recipe. His comments are in Blue.

1 400g can of cooked garbanzo beans (14-16oz)I do not peel them. You need that roughage in your system!
3 Tbsp of their own juice
3 Tbsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp of tahini (optional) (the spell check insisted on changing it to Tahiti, beware!)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
flakey red pepper to taste
Juice of ½ a lemon (more or less, to taste)
Once you’ve collected all of your ingredients, drain the garbanzo beans (save the juices) and place them in a blender. In my case I didn’t have a blender so I simply put then in a giant bowl and used my blending wand! Then throw in the additional ingredients and commence to blendin’.

Ali says to blend until you get a moist, fluffy, but not runny consistency. You can experiment and get to that point by adding more or less of its juice and olive oil. I like to leave mine a little chunky!

To give it a little color and put your guests on notice, sprinkle a little flaky red pepper on top…and enjoy. (Now I’m confused, the spell check can’t make out the difference between “flakey” and “flaky”. Nor can I.) 

Also my a Lebanese friend taught me that you make a little divot in the middle of the hummus and pour in some olive oil. I hope you like this as much as my guests did! I did not nor do I usually include Tahini. It is hard to find in other countries and not 100% critical to good hummus. Serve with fresh cut carrots and peppers or pita for dipping.

Labels: Hummus, side, appetizer, 

Gazpacho – Andalucia style

There are as many types of gazpacho as there are fish in the sea, grains of sand in the desert, large animals with teeth of which I am afraid, you pick your favorite metaphor. This cold vegetable soup is traditional in the Andalucia region of Southern Spain and all over Central and South America. I learned how to make this many years ago from my adorable host mother, Teresa when I studied in Granada, Spain. I have added a few touches over the years but essentially, this is her recipe.
Warning, making this can cause incidents of extreme summer-y deliciousness.
2 slices French bread—dissolved in 2 cups water
1/2 English cucumber
1 bell pepper quartered
2 cloves garlic
7 small tomatoes
2 Tbsp vinegar
2+ Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cumin
A blender of some sort.
You don’t need a blender but it helps. Just like “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people but the gun helps.” I have a blending wand like I’m some sort of crazed kitchen fairy, willing to grant your taste buds three wishes. Something like that.
This is another one of those recipes that will really stretch the limits of your culinary skills. In a bowl large enough to encompass the mass of vegetables you’ve collected, pour two cups of water and toss in two large chunks of french bread. If you have a blender you can do the bread in a smaller bowl.
Leave this be for about 10 minutes so the bread can really soak up the water. 
Meanwhile (back at the ranch) skin half of the English cucumber and the garlic as well. Cut the tomatoes and bell pepper into large chunks. This is not necessary but it will make you feel like you are actually cooking. If you don’t need that kind of affirmation, simply toss all of the vegetables and the rest of the ingredients into a blender, blend, and you’re done.
The oil, vinegar and spices are all to taste. You will find that as you make this you will have to add a little more or less of things based on the juicyness of the veggies. I love the Moroccan flavor that the cumin gives this dish so I sometimes add a touch more. Garnish with a little pepper or cumin.
Enjoy this on the back porch, your terrace or really anywhere nice in the summer time. It can be eaten as a main dish or a starter soup. We ate it as a starter with Simone and Ines and then finished the left over parmigiana from last night.
Living and eating well! Until next time.
Labels: soup, Spanish, vegetarian, main, side

Patatas a lo Pobre

It’s here! Or rather, I am. To celebrate my triumphant return to Spain I give you a traditional dish. 

There is nothing finer than simple food. Well reader, she doesn’t get much easier, and cheaper I might add, than Patatas a lo Pobre or Poor man’s potatoes. This is a recipe that was suggested to me by my good friend Simone, after he took a trip down south to Granada. This recipe is served as a tapa in Andalucía. If you don’t know what a tapa is, go read another blog, seriously.

If you’re poor, rich, or somewhere in between you’ll love this salt and oil delivery system.We got the particulars from a little blog called Recetas de mamá.


2 potatoes
1 onion
1 green or red bell pepper
Olive oil

Wash and skin the potatoes. If you want to give a little extra flavor you can leave the skin on the potatoes and just cut off the nasty bits. I will leave that to your discretion. Dice your onion.If you don’t know how there is a short tutorial in this post. It’s OK to leave large chunks as they will become soft in the cooking process. Cut the core out of the bell pepper or what ever kind of pepper you are using and slice it perpendicular to create rings.

Go find a fry pan with a lid. If you don’t have one, go buy one. Not only does it come in handy all the time but you use far less energy cooking with a lid. Good for you and mama earth!

Heat up a healthy amount of olive oil in the pan (for the overly fastidious lets say 3 tablespoon but truth told I have never measured it). Toss in all three ingredients, sprinkle with about a teaspoon or more of salt. Now be careful here because the salt and the oil are where your personal preference comes in. DO NOT skimp on either one. If you do, you’ll have dry, tasteless, mushy potatoes. That is not a time to come crying to me.

You: “Devon, they didn’t taste good, Waa!”
Me: “Well, hypothetical crappy cook, did you add enough oil? I didn’t think so.”

Cook it on low with the lid on and stir occasionally. It will take some time so be PATIENT.  Go take a course in Navajo code breaking or learn to use Windows 7. Just make sure it’s something that’s pointless and will take a long time. Near the end, about 30 minutes in, turn up the heat a little to crisp and brown those tasty taters.

You’ll know if they taste right because you will make this dish twice a day for a week.

Thank you Simone for reminding me of a favorite food from Andalucía!

Labels: main, Side, tapa, potatoes

Artichoke Dip with dipping leaves

Well spring has released it’s kinetic energy in Spain and thrust it out through the artichoke fields revealing amazing flavorful little green grenades. What better way to celebrate than by making dip? Yum. You’ll need to get just a few ingredients to make this fun happen.


225g cream cheese
70 or so g Guindillas peppers in spain (or chopped green chilies in other places)
1/4 cup thick yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
400g can artichoke hearts
1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

I wish there were more mystery and intrigue about making this dip but to be honest, it is quite simple.

Heat up the oven to 180 C. (325 F)

Chop up the artichokes and green chilies. Stir until smooth the cream cheese, chilies, yogurt, and mayo in an oven safe bowl. Then stir in the artichokes. You’re almost there! Now sprinkle the cup of cheese over the mixture and toss the whole thing in the oven! 35-40 mins later you’ll be eating yummy dip.

If you really want to impress your friends, boil two artichokes whole in water for about 50 minutes or until a fork slides easily into the bottom. Arrange the leaves around the dip and Viola! You’re a hors d’oeuvres  genius.

Labels: dip, side, vegetarian

Fresh Mexican Salsa and an Onion Lesson

Have you ever wondered how they made that amazing fresh vegetable salsa that you get in Mexican restaurants? Well, I did until I met the amazing and talented Mike Martinez. He and his family have been teaching this white boy to make Mexican food for many years. This post is a thank you to the Martinez clan. I hope we can cook together again soon!

Get together your ingredients:

5 cups roma tomatoes (about 10)
5 cups jalapeños (about 15)
2 1/2 cups white onions
6 cloves garlic
1 head cilantro (chopped)
3 serrano peppers
3 limes
1 shot of tequila

This recipe does not have to be perfect by any means. The measurements are not as important as how it tastes. They say that the spicier the salsa the better lover you are but who’s keeping score? Make your own decision.

If you have a bunch of people over that are NOT into hot food, you can use fewer jalapeños. In the pictures below I made a more tame version.

There is only two real rules in making salsa:
1) Cut everything into very small pieces.
2) Do not forget the Tequila.

The smaller the chunks, the more the flavors mix together. The tequila does exactly what alcohol usually does, it makes all of the flavors more attractive to each-other and sometimes the vegetables make bad decisions.

I like to begin by cutting the onions. There are three easy steps:

Hold the onion with the root stump near you and cut it straight down the middle like this:

Cut off the tip (not the root) and peel back the skin from both halves. Slice perpendicularly and then flip the onion half 90 degrees to the left. Batterjunkie-7951Then slice perpendicularly again like this:Batterjunkie-7952This will yield little tiny onion bits! Next slice your little tomatoes.Batterjunkie-7953Slice, scrape out pith and seeds with a spoon, and chop your jalapeños.Batterjunkie-7955 It should be noted that one should use extreme caution after chopping jalapeños when touching the more sensitive or otherwise naughty bits of one’s body. Capsaicin (the active chemical in peppers) can cause the most lingering and painful of burns.Batterjunkie-7957Next check your proportions! Here you see I have about double the amount of tomatoes as jalapeños and also double the amount of jalapeños than onions. With these proportions it will be pretty spicy for most people but you will learn to love it. If not…I can’t help you.

Next add all of the remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Mix them around a bit with a fork. Then add the tequila and squeeze the juice of the limes into the mixture.Batterjunkie-7958
Finally give this baby another stir with your fork and pop it in the refrigerator. I would recommend letting it sit for at least a few hours before eating it but if you are short on time  you can eat it right away.

This is bound to spice up any dinner party! Once again a huge thank you to the Martinez family!

Labels: dip, Mexican, side, onion

Black Bean Cilantro Orange Salad

This salad is an incredible side dish that makes you think of an evening on the Caribbean coast. If you need to eat fiber, hey, this the way to do it in style. The best thing, is that it takes a mere 15 minutes to prepare.
1 teaspoon of olive oil.
1/2 medium red onion cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 cup canned or soaked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped up
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 medium oranges cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Heat the olive oil in a fry pan. Throw red onions into the pan and fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic and then beans. Sprinkle the cumin over the mixture. Simmer that beautiful combo of loveliness until it is heated through.

There, doesn’t that look amazingly scrumptious? Once your kitchen is filled with the smell of awesome, put the orange wedges in a bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, salt and pepper over the oranges.
Make sure you have chopped the cilantro a bit.
Now as the crescendo of flavor reaches its climax you must walk away for a few moments. What a pity. Let the onion mixture cool for a few minutes. It does not have to be cold or anything but it should not be right out of the pan. Now it’s time to unite these flavors that have been yearning to be together. Mix them all in a bowl and serve them to the happiest people you’ll ever see.

Kisses from Devo

Labels: salad, side