Side Dishes

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Unless I’m busy gorging on pasta, dinner at home doesn’t seem complete to me unless there are some veggies. This is probably because my dad always seems to need at least three types of vegetables on his plate and he’s been like that for as long as I can remember. Roasted vegetables are usually the default in our house, but these orange and apple cider vinegar sautéed brussels sprouts from Pati’s Mexican Table were speaking to me. Well, actually her recipe calls for green beans, but we are big fans of brussels over here so I’ll use any excuse to sub them in.

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s hard to make brussels sprouts look attractive, especially after removing the outer dark green leaves, so you will just have to trust me that these brussels are super tasty. They are light and citrusy, with just the right amount of acidity from the apple cider vinegar. They were also the perfect finishing touch to our dinner of Sweet and Salty Salmon and Arroz Verde.

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Whether I’m roasting or sautéing them, I typically halve brussels sprouts so they cook quicker and have more layers to soak up the seasonings or sauce. I was watching Anne Burrell on the Food Network a few months ago and she gave me another reason to always halve them – it releases some of the gases in the vegetable that can cause it to taste bitter. So always halve your sprouts!

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, stems and dark outer leaves removed, cut in half
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the halved brussels sprouts, chopped white onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the brussels sprouts are almost tender, about 15 minutes. I usually test to see if I can pierce a sprout with a fork with a little resistance.
  2. Add the orange juice and apple cider vinegar. Cook until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.

Recipe adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table.

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Arroz Verde

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re back at it today with another tasty dish from Pati’s Mexican Table. Pati gave this arroz verde the title of My Favorite Green Rice, but I’m renaming it simply My Favorite Rice because it is the best rice I’ve ever made. The rice is so simple, but it has great flavor to it that really complements dishes like the Sweet and Salty Salmon well. A vibrant green puree is made from poblano chiles, parsley, cilantro and garlic. The puree gets soaked into the uncooked rice before finishing cooking in the water, broth and lime juice. It amazes me that such a small step added to cooking regular rice could make such a huge impact in the flavor. Similar to a few other dishes I’ve had on here where I’ve used chili peppers (Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad and Monday’s Sweet and Salty Salmon), the poblano peppers have the seeds and pith removed so they do not make the rice spicy.

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love using my Breville Risotto Plus for this rice dish because it lets me sauté and then switch it to the rice cooker setting all in the same pot. I know I’ve talked about this appliance before, but I love it! In our house it is used as our slow cooker, rice cooker and steamer. We also use the risotto setting when we’re feeling fancy and indulgent. The sauté feature is especially helpful for slow cooker recipes that require you to sauté onions or sear meat before turning on the slow cooker setting.

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyway, back to My Favorite Rice! If you don’t have a rice cooker with a sauté setting just follow the directions below for stove-top cooking. In addition to pairing with my favorite Mexican dishes from Pati’s Mexican Table I also love serving this rice to spice up an otherwise “boring” dinner, such as grilled chicken and veggies. Once you try it you won’t want plain rice again!

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Arroz Verde
 
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 poblano chiles, seeds and pith removed, roughly cut into chunks
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup parsley leaves
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2½ - 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups jasmine or long-grain white rice
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese, for topping if desired
Directions
  1. Puree the poblanos, water, parsley, cilantro, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup and note the amount (or note the amount if your blender has measurements on the side). In a separate liquid measuring cup, measure out enough vegetable broth so that when added to the amount of poblano puree you make the two liquids together equal 4 cups. Keep the poblano puree and the vegetable broth separate.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil then add the rice. Cook, stirring often, until the rice changes to a milky white color, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped white onion and continue to sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the poblano puree into the pan with the rice and continue to stir while it cooks. Cook until the puree thickens and then is mostly absorbed by the rice, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and lime juice then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. The rice should be cooked and tender, but there should still be some moisture in the pan. Fluff with a fork or rice paddle then serve with the crumbled cheese on top, if desired.
Notes
If you are using a rice cooker with a sauté setting, switch to the rice cooker setting immediately after stirring in the vegetable broth and lime juice and cover with the lid.

Recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt, my cousin, Sarah, and I have a slight obsession with elote, also known as Mexican street corn. If your life has been elote-less thus far, what you need to know is that it is grilled corn slathered in lime juice, mayonnaise or crema, then sprinkled with salt, cotija cheese and chile powder. Basically, perfection on a cob.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s hard to say where our obsession stems from. It could be because we’re cheese freaks, because we love Mexican food, or maybe because we have some inexplicable connection to corn fields. However, I think the real reason we love it so much is because it reminds us of summer beach days.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every year my family meets at the beach in Delaware for our family beach week. A few years ago, we started incorporating happy hour towards the end of the beach day. Yes, we enjoy having a drink while the sun’s still warm before having to shower and get ready for dinner. But let’s be honest – it’s really about the corn. We tried it at happy hour at the Mexican restaurant near the beach and we got hooked. I’m talking left the beach early because we couldn’t take the corn craving anymore hooked. Ever since then, we’ve been on an elote frenzy, ordering it whenever we see it popping up on restaurant menus. So when I saw this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad I knew I needed to have it as soon as possible.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I first made it to bring to a barbecue and the weeks following I made it two more times because Matt and I couldn’t get enough. It is that good. I love elote and literally the only thing that could make it better is pasta, because hello – pasta! This pasta corn salad is packed with mind-boggling flavor and loaded with all the best goodies. There’s avocado, cheese and bacon in there. Yes, bacon! The pasta salad is smoky without being spicy, although you can certainly make it more spicy. My preference is usually just the least-spicy baby version possible.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every time I’ve made this it’s come out perfectly delicious. Even though I think it’s perfect as is, one of the reasons I love making pasta salads (other than my noodle obsession) is that it’s so easy to adjust the flavors to your personal preferences. Like it richer? Add more mayonnaise. Like it with more zippiness? Add more lime juice and zest. I like to make it as written, taste, and then add more of whatever I feel it needs, if anything. If you are going to make it ahead I would wait and stir in the bacon, cheese and avocado last minute. Also the pasta will soak up some of the dressing if you leave it overnight before serving so maybe make some extra dressing to pour in last minute as well.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
 
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
for the pasta salad
  • 1 lb farfalle pasta
  • 2 15-ounce cans of fire-roasted corn, roughly 3 cups corn (see note)
  • 3 scallions
  • ½ cup parsley leaves (or cilantro if you prefer)
  • ½ jalapeño (see note)
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked
  • ⅔ cup Cotija cheese
  • 1 avocado
for the dressing
  • ¾ cup regular mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1½ teaspoons hot sauce (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili powder (more if desired)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
for the pasta salad
  1. Cook the farfalle pasta according to the package directions, being sure not to overcook. Strain and then immediately rinse with cold water. Let strain until completely drain, lightly patting with paper towel if needed.
  2. Drain the cans of corn and add them to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta. Remove the ends of the scallions then slice and add to the bowl. Chop the parsley or cilantro and add to the bowl. Carefully remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeño being sure to wear gloves or wash your hands immediately after. Finely chop and add to the mixing bowl. Crumble the cooked bacon and the cheese into the mixing bowl. Pour the dressing on top then stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Dice the avocado and fold in to combine.
for the dressing
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Notes
- Note about corn: If you can’t find or don’t want to use cans of fire-roasted corn, you have a few options. Trader Joe’s sells roasted corn in their freezer section. You could char some drained regular canned corn in a skillet on medium-high heat. You could also grill your corn then remove from the cob.
- Note about spiciness: I do not like spicy food. If you make the recipe as written and remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeño, use a mild hot sauce (I use Trader Joe’s Green Dragon sauce), and use a minimal amount of the chili powder, it will not be spicy. If you are concerned, reduce the amount of hot sauce and omit the chili powder. If you want it spicier, I would leave the seeds of the jalapeño and increase the amount of chili powder.

Recipe adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron.

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

I owe you all a huge apology. It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know that I kept this savory, tangy, and unbelievably tasty cast iron home fries recipe from you all for two years. I legitimately have no excuse and won’t even try to make one up, so I am sorry. But now that I’ve apologized we can all move on and focus on how these Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing need to be at your next brunch. Or weekend breakfast. Or breakfast for lunch, because who says brunch food has to be either breakfast or “breakfast for dinner”?!

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

When my brother-in-law gave me the Brunch at Bobby’s cookbook I immediately gravitated towards this recipe in the side dish section. Something about the colors of the dish and the crispiness of the potatoes made me want to make (and eat) it ASAP. I’ve had a lot of home fries over the years, but never one with a dressing. Genius! The dressing allows the potatoes to have so much more flavor and really pack a punch.

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

This side dish could easily be made into the star of brunch by serving it with poached or fried eggs. The thought of the runny yolks mixing with the creamy dressing is causing my brain to overload with excitement right now. Deep breaths. Phew.

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

I originally made these potatoes to go with the Eggs Benedict over Cheddar Scallion Waffles with Crispy Chorizo, Smashed Avocado, and Green Chile Hollandaise I made for a Southwestern themed brunch. The boldness of these potatoes held up to the outrageous-ness of the eggs Benedict perfectly. I adjusted a few things from the original recipe to save some time and fit my personal preferences, including roasting the garlic for the dressing to add a more mild and caramelized flavor. Enjoy!

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
for the garlic dressing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves of roasted garlic (see note)
for the home fries
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, about 3 large potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 bell pepper, I used ½ red & ½ orange for some variety
  • 1 small head radicchio
  • 3 scallions
Directions
for the dressing
  1. In a small bowl, mash the roasted garlic. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard then whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper then let sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to settle. If you will be letting it sit for more than 30 minutes, cover the bowl and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
for the home fries
  1. Scrub then clean the potatoes. Pierce them each 5-6 times with a fork then place the potatoes on a microwave safe baking dish and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the potatoes over then microwave for another 5 minutes. You should be able to poke a fork or paring knife into the potato with no resistance. Add more cooking time if needed, or alternatively use the “potato” setting on your microwave. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle cut them into a 1-inch dice.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, prep the rest of the vegetables. Removing the seeds, cut the bell pepper into a thick dice. Halve the radicchio then thinly slice. Thinly slice the scallions, discarding the dark green parts.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced bell pepper and cook until the pepper starts to soften. Add the remaining oil then the diced potatoes. Spread the potatoes so they are in a single layer and cook until they have begun to get crispy on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Carefully toss them and continue to cook until crispy, about 5 more minutes. Add more oil or increase the heat of the stove if needed. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Move the potatoes and bell pepper to a large bowl or serving dish. Add the sliced radicchio, dressing, and scallions then carefully stir to combine. Feel free to not use all the dressing depending on your personal preference. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve while warm or at room temperature.
Notes
- To roast garlic: preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Leaving the skin on the garlic bulb, cut the top off the head of garlic so that almost all the tops of the cloves are exposed. Take a small piece of tinfoil big enough to wrap the garlic in. Place the garlic in the center and partially fold up the sides. Drizzle the exposed garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Seal the foil to make a little packet of the garlic and roast for 35 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can squeeze out the roasted cloves.
- To prep ahead: roast the garlic, make the dressing, microwave the potatoes, and prep the vegetables. Then in the morning you will only have to deal with the cast iron skillet portion of the recipe.
- Cooking the potatoes: the original recipe from Bobby Flay called for the potatoes to be boiled whole for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. I went with the microwave method to save time, but feel free to boil the potatoes if you prefer.

Recipe adapted from Brunch at Bobby’s.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have two more simple dinner recipes here for you on Lemon & Mocha this week. First up is the third solution for my quick and healthy vegetable side dish dilemma. Asparagus with creamy orange sauce, steam-sautéed broccoli and now garlicky bok choy. I had never cooked with bok choy before this recipe, but I love vegetables so I was excited to try something new.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I enjoy cooking Asian stir-fries, but we get tired of always using broccoli and snow peas for our green vegetables. This garlicky bok choy is a delicious solution.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

The vegetable itself is really mild so it takes on the flavor of the garlic and the soy sauce really well.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did I mention that this recipe took less than ten minutes from start to finish? Talk about a simple dish!

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do you have a quick vegetable dish that is a staple in your kitchen? I’d love to try them out!

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1¼ pounds bok choy, ends trimmed and discarded, stalks and leaves cut into 1” pieces (halve the stalks lengthwise if more than 1” wide); keep stalks and leaves separate
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Whisk together the broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle add the bok choy stalks. Stir frequently for 1 minute then add the bok choy leaves and prepared sauce.
  3. Stir the bok choy and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat when the bok choy is crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Recipe slightly adapted from Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables.