“Honey, Thyme and Lime Butter Corn” from “On the Side”

I made a version of this for the first Thanksgiving I cooked myself. Thyme and corn make a really nice combination, and if memory serves people liked it. (In the end, this corn dish got supplanted by the shoepeg corn peanut soup that I now make instead, but that’s a story for another time).

As I tasted this while cooking it, I thought, “This will be good.” I thought that, up until the point that I added some honey. That’s where things went wrong. As you are adding more sweetness to SWEET corn (the clue is in the name), it’s a bit redundant and unnecessary. It actually was just too sweet for all of us.

Otherwise, I would make this again only if I stopped following the directions just before adding the honey.

(For what it’s worth, we had this with beefburgers, using Ruby Tandoh’s method, which is still ACES.)

“Honey, Thyme and Lime Butter Corn” from “On the Side”

“Roast Romano Peppers” from “”On The Side”

Kirstin: Harissa chicken is one of our favourite dinners for entertaining. I have my go-to side dishes that I make with it; cherry tomato and rocket salad, roast new potatoes, broccoli and beans. And of course the green olive and preserved lemon accompaniment. And labneh. But I digress. My point is; I saw this as an opportunity to try something new with one of our favourite recipes and I thought these peppers might be the thing. Turns out I was right. And the juicy Romano peppers were particularly delicious with the chopped capers. Rather than stuffing the peppers with lots of tomatoes, it was just two per slice which was just right. I’d make this again. And again. Delicious.

And for the record, possibly even better the following day…

“Roast Romano Peppers” from “”On The Side”

“Black Bean, Coriander and Lime Rice” from “On the Side”

Maureen: It’s burrito night!

All: Huzzah! (Well, perhaps it wasn’t this exact word, but everyone loves burrito night, so there was joy in the air.)

Maureen: I need to tell you, though, no Cowboy Rice*.

All: WHAT? [Que outrage.]

Maureen: I just thought it might be an idea to try something else.

Andrew: Why? Why do we have to try something else? Why mess with perfection.

Maureen: Listen, it’s not the end of the world if we just try something new. What do you think?

Nicholas: Well, it’s not cowboy rice.

Maureen: Obviously. It kind of reminds me of the rice you get from Chipotle. I like it.

Tim: It is good, but it’s not better than cowboy rice.

Andrew: Nothing is better than cowboy rice.

Maureen: Moaners, the lot of you. I don’t see how I’ll ever be able to cook this again when you have cowboy rice in your heart.

*Cowboy rice is a mainstay in our house. It is called that because it originates from a cowboy cookbook that Tim brought back for me when he visited Texas once. It is delicious. I’ve just looked to see if I could find a recipe to link to it, but all the versions online are different to the one that I make. Basically, you fry an onion into a load of butter, fry up the rice a bit, add oregano, thyme and a bay leaf, add enough chicken stock for it to absorb, cook it for 30 minutes, and you have our cowboy rice. Delicious with everything, but especially burritos.

“Black Bean, Coriander and Lime Rice” from “On the Side”

“Spiced Roast Carrots” from “On The Side”

Kirstin: What an incredibly easy way to make carrots that much tastier. These carrots had added cumin, coriander and fennel seeds to make them spicy. I couldn’t find any heirloom carrots despite a cycle to our local farmer’s market (but where I did find the last of some lovely Kent cherries and a gorgeous primula). And there is definitely a knack to slicing long carrots lengthwise! I’m already planning on making these a regular feature of our roast dinners. Delicious.

“Spiced Roast Carrots” from “On The Side”

“Hasselback potatoes with bay and caraway” from “On The Side”

Kirstin: We have a friend who used to make Hasselback potatoes whenever we went around back in the 90s, but I don’t remember him cooking them like this. Having sliced the potatoes and then rolled them in melted butter (Tom also sliced the bottoms so they would lie flat) we then added water to the pan, let it come to the boil and finally stuck it in the oven. And having accidentally called these Hasselblad potatoes while in the process of preparing them (because photography) Tom enjoyed roasting me all over Twitter. So as I basted the potatoes every 15 minutes, Tom continued his fest on twitter, discussing medium format cameras and associated potato related puns. And then finally they were ready. Outstanding with the caraway seeds. Yes. I would make these again. And this is the recipe I would use. But I will remember their correct name next time! Ha!

“Hasselback potatoes with bay and caraway” from “On The Side”

“Mum’s Bulgar Wheat Salad” from “On the Side”

I would never diss a recipe that has Mum in the title, given that my most favourite recipes are those that have been passed down to me or the ones that I learned by helping my mother. (Thanks to my mom, I never worry about making a pie crust. I really don’t know why people stress over that, but perhaps that’s an entry for another time.)

This is like a watered-down version of tabbouleh, but given that we don’t always have the time to chop a load of parsley and other ingredients, this would be a great alternative for those time-starved times. I made the Tabbouleh from “Happy Salads” and we loved it, though that was truly a tabbouleh.

I made this to go with our barbeque and it was perfect in that it took very little time to make but sat quite happily alongside all the food we threw on the grill to cook for dinner (steak, peppers, halloumi) and those we didn’t (a bit of rocket salad).

I thought when making it that I should throw in some feta cheese to liven it up a bit. I resisted the urge, though if I made it again, I probably would, though it’s pretty good without it too.

Recommended for summer nights when you need an interesting salad on the side.

Google has indexed this book, so if you’d like to try this yourself, click through this sentence. 



“Mum’s Bulgar Wheat Salad” from “On the Side”

Cookbook of the Month, August 2017: “On the Side” by Ed Smith

Kirstin: We spent a lot of time discussing which book to do this month.

Maureen: We did! Because it’s about to be the time when all the books for Christmas come out. But they’re not out yet…

Kirstin: I love that you came up with a timetable of the books coming out in the next few months.

Maureen: It had to be done! As you know, I like to apply order to chaos.

Kirstin: And then we found this cheeky book.

Maureen: Cheeky is just the right word to use for it. It makes side dishes seem more interesting. And a gold star for the index with pairing suggestions. It’s also beautifully designed.

Kirstin: I know, right? A whole book dedicated to those small dishes we don’t really think about.

Maureen: Let’s do it!

Cookbook of the Month, August 2017: “On the Side” by Ed Smith