Carrots in Pistachio Herb Butter

I whipped this butter up a month ago and after making a batch of these carrots I stashed it in the freezer.  Today I made another batch to serve 2 people, and next week I could use what remains of the butter to serve at least 8.  After making the butter all you have to do it cook the carrots, in small or large batches.  This is a terrific semi-make-ahead side dish.


The herb butter can be made well in advance which, if you’re a good planner, makes this a super simple side dish to serve at a holiday meal or on a busy weeknight.  I stored mine in the freezer for over a month and it was still great.

pistachiocarrots3 pistachiocarrots1

In addition to making the butter ahead you can prep the carrots up to two days in advance and store them in the fridge.  That makes finishing these a breeze, taking no more than 15 minutes.

I personally loved the flavors, but my husband wasn’t crazy about the combination of herbs and pistachio.  I’m still going to recommend this dish, though.  I found the flavors to be a nice change from the typical flavors in cooked carrots.  There is a slight bit of heat thanks to the hot sauce.  The crunch of the chopped pistachios on top is really nice and adds great texture contrast.  The herbs brighten things up, instead of weighing them down like brown sugar and butter do.


After cooking the carrots you drain the water, reserving some of it, and return the carrots to the pot.  Then you add in your desired amount of butter and some of the water to make a sauce.  The original recipe uses all of the butter for 3 pounds of carrots, but I used less and it was fine.  Add less than you think you need, stir with a little water (less is more here as well) taste and add more butter if you desire.  You may also want to season with salt.  Once in their serving dish sprinkle with the reserved pistachios.

Carrots in Pistachio Herb Butter

From Fine Cooking


  • 1/2 cup salted, roasted, shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 4 to 6 drops Sriracha
  • Kosher salt
  • Carrots, peeled and cut into pieces about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide (1 pound serves 2-4. 3 pounds serves 6-10)


Make the Butter

  1. Coarsely chop the pistachios in a food processor. Set aside half of the nuts. Pulse the remaining nuts until they are very fine but not pasty.
  2. Add the parsley and mint, and pulse again until the herbs are finely chopped.
  3. Add the butter, cheese, zest, hot sauce, and 1 tsp. salt; pulse until well blended.
  4. If working ahead, scrape the butter onto plastic wrap, shape into a log, wrap, wrap in foil or parchment and freeze.  Seal the reserved pistachios in a small zip-top freezer bag or other airtight container and freeze.

Make the Carrots

  1. Put the carrots in a pot, add enough water to just cover them, and add a pinch of salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes until desired tenderness.
  3. Drain carrots, reserving 1/4 cup of the water.  Return to the pot and add butter (a chunk at a time adding a little water as you stir) until carrots are coated to your liking. Taste and season with salt if needed.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with reserved pistachios.


Mexican Street Corn Off the Cob

There is a taco place that originally opened in Austin called Torchy’s.  They have this incredible street corn that I get every time we go.  It is so very delicious.  The corn is crisp and flavorful.  And then there’s this ancho aioli that they put on top with the cilantro and cheese that makes this corn dish truly amazing.  Please try it if you ever find yourself at a Torchy’s in Austin, Dallas or Houston (and apparently Waco, Lubbock and soon College Station!).  And Torchy’s, I’d like that ancho aioli recipe…

I love the idea of street corn on the cob.  It’s also beautiful, all those lovely corn cobs lined up on a platter.  But I think it’s hard to eat and when I’ve had it I find that all the yummy toppings fall off and that makes me sad.  This way you can get the flavors of street corn without the mess or the sadness!

Mexican Street Corn | Hottie Biscotti

I have to honest with you.  This corn is not the same and not quite as good as Torchy’s but it’s still delicious and you can make it at home!  After looking through a few recipes for street corn, esquites, elotes en vaso, and other similar dishes with names I sound like a fool pronouncing, I came up with this recipe.  A good thing to remember when putting this together is to taste as you go and adjust the amounts according to what you like.  If you want your corn extra creamy, use more crema, if you want it more or less spicy, adjust the chipotle.  Adjust the lime juice as well.  If you use queso fresco like I did, you may need a pinch or so of salt.  If you use cojita cheese (which I unfortunately could not find) then you may not need the extra salt since it’s a saltier cheese.

Mexican Street Corn | Hottie Biscotti

Mexican Street Corn | Hottie Biscotti

As people serve themselves they can garnish with as much cilantro, chili powder and cheese as they’d like.  You can leave out the chipotle all together and serve it as a condiment as well, making sure to let everyone know that a little goes a long way!  When Ben and I were newlyweds I made a meal for him that was so heavy on the chipotle that it was almost inedible.  So be careful!

I sauteed the corn in a skillet, but you can boil it or grill it and then cut it off of the cob.  I prefer it with a little color and roasted flavor so grilling or sauteing in a hot skillet would be the best way to go.  I cut the corn off of 5 cobs and got about 2 cups of corn and it will serve about 4 as a small side dish.  Just increase or decrease the amount of corn for the people you plan to be serving.

You can make this earlier in the day, just up to the point where you mix the corn, butter, crema, chipotle and lime juice.  Refrigerate then reheat over medium-low heat until hot, stirring frequently.  Then you can serve and garnish the cups.

Mexican Street Corn | Hottie Biscotti

Street Corn Off the Cob

Serves 4


  • 5 ears of corn, husked and corn cut off the cobs
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of crema mexicana (could also use sour cream or mayonnaise)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice (plus a few extra wedges for serving)
  • 1 minced chipotle pepper mixed with 3 teaspoons of sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • queso fresco (or cojita cheese)
  • chili powder
  • cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and add in the corn.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring just a few times so that the corn has an opportunity to char a bit.
  2. Remove from the heat and add in butter and salt and stir until butter has melted.
  3. Place corn in a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of crema and 1 tablespoon lime juice.  Taste and add more crema and/or lime juice.  Taste and season if needed.  Stir in 1 teaspoon of the chipotle, taste and add more if needed.
  4. Divide into cups and garnish with queso fresco, a sprinkle of chili powder and a few cilantro leaves.  Serve with lime wedges.


Pea and Avocado Guacamole

Who would have thought?  Peas.  And, to shock you even more, it was GOOD.  And not just so-so, but really, really good.  Like I finished it off by scraping the sides of the bowl.  That kind of good.  And you still feel good because at least half of the bulk of this guacamole is pureed green peas and not high fat (even though it is good fat) avocado.

I made this for a Superbowl party.  It was a small gathering and we probably didn’t need any snacks along with our pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, baked beans, fruit salad and cookies.  But it was the Superbowl, and for some reason that has become an excuse for Americans to stuff themselves silly.  I made a compromise with myself to still have guacamole, but to make it a little healthier.  I don’t know where I originally saw this idea.  Maybe Pinterest?  I found many recipes, some using peas and avocado, some using all peas and no avocado.  I decided a combination would be more like the original and therefore more likely to fool people.

I love cilantro.  If you don’t so much, use less.  Same with the jalapeno, but I didn’t find the amount I used below to be too much.  As with all guacamole, taste as you go and adjust your seasonings accordingly. I like to taste test on what I’ll be serving with the dip.  Since I was serving this with tortilla chips, I probably used less salt than if I was serving it with crudites.  Enjoy!

Pea and Avocado Gaucamole


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 10-ounce bag of frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/3 cup finely minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes (I used about 15 quartered cherry tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • dash of garlic powder (or use finely minced fresh garlic to taste)


  1. Puree peas in food processor until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, mash avocado with peas.  Stir in onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and tomatoes.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic.  Taste and adjust.
  4. Serve immediately or cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


Southwest Quinoa Salad

When spring and summer arrive there is a need for fresh and light side dishes to serve with all of your freshly grilled foods.  This quinoa recipe is perfect next to fajitas, fish tacos, chicken, steak, or all by itself.  It is even better after sitting in the fridge overnight.  So, you can make it the day before and make getting the meal on the table easier.  Or you can make more than you need and have leftovers.  I’ve had this for lunch the past two days and it is so nice not to have to prepare anything and still get something really nutritious.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a really amazing food.  It is loaded with protein.  It has a good amount of fiber and it is gluten free.  It is also incredibly simple to prepare.  It takes about as long as white rice, and is much better for you.  The downside to quinoa is that is is a bit pricey.  I paid $6 for a 1 pound bag.

This recipe came from My Kitchen Addiction.  Here is the link.  As with most recipes I try for the first time, I followed this one almost exactly.  Here are my minor changes.

  • I used a can of corn instead of fresh.
  • I cut back the olive oil by 1 tablespoon with fine results.
  • I substituted honey for the agave syrup since that is not something I have in my pantry.
  • The second time I made this, a mere week later, I added some dried oregano and a dash of cumin.

This is a great salad that I’m going to play with some more.  The possibilities seem almost endless!  I might try a quinoa salad with diced cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, feta, fresh parsley, mint and a vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and Greek oregano…quinoa tabouli! Yum.

Southwest Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
    (or about 2 cups cooked black beans)
  • 3 ears of steamed corn, cut off the cob
    (or 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed OR 1 can, drained)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (about half a cup)
  • 1 lime, zested then juiced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, corn, red onion, red bell peppers and cilantro in a large bowl.
  3. For the vinaigrette, whisk oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and zest, spices and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine cooked quinoa with vegetables, then mix in vinaigrette.  Serve room temperature or refrigerate.