Caren McSherry has some tips for preparing side dishes with attitude: make the starters exciting and the salads interesting.
"You gotta cook with your sexy," laughed McSherry in an interview with Gloria Macarenko of Our Vancouver.
McSherry owns Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver, a foodie's haven full of specialty items.
Her seventh cookbook is all about giving side dishes the love they deserve.
Here's an example of one of the dishes McSherry showed the Our Vancouver audience.
Jacket Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Herbed Feta and Chorizo (Serves 6)
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 stick (about 4 oz.) cured spicy chorizo, thinly sliced and julienned
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 tbsp. sour cream, 4 tbsp. Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
- Freshly ground pepper chili flakes (garnish)
- Julienned lemon zest (garnish)
For a vegetarian option, omit the chorizo.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for about 40 minutes, or until they are soft when you squeeze them.
While the potatoes are baking, dry-fry the chorizo in a fry pan over medium heat until it is crispy on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Blot on paper towel to remove any excess oil, then set aside.
Place the feta, parsley, cilantro, sour cream, yogurt, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor and cream the ingredients together.
To serve, cut the potatoes in half and give them a squeeze to break the skin a bit. Place on a serving plate, and evenly divide the feta mixture over the halves. Sprinkle the chorizo over top. Give the potatoes a good grinding of pepper, top each with a pinch of chili flakes to taste and a sprinkle of julienned lemon zest.
Check out the Our Vancouver video for the full segment.