Chef Tanya Holland offers up more than 80 recipes that made her California-based Brown Sugar Kitchen restaurants such standouts that are easy to cook at home in her new cookbook, Brown Sugar Kitchen. There’s lots to choose (and lots of color photos as well) from including Caramel Layer Cake with Brown-Butter-Caramel Frosting, Bourbon & Chili Glazed Salmon, and Jerk Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Salsa.
Like her entrees and desserts, Holland’s side dishes are wonderful and perfect for home chefs.
Roasted Green Beans With Sesame-Seed Dressing
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F and set a rack to the top position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, oil, vinegar, tahini, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Add the green beans and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and black pepper.
Spread the beans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Baked Sweet Potato Wedges
Serves 6 to 8
- 3 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
- 2 teaspoons Creole Spice Mix (see below)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork and put on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into 1-in /2.5-cm wedges.
Arrange wedges on one layer on the baking sheet and season with salt, the olive oil, and the Creole Spice.
Mix. Bake an additional 5 minutes, then flip the wedges and bake another 5 to 7 minutes, until crisp and slightly browned.
Arrange the wedges on a serving platter and serve immediately.
Creole Spice Mix
Makes about 1½ cups
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/3 cup cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup sweet paprika
In a small bowl, stir together the salt, herbes de Provence, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, and paprika until thoroughly combined. (To make ahead, store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)
Makes about two dozen gougères
“Gougères are sophisticated cheese puffs and are the appetizer of choice in Burgundy, France, where I went to cooking school,” writes Holland in the introduction to this recipe. “They’re made from a base known as pâté à choux, a very elementary dough and one of the first I learned to make. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French name. Pâté à choux is easy to master and versatile too. It’s the foundation for many famous pastries including éclairs and cream puffs, and as you see here, it also comes in handy for savory treats. For this Cajun-inspired version, I decided that a crumble of spicy andouille might just put them over the top.”
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 2½ ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
- 4 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine the water, butter, and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium, and keep stirring until the mixture has formed a smooth, thick paste and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or to a large heatproof bowl.
If using a stand mixer, add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until the egg is incorporated and the dough is smooth before adding the next egg. (If mixing by hand, add 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the egg is incorporated and the dough is smooth before adding the next egg.) The mixture should be very thick, smooth, and shiny. Stir in the Gruyère and andouille. (To make ahead, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
Use a tablespoon to drop the dough into 1-in/2.5-cm rounds about 1½ in/4 cm apart on the prepared baking sheets. You should have about 2 dozen gougères.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg with a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Brush the top of each gougère with the egg wash.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375°F/190°C, rotate the baking sheets, and continue baking until the gougères are puffed and nicely browned, about 15 minutes more.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
(Baked gougères can be frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350°F/180°C oven for 8 to 10 minutes.)
Reprinted from Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland with Jan Newberry with permission from Chronicle Books, 2014. Photographs © Jody Horton