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Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

(adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb. peeled gold or russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-in slices

1 tsp. salt, divided
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c. flour
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
1/2 c. grated Asiago
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. chopped chives (i used green onions on xmas)
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (i didn’t use this on xmas, but it’s AMAZING with it in)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°.
1)  Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 min or until potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with ¼ tsp salt; set side and keep warm.
2)  Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 2 min or until tender, stirring frequently. Sprinkle flour over onions and garlic. Combine broth and milk in measuring cup; gradually add ½ cup of mixture into saucepan, stirring with whisk until well blended. Add remaining liquid, stirring constantly. Cook on medium 9 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in ¾ tsp salt, cheeses, chives, pepper, and bacon.
3)  Arrange half of potatoes in bottom of 8×8 pan. Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes. Top with remaining potatoes, then remaining sauce. Sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan. Bake for 35 minutes.

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and yet another one of my favorite soups from my childhood. i think my mom got this recipe from one of those cookbooks that schools sell as a fundraising, so i know i am not giving proper credit to someone out there. i apologize! i don’t know who you are, but i love you…because this recipe is amazing! the perfect way to warm your insides (other than a shot of whiskey!) on a cold winter evening. you can serve this with bread, but i normally don’t just because of the carbs in the potatoes: it’s not exactly a bread-dipping soup.

 

ingredients:

4 c. potatoes, peeled and sliced
¼ c. chopped onion
2½ c. water
1 tsp. salt
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. dry mustard
1½ tsp. soy sauce
2 c. milk
1 tsp. fresh parsley
1 to 2 c. shredded cheddar (the original recipe calls for 12oz. velveeta, but i don’t like to buy processed foods)
2 c. milk

 

instructions:

1)  in a dutch oven pot, add the first four ingredients (potatoes through salt). Bring to a boil; simmer for 15 minutes.

2)  while simmering, melt butter in a medium saucepan; add flour and stir with a whisk until blended.  add pepper, mustard, soy sauce, 2 cups milk, and parsley; whisk to combine, until flour lumps are dissolved into the milk. cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick.

3)  add milk mixture to potato mixture.  add cheese and remaining 2 cups milk; stir until smooth. simmer for about 5 minutes.

 

yields: 6-8 servings.  freeze leftovers in an airtight container.

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 Saturday morning I was craving breakfast potatoes. I don’t know why; it’s not like I grew up eating breakfast potatoes, nor do I order them on those rare occasions we go out for brunch. Maybe I was low on potassium and my body knew it. (Did you know that a medium potato has the same amount of potassium as a medium banana? Not being a huge fan of bananas, I was tickled silly to find this out.)  So I decided to whip up a batch of breakfast potatoes.  This is a simple “base” recipe to start with. It’s great just by itself (I served it with scrambled cheesy eggs), but you can also add in other items to spice it up a bit.  At the end of the recipe I have a list of variations that I thought would be good in it.  Feel free to leave a comment on anything else you think might be good.

Ingredients:

5 red potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic butter (recipe follows)
salt & pepper
1/2 c. broth (chicken or vegetable)
tabasco or hot sauce (optional seasoning)

 

Instructions:

1)  Wash potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Cook in microwave for 3-4 minutes.  The potatoes should still be hard; we just want to get a jump-start on the cooking process.

2)  Cube the potatoes.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and potatoes. Let cook about 1 minutes.  Stir to rotate potatoes around in pan, then cook another minute, to let other sides brown.

3)  Add garlic butter, salt, and pepper (and more olive oil if you need it–I prefer to use the butter for flavoring, but olive oil for the cooking process).  Toss to combine ingredients and melt the butter.

4)  Add broth.  Cover and turn down to medium/medium-low heat.  Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring once, or until taters are tender.  Season with tobasco or hot sauce, if desired.

 

Garlic Butter:
butter, softened to room temperature
parsley flakes
pressed or minced garlic cloves
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Use any measurements of the above ingredients to suit your fancy. Mash together with a fork to combine. Store in the frig in an airtight container. I like to use this mixture to make garlic bread.  As a snack lately, I’ve been spreading a smidge on a toasted whole-wheat english muffin then topping with a thin slice of baby brie. Mmmmm, lip-smacking goodness! Co-workers always think I’m cooking up something fancy.

 

Variations

Experiment by adding any (or a combination) of the following ingredients:  bacon, ham, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, chili peppers, rosemary, a mixture of green herbs (my favorite is Herbs de Provence), paprika.

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everyone who knows me knows how proud i am to be irish. granted, i am a typical american mutt (or melting pot, if you will), but still i like to point out the fact that my great grandfather immigrated over from ireland, and while his irish blood has been watered down with every other ethnicity by the time it’s reached me, i still like to claim, “i have irish from all my grandparents, so that makes me at least half,  right?” RIGHT???  thank you for the validation. 🙂 

maybe it’s the freckles on my face that, as a child no matter how hard i tried to rub off or cover up with makeup these “imperfections” they never disappeared, cause me to identify more closely with my irish heritage. or maybe it’s the natural strawberry red highlights in my brown hair, an exact color that is hard to find here, but in ireland i saw every where i turned. or perhaps even it’s my desire to belong to a group of people that have been (no matter how long ago in history) outcast by society, a desire to belong to the minority in order to give a deeper purpose behind my passion for helping those society has a prejudice against.  but as small of a trace as that blood may be in my body, there is something irish there that causes my soul to leap in dance when i hear an irish jig, to ache when it hears an old irish ballad, and to laugh and sing and shout along with irish drinking songs. and it even (much to my best friend’s amusement) caused me to exclaim under my breath the second i stepped off the airplane in dublin, “oh. these are my people!” (i know, BIG dork.) but i will proudly claim my irish heritage ’til the day i die.

besides, they have great beer and damn good whiskey.

with that said, ANY recipe that has beer in it, in my book, cannot go wrong. so when a co-worker (also irish) brought for lunch one day this soup she had made, i knew i had to have the recipe. it comes from a cookbook called The Irish Pub Cookbook, by Margaret M. Johnson. I’ve only made two of the recipes so far (the second recipe, brown soda bread, i will post tomorrow, so that you can make it to accompany the guinness stew), but the rest of the recipes in it look to die for. i made some adjustments to this, so it’s an “adapted from” recipe — among other changes, i HAD to throw some whiskey in there…for good measure…and to make my ancestors proud of me. 🙂

 

ingredients:

1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes (i am completely clueless when it comes to red meat, so don’t feel restricted to sirloin. this last time i made it, i bought a rump looking thing, and in my opinion, the meat was more tender than i remember the sirloin being.)

salt and pepper to taste

flour for dredging

4 T. butter

½ c. olive oil

1 c. chopped onions

2 c. beef stock (the last time i made this, i actually used chicken broth, and it tasted just fine)

2 c. Guinness (or any stout or porter will do. a chocolate/double chocolate stout would be delicious!)

½ c. irish whiskey*

5 carrots, diced

4-5 medium sized potatoes (you can even mix this up with a sweet potato or two. the original recipe called for 4 parsnips and 1 turnip)

3-5 springs fresh thyme, depending on what your tastebuds tell you

 

instructions:

1)  season meat with salt and pepper.  dredge in flour.  in a stockpot, melt butter with oil over medium heat.  cook meat 5-7 minutes, or until browned.  add onions; cook for another 3-5 minutes.

2)  add broth, guinness/beer, and whiskey (and go ahead and take a shot of whiskey to warm you up on this cold winter night). bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low.  simmer 30 minutes. (if you are making the brown soda bread recipe, make it now during this 30-minute down time.)  add remaining ingredients.  simmer for 45 minutes, or until veggies and meat are tender. feel free to add more salt if you feel like it needs it.

 

get creative with your veggies and herbs. try adding celery, or parnips and turnips like the original recipe calls for, or even leeks. experiment with other green herbs, like tarragon or marjoram. maybe even a bay leaf or two. i’ve even seen other recipes use lamb instead of beef, if you feel like forkin’ over the dough to buy lamb.

serve and devour heartily.

 

*trivia of the day:  did you know there is a difference between WHISKY and WHISKEY?  the word spelled “whisky” (with no “e”) is reserved only for that made in scotland — scotch.  whiskEy, on the other hand, is the rest of the stuff:  whether irish, canadian, or american (like jack daniels).  now, here in america you may not see labels abide by this rule (in fact, many american distillers scoff at this scottish snobbery and will use whisky–no “e”–on their labels just to spite the scotch distillers), but in the UK (and especially among scotch distillers who want to distinguish between scotch whiskey and “the other stuff”) that is the general rule to follow. so i will trust them — i mean, for pete’s sake, they invented the darned stuff anyways so they would know! so if you go into a bar and order whiskey, they’ll pour ya a whiskEy; but if you want whisky (no E), you have to ask for scotch. tricky stuff, this alcohol. and then there’s bourbon, which is also whiskey but a specific kind of whiskey — think back to your geometry class days:  by definition, a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. it’s like that:  bourbon is a whiskEy, but not all whiskEy is bourbon…and most certainly whisky (scotch) is not bourbon at all! now that i have you all thoroughly confused, go ahead and take a shot of whatever whiskey/whisky/bourbon you have on hand…then it will all make sense in about 5 minutes.

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