Tag Archives: potatoes

Truffled Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is the kind of trouble that you want to get into.  It takes the comfort that is a warm bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes, keeps the butter and cream quotient high, but then flings it into the stratosphere or mischief with the addition of white truffle oil.  Oh man, is this where it’s at.

For those that don’t keep a bottle of white truffle oil handy, go out and get some.  You know that I am a fan of recipes to wow the unexpected dinner guest, and truffle oil is like a trusty friend that is there to turn a soup, canapé or side dish into something exotic and glorious.  You don’t need a whole lot of the stuff to go a long way, and a few drops bring this earthy richness to a dish that is complex and worth savoring.  Case in point with this dish – mashed potatoes go from being the foundation for pools of gravy to a star in their own right.  And you have to admit, mashed potatoes have deserved a little glory all along, haven’t they? Continue reading Truffled Mashed Potatoes

Curried Potatoes and Chickpeas

Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.
In the midst of planning a well-rounded menu for my second Daring Kitchen Feast, I had a formidable opponent in finding a party-pleasing veggie. My husband, though an adventurous eater, seems to have an outstanding war with turmeric. It just turns his stomach, negating all the loving care placed in perfecting the taste of the dish. I’d been reading through Amanda Hesser’s massive New York Times Essential Cookbook and was on the beans and legumes when I came across a recipe for Chickpeas with Ginger. The sauce had notes of Indian spices that rang true with the other offerings for the Daring Kitchen, and no troublesome turmeric. Continue reading Curried Potatoes and Chickpeas

Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

Thank goodness for the word “potatoes” at the end of this recipe title – otherwise, you’d think I was writing “A Modest Proposal 2.0”  Ok, enough dark jokes for the day and on to the latest entry in the quest for the perfect weeknight side dish.  Barely a recipe (I love these!), this one graced the table the night my darling husband decided to cook me an anniversary dinner.  Given that I usually rule the roost that is our kitchen, I welcomed the offer excitedly, looking forward to the special menu that he had in mind.  I’d been missing hanger steak a whole lot, which is apparently hard to come by at regular markets here in Phoenix, so he drove to the other side of town to Hobe Meats in search of the beloved butcher’s cut.  He decided to round out the meal with homemade horseradish sauce (*in best Racehl Zoe voice* I die!), creamed spinach and a recipe from this blog, my Summer Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes, String Beans and Fingerlings.  What a treat! Continue reading Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

Simple Summer Barbecue

I actively eschew the cold – if anyone was born to relish in the blissful summer, it was me.  Sunkissed skin and bare toes.  A swing or two in the hammock or a walk along the sandy shore.  And dad firing up the grill next to the side porch, with the lot of us sitting on the steps (dogs included), sipping a cold beer waiting for the meat to finish up.  I live for those days.

This menu is not only a celebration of those lazy summer evenings when we’d tuck into thick steaks seared on the grill, but also an ode to the perfect produce of the summer.  Farmer’s market tomatoes, string beans, potatoes and greens all have a home in bright and glorious side dishes.  Rosemary works as both a flavoring and a utensil. And the skill required to prepare this meal is minimal – feed a few or a dozen with little to no effort other than chopping a veg or two and flipping on the grill. And that’s not even including any delegation – get some mark to shuck your corn or snap your string beans and you’re living easy. Which is entirely what summer is all about.

 

Summer Salad of Fingerlings, Heirloom Tomatoes and String Beans

Summertime has always meant trips to the farmer’s market – from the dripingly ripe tomatoes to the sweetest ears of corn, I couldn’t help but swoon over access to ingredients as flavorful and delicious as these.  Despite my dependence on the convenience of grocery stores, shopping at the market was a reminder of the fact that we can all make a commitment to using the freshest ingredients possible.  Summertime meant easy access to the most incredible veggies, and took the focus off of planning before shopping.  You could go with a blank slate and a lack of a menu, and just resign to be inspired by what was available.  It was liberating, really.

This salad is a winner for the spontaneous and the planners alike – during the summer, heirloom tomatoes are readily available and simply begging to be tucked into.  Green beans are crisp and sweet and ready to snap the ends and crunch away.  You can even access buttery heirloom potatoes for use in this salad that come in just about every shade.  The entire salad is held together by a basil vinaigrette that manages to brighten and highlight all of the flavors of the veggies.  It makes a gorgeous potluck and the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, but it’s nourishing enough as a main course and absolutely vegan.  Like I said before, the perfect summer celebration.

Summer Salad of Fingerlings, Heirloom Tomatoes and String Beans

1 lb. of haricots vert or string beans, snipped of stems
1 lb. of fingerling potatoes
1 c. of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 c. cubed tomatoes)

juice of half a lemon
3 tbs. of red wine vinegar
2 cl. of garlic
1/2 c. of basil leaves
1/4 c. of olive oil
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
1 tsp. of salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt heavily.  Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain with a slotted spoon and cool with running water.  While the water is still boiling, plunk in the haricot verts and blanch for 1 minute.  Drain and cool with running water.  Add chilled potatoes and green beans to a large bowl.  Add the tomatoes to the bowl and set aside.

In a food processor, add the garlic, basil, salt and pepper.  Blitz to mince finely.  Add the lemon and vinegar and blitz again.  While the motor is running, stream in the olive oil.  Turn off the food processor and pour dressing over the vegetables.  Toss and chill for at least 15 minutes.  Serve.

Chef Tim’s Roast Chicken with Chardonnay Sauce, Trumpet Mushroom Duxelle and Fingerling Potatoes

*in Jay-Z voice* “Tim, you did it again.  You’re a genius.”  Not too often when I’m cooking am I reminded of the fine balance between strict adherence to technique and freestyle improvisation in the kitchen.  This recipe is like a dance – you certainly want to follow the rules to coax it into perfection, but there is room for you to do your thang as well.  In essence, it’s everything I love about the kitchen.  And as I watched my husband take the first bite of the final product and nod his head knowingly that this was something of pure majesty, I loved it all the more.

In Chef Tim Ma’s interview for this site, he talks about the importance of organization in the kitchen.  As home cooks, although we don’t go all out with a true mise en place and prep kitchen work, there is something to be said for taking time to lay out all of your ingredients before you launch into the assembly of the dish.  This recipe is a great example of this fact – chopping all of your ingredients first and setting up your kitchen before turning on the stove will allow you the luxury of breezing through this one.  When you are all finished, you take a bite and marvel at the genius your tucking into without feeling as if you slaved at all.

Tim purports that this dish is an excellent use of many important kitchen techniques – I see it as a reminder of how much there is to learn in the kitchen, far beyond what we’ve learned from our families or from puttering around on our own with a bit of trial and error.  Spending the time to figure out how to properly treat ingredients is so very necessary, and though we won’t all have the honor or luxury of attending cooking school, it doesn’t mean we can’t go out of our way with a little self-directed study on proper methods and techniques.  Consider this recipe a solid lesson with Chef Tim as the instructor du jour.

Since we don’t have access to a live demonstration of this one (yet), a trickier part of the recipe is in the deboning of the chicken leg and thigh as one piece.  While you can absolutely have your butcher do this for you, it’s a lot more interesting to grab a sharp knife and try it out for yourself.  I found this old video of Paul Prudhomme doing it, and teacher that I am, I love his level of encouragement offered to newbies trying this for the first time.  Yes, you can do this, and no, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before.  Now, fancy names be damned, go get yourself some roast chicken and mushroom action.

Recipe for

Roast Chicken Leg and Thigh with Chardonnay Sauce, Trumpet Mushroom Duxelle and Fingerling Potatoes

Ingredients
2 trumpet mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tbs. of butter
half of a lemon, juiced
1 shallot, minced
1 oz. of slab bacon or salt pork
1/4 c. of caramelized onions

2 chicken legs and thighs, deboned
2 tbsp dry chardonnay
4 tbsp vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
parsley, chopped

1 lb. of fingerling potatoes
duck fat (or vegetable oil if you don’t have any)
salt and pepper

Melt 2 tbs. of butter in a large pan over low heat. Add bacon or salt pork and sweat for a few minutes without giving it color.  Add shallots and sweat without giving color for a few minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to cook over low heat, adding a pinch of salt, pepper and the lemon juice.  The mushrooms will begin to release water – once the water is completely absorbed, stop cooking.  Add caramelized onions and toss to heat.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Heat a new pan that can go into the oven over high heat with a little blended oil.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Once pan is hot, add chicken legs skin side down and cook over high heat for a minute.  Place entire pan in oven and cook until chicken registers 165°, about 10 minutes.  Take pan out, remove chicken, drain oil.  Deglaze pan with chardonnay, scraping up the brown bits.  Reduce wine by half, add stock and reduce by half again.  Turn fire off, add 2 tbs. of butter and whisk until incorporated.  Place mushroom mix in center of plate, top with chicken, add sauce around, garnish with parsley.

Fingerling Potatoes

To cook the fingerlings, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add potatoes and blanch for 3-4 minutes.  Drain and dry well.  Add about 2 inches of oil (or equivalent amount of duck fat) to a heavy bottomed sauce pan and heat until a piece of bread, when dropped into the oil, browns in 3 seconds.  Add the potatoes to the pan, being careful to stand back if the skins sputter a bit.  Allow to cook for a minute, remove and drain on paper towels and salt and pepper immediately while still hot.  If you’d like to time this all so that the potatoes are finished at the same time as the chicken, cook the potatoes as soon as the chicken goes into the oven.

Irish Lamb Stew with Rosemary and Sage

Non-Stop Comfort with No Regrets

My good friend Adella, a fellow foodie and recipe crafter, is exacting with her perfection of a dish.  She believes in absolute measurements in the kitchen (“What’s a dash? What’s a pinch”) and as such, she turns out flawless dishes time in and time out.  How could I not love her to pieces?  When I first started Adesina’s Cook-a-long, I immediately knew that I had to hit her up for a recipe.  Adella and I worked next to each other for 2 years, and in those fleeting moments of free time amidst our crazy schedules, she and I would hash about our successes (and occasional flops) in the kitchen.  She, like I, had a collection of “tried and true” go-to recipes that we kept for friends and family – we don’t have cookbook aspirations so much as a need to document the goodness found behind a particular set of ingredients and methods.  When the stars align in the kitchen, the recipe becomes a mini celebration of the success.  Needless to say, Adella has had her fair share of successes, and her collection continues to grow and grow.  Maybe it is time for her to launch a cookbook :) Continue reading Irish Lamb Stew with Rosemary and Sage