Tag Archives: Potatoes

Tilapia with Endive and Roasted Potatoes

The other evening I  wanted Tilapia, so I thought it was time to do a baked dish…

For this you’ll require:

10 to 12 red potatoes, quartered
2 fresh Tilapia fillets
Fresh oregano
Fresh Dill
Freshly cracked black pepper
Sea Salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 head of Endive (also know as Escarole), torn
2 tsp of lemon juice

Here you go:

1. First, heat your olive oil in a medium pan. When it starts to shimmer, add your red potatoes. Add dill, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste sauté until they begin to brown, then remove and place in a bowl.

2.  Pre-heat your oven to 365. While your oven is heating, put your Endive in the pan you did your potatoes in, cover, and sauté over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes. Add your oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Now add the tilapia fillets and lemon juice and heat on each side for no more than a minute.

4. Place foil on a cookie sheet, on one side place your tilapia and on the other side mix your endive and potatoes and bake for roughly 10 minutes. Keep your pan for the next step!

5. Remove from the oven, add salt and pepper to your pan (no need for additional oil, you should be ok to accomplish what is needed) and over a very high flame quickly brown the tilapia on each side.  This will sear in the pepper/salt taste, giving you a nice brown color, with drying out the fish.

6. Plate and Enjoy!

Tilapia ready to go!

The garlic, endive and potatoes all play well together, and the lemon pulls the entire dish together! Very enjoyable and very quick to do.

And the next dish? Well, Tuesday we’ll have Kale Pizza!

Bob's Crash Hot Potatoes

So after a bit of  a hiatus (s0rry about that), it is time to post again.  Hope you are all having a good week :)  I think I will start off with a side dish this time (but it doesn’t have to be by any means).  Here’s something simple for those of you in eskimo-esque climates.  Bob inspired me as I was wanting good ‘ole steak and potatoes – so you can thank him later.  However, this was simply wonderful! Our guests the past two weekends have been raving about this still!

You’ll need:

desired amount of red potatoes (apparently these taste best)

garlic (Bob used this for his blog pictures but I went with straight bacon-cheese potatoes)

butter

bacon

shredded cheese (I used sharp)

sour cream

1.  Boil your potatoes until tender.

2. Wrap your baking pan with foil.  Place your potatoes and smash them until open.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Top with desired ingredients.  I knew bacon was going to be a big hit so I topped each potato with a pat of butter, uncured bacon and shredded cheese.

3. Bake at 450 for 25 minutes.  You can smell the magic by then.  Serve with a side of sour cream – absolutely fantastic.

oh yeah. . .

The first weekend I made these along with Van’s baked macaroni and cheese and steak.  That was a great night ;-)  Thank you both for your dinner ideas – they made me look good!

Herbed Steak with Portobello Mushroom Sauce and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I think I hit the jackpot tonight.  I’d like to say at heart I am a meat and potatoes girl (although I love branching out) and this is the reason why. . .

For the steak:

4-5 oz boneless beef top sirloin steaks, cut 3/4 in thick

1 tsp herbes de Provence

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp olive oil

6 oz portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and thinly sliced (about 2.5 c)

1/3 c finely chopped shallot or onion

2 clove garlic, minced

1/4 c port or dry red wine or beef broth

1/2 c beef broth

1.5 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence, cracked pepper, and salt evenly on steaks and rub in.  You can use the grill or broiler to cook seasoned steaks.   (I did the broiler for about 14 mins since I like mine med-well).

2. Heat oil over med heat in a skillet and then add mushrooms, shallot/onion, and garlic and cook until tender. Remove skillet from heat and add port/broth and remaining 1/2 tsp of herbes de Provence.  Return to heat and cook uncovered until liquid has evaporated.

sauteeing the mushrooms, onion, garlic

3. In a small bowl stir together beef broth and cornstarch and add to skillet.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubby.  Stir for 2 mins more and then add balsamic vinegar.  Serve over steaks.  Makes 4 servings.

For potatoes:

1 lb red, Yukon gold, or round white potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

1 tsp bottled minced roasted garlic

1/4 c light dairy sour cream

2-4 tbsp fat free milk

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1. In a covered large saucepan cook potatoes in enough boiling water to cover for 25 mins or until tender.  Drain and return to saucepan.

2. Add garlic to potatoes and mash.  Add sour cream, milk, thyme, salt, pepper and combine well (you can use a mixer if you want).  Makes 4 servings.

I tried to get a good picture of this. . .really doesn't do the dish justice though.

I tried to get a good picture of this. . .really doesn't do the dish justice though.

 Nutritional Information:

Steak:

Calories: 270

Total Fat: 8 g

Cholesterol: 60 mg

Protein: 33 g

Carbohydrate: 10 g

Fiber: 1 g

Sodium: 343 mg

Potatoes:

Calories: 106

Total Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 5 mg

Protein: 4 g

Carbohydrate: 19 g

Fiber: 2 g

Sodium: 162 mg

Potatoes au gratin

gratinWe’ve been getting CSA boxes so some of the stuff we get I don’t normally buy. Potatoes oddly enough is one of those items. I do make roasted potatoes for my husband from time to time–I love them too, but don’t eat much of them as they do not agree with my hypoglycemia. In any case, I do like them and when I saw Tina’s gratin I decided to do one with the potatoes we got.

I pretty much did my own thing as far as the recipe goes. Essentially I just made a very cheesy bechamel sauce that I poured over layers of potatoes and onions.

I actually cooked it another 20 minutes after I took this photo and it came out much more brown and lovely in the end.

Ingredients:

  • 4 different sized and shaped potatoes sliced in thin rounds (uniformity is not common in CSA boxes)
  • 1 very large red onion cut in thin half circles
  • 1/4 cup flour of your choice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbls butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your liking (I used some sort of inexpensive organic cheddar but gruyere or something a little more interesting would be great!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder

I oiled the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking pan and then put a layer of potatoes, followed by a layer of onions and repeated with a final layer of potatoes on top.

To make the bechamel I pretty much cheated. A proper bechamel starts with a roux and then you slowly add milk and then slowly heat that until it boils and thickens. I can’t stand very long so I heated the milk and the cheese until close to boiling on a relatively high flame and then I added a 1/4 cup of flour that had part of the total milk volume added into it to make a cold flour and milk mixture which I drizzled into the hot milk and cheese. Instant bechamel! The cheaters way. I’m learning to do a lot of things cutting corners and in general I’m not too disappointed. There is much I will gladly go back to doing the long way when I can, but frankly this cheaters bechamel was fine with me.

I poured the cheesy bechamel over the top and put it into a 350 degree oven. I’m not sure how long I cooked it. When I took the above photo it actually was not done and I ended up cooking it until it was a much more brown.

It was good. I’ve never made anything like this and I’m not sure if it compares to anything that is truly a gratin. What say you?

Potato soup

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This is a variation on a soup I made a lot many years ago. A friend of mine gave me the idea. I don’t remember making it since I’ve moved to North Carolina from California and I’ve been here seven years. I used to make it all the time! In any case the reason I finally made it again is because Wandering Coyote and then Bob both made similar soups recently. Wandering Coyote’s blog is here.

In any case I, as usual did my own thing today and did something different from both Wandering Coyote, Bob and my own variation from the past.

  • 6 medium sized red potatoes washed and cut up but not peeled (potato peels are very good for you and I happen to think they add flavor too. Red skins are also pretty)
  • 1 large onion
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 48 oz vegetable stock
  • 1 lb low fat cottage cheese (get creative here. I’ve used fresh goat cheese instead, also)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I threw all the ingredients except the cottage cheese into a pot with the stock. I cut the potatoes and onions in fourths. Garlic went in whole but peeled, of course. I took the rosemary leaves off the stems. I boiled everything until the potatoes were just starting to fall apart.

I let it all cool for a bit and then pureed the whole shebang in a blender while adding the pound of cottage cheese.

OMG!! Why in hell did I take so long to make this again…it’s heavenly! I couldn’t stop eating it. Thanks WC and Bob for putting it back in my head.

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Roast Chicken and Potatoes

 

cooked-chickenRoasting a chicken is one of those quintessential things you are supposed to be able to do if you consider yourself a cook.  I have a confession to make.  I have been cooking for around 8 years now and I have never made a good roast chicken.  That is until now. 

One of my problems is that I refuse to use recipes.  It feels like cheating to me.  It doesn’t feel like you have learned anything, just memorized something.  Because of that, the first few chickens I roasted came out sad and flabby and I stopped roasting chickens.  Since then I have read a lot more about roasting chicken, and while this attempt still wasn’t perfect, it was a vast improvement and created the best potatoes I have ever had in my life.

Roast Chicken and Potatoes

1 chicken -unsure of weight

Potatoes -enough to create a bed for the chicken

Salt – 1 cup + 2 tablespoons

Baking Soda – 1 Tablespoon

Water – Enough to cover chicken

Pepper, Parsley, Lemon and Garlic – For stuffing the cavity and seasoning 

1.       Starting with the chicken, I buy my free range, organic chicken from a farmer.  While the chicken does taste more “chicken-y” than the grocery store variety, the main difference I have found is the amount of fat.  Farmer chicken has much more.

2.       48 hrs in advance, brine the chicken.  I place the chicken in a pot, add water until chicken is covered, remove the chicken and mix in a cup (give or take) of salt, and then stir.  No need to heat it, the salt dissolved just fine, and I don’t add any other flavors because I’m not really using this as a flavoring as much as to trap moisture in the cells and give me less of a chance of over cooking.

3.       24 hours in advance, remove chicken from brine and dry thoroughly.  Once chicken is very dry create a rub of 2 Tblspns salt and 1 Tblspn baking soda.  This is to desiccate the chicken skin and really give you thin, crispy skin.  Rub this all over the chicken skin.  Return to the fridge uncovered.

4.       Preheat the oven to 375, remove the chicken from the fridge.  Using a knife cut a bunch of slits in the chickens back to allow the fat to escape as the chicken cooks. Stuff the chicken cavity with a halved lemon, a few cloves of crushed garlic and a bunch of parsley.

5.       Cut up your potatoes (I used fingerling because it is what I had) and create a bed for the chicken in your roasting pan.   Place the chicken on its back on top of the potatoes

6.       Roast chicken for 25 minutes at 375, turn up heat to 475 and roast for another 25 minutes, turn off heat and let cook for 10 more minutes or until the thigh registers 180.

7.       Move the chicken to a carving board and let rest, move the potatoes (golden and crisp on the pan side) to a serving bowl add salt if desired, pepper and chopped parsley.

potatoes2

 

The brining plus salt rub results in a pretty salty chicken.  That’s how I like my chicken, if you don’t I would reduce or eliminate the salt rub. Yes, this recipe involves a lot of advance prep, and not all of it is worth it.  Going forward I will remove the baking soda, it left a little bit of a baking soda flavor, the skin on the back turns out soft from sitting on the potatoes, and I think that the salt plus 24 hours in the fridge uncovered will do enough to dry the skin. Finally, I’m not sure what I added by putting lemon, garlic and parsley inside, next time I’ll leave it out and see what type of difference it makes.  

Here is a close up of the chicken skin where the thigh meets the body that shows the tissue paper like consistency the skin had.chicken-skin1

Mom's Old Fashion Beef Stew

As a child, during winter, one of my favorite dinner treats was when my mother would make her been stew.  Something about the contrast of the cold outside and the thought of a warm meal was comforting.  Not only that, the carrots were soft and retained all flavors represented in the dish, the meat just fell apart with the touch of a fork and the potatoes were little bit of heaven.  It was as if all the ingredients mixed together in such a way I was unable to deny this was my comfort food of the time.

With winter waining I wanted to make Mom’s Old Fashion Beef Stew so that I may enjoy the experience once more before spring comes to town.

Ingredients

  • 2.5lbs Stew Meat (Pot roast, seven bone roast, etc.)
  • ½ onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 6 carrots
  • 4 potatoes (Yukon gold or Red)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 c. V-8 juice
  • 2 tlbs tapioca
  • 1 tlbs sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Cut meat into 1 ½ inch cubes and place in 3 or 4.4 qt oven safe Casserole
  3. Peel and slice onion
  4. Slice celery and cut potatoes and carrots into chunks
  5. Place vegetables in pan
  6. Blend salt with sugar and tapioca, Sprinkle over ingredients in pan
  7. Place cinnamon stick in dish
  8. Pour V-8 juice into pan
  9. Wrap dish in foil and Bake stew at 250 degrees for 4 hours

All said and done, it should look something like this when heading into the oven:

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As the dish cooks in the oven the moisture in the meat will add to the V-8, creating more of a “gravy” for you to enjoy.  This goes very well with Sourdough bread. I was going to make some, but didn’t plan that far ahead, so I ended up buying fresh baked instead.

A few things to note:

  1. The Tapioca can be found in the baking aisle
  2. If you cut the vegetable pieces larger, you will need to cook longer until they are tender
  3. Make sure the foil is sealed to the edge of the pan you are using so all the heat stays inside the dish while cooking

My dinner has roughly 3 ½ hours left to cook but rest assured I’ll post a picture or two once the finished product comes out of the oven.

And there is the final product, fresh from the oven.

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Additional tips/pointers/thoughts:

  • I suggest you cut the meat/veggies on the small side, allows for easier eathing and additional time in the oven is not needed
  • Depending on your taste, you may wish to remove the cinnamon stick
  • This makes for great leftovers

For me, it’s a classic! Enjoy!