Posts tagged ‘potato’

November 14, 2011

Crispy Oven Fries

I am trying to eat healthy. This blog does not help. Neither does living with someone who loves (and encourages my cooking). Another fact not helping in the healthy-eating movement is things like these fries, and cravings, and foodgawker, and my lack-of will power.

BUT – on a good note, these are at least ‘healthier’ fries (served with ‘healthier’ buffalo chicken). “Healthier than what?” you may ask – well healthier than what you would get at a restaurant of course! Now, I am not saying by any stretch of the imagination that this is good for you, but its not really that bad for you. A meal like this once in a while partnered with a regularly scheduled healthy diet and some activity equals a well balanced and happy life (I’m working on that moving more part – thanks to those around me for helping me by yelling at me to motivate me)!!

Crispy Oven Fries

  • approx. 3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
  • 5 T vegetable, canola or light olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl.  Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes.  Put about 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet.  Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush or fingers can help with this).  Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Drain the potatoes.  Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels.  Pat dry with additional towels.  Wipe out the  bowl so it is dry.  Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.  Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.  Cover with foil and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes.  Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer.  Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5-10 minutes.  Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.

*NOTE – at some point in this process my smoke alarm always goes off from the high heat and oil – no worries, that just means its working the way it should

When the fries are finished baking, transfer them to a paper-towel lined serving dish to drain some of the grease.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.

This goes amazing with Buffalo Chicken Tenders (and the combination of these fries with the amazing chicken tenders earned me not only my normal thank you & an extra compliment, but a kiss as well – so you know its got to be good.)

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One Year Ago – 2010 Pack the Pantry @ DDF!

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What was the last thing you made that earned you extra praise/appreciation?

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April 1, 2011

Reuben Soup

This soup popped up on FoodGawker just after St. Patrick’s Day as a perfect way to use those Corned Beef leftovers (I think you should cook more than 1 corned beef so that you can eat the corned beef on its on and make this soup without feeling like you have to skimp on either method of leftovers). This soup needs to be made a lot more often than just using leftovers from one specific holiday though.

I LOVE reubens as a sandwich (some of the best one I have ever had comes from Harold’s in New Jersey – that place is amazing and can serve a small villiage). As a soup, this thing holds it own as well & fills that reuben craving at the same time that it conquers your comfort soup craving!

Serve this soup with some swiss cheese melted over some rye bread and you have taken care of all required reuben elements. YUM

RECIPE (from Heat oven to 350)
  • 3 medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow sweet onion, chopped small
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • about 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half [MILK]
  • [1 tsp pickling spices]
  • 1 cup cooked corned beef, chopped medium
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 2T Worcestershire sauce
  • [2 bay leaves]
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (about 1/4 t, can add more)
  • Salt, & black pepper to taste
  • [Chopped parsley and croutons for garnish]
In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Increase heat to medium, sprinkle in flour and cook one minute. Slowly pour in water, whisking after each addition, until all liquid has been incorporated. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken stock, half and half, pickling spices, corned beef, sauerkraut, potatoes, caraway seeds, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 15-20 minutes. If you add the full amount of broth you may want to boil this down a little more for a thicker soup – you are going to need to play around with this and make it multiple times in order to have it exactly how you want it, trust me… you won’t mind experimenting though! Taste and add red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Remove bay leaves & enjoy!
December 5, 2010

Loaded Potato & Beer Soup

A few weeks ago we had a “quiet” day planned for Rich to study for his GMAT exam  (he ended up scoring in the 75% percentile – more on that later) and my parents were going to join us to see the High School production of Robin Hood for which I did the props. I wanted to cook something yummy while Rich studied and wanted to start with potato & bacon…. settled on inventing my own “beer cheese soup”.

As the day went on I kept tasting & adding and inventing (also deciding we needed to have biscuits to go along with it). Well, in the long run – we had a large pot of soup, called my folks to come over, and decided that I had made what ended up being one of the most amazing “Loaded Baked Potato Soups” ever!

Loaded Baked Potato & Cheesy-Beer Soup

RECIPE…

I started off my cutting up a whole package of bacon into about 1″ pieces & throwing the whole thing into the pot (high sided pan – whatever) & cooking that down 90% of the way. Then I drained off all the fat & put the bacon aside. I then added 2 chopped onions & 4 chopped potatoes. To that pan went (5??) cloves of garlic, a bottle of beer (Sam Adams dark something) and some chicken stock. (I don’t make my own chicken stock – but hate storing so many cans since I use it all the time – so I am a big fan of the dry bullion powder & then just pouring water right from my tea pot & having the stock make itself in the pot.) Pepper and spices went as the day went on, at some point I chopped 2 chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces and cooking that in a separate pan (with some bacon for flavor) before throwing that in the soup. About 15 minutes before serving I added some milk & about 8 oz of cheddar/monterey jack cheeses. Top the whole thing off with some scallions & a little more cheese & perfect!

soup & biscuit

(Sorry for the really “cruddy” directions – I spent way to just time cooking the way I often do with “a little of this” and “a little of that” that I did not really pay that close of attention. The above directions/recipe should get you close if you want to give it a shot. This is one of those things that you just have to taste & play it by ear.)

My Soup Theory…

You can’t go wrong when making soup! And if you think you went wrong, it just means that you are changing directions!

November 10, 2010

Fall Indian Curry

I know that we are well past Halloween, but before heading out for Halloween a few weeks ago we had friends over. I had seen a recipe for a Squash Soup in my November Food & Wine that I wanted to try, but then saw chicken on sale AND knew that I had lots of potatoes, so ended up falling in love with this recipe for Chicken Curry with Potatoes & Squash from Food & Wine instead.

The recipe called for basically making our own curry but Rich has a few different curry pastes that he had picked out at a little market by him (I need to start checking out the ‘ethnic markets’ in this area so I can experiment more)!

Halloween 2010

We had tons of things going on Halloween weekend (football games, neighbor’s party, haunted tours/hayrides, friends/parties, trick-or-treaters) and at about 4:30 finally got home on that Saturday. We had friends showing up at 6:30 and still had to cook dinner AND create our Halloween costumes……

Dinner was AMAZING! This dish was so easy to put together (the cutting of veggies & such was the hardest part). The house smelled great, the company was enjoyable, but unfortunately we decided that Indian Curry recipes are very hard to make look pretty. Try this out (I used a pre-made can of yellow curry instead of all the spices which I couldn’t even find in the market anyway!) and follow the recipe below [which I made my changes to – I left the spice directions in] from Food & Wine

Potato Squash Chicken Curry

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2-ish onions, sliced/chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • [12 curry leaves]
  • [2 teaspoons garam masala]
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One pkg boneless-skinless chicken thighs (I had about 8 thighs I think)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large baking potato, [peeled] and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1/2 of a medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & cut into small cubes
  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup(ish) chicken stock
  • [cilantro]

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small skillet, toast the coriander, chile powder and turmeric over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the water to form a paste. [OR this is from your can of curry paste[
  2. In a very large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and curry leaves and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the spice paste, garam masala and black pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the oil separates from the paste, about 2 minutes.
  3. [Lightly season the chicken pieces with salt.] Add the chicken, diced potato and squash to the skillet and stir to coat with the seasonings. Stir in the coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is cooked through and the potato and squash are tender, about 25 minutes [and add in some fresh cilantro to flavor while the dish is in the last few minutes of cooking]. Using a slotted spoon, (we like the sauce – no slotted spoon) transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl. [I skipped this & just served everything over the rice] Season the curry sauce with salt, pour it over the chicken and serve [sprinkle some fresh cilantro overtop].
October 4, 2010

“Healthy” Chicken Fingers & French Fries

There are some days that I just don’t feel like being super inventive and kind of just want some “comfort food”. I usually try to make something that I can at least pretend to be healthy (ok – so I guess my last recipe: ricotta meatballs, wasn’t really pretending at all, but you get my point!) Friday night was one of those “I’m just in the mood for junk and took chicken out of the freezer already” nights! I also had been in the mood for chicken fingers for a few days (after watching Giada DeLaurentiis the other night on the Food Network – but not finding her recipe when I looked for it, fyi it was when she had her friends over & her artist friend helped them create art) & really wanted some fries – but to do all in a healthier way!

So the search for dinner (using my all time favorite site, foodgawker) was on! For my Chicken Fingers, I found this dish on Food Network. Then it was off to create the best oven-baked fries ever and could not resist trying this recipe & would highly recommend you trying it & checking out her photos of the fries which look a lot nicer than mine!

I started as soon as I got home by cutting the breasts into strips about an inch wide & then mixed up the marinade (mayo, milk, curry powder). Then I started on my potatoes (see the whole recipe below – sounds odd, but totally worth it!) Once potatoes were in the oven I hung out & got to talk to Rich a little now that he was home, in between turning off the smoke detectors that is. So a little side note: I have dark pans & there is a lot of oil on these potatoes & they are on a low rack – SO, I should have lowered the temp by about 25 degrees to avoid scaring the dogs & interrupting our conversation with smoke detectors!! Finally, bread the chicken – pop it in the oven & get ready to enjoy!!!

Baked Chicken Fingers & Fries

Oven Baked Potatoes

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves minced/grated garlic
  • 3 potatoes (sliced into 8 wedges)
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4  teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic

Put the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 475 (or lower if using a dark pan – see note above about smoke!) Combine the garlic and oil in a large bowl and microwave until the garlic smells awesome – about 1 minute. Transfer 5 tablespoons of the oil (leaving the garlic in the bowl) to a rimmed baking sheet & coat the pan.

Put the potatoes in the bowl with rest of the oil & garlic and toss to coat. Wrap with plastic wrap and microwave on high power for 2 minutes, shake to mix & the microwave for another 2 minutes (at least those are the times that worked in my microwave). Then combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and sprinkle over the hot potatoes – toss well to coat. Place the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake, turn once, until deep golden brown and crisp, 30-40 minutes.

Baked Chicken Fingers

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry
  • total of about 2 cups breading: bread crumbs, chex, pretzels, etc

Cut your chicken into strips, and place into a bowl to soak up the flavors with the mayo, milk, & curry powder. Place that in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors meld. Toss your breading ingredients together in a plastic bag & a few pieces at a time toss the chicken to coat.

Line a baking sheet with foil (easier clean up here people!) and place coated chick in a preheated 350 oven. Bake for about 15 minutes & then flip chicken and bake for another 10 minutes more. (I did this in the 400 degree oven with the fries for about the same time & they turned out fine).

I served this with a dip made of: mayo, honey mustard, spicy mustard, & dijon mustard – it was a great quick thrown together dip. Overall a “simple” Friday night dinner which was kinda healthy but full of flavor…. happy cooking!

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