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Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

Back to this space after a couple months of forced hiatus, thanks to a hectic work schedule that sucked the creativity out of my kitchen time.  And to kick off fall, wanted to share this amazing soup that packs a spicy punch with hearty, autumnal ingredients.  Italian sausage, red new potatoes, kale, and kidney beans dance together in this pot-o-goodness.

Portuguese Kale Soup

4 ounces spicy turkey or Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)

4 cups chicken stock + 4 cups water

8 ounces kale, thick stems removed and leaves sliced (8 cups)

1 clove garlic, minced

12 ounces red potatoes, halved and sliced (2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can cooked red kidney beans, drained

(1) Remove casing from sausage, crumble and brown in a 5-quart stock pot. Drain on paper towel when cooked through, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot.

(2) Cook onion, celery and garlic over medium-low heat in the oil til softened. Return sausage to pot, and add stock and kale.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes.

(3) Stir in potatoes, red pepper sauce, salt and simmer covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes and kale are tender. Then add the beans and cook until heated through.

Not quite sure what makes it ‘Portuguese,’ to be honest. (I take my Aunt Karron for her word that it’s inspired by the folks from Lisbon.)  All that matters is that it’s unique, addictively delicious and pretty healthy too.

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I haven’t been able to hit the park for a picnic with friends this summer because of the non-stop, scorching heat. But these two jazzed up picnic sides have made great lunch items, evoking the essence of dining al fresco without stepping foot outside.

I tossed local baby potatoes I fetched at the farmers market with olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and freshly cracked pepper and sea salt to taste.  Tossed in a bundle of chopped Italian parsley for color and bright flavor — three crisped, diced  three strips of smoked bacon. Awesome.

These baked beans are to die for:  not sweet and tangy like their classic barbeque counterparts, but light and smoky and incredibly flavorful.  The salty diced ham stews with the onion, celery, carrot and garlic — simmers with diced tomatoes and wilted chard.  The blend of white navy beans and tan pinto is delicious.  (h/t Food Network Mag)

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When it comes to summer side salads, I’m a big fan of the tangy vinegar-based dressings over their creamy mayonnaise-based counterparts.  The bite and bitterness of the vinegar offers a great counterpoint to homemade grilled pork sausages or hamburgers, salty fried chicken, or sweet barbecue ribs.  You also don’t have to worry about the mayo spoiling easily in the heat at your outdoor picnic.

For the cuke salad, thinly slice a seedless English hothouse cucumber and half a dozen medium-sized red radishes. Then, in a small bowl, mix together a fourth cup of rice wine vinegar, two teaspoons of sugar, teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder, fresh cracked black pepper, and sea salt to taste.  Mix the dressing and sliced veggies together and let stand in the fridge for an hour before serving cold.

And, here’s my twist on classic German potato salad using pickled okra:

German Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds red baby potatoes

5 slices of bacon

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped picked okra

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

salt/pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

(1) Cut the baby potatoes in halves or quarters and boil in salted water. Meanwhile, fry the 5 slices of bacon until crispy and dice.

(2) Saute the onion, garlic and celery in some olive oil until tender. Set aside.

(3) Combine the broth, vinegar and spices in a small pan and bring to a boil.

(4) Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, tossing the potatoes with the bacon, onion mixture, diced pickled okra and vinegar dressing.  Add salt/pepper to taste, topping with fresh parsley.

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Brick1

If you’re a breakfast fan, the Market Lunch at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill is the place to be on a Saturday or Sunday morning. The food counter, on the north end of the South Hall, is a huge draw; but don’t be intimidated by the long line that snakes around the kitchen’s single long table.  It moves quickly and the pay off is well worth it: the food is fresh, cooked to order, and a real bargain.  And don’t panic that you won’t have a place to sit and enjoy your meal — there’s always space to sit at the counter since workers help facilitate the turnover.  At the top of the menu is one of the most unbelievable breakfast sandwiches I’ve ever had (!!):  “The Brick” — egg, cheese, potato and meat on a toasted portuguese roll.

Brick2The thick-cut smoked bacon is crispy and meaty, earning two thumbs up. But the ham, sausage, turkey sausage and scrapple all appeared to be equally compelling choices.  The grilled new potatoes have slightly crunchy skin and warm, pillowy insides – all topped with melted cheddar cheese. Add a fried egg in between – with a little hot sauce – and you’ve got a killer sandwich. I was very impressed with the raw ingredients here and the freshness: despite it’s name, it was not dripping in grease and didn’t deliver a punch to the gut.  If you have appetite to spare, definitely get a side order of yellow North Carolina grits and/or the “Blue Bucks” — blueberry buckwheat pancakes.

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DinnerPlate

Having lived in Georgia and South Carolina, I can appreciate the amazing flavors of Southern cuisine. But I’ve never quite been able to stomach all the grease that’s often involved.  So, here’s a healthier take on mashed potatoes and buttermilk fried chicken I tried:  it’s packed with juicy flavor but not dripping in oil. And, using the oven makes it easier to prepare and clean up than frying on the stove: a definite “plus” for work-night cooking.

ChickenBag

I marinated my boneless, skinless chicken breasts — which I pounded out to half-inch thickness — in a buttermilk marinade for several hours in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

Buttermilk Marinade

3/4 cup of buttermilk

Juice of one lemon

4 chopped garlic cloves

1 diced yellow onion,

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper

Before encrusting the chicken, be sure to pat each breast dry with a paper towel first. Then, dip in egg — letting excess drip off — and dredge in Panko breadcrumbs mixed with herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Lay the chicken on a wire rack atop a baking sheet before baking in a hot, preheated 375 oven.  Mine took 20-25 minutes — but baking time will vary by oven.  The outer crust should look toasted brown and crispy! (Good news about this marinade is that it keeps the chicken fairly moist even if you slightly over-bake.)

ChixDip

While the chicken is “oven-frying,” prepare the carrots and potatoes on the stove.  In a small sauce pan, saute several cups of carrots in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Once the carrots get tender — about 5 minutes — add two tablespoons of good, aged balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of light brown sugar. Continue to cook the carrots, coating in the balsamic glaze, until the liquid is reduced by about half.  These are incredibly tangy and tasty on the side!

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roastedpork

It’s amazing what you can do with a small kitchen and limited selection of cooking tools. This meal was “simple cooking” at its finest: savory, sophisticated flavors and a beautiful presentation.

Kudos to Bon Appétit for this delicious marinade. Last month I tried it with chicken breasts; it’s even better with pork tenderloin. In just two hours, the meat was well-infused with the essence of thyme, garlic, rosemary, and white wine. I seared the meat in a hot pan before topping with Dijon mustard and roasting in the oven for 30 minutes. The creamy mustard-tarragon sauce on top is sublime.

swisschard

The slightly tart and peppery flavor of swiss chard was a great complement to the pork. In this preparation, I separated the stalks from the leaves, blanching the leaves first and then cooking the stalks a little bit longer in boiling water. To finish, I sautéed the chard, diced tomatoes, and garlic in olive oil and lemon juice. (Since it was my first time cooking with swiss chard, I used Tom Colicchio’s recipe as a guide.)

twicebaked

Twice-baked potatoes are a family favorite, and even though I didn’t have a Cuisinart — much less a potato masher! — I was able to pull these off with a good ‘ole fork and spoon. I blended the potato with cream, lots of fresh parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. And topped, of course, with sharp Wisconsin cheddar. Yum.

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With the weather turning cooler and the leaves beginning to turn in New York City, this autumn menu is perfect for a Friday night dinner party.

The chicken breasts were marinated in fresh herbs and white wine for several hours before being pan-roasted and finished in the oven with Dijon mustard on top. The creamy, Dijon-tarragon sauce is a light and flavorful complement to the marinade. (Recipe)

On the side: a salad of bosc pear, toasted walnuts, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and a cider-lemon vinagrette. Also, oven-roasted baby yukon gold potatoes tossed with olive oil, sea salt and chopped rosemary.

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