Daily Archives: May 17, 2012

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Potatoes

Cross-posted at Balloon-Juice.

I’m ready for this week to be done. Time for some weekend. It is supposed to rain which may impact my cycling, but we need the rain, as several areas are on fire. So I won’t whine and will find other ways to enjoy the days off. I’m seeing The Avengers tomorrow and no big plans otherwise.

I may finish Wiley Cash’s book, A Land More Kind than Home. I’m about halfway through. I love this book and the only reason I didn’t finish it in one sitting is I want to savor every chapter. Thanks for the recommendation John Cole.

Nothing exciting on the cooking front this week, but I did go out to dinner earlier this week and had an Indian Bread Taco that was amazing. I doubt I could recreate it, but if anyone has a good recipe, I’d love it if you’d share it.

Glad to hear frequent recipe contributor, Joshua D. (aka:Yutsano) had successful surgery today. Maybe he’ll have time to cook some good stuff while he recuperates.

Okay, on to tonight’s ingredients: potatoes. I have three recipes for you, Grilled Sweet Peppers and Potatoes, Roasted Smashed Potatoes, and a fool-proof Baked Potato with Roasted Garlic Butter below. If none of those are what you’re looking for, I just checked and we have over 20 potato recipes, you’ll probably find at least one.

This method results in excellent baked potatoes that have a crisp, flavorful skin and tender, fluffy potato. Top with roasted garlic butter for a perfect side. If you’re wondering about the skewers, they transfer heat throughout, so the potatoes cook quicker and don’t seem to dry out. Always fluffy. Skewering works really well with sweet potatoes, too.

Baked Potatoes with Roasted Garlic Butter

  • 4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 to 4 metal skewers

Spread

  • 1 or 2 large head of garlic
  •  olive oil
  • 1 to 2 sprigs of rosemary, minced
  • 4 to 8 tbsp of butter

Skewer each potato (depending on the size of the skewer you can sometimes get 2 on it, leaving room between potatoes). Rub oil liberally on potatoes and then coat with a light layer of salt. Bake at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, peel white paper skin from garlic and slice off 1/4 inch off the top. Coat well in olive oil, place in a small baking dish (I saw a great recommendation making several and using a 6-cup muffin tin). Cover with foil and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, or until cloves are soft when pierced. (Of course you can use a garlic roaster if you have one)

Once garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves out of their skins. Using a fork, mash garlic, butter, pinch of salt and minced rosemary to smooth paste. Serve with potatoes.

What’s on your weekend menu? And if you have recipe requests, let me know. I’m thinking strawberries or ziti next week, I haven’t decided yet.

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Hot and Sour Soup

I’ve been dithering a bit on using that tofu but I finally managed to use up about half of the block on this Tyler Florence recipe.  I used the dried mushrooms I have in the pantry, some shiitakes I believe, but the original packaging is gone.  I keep them in a big plastic jar.  I looked for some pork to use in this thing but settled on a half chicken breast.  I think I used too much corn starch thickener because the final instruction in the recipe was to stir the soup to set up a swirling current so the egg would self-incorporate.  This was so thick that that just wasn’t going to happen so I stirred it with a spoon as the egg drizzled in.  I never get the egg right in these things.

I’ll get around to that miso soup I talked about the other day, I swear!

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

This is from America’s Test Kitchen and it is on my list to try this weekend while I have some extra time to play in the kitchen. I thought they sounded delicious and a nice way to dress up a side when company comes to dinner.

From America’s Test Kitchen

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

Serves 4 to 6

*This recipe is designed to work with potatoes 1½ to 2 inches in diameter; do not use potatoes any larger. It is important to thoroughly cook the potatoes so that they will smash easily. Remove the potatoes from the baking sheet as soon as they are done browning—they will toughen if left too long. A potato masher can also be used to “smash” the potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds small* Red Bliss potatoes (about 18), scrubbed
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Adjust oven racks to top and bottom positions and heat oven to 500 degrees. Arrange potatoes on rimmed baking sheet, pour ¾ cup water into baking sheet, and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Cook on bottom rack until paring knife or skewer slips in and out of potatoes easily (poke through foil to test), 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and cool 10 minutes. If any water remains on baking sheet, blot dry with paper towel.

2. Drizzle 3 tablespoons oil over potatoes and roll to coat. Space potatoes evenly on baking sheet and place second baking sheet on top; press down firmly on baking sheet, flattening potatoes until 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and season generously with salt and pepper; drizzle evenly with remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Roast potatoes on top rack 15 minutes. Transfer potatoes to bottom rack and continue to roast until well browned, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Spring Rolls

I was in town today for an appointment and took the opportunity to walk through the giant supermarket, looking for some odds and ends on the grocery list.  I’ve been meaning to use the tofu I bought the other day and was thinking hot and sour soup ingredients when I spied the spring roll wrappers and grabbed a package.  It’s been a little while since I did some.  The hot and sour soup will just have to wait a bit.

These have chopped shrimp and chicken breast in them, along with bean sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, green onions, and a bit of grated carrot.  Some oyster sauce and soy sauce flavored the fillings.  These are the first batch I’ve made in the counter top deep fryer and I can report that it worked well.

I tried some of this sweet and sour chili sauce on mine, I like it a lot, it has just a wee bit of tang to it from the chilies but it’s not a lip burner.

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