We were quite taken with the store-bought baked potato salad we bought the other day at the market. I was determined to make some and today seemed like a good day. Alas! I could only turn up a handful of small yellow potatoes. I did have a little bag of Brussels sprouts so I thought “why not”? I quartered the potatoes and halved the sprouts and set them to roasting on a tray at 400 in the oven, drizzling a little olive oil over them first. When they had a little brown on them I dumped the lot into a big bowl, adding sour cream and mayo, about a cup each. Also add chopped crisp bacon, I used six slices, and a fair measure of cheese. I have about one and a half cups of mixed cheddar and jack cheese. Chopped green onions are in the classic recipe but I had none, and judged the sprouts sufficient. I did rethink and add a bit of chopped parsley for a garnish. The crisp outer leaves of the sprouts go great in this, don’t try to pick them off!Some roasted chicken thighs set the salad off perfectly, I brushed them with bbq sauce at the end, and glopped a little more on them for the table. Yes, we keep napkins at the table. LOL
This is just about the perfect combination for lunch or a quick dinner. The soup is from a can and the grilled cheese doesn’t take long. This one has bacon and cheddar with sliced muenster cheese on sourdough. The key to making a grilled cheese is to manage the heat so that the cheese is all melted before the bread is burnt. You can shorten the time it takes to complete this by popping the sammy into the microwave for a short time to hurry the cheese melt – this lets you crank the heat up on the skillet or griddle. I usually keep the flame low and cover the pan to arrive at the same condition.
I’ve had this for a little while now and have made three or four batches with it. It’s a well regarded Presto Belgian waffle maker. I don’t have them perfected yet but I have been turning out some very tasty waffles nonetheless.
You heat it up, the light goes out when it’s ready, and pour in the batter. Close the lid and rotate the thing to its other side to help settle the batter. There is a timer, three minutes has been just about right but it doesn’t hurt to open it to check. We had some older batter mix we used at first but found the stuff we ordered with the machine to be much better.The hardest part is getting the mix just right, not too thick or too thin. That’s the part I’m still working on. If you over fill the platter it will run out the side, underfills mean that the waffle will not be perfectly formed. It’ll still be mighty tasty.I made these today with batter a tad thick, they are not quite filled to the edge.These were an earlier batch. The one on top was from the bowl scrapings and is way short of being filled out.
I wanted to use a big tomato from the garden because it was just perfect and it’s hard to find a better place to put a big thick slice than on a bacon sammich. I like the basil on these in place of the usual lettuce, and the fried egg is now considered as a required part of the ensemble. I used sliced sourdough for this one.
I had some bacon in the fridge that was getting old so I decided to cook the lot of it in the oven. I usually use maple sugar when I make this stuff but decided on brown sugar for this batch. While rummaging in the cupboard I ran across a jar of ground red pepper. The peppers grew on an “ornamental” pepper plant but they looked useful and I am loathe to throw things away. I ground them in my spice mill and put them back, waiting for a special occasion. Today I sprinkled them onto the bacon, along with ground black pepper and the sugar. You can see the tiny seeds on the bacon in the photos. This stuff is awesome. Bacon is not hard to cook in the oven, lay it out on a rack inside a baking tray. Cooking plain bacon you can get by without lining the tray with foil but this sugar coated stuff will make you wish you had the first time you forget. Or the second time. I’m slow. I set the temp at 350 for this batch, thicker bacon wants a lower temperature setting. Flip the bacon after 15 minutes and sprinkle the other side with the pepper and sugar. (Maple syrup works great on these!) The bacon will render as it cooks and will give up moisture, in the last few minutes the rashers go from not quite done to just right and you better be ready because another minute is too much. [Edit to add photo:]I mentioned that I was, um.. retentive. These are the little peppers I dried and ground and saved. In 2010.