Dinner Menu: Grilled Rosemary Steak with Grilled Sweet Peppers and Potatoes

Grilled Potatoes and Peppers3

Rounding up a grilling menu for tonight. I love getting one of each of the sweet peppers when they are on sale and using them with the potatoes and onions. I find the red potatoes grill best, but you can also use russets or golds.  The horseradish and rosemary adds a nice flavor to the lean sirloin.

It’s stormy again tonight, for  more days than I can count. Some areas are getting damaging winds and lots of hail, but we’ve been lucky with just thunder, lightening and nice rains. It cools off the night and makes for pleasant sleeping, so I am grateful. Most nights there is still time to sneak in some grilling before it hits hard.

On the board tonight:

  1. Rosemary Steak
  2. Grilled Sweet Peppers and Potatoes
  3. Spinach/Orange Salad w/Balsamic Vinaigrette
  4. Apples

But wait, there’s more! Click to read

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.


  • 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


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.

A Different Kind of Potato Salad to Take to Your 4th Picnic….

Italian Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs of small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh snipped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp fresh snipped basil
  • 1/2  tsp crushed dried oregano (or  2 tsp fresh)
  • 2 tsp stone ground mustard*
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 to 28 oz fire roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz shaved Parmesan

Large saucepan, baking sheet, large serving bowl

In saucepan, cover potatoes with water, add salt and bring to a bowl.  Reduce heat to low boil and simmer until potatoes are just fork-tender.  You don’t want them to be soft, as for mashing, you want them to still hold their shape.

Mix together vinegar, garlic and spices.  Drain potatoes and spread over a baking sheet in one layer,  pour 1/2 of vinegar mixture over them and let cool completely.

Add mustard and oil to remaining vinegar mixture.  Add sliced peppers to potatoes, stir and then transfer to serving bowl.  Toss with remaining vinegar mixture, salt and pepper to taste and Parmesan.

*I have an aversion to Dijon mustard, but if it a favorite of yours, you can easily use it in this recipe.

Easter Dinner: Garlic and Herb Roasted Lamb & Potatoes

Roast leg of lamb

Jonathan Wiggs/ Globe Staff

Edit 4/21/11: A quick note on the roasted lamb – I like most lamb rare to medium rare, but I found with the seasoning, medium was a better choice, it really allowed the flavors to infuse the meat.  It was still tender and moist, but more flavorful at medium.

As promised, this week is about our Easter menu. Starting out our Easter Dinner is a roast leg of lamb.  There are plenty of sheep locally here in Colorado but when I went to buy the roast, all I could find was New Zealand or Australian lamb.  I don’t think I looked hard enough, next year I will buy local.  It seems Colorado lamb is prized for its flavor and it  is the lamb of choice for most restaurants hereabouts.  Shame on the local markets for not carrying it.

I know lamb is not for everyone, so let me tell you, this rub is superb on a roasting chicken as well.  Coat the chicken the night before, wrap loosely in plastic and refrigerate.  Remove 30 minutes before cooking.  Roast at 375 degrees until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, allow to sit 15 minutes (at which time its internal temp should reach 165-170 for a perfectly cooked bird).

Now on to our lamb:

Garlic and Herb Roasted Lamb & Potatoes

  • 12 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves*
  • Salt*
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 5 – 7 pound boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
  • 10-12 small to medium red potatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Roasting pan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Add garlic, rosemary, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and butter to a food processor. Process until the garlic and rosemary are finely minced. Spread mixture over the lamb. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Halve remaining garlic. Toss the potatoes and garlic in a bowl with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in roasting pan and surround on all sides with potatoes, roast at 450 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes and then turn oven down to 350 degrees to keep the garlic from burning. Roast until the internal temperature of the lamb is 130 degrees (rare) or 140 degrees (medium) – about 1-1/2 hours depending on the oven. Remove from the oven and put the lamb on a platter; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing, this will bring its internal temp up to 135 (rare) and 145 (medium) as desired.

*this recipe originally called for 1 tbsp of rosemary, but that was too much for my taste buds.  Use as much as you like.  I also seriously reduced the salt, because it was much too salty for me with the original amounts.  Again, use more if desired.

Herbed Baked Potatoes

Copyright Anacleto Rapping

Someone sent me this picture and wondered if I had a recipe for them. I thought, hey I can come up with a recipe for this. Here it goes….

Herbed Potatoes

  • 8 to 10 small red or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • Package of fresh rosemary
  • Package of fresh chives
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Baking sheet

Wash and dry potatoes. Slice each one with 4 to 6 slices, to make a fan – don’t cut all the way through – and place them on the baking sheet. Combine oil, butter, garlic and a tsp of snipped rosemary and tsp of snipped chives and brush liberally over the potatoes, letting a lot get into the slices. Alternate sprigs of rosemary and chives in the slices.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, sprinkle with parmesan and cook another 10 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and are easily pierced with a fork and cheese is golden.  Serves 4

Labor Day Weekend: Steak & Potato Salad

Holiday weekend coming up, so I thought I’d see what I had for cold salads. This one takes a bit of prep, but once that’s done, it’s easy and quick to assemble. And you can grill or broil, but grilled is definitely the cooking method of choice for me. You can grill the steak along with another meal the night before, to save you some time.

I’m hoping to spend the weekend out riding, maybe a picnic. Do you have anything fun planned?

Steak & Potato Salad

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 lb sirloin
  • 4 small red potatoes, quartered & cooked
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, torn
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette dressing

Zip-lock bag and Serving bowl

Combine vinegar, soy, garlic and steak in zip-lock bag, marinate 1 hour or overnight. Remove from marinade, grill or broil. Scrub, quarter & boil potatoes. Toss potatoes with ¼ cup of dressing. Refrigerate both potatoes and steak until cold (you can do all the prep the night before and assemble quickly next day). Slice steak into thin strips. In serving bowl, add lettuce, steak, potatoes, onions, peppers, zest, salt & pepper and toss with more dressing.

Thursday Night Menu: Farm Stand Edition

Photo: Rebecca Hallas

Time to start the Farmer Stand editions of Thursday Night Menu.  Most of the produce tonight can be found locally.  So if you haven’t visited your local farm stand or farmer’s market, now’s your chance. I went to a local stand this past weekend and was surprised how small the tomato selection was. I shouldn’t have been, since my tomato plants, which are usually bent over with red fruit by now, are host to medium-sized green tomatoes which are slowly ripening.

I bought a few things and experimented with varieties of peppers I’d never even seen before. Some I really liked, some had surprisingly little flavor, though they smelled wonderful, it didn’t translate to the flesh.

Peach season is in full swing in Colorado, so we have sliced peaches tonight and hopefully if things slow down a bit for me, a week’s worth of peach inspired recipes all next week. My plan is to head to another farm stand this weekend and stock up on peachy goodness.

On the board tonight:

  1. Basil Grilled Chicken
  2. Marinated Potatoes
  3. Yellow Summer Squash
  4. Sliced Peaches

Basil Grilled Chicken – marinate overnight

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine (non-alcoholic ok)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

zip-lock bag or sealed container

Wrap one breast in plastic and pound with flat side of meat tenderizer. Repeat with each breast. In zip-lock bag, add all ingredients and marinate overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, approximately 15 minutes for each side, until cooked through. Don’t let dry out – sear 5-minutes each side, then move away from direct flame for remainder of cooking time.

Marinated Potatoes

  • 6 to 8 small red potatoes, scrubbed & quartered
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives


In saucepan boil potatoes until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain well. Toss with remaining ingredients, serve hot or chilled.

Shopping List:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves
  • 8 oz white wine
  • 6 to 8 small red potatoes
  • 8 oz Italian dressing (I really like Newman’s Own)
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 2 to 4 small to medium yellow summer squash
  • 4 to 6 fresh peaches

Also: crushed garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper

Men Who Cook: Bob Zimmer, French Shepard’s Salad

The  Men Who Cook installment is a little late this week, but I think it was worth the wait.  This wonderful recipe comes from my friend Bob Zimmer.  He and his wife spent a few weeks this summer in France and brought back this wonderful recipe.  Enjoy.

French Shepard’s Salad

We were fortunate enough to go to France this year, and were struck by how good the food was everywhere, regardless of the cost. This salad was one of the best. I liked it because it’s simple, goes together quick, is easily customized, and guests can assemble a meal holding a glass of wine. Everyone we’ve made it for has loved it.

There are three “core” ingredients, besides the greens: prosciutto, camembert cheese and the all-important red potatoes, the only ingredient that requires any real work, besides steaming a little asparagus.

Ingredients for a generous sized serving:

  • Small red potatoes, 2-3 per serving
  • Butter
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Asparagus, 4-5 stalks per serving
  • Camembert cheese, 2 oz per serving
  • Prosciutto ham, 4 slices per serving
  • Semi-exotic mixed greens
  • Hardboiled egg, 1 per serving
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Craisens
  • Walnuts
  • vinegar & oil dressing
  • Whatever else looks good to you.


I’m sure the restaurant where I first had this considers it a travesty to refer to the seasoning as “cajun”, but that’s what it was, so maybe not…It was the magic that brought out the flavors in the prosciutto and camembert, the other “non-negotiable” ingredients.

Chunk the potatoes, fry with 2-3 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes. Add cajun-style seasoning ( whatever’s around, but lots of it!) a little more butter and fry another 10 minutes at most. Potatoes should be a bit on the crunchy side.

Steam the asparagus, warm the dressing a bit.

Lay out the ingredients along with some good bread and butter.

Pour the wine and put it together. A pinwheel style layout gets artistic points…as does asking the deli to cut an 8 oz. camembert wheel into 3 or 4 slices.