Crash Hot Potatoes

These are the potatoes I made for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I had heard about these so many times but had never made them. I thought they came out really delicous-and they couldn’t be easier to make. Boil, mash, sprinkle, bake. That’s it. I used Red A potatoes. They were perfect with the corned beef and cabbage-neither of which I cook the traditional way.

 

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Crash Hot Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of red potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • fresh rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  3. On a large baking sheet drizzle the olive oil. Place the potatoes a bit apart from each other. Using a potato masher gently press down to mash a bit then turn the masher 90 degrees and gently mash a bit more.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rosemary and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

Recipe courtesy of pioneerwoman.com

Note: one of those eating with us has a sodium intake restriction so I did not salt the water. I  made one row of potatoes with a large gap from the others and did not sprinkle any salt on them. What a convenient way of accommodating a restriction yet making the same dish for all.

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Dijon Roasted Cabbage

This year for St. Patrick’s Day dinner I made my corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Truth be told I’m not a fan of boiled cabbage. Or boiled potatoes. I probably roast vegetables 99% of the time that I  make them. They get just a little crunchy on the ends and they are so so so yummy.   And cabbage is so good for you-you don’t want to boil all of that goodness away.

I was so glad to find this recipe!  The addition of the dijon really intrigued me and I we were not disappointed. The cabbage was delicious! It was cooked perfectly-firm and a bit crunchy on the tips not at all like boiled. If you’re looking for a new way to prepare your cabbage try this-it’s excellent.  It’s cut into wedges before it’s roasted which makes it a snap to serve-everyone gets a wedge.

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Dijon Roasted Cabbage

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head green cabbage, core removed and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • fleur de sel to taste
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine evenly.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet large enough for all of the cabbage with foil. Place the wedges (not overlapping) on the baking sheet.  Pour the mustard mix evenly over the cabbage and cover with another sheet of foil.
  4. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, remove the foil and roast another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Adapted from skinnyms.com

 

Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash

Sometimes it’s the most simple of recipes that have the tastiest results. Sometimes things from nature need very little to go from tasty to super delicous and yummy. This is one of those times.  3 ingredients.  One tasty healthy dish.

Since you roast this with the inside up it forms a bit of a bowl. The butter and brown sugar melt together and make a little sauce in there. YUM!! See? Poking the holes into the squash allows the sauce to really seep in.

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Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, halved the long way from stem to tip, seeds removed
  • 1.5 tsp light salted butter, softened
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place both halves inside up into a baking dish (the dish should hold them snugly so they dont tip over. If the dish is too big roll up some foil into a log, attach the ends to make a circle and snuggle the squash into it in the pan.
  3. Rub a touch of the butter along the top rim of the squash then rub the rest into the inside.
  4. Sprikle a touch of the sugar onto the rim than the rest inside.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, poke holes all over the interior of the squash (gently-don’t go through the outside skin) and then back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then scrape out the squash, cut and serve.

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Ranch Mashed Potatoes

I don’t think that there’s anything better with pot roast than mashed potatoes.  For my Christmas Eve dinner I served these potatoes with this pot roast and these roasted veggies.

I had pinned this recipe quite a while ago and was so glad that I made them! The lack of butter and cream made me feel better about eating them, the sour cream and ranch flavors made them tangy and savory and delicious.

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Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1 1oz packet Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 3lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • chives for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, lower heat to simmer, and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes fall apart when pierced with a fork.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the large pot.  Mash them up until smooth.
  3. Stir in seasoning and sour cream until evenly blended.
  4. Place in serving dish, sprinkle with chives and serve.

Adapted from hiddenvalley.com

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Green Beans

Roasting veggies is my favorite way to cook them. Is it your favorite way as well? They stay so crispy and the flavors are so nice! A simple olive oil, salt and pepper is all that’s needed to make them yummy.  And it made for a beautifully colorful dish.

Hmmmm orange, white and green. I’ll remember that for St. Patrick’s Day.

I served these on Christmas Eve along with this Pot Roast and mashed potatoes and they were perfect.  I had intended on making only carrots but there were no purple ones to be found at the store that day so i picked up some parsnips instead. I already had the green beans at home.

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Roast Carrots,  Parsnips and Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 3 bunches baby carrots (the real baby carrots-not the little ones in the bag), about 1 lb, peeled and cut into inch lengths.
  • 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces the same size as the carrots
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed, cut into the same size as the parsnips and carrots
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Spread out all of the carrots and parsnips onto the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, add the green beans, spread them around and add more olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed.
  6. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve right away.

Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto with Pancetta and Pignoli Nuts

Recently I was looking around online for a recipe to use up some left over pumpkin puree and I found this. The name intrigued me. Pumpkin and Shiitake? Meh…I wasn’t sure about it.  But then as I read down the list of ingredients I knew that I had to make this and soon. And am I glad that I did! It was perfect. Crunchy pignoli nuts, creamy rice, hints of pancetta, onion and pumpkin and just a bit of tang from the mascarpone (which I doubled).  I had a double serving.

Many people think that risotto is difficult to make or easy to mess up. Lies. You can’t just let it sit on the stove but all that it takes really is attention and stirring. If you haven’t ever tried to make risotto at home I urge you to do so.  There’s almost no prep involved either-just chop up an onion and some mushrooms tops and that’ s about it. Easy peasy.

Risotto is like mashed potatoes. Some like it looser, some like it dryer. I prefer it looser and for to spread a bit when it’s spooned out. If you prefer it dryer continue to cook past when the liquid is absorbed. Be sure to not over cook it though-you do want it to be slightly toothy in the interior of the grain but creamy on the outside. Best to taste as you go.

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Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto with Pancetta and Pignoli Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups no salt added chicken stock (I used the stock I made a few weeks ago)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4ozs pancetta, diced large
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1&1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed or put through a press
  • 1 cup Arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1 tsp fresh sage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 4 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp pignoli nuts
  • 2 tbsp scallions, chipped small

Instructions:

  1. In a small sauce pan bring stock and water to a simmer. Keep it warm over low heat.
  2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook about 7 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic and cook about 5-8 minutes or until tender. Add the rice and sage, cook, stirring for a minute. Add the wine, scrape and brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, and cook until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Add 1 cup warm stock and, stirring continuously, cook until it’s almost entirely absorbed. Repeat with all of the stock.  You can use extra water if needed. About 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the pumpkin and mascarpone and stir to evenly distribute.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Spoon 1 cup risotto into 4 bowls (warm them so that the risotto doesn’t seize) and top with pignolis and chives.

Note: do not use pumpkin pie filling.

Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2012

Serves 4 (or 2 of me 🙂 as a main dish or more as a side dish.

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Baked Parmesan Potatoes

It’s time for another Blogger’s Choice Swap! This month’s theme was ‘Vegetarian’ and I was assigned Katie’s blog www.sotastysoyummy.blogspot.com.  She has some really great recipes on there.  If you’re familiar with my blog or me you know that I love Parmesan cheese (and most other cheeses really) so when I saw this recipe I chose it immediately. Baked Parmesan Potatoes? YUM!! They’re super simple to make and are really delicious. I had one potato as a side to a fantastic salad that I made one night.  They come out crispy on the outside and fluffy and creamy in the middle. The parmesan and butter make a slight crust along where the potato sat in the pan.

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Baked Parmesan Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 russet potatoes, scrubbed, dried and quartered
  • 1/4 cup butter (half of a stick), melted
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pour the melted butter into an 8×8 baking dish and then sprinkle the parmesan cheese and garlic powder evenly over the butter.
  3. Place the potatoes, long cut side down, onto the butter.  Brush the skins lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes then turn the potatoes so that the short cut side is in the butter. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow 5 minutes to rest.
  6. Serve promptly.

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Thank you Sarah at http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.com for hosting these great swaps!!

Check out the other great recipes and blogs involved in the swap here:

Harvest Salad

This is such a delicious salad! Tart granny smith apple, crunchy toasted pecans, tangy dried cranberries, sweet pear and a zingy dressing make this one of my new favorites.  It came together very quickly.

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Harvest Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 Bosc pear, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • freshly grated cheddar cheese or crumbled goat cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a small non-stick skillet over medium heat toast the pecans, occasionally shaking the pan, until golden and fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  2. While the pecans are toasting put the shallot and next 6 ingredients  including the vinegar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Continue whisking and stream in olive oil until emulsified.
  3. In a large salad bowl place the lettuce, follow with pecans, fruit and cranberries. Drizzle with the dressing and toss.  Place half of the salad on each of 2 plates, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.

I ate only half of this salad for dinner one night.  I did not dress the salad all together. I placed each different component in separate ziplock bags and brought them to work the next day.  I wrapped the halves of the pear and apple and brought those separately and chopped them up when I was ready for lunch. It came out perfectly.

 Makes 2 servings.  Adapted from All You, November 2013.

Cornbread

I don’t think there’s anything that goes better with chili than fresh cornbread. Sure you can buy a boxed mix or muffins but it’s so easy to make from scratch why bother with either of those? 

Husband and I had planned to go out and watch Sunday football this past weekend but were unable to due to unforseen circumstances. So we decided to make it a fun day inside instead. I served this bread with Sunday Aftenoon Chili.

Here’s an easy recipe that delivers a tall bread perfect for dipping or sopping up or just enjoying plain. It’s got that slightly sweet cornbread taste, isn’t gritty, and is delicious hot but also very tasty cold for left overs. The crust is beautifully crisp. It contains corn kernels which adds a nice texture and taste but you could just as easily leave them out or replace with something else-scallions, bacon pieces or anything else that you’d like. See those yummy kernels in there?

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Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Spray a 9×9 pyrex or similar baking dish with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk ingredients cornmeal through and including salt.
  3. In another bowl beat together the eggs, buttermilk and butter. When combined add the corn.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven and let the cornbread rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Recipe from Brother Jimmy’s BBQ cookbook.

Red Bell Pepper & Sweet Corn Saute

Sweet yellow summer corn, crunchy red bell pepper, tangy onion and savory garlic all sautéed in a touch of butter and rounded out with just the tiniest hint of soy sauce.   This might just be one of the tastiest sides I’ve ever eaten. It’s so easy that someone who’s never cooked before could master it on the first try. It’s tasty enough to serve alongside with anything at the fanciest of restaurants or the most casual of tables—and it’s just really pretty to boot.

Note: the original recipe called for frozen corn but since delicious sweet corn is still available at the market I used that instead. Feel free to sub the frozen corn when fresh is not available.

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Red Bell Pepper & Sweet Corn Saute

Ingredients:

  • 1&1/2 tsp butter
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped small
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped small
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed to a pulp
  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn, husked and kernels removed from cob
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce

Instructions:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter. Add the onion, red bell pepper and garlic and saute about 4 minutes. Add the corn and pepper and saute until the corn is cooked through and starting to soften.
  2. Remove from heat, add the soy sauce and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately.

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Adapted from Bell Pepper and Corn Saute Cooking Light October 2013.

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