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:

Pomodori Gratinati (gratineed tomatoes)

I hemmed and hawed over how to write this little blurb about this recipe. I thought of talking about how the perfect summer tomatoes are so delicious and how the filling is a bit crunchy and so so tasty from the different herbs and 2 cheeses. I must have written 10 drafts and deleted them all. They seemed too wordy for a dish so simple it’s almost silly.

But in the end, what came to mind the most, were my visits to Florence/Tuscany over the last few years. I mean-that makes sense since I found the recipe in my book, Twelve, which is a month by month Tuscan cookbook. But if you’ve been there you’ll understand what I mean when you taste these. If you haven’t been there you need to change that immediately.

It’s amazing how a bite of something can instantly mentally take you out of your kitchen and zip you into a chair at a table on the perimiter of a piazza with a gorgeous plate of cheese and veggies like these and a glass of chianti.

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Pomodori Gratinati

Ingredients:

  • 6 plum tomatoes, vine ripiened, washed and dried
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped small
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp frehsly grated parmesan cheese, plus sprinkle for topping
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, plus sprinkle for topping
  • 1/4-1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 8 tbsp olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Slice the tomato in half from stem to stem and, very gently, using a spoon remove the flesh and seeds-reserving them. Put the tomato halves into a baking dish, cut side up. Chop up some of the reserved insides and set aside.
  3. In a bowl mix the parsley, garlic, basil, cheeses, breadcrumbs and 4 tbsp olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper if desired. If desired you can also add some of the chopped tomato insides (I added just a bit). Spoon the mixture into the tomato halves.
  4. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and bake int he oven for 20-30 minutes until they are lightly golden and cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle with extra topping cheese and serve.

Note: since it was only I eating I only made one tomato. It was very easy to scale the recipe down so don’t feel that you have to make all 6 tomatoes.

Adapted from Twelve, A Tuscan Cookbook

This simple and very delicious recipe fit in perfectly with this month’s What’s Baking challenge theme of ‘Italian’. For the other recipes in the swap click here here

WB

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Artichoke & Parmesan Tilapia

This fish is very light but incredibly flavorful.  Tilapia is so mild and the slight nutty tang from the cheese really does perk it up a bit.  Paired with the artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs and lemon it’s a perfect combination of flavors for the fish. 

This recipe comes together so fast and the prep time is a short-only about 5 minutes. The fish will be on the table 20 minutes later. Conveniently you can also roast vegetables at the same time and have everything finish cooking at the same time.

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Artichoke & Parmesan Tilapia

Ingredients:

  • 2 4oz fresh tilapia filets
  • 6 oz artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375.  Line a baking dish just large enough to hold the fish with parchment paper and give it a bit of non-stick spray or olive oil.
  2. Wash the fish, pat them dry and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides then place them into the baking dish.
  3. Combine the artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs, parmesan and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon half of the artichoke mixture over each piece of fish. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until fish is cooked thoroughly.

Adapted from laloosh.com

Smashed & Baked Parmesan Potato

I really do like a good baked potato but they get pretty routine so I thought I’d change it up a bit.   I LOVE freshly grated  Parmesan cheese and put it on a lot of things-roasted broccoli, freshly popped pop corn-the list is endless. I always have a block in the fridge to use for whatever.  That ‘whatever’ happened to be the potato that night.  And it was absolutely delicious!! The soft inside of the potato, some crunchy outside bits from the baking and then the salty nutty Parmesan makes one awesome potato.  I would also consider topping with bacon pieces, chives etc..

Since it was just me eating dinner that night I only made one but you could make as many of these as you need.

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Smashed & Baked Parmesan Potato

Ingredients:

  • 1 russet potato
  • 3-5 pats butter (to taste/size)
  • 3-6 tbsp parmesan cheese, freshly grated (to taste/size)
  • salt & pepper

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven with broiler.
  2. With a fork poke holes all over the potato and nuke in microwave for 5-8 minutes until fork tender.
  3. Place the potato in a small, foil-lined baking pan.  Smash it with a masher or meat tenderizer-flattening it but leaving it rugged and airy. 
  4. Place the pats of butter on top and then sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  5. Place under boiler, watching carefully, until cheese melts and the ends of the potato get crispy.
  6. Serve with additional grated cheese if desired.

Note: use a microplane to grate the cheese if you have one. If not use the grater that will give you the finest grate.

Parmesan Quinoa

Parmesan Quinoa

For this month’s blog swap I was assigned Jenna’s blog. Wow she has some great recipes-go take a look! Bee sure to check out the other great recipies from the swap-just click the frog link below.

It was tough choosing only one from all of them but in the end I chose Parmesan Quinoa. I’m trying to learn new ways to serve this delicious little grain and, since I put Parmesan on basically everything, this was the natural choice.

In her recipe it calls for a miniscule 2 pinches of Parmesan. Sacrilege darling!! That’s far too little. I upped it quite a bit.

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Parmesan Quinoa

Ingredients

  •  1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups fat free low sodium vegetable stock
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan

Instructions:

  1. Add the stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan and place it over high heat.  Cook for a total of 12 minutes (it will be a little al dente which is how I like it. Cook it longer if you like it softer).
  2.  Remove from heat and drain. Stir in parmesan and serve.

Note: I buy quinoa that I don’t have to rinse so I omitted that step from the recipe.

Use a high-quality parmesan and a micro-plane to grate it.

Thank you Sarah from http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.com/ for hosting the swaps.



Tuscan Cannellini Bean Soup-slow cooker

Well, 10 days after hurricane Sandy a snowy nor’easter showed up. I was SO glad that I had prepped some of the ingredients for this soup days before and then put it in the slow cooker in the morning before I left for work. Having a delicious soup waiting for me after work on a dark snowy night was great.

I like this recipe for many reasons. 1) it’s from Cook’s Illustrated so you know it will work  2) there aren’t really many ingredients  3) you can prep some of the ingredients days before  and then throw it together in 5 minutes  4) it was really really tasty!!!

Note: if you’re using dried beans you’ll have to soak them overnight.

Tuscan Cannellini Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces pancetta, minced
  • 3 medium onions, minced
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 8 teaspoons)
  • Salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans (2 1/4 cups), picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (for serving)

 Instructions

  1. 1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the pancetta and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the onions, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. 2. Transfer the pancetta and onion mixture to the slow cooker insert and stir in the water, broth, beans, Parmesan rind (if using), bay leaves, and pepper flakes until evenly combined. Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, 10 to 12 hours. (Alternatively, cover and cook on high for 8 to 9 hours.)
  3. 3. Add the rosemary sprig, cover, and continue to cook until lightly fragrant, about 15 minutes longer. Remove and discard the bay leaves, rosemary, and Parmesan rind (if using). Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, and serve, sprinkling individual portions with the Parmesan and olive oil (if desired).

So the shortcut: cook up the onion and pancetta a few days beforehand (up to 3), put in an airtight container and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to  make the soup.

MMMM parmesan rind.