Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sweet Potato and Gouda Gratin


Sweet Potato and Gouda Gratin
(6-8 servings)


Ingredients:

2 lb. Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 large Shallot, thinly sliced and rings separated
2 tsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
2 cups Aged Gouda Cheese, Shredded
4 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour, divided
¾ cup heavy Whipping Cream
¾ cup Chicken Broth

Directions:

Arrange half the sweet potatoes in overlapping rows using any uneven pieces in a shallow 2½ - 3 qt. baking dish.  Disperse half of the shallots over potatoes.  Combine thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Combine cheese and 1 tbsp. of flour in another bowl.  Sprinkle half the thyme mixture over potatoes followed by half of cheese mixture.  Now arrange remaining sweet potatoes in overlapping rows and top with remaining shallots and thyme mixture.  In a medium bowl, whisk remaining flour with ¼ cup of heavy cream until smooth.  Whisk in rest of heavy cream and the broth.  Pour evenly over ingredients in baking dish and top with remaining cheese mixture.  Place dish in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes.  Increase temperature to 400-degrees for last 5-10 minutes or until gratin is bubbly and golden brown.  Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Note:               If you need this to be a vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth instead of the chicken in this recipe.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Parmesan Crusted Potatoes Gratin


Parmesan Crusted Potatoes Gratin
(10 servings)


Ingredients:

4 lb. Russet Potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
6 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
1½ cups Milk
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2½ cups Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup Asiago Cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
1 medium Sweet Onion, sliced into rings
¾ cup Green Onions, sliced
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, shaved
8 Ritz Crackers, crushed
2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped

Directions:

Place sliced potatoes into a large pot, cover with water by 1-2 inches, add tsp. salt and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until just getting soft, 15-20 minutes.  Drain.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add flour whisking continuously for 2 minutes.  Slowly pour milk and cream into saucepan while whisking and cook for 3 minutes.  Now add cheddar and asiago cheeses and melt thoroughly as you continue to whisk.  Add salt and pepper and whisk until mixed and mixture is smooth and creamy.  Butter a 9x13 baking dish and layer half the potatoes in it.  Top potatoes evenly with sliced onions and green onions.  Then pour 1/3 of cheese mixture over this.  Arrange remaining potato slices and pour remaining cheese mixture over them.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the cheese mixture followed by the Ritz crackers.  Place in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot in center and beginning to brown on the edges.  Remove and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Note:               This recipe can be made ahead.  If so, pull from refrigerator 30 minutes before putting in oven.  You will need to increase cooking time to 45 -50 minutes or until hot in center and beginning to brown on the edges.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Couple of Gratin Dishes for your Chrstmas Dinner

If you haven’t already started, it’s time to plan your menu for “Christmas Dinner” this year.  I have a couple of potato gratin dishes for you to try for one of your sides at the meal.  These both work well for those celebrating “Hanukkah” too.

Many people will make nearly the same dinner at Christmas as they did for Thanksgiving.  You know, turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

But there are a lot of families that change things up too.

Ham, Prime Rib and Roasted Tenderloin are popular entrees at Christmas.  When you try one of these or something else, mashed potatoes just don’t seem to fit.

So I’ve found two great gratin dishes for you to consider this year.  On Wednesday, “Parmesan Crusted Potatoes Gratin” gives you something that works well with beef entrees.

“Sweet Potato and Gouda Gratin” on Thursday would go well with ham or brisket too.

If these don’t entice you, still look for some new dish to add for your holiday dinner.  It’s always enjoyable to add something new to your traditions.

I have plenty of ideas for you in the “Recipe Tabs” above from appetizers to desserts and everything in between.  So check them out and give one or more a try.

Also, as we mention the holiday season, if you have someone new or inexperienced in the kitchen don’t forget my “Cookbook” which could be a great holiday gift.  “More Than Your First Cookbook” is available at the link on the right at the top of this post.  Or contact me directly and you can get a signed copy with even a discount.

“Happy Cooking” until next week and enjoy all the holiday season too.  Thanks.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Loaded Potato Soup


Loaded Potato Soup
(6 servings)


Ingredients:

2 lb. Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
2 cups Milk
1 cup Chicken Broth
¾ cup Sour Cream
1¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
¾ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
6 slices Bacon (your favorite), cooked and crumbled
3 tbsp. Fresh Chives, snipped

Directions:

In a 4 qt. pot, add potatoes covered by 2 inches with cold water.  Bring this to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat and drain.  Return potatoes to pan and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, milk and broth.  Now stir this mixture into the potatoes.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until it thickens and is bubbly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream, salt and pepper.  Serve in bowls and top with the cheese, bacon and chives. 

Note:               You can try other varieties of potatoes, but results may not be as creamy.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Butternut Squash and Corn Soup


Butternut Squash and Corn Soup
(10 servings)


Ingredients:

1 large (3 lb.) Butternut Squash
1½ tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tbsp. Honey
3 medium Yellow Onions, chopped
1 head Fresh Garlic, cloves peeled
½ cup Butter
2 tbsp. Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
5 medium Carrots, coarsely chopped
2 qt. Chicken Broth
½ tsp. Hungarian Paprika
½ tsp. Black Pepper
¼ tsp. Nutmeg, grated (fresh if possible)
3 cups Corn Kernels (see note)
½ cup Crème Fraiche or Sour Cream
2 tbsp. Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

Directions:

Split squash length-wise and scrape clean.  Set it cut-side up in a 9x13 baking dish and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern.  Sprinkle with ½ tsp. salt and spread the honey over it.  Place in a pre-heated 375-degree oven to roast for an hour and a half, basting occasionally.  Remove and let cool.  In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in the butter.  Stir occasionally while it cooks 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.  Next add the sage and carrots cooking 5 minutes more.  Scrape squash from shells into the onion mixture and add 1½ qt. of broth.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are very tender.  Now puree soup in batches until smooth in a blender or food processor.  Return to Dutch oven and add in remaining salt, the pepper and nutmeg.  Now over medium heat, add the corn and heat through (about 5 minute) until corn is tender.  Thin soup with remaining broth to your desired consistency.  Serve in bowls with a little crème fraiche or sour cream and a sprinkle of parsley.

Note:               Depending on the time of year that you make this soup, use frozen or fresh corn.  It takes 3 or 4 ears of fresh corn depending on size of ears.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Falll Soups to Try

First off, it’s “Thanksgiving” week and I want to wish everyone a “Happy Thanksgiving” and hope you enjoy the long holiday weekend.  Eating, shopping and football; who could want more?

Because of the week it is, I will be short.

We are coming into colder weather and “Soup” always sounds like a great way to warm up.  So I have couple of soups that should do the trick.

Squash is always big in the fall and butternut is one of the most popular these days.  So give “Butternut Squash and Corn Soup” a try with the recipe coming on Wednesday.

Thursday, offers “Loaded Potato Soup” for your palate.  It’s kind of like a loaded baked potato but in liquid form.

Some quick Thanksgiving tips.  Don’t overeat, enjoy the family and friends, have fun with the leftovers and get a nap in because it’s important to your peace of mind over the holidays.

“Happy Cooking” until next week and be sure to share my link with others.  Thanks.

PS:  Just want you all to know that I am very “Thankful” for you following my food blog and truly hope it has helped you or someone you know.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Parmesan and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (GF)


Parmesan and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (GF)
(10 servings)


Ingredients:

1 whole Garlic Head
¼ tsp. Olive Oil
3 lb. Fresh Potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces (see note)
3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1¼ cups Buttermilk, room temperature
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
¾ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Cut the top ½ inch off the head of garlic, drizzle with the oil and wrap in completely in foil.  Place this on a baking sheet in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 50 minutes or until very tender.  Remove from oven and foil.  Separate cloves and squeeze pulp out of each into a small bowl and set aside.  Place potato pieces in a large pot, covered with water by 2 inches, over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender.  Drain.  Using a potato ricer, rice potatoes over a large bowl.  Stir in butter until melted.  Gradually stir in buttermilk, salt, pepper, garlic and cheese.  Serve at once or keep warm until ready to serve.

Note:               Use your favorite potato or potatoes for this recipe.  Combining two different potatoes makes for a nice change too.  Try using half russets and half Yukon golds.

Note:               If you don’t have a potato ricer, use a potato masher but be gentle.  A ricer gives you a much lighter product.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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