Posts Tagged ‘vegetable’
I gotta pay respect to one of my most favorite veggies… The Zucchini
Here’s a list of some of my absolute favorite zucchini recipes thus far:
So the first time I ever heard of these things my initial response was “What?? Why in the world would they name a potato after that Baywatch guy, David Hasselhoff???” I know.. it doesn’t take much to amuse me *cheesy grin*.
It was about 8 or 9 years ago and I was at this fancy schmancy restaurant and they brought out this potato that was cut so funky (accordian-like) and it just perplexed me as to how they got it to do that. I tried asking the waiter but he was so stuck up and could not be bothered with us ‘peasant folk’ that he blew me off multiple times. Yeah, sorry about the no-tip jaggoff. Okay no, I’m not really. I hate rude people. Any who I called the restaurant a few days later (pre-opening time) and asked to talk with the chef. I said who I was and the issue I had with the waiter and just had a basic question. He then sat on the phone with me for a good 45 minutes explaining this thing to me and how you can take something so simplistic and let’s face it, BORING, as a potato and turn it into well… a work of art!
That night I set out to make them. Now I’m not going to lie. They are SUPER easy to make … that is, once you get the cutting technique down right. I went through about 5 potatoes that night trying to get the cut right. See the trick with these is to have a VERY sharp knife (non-serrated) and patience. A LOT of patience!
When you cut these, the cuts are about a 1/4″ apart from one another BUT you only cut them about 90% through. So when you make the cut, you cut all the way down to the bottom but you do NOT cut all the way through! You want the bottom (say about 1/4″-1/3″) connected. You want the potato to fan out when it bakes but remain intact.
Here’s a trick if you’re unsure… get 2 chopsticks or wooden spoons and lay the potato between them. When you cut down, your knife will be stopped by the chopsticks/wooden spoons and never hit the bottom of the potato. This way you’re sure not to cut all the way through.
Got it? Good!
Now with the recipe below, the sky’s the limit as to how you want to season these. I just went simple with Parmesan Cheese and chives. You could do a chili spice, bacon stuffed, loaded, garlic and so forth…
What flavors will you use?
|Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes|
- 4 medium potatoes, cleaned
- 1 Tbl garlic, minced
- 4 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 ccup + 1 Tbl cup grated Parmesan (have some additional for sprinkling as a garnish)
- chopped chives
- sour cream, optional
- butter, optional
- Preheat oven to 425˚F with rack in the middle of the oven.
- Lay potatoes between wooden spoons flat on cutting board and starting from one end of the potato, make slits about 3-4mm apart.
- Cut to about 1/4 inch from the base of the potato. Be careful not to slice all the way through. The potato will fan out a bit as it bakes.
- Combine olive oil, 1 Tbl Parmesan Cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika in a small bowl.
- Carefully spoon each slit of the potatoes with the mixture
- Rub potatoes with remaining oil.
- Arrange potatoes on baking sheet and if you want, drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- The inside should be cooked through and the outside of the potato should be crispy.
- Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and chives.
See I bought this BBQ for like $69 in 1996. Okay it’s now 2012… it’s old, like 16 years old! Now it’s rusted, the auto igniter doesn’t work and the thingies where the flames come out– yeah like every 7 flames come out, the rest don’t. When the propane tanks ran out, I took a stand and refused to get them filled until I got a new BBQ. This went on for about a year or so until Mr. Fantabulous decided to turn it into a charcoal bbq. So fine, I gave in about 2 years ago and would bbq over the coals. Okay seriously… PITA! Takes way too long and it stinks. So when the charcoal ran out, back I went on to my stand.
This year, I thought *MAYBE* it would be the year we got a new one but nooooooooooooooooooo… “I’ll fix it up and it’ll be like new”… except their is now 4″ of charcoal dust in it and I’m sure some creepy crawly thing has made it into a lovely condo for it and its family. LOL
So hopefully now you get why most of my items – corn, steak and the like I make indoors, in the oven. Don’t get me wrong, the stuff is AMAZING but still… I want a damn bbq
For those of you that have stubborn sweeties, here’s how you can make amazing baked stuff that rival any bbq master!
Oh and for the record… I did try smoking him out of the house.. twice thinking if I made the smoke alarms go off by trying to use a grill pan indoors it would help. Um.. NEGATIVE! It did help me though go into a lovely asthma attack and my hair smell like smoke! LOL
I HIGHLY recommend putting foil under the potatoes as they will ‘drip’. See the black stuff in the picture above on the foil? That’s sweet potato juice. FORGET trying to clean it off of your oven floor! It’ll smoke and smell to high heaven!
USE THE FOIL!
|Perfectly Baked Sweet Potato|
- Olive Oil
- sweet potatoes
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon per potato
- 1-2 Tbl butter per potato
- 1 Tbl brown sugar per potato
- Heat the Oven to 400°F – Turn on the oven while you’re preparing the potatoes.
- Scrub the Potatoes – Scrub the potatoes thoroughly under running water and pat them dry. You don’t have to remove the eyes, but trim away any blemishes with a paring knife.
- Season the Potatoes – Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. It’s easiest to use your hands, but a pastry brush also works fine.
- Prick with a Fork – Prick the potatoes in a few places with the tines of a fork. This allows steam to escape from the baking potato.
- Bake the Potatoes – You can bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack, or you can place them a few inches apart on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for 45-60 minutes. Flip them over every 20 minutes or so and check them for doneness by piercing them with a fork. Potatoes are done when the skins are dry and the insides feel completely soft when pierced.
- To get the skins crispy, broil on high for 3-5 minutes per side.
- Remove from oven and cut a slit down the middle but not going all the way through.
- Putting 2 fingers at one end and your thumbs at the other squeeze inward causing the potato to “bloom” open.
- Add the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar
Never wrap in foil…. Why? That ends up steaming the potato and giving is a soft skin.
When you squeeze the potato, this is how it should look. You don’t want it open all the way.
Ginger is one of those “fairly” new things to American cooking. I mean we used powdered ginger in cooking and baking but it wasn’t really well known in traditional daily cooking. Now with the evolution of Asian, Thai, Indian and other ethnic-type restaurants and celebrity chefs fresh ginger is almost as common as garlic.
Fresh ginger is the funkiest looking thing ever. It’s bumpy, has ‘legs’ everywhere and just well.. is funky looking.
See… it’s all deformed. And the texture of the ‘skin’. It’s just weird.
But the taste.. that wonderful sweet spicy taste! Fresh ginger’s tangy freshness, light spiciness, warmth, and mellow sweetness complement a range of dishes, from sweet to savory. Though fresh ginger packs the most punch, it comes in a variety of forms: pickled, dried and ground, and crystallized; the latter two forms are used primarily in baking.
Choosing Fresh Ginger
Look for ginger with skin (the thinner the better) that’s smooth, unblemished, and almost translucent. When you break off the piece you want, the interior should be firm, crisp, and not overly fibrous (making it easier to slice). It should have a fresh, spicy fragrance.
How to get the skin off:
You want to peel the ginger. Because of the twist, knobs and turn, a vegetable peeler may be way too difficult to use. Try using the edge of a metal spoon to scrape off the skin. It takes a bit more effort than a paring knife or a peeler, but it’s less wasteful—and it lets you maneuver around the knobs and gnarls. Ginger can be sliced into planks or matchsticks, chopped, grated, puréed, and minced. Keep in mind that, like many spices, ginger’s flavor fades as it cooks. So for more gingery oomph, add some or all of the ginger at the end of cooking.
Storing Fresh Ginger:
Probably the most important thing here is how to store it once you’ve peeled it. For me, the best way is to clean 1 whole fresh piece, cut into sections, peel and then store in a freezer bag in the freezer. Everytime I need a piece or some, I’ll pull it out, grate it/slice it/ chop it and then put the remaining piece back into the bag.
So that brings us to taters. You can mash ‘em, bake ‘em, puree ‘em, deep fry ‘em, stuff ‘em, boil ‘em, saute ‘em… I best stop as I can hear the Bubba Gump Shrimp voice coming out (SUCH an awesome movie by the way!). Back to taters… I like ‘em and yes I eat them. But not that often as they are loaded with carbs. And God knows my thighs LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE carbs! And just like most foods there are ways to make them healthier (if that’s your schtick) and ways to make them heart-stopping (and no, not in a good way either). We’re talking the batter dipped, deep fried, wrapped in bacon and smothered in cheese, sour cream and more bacon… *God I miss my college days… LOL*
But I digress back to plain ol’ taters. See I had made Mr. Fantabulous stuffed peppers the other day. And as a rule, no I actually think it’s a law, you must serve mashed potatoes with it. It has to do with some red gravy to meat to pepper ratio and needing something to act as a binder to make that stuff all adhere to the fork. LOL It’s all good though as truth be told, I love dipping my fork in a bit of mashed potatoes then picking up a smidge of the meat and sauce and yes ketchup (did I ever tell you that I have an unnatural love of ketchup? Um yeah, I do… big time!).
So aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway… I’m looking in the fridge yesterday figuring out what to make him for dinner when I see the lowly bowl of left over taters sans the peppers. I kind of tend to always make too many mashed potatoes. I think it stems back from my childhood years of watching my mother make 5-7 pounds of potatoes for a meal (having 4 older brothers that played football, they be growing boys and needed much sustenance). Since I knew Mr. Fantabulous wouldn’t want them again (I was making the Oat Crusted Chicken again since he loved that so much) I had to figure out something to do with them.
I ended up rendering some caramelized onions in butter and bacon grease (no that won’t stop your heart.. much) then adding chives and cheese to the taters. Sounds awesome stopping right there, right? But wait, there’s more! LOL I turned just a plain old bowl of fabulous mashed potatoes (my mashed potatoes are a God-send… really! They are THAT good!) into bite sized Caramelized Onions Potato Croquettes with Chives and Cheddar. It’s okay, you can hate me just a smidge right now. You really needed to be here and try these…
|You say potato, I say “potahto”… Caramelized Onions Potato Croquettes with Chives and Cheddar||
- 2 cups cooked potatoes (boiled) and cooled
- 2 Tbl melted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbl chives, minced
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
- 2 Tbl butter
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1 Tbl bacon grease (optional but it makes the dish!)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Olive oil for frying
- Pass the cooked potatoes through a ricer or food mill.
- Add 2 Tbl of melted butter, heavy cream, chives, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Gently combine.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt the additional 2 Tbl of butter and bacon grease.
- Add the onions and sauté for 5-8 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Scoop out the sautéed onions and add them to the potato mixture. Be sure to leave the butter and bacon grease in the pan.
- Fold the onions in to the mixture.
- Add the cheddar cheese and mix just until incorporated.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out a generous scoop of the mixture. Gently shape them into balls about 1” round.
- Place each formed ball on a clean plate.
- Once all the balls are formed, cover the dish and put it in the refrigerator for 15- 30 minutes.
- When you’re ready to make them beat the egg in a shallow pan.
- In a separate bowl add the flour.
- In a third bowl, put the bread crumbs.
- To the butter/bacon grease pan, add enough oil to reach 1/4” of the pan and have the heat at medium.
- Roll the croquette into the flour, then the egg (you may have to gently smooth it on) and then in the bread crumbs.
- Add the croquettes to the pan, a few at a time. They will only take a few minutes per side at most. Watch them closely.
- Place on a paper towel and season with salt.