Category Archives: Potatoes

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

It’s that time of year when I leave Colorado to go back to NY for the spring. I don’t want to have to go food shopping because I am leaving and hate throwing away food unnecessarily.  I had a container of homemade tomato sauce in my freezer, I had already bought the chicken cutlets so all I really needed was the fresh mozzarella .  I even had fresh basil , of course fresh parsley would also be nice but what the heck Joel picks out all the green stuff anyway. I even had a 1/2 yellow onion sitting and waiting to be tossed! I walked in the house to a very hungry gentleman and I whipped this up in a 1/2 hour! I would like this better with fresh parmesan shavings but had to make do with grated parmesan because that’s what we had in the house.

*I had sauce in the house but feel free to use a jar of sauce–I won’t judge you –I promise. Raos actually makes a really good one and I use it when I am in a pinch. Just saying…..

This recipe will serve 4-6 . I actually cut it in 1/2 for the two of us and still had left-overs.

Ingredients:

1 lb. penne or rigatoni or any macaroni type pasta you have in the house

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, plus a little more for drizzling on pasta

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into small bite sized pieces

Salt and Pepper–I use Kosher and Freshly ground Black Pepper always

1/2 onion , finely diced –I only used 1/2 because my sauce contained onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

Tomato Sauce / Marinara Sauce whichever you have on hand. 1 Jar should do it (app. 25 oz. size) I used sauce I had but I also cut recipe in 1/2

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes–you know we like the heat so adjust for your own taste buds

1/2 cup water

8 ounce container of fresh mozzarella balls, or buy 8 oz. of fresh mozzarella and cut into cubes (see photo)

Fresh Parmesan Shavings-or grated Parmesan whichever you have on hand is good and will work

Extra Parmesan for serving–I mean there is plenty of cheese here so no worries

Chopped Fresh Basil– I love the flavor and I love the color it adds to my pasta –if you have some fresh parsley (flat leaf) that would be nice as well –just mince up and sprinkle a little bit in

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium size sauce pan.  Add chicken in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Allow chicken to cook for a few minutes undisturbed until it starts to turn golden in color. Then stir chicken around to brown all over. After a few minutes remove to a separate bowl with a slotted spatulaor spoon.

Into the same skillet over medium-high heat , add the onions and garlic and stir to cook. Cook till onion is completely broken down and transparent, it could take a few minutes. You’ll want onions to be golden brown. * hint- if the pan is too dry drizzle a little bit more olive oil.

Reduce the heat to low once onions are broken down and pour in your sauce, red pepper flakes, and the 1/2 cup of water. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in then add the chicken back into the pan. Stir until heated through on a low simmer, about 5-8 minutes.

Making sure the sauce is bubbly and hot , place mozzarella into the pan. Let it sit, don’t bother with it for a few minutes, just let it heat through. You’ll be able to tell that mozzarella has softened without completely melting.

Drain the pasta and either pour onto a platter or separately plate it up. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle on Parmesan shavings or grated parmesan–just a little.

Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with fresh basil and serve immediately! Obviously if someone still wants extra cheese that’s their business. I left it on the table but even Joel who is a giant cheese lover didn’t need any extra.

*Just a little note on mozzarella–it should be soft but still visible and that’s why the small mozzarella balls worked out so well. You’ll want chunks to still be firm without completely falling apart.

Enjoy and this is really easy and fast!

 

 

 

Roasted Potatoes with Mustard and Onions

I saw this on the Barefoot Contessa TV show and thought this would be so tasty. It was! I made it with chicken and steak, but honestly this would be great alongside any dish. Very easy and pretty perfect. This was how I prepared it. It served 6 very well, and it could probably serve 8 – 10 as a side dish. A perfect dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas or any dinner party.

Ingredients:

2 – 2 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes

2 medium size yellow onions

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

Kosher Salt – about 2 teaspoons

Freshly Ground Black Pepper – a few good grinds of the pepper mill

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the potatoes in quarters, and then I cut them again, I found they crisped up better smaller.  Place on a very large sheet pan, do not crowd. I actually used two baking sheets for this amount of potatoes.  Remove the ends of the onions, peel them, and cut them in half, slice them crosswise in app. 1/4 ” slices to make half rounds. Toss the onions and potatoes on the sheet pan. ( I also sprayed pans generously with Pam cooking spray)

In a separate bowl, with a wire whisk mix the mustard and the olive oil, and pour over potatoes. With clean hands I mixed up everything on sheet pan, then sprinkled 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper on the potatoes and mixed again.  I baked for about an hour at 400, or until the potatoes were lightly browned on the outside and tender on the inside. I prefer a little crispy, do them however you like. I tossed a few times with a metal spatula during cooking process.

Taste for salt, and you can always add more salt at the end. 

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

photo 3 (7) photo 2 (9)This is my go to recipe for the creamiest mashed potatoes around. I make them a few times a year and mostly on the holidays. Occasionally I’ll whip them up for dinner . They are rich and delicious and just the way mashed potatoes ought to be. I’d like to tell you that I don’t use butter and cream but I do. These are pretty easy to make, all I would say is to buy a good potato masher they come in pretty handy for a lot of other uses as well ( great for egg salad) .  I like to work with Yukon Gold Potatoes. This recipe is for 5 lbs. and feeds about 10 – 12 people , just perfect for a holiday dinner.

I usually make them the morning of Thanksgiving. I have never froze this. That’s just what I do. It’s really not much of an effort and most everything else is done.

* see also Mashed Potato Casserole with Sour Cream and Chives for another way to go.

Ingredients:

5 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes or Russet Potatoes

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 to 3/4 cups half and half

1 /2 to 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt ( more to taste) I used at least 1 teaspoon you’ll have to taste for yourself.

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper. ( more or less to taste)

Directions:

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size.

In a large enough pot to cook all of the potatoes fill pot with cold water and throw in some salt (it’s an opportunity to season like pasta) to cover the potatoes. I bring to a boil and cook for about 30 – 35 minutes. When potatoes are cooked through, a fork should easily slide into the potatoes without resistance, potatoes should be soft but not falling apart.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot back on the stove. Mash the potatoes with masher over very low heat, allowing the steam to escape, before adding the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add 1 1/2 sticks of butter, an 8 oz. package of cream cheese and about 1/2 cup of half and half. Mash, mash and mash away.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish and taste for salt and pepper. I ended up using at least a teaspoon of salt, and a bit more pepper.  Place a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350 degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes have warmed through.

* if making a day or two in advance–place potatoes in baking dish,  leave covered in fridge. Take it out of the fridge about 2 – 3 hours before heating up to bring to room temperature. Place your butter pats on top and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1/2 hour or so till completely warmed through.

*

Candied Yam Souffle (Easy Peasy)

sweet potatoes pre marshmallows

I just found this recipe. I’ve made this souffle in the past. It is easy and I just felt I owed it to all of you to pass it along. It is especially good for those of you who need to bring something to someone’s house, and don’t have time for fuss and muss.  I am still not 100% sure which yam dish I am going to make, but will make a decision soon. So here you go. And those darn mini marshmallows which you just gotta have.

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 large cans of yams or app. 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, drained

1 small can (I like 8 oz.) crushed pineapple (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

mini-marshmallows (1 bag will more than cover it) or one jar of marshmallow topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and pecans. Simmer for a  few minutes. In the meantime, place drained yams in a large bowl and mash them (you can leave a few chunked pieces.) If you’re cooking your sweet potatoes , peel and cut into quarters (cubes) fill a large pot of water to cover potatoes , add a little salt to water and bring water to boil. Boil for about 12 minutes till you can pierce potato with a fork easily. Remove and drain potatoes. I always place my potatoes back in pot to steam off excess water.

Pour sugar/pecan and pineapple mixture over the yams. Stir until combined thoroughly. Add in cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to a pie pan, actually any baking dish will do. Oven to Table is perfect here. Bake for about 15 minutes. Then remove, put mini marshmallows on top to cover, and raise the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes to brown the marshmallows. Don’t let it burn.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

photo 3 (7) photo 2 (9)This is my go to recipe for the creamiest mashed potatoes around. I make them a few times a year and mostly on the holidays. Occasionally I’ll whip them up for dinner . They are rich and delicious and just the way mashed potatoes ought to be. I’d like to tell you that I don’t use butter and cream but I do. These are pretty easy to make, all I would say is to buy a good potato masher they come in pretty handy for a lot of other uses as well ( great for egg salad) .  I like to work with Yukon Gold Potatoes. This recipe is for 5 lbs. and feeds about 10 – 12 people , just perfect for a holiday dinner.

* see also Mashed Potato Casserole with Sour Cream and Chives for another way to go.

Ingredients:

5 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes or Russet Potatoes

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 to 3/4 cups half and half

1 /2 to 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt ( more to taste) I used at least 1 teaspoon you’ll have to taste for yourself.

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper. ( more or less to taste)

Directions:

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size.

In a large enough pot to cook all of the potatoes fill pot with cold water to cover the potatoes. I bring to a boil and cook for about 30 – 35 minutes. When potatoes are cooked through, a fork should easily slide into the potatoes without resistance, potatoes should be soft but not falling apart.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot back on the stove. Mash the potatoes with masher over very low heat, allowing the steam to escape, before adding the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add 1 1/2 sticks of butter, an 8 oz. package of cream cheese and about 1/2 cup of half and half. Mash, mash and mash away.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish and taste for salt and pepper. I ended up using at least a teaspoon of salt, and a bit more pepper.  Place a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350 degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes have warmed through.

* if making a day or two in advance–place potatoes in baking dish,  leave covered in fridge. Take it out of the fridge about 2 – 3 hours before heating up to bring to room temperature. Place your butter pats on top and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1/2 hour or so till completely warmed through.

*

Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

photo 2photo 3 (59)photo 2 (55) photo 2 (54)I love sweet potatoes and they are certainly not just for Thanksgiving.  I prefer them over white potatoes and they are delicious and very healthy. This recipe is a touch sweet and spicy and we love them. Again thanks to Jessica Seinfeld for this delicious and simple recipe. You’ll want to buy the dark-skinned sweet potatoes if available, the ones labeled garnet or jewel yams. Leave the skins on for extra nutrients. Try to cut the rounds to even thickness for even roasting and for best results. Sweet Potatoes work well for a casual barbecue or an elegant sit down dinner. Enjoy them!

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper–about 12 turns on a pepper mill about 3 medium sweet potatoes 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, cumin and black pepper. Scrub the potatoes first, then cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch thick rounds . Place on a rimmed baking sheet ( spray first with cooking spray) Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture and using clean hands toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer without any overlapping and roast until the potatoes are tender , about 1/2 hour. I checked after 20 minutes and turned them over for the last 10 minutes or so.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

photo 3 (7) photo 2 (9)This is my go to recipe for the creamiest mashed potatoes around. I make them a few times a year and mostly on the holidays. Occasionally I’ll whip them up for dinner . They are rich and delicious and just the way mashed potatoes ought to be. I’d like to tell you that I don’t use butter and cream but I do. These are pretty easy to make, all I would say is to buy a good potato masher they come in pretty handy for a lot of other uses as well ( great for egg salad) .  I like to work with Yukon Gold Potatoes. This recipe is for 5 lbs. and feeds about 10 – 12 people , just perfect for a holiday dinner.

* see also Mashed Potato Casserole with Sour Cream and Chives for another way to go.

Ingredients:

5 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes or Russet Potatoes

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 to 3/4 cups half and half

1 /2 to 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt ( more to taste) I used at least 1 teaspoon you’ll have to taste for yourself.

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper. ( more or less to taste)

Directions:

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size.

In a large enough pot to cook all of the potatoes fill pot with cold water to cover the potatoes. I bring to a boil and cook for about 30 – 35 minutes. When potatoes are cooked through, a fork should easily slide into the potatoes without resistance, potatoes should be soft but not falling apart.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot back on the stove. Mash the potatoes with masher over very low heat, allowing the steam to escape, before adding the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add 1 1/2 sticks of butter, an 8 oz. package of cream cheese and about 1/2 cup of half and half. Mash, mash and mash away.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish and taste for salt and pepper. I ended up using at least a teaspoon of salt, and a bit more pepper.  Place a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350 degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes have warmed through.

* if making a day or two in advance–place potatoes in baking dish,  leave covered in fridge. Take it out of the fridge about 2 – 3 hours before heating up to bring to room temperature. Place your butter pats on top and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1/2 hour or so till completely warmed through.

*

Happy Birthday Julia Child — French Potato Salad

photo (8)photo (4)photo (2)Every year on August 15 Julia Child comes to mind since it is her birthday and would have been 101st Birthday. She was such a huge influence on all of us who cook and enjoy eating so I try and make one or two of her recipes every year on this day.  This is a most delicious light “very French” potato salad. I am not a huge fan of potatoes swimming in mayonnaise so this was such a welcome treat. It is moderately difficult and that just means there are a few steps involved. It’s worth the effort, her cooking was never effortless but well worth it.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces–just good food from fresh ingredients” Julia Child

Ingredients:

1 lb. “boiling” potatoes, all the same size and shape if at all possible

2 tbsp. shallots, finely chopped/minced

Kosher Salt

White Pepper, freshly ground if available, if not use Black Pepper and I promise not to tell

1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 1/2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar

2 – 3 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped or small little pieces

2-3 Tbsp. light olive  oil

Directions:

Fill a 3 quart saucepan half full with cold water. Wash the potatoes. One at a time peel a potato , and if it’s round and fat rather than long and thin, cut it in half lengthwise. I just cut 1/4 ” slices and left them like that. After you cut potatoes , drop the slices into the pan of water, to prevent them from turning an ugly color while you prepare the rest.

I cooked potatoes and made salad within 1/2 hour to prevent the possiblility of them turning grey.

Then drain out the water the potatoes sat in and add clean water to cover potatoes and add a good bit of salt to the water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for probably 15 / 20 minutes depending on potatoes, just until fork tender–keep testing by eating a small piece of potato to be sure.

Crunchy undercooked potatoes are dreadful, and overcooked potatoes will just fall apart.

Drain out the cooking water. At once cover the pan and set aside for a few minutes ( about 5 minutes) just to allow the slices to firm up. Then uncover the potatoes and start to season them as follows.

Get a nice roomy bowl and toss gently with the shallots, add the stock, vinegar and parsley. Let sit for app. 10 minutes or so, tossing gently a few times. Then correct salt and pepper seasoning, toss with the olive oil. I let the potatoes sit for about 1/2 hour to absorb the flavors at room temperature.

The salad should keep a day or two covered in the fridge.

Roasted Potatoes with Mustard and Onions

I saw this on the Barefoot Contessa TV show and thought this would be so tasty. It was! I made it with chicken and steak, but honestly this would be great alongside any dish. Very easy and pretty perfect. This was how I prepared it. It served 6 very well, and it could probably serve 8 – 10 as a side dish. A perfect dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas or any dinner party.

Ingredients:

2 – 2 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes

2 medium size yellow onions

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

Kosher Salt – about 2 teaspoons

Freshly Ground Black Pepper – a few good grinds of the pepper mill

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the potatoes in quarters, and then I cut them again, I found they crisped up better smaller.  Place on a very large sheet pan, do not crowd. I actually used two baking sheets for this amount of potatoes.  Remove the ends of the onions, peel them, and cut them in half, slice them crosswise in app. 1/4 ” slices to make half rounds. Toss the onions and potatoes on the sheet pan. ( I also sprayed pans generously with Pam cooking spray)

In a separate bowl, with a wire whisk mix the mustard and the olive oil, and pour over potatoes. With clean hands I mixed up everything on sheet pan, then sprinkled 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper on the potatoes and mixed again.  I baked for about an hour at 400, or until the potatoes were lightly browned on the outside and tender on the inside. I prefer a little crispy, do them however you like. I tossed a few times with a metal spatula during cooking process.

Taste for salt, and you can always add more salt at the end.