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Archive for the category “potatoes”

German Potato Salad


I am a bit evil on this one. The good thing is, I can blame Little B. We were doing a multi-day lesson with her about Germany, leading up to local Wurstfest celebrations. Believe me, she was absolutely adorable in her uncle’s old lederhosen! As always, if there is a slim chance that food can be included in a learning experience I will find it. There was cabbage at bratwurst and apples flying all over the kitchen. For this salad I was sorely tempted to find a substitute for the starchy new potatoes, but in the end went with the real thing. My big excuse was that I was trying to make as authentic a German dinner as I could, with guests coming over for it to boot. I had already tweaked a dessert to be less than authentic, and got store bought saurkraut, so I caved and went pure with the salad. This by no means prevents me from making a less starchy, lower carb version in the future, but I can definitely say that I know how to make an absolutely delicious German potato salad now! I really don’t see why turnips or parsnips (and maybe a little cauliflour) can’t be substituted for the taters. If you try a version of this recipe with them let me know how it goes! Back to behaving now…

German Potato Salad

2 pounds small new potatoes
4 quarts water
1 Tbsp sea salt
8 thick cut slices of bacon
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Salt to taste

Place the water and salt in a large stock pot. Add potatoes. Bring water to a boil and continue cooking for about twenty minutes, until potatoes are tender. Drain water and set aside potatoes to cool. While potatoes boil prepare the bacon. In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and crumble, then set it aside, retaining the bacon grease in the pan. Lower heat under the grease to medium and add onions. Cook onions until soft. While onions cook slice the potatoes into halves or quarters so they are bite-sized. Return crumbled bacon to the pan with onions, along with the stock and vinegar. Continue cooking until mixture is hot. Add potatoes to onion mixture, tossing gently until they are coated and hot. Sprinkle with salt if needed to enhance flavors. Add chives and toss again. Serve immediately or reheat to serve warm.

Adapted from!

Hash Brown Cups

We are still living sans kitchen. I am starting to dream about cooking things that are sauteed, baked, seared, broiled and browned. Pretty much things you can’t do in a microwave. Speaking of brown…I like my hash browns brown. Some of them can be unbrown, but I like the crispy parts and the almost crispy parts the best. Especially with a little hot sauce, salt and pepper sprinkled on them. I first made these hash brown cups for a brunch when I was not going to have enough time before it was time to eat to cook them properly. I have not done it yet, but I am thinking of having a cuppy brunch some day – hash brown cups, eggy cups and maybe some cinnamon roll cups. Then I can be really creative and serve beverages in cups and everything will be just cuppy! Okay, now that tangent is out of me I can return to the hash browns. If you make them ahead of time a bit of the crispy may be lost, but they reheat just fine. The picture shows some I took out a bit early because I was running late for an appointment, so don’t do as I do, do as I say!

Hash Brown Cups

1 package (30 ounces) grated potato hash browns, thawed
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive or canola oil

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Divide potatoes among 12 well greased muffin pan cups. Bake for about an hour until bottoms are crispy. The potatoes touching the pan will brown but the very tops will not brown much at all. Remove from oven and let cook for about 20 minutes. If you take them out too soon they may not keep their molded form, so avoid the temptation to take them out early unless there is actually a problem and smoke is pouring out of the oven.

Crispy Baked Chips

You want fries with that? Of course, but I shouldn’t…

Although I like a lot of foods that are good for me, I also crave some of those foods that are quite lacking in nutritional value. You know, oreos, macaroni and cheese, loaded baked potato and of course the fries. Yum! Usually made with processed potatoes and deep fried, they go well with burgers and ribs and under a pile of chili and cheese. An occasional small serving is no problem, but when they come so easily almost everywhere we eat out – and we eat out quite frequently – it gets harder and harder to resist. One way that helps me is to make some at home, which are just as good or loads better than those found in a restaurant. They cook up so crispy, and the seasoning begs not to be dipped in ketsup, but if absolutely necessary, I guess it could be done. These are chips, as in fish ‘n chips! These little guys taste like they could have been deep fried, but they are baked, much lower fat than their deep-fried counterparts, crispy and addictive! I served them up with mushed peas and some tilapia cooked in a skidge of oil and lime juice.

Crispy Baked Chips

4 small or 3 medium russet potatoes
2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Dash of pepper

Wash and slice potatoes into thin wedges lengthwise, approximately 12 per potato. Soak slices in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F. Lay out wedges on a towel to dry, pressing down from above using another towel to get as much water off as possible. Place wedges in a bowl and sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper and garlic, tossing until completely coated. Spread wedges out in one layer on large cookie sheet. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes. Flip wedges over, rotate pan 180 degrees to ensure even baking and return to oven for 10-20 minutes. The second baking time varies so much because the size of the wedges may vary. By the time the first bake time is over the potatoes will be cooked – the second time is to ensure complete and utter crispiness. Serve immediately. The recipe can be easily doubled, just make sure you have sufficient cookie sheet space. If doubling the recipe and cooking on two cookie sheets, which probably means using two levels of the stove, you will need to cook them twenty minutes, then switch levels for the additional time to allow for even browning.


Corned Beef and Cabbage

I began the month of March with potatoes and cabbage, now I end my mostly Irish theme here on St. Patrick’s Day with the same. How can I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America without corned beef and cabbage? I guess I can, but I won’t! Boil, boil and boil some more! I included directions for doing the cabbage separately (boiling or sauteing) because as usual it does not fit with the meat and veggies in the crock pot. You would think a 6 quart crock pot would be big enough, but not for us! We like our cabbage in bulk! I will return now to my celebration with family and friends. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

“May the road rise to meet you and the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of your hand.”

Corned Beef and Cabbage

4 pounds corned beef
2 cups mini carrots or large carrots roughly chopped
5-7 small potatoes, halved
4 cups water
1 Tbsp pickling spices
1 head cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour water and spices into 5-6 quart crock pot. Add beef and cook on high for two hours, then turn to low. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for 4 to 6 more hours until vegetables are soft. Cut cabbage in half and remove core. Slice had lengthwise into wedges – enough to fit in one layer in a large pan with cover.

To boil cabbage: about 45 minutes before meat is done pour enough water in the pan until it is about ½ inch deep. Add some salt and bring to a boil. Place cabbage wedges in the water, lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes until tender. Gently remove from pan with a long spatula, trying to keep the wedges intact. Salt and pepper to taste.

To saute cabbage: about 30 minutes before meat is done heat large pan to medium high and add about 3 Tbsp butter. When melted spread it around the pan. Place wedges in pan and cook until browning begins. Flip wedges gently and let brown again. Cover pan and lower heat until cabbage is soft. Gently remove from pan to a serving dish, trying to keep the wedges intact. If they fall apart just go with the flow and make a pile. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the corned beef and vegetables with spicy brown mustard, creamy horseradish and dense, crusty bread.


It is March! March means two things to me – the world changes from brown to green and the 17th of the month is one of my favorite days of the year. As St. Patrick’s Day nears I ponder more and more the Irish dishes I consider comfort food. Frankly, when I think of Ireland and food my thoughts do not often float beyond seafood and potato dishes. My ancestors survived on such things, so it is no wonder I enjoy exploring them. Traditional Irish-American foods that start popping up around St. Patrick’s Day usually include corned beef, but pork is more often the protein in Irish dishes. Over the next few posts leading up to St. Patty’s Day I am going to cover some of my favorite Irish dishes, prepared in ways my family enjoys them. Let’s see where this journey takes us! I am starting with colcannon, which goes well with pork. Go figure.

One of my favorite pubs is The Lion and Rose British Restaurant and Pub, of which there are a few locations down in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. The first one opened in a little shopping center in Alamo Heights, an old neighborhood in San Antonio near my alma mater. So far they have retained the deliciousness of their food, and hopefully continue to do so as the number of locations grows. I mention the pub because they serve a dish I love, but for some reason rarely make – colcannon. Uh, technically their menu item is bubble and squeak (an English stove top version of colcannon), but the flavor is much the same and so easy to make myself. When I eat mashed potatoes there are usually vegetables along side and I always end up mixing them together. Mashed potatoes and corn? Mix. Mashed potatoes and peas? Mix. Mashed potatoes and green beans? Mix. Mashed potatoes and cabbage. Yep, mix.

The traditional versions of colcannon I have come across include boiling. A lot of boiling. I can boil everything and mix it together as was done in the past, but I am partial to sauteed cabbage. The searing of cabbage that is barely crispy and just becoming tender makes me melt. I guess you can say I make a hybrid of colcannon and bubble and squeak. I am okay with that statement. If you are like me and serve colcannon with meat, at the last minute you suddenly worry that you forgot to make a vegetable for dinner. Never fear. The cabbage IN the colcannon is actually the vegetable! Big D got a laugh out of my omigosh-I-forgot-the-veggies moment.


3 pounds potatoes, peeled
1 small (or ½ medium) head cabbage
1 medium leek (green sections removed), thinly sliced
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop potatoes into equal sized pieces (about 4-6 pieces per potato). Drop potatoes into boiling salt water and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. While potatoes are cooking, core and thinly slice the cabbage. In a large skillet melt 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium high heat. Add cabbage and toss to distribute the butter. Turn down the heat to medium, add salt and pepper to taste and cover, cooking until cabbage is tender. Occasionally toss the cabbage, allowing some browning to occur. While the cabbage is cooking add the remaining butter to a small sauce pan and melt. Add leek to butter and cook until transparent. Add milk and simmer until heated through, using salt and pepper to taste. Mash the potatoes until smooth (they may look dry). Add the onion mixture (the potatoes won’t look dry anymore). Add the cabbage, setting aside about one cup for garnish. Stir until all is combined. Top with the set aside cabbage. Serve hot.

Vegetable Curry Bake

I originally planned to make a chicken curry soup in the crock pot yesterday. Unfortunately it rained. When it rains Little B and I usually go outside and splash around in puddles and follow the path the water takes from the ditches to the creek. Don’t worry grandmothers. We don’t go cavorting when there is lightning or thunder, and we watch the flowing water from above. Our rainy adventure took much longer than originally planned, so there was not enough time before dinner to cook the soup slowly the way I like it. I will do it another day. There was time to layer up a casserole and get it baked, and my hankering for curry was humming away, so I checked out the fridge and pantry. I am working on improving my ratio of vegetables to meat, in that I want to eat mostly vegetables and a moderate amount of meat. I love meat, but it is loaded with calories. I don’t ever expect to completely remove meat from my diet, but eating less of it could not hurt. The following is an attempt at improving the veggie/meat ratio without leaving me hungry an hour later.

Vegetable Curry Bake

3 medium potatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups broccoli, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 cup baby carrots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 – 3 8” smoked sausage links, sliced lengthwise and then into bite-size pieces
1 large yellow onion, sliced to a medium julienne
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 cup broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9”x13” baking dish. Use half the potato slices to make a layer on the bottom of the dish, completely covering it by overlapping the slices. Lightly salt and pepper the potatoes. Add a mixed layer of the cauliflower, broccoli and baby carrots, topping with the chopped garlic. Sprinkle half the curry powder over the vegetables. Sprinkle the sausage slices on top of the vegetables. Add another layer of potato with the remaining slices. Finish with a layer of onions. Pour the broth over the onions, making sure it gets evenly distributed. Drizzle the olive oil over the top, along with some salt, pepper and the rest of the curry powder. Cook covered for one hour. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Cook an additional 30 minutes until brown on top. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Potato Leek Salad

I am on a quest to eat food I love while reducing the fat and calories of said food. It is difficult because I love bread and butter and beef and pasta and cheese. Oh the cheese! I understand the concept of moderation, and practice it as much as possible, but when food is good it is so easy to be bad. Where potato salad is concerned I like the kind dressed with mayonnaise and mustard, complimenting a pile of smoked brisket or ribs. The other night I could not sleep and craved the not-so-good-for-me potato salad my dad made in big batches for years. He would smoke meats for hours and hours. When the meat was a few hours from being done he would make the potato salad so it could chill and allow the flavors to meet each other. I say he made the salad, but it was actually a group effort. My mom and I would boil the potatoes and eggs, chop the onions, bell pepper, celery and herbs. Dad would inspect our work and let us know if the chop size and quantities were just right, or we needed to work on them a little more. He would pull out the huge green glass bowl from the cabinet and put all the ingredients together, taste testing to see if it needed a little more of this, a little more of that. When he was done with his part it was again time for mom and I to swoop in and decorate the top with bell pepper and egg slices, finishing with sprinkle of paprika. I loved my dad’s potato salad, but it was far from healthy. In my desire to eat healthier and not fade away from complications of diabetes, which took his life last year, I offer the following dish. It appeases my potato salad craving without as much in the way of fat and calories. Enjoy!

Potato Leek Salad

5 lbs red potatoes*
2 leeks
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
14 oz nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 ounces mushrooms, diced
2 tsp dried tarragon

Cook red potatoes in gently boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes, depending on their size. Drain out the water, letting the potatoes cool and dry out (in the refrigerator for faster results). Separate white and green portions of the leeks, discarding the tough outer and upper dark green potions. Thinly slice white/light green sections to form rings. Heat large sauté pan to medium high. Add oil. When oil is hot add leeks. Stir regularly to prevent burning, but not so much that the leeks are prevented from browning. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking. After about 10 minutes add the mushrooms and cook for 5 – 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool. Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl combine yogurt, juice, garlic, tarragon, parsley and a dash of salt. If the dressing tastes a little salty do not worry – it will be spread among the potatoes which will absorb it. Add leeks and mushrooms to the dressing. Toss potatoes with dressing until coated. Refrigerate until chilled through before serving, at least two hours.

*I prefer to leave the skin on red potatoes for this recipe, but of course if you prefer they can be peeled without significantly affecting the final product. Go ahead – reject the most nutritious part of our root friends. I’m sure they won’t mind…


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