Tag Archives: potato

Ireland…

Saturday, May 4 –

Whiskey – lots and lots and lots of whiskey. Accompanied by lots of wonderful food. Did I mention whiskey? Ok, great. Let’s see if I can remember everyone who was there: Hot Momma, Mr. Hero (chicken and 21098_571154629582519_158003147_ndumplings, whiskey and chasers), BabyBear, BigMan (juice for drinks), RubsWithLove (vodka), Sir VJ (corned beef hash), ChinUp (potato leek soup), MyBuddy (soda bread), BirthdayShots (whiskey), FootballTamer (whiskey souffle dessert), BestestFianceEver (Guinness), and yours truly (Dublin coddle).

I cooked the bacon until crisp but not burnt and then broke it up into pieces, which I set aside. I browned the sausages on two sides, but didn’t cook them all the way through, and then set them aside. I cut up four potatoes, two onions, and two carrots, and some garlic, threw them into a big pot, dumped bacon grease on top, and cooked while I was cooking the meats in batches. I then took two glass baking dishes and put the sausages in first, dumped the veggies on top, sprinkled the bacon on the veggies, and then poured one bottle of hard cider over the two dishes. I covered it in foil and baked in a 375* oven for about 40 minutes. (I didn’t have a pot big enough to fit all of that on the stove, so I figured the oven would work just as well.

The Dublin coddle was good, but a little plain. The cider soaked into the potatoes to make an interesting flavor. I’m not sure I would commit to that many calories again, but it wasn’t bad. The chicken and dumplings was more of a soup than a casserole, but the flavor was great and I would totally eat it again. The corned beef hash was so good I had to put my plate away so that I would stop eating it. The potato leek soup was perfect, creamy, and a pleasure to eat. I am stealing that recipe for making in the near future! The soda bread was pretty good, I’m not usually a fan of soda bread, but this one wasn’t too bad. The whiskey souffle dessert was SO GOOD. Holy goodness. I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was, you just need to go make it and experience it yourself!

All in all, it was a huge success, we had great food outside in a wonderful warm spring evening, with LOTS of booze. We even got the fire pit going and spent relaxing time just hanging out. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Thank you to everyone who came to share Ireland with me!

Ireland
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.ireland-information.com)

Dublin Coddle

  • 1 pound bacon slices
  • 2 pounds pork sausages
  • Some bacon fat or oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 large potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of fresh herbs, tied with string
  • black pepper
  • hard cider (apple wine) or apple cider
  • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Lightly fry the bacon until crisp. Place in a large cooking pot. Brown the sausages in some bacon grease or vegetable oil. Remove and add to pot. Soften sliced onions and whole garlic cloves in fat, then add to pot with potatoes and carrots. Bury the bunch of herbs in the middle of the mixture. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover with cider. Cook 1 1/2 hours over moderate heat, do not boil. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6.


Gibraltar…

Wednesday, January 2 –

Having eleven days off work over the top of Christmas and New Years events really got my blog tangled. Add a cold in on top at the end and you have a much-postponed dinner. Gibraltar was just me and my honey photo(10)having a quiet night at home, no extra people (or extra dishes to do).

I started by chopping two red potatoes, one tomato, and one onion. I chopped them pretty finely, knowing that they needed to be blended at the end. Into the boiling water, veggie cube, and oil they went for fifteen minutes. I added the basil, salt, pepper, and some powdered garlic. In a different pot I boiled the noodles as per the directions on the box. I drained them and set them aside. When the veggies were done boiling I took them off the heat then blended them with an immersion blender.

At this point I just couldn’t quite believe that I was supposed to put a can of baked beans into minestrone soup, so I took a little bowl and spooned some of the soup in, then some beans in, and tasted it. Amazingly enough, it tasted just fine! So into the soup went the baked beans, the noodles, paprika, more basil, salt, pepper, and garlic. I spooned it into bowls and sprinkled Parmesan cheese strips over the top.

Served with crusty garlic french bread, we were ready to eat. It was… well… uneventful. Bland, even. It wasn’t bad, by any means. It just wasn’t something I would choose to make again. Minestrone needs much more to it than that, in my opinion. But it was warm and filling and not a failure, so I’ll take it!

Gibraltar
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.tasty-vegetarian-recipes.com)

Granny’s Minestra

  • 1 Potato
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Tomato
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Some Dried Basil
  • 150g Small pasta shapes
  • 1 Vegetable Cube
  • 1 small tin of Baked Beans
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • Saffron/paprika

Wash and chop the vegetables. Bring 1 1/2 liters of water to boil in a medium saucepan and add the vegetables together with the Oil and stock cube – boil for 15 minutes on a high heat. Meanwhile, place the pasta into a microwaveable bowl and cook for 5 minutes in the microwave on full power. Drain away excess water. Once the vegetables are soft, blend them with a hand held blender (in the saucepan). Add the pasta shapes to the saucepan together with the baked beans, salt pepper, sprinkle of basil and paprika/saffron, and boil for 10 minutes.


Germany…

Friday, December 7 –

I kept hoping that we would get to a country that was heritage for one of us, and it finally happened. Germany, thank you for being the birthplace for two of my favorite mothers of our group, and thank you for photo(6)having such yummy food! I do have to admit, though, before we get going that even though I like most everything pickled, I don’t really like very many recipes of sauerkraut. I know, I know, that’s weird. But true. So I took a regular sauerkraut from a jar and made something fabulous from it, called Bavarian sauerkraut. Add bacon and red wine and all of a sudden it’s yummy? Yep.

I cooked the sauerkraut recipe exactly as it reads below, I just made half of what it calls for. Bacon – then onion and garlic into the bacon fat. Then caraway seeds, chicken bouillon cube, and brown sugar. Stir. Red wine plus the whole jar of sauerkraut. Stir again and let simmer. Next add the potato, paprika, and pepper – then the roux. Simmer. Our stove doesn’t really do “low simmer” very well, so I simmered it for about ten minutes with the lid on the pan, then turned the heat off but left it on the burner until we were ready for dinner. Stir a little more and then serve!

I made the wiener schnitzel exactly as it is written. Pounded meat plus salt and pepper. Then dip in flour, egg mixture, and bread crumbs. Fry each one in canola oil, then set aside under foil to keep it warm. As the last two schnitzels were frying I steamed some broccoli to serve on the side.

I also ended up making spatzle, but I cheated a little and made it from a box. We had a hiccup in the planning (because planning plus late wine nights always end well…) so boxed pasta it was.

This dinner was not only savory, tart, fried, and buttery – it was delicious. I could have kept eating that bacon/wine/sauerkraut the rest of the weekend! So if you’re like me and you like a little tart but canned sauerkraut is usually too strong, try the recipe below.

YUM!

And thanks to BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma, and SlotMachine for sharing this dinner with me. Cheers!

Germany
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.squidoo.com and www.bavariankitchen.com)

Wiener Schnitzel

  • 4 veal scaloppini
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons water, buttermilk or milk
  • ½ tablespoons canola oil (and more for frying)
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 6-8 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper
  • lemon to serve
  • parsley to serve

Preparation:

Dry the veal scaloppini with paper towels. Tenderize the veal on both sides evenly with a meat mallet. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Prepare three dishes: 6 tablespoons flour in first dish, whisked egg with 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 tablespoons oil (or 1 tablespoon buttermilk or milk) in the second dish and 6-8 tablespoons bread crumbs in the third dish.

Coat the veal with the flour on both sides, shake off any excess, dip in the egg mixture on both sides and lastly into the bread crumbs shaking off any excess.

Prepare a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet with some canola oil just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet and let it get hot on medium-high heat. Drop in a few bread crumbs, if the oil starts to sizzle carefully place the Schnitzel inside. Reduce heat to medium. Fry veal until golden brown turning once. Do not cover the skillet. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

Serve with rice, french fries, mashed/boiled potatoes, steamed vegetables or a garden salad. Garnish: 4 slices of lemon and some chopped fresh parsley.

Bavarian Sauerkraut

  • 2 quart jars of good-quality sauerkraut. (How do we know it’s good quality? It costs more.)
  • 1 pound of smoked bacon, cut into thin strips.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of cold roux
  • 1 large beef bouillon cube
  • 1 cup of red wine – aah, make that 2 cups!

Preparation:
First, we fry the bacon strips halfway, then adding chopped onion and garlic we cook this until it’s all golden brown and the bacon is crispy. During the last 5 minutes, we add the caraway seeds, beef bouillon cube and brown sugar to the pan. Now we add the 2 cups of wine and the sauerkraut and let this come to a simmer. At this point, we grate the raw potato into the mix! After seasoning with paprika and black pepper, we mix the cold roux (equal amounts of flour and butter, gently cooked for about 15 minutes) into the kraut. Turn the heat to a low setting and simmer the dish for an hour or two. Bohemian sauerkraut, like so many other stews, tastes even better when reheated the next day.


Egypt…

Wednesday, August 15 –

Last week’s dinner was a little painful, mostly because I was frying food and it felt like it was 90* outside. Ugh. But the dinner and the company more than made up for the torture in the kitchen. It was BestestEverFiance, Bestie Extraordinaire (who brought ciders and pita to share), and LittleLamb (one of my friends that I’ve known the longest that should get a huge kick out of that name).

I started this off by mixing the lamb with the onion and spices, letting it sit while I mixed the falafel mixture. Then I mixed the tzatziki mixture and put it in the fridge to stay cold. Once everything was prepped, I started frying the falafels. I chopped the chickpeas with a pastry cutter, so there were bigger chunks of chickpeas in the patties. But I tasted them as they were done frying and they still tasted like the falafel I was hoping to have. Bestie Extraordinaire helped to make a tomato/basil salad and formed the meat patties for me. The lamb patties went into the same pan that I cooked the falafel in. We toasted some pita in the oven and then brought everything outside to serve on the picnic table we have to enjoy the nice weather.

The falafel was perfectly browned, nicely seasoned, and had great flavor. They disappeared really, really quickly. The kefta were ok, in my opinion, but didn’t knock my socks off. I’ve definitely done better work with lamb before. I would have wanted more seasoning in them and a bbq flavor instead, if I made them again. The tzatziki was cold and delicious on everything we ate. The tomato/basil salad was a perfect addition to break up the fried flavors. And pita is always a good decision.

 

Egypt
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com and www.allrecipes.com)

Kefta (Middle Eastern spiced meatballs)

  •     Ground lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two — 2 pounds
  •     Onion, minced — 1
  •     Fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped — 1/2 bunch
  •     Ground cumin — 1 tablespoon
  •     Cinnamon — 2 teaspoons
  •     Allspice (optional) — 1 teaspoon
  •     Salt and pepper — to season
  •     Oil — 1/4 cup

Method:

Place the ground beef or lamb, onion, herbs, spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and knead together well. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to mingle and make the meat easier to handle.

Form the meat mixture into balls, patties or ovals the size of a small egg.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame and, working in batches, sauté the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through. Browned meatballs can also be finished in a 350ºF oven.

Serve as is or in pita bread as a sandwich with tzatziki sauce.

Variations:

  1.     Keftedes (Greece): add some breadcrumbs and a little red wine to the meat mixture.
  2.     Köfte (Turkey): add some breadcrumbs and form the meat into a sausage shape on skewers. Oil the meat well and grill over hot coals.
  3.     Before frying, you can roll the kefta in some flour and shake off the extra to help them brown.
  4.     Experiment with different seasonings–coriander, cayenne, sesame seeds.

Falafels

  •     1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and mashed with fork
  •     3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 small unpeeled red potato, shredded
  •     1/4 cup diced red onion
  •     2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •     1 egg
  •     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  •     1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •     1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •     1/4 teaspoon salt
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 cup canola oil for frying

Directions:

Combine chickpeas, 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, red potato, red onion, garlic, egg, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cilantro, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl.

Form mixture into 2-inch patties. Place 1/4 cup panko crumbs in a shallow bowl. Gently press patties into the crumbs to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Fry patties in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Set patties aside.

Tzatziki Sauce

  •     8 ounces plain yogurt
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  •     3 cloves pressed garlic

Djibouti…

Friday, July 19 –

It isn’t very often that I have no left-overs at all. This dinner is one of the few that I can happily say was devoured – every bite of it. There were five of us for this dinner – Wonderful Boyfriend, Bestie Extraordinaire, ChinUp, and DangerD.

I started with the stew, figuring that it could simmer as I cooked the samosas. I put regular butter into my soup pot (I just didn’t have the time to go hunt down niter kebbeh, so instead I doubled the amount of berbere I put into the stew) along with the spices and one chopped up onion. I let the onion start to soften, and then in went one peeled, chopped russet potato, two medium peeled and chopped carrots, and a cup of green beans that I chopped in half for easier chewing. After ten minutes, in went the tomato, tomato paste, and veggie broth. I let this simmer, stirring occasionally, as I made the samosas.

The samosa recipe I decided to edit a little. I took one onion and one leek, chopped them up and then mixed them together. That looked like too much in the way of veggies compared to how much meat I had, so I scooped away half of it to save for a later dinner. I cooked one pound of ground lamb with the salt, pepper, and lot of cumin. (I didn’t measure the spices, I just sprinkled until it felt right. I coated the meat with the cumin until it was clearly powdery.) Then I threw in the onion and leek and let it finish cooking down. Instead of making my own dough I used pre-made pie crust. I cut the crust into six wedges, stuffed them, folded them up, and then put an egg wash on top. I put them in the oven at 350* for about 20 minutes and then checked every five minutes until they were golden brown on top and bottom.

On the table was also salad (made by the wonderful ChinUp), yogurt to put on the stew or samosas, and toasted naan to scoop it all up with.

The salad was crisp and amazing with fresh heirloom tomatoes. The samosas were so good that I could have blinked and they would all have been gone. With the light, flaky, buttery crust and the cumin and lamb flavor melting in your mouth, I should have made three times as many. The stew was spicy, flavorful, and I managed to cook the veggies just long enough to make them soft but not mushy. The naan was a little crumbly (it was the store-bought kind) but it was still a good idea to serve with the stew.

Not only was this dinner delicious, it was the perfect combination of flavors and textures to serve together. I highly recommend this for any dinner (but maybe a colder, fall day so that you can really enjoy the spicy stew). Cheers!

Djibouti
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://healthy-life.narod.ru/wor_ek57.htm)

Spicy Mixed Vegetable Stew (Yetakelt W’et)

  • 1 c Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tb Berbere (dry)
  • 1 tb Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 c Green beans, cut in thirds
  • 1 c Carrots, chopped
  • 1 c Potatoes, cubed
  • 1 c Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 c Tomato paste
  • 2 c Vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c Chopped fresh parsley

Cooking Instructions:  Saute the onions, garlic, berbere, and paprika in the niter kebbeh for 2 minutes. Add the beans, carrots, and potatoes and continue to saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the parsley (optional). Serve with injera and yogurt or cottage cheese.

Djibouti Samosas (Samboussa)

  • 2 l oil
  • 500 g flour
  • 2 kg minced meat
  • 5 onions, finely diced
  • 3 leeks, finely diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:  Sift the flour and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Add just enough water so that the mixture comes together as a stiff dough. Shape into a ball and allow to rest. Meanwhile add 4 tbsp oil to a frying pan and fry the meat for a few minutes. Add the onions and leeks season with salt and pepper then fry until the meat is done and the onions have softened. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and cut into triangles. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture in the center of the triangle and fold over to form a samosa. Heat the oil in a wok until almost smoking and place the samosas one at a time in this. Cook until golden brown and crisp on all sides, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Allow to cool a little then serve with African hot sauce.


Portuguese Potluck Success…

Friday, August 26 –

Our second potluck was another great success. Some of the same people from the first potluck were there and we also had some new people that couldn’t make it last time. It was beautiful outside again, so we managed to make it another picnic buffet. I made stuffed pork chops with pomegranate sauce and also got a couple of different salsas and some chips. Other people brought white wine sangria, red wine reduction with fruit, curry chicken, custard tarts, potato and kale soup, fried fish, and beer cake. We also had a bunch of different kinds of Portuguese wines of both red and white varieties. Let me tell you, it was quite the feast! 

Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce: I started with the knowledge that while I didn’t have a lot of time before people started showing up, at least I was making a lot of one recipe instead of a bunch of little recipes, so I didn’t feel quite so rushed.  I decided to double the stuffing recipe and use 6 chops instead of 8, giving me a little more stuffing than meat. First came the stuffing, with the shallots and mushrooms and then breadcrumbs, parsley, and cheese. This came together quickly and easily. While that was getting all melty I sliced the pork chops open into pockets. I cut them so that one long side and one short side were still attached and the other two sides were open. Then I stuffed all 6 chops, setting them back on the cutting board. I used a big saute pan and browned the chops on both sides in butter. Then I stacked them together in a casserole dish and put them in the oven. Next came the sauce, with the pomegranate molasses, water, and white wine. I added the cornstarch slurry about half way through the cooking of the chops so that the sauce would have time to thicken. When the chops came out of the oven I put the pan juices in the sauce and set the meat on the cutting board to slice. Because I didn’t tie the chops closed they ended up squishing a little when I sliced them, but not so much that it was impossible to but them back in the pan with the stuffing still intact. Once I had the meat sliced, the extra stuffing in on top, then I poured the finished sauce all over the meat and set it out on the buffet.

The stuffing ended up tasting like Thanksgiving stuffing with goat cheese thrown in – which was so good I had a hard time not eating right out of the bowl. The meat was browned and good for pork chops. The sauce ended up really, really sweet to me. So if I had to do this recipe all over again, which I would, I would keep the sauce off and put it in a gravy boat and let people drizzle a little bit on top if they wanted to instead of drowning the whole dish in it. It vanished pretty quickly, so I know it was good, but I would have rather had much less of the sauce on top.

I’m keeping track of the ideas that we came up with for our potlucks here: Potluck Ideas.

Things I have learned: This potluck had a much better ratio of people bringing food to people who brought drinks. Keep that as a good goal to have each time. We also did much better at having a handful of main dishes, some side dishes, and some desserts. This worked out really well, and will be my goal for next time too.  Also, with the number of people who come to these potlucks it will get much more cramped/friendly once we move inside, so maybe we will have to limit the number of people who get invited? I’m not sure about that yet, because maybe it will work itself out.