Tag Archives: potatoes

Lebanon…

Sunday, November 24 –

Finally! A dinner and a post on time. Whew!photo 1 (2)

So this one time the President of the United States rolled through our neighborhood on his way to a fundraising dinner. It totally snarled traffic in every direction. It just so happened that WingWoman and LightsOn got caught in it, super near our house. So we stole them for dinner, and this is what we fed them.

I sprayed a glass baking dish with olive oil, then took 5 chicken leg quarters and put them in. Husband got the spices together and we sprinkled some (more than a pinch) on top of the chicken. Then I put the potato rounds on top and stuck it in the oven for 50 minutes. Right before it came out, I put a bunch of garlic in a food processer with salt and lemon juice (I used the pre-cut kind that already had oil on it). Scoops and scoops of it. We like our garlic STRONG.

I took the potatoes off and put them into a bowl, took the potatoes out and put them into a different bowl. Dumped the extra liquid out of the dish. Then put the potatoes back in, with the chicken on top, and dumped the garlic mixture over the whole thing. Then I stuck it back into the oven for about 10 minutes.

It was garlicky, warm, filling, and satisfying on a cold, crazy traffic night. Three cheers for stuck friends over for dinner!

Lebanon
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.mamaslebanesekitchen.com)

Baked Garlic Chicken

  • 4 lbs of chicken legs/quarters/breasts
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 20 cloves of garlic (or 1.5 heads)
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 table spoons of olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • A pinch of Lebanese 7-spices (Equal proportions of: Allspice, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Cinnamon, Ground Cloves, Ground Nutmeg, and Coriander.)
  • Vinegar (optional)

Preparation Method:

1. Soak chicken in vinegar for 2 minutes (to help remove the “chickeny” smell), rinse them well with cold water then dry them with paper towels.
2. Make cuts in chicken in order to allow for garlic sauce to seep deep inside.
3. Rub chicken with a table spoon or two of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of Lebanese 7-spices.
4. Peel potatoes then cut them in disks of about 1/2 inch, salt lightly.
5. Place chicken on bottom of baking tray (preferably metal), place potatoes on top, and bake at 400F (medium heat) for about 40-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
6. Meanwhile place the garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2-3 table spoons of olive oil in a blender/food processor and spin for 4-5 minutes, add the lemon juice and spin for another 4-5 minutes until you have a nice lemony-garlicky sauce.
7. Once the chicken has baked, take the tray out of the oven and very carefully drain any excess liquids/fat/water that you see on the bottom.
8. Pour the garlic sauce all over it while mixing it well with the potatoes, put back in the oven and broil for another 5-10 minutes until the potatoes turn reddish.
9. Serve warm.
10. Note: You may need to consume an unusually large quantity of toothpaste afterwards. (4 servings)

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Latvia…

Sunday, November 10 –

This dinner was good. Really good. I would make it again and my diet would hate me. If you want a rich, filling, delicious meal that most people would like, this is a good option for you. It was just BestestHusbandEver and latviame and I really wish more people could have experienced the plate-licking goodness.

I started by putting the potatoes on to boil. Then I started the cream sauce. We didn’t end up picking up mushrooms for it (which totally broke BestestHusbandEver’s heart *ahem*) so it was an onion cream sauce instead. Once that was done I coated the pork, fried it hot and fast in oil, and set them aside. BestestHusbandEver drained the potatoes and put the rest of the ingredients in the pan so that everything would get coated evenly.

Dinner was served. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and the sour cream and dill on the outside was a wonderful way of preparing them. The pork was juicy and tender and the cream sauce was so good!

Latvia
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.saveur.com)

Karbonāde (Pork Cutlets With Canterelle Cream Sauce) 

  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 3–4-oz. pork cutlets, pounded to 1/4″-thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cups roughly chopped chanterelle mushrooms
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a medium bowl, and whisk together eggs and 1/4 cup water in another medium bowl; set both aside. Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge 3 cutlets in flour. Dip in egg mixture until evenly coated, then place in skillet; cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and repeat with remaining cutlets, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Add butter to skillet, then onion; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, pour sauce over cutlets, and sprinkle with parsley.

Kartupeli ar Dillem (Boiled Potatoes With Dill)

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 lb. small Yukon Gold or new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring an 8-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot with sour cream, dill, butter, salt, and pepper. Cover pan with lid and shake until potatoes are well coated. Transfer to large serving bowl, and season with additional salt and pepper.

India… {Potluck!}

Saturday, April 6 –

There was SO MUCH FOOD. Oh my gosh. We had lamb korma, two types of chicken tikka, matar paneer, raita, gluten-free naan, gluten-free onion fritters, mango lassi, rice, gulab jamun, chutney, samosas, and a potato dish photo(8)that I missed the name of. There was a ton of people and we all ate so well there was much groaning and belly patting. I can’t even tell you how much fun it was to have so many cooks participate. Thank you, again, to everyone that cooked, ate, drank, and participated in the India potluck. Thank you to RubsWithLove and SirVJ for hosting this dinner!

Let me admit that this dinner was hard for me because I was having an allergy attack so bad that I couldn’t smell or taste anything. Ugh. I don’t recommend it. Four allergy pills and an air purifier later, I finally enjoyed the dinner.

I made the matar paneer recipe as it was written (however, I did not really measure the spices very well at all) but when I was all done it just didn’t look like the matar paneer that I was used to at restaurants. So I added coconut milk to it. But that watered down the flavor so much that it didn’t taste like anything other than coconut milk and a spicy-heat punch to the tongue. Not so good. So I kept adding the spices that the recipe called for trying to fix it. That worked… a little bit. I ended up dumping in curry powder and it fixed it just fine. I know I probably shouldn’t have messed with it, but it did not look like the photo – not one bit! In the end it turned out ok. Not my favorite, but ok.

The raita was easy to make and pretty much vanished because of how many spicy dishes we had. I am super glad that I made a double batch. Everything else was so good that I wanted to eat seconds (I didn’t, but I wanted to!). I definitely recommend Indian food as a great potluck idea for parties! Just make sure to have mints on hand after everyone is done eating.

India
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at:  www.sailusfood.com and www.epicurious.com)

Matar Paneer Recipe

  • 1/4 kg paneer – cube and saute in a tsp of ghee till lightly browned
  • small cup fresh green peas
  • 1 large onion, finely chop
  • ginger-green chilli paste (1″ ginger piece+3 green chillis)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli pwd
  • pinch of turmeric pwd
  • 1 1/4 tsps coriander pwd
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • pinch of garam masala pwd
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King masala pwd
  • 1 tsp malai, top of milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

1 Heat oil in a cooking vessel, add the onions and sauté, approx 4-5 mts. Add ginger-green chilli paste, coriander pwd, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd and combine. Add few tbsps water and saute for a mt.
2 Add tomatoes and cook for 4-5 mts. Turn off heat and cool. Make a coarse paste.
3 Return this paste to the vessel, add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame, add the green peas and cook for 6 mts. Add the paneer and malai and simmer for 7-8 mts. Add salt. Simmer for a few more mts.
4 Stir in malai, garam masala pwd, Kitchen King masala and kasuri methi and combine, cook for a mt. Turn off flame.
5 Let it sit for a while before serving. The gravy thickens, so at the time of serving, add a little milk and combine. Serve hot with rotis or naan.

Traditional Indian Raita

  •     1/2 cup plain yogurt
  •     1/2 cup chopped seeded English hothouse cucumber
  •     2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  •     2 teaspoons chopped green onions
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt. Chill raita, covered, until ready to serve.


Iceland…

Monday, March 25 –

Another dinner with a ton of people, how exciting! We had: LostBoy, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ (salad), ChinUp, MyBuddy (caramelized potatoes), OurCuz (wine), BestestFianceEver, and yours truly (fried halibut and bread). photo(7)

We bought 2.3 pounds of halibut, fresh from Central Market. I cut the slab of fish into pieces approximately 2″ square. I figured it would be easier for people to portion control that way. I mixed the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl and rolled the pieces of fish in the flour mixture. I melted a stick of butter in a large pan (medium high) and I fried the pieces of fish in the hot butter. It took me two batches, the last batch smaller than the first batch, so I added chopped onion to the second batch. After I pulled the last of the fish pieces out and set them on a plate with a paper towel; I covered them with foil until the onions were browned and beautiful from frying in the butter.

Dinner was served – fish fried in butter, onions fried in butter, caramelized potatoes, and a salad with strawberries, gorgonzola, almonds, and balsamic dressing. (We couldn’t find a real salad recipe from Iceland, but it does say to serve it with one in the recipe, so I told them to wing it with whatever sounded good.)

The salad was crisp and bright with sweet strawberries. The fish was light and flaky, with only a little bit of the butter flavor lingering. The potatoes kind of tasted like doughnuts and kind of like potatoes. Not bad, but not my favorite. The food was on plates and then disappeared into bellies so fast that I almost missed everyone actually eating it. I think from the silence while the food was being devoured that it was a pretty darn good dinner.

All of the dinner ideas for the I, J, and K countries are up over here. Don’t be shy, come have dinner with us!

Iceland
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.isholf.is)

Lúðubuff – Fried Halibut Steaks

  • 1 1/2 kg. halibut (or turbot, sole or other flat fish)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 150 gr. oil, butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1/3 tsp. ground pepper
  • 100 gr. onion

Take one small, whole halibut. Cut off the head, tail and fins. Scrape off the slime and loose scales under cold, running water. Cut the fish into slices, about as thick as your thumb is wide. Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Coat the slices with flour mixture and fry in the hot fat until done (3-4 minutes on each side). Remove from the pan and arrange the steaks on a serving dish. Slice the onions and brown in the fat, remove and put on top of the fish. Pour some water on the frying pan, roll it around and pour over the fish. Serve with cooked potatoes, green salad and lemon wedges.
-Try grilling the fish steaks: cut into large cubes and thread onto skewers with onion pieces, fresh mushrooms and pieces of red bell pepper (capsicum).

Brúnaðar kartöflur – Caramelized potatoes

  • 1 kg. cooked potatoes (preferably red)
  • 50 g. butter/margarine
  • 50 g. sugar

Potatoes should preferably be cold, but it is not necessary. They should be small and even sized. If they are too big, cut into smaller pieces, flush with water and pat dry. Put the sugar on a medium hot frying pan. When it starts to brown, add the butter and stir to mix. Lower temperature and add potatoes. Roll the potatoes around to coat evenly. The caramel covering should be soft. Serve hot, for example with the Sunday roast. Caramelized potatoes are also good with all kinds of pork, especially smoked.


Hungary…

Monday, March 18 –

Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, photo(5)BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.

I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.

The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.

That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!photo(4)

The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.

Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!

Hungary
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)

Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)

  • 2 lbs. pork cubedphoto(6)
  • 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
  • 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Tbls. sugar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make yphoto(3)our mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.

Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)

  • 2 packages of green beans
  • 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup of good vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill

Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.


Guinea-Bissau…

Sunday, February 17 –

Last night’s dinner was a good jump-start to my love for this project. Thank you to my friends that continue to support this effort. We had BestestFianceEver, WingWoman (Jollof), ChinUp (Frango de Churrasco de photo(9)Guiné), and MyBuddy – with LightsOn showing up to hang out right at the very end of the evening.

I took one look at the name of this dish, and knew I had to make it. BestestFianceEver LOVES split pea soup, so it was a no-brainer to pick it. I did, however, change the recipe to this one instead – knowing that the flavor of boiling meat is just not my favorite. So I followed the new recipe to the letter except I used bacon fat to cook the onions and celery, and used the cooked bacon in the soup instead of ham. So I pretty much kept with the spirit of the soup, but didn’t stick with the cooking method. Figures, at the rate I’m going, right? Also, I didn’t measure any of the spices I put in (tumeric, thyme, basil, black pepper, salt, cayenne, 2 bay leaves), I just kept shaking until it looked spicy enough for an entire pot of soup.

The soup was thick and very potato-y, but the spices and heat were incredible. I will definitely keep this recipe around, just take out about half of the potatoes. The jollof was a perfect combination of rice and cabbage, and was also a great compliment to the chicken, which was lemony, spicy, goodness. Of all of the plain meals we have had for African countries, this was definitely not one of them. Huge success all the way around.

Can’t wait to move on to the H countries – with more potlucks coming up in the I countries. Exciting!

Guinea-Bissau
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.celtnet.org.uk)

Pea Soup and Meat

  • 900g neck of mutton or lamb, sliced
  • 1 small pork shank
  • 4 strips bacon, cut lengthways into strips
  • 450g split dried peas
  • 100g rice
  • 2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, coarsely grated
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: Place all the ingredients (except peas and rice) into a large cast iron casserole pot. Add 2l water, cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 2 hours. Towards the end of cooking you will need to stir frequently to prevent burning. Add the peas and rice to the pot along with 2.5l water. Season to taste, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Again, stir frequently as the soup thickens to prevent burning. Serve immediately either as a soup, ladled into bowls, or as a stew with rice.


Guernsey…

Friday, February 8 –

For some reason, I keep on cooking but I forget to write it up. It’s not that I’m not interested in cooking, but my drive for this blog might be dwindling a little. But I’m so far into it now that I can’t give it up! Cheer me on, whoever is reading this…

Guernsey started off with me picking a fish and potato pie recipe that sounded good at the time. Then I got to the day-of and decided that recipe wasn’t so great sounding after all. Which left me with only a little photo(7)while to look for new recipes, and magically I stumbled onto this crab cake recipe. Any excuse to make crab cakes, in my books, is a good one.

This recipe, however, is just a little bit strange. Good, in the end, but strange. Boiled new potatoes (I removed the skins to keep the creamy texture) mixed with crab, ketchup, and spices? Hm, ok. A sauce made out of sugar and vinegar? Yeah, maybe. So I made the recipe as it is written, using good quality lump crab meat instead of the brown and white that’s listed below. Then I smooshed it altogether, made crab cakes, and fried them in butter. Served with a salad, dinner was ready!

The crab flavor, unfortunately, got completely covered up by the potato flavor. It was sad, really. I happen to love the flavor of crab, so I kind of picked out the crab chunks and then ate the potato mash separate. The sauce that got drizzled on top was a wonderful compliment to the crab flavor, and so I highly recommend keeping that part of the recipe. I also loved the blend of herbs that I used – it made the whole dish bright and flavorful.

Hopefully my drive for this project will pick back up again with the spring and the sunshine. I’m just really dragging my feet on it lately. If you are still in love with it, take a look at the country list and let me know which ones you want to come to. Having other people love it might help me find the love again in this dark, rainy season. Thanks, friends!

Guernsey
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://blog.visitguernsey.com)

Guernsey Chancre Crab and Fresh Guernsey Herb Cakes
For the cakes

  • 400g new potatoes (0.88 lb)
  • 250g white crab meat (0.55 lb)
  • 200g brown crab meat (0.44 lb)
  • 15g chopped parsley (1 tbl)
  • 15g chopped chive (1 tbl)
  • 30g chopped coriander (2 tbl)
  • 30g chopped basil (2 tbl)
  • 10g tomato ketchup (2/3 tbl)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g breadcrumbs (0.43 cup)
  • 100g plain flour (0.43 cup)
  • 250ml Guernsey milk (1.05 cup)
  • 1 free range egg

For the dressing:

  • 1 fresh chilli pepper
  • 375ml rice vinegar (1.58 cup)
  • 125g granulated sugar (0.53 cup)
  • Juice of one lime

Method

1) Wash the new potatoes and simmer gently in seasoned water until tender. Remove from the heat and refresh under cold water, drain the potatoes well and lightly crush with a fork, set aside.
2) Pass the brown crab meat through a fine mesh sieve to remove any traces of shell. Pick through the white crab meat to ensure all traces of shell are removed.
3) Bind together the crushed new potatoes, brown and white crab meat, tomato ketchup and chopped fresh Guernsey herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Divide the mixture into eight Pattie shapes or spoon into a 7cm diameter pastry ring and repeat until all the mixture is used.
5) Place in a refrigerator until firm. Once the crab cakes are firm, coat them with seasoned plain flour, followed by dipping each one in a mixture of beaten egg and milk. Finally roll in fine breadcrumbs, re-shape with a palette knife to make the cakes all uniform.
6) Gently fry each cake in a generous amount of Guernsey butter, turning each over as necessary. Heat through in a moderate oven before serving with chilli dressing and a salad of Fresh Guernsey Herbs.

For the chilli dressing:
Finely chop the chilli pepper and place with the rice vinegar and sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture
has reduced to thin syrup, remove from heat and add lime juice.

Serve with a salad of fresh Guernsey herbs.