Monday, November 30

Potato Patties or Fritters

This was one of my favorite things growing up. My mother would always use the left over mashed potatoes and create these tasty treats. Somehow I was full during dinner, but once these started getting made, I had lots of room.

This will make 12 patties but easily doubles
Full time: 20 minutes (includes 2 cooking batches, but not mashed potato cook time)

The needs-

2 cups mashed potatoes, room temp
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped parsley, dried
1/2 tsp salt

Vegetable oil for frying

The know-

Start with the mashed potatoes in a bowl.

Add in all remaining ingredients, mix well to fully incorporate. This will appear to be a very crumbly dough.

If you reach in and work with it, it will stick together quite well.

Next form meat ball size balls from potato mixture and give then a little press to slightly flatten them.

In a saute pan, add oil just to bring it up about 1/4" to 1/2" deep over medium high heat.

Once oil is hot, carefully add in patties.

Cook for 2-4 minutes per side or until golden.

Carefully, flip over and cook additional 2-4 minutes.

Remove carefully using a slotted spoon.

Move them to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels to let them dry out of excess oil.


Tuesday, November 24

BAKE IT: Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

Perfect for Sunday mornings, brunches, and anytime you want the best cinnamon you can make. You'll never buy store buns once you see how easy these are to make.

Full time 45-60 minutes
Serves 4-6

The needs-

8 tbsp melted butter (in total)

For Dough:
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

For Filling:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt

For Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp milk

The know-

Lightly grease a 9" round dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 425'.

In a measuring cup pour white vinegar and then add milk bringing it to the 1 1/4 cup line. Let sit for 5 minutes to create baking soured milk.

In a mixing bowl whisk together all the dry dough ingredients.

In the measuring cup mix together the soured milk and 2 tbsp melted butter.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and form a rough but slightly crumbly dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board.

Knead for 30-40 seconds until an even dough forms.

Roll dough out in a rectangle roughly 9" by 12". Allow dough to rest for a bit.

In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients.

Add in melted butter and work into a crumbly moist mixture.

Returning to the dough, brush it lovingly with 2 tbsp of melted butter.

Spread filling mixture across the surface, leaving a 1" space along one side running width wise.

Slice into 8 even strips, you may end up with a tiny 9th strip or nub, this will get discarded.

Roll each strip, towards the un-filling covered edge and gently press down. This will create a seal stopping it from unrolling.

Continue until all strips are rolled.

Place one roll in the middle of your greased pan and the remaining rolls around it.

Brush with remaining butter.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until a golden color begins to form.

Allow to rest in pan for a moment.

Run a knife around edge to loosen and allowing the buns to slide out of pan.

In a small bowl stir cream cheese until smooth.

Add in milk and powdered sugar, mixing until smooth and well blended.

Pour frosting over warm buns and serve immediately. Cheers!

Friday, November 20

English Potato Pie

English style pies are the best pies out there. They are yummy, savory, and make great dinners. Many parts of England serve different style pies, most are filled with a base ingredients such as a meat or vegetable the held together with a herb and moist binding.

This is one of my favorite pies, its base is potato, mixed with caramelized onions, and topped with juicy tomatoes. Serve this on a cold night when the air is crisp and your up for a little English comfort. Traditionally this is made with bacon, however I like using ham to make it. It is a great way to use up holiday left overs!

Serves 6-8
Full time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The needs-

9" pie shell
1 large onion, sliced
3 small tomatoes, sliced
4 oz diced ham  (or bacon if going the traditional route)
2 cups mashed potatoes, if they are left over slightly warm them 
1 cup shredded cheddar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

The know-

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large saute pan, melt butter and oil together over medium heat. Add in sliced onions and allow them to cook for 5 minutes.

Add in sugar, pepper, and salt. Continue to cook down for 5-8 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Once they begin to brown, add in diced ham and cook until onions are soft and golden. About another 5 minutes.

Once browned, move them to the pie shell.

In a large bowl place mashed potatoes and mix with shredded cheddar.

Spread potato mixture over the top of onion mixture in the pie shell.

Now just top with sliced tomatoes, give them a little press down to ensure they stick.

Place pie in oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until rust is golden.


Wednesday, November 18

MAKE IT: Roasted Pepper and Onion Sweet Chutney

Chutneys are a great accompaniment to many dishes. Their bold flavors, fresh ingredients, and subtle textures blend well into any meal. Traditionally found in Indian, Southern Asian, and occasionally English recipes, chutneys are a great way to incorporate a little extra something to your menu. Most chutneys can be made ahead of time, keep well in the refrigerator, and are a great way to use excess vegetables. A good thing to remember about chutneys is that they are best when served at room temperature.

Makes approximately 2 cups 
Full time 30 minutes (cool time included)

The needs-

7 oz jar roasted peppers, (or 4 peppers roasted and oiled) diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

The know-

In a skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Add peppers and saute for 2 minutes.

Add in onions and garlic, saute until translucent, 5-8 minutes.

While this cooks down, dissolve sugar in vinegar.

Stir vinegar mixture into the saute pan along with salt. Cook until liquid evaporates.

Stir in mustard and pepper, mixing well to fully incorporate. Saute 1 minute more.

Move to bowl and allow to cool to room temperature before serving or storing.


Friday, November 13

French Traditional Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a French Provencal dish, which originated in Nice. It is a stewed vegetable dish, in which farm or garden fresh vegetables are cooked down with olive oil and allowed to soften over time at low heat. It is a great way to use all those garden goodies, eat healthy, have a great vegetarian meal, or just enjoy a bit of France from your kitchen.

It has become more common recently do to the resurgence of Provencal cooking and an animated movie sharing its name. It has always been a fall favorite of mine and makes me nostalgic for bakery fresh bread loaves, crisp breezes in the air, and a nice glass of wine.

Serves 4
Full time 40 minutes

The needs-

4 large tomatoes, or 2 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz) drained
2 medium or 1 large zucchini, diced
1 large eggplant, or 4 Italian eggplants diced
1 large onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 cups sliced mushrooms, optional
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dried parsley
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme

The know-

In a heavy sauce pot or dutch oven heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.

Add in garlic and onion and cook 5-8 minutes, until they begin to turn translucent.

Add in eggplant and stir around to completely coat in olive oil, if needed add 1 tbsp olive oil.

Add in pepper and stir to mix evenly.

Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in zucchini, mushrooms, and herbs. Stir to completely coat in oil adding 1 tbsp olive oil if needed.

Add in tomatoes.

Recover and cook 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender and fork-able but not mushy.

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 10

MAKE IT: Apple Butter

Apple butter is a great savory spread which can be put on biscuits, toast, pancakes, and many other breakfast favorites.

Making apple butter is a little time consuming but can easily be made while your doing other things around the house. You can easily set it and walk away.

This will make 2-3 cups apple butter
Full time: 4 1/2 hours

The needs-

12 small/medium apples
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider (or juice)
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice

The know-

Start by mixing brown sugar and apple cider in a medium sauce pot, until brown sugar is dissolved

Mix all other spices into pot

Peel, core, and slice apples. Mix into pot

Heat pot on medium high heat until it begins to bubble

Lower heat to a low/simmer and cook for two hours, stir occasionally

After about 2 hours you will want to mash apples down with a potato masher

Continue to cook over a low/simmer for two more hours

It will develop a thick and dark consistence. Remove from heat*

Allow to cool for a few hours or overnight, before using to set.

If you want a less chunky butter you can place it in a blender or food processor, blend briefly to remove excess chunks.

*If a thicker butter is desired you can reduce further by placing back in pot for an hour, but not much more

Pour into an air tight container to keep fresh for up to one month in your refrigerator. Cheers!