Recipes: October 2008 Archives

After getting a little carried away slicing potatoes for making kettle chips we needed to do something with the left over slices. An easy follow-up was scalloped potatoes, which are easy to make and cook most effectively with uniform potato slices like the ones used for the chips. As I frequently mention, I'm allergic to dairy so I substituted 1/2 cup Silk creamer and 1/2 cup chicken broth for the 1 cup of cream in the recipe.

Scalloped Potatoes recipe

Scalloped Potatoes Ingredients
4-5 medium sized potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1 cup cream
1 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup ham, cubed
1 tsp thyme

Preparation
1) Turn oven on to 375 degrees. Slice potatoes either by hand or to 3mm with a mandolin and keep in water until ready to layer in baking dish.
2) Saute diced onion and garlic in butter.
3) Add flour to butter and cook for 1-2 minutes
4) Add cream, stir to thicken
5) Grate cheese and add 1/2 cup to sauce. Add ham and thyme to sauce. Stir sauce until cheese melts.
6) Layer half potatoes on bottom of 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Pour half of sauce on the potato layer. Add rest of potatoes on top of sauce, then add the rest of the sauce on top of your second potato layer.
7) Top with the other 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake covered for approximately 30 minutes until bubbling. Remove cover, sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top and cook until the top has a golden brown crust of breadcrumbs and cheese.
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Serves 2-4

I'm a huge fan of the flavor combination of Brussels sprouts and bacon. This pasta dish, with the wide pappardelle noodles is a variation on that theme, substituting my love of American smoke-cured bacon with the flavorful salt-cured pancetta.

Pappardelle with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Ingredients
Fresh dried papparadelle pasta - 8oz
Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved - 1 pound
Pancetta, thick sliced cut into small pieces 6oz
Fennel - 1 bulb, sliced
Garlic, 3 cloves, sliced
Leek, halved and sliced
3-4 sage leaves, julienned
2 sprigs thyme
Handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 lemon
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Red pepper flakes
White wine (Chardonnay or Chardonnay Blend)
4 Tbl Butter
2oz heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg, fresh grated
1-2oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preparation
Start with a pot of water for boiling pasta. Add plenty of salt to the water. While waiting for the water to boil, trim Brussels sprouts and work through preparation of other ingredients. In a large saute pan on medium-high heat, add pancetta and a little olive oil, cooking until brown. Add Brussels sprouts and saute 2-3 minutes. Add fennel, leeks and thyme. Brown vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add pasta to water at this stage. In the saute pan, add red pepper flakes and garlic. Toss saute pan several times, then add white wine and deglaze by scraping the bottom of the pan. Allow to reduce until liquid is almost gone. Add sage and parsley, along with butter, stirring until butter melts. Check pasta at this point (if not ready, turn down the saute pan and wait for the pasta), add the cream, salt & pepper to taste, allowing to bubble and thicken. Add pasta to saute pan and toss all to coat the pasta. Grate nutmeg and cheese into the saute pan. Squeeze lemon over the entire pan and serve.

Truffle Chex Mix

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Every time I open my freezer I get a whiff of the Truffle Salt that I bought a while back. I decided to use it make Truffle Chex Mix for a girls night out I hosted. The girls found it addictive and everyone was asking where I got it.

Truffle Chex Mix

6 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Truffle Salt
3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
9 cups of Chex Cereal
1 cup of mixed nuts
1 cup of pretzels
1 cup of vegetable chips(I used Terra Exotic Mediterranean chips)

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Melt butter in microwave.
3. Stir seasonings in with butter.
4. Mix all ingredients together.
5. Bake for an hour, mixing every 15 minutes or so.

Comments:
It tasted nice but I felt like there should be more chips. Next time I will add more.
I am refraining from making this for myself because I will probably end up eating it all in one day. That's what guests are for.

Truffle Salt is from La Buona Tavola, 1524 Pike Place. 206-292-5555
Chips are from Whole Foods.

chex

With damp cool weather starting to kick in here in the Pacific Northwest, it's time to start making some of my favorite soups. I like a number of different ham and bean soups, but I think this particular recipe, which couples smoked ham hocks with cannellini and great northern white beans. A little Swiss chard added at the end adds a flavor like an intense spinach that tempers the comforting rich salty flavor of the soup.

Ham and White Bean Soup

Ingredients
1 medium onion (diced)
3 whole carrots (chopped)
3 celery stalks (chopped)
1 bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 Tbl olive oil
2 ham hocks
1 cup white wine
water
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
2-3 Cans northern white beans or cannellini beans
Swiss chard

Preparation
Warm your stock pot to medium heat, then combine sweat diced onion, chopped carrots and celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, in olive oil. Add wine to sweated vegetables allowing it to reduce by half. Add water, ham hocks, bay leaves, and thyme. The water should cover the hocks in the pot. Simmer till ham hocks are falling apart, which will take several hours. Add cannellini and great northern beans, simmer an additional 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the chard to the pot allowing it to cook lightly. Finish by serving in bowls garnished with sour cream or plain goat yogurt and chives.