Crispy Roasted Smashed Potatoes

I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like and these are no exception!  I feel like ‘Bubba’ from Forest Gump when I talk about my obsession with potatoes “you can boil them, smash them, fry them, bake them…”  But for real, this might be my new favorite recipe behind french fries (duh).  It’s super easy to make and don’t worry if they fall apart a bit once you smash them. They turn out different every time and I enjoy the smaller crispy bits as well.

As you know, my recipes are guidelines as i’m not the best at measuring out each item.  Taste as you go along, make adjustments as you see fit, and have a little fun!

Give these roasted smashed potatoes a shot next time you want to change up your potato routine – they will not disappoint!

INGREDIENTS
  • 12 small red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (table salt is fine for salting the water)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (I use Maldon)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, place cleaned potatoes (unpeeled) and cover with at least an inch of water.
  2. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water, and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Drain potatoes.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Move potatoes to a non stick or foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan, and allow the potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes.
  7. Using a potato masher or a large spoon and lightly press down on each potato to smash to about ½-inch thickness.  Try your best to keep each potato in one piece.
  8. Using half of the olive oil, brush on potatoes.
  9. Sprinkle half of the salt and pepper on potatoes.  I like the flavor and texture of Maldon salt.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and crisp.
  11. Turn potatoes; brush with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.
  12. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until potatoes are lightly browned and crisp.
  13. In a bowl combine cheese and parsley. Sprinkle on potatoes.
  14. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

Impromptu Pot Pie

I love to cook and can usually nail a recipe, but sometimes the universe has other plans.  I intended to make slow cooker lemon chicken, but when I uncovered it after 6 hours it broke apart into pieces.  But not to worry, it was salvageable.

However, friends were coming over for dinner and had to spring into action and get this meal back on track.  So I threw in some frozen peas and carrots and ta-da we have pot pie!  Now it was on to the flaky crust…no time for traditional pot pie so I tossed some biscuits in the oven and it did the trick.

Moral of the story here, cooking doesn’t have to be perfect and sometimes recipes just don’t work out the way you planned.  But, with a little creativity you can turn it into something delicious.

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Here’s the (sort of) recipe below…

Ingredients

  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chicken broth (fat free, low sodium)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ cup capers
  • Small bag frozen peas and carrots
  • Pre-made biscuit dough

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle chicken thighs evenly with salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add half of chicken. Cook about 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
  3. Combine broth, juice, flour and cumin, stirring with a whisk. Pour broth mixture over chicken.
  4. Top with capers and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours.
  5. Add frozen peas and carrots and cover to heat through before serving.  Note, depending on the consistency you like you may need to add in a little extra chicken broth.
  6. Cook biscuits in the oven as directed on the package.
  7. While biscuits are warm, cut in half and scoop chicken mixture and serve.

 

All Hail Kale

Ah Kale, either you love it or you hate it.  I happen to love this leafy green.  My friend Kathleen recently made this delish salad and I had to get my hands on the recipe.  It was chock-full of veggies with a burst of lemony dressing.

Since I’ve been dreaming about it ever since, I went to the farmer’s market to gather some fresh veggies and get chopping.  I’ve included the recipe below with a link to the original.  Enjoy!

Salad 2
Courtesy: Ambitious Kitchen

Kale Rainbow Detox Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 

Ingredients
  • For the vinaigrette:
    • Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, if desired to sweeten it up
    • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • For the salad:
    • 2 bunches kale (about 6-8 cups), desteemed and finely chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
    • 1 cup shredded carrots
    • 1/2 small red onion, diced
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/4 cup roasted slivered almonds
    • 1/2 avocado, diced
Instructions
  1. To make dressing: place lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sugar, and salt in bowl; whisk together until combined and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss kale, bell peppers, onions, and carrots together. Add dressing, cilantro, and parsley. Use hands to massage kale with dressing; this is important so that the kale absorbs the dressing. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to let flavors soak in.
  3. Before serving, toss salad again. Top with almonds and avocado. Makes 4 servings.

Bourbon Soaked Cherries

I love whiskey and there’s nothing better than a good Manhattan in my book.  I appreciate a proper cocktail with the right accouterments from cherries to ice cubs.  Luxardo maraschino cherries are the best way to top off a perfect rye Manhattan cocktail.  However, cherry season is here and thought I would try my hand at vanilla infused bourbon soaked cherries- how good does that sound!?

I’ve researched a few recipes and whipped up my own variation below.  Mine are now soaking up all the goodness and hope they turn out as good as I imagine.  Till then, feel free to give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think.

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Equipment

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Ingredients
  • 4 C Fresh Cherries (pitted), washed & well dried
  • 2 1/2 C Water
  • 2 1/2 C Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 Lemon for Juice
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4-8 Oz Bourbon (I used Bullet)
Instructions
  1. Wash, pit and de-stem cherries and set to the side.
  2. Place the water and sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a light boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Remove from the heat. Now you have simple syrup.
  4. Now on to sanitizing your jars.  As you dissolve the sugar, you can bring a water bath canner full of water to the boil. If you have don’t have one, just use a very deep wide stock pot with one of those old fashioned metal steamers laid out in the bottom. This will keep the jars off the bottom of the pot so they don’t break. Fill the pot with water and bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Now using very clean hands, place the cherries in the jars with 3/4 inch of head space left over. Pour the simple syrup over the cherries (still leaving that 3/4 inch of space at the top and spoon 1 to 2 oz of bourbon over the entire mixture. This should leave you with 1/2″ of head space.
  6. Secure rims and lids on the jars and place in the boiling water to ensure seal and sanitization for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the water with a pair of tongs with rubber bands wrapped around the ends to prevent slippage, and allow to set. You may hear a “ping” noise coming from the jars – this is an excellent sign. Once cool, check to make sure the rings have in fact sealed and refrigerate.
  7. Chill for 1-2 weeks before enjoying and they should last up to a month in the refrigerator once opened.