Tag Archives: potato

A Beautiful Plate

23 Apr

Hi there,

a beautiful plate of food! Isn’t bbq season the best? Except that we neither have a backyard, nor a patio, nor a balcony. But no matter; we use the grilling pan and the oven, and anyways, the most important thing is the good weather.
We had: baked potatoes with halloumi cheese, tabouleh, and grilled pork (but I didn’t care much for it…). It was very nice, a really lovely weekend dinner in the sunshine.
I’ve posted the potato/ cheese recipe before, and I wasn’t too much into the meat (I’m difficult with meat), so I’ll just give you the tabouleh recipe. I like making a huge bowl of it, in order to have plenty of leftovers which I can then have for lunch for the rest of the week.

Ingredients:
serves 4

1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat (the precooked kind)

2 spring onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cucumber, seeded, sliced
4 tomatoes, seeded, diced
a big handful of parsley leaves, chopped

4 tbsps. lemon juice
6 tbsps. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a bowl, cover the bulgur generously with boiling water, add a pinch of salt, and stir. Let sit for 90 mins. Then drain the bulgur well; if you feel like it, spread it on a clean surface or a dish towel, and let dry completely. The grains should have absorbed some water, but still be chewy.

In a large salad bowl, mix the bulgur grains with the prepared vegetables and the parsley. Make a dressing from the lemon juice and olive oil; season generously. Add to the bowl, and mix well. Let sit until serving; if you are able to give it a couple of hours, do so. Adjust the seasoning, and serve. Enjoy!

Enjoy the sunshine!! Eat well!
xoxo, F.

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Quark Cheese Dip with Herbs and Onion

12 Mar

Hello,

this is going to be a ridiculous post. I swear we’ve eaten nothing but pasta with grilled vegetables all week, which is boring and no one wants to hear about it. The only exception was last night, when we had deep fried fish fingers, potatoes, and a quark cheese dip. The latter one will be today’s ‘recipe’ (ahem), because seriously, it’s the only thing I can think of to blog about this week.

Okay, so:
Put plain quark cheese into a bowl. I used a little less than 1/2 pound for two eaters. Add chopped herbs of your choice; you can use them fresh or frozen. I used about 2 tbsps. of a frozen mix (one of those that you can get at the market). I think chives are a good choice, as are parsley, basil, or lemon balm, i.e. herbs with soft leaves (no hard needles like rosemary or thyme). Add an amount of finely chopped onion that suits you; I added maybe 2 tbsps. of a ‘sweet’ yellow onion. Stir well; add salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar to taste. Done!
This dip tastes best when given a couple of hours, so I suggest preparing it in the afternoon. Simply let it sit in the fridge until serving. It is good on potatoes, but also on crackers, bread, chips, etc.

Have a nice weekend!! Let’s hope that next week will be more interesting, foodwise.
xoxo, F.

Baked Potatoes with Halloumi Cheese

5 Mar

Hello my dear fellow eaters,

here comes a very easy recipe. Basically, you put potatoes and cheese into a baking pan, and then into the oven, and then you wait until it’s done. Yay! We ate ours just like that, with some bread and a giant green salad, but I think a good piece of meat would go very well with this. Maybe in summer, from the barbecue grill!
A word on halloumi cheese: it is very salty, which I love. I also love the texture, how it becomes soft but still stays solid when baked. I remember, however, that it took me a while to get used to it, it is a food I have grown to like. So if you’ve never had it before, be a little careful, but definitively give it a try!!
Anyways, here we go.

Ingredients:
serves at least 2

6 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean
approx. 1/2 pound halloumi cheese
lemon juice
olive oil
salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary needles to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Cut the potatoes and the cheese into roughly even pieces. I quartered the potatoes lengthwise, so that they resembled huge fries, and cut the cheese into thick slices.
Place cheese and potatoes in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tbsps.) and lemon juice (about the same amount). Add salt (carefully), pepper, and rosemary (or a different herb: thyme, for example) to taste. I used a good pinch of salt, was generous with the pepper, and used about 1/2 tbsp. rosemary.
Mix everything with your hands, until all ingredients are evenly distributed, and potatoes and cheese are evenly covered in oil-juice.

Put into the oven and leave there until the potatoes are soft, about 45 mins. Stir once or twice during baking. If the cheese turns too brown, cover the pan with aluminium foil.

Enjoy!

Easy, right? I think this would be a good side dish to serve a crowd.
Have a wonderful weekend!! Could it be that spring is here?

xoxo, F.

Donna, and Mark, and Jamie (and Me).

20 Feb

Good evening,

today’s recipe is what we had for dinner tonight: leg of lamb with baked potatoes and carrots.

Cooking this was rather stressful, although, in hindsight, it really was no big deal at all and just me who was, for some reason, totally nervous about it. I had planned on making Donna Hay’s morocan lamb with potatoes and carrots (from No Time to Cook); however, I bought the wrong piece of meat. The thing is: I was a strict vegetarian until about a year ago, and I haven’t been cooking meat myself at all until a couple of months ago, when my doctor advised me to eat more dark meat in order to raise my iron count. So I don’t know anything about meat, okay? Or about cooking it correctly. But I’m trying to make a meat dish once a week. So anyways, I brought home this huge piece of leg of lamb from the butcher, and then realized that Donna wanted me to buy a) lamb filet and b) about half (weightwise) of what the butcher dude hat sold me. Darn! So I consulted Mark Bittman and Jamie Oliver (i.e. How to Cook Everything and Jamie’s Kitchen), and so the dinner I made tonight is a combination of how they told me leg of lamb is supposed to be made, Donna Hay’s veggie suggestion, and my own making.

I really wouldn’t know how to write this down in recipe form, so I’ll just let you know what I did, okay? Here we go.

The piece of meat we had weighed about 1 1/2 pounds. I held it under cold running water very shortly, dried it with a paper towel and placed it in a dutch oven. Then, roughly according to Donna, I made a marinade:
two tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice
two teaspoons each of ground paprika and ground coriander
one teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
two minced garlic cloves
two tablespoons lemon zest
All of these I combined and pureed (more or less) with a hand blender, and then covered the lamb with the marinade from all sides and let it sit for about 20 mins.
I preheated the oven to 425° F.
Then I carefully washed 4 potatoes and quartered them, and peeled 4 carrots and halved them.
I put the lamb into the oven and let it bake for 30 mins. (without a lid). Then I turned down the heat to 400° F., added the veggies to the dutch oven (under the meat and on the sides), added five unpeeled garlic cloves, drizzled everything with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), put the lid on, and let the whole mess bake for another 40 mins.
After that, I took the lid off to check on my precious dinner, and it looked really good. However, when I cut into the meat it still seemed pretty raw to me. I guess this is a matter of taste; I know that lamb is usually eaten rare, but I wouldn’t want it that way, it’s just not my thing. And since the veggies were still kind of hard as well, I decided to give them all another 30 mins.
And then we finally ate, and it was good. However, two things: I think I would have liked it better had it been seasoned more strongly; were I to make this again, I would make the marinade stronger. And: I would be more careful not to add too much olive oil with the veggies, no more than one tablespoon I guess; there was quite an oily mess at the bottom of the dutch oven, and I suspect that the oil sucked in much of the flavor (is that possible?). On the whole, however, it was good, and I was relieved, and I just need to practise my meat cooking, because I basically sat in front of the oven for 90 mins. and watched my dinner cooking because I was so afraid it would burn or whatever, which wasn’t fun.

Allright, then. Have a fun weekend!
xoxo, F.

Potato Croquettes

18 Aug

Hello, my fellow eaters,

here comes a recipe that on the one hand isn’t terribly awesome for this hot, humid weather, since it involves frying stuff in hot oil. On the other hand, however, these potato croquettes are, to me at least, perfect lazy summer food: they can be prepared in advance (in the morning, say); they taste well hot, warm, and cold, they are nice for buffets and finger food-parties, and a hearty addition to those light summer salads we are devouring these days.

croquettes

Ingredients:
makes about 24; serves at least 4

18 oz. potatoes

1 cup manchego cheese, grated
2 1/2 tbsps. goat cream cheese
1 1/2 tbsps. ricotta cheese

1 medium egg

3 tbsps. bread crumbs
1 tbsp. starch (I used potato starch)

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt, pepper, chili, nutmeg to taste

For frying:
2 medium eggs
starch and bread crumbs, about a soup plate each; I didn’t measure
vegetable oil, approx. 3/4 cup

Directions:

In a medium pot, cook the potatoes (with peel) until tender, approx. 20. mins. Take the potatoes out, and chill with cold water (so that the peel will come off easily). Peel the potatoes, put them into a large bowl and mash them with a masher or a fork.
Add manchego, goat cheese, ricotta, egg, bread crumbs, starch, and basil to the potatoes. Mix well. Season strongly with pepper, salt, chili and nutmeg. You should now have a smooth, dough-like mix. Let cool for approx. 30 mins.

Cover a baking tray with parchment. Form the potato mix into 24 evenly sized balls. Cover with a light tea towl, and put the tray into your fridge (if the croquettes are still to warm for that, let them cool down elsewhere and then put them in). I left mine in the fridge for approx. 2 hours, and I think it made a difference, the croquettes held together really well when I fried them. So I think you should really give them some time in the fridge, at least 30 mins.

Crack the eggs into a flat bowl (or soup plate, or whatever), and beat them thoroughly. Prepare two more bowls, approx. half filled with bread crumbs and starch respectively.

In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil until bubbly. Now roll the croquettes first in starch, then egg, then bread crumbs, and fry them until they are golden brown. Let them drip on a paper towel for a minute before serving. Enjoy!

Writing this made me realize that this isn’t exactly a fast recipe… but it’s easy, and really good! These croquettes remind me of these fried risotto balls I made a while ago.

Goodbye for now! Eat well, and drink, and be merry.
xoxo, F.