Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spinach and Chicken Salad

So who doesn't love chicken salad?  Probably no one because it's amazing.  I have always loved chicken salad even when I was young.  After years of ordering it all sorts of places I have had plenty of different varieties.  Everything from mayonnaise heavy to a mustard curry... some with fruit, some with nuts, some with veggies... some with cubed chicken, some with shredded, some with tofu.  I don't like to pick favorites; I find myself craving different ones at different times.  Recently, however, I had a really great on at a cafe nearby.  It was mixed with spinach and had a really familiar flavor profile.  I asked about it and they told me they used Knorr's vegetable dip mix to season it... brilliant!  I knew I had to come home and try it.

I decided since it already had spinach in it I would try to make it even healthier and instead of 1 cup of mayo I used 1/2 cup and replaced the other half with mashed avocado.  It turned out to be delicious.  I am definitely adding this to my list of chicken salad recipes... though I have it say all this talk of chicken salad is making me want to make more... which one should I make next?  Maybe the mustard curry one.  If you have a good recipe let me know.

This recipe makes a lot of salad, at least 4-6 servings so I ate it for lunch over a couple of days. I think the flavor got better the longer it stayed because the veggie mix re-hydrates and the flavors all intensified.   I would definitely recommend making it the night before you plan on serving it for the best taste. 

Spinach Chicken Salad Recipe

yields 4-6 servings
1/2 cup mayo (or low fat sour cream or greek yogurt)
1/2 cup mashed avocado
1 package Knorr's vegetable recipe mix
2 cups shredded chicken
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed

1) Thaw the frozen spinach and squeeze out all of the juices (this is easier to do in a colander over the sink - just press down on the spinach until no more liquid remains).

2) Stir together the mashed avocado, mayo, and vegetable mix until well combined.  Add in the chicken and spinach and stir to combine.  All to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to blend.  Serve on bread, croissants, or with crackers.  It pairs perfectly with a ripe tomato.

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
BBQ Chicken Kebobs w/ Secret Ingredient

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

A few weeks ago I went to a Mexican restaurant near my apartment.  I was with my mom at the time and was trying to eat less meat so I ordered the spinach enchiladas.  I wasn't expecting much so you can imagine my surprise when one of the most delicious Mexican dishes I have had in San Antonio showed up on my plate!  I knew that I would have to try to make these on my own sometime and today I gave it a try.  They were pretty fantastic; though not exact copycats because I couldn't quite remember the details of those I had a few weeks ago... guess I'll have to go back for more!

I decided to make my own enchilada sauce for these.  I've never made it before but I looked around at some recipes online and it didn't seem too difficult.  Then when I was at the store I discovered enchilada spice in the spice isle and figured that was a sign that I should make my own sauce.

I ended up really liking these.  Even Nick found them to be acceptable... though he did suggest next time I add in something like some chicken or beef ;) Oh well... baby steps!

Spinach and Black Bean Enchilada Recipe

yields 4-6 servings
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 plum tomatoes, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 9oz bag spinach
1 - 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 T. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
12 corn tortillas (you can sub in flour if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (recipe below if you want to make your own)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
cilantro, sour cream, lime, or avocado as toppings

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and warm until shiny.  Add in the onion and cook until softened (about 6-8 minutes).  Add the garlic, tomatoes, and spinach and cook until the spinach is just tender.  Stir in the black beans and set aside.

2) While the onions/spinach cooks in a separate sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.  When the butter has melted add the flour and stir with a whisk until there are no lumps.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until a light golden color.  Add in the milk and whisk until combined.  Cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened.  Be sure to continue to stir so as not to create lumps.

3) Add the cream sauce mixture to the spinach and black bean mixture and stir to combine.

4) Stuff the tortillas with the spinach/black bean mixture, roll up, and place seam side down in a 9x13 pan.  Pour enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas, cover with aluminum foil and back for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and sprinkle cheese evenly on top of the enchiladas and back uncovered fro 5-7 minutes or until the cheese melts.  Serve with garnishes - or maybe even a bit of shredded chicken ;)

Enchilada Sauce Recipe

yields 1 1/2 - 2 cups of sauce
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup enchilada spice (or taco seasoning)
1 12 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock

1) In a sauce pan over medium-high heat add to oil and heat until shiny.  Add in the pepper and onion and cook until softened (about 8-10 minutes).  Add in the garlic and enchilada spice and cook an additional 2 minutes.

2) Pour in the tomato sauce and chicken stock and decrease the temperature to low.  Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  

3) Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth or after cool puree in a blender.

Borracho Beans
Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

I realized this week that I receive six food themed magazines each month... and then I bought another one while waiting in line at the grocery store.  Shortly there after I realized I have not made a recipe out of any of those magazines in the last two months!  Why do I have all of these then?!  So I thought I would go through them and try to find some recipes that seemed like something Nick and I would enjoy and make those.  Today's experiment was Lasagna Roll-Ups that I found in Rachael Ray's magazine.  They were actually written in their "Kids in the Kitchen" section but they looked so yummy that I thought I would make them!

I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I knew that Nick and I would like it with sausage and I added a little extra spinach to keep it healthy :)  It was fantastic.  Though I'm not sure that it is actually any easier than preparing traditional lasagna but it was pretty cool looking and definitely something different.

The flavor was great and it made a pretty big portion so there were plenty of leftovers.  I'll definitely let this recipe stick around for a while. Plus it was pretty fun to make; I know the recipe is for kids but this 29 year old had a great time! :)

Spinach Lasagna Roll-up Recipe

yields 4 servings
8 lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente and cooled
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 15 oz container ricotta
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
4 sticks of string cheese, cut in half
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 lbs Italian sausage (hot or sweet, your choice)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the noodles and place in a bowl of cool water until ready to use them.

2) Drain the spinach well and squeeze out all of the moisture.  In a food processor add in the spinach, ricotta, egg, Parmesan, and 1/4 t. each salt and pepper.  Pulse until smooth.

3) In a 9-inch square baking dish pour half of the sauce into the bottom.

4) Lay the noodles out flat and spread the ricotta mixture evenly along each noodle.  Place a piece of string each on the end and roll up around the cheese.  Slice each roll in half and place cut side down into the baking dish of marinara.

5) Cover dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheese melts.

6) Cook sausage in a saucepan, crumbling it as it cooks.  Add in remaining sauce and heat until warm.  Put sauce on a plate and then place the roll-ups on top.

Adapted from Rachael Ray's Pasta Pinwheels:
Kale and Walnut Pesto
Fennel and Ground Turkey Ragu
Farro Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes

Monday, February 10, 2014

Spicy Asian Salmon with Hoisin Broccoli

It's been a while since I added some seafood to the blog.  I'm always looking for good fish recipes to try and get my mom to eat more seafood.  She has been working on eliminating meat from her diet but still needs protein and healthy fats so she tries to eat more meat.  I decided to marinate my salmon in an Asian flavored sauce.  I actually was attempting to replicate the dipping sauce they make at PF Changs.  I think I got pretty close... I guess I'll have to go on a fact finding mission this week to see how close I got ;)

This dinner was great.  I decided to make broccoli to go along with the salmon. It is just broccoli steamed with a little bit of garlic and hoisin sauce but it ended up tasting fantastic.  I would have preferred to serve it all with rice but as it turned out I didn't have any rice.  I did, however, have some potatoes so I figured why not have mashed potatoes instead.  The sauce of both the fish and the broccoli actually paired surprisingly well with the potatoes.

The salmon had really great flavor.  It was spicy and sweet at the same time.  This was the first time I have broiled fish.  Normally I either grill, bake, or pan fry it.  I think broiled is my favorite!  It gets  a really nice crispy crust on the outside that seals all the flavor in.  The fish doesn't over cook and stays moist and delicious.  I'm going to have to try to broil more fish in the future!

Spicy Asian Salmon Recipe

yields 2 servings
2 - 6 oz salmon fillets
1/4 cup hot mustard 
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T. garlic chili paste
2 T. Mirin
1 t. rice wine vinegar

1) In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, garlic chili paste, Mirin, and rice wine vinegar.  Place the salmon fillets in the mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

2) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Turn the broiler to high and place the fillets under the broiler.  Broil 6-8 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Hoisin Steamed Broccoli Recipe

yields 2 servings
1 small broccoli crown, cut into bit sized florets
1 T. canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. water
2 T. hoisin sauce

1) In a large skillet over medium heat add the oil and garlic and saute for 1 minute.  

2) Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet.  Turn heat down to low, cover, and allow to steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender.

Pecan Crusted Salmon
Sole Meunier
Shrimp with White Bean Stew

Monday, February 3, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Since moving to Texas one of my new favorite appetizers is chicken tortilla soup.  I find it to be the most interesting thing to order as it varies greatly between locations.  Not just in quality but the ingredients, taste, texture, and toppings.  I've probably had it at no less than 15 restaurants each that was quite different from the last.  Nearly all restaurants here seem to have it on their menu... everywhere from small hole in the wall Mexican places to fancy steakhouses to Chic-fil-A has an option!  Lucky for me it's one of my favorite soups :)

I love the soup so much I have trouble deciding my favorite.  Well not my overall favorite; that honor goes to Bohana's Steakhouse downtown!  I have gone back there just to get a bowl of the soup.  I had the pleasure of taking my parents when they were in town last month and I think they would agree that this was some of the best tortilla soup ever!  Other than the deliciousness of Bohanas I find most soups to be great.  In fact I have trouble deciding how I like it best... brothy or tomato-y, avocado and cheese on top or just chicken and tortillas, spicy or mild... there are so many options.  So tonight I gave creating my own a try and it came out great.  

While this probably will not be my only recipe for tortilla soup as there are so many to try I really do love this one.  It's a little thicker than usual with a strong tomato-y flavor.  The toppings are delicious but the soup itself is amazing.  In fact I saved some of just the soup to eat later... it's the San Antonio version of tomato soup so I will serve the leftovers with quesadillas... the San Antonio version of a grilled cheese sandwich!

I think one of my favorite parts of this recipe was actually the toasted tortilla strips.  When I removed them from the oven I topped them with some coarse salt.  They were delicious snacks... I think I'm going to be making my own tortilla strips from now on because these are so much better than crunching up chips from a bag... seriously even if you don't make the recipe just make these chips!

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

yields 4 servings
2 T. olive oil
6 fresh corn tortillas
1 medium onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno - stems and seeds removed, diced (optional)
3 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken stock
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 small lime
1/2 T. butter
1 lbs cooked, shredded chicken breast
1 small avocado
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese
salt and pepper

1) Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Slice 3 of the 6 tortillas into long strips.  Toss strips with 1 T. olive oil and spread out onto a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

2) Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven until shiny and add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno.  Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft (about 8-12 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook and additional 2 minutes.

3) Pour in the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes into the pot, turning the heat down to low.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add 2 T. of the fresh cilantro, butter and the juice of the lime.

4) Dice the remaining tortillas into small pieces and add to the soup.  Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth (alternatively you can work in batches with a blender; just be careful as the heat can cause the lid of the blender to come off and get hot soup all over the kitchen!).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If the consistency is thicker than you prefer add in an additional 1/2 - 1 cup chicken stock to thin the soup out.

5) Serve the soup in bowls.  Top with the toasted tortillas, shredded chicken, avocado, cheese, and fresh cilantro.  Enjoy!  Are there other toppings you like on your tortilla soup?  Let me know!
Borracho Beans
Clam Chowder
Roasted Tomato Bisque

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fennel and Ground Turkey Ragu

I suppose I should address the long absence.  I don't even really have an excuse for my lack of posting in the last FIVE MONTHS.  Mostly, I suppose, I got busy and blogging fell to the bottom of my to-do list.  My new apartment in Texas is in a fantastic location and I love living here but the kitchen is small and inconvenient which means I usually would rather be doing something else than standing around in the kitchen.

My mom and dad came to TX and visited for the month of January and hanging out with my mom reminded me of how much I really do love to cook.  So when she left yesterday I put on my apron and decided to get back into the kitchen.  Furthering my motivation to start posting again I was finally able to convince my apartment manager to replace my  oven which has been broken since August when it stopped preheating properly normally taking over an hour to get to 350!  So I am back.  Hopefully for a while because I really love food blogging.

For my first post back I made something inspired by a dish that I saw Rachael Ray make a few days ago on the Rachael Ray show.  It was a white ragu that used ground chicken, fennel, stock, and white wine.  It seemed super interesting and unlike anything that I had made before so I thought I would try it out.  I actually didn't love some of the ingredients in her recipe so I adapted it to our tastes.  It turned out delicious!  Definitely a keeper.

I'm happy to be back and hope that anyone that did stop by while the site was "dark" they didn't miss me too much and didn't give up on my recipes.  Hopefully this is a great one to welcome me back into business and you'll stop by again soon.

Fennel and Ground Turkey Ragu Recipe

yields 3-4 servings
8 oz spaghetti noodles
1 1/2 T. olive oil
10 oz ground turkey (or ground chicken)
1/2 fennel bulb, finely chopped - fronds reserved and chopped for garnish
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped (about 2 ribs)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T. fresh thyme
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 T. half and half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 t. each salt and pepper

1) Cook spaghetti according to instructions on the package, drain and set aside - reserving 1/2 cup of the water the noodles cooked in for later.

2) Add olive oil and turkey to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until no longer pink, crumbling the turkey into small pieces with a wooden spoon.

3) Reduce the heat to medium and add in the fennel, onion, celery, garlic, and thyme to the turkey mixture.  Cook until the veggies are tender - about 8 minutes.

4) Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping any bits that stick to the bottom with a spoon as the wine simmers.  Add the stock and half and half and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce.  Add the salt and pepper - more to taste if necessary.

5) Toss in the Parmesan cheese and the noodles, adding a some of the reserved noodle water to loosen up the sauce if necessary.

6) Serve with extra Parmesan and some of the fennel fronds as garnish.

Recipe inspired by:

Pasta w Sausage and White Beans
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Fresh Pasta

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sole Meunière

While walking through the grocery store the other day I saw the most beautiful Dover sole fillets at the seafood counter.  I have never prepared Dover sole myself but have had it in restaurants many times and always loved it.  Since I was feeling ambitious I decided to buy some and take it home.  The fillets were perfectly small.  I got 2 fillets and they didn't even measure out to 4 ounces.  Since Nick was going to be out of town I figured I would make myself something fancy one night... something he definitely wouldn't care for but I knew I would love.  So I pulled out my cookbooks and looked for something French!

After a few minutes of scanning I found a recipe for Sole Meunière and decided that would be what I would try.  I love cooking and anytime I make just about anything, even if it's boxed mac 'n cheese I'm pretty happy with myself.  There is, however, a particular sense of pride that comes from preparing a dish that is classical and fancy.  When you are able to throw together a recipe that can usually only be found at the finest of dining establishments it really makes me feel accomplished.  

So even though I do not own a fine white linen tablecloth (though I do have a plastic one!), even I didn't have any candlesticks to put on the table (does a jar candle from Yankee Candle count? No? Damn.), and even though I was eating this dinner and my workout clothes because I'd just gotten home from a run I still felt particularly fancy that night as a I sat down to my perfectly sauteed Sole Meunière.

For those of you that have never had Sole Meunière it's actually a terribly uncomplicated and unassuming dish.  It takes just a few minutes and tastes awesome.  It is my understanding that this a French dish.  (at least that is what Wikipedia tells me: Sole Meunière).  Sole is a light fish without much flavor so really it just ends up tasting like whatever else you cook it with, in this case that would be browned butter and lemon.  Yum!

Sole Meunière Recipe

yields 4 servings
4 sole fillets (3-5 ounces)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Salt + Pepper
2 T. canola oil (olive oil will also work)
2 T. butter + 4 T. butter
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
1 T. parsley, minced

1) Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel and season the fish, on both sides, with salt and pepper.  Dredge the fish in the flour and shake to remove any excess flour.

2) In a pan over medium-high heat the oil until shiny.  Add the the 2 T. butter and allow to foam.  Add the fillets and cook, without touching them, for 2-3 minutes or until the the edges are opaque.

3) Flip the fillets and allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes or until done.  Transfer the fish to a paper towel.

4) In a separate pan over medium-high heat melt the remaining 4 T. of butter swirling it until it is golden brown.  This will take 2-3 minutes.  When it is brown and has a nutty smell remove from the heat and add in the lemon juice. Spoon the butter/lemon juice over the fillets and sprinkle with parsley.  

5) Serve immediately, white tablecloths optional :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Swiss Museli Oatmeal

So a few years ago when I was working in Chicago and living with a friend I was introduced to Corner Bakery.  Their lunches were great but it was their breakfasts that kept me coming back.  In particular their Swiss Oatmeal.  It was like nothing I had ever had before.  First of all it was cold.  Which was weird to me at first but now is how I prefer it.  It has a creamy, tangy flavor and is mixed with crunchy and chewy bits that make it just perfect.  After years of experimenting I think I finally have the formula down so I thought I would share it with all of you!

To make this oatmeal you actually have to get started the night before.  This isn't my favorite way to have to do a recipe.  As you know I don't really care for things that are fussy or require a lot of prework.  That said I think that this one is definitely worth it.  And luckily the steps the night before only take about 5 minutes; add in 10 more minutes in the morning and you have something pretty simple and delicious!

After allowing the oatmeal to sit over night you add in chopped fruit and you're ready to go!  This may be my favorite breakfast - with lowfat dairy, whole grains, fresh fruit, and nuts how can you go wrong?

I always think of my grandpa when I make oatmeal.  I swear that guy loves oatmeal more than anyone on the planet.  I can remember staying at my grandparents house as a kid watching grandpa eat oatmeal while grandma and I cooked up something fun on the stove.  So here is some oatmeal for that old man! :)

You can make this about any flavor that you want.  I recently had a friend at work that made a version with peanut butter, bananas, chia seeds, and honey.  She was kind enough to bring me a bowl for breakfast and it was DELICIOUS.  Maybe I'll have to make that one next :)

Corner Bakery Copycat Swiss Oatmeal Recipe

yield 6-8 servings
1 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 8oz container yogurt (I prefer vanilla)
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
1 T. honey
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. salt
1 cup trail mix, chopped (or any dried fruits, nuts, and seeds you like)
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup chopped bananas

1) Combine oatmeal, yogurt, milk, honey, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.  Store in an airtight container for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

2) Add the chopped trail mix, chopped apple, and chopped banana.  Stir and serve cold.  Keeps well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  The fruit does brown though so if you're storing it for long be sure the container is very airtight or just add in the fruit to the part you are serving each day.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake

Well it has been a while since I have posted something.  So long in fact I don't want to go back and look at the date of the last post (hint it was in May!!) gasp!  I'll try not to dwell on that for too long... I assure you, however, I was not just sitting around ordering takeout and making frozen pizzas.  Instead I spent my time filming segments for ehow.  That's right - I'm now an ehow expert!! So exciting! So far I have filmed 30 segments which I hope is almost enough to make me famous.  :)  I'm going to post the videos and recipes here so you can follow along if you like.  One of my favorite desserts I made in the video series was this Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake.

The cake was absolutely fantastic - everything you have ever wanted in an ice cream cake.  The vanilla cake was dense and chewy and tasted like a cross between a pound cake and a sugar cookie.  Top that with vanilla ice cream and strawberries and you have the perfect summer dessert.  It was quick to make (though you do have the make the cake a few hours ahead because it needs to cool before it is topped with ice cream).  If you are interested in making it follow along with the video below - it will be like you have a personal chef teaching you in your own kitchen! :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kale and Walnut Pesto

Well Texas life has been absolutely great.  Especially the food.  The Tex-Mex food here is amazing and we find ourselves eating out probably way more than we should.  This week we tried to stay in and eat, at least, marginally healthy.  Since Tex-Mex usually is all protein and carbs I decided to toss some more veggies into our diet.  Every food blogger I know seems to be on the kale train but I just don't love kale.  So I thought I would try out a recipe that has kale - but hides the flavor.

I love any pesto - whether it's in noodles, spread on bread in a sandwich, or used as a dip I think it's just great.  The flavor is always fresh, even if you freeze it and use it months later it tastes fresh and delicious.  

In this pesto half of the basil is substituted for kale.  While it helps to add in lots of vitamins - the taste really doesn't change much at all.  Seems like a great way for a non-kale lover to jump onto the kale bandwagon.

I decided to serve mine with some goya seasoned chicken and the two paired together perfectly.  Add a glass of wine and you have yourself a very late spring time dinner.  Perfect :)

Kale and Walnut Pesto

yields 4-6 servings of pesto
1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1 1/2 cup kale leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
1 t. red pepper flake
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 t. each salt and pepper
16 oz of your favorite shape pasta

1) In a large food processor pulse the kale, basil, cheese, walnuts, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper until finely ground, scraping down the bowl when necessarily.

2) With the food processor running slowly drizzle in the oil until all incorporated.

3) Prepare 16 oz of your favorite pasta according to the instructions on the package.  Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water before draining.

4) Place the noodles back in the pot, stir in the pasta water and the pesto.  Serve immediately.

Pasta with Spinach, Sausage, and Beans
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Kale Chips

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Breakfast Potatoes

What's better than a homemade brunch on a Sunday afternoon?  Not much, that's for sure.  This weekend was a lot of fun.  Since moving to San Antonio we are constantly busy - there's just so much to do.  This week was Fiesta.  For those not from around these parts it's basically an 11 day long festival all over town complete with parades, block parties, concerts, and food trucks.  It has been a long week of late nights with friends and drinks in the perfect spring time weather.  With the festivities ending on Saturday night we decided to have ourselves a regular old lazy Sunday.  Complete with breakfast potatoes!

After heading down to one of our favorite local coffee shops for a latte we came home and made breakfast.  One of our favorite breakfast side dishes is crispy potatoes.  If you can believe it, though, I have never actually made these.  They are one of the things I order every time I go out for brunch but figured was a little too difficult to make at home.  Man was I wrong!

These have the perfect crunch without being deep fried in oil or being greasy.  The addition of the red pepper and cayenne pepper give it a nice bit of added heat and the onion and garlic round out the flavor.  These are easy to make but you have to follow the instructions carefully.  Soaking the potatoes before cooking them allows some of the starch to breakdown in the water and gives you soft crispy potatoes. If you don't soak them you'll end up with sticky gummy potatoes instead.

This was the perfect breakfast for us to have before we went out this afternoon on our bike ride.  We live right by a bike trail that goes for miles and thought it was time we went on a few rides and enjoyed the lovely scenery.  So we went to the Bike Shop and got Nick a brand new bike (there's something about a new bike that makes you feel like a kid again!) and road down the trails this afternoon.  It was great fun :)

Not feeling like potatoes.  Try out some of these other breakfast foods :)

Peanut Butter Banana Granola
Bacon Cheddar Date Scones

Breakfast Potatoes

yields 4 servings
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 in pieces
2 T. olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
salt and pepper to taste

1) Soak the potatoes in cold water for 20 minutes.  Drain, rinse, and pat dry.  If you want you can cut them and soak them overnight in the refrigerator so you don't have to wait so long in the morning for your food :)

2) Over medium heat add the oil and the potatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften and crisp up on the outside.  You don't need to stir a lot.  Once every 2-3 minutes is plenty - you want to leave them in the oil to develop their crispy skin.

3) Add the onion and bell pepper and continue to cook until they soften, about an additional 10-12 minutes.

4) Add the garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook 2 minutes longer or until the garlic softens.

5) Pour out over a paper towel to drain and serve immediately.