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Pommes Dauphine (Potato Puffs)

Pommes Dauphine

I first tried Pommes Dauphine at Vincent A Restaurant in Minneapolis.  I was there for a work outing and didn’t think much of the appetizer when it was ordered because it just sounded like fried potatoes but as soon as I took one bite I couldn’t believe how light and fluffy and delicious and wonderful and so on and so forth they were.

I made potato skins this weekend for Sunday Football Funday appetizers and needed to use up the insides of 5 pounds of potatoes so thought this would be a great time to try and make these suckers at home.  It turns out they really aren’t as difficult as I thought they would be.

I’m pretty sure Oscar went one for one on these with his dad.  He honestly ate so many of these he went into a food coma and is on his second 2 hour nap of the day.  We’re teaching him really young what Sundays are all about in this house.  Football, eat, nap, repeat!

Oscar and Dad Pommes Dauphine (2)Oscar Pommes

Ingredients:
Potato Mix:

  • 1 pound potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg yolk

Pate Choux Dough:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 oz flour
  • 4 large eggs + 1 large egg white

Directions:

  1. Add butter to warm mashed potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add egg yolk and mix to combine.  Set aside.
  2. Boil water, butter, and salt over medium high heat in a heavy stockpot.
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and add flour.  Stir to combine.  Return stockpot to burner over medium heat.  Stir vigorously until dough leaves the sides of the pot.
  4. Transfer dough to a kitchen aid bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Turn mixer to first speed and gradually add eggs fully incorporating before each new addition.  Scrape down bowl as needed.
  6. Add potato mixture and mix on first speed until fully incorporated.
  7. Fry batter by spoonfuls in neutral oil (peanut or canola) at 375F for 3-5 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
 
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Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Appetizers, Sides

 

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Yield: 4 servings     Prep Time: 30 minutes     Cook Time: 1 hour

Texture is an important factor when it comes to food.  I love when something creamy is contrasted by a nice crunch.  It would be similar, I suppose, to the salty and sweet phenomenon.  Opposing flavors and textures stimulate our senses and leave us wanting more.

To update the classic scalloped potatoes and ham, I was looking for something to add a nice crunchy crust which I feel is often lacking from this dish.  I recently came across a new ingredient called Onion Crunch.  Think French’s fried onions brought to the 21st century.  Not only does this stuff add texture to any dish, but it carries a clean straight-forward onion flavor.

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

 

I chose to leave the potato skins on for this recipe.  It gives the dish a more rustic look not to mention potato skins are packed with B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, and fiber.  I also added ham in the dish which makes for a great Easter leftover meal, but if you are planning on this for a side to your Easter ham, the creamy scalloped potatoes with Onion Crunch fairs just as well sans meat.

A mandolin is the easiest way to get ultra thin cut potatoes.  Although I haven’t done my research on the history of mandolins, I’m guessing there were scalloped potatoes long before mandolins were invented.  So if you don’t own a mandolin do not fear, just cut the thinnest potatoes you can using the sharpest knife you have.  What’s more important than the thinness of the potatoes is that they are all consistently the same size.  This will ensure that the potatoes cook evenly.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • pinch fresh nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, grated (not pre-shredded)
  • 4 cups Russet potatoes (about 2 large potatoes), washed and sliced thin
  • 2 cups ham, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gruyere, grated
  • 3/4 cup Onion Crunch

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a casserole dish and set aside until ready to assemble.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly whisk in milk over medium heat until there are no clumps.  Turn the heat to low and stir frequently until sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.*
  4. Add salt, nutmeg, 1 tsp. thyme, then whisk in cheddar cheese.
  5. To assemble, layer half of the potatoes, ham, and cheese sauce.  Repeat.
  6. Mix together shredded Gruyere, Onion Crunch, and remaining 1 tsp. thyme.  Sprinkle mixture over casserole.
  7. Bake casserole covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is bubbling and Onion Crunch is browned.

* If cheese is added when mixture is too hot, the milk solids separate resulting in an undesirable grainy texture.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Entrees, Holiday, Uncategorized

 

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Lamb and Stout Shepherd’s Pie

Lamb and Stout Shepherd's Pie

Yield: 4 Servings     Prep Time: 2 hours    Cook Time: 1 hour

I had so much fun with my husband on Saturday!  We had absolutely no obligations and were free to do whatever we wanted.  We slept in, eventually put on a pot of coffee, then decided that in honor of St. Patty’s Day we would go to Anchor Fish and Chips in Minneapolis for a bite and a couple pints.  It’s a small place where everyone crowds in the doorway waiting for the next table to turn.  The menu is just as simple and has the classic Irish/English fare.  Look at this Heinz beans painting.  I love it!

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The cod was thick cut and lightly battered.  It had a beautiful golden crust with a crunch but the inside was so tender and flaky.   We have now decided to make Saturday lunch a tradition and will be eating and imbibing at a new restaurant once a week.  What a fun person I spend my life with!!!  After lunch we walked to another pub down the street since we thought it wouldn’t be proper to celebrate St. Patty’s Day without a bit of Jameson!

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So here I am on Sunday morning wanting needing something comforting for Sunday dinner to soak up all of yesterday’s fun.  With a name like Erin, it would be a disgrace to not celebrate this very fun holiday with some Irish fare!

So after doing a little research, research meaning…what am I craving, I decided on shepherd’s pie.  Since it’s Sunday and a holiday I kicked it up a notch with lamb shanks, a hefty stout, some creamed leeks, and an Irish cheddar mashed potato topping to really make this baby sing.  The lamb shanks made this amazing gravy that has the richness of a veal demi-glace without the time and money.  Sooooo comforting and delicious!

Ingredients:

Lamb:

  • 2.5 pounds lamb shanks, bone-in
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 small onion, quartered with skins on
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1/4 cup stout beer
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. flour

Potatoes and Carrots:

  • 1.5 pounds russet potatoes
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup half-n-half
  • 1/2 cup Irish cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced

Creamed Leeks:

  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced thin and washed thoroughly
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Rub lamb shanks with oil.  Season with salt, pepper, and whole cloves.  Place lamb and quartered onions in roasting pan.
    Braised Lamb Shanks
  3. Roast lamb for 40 minutes.  Turn shanks, add thyme and rosemary, and roast for another 40 minutes.
  4. Remove roasting pan from oven.  Pour stout, broth, and water over lamb.  Cover roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil and return to oven to braise for another 45 minutes.  Bake potatoes at the same time by piercing with a fork and placing on lower rack for 45 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven to 350F.  Transfer lamb to a plate to cool.  Strain liquid through a colander, reserving onions.  Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool.
  6. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add carrots for 10 minutes.  Remove carrots and place in an ice bath to immediately stop cooking.
  7. Once lamb has cooled, shred meat removing all fat.
  8. Once potatoes have cooled, mash with a fork, add 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup half-n-half, and 1/2 cup Irish cheddar.
  9. In a skillet melt 2 Tbsp. butter.  Add onions and leeks and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add cream, Parmesan, salt, and nutmeg and stir until thickened about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Next, deglaze roasting pan with 1 1/4 cups chicken broth.  Spoon off as much fat as possible.  Whisk in 1 Tbsp. flour and bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add shredded lamb to gravy.
  11. Pour lamb/gravy mixture into a gratin dish.  Layer with carrots, leeks, and finally mashed potatoes.  Run a fork over the top of the mashed potatoes.  This will create more surface area for the potatoes to crisp up in the oven.
  12. Bake for 1 hour until potatoes are browned on top.  Serve immediately.
 
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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Entrees, Uncategorized

 

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Steak and Twice-Baked Potatoes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 NY Strip Steaks, ~1 inch thick
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese + 2 Tbsp. for topping

Directions:

  1. For Steak = Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Drizzle pan with 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter.  When skillet is hot but not smoking, carefully place steak in skillet and allow to cook for 2 minutes seasoning with salt and pepper.  Flip steak and allow another 3 minutes on the other side for medium.  Season other side with salt and pepper.  Repeat with remaining steak.  Allow steak to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  2. For Potato = Preheat oven to 425F.  Rinse potatoes and then poke holes in them with a fork to allow steam to escape.  Place potatoes on foiled cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt turning to cover entire potato.  Bake in the middle rack for ~40-45 minutes until it can be easily pierced with a fork.  Cut tops off of potato and scoop centers out into a small mixing bowl.  Combine with milk, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.  Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on potato and broil on low until cheese melts and turns golden.
 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Entrees, Sides, Uncategorized

 

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