Roasted Cheesy Potatoes

17 04 2011

One of my favorite things about breakfast is the tasty, savory, potato-y side dish! This particular version is inspired by the roasted potatoes with cheese from a crepe place I used to frequent in Pittsford, NY. It works just as well as a dinner or lunch side as well.

roasted cheesy potatoes


Ingredients:

• 1 lb baby red potatoes, quartered
• extra virgin olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 Tbsp chili powder
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or more!)
• dried basil


Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
2. Toss the potatoes, garlic and olive oil in a glass baking dish, and season with chili powder and a small pinch of both salt and pepper.
3. Place dish in the oven on the middle rack and bake until potatoes are soft and edges have browned (roughly 40 minutes). While roasting, toss the potatoes with a spatula every 15 minutes or so, being sure to scrape any sticking spuds from the bottom.
4. When the potatoes look almost done, turn the oven up to 500º F and remove the potatoes.
5. While the oven heats up, season the potatoes with a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
6. Return to the oven (this time on the top rack) and roast another 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly.
7. Smoosh a large pinch of dried basil in the palm of your hand with your thumb, and sprinkle over the top.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

Serve alongside your favorite breakfast main dish (omelet, scramble, etc.). However, the great thing about these potatoes is that they are so flavorful and filling, they could go with just simple eggs and toast – it takes the pressure off of doing a whole, elaborate meal.


Tips:

•To cut down on the baking time and to ensure a more evenly cooked set of potatoes, you can boil the potatoes for 5-10 minutes before preparing and roasting.


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Vegetarian Garbage Plate (oh, yes I did!)

9 10 2010

I went to college in Rochester, NY, and if you are from upstate New York you are likely all too familiar with this unique regional dish. It usually involves a heap of mac salad, a heap of home fries, topped with 2 cheeseburgers, a hot chili meat sauce and then mustard and chopped onions. Since I realized I’ll never be able to go back and relive my college days with this dish (it’s pretty much meat and fat, through and through), I decided to create my own veg-friendly garbage plate. If you ever feel adventurous, give it a try!

garbage plate


Ingredients

Alexia Foods Yukon Gold frozen french fries
•homemade mac salad (wheat macaroni, organic canola mayonnaise, red onion, green bell pepper, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley)
•2 homemade veggie burgers
•2 sandwich slices of cheddar cheese
•vegetarian chorizo hot sauce (see recipe below)
•red onion, finely chopped
•brown mustard


Directions:

garbage plate 11. Bake french fries according to directions.
2. Heat veggie burgers and top with cheese so it starts to melt.
3. Pile french fries and mac salad so they each take up half a large plate or bowl.
4. Top with the veggie cheeseburgers, spoon a hefty portion of the chorizo sauce on top, and then garnish with mustard and onions.


Sauce Ingredients:

•2 Tbs butter
•1 Tbs vegetable oil
•4 cloves garlic
•1/2 red onion, finely chopped
•12 oz chorizo style Smart Sausages, diced
•1 Tbs chili powder
•a pinch of kosher salt
•2 tsp fresh ground pepper
•cayenne pepper to taste
•15 oz can chopped tomatoes


Sauce Directions:

1. Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and onion and sauté until they become soft.
garbage plate 22. Add chorizo and cook over medium-high heat until thoroughly browned (about 5 minutes). The sausage will start to fall apart – this is a good thing considering original garbage plate sauce is made with ground beef. In the end, you want a chili-like consistency.
3. Add seasoning and brown another 2 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat. Adjust seasoning to taste, as needed.


Tips:

•A traditional garbage plate has lots of options. Instead of french fries and mac salad, you can replace one or both with home fries or baked beans. And instead of cheeseburgers, you can serve with hotdogs, Italian sausage, chicken tenders, grilled cheese or eggs. Try your own combinations!
•This meal is scientifically proven to cure hangovers.
•Most importantly, DO NOT EAT THIS OFTEN!






Homemade Waffles

3 10 2010

Here is a simple recipe for delicious homemade waffles. It comes from Alton Brown, one of my favorite Food Network personalities. He turns food into a science, so you know you’ll get a perfect dish every time.

waffle


Ingredients:

•2 cups unbleached flour
•1/2 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp baking powder
•1 tsp kosher salt
•3 Tbs sugar
•3 large eggs, beaten
•1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
•2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
•vegetable spray, for waffle iron


Directions:

waffle 21. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl and mix wet ingredients separately in a medium bowl.
2. Combine wet and dry ingredients in large bowl until well mixed. Let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Heat waffle iron and cook according to the iron’s directions.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

These are great with some walnuts and maple syrup, but also with apple butter or fresh fruit.


Tips:

•The only thing I do differently is I use regular milk or almond milk in place of buttermilk. It’s healthier and still tastes buttery with the half-stick of butter you add anyway.






BLUEBERRY! Pancakes

10 07 2010

I tend to stock up on berries anytime they look amazing, or worse, when they are super on sale. This weekend was one of the first times in a while I could sleep in and be lazy, and it happened to coincide with having several pints of blueberries in the fridge. So what to do? Make my favorite blueberry pancakes, of course!

blueberry pancakes

These are delicious, packed full of berries and easy to whip together. The only downside is the time it takes to cook all the pancakes (I am generally not too patient in the morning) – but if/when you have the time, it’s totally worth it!


Ingredients:

•1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
•3 Tbs sugar
•2 1/2 tsp baking powder
•1 tsp salt
•2 large eggs
•1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
•4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
•3 cups fresh blueberries


Directions:

batter1. Preheat oven to 250º F and place baking sheet in oven.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk and melted butter.
4. Mix wet mixture into dry mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently incorporate blueberries.
cooking pancakes5. Heat large skillet (or large griddle if you have it) over medium heat. Once hot, melt enough butter just to cover the bottom of the pan.
6. Pour 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook about 3 minutes per side (or until browned to your liking) and transfer to baking sheet in oven until ready to serve.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

I’m not a big butter-and-syrup pancake-eater to begin with, but I swear these pancakes don’t need a thing. Just plop them onto a plate, cut into them with a fork and enjoy the sweet blueberry goodness! (Although if you REALLY love syrup, feel free to top with some good maple syrup and even a few toasted walnuts. It’s okay, I won’t judge.)


Tips:

•One of the best things about this recipe is that you can just replace blueberries with most any other berry or fruit and it works well. One of my favorite alternatives is to make banana walnut pancakes (mash 2 ripe bananas into the mixture and add 3/4 cups walnuts).
•The problem of making pancakes for 1 (or even 2) is that there’s too much batter! It’s usually too complicated to half a pancake recipe accurately. And you can keep the batter for only another day or so (if that). My recommendation is to just make the whole batch (even if it’s WAY more than you’ll eat). Then let any leftovers sit out to cool to room temperature (only an hour or so after eating) and then seal in a Ziploc bag and freeze. They’ll be good for a week or more and all you have to do is pop in the toaster oven to reheat.






Butter and Milk Biscuits

30 05 2010

This biscuit recipe is a combination of several different recipes I’ve tried over time. This version is (to me) the perfect balance of flaky and doughy, sweet and salty, and most importantly, they’re super easy to make!

butter and milk biscuits

These are the biscuits I use when I make my red lentil gravy. Not only is this probably my favorite breakfast, but it’s a great crowd-pleaser for when you host brunch.


Ingredients:

•3 cups unbleached flour
•2 Tbs granulated sugar
•2 1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp baking soda
•1/2 tsp and 1 pinch salt
•1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
•1 cup low-fat milk


Directions:

butter and milk biscuits 11. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
butter and milk biscuits 22. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Cut butter into the mixture with a fork until it looks like cornmeal.
4. Gradually add milk (1/3 cup at a time), stirring constantly until well mixed.
butter and milk biscuits 35. Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface 3 to 4 times.
6. Flatten dough until it is about 1/2″ thick. Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter.
7. Place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet (leaving at least a 1/2″ between biscuits). Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

Serve with red lentil gravy and home fries or grilled veggies.






Red Lentil Gravy

29 05 2010

I am a huge fan of all things breakfast! So I get excited any time I come across a tasty vegetarian version of traditional breakfast foods. This recipe is based on something I found in Vegetarian Times a while back. The picture that accompanied the recipe looked very pretty; the actual dish…well, let’s just say it tasted great!

Be sure to note the ingredients. Not only is there very little fat in this dish, but it is full of veggies and lentils. And I promise it will satisfy most any biscuit and gravy cravings!


Ingredients:

•1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
•1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
•1/2 large cooking onion, finely chopped
•1/2 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
•1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
•3 cloves garlic
•1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs unbleached flour
•1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
•1/2 tsp salt
•1 tsp smoked paprika
•1/2 tsp ground yellow mustard seed
•1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
•2 1/2 cups low-fat milk


Directions:

1. Add lentils to 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until tender (8-10 minutes).
2. Drain lentils and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes.
4. Add peppers and garlic and cook an additional 5-8 minutes, until vegetables are just tender.
5. Combine the flour and spices and stir into vegetables. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
6. Gradually add milk (1/3-1/2 cup at a time), stirring after each addition. After all milk is incorporated, cook 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
7. Remove from heat and stir in drained lentils.
8. Serve over split biscuits or English muffins.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

For a heartier, more traditional breakfast, serve over homemade biscuits with home fries (stay tuned for my favorite biscuit recipe). For a lighter adaptation (and a shorter prep time) serve over your favorite whole wheat or multigrain english muffins and accompany with grilled asparagus or a green salad.


Tips:

•As always, adjust the spices to your liking. I love the taste of smoked paprika, so I sometimes add a tiny bit more so that it’s more present. I also tend to add more pepper flakes for a little more heat.
•I suggest adding some of your favorite veggies to this dish. Whatever you add, just be sure you cut them so that all vegetables are roughly the same size. Also, be sure to add them at the appropriate time so that all vegetables are just tender when you add the flour. Suggested additions: carrots, squash, broccoli stems, and sweet potato.