Posts tagged ‘Potatoes’

July 28, 2014

Grape Leaf Potato Salad

Grape Leaf Potato Salad

If you – like me – love potato salad but are tired of the same old spices and heavy mayonnaise base, then boy do I have the dish for you.

This potato salad was inspired by a jar of grape leaves that I’ve had sitting in my refrigerator ever since I made dolmas a few months ago. I’d been brainstorming different ways to incorporate the leaves into a new, creative dish when I finally thought up this potato salad for the Fourth of July.

The grape leaves are more subtle than you might imagine if stuffed dolmas are your point of reference, but they do impart a unique finish to this potato salad. Paired with robust oregano and finished off with a tangy dressing that’s just the right amount of creamy, the flavors are assertive without being overpowering.

The addition of cucumbers provides a wonderful crunch that is often missing from more traditional versions – or is otherwise filled by celery, which can overpower other more mild ingredients. The little bursts of refreshment make this the perfect dish for a hot summer days!

read more »

April 6, 2013

Southern Quinoa-Crusted Chicken with Potato and Greens

Southern Quinoa Chicken

I have to say, when I got my latest culinary challenge, I was a bit stumped: make a dish that includes quinoa, eggs, leeks and whiskey.

They’re great ingredients, and each pair well it other in the group, but trying to put ALL of them into one dish was giving me chef’s block (a lesser known condition similar to writers block. It’s a thing.)

With some tricky uses of both eggs and quinoa, I managed to get all four into this recipe. And boy, am I glad that I did.

The flavors in this dish are absolutely dynamite. The chicken itself is smokey and spicy with hints of whiskey, while the crust retains much of the quinoa taste. Pairing it with leafy greens and earthy potatoes brings a delightful balance to the plate.

Not only is it balanced in flavor, but it’s balanced in texture as well. The contrast between the tender greens, crispy potatoes, and pan-seared, quinoa-crusted chicken adds a whole extra dimension to the dish.

On top of everything else, it’s actually reasonably healthy.

This was my first real foray into southern-style cooking. I’m sure purists would shudder at inclusion of this dish in their cuisine, but I thought it turned out reasonably well. Expect some more southern recipes in the future!

read more »

May 26, 2012

Champiñones con Patatas Bravas y Romesco

I could never be a vegetarian. I certainly wouldn’t want to either. But every once in a while I make something that makes me think I could. A dish that makes me want to want to be a vegetarian.

This is one of those dishes.

The Champiñones con Patatas Bravas y Romesco (mushrooms with spicy potatoes and romesco) is a combination of two robust Spanish sauces, Romesco and Brava, along with two filling , mushrooms and potatoes, that create a vibrant, zesty, tangy and hearty dish.

Portabello mushrooms – all mushrooms, to some extent – are a classic vegetarian substitute for meat because of their flavor and texture. The real trick to the illusion though is to not fully cook the portabello. Doing so will prevent the mushrooms from turning rubbery and losing much of their delicious flavor. The fiery brava sauce in this recipe is a simplified version that uses readily available household ingredients (a full, authentic Spanish recipe can be found here). It pairs perfectly with the earthy, complex romesco sauce and quietly refreshing parsley.

These stuffed mushrooms are perfect served alongside crudités or a green salad. They’re a delicious vegetarian entrée that won’t leave you hungry!

Champiñones con Patatas Bravas y Romesco

  • 3 portabello mushrooms, cleaned and de-stemmed
  • 2 potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup Romesco sauce
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the mushrooms on a baking tray covered with aluminum foil and bake for 12-15 minutes. They should still be quite firm to the touch.
  2. Season the potatoes with the salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a pan to medium-high. Saute the potatoes until golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through all the way.
  3. To create the brava sauce combine the ketchup, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and vinegar. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Switch the oven to a high broil. On the baking sheet, assemble the mushroom stacks by placing a mushroom cap upside down, then a layer of brava sauce, a pile of potatoes, and finally a generous helping of romesco sauce. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  5. To serve, plate and sprinkle with parsley.
February 22, 2012

Potato Keftedes

In traditional Greek cuisine Keftedes are made from ground meat, typically either lamb of beef. It’s combined with a couple finely diced vegetables, spiced, rolled into balls, and either seared or roasted as a shish kabob. This recipe takes the concept, along with many of the flavoring components, and applies it to potatoes rather than meat.

The ingredients are startlingly basic, but nonetheless create a robust flavor profile when combined against the relatively mundane backdrop that is the potato. The green onions, much milder than their burlier cousins, add a minor, pleasant kick to the mix. The tomatoes provide bursts of juicy sweetness. Finally, the paprika imparts a light smokiness while the other spices round out the palette. And although there are a variety of different tastes in play, none of them are so strong as to overwhelm the earthy potato base.

To me, the most intriguing element of this recipe is that its vegan. I take to doing the final frying in butter, because I think it tastes just a bit better, but it’s just as easy to sear the pancakes in a little bit of olive oil. I am no great backer of veganism, but a good cook is capable of making a dish for any audience.

Whether or not you’re look for a vegan recipe ace in the hole, I highly recommend keeping this card up your sleeve. When it comes down to it, it’s basically a Greek mashed potato pancake. You really can’t possibly go wrong.

Potato Keftedes

  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 bundle of spring onions, green and white sections separated, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely diced and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil for a vegan recipe)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the potato until cooked through, between 60 and 90 minutes depending on the size.
  2. Remove the potato and allow it to cool before handling. Use a fork to scoop out the contents into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add all the other ingredients except the butter and combine until evenly mixed. The potato mixture should be cohesive enough to form patties that retain their shape, but not
  4. Add the butter to a pan and heat to medium-high. Fry the potato patties until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on either side. Remove from heat.
  5. To serve, plate the keftedes and sprinkle with the chopped green onion stem.
December 4, 2011

SliderPalooza Preview: Mashed Potato Slider with Apple-Fennel Slaw

Last week I finally got together with my old partner in culinary mischief, Patrick. Patrick is the Chef de Cuisine at the Crepe Cafe and Wine Bar, the same spot that I did my one and only stint in a restaurant. We’ve always had a knack for cooking together – before, during and after my time at the cafe – but we were long overdue for a little collaboration.

So we put our heads together to answer the most fundamental question of our joint cooking styles – “how can we take some creative license, create a variety of different dishes under a common theme and still leave our guests feeling satisfied?”

Our answer:  sliders.

The night was such a success that we have since  dubbed it SliderPalooza. We will be posting the full recap of the event – complete with pictures and, of course, recipes – in the coming week. In the mean time, here is a preview of one of five sliders that we put together: the Mashed Potato Slider with Apple-Fennel Slaw.

We love Thanksgiving and all of its leftovers, but eating plain mashed potatoes for a week straight becomes supremely boring about three days in, if not sooner. This recipe repurposes this holiday standby into a new and delicious package by flash-frying it and using as the ‘patty’ in this rustic, vegetarian slider.

The crispy-creamy mashed potato patty is topped with a perfectly balanced apple and fennel slaw. The sweetness of the apple plays off the earthy, licorice notes of the fennel and its fronds, while the light searing brings out the flavors while maintain the perfect amount of crunch in both ingredients.

The end result is a dish that plays jump rope with the line between sweet and savory. It can be a filling bite that makes a great starter for a protein heavy meal, or the perfect vegetarian dinner when plating four or five together. No matter how you serve it, it’s an easy way to do something exciting with one of the most common Thanksgiving leftovers.

Be sure to stay tuned for the SliderPalooza main post!

Mashed Potato Slider with Apple-Fennel Slaw

  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes, chilled
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium apple, cored, skinned and diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 6-9 slider buns


  1. Form the mashed potato into slider sized patties. Combine the flour and salt and dust each side of the patty with the mixture.
  2. Heat a pan to medium-high heat. Add the butter and coat evenly. Quickly sear the mashed potato patties, approximately 1 minute on each side. Be sure not to overcook or the patties will fall apart.
  3. Heat a different pan to high heat. Add the apple, fennel, fronds and pepper to the pan and toss rapidly to evenly distribute the heat. Continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the apple and fennel just begin to get tender.
  4. Toast the slider buns in an over or toaster oven. To assemble, place a potato patty on each bun bottom half, add a heaping pile of apple-fennel slaw (remember, all sliders should be messy), and place the other half on top.
October 8, 2011

Truffle French Fries with Basil and Parmesan

Everyone gets cravings for junky, greasy food every once in a while, nothing wrong than that. It doesn’t mean it can’t make something tasty and classy as well.

For those of you who haven’t made your own french fries before I definitely recommend it. It is a bit of work – you have to cut all the potatoes, towel them dry, deep fry them and then towel them off again – but the benefits are well worth it. You can cut them to any shape you want, cook them as crisp or well done as you like and, most importantly, top them with whatever you like.

These french fries use one of the most singularly spectacular ingredients in the culinary field: truffles. If you haven’t had anything that incorporates truffle before, then there is really no way to explain it. It’s as delicious as difficult to describe. The only way to get a real sense of the rich, lingering, umami flavor is to try it.

This recipe pairs the flavors of truffle with earthy, nutty Parmesan and crisp basil for a dish that will satisfy your junk food cravings in a deliciously upscale fashion.

Truffle French Fries with Basil and Parmesan

  • Enough vegetable oil to fill a medium-sized pot (approximately 3-5 cups)
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 packed cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup truffle oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cut the potatoes into desired size (personally them somewhere between normal and steak fries, about 1/2 inch on either side)
  2. Pour the vegetable oil into the pot and heat to medium hot. You can tell the oil is ready by dropping a breadcrumb in and seeing if it sizzles.
  3. Begin cooking the fries in as large of batches as you are comfortable managing. Place them in the pot and allow them to fry for several minutes after they begin to float to the top of the oil.
  4. Once each batch is done cooking, place it on a paper towel and allow it to drain briefly. After a few minutes toss the fries into a large bowl and toss with a small layer of Parmesan. Repeat this process until all the potatoes are fried.
  5. Drizzle the truffle oil over the top of the french fries. Add the basil, salt and pepper and toss gentle. Plate the french fries and serve.
July 21, 2011

Patatas al Romesco

The other day I discovered Romesco sauce.  I’m never going back.

Romesco is a rustic sauce that hails from the Northeast Spanish region of Catalonia.  Originally created to serve with seafood, this versatile sauce has evolved to be served with nearly any dish from vegetables to red meats.

But the best part of this sauce is that there is no golden standard for the recipe.  It varies widely between regions and even from household to household, meaning an there are endless variations to taste and try.  My version forgoes one of the more common ingredients, roasted red peppers, to allow the more delicate flavors of tomato, paprika and almond to shine through in the dish.  The end result is a medium bodied, tangy, surprisingly refreshing sauce

This dish pairs the Romesco with a classic Spanish side that truly lets the sauce shine: fried potatoes.  The crispy, earthy potatoes provide the perfect contrast without distracting from this delightful sauce.  If you like this Romesco – and trust me, you will – don’t stop with potatoes; there’s no limit to the number of uses for this Spanish gem!

Patatas al Romesco

(Note: This recipe calls for blanched almonds.  If you don’t know how to blanch an almond, a how-to can be found here)

  • 1/4 cup almonds, blanched
  • 1 slice stale or toasted bread, torn into small pieces
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/3 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika (smoked preferably)
  • 1 small jalapeño (optional)
  • 1 medium russet potato
  • salt and pepper


  1. Before starting the Romesco sauce, preheat the oven to 350° and let the potatoes bake for 25 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
  2. Lightly coat a frying pan with olive oil and heat to medium.  Toast the almonds and stale bread until lightly browned, approximately five minutes.  Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño (if you’re so inclined) and continue to saute until cooked through and translucent.  Empty the contents of the pan into a food processor.
  3. Roast or broil the tomatoes whole until skin begins to crack, approximately eight to ten minutes.  Add the tomatoes to the food processor.
  4. Add the paprika, vinegar and olive oil to the food processor and blend on medium until a sauce-like consistency is reached.  If the mixture is too thick, add additional olive oil until desired consistency is achieved.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and empty the sauce into a serving container.
  5. Dice the potato into half-inch cubes and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Lightly coat a frying pan with olive oil and fry the potatoes until golden brown, approximately eight to ten minutes.
  6. Serve the potatoes onto a place, drizzle lightly with Romesco sauce and serve.
%d bloggers like this: