Tag Archives: potatoes

Garlic and Herb Oven Fries

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Doesn’t that look good? And to think, it started out looking like this:

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Well that looks pretty good too but we can’t eat it like that, can we? So how do we turn those ingredients into delicious fries? Well I’ll tell you.

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Peel the sweet potato and cut all potatoes into 1/2″ wide fries. Coat with olive oil, season with S&P

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I’m using a silpat here because the last time I made these, the potatoes totally burned on the bottom and a lot of them stuck to the pan, leaving the crispy delicious crust to be washed away in the sink like so many bowls of soggy cereal. It was a travesty. The silpat will allow the potatoes to cook and get slightly crisp without sticking or burning.

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After about 15 minutes the potatoes should be pretty soft. Ditch the silpat at this point to let the potatoes come in direct contact with the pan, letting them really get that crispy crust that I know you all want in your fries.

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MEANWHILE, start heating your olive oil over LOW heat. This is for your garlic and herbs. We’re not here to cook them, just get their flavors infused into the oil.

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When stripping the herbs off their branches, it’s easiest to hold the top of the sprig (the end the leaves are pointing towards), then with your other hand, lightly grasp the branch and pull down, plucking the leaves off as you go. Do this with the rosemary and thyme. You know what to do with the garlic.
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Chop up your herbs and throw it into the warm oil with the garlic. If you hear a sizzle, IT’S TOO HOT. Turn down your heat or just take the oil off the burner. Let the garlic/herbs steep a bit.

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After the fries have browned a bit and crisped up on the bottom, flip them all over and throw back in the oven. Bake a little longer.

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Throw your fries in a bowl, pour the garlic/herb/oil mixture over them, and toss. Bonus points if you can toss them by only flicking the bowl and not using any utensils.

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Season with a little more salt and pepper and dig the heck in.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large sweet potato
3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 long sprig rosemary
4-5 sprigs thyme
About 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 deg.

Peel the sweet potato. Cut potatoes into 1/2″ wide fries. Toss them in a large bowl with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and the salt and pepper. You don’t have to be exact here, just make sure each fry is coated and seasoned. Place the fries on a large silpat placed in a cookie sheet, trying to keep each fry separate from the others. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes get soft.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan over LOW heat. Strip the leaves off the herb sprigs, and give them a good chop. Add the garlic and herbs to the olive oil and let them steep in the oil. The oil should be warm but not hot enough for the garlic/herbs to fry. If you hear a sizzle when the herbs hit the pan, it’s too hot.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, then ditch the silpat. Pull the silpat out from under the fries, drizzle a little more olive oil on them (or use cooking spray), and again make sure the fries aren’t touching. Return them to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and start flipping the fries over. The bottom of the fries should be browned by now. Continue flipping all the fries then return them to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Once the fries are browned top and bottom, remove them, then return to a large bowl. Pour the garlic/herb oil over the fries and toss quickly. Serve!

NOTE: if you don’t have a silpat, or if you want crispier fries, you don’t have to use one. Just check on them more often to make sure they’re not burning.

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100% All-Beef Stew

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Does anyone else think it’s funny that McDonald’s still advertises it’s burgers to be made with 100% all-beef patties? Like they should get a prize? Well done Mickey-D’s! You could have just stopped at 95%, which we all know is well within A-range, but instead you went above and beyond and went for the FULL 100% of what really should be the only ingredient in any burger. Just wondering, what percentage of your burger patty would you, the American consumer, be okay with not being beef? 2%? 0.05%? What would that 0.05% even be if not beef? If it’s rat feces then no thank you.

Let’s be real though, I’m pretty sure 0.05% of everything we ingest is probably rat feces. Just saying. Also, I like McDonald’s. Really. Give me a Big Mac and I’m a happy man. Also also, should we be worried about the fast food chains that DON’T advertise their burgers to be 100% all beef?

Anyway, here’s a recipe for beef stew:

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I splurged and bought a beautiful grass-fed chuck roast the other day and decided I was going to make one of my favorite winter foods: stew. Nothing is better on a freezing day then a bowl of beef, potatoes, and carrots, in a savory gravy with crusty bread on the side. NOTHING.

Couple things: This is the first time I’ve tried making beef stew starting with a full chuck roast, rather than buying already cut up stew meat. This is also the first time using grass fed for beef stew. I am being honest here: IT TOTALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Buying the chuck whole and cutting it myself not only let me control how big I wanted the chunks to be (they’re usually too big for my taste when you buy stew meat already cut up), but it allowed me to keep as much or as little of the fat on the meat as I wanted, and it also let me cook the meat as soon as it was cut, instead of letting it sit out for who knows how long, with tons more surface area to dry out and collect microbes. Also grass fed really does taste better and is better for you. Check it out.

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It’s so beautiful.

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This is all you need to start. Don’t forget that bacon. You have been warned.

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Brown the bacon, leave the fat. If there’s too much fat leftover, spoon some out but leave about 2 tablespoons. Yes there’s one full piece of bacon in there that was just for me. Get off my back. Oh and I hope this goes without saying, but don’t throw away those bacon bits. Reserve for later.

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LISTEN TO ME. BROWN YOUR BEEF IN BATCHES, IN A SINGLE LAYER. In this 5 qt dutch oven I was able to brown them all in 2 batches. If you don’t do this, it won’t brown, and if it doesn’t brown, then you might as well just give it to your dog. This is serious, folks. Once all the meat is browned, set aside with your bacon.

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Here’s where it starts to get a little tricky. Saute your onions and garlic in all the leftover fat (again remove some of it’s excessive, leaving about 3-4 tbsp).

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Once the onions are shiny and starting to turn translucent, add your tomato paste. Let that brown for about 5 minutes, mixing with the onions.

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Add your flour. I know, there’s a lot, but we’re also adding a lot of liquid, so it’ll thicken it all up. If you like a runnier stew, you can use less flour, but I wouldn’t go less than 3 tbsp. Let the flour mix with the fat and tomato paste, letting it continue to brown. There will probably be some burned bits at the bottom of your pot but it’s okay. Just keep everything moving.

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Add your wine. I just used a red table wine. You can use any dry red wine you like, but the rule of thumb is use a wine you would actually drink. Mix it all together and try to dissolve as much of the flour as you can. FYI: It’ll get pretty sludgy.

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Add your beef broth and mix to dilute the sludgy red wine, then return the beef and bacon back to the pot.

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Add a few dashes of this.

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Add a tablespoon of that (this is my secret guys, you’re welcome).

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And last but not least, your bouquet. I also threw in 2 bay leaves but I forgot to take a picture of it. Cover it with a tight-fitting lid, then throw it into your oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 300 degrees.

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It’s gonna come out looking reduced and smelling like delicious. This is when you add your carrots and potatoes, so they don’t overcook and dissolve into your stew. Add a little water if needed to make sure everything’s submerged. Cover, and throw back into the oven for another 45 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. When it’s done, remove your thyme sprigs and bay leaves, and serve it up!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1″ cubes
4 slices of good quality bacon, sliced
1 medium onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
32 oz beef stock
1/3 cup flour
1/2 bottle of good dry red wine (about 2 cups), I used a malbec
3 medium potatoes, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 medium carrots, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
5 sprigs thyme, tied together with butcher’s twine
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season beef liberally with salt and pepper. Let sit.

Heat a large dutch oven (5 qt) with the olive oil over medium-high heat, brown the bacon, rendering the fat out. When the bacon is browned, remove it from the heat and reserve in a large bowl for later. Remove some of the fat but leave about 2 tbsp in the dutch oven.

Brown the seasoned beef in the remaining fat IN BATCHES (keeping beef in a single layer each batch). Remove the beef and set aside with the bacon.

Again, if there is a lot of fat left in the pot, remove some of the fat so about 4 tbsp remain, then add your onion and garlic and sautee until the onion starts to become translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add tomato paste and brown for another 5 minutes.

Add the flour and brown that for yet another 5 minutes.

Add the wine and stir, letting it incorporate with the flour and tomato paste, until it reduces slightly and thickens up to a sludgy consistency.

Add all of the beef stock and stir so the whole mixture dilutes.

Return the beef and bacon back to the pot along with any juices that collected in the bowl. Add worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, throw in your thyme and bay leaves, give it a stir, and cover the dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Put the entire thing in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

After 1 hour 15 min, throw in your potatoes and carrots, adding some water if necessary so everything is covered with liquid. then throw back into the oven for another 45 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and thyme. Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy your 100% beef stew!

Beer Pairing Recommendation: Anchor Steam Christmas Ale. Not sure what style this year’s beer is, but I think the flavors they tend to put into their seasonal will match the deep, earthy flavors of this stew.

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Herbed Brussels Sprouts Hash

Mmm, weekend hash.  Weekend hash is a staple in my house, and today I had some leftover roasted Brussels sprouts to add in. I tend to throw a lot of random leftovers into my hash, some common ones being: peppers, asparagus, onions, oh, and fried SPAM (my personal favorite).

I also cheat a little when I make hash. Usually I just throw the potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes to cook them first to save on cooking time. Hopefully I’m not zapping all the nutrients out of them.

There are 3 tricks to making a good hash: 1) A good amount of oil/butter, 2) A heavy skillet, 3) Pacing. When cooking on the stove, potatoes will take a long time to develop that crispy, delicious crust we all love, and if you throw everything into the skillet all at once, everything else will burn before getting that crust. Also, you need a good amount of oil and a nice, heavy, thick-bottomed skillet that will disperse heat evenly and retain that heat so the potatoes don’t burn. I like using a cast-iron skillet for hash and I recommend you do too.

One more thing. I’m definitely not an all-organic Whole Foods nut, but one thing I try to always buy organic are potatoes. Apparently non-organic potatoes have the highest pesticides content among all conventionally grown fruits and veggies. Also I really think they taste better, and they’re not that much more expensive.

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Start with heating up the skillet on medium heat. Melt some butter, add your potatoes, and season. Toss a little to evenly coat, then just let it sit. I guess I forgot one more trick: 4) Resist the urge to keep tossing around your potatoes. They need prolonged contact with the skillet to develop a crispy crust, so wait about 30-45 seconds between tosses.

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Once the potatoes brown a bit you can add the Brussels sprouts and garlic.

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Let everything brown and crisp up a bit more, then add your herbs. I had some rosemary, sage, and thyme leftover from a poultry blend I bought so I threw that in.

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Last but not least, add your green onions.

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What a fine looking hash.

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Of course no hash is complete without a couple fried eggs on top. Let that yolk run all over the hash, throw a little hot sauce on, put on some Saturday morning cartoons, and you’re good to go.

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Herbed Brussels Sprouts Hash

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 medium-sized organic yellow potatoes
1/2 lb (about 1 1/2 cups) leftover roasted Brussels sprouts (recipe below), quartered.
3 green onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (about 3 sprigs, leaves stripped off), finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
2 eggs

Wash the potatoes in cold water, then arrange them in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate.  Microwave on High for 5 minutes. The potatoes will be too hot to handle after microwaving, so it will be a good time to wash and prepare all the other ingredients while they cook and cool. Once the potatoes are cooled, cut into 1″ cubes.

Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium heat, melt the butter. Next, add the cooked potatoes and season well with seasoned salt and pepper (give them a good dusting all over the top). Toss to combine and to evenly coat each piece with seasoning, then let the potatoes sit.  Toss every 30-45 sec until the potatoes start to get crispy all over, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and Brussels sprouts. Again toss and let sit between tosses, until everything gets browned and crispy on the sides, about 3-4 more minutes. Add the herbs, toss gently, then add the green onions.  You might need to add a little olive oil at this point so the herbs and onions don’t burn.  Also, if the vegetables start to get too browned, you may need to lower the heat to medium-low.

Again toss to combine, cook for another 2-3 minutes, and serve it on a plate with 2 fried eggs.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

1 lb bag of large Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic Salt
Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 deg
Wash and halve all Brussels sprouts lengthwise, place in a baking pan, coat with olive oil, season with Garlic salt and pepper, and throw in the oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until sprouts are tender. Great, healthy side dish to go with any pasta or meat dish. You can also add some feta and balsamic vinegar if that makes you happy.

goodwilltasting beer recommendation: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little brunch beer. A nice beer cocktail would be even better. I’m thinking something with Allagash White, a little ginger syrup or ginger beer, and orange juice. I’ll see if I can find a recipe for this.

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