Monday, December 9, 2013

Duchess Potatoes

There are a lot of meals I make that would taste good over potatoes. But making potatoes on a week night is not usually an option. Baked and mashed potatoes take too much time and even crispy roasted can take 40 minutes. After my commute, I'm not usually dreaming about cooking potatoes.  Recently, I saw on Everyday Food a recipe for portion-sized make ahead mashed potatoes. Sold!  These potatoes are slightly richer than mashed potatoes and can be used even for a big event. I just spooned my duchesses onto a pan but I bet they'd be beautiful piped onto the pan!

I froze these right away and then baked two stacks to go along with my cherry pork. It took exactly 15 minutes and they were absolutely fantastic. I did not put an egg wash on at baking and I did not miss it. I love having these on hand. The recipe makes 8 stacks but it could easily be doubled.

Duchess Potatoes
2 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes
salt & pepper
3 T cold unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1/4 C heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg

1. Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch pieces. Cover the potatoes in a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until tender about 15 minutes. Drain, let sit 5 minutes and return to pan.
2. Add butter and mash together with a potato masher until smooth. Season with salt
3. Add cream and stir with a spoon to combine. Add egg yolks and stir in.
4. Mound potatoes in 8 mounds on a buttered and parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Make a well in the center of each mound for gravy with the back of a spoon
5. Freeze at least 15 minutes, then bake. Or Freeze 15 minutes until solid. Add potato mounds to a gallon-sized ziploc bag and keep in the freezer.
6. To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray a baking sheet with cookie spray. Space potato mounds on the sheet and bake 15 minutes straight from the freezer. Serve.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pork with Cherry Sauce

I like watching Everyday Food videos with Sarah Carey whenever I can. I love meals that are 30 minutes are less but still delicious and easy to make. THIS meal is one of those things. The cherry sauce was pretty good I thought but Joey found it too sweet. The pork had a nice crispy outside which made it extra delicious. The recipe calls to be served over polenta but I chose duchess potatoes (recipe coming soon!). I thought this was a delicious meal and quick and easy. It could also impress your guests instead.

1lb pork tenderloin
1/4 C flour
3 T olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 C red wine
1/4 C chicken broth
12oz frozen cherries, defrosted
2 t fresh grated ginger
2 shallots, thinly sliced
polenta or duchess potatoes for serving

1. Pound tenderloin to flatten and then cut into four equal pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge pork in flour and shake off excess.
2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove pork to plate and tent with foil.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots and cook 4-5 min or until softened. Add wine & broth and cook stirring until reduced by half about 3 minutes.
4. Add cherries and ginger and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Smash some cherries with the back of a spoon and leave others whole.
5. Add pork and juices back into the pan and cook about 2 minutes until everything blends together. Server pork and sauce over polenta or potatoes

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Warm Brussel Sprout and Chickpea Salad

I went to a wedding last weekend and discovered that I really like brussel sprouts. Then, I went to my favorite grocery store and found they were selling brussel sprout totes which I think are awesome. If you aren't familiar, a vegetable tote is a pre-determined amount of one type of vegetable housed in a handy clear tote bag! Sounds lame? Well it's not! It's cute and it comes in it's own bag and you don't have to weigh it!

I saw this salad on Beantown Baker and revised it just a tad but it was fantastic! If you are a vegetarian or you can't eat nuts you could omit both of those ingredients and this would still be delicious. If you had any shallots or garlic it may be a nice addition.

I used the food processor to shred the brussel sprouts and what a time saver that is! You could also use the food processor for the shallots if you used them and the mushrooms.  Don't have a food processor? Fine, cut it by hand but don't skip the recipe just because you have to do some cutting.

Warm Brussel Sprout Salad
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed, divided
1 t olive oil
cayenne pepper
3 T butter
1lb brussel sprouts, sliced or shredded (food processor!)
8oz white mushrooms, washed and sliced (food processor!)
1/4 C pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
1/2 C cooked ham or 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Drain and dry one can of chickpeas. Place on a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes in the oven. Toss in 1 tsp olive oil, salt and a dash of cayenne pepper. Roast for an additional 15 minutes. Then turn off the open, open it up a crack and let the pan sit until you need them
3. Using your food processor, shred the brussel sprouts and slice the mushrooms
4. In a large skillet or small dutch oven, heat 2 T butter over medium heat.
5. When butter is melted, add mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally
6. Add sprouts and a dash of salt and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring. Don't worry, the sprouts will shrink.
7. Add the pecans, ham, nutmeg, raw chickpeas, and more salt and pepper to taste
8. Cook 3-4 minutes until ingredients are melded. Toss in roasted chickpeas to individual servings so they don't get soggy and serve warm.