So, I briefly mentioned yesterday, I am moving to the other side of the country in 27 oh, so short days. I’ve been hell bent on getting in as many of my favorite summer things, California things, and summery California as possible. I have lists of food, shops, cities, friends, beaches, parks, drinks and many more random things.
A couple of weekends ago I got to cross a whole bunch of things off my list with a trip up to San Francisco. There were friends and food and shopping and pugs and crafts and it was glorious. Apart from the fact that many of my best friends live in San Francisco now, it’s always been one of my favorite cities. There is so much to do and see and, most importantly, eat! This salad is inspired by one I had at Delica many, many trips ago. Delica is a great Japanese deli and sushi bar in the Ferry Building. And while a Japanese deli might seem like the last place you would find an amazing potato salad, trust me they definitely know what they are doing.
I will admit, I have met very few potatoes I haven’t liked (I am 100% Irish, it’s pure genetics), but potato salads wade into a tricky gray area. A great potato salad is a thing of delicious beauty, but it is so, so easy for a potato salad to go horribly wrong very easily. Delica’s potato salad is so different than any other potato salad. First, the wasabi! I love wasabi and even though I have added I have used horseradish in potato salads before, I never thought of using wasabi. It’s a great flavorful addition. I might be strange in the fact that I always mix my summer barbecue side salads together. That potato salad and green salad will soon become one on my plate, so I absolutely love that Delica’s potato salad already has romaine lettuce and snap peas and other traditional green salad staples in the potato salad itself. If you are looking for a totally different and delicious potato salad recipe, I suggest you start here!
Look beyond the Irish Beef Stew and let’s talk about the potatoes. I’m Irish. I love potatoes. I’m basically a potato expert. While I have nothing against tried and true, plain mashed potatoes, sometimes you just need to spice things up a bit. I like horseradish quite a lot and horseradish is quite nice with beef dishes. I knew I was going to like these, but I was very pleasantly surprised about how well the horseradish went with the stew. The horseradish really brought out the best of the flavors on the stew. I think these potatoes would be the perfect side dish to any St. Patrick’s Day meal
1/2 stick softened butter or 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
Freshly ground pepper
2+ tablespoons prepared horseradish (I think more is better)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped scallions
Put the potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let sit until just cool enough to handle, then peel and transfer to a bowl.
Add the butter/oil to the potatoes. Add the milk, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper to taste; mash with a potato masher or large fork.
Fold in the horseradish and half the scallions. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining scallions.
This salad combines 4 of my favorite things; halloumi, olives, potatoes and tomatoes, how could you possibly go wrong? Roasting olives and tomatoes really help bring out there flavors and together, they were even better. The rosemary really added a lot of great flavor as well.
With the one exception of having to turn on the oven on an extremely hot day, this made for a perfect light and tasty summer meal. I found that the potatoes were a little dry when you cut them to eat. I think adding some extra liquid or broth with help this situation. Also, make sure your tomatoes have popped, so they can add a little extra liquid as well.
It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the States, which means it’s unofficially summer! That means it’s now time for barbecues and flip-flops and margaritas and baseball. Barbecues require more than just a grill and some meat, side dishes are also necessary. I have to admit, I am very, very wary of other people’s foods at barbecues. Several summers ago I suffered the wrath of a mayonnaise-laden potato salad that had been sitting out too long. Needless to say, it was not an enjoyable experience. Ever since, I’ve be a fan of mayo-less options and refrigeration.
This potato salad has tons of flavor and no mayo, so it’s the perfect summer side in my dish. This is also a vegan dish. As a recovered former vegetarian, I always appreciated when there were tasty non-meant options at barbecues. I swear some people randomly add bacon to side dishes just to spite non-meat eaters. This potato salad should keep everybody happy. I searched and searched for a recipe that had the flavors I was in the mood for and came up flat, so I just threw together what sounded good in my head and hoped for the best. I like really strong and tangy flavors, so the combination of capers, vinegar and lemon juice was perfect to me. I also only used 3 tablespoons of oil, since olive oil isn’t my favorite flavor/texture. If you think the capers and vinegar might be overwhelming, slightly upping the amount of oil should help balance it out.
3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 bunch green onions, finely chopeed
3-5 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons grainy dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
2 sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher (or coarse) salt and pepper, to taste
Put the potatoes in a big pot with enough water to cover by 1-inch. Season with salt and bring the water to a boil. Cook just until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot, uncovered, with off the heat. Let them sit until almost room temperature. (Cooling them in the warm pot will get rid of any excess water in the potatoes, which is good for potato salad purposes.)
While the potatoes are cooling, combine all the other ingredients together in a large bowl. Adjust flavors to taste.
When the potatoes are cool, add into the large bowl and toss lightly to coat with the dressing.
After my first adventure with salt and vinegar chickpeas, I decided it was time to venture other foods. Salt and vinegar potato chips are probably my favorite flavor. I love how tangy they are. I figured salt and vinegar potatoes had to be pretty good as well. These definitely have a much mellower flavor than potato chips. They definitely absorb the vinegar flavor, but it is not as overpowering or overwhelming as a bag chip might be. Even if you aren’t a fan of the chips, you might find these enjoyable.
Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes
2 large baking potatoes, peeled
Heat oven to 425F/220C . Thinly slice potatoes on a mandolin. Place slices in a large pot. Pour in enough vinegar to cover potatoes.
Bring potatoes to a boil and then allow to simmer until just fork tender, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to cool in the vinegar at least 30 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooling, prepare two rimmed baking sheets by coating with olive oil. Drain the potatoes well. Place slices on the baking sheets and lightly coat the tops of the potatoes as well. Bake the potatoes for 35-40 minutes until the potatoes are crispy, flipping half way through.
Remove from oven. Toss with kosher salt to taste. Serve immediately.
The shrimp! That’s what this dish is called at my favorite Irish pub in Santa Barbara (Dargan’s). Dargan’s is definitely a favorite meeting spot for me and my best friend Jessica. We have spent many an hour chatting away over pints there. The shrimp is one of my go to dishes if we happen to be grabbing dinner there (their black bean burger is pretty amazing as well). Well unfortunately, Jess and I have been busy ladies lately and we haven’t been to Dargan’s in a while, but I had a hankering for the shrimp, so I tried my best to recreate the meal at home. It’s not an exact replica, but it’s pretty close and just as delicious.
For some reason I had never thought to combine mashed potatoes and shrimp into one dish before having it at Dargan’s. The two never seemed like a combination that would work all that well. I was definitely wrong about that. Quite frankly I should have known better; obviously two of my favorite foods are going to be amazing together…Obviously.
Chili-Garlic Shrimp (serves 2)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
extra virgin olive oil
12 large shrimp
4 cloves garlic, minced
Sweet chili sauce
Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes. When the potatoes are quite soft, drain them completely and return them to the pan over medium heat. Add the butter and cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring the potatoes vigorously to help any leftover water evaporate. When any remaining water has evaporated, and the potatoes are quite smashed up and smooth, remove from heat. Add the warm milk and garlic powder. Mix together until everything is smooth and creamy (I usually use a hand mixer, it’s easier and faster). Season to taste with pepper and salt.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add in the shrimp and garlic. When the shrimp are nearly completely cooked (pink) pour in a generous drop of the sweet chili sauce and stir to coat.
When the shrimp are done, dish up the potatoes on two plates. Divide the shrimp between the plates with any of the remaining sauce in the pan. Feel free to add more chili sauce if you want it.
So, I decided to disappear for a while. I went up to San Francisco for my best friend’s engagement party. It was a great trip filled with many friends, parties, Napa wine tasting, Czech bars, dive bars and couch surfing. I love San Francisco; it’s always been one of my favorite cities. The fact that several of my favorite friends only makes every trip there even better.
Garlic fries always remind me of San Francisco. It might seem like a random association, but if you have been to a baseball game at AT&T Park (wonderful park, god-awful baseball team), you have probably smelled the scent of garlic wafting through the air. The garlic fries there are pretty close to perfect.
I made these fries in the oven. Fries from the oven can sometimes be a soggy disappointment and since I love my fries super crispy, I usually find them to be more trouble than they are worth. Luckily, moving the rack in the oven means that these came out super crispy. Some were even a bit too well done, oops. Between the garlic on top and the seasoning on the fries, they were full of flavor. I think they are best served with plain old ketchup or an aioli (can you tell I have a serious garlic problem yet?).
3 potatoes (russet or yukon gold), washed and dried
5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
FOR THE SEASONING:
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Place an oven rack at the lowest position and heat the oven to 475 degrees.
Heat the minced cloves of garlic and 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Strain the garlic from the oil with a small mesh strainer. Set both garlic and oil/duck fat aside.
Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices and then cut each slice into 1/4 inch fries (if using a mandolin slicer, attach french fry blade and set thickness to 1/4 inch). In a large bowl, cover potato slices with hot tap water and soak for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, coat a 18 by 12-inch heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with 4 tablespoon oil and sprinkle evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and set aside. Use a heavy-duty baking sheet to prevent warping in the hot oven.
Drain the potatoes and then dry them by spreading them out on a triple layer of paper towels. Use additional paper towels to pat them dry. Rinse and wipe out the now-empty bowl, return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the seasonings and the 1 tablespoon oil used to heat garlic earlier. Arrange the potatoes in single layer on the prepared baking sheet, cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes start to turn golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes for even browning.
Scrape the pan with a spatula and tongs to loosen potatoes from the pan, then turn the fries over, keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed if fries are browning unevenly. Transfer the fries to a second baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Toss with garlic, finely chopped parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
I don’t know where to begin with this one… The vegetables, amazing. The meatballs, fantastic. The whole meal, absolutely delicious.
The vegetables cook down in to this phenomenal ratatouille-like stew. I would have been more than happy with the vegetables alone. I am definitely planning on making them again in the future for a delicious vegetarian supper. Meatballs aren’t something I normally get excited about, but these were better than any other meatballs I’ve ever had.
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (I used Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko crumbs with Italian seasoning added)
20 ounces extra lean ground turkey
4 sweet mild Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF Mix)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound large white mushrooms, quartered
2 russet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/3-inch slices
8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
For the meatballs: Add the breadcrumbs, turkey, sausage, egg, parsley, salt and pepper. Blend the mixture thoroughly with your hands or a flexible spatula. Form the mixture into 16 to 22 meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until ready to use.
For the stew: Sprinkle the meatballs with the flour and turn to coat with any flour still on the baking sheet. Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Drop the meatballs into the skillet, spaced apart. Cook until the bottoms are set and brown, about 2 minutes. Using a flexible thin spatula, turn each meatball onto an uncooked side and cook until the bottoms are set and brown, about 2 minutes longer. Turn and cook a third side, until set and brown, about another 2 minutes, so the meatballs are browned and set all over. Transfer the meatballs to a large plate. Repeat until you have browned all the meatballs
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook until soft, 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, red pepper flakes and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.