potatoes

YOU SAY POTATO

LASDI©

LASDI©

It's been COLD in Texas!  Said practically no one ever.  Nonetheless, cold it has been.  And of course, there is nothing better than hot soup to warm your bones on cold nights.

It was Sunday and the week had been so busy that I had not planned out our Sunday Supper.  GASP!  I only gasp so dramatically because Sunday is carbs-allowed day and I had not planned accordingly!  

So of course, I rummaged through my pantry and fridge to see what I could drum up. 

This was fast, easy, delicious, and a carb-loaded reward.  And it was even better the next day for The Hubster's lunch!  

LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP

4 large potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1-inch cubes

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbs black pepper

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 package bacon, chopped

1 tsp white wine

1-32 oz box chicken broth

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 tsp white pepper

1 tbs butter

In a heavy pot (I use my cast iron Dutch oven!) on medium-high, heat evoo for about one minute and then add potatoes.  In a small frying pan (believe it or not, I use my tiny cast iron skillet!) heat onion, garlic, and bacon on medium-high heat for five minutes or until bacon is cooked through, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and add white wine.  Stir and scrape any "bits" from the bottom with a wooden spoon or spoonula and set aside. 

Meanwhile, stir potatoes and add sea salt and pepper.  Let them sit in the pot, untouched, for about five minutes or until crisp and brown on bottom.  Stir and add chicken broth, then bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add bacon mixture to the pot, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for thirty minutes.  Bring heat back up to medium and stir in sour cream, cheese, and white pepper.  Let cook another three minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, add butter and let melt, then stir and serve.

NOTES: For garnish, you can sprinkle a little more shredded cheddar or some chopped chives on top.  This smelled so good that no garnish made it to the bowl before it was devoured!  For some crunch I added a few raw veggies and some rice crackers.  For a healthier take on this meal, I use organic ingredients and uncured bacon  But it is what it is.  And it is DELICIOUS!!

Potatoes, Patatas

LASDI©  (Photos by Adrian Garcia)

LASDI© (Photos by Adrian Garcia)

Another tapas night with friends.  I ALWAYS look forward to those nights because we put our heads and cooking prowess together and come up with a tornado of tapas!  While The Hubster and I waited for our sweet neighbors to arrive, we went ahead and snapped some pics of what we put out for our half, and ohhhhhhh, BOY!  This stuff was BEYOND BUENO!

I made mushroom-, pine nut-, and cheddar cheese-stuffed puff pastries, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, mini-Reuben sammies (it IS March, after all!), a quite-lovely cheese board with the sharpest cheddar and GORGEOUS artichoke hearts (stems included!).  All those hyphened menu items!  But to be as authentic as possible, I made a legit tapas called patatas bravas.  I, of course put my own spin on it and they were delcioso!

Go on and spend a night with community and each of you bring a prize!  Call it tapas night or call it whatever you want - just bring THESE to the table with you!

PATATAS BRAVAS

4 - 5 butter gold potatoes, scrubbed, dried, and sliced lengthwise into 8 wedges

1 1/2 cups canola oil

sea salt

pepper

1/4 cup prepared horseradish

1/4 cup sour cream

paprika

1 can ro-tel for dipping

4 green onions or scallions, sliced thin

Heat canola oil in heavy skillet (I use my cast-iron, of course) on medium-high heat for two minutes.  Place potato wedges from one potato carefully into oil.  Let cook for five minutes.  You will be tempted to turn them over before then.  Don't.  After five minutes, flip them and let them cook another five minutes.  You will be tempted to pull them out before the five minutes is up.  Don't.  Carefully take them out one at a time and lay them on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath (see notes).  Sprinkle them liberally with sea salt and pepper.  Repeat cooking with the next potato and directly before removing them from the oil, lay the first batch on whatever tray or plate you would like to use for your display. While the next batch of potatoes are cooking, mix the horseradish and sour cream and drizzle (prettily!) over the potatoes on the platter.  Sprinkle with paprika and then a bit of green onion.  Repeat with each layer of potatoes, crisscrossing each layer over one another for an authentic look. 

Notes: Any heavy skillet will do as long as it is deep enough to fit the oil.  For crispy potatoes, use the cooling rack.  If you don't have one or want softer potato wedges, simply dry them on paper towels laid on a plate or platter.  I use a condiment squeeze bottle for the horseradish sour cream drizzle.  I put the ro-tel in a cute bowl next to the potatoes for people to pile on top of their bravas if they like.  Hora de comer!!

 

Parma-chameleon

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

One of my love languages is cooking good food for people.  Well, when my friend, Carly, and I had some work to do for Life As She Does It, I decided to repay all her sincere efforts to help me by doing just that.  (That, and the fact that she and her husband, Jon, truly - I mean TRULY - want to save the world; and to do so, you need NOURISHMENT!)This casserole is loaded with chicken, the ever-so-trendy kale (which is the new orange, which is apparently the new black) and TONS of Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.  Since I am the low-carb girl, I kept it just that way, but in the interest of Carly NOT having an aversion to carbs, I made thyme-fried potatoes to serve under the casserole.  This was rich and ridiculously delicious so it gave the impression that it was really difficult and took forever to make (hence, the name), but hang tight: you will not BELIEVE how easy and quick it was!

CHEESY CHICKEN AND KALE CASSEROLE

2 pkgs chicken breasts, cut into about 1-inch cubes

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

sea salt

pepper

1 tbs paprika

1 tbs cumin

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 pkg frozen kale, thawed

1/2 onion, diced fine

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  While the oven is heating, heat enough evoo in a pan to cover the bottom on medium heat.  Add chicken, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and add other spices, stirring every so often until the chicken is cooked through, about three-to-four-minutes.  Pour chicken into a prepared baking dish.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Pop one piece in your mouth, because you just can't help it.  Mix your sour cream, mayonnaise, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and cover the chicken.  Rinse out your bowl (Yes.  I am saving you from unnecesary dirty dishes later.  You're welcome) squeeze any excess liquid out of the kale with your hand (Over the sink, silly!) and put in the bowl you just rinsed.  Add the diced onion and stir.  Since your hands already have kale all over them, use your hands to spread the kale over the chicken and sour cream-mayo-Parm mixture.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Now.  (Wash your hands)  Cover that sucker with the mozzarella cheese that has been screaming this entire time to join the party. Bake for twenty-to-twenty-five minutes, until that cheese has turned a beautiful brown on top.  Serve over thyme fried potatoes; recipe below.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

THYME-FRIED POTATOES

high-heat oil (I use canola)

potatoes, washed and sliced 

1 bunch thyme

sea salt 

pepper

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Bundle thyme with twine or string and place in the middle of your pot (I used the pot from my chicken for the flavor) Pour oil into a heavy pot (I use my cast-iron Dutch oven, of course) up to about an inch.  heat on medium-high heat.  Oil is ready when the thyme starts to sizzle.  

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Gently place potatoes in, in a circle.  Don't over-crowd your pot!  Flip them after about a minute-and-a-half, and using a metal slotted spoon, take them out and place on paper towel to drain off excess oil.  Sprinkle immediately with sea salt and black pepper.  

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Sprinkle with a little thyme and serve under the casserole or on their own.  Trust me - these are NEVER left over!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.