Herb Roasted Potatoes

Herb Roasted Potatoes

I guess you could say I’m a real “meat and potatoes” kind of girl.  Actually I can do without the meat, so possibly it’s more accurate just to say I’m a “potatoes” kind of girl. I like to incorporate potatoes into every meal whenever possible.  Scrabbled eggs in the morning must be accompanied by home fries, and if you know me at all, and you do, then you know french fries have to make an appearance at lunch. But what I’m here to share with you today is more of a dinnertime potato. Now mind you, I serve these whenever I have company over, and there’s nary a potato ever left in the dish.

For these Herb Roasted Potatoes, I like to use the Yukon Gold’s because they have a buttery, creamy texture and you don’t have to peel them. You roast the potatoes at a high temperature and they come out crispy and  crunchy, almost like a potato chip, and I know how you all like potato chips. The addition of the fresh herbs just brings out the potato’s earthiness. But don’t take my word for it, make them for the family and see if there’s any left.

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Herb Roasted Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (I used the small ones)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
  • Kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and spray rimmed cookie sheets with cooking spray. Using a mandolin, so that your potato slices will be uniform in size, slice your potatoes to about 1/8” thick. Place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add your fresh herbs to the bowl, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Drizzle enough olive oil over the mixture only to lightly coat the potatoes, and with your hands toss the ingredients until each potato slice is coated.
  3. Lay the potatoes out on the cookie sheets in one layer and place in the oven, on the center rack.
  4. About half-way through baking, using a metal spatula, flip the slices over so that the other side of the potato will brown
  5. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until potatoes are nice and golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt (if desired). Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Recipe: Easy

Fresh Herbs – parsley, thyme & chives


Spicy Grilled Corn

Spicy Grilled Cor

I’ve got a high school reunion coming up, a big one mind you, and I’d really like to lose 10 pounds, stat! Is that shallow of me. Okay, don’t answer.  At this point in my life, shouldn’t I be comfortable in my own skin?  After all, time and gravity has taken it’s toll on all of us. I’m not the only one who’s enjoyed her chocolate chip cookies and Snicker’s bars for the last 40 years, am I? My passion in life has been food and cooking, so what did I think was going to happen. Oh, and did I mention I’m not a big fan of exercise either. Shame on me!

My girlfriend Carol told me she lost 17 pounds doing Weight Watcher’s online. She calls me everyday and cheers me on, telling me, “you can do it”. So I joined, and each day I log on tracking each minute morsel I eat.  I bought all their frozen, packaged meals that only require me popping them into the microwave. Do you know how horrific this is for a person who lives to bake bread. I thought carbs were my friend, but I was so wrong.

I’ve spent a lot of time at my local farmer’s market buying tons of fruit and vegetables because they’re “zero” points on this diet. Geez, I even dislike the word diet. Anyway, today they had bins filled with the most amazing summer corn. It was screaming out to me, “grill me”! Sure, I know I should have gone for the green vegetables, but I broke down and bought the corn. And it was good.

If you don’t have a high school reunion coming up, then please, indulge yourself in sweet, summer corn on the grill. It’s easy, inexpensive, and oh-so-good.

Spicy Grilled Corn

Spicy Grilled Corn

  • 6 ears fresh corn with husk on
  • 1 stick of salted butter, room temperature
  • zest of  1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese or queso fresco
Directions
  1. Preheat your grill on medium-high.
  2. Take your corn with the husk on and place them in a sink of cold water to soak for about 20 minutes. Place something heavy on top of them to keep them submerged.
  3. While your corn is soaking, place your room temperature butter in a medium bowl. Add all the other ingredients, except the cheese, and combine with a spatula.
  4. After 20 minutes remove your corn from the sink and pull back the husks and remove the silk. Remove  some of the outer layers of the husks, but leave some on because you will be covering the corn back up.
  5. With a brush, brush a layer of the compound butter mixture onto the corn, cover back up with the husk, and wrap it in aluminum foil.
  6. Place the wrapped corn on the grill for about 12-15 minutes, turning every 3 minutes to evenly cook the corn.
  7. When you remove the foil and husk from the corn, brush again with the butter mixture, and sprinkle with cotija cheese.

Fresh Summer Corn

Mama’s Tips:

Plan in advance. You can leave your butter out overnight, and by the next day it will be the perfect consistency.

You can make your butter mixture 2 days in advance. Just cover and refrigerate it. When you are ready to use it, just bring it to room temperature.

For a party appetizer, cut corn into 1 1/2″ pieces and just insert a toothpick.

Spicy Grilled Corn

Recipe: Easy


Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted Root Vegetables

It’s a gloomy, rainy Sunday here in sunny Southern California. I actually love it this way. Thanksgiving is only four days away and the damp, chilly air is bringing back memories of former Thanksgivings growing up on the east coast. The word that comes to mind when I think of this holiday is “home”.  When I went away to college and then when I moved to Los Angeles, I always went “home” for Thanksgiving to my parents house. No matter how busy everyone’s lives were, we always came together for Thanksgiving.

It’ funny, because I’m not really big on holidays. Halloween and Valentine’s Day are just another day to me. But Thanksgiving is a holiday that has a special place in my heart.  It just does.

I wanted to share this roasted root vegetable dish. It’s very easy to make, doesn’t require a lot of time, and the results are quite delicious. Roasting these vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. There’s no exact measurements here as you can make this for 2 people or ten.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted Root Vegetables

  • baby carrots, peeled
  • beets, any color, peeled and sliced into 1″ slices
  • parsnips, peeled, cut into 1″ slices
  • leeks, white part only, cut into 1″ slices
  • onion, cut into 1″ slices
  • yukon gold potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1″ slices
  • olive oil
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • rosemary, finely chopped
  • garlic, finely chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place all the vegetables in a baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, enough to coat all the vegetables. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss.
  3. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Take dish out and toss vegetables with the garlic and rosemary. Place dish back in oven uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, or until you can pierce the vegetables with a fork. Do not over-bake, you don’t want the vegetables too soft.

Recipe: Easy


You’re In A No-Fry Zone…Oven-Baked, Parmesan Fries

Oven-Baked Fries

The potato gets a bum rap. In the colorful world of vibrant green, red, orange and yellow vegetables the potato is like a poor, little hobo. All dirty and dusty, drab in color, with pock marks all over him. But oh, the glorious things you can do with a potato. I would have to say he gets the vote as my favorite vegetable. You can mash him, fry him, bake, roast or scallop him. He can be stuffed, made into a chip or even a salad. He’s a versatile little fellow.

Such a humble vegetable…but so good

But mama loves her fries. There, I’ve said it, I’m coming clean. French fried potatoes are my absolute favorite food. That being said, I don’t find cooking anything in a vat of oil all that appetizing. So, when I’m at home I like to make my fries in the oven, and they’re  just as good. No, actually better. These are lightly tossed with some olive oil, parsley, coarse salt, fresh black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and then topped off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. For me they’re a meal in itself!

Baked Parmesan Fries

3-4 medium russet potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced fine

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper

pinch red pepper flakes

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Peel 3-4 russet potatoes. Cut in half length-wise then cut each half length-wise into 4 slices, trying to have all slices the same thickness. Put potato slices in a bowl of cold water so they don’t turn brown while your preparing them.

3. Drain potatoes, and pat dry with a paper towel. Put potatoes in large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to coat each fry. Spread out onto a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 38-42 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

4. Using a metal spatula, gently remove fries from baking sheet and toss in a shallow bowl with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese generously over the fries.

Serves 4 (or 2 in my house)

Oven-baked Parmesan Fries