Archive for the 'veg' Category

Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

berry potato salad text Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

We’re back in the city, back to eating on the back porch where all the appliances and boxes and torn-out stuff isn’t, back to walking Lou on the sidewalk instead of the beach. What I miss most about having a stove on this particular day is the ability to cook potatoes – the new ones with the thin skins that are just being pulled out of the dirt and sold in farmers’ markets. I could live on these sweet baby potatoes, for awhile, anyway – forked and doused in butter and lemon, with steak and gremolata, or in an uber-creamy potato salad. (It’s not just for picnics anymore.)

Berry potato salad Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

My pal Chef Michael Allemeier, one of the best chefs around, the guy who taught me to proof bread in a warm, steamy dishwasher after it finishes a load, came up with this recipe. It has blackberries (!) and fresh mint, along with all the other things that make a potato salad great, plus a hit of cream for maximum creaminess. I love that he uses peppery arugula and balsamic vinegar – this isn’t evident in the photo because when I pulled out my arugula, it was all shades of yellow, and my garden is struggling this year. If you have some, go for the greens.

Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

Recipe from Chef Michael Allemeier for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

5 medium yellow-fleshed potatoes (about 2 lbs./1 kg)
2 hard cooked eggs, peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp grainy or Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 green onions, thinly sliced (green parts only)
1/4 cup loosely packed, thinly sliced fresh mint
salt
2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1 cup firmly packed baby arugula leaves, stems removed
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Scrub potatoes and dice into 3/4-inch pieces. Cook in large pot of salted water until tender. Drain well; let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash eggs with a fork. Whisk in mayonnaise, whipping cream, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, onions and mint, until creamy. Add warm potatoes to dressing; season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To serve, in a medium bowl, toss berries, arugula and balsamic vinegar; reserve some of the berries and arugula. Fold berry mixture into potato salad. Serve in a bowl or on a platter; garnish with reserved berries and arugula. Serves 6.

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August 17 2014 | salads and veg | 5 Comments »

Broccoli & Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes 2 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

People often ask why we spend so much time in Tofino. It’s a good question – besides the fact that it’s stunningly beautiful, and totally zen, and has some of the best food (and drinks!) and beaches and rainforests in Canada, my parents were nice enough to build a house there. So really it’s like a second home – with a kitchen that’s far nicer than mine and looks out over the ocean. So far I haven’t managed to figure out how to live there – except maybe to just go out and not come back, and claim that possession is nine tenths of the law?

Tofino collage 1 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

So it’s easy(ish) to settle in and stay for a few extra days when the rest of Canada is being pummeled with snow. And when it’s time to pack up and go, I rummage through the kitchen and use up whatever’s left – this time it meant finally doing something with that broccoli that seemed like a good idea when I saw it on sale on the day we were driving in, and a couple wrinkled potatoes that appeared to be forgotten about at the bottom of a drawer.

surfboard potato Collage Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

It’s hard not to just go for more fish & chips or burritos.

Tofino collage 2 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

This not a recipe post so much as a reminder of what you can do if you have a couple wrinkled potatoes and some cheese. Beyond that, there’s most likely something in your kitchen that tastes good with potatoes. Bacon? Cold roasted veg? Mushrooms? Sausage? Onions to caramelize? Brussels sprout slaw? A half a container of leftover butter chicken? Chop it + mash it + stuff it.

Twice baked potatoes 71 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

What I love – and keep forgetting – about twice baked potatoes is that they can take on bits of anything, and are particularly good at rejuvenating those bits that otherwise wouldn’t amount to much of a meal. But a stuffed potato is a meal in itself; when I was in high school, my mom went to art college. My dad worked long hours, and with three teenagers with homework and boyfriends and drama (and only one phone!), my mom’s go-to meal was a round of baked potatoes picked up at the Wendy’s drive-thru on the way home. Remember when they were a thing? You could get them plain, doused in chili or with broccoli and neon cheese sauce, which when you’re a teenager is practically required eating.

Twice baked potatoes 6 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

I don’t think I’ve had the broccoli-cheese potato combo since – until this week. So what you do is you bake your potato (I always give them a head start for 5 minutes in the microwave first, to get them going on the insides while the oven heats up) and then scoop out the innards and mash them with all the things that make mashed potatoes delicious – butter, salt, pepper, cream. And then whatever else you like – the previous day I roasted my bunch of broccoli with olive oil and Parmesan, but we didn’t eat it all, so I hacked a bunch up and grated in some cheese. No measuring. This is a good, inexpensive thing to teach kids (teenagers!) how to make, I think. They can experiment and use their intuition rather than follow a recipe – and a twice-baked potato makes a fine meal whether you live alone or with roommates, especially when you don’t have a massive grocery budget. (Who does?)

Twice baked potatoes 5 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Scoop your embellished potatoes back into their shells, add some extra cheese for good measure and slide them back into the oven, cranking it up a bit (to 400F or so) until the cheese melts and the potatoes heat through. No particular timing required.

Twice baked potatoes 1 Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Curl up on the couch with a stuffed potato and a fork and dream of spring.

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March 31 2014 | veg and vegetarian | 7 Comments »

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