A strange name for a dish, I know, but it was the only name I could come up with where I'd be sure these masterful spuds wouldn't be confused with any other taters. I first thought of calling them "twice cooked potatoes" because they are first boiled, then roasted, but I didn't want them to be confused with "twice baked potatoes". Next, I thought that "smashed baby potatoes" might work, but was concerned that they would be confused with a more traditional "smashed or mashed potatoes".
Archives for July 2012
As we have shown with his quiche, his fried chicken, and his brownies before, these lovelies are what result when Chef Thomas Keller decides to rain his genius down upon an old standard and elevate it to new heights. Keller has an amazing ability to get to the purest form of what a dish should be, stripping away unnecessary ingredients, focusing on building the flavor of what's left, and serving it up in a beautiful little package.
My friend Devaki at Weave a Thousand Flavors made a dish similar to this a few months back and I was intrigued. When I saw Anne Burrell of Food Network fame have a go at it as well, I knew I had to give it a try, as both of these gals really know what they're doing in the kitchen.
I love playing with pestos, and over the years have made them with basil, arugula, cilantro, and spinach. The word pesto derives from the Italian "pistare" which means to pound or crush, and can be made with anything that can, yes you guessed it, be readily pounded or crushed. Most folks never think beyond basil and pine nuts when they think of pesto, but I encourage you to experiment a little with combinations of greens / herbs, nuts and cheeses that you like together, and come up with a few on your own.
One of the lessons I return to again and again when teaching Cooking Matters courses, is the idea of planning for leftovers. One way to do so is to make large batches of certain foods say on a Sunday for the express purpose of feeding the family in the subsequent days. Another way of looking at leftovers is to have a few recipes (or more accurately, techniques and concepts) that you can readily turn to when you find your fridge full of leftovers that you hadn't necessarily counted on.
Well I hadn't either until a few months back, but now that I've discovered them they are quickly becoming a frequent guest at our table. Many of the ones I'm seeing these days come pre-marinated in some sort of nasty chemical wash, and to those I urge you to say NO…… thank you very much. If you can find some plain ones though, pick them up and try this dish, you'll be hooked.
Like their petite cousins the chicken tenders, these meat spears are taken from the underside of the breast from a rarely used muscle that yields a terrifically tender piece of meat. They are naturally lean, but have a great texture and are an easy way to enjoy turkey without firing up a whole bird.
Unlike years past where we've cooked steaks, ribs and lobsters for our 4th of July feast, this year we planned to keep things a little simpler (but no less delicious), by grilling up some burgers and dogs, and steaming up some fresh ears of corn for our crowd.
Except, in the bustle and excitement of our 4th of July celebrations (also my sister's birthday!), I totally forgot about the corn and it sat chilling in bags in our basement while the party raged on above.
This is a dish that can be whipped up in no time at all, especially if you buy pre-made flat breads like we did when making these. We usually craft our own pizza dough when making pies at home, but the other day I was so pressed for time that I bought some flatbreads that were already made for this Middle Eastern flavored treat. These are great either baked in the oven, or finished on an outdoor grill if it's just too stinkin' hot to be inside. Serve them as a main course, or slice them into small wedges or squares for a great appetizer or cocktail party snack.