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February 17, 2014

Maple-Miso Roasted Fingerlings and Potatopalooza at the Kerekesh Home

My Maple-Miso Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

I was a lucky guest at a festive Potatopalooza party thrown by Erika Kerekesh, blogger at In Erika's Kitchen, with food by Judy Lyness, blogger at Two Broads Abroad.  I love sponsored events, like this one put on by the Idaho Potato Commission.  The opportunity to spotlight one ingredient can be enlightening, especially when it's one used on such a daily basis that it often goes overlooked. 

What do I get out of attending an event like this, as a blogger?  Well, besides meeting a bunch of really cool and like-minded people, and getting food samples and new recipes to take home, I find motivation to blog.  I was still thinking about potatoes long after the party, so I decided to experiment with a glaze on roasted spuds.  These maple-miso roasted fingerling potatoes were sweetened to just the right note.  They were so tasty I forgot to photograph them, so the picture is of the chilled leftovers the next morning!  Forced to pull them out of the fridge to complete the blog post, the leftovers made a perfect filling for my egg white breakfast omelette.

Maple-Miso Roasted Potatoes

1 bag Fingerling Potatoes
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Sherry Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. White Miso Paste
1/8 tsp. Liquid Smoke 
Salt (to taste)

Whisk all glaze ingredients in a small bowl.  Clean, dry and dice potatoes to a roughly even size.  Pour glaze over potatoes and mix well to coat.  Bake at 450 degrees in greased 8x8 pan for about 30 minutes, till glaze is caramelized and potatoes are crispy on the outside but creamy inside.  Garnish with smoked paprika and serve warm. 

Pictures below from Potatopalooza:

Creamy Twice Baked Potatoes

Layered Pizza with Blue Cheese and Shaved Potatoes

Perfect Potato Blintzes
Bonus recipe from the Potatopalooza Party:

Potato Kale Lasagna Muffin 
Recipe by Erika Kerekes, In Erika’s Kitchen
1 bunch kale, curly or Tuscan (dinosaur)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound Idaho® potatoes, scrubbed (do not peel)
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk or part-skim)
1⁄2 cup prepared pesto sauce
1 1⁄2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
Equipment: 12-cup muffin pan
1.  Wash the kale well and strip the leaves from the stems (discard the stems). Chop the leaves finely. It’s okay if some water clings to the kale leaves.  
2.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and kale and saute about 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside. 
3.  Slice the potatoes paper-thin. (It’s easiest to do this with a mandoline, v-slicer or food processor.) Toss the potato slices with the salt and let sit about 5 minutes. 
4.  In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, pesto sauce and egg together.  
5.  Preheat the oven to 350° F. 
6.  Assemble the mini lasagnas: Spray each cup of the muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray, or brush it with olive oil. Build the lasagnas in layers in each muffin cup, starting with a layer of potato slices, then adding a small dollop of the ricotta-pesto mixture, a teaspoon of cooked kale, a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkle of grated parmesan or Romano cheese. Continue building the mini lasagnas in this manner, finishing each one with a layer of potato slices and a sprinkle of mozzarella and parmesan.  
7.  Bake the mini lasagnas about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, the cheese is golden brown and the lasagnas are cooked through. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before attempting to remove from the pan. Use a small offset spatula or blunt knife to un-mold the mini lasagnas and transfer to serving plates. Serve immediately.

February 2, 2014

Mom's Amaretto Sauce

Author Rick Bragg tells a story about making his mom's mashed potatoes:  he tried the recipe from his mom over and over, but couldn't get it just the way she made it.  He went back to her, repeatedly asking why the two dishes hadn't matched, and the only response she gave over and over was, "You have to feel it out.  You have to practice."  Finally one time he watched her prepare the potatoes, start to finish.  He witnessed the ingredient she had left out from the recipe when she'd given it to him.  His mom stirred in a large dollop of mayonnaise! 

For this month's Valentine themed meeting of Food Bloggers Los Angeles, I decided to make one of my mom's tried and true standards:  Amaretto Sauce.  She normally serves liberal amounts of this sauce over sliced strawberries.  I lightened her dessert by using the sauce as a dressing over a spinach-berry salad.  This gives the flavor, but without as much volume of sugar, as you're not using as much of the sauce, and makes a vegetable palatable while letting the berries shine through.  

I think my version does justice to the dessert I remember growing up.   It's a treat to be enjoyed in moderation, or on special holidays, like Valentines. 

Mom's Amaretto Sauce

1 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Amaretto
1 1/2 c. Sour Cream

Blend all ingredients, and serve over fresh strawberries.

Spinach-Berry Salad

1 bag fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
1/2 bag frozen Strawberries
1/2 bag frozen Blackberries
Pine Nuts as desired

Thaw the berries overnight in the refrigerator.  Toss all ingredients and serve.  Dress with Amaretto Sauce above.

What family recipes have you tried to duplicate, and to what success?  How have you been able to keep the tradition but make them healthier?

FBLA Chocolate Party 2014 Recipe and Resource Links


Savory Dishes

Champagne/Sparkling Wine Recommendations

  • Jaume Serra Cristaliino Brut Cava by Eating RulesJaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava ($7 “but tastes like $20+”) -- Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules
  • NV Presto Prosecco Brut ($10-$12), a “price performer” -- Alison Ashton of Nourish Network
  • Brut Roederer Estate Mixed Vintage ($20) -- Jennifer Daskevich of A Little Gourmet Everyday
  • Colbert Eco Brut (sugar-free organic sparkling wine; $25) -- Caren Magill of The Fit Habit
  • Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée ($10.99). “When serving mimosas there is no need to buy expensive bubbly, but naturally you don't want to serve your guests headache-inducing sparkling wines or champagne either. The Brut Cuvée is Barefoot's most traditional bubbly and tastes of green apple and jasmine with hints of kiwi and peach flavors which bubble up for a crisp finish and, in my opinion, make a delightful Mimosa,” said Priscilla Willis of She’s Cookin’.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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