Our friends Raquel and Steve and Toodie came over for dinner. They brought a bag of red potatoes and onions from their garden. YUM!
We loved the dinner that evening. Sherry cream shrimp on Texas toast, a roasted carrot salad and cherry tabbouleh. All make agains. You'll need to trust me that the cherry tabbouleh was gorgeous. For some reason I didn't get a photo of it.
Then, the next night I started in on those amazing potatoes and onions. The first thing I made was a lamb hash. It was pretty basic. Brown potato cubes, sauté onions and peppers, brown and drain ground lamb. Add some salt and pepper. Mix it all together. So easy and SO fabulous!
Then, I made roasted potatoes with sage and garlic. And, forgot to put the garlic in. Those were a five anyway :-)
There was yet another five out of the potatoes... Long story short Mom had a cookbook called Juicy Miss Lucy. I have a copy. We'd made some of the same recipes but not all. I've copied all of my notes into hers and am in the process of copying her notes into mine. Then, I can give my copy to my niece since Mom's cooking is very limited these days. Long before they were called Hasselback potatoes, JML published a recipe called Potato Fans. I've got to wonder if they were the originals? These are super easy. Put chopsticks on either side of the potatoes and slice them about 1/8 - 1/4" down to the chopsticks. Drizzle them with melted butter the roast them for 30 minutes at 400F. Remove them from the oven and baste them with the butter. Sprinkle cheese between the slices. I used a wonderful blue called St. Agur but you can use pretty much any grated cheese that suits your fancy. Now, the recipe called for also sprinkling them with chives and bread crumbs. I skipped those and just sprinkled on some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. These were baked for an additional 30 minutes with a bit of grated parmesan added at the end. Here's what the steps looked like:
Last but not least, I made a pork loin (really small one) with roasted potatoes and shallots. Another winner!
Now, you have to see who "helped" while I was typing... We're turtle sitting for a friend's turtle while she recoups. I let the turtle have the run of the desk and all she wanted to do was hide behind the monitor...
Sherry Cream Shrimp
4 T butter
1/2 lb sliced white mushrooms
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 T flour
1/3 c sherry
3/4 c cream
a few grates fresh nutmeg
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
1 T Evoo
20 large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice of one lemon
4 slices Texas Toast (the recipe actually called for good quality white bread, toasted, buttered and halved corner to corner. I thought the recipe was screaming for Texas toast...)
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they're just a little bit brown. Add the shallot and sauté until it's softened. Then, add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Stir in the flour. Allow it to cook for a couple of minutes before you slowly add the sherry. Once that's in and the sauce has thickened, slowly add the cream. Once the sauce is thick, stir in the tarragon and nutmeg. In another skillet, heat the olive oil to shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook on both sides until they're pink. Add the lemon juice and mix the shrimp into the sauce. Serve over Texas toast.
adapted from Rachael Ray
Ludo Lefebvre's Roasted Carrot Salad
for the carrots:
1/2 t ground cuming
1 1/2 lbs small carrots, scrubbed clean and tops trimmed (I used the mini-carrots)
1 bay leaf, fresh, scored
1 head garlic, cut in half
5-7 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 c EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
for the blood-orange vinaigrette
2 blood oranges, juiced (they weren't in season so I used navel oranges)
1 T white vinegar
1 T granulated sugar
1/2 t kosher salt
1/3 c EVOO
for the cumin crème fraiche
1 c crème fraiche
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 t ground cumin
pinch kosher salt
for the salad:
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 T almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
2 blood oranges cut into supremes
1 T finely chopped fresh parsley
1 T finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 T finely chopped fresh chervil
1 T finely chopped chives
Tired yet? Me too! This looks tougher than it is!
Start by roasting the carrots. They need to go into an oven that's been preheated to 400F. While that's preheating, you need to toast the cumin in a small skillet. Divide out what you'll need for the cumin crème and add the rest to a 9" square baking dish with the rest of the ingredients for the carrots. Toss them then roast just until the carrots start to caramelize. It'll take 30-45 minutes.
While the carrots are roasting (and you can do them well ahead,) make the cumin crème and the dressing. In both cases, you just combine the ingredients.
To assemble the salad, smear the cumin crème on the bottom of the serving bowl or platter.
Top that with the carrots - not the aromatics they roasted with, just the carrots. Then, sprinkle the carrots with the rest of the salad ingredients. Top everything with the dressing.
adapted from the New York Times
1 1/2 c pearl couscous
1/3 c EVOO
1 t orange zest
3 T orange juice
2/3 lb cherries, pitted and quartered
3/4 c each chopped fresh parsley and mint
1/2 c finely chopped red onion
2 small Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 c shredded Swiss chard (optional - my add)
Cook the couscous according to package directions. Drain and rinse it. Toss it with the other ingredients.
adapted from Rachael Ray
Roasted Potatoes with Sage and Garlic
1 1/2 lbs small creamer potatoes, halved
1/3 c flour
1 1/2 T vegetable oil (I used light olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, minced (ooops, can't believe I left this out!)
1/4 c chopped fresh sage leaves
1 T unsalted butter
salt and pepper
12 whole fresh sage leaves
1 T unsalted butter
Preheat your oven to 450F. Put a large heavy cast iron or other pan or skillet that's oven proof into the oven as it preheats. Put a large saucepan with salted cold water and the potatoes on the stove on high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat. Simmer the potatoes for another five minutes or until they almost cooked through. Drain them and dry them on paper towels. Then, roll them in the flour. You just want to coat them, not drench them in flour.
Remove the HOT pan from the oven and pour in the olive oil. It'll sizzle like all get out, so be careful. Put the potatoes in in one layer, skin side up. Roast them for about 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and turn them over. Sprinkle with the sage leaves.
Roast them for another 15 minutes. Add the garlic just before you pull them out of the oven. That is if you want to use the garlic. Immediately on removing the pan from the oven, add the butter. It'll brown as it melts.
While the potatoes are roasting, fry the sage leaves in butter. You'll need to be very careful when turning them not to break them.
adapted from The New York Times
Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Potatoes and Shallots (Or Green Onions...)
8 medium red potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
8 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise or a bunch of green onions
3 T olive oil
1-2 lbs pork, either tenderloin or small loin - I used the small loin and loved the bit of fat it added
1 t dried thyme
1/2 c sherry vinegar
3 T dark brown sugar
1 T coarse grain mustard
Preheat your oven to 400. Put the potatoes into cold, salted water in a medium saucepan. Bring them to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer them for about 5 minutes until they're almost done. Cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other oven proof pan with the olive oil. Put the potatoes in in one layer. Cook them over medium heat until one side is browned. Flip them over. Brown the other side. Remove them from the pan. Salt and pepper all sides of the pork. Brown it in the same pan. Remove it from the pan. Add the thyme, vinegar and sugar and scrape up all the fond. Put the potatoes back in one layer. Add the green onions on top of the potatoes. Then, the pork. Cover the pan tightly with foil and roast in the oven until the pork reaches 130F. Remove from the oven. Put the pork on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes. Put the potatoes and onions in a bowl and cover with the foil. Add the mustard to the sauce in the pan and mix well. Serve the pork sliced thinly with the sauce over.
adapted from one of the Cooks Illustrated magazines - can't tell which one...