Posts Tagged 'potatoes'

Dijon Red-Skinned Potato Salad

Dijon Red-Skinned Potato Salad

Dijon Mustard transforms classic potato salad into an out-of-the-ordinary side dish.

3 pounds small red potatoes, cubed
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons French’s Dijon mustard
½ cup thinly sliced celery
½ cup finely diced red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large stockpot place the potatoes, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, French’s Dijon mustard, celery, red onion, and dill. Toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.

Serves 6.

Variation: If you prefer, feel free to peel the potatoes before cooking.

Photo by Justin Fox Burks


Potatoes Au Gratin

This dish looks so elegant on the table that no one will believe how easy it was to make. I often serve it at dinner parties with steaks or roasts.

Potatoes Au Gratin
Adapted from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish and the foil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 medium baking potatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon French’s Dijon or Spicy Brown Mustard
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

In a large saucepot combine the milk, cream, butter, garlic, and nutmeg. Peel the potatoes and cut into slices about 1/8-inch thick. Add the potato slices to the milk mixture to prevent discoloration.

Over medium-high heat, bring the milk mixture to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are slightly tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish, arranging the top layer of the potatoes in an overlapping pattern, if desired. Add the Dijon and mustard and stir to combine. Pour the milk mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese evenly over the top. Cover the dish with a buttered piece of aluminum foil, buttered side down.

Bake until the potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the potatoes are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Cooking Tip: The difference between freshly grated nutmeg and commercially ground is night and day. To grate whole nutmeg, use a special nutmeg grater or scrape the seed over the finest rasps of your box grater. I buy my whole nutmeg at the grocery in a specially designed jar with a grinder built into the lid.

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Herb Roasted Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the potatoes, oil, rosemary, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out the potatoes in a single layer.

Roast, stirring once halfway through cooking, until potatoes are golden brown and crisp outside and tender inside, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Fresh thyme is a delicious addition to the mix or substitute for the rosemary.


Sweet Potato Fries

I never met a fry I didn’t like! 

Crinkle, shoestring, thick-cut, curly…doesn’t matter.  I just can’t resist a French fried potato.

But deep-frying potatoes every day would not only be extremely unhealthy…but would also make a big mess to clean up! So I have decided to leave the deep-fried variety to an occasional indulgence when eating out. (Let those restaurateurs deal with the messy fryer!)

Instead, I have turned to oven-baked fries. It is so much easier, less mess, and equally delicious.

I just slice up the potatoes in the shape I want (thin, thick, wedges,…), toss them in oil and a little seasoning, and then throw them in the oven.  That simple!

For an interesting twist, I often use sweet potatoes in lieu of the traditional Russet potato. 

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite sides…but I often don’t have the time to wait over an hour for them to cook.  This is a quick an easy way to enjoy this delicious spud in half the time.   As a side bonus, sweet potatoes are healthier than their white counterparts.  Despite their sweeter flavor, they actually rank lower on the glycemic index as well as offer more vitamins and fiber.

Be sure to generously season your fries with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  I throw fresh thyme sprigs over the top to impart a little “sophistication” and flavor to my fries. Rosemary would also be a delicious substitute.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries

5 sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 395 degrees.

To make the fries, peel the potatoes and cut each potato lengthwise into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the slices lengthwise into strips about 1/2 inch think.

Toss the potatoes with the oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Evenly spread the fries out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Scatter the thyme over the fries. Bake until the fries are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Back-to-the-Basics: The fresh thyme adds a little “sophistication” to these fries. Feel free to omit the herbs or to substitute baking potatoes.

Crawfish Boil

Peel ‘um, Eat ‘um and Suck the Heads!

Crawfish is probably the one ingredient that most Americans associate with Cajun cooking. Once deemed a poor man’s food from the swamp waters of Southern Louisiana, these little lobster-like crustaceans were a treat that local fisherman enjoyed only at home.  It wasn’t until they were specially featured at the Breaux Bridge Centennial Celebration in the early 1960s that crawfish gained widespread social acceptance. Once the world discovered the sweet, tasty meat of the so nicknamed “mudbug,” they started showing up not only in backyard boiling pots but also on restaurant tables.  Due to their rise in popularity, crawfish are now commercially farmed throughout the South.

Crawfish boils where guests “peel ‘um, eat ‘um and suck the heads” are one of the most popular ways to enjoy this Cajun treat. Live crawfish are boiled in a spicy mixture of garlic, onions, corn cobs, new potatoes and the all important cayenne pepper. The finished product is dumped on a platter or a table covered with newspaper and guests eat the tasty meat of the crawfish tails and then suck the spicy juices from the head.

Crawfish season runs roughly from Mardi Gras (mid-February) through June.  Call your local seafood wholesaler or ask your grocer’s seafood manager to order it for you in advance.

Don’t let crawfish season pass you by without “sucking the head and eating the tail” of at least one (or in my case several dozen) mudbugs!


Crawfish Boil

Serves 15 to 20

30 pounds live crawfish (one sack)
2 cups salt for purging
2 (3 oz.) boxes crab boil seasoning
10 small onions, peeled and halved
2 pounds sliced Andouille sausage
5 pounds small red or new potatoes, unpeeled
4 heads garlic, sliced in half
10 ears of fresh corn-on-the-cob, shucked and broken in halves 

To purge the crawfish, place them in a large plastic tub or a large ice chest and rinse them in enough changes of water for the water to run reasonably clear. Then add more water to cover the crawfish and add 2 cups of salt. Stir for 3 minutes, then rinse crawfish. Keep the cleaned and drained crawfish uncovered until ready to cook.

Fill a large 18 to 20 gallon pot three-quarters full.  Add the crab boil seasoning. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Boil 2 to 3 minutes to allow the spices to mix well.

Using a large wire basket that fits into the pot, add the onions, sausage, potatoes, garlic, and corn. Maintain a boil and cook 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the crawfish to the wire basket, stirring them a bit.  Cook an additional 7 to 10 minutes, being careful not to overcook the crawfish. Remove the wire basket from pot.

To serve, line a table with newspaper. Lift the basket from the stock and drain. Dump the basket ingredients directly on newspaper.

Note: Be sure to have plenty of paper towels and beer on hand!

Cooking Tip: Leftover crawfish can be peeled and the meat frozen to be later used in dishes such as Crawfish Etouffee, Crawfish Pies, and Seafood Gumbo.

Photo by Natalie Root Photography. Styled by Jennifer Chandler.

Jennifer Chandler

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