May 17, 2019

Mortadella Home Fries


Ingredients:
1 1/2-2 lb Russet potatoes, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
1/4 lb thinly sliced (imported) mortadella, cut into bite-sized pieces
butter
freshly ground black pepper
pinch salt



Directions:

Parboil the potato in a medium pot. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large skillet. Melt the butter. Add the onions and mortadella and sauté until the onions are softened and starting to brown around the edges. Add the potatoes. Arrange the potatoes in as flat of a layer as possible. Cook until golden then flip and brown the other side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.



My thoughts:
I have always been a home fries person. My grandpop always made them for me growing up (often alongside his meat cakes) and I think they are so much better than hash browns. Unfortunately,  a lot of restaurants don't seem to know the difference between hash browns and home fries so when I order home fries, I am often very disappointed.

I make them at home not terribly frequently but every time I do I wonder why it has been so long! Normally I make them with bacon but we had bought way too much mortadella shortly before our trip to NYC last week so I thought I'd swap some for the usual bacon. I'm so glad I did! The mortadella (the fancier, Italian cousin to bologna) crisped up around the edges and added a ton of flavor to the potatoes. It was a revelation. I think I might buy "too much" mortadella on purpose next time.

The trick to good home fries is to parboil the potatoes. I don't always do it, my grandpop never did, but it really is the easiest way to guarantee crispy, perfectly cooked potatoes.

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May 15, 2019

Spaghetti with Sardines, Asparagus and Capers






Ingredients:

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 onion, sliced into half moons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
2 4.4-oz canned sardines in oil, drained
juice and zest of one lemon
3/4 lb spaghetti
2/3 (loose) cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
Parmesan for sprinkling
olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Cook spaghetti according to package instructions.

In a large skillet, toast the bread crumbs until golden brown. Set aside. Heat some olive oil in the pan. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onion softens. Add the asparagus, capers, and sardines. Saute, breaking up the sardines with the back of the spoon until the onions are fully cooked. Stir in the cooked, drained spaghetti, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, and parsley. Toss in bread crumbs. Divide over four plates and sprinkle with parmesan. Serve immediately.




My thoughts:
One of the best things about our trip to Portugal a few years ago was really exploring the world of tinned seafood. We went to two different restaurants that specialized in recipes using tinned seafood in interesting ways and a store that only sold canned seafood. It was so much fun!

Luckily, all sorts of canned and preserved seafood are available here in the US. Even the not so fancy supermarket had 10 different varieties and brands of sardines. Not to mention, tuna, anchovies, herring, even octopus!

It's easy to make a meal strictly from the pantry using sardines but since it's spring (despite being the 40s!! this week) I added some in-season asparagus and tons of parsley for a lighter, fresher dish. It was so good! Filling without being heavy and although sardines are a fishier smelling fish, the dish is surprisingly not pungent. The toasty bread crumbs and parm add a great depth of flavor as well. A truly satisfying weeknight meal.

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May 07, 2019

Dill Feta Ranch Dip



Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1/4 cup crumbled feta

for the ranch mix:
1 1/2 tablespoons dry buttermilk*
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Place all ingredients, including the ranch mix, in a medium bowl and stir to combine all ingredients until fairly smooth. Refrigerate 20 minutes prior to serving.


*look for this in the baking aisle

My thoughts:
I've been cooking a lot lately but it's all been dishes too heavy to post in May or food that is terribly unphotogenic. So frustrating when you are trying to keep with a regular posting schedule as you move into the 15th year of this blog!

Today I made myself a mortadella sandwich and since I had some of these sesame Pressels  I thought I'd make some dip for fun. I've been obsessed with feta and dill lately so I thought I'd combine them with some Greek yogurt and homemade buttermilk ranch mix. So good and creamy with a bit of a tang. Perfect for your next lunch, snacktime or picnic.

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