Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Korokke (Japanese Potato Croquette)

Korokke (Japanese Potato Croquette)

 

 

Okay….my first confession with this is that I had no intention of writing a post about this.  These Korokke were a result of me rummaging around the fridge one day, extremely hungry and wanting to find something quick to make. And then I stumbled upon a tupperware of leftover mashed potatoes—-something I RARELY have leftovers of. I am, after all, a Potato Monster .

I quickly decided upon fixing up some Korokke to eat along side some eggs……a Japanese “hashbrown” if you will. Super quick to make (especially if using mashed potatoes) and delish when lightly flavored with some curry powder. I often order it as a side dish when I’m having ramen for that added bit of texture and crunch.

Then I thought…..there must be tons of potato monsters out there, right? It was decided—I HAD to share my Korokke with you.

 

 

Korokke (Japanese Potato Croquette)

My second confession is that I got a little OCD when forming the potato patties. Usually I just free form them in my hands but I suddenly got it into my head that I was going to use my cookie cutters to get more uniformed shapes. Yeah…I have issues.

If you’re a normal person—just go with forming oval patties out of the potato mixture. But if you’re a crazy food blogger like me, gently press the mixture into an even layer on a lightly floured surface.  Then, use a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to make your shapes.  Trust me….either way results in a crispy and delish potato croquette. 🙂

Potato Monster signing off!

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Korokke (Japanese Potato Croquette)
Makes approximately 4 croquettes

Ingredients:

2 Cups Mashed Potatoes (or boil and mash 2 large potatoes)
1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/2 Cup Flour
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying

Heat oil in a skillet to 350 degrees F.

Thoroughly combine the potatoes and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper. Plate the beaten egg, flour, and panko in 3 separate, shallow dishes.

Using the potato mixture, form patties. This can be done by free forming them in your hands or by the cookie cutter method described above. Carefully coat each patty in the flour and gently shake off excess. Dip patty into the egg and then cover in the panko bread crumbs. Use the tips of your fingers to gently press the crumbs into the patty.

When the oil reaches temperature, fry the patties on each side until golden brown—about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with tonkatsu sauce or sauce of your choice.

Salads · Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Refreshing Greek Salad…..Opa!

Greek Salad

It’s been unusually warm these past few weeks — not your typical fall weather at all. Not that I’m really complaining but it does make me turn to lighter dishes instead of slaving away in a hot kitchen.

The other day I picked up a bunch of produce at my weekly farmer’s market and decided to make a refreshing Greek Salad for lunch.

Greek Salad

The salad is full of bright flavors from the fresh veggies, feta and the olives. Delish! And the leftovers were the perfect accompaniment to the Spanakopita I made the next day.

Up next, flaky and buttery Spanakopita!

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Greek Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 Cups Cucumbers, diced
2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, diced
2/3 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
½ Small Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup Feta Cheese, cubed or crumbled
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
½ Cup Quality Olive Oil
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced
¼ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, and oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad, and toss to coat.

Breads · Side Dish

Jalapeño-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I love Bread. I love Corn. But I’ve never really LOVED cornbread.

Odd, I know.

I think it’s because most of the cornbreads I’ve sampled always had some major flaws…..either too dry, too sweet—or, just lacked flavor.

But there have been some times that I’ve tasted different versions and I’ve thought—-huh, that’s not bad at all. When it comes down to it, I prefer the ones that aren’t overly sweet but have a lot of good corn flavor. I also like the ones that have nice crispy edges.

Turkey and Bean Chili

So when I made a big ol’ pot of chili for some friends the other weekend for the big game, it just seemed right to serve it with cornbread. They go hand in hand, right?

My take below is still a work in progress but I think it’s almost there. The key components are lots of Jalapeños , whole corn kernels, cheese—and of course, the crispy edges from the cast iron skillet. Yummers.

There’s definitely still room to tweak this cornbread to make it the ultimate real deal but I barely had enough time to snap a few pictures of it before my friends inhaled it. And I mean all of it! 🙂

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Jalapeño-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
1½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled, divided
3-4 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and minced
¼ Cup Scallions, chopped
1 Cup Corn Kernels

Place a 9 inch cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the cheese and gently toss.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and 4 tablespoons of butter.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until all items are well incorporated. Fold in the jalapeños , scallions, and corn.

Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Pour the remaining butter into the bottom of the skillet and swirl around to cover the pan. Be careful as butter may splatter. Pour the batter into the skillet. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Rosemary-Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

Rosemary-Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

 

My love for Potatoes knows no boundaries. In fact, I’m even contemplating the idea of dedicating an entire month of posts to different potato recipes of the world. Mmmm……..Yum.

Needless to say, I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. Especially when they’re all dolled up like these lovely Hasselback Potatoes.

Rosemary-Garlic Hasselback Potatoes to be exact.

Now say that three times fast.

 

 

 

Rosemary-Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

 

Originating from Sweden, these potatoes are meant to mirror the fan shape created by accordions. But don’t let their looks fool you as they’re super easy to make and can dress up any dinner plate.

 

 

Rosemary-Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

 

In addition to the elegant look, there’s also some brilliance to the way these potatoes are sliced. With the additional crevices that are exposed to the heat, the exterior becomes deliciously crispy while the interior remains super tender.

As for these potatoes, I chose to pair them with both rosemary and garlic but the options are endless. Parmesan cheese, chives, bacon…….so many choices, so little time 🙂

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Rosemary-Garlic Hasselback Potatoes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 Medium Sized Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed and dried
½ Cup Olive Oil
4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
3 Whole Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Place oil and rosemary in a small saucepan and heat on medium-low for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place one potato on a cutting board. Starting from one end of the potato, make slits about 1/8 inch apart but do not cut all the way through the bottom. You can also place the potato in a wooden spoon before you make the slices. The spoon will act as a “guard” to help you not slice all the way through the bottom. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Carefully slip one slice of garlic in between every few segments of the potatoes until all the garlic has been evenly distributed. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and brush them all over with the rosemary infused oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes for 30-40 minutes, depending on size. Interior should be soft and exterior should be slightly crisp.

Serve warm.

Appetizers/Small Plates · Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Oven Baked Potato Chips…..and an Interview.

Oven Baked Potato Chips

One of my greatest vices are Potato Chips.

Sour Cream and Cheddar, Kettle, Spicy Jalapeno.….I love them all. Salty, crunchy—and they’re so freaking addicting.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I can polish off an entire bag by myself in one fell swoop. And I’m not talking about one of those small snack-bags either 🙂

These Oven Baked Potato Chips are an easy and “healthier” way for me to fulfill my chips cravings. This is a basic recipe but would be great with the addition of herbs or even Parmesan cheese–YUM! Just be sure to keep a close eye on them while they’re baking as some can brown faster than others.

On another note, I recently participated in a fun event with Gordon Attard from Pimp That Food. Check out my interview with him as May’s Food Blogger of the Month. Thanks Gordon!

Food Blogger Interview

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Oven Baked Potato Chips
Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 Large Russet Potato
Sea Salt
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, thinly slice the potatoes. Use paper towels to dry off any excess moisture from the potatoes.

Cover a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the potato slices in one layer on the baking sheet. Spray the slices with cooking spray.

Bake the potato slices for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. You may need to flip the slices every few minutes to evenly bake them. Keep a close eye on the potatoes, as some will crisp up faster than others. Once browned, remove them from the oven and immediately sprinkle them with sea salt.

Enjoy!

Breads · Side Dish

Whole Wheat Garlic Naan…..Where it all started.

Whole Wheat Garlic Naan

 

I blame it ALL on this Garlic Naan.

I had seen a photo of it on Tasty Kitchen awhile back and I’ve been obsessed with it every since. And when I finally got the chance to try it, I went nuts–I was out of control! I went from making just one dish to creating a full blown Indian dinner! I guess I figured if I was going to take the effort to make Naan, I better go the extra mile to make some dishes to enjoy with it. 🙂

But perhaps now would be a good time to mention the fact that I’ve never really cooked Indian food before—so it was going to be quite a FoodVenture! The next few posts will be recounting the dishes I created and how it all came together.

But let’s turn our focus back to the Naan.

 

Whole Wheat Garlic Naan

 

Jessica from How Sweet It Is did a really great job covering Homemade Naan from Indian Simmer. The only thing I did different was that I used a stove top grill to cook the first side of the Naan before cooking the other side on an open flame. I would have definitely preferred to use a cast iron skillet per the instructions but have yet to replace my skillet that had rusted—-REALLY rusted. Eeew. And if you’re wondering, using an enamel-coated cast iron skillet won’t work either. Yup, I tried it.

But when everything was finished, I had really mixed feelings about the Naan. They did puff up pretty well when cooked over the open flame and were ok when I tasted them right away. But once they cooled, I found that the dough became really tough and loss some flavor. I’m not sure if it was due to my use of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or if I overworked the dough prior to cooking it. When we warmed them up later on, they became pretty hard and crunchy—-in fact, it was more cracker-like than puffy Naan.

Still, I’m glad I gave it a go. I will DEFINITELY try this recipe again when I finally get my hands on a cast iron skillet because I think it would definitely improve the texture. I’ll also try it with AP Flour in hopes of getting a lighter product.

So even though this Garlic Naan didn’t work out so well for me this time, it did give me the motivation to create an entire Indian feast!

**Next Post:  Chicken Tikka Masala!

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Whole Wheat Garlic Naan
From Indian Simmer

Ingredients:

2 cups Wheat Flour (or AP Flour)
¾ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Warm Milk
½ cups Yogurt
½ Tablespoons Oil, As Needed
Additional Optional Herbs And Seasonings To Flavor The Naan (See Note Below)

Note: The ingredient list includes the ingredients for the dough. You can flavor your naan with all kinds of herbs. I made cumin naan, garlic naan, butter naan, and some topped with cilantro.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well of flour.

Mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together.

I don’t think there’s an exact amount of liquid that should be added to the exact amount of flour to make a perfect dough. So what I do is continue adding liquid slowly and combining it all together slowly until a soft dough is made. The dough should be soft enough for you to be able to dig your finger into it without applying any pressure. If dough sticks to your hand too much, then use little bit of oil on your hands and then punch into the dough.

Cover with a damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

After a few hours, dust your working board, take out the dough and knead it for about 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into smaller balls (in this case you should get about 8 balls to make naans).

Dust the board again and flatten the balls to make bread that is a little thick and elongated.

Now sprinkle one side of the bread with your desired flavor. I made cumin, minced garlic, chopped cilantro and some simple butter naans.

Brush the other side with water.

Heat a thick-bottomed skillet or a wok or any heavy-bottomed pan with a lid. Once it is nicely hot, place the naan wet side down (it will stick) and cover it with a lid.

Let it cook for about 30 seconds or until you see bubbles on it. Now cook the other side of the naan over a direct flame on the burner with the help of tongs. When you see some charred brown spots then you know that the naan is done.

Smother a good amount of butter on your naans and when you taste them, you’ll know what a peaceful life means!

Breads · Side Dish

Potato Rosemary Rolls

Potato Rosemary Rolls

 

Ever since I saw these Potato Rosemary Rolls from Two Peas and Their Pod, I just had to have them.

The only reason I waited so long to make them was because I never had extra mashed potatoes on hand—and they are a key component to these whimsical little rolls. But as soon as I got my hands on some, I was all over it!

And although my rolls didn’t turn out half as pretty as theirs (how did they make their clovers so perfect?!) they were delicious! Soft, fluffy, and slightly sweet. The only note I would make was that it took 90 minutes for the dough to double in size during the first proofing—twice as long as the recipe stated. But that always seems to be an issue I have.  🙂

 

Potato Rosemary Rolls

 

You’ll just love how your home will smell when these rolls are baking. Just heavenly! And they are just divine right out of the oven—-is there anything better than hot freshly baked bread?

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Potato Rosemary Rolls
From Two Peas and Their Pod

2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup scalded milk
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1. In a small bowl, put the yeast in the warm water and stir with a spoon. Let sit for about five minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble.  Scald the milk and let it cool for two minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, shortening, and salt. Add the milk and stir in one cup of the flour. Next, add the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs. Add the mashed potatoes and rosemary and stir. Stir in the remaining flour until the dough comes together.

3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and let rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

4. Punch down the dough. To form the rolls, pinch off about a 1/2 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place three balls into a greased muffin tin. Continue forming rolls until dough is gone. Let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Bake rolls at 375 degrees F for about 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Makes about 30 rolls