Archives for April 2014

Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon and Chives

Red potatoes in bowlI had planned to feature something different on my blog this week, but I made this potato recipe, and decided that it had to be my next post.

Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of four cooking sites, www.americastestkitchen.com, www.finecooking.com, www.foodnetwork.com, and my daughter Kelli’s blog, www.cancookwilltravel.com. The first requires a subscription in order to access all of its content, but I find it to be well worth the yearly subscription prices. The others  are free, and are wonderful. (There are a number of other online resources that I really like, and I’ll reference them when I highlight recipes from those sites.)

This recipe is one that I saw featured on the weekly PBS show, America’s Test Kitchen. I think the concept behind the cooking technique is very interesting, and I am looking forward to trying it with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and a few other vegetables.  The process used with this recipe involves braising the small red potatoes in water and butter, to which salt, garlic cloves and thyme have been added. Once the potatoes are almost tender, the garlic and thyme is removed, and the water is allowed to boil away until all that is left are the butter solids, which brown and adhere to the cut side of each potato. The finished potatoes are tossed with the garlic cloves, which have been mashed, lemon juice, and chives. Of course, the potatoes are also seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. These potatoes are delicious, and are a nice change from baked, mashed, fried, or parsleyed potatoes.

Here’s my take on the basic recipe, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen.

Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon and Chives
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is an interesting technique applied to the cooking of an old favorite, red potatoes.
Ingredients
  • • 1½ pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, halved (or enough to fit in your 12-inch skillet)
  • • 2 cups water
  • • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh, if at all possible)
  • • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (If using dried chives, use about 2 tsp.)
Instructions
  1. Fit potatoes, cut side down, in single layer, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add water, salt, butter, thyme, and garlic to skillet, and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are almost tender.
  3. At this point, remove garlic to a cutting board, and discard the thyme.
  4. Place uncovered skillet over medium to medium high heat, and allow the water/butter mixture to boil slowly until the water evaporates and the butter begins to sizzle and brown. Swirl pan frequently, being sure to keep the cut side of the potatoes in contact with the skillet. (This will probably take 15-20 minutes.)
  5. Meanwhile, after the garlic has cooled a bit, mash the garlic until it forms a paste. (I like to do the same thing that I do with raw garlic. Smash the garlic against a cutting board with the flat side of a chef's knife. Add a sprinkling of kosher salt to help break down the garlic. Once a paste has been created, you're ready to proceed.)
  6. Mix the garlic paste in a small bowl with lemon juice and pepper.
  7. Once the water has evaporated from the skillet and the butter has browned, let the potatoes cook a bit longer, until the browned butter bits stick to the cut surfaces of the potatoes.
  8. Remove from heat, add garlic/lemon juice/pepper mixture and chives, stirring until mixed. Serve immediately.
Notes
If you're interested in how this cooking technique was developed, but sure to visit the link that I included above. The chefs at America's Test Kitchen thoroughly test recipes that they develop, and the chefs go back to the drawing board a many times until the recipes are perfected.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz. Calories: 133 Fat: 6 g. Carbohydrates: 18 Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 328 mg. Fiber: 2 g. Protein: 2 g.

 

 

 

Creamy Brussels Sprouts

Finished Brussels Sprouts

Ok. I know. It’s been a long several months (again) since I posted, and my blog drought wasn’t officially over as I declared back in November. I’ll try to do better in the future. I promise. I’m actually posting another recipe very soon as proof of my new commitment.

When I started my blog, I said that most of what I cook and bake is as healthy as I can make it without sacrificing flavor. This recipe is an exception to that practice, but it’s not something that I plan to eat every day. (I will try to adapt it at some point, maybe trying fat free half and half in place of some of the cream. If that turns out to be successful, I’ll post a footnote to the recipe below.) Because cream is famous for its ability to thicken as it cooks, it is currently the liquid of choice in this recipe. I ran across this dish on Facebook, and its source is http://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegetables/BrusselSproutsCreamBraised.htm. I hope you will try this the next time you’re in need of a new vegetable recipe.

Please note: Don’t discount this recipe just because you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts.  If you like broccoli, cauliflower, and/or cabbage, you might like these. They are creamy, mild, and delicious. (I can’t vouch for the finished product if you use frozen Brussels sprouts, which would be very difficult to quarter without letting them partially thaw first.)

 

Creamy Brussels Sprouts
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish (Vegetable)
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is a creamy, mild version of braised Brussels sprouts that I think is delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. trimmed and quartered fresh Brussels sprouts (about 1¼ lbs. before trimming)
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp. salt (I prefer Kosher or sea salt.)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 T. lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter over medium high heat in large skillet, preferably non-stick.
  2. Add salt and Brussels sprouts to the butter, and cook, stirring occasionally, until some begin to caramelize.
  3. Stir in cream.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring to coat the Brussels sprouts with the cream. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the skillet, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are tender. Stir occasionally.
  5. When the sprouts are tender, stir well, taste for seasoning, and add pepper and salt (if necessary). (The cream will thicken considerably, and will change color slightly, going from white to a very light tan.)
  6. Serve immediately.
Notes
One-fourth of the recipe has a WW PP value of 7. (This includes ¼ of the cream sauce.) One-sixth of the recipe has a WW PP value of 5. As I said in my introduction, this certainly isn't a dish that I would eat every day, but it is a treat to have occasionally.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 242.3 Fat: 25 g. Saturated fat: 15.5 g. Unsaturated fat: 8.2 g. Trans fat: 0 g. Carbohydrates: 4.1 g. Sugar: 0.6 g. Sodium: 175 mg. Fiber: 1.0 g. Protein: 2.1 g. Cholesterol: 89.3 g.