Tag Archives: Potatoes

Lust for Life

If you’ve been paying the least little bit of attention, you might have noticed I’m quite taken by the work of Vincent Van Gogh

Lust-for-Life-Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project_454045-1887

Self portrait 1887

I’m also very fond of Kirk Douglas….

kd-favorite

That’s no whale of tale, I swear on my tattoo….20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

SOOOOOO

Kirk Douglas AS Vincent Van Gogh….

total fave

lust for life08-kirk-douglas

Lust for Life

I also loved the book

 

lust for ife pb

I posted Van Gogh’s Potatoes recently…and then I found a celebrity recipe site – really, there IS such a thing – and there was Kirk Douglas with a potato recipe.

Kirk Douglas’ Nutmeg Mashed Potatoes

4 large potatoes
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 cup sour cream

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender and split open, about 20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

Mash potatoes with butter, nutmeg, and salt using a potato masher until well incorporated; stir in sour cream and whip until mashed potatoes are creamy.

Classic Celebrity Recipes

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Van Gogh’s Potatoes

There it was in the magazine – FoodNetwork? Rachael Ray? It was July…..this July, just a month ago.

Van Gogh

painted four

still lifes of

Potatoes

He only painted one

STARRY NIGHT

9th-wonder

This is part of the Potato Promo

SOOOOOOO….

In this Potato Salad season of the year,

I give you Vincent Van Gogh

ON POTATOES

800px-Van_Gogh_-_Stillleben_mit_Kohlköpfen,_Kartoffelkorb_und_BlätternBaskets of Potatoes, 1885, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh – Still Life with Potatoes, 1885, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh, Baskets of potatoes, March-April 1885.

Vincent van Gogh, Baskets of potatoes, March-April 1885.

800px-Van_Gogh_-_Stillleben_mit_Karoffelkorb Baskets of Potatoes, 1885, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh Still Life with Basket of Potatoes 1885, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Still Life with an Earthen Bowl and Potatoes c.1886 Rotterdam Musuem Boi.

Still Life with Earthen Bowl 1886 Rotterdam Boi

vangogh stillife potatoyellow bowl Rijkmueums 1888

Van Gogh Potatoes in Yellow Bowl 1888 Rijksmuseum

and of course…..

Van_Gogh_Digger_(1882)

Van Gogh, Digger 1882

Van Gogh Potato peeler NY met

Van Gogh Potato Peeler 1885 NY Met

Van-willem-vincent-gogh-die-kartoffelesser-03850

Van Gogh The Potato Eaters 1885 Rijksmuseum

And if you’re not Van Goghed out,

Van Gogh The Life

By Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

 

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Gold in them there Gourds

Because,

if you’re house-sitting the week of Halloween and have already been displaced so you’re at your ancestral home but 2/3’s of your stuff is at your former dwelling where the fire was AND you’ll be moving in November….did I mention it was the day before HALLOWEEN…..then you should definitely give into the temptation to buy, not one, but 2 giant and rather unattractive ‘decorative gourds’.

But they were substantial and hefty and the price was right – and they had the promise of being tasty culinary gold.

And after Halloween ALL the Gourds and Pumpkins  will be

GONE

Gone gone gone. As if they had never been here at all; as if there was no need for a Pumpkin or a Gourd in Winter. Winter is for Squash, alone.

Poor squash. Alone, poor lonely squash.

pumpkin 2015

They actually looked quite a bit like this, a Speckled Hound variety, but there were more warts.

amygoldmancompleat squash

SOMEWHERE I have a copy of this book, which has everything you could want to know about squash and pumpkins between it’s covers.  But think I learned well. Thank you, Amy G.!

The upside is that not only have they been decorative, but once I had time to hack, seed, peel and cook one……I have over 10 pounds of delicious golden squash/pumpkin/gourd (because they’re different names for essentially the same thing) .

You can’t freeze squash or pumpkin without cooking it first (consider the water content – you’ve seen this on front steps everywhere you look every year around a Halloween frost). Keep them indoors where the frost doesn’t go and you have much more lee-way. When the weather is cool  – and this week has been downright cold, and windy and rainy/snowy/sleety – it’s a perfect excuse to keep the oven going, as you roast it up to store in the freezer.

My excuse to keep the oven on and the kitchen toasty on an otherwise far too gray a day . Like John Alden, I shall speak for myself.

In typical fashion, the first quarter of the pumpkin took more  (or at least as much) time as the last three quarters.  I weighed the seeds and peelings when done – a little over 5 pounds. I wasn’t particularly wasteful; it really was that big.

I did have the option of roasting it whole, which I did once several years ago to a giant Blue Hubbard, Hubbard being my Dad’s favorite. That squash had been used for decorative purpose, and I saved it from the Dumpster. It was a carry in both arms /bigger then a big baby big.

Hubbard_squash

Blue Hubbard

I actually brought it to the ancestral home, poked it with an ice pick (evidently the real reason that that was still hanging around. Even though we called it an ‘ice box’ it was an up to date Frigidaire, frost free and everything) and put Baby Blue on the biggest baking sheet in the house and put it in the oven for a couple of hours until it was all  schlumpy. When it was cool enough, we used the stainless steel serving spoons to break in, separate the gold from the skin and the seeds and packed the gold  into baggies. Lots and lots of baggies. Which we stored in the freezer until there was need for gold. And it got us both through the better part of the winter.

But if you roast a squash or pumpkin whole, you end up with pulpy pulp, and I wanted to hold onto a little more structure/texture.

My new kitchen has 4 windows, so I set my cutting board on the table and was able to watch the dogs walking their people on the green, and cars coming and going at the street corner and the sun moving on the  horizon….I was also paying attention to the big knife that is necessary to cut a big squash…and my knives are home! Knives are sharp. No wounds to report.

Cut the giant in half.

Seed with the ice cream scoop. Seriously the right tool for the job.

Ice+Cream+Scoop

Ice cream scoop/pumpkin seed scoop – a multi-tasker!

Cut into whatever shapes make it possible to peel, peel, peel.

Toss with a little oil, sprinkle with a little salt, spread out on a baking sheet and pop into a 375° oven until it’s done…..20-40 minutes – poke it with a fork, you’ll know.

pumpkinNimono_of_japanese_pumpkin_2014

This is what it looks like coming out of the oven. You can eat it just like this. While humming happy food songs.

Some I ate off the roasting pan as it came out of the oven….lunch.

  • I kept  three of the chopped pounds to add to an equal amount of potatoes for slow cooker  for Squash and Potato with Rosemary that I’ve made before.

 

Italian slow cooker book

  • I’m going to use some of the leftovers of this to make a version of the squash and potato soup. I’ll puree the already cooked veg mix with the broth, and since I’ve already seasoned with rosemary I might leave the sage out. Note to self: Next time cook squash and potato with sage instead of rosemary.
  • Some of the squash/potato mixture will be mixed with eggs and fried in olive oil, a golden and easy fritatta. I fried a chopped shallot in some olive oil, added a little more oil, put the egg/potato/pumpkin in. When the bottom was browned, lowered the heat, put a lid on it and waited impatiently for it to be done.I had thought to sprinkle a little cheese over, but I forget and it was LOVELY.A glass of pear cider and a greens salad with pecans and blue cheese dressing made up the rest of that supper.
  • Some will be thinned with a little broth (or wine) and mixed with some hot macaroni, I’m thinking some hot pepper to season that…

Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee has another version of Squash Mac and Cheese that I’ll be trying with freezer gold.

Gold updates  as they occur.

 

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Filed under squash, winter

Salads, Dressing

Claude Monet Jar of Peaches

Why did the peach blush?

Because it saw the salad dressing!

 There are so many things that can be salad…..really – like

Potato to make Potato Salad

Potato to make Potato Salad

Tuna for Tuna Salad (this tuna is named Charlie)

Tuna for Tuna Salad (this tuna is named Charlie)

Fruit in fruit salad

Fruit in fruit salad

even kale can be a salad

Kale and Chickpea Salad

Kale and Chickpea Salad

But the mostest salad I’ve eaten in my days is a lettucey, leafy greens base with stuff in/on/around and topped with

Dressing

Dressing that increasing came in bottle form…..

Ken's Blue Cheese Salad Dressing is on of my faves...it reminds me of steak and baked potato and a side salad. Now I mostly eat if without the steak and I'm as likely to put it on the potato as the salad. Also good on the sandwich made from the leftover steak - a thing I did not know existed in the world until I moved out and away from 4 brothers - in a sandwich with sliced tomato the next day for lunch

Ken’s Blue Cheese Salad Dressing is one of my faves.

Ken’s  reminds me of steak and baked potato and a side salad. Now I mostly eat it without the steak, and I’m as likely to put it on the potato as the salad. But when there IS steak it is also good on  leftover steak – a thing I did not know existed in the world until I moved out and away from 4 brothers – in a sandwich with sliced tomato the next day for lunch. Excellent good, in fact.

Jars replace bottle in the late '80's and '90's as even better salad dressing.

Jars replace bottles in the late ’80’s and ’90’s as even better salad dressing.

My son is a ranch Dressing lover, so this was on our table for years......

My son is a Ranch Dressing lover, so this was on our table much of the ’90’s

But this is the ranch dressing he really wanted, so these packets were part of our pantry for years...

But this is the Ranch Dressing he really wanted, so these packets were part of our pantry for years…

Newman's Own is my current bottle of choice. Bottle are convenient to carry to work for lunch salad.

Newman’s Own is my current bottle of choice. Bottle are convenient to carry to work for lunch salad.

The supper salad – the home game, versus the away game lunch salad – was increasing dressed in the bowl, like I was taught in ’60’s, but with more variety, like in Red, White and Blue Salad, which I had thought I had already shared, but it’s not showing up here when I searched for it…so here it is, possibly again

RED, WHITE AND BLUE SALAD

2 cups red cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes or big ole vine ripened tomatoes, chopped and equal to the grapes)

2 cups white grapes

Optional: ½ cup roasted and chopped nuts

Dressing:

         1 Tablespoon Blue cheese

1 Tablespoon wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons yoghurt

2 Tablespoons oil

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  1. Put all dressing ingredients in blender and blend (use a food processor if you prefer. Creamy, rich, tasty goodness.
  2. Put aside.
  3. Wash and dry the fruits. Cut the cherry tomatoes and grapes in half over the bowl you toss them into.
  4. Top with the dressing and mix.
  5. Top with chopped nuts if you prefer.

Dorry Baird Norris. Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cookbook. The Globe Pequot Press. 1991, 1995. p.267

Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cook Book by Dorrie Norris

Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cook Book by Dorrie Norris

Mason jars are good to mix salad dressing in - NOT the salads, which need bowls or plates.

Mason jars are good to mix salad dressing in – NOT the salads, which need bowls or plates.

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Filed under 1990's, Summer, The 1980's

Another Souper Sunday

It started with a leek….

Well, there’s almost never just one of them….

Leeks in the garden - some are flowering and forming seed heads - this is not the optimal time to harvest them. Looks like August to me. If you plant them in September, you can eat them all winter, you just have to wait for the ground to thaw to harvest them. Or plant them in a hoop house. They grow in the cold, just slowly.

Leeks in the garden – some are flowering and forming seed heads – this is not the optimal time to harvest them. Looks like August to me. If you plant them in September, you can eat them all winter, you just have to wait for the ground to thaw to harvest them. Or plant them in a hoop house. They grow in the cold, just slowly.

except sometimes in a painting

Still Life with Copper Pan - and one leek - Jean-Simeon Chardin - 18th century

Still Life with Copper Pan – and one leek – Jean-Simeon Chardin – 18th century

I had thought to make the bright green leek soup that had been in the New York Times last Wednesday.

leek soup NYT Jan 2015 07KITCH-articleLarge

This just looks so fresh and GREEN…so I went looking for leeks a the Farmer’s Market

I found leeks at the Farmer’s Farmer’s Market, and of course, couldn’t remember anything else that was in the soup…it was fresh spinach, but I’m pretty sure that I didn’t see any of that. Fresh pea shoots, yes, and fresh other greens, but not spinach.

Since the Soups of Italy was still out on the table…and the Ancient Romans ate leeks  or porri I was sure there’d be at least one recipe.

I was surprised that there was this one, that judging from the smudges I have made at least once, that I had no memory of making at all.   And if you can see something in your mind’s eye, can you taste something in your mind’s eye, can you taste something in your mind’s mouth? Anyhow, it looked like it would taste good.

AND

I already had everything on hand – no need to go out in the cold for a grocery run!

This week’s soup:

Minestra di Patate e Porri

Potato and Leek Soup

Ingredienti:


Potatoes – 1-1 ½ #

Leeks – 2 #

Broth – 5-6 cups (or water)

Fettucinne – 6 oz dried/12 oz fresh

Bacon (2 strips smoky), water, butter, oil, celery rib, onion, garlic, sage leaves, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Elementi:

Sapori

2 strips smoky bacon

1 # potatoes

1 # leeks

Salt

  1. In large heavy bottom pan, cook the bacon over medium high heat.
  2. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes. (Save the peels for broth making)
  3. Rinse and thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leeks.
  4. When the bacon strips are crispy, remove from the pot and put aside. Add the potato and leeks to the bacon grease and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Mix everything well and then add enough water to cover.
  6. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot, keeping to a simmer, for 30 minutes. A hard boil is going to make the potatoes pasty, as in wall-paper paste pasty, so keep the heat gentle throughout.
  7. When they are cooled somewhat, puree them before adding them to the soup pot, although I often forget this step and have never regretted it. The potatoes are pretty cooked down and the leeks soft and lovely, and the back of a wooden spoon breaks things down and keeps things interesting at the same time.

Battuto

1 # leeks

1 medium onion

1 celery rib

1 garlic clove

2-4 sage leaves

1 Tbl butter

2 Tbl oil

  1. Rinse well and thinly slice the 2nd pound of leeks, white and light green parts.
  2. Finely dice together the onion, the celery rib, the garlic clove and the sage leaves.
  3. Heat the oil and butter together in a heavy bottom soup pot. Add the leeks and the diced onion, celery, garlic and sage. Give them about 5 minute a few quick stirs until things softens and get fragrant.

Brodo

5-6 cups broth

  1. Add the broth to the pot. Add the cooked potato and leeks to the pot. Stir everything well. Bring to a gentle simmer, and keep partially covered at a simmer for 30 minutes.

Condimenti

6 oz dried fettuccine or 12 oz fresh, cut into 2” pieces

¼ C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cooked bacon, crumbled

  1. Put on a pot of salted water to cook the pasta – OK – reality check –IF you are going to serve and gobble down every last drop of this soup in the next hour or so, by all means, drop your store-boughten boxed dried little noodles bits into the soup and serve away….but IF you went to the bother of making noodles or the expense of buying fresh, take the time and trouble to boil them separately, and IF you’re looking at more soup then will be eaten at one meal and will have a leftover plan, then boil them separately. The combination of long cooked potatoes and cooled down pasta leads to a fairly nasty blob of starchy food-like-stuff by the time it cools down. If on the other hand, you have no interest in flavor or texture, just calories when you eat, I can’t imagine why you’re reading recipes in the first place and there are plenty of cans and containers of things on the grocery store shelves that you can heat in the microwave and eat directly from in less time than it took you to read this far. But it takes all kinds, and there’s room for everyone at the table who will please observe the Clean Hands/Clean Behavior Rule.
  2. Back to the recipe- put a pot of water on to boil, cook the fettuccine al dente, drain well.
  3. Add the fettuccine to the soup.
  4. Serve the soup with the grated cheese and crumbled bacon.

4-6 servings.

Adapted from Minestra di Lasagnette e Porri in Soups of Italy, pp. 170-1.

Soups of Italy

Soups of Italy

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Filed under Italian, Recipe, Soup

National Potato Day!

Who knew?

Who decides these things?

Does it matter?

This works out for a Meatless Monday……

 Spuds and Squash.

Pumpkin and Potatoes.

The Smashing Pumpkins  - A rock band, not to be confused with a side dish

The Smashing Pumpkins – A rock band, not to be confused with a side dish

 

Mr potato head

Mr Potato Head LOVES that it’s National Potato Day…and is maybe a little afraid…He won’t be doing The Mashed Potato anytime soon.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND POTATOES WITH ROSEMARY

1 ½ pounds potatoes (about 4 cups)

1 ½ pounds butternut (or acorn or Hubbard or other firm winter squash – I’ll be using my leftover jack o lantern next week…)

6 garlic cloves (if they’re small, I’ve used more)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

1 2” piece fresh rosemary

 

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½” wedges (they need to be a little smaller than the squash pieces). Put in the slow cooker.
  2. Peel and cut the squash into 1” cubes (squash cooks faster than potatoes). Put in the slow cooker.
  3. Add the garlic to the squash and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle on the olive oil and mix well.
  5. Add the water and tuck in the rosemary sprig.
  6. Cover and cook on high about 3 hours. The potatoes and squash should be tender when pierced with a knife.
  7. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

From Michele Scicolone. The Italian Slow Cooker. p. 187.

Italian slow cooker book

Top with parsley and you have the flag of Ireland…just saying.

Leftover can be reheated and topped with a little cheese, whatever little cheese you happen to have on hand. Or mixed with some beaten eggs and maybe a slice of bacon to make a world class frittata.

Better on a Thanksgiving table then the usual smushed and smashed – it really is 2 great tastes that taste great together! And with the slow cooker, how easy and no worries about how to fit it into the oven.

If you cook the squash alone, with the oil and the rosemary, which would be an almost ready sauce for pasta, especially if you use wine instead of the water….

Michele Scicolone (click on her name to get to her website) has written several slow cooker books, but I haven’t finished this one yet, in part because I keep cooking from it over and over, going back to an old favorite, and then finding a potential new favorite.

When words are not enough.....

When words are not enough…..

 

 

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Filed under Books, Irish, Italian, Recipe, squash

Do the Mashed Potato

mashed potatoes perfect MSliving Nov 98

When I was growing up, mashed potatoes were a regular feature of supper.
But regular, I mean several times a week.
Every week.
Every single week.
Even at a young and tender age, I knew how to make mashed potatoes. Or Smushed Potatoes. Or Smash.
You took the potato pan down cellar to where the – was it 10 or was it 20 pound? – bag of potatoes was. The bag was really heavy paper and had a little netted window in the front, and was secured by a twisted metal clip. Sometime the potatoes had sprouts, but not usually. You put potatoes in the pan to the place where the screws that held the handle on came to, that was the potato line. Then you took them upstairs and emptied the pan, and rinsed it out because potatoes are dirty.russet potato
Then the potatoes needed to be peeled with the potato peeler, and then they needed a good rinse, because potatoes are dirty because they grow under the dirt, don’t you know, and THEN they had to be cut into like size pieces so that they’d all finish cooking at the same time. Water to cover, a little salt, and then the lid goes on. All on the back burner and the heat on high. When they start to boil, the heat is turned down so that the lid rattles at just the right rattle for the potatoes a-cooking and all is right with the world way.
When the rattling has gone on long enough, time to test a potato to see if it’s down. A fork should go in easily. The whole thing gets dumped out into the colander in the sink. A good size piece of margarine (we really didn’t use that much butter – it was oleo. Nana used butter, so we had butter when Nana visited or when we went to her house, otherwise margarine) went into the pan, the hot potatoes in after, and then the masher came out.
And while the masher was mashing, a little milk, and then a little more milk. Because it was the olden days, milk was just plain old milk – no 1% or 2 % or fat-free or even whole – milk was milk and the milkman brought it.
Salt and pepper, maybe a little more milk and when it was just right, swooshed into the serving bowl, graced with a serving spoon, the pan lid placed on top to keep it warm and on the table it went.

MashedPotatoes
Except the parts where it was too heavy for me to lift with both potato and water in the pan, and I couldn’t reach the knobs to actually turn on the stove, and I’d have had to stand on a chair to reach into the pan with the masher, which was too dangerous and so it was not done, I had totally mastered the art of mashed potatoes when I was 7 ½ .

By the time I was  10, I was totally bored with mashed potatoes. I would hang out as they were cooking to pull a few pieces out of the colander so I could have plain boiled potatoes with salt and pepper.

How many mashed potatoes I felt had eaten by the time I was 8. Please remember, I'm only half Irish.

How many mashed potatoes I felt had eaten by the time I was 8. Please remember, I’m only half Irish.

Fast forward to when my son was 6 and he wanted mashed potatoes, because I had never made them for him. I realized that I only knew how to  make mash for a crowd, and 2 was not a crowd.And then my potatoes kept coming out pasty, not mashed….what to do? Where to turn?

Why Martha Stewart, of course.

She called them

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

of course. But they are very good directions for very good mashed potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4-6 or 2, when one is a growing boy.

2# Russet, Yukon Gold or long white potatoes

1 Tbl salt

1 cup milk (or cream or a mix)

4 Tbl butter

¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Peel, rinse and cut potatoes into 1 ½ inch thick slices
  2. Cover with cold water in a pan, add salt. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Keep potatoes at a simmer until a knife slips in and out easily.
  4. Drain potatoes in a colander.
  5. Heat milk in another, small, saucepan.
  6. Mash until lumps have disappeared.
  7. Stir with a wooden spoon for one minute.
  8. Incorporate butter.
  9. Drizzle in hot milk, mixing and whisking.
  10. Add seasonings, continue whisking.
  11. Serve immediately.

Martha Stewart Living November 1998.p.96.

MSLiNov98

Finally – potatoes that come out smushed and not wallpaper paste!

 

And as for Doing the Mashed Potato  

dances-the-mashed-potato 1965

Dancing with Dick Blake

I didn’t realize that Nat Kendrick and the Swans was really James Brown.

A young James Brown. Who knew?James BrownOne last note – I managed to misspell potato almost every single time it appeared in this post. Thank you spellchecker!

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Filed under Eating, Recipe, The 1960"s

Red Potato Salad

More of a pinkish mauveish reddish….pnkyredthat’s what happens when you mix red beet root ….

with just about anything.

In the Victory Garden Cookbook it’s called Russian Beet and Potato Salad. Not red potatoes, not this time.
I thought I could play up Spud/ Sputnik angle by calling it Spudnik, but then I thought it might go unnoticed…..or worse, you’d think that I could NOT spell, and  didn’t even know how to use Spellcheck.
Sheryl Julian who was with the Phoenix back in the day, now with the Globe – I have a whole lot of her Sunday Globe columns in my clippings file. Here’s a story with her Apron obsession, which doesn’t sound so obsessive to me…..

The New York Times also had an Apron photo essay/story recently….

But the season is good for beets and potatoes, and this salad is almost a stand alone meal, if you add a hard boiled egg – a cold one for a hot day and a hot one for a cool night. For now is that part of September that is still Summer, but encroaching Autumn.

Autumn Leaves - John Everett Millias 1856

Autumn Leaves – John Everett Millias 1856

Red Beet and Potato Salad

2 medium potatoes

¼ c chopped parsley

1/3 c chopped scallions (or chives or Vidalia’s)

1 cucumber

1 dill or half sour pickle (or 2, 2 pickles)

Salt and pepper

4-5 medium beets

Mayonnaise

Horseradish mustard

  1. Cook potatoes until just tender, peel as soon as they can be handled and cut them into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Peel cucumber, cut in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Cut into ½ pieces.
  3. Cut pickle in to ½ dice and add with spuds and cukes.
  4. Add parsley and scallions and mix gently.
  5. Cook beets, slip off their skins and cut to ½ pieces.
  6. Just before serving add beets and season to taste.
  7. Dress the whole thing with a mixture of mayo and horseradish mustard.
  8. The longer the beets sit with everything the more magenta the whole thing gets. Sprinkle with vinegar of it’s too flat. Salt and pepper everything, too.

Victory Garden Cookbook p. 25.

Victory Garden Cookbook - Marian Morash

Victory Garden Cookbook – Marian Morash

Fractals, chlorophyll and solstice - what's not to love about September?

Fractals, chlorophyll and solstice – what’s not to love about September?

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Filed under Books, Summer, TV shows

Kale

Kale is one of those vegetables that is never out of season, or it least so it seems. It is often the the workhorse green, and only recently has gotten trendy.

Kale - this is the curly kind

Kale – this is the curly kind

Tuscan or black kale

Tuscan or black kale

It seems that the words ‘kale’ and ‘chips’ are now partnered, like ‘potato’ and ‘chips’  or ‘fish’ and ‘chips’ or even ‘wood’ and ‘chips’……

Kale Chips from Wiki How

Kale Chips from WikiHow

Since you might very well have kale on hand right this minute…here are some suggestions from what I’m reading right this minute.

Good with

  • Garlic – lots of garlic
  • Something sharp – lemon juice, vinegars
  • Something mellow – olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce
  • Bacon – just a little – or other strong sausages – linguica and chorizo are very good
  • Smoked paprika and smoked salt
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

from Deborah Madison. Vegetable Literacy.Ten Speed Press: 2013. p. 134.

 

But when I think of kale, I think of potatoes…like Colcannon or Caldo Verde. Not the trendy kales, the traditional ones.

So here’s a soup that right anytime of the year, and is all but guaranteed to make any day better.

BACK TO BASIC KALE AND POTATO SOUP

3 TBL olive oil

8-10 garlic cloves, minced (or just use the whole head)

¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 Quarts vegetable stock (or water)

4 cups peeled and finely diced potatoes (about 4 medium – she calls for waxy potatoes, which will hold their shape, but I also like it when the potatoes give up their shape…)

1 # kale, washed and stripped of the nasty rib (DM says, “It’s as tough as rope and will never get tender, ever.”) and chopped or cut into ribbons

1 teaspoon salt (used a smoked salt to change it up or if you’d like less garlic)

 

  1. Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold everything by the end over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minutes. Do not let the garlic get as all brown. It should smell good (it should smell GREAT) – you’re infusing the oil to help those flavor compounds carry.
  2. Pour in the stock (or water), raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the potatoes, lower the heat and keep at a lively simmer. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the kale and the salt and cook 15 more minutes.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. HarperCollins, 1998. p. 119.

Simple Veg Pleasures

There are 2 covers for this book...of course I can't remember which one is mine, even though I looked at it 3 hours ago and I've owned it pretty much throughout this entire century

There are 2 covers for this book…of course I can’t remember which one is mine, even though I looked at it 3 hours ago and I’ve owned it pretty much throughout this entire century

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Making a hash of it

RED FLANNEL HASH with DROPPED EGGS

It’s the addition of beets that makes this red flannel – If you think beets taste more like dirt then ‘earthy’   leave them out and you’ll have basic/regular/plain old fashioned hash.

It's the red of the beets that makes it red flannel hash - without them it's merely hash... as if hash were mere,

It’s the red of the beets that makes it red flannel hash – without them it’s merely hash… as if hash were mere,

Hash means to chop (think: hatchet) and you can do this with a knife or in small batches in a food processor – leave bits, don’t make it into a mousse –  but we used the hand crank food grinder at its coarsest setting.  You want range of sizes in the various bits to create texture and interest.

Manual Home Meat Grinder - some things never change

Manual Home Meat Grinder – some things never change

If you use a non-stick pan, you won’t get a crusty bottom. This is a case where you want a crusty bottom.

 

1 pound cold cooked corned beef cut into small pieces

1 pound cold boiled potatoes, rough chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

Butter (or bacon grease if you’ve got it)

4 eggs

2 cooked beets, peeled and diced. (Open a can of beets, drain and take out 2 to use here; put the rest of the beets in a bowl, slice them. Add a spoonful of sugar and cover with cider vinegar. Serve these quick pickled beets with the hash.)

  1. Mix the meat with the roots.

  2. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Melt the fat in the pan, and when it is foaming, add the hash.

  4. Spread evenly across the pan.

  5. Cook on low heat, pressing down with a spoon or spatula for about 10 minutes. A crust should be beginning to form.

  6. Use the spoon to make 4 indentation in the hash.

  7. Break an egg into each indention.

  8. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  9. Cover the pan and cook another 5-10 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. (I like mine essentially hard boiled without the shell, but with hash, runny works, too.)

  10. On a good day, you can slip the whole thing from the pan, cut into four wedges….or you can scoop about with a serving spoon, making sure to get some of the crusty bit that are holding the whole thing to the pan at exactly the moment you want it on your plate and do the same, looking  more rustic/less Martha Stewart

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If you’re craving hash, but used all your corned beef for sandwiches, there’s always the can.

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