All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Thursday, January 26, 2017

cheesy potato stacks

It is a gloomy, overcast day today in Minnesota - matching my mood lately.  But remembering this recipe from RecipeTin Eats got me into the tiny kitchen I have, and an hour later, eating these buttery potato stacks with a smile on my face.  

I decided to try using both the small red potatoes and the sweet potatoes I had in the cupboard - the last time I made them I think I used yellow Finns, I believe - and also to oil each cup with olive oil, the last time I made them they stuck to the tin.  On re-reading the recipe just now, I also missed the advice to put the topping cheese on after the stacks had baked, then briefly melting cheese on top, which would certainly be a little tidier:)  But it tasted as wonderful as the first time, if not quite photo-ready.

These are made in a metal muffin tin - regular size, not the Texas size I usually use.

Cheesy potato stacks:

A 12 hole metal muffin tin
olive oil for oiling

Several potatoes, not too large, no more than 2 inches in diameter, sliced fairly thin

The topping:
1/2 cup cream or half and half
4 tablespoons melted butter
kosher salt - about 1/2 teaspoon
freshly cracked pepper
1 + cup shredded cheddar or other melting cheese
fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stem

Oil the muffin tin.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice the potatoes, not too thin, not too thick
Mix together the melted butter, salt, and pepper.

Stack the potato slices halfway up the muffin hole, add a hefty pinch of cheese, then stack the rest of the way up to the top. Drizzle with the cream/butter mixture.

Continue until the muffin tin is full.
Slide potato stacks into hot oven, and bake 35 minutes, or until stacks are soft when poked with a fork.
Remove stacks from oven, sprinkle with cheese and the thyme leaves, and slide back into the oven to melt the cheese - about five or so minutes.

Remove to cool, then carefully remove each stack to a platter or plate- I found a fork to work very well for this.

These are great for anytime - breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner side, or party food.

Hope you have a terrific day!

Friday, January 13, 2017

seared brussels sprouts with red onion, rosemary, and lemon

Another chilly, chilly day in Minnesota.  After a quick (very quick!) walk, I decided to clean the overloaded fridge.  Jams, jellies, soups, and a bag of brussels sprouts I had completely forgotten about.

Like Julia Child, I like my vegetables gently cooked until tender, rather than nearly raw.  After preparing them by trimming the stem and peeling off discolored leaves, I quartered them and added some slices of pretty red onion and a sprig of rosemary to the pot.  When they were just barely tender when poked with a fork, I drained them and did a quick sear in a little butter and oil - followed by a good squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt.  Oh so good!

Seared Brussels Sprouts:

2 cups cleaned and quartered brussels sprouts (mine were quite large, if yours are smaller, you can cut them in half instead of quarters)
a large sprig of rosemary
several slices of red onion
water to just cover the sprouts

For the saute:
2 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of thyme
2 pinches kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
several squeezes of fresh lemon juice - about a tablespoon

Cook the sprouts in the water until just barely fork tender, then drain. 

Add the olive oil, thyme, and butter to a frying pan, then add the drained brussels sprouts and onion. Try to let them sear a little before gently stirring them with a large spoon and continuing to sear.  Just before you turn off the burner, add the squeezes of lemon juice and salt and stir gently.

Mound on a platter and serve immediately.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January and a farro and bean soup

What a month.  What a month - can I just fill up this page with those words? It's only the 12th and I feel like burying my head under a very large pillow. So.  The election .  The freezing cold here in Minnesota.  The snow.  The post election.  The cold wind.

There were a few days when I just didn't go out - and the larder was emptying fast.  I had been scrolling for a new soup recipe and found one from Williams-Sonoma - and it called for farro, which I just happened to have on hand.  And beans, also on hand.  I had fresh tomatoes, but no canned, kale but no spinach, so it really turned into a different soup than the one pictured.  I'll make this again, but with those diced, canned tomatoes with basil and lovely juices.   I have mixed feelings about the farro, chewy and different, but not really OHMYGOSH good.  It was a little bland for my taste, so I added more dried basil and tarragon, a nice little perkiness to the soup.  I also think those nice plump chicken and herb sausages would be good - in January, any sausage is welcome, don't you think?

Stay warm and read a book - or three, or ten!  And be kind to yourself and others.

                          Take care, and enjoy winter, wherever you are!                              

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

overnight oats with fresh cherries

A bracing, cold, cold day here, 3 degrees but feels much colder because of the wind. I was going to make my usual pot of oatmeal this morning, but got distracted reading the front of the Quaker Oats box, where there was a little banner saying Try Overnight Oats! Even though many of my food blogger friends have made oats this way, I have not.  But when that beloved Quaker gentleman on the package suggests them, I thought, I really should try them. A very dim memory of seeing the oatmeal box on the kitchen counter when I was little popped up.  I double checked with my brother, and sure enough - he said we had it often through our childhood on the Cape.  So my memory of seeing the box from a child's height on the kitchen counter was right, after all.  And I, of course, bought it for my children's breakfasts, continuing the tradition.

So I did make the overnight oats, but made it in the morning with fresh cherries, so that I could have it in the afternoon.  Very different from cooked oatmeal, but good  - and it'll be fun to come up with more combinations of fruits and spices.  It also fits into my exercise and diet plans, so I encourage you to give it a try .

Overnight oats with fresh cherries

This makes one serving.

Take a clean mason jar or Weck jar that will hold 1 and a half cups.

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk (you can also use almond or coconut milk)
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
a shake of cinnamon
Stir briefly , then add:

1/2 cup or more fresh pitted cherries (or bananas, or strawberries)
a drizzle of honey
Cover and set in fridge for several hours or overnight.

Off to make some more - it was delicious!