Tag Archives: side dish

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese & Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing

roasted fingerling potato salad with creme fraiche

When it comes to entertaining in the summer, I like to keep it casual and relaxed. A fun and refreshing cocktail to get the evening started, and then a meal complete with something off the grill, and some really nice make ahead side salads and gratins that feature the farmer’s market’s best ingredients. For dessert, I like to go with something fresh and fruity with things like cherries, peaches, and berries.

I just finished teaching a week of cooking classes the last before summer break, that featured this menu:

Pickled Shrimp & Tomato Skewers

Grilled Tri Tip Steaks with Smoky Steak Sauce

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese, and Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing

Tomato Gratin with Asiago Bread Crumbs

Individual Bourbon Spiked Cherry Pies

The entire menu was make-ahead friendly,  perfect for serving buffet style, and delicious eaten at room temperature. Exactly what I wanted for my casual no-stess evening.

Having everything ready before  your guests arrive will definitely make you smile. You are sure to have fun, and will feel ready to enjoy that cool refreshing cocktail or two with your guests, instead of running around trying to pull everything together at the last minute.

I posted a picture of the little cherry pies on Instagram before class started…

bourbon spiked cherry pies

but it’s the potato salad that I am featuring today. A spin on traditional potato salad,  I have roasted  the potatoes to bring out their warm, sweet flavor.  Fresh corn & blue cheese also get tossed into the bowl and I used creme fraiche as a base for the dressing, which added a really nice tang.

—–And as long as you have creme fraiche and blue cheese in the mix, why not  really take it over the top and  add in a bit of crispy bacon crumbles too if you like. That combination would go really well alongside some ribs—-and a perfect addition to your Father’s Day grill menu.

Happy summer!

roasted fingerling potato salad with creme fraiche

 

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese & Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kernels from 3 ears of corn
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss potatoes together with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; transfer to a large baking sheet and roast 45 minutes. Cool potatoes to room temperature.
  2. Whisk together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic in a large bowl. Add potatoes, corn, and blue cheese and toss well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Mix together the Italian parsley, tarragon, and chives in a small bowl. Sprinkle herb mixture over salad and serve.

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Crunchy Halibut with Mixed Herb Gremolata and Saffron Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to making dinner,  do you usually have a plan in place for the week ahead, with meals decided upon and shopping complete for the whole week?

Or…do you shop for a few days at a time, deciding as you go?

Or.. do you cook on the fly with no planning involved and wing it with whatever you have in the house?

I guess I kind of fall somewhere in the middle. I try and plan out a good part of the week, and shop a few days at a time for items I need. That way I have  the freedom to change my mind if I am craving something different than what is planned (which happens a lot), or for times like this occasion when I arrived at the market to find some beautiful fresh halibut looking out at me from behind the seafood case.

I really like the contrasting textures and flavors in this dish: crunchy/creamy/salty/sweet all rolled into one.  If you have never tried adding saffron to mashed potatoes, now is your chance. We are after all, in mashed potato season, right? I have also included a few tips for getting your mashed potatoes just right; just in time for Thanksgiving!

Panko Crused Halibut

4 (4 ounce) halibut fillets, skin removed

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons canola oil

Gremolata:

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoon minced chives

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Season both sides of fish with  salt and pepper. Dredge both sides of fish in flour, then dip in milk , followed by panko crumbs.

Heat  oil to shimmering over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Add halibut fillet and cook until panko browns lightly. Turn fillets over, reduce heat to medium and cook until fish is just becoming flaky, approximately 7 minutes.

For gremolata: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

Saffron Mashed Potatoes

1 1/3 pounds (4 medium)  Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into uniform 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon
salt, divided
2 tablespoons warm butter

Pinch of saffron threads

1/2 to 2/3 cup hot milk, half &  half, or cream


In large saucepan, Add  potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

While potatoes are cooking, either in another saucepan or microwave, heat butter.  Also heat hot milk or cream to a simmer (do not boil) separately from the butter in another saucepan or microwave. NOTE: Do not add cold butter or cold milk/cream to when making mashed potatoes.

When the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.

In the same saucepan that the potatoes have been heated in, mash potatoes with a potato masher, potato ricer,  or beat with electric hand mixer until chunky.  Stir in warm butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, saffron threads, and 1/2 cup of the hot milk.  Add additional milk, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency

Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.

4 servings

A few mashed potato tips:
* Do not cut the potatoes into smaller chunks as too much water will be absorbed by the potatoes. After cutting the potatoes, immediately place in cold water to prevent discoloration of the potatoes.

*Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, as anyone who has tried to make the side dish in a food processor can attest. When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell. If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste.

* Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume, becoming swollen and watery. That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.

Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto

3 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts
5 slices of Prosciutto
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 small shallots, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons  Balsamic Vinegar

Trim stems and remove outer leaves from Brussels sprouts; wash, then cut larger sprouts in half. In a covered pot, boil Brussels sprouts with enough water to cover until tender. Approximately 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook prosciutto in hot oil over medium heat; once crispy, remove. Use same pan and oil to cook shallots, garlic and butter. Allow to soften, then add sprouts, salt and pepper.

Cook for approximately 8 minutes or until browned. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with prosciutto.

4 servings

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Grilled Broccoli Rabe with Lemon and Parmigiano Recipe

Broccoli rabe is one of those vegetables that you either absolutely love, or you just can’t stand, no matter how many times someone makes it for you (Dad: I am referring to you) ….you just can’t do it. There’s no real middle ground when it comes to broccoli rabe. It’s pretty much a yes or a no. Broccoli rabe has rather a sharp bite, which tends to be on the bitter side.

I happen to absolutely love  these qualities when it comes to broccoli rabe, but know that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. So, when I am fixing broccoli rabe for the less than enthusiastic  crowd (a.k.a. my family), I soften the flavor a bit by sauteing it in olive oil with  a million cloves of garlic,  white wine, chicken broth, then toss with fresh pasta and home made ricotta cheese. Oh- and a squeeze of lemon to finish. This is the way I usually prepare broccoli rabe … that is until I found my new favorite way to eat broccoli rabe–grilled!

I recently picked up a copy of Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton, (former editor of Fine Cooking Magazine) which is filled with all kinds of delicious recipes featuring fresh vegetables that take you through braising, sauteing, grilling, and even a section on gratins.  It’s a great book for summer, which I highly recommend.

I spotted her recipe for grilled Broccoli Rabe with Lemon and Parmigiano, and knew I had to make it, and soon. I grill all kinds of vegetables, all of the time during the summer, but broccoli rabe? That was one I hadn’t even thought of trying. So before I knew it, my grill basket  was heating up and there I was, cooking broccoli rabe on the grill.

Following Susie’s recipe, I  tossed the broccoli rabe in a mixture of water,  olive oil, and salt prior to  adding to the heated grill pan.

The olive oil allows the broccoli rabe to char and caramelize a bit, creating fantastic flavor.  The water allows  the broccoli rabe  to steam as it cooks, ensuring tenderness.

So for all of you  broccoli rabe lovers out there who truly appreciate the character it holds, this is one you must try this summer. I know I will be making this one again and again, but probably not for you dad…this is not one for you….not even with extra cheese and lemon.

Grilled Brocoli Rabe with Lemon and Parmigiano

8 ounces broccoli rabe, bottom 2-inches trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher Salt

1/4 lemon

Small wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano

Put a vegetable grilling basket directly on the grate of a gas grill and preheat to medium. When the grill and basket are hot, toss the broccoli rabe in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, 3 tablespoons water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and transfer it to the grill basket. Toss well, close the lid, and cook, tossing frequently with tongs (and replacing the lid each time), until the rabe is wilted and all of the pieces have some browning on them, 7 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the rabe to a serving platter. Taste and add a little salt if necessary. Season with a light squeeze of the lemon, and using a y-shaped vegetable peeler, shave as many Parmigiano shavings as you like (8 to 10 would be good) over the rabe. Serve warm or at room temperature

Serves 3 to 4

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