Roasted Sweet Potato Tasso Bisque

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I love Cajun and Creole food. I went to New Orleans for the second time and this time I had the opportunity to take my first cooking class. I took a hands-on class at the New Orleans School of Cooking and it was amazing. I really enjoyed learning about the cuisine of NOLA and meeting my 9 new friends. Chef Matt was an amazing teacher with a great personality. My favorite dish that we made was the bisque; so spicy, creamy and delicious. We used an immersion blender to puree. If you don’t have one of those you could use a food processor or blender in its place.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 TBS garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup tasso (if your grocer doesn’t carry this you can use bacon or prosciutto in its place)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 TBS Joe’s Stuff seasoning (I have the link to order down below, but you can use a combination of salt, garlic salt, paprika and onion powder in its place)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and cook sweet potato for 45 minutes or until tender, remove from oven and let cool (poke holes in the potato prior to cooking and beware that it will leak all over your oven, so place it on a pan).

In a heavy bottom pot, heat butter and brown tasso on all sides at medium-high. Remove half from pot and set aside for garnish.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic; saute until soft. De-glaze with stock, scraping the bits of the bottom of the pot. Add Joe’s stuff or your own seasonings and allow to simmer.

After sweet potato has cooled, split it in half and scoop flesh out with a spoon. Add potato to simmering liquid. Using the immersion blender, puree the contents of the pot until smooth.

Add heavy cream and return to pot to simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Garnish with tasso and green onions.

Here is where you can purchase the special creole seasoning:

http://store.nosoc.com/joes-stuff-4-5-oz/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twice Baked Potatoes

 

This is a modified recipe from Horne of the Moon Cookbook, a vegetarian restaurant in Vermont. It is simple, but not as simple as a baked potato. Well worth the extra effort. I am not listing the amount of each ingredient because it varies depending on how many potatoes you cook. Just keep tasting the mix.

Ingredients:

  • Large russet potatoes (however many you care to serve).
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork (1-1 1/4 hours). Cut the top of each potato so that the inside can be easily scooped out. Scoop out insides and place in a bowl. Mash with butter, lower over temp to 400, add sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Fill the potato shells and sprinkle each with paprika. Bake for 15 minutes and serve.

 

Crispy Cod Sandwiches with Red Cabbage & Apple Slaw and Roasted Potato Wedges from Blue Apron

 

 

I received a gift card from Blue Apron from a family member (thank you Pat and Fred), and I decided to give it a try for a week. 2 dishes and only one was a keeper that I will continue to make on my own. My assessment of Blue Apron was, although convenient and everything was fresh, it is over priced if you don’t have a coupon. Above pictured is the 2 meals I received from Blue Apron, pork dish is not reflected here because we didn’t really like it. Here is the recipes we all enjoyed:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cod fillets
  • 4 potato buns
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lb. red cabbage
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 3 TBS sweet pickle relish
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning (they provided their own spices, but this one is a great substitute since I don’t know what was in there’s)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch wedges. Remove and discard the core of the cabbage, thinly slice. Core the apple and cut into matchsticks. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions, thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel the carrots and grate on the large side of a box grater, place in a bowl with 1/4 of the vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes

Place the potato wedges on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss and arrange skin sides down, roast for 28-30 minutes.

While potatoes are roasting make the slaw: combine sugar and  remaining vinegar and whisk until dissolves. Add cabbage and apple, stir thoroughly, season with salt and pepper, set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

While the slaw marinates, make the sauce: combine mayo, relish and white bottoms of scallions, season with salt and pepper.

Once the potatoes have roasted for at least 10 minutes, place the Old Bay Seasoning on a plate, pat the cod fillets dry, season with salt and pepper, coat with seasoning, tapping off excess. In a large , non stick pain, heat 1 TBS olive oil on medium high, add cod fillets and cook 5-7 minutes on one side, flip and cook 2-3 minutes on reverse side, or until lightly browned. Leave browned bits in the pan as you transfer fish to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

Add the buns, cut side down, to the pan you used to cook the fish, toast for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned

Spread a layer of sauce on the buns with the cooked fish and marinated carrots

Serve with potatoes and slaw and garnish with green tops of scallions

 

 

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Wrap

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The holidays are upon us so I am going to try to start being more diligent with adding recipes to this blog. For all my vegetarian and/or vegan friends out there, this is recipe I made for my daughter during our last Thanksgiving celebration. There is a lot of moving parts to it, so of course, omit what sounds good to you and reinvent this wrap anyway you please. Original recipe found on http://www.minimalistbaker.com.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potatoes:

2 large sweet potatoes

1 TBS grape seed oil

1 tsp fresh thyme

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

optional; pinch of cayenne pepper

Chickpeas:

1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and thoroughly dried in a  towel

1 TBS grape seed oil

1 tsp fresh or dried thyme

Pinch ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

scant 1/2 tsp sea salt

optional: healthy pinch each ground coriander and cardamom

For serving:

4 flatbreads; homemade or store bought, use your imagination

Some type of delicious sauce (I personally love tzatziki, Greek/cucumber yogurt sauce) but it isn’t vegan. If you want to stay true to the vegan lifestyle you will have to pick something else.

Toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds

Dried cranberries (chopped)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thoroughly wash and dry sweet potatoes, then slice (skin on) into bite-sized rounds or pieces.

Add to a mixing bowl with oil, thyme, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Toss to coat then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

To the same mixing bowl, add rinsed, dried chickpeas and oil with thyme, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt and coriander/cardamom if using.

Toss to coat then add to the same baking sheet with potatoes if there’s room, if not, use a second baking sheet of course.

Bake for 25 minutes, flipping once at the 15 minute mark. They are done when the potatoes are fork tender and the chick peas are golden brown and slightly crispy.

Warm your bread, add the baked ingredients and top with sauce and any optional goodies you are using. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Potatoes Au Gratin (Gratin Dauphinoise)

Breast of Chicken with Duxelles Stuffing

This is another recipe that I tried in my professional chef app; The Culinary Institute of America’s textbook.  Potatoes with cream, cheese, and butter; how could you go wrong? The recipe calls for a 10 serving dish but you can cut it all in half if you don’t want to make 3 pounds of potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb chef’s potatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 quart (4 cups) milk
  • freshly grated nutmeg, as needed
  • salt, as needed
  • 12 fl oz (1 1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (I added this, it is not in the original recipe in textbook)

Directions:

Scrub, peel, and thinly slice the potatoes using a mandoline or electric slicer. If you have to use a knife like me it will work. Put the garlic in a medium saucepan with the milk and bring to a boil. Season the milk with nutmeg, salt, and pepper and add sliced potatoes. Bring the milk to a simmer and cook potatoes until halfway cooked, 8-10 minutes, taking care that the milk does not boil over. Discard the garlic.

Transfer  the potatoes and milk to a buttered pan, pour cream over the top, dot with butter and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and milk has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.

Allow the potatoes to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Sweet Potato Puree with Brown Sugar and Sherry

This is an intriguing recipe I found in my epicurious app and adapted a bit with marshmallows. The thing I absolutely loved about this dish is the hint of sherry. This is the second sweet potato dish I have placed on the website. You might be able to tell, I love sweet potatoes. If you don’t use 4 pounds of potatoes, reduce the amount of Sherry.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds medium-sized red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
  • 2 pounds medium-sized tan-skinned sweet potatoes
  • 10 TBS (1 1/4 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 5 TBS dry Sherry
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce all sweet potatoes with fork and bake until tender, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Using spoon, scoop potato pulp into large bowl. Add butter and brown sugar, using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Beat in Sherry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking pan and cover with one layer mini marshmallows. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees or until marshmallows are tanned.

Dawn’s Tri-tip Marinade and Seasoned Red Potatoes

 

 

My best friend, Dawn, was watching my children one day so that I could go to work and I came home to this delicious meal. My response was “when can you move in?” She is a fantastic cook and creates delicious meals without recipes. These are both her creations and as far as measurements, you will have to add to taste.

Roasted Red Potatoes

 

Try this simple potato dish that has been a favorite of my parents the few times I’ve cooked it for them. The skins of the potatoes are left on leaving all the flavor and the cheese gets crunchy on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:
Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Toss with oil. Place in a single layer in a greased pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender.

Sweet Potato Puree with Streusel

 

This recipe, found on epicurious.com, is the sweet potato dish I have been making with my Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the past couple years. It is delicious and very sweet if you add marshmallows on top of the streusal, look out sugar rush.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, such as Louisiana, jewel, or garnet yams
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter 9- by 13-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Pierce each potato with fork and transfer to baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 50 minutes. Cool until easy to handle.

Meanwhile, make streusel: In medium bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 stick butter. Rub mixture between fingertips until blended and crumbly. Set aside.

Halve potatoes lengthwise and scoop out flesh into large bowl. Add remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and 3/4 stick butter and mash with potato masher or, for a smoother purée, handheld electric mixer. Spread mixture in prepared dish and cool completely. (Streusel and purée can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, separately, covered.)

Sprinkle streusel over potatoes. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. (Completed dish can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before reheating and let come to room temperature. Bake, loosely covered with foil, until heated through, about 25 minutes.)

Variation:
Sweet potato purée with marshmallows: Omit streusel. Spread purée in baking dish, cover with foil, and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with 3 cups miniature marshmallows and broil until marshmallows are lightly browned, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.