May 26th, 2016
May 22nd, 2016
What a terrific idea. From the good folks at Bon Appetit Magazine comes this easy way to cook your whole dinner on one sheet pan. The timing for this recipe to appear couldn’t be better. Most of my remaining kitchen supplies are in boxes sealed and ready to accompany us back to North Carolina. It was so convenient to turn the oven on and cook the whole dinner in one pan.
Saltimbocca is Italian for “jumps in the mouth”. Usually it is made with veal that is pounded thin, wrapped in prosciutto with a sage leaf underneath, sauteed in butter and then simmered in dry white wine. This unconventional treatment starts with potatoes and onions seasoned with lots of sage and olive oil and cooked in a hot oven. The boneless pork chops topped with the prosciutto are then added to the pan to continue cooking until they are done. I also added asparagus.
This was a flavorful dinner with very little effort. We are headed back to North Carolina with a small u-haul trailer. I am proud that I can include that word “small”. We will miss our Florida home but are looking forward to the different travel opportunities we now have.
SHEET PAN PORK SALTIMBOCCA
- 2 1-inch-thick slices boneless pork loin (6–8 ounces each)
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound small (2-inch-diameter) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
- 4 thin slices prosciutto
- Asparagus spears drizzled with olive oil, optional
Preheat oven to 450°. Pierce pork slices all over with the tip of a paring knife. Place in a dish just large enough to hold pork in a single layer. Pour wine over and let marinate at room temperature while preparing other ingredients.
Place onions in a medium bowl, drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat without breaking up slices. Transfer onions to prepared baking sheet, spreading out in an even layer. Combine remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, potatoes, and sage in same bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place potatoes on sheet, tucking in among onions.
Roast onion-potato mixture until potatoes are beginning to brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove pork from wine and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and top each pork slice with 2 prosciutto slices. Place pork on baking sheet atop potatoes and onions. Add asparagus spears if desired. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of pork registers 135°, about 15 minutes. (After 10 minutes, I turned pork chops over to brown more evenly. I lifted the prosciutto , turned the chops and placed the prosciutto back on the chops.) Remove pan from oven and let rest, covered with foil for about 10 minutes. Serve.
April 27th, 2016
I made these delicious little mashed potato cakes before we left for Florida. I packed what was leftover in our cooler and we have finished them while we are here preparing the house for the sale closing. They are such an easy do ahead side dish. The potato cakes are flavored with ham and chives with eggs, milk and butter for binding them together.
This was the condition of my kitchen two days ago. All of the cabinets were emptied and the contents spread about on the counters. I managed to find a small section of the island cleared enough to cut up carrots for roasting for that nights dinner. By the end of the next day, most of the kitchenware was sold along with the rest of the house contents.
All of our art work, furniture, linens and smalls have found new homes. We are fortunate that the new owners purchased a lot of the furniture so we still have a bed in which to sleep, a table on which to eat, and a comfy chair to recline in while watching TV. I saved a few pots and pans, a French press coffee maker and miscellaneous tools to make simple meals possible. The estate sale is over and we have five more days until the closing. I shed a few tears when I left the house in the hands of my estate sale manager, knowing that when we returned at the end of that first day the house would have lost much of its charm. But I have gotten used to the empty rooms and parting with all of this stuff is really liberating.
The recipe for the potato cakes came from Eatwell 101. They are healthier than pan fried potato cakes. I used ham instead of pancetta. Check out the website for some lovely pictures and the recipe. My potato cakes took longer to brown than the 10 minutes that is suggested in the recipe. But the flavor is great and you could get creative with the ingredients.
Next up is a sheet pan dinner. When you are reduced to making do with just a few pans, you need to get creative.
January 30th, 2016
We have many visitors at the lake during the year. Because of that, I am always looking for recipes to serve to a crowd. Breakfast hash browns take time and when you are juggling eggs and bacon, it is just one more pan that has to be watched. I found this simple baked hash brown recipe on Pinterest. You can even prep it the night before.
We went for our first boat ride of the season last week. Spring on the lake is so beautiful.
The iconic view of Lake Lure is one of our favorites. We call this the “kissing alligators” view. The mountain to the right is obviously an alligator head. The mountain to the left is a little obscured, but definitely looks like an alligator head. Our cottage is next to the orange boathouse on the right.
I have several favorite houses on the lake. Surprisingly they all have a French Chateau look to them. I got in trouble a few years ago peeking into this house when it was under construction. There were “No Trespassing” signs posted, which I ignored. The owner was next door and was not happy with me. I tried to explain that I was a decorator and could not help myself; it fell on deaf ears.
This stucco house with French blue shutters is for sale if anyone is interested. Here is a link. By the way, I am happy to say that we have just sold our Florida house. We will be returning to Florida soon to arrange an estate sale.
Returning to the subject of these hash browns, I used frozen hash browns from Trader Joe’s. I like them because they have no artificial ingredients. Like I said before, you can prep them the night before in the pan and cover with plastic wrap for the morning. It couldn’t be easier, and they would look great on a serving platter.
BAKED PARMESAN HASH BROWNS ( Recipe from Delicious Table )
1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
4-5 sliced green onions
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Press dry potatoes in a large mixing bowl with paper towels, this helps them crisp. You can also use a salad spinner to help dry the potatoes. Mix all ingredients in the bowl. Scoop into muffin tin and press with spatula or a spoon. Bake 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees until crispy.
May 15th, 2015
Potatoes have been rather scarce in our house lately. We are trying to cut back on carbs. But when I do eat potatoes, it has to be worth it. No plain old baked potato for me. So when I saw this recipe on the Bon Appetit website, I knew that these potatoes would be special. Salt and vinegar go so well with potatoes. The traditional British fish and chips always includes malt vinegar on the chips. One of my favorite potato chips is with salt and vinegar. What you see here is what was leftover from last night’s dinner. We would have eaten more, but I told David that I needed enough left over to photograph in the light of day. We food bloggers are a breed apart and we are getting quite a reputation.
I had to laugh when I saw the above cartoon on Facebook the other day. I do try to be surreptitious when photographing food in restaurants, but the dining industry is on to us. And now we have lots of people doing it.
But photographing these potato beauties this morning in my
sunny kitchen, er, living room by the only light that is just right, I was happy that I had leftovers. We had them for lunch.
The potatoes are first cooked in a saucepan in a vinegar and water mixture. After draining they are sauteed in butter and given a final splash of vinegar and maldon or coarse sea salt. The vinegar permeates the potatoes so nicely. The coarse salt just adds that final finish to these crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside yukon golds.
CRISPY SALT AND VINEGAR POTATOES ( Bon Appetit )
Cooking the potatoes in vinegar seasons them from within, and a final drizzle boosts the flavor.
- 2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved, quartered if large
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or green onion tops
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Combine potatoes, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt in a medium saucepan; add water to cover by 1”. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20–25 minutes; drain and pat dry.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes; season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Serve topped with chives or green onions and sea salt.
Allow me to ramble a bit. This will be a rather disjointed post. It seems I have been snapping pictures willy nilly with no particular theme in mind. We did have this mashed potato casserole last week. David was grilling ribs and I knew that the timing for dinner would remain up in the air. There are many steps involved in his rib recipe. So, as not to worry about the mashed potatoes, I turned them into a casserole that could be kept warm in the oven. The topping of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and butter was delicious.
Yesterday we had an old friend from our college days over for lunch. She has moved close to our area and we had the best time catching up with each other. I set the table on the porch, and although it was cool, we enjoyed being outside.
Our lunch included Ina Garen’s Couscous and Tuna Salad. You can find the recipe here.
I made a simple tossed salad with Spring greens, mandarin oranges, raspberries and almonds and these focaccia breadsticks with an oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce.
David took me out to lunch for Mother’s Day at a small town near us. After lunch we browsed in several antique shops. I found this “Antiques” sign. It is obviously not old, but it looks great hanging on my porch.
I also found this colorful hanging basket to hang at the entrance to the cottage.
MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE
6 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 1 cup half and half or cream
A large handful of chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
For the topping:
1/3 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon melted butter
Place potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover. Add a generous teaspoon of salt. Bring to bowl and cook until tender. Drain potatoes. Add butter and enough half and half to mash into a creamy consistency. Add chives and mix in.
Grease a casserole dish. Add potato mixture.
Mix together the topping ingredients. Spread over potatoes. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Can be held in a warm oven until needed.