Potato, Tomato and Rosemary Gratin

April 20th, 2011

This potato dish was featured in an old Gourmet magazine as part of a rustic Italian dinner.  The meal began with an artichoke and pancetta fettuccine, featured a homemade ciabatta bread, and progressed to the main course of pan roasted veal and these potatoes.  I wish I had had the time and the ingredients to make the complete meal, but life is busy right now.  My grillmeister did his part by cooking some chicken on the grill on this beautiful day.  That gave me the time to putter in the kitchen with this casserole and make some simple frozen vegetables.  I find it easier to tackle new dishes when the rest of the meal is simple.

I like the idea of adding tomatoes to a potato dish.  They add a vibrancy to the brown potatoes.  In this case I had a can of diced tomatoes that worked beautifully.  Just be sure the tomatoes are drained well and dry when added to the potato mixture.  The potatoes are browned in batches and the casserole can be assembled ahead of time.  You could even add more cheese, either Swiss or cheddar, to amp up the flavor.  This potato casserole looks good and tastes good.  What more could you ask for?


1 medium onion
1 large garlic clove
16 ounce can whole tomatoes
2 pounds russet potatoes (about 6 medium)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Cut onion crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices and mince garlic.  Drain tomatoes well and coarsely chop.  Peel potatoes and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saute potatoes in 3 batches, turning them, until golden on both sides, add 1 tablespoon oil for each new batch.  Transfer potatoes to a bowl as sauteed.

In skillet cook onion in 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Add onion to potatoes with tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine well.  Transfer potato mixture to a 2-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish and drizzle with water and remaining tablespoon oil.  Sprinkle Parmesan over potatoes.  Gratin may be made up to this point 2 hours ahead and kept, covered, at cool room temperature.

Bake gratin 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and beginning to brown.  Serves 6.

Printable recipe    

Gazpacho with Shrimp and Rosemary Flatbreads

June 24th, 2009

This is a day early to be posting for Barefoot Blogger Thursday but yesterday was a hot day so a cool soup seemed to be a very good idea for dinner. Meryl of My Bit of Earth selected Ina Garten’s Gazpacho for the second Barefoot Blogger recipe of the month. I decided to take Ina’s wonderful soup recipe and embellish it with shrimp and this flavorful flatbread to make it a complete meal.
There are many things I like about this dish. The chunky vegetables add lots of texture and taste. I did alter the recipe slightly by using only one red pepper instead of two and by using only a half of a red onion instead of the whole onion. If the soup had more time to rest in the refrigerator the onion and pepper would have mellowed, but since I was serving it in less than two hours I didn’t want too much of the raw taste. Another advantage is that the soup is quick to put together. Most of the chopping is accomplished in a food processor. To give the dish added flavor, I used V-8 juice instead of regular tomato juice. They now have a heart healthy low sodium variety of V-8 juice that I really like.
When I serve soup I have to have bread and these crispy rosemary flatbreads are one of my favorites. I have blogged about them before but sometimes a good thing is worth repeating. They are very easy to put together and they look beautiful and taste as good as they look.

The meal was perfect, eaten on the porch on a sultry evening. Even the shrimp were easy. I bought them already cooked from the supermarket. Thank you Meryl for selecting another great Barefoot Contessa recipe.

1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded ( I used 1)
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion (I used 1/2)
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups) (I used V-8 juice)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 Tbls kosher salt ( I omitted )
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1 inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not over process!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6 inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.
Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 to 5 times.
Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).
Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces to serve.
Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Printable recipe – Gazpacho

Printable recipe – Crisp Rosemary Flatbreads

Three Dressing Casseroles for Thanksgiving

November 22nd, 2011

I now have three dressing casseroles in my repertoire for Thanksgiving.  They are all my favorites because I love dressing so much that I would not be able to choose.  Take your pick.  This newest dressing is one that I saw in Bon Appetit last year.  It is Rosemary Bread Stuffing with Prosciutto, Fennel and Lemon.  One of my favorite breads is La Brea’s rosemary olive oil bread and this recipe is built around that kind of bread.  How could you go wrong?  Fennel is used liberally in the recipe and I love the subtle flavor that it imparts.  Add prosciutto or speck to the mix and there is no doubt that it will be good.  I made this last week and even David, who is not a stuffing or dressing aficionado, loved it.


1 14 1/2-to 16-ounce purchased rosemary-olive oil bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb (from 1 large) plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh fennel fronds
1 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounced thinly sliced Speck or prosciutto, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Toss bread cubes, 3 tablespoons oil, and 2 tablespoons melted butter in large bowl.  Spread mixture on large rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until bread cubes are golden, stirring occasionally, 20 to 22 minutes.  Cool.

Mix wine and raisins in small saucepan; let soak 10 minutes.  Boil 2 minutes Cool.

Stir fennel seeds in small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and slightly darker, 2 to 3 minutes.  Transfer fennel seeds to plate to cool.  Finely grind seeds in mortar with pestle or in spice mill.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter with 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add fennel bulb, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; saute until fennel is tender and shallots are pale golden, about 7 minutes.  Stir in ground fennel seeds, prosciutto, lemon peel, and fennel fronds.  Stir raisins into fennel mixture; cool.

Do Ahead;  Bread cubes and fennel mixture can be made 1 day ahead.  Store bread airtight at room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate fennel mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil.  Toss bread cubes and fennel mixture in large bowl.  Add 1 cup broth and eggs; toss until moistened, adding up to 1/4 cup more broth if dry.  Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish.  Cover with foil coated lightly with oil. oiled side down.  Bake until stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Remove foil; bake uncovered until top is crisp and golden, about 30 minutes.

Printable recipe

CORNBREAD SAUSAGE STUFFING WITH APPLES.  This dressing has been a favorite for many years.  It is adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook.  Cornbread, whole wheat, and sourdough bread are combined with sausage and apples.  It is very flavorful.  Here is the link to the recipe.

MOM’S THANKSGIVING DRESSING.  This is the dressing that I grew up with.  It is very basic but it is the favorite of the whole family.  Every bite of it is loaded with memories.  My Mother knew what she was doing.  Here is the link to the recipe.

I wish all of you a very happy and memorable Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for all of you.

BLT Wraps

March 10th, 2011

These are tasty little morsels.  This variation on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich really packs a punch of flavor.  Oil packed sun-dried tomatoes are mixed with mayonnaise and basil and spread on flour tortillas.  Diced bacon is fried crisp, scattered on and then the lettuce is plumped on top.  The whole wheat tortillas are rolled up and sliced.  It is easy to assemble at the last minute and perfect for a buffet.

Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches are a traditional luncheon dish in our family.  Every Labor Day our extended family gathers at the lake for the four day holiday.  We always have BLT’s for one lunch.  My DIL Kristen is the creative force behind the sandwiches.  She always makes them special by flavoring the mayonnaise with fresh herbs and using special breads like rosemary olive oil bread.  The tomatoes usually come from her Mom’s garden;  Darla always brings her multi-hued heirloom tomatoes.  There is nothing better.  But they are time consuming.

When you are serving a crowd, this BLT wrap is a perfect compromise.  All of the flavor is there and I like the bite size presentation.  You may want to secure the wraps with toothpicks, but they are fairly easy to eat as is.  Or if you just want a sandwich for lunch, just cut the tortillas in half and enjoy.  The recipe appeared originally in Southern Living Magazine.


1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dry
8 ( 10-inch ) flour tortillas
1 large head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (optional) – I left this out
16 bacon slices, diced and cooked crisp.  Drain on paper towels.
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine mayonnaise, tomatoes and basil in a small bowl.  Spread evenly over 1 side of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Layer bacon, onions, and lettuce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roll up tortillas; cut in half diagonally or cut into smaller slices and secure with wooden picks.

Printable recipe


Jamaican Chicken Soup for the Dark Days of Winter

January 6th, 2017

Jamacian Chicken Soup

The weather is frightful.  The skies are grey.  But the light still burns in our homes and on our hearths. We have put away the trappings of the holidays and are hunkering down for the long dark days of Winter. Warming soups and bread fresh from the oven are my preferred ways to fight the winter doldrums. And a great soup to brighten your days is this Jamaican inspired recipe.Jamacian Chicken Soup

With the bright additions of curry and allspice, this chicken, black bean and black-eyed pea soup hits all the right notes.  I added Himalayan red rice to the mix because I had it in my pantry.  I found it while cleaning out dated foodstuff.  Sometimes impulse buys get shoved into corners.   Himalayan Red Rice is grown in Nepal and has a red hued bran.  It is colorful for pilafs.

Jamacian Chicken Stew

We have a snow storm predicted for the mountains this weekend so I am happy to have a pot of soup and homemade Rosemary Olive Oil Bread stashed away.  Cooking is a good way to survive anything nature throws at you.


1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used Himalayan Red Rice)

Heat oil in a dutch oven.  Add chicken pieces and saute until browned.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add onion to casserole and cook until transparent.  Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add all of the spices and cook over low heat for about 1 minute.  Add wine and reduce slightly.  Return chicken to casserole and add the remaining ingredients.  Cover pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and cook for at least 30 minutes.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro if desired.

Printable Recipe


© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.