Autumn’s Mashed Potato

Mashed PotatoThis past week, I decided it was time to make something that I truly love, however do not make that often, the beef tenderloin. As I could probably write about how delicious the tenderloin was, as it was marinated with course pepper, and a few course salts and herbs, I am not going that direction. Instead, I am going with a take on the side dish that went with the meat, the garlic mashed potato.

I cannot tell you how many batches of mashed potatoes I have made in my life, but I think I have it down. I used to use a mixer on the potatoes, then I found the potato masher, and love it. I like the masher utensil because you can create your own texture.

Let’s get busy. As always, the ingredients could not be easier than this:

  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Potato MasherI am huge fan of exploring your potatoes for mashing, and in this recipe I used the large baker potatoes and threw in a sweet potato. It rocked. Skins your potatoes, then quarter them. In a large pan of boiling, salted water, add the potatoes and cook them until fork tender, approximately 25 minutes. During this time, chop the tip off the bulb of garlic, add some olive oil to the top, and add salt and pepper. Foil this up and place in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Once the garlic is roasted, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Mashed PotatoWhen the taters are fork tender, drain the water, then return the pan back to the stove, on medium heat to get rid of the remaining water. This is a great time to add your butter. How much you say? I truly do not skimp on the butter, and this will also depend on the batch that you are making. I used about six tablespoons. Start mashing them down, and during this time, add salt and pepper. This will appear pretty dry to you, so get ready to add your cream. I add about 1 cup of cream, and adjust to the creaminess you are going for in your mash. Did I mention the garlic? Simply squeeze the garlic out of the bulb into the potatoes and mash some more.

As my tenderloin was on the grill, I placed these in a corningware dish, added another tablespoon of butter on the top, and placed in the oven for about 25 minutes. Enjoy and make it your own.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot PieWe are seeing signs of Fall in the mid-west. A season both my wife and I really enjoy. It is a season where the cool is among us, the smell is different in the air, and it is a time where we begin to cook different foods. You know the type, the hearty ones. The ones that you can smell outside of your house when you are pulling into the driveway. One of my wife’s favorite recipes for this time of year is chicken pot pie. This is another one of those recipes that is really simple to make, and is great for leftovers.

Ingredients include:

  • 7 TB of butter
  • 1/2 flour
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1-2 cups of cooked chicken (to your liking)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • White wine, if you have it
  • Pie Crust, or make your own

Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces. An easy way to do this is to put the chicken in the freezer for nearly thirty minutes, as it will allow it, to you know, freeze. Once cut up, add the chicken to a hot pan with a bit of olive oil, and cook through, nearly 8-10 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a pan and melt your butter. Once melted, add the flour and stir this really well. Add the the cream, and continue to stir. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Add in your meat and vegetables, bring to a boil, then let simmer for nearly 10 minutes. During the simmer process, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Once the mixture is done, set aside, and let it cool for 10 minutes or so.
Using your pie crusts, add the pot pie mixture, being careful not to overload it. Add your top crust, and fork the edges to make a seal. Cook for 20 minutes. When done, let it sit for 5 minutes or so. Cut in and enjoy.

Do you have something special you put in your pot pie? If so, I would like to know.

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber SaladThe summer garden is gone now. It is somewhat sad to see it go. We had an abundance of cucumbers this year, as my wife simply loves them. The cucumber was on the table throughout the summer in some form or another, typically sliced thick, with a bit of salt. As I am not that big a fan of the cucumber as my wife, I do enjoy it from time to time. A recent meal included barbecue meat on the grill, asian flavored to some degree, and I thought it needed a great, refreshing side. I decided to put together an cucumber salad, as we had many on the counter that day. This recipe is super simple, and yet ultimately fresh and delicious. Ingredients could not be any simpler:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

Mix the vinegar, chili flakes, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Toss in the other ingredients and coat. Refrigerate for up to an hour, then plate and serve. As stated, this was a great side and would accompany bbq beef, chicken, or pork really well. Enjoy.

The Lakeshore Salty

Fried Tilapia SandwichIn my last post, I mentioned the Lakeshore salty, a fish dinner I often make for the kids. I recently made the salty (fried fish tilapia filets), and created a delicious sandwich out of it. The sandwich is easy to make. Ingredient breakdown:

  • Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil

Fried Tilapia SandwichRinse the tliapia filets with cold water, and pat dry. In a ziplock bag, I mix the 1/2 cup of cornmeal, and about 1/4 cup of flour. Season to your liking with salt and pepper. Heat a deep skillet with cooking oil, and fry the salties until golden brown. I drain them in strainer with paper towel, then season while they are still hot with salt and pepper. The kids typically bypass the idea of making a sandwich, however my wife and I always have the sandwich. This time I whipped up some homemade guacamole, and bought bread that Hispanics typically use for their torta and was it ever delicious! Other ideas that we have used in chopped red onion, garlic, and mayonnaise (a must try).