Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Iron Chef: Potatoes

First things first - Uncle Ron, go ahead and move on to your next stop cuz I'm talking food here.
Okay... now down to business. In April I was so excited to win the Iron Chef:Blogstyle competition at Sacred and Profane . Perhaps afraid I would win again with my arsenal of awesome recipes I was honored when Heidi asked me to be a guest judge for this month's competition: Potatoes! I love cooking so I was happy to help out and now here is what my family and I thought of each dish. We ranked each dish 1-5 with 5 being best and worthy of seconds.

Basil and Thyme Potatoes submitted by Sneaky Momma

1 1/2 to 2 lbs potatoes, cut into small (about 1") pieces
2 tbsp chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt

1. Heat oven to 375°.

2. Place potatoes in ungreased pan. Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over potatoes.

3. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Turn potatoes. Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired. Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes longer.

The potatoes make a great main dish when on a meat-free kick. You can use whatever kind of potatoes you have on hand (the original recipe calls for new potatoes) and they still turn out oh-so-yummy. I tend to add a little bit more olive oil when it's time to turn them over in the oven, because, well, we like 'em better that way! Of course, you could always add chicken to the pan prior to adding the basil and thyme mixture for a complete meal, as Betty intended

I had red potatoes on hand so that is what I used in this recipe. I often use red potatoes because they taste great with the skins on which means NO peeling and much easier to work with. These were a nice change to our normal veggie routine but they could have used more seasoning for my taste. Patrick found a great way to use up the left over potatoes by frying them up with eggs and onions for breakfast. Here is how our family judges ranked this dish:

Nathan 5

Topher 3
Patrick 3
Lilly - nope
Me - 3
Overall vote: 3


Texas Style Mustard Potato Salad submitted by
One Pink Fish
•4-8 large russet potatoes
•6-10 boiled eggs
•sweet relish (you can use dill-if you like it better)
•mayo or miracle whip
•salt, pepper, garlic salt, season salt or paprika

1. Boil the eggs and allow to cool. I use 2 more eggs than I have potatoes.
*Add or subtract eggs as needed for your families taste.

2. Boil the number of potatoes you need for your family. Boil until fork inserts easily into potatoes. You know if you like them to me more mashed or solid... either way is fine.
*I usually use about 6 potatoes. We love this potato salad even better on day 2 or 3.

3. After potatoes have boiled, run them under cool water. When you are able to touch them but they are definitely still hot, peel the skin off of all the potatoes. Place them in a large mixing bowl.

4. Chop or mash the potatoes to the consistency you prefer.

5. Sprinkle a generous about of salt and pepper, about half that amount of garlic and seasoned salt.
*I sometime omit the season salt. Really depends on the day.

6. Add in 2 large table-sized spoonfuls of mayo or miracle whip.

7. Add in a very generous squirt of mustard. Ahhh, go ahead and add 2.
*NOTE: If the potato salad gets to tangy, just add more mayo.

8. Dump in a generous amount of relish. I would guess at least a half of cup.

9. Stir and mix and mix and stir. By this time your potato salad should be very yellow.
*My husband has used the word radio active, I think. I promise it very good.

10. Take a little taste. Add relish, seasoning, mayo and of course more mustard until it taste right to you.
*Don't forget to stir and mix every time you add more "STUFF".

11. Once you get the taste you like course chop the eggs and stir those in as well.

12. Take one last taste to make sure it is yummalicious. If so, proceed to next step. If not, repeat step 10.

13. Cover and place in refrigerator for as long as possible. Over night is best, but I tend to not be ahead of the game and sometimes only get 1 hour.

14. Sprinkle with paprika before serving. Omit this step if you like.

YET ANOTHER NOTE: I sometimes add shredded carrots into my salad for color and a little more veggie content. Doesn't really change the flavor much.

Hope you like this recipe. I know it takes awhile to make, but the results are so good. It's worth it!

This was a great treat for Memorial Day Weekend, it went great with our grilled turkey burgers. As I made this dish I realized I have never attempted potato salad before and thankfully this was super easy. I just wish I had given myself more time before dinner because it really is even better the longer it has to chill. Again I used red potatoes and I chopped the taters before I boiled them so I wouldn't have to mess with playing hot potato while peeling and cutting. The Judges weigh in:

Nathan 5 {he had three helpings}
Topher 4
Lilly again no bribing would get her to try it
Patrick 4
Me 4
Overall vote: 4

Easy Baked Potato Soup submitted by A List Maker's Life
3 to 4 medium baking potatoes, baked
5 bacon strips, diced
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
3-1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash Liquid Smoke, optional
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese

Peel and dice the baked potatoes; set aside. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 1-1/2 teaspoons drippings.

Add the soups, milk, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, pepper, Liquid Smoke if desired and reserved potatoes to the drippings. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in sour cream, cook for 1-2 minutes or until heated through (do not boil).

Garnish with cheddar cheese and bacon.
Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

It was a bit hard for me to get in to soup mode with the great warm weather we have had{hence the lack of photos on this one}but this recipe is worth the trouble. I felt like Sandra Lee from the show "Semi-Homemade" because of the all the store bought ingredients that are mixed together for this tasty treat. If you are watching your fat and calorie intake this may not be the soup for you but if you want a warm delightful comfort food then you must try this. Judges, your vote please:

Nathan 5
Topher 4
Lilly alas... doesn't eat soup either - she's 3 whatdaya want?
Patrick 5
Me 5
Overall: 5 and the winner in our book!

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