New Year’s Eve – Potato, Leek and Honey Gratin

This gratin is the perfect accompaniment to roasted rack of lamb. Add a simple salad of greens with a vinaigrette dressing and a luscious dessert for an especially festive New Year’s Eve dinner!

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

Salt

1/1/2 pounds small potatoes (such as red or Yukon gold), sliced 1/8 inch thick

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for buttering dish

1  tablespoon honey

5 medium leeks, washed thoroughly, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large pot of salted boiling water, parboil potatoes for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Sauté leeks and garlic until leeks are tender, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a buttered gratin dish, round souffle dish, or lasagna pan arrange half of reserved potatoes in an overlapping pattern. Pour 1/2 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk over top and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon honey. Top with reserved leeks and arrange remaining potatoes. Pour remaining cream and milk over potatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining honey.

Bake until potatoes are tender, top of gratin is golden brown, and most of cream and milk have been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Potage Parmentier (Potato Leek Soup)

potage parmentier

Another soothing recipe for the eating impaired. I may never eat chocolate again…

It was this time of year that my beloved mother L.J. served Potato Leek Soup. Now I know why.

Yield:  For about 2 ½ quarts, serving 6 or 8

Ingredients

4 cups sliced leeks – the white part and a bit of the tender green

4 cups diced potatoes – old or baking potatoes recommended

6 or 7 cups of water

1 teaspoon honey

1½ to 2 teaspoons of salt, to taste

Optional: ½ cup of more sour cream, heavy cream or crème fraiche

Directions

In a heavy-bottomed, three-quart saucepan, bring the leeks, potatoes and water to a boil, uncovered. Salt lightly, cover partially, and simmer 20 or 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add honey. Taste and correct seasoning.

Serving au Naturel – Ladle out the soup and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if you wish.

Pureed Leek and Potato Soup – Puree the soup through a vegetable mill or in a blender or food processor. Serve with optional cream.

Cream of Leek and Potato Soup – Use a cup less liquid when simmering the soup. After pureeing, whisk 2/3 cup or more of sour cream, heavy cream or crème fraiche into the soup, simmering a moment to blend.

Holidays With Honey – Honey Sweet Potato Souffle

sweet potato souffle

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Souffle:

3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, from about 2 to 3 small baked potatoes

3/4 cup honey

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, about 1 stick, melted

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, about 1/2 stick, cubed, at room temperature

1/2 cup self-rising cake flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Souffle: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, honey, eggs, milk, butter, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Topping: Combine the brown sugar, butter, flour, and pecans in a separate bowl. Crumble the topping over the sweet potato mixture.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. Serve hot.

Holidays With Honey – Potato Zucchini Croquettes With Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

potato zucchini croquettes

Few things are more satisfying than fried potato and zucchini.  An awesome holiday appetizer!

Yield:  20 to 24 pieces

Ingredients

2 russet potatoes (about 1 pound)

1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar

1 medium zucchini

1/4 bunch chives

Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 egg

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

2 cups fresh or dry bread crumbs

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce:

1 cup whole grain-style Dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

Directions

Place potatoes, in their skins, in cool water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until they can be pierced with a skewer, offer no resistance, and slides off easily. Remove from the water and cool completely.

With a table knife, remove the skin from the potatoes and grate on the large holes of a box grater, into a bowl. Also, through the small holes, grate the zucchini. Chop or slice the chives finely and add to the bowl. Add the salt and pepper, to taste, along with the egg. Combine mixture well and form into patties or a log shape.  If making a log, cut into 2-inch oval pieces. Dredge in the bread crumbs. Place on a plate until ready to cook.

In a saute pan, heat 1/4 to 1/2-inch of vegetable oil, add the croquettes, a few at a time. Don’t crowd them. Fry until the bread crumb crust begins to brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate when cooked, to drain. Repeat process with the remaining croquettes. Serve warm.

Combine the mustard and honey and serve as a dipping sauce for the croquettes.

Best Thanksgiving Leftovers – Brunswick Stew

Southerners love to debate the origins of Brunswick stew. Virginia,Georgia and North Carolina all claim to be its birthplace, but the truth most likely is that it originated with Native Americans. The first stews of early America contained all sorts of wild game, and folk history recounts that Brunswick stew was originally made with squirrel meat. The modern version is usually made with chicken, but leftover turkey is an ideal substitute.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 cups leftover turkey, diced

6 cups chicken or turkey stock

1 (16-ounce) can of tomatoes, drained, seeded, and chopped

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans

1 cup fresh or frozen sliced okra

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste

Directions:

Add the tomatoes, corn, potatoes, onions, lima beans, and okra to the stock. Season with the salt, pepper, and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Add the turkey to the vegetables and taste the stew for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or honey as desired. Cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve hot in warm bowls.

The flavor of this stew is even better the next day!

Potato, Leek And Honey Gratin

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
Douglas Adams

But with these potatoes, you definitely can solve a lot of the minor ones…  🙂

Ingredients:

Salt

3 pounds small potatoes (such as red or Yukon gold), sliced 1/8 inch thick

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering dish

2  tablespoons honey

10 medium leeks, washed thoroughly, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large pot of salted boiling water, parboil potatoes for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Sauté leeks and garlic until leeks are tender, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a buttered gratin dish, round souffle dish, or lasagna pan arrange half of reserved potatoes in an overlapping pattern. Pour 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk over top and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon honey. Top with reserved leeks and arrange remaining potatoes. Pour remaining cream and milk over potatoes and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining honey.

Bake until potatoes are tender, top of gratin is golden brown, and most of cream and milk have been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Yields: 12 servings

Honey Roasted Turkey

This is an English recipe that I love! The honey butter glaze gives the skin a crispy, tasty flavor. Be sure to use a smaller turkey for best results.

Ingredients

1 (10 pound) whole turkey – thawed, neck and giblets removed

1 lemon, cut in half

salt and black pepper to taste

1 small apple, peeled

1 small onion, peeled

1 small potato, peeled

3 ounces butter

6 ounces honey

1 cup chicken stock

Directions

Pat the turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. Rub the cut lemon halves lightly over the skin of the turkey. Season inside and out with salt and pepper to taste. Place the lemon halves, apple, onion, and potato into the cavity of the turkey. Place into a close-fitting roasting pan.

Stir the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is evenly blended. Spoon the honey mixture over the turkey, coating the entire outer surface. Allow to stand 30 minutes, reapplying the honey mixture several times.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake the turkey in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, basting two or three times with the drippings and honey mixture. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and cook 30 minutes more, basting frequently. Use a cup of chicken stock to keep the pan juices from drying out.

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil, and continue roasting until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the foil during the last 15 minutes and baste one last time.

Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 15 minutes before slicing.

HoneyTuna Nicoise Salad

A perfect salad for the Dog Days of August!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/4 pound haricots verts, or small, thin green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 pounds yellowfin tuna loin, trimmed of sinew
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 large head romaine or Bibb lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • Anchovy Dressing, recipe follows
  • 1/2 pound Roma plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup halved and seeded black brine-cured olives
  • 1/3 cup halved and seeded green brine-cured olives
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  • Chopped fresh herbs, for garnish (parsley, tarragon, chive, etc.)

Directions

Bring 2 medium pots of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes to 1 pot and blanch until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander, pat dry, and set aside. Add the green beans to the other pot and blanch until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, pat dry, and set aside.

Arrange the tuna on a cutting board and cut into 4 equal portions. Season the tuna steaks with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, each. Heat the oil in a large skillet (or 2 medium skillets), over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the rosemary sprigs and tuna steaks and sear, about 30 seconds per side for medium-rare. Remove from the pan and dice the tuna into 1-inch pieces.

Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and combine with chopped fresh parsley and tarragon. Toss with enough of the Anchovy Dressing just to coat. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed. Toss the potatoes and green beans in 1/4 cup of the Anchovy Dressing. Arrange the lettuce along the side of 4 large plates (or 1 serving platter). Spoon the vegetables along the other side of the plate. Arrange the diced tuna over the lettuce. Arrange the tomatoes, olives, sliced red onions, and eggs on the other sides of the plates (or serving platter). Garnish with additional herbs if desired and serve immediately.

Anchovy Dressing:

1 anchovy fillet, drained

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 large egg*

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 teaspoons capers, drained and chopped

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon honey

In a medium bowl, mash the anchovy, salt, pepper, and garlic into a paste with the back of a fork. Add the egg and whisk well to blend. Add the lemon juice and mustard, and whisk well. Add the oils in a steady stream, whisking constantly to form a thick emulsion. Add the shallots, capers, Worcestershire, and honey, whisk well, and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: 1 cup

British Week – Shepherds’ Pie

This is one of my very favorite English entrees, second only to fish and chips.

My elementary school lunchroom would serve it once a week. It’s perfect comfort food!


For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk

For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon each, kosher salt and honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Directions
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt, and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the honey, tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Fourth Of July – My Version Of Julia Child’s Potato Salad

I like Julia’s version of potato salad better than the American version with mayonnaise, pickles and eggs.  You can really taste the earthy flavor of the potatoes, and that’s what I love about it!!

2 pounds red potatoes or other small waxy potatoes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup or so extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup 1/4-inch slices of scallion, green and white parts
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, mashed and coarsely chopped (1 1/2 tsp)
1/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons or more coarsely chopped fresh green or purple basil, fresh tarragon, or parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more, if needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (coarse), plus more if needed

Scrub the potatoes and put them, whole, in a saucepan with water to cover by 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook the potatoes gently until they are just tender and can be pierced with a sharp knife. Drain immediately and let cool slightly.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small saute pan. When hot, add the scallions and the onion, toss to coat well, and cook for about a minute over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, toss to mix, and cook for just a few moments, then remove the pan from the heat.

Slice the potatoes while still warm, cutting them into 1/4-inch slices. Put the pieces in a large mixing bowl, pour the wine, honey and 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil over them, and toss gently to distribute. Add the warm vegetables from the pan, mustard, chives, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper, and gently fold all together, mixing well but not crushing the potatoes. Taste the salad and add more seasonings as you like.

Serve the potatoes warm (no colder than room temperature).