From Our Kitchen: Crispy Homestyle Potatoes

September 2, 2009

This past weekend I ran my second half marathon, the SF Marathon.  It was cold, but an absolutely amazing experience!  Prior to the race, of course I had to carb load so I had some potatoes the night before the race, and also for brunch after the race.  Potatoes are one of my favorite foods – whether it be mashed, fried, baked… I love potatoes.  I had a couple of sides of really great crispy potatoes and became inspired to recreate it at home.  I was on a mission to recreate the same crispy, yet soft side of potatoes I had at Crepevine and Park Chow (both excellent restaurants in SF and come highly recommended from me…. I especially enjoyed Park Chow) and this is what I came up with.  I think I was pretty successful :) Enjoy!  The secret is lots and lots of butter… however I did personally try and cut out as much as I could.

Finished Product

Finished Product

Ingredients:
Garlic (I used a lot… probably an entire head of garlic.  I like garlic!  I’d say about 3 cloves is good, but you can use as much as you enjoy)
Rosemary
1 tsp of salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Potatoes  (I used about 4 medium sized potatoes)
Butter
Water

1.  Pour the water in a pot and start boiling it.
2. While waiting for the pot of water to boil, dice the potatoes.
3. (Optional) Salt the boiling water if desired
4. Toss the diced potatoes in the boiling water, let it boil for 6-10 minutes (soft enough to eat, but not so soft that it’s about to become mushy)
5. While the potatoes are boiling, mix the garlic, rosemary, salt, and olive oil in a big bowl.  I actually added some basil and pepper in too.  Be creative!
6. When the potatoes are done, drain and let it cool.  I also poured some cold water on it to speed up this process.
7. Toss the potatoes in the big bowl with the olive oil mixture.  Make sure to coat the potatoes well.. if more olive oil or herbs are needed then add accordingly.
8. Heat up a pan and coat with butter (use lots of butter if you’re not scared of butter and you want really crispy potatoes…. I used only 1-2 tbsp, just enough to coat the pan).
9. Cover the pan with a layer of potatoes.  Try and distribute the potatoes as evenly as you can.

While the potatoes were cooking

While the potatoes were cooking

10.  Let it fry for 5-10 minutes and then flip the potatoes and do the same.  Try not to stir too much so that the potatoes can crisp up… but repeat until you’ve got the potatoes as desired.

Enjoy!  I’m sorry if the recipe is confusing.. I’m not good at measuring things out when I cook and I cook tend to cook by common sense/instinct but if you have any questions, feel free to ask :)

-Debs


From Our Kitchen: Creamy Vodka Pasta

May 9, 2009

With Mother’s day around the corner, perhaps you’re thinking about cooking something for your mother.  Or maybe the contagious “Spring fever” has got to you and you’re finding yourself wanting to cook up a great meal to impress a cute date.  Either way, this is one of my favorite “looks harder and more expensive than it really is” meals.  Hope you try it out and enjoy!

Vodka Cream Sauce with Gnocchi

Vodka Cream Sauce with Gnocchi

Ingredients:
1 lb pasta (penne usually works well)
Olive Oil
Garlic (as much as you like – I usually go with about 3-4 cloves)
Crushed Red Pepper (as much as you like, usually about 1/2 tsp.  Omit if no spicyness is desired)
One 28lb can tomatoes
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Vodka (what roaring20something doesn’t have vodka on hand? ;) )
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Italian Seasoning/Herbs

1.  Cook pasta al dente, drain, and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil on medium high heat.  Add garlic and red pepper.  Stir for a few moments until the garlic starts to brown a little.
3.  Add Vodka and reduce by about half.
4.  Add tomatoes and salt.  Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
5.  Add cream.  Bring it to a boil again and then let it simmer until the sauce is at its desired thickness.  Toss in pasta and Italian Seasoning.
6.  Serve!

Notes/Suggestions:
1. Onions taste really good with this too.. add it during step 2 with the garlic and pepper.
2. Meat tastes really good with this too… bacon comes highly recommended here.  In that case it would be really tasty to cook up the bacon separately first and then use the bacon fat (yum!) to cook this sauce.  Add the bacon back in at the very end.  Any other meat, cook it in step 2.
3.  I’ve made this without the vodka before.  I’ve also made this using a lot less vodka (2 tbsp or so) – in this case, I just add the vodka in step 5 with the cream.
4.  I’ve also made this with half and half to cut some of the fat out.. and it worked just fine for me.

Cream Sauce with bacon, onions, and fresh herbs

Cream Sauce with bacon, onions, and fresh herbs

-debs