You'll find over 310 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!
By Kath Dedon
Are you having ham for Easter? If you are, you should rejoice if you have leftover ham for this recipe!
Bob declared that Creamy Yukon Gold Potato Gratin from One Pan, Two Plates by Carla Snyder is a “5 Star recipe”. One of the best ever! And I agree. I have made it two times this week and I can’t wait to try it with some of the leftover Snake River Farms ham after Easter Sunday dinner.
This is a very rich recipe, though it’s not as rich as it is intended to be. Carla uses 1½ cups heavy cream. Now, I’m not one who has a fear of fat, but I just couldn’t do that. I used half and half and it was fabulous. It was still rich and luxurious and oh-so satisfying.
The recipe is meant to be a main course for two, with very generous servings. I saved a small portion of mine to enjoy the next day. If served as a side dish it would easily serve four.
Give Creamy Yukon Gold Potato Gratin a try if you have leftover ham. I think you’ll love it! (If you don’t have leftover ham, buy a small ham steak so you can make it. It’s that good!)
Creamy Yukon Gold Potato Gratin
(Adapted from the recipe in One Pan, Two Plates, by Carla Snyder)
I bought a small 8-ounce ham steak ( Hormel Cure 81) and used half of it for this recipe. I was going to save the other half for something else, but we liked it so much I just made this recipe again.
Generously serves 2
Your favorite Creole seasoning salt (I used Tony Chacheres) or make a blend of ½ teaspoon salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper and some freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 – 3 Yukon gold potatoes (about 16 – 18 ounces total)
4 oz ham, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups half and half
4 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded
1. Preheat the oven to 375˚.
2. Scrub the potatoes; you don’t have to peel them. Slice them in half lengthwise. Slice each half into very thin slices. I used a mandoline but it could be done with a sharp, thin knife.
Use the guard on your mandoline to protect your fingers!
3. Melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet on the stovetop. Remove from the heat.
4. Make a layer of 1/3 of the potato slices over the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle with a bit of the seasoned salt. (With the ham, you don’t want to use too much salt.) Add a layer of half of the diced ham and half of the garlic.
5. Make another layer with another third of the potato slices. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and add the rest of the ham and the garlic.
Second layer of potatoes, salt, ham, and garlic added
6. Pour 3/4 cup of the half and half over the potatoes.
7. Layer the rest of the potatoes over the top. Gently press the potatoes down a bit with your hand.
8. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup of half and half over the potatoes.
9. Put the pan back on the burner over medium heat; heat until the half and half is bubbling.
10. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the grated Gruyère cheese over the potatoes.
12. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Check the potatoes by piercing the casserole with a sharp knife to see if they’re done.
12. Serve immediately.
I served a super healthy salad with the potato gratin to balance the meal. It included baby kale, raw cauliflower, radishes, and red onion tossed with just a bit of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
(aka Lean Green Burgerettes)
By Kath Dedon
I thought I didn’t like turkey burgers. Indeed, I had never tried one that was any better than just OK. That said, I was drawn to Yotam Ottolenghi’s Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin in his latest book, Jerusalem. Jonathan Lovekin’s photo of the burgers is irresistible. (The whole book is filled with gorgeous photos by Lovekin and Adam Hinton. If you’re looking for a new cookbook to add to your collection, check out this one!) The ingredients sounded like they would come together to make great burgers. And I do love zucchini.
I gathered the ingredients, opened the cookbook, and went to work. Bob wandered in and took one look at the recipe and said, “Ewwww….”, or something like that. I guess he thought he didn’t like turkey burgers, either. I told him, “These will be good”, and carried on.
The final verdict? These Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin are fantastic! Served with the Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce, they are full of flavor with a tender texture. They are not at all dry like some turkey burgers. Bob and I both thought they were delicious and blog-worthy.
Bob said, “OK, they may be good, but the name of the recipe is terrible!” I don’t agree; I think it’s descriptive and it made me want to explore the recipe.
The next day, Laura came over and enjoyed the leftover burgers with Bob for lunch. She loved them, too, but agreed with Bob about the name. So they came up with a new name: Lean Green Burgerettes. Whatever…
I highly recommend these burgers, no matter what you call them. If you’re cooking for 1 or 2, make the whole recipe. The leftovers are great reheated or even eaten cold from the refrigerator. (I may have tested one cold from the refrigerator the next morning. Just so I could confirm that they are very good cold from the refrigerator. ) :)
Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin
(Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in Jerusalem)
The burger mixture is very loose and wet. You could shape the burgers with your hands, but I found a 2 tablespoon scoop that made it easier. I just scooped them on to the parchment paper and then flattened the mound with my hand.
Serves 4 (Makes 16 – 18 small burgers)
1 pound ground turkey
1 large (about 7 – 7.5 ounces) zucchini
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
About 6½ tablespoons oil for frying
Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce
Scant ½ cup (100g) sour cream
Scant 2/3 cup (150g) Greek yogurt (not nonfat)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Coarsely grate the zucchini, put it into a strainer and set aside.
2. Make the Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 425˚.
4. Press the zucchini with paper towels to remove any surface water. (There won’t be much because it wasn’t salted.)
5. Mix all of the burger ingredients together with your hands. Put a large sheet of wax paper or parchment paper on a cutting board. Form into small (about 1½ ounces each) burgers. Place the burgers 2 – 3 inches apart on the wax paper or parchment paper. When they are all formed, cut the paper between the burgers so each one is on its own little piece of paper. (Trust me on this; it makes it much easier to transfer the soft burgers from the board to the pan.)
6. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large rimmed baking sheet. (Ottolenghi says to use wax paper, but I wouldn’t use that in a 425˚ oven.)
7. Heat enough oil in a large frying pan so you have about 1/16 inch of oil. When the oil is hot, lift a burger with the paper under it and carefully flip the burger into the oil. (You have to be careful not to splatter oil on your hand.) Continue adding burgers to the pan until it’s full but not crowded. (I cooked them in 3 batches.) Cook for about 2 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the burgers to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Add more oil to the pan, if necessary. Cook the remaining burgers in 1 or 2 more batches and add them to the baking sheet.
8. Bake the burgers for 5 – 7 minutes, or until just cooked (165˚ with an instant-read thermometer).
9. Serve with the sauce over them or on the side.
This Corned Beef Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes is from Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen, the first of Tom’s three cookbooks. Tom is a popular restaurateur in Seattle; this hash is served on the brunch menu at one of his restaurants, Etta’s.
I already have a good, but pretty basic, corned beef hash recipe on the blog. But I had been eager to try Tom’s recipe to see how his version compares. Bob and I both loved his version! Most hash recipes have equal proportions of corned beef and potatoes. Tom’s recipe goes heavy on the beef. He adds a bit of spice with a poblano chile and just a touch of chili sauce. Along with the green chile, he uses some diced carrot. I love the flecks of color in the hash. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if the poblano chile had been hotter. The one I used was pretty mild.
I did not make the Habanero Ketchup that Tom makes to serve with the hash. Bob doesn’t like anything that is ketchup-like, and I thought the habanero would be too spicy for me. Maybe I’ll try it next time.
Corned Beef Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes
(Adapted from a recipe in Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen)
If you don’t have leftover corned beef, buy a 2 pound corned beef. Put it and the pickling spices it comes with in a large pot and cover with water. Cover; bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours until it is tender. Add more water, if needed, as it cooks to keep it covered. This method makes the meat easier to shred for the hash. Let it cool. Remove the fat and shred it with your fingers. Chop the shredded meat into smaller pieces.
About 3 cups cooked, shredded, and chopped corned beef (see above)
½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup diced onions
1 poblano chile, seeded and minced (about 2/3 cup)
1 carrot, diced (about 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chili sauce (like Heinz)
8 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚
2. Put the potatoes in a pot. Cover with water and stir in about 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
3. Put 3 of the tablespoons of butter in a large oven-proof skillet and heat over medium high heat. When the butter stops bubbling, add the potatoes, onions, poblano chile and the carrot. Toss them with the butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just starting to brown.
4. Add the corned beef and the chili sauce. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add a bit of salt, if it needs it. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s starting to get crispy. Put the pan in the oven to keep warm while you cook the eggs.
5. Cook the eggs the way you like them (poached, fried, scrambled). Serve the hash topping each serving with two eggs.
These are not my best looking fried eggs, but they tasted good! ;)
Optional Habanero Ketchup
½ cup ketchup
1/3 cup orange juice
1 dried habanero chile (or 1 fresh one cut in half)
1 tablespoon molasses
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and discard the chile and the cloves. Let it cool and serve.
The Curry House Cauliflower (Aloo Gobhi) in Raghavan Iyer’s Indian Cooking Unfolded is, he says, a simplified version of the dish that is served in most Indian restaurants. Many restaurants include tomatoes and “a host of spices”. Raghavan took the recipe back to the basics to put the focus on the cauliflower and potatoes.
I actually first made Curry House Cauliflower as a vegetarian main dish which I served over rice. That time, I did add a 14.5-ounce can of undrained diced tomatoes. It was very good, but I felt it wasn’t quite substantial enough to serve as a main course.
I recently made it again and I stuck to the suggested ingredients. I omitted the tomatoes, and served it as a side dish. It was excellent with a grilled steak. I guess there’s a reason Raghavan put the recipe in his chapter called “Side Dishes Unfolded”.
I will happily make Curry House Cauliflower again as a side dish to enliven dinners with grilled or roasted meats or seafood.
Curry House Cauliflower (Aloo Gobhi)
(Adapted from Raghavan Iyer’s recipe in Indian Cooking Unfolded)
Using the chiles’ seeds gives the dish its heat, which we enjoy. You could discard the seeds if you want a mild curry.
1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound)
2 slices fresh ginger (each about the size of a quarter; no need to peel)
2 fresh green serrano chiles
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (10 – 12 ounces total weight)
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
½ cup water
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems (optional)
Yellow mustard seeds
1. Separate the cauliflower into florets. Put the florets in a large bowl. Cut the core and ribs into thin slices and set aside.
2. Slice the ginger into thin slices.
3. Cut the stems off of the chiles and slice them into thin strips. Do not discard the seeds.
Chile strips, ginger, and sliced cauliflower core ready to go
4. Measure the cumin, salt, and turmeric into a small bowl so they’re all set to go when you need them.
5. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add the potatoes to the cauliflower florets in the bowl.
6. Using a large skillet that has a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the mustard seeds and put the lid on the skillet. The seeds will start popping like popcorn.
7. After the mustard seeds stop popping (in about 30 seconds), add the reserved cauliflower slices, the ginger and the chiles. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes.
8. Add the potatoes, cauliflower florets, cumin, salt, and turmeric to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes.
9. Stir in the half cup of water. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for another 10 – 12 minutes, or until the potatoes and cauliflower is tender.
10. Serve, garnished with the cilantro, if desired.
By Kath Dedon
There’s no reason to buy commercial blue cheese dressing when you can make a vastly superior Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing in just a few minutes.
As with any recipe, use high quality ingredients for best results. I prefer Maytag Blue Cheese. Whichever blue cheese you choose, buy a small piece and crumble it yourself. The packages of already crumbled cheese do not have nearly as much flavor.
I chose Darigold 3.5% Bulgarian Buttermilk. I’m sure I have used this buttermilk before, but I had forgotten that it is much thicker than the Lowfat Buttermilk that I usually buy. The finished dressing, while absolutely delicious, was a bit thick. It worked well on the lettuce, but it was thick enough to be a dip.
We loved this Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing! I love the fact that the recipe makes just ¾ cup, the perfect amount for a small family.
Next time I’ll try it with Lowfat Buttermilk to make salad dressing. If I were to make a blue cheese dip, however, I’d definitely reach for the Cultured Bulgarian Buttermilk. It would be a perfect blue cheese dip to serve with Buffalo chicken wings and celery sticks!
Update 3/6/14: I have made the dressing with lowfat buttermilk and it is equally delicious. You can use whatever buttermilk you find. :)
Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing served over a wedge of iceberg lettuce
Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
(Adapted from a recipe in The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Food Magazine, by The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen)
Makes about ¾ cup
2½ ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)
3 tablespoons buttermilk (Lowfat and Bulgarian both work)
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar.)
¼ teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 drops Tabasco
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1. Mash the blue cheese and the buttermilk together with a fork in a small bowl.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 14 days.
By Kath Dedon
I made an Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake for Carrie’s birthday this week. I had searched my cookbooks and the Internet for a Flourless Chocolate Cake. I settled on Jesse Rosenberg’s Flourless Chocolate Cake in Molly O’Neill’s One Big Table. Jesse grew up in Paris and she learned how to bake this cake from a Parisian woman.
Many of the other recipes I found involved separating eggs and/or baking the cake in a water bath. I loved the simplicity of Jesse’s cake. It has just four ingredients and is, indeed, very easy to make.
This Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake is very rich without being too heavy. We all loved it! It’s a great cake for any special occasion. It would be a wonderful dessert for Valentine’s Day!
Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from a recipe in One Big Table)
The original recipe says it serves 8, but this cake is so rich that I found it easily makes 14 – 16 servings.
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus a tablespoon more for buttering the pan
1 cup sugar (200g), plus a little extra for the pan
14 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao bittersweet), broken into pieces
8 large eggs
Parchment paper for the pan
Start with great ingredients. Cook’s Illustrated prefers Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Bars and that’s what I used.
1. Preheat the oven to 300˚.
2. Use the extra tablespoon of butter to grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Use about 2 teaspoons of it to grease the pan. Then cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Put the paper in the pan and use the remaining teaspoon of butter to grease the paper. Sprinkle the extra sugar (about 1 tablespoon or so) in the pan and shake it back and forth to cover the bottom. Pour out any excess.
3. Melt the 2 sticks of butter and the chocolate together in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Stir it constantly once it starts to melt. When it has all melted and blended together, remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.
4. Beat the eggs with a mixer until light. Add the sugar a bit at a time, mixing at medium speed for about 6 – 8 minutes. The mixture should be pale and fluffy.
5. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate and gently stir until well blended.
6. Pour into the prepared 9-inch cake pan.
You can see that my 9-inch pan was nearly full.
7. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check the cake after 45 minutes. The top should be a bit crusty (kind of like brownie tops) and the cake should feel firm. You can test with an instant read thermometer. Put it in the center of the cake without touching the bottom of the pan. If the temperature is at least 140˚ the cake is done.
The cake will be puffed up when it’s done.
8. Cool the cake on a cake rack.
The cake will deflate as it cools.
9. When cool, run a knife along the side of the pan and turn the cake out on a serving plate.Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, or simply dust with a bit of powdered sugar.
By Kath Dedon
Carrie found a Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce recipe on Budgetbytes.com. It’s an appealing recipe because it uses mostly pantry items and it’s easy to put together. Beth, from Budget Bytes, just puts everything into the slow cooker and cooks it on low for 8 hours.
Carrie used Beth’s method and reported that the onions were a “just a little bit crunchy”. She thought it was fine, but I opted to sauté the onions over medium-low heat in a bit of olive oil until they were soft before adding them to the slow cooker. I think sautéing them enhances their sweetness and adding a bit of olive oil to the marinara certainly can’t hurt.
Besides sautéing the onions, I increased the garlic and added a bit of red pepper flakes. The garlic and red pepper did not overwhelm the sauce. I think they just added a little more depth of flavor.
Using a tip from the America’s Test Kitchen, I used soy sauce (actually gluten free tamari) instead of salt to season the sauce. They claim it helps to add a “meaty” flavor to the sauce. I didn’t use as much as they did because I did not want the sauce to be too salty. I can always add salt if it seems that it’s needed when I use it in recipes.
The Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce recipe yielded about 7 cups of sauce. I used some the first night, refrigerated the rest of the sauce, and then put it in pint canning jars to freeze the rest. Each jar holds about 1½ cups (or 13.3 oz).
I learned from an online search that you should not use large jars with “shoulders” for freezing because they will crack. Wide mouth pint size jars are best. Chiot’s Run has a good post about freezing in glass jars.
I do think Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce is a worthwhile slow cooker recipe. Even with the extra step of sautéing the onions, it goes together quickly and makes a marinara that is much better than the ones you can buy. It is thick and has a rich tomato flavor. I’m going to love pulling it from my freezer for quick meals!
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
(Adapted from a recipe on the Budgetbytes.com blog)
You can certainly omit the extra step of sautéing the onion, if you prefer. Simply put all of the ingredients except the salt or soy sauce in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Then taste and add salt or soy sauce to taste.
Makes about 7 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed into the sauce in the slow cooker
2 whole bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil
½ tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple sugar or mild honey)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup water
A few grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon tamari sauce (or 1 teaspoon kosher salt)
1. Heat the oil over low heat in a skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened but has not yet started to brown. This will take about 10 minutes.
Onion softened and ready to go into the slow cooker
2. Put the onion with the oil into the slow cooker. Add all of the other ingredients except the tamari sauce.
3. Stir all of the ingredients together; cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
4. Stir, remove the bay leaves and taste for seasoning. Add the tamari sauce (or Kosher salt) if desired.
After using some of the sauce on the first night, I refrigerated the leftover sauce. The next day I put it in wide-mouth pint size jars to freeze it.
The jars I used have lines that shows how much to fill them for freezing. Below, you can see where I marked the line with black so it would be more visible in the photo.
Each pint jar holds about 1 1/2 cups, about 13.3 ounces. I put the 3/4 cup of sauce that was leftover in a Ziploc bag.