Potatoes

Baby artichoke & new potato breakfast hash

The Sun.

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Walking home from the dog park yesterday evening the air was so warm and dense on my skin. The day in Denver had been very hot, hot and dry. There were pillows of dandelion fluff rippling along the sidewalk. I've never seen dandelion gather and blanket the ground so thickly before. Little tuffs of the dandelion were floating around, I like to call them fairies. The sun was so low on the horizon that the fairies were illuminated as they bumped along in a sea of orange sun rays. The warmth felt so good, so peaceful on my mind, I closed my eyes to the bright sun rays ahead and kept walking. I allowed my skin to see for me, my eyes remained closed. My whole body soaked up the sun in sweet, warm kisses and the sun's brightness could still be seen through my closed eyelids. It felt like how it would feel to be walking into the sun. I floated along like one of the dandelion fairies. 

A poached egg, with its sunny yolk spilling out and touching everything in this dish; it is that low-horizon sun. 

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Recipe (serves two generously) 

New potatoes - (about 1/2 lb)  rinsed/slightly scrubbed and then quartered

Baby Artichokes - I used 7 but feel free to use a few less, trimmed and quartered

Lemon - 2 lemons

Parsley - 3-4TB chopped (fresh)

Garlic - 3 cloves, minced

Olive oil - about 4TB

Salt/pepper - to taste

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

Trim your artichokes (Removing the hard outer petals until you reach the softer, paler inside ones - baby artichokes have less to remove and you don't have to trim out the hairy choke (since there is none on the babies, yay!) . Also trim off the top and bottom of the artichoke. If using larger artichokes there will be more to trim and also trim out the hairy, internal choke) then quarter the hearts. Bring a medium pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil, add in your potatoes. Let it low boil for about 5 minutes and then strain.

Add in 2TB of olive oil to a large skillet and turn on medium heat. Add in your minced garlic, let it cook for 1 minute and then add in your potatoes. Let it sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are almost cook and start to brown a bit. Add in your artichoke hearts. Keep sautéing for several more minutes until the artichokes begin to soften.  Add in a bit more olive oil if needed. Once the artichokes are cooked, squeeze in the juice of one and a half lemons and then add in the parsley. Cook for another minute and then season with salt/pepper. Divide the mixture between two plates and cover them to keep it warm until the poached eggs are ready (saving any oil left over in the pan and then add in your last 2TB of olive oil into the pan and set aside for later).

While the mixture is sautéing make your poached eggs. (Tip a cracked egg into about 3-4 inches of slightly simmering water (mixed with 1TB apple cider vinegar) and then use a wooden spoon to gently swirl the water towards the egg in order to keep the whites as close together as possible. Let it simmer for about 4 minutes and remove with a large slotted spoon, let the water drain. Top each hash portion with a poached egg. Place your egg yolk into a small mixing bowl and add in your last half of lemon juice, whisk together. Pour out and discard slightly less than half of your egg yolk/lemon mixture. Slowly, very slowly, drizzle in the oil from your pan (its ok if there are little garlic or herb bits in it) while whisking until the aioli slightly thickens up. Add a pinch of salt if needed, but it should been seasoned from the leftovers in the pan. Drizzle the aioli over the two dishes. Top with more parsley and cracked pepper if desired. Eat in the sun. 

 

 

 

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Potato salad with snap peas, yogurt, and dill

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Potato salad is another one of those classic dishes that gets ignored. Or else we tend to think its only place is at bbq's and picnics mounded onto a plastic plate with equal parts mayonnaise and mustard. This is a fresh take on potato salad that gives you all the satisfaction of picnic fare, but with a better ingredient list.

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Recipe (Serves 4 as a side)

Potatoes - 1lb (I used very small potatoes so I didn't have to cut them)

Snap peas - 1 cup with the ends trimmed off and sliced into 1/4" slivers

Red onion - 1/4 of a red onion, chopped finely.

Yogurt - 1 cup (Plain, whole, yogurt)

Dill - 1tsp (dried)

Salt/pepper - to taste

Fill a medium pot up with water to boil. Add in the potatoes and let them boil until cooked and are easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and rinse under cold water. You don't want the potatoes hot to the touch, you want them slightly cooled. Mix together the sliced snap peas, red onion, dill, and salt/pepper. Stir until combined and then add in potatoes. Mash/chop with a fork very slightly and stir until everything is coated. Eat alone or served on a bed of greens.

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Watercress, fennel, & potato soup

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This soup will make such a lovely shade of green if you have a good blender or immersion blender. My soup was printed with flecks of watercress green, but it was just as tasty. Originally, I had not planned on making this a creamy soup but the process just took me there and I am glad it did. Although, if you want to cut back on the dairy, this soup will still be just as good. You could double the bunch of watercress and it would be better yet.

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Recipe (Serves 4)

Watercress - 1 Bunch

Potatoes - 1LB Chopped into equal size for boiling

Yellow onion - 3/4 of a large yellow onion, slivered

Fennel - 3/4 of a fennel bulb, slivered

Garlic - 3 cloves, minced

Butter - 3TB

Vegetable broth - 4 cups

White wine - 1/2 cup

Cream - 1/2cup

Parmesan - 1/4 cup finely grated

In a medium pot melt 3TB of butter on medium heat. Add your garlic, onions, and fennel. Cook no more than 5 minutes and let them soften. Add the vegetable broth and potatoes and heat up the broth to a low boil until the potatoes are cooked. Add in the watercress and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and put all the soup into a blender, blend until smooth. Add the soup ingredients into a pot, stir in the wine and parmesan and cook for just a few minutes on low heat. Run the soup through the blender again if need be. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Pour into bowls and slowly stir in a little extra cream on the top of each one and sprinkle with fresh black pepper.

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Fava bean pan fry with jerusalem artichokes, greens, olives, lemon, & tarragon

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Some of the best meals come from using up everything you have in your fridge. We were going out of town to visit our family and friends for almost a week. I had some things that were already needing to be used so I decided to make them all together so I didn't have to throw anything out! Also known as "the day before grocery store day." I'm surprised everything I had left went together so simply in a one-pan recipe. We took all the leftovers with us the next day, so it travels well too! 

Jerusalem artichokes are delicious. If you have never tried them they taste a bit like water chestnuts when they are raw but more like potatoes after cooked. They grow natively to the eastern parts of the United States and are a tuber that produces a tall stalk with beautiful, yellowish, sunny flowers. Easy to grow in a garden, even if you just use it as an ornamental garden accent. Last summer we went camping at a place around the Alabama/Tennessee border called the Walls of Jericho. It is a unique geological formation with huge river gorge walls. To get to the camping spot we had to cross through a large a sea of jerusalem artichokes growing so thick you could get lost in it. They were growing taller than our heads, it really was quite beautiful. I thought it was fitting that these Jerusalem artichokes were growing prosperously at the entrance to the Walls of Jericho.

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Recipe (These makes a lot, enough for 4 large meals, or 6 smaller ones)

Fava beans - 1 cup dried and then soaked/cooked.

Potatoes - 2 red skinned potatoes, diced

Jerusalem Artichokes - a small bag full - diced

Red onion - 1/2 sliced

Black Olives - I used the rest of my container 1/3 Cup

Arugula - 1/2 bag

Garlic - 4 cloves minced

Tarragon - 1 small bunch minced (Fresh)

Parsley - Good handful (Fresh) chopped

Lemon - Juice from 1 lemon

Olive oil - 3-4TB

Salt/Pepper - to taste

Soak the fava beans for 8 hours or overnight and then boil until tender but not mushy. Drain. Prep all your ingredients by chopping everything up and getting it ready for use. Heat up 1-2TB of olive oil in a deep skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions. Let cook for several minutes until soft. Add in the fava beans and cook 5-10 minutes until starting to crisp and golden, adding in more olive oil if needed. Pour fava bean mixture into a bowl. Heat up another 1-2TB of olive oil and add in the potatoes and jerusalem artichokes. Let pan fry, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender about 10 minutes.  Add in the arugula and let cook for a minute until wilted. Pour back in your fava bean mixture and stir to distribute. Add in the tarragon and salt/pepper to taste. Cook a minute, until heated through and then add the parsley, lemon juice and olives. Stir and turn off the heat. Season Taste and adjust salt/pepper if needed. 

Enjoy!

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Celeriac & potato cakes, garlic spinach, & an over-easy egg

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We woke up to no power, 6" of snow with more falling, and really excited puppies! I was equally excited and we bundled up to go out and play. It was Rue's first time in inches of snow and it was deep enough to cover her legs and brush up against the underside of her belly. She was hopping around like a rabbit and sticking her face deep in the snow until her nose touched the frozen ground. She was adorable. Banjo was made for the snow. As soon as she gets out and sniffs the air, it fills her up with some sort of wild, primitive, wolf spirit and she starts running in circles, flailing her paws attacking the snow. We all licked up our fill of snow, made snowballs, played with the dogs and banjo uncovered a large, four pointed antler a deer had recently shed. Best dog treats ever, no joke. I was too distracted to take photos but I'd better include this puppy photo of banjo during her first snow in 2010 for good measure.

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After playing we were hungry for a hearty breakfast and fortunately we had use of our stove still, since it is gas. I made this delicious brunch dish from the leftover celeriac after the russian beet salad wrap. We enjoyed the rest of the snow day, Ty got out of classes and a mid-term, and we kept close to the wood stove reading books by candlelight. Now, some of the no-power charm has worn out, it is 3 days later and we are still without power, water, have spoiled groceries and sadly, no internet to keep you updated! So I find myself sipping on some tea at our local tea house, bumming the internet, light, and power outlets. This is one of the last meals we had made at the house since loosing power - it is just too difficult to keep washing dishes without water.  

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Recipe (We made 3 large cakes but could make 4 slightly smaller ones) 

Celeriac - 1/2 a mid-sized root, peeled and chopped into medium pieces

Red potatoes - 2 smallish ones, chopped into quarters

Red onion - 1/4 chopped small

Spinach - I used about 3 big handfuls, fresh

Butter - 2TB

Parmesan - 1/4cup finely grated

Gruyére - 1/4cup finely grated

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Tarragon - 1-2TB minced (fresh) (parsley, dill, or most fresh herbs would work)

Heavy cream or milk - 1-2TB

Salt/pepper - to taste

Polenta, grits, or corn meal to dust. 

Fill a medium pot with water 2/3 full and add a pinch of salt. Add in potatoes and celeriac and boil until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Add cooked potatoes/celeriac, red onion, parmesan, gruyére, tarragon, pinches of salt/pepper, tablespoon or two of heavy cream and mash until well mixed. Dust a clean surface with polenta and divide mixture into 3 or 4 balls. Shape into a patty about 1/4"-1/2" thick and coat with the polenta. 

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Heat up a large skillet with 1TB of butter on medium heat, add the minced garlic. Let infuse and get fragrant for a minute. Gettin' fragrant with garlic, mmm. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted. Dump out into a bowl and melt the other TB of butter in the skillet. Add the celeriac cakes and cook for several minutes on each side, until a thin, brown, crispy coat forms. Remove cakes and set onto a plate, top with spinach. Replace skillet to medium/high heat (add a small splash of olive oil) and crack in eggs, cooking one at a time if need be. Cook for a minute on one side and then flip. Cook for another minute or so until the white is set, but yolk runny if desired. Place an egg on top of the spinach/cakes. Top with fresh black pepper and serve. 

 

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