Rosemary Baked Potato Chips

I needed a side dish for my hamburger and had a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes on the counter. In less than an hour I was able to make some delicious rosemary baked potato chips for dinner.

Consider using different seasonings – I also like using Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or Old Bay Seasoning instead of the salt, pepper and garlic.

Rosemary Baked Potato Chips

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Use a mandolin to slice the potatoes very thinly. Rinse off in cold water and then drain. Stir with a paper towel to separate the slices and to ensure they aren’t too damp for the next step.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and then add in the drained potatoes. Toss well, ensuring all the slices are coated with oil and seasonings. Add more olive oil, if necessary. Place on baking sheets in a single layer.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, switching and rotating sheets every ten minutes. Remove once the chips become crispy. If you didn’t cut them very thin, you might need to flip them over and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Once at desired doneness, transfer to a paper towel covered paper plate to cool slightly. Add more salt or sprinkle with parmesan cheese to kick them up a notch.

Makes enough for two hungry people or for four people with mere average appetites for potato chips.


Oven Baked Shrimp Fajitas

My dad will pull a shrimp trawl several times over the summer and then we get to enjoy Alabama shrimp for the rest of the year. Here is a picture of him sorting the catch – we throw all the small fish back and the dolphins and pelicans come to feast.

This recipe uses a dry spice mix on the veggies and a one hour marinade on the shrimp for a quick, weeknight dinner. I served these on flour tortillas with refried beans, cheese, salsa and guacamole. 

The picture illustrates my family’s preferred shrimp to veggie ratio!

Oven Baked Shrimp Fajitas

1.5 to 2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 to 2 14.4 packages of bell pepper and onion stir fry
10 flour tortillas

Shrimp Marinade

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves minced garlic

Veggie Spice Mix

1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon dried cilantro flakes
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
½ teaspoon of onion powder
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the shrimp marinade and place in a zip top bag with the peeled and deveined shrimp. Smoosh the bag around to completely coat the shrimp. Place in the fridge for one hour.

Put together the dry spices. Place the veggies in a large bowl and toss with the spice mixture.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Lightly oil a large, rimmed baking sheet. Put down the veggies as a base layer. Sprinkle the shrimp on top. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 8 minutes. Remove the shrimp and turn on the broiler. Cook for 2 additional minutes until shrimp is done.

Squeeze a little lime juice over the dish and serve with warm tortillas and your choice of add ins.


Honey Glazed Ham Plus Applesauce and Brussel Sprouts

We found big, bone in butt portion hams on sale after Thanksgiving. So, we bought a 10 pounder and put it in the slow cooker for the day while we went about our business (Michelle spent the morning visiting with her 96 year old Grandpa, who isn’t feeling well and I did laundry, vacuuming and took a nap).

Sliced ham, Brussel sprouts and applesauce

Honey Glazed Ham

10 lb ham
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup apple juice (can use water)

Cut diamond patterns on the ham. Mix together the honey, brown sugar and cinnamon and spread over the ham. Pour the 1 cup apple juice into the bottom of the slow cooker and slide in the glazed ham.

Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook about 45 minutes per pound, basting occasionally with the juices in the cooker. Internal temperature of the cooked ham should be 140-145 degrees F.

Slice thin to serve.

We served the ham with homemade apple sauce and some Brussel sprouts.

Homemade Applesauce

4 Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt

Peel, core and dice the apples. Place in a mixing bowl with water and a splash of lemon juice until ready to cook.

Heat water and butter in a large skillet, I prefer cast iron. Once the water comes to a boil and butter is melted, add the apples.

Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly until the apples start to break down. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and salt. Continue to stir, pressing down to further break down apples. Taste and adjust sugar and seasonings once the applesauce is of your desired consistency.

I hated Brussel sprouts as a kid. They smelled bad and tasted horrible. There wasn’t enough butter in the world to make them palatable.

I then discovered a great way to make them. They are almost but, not entirely, unlike French fries with this method. Instead of olive oil in the pan, consider using bacon fat for added richness.

Skillet Fried Brussel Sprouts

about 10 Brussel sprouts per person
a couple glugs of olive oil
generous pinch of kosher salt

Peel off the loose external leaves and slice off the root end before cutting Brussel sprouts in half. Toss in olive oil to coat. Heat skillet over high heat. Toss Brussel sprouts with salt.

Pour a little oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once it begins to shimmer, place Brussel sprouts cut side down in skillet and let cook until that side is brown. Turn over and continue to cook for 2 -4 minutes more.

Serve immediately.

Chicken Broth Potatoes

These potatoes are golden brown on the outside and creamy on the inside and just melt in your mouth. They have a wonderful, deep flavor from the chicken broth that just adds to their richness. Of course, you can make these vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead but, however you make them, your guests will clamor for more.

Chicken Broth Potatoes

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Combine melted butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Cut potatoes into 1-inch thick rounds. Toss sliced potato in butter mixture and then arrange in a single layer in a 9 X 13-inch metal baking pan (use a metal pan as glass baking dish can shatter in such a hot oven) and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip potatoes over. Place back in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Stir garlic into chicken broth and then pour over the potatoes. Flip potatoes one final time. Place the pan back in oven and cook until potatoes are tender, about another 15 minutes.

Baste potatoes with sauce and serve.

Decadent Mashed Potatoes

I like Yukon Gold potatoes for making mashed potatoes, since they are much harder to over-mash (due to their lower starch content) and because of how fluffy they naturally are. Typically, using them means I don’t need to add as much butter. The operative word in that sentence is need.

If you find yourself at looking to indulge your taste buds and give the finger to your cholesterol level, look no further than this recipe for mashed potatoes. I make these with whole milk and lots and lots of butter. The result is a smooth, mashed potato that is very rich and decadent. The only thing missing might be a little cheese. However, because we were serving these at Thanksgiving and wanted to cover them in gravy, we skipped that step.

Decadent Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse peeled and cut potatoes until water runs clear. Let drain.

Heat butter, milk and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Once butter has melted, add in the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Stir regularly.

Drain potatoes over a large bowl, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid back to saucepan and turn heat to low.

Mash potatoes by hand or use a potato ricer or food mill. Add cooking liquid to potatoes until a little looser than desired consistency. If not serving immediately, add even a little extra to keep things from thickening up too much. Season with salt and pepper.


Steakhouse Sweet Potato Fries

Michelle had a good harvest of sweet potatoes from her garden this year and she’s been resting some in her cool room for two weeks. I was grilling burgers and we needed a side dish, so I grabbed a couple and tossed them with some seasonings before baking them. Yum!

I had seen Guy Fieri do something similar with sweet potatoes a while ago on one of his shows and knew it was missing cinnamon. With experimentation, I learned that also using real salt and a little chili powder could make them even better.

Steakhouse Sweet Potato Fries

4 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place sweet potatoes in a bowl and stir to coat with butter. Combine all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and then sprinkle some over the sweet potatoes. Toss and then add more seasonings as necessary. Save remaining seasoning mix in an airtight container.

Spread the wedges on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap. 
Bake for 20 minutes, then flip potatoes. Return to oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until done. Serve immediately.

Garlic Whipped Feta and Corn Galette

I had such fun with the last recipe from Miryam Levy that I was very happy when her daughter, Victoria, let me play with another. This was pretty basic when it came to me with a simple ingredient list – a pound of corn, a container cream cheese, some feta cheese, eggs, flour, baking soda and salt and pepper. The directions were spare, too: mix the ingredients in dough and bake over medium heat. Hmmmm.

As I had pizza on my mind, my mind went immediately to making a galette or crostata. These are flat rustic pies from France or Italy which may be made sweet or savory. Whipping the cream cheese and feta together (with a little garlic) would make a deliciously cheesy filling. All that would be left to do is sprinkle on some sweet corn kernels, fold over the ends and give it an egg wash before baking. It turned out to be very easy and quite tasty – so much so that my niece and her best friend gobbled up three slices a piece!

This is something that I could see being served as an appetizer, as a cheese dish with cocktails or even for the last course of the meal, as the sweetness from the corn is quite satisfying. If you want to increase the richness (not that it needs it!), consider sautéing the corn in a little butter to coat before sprinkling them on the pie.

Garlic Whipped Feta and Corn Galette

1 batch of pie dough (store bought is fine)
4 ounces feta cheese
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 egg

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place feta, cream cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.

Roll pie dough out to a circle about 1/8″ thick (or just unroll the dough if using store-bought) and lay on a large baking sheet that has been coated with olive oil.

Spread the whipped feta across the surface of the pie dough, leaving about 1/2″ of space around the edges.

Sprinkle corn kernels in an even layer on top of the whipped cheeses and garlic.

Fold the edges of the pie dough up over the edge of the filling and pinch it together to help it keep its shape. Don’t worry about how pretty it is – galettes are supposed to be “rustic!”

In a small dish, whisk egg together with 1 tablespoon of water to form an egg wash.

Use a pastry brush to brush egg wash over the edges of the galette.

Bake at 425 for 20 – 25 minutes or until the dough is lightly browned. Slice and serve immediately.