When I was growing up, the only time I had sweet potatoes was under a cover of marshmallows at Thanksgiving. What a long way I’ve come!
Readers of my blog know I’m a fan of rosemary, so when I thought to take a sweet potato fries recipe up a notch, that is where I started. This is fairly simple recipe with just rosemary, garlic, salt and a bit of olive oil. The peel does get a little chewy, so I do recommend you peel them first.
Rosemary Sweet Potato Medalions
2 sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Wash the sweet potatoes, peel them and then cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Toss them with olive oil to coat. Combine rosemary, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over potatoes and stir until all pieces are covered.
Spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and continue to bake until potatoes are cooked through, about ten minutes more.
This side dish is a perfect illustration of the benefits of being flexible in the kitchen. I wanted to eat potato salad with my burger. My girlfriend is not a big fan of heavy, mayonnaise based dressings so I went to my files for a different kind of potato salad recipe.
First we had to scale it down as the original recipe feeds a small crowd. It also called for red and gold potatoes but we only had russets, so russets we used. We next realized we didn’t have any red wine vinegar. Sherry vinegar to the rescue! We were also out of Dijon mustard. Our only choice was between wasabi mustard and classic yellow. After a little debate, we went with yellow.
The result is creamy and tangy with a little spice. I hope you have as much fun as we did playing with your food!
Potato Salad for Two
3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (although any other tasty vinegar would work)
1 tablespoon mustard, Dijon preferred
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 dashes hot sauce
Put potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and cool. Sauté onions in a small skillet over medium low heat while the potatoes cook. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Cut potatoes into cubes and add the cubes and onions to the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors come together before serving.
We were having pork chops last night and I wanted mashed potatoes. I had also needed to give the rosemary bush out in front of my house a trim, so I was planning to add rosemary, too. Then I remembered how good garlic tastes when included. The result is very yummy.
Remember to use any leftovers in mashed potato pancakes! Find that recipe HERE. With this garlic rosemary, I’m planning to use mozzarella cheese.
Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
4 medium to large potato (1 per person, plus one for the pot)
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 cup milk or half and half
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a large pot of cold water and bring them to a boil. Cook until fork tender.
Place garlic, rosemary, milk and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a scald (near boiling) before reducing heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat and keep warm until potatoes are done.
Drain cooked potatoes and return to the cook pot. Let sit a minute or two to dry a little before mashing. Add in milk mixture and stir. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary. Keep warm until ready to serve.
We made meatballs and marinara sauce the other night. Instead of serving spaghetti, I made some zucchini noodles for my girlfriend. Fast, healthy and delicious plus a good, gluten free replacement for pasta.
Zucchini Spaghetti For One
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
Cut zucchini into thin ribbons with a julienne slicer or a knife. If you have larger zucchini with big seeds – cut the ribbons down each side to the seeds and discard the core. Toss with salt and let sit for about five minutes. Blot dry with a paper towel to remove any liquid and then add seasoning and toss to coat.
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini noodles to pan. Cook while stirring for 5-10 minutes or until noodles are at desired level of tenderness.
Serve with sauce or as is.
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.
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
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.
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.
4 Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
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.