Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad

As I sit here typing this, the smell of weekend grilling and barbecue is wafting in through the open windows.

Its truly tantalizing.

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite summer barbecue side dishes is a really good potato salad.

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I like mine really creamy with a little bit of a bite, and a mellow after taste.

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Creamy Potato Salad
 
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Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 10 golden potatos
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cyan powder
Instructions
  1. Dice the potatoes into small cubes and boil until fork tender. Drain and cool.
  2. Once the potatoes are cool, place into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix until will combined.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve immediately or cool in the fridge for at least two hours for best results.

 

Onion Tart

Onion Tart

I’m a big fan of onions and obviously got very excited about this recipe.

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I would say it’s a bit like a quiche, but no cheese, and no crust.

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It’s just smooth and flavorful and delicious.

Onion Tart
 
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Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • ½ cup butter plus 2 teaspoons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 385 degrees, and grease a 9" tart pan or pie pan.
  2. Place your chopped onion in a large pan with 2 teaspoons of butter and saute over medium-high heat until translucent.
  3. While your onions are sauteing, whisk your eggs and sour cream and spices together in a medium sized bowl until smooth and completely blended.
  4. Stir in the flour and baking powder until combined, some lumps are okay, just don't over mix.
  5. Melt the remaining half cup of butter, and stir into the batter until mixed thoroughly.
  6. Mix in your sauteed onions, pour into your tart pan, and place in the oven to cook for about 30 minutes until the center is no longer jiggly, and it's golden on top.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature.

I served this with a Slow-Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken Breast (recipe forthcoming) over an alfredo pasta, with a side of sauteed green beans.

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Highly recommend.

Thick n’ Moist Corn Bread

Thick n’ Moist Corn Bread

I’ve always been a big fan of corn bread in any form. Corn bread with cheese, corn bread with little chunks of jalapeno, corn bread muffins, or corn bread cakes.

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This corn bread is a really dense and very moist, and one of my favorite ways, with delightful corn kernel surprises throughout.

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I served it the other night with chili mac and cheese and it was tasty!

corn bread with chili

Thick n' Moist Corn Bread
 
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Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease an 8 inch glass baking dish.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until combined.
  3. In a smaller bowl whisk the eggs and then the milk and sour cream.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, and then slowly mix in the melted butter until completely combined.
  5. Pour into the baking dish and bake for about 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

 

Pork Fat Asparagus

Pork Fat Asparagus

When we had our pasta inception Ravioli Lasagna night, I knew that the dinner needed a little green to round things out.

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I had been planning on making my Pepper Roasted Asparagus, but as soon as I was ready to get my asparagus in the pan I realized we were 100% out of olive oil! Or really, any kind of oil that would be acceptable for roasting vegetables.

bacon asparagus

Being the culinary genius that I am I decided the best approach was to fry up a couple pieces of bacon, and then pan fry the asparagus in the resulting fat.

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It was a good approach. One that I highly recommend.

Side benefit, fresh bacon appetizer.

Pork Fat Asparagus
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pieces of raw bacon
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasonings
Instructions
  1. In a large pan fry the bacon to your desired doneness and set aside reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
  2. While bacon is frying, rinse your asparagus and snap off the tough bitter bottoms.
  3. Add the asparagus to your bacon fat and turn heat to medium high.
  4. Sprinkle with your seasonings and roll around in pan to coat.
  5. Fry asparagus, and move around the the pan occasionally, until fork tender and soft. This should be about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve while warm.

 

Perfect French Fries

Perfect French Fries

Pretty much the first, and I guess really only thing, I learned during my semester at culinary school, was how to make perfect french fries.

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We ended up making them a lot because we would practice our knife work and have a lot of cut potatoes without a home, so in the fryer they would go.

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There’s a couple of tricks to perfect fries.

The first thing you need to do is to soak your cut potatoes in water for at the very least an hour, even better several, or up to overnight!

The second thing, though slightly more annoying to do but very important, is the double fry.  This means, fry first in a lower temperature to soften the fry, remove and drain, and then return into hotter oil to finish off.

If you don’t do these things and just dump your potatoes into hot oil, it’ll still be tasty, but you wont get the perfect mixture of a crisp outside and that soft and fluffy inside.

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All in all, these are really easy to make and are always received well. We had these a couple of times in the last few weeks, first with my Chicken Tenders, and just this last Friday with some homemade burgers!

 

Perfect French Fries
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • Oil for frying (corn and peanut are my favorite, vegetable is also fine)
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Peel and rinse potatoes.
  2. Cut into long, ¼" width sticks and place in a bowl of cold water (to cover the fries) to soak for at least an hour. You can also place that bowl in the fridge and soak over night to break up the prep.
  3. Drain the water and spread the fries out onto a couple of layers of paper towels and pat dry.
  4. In batches, place the fries into oil heated to about 300 degrees for about 2-3 minutes or until soft when pinched with tongs.
  5. Remove from the oil and drain onto paper towels.
  6. Heat the oil to 375 degrees and in batches place the drained fries back into the oil for another 3-4 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  7. Remove from the oil and place back on paper towels, salting to taste immediately.
  8. Serve warm and crispy!

 

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

I’m a sucker for tuna or chicken salads. Chicken salad though always seems like a more difficult task; you have to cook the chicken instead of just opening a can of something. IMG_6533smalledit What works great though, is if you’ve got left over chicken from something else, or just make some extra in prep for lunch the next day. IMG_6536smalledit This salad is truly easy, and very delicious. You can of course add grapes or walnuts if you’re one of those people, but I like mine basic and flavorful.

Chicken Salad
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast*
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • ½ cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight for best flavor.
  3. Serve on its own, on bread, in a wrap, or in lettuce boats as pictured here.
Notes
* You'll see that most simply poach their chicken, which is fine, but I highly suggest preparing it in a way that you would want to eat it plain. So grilled/baked and seasoned with salt, pepper would be perfect.

** Recipe time does not include cooking the chicken, this would assume it is left over from a previous meal or made in advance.

 

Copy-cat Recipe: Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Copy-cat Recipe: Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Who goes to Red Lobster for something besides the biscuits? If you say you do, I won’t believe you. Did you know you can make those delicious cheddar and garlic filled biscuits at home? Yep, that’s right, in your very own kitchen. I think they are even better than the ones at the restaurant, especially straight from the oven. The Qwerty Crew had them a few weeks ago on our unintentional fry everything night. Cat made oh my gosh so good super crunchy onion rings, and Chinese pancakes, and Brie made the double crunch honey garlic chicken. These buttery biscuits just added to the richness of the night.

hodgepodge

 

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I have tried a few different variations of  the cheddar bay biscuit recipes, but this one is by far my favorite. They are so quick and simple to make, you’ll want to have them every night. You just mix them up, drop them on the baking sheet, and bake. No rolling, kneading or cutting out. I used my 2 oz cup cake scoop to scoop, and it was the perfect amount. If you don’t have a scoop you can purchase one on Amazon or use your 1/4 cup measure. If you want an even quicker recipe for these biscuits you can try this recipe, it uses Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix. They are still very good, but they are a little more dense in my opinion.

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup milk OR buttermilk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Topping:
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne (if using).
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together butter and milk, then add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix until it just comes together then fold in the cheese. You can mix this by hand, or use a mixer if you like ( I used my mixer)
  4. Now scoop out onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minuets, or until golden brown all around.
  5. While the biscuits are cooking mix the topping together
  6. When the biscuits come out of the oven brush the tops with the mixture.

 

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Yes, I think these biscuits are the bees knees