For those of you who have sworn off cheese in 2017 — Look Away. This dish is jam packed with everything that is decadent and fattening. This recipe calls for a full pound of bacon, cheddar cheese and potatoes. The potatoes are parboiled to reduce the amount of time required to finish in the oven. While the potatoes are cooking, you can get started on the delicious bacon and onion mixture. I held off in adding the garlic until the bacon was partially cooked. There is nothing that will ruin a dish faster than burned garlic. The sauce is a basic Mornay sauce — beginning with a roux, adding milk and then shredded cheddar. (This sauce would also be perfect for macaroni and cheese.) You end up with layers of potatoes topped with bacon, onion and garlic bathed in a golden cheese sauce. A half cup of cheddar is sprinkled over the top before it is placed in the oven for 45 minutes. Allow the dish to rest for 15 minutes prior to serving so that it has a time to set up. Top each serving with freshly chopped green onion and . . . Voila!! An upgraded version of scalloped potatoes that will be perfect with just about everything.
POTATO AND BACON BAKE (Serves: 4-6)
- 3 lbs potatoes, peeled and halved (the short way)
- 1 lb bacon, diced
- 2.5 cups medium brown onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
- Parboil potatoes: Boil the potatoes partially (about 10 minutes) so the time they have to cook in the oven will be reduced. Drain water and let cool.
- While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the diced bacon, onion and garlic until the bacon is browned and the onions soft. Remove bacon and onion into a bowl, but do not get rid of the grease in the pan.
- When the potatoes have sufficiently cooled, carefully slice them into disks.
- In the same pan used for cooking bacon and onion, melt butter. Mix in flour and salt, stirring constantly to avoid burning the flour. As soon as the flour is mixed in, begin pouring in the milk, still stirring. Continue to cook until slightly thick, then add 2 cups of cheese and pepper, stirring until melted. Remove from heat.
- Spoon and spread some sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Make a single layer of potato. Sprinkle 1/2 of the bacon and onion mixture, then pour over half of the sauce. Then make a second layer of potato followed by the remaining bacon and onion mixture followed by more sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
- Place the dish into an oven preheated to 350° F (175° C) and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is bubbling and golden. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Top with chopped green onion. Salt and pepper to taste.
~ CooktopCove.com ~
It’s almost Mardi Gras time and what better way to celebrate than with some red beans and rice. You know the drill — soak the beans overnight, rinse, cover with water and boil for an hour or so. For this recipe we decided to use the bone from our Christmas ham instead of a ham hock to add some flavor and a little more meat content. The mix really comes to life when you add the andouille sausage, vegetables, and seasonings. Once this has been allowed to simmer for another hour the ham hock (or bone) is removed and the meat is finely diced and added back to the pot. Prepare this in advance and allow the flavors to develop overnight. Serve over rice and top with sliced green onions. And . . . don’t forget the hot sauce!
NEW ORLEANS CARNIVAL RED BEANS AND RICE (Serves 8-10)
- 1 cup kidney beans
- 1 cup small red beans
- 2 qt. cold water
- 1 meaty country ham hock (3/4-1 lb.)
- 1/2 lb. andouille or other spicy smoked sausage
- 2 c. fresh green peppers, chopped
- 2 c. fresh celery with leaves, chopped
- 2 c. fresh onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 t. salt or savory saltless spices
- 1 t. onion powder
- 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 t. fresh thyme
- cooked long grain rice
- Sort through and thoroughly wash beans. Soak beans four hours or over night in water to cover by 2 inches.
- Drain and rinse beans well. Place them in a large pot (6 qt. capacity) along with the 2 quarts of water and ham hock, Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour.
- Quarter the sausage lengthwise and slice into 1/4″ pieces. Add the sausage, green peppers, celery, onions, garlic, and seasonings to the beans. For best flavor, prepare vegetables and garlic just before adding them to the beans. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for an additional 1 hour. Add more water, if necessary.
- Remove bay leaves and ham hock onto a clean cutting board. Locate and discard all bones and fat. Dice meat fine and return to beans. For best flavor, refrigerate over night, you may serve it the same day.
- To serve, place 1/2-1 cup cooked long grain rice or cajun rice in serving bowls and top with our heated New Orleans Red Beans mixture. Garnish with chopped onions and plenty of hot sauce.
~ LeonardMountain.com ~
Here is another recipe from “Cooking with Christopher”. We sliced up some fresh pineapple into wedges and tossed them with brown sugar and cinnamon before placing them on the grill. Just a few minutes on each side and they are ready for the table. An easy but delicious addition to any meal.
BRAZILIAN GRILLED PINEAPPLE (Serves: 6)
- Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
- Whisk brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour sugar mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Place pineapple wedges in bag and shake to coat each wedge.
- Grill pineapple wedges on the preheated grill until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
~ AllRecipes.com ~
I can’t possibly express how delicious this dish is. Shredded Gruyere cheese is scattered over layers of thinly sliced potatoes topped with carmelized leeks before it is popped into the oven. In an hour you will have the most savory/sweet awesome mouthful ever. Heavenly!! This dish will definitely grace my table again later this month for a holiday get-together! I. Can’t. Wait.
POTATO LEEK GRATIN (Serves 6)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing the pan
- 2 large leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 1 ½ pounds peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup Gruyère, grated
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2-quart gratin dish. Wash the leeks to remove any grit and slice thinly crosswise.
- Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into rounds, 1/8-inch thick. Toss with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Layer the rounds in the gratin dish.
- Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, remaining salt and pepper, and thyme. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard thyme and scatter the leeks over the potatoes.
- Add cream, garlic and bay leaf to the skillet, scraping up browned bits of leeks from the bottom of the pan. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Stir in nutmeg.
- Pour the cream over the leeks and potatoes and top with the Gruyère. Cover with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let cool slightly before serving.
~ Cooking.NYTimes.com ~
Here is a perfect recipe for the weekend after Thanksgiving. It involves a homemade turkey broth, so I suggest that you approach this one in stages. Make the broth and prep the potato patties one day, and finish up the next. A super way to use the turkey carcass and some of the leftover veggies, potatoes, and gravy.
NEXT-DAY TURKEY SOUP WITH MASHED POTATO POLPETTI (Serves 6-8)
Ingredients: Mashed Potato Polpetti (Patties)
- Put the chicken broth, turkey, carrot halves, celery stalk, onion halves and 1 bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and then simmer, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Dice the turkey meat. Make sure the meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soupspoon. (If preparing the soup the next day, be sure to store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator. Top with 1 or 2 ladles full of broth to keep the meat moist.)
- Before straining the broth, remove the large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve covered with wet cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Transfer the broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher longer. This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day.
- In a large soup pot, heat the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Allow to brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the minced carrots, celery and onions. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, 7 or 8 minutes.
- Dice the leftover Thanksgiving vegetables. Add the sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add the Brussels sprouts, green beans and diced turkey meat to the soup. Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam, 5 to 7 minutes. Let simmer for 5 more minutes and serve with the Mashed Potato Polpetti.
- Re-season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese. Take a mayonnaise or peanut butter lid and line with plastic wrap to use as a mold. Pack the potato mixture into the lid, unwrap it and place the patty on a baking sheet. You may refrigerate them covered with plastic wrap until the next day, or fry immediately.
- To cook, dredge the patties in flour. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Just before frying, dredge the patties again with flour.
- Add the patties to the oil without crowding them (you may have to cook them in batches). Cook until the underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown the other side. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with leftover gravy. Makes 6 servings.
~ FoodNetwork.com/recipes/Michael-Chiarello ~
Fresh, crisp green beans tossed with red bell pepper, red onion and fresh dill — add to that a fresh lemon garlic vinaigrette and you have a winner. This dish can be served warm as a side dish or cold as a salad. I would recommend that you add at least 1/2 cup of red pepper, if not a bit more. Ron prefers this dish served warm and also thinks that the beans would be easier to handle if they had been cut in half. Go green!!
LEMON-DILL GREEN BEANS (Serves 4)
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- 2 tbsp good-quality olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the beans for about 5 minutes, or until just barely tender-crisp. Immediately plunge into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process, and set aside.
- While the beans are cooking, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and shallots in a small bowl until combined. Add salt to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine the beans with red onion, red pepper and dill. Pour the prepared dressing in, and toss to coat. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before serving (but preferably overnight) so that the flavours have some time to mellow and combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.
You may have seen this recipe referred to as Potato Lasagna because the ingredients are layered. This dish is a little bit like scalloped potatoes but the added layers of ham and mozzarella give it a total upgrade . . . believe me. A wonderful treat after spending a cool fall afternoon raking leaves. True comfort food!
LAYERED HAM & CHEESE POTATO BAKE (Serves 4-5)
- 5 potatoes, peeled
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 8-10 slices ham
- 7-8 slices mozzarella cheese
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- Slice the peeled potatoes into ½ centimeter slices. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, tossing them to make sure they’re coated evenly.
- Press a layer of potatoes evenly into the bottom of a greased, square baking pan. Place half of the ham slices evenly on top of the potatoes, followed by half of the sliced cheese. Follow with another layer of potatoes, then the remaining ham and sliced cheese.
- Sprinkle the bacon and parsley evenly on top of the sliced cheese, and place one final layer of potatoes on top. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the potatoes, then press it into an even layer.
- In a small bowl, mix the heavy cream and eggs. Pour on top of the shredded cheese.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cheese is a deep golden brown. Cool slightly, slice, then serve!
~ Tasty.com ~