Martha’s Smashed Potatoes

May 2, 2012

It must be my Irish blood, but I love potatoes. On nights when I’m alone, a baked potato is my go-to dinner. I love potatoes made just about any way you can think of. So of course I had to try the Smashed Potatoes recipe from May Everyday Food.

Here’s the deal: you boil some small potatoes (I used baby red) until just fork tender. Drain. Put them on a greased baking sheet and smash them with your hand, or as I did, with the bottom of a measuring cup. Drizzle them with olive oil and salt and pepper them and bake at 450 for about 35 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are brown and crunchy.  Amazing. I would have cooked mine a bit longer if I had had the time, but these were really good. I might use butter next time instead of olive oil. I served them with sour cream. It was like having French fries but without so much grease.


Jamie Oliver’s Tray Chicken

February 10, 2011

The recipe for this was in our Sunday paper. I’ve never tried any of Jamie Oliver’s recipes, but this one sounded good. The little intro that accompanied it explained that Jamie likes this for Sunday dinner. In the winter especially, I do like to make Sunday dinners, so this appealed to me.

I had a bit of an oops with this one. I misread the recipe and forgot to add the broth with the potatoes. Eek. I realized it when I went to add the chicken and added it then. Of course it didn’t thicken enough and the potatoes did not cook completely either. I ended up siphoning some of the juices out and thickening them with flour and adding them back in. Don’t let my disaster scare you away though. This was really, really delicious and when I reheated the leftovers the next day (getting the potatoes cooked through) it was fab. The onion and garlic give this a real oomph of flavor. Having sweet and regular potatoes gives it color and an interesting mix of flavor. I will make this again – and this time I’ll make sure I’m awake enough to follow simple instructions!

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Sides O’Martha

December 14, 2008

I made some side dishes of Martha’s from the Season’s Eatings holiday special issue and thought I would share how it went.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes are a favorite in our house. I learned my recipe from my mom. They are a great thing to make when just a plain baked potato seems too, well, plain.

Martha’s recipe calls for starting with baking the potatoes in the oven. Sometimes I cheat and microwave them, but this time I did it her way. I have to say, the way a baked potato smells when it is made in the oven can’t be beat. And it does seem to taste better when cooked in the oven.

Getting the scoop

Getting the scoop

Martha wants you to cool the potatoes and scoop out the inside. No problem. Then her recipe has you add cream, butter, 6 egg yolks (really), salt and pepper and Gruyere cheese. Then you bake it for about half an hour until it’s brown looking.

The verdict? Ok, not

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

great. All the egg in this makes it taste like Duchess potatoes and almost quiche-like. It wasn’t awful, just not what I’m used to. I didn’t care for the texture and it just didn’t have enough flavor for me. I also don’t love the Gruyere in this.

Now let me tell you how to make REALLY good twice baked potatoes (my version). Start the same way – bake the potatoes and scoop them out. Then you add butter (do not skimp!), chopped onion, sour cream(enough to make it creamy), salt and pepper, cheddar cheese (a good amount), parmesan cheese, and an herb mix I have called bouquet garnee (it’s thyme and rosemary and parsley I

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

think). Scoop it back in the shells and sprinkle the tops with paprika. This is how to make a twice baked potato!

I also always save the skins and made potato skins with cheese and bacon on them.

Gingered Carrots

For the past year or so, when I make carrots I usually boil them and finish them with butter, honey, salt and pepper and a little dill. Martha’s recipe wasn’t that different, except she has you slice some ginger into matchsticks and use that instead of the dill. This was a terrific side! I loved it. The ginger gave it a very nice flavor and it really complimented the honey. I’m going to make carrots this way from now on. A good thing!

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