Dill Potato Salad

My sister Angela told me I should try this recipe. She made it for her family and she said that her husband, Troy, went on and on about how good it was. Since Travis loves potato salad in general AND because I have 4 pots of dill growing on my back patio, I knew I had to make it.

dill potato salad

We served it up with corn on the cob and seared Atlantic salmon.

dill potato salad and crabs

Travis also had a few steamed blue crabs with his dinner. He caught them with our crab pots right in the backyard. I was having a “pregnancy moment” and didn’t feel like getting my hands dirty and stinky with crab. I normally love them!

blue crabs caught in Lynnhaven Inlet

At first I was only going to link to the recipe for the potato salad but then I remembered that I not only cut the recipe in half but I also added eggs. Here’s what I put in mine:

Dill Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds small white/red/purple potatoes, cut in half or quarters depending on size
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion

Method

Place the potatoes, eggs and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the potatoes back in the pot leaving the eggs in the colander. Rinse the eggs with cold water and allow to cool while you prep the rest of the salad.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Vegenaise, Dijon mustard, dill, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the potatoes and diced, hard boiled eggs. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Thanksgiving Menu 2014

It’s almost here!

Eatwhateveryouwantday…I mean Thanksgiving.

So who’s coming? My 2 sisters and their husbands. My 2 nephews. My 2 brothers (one is bringing a girlfriend I haven’t met!). My Mom. My fiance and son. I can’t wait to see everyone! The only partial bummer is that we have to wait to have Thanksgiving until Friday because my sister Angela has a fire-fighter husband 🙂

The not bummer at all is that my new house has a second fridge. It’s SO frivolously wonderful not have one fridge sopackedthatyoucantshutthedoor! We’re living the good life I tell you!!

Apps

Veggie Tray with ranch dip. This is a must in our family. We eat on this ALL afternoon.

Thyme and Garlic baked Camembert. To be served with misc crackers and pita.

Dinner

Baked ham.

Roasted turkey. Butter under the skin (lots!). Rosemary, thyme, garlic and onion stuffed.

Arugula salad with beets, blue cheese, walnuts and shallots. Oil/vin dressing.

Mashed potatoes. Whole milk, butter…the norm.

Stuffing. Whole Foods organic in the bag kind. Dressed up with celery, onion, fennel and shiitake mushrooms.

My sister Angela’s fab 5 cheese mac-n-cheese.

Mom is bringing sweet potato casserole, collard greens and maybe something else.

Desserts

Candied Pecans.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Oat Pecan Crust. Whipped cream!

My sister Angela and my Mom will both bring surprise desserts to share.

I’ll take some follow up pics so you can see how awesomely amazing everything turned out!!!

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

This is a salad that’s not a salad. It’s an un-salad. No lettuce, no salad, right?!

Salmon Nicoise

I love a good tuna nicoise salad when I’m out for lunch. This recipe is a riff on that salad. Yes, other people have switched the tuna for salmon before (I’m not the first!) but I thought I would try the toppings without the greens. It was good and fun to eat!

Salmon Nicoise

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

For the salad

  • fresh salmon – sprinkle with kosher salt/ pepper and lemon zest. bake at 425 degrees until done
  • fresh green beans – cooked to desired done-ness
  • black and green olives
  • sliced avocado
  • new potatoes, sliced boiled and chilled
  • hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • tomato chunks

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

I made the potatoes and hard-boiled eggs earlier in the day and chilled them in the fridge. This was there was a nice combo of warm and cold on the plate. The potatoes were amazing with the dressing…kind of like a no-mayo potato salad.

Arrange on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. (you will have extra vinaigrette for a salad the next day) Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving Menu 2013

There were a total of 17 family members at our Thanksgiving table this year! My sister Angela, her husband Troy and their 2 children. My sister Zandria and her fiance Paul from Buffalo. My Mom. My 2 brothers. My Aunt Annette and her fiance G.K….and her daughter Jacquelyn and her new husband Shawn. My Dad. And the three of us!

Zandria and I:

Zandria and I

Isaac, Ben and Devin:

Isaac, Ben and Devin

G.K., our dog Walter and Travis (I’m pretty sure this was after they ate!):

GK, Walter and travis

I went by this checklist as I was cooking (which started on Tuesday!).

my menu checklist

Thanksgiving Menu:

Apps

  • mini crab cakes
  • Plate of Baked brie w/ misc crackers
  • veggies/dip tray

Main meal:

  • Cornbread stuffing with fennel, celery, onions and shiitake mushrooms
  • Butternut squash, goat cheese and mushroom risotto
  • Marinated carrots
  • Cauliflower and potato mash w/ buttermilk
  • Roasted brussel sprouts
  • A 23 pound Turkey: followed these instructions. I added tons of rosemary, lemon, salt, pepper and buttered under the skin and on top before roasting!
  • gravy
  • Roasted Cabernet and Citrus Cranberry Sauce
  • 5 cheese mac-n-cheese (my sister Angela)
  • Sweet potato casserole (Aunt Annette)
  • Collard greens (Mom)
  • Yeast rolls (Mom)

Desserts

Grandma's pound cake

  • Grandma’s pound cake (sorry – secret fam recipe! And it’s baked in a cast iron bundt pan!!)
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal White Choc Chip Cookies (Angela)
  • Pies: Buttermilk, pumpkin and sweet potato (Mom)
  • chocolate cherry cake and buttermilk pie (Aunt Annette)

*All made by me unless noted otherwise.

Maple Dijon Chicken with Cauliflower Potato Mash

This was my stove-top last night. To the left the chicken was simmering away in a sauce that’s sort of a spin on honey mustard and oh-so good. I had just added the cooked potatoes to the cauliflower and they were waiting to get pureed. In the back green beans were steaming.

a busy stovetop

These fresh herbs came out of my garden and transformed dinner for sure. The cauliflower potato mash wouldn’t have been the same without the slight-oniony flavor of the chives. The parsley added a nice freshness to the tangy chicken and the rosemary went into the maple dijon sauce the chicken cooked in.

rosemary, parsley and chives

I always forget to take pictures of the finished product (part of the reason I haven’t posted for awhile) but I did snap one pic before digging in!

maple dijon chicken

Maple Dijon Chicken

  • about 1.5 pounds boneless-skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for serving

Method

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat with a little EVOO. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and cook on one side until a good sear develops.
  • In the meantime mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Flip the chicken over and add the sauce. Turn the heat down to med/med-low and cook for about 15-20 minutes, basting with the sauce from time to time.

slightly adapted from Table For Two Blog

And now for the mash!

Cauliflower Potato Mash

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 5 small russet potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup half-n-half
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (or so) chopped fresh chives, for serving

Method

  • Peel and dice the potatoes and place them in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Cook until fork tender, drain.
  • Meanwhile add the cauliflower florets into a large skillet with the chicken stock. Cover and bring to boil and simmer until soft.
  • When the cauliflower and potatoes are done add the potatoes into the skillet with the cauliflower. Add the half-n-half, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until chunky. If mixture is too dry add a slash of chicken stock. Top with chives when serving. No butter needed but it can be added if you wish!

Herbes de Provence Potato Gratin

I made this dish twice over Thanksgiving for two different family events. The first time I made it with just potatoes and the second time I did half potatoes/half parsnips. I loved the potato/parsnip combo when I made mashed potatoes with them a few weeks ago but for this gratin dish I preferred the potatoes to stand alone.

Here are the cream, herbes de provence and garlic getting warmed up:

cream and herbs de provence

Sorry, no pics of the finished product…

Herbes de Provence Potato Gratin

From Dave Lieberman

  • 3 pounds russet (Idaho) potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere, packed

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Peel and wash the potatoes and slice them really thinly using a plastic mandoline.
  • Generously butter a 12-inch ovenproof baking or gratin dish (about 2 1/2 to 3-quarts).
  • In a small saucepan, bring the half-and-half, garlic cloves and herbes de Provence to a simmer. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic cloves. Set aside.
  • Arrange the potatoes in an overlapping layer on the bottom of the dish. Season the layer generously with salt and pepper. Scatter lightly with some of the grated cheese. Make another potato and cheese layer, finishing with a most generous cheesing.
  • Press the layers down gently. Pour the half-and-half mixture over the potato layers and fill the dish up to the top of the potatoes. Cover the dish loosely with foil so it is not touching the cheese on top and bake 30 minutes, uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and nicely browned.
  • Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before serving (this works great if you bake it then carry it to a friends or family’s house for dinner!).

Whatever You Have Beef Stew

This week has been a blur. Devin started school on the 20th. Classes at VCU started for me last week on the 23rd so this was my first full week of classes. We’re both getting used to getting up early. He took a 3+ hour nap when he got home from school one day! It’s Labor Day weekend though, so with no school on Monday for both of us I can write on my blog, clean the house, do some homework and enjoy our last weekend at the pool for the summer!

The stew I made today is inspired by the rainy day and the bits and pieces of veggies from my cooking this past week that were left in my fridge. In the crisper drawer I had a quarter of a package of baby carrots, a bag of celery with only 2 stalks left, a yellow pepper and half of a large onion. My mom’s fresh canned tomatoes had been opened a few days ago for use in another recipe and I knew the rest of them needed to be used up soon. In the pantry I had a few tiny red potatoes. Making this stew was meant to be!

We served it with cornbread muffins:

Travis took some leftovers to his 95 year-old grandfather and he called me the next day to tell me how much he enjoyed it. He said that, “he wasn’t sure it was beef stew but whatever is was it was really, really good”! How great is that?? Thanks Grandpa!

Whatever You Have Beef Stew

  • 1 pound ground beef (93% lean)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • handful baby carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips and diced small
  • 3 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1 – 16 ounce bag frozen, chopped spinach
  • 12 tiny red potatoes, sliced
  •  1/2 quart fresh canned tomatoes (a 28 ounce can would work great)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

  • In a medium skillet cook ground beef and the minced garlic along with a little salt and pepper until the ground beef is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile chop veggies and add them along with the rest of the ingredients (including the cooked ground beef) to the crockpot.
  • Cook 3-4 hours on high.