Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yummy Potato Smashers

Back in June- when I was not hopping along on crutches and my foot elevated, I came across a really yummy recipe. The recipe is from Pioneer Woman Cooks. But, I've made a few adjustments and learned a few lessons making them. Tonight (yes I'm finally upright long enough to cook!) I made them at my parents for Sunday dinner.

First step- Clean lots of little potatoes. You would be surprised at how many little potatoes people will eat. Tonight I made about 48 of them and there were 6 adults and 4 kids- and they are ALL GONE! Each of the kids only ate 1.

Second step- Boil them until they are soft. You want to stick a fork in them easily.
Third step- Place them on a well greased cookie sheet. I used a lot of PAM.

Fourth step- Mash them down with a potato masher. You want them to stay about 1/3 of an inch thick.
Fifth step- Generously sprinkle olive oil on you smashed potatoes. (PW uses a brush- but not me- I prefer to pour).
Sixth step- Sprinkle with a lot of kosher salt. I've tried it with both kosher and regular. The kosher tastes better and gives a better texture.
Seventh step- Chop and season with your fresh herbs. I like rosemary and thyme. I was tempted to add parsley but then I would have wanted to add sage as well, and I just wasn't sure I wanted that much flavor. So, I stuck to rosemary and thyme. I used three good sized sprigs of each. Keep in mind though, I was making 48 of these little smashers.

Eighth step- Cook 'em. If you are convecting, put your oven at 425- otherwise 450. You will want to cook them for about 20 minutes. They should be a crispy and browned.
Ninth step- Stack 'em on a pretty platter
Tenth step- Garnish them with more sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
Here are a few things that I learned from making them several times.

1. Find as small of red potatoes as possible. I mean small. Not medium, not kind of small, really really small. Lets say the size of a ping pong ball or smaller. Golf ball size is too big.
2. Use lots of kosher salt. The flavor is stronger and it adds to the texture.
3. Oh, and really boil them until they are soft.
Everyone loves these. They are really easy to make. I won't say they are quick, because they aren't. Boiling them and really getting them soft is going to take a while. But not as long if you use little tiny potatoes. Plus the 20 minutes in the oven.
They also make really good left overs or munchies later on in the evening. That is assuming there are any left.

Monday, August 4, 2008

This week....

Hi friends- I will not be cooking much this week as I am going in for surgery on my foot tomorrow. I'm really bummed that I won't be posting. But, we are going to Bear Lake during "Raspberry Days" so I will bring home a bunch of raspberries and see what I can do the first part of next week. I'm thinking raspberry bread pudding, raspberry jam and who knows what else I'll come up with.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Poor Man's Stroganoff

First off, sorry it's been a week since I have posted. I've been traveling for work and forgot to put the pictures on my laptop before I left. Now onto the feature meal.

Before I went back to work, I used to cook pretty meals every single night. They weren't hard to make nor were the expensive. I have to admit they fit more in the "semi-homemade" category. Which from what I'm starting to understand, offends some. But guess what? I'm a working mother of two girls and need to make healthy and yummy meals that my whole family will eat.

Here's the recipe...

1 lb of ground beef (I always go as lean as I can find)
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic
Strain the beef grease before you add...
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I didn't have any)

Saute until the onions are clear and then add

1/3 c red wine
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Continue cooking until the meat is cooked throughout.

Then add...

1/2 c sour cream
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook until heated throughout. Serve on noodles or rice.

I served this with green beans and both girls cleared their plates. When Hottie got home he ate the remainder of the pan and said, "Why don't you cook this more often? We really need to shop better so that you have things like this on hand." He is so funny.

Anyway, it's super easy and always yummy. It's not pretty for sure. So you have to serve it with something of color- sliced tomatoes, green beans, steamed zucchini.

PS if you don't cook with wine, use 1/3 of a cup of beef bouillon.

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