I love potatoes for breakfast! Let’s be honest, I love potatoes anytime of day really. I love good ol’ russets, reds, purples, Yukon golds and now roosters! Rooster potatoes just started showing up in my grocery store and I can’t get enough of them. I started slicing them thin and frying them up in avocado oil as a side dish twice a week with dinner.
Recently I discovered Irish Nachos and am totally addicted to them. You simply replace tortilla chips with sliced and baked or fried potatoes to make them Irish. Go figure. Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner I figure these nachos would be a great way for folks to soak up all the alcohol they’ll imbibe in honor of an Irish saint.
When Strudel suggested a potato-themed March, I wasn’t quite sure what do to with myself. My love of the tuber is powerful (never get in the way of me and french fries) but beyond a modified version of this lovely recipe (sub greek yogurt for sour cream, onions instead of leeks, and add sautéed mushrooms), we don’t tend to do much with white potatoes in my house.
And then my childhood popped into my head – my dad went through a potato kugel phase, where he attempted to find the perfect recipe, and though the penultimate kugel evaded him during those years, we ate a heck of a lot of the potato casserole in the meanwhile. Remembering this the other day, I sent Dad a quick email to determine if he ever returned to the quest, and if so, what the results were. This was his response:
“I’m attaching a potato kugel recipe… the thing that makes potato kugel special is a gutsy texture and a pronounced taste of onion. This recipe, because the potatoes become shards in the food processer, has a bold texture and, because onions are treated two ways (raw and caramelized) the kugel has a decidedly onion taste.”
(Can you totally tell my dad is a food writer?!)
With the last of this month’s cookie posts I decided to convert another cake to a cookie. I was inspired by the recent King Arthur Flour catalog I received in the mail. In it was a recipe for Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake.
I wanted more cookies with a streusel crumb on top after getting lots of yumms from friends who ate the Shoofly Cookie . These cookies are soft, the perfect amount of lemon and lime, and the sugary streusel on top gives this cookie just the right amount of sweet!
As I’ve started baking my way through “Dorie’s Cookie’s” I’m finding recipes with ingredients not commonly found in cookies (a mincemeat option for cookie bars, for example – I’m assuming she means the kind without beef). I love hearing about how other folks get creative with ingredients, and enjoy Dorie’s originality even if those cookies aren’t something I’ll bake right now.
In poking through the cookbook, I found this recipe for Coffee Malted Cookies. I love love love malt but there aren’t many reasons to use – I bought a container a few years back for homemade milkshakes for a dinner parter, and when I recently dug it out, it had formed into a solid block (note: I now have a weapon against intruders). Off to the store I went for some fresh malt powder, and I was all set!
These cookies are great – the strongest flavor actually comes from the coffee, and the malt brings out more of a vanilla taste to me. Be really careful not to over bake, you’re going for a soft cookie with a slightly crisp edge. These are definitely going in to our regular cookie rotation!
When Strudel suggested a cookie month, I knew I had tons of cookbooks in my kitchen that I could search for a cookie to reinvent. Then a friend at work really needed cheering up this week and her favorite thing that I make (she even requested it for her birthday) is Amish Shoofly Cake. I thought converting this cake to cookies would be a nice way to end her week AND a fun experiment for me.
I’ve never converted a cake to a cookie before BUT ages ago I did a very brief series called “Science of…” here on the blog and remembered that I did a Science of Cookies post, so I looked to it for guidance. Voila! Shoofly Cookies were successfully created and loved by everyone at work. Also, my friend was a little bit happier after eating a few of these cakey cookies with her morning coffee!
Cookies are a mainstay in my home – during the 30ish days in a month, there are homemade cookies in the house about 23 of those days. I’ve found a few recipes that we love and rotate through – it includes these amazing chocolate chip cookies and we love the oatmeal cocoa nib cookies too. There’s a few others included in the heavy rotation, and while we have yet to get bored with them, I’m always on the hunt for another cookie. To celebrate this hunt, Streus agreed to a February filled with blog posts about cookies!
I recently picked up a copy of “Dorie’s Cookies” by the lovely Dorie Greenspan and thought it was high time I started making some recipes from this cookbook. First up was the opportunity to bake with one of my favorite treats that I don’t know how to incorporate into more foods – cookie butter (aka Biscoff spread). Dorie kindly baked the Biscoff into some cookies, so I figured it was my duty to respect the spread, and make them myself. The result is a sweet, chewy and chocolatey cookie with a Biscoff-y flavor in the background.
To finish out the month of cultural cuisine I had to share with all of you a wonderful discovery I made recently thanks to my Whole30 Cookbook. There are many tasty recipes in this book but next to the Beef and Sweet Potato Chili (in which I substituted lamb) the dukkah-crusted brussels sprouts are amazingly good.
Nutty and crunchy, this blend can go on almost anything. I put it on these gold potatoes and roasted them. I’ve also put them on veggies and even cauliflower and chicken! I have been searching for things I can’t put dukkah on!
The world wide web tells me that dukkah (not dukkha, that would be a term used in Buddhism for suffering, there’s no suffering with this season blend) is an Egyptian spice blend typically made with ground hazelnuts and used as a dip for bread! It would be phenomenal with some fresh hot pita dipped in olive oil.
I spent much of my adolescence being moody; I’m sure it was mostly hormonal, and I’m even more certain that there was about 5-8 years where I wasn’t much fun to be around. I wore a lot of black with some occasional tie-dye, hippie skirts and definitely scarves in my hair. I also became a vegetarian at that time – and while I’ve managed to lose most of the ennui and have picked up better-fitting clothing, the vegetarianism stuck around for about 15ish years, at which point I started eating seafood again. Today folks would call me a “pescatarian” but that word wasn’t around back when my diet switched over. These days, I stick to saying I’m a vegetarian when it’s less fussy way to explain my dietary preferences, and go with “vegetarian that eats seafood” when it’s worth the time to get into it. I find anything short of that and people might think chicken broth is okay or just a hint of bacon isn’t worth mentioning.
It was a big deal for me to start eating seafood, and I did it because I just felt ready – I was getting a little bored with my diet and felt like there were things I was missing out on. There were specific foods I really missed – like sushi – and for me, it was just time.
Even thought it’s been a million years now that I started eating seafood, I still find that there are foods I loved but never really returned to. Wonton soup (from when I ate chicken) is one of those foods – and even though it’s possible to find shrimp wonton soup, it’s usually in chicken broth. So, when the glorious Deb from Smitten Kitchen posted an extremely adaptable and quick wonton soup recipe, all I had to do was sub out the ground chicken for shrimp and I was good to go!
Deb mentions this soup isn’t authentic, and since I don’t have anything to compare it to, I’ll take her word for it – but I’ll also say that it’s super delicious, very super flavorful, and comes together quite quickly. I made a batch and ate some for dinner and froze the rest, and it’s great for a quick snack or as part of my dinner. When I made it for dinner, I paired it with this main and a side of pan-seared zucchini, and it was perfect.
I have been wanting to make scotch eggs for a couple of years and have never gotten around to making them. What could be more delicious than meat wrapped around an egg?! I recently bought a lamb, not the adorably soft version but the processed and in my freezer version (which admittedly was once both adorable and soft).
I got to thinking lamb would be really tasty wrapped around an egg! These scotch eggs would have been even better if they were duck eggs and not chicken eggs but alas this time of year I must use store-bought chicken eggs (boo hoo!). The true impetus for making these and posting them this month was because I wanted to learn where scotch eggs originated.
First up, I am totally cheating on this month’s theme – there’s nothing really multicultural about this post other than I had coconut “bread” (it was really cake in loaf form) at one of my favorite coffee shops in Seattle, a Cuban-inspired coffee place in my old neighborhood (their Con Leche is a dream). I don’t usually buy treats at coffee shops – a slippery slope of pastry eating, as far as I’m concerned – but they had samples sitting out and Brandon was weak (or smart, depending on how your frame it). I like coconut just fine, but this “bread” was everything that’s good in the world, in loaf form. Tender, moist, sweet without being cloying, and packed with coconutty flavor.
I came home and immediately started googling – and really any Cuban coconut bread recipes I found were actually for a very slightly sweetened bread, but not actually cake, which is what this recipe is when we’re being honest with ourselves (which I’d prefer not to be). So then I got realistic about what I was really eating (a dessert that we will frame as a great brunch treat) and found this recipe from another blog. A few minor tweaks to make it a bit more like the one I had at the coffee shop, and ya esta!* We have coconut “brake” (that would be a combo of “bread” and “cake”).
* “it is done” in Spanish – Cuban Spanish is spoken by 90% of the entire population of Cuba