I’d like to introduce the newest addition to “Casa Diehl”- a Uniflame 15,000 BTU gas grill. I am well aware that this is commonly known as a “tailgating grill” but when your outdoor space is approximately 10 feet by 5 feet and propane tank size is limited, it is making the best of a very small situation.
This grill is bigger than our previous grill and is more powerful. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that it is on a stand which eliminates the need to stoop and bend to grill…those of a certain age will appreciate that fact.
More heat and more space have opened up more opportunities. As the warmer weather continues to build, we will be relying on this little emerald gem more often.
While not the first dish that has come off the grill, this side dish is a good place to start. Potatoes (russet this time) and Asparagus grilled up golden brown and dressed with a Honey Mustard Dressing is the perfect accompaniment to any grilled protein. It is also one of those basic recipes that can be adapted to a garden of possibilities.
This recipe served two generously with leftovers to go into a Strata, Salad, or Midnight Snack. Adjust the amounts to suit your needs. The same goes for the type of potato you use. Red potatoes would be wonderful as would Yukon Golds…
Another Meatless Monday is ready for the record books. I have to say I rather like the challenge and subsequent creativity that this little experiment is providing. As a money-saving and health enhancing exercise it is good for Mama D’s Kitchen.
This week’s adventure was Vegetable Hash. I must give a good bit of the inspiration to a recipe I found in Cooking Light Magazine. While the ingredients were basically the same, I took a few liberties with quantities and techniques. I added “Toads in the Hole” to my version. This is the odd name that I use to describe a slice of bread with a hole cut out of the middle in which an egg is cooked to perfection or however the eater likes it. This was a staple when my kids were growing up. It was quick, easy, and could be eaten out of hand and on the run since mornings were not always pleasant in Mama D’s house.
So the “hole” my “toads” occupied this time, was a big pan of sautéed vegetables. Red potatoes and sweet onions gave it hash credibility. Zucchini, yellow squash, and green beans gave it summer freshness.
Added color and a spark of flavor was provided by Roma tomatoes, parsley and green onions. The eggs, of course need no introduction. An added flavor component was “Herbs de Provence”. This is a dried herb blend that includes flavors that run the gambit from savory and marjoram to fennel and lavender. My blend smelled woodsy and a little sweet and when used in the correct measure gave an interesting depth of flavor. My word to the wise is add this a little at a time. In moderation it is interesting and pleasant, but too much and it becomes an ill-mannered Frenchman.
My Recipe Notes: I kept this on the light side using only 2 teaspoons of olive oil. My trusty box of good chicken stock added a little moistness as needed. A non-stick fry pan gave the eggs a fighting chance to come out intact. A lid was crucial to allowing the eggs to cook properly and insure the vegetables were tender crisp. Finally, I used a mixture of shredded Romano cheese and crumbled Feta to garnish the dish. Any hard or crumbly cheese would work. Go with whatever you’ve got on hand. This could probably serve four people, but they’d be raiding the refrigerator before bedtime, so it served the two of us lavishly, but still without guilt.
This rated 5 stars on the “Dear Husband Scale” so it will be making future appearances. Vegetable Hash could wander into Fall and Winter Meatless Mondays with a change of seasonal veggies and seasonings. Hope you’ll give this a try, and as always make it your own. Love, Mama D
Heat a large skillet and add the olive oil. Add the potatoes and onions to the pan. Sprinkle the herbs de provence on top and cook with out stirring for 5 minutes.
As you are cooking the vegetables add the chicken stock as needed to keep things moving.
Stir the potatoes and onions. Add the green beans and cook for another 3 minutes. stirring occasionally. Add the squashes and cook for 2 minutes or so.
Add the tomatoes, parsley and green onion to the pan and cook for several minutes.
Using a spatula, make four holes in the vegetable mixture. Break one egg into each of the holes. Cover and cook for 2 -4 minutes depending on how hard or soft you like your eggs.
Carefully scoop out the hash into shallow bowls. Top with the grated cheese
To make the garlic oil: Place olive oil and smashed garlic cloves in a small pan. Cook over low heat until the garlic is lightly browned and the oil has become fragrant. Allow to cool before removing the garlic. (use the garlic in marinades or as a seasoning)
Precook the potatoes: Cut the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. In Place the potatoes and a little water in a microwave friendly container. Cover loosely and steam in the microwave for 4 minutes or so. The potatoes should be barely tender. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the veggies for the grill: Slice the squash in 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Trim the ends off of the beans. Cut the onion in half lengthwise. Halve or quarter the peppers.
Heat a grilling basket and a flat grate on the grill. Coat with olive oil cooking spray. Take 1/2 tablespoon of the infused olive oil and toss with the potato chunks. Use the rest of the oil to brush the vegetable slices.
Put the potatoes in the basket and the vegetables on the grate. Grill, tossing the potatoes and turning the vegetables occasionally. It should take about 15 minutes to have everything turn golden.
Remove the vegetables to a cutting board. Cut in chunks that are about the same size as the potatoes. Place in a large serving bowl along with the potato chunks.
Add some freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt and toss to combine everything. Drizzle the balsamic over everything and enjoy!
This is a wonderful soup. It’s rich and creamy and loaded with vegetables. Leeks, potatoes and cauliflower are roasted to bring out their sweetness. Combined with chicken stock, half & half and the unique flavor of roasted garlic, it’s a winter harvest of deliciousness.
Roasted Cauliflower, Leek, Potato, and Garlic Soup
Roasted Cauliflower, Leek, Potato, and Garlic Soup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Toss the cauliflower, potatoes, and leeks with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and toss again.
Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Divide the vegetables between the two prepared sheets making sure they are in a single layer. Place in oven
Cut a small slice off the top of the garlic head so the the tops of the individual cloves are visible. Set the garlic on a square of foil. Carefully pour the remaining olive oil on the garlic head. Wrap tightly in the foil and place in oven.
Roast the vegetables for 20 -25 minutes stirring once. Everything should be lightly browned and fork tender.
Roast the garlic for 25 - 30 minutes until it is very fragrant and feels soft to the touch. Allow to cool slightly before handling.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the bacon in a soup pot until it is crisp. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain. Discard all but a scant tablespoon of the bacon drippings.
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins. Mash them in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. It won't be smooth, but the garlic should be well incorporated into the stock. Set aside.
Add the roasted cauliflower, potatoes, and leeks to the soup pot. Scrape any browned bits in as well. Toss the vegetables so they are coated with the drippings. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir to to loosen the brown bits in the pot.
Add the rest of the stock to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the eat to simmer and cook, covered for 25 minutes. add the garlic/stock mixture and cook another 10 minutes. the vegetables should be very soft at this point.
Remove from heat and blend until smooth using an immersion blender. Return the mixture to the stove. Over low heat, add the half and half and the herbs. Cook until soup is heated through. Serve garnished with the bacon and grated cheese
This is a delicious way to use the Pulled Chicken recipe that I shared in my last post. The homemade fries are actually not fried. They are baked in the oven on a rack to help them turn out as crisp as their fried brothers. Season the potatoes as you like them. Cajun or Blackening seasonings would be good, but use what you love.
I chose toppings that are a little reminiscent of a loaded baked potato, but other possibilities are limitless. You could even use the cheese curds that the original recipe from Quebec uses. Topping French Fries with anything makes them even better. This makes a great supper for two. Add a salad or a nice vinegar based coleslaw.
Wash the potatoes well and dry them off. Do not peel unless that's what you really like. Slice into french fry shapes. Aim for fries that are about 3/4 inch diameter and if your potatoes are longer than wider they will look prettier.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Soak the potatoes in very cold water for 30 minutes or so. This gets rid of a little of the starch. Drain and DRY VERY WELL.
Put the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Add the potato seasonings you have chosen and toss again.
Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place a size compatible wire rack on the baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil non-stick spray. Place the potatoes on the rack making sure they are not touching.
Bake in oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Turn the potatoes halfway through the baking.The potatoes should be golden brown and lightly crisp. Remove from oven and divide between two plates.
While the potatoes are baking, heat the Pulled Chicken on the stove or in the microwave. Have all of your toppings ready.
Top the potatoes with the Pulled Chicken and the toppings of your choice and serve.