Tag Archives: potatoes

ACC Parties: Another St. Patricks Day

Another year, another St. Patrick’s Day party at the Costello household.  This year I wanted to really kick it up a notch because my sister in law Sara is going to be in town.  We all know how much I love to give party favors and when I saw a set of glass decanters on Everything But The House (that site is dangerous – you have been warned) I knew they would make epic take home gifts.  They worked out to only be a couple of dollars each and now all of my friends remember this party when they look at their bar cart.

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This is a party I have thrown many times before (9 years with my husband Patrick so at least that many times!) so I have collected a good amount of green gear and a menu that I don’t play with too much.  People get pretty wedded to the dishes I make but I try to mix it up a little to keep people on their toes.  I made Ina’s herb dip that is a must at all of my parties but presented it as the Irish flag.

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Then of course a massive cheese board with lots of yummy Irish cheeses and personalized napkins with Patrick’s favorite Irish toast.  Lots of folks ask where I order my napkins from – For Your Party is hands down the best site I have found.  The quality is so good, the prices are totally reasonable and they have tons of options to pick from.

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I swear even the most casual party instantly feels more classy with special touches like those.  The other dinner size napkins are from Caspari and the cute flatware buckets are a Target dollar section find.

 

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As you may know from my previous St. Patrick’s post this Brown Butter Soda Bread with rosemary is a must have.  I had to make 4 loaves to accommodate the crowd!

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Apologies about the pictures of the food – Irish food may be satisfying but it’s not all that pretty!  I went with Beef and Guinness Short Ribs that worked beautifully in my slow cooker to stay warm all party long.  Your could of course do my Patrick’s Irish Stew instead.

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I actually make Ina’s Sauteed Cabbage a lot in the winter when there are not may fun options in the produce section.  It’s incredible what a little bit of butter will do to make this hated vegetable a winning side dish!

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And of course you can’t have St. Patrick’s Day without potatoes – for a twist on your usual mashed potatoes try this Smashed Red Potatoes recipe.  I love how the creme fraiche gives them a little tang to cut through the rich meat on the side.

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This Chocolate Whiskey Cake from the New York Times is RICH!  Make sure to have coffee and some ice cream or whipped cream with it on the side – I didn’t and it was a bit much.  The leftovers make for a great morning after breakfast though!

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After all that food, Jameson and Guinness you are definitely going to need a cat nap….Happy St. Patricks Day!

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A Warming Dinner Party

Long weekends are perfect for hosting dinner parties – you have multiple nights you can host and plenty of time to cook, set up and recover.  I used this menu recently on a cold night and it was perfect to shake off the winter blues.  Light some candles, stoke the fire and settle in for a nice night with friends.

Chile Oil-Marinated Goat Cheese

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Easy to make and needs to be made in advance is key when thinking about snacks before dinner.  This checks both boxes – I served the goat cheese with a baguette, some crackers and sliced soppresata along with a couple of bottles of bubbly to start the night off right.

Roasted Prime Rib with Thyme Marsala Sauce

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I had never made prime rib before and man is that hunk of meat intimidating!  Especially when you pay good money for something you really want it to turn out well.  First time was a total hit.  This Giada recipe is easy to follow and delivered a perfectly cooked prime rib with a delicious crust and the sweet and savory sauce that went alongside.  Even if you are a prime rib expert this is one recipe worth trying.

Mashed Potatoes

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Had to give my boy mashed potatoes alongside the prime rib.  Use your favorite recipe or if you want to take it up a notch go with my Over the Top Mashed Potatoes.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

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Posted earlier this month, these sprouts are a quick and easy side that can come together as you make the sauce for the prime rib.

Dark Chocolate Terrine

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Another new to me recipe from the real Contessa that is crazy good.  I could drink the orange sauce straight and be happy but the rich frozen mousse-like terrine is to die for.  Definitely don’t forget to sprinkle with sea salt before serving.  So just head to the grocery store tonight and you can easily host this fabulous dinner party for your friends this weekend.

Hummus Potatoes

Poor hummus has become so popular that everyone has bastardized it to the point where you can barely recognize it!  Carrot hummus made with no chickpeas (delicious by the way), garlic-less hummus (NOT delicious), beets swirled into hummus (so pretty) and on and on.  Well if everyone else can do it why not me?  I love the classic flavors in hummus – garlic, tahini (sesame paste) and lemon – and thought it would make a great sauce.  So I roasted up some baby potatoes and tossed them with this lightened up hummus-like sauce.  SO good, like scoop up the rest of that sauce with whatever you have handy, good.  This is the perfect side for a roasted chicken as you can roast the potatoes right along side it.  Or pair it with some lamb burgers for a healthier version of fries.  Hummus purists be damned…

Hummus Potatoes  (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  hummus
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the baby yukon golds in half (unless they are really small, you can leave those whole) and toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper on a cookie sheet.

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Cover the cookie sheet tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil, toss the potatoes with a spatula and return to the oven, uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are golden and tender inside.

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While the potatoes are cooking combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper.  Whisk in water a little bit at a time until you get a saucy consistency.  Put the potatoes in a serving dish and drizzle on the sauce.  Serve any extra on the side for dipping and sprinkle the dish with parsley.

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Hummus Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the baby yukon golds in half (unless they are really small, you can leave those whole) and toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper on a cookie sheet.  Cover the cookie sheet tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil, toss the potatoes with a spatula and return to the oven, uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are golden and tender inside.  While the potatoes are cooking combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper.  Whisk in water a little bit at a time until you get a saucy consistency.  Put the potatoes in a serving dish and drizzle on the sauce.  Serve any extra on the side for dipping and sprinkle the dish with parsley.

Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Potato Skins

Now that order has been restored to the world with Tom Brady back at the helm of the Patriots I figured I would share a great football dish for this Sunday.  These potato skins are admittedly not as good as the deep fried ones (is anything baked as good as fried???) but they do the trick and even manage to sneak in a little broccoli as well.  I made these last week when we hosted some friends for football and they were all gone by halftime.  It’s usually tough to find a vegetarian bar snack but this is super easy to leave the bacon off and with all the other toppings you won’t be missing much.  Let’s go Pats!

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Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Potato Skins (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  are you ready for some football??

Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 Russell potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut down into small bite size florets
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Make sure to scrub your potatoes clean then rub with a about a teaspoon of olive oil, prick several times over with the tines of a fork, and then put them directly into the oven onto the grate.

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Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, hour and 15 minutes if they are very large.  In the meantime toss the broccoli with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet.  In the last 15 minutes of baking the potatoes toss in the broccoli to roast.  Turn off your oven and turn on your broiler.  While the potatoes cool, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy (about 5 minutes) and then crumble and set to the side.  Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut them in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato still in the skins.

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Be sure not to cut through the skin, the easiest way is with a teaspoon.  Using the remaining olive oil drizzle both sides of the skins and salt and pepper them.  Put them skin side up on a baking sheet and broil for 3 minutes.  Flip them and broil 3 minutes more.

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Pull out the baking sheet and fill the skins with as much cheddar and broccoli as you want/can fit.  Broil again for another 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese melts.  Top with sour cream and scallions.

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Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Potato Skins

  • Servings: 4 skins
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 Russell potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut down into small bite size florets
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Make sure to scrub your potatoes clean then rub with a about a teaspoon of olive oil, prick several times over with the tines of a fork, and then put them directly into the oven onto the grate.  Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, hour and 15 minutes if they are very large.  In the meantime toss the broccoli with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet.  In the last 15 minutes of baking the potatoes toss in the broccoli to roast.  Turn off your oven and turn on your broiler.  While the potatoes cool, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy (about 5 minutes) and then crumble and set to the side.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut them in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato still in the skins.  Be sure not to cut through the skin, the easiest way is with a teaspoon.  Using the remaining olive oil drizzle both sides of the skins and salt and pepper them.  Put them skin side up on a baking sheet and broil for 3 minutes.  Flip them and broil 3 minutes more.  Pull out the baking sheet and fill the skins with as much cheddar and broccoli as you want/can fit.  Broil again for another 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese melts.  Top with sour cream and scallions.

 

 

 

A Southern Dinner Party

Living in Washington, D.C. can lead to a bit of an identity crisis – invariably when someone asks me where I am from I answer Boston immediately and then clarify that I live in DC.  However, next year will mark the year I have actually lived longer below the Mason Dixon line then I ever lived in New England.  Most Southerners will tell you that absolutely does NOT make me Southern and that’s ok by me.  I am going to try and continue my mix of the best of both worlds – reading my Southern Living magazine on my front porch with some iced tea wearing my Red Sox hat.  One thing that I have always admired and tried to emulate though is the Southern hostess’s way of making people feel welcome and comfortable even if it’s 100 degrees outside.  I am learning that the key is making sure that the food isn’t too formal, that you make as much as possible in advance and that you lean heavily on comfort foods.  That perfectly fits my entertaining mode so I threw together this Southern dinner party so we could beat the heat and catch up with friends.  Southern summers are so hot that going out to dinner actually becomes a chore, where as this delicious meal is made mostly in advance and with the help of a slow cooker that won’t heat up your house.  And who doesn’t love a party where you eat corn nuts out of a silver bowl???  Southern entertaining at it’s best.

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Bacon Goat Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

These bite size appetizers are insane.  Spicy, salty, sweet, cheesy, crunchy, meaty.  It leaves nothing out and none will be left behind.  I served these with a bowl of corn nuts and that was it for the first course – dinner is pretty hearty so don’t front load the first course.  A great selection of craft beers or a crisp sauvignon blanc would be a good pairing for these bites.

Mississippi Roast

When you read this recipe you are either going to think it sounds like the best thing ever invented or totally disgusting.  The first group is correct.  This large beef roast is cooked in a slow cooker with basically ranch dressing for over 6 hours to become meltingly tender and delicious.  This recipe has been around for a long time but to those of us outside of Mississippi it took the New York Times of all publications to bring it back in vouge.  It really is incredible and not at all greasy.  If you have leftovers they would make for an amazing sandwich.  Make sure to have extra pepperoncini on hand to serve alongside the roast.

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Smashed Red Potatoes with Creme Fraiche

Mashed potatoes seemed like a natural side for the roast but this version by Country Living actually makes for a lighter and brighter side perfectly contrasting the meat.  The addition of lemon peel while cooking the potatoes and using creme fraiche instead of a ton of butter and cream makes this one of my go to potato dishes.

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Parmesan Mini Zucchini 

This quick cooking side was featured in its own post in June and has been shown a lot of love since.  Any roasted or even grilled vegetable would make a great side here but I like the simplicity and the fast that all you need is a broiler rather than a 400 degree oven.

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Individual Peach Crumbles

It wouldn’t be a Southern party without a little bourbon and the use of a cast iron skillet!  These single serve peach crumbles are so good and can be made way in advance.  Once dinner is over move every one to the living room or a porch if you have one for an after dinner drink and pop these in the oven.  People will love that they each have their own dessert and the sweet peaches are the perfect note to end the night on.

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Over the Top Mashed Potatoes

I assume you all know how to make mashed potatoes – even my friends who are cooking neophytes can handle this classic. But for the biggest meal of the year you don’t want just regular old mashed potatoes right?  By using a ricer instead of a masher or a mixer you can insure the fluffiest texture.  By adding cream plus butter plus buttermilk you will arrive at a creamy, tangy and silky blend.  My dad taught me the trick of including peeled garlic cloves in with the potatoes when you boil them.  The garlic gets soft and mellow and then you can blend them in with the potatoes and get a light garlicky taste.  Then just when you thought it couldn’t get better you fold in some nice grainy mustard at the end.  These mashed would be great anytime but they will go particularly well with your turkey and stuffing this thanksgiving.

Over the Top Mashed Potatoes(printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:
Special Equipment:  potato ricer

  • 8 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons whole grain mustard

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 inch pieces (try and keep them around the same size so they cook evenly).

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Place in a pot with cold water and the garlic cloves (you can store the potatoes like this for an hour or two).  Add some salt and turn the heat to high.  The water will eventually start boiling but keep the potatoes on high and cook in total for about 20 to 30 minutes until tender.  You can test them with a pairing knife or fork – if the knife easily pierces the potato it’s ready.  While the potatoes cook warm the cream and 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Drain in a colander then set the ricer over the pot (if you don’t have a ricer return the potatoes to the pot and use a hand mixer).  Squish the potatoes and garlic cloves through the ricer, scraping the sides as needed.

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Stir in the warmed cream and butter along with salt and pepper.  Follow with the buttermilk and whole grain mustard.  Serve with the remaining tablespoon of butter on top.

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Over the Top Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Special Equipment:  potato ricer

  • 8 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons whole grain mustard

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 inch pieces (try and keep them around the same size so they cook evenly).  Place in a pot with cold water and the garlic cloves (you can store the potatoes like this for an hour or two).  Add some salt and turn the heat to high.  The water will eventually start boiling but keep the potatoes on high and cook in total for about 20 to 30 minutes until tender.  You can test them with a pairing knife or fork – if the knife easily pierces the potato it’s ready.  While the potatoes cook warm the cream and 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Drain in a colander then set the ricer over the pot (if you don’t have a ricer return the potatoes to the pot and use a hand mixer).  Squish the potatoes and garlic cloves through the ricer, scraping the sides as needed.  Stir in the warmed cream and butter along with salt and pepper.  Follow with the buttermilk and whole grain mustard.  Serve with the remaining tablespoon of butter on top.

Potato Salad Twists

Summer means lots and lots of BBQs, all American menus and of course tons of potato salad.  My husband will eat potato salad in just about any form but I find most people rely on the same standard recipe with a mayo base, some celery, maybe some onion, and dill.  Not bad, and when done well it can be terrific, but also pretty boring after a while.  Since we are about midway through summer (gasp!) I thought some of you may be getting a little tired of the same old as well.  Here are a selection of really delicious and different potato salads that I like to make to keep things interesting.  The arugula pesto one is something I created on my own – it makes enough for this salad and a bit more which is great.  It’s delicious slathered on bread, tossed with pasta or even mixed with some greek yogurt as a dip for pita or crudites.  The potato cooking technique I got from Ina and it really does make for perfectly cooked potatoes that you could use in any salad.  Does anyone have a fun twist on the potato salad they can share??

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Grilled Potato Salad with Arugula, Goat cheese, and Lemon Mustard Tarragon vinaigrette – This potato salad by Bobby Flay is the featured photo and SO amazing.  I saw it on his show Barbeque Addiction and immediately pinned it so I could make it later.  I served it with a carrot ribbon salad (post coming soon) and used the delicious vinaigrette on that as well.  It would make a great side to grilled chicken or even a nice steak.

French Potato Salad – This is one I keep coming back to over the years.  Sometimes I change it up by switching out the hebs to others I have on hand but I find that the spalsh of white wine really adds something to the flavor of this.  Who was ever hurt by a spalsh of wine?  Its a great salad for when its really hot out and you dont want to have anything creamy.

Spanish Style Grilled Pepper Potato Salad – I had to include at least one recipe that had mayo in it and here it is.  The addition of the grilled peppers and lots of garlic keeps this one from being boring.  If you have some smoked paprika (otherwise known as pimenton) on hand, throw a teaspoon into the mayo to add even more flavor and a wonderful red color.

Arugula Pesto Potato Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  boredom of the same gloopy potato salad
Special Equipment:  food processor

  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon – zested and juiced
  • 2 1/2 ounces of baby arugula (about half a bag)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (lemon flavored if you have it)
  • 2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes

Put the potatoes and some kosher salt in a pot and cover with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil and then lower the temperature to a simmer and cook the potatoes for 12 or so minutes.  While the potatoes cook, add the pistachios, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, and arugula to the food processor.  Process it until well combined then pout in the olive oil until it forms a pesto.  I used this delicious meyer lemon olive oil that I had on hand to really pump up the lemon flavor but regular olive oil will work just as well, just make sure to use a good fruity one.  Use a toothpick to test the potatoes to see if they are done (this will depend a bit on the size of the potatoes – ideally they should all be roughly the same so they cook evenly).  Drain the potatoes in a colander and place over the pot.  Cover the colander with a clean dish towel and let them steam for 10 minutes.

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Let them cool enough for you to handle and cut into halves or quarters.  Toss with just enough pesto to cover.  The leftover pesto will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.  The potato salad can be served hot or at room temperature.  You can make it a day in advance, just let it come to room temperature before serving.

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Arugula Pesto Potato Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Special Equipment:  food processor

  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon – zested and juiced
  • 2 1/2 ounces of baby arugula (about half a bag)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (lemon flavored if you have it)
  • 2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes

Put the potatoes and some kosher salt in a pot and cover with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil and then lower the temperature to a simmer and cook the potatoes for 12 or so minutes.  While the potatoes cook, add the pistachios, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, and arugula to the food processor.  Process it until well combined then pout in the olive oil until it forms a pesto.  Use a toothpick to test the potatoes to see if they are done (this will depend a bit on the size of the potatoes – ideally they should all be roughly the same so they cook evenly).  Drain the potatoes in a colander and place over the pot.  Cover the colander with a clean dish towel and let them steam for 10 minutes.  Let them cool enough for you to handle and cut into halves or quarters.  Toss with just enough pesto to cover.  The leftover pesto will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.  The potato salad can be served hot or at room temperature.  You can make it a day in advance, just let it come to room temperature before serving.

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