Thursday, September 7, 2017

Twice Baked Potatoes with Bacon, Caramelized Onions & Cheese

5 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and diced
2 c shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb bacon chopped and cooked until crispy
2 medium onions diced and caramelized in olive oil
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
1 c heavy cream
2 sticks unsalted butter
Garlic powder to taste
1 T oregano
1 T parsley

Preheat oven to 375℉

Butter a 9x13 casserole dish (2-3 inches deep)

1. Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes until fork tender. Drain and leave in the pot.
2. Add butter, yogurt, cream, oregano, parsley to the pot. Mash the potatoes coarsely - no need to fully mash them. Add about 1/2 of the bacon, onions & shredded cheese, mixing all the ingredients well.
3. Pour the potato mixture into the 9x13 casserole dish. Level the mixture evenly. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, bacon and onions.
4. Bake for 30-45 minutes until bubbling and browned on the edges.
5. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Reuben Pasties


2 batches Pumpernickel Pie Crust (refrigerated) (recipe HERE)
Extra Whole Grain Rye Flour for rolling & dusting crust
3/4 lb thin slices Corned Beef
1/2 lb Swiss Cheese (shredded)
2 c well drained Sauerkraut
2 T cornstarch


Yields 8 pasties.

Preheat oven to 425℉
Cover two 1/2 sheet baking pans with parchment or silicone baking mats

Chop the Corned Beef slices into 1" x 1/4" pieces
Mix the drained sauerkraut with the cornstarch (to trap the moisture)
Mix the corned beef, sauerkraut mixture and shredded cheese into an even mix.

Roll out crust to about 1/8" thick.
Cut circles approximately 8" diameter
Place a crust circle on the baking sheet and add about 1/2 cup of the meat/cheese/sauerkraut mixture in the center. Fold one side of the circle over to the other side keeping the filling inside and match up the edges. Press together and roll into a crimped edge sealing the entire edge. Make three cuts on the top to allow steam to escape.
You should be able to place 4 on each baking sheet.
Bake for 25-35 minutes until crust edges are brown and the top begins to brown.

Serve with Russian Dressing (see my recipe HERE)

Pumpernickel Pie Crust


150 g ( 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

100 g (very scant 2/3 cup) Whole Grain Rye Flour

1/2 tsp (4 g) fine sea salt

1/2 lb (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

About 80 ml (5 tbsp) ice-cold sparkling water


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, rye flour, and salt. Add butter cubes and use a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingertips to mix the butter into the flour until it’s completely incorporated and crumbly (some pea-sized chunks, some lima bean-sized chunks, and some crumbs). Sprinkle sparkling water or beer over the butter-flour mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, mixing until the liquid is evenly incorporated. The finished dough should be slightly crumbly, but stick together when pressed.

Gather the dough together and fold it over on itself in the bowl a few times, just to bring it together. Split the dough in half, and form each half into a flat disc. Wrap the discs of dough tightly in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour

Russian Dressing

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 cup homemade mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup-style chili sauce or ketchup
4 teaspoons bottled (regular; not packed in beet juice) horseradish, or to taste
1 teaspoon hot sauce, preferably Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
Fine sea salt
Mash the onion to create a paste, or use a large heavy knife to mince and mash the onion into a paste. Transfer the onion paste to a small bowl and whisk in the mayonnaise, chili sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and sweet paprika. Season with fine sea salt, if desired.
I made the mayonnaise from the recipe HERE using a food processor, then just added the additional Russian Dressing ingredients directly and mixed it there.

Homemade Olive Oil Mayonnaise


1 large egg

4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper*

1 cup olive oil


In a food processor, blend together the egg, lemon juice, mustard, fine sea salt, and freshly ground white or black pepper, blending until well combined. With the motor still running, add the oil in a very slow, thin, steady stream and blend until the dressing is thick and smooth.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spicy-cheesy Hasselbeck-style Potatoes

1 1/2 t sea salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t Hungarian paprika
1/2 t chili powder
1 t dry basil
1 t dry oregano
1/2 t dry rosemary
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 lb unsalted butter
5 lb white or gold potatoes

9x13 glass dish, well buttered
preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Place salt, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, basil, oregano and rosemary in a food grinder (I have a small electric coffee mill I use for spice blending/grinding). Process blend into a fine powder. Add grated Parmesan cheese and blend into a fine, well mixed powder. Set aside.
Wash the potatoes, cut a 1/8" slice off the widest side to form a base. Place two chop sticks in parallel and place the flat side of the potato between them. Make a series of 1/8" wide cross cuts across the potato from one end to the other, using the chop sticks as a stop. Place cut potatoes into the 9x13 pan leaving a little space between. Repeat cutting for all of the potatoes.
Melt the stick of butter in a small pan or microwave dish. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of each sliced potato, getting melted butter down into the slices.
Use a spoon to sprinkle generous amounts of the spice-cheese mixture on each potato, using your fingers to push some down into the slices as well. When all are coated, sprinkle any excess spice-cheese mixture over the top of all of the potatoes.
Optionally, you can add some additional grated Parmesan to each potato if you wish.

Right before baking:

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Satay Chicken
4 large half boneless chicken breasts
1/4 chopped onion.
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
2 T lemon juice
2 T Thai fish sauce
1 t garlic powder
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
2 t dry turmeric
1 T dry cilantro
bamboo skewers

Peanut sauce
1/2 c smooth peanut butter
2 T lemon juice
1 T lime juice
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 T Thai fish sauce
1 t chili powder

Prepare Chicken - Start 24 hours before cooking.
Cut up the chicken. I prefer if the chicken is still slightly frozen because it's easier to slice consistently. For each half breast, trim off any fat, then slice 1/4" - 3/8" thick lengthwise slices. Slice up all of the chicken. Count how many strips you have and place the same or a few more skewers in a pan of water to soak overnight.

In a bowl, mix liquid ingredients and spices. Pour mixture into a large ziplock bag. Add the chopped onion. Add the chicken slices, coating each piece as it's added. Once all of the chicken is in the bag, squeeze out as much air as possible while closing the zipper. Place on a plate or in a pan in the refrigerator overnight.

Mix Peanut Sauce
Whisk together all ingredients except peanut butter. Slowly add the peanut butter a couple tablespoons at a time, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Once all of the peanut butter is added put the sauce in a bowl for serving.

Cook Chicken
I used a Panini press/Grill appliance. You can also use a gas/charcoal grill as well. You want to grill/cook at high temperature.

One by one, skewer the chicken slices lengthwise trying to keep the skewered slice as flat as possible. This is messy, but keeping it flat will make it cook evenly.

Place skewers on the grill top. Allow to cook for several minutes on the first side. You want to see the meat turning white, brown grill marks forming. When the chicken starts browning, flip to the other side. Move pieces around the grill top for consistent cooking. Move finished pieces off the grill and continue cooking through all of the skewered slices.

Serve immediately or keep warm in an oven-safe pan covered with foil to prevent drying at 200 degrees F.