Friday, July 8, 2011

Roasted Rosemary Garlic Marble Potatoes

Sometimes a “standby” just gets better. I was at the grocery store finalizing my purchases for the July 4th barbecue weekend when I came across some small mesh bags of marble potatoes. I typically make this recipe with baby reds or fingerling potatoes. It has always been an incredibly easy side dish to make with very little prep and roasting time, and I rarely have any leftovers because everyone eats them up. So I couldn’t help but think of this recipe when I came across these potatoes. The results were amazing and I will most likely seek out these marble sized potatoes from now on when making this recipe. The particular potatoes I bought were yellow, red, and purple. Not only did they provide great flavor, but three distinct textures as well. All have a bit of a crunch or light snap when you bite into them, but the meat of these jewels goes from very creamy to a more dense, almost chewy texture as you sample yellow to red to purple. Combine these flavors and textures with rosemary, roasted garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper and you have an excellent addition to any barbecue. Here’s how I did it:
- 2 lbs marble potatoes
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary 7 to 10 inches
- 3 medium sized cloves of garlic
- 4 TBSP olive oil
- salt and pepper
Rinse off the potatoes in a colander and set aside to dry. Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop with a sharp knife. Strip the rosemary sprig of the needles and finely chop them. Place the potatoes, chopped garlic, chopped rosemary, and olive oil into a large mixing bowl. Mix together with a large spoon until the potatoes are evenly coated with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and mix again. Pour the potatoes into a heavy gauge roasting pan making sure to scrape the remaining oil, garlic, and rosemary from the mixing bowl. Place the roasting pan into a preheated 400 degree oven. Remove 12 to 15 minutes later and stir or shake the potatoes. Place back into the oven for another 10 minutes until the skins start to brown and the potatoes become fork tender. You should be able to stick a fork or paring knife into them and remove it without any resistance. This can also be done on the grill using a grill basket or a perforated grill basket. I find it best to close the grill lid when roasting the potatoes this way.

A side note: If you do have leftovers then just reheat and serve with chopped bacon or sour cream and chive for other variations.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4 Barbecues and a Kale Salad

Kale is a springy, cooling leafy green.

I had an excellent July 4 weekend. I went swimming in Lake Washington, went on a hike, saw some excellent fireworks and – most importantly – went to a barbecue every night. I did not go into the weekend expecting to attend 4 barbecues.

So, by the time Monday rolled around, I was craving food that wasn’t so … charred? I came up with something light, sweet and easy: a kale salad with carrots, raisins and a couple of other spices. It turned out to be the perfect antidote to all the grilled food because it cools and fills the mouth. Here’s how I made it:

- 1 bunch (your local supermarket will decide this portion for you) of kale, red or green
- 1 cup of shredded carrot
- ½ cup of minced raisins (it’s a real pain mincing raisins; make sure to wet your knife first)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or balsamic, whatever your taste)
- Sesame seed, flax seed and ground black pepper (as much or as little as you want)

Shred the carrot and kale in your food processor with the shredder attachment (separately). Then toss in a bowl with the wet and dry ingredients. Tune it up to your taste and serve chilled alongside traditional barbecue fare.

And while I enjoyed eating that salad, it was not the best food I ate this weekend. That was the garden fresh broccolini (like, really fresh – my friend picked it from her garden as the charcoals were heating up) grilled until crispy. It was, I dare, better than grilled asparagus …

I hope your July 4 was as good as mine. Tell us about yours!