Batter Licker

January 20, 2011

swiss chard and potato soup spiced with cilantro, jalapeno and cumin

So when I loaded up on veggies, especially greens, at the grocery store on Sunday in preparation for a meat- and dairy-free week, I went a bit overboard. By Wednesday, it became clear that I was going to have trouble finishing all the lettuce, spinach, kale, and chard, and that the chard particularly needed some attention soon. But it was cold out, and I had a sore throat, and I just didn’t want to eat any more salad or sauteed greens or greens in any recognizable form, really. I wanted something warm, filling, and soothing for my throat. I wanted soup.

But none of that bland, watery soup. I wanted thick soup, rich with flavor. Then I remembered the whole bunch of untapped cilantro lying in wait in my refrigerator. And the potatoes. And the 6-pack of jalapenos from Trader Joe’s. And thus, this hearty, happens-to-be-vegan chard and potato soup was born.

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This soup is a great way to use up excess greens when they’re starting to look less-than-chipper but haven’t quite gone bad yet. While I chose chard, you could substitute spinach, kale, and even leftover lettuces – whatever excess greens you have on hand – but the darker ones will bring a bit more depth to the flavor. (more…)

November 29, 2010

slow-cooked garlic butter and parmesan mashed potato trio

If you hosted Thanksgiving like I did this year, you’re probably over the leftovers by now. And if you didn’t host, you’re probably wishing you had snuck some tupperware in so you could still be enjoying the fruits of several days’ worth of cooking.

But either way, I hope that, like me, you will be making and eating mashed potatoes again this winter. And maybe you’ll want something new – a mashed potato recipe that isn’t just a blob of white fluffy potatoes, but rather is a colorful, festive pile of regular and sweet potatoes mashed together to create a creamy-but-not-gloppy texture and flavored with sweet garlic cooked slowly in butter, a bit of salty nutty parmesan, and some fresh lemony parsley.

I won’t say it will be a hit with everyone, although I have had a 99% success rate over three years’ worth of large multi-family Thanksgivings, multi-friends Fakesgivings, and intimate mashed potato-worthy dinners throughout the rest of the year. (more…)

October 26, 2010

october feast: warm potato salad with bratwurst and kale in creamy mustard sauce

October might be on its way out the door, but that only gives me another reason to have a final hurrah in the form of an October feast. And what’s a better way to do that than with a colorful, flavorful, one-pot (and one foil sheet) warm potato salad with bratwurst and kale in creamy but spicy mustard sauce?

Traditional Oktoberfest meals are always so flavorful, but also so … brown. Nothing against brown food, but with plenty of options for colorful veggie add-ins, I can’t quite understand why fall feasts systematically embrace such monochromatic earth tones.

Here, I used a trio of mini potatoes to add an unbelievable zap of color, from the creamy light yellow flesh of the standard fingerling to the pink peel and bright white flesh of the red thumb fingerling to the dark purple peel and bright purple flesh of the purple majesty. All three held their coloring after roasting and developed slightly different flavors and creamy textures perfect for a potato salad.

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February 28, 2010

brunch: poached egg with truffle salt, scrambled eggs with pancetta, sweet potato hash with caramelized onions, toast with homemade jam, and citrus slices

Filed under: breakfast, brunch,eggs,potatoes — Tags: , , , , , — Kristen @ 3:19 am

Brunch is without a doubt my favorite meal, not just because it offers an array of delicious food but also because it has a certain ad hoc quality that most meals lack. While I love a complicated recipe that requires exact measurements, there’s something almost magical about a meal that comes together without any real need for measuring spoons and cups and without a specific list of ingredients in mind.

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Growing up, I remember my dad opening the refrigerator door on weekend mornings and peering in with him to see what seemingly random assortment of leftovers could be turned into a magnificent spread for brunch. Frequently, this resulted in some sort of scrambled egg surprise, with scrambled eggs being dressed up with staple items that we always had on hand (e.g., onions and potatoes), random leftover veggies (e.g., broccoli, mushrooms, who knows) and meats (e.g., grilled steak or chicken, maybe even deli ham from the week’s sandwiches), and always loads of salsa. These were my first moments in creative culinary thinking.

All awww’s aside, I’ve never really gotten over a good scramble. But poached eggs? Now, those fluffy little pillows are purely ethereal. (more…)

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