Tag Archives: Potatoes

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets and Warm Mustard Potato Salad

Parmesan chicken and mustard potato salad

This meal is not groundbreaking, it’s not difficult, and it’s not really anything new. But it feels complete, it took all of 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook, and it was delicious. Just add greenery. The asparagus we ate alongside this took forever to cook so we ate it as a kind of dessert. Oh, who am I kidding, we ate cookies for dessert and I put the asparagus in the fridge.

My reason for posting this recipe is the potato salad. Back when I was unemployed I was doing some recipe testing for a meal delivery website and more often than not, the recipes were mediocre and tasted like they were missing something. One in particular was a mustard potato salad that was SO bland and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I found a recipe in Real Simple magazine for a mustard potato salad that had a splash of red wine vinegar… and there was the missing ingredient. I once read on a blog, “if your dish is missing something, it’s probably an acid.” And in this case, it was true. You learn something everyday, kids.

On the menu:
Parmesan chicken cutlets and warm mustard potato salad
Serves 2

Chicken:
1 lb. of thinly sliced chicken cutlets
1 egg, scrambled
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs (or my favorite kinda-bread-crumbs, crushed Ritz crackers)
Salt and pepper
Nonstick cooking spray

Potato salad:
2 cups small new potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put egg in shallow dish and scramble well. In another shallow dish, combine parmesan, bread crumbs, rosemary, salt and pepper. Dredge cutlets in egg and then bread crumb mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and breading is browned.

Meanwhile, boil water in a large pot. Add potatoes and cook for approximately 16 – 18 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add mustard, red wine vinegar, oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve warm alongside chicken and a green vegetable.

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Rant: Lay’s Potato Chips

lays-nu-333-1024x522
I have a food gripe and this being my own personal food blog, what better place to air my grievances? I feel like someone just answered, “In your head, you jerk” but I don’t care. Read no further if you don’t like complaints.

Let me start by saying that in my day job, I work in marketing and I’ve worked in the field for six years now at a bevy of companies. I know what it means to come up with a campaign and push it so that your products sell. So when Lay’s announced it would be running a contest to name its newest flavor of potato chip, I envisioned a group of marketing executives sitting around a big conference table in an office somewhere throwing around ideas and running with this one. They hired a couple celebs (a chef for legitimacy and an actress for flair), filmed some commercials, and spent God-only-knows-how-much money to promote it. They chose three flavors (Sriracha, chicken and waffles, and cheesy garlic bread) and produced the chips for people to try. They’re now conducting another vote and the winning flavor will be added to their regular lineup of chips.

So who of you out there has tasted these chips? Because I cannot find them EHHH-NEEEE-WHERRRE. Not only can I not find them anywhere in New York City (Hey Lay’s, not sure if you know this, but there are a LOT of people who like food in this city) but my mom can’t find them in Rochester and according to the Lay’s Facebook page, people can’t find them in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, or Kansas. From the people who have tasted them (every high profile food writer on the internet, apparently) the chips are “meh.” They taste kind of fake, the flavors are weird, and no one wants to eat a whole bag. But gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if we laymen (no pun intended) could try them out for ourselves?

I’m sure some of you out there are thinking, “Duh Lauren, if the chips are limited in quantity then that makes them more in demand and LOOK you’re even writing a blog post about the fact that you can’t get them!” But let me ask you this, dear reader: what good is publicity for a product you CAN’T BUY? Sure, there’s buzz for Lay’s. Their Facebook impressions have probably gone up since this campaign started. But most of the “buzz” is outrage at the poor marketing campaign. Angry customers are boycotting Lay’s because it’s kind of like that hot girl who teases you into thinking you can date her and then cut to three months from now when she’s still playing hard to get and you’re like, “You know what, girl, you are just. not. worth it. Now I’ll date your less-popular-but-way-more-reliable friend because instead of making me run all over town for the possibility of a taste she’ll hang with me on my couch watching television every night of the week.” (Disclaimer: I do not eat potato chips every night.)

Guys, I’m annoyed. I just wanted to try those terrible chips and write about them. I wanted to crumble them up and coat some chicken cutlets with them. I wanted to compare the Sriracha flavored Lay’s with some homemade potato chips I made with real Sriracha. But now I can’t. And I’m kinda ticked.

If you happen to stumble upon this elusive snack, please let me know. I want to hear what you think about it. Meanwhile I’ll be at home eating Cape Cod. They just came out with a flavor called “Feta and Rosemary” and that sounds just fine to me.

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Mustard Crusted Pork Loin

Pork
So sorry for the radio silence lately (although if there had to be an image stuck at the top of the blog, why not scones, am I right?). I am fully employed now (WAHOOOO PAYCHECKS!) but that means significantly less time and energy devoted to Food E. It has seriously taken my body about a month to adjust to waking up and actually getting out of bed in the morning, going somewhere for 9 hours, and then returning home. I forgot how pleasant and not-at-all stressful it is to cram my body between other people’s bodies every morning and evening during rush hour in a subway car that more often than not halts in between stops just long enough for me to feel a bit claustrophobic and like I might elbow the lady with the too-big-bag that she’s not holding in front of her, but NEXT to her, or pass out and let these newly familiar people catch me as I tumble. Think about that the next time you complain about traffic on the 104E.

This lovely little recipe takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and it is so. flippin. good. Pork loin is one of those cuts of meat that is so worth the extra couple bucks it costs in the grocery store. You throw it in the oven and forget about it until 25 – 30 minutes later it pops out, smelling incredible and ready to be inhaled. …Just me?

On the menu:
Mustard crusted pork loin with mashed potatoes and parmesan asparagus
Serves 2

1 pork loin (approximately 1 lb)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp minced garlic cloves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp rosemary (fresh is best but use dried if you have to)
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread mustard all over pork loin. On a shallow plate, add Panko, garlic, garlic powder, and rosemary and stir to combine. Place pork loin on plate and coat completely in bread crumb mixture. Shake off excess.

Spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place pork loin in the dish and give the pork itself a good spray with the cooking spray. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes or until the pork juices run clear.

Let sit for 5 minutes. Slice into slices.

Parmesan asparagus:
1 bunch of asparagus
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Toss asparagus with olive oil. Spread across a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes (the last 10 minutes of your pork cooking!). Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for another 3 – 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Mashed potatoes:
If you don’t know how to make mashed potatoes, get out of my face.

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Holiday Brunch from A to Z

Hashbrown casserole
Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood where all the families were very close. One family’s kids babysat for the younger families’ kids, cups of sugar and milk were always being lent out, and when it came to Christmas time, all the families gathered in one house on Christmas Eve to enjoy brunch and the holidays together. Those brunches are some of my favorite memories, and it was never about the food (of which there was always tons). I decided to host my own little brunch this weekend in the spirit of the holidays… and of day drinking. Now that I’m older, I realize everything is more festive with champagne.

This week I’ll provide you with recipes and tips to host your own holiday brunch that allows you to truly enjoy the company of friends and family without spending the entire party in the kitchen slaving over the stove. First on the week’s menu list is a delicious, decadent, cheesy potato casserole that you can make the night before and pop into the oven the morning of brunch. Little work plus even less time? Hey favorite new recipe. Hey.

On the menu:
Cheesy hashbrown casserole
Serves 8 – 10

1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup sundried tomatoes, whole and oil packed
6 cloves of garlic, minced
9 large eggs
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 cup milk (preferably whole or 2%)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 cups (roughly 1 1/2 pounds) shredded or cubed frozen hashbrown potatoes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat just until the butter starts to brown. Add diced onions, garlic, and sundried tomatoes and cook until the onions are translucent. Pick out the sundried tomatoes with tongs and discard. Turn off the heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and mustard. Add the milk, salt, and pepper and whisk thoroughly. Fold in the cheddar cheese, frozen potatoes, and vegetables from the skillet. Mix until combined. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. At this point, you can refrigerate the casserole for up to 24 hours.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until the top and sides are a golden brown. Serve hot.

NOTE: the original recipe from The Kitchn calls for thinly sliced sundried tomatoes that you do not pick out of the onions. I like the flavor they bring to the dish, but I’m not a fan of chewy sundried tomatoes… and neither are most people I know. The flavor is still there if you pick them out, but it’s not overwhelming. Done and done.

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Week of the Garbage Plate: Crispy Homefries

This is a tried and true method for making crispy homefries, straight from someone who always mucks it up. Either they take forever, or they come out unevenly cooked, or they burn… but these are perfect. Delicious, crispy, soft on the inside, and evenly cooked.

These homefries will sit nicely next to your cold mac salad on the plate, serving as a lovely little bed and ready to hold your burgers. But that’s the next step, and you’ll have to wait til tomorrow for that gem.

On the menu:
Crispy homefries
Serves 4 (or makes enough for 2 plates)

4 large potatoes (Russet or Idaho will work fine), diced into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Salt and pepper

Place diced potatoes between two damp paper towels and microwave them for 2 minutes on high. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed iron skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes in a single layer and do not touch them for four minutes! This step is so important to get the crispiest crust possible. After cooking for 4 minutes, toss the potatoes and let rest for cooking again for 4 minutes. Continue this process for around 20 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden on all sides.

Remove potatoes from the skillet and put on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Toss immediately with salt and pepper. Plate next to mac salad on a large plate.

Note: It should be noted that because these potatoes are the basis of your plate, they’re not overly flavored on purpose. If you’re making these for breakfast, I would add diced onions and finely chopped red and green peppers after the potatoes have cooked for around 15 minutes.

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REEEMIX! Onion dip and potato chips

My lovely friend Molly has this really brilliant feature on her blog where she includes a song she’d play while making the recipe she’s blogging about. I love it. I think it’s genius. And who doesn’t listen to music while they cook? So today you can scroll down and listen to the same song I played whilst making this fatty delicious dish.

My mom calls this one “dad’s famous onion dip” because apparently when he was a bachelor he used to bring it to parties and everyone would RAVE and it was his little secret that it is literally the easiest dish in the world to create. But I had a thought. I love all the ingredients. So I will turn it into a fatty delicious sandwich. Try it both ways, kids! You will not be disappointed.

On the menu:
Chuck’s Famous Onion Dip

2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups yellow onion, diced
2 cups swiss cheese, diced (why doesn’t anyone ever shred swiss cheese? why don’t they sell it pre-shredded in the grocery store alongside the cheddar and the mozzarella? the world may never know.)

Throw ingredients in a big bowl. Stir. Microwave for 10 – 15 minutes or until melted into one beautiful mixture. Stir. Serve with Ritz. Be as popular as Chuck.

To make the sandwich: thinly slice 1/4 of a yellow onion and sautee with butter until the onions are gently browned. Build a sandwich with turkey, swiss cheese, a healthy slathering of mayo, and the sauteed onions. Grill over medium heat until the bread is browned and cheese is melted.

On the menu:
Homemade potato chips

3 Tbsp canola oil
2 large potatoes (I think any kind will work here, but I used standard Idaho)
Seasoning*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice potatoes into 1/8 inch thick slices, using a mandolin or a sharp knife. Toss with oil. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until the slices are dark brown, just short of burnt. Immediately after removing from the oven, toss with salt and pepper or seasoning of your choice.

*Be creative! How delicious does shredded parmesan and parsley sound on these? Or a little cayenne pepper? Or just a healthy dose of freshly cracked black pepper? Or you could get REALLY crazy and sprinkle a little sugar and sea salt on them. The possibilities are endless. And if you mess up… well, you just wasted a couple potatoes. Call me. I’ll send you the $.65.

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Everything’s Bigger at Hill Country

This is a story of one girl’s quest for amazing BBQ ribs in New York City. I was told that Hill Country had “Texas-style BBQ” by a woman I met at The Brooklyn Kitchen condiments class who has toured the country and tasted BBQ all over. I figured this was a solid recommendation.

Hill Country 26th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue, New York, NY. Hill Country is, as mentioned, Texas-style BBQ in a honky-tonk setting. This is a place that sells its own t-shirts at the front register if that’s any indication of the atmosphere. When you sit down at Hill Country they hand you a card with all the menu items, and then you have to visit the meat counter, the sides counter, and the dessert counter to order what you want. You can order as little or as much as you want, from a single slice of brisket and single pork ribs, to a whole game hen and “feed the family” sized mashed potatoes. The ambiance is a down home, down country, honky-tonk, kick up your heels kitsch-fest. But somehow it feels authentic.

On the menu:
Bourbon mashed sweet potatoes
Corn bread
Macaroni and cheese
Roasted game hen
Pork ribs
Moist brisket
Apple ginger cupcake
PB&J cupcake

Verdict: Holy brisket. I think this is what Texas does right. The ribs were satisfactory, and still nothing to write home about, but holy mackerel, the brisket. It was delicious. And Hill Country has three different types of brisket on the menu, so I GUESS I have to go back again to try the other two. Another standout menu item was the game hen. It was incredibly moist and roasted to perfection with a crispy skin. It should also be noted that Hill Country is perfect for big groups. The pickiest (or cheapest) member of your party can literally order one single pork rib and a beer if they feel like it, and separate checks are a done deal from the start. The service is attentive, the atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, and the food was decadent and delicious. I almost wanted to start throwin’ around “y’all”s.

Almost.

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