Posts tagged potato
Thursday, June 27, 2013

summer potato salad

Leftover potato and spring vegetable salad for lunch while I take a break from cooking and invoice my client. Sugar snap peas, radishes, spring onions and parsley in a yogurt-olive-oil-Dijon dressing. #privatechefmonth

Yesterday, in a 5-4 landmark ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and effectively allowed marriage equality in the state of California.

Also, there’s this potato salad.

Continue reading summer potato salad.

Monday, March 11, 2013

duck fat potatoes with mushrooms

duck fat potatoes with mushrooms

This here makes a perfectly respectable lunch despite what you might think. You can try and reason as to why you shouldn’t have potatoes bathed in duck fat, but all of your thinking will fall short of one germane truth against which you will have no argument: they are delicious. These are humble ingredients, potatoes, mushrooms. The whole thing will run you about six dollars, excluding the duck fat. How’s that for economy eating?

You can purchase duck fat a nicer stores or your butcher, or if you cook duck, and you should, you should absolutely save the fat that renders out. Not doing so results in a great culinary tragedy. I actually like cooking duck precisely for the duck fat, because, to me, it’s the best part of the duck.

Continue reading duck fat potatoes with mushrooms.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

sweet potato gnocchi

sweet potato gnocchi

It is customary, when making something for the first time, to start with the basic building block and build on out from thereon. I, on the other hand, like to raise the stakes a bit. Normally, you’d start with plain gnocchi to get a feel for it, learn how to get them just right before trying a variation. And even though making gnocchi was on my to-do list for quite some time, I fully got on board to make them only after seeing the October Gourmet recipe listed as Ruth Reichl’s Top 10 recipes in the issue. They were sweet potato gnocchi and I pretty much find sweet potato anything irresistible. There was just one catch – gnocchi is one of the dishes that for some reason scared and intimidated me. Hence the reason I haven’t made them yet.

one of these things is not like the other!raw milk parmesan is how i roll
sweet potato gnocchisage from my window!!!

But surely, you must remember what I said to you about fear and conquering it? Well, I decided to put my money where my mouth was and tackle that which made me nervous. If I tell you to be bold, shouldn’t, myself, adopt the very mantra I seemingly espouse?

the potato wellsweet potato gnocchi
my ball of doughrolling the dough

Where do I begin with gnocchi? My love for gnocchi goes beyond words. Made properly they should be like little clouds of goodness, whisking you away upwards to the sky. Made poorly, they’re heavy clumps of dough that stick to the roof of your mouth. In between, they’re perfectly palatable, but once you’ve tasted amazing ghnocchi, that’s pretty much all you think about when you’re eating the so-so ones.

like little pillows

It’s the kind of dish that makes me think: one false move, and it’s ruined. I suppose while something like stewed prunes is impossible to run into the ground, a dish like gnocchi takes practice. You get a feel for the dough, its consistency. You’ll know immediately if needs more flour, or if your potatoes aren’t dry enough.

sweet potato gnocchi

Because these gnocchi are made with sweet and regular potatoes, and there are a few things I’ve learned that I’d like to share with you. First, is that it’s very important to use the right potatoes – Russets have a high amount of starch and lower amount of water, compared to their other spud cousins – and that’s exactly what you want – a nice, starchy potato. Sweet potatoes, however, are much more moisture-laden, so next time I make these, I will cook the sweet potatoes a wee bit longer to dry them out a bit more. Having more moisture in your dough will yield a more doughy gnocchi – and what you’re after are little clouds of goodness; sweet potato goodness, no less!

sweet potato gnocchi

I chose to serve these in (what else?) a little brown butter (because I can and I will) and olive oil sauce where you slightly brown the gnocchi after boiling them, and sprinkle a bit of fried sage and shaved Parmiggiano Reggiano and some freshly ground black pepper. And when I finished my plate and used some bread to absorb some of the residual brown butter sauce, I once again was amazed at how incredibly sublime simple food tastes.A few ingredients, a little time, a hungry me. For that kind of bliss, I’ll raise the stakes any day!

sweet potato gnocchi

Quick note:
Here as Sassy Radish, we’re doing a little bit of maintenance and will be migrating over to a new platform (shhhh, that’s all I can tell you, but trust me it’ll be awesome when it’s done!). So, if things are a little wonky here, please be patient! When all is said and done Sassy Radish will be snappier and sassier and have more functionality than ever before.

Continue reading sweet potato gnocchi.

Monday, July 20, 2009

lemony potato salad

lemony potato salad

The other day I got an email from a clothing store telling me about their “all new fall collection” and I suddenly became very agitated. Fall collection? But we’ve only just begun with summer. It wasn’t until a friend pointed out to me that we were nearing the end of July, that it donned on me – my goodness, August is right around the corner. And you know what comes after August.

Suffice to say I am not ready to admit that while we might be well on our way to an all new fall collection, I am feeling the pressure. More picnics, more parties, more cookouts! That’s what my heart is saying. And yet, as summers go, weekends fill up so quickly I don’t know when I’ll have a moment of just being still. I think I speak for many of you when I say that while summer seems a languid and leisurely season, sure gets over-scheduled and hectic. Weddings! Parties! Vacations! I mean, I am far from complaining, but you know, it’s good to just have a quiet moment now and again. Without plans. Or noise. Just as open as a blank page – full of possibilities and lacking pressure. These are the moments of summer I long for. These moments are worth their weight in gold. Or potatoes, for that matter.

the necessary crunch

Funny thing about me and potatoes – I can never have enough. I really can eat them every day with just about anything. Give me a heap of steaming potatoes, freshly boiled, sprinkle a little salt over it, add a drizzle of olive oil and I could sit there in the corner quietly having my potatoes and my little piece of heaven while I’m at it. You can take a girl out of Russia…

It’s also funny how I’ll crave potatoes pretty much all the time, like when about a week ago, I contracted a horrendous case of the stomach flu. To be clear, there is nothing funny about stomach flu, in fact, it was pretty dire and I do not, for a second, recommend anyone getting this “plague”. But what was funny was that I had to go on this so-called BRAT diet – BRAT standing as an acronym for: bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. Though, I assure you that a few days of eating those four items, and you’re almost guaranteed to turn into a brat yourself, whining for various foods you’re craving and cannot have. In my case, whining rather loudly and with a slight nasal pitch – just enough to drive my mother crazy. The thing I was whining about – craving like nothing before – boiled potatoes with herring and onions. I was like a junkie looking for a fix, and were it not for my mother vigilantly looking over my shoulder at what I was eating, I would have gone out and scored some of that delicacy.

creamy, lemony slurry

What I’m saying here is that potatoes and me – well, we go a long way back. It’s my starch of choice; it’s both my indulgence and comfort food. I could think of nothing better than a bowl of mashed potatoes to cheer up a crappy day. It’s like a security blanket. A warm, starchy, filling security blanket. I could write an ode to the humble potato, but looking at everything I just wrote, I suppose I kind of already did.

What I’m giving you here is a potato salad you could take to parties and picnics and cookouts and make good use of this summer. It’s easy, refreshing, got that obligatory crunch of the celery, and the surprising zing of the lemon. It makes potato salad “sunny” – it simply sings. And don’t you want food that sings to you from the plate? Horseradish, while sounding intense, actually livens the salad up. It sort of gives the solid, boring Joe-potato its edge, the equivalent of a biker jacket, which instantly makes a safe thing, a little dangerous and alluring. The James Dean of potato salads so to speak – it smolders.

fingerlings make me so happy

Of course, you could always skip a party or two and kick back with this salad all on your own. I guarantee, you’ll find that moment of elusive, highly-desired summer bliss. That stillness and calm could be yours, all heaped atop a fork, garnished with dill and singing with lemon.

Continue reading lemony potato salad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

olive oil mashed potatoes

olive oil mashed potatoes

I think I should let you in on a small secret – make me mashed potatoes and I’ll be instantly won over. I know – I sound like I’m setting the bar low here. But in all seriousness, I am truly in love with well-prepared mashed potatoes. You know the kind – perfectly salted, hearty, filling, richly-flavored and undeniably seductive. Potatoes? Seductive? I’m certain some of you are rolling your eyes at me.

not just garnish

Except I think that the potato is kind of like the little black dress – indispensable, perfect for just about any occasion and with limitless possibilities on variations and accessories. I could rattle off at least a dozen mashed potato recipes, each with its own unique flavor, because as ubiquitous as the spud is, its every day appeal is precisely what gives it the versatility it possesses.

olive oil mashed potatoes

So why am I giving you what seems to be the most basic recipe? Why am I even omitting garlic? The trick to these mashed potatoes, in this particular case, is olive oil. The best you have in the house. The best you can afford. Because how sublime your mashed potatoes will taste will depend exclusively on the quality of the olive oil used. It should also be noted that this is a vegan recipe and is perfect for those with lactose intolerance. Or, if you keep kosher, this works well with any poultry or meat dish you are cooking alongside.

And just as it’s sometimes best to keep your little black dress free or any bold accessories – this is one recipe that wins because of its understatement.

Continue reading olive oil mashed potatoes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

warm potato salad with horseradish and bresaola

Potato Salad with Horseradish & Bresaola

We all have our favorite potato salad, but I think this might be gaining a top spot in my repertoire. I’ve already waxed poetic about Jamie Oliver’s braised peas and this is no different. In fact, I will probably be making something else from his book this weekend.

Potatoes - cooked to clear your sinuses, just eat a spoonful

In its title, Jamie Oliver calls this salad “amazing” and let me tell you, it is nothing short of being just that. In fact, I think it maybe my new favorite way to eat potato salad in the winter. The key here is warm potatoes – which, in the chill of fall or winter, are nothing short of bliss for me. The salad is comforting and filling, and can be easily turned into a vegetarian dish by simply omitting the bresaola.

celery hearts

Speaking of bresaola, does everyone know what it is? Because I didn’t and had to actually look up what it was – air-cured beef. It’s deep red in color, has a clean, powerful taste and perfectly complements the potatoes. I also liked the fact that instead of an expected mayo dressing, Jamie suggests sour cream or crème fraiche. And what Russian would turn down sour cream from a recipe? But the real clincher here is the horseradish, giving an otherwise predictable salad a bite and much-needed dimension. While I did my best to find fresh horseradish to grate, I couldn’t locate it anywhere and had to settle for the pre-made kind. It turned out beautifully, but to anyone who’s ever had fresh horseradish – there is no substitute. Of course, trying to grate raw horseradish is a test of one’s resolve and dedication – it makes chopping onions a sheer pleasure.

Potato Salad with Horseradish & Bresaola

The only thing I would change in this salad is perhaps the amount of lemon juice. I would start with half the suggested amount and see where you are, taste-wise. You can always add more, but for my palate, the suggested amount was far too much. And while I absolutely loved the salad, I knew I kind of went overboard with lemon juice. And because tarragon was missing from every place I tried, I had to make do with fresh thyme, which I highly recommend as well.

Still, lemon juice excess and all, this salad is a keeper. I may even serve it around Thanksgiving, maybe even along the braised peas. Two sublime dishes that take minutes to pull together and taste big and complex – who wouldn’t want that?

Continue reading warm potato salad with horseradish and bresaola.