Sunday, January 15, 2012

Greek Potatoes

This Greek potato recipe gets its name from its baked-in lemon-garlic-oregano goodness. You can use any kind of potato. Yukon golds are yummy. This scallopy potato dish is hard to screw up - so it earns high marks in our house. The potatoes bake for a long time at a high temp, requiring only that you stir it every once in awhile. They are great as leftovers too.

Serve them as a side-dish to anything you think would benefit from zingy 'tatos. Great with falafil!

Greek Potatoes
6-8 cubed potatoes (to fill a 2.5 liter/quart baking pan)
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
4-6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 cups hot water

Place cubed potatoes in baking pan. Mix together next six ingredients and pour over potatoes. Add as much water as fits - you can add any remaining after some of it has cooked away.

Greek potatoes ready for baking

Bake at 475 degrees uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to immerse any potatoes that are starting to brown (about every 20 minutes). Add any leftover water as they bake. When they have achieved a scalloped texture, allow the top to brown a little. Cool and serve.

Greek potatoes after baking.

After all that baking, clean-up can be a bit daunting. Hounds are always happy to help. Call me.

Greek Potato recommended clean-up method

Don't worry, we have a sterilize feature on our dishwasher (Susan made me say that).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Splendid Ice Cream

There have been some changes in our house, since the holidays. The big one is that we are now the proud owners of an ice-cream maker. The success of this appliance has led to new behaviors in my family.

Boy#2 is finding his way around the kitchen at a deeper level than the preparation of sandwiches and frozen pizza. His speciality is Simple Chocolate Ice Cream which he makes to fend off threats of Beet Ice with Mascarpone, Orange Zest and Poppy Seeds or Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream.

Dave has taken up jogging. Needless to say, I am thrilled with this unintended consequence. He's aiming for 5K by March. Bark bark bark!

The machine that churns out the calories is an electric Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. 

Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker

It is a sled-dog of an appliance, working cheerfully to churn out batch after batch of delicious desserts. The secret of its success is letting the freezer bowl live in the arctic conditions of the deep freeze except for the half hour per batch that it sees action.

How did this all come about? I read an article about the science of making rich and creamy ice cream (without eggs!) -- Here's the Scoop in Saveur. I left the magazine skillfully positioned on my Susan's bedside table for her to discover. 

As I hoped, her interest was piqued and the cookbook Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home was ordered, wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree with the aforementioned appliance. 

Every recipe we've tried has lived up to the claim that Jeni's food chemist+artisan approach results in amazing flavors with scoopable texture. Here are our favorites (so far):
vanilla beans
  • The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World (Susan used espresso so it was intense - too much for Boy#2 but Boy#1 was in heaven. I skipped this one as chocolate is not canine-friendly)
  • The Buckeye State Ice Cream (rich, salty peanut butter with dark chocolate flecks) Did I mention it is PEANUT BUTTER? I lick the bowl before the chocolate is added)
  • Ugandan Vanilla Ice Cream (The first time we'd ever seen a vanilla bean up close...ours was from Madagascar. YUM!)

I am hoping for some Bacon-Squirrel Ice Cream next...

Ice Cream 101 (step-by-step illustrations to make Jeni's ice cream base)