Tag Archives: Potatoes

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

1/4 cup mild-flavored olive oil
1 enormous yellow onion, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
large bunch of cilantro, stalks and leaves roughly separated
3 jalapeno chili peppers, two of the three seeded, chopped into small pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
a 1 1/2 inch chunk of ginger, grated
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 sweet potato, peeled & cubed
2 potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 teaspoons garam masala

1.) Grab your biggest Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed pot and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cumin seeds and saute for 10 minutes or so; until beginning to turn golden.

2.) Add the cilantro stalks, chilies, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and salt and stir to distribute evenly. Cook for 2 minutes.

3.) Add tomatoes, cauliflower, and potatoes. Stir to coat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are fork-tender; 20 minutes or so.

4.) Stir in garam masala. Sprinkle the curry with the cilantro leaves, reserving some as serving garnishes. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for as long as possible before serving to allow the flavors to settle and develop. Serve garnished with reserved cilantro leaves.

Italian “Street Salad” of Fresh Peas, Mint, & New Potatoes

Jamie Oliver. Can I just say the man can do no wrong? I found this recipe in Jamie’s Italy. It’s a truly gorgeous book full of stories, musings, and rustic Italian recipes from the heart of Italy. This “street salad” (and its endless adaptations) is often served at street festivals and beloved by the locals. I switched out the fennel Oliver’s recipe called for and substituted fresh peas, champagne vinegar for white wine vinegar, etc. Get creative with your street salad!

Italian “Street Salad” of Fresh Peas, Mint, & New Potatoes
Serves 4

Salad
3/4 lb. new potatoes, scrubbed
fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bag of mixed salad greens (arugula, radicchio, romaine, et.) or 3-4 handfuls
large handful fresh mint, torn
1 cup fresh peas

Dressing
juice of 1 orange or blood orange
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
generous pinch dried oregano
2 tablespoons capers

1.) Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until fork tender; 20-40 minutes, depending on your potatoes. Drain and set aside.

2.) Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.) Combine potatoes, greens, mint, and peas in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and use your hands to gently coat the salad with the dressing.

This recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italy. Copyright 2006. Hyperion.

Family Heirloom: Chicken Vesuvio

Before trying this recipe, I had yet to experience the pleasure of the pure, strong flavors that Chicken Vesuvio is meant to be.  This is a classic Italian dish – one that is often butchered by American Italian restaurants.  When I recently ordered it at Chicago’s Carmine’s, the dish that arrived was one of soggy, salty chicken, sitting in a pool of watery broth.  Yuck.

THIS one however, a recipe that is a staple in Cowboy’s Italian family, is heavenly.  The short list of ingredients is what makes this dish so good.  One appreciates the mellow sweetness of the garlic, the assertive peppery & saltiness of the chicken, and the crispy goodness of the potatoes – all punctuated by the pleasant addition of vibrant green peas.

This is what Italian cooking is meant to be – pure, delicious, and uncomplicated.  Italians truly know how to get the most out of their ingredients.  They use the most favorable flavor combinations in their cooking – ones that have been tested time and time again – and often do so at the risk of being pigeonholed as “boring.”  There’s a reason these ingredients have been paired together for so long.  Why mess with something so beautiful in its simplicity by adding unnecessary ingredients?  Basta!

Chicken Vesuvio

4 chicken breasts
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
12 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ lb. frozen petite peas, cooked, and tossed with 1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose white flour OR white whole wheat flour
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fine grain sea salt
½ cup olive oil

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Place potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water while you prepare.  (Soaking the potatoes in water prior to cooking helps to create that divine crispy, brown crust).  Place flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a plastic bag.   Place chicken in bag, twist the top to close, and shake to coat chicken with flour and seasonings.

2.) Start cooking the potatoes and chicken at the same time.   Simmer potatoes over medium-high heat while you sauté chicken pieces in olive oil in a sauté pan. Your goal here is simply to brown the chicken a bit before it goes in the oven, so a few minutes on each side should do the trick.

3.) Once browned, remove chicken from pan and place in a 9 x 15 glass baking dish with the garlic cloves. Add potatoes to the sauté pan, working in batches if pan is too crowded, and sauté until lightly browned as well.

4.) Add potatoes to baking dish, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the contents of the dish.

5.) Bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are, until chicken and potatoes are browned, adding the peas 10 minutes before you take the chicken out of the oven.

Italian Minestrone

Italian Minestrone

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 lb. chard (rainbow is beautiful, but any kind will work), de-stemmed and roughly chopped
1 medium sized russet potato or sweet potato, peeled and cubed
4 ounces of the best pancetta you can find, roughly chopped
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup dried pasta (orechiette, rotini, macaroni, etc.)
3 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or two 15 oz cans)
2 14 oz cans low-salt beef broth (Swanson is GREAT!)
A nice, big chunk of Parmesan cheese rind
1 fresh rosemary spring or 1/2 tsp dried
1 1/2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (about 1 tsp each is just about perfect)

1.) Grab your trusty Dutch oven and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and pancetta. Saute for 10 minutes.

2.) Add the chard and potato and saute for a few more minutes.

3.) Add the tomatoes and rosemary, and simmer for 10 minutes; until tomatoes break down.

4.) Meanwhile, puree 1 cup of beans with 1/3 cup of the broth in a food processor or blender.

5.) Add pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and parmesan rind. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the dried pasta, and continue simmering for 10 minutes more.

6.) Add the remaining beans and parsley, and simmer for another few minutes.

7.) Season with more salt and pepper if necessary, discard the rosemary sprigs if you used fresh, and serve soup sprinkled with parmesan cheese and a nice big piece of crusty bread.