Pommes Anna

I have been enticed by this recipe for years but have never attempted it! Another winner from Melissa Clark and the NY Times. I made a mini version of this with 3 Russet potatoes and my 6″ cast iron pan and scaled the recipe down accordingly. It did not disappoint -it was so delicious and I can’t wait to make it again. I am even considering it for Thanksgiving potato-as it is crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle. Do not be intimidated to try this recipe-you will be so happy that you did!

5 ½ to 7 pounds russet or all-purpose white potatoes, as needed
¾ cup clarified butter, melted
Fine sea salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
2 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced paper-thin on a mandoline (optional)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a rack in the middle and set a rimmed baking sheet on top of it.
Trim potatoes into cylinders, peeling any skin left after trimming. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice into 1/8-inch slices and blot dry with paper towels. You should have about 8 1/2 cups.
In a heavy 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons clarified butter over medium heat. When hot, carefully place 1 potato slice in the middle, then quickly place more slices around it, overlapping them clockwise to make a ring. Place a second ring to surround the first, going counterclockwise. Continue to the edge of the pan, alternating the direction in which the potato rings overlap. Sprinkle with a generous 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle with another 2 tablespoons butter.
Create second layer of potatoes, just as you did the first. Dot a third of the garlic slices, if using, on top of this layer of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with butter.
Continue layering potatoes, garlic, butter and salt until everything is used, making a dome of potatoes in the middle (they will sink as they cook). Occasionally shake skillet gently to ensure potatoes aren’t sticking. When finished, there should be enough butter that it can be seen bubbling up the sides of the skillet.
Butter the bottom of a 9-inch pan and one side of a piece of foil. Push the pan down firmly on top of the potatoes to press them. Remove pan, then cover potatoes with the foil, buttered side down. Cover the foil with a lid. Set skillet on the baking sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven, uncover and remove foil, and again press potatoes down firmly with the 9-inch pan. (Rebutter bottom of pan, if necessary, before you press down.) Return to oven and bake uncovered, until potatoes are tender and the sides are dark brown when lifted away from skillet, 20 to 25 minutes.
Once more, remove skillet from oven and press potatoes down firmly with pan. Tip the skillet away from you to drain off the excess butter into a bowl (this can be reused for cooking), using the lid to keep the potatoes in place. Run a thin spatula around edge and bottom of skillet to loosen any slices stuck to the pan. Carefully turn out the potatoes onto a serving platter.

Wintery Braised Red Cabbage

From Food 52 blog/website that is a wonderful resource for recipes! I made this with the Herb marinated pork tenderloin on this blog and also a beet, orange, black olive and blue cheese salad.
Serves 6

1 medium head red cabbage (about 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 apples, relatively tart, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup red or black currant jelly Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil a large baking dish (9-by-13-inch, ideally) with half of the melted butter. Peel the outer leaves from the cabbage and cut it into 8 wedges. Nestle the wedges in the baking dish, more or less in a single layer. Salt liberally and drizzle the remaining butter and 1/4 cup water over the top. Cover tightly with foil and braise for an hour. After an hour, gently turn over each wedge and slide the sliced apples in among the cabbage. Drizzle the red wine vinegar over the top. Cover again with foil and braise for another hour. Take the cabbage out of the oven and remove the foil. It should be so tender it nearly melts. Increase the heat of the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is warming up, drizzle the 1/4 cup currant jelly over the cabbage and gently incorporate it. Then slide the cabbage back in the oven and cook for another 15 or so minutes, until the wedges have started to brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pickled Red Onions

I love pickled red onions and never make them-this recipe is from a blog and is so simple. I had leftover vinegar mixture and made pickled carrots and jalapeños. Both are perfect garnishes for sandwiches or salads.

yield: ABOUT 2 CUPS

Pickled Red Onions
1 large red onion
1 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
pinch of red pepper flakes

Slice the top and bottom off the onion and then slice it in half, from top to bottom. Remove the outer peel. Lay the cut surfaces of the onion onto the cutting board, and then slice into half moons about 1/8″ thick.

In a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, bring the vinegars, sugar, and salt to a boil. Whisk until sugar and salt dissolve, then remove pan from heat and whisk in allspice and red pepper flakes. Carefully add sliced onion to the pan and gently stir to combine. Let mixture cool completely at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour into a glass container, cover tightly with a lid, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. I like to store the pickled onions in canning jars. This recipe is for refrigerator pickling only and needs to be stored in a refrigerator. Enjoy for up to one month.


A friend mentioned she was making this and my mouth started watering! I love caponata plain or on grilled meat or fish or stirred into pasta. This recipe is from Canal House but I added some fennel and pine nuts. Also at the olive bar at Whole Foods there was an olive mix with currants in it so I used that and added some capers to it.
1-2 large eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes
2 T. kosher salt
1/2 c. white wine vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. currants or raisins
3/4 c. olive oil
3 ribs of celery, large dice
1 head of fennel, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 anchovy filets, chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 c. large green olives, pitted and halved
2 T. capers
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
1 bay leaf
Toss the eggplant with salt and drain in a colander for one hour. Pat dry with a paper towel. Combine vinegar, sugar and currants in a small bowl until currants are plump. Pat the eggplant dry and heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in a wide pot over medium high heat. Working in batches, fry the eggplant until browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add remaining 1/4 c. olive oil and sauté onion, celery and fennel until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the anchovies. Add the tomatoes with any juices, olives, capers, bay leaf and pine nuts. Add the egg plant. Stir in the currants and vinegar. Simmer, stirring often until juices thicken a bit, 10-15 minutes. Season with pepper. Refrigerate for at least a day and up to a week. Remove bay leaf.

Quinoa with mushrooms, asparagus and feta

I don’t think a week goes by that I do not cook from the Williams Sonoma blog, Taste. So many of their recipes are appealing to me and delicious! I used cremini mushrooms and added about a half of a pound. I had leftover asparagus that was blanched from last night and used that instead of a whole pound of asparagus. I love the sweetness from the currants and the balsamic vinegar. This can be eaten hot, warm, room temperature or cold.

Quinoa with mushrooms, asparagus, feta

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) olive oil, plus more for dish and for drizzling

1 cup (5 oz./155 g.) red quinoa

2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml.) chicken or vegetable broth

1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) dried currants

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 small red onion, halved and sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 lb. (500 g.) asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces

1/3 cup (1/2 oz./15 g.) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Grated zest of 1 lemon

4 oz. (125 g.) feta cheese, crumbled


Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Oil a 3-qt. (3-l.) baking dish.


In a saucepan, bring the quinoa and 2 cups (16 fl. oz./250 ml.) of the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the currants, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, but keep covered to stay warm.

In a large frying pan, heat the 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, 4-6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and toss to coat with the oil. Add the remaining 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is fork-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, parsley, lemon zest and half of the feta. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the remaining feta, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Grain free Cauliflower Couscous

This recipe comes from today’s WSJ adapted from Aziza Restaurant in San Francisco-it is very easy and delicious! It would be great as a main course or with fish!

Cauliflower couscous

1/2 cup currants

2 T. sherry vinegar

2 T. water

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, thinly slice

4 T. butter, divided into 2 T.

1 T. curry powder

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

2 T. grapeseed oil

1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1/2 preserved lemon, chopped or 1/2 small fresh lemon

3 T. fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped

pinch of red chili flakes

In a bowl cover the currants with the sherry vinegar and water and set aside. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, melt 2 T. butter, add shallot and clove of garlic and sauté about 5 minutes. Add 2 T. butter and 1 T. curry powder, stirring until butter has melted. Transfer curry butter to a bowl. Wipe clean the saute pan and over medium high heat add the grapeseed oil. Once hot add 1/2 yellow onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes or less. Add 3 sliced cloves of garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and increase the heat to high, stir constantly for 3 minutes. Stir in curry butter, drained currants, lemon, parsley, almonds and chili and saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt.

Produce Frenzy

I am so thrilled to go to the farmers market (or grocery store for that matter) that I reluctantly went to my Saturday market after having a full fridge of roasted chilies, peach pie, eggplants and zucchini waiting to be roasted….but I still went and got the last of the corn, tomatoes and peaches from the Western Slope of CO. Here is what went on! I made fresh tomato salsa with the roasted tomatoes and corn salsa. The roasted eggplant was marinated in soy and balsamic and can be eaten out of hand as can the zucchinis with parmesan! Happy Summer

Grilled corn and tomatojpg



Eggplant marinated and grilled Grilled zucchini

Caramelized Tomato Tarte Tatin

From the NYTimes in 2008. I was so excited to find five or more colors of cherry tomatoes at Whole Foods. I think cherry tomato plants may be the most rewarding as they start producing early and continue!

Cherry tomatoes

1 14 oz. package all butter puff pastry (Dufour is the very best), defrost in refrig. overnight

2 T. unsalted butter

2-3 red onions, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives

1 1/2 pints (about 1#) assorted colors of cherry tomatoes

1 T. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/4 cup plus a pinch of sugar

1/2 t. sherry vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unfold puff pastry and cut into a 10″ round. Chill, covered until ready to use. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add onions and a pinch of sugar and cook stirring often until golden and caramelized-15-20 minutes. Add 2 T. water and let it cook down, scraping any bits from bottom of pan. Transfer to a bowl.

Caramelizing for tart

In a clean ovenproof 9″ skillet, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 3 T. water. Cook over medium heat, swirling pan gently (do not stir)until sugar melts and turns amber-about 5-10 minutes, add vinegar and stir gently. Sprinkle olives over caramel. Scatter tomatoes over olives then sprinkle onions on it. Season with thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Top with puff pastry, tucking the edges in pan. Cut several long vents in top of pastry.

Caramelized tomato tarte tatin

Bake 30 minutes until crust is puffed and golden. Let stand for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert it onto a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Zucchini, rice and phyllo pie-River Cottage Vegetable cookbook

This is the first of this authors cookbooks I have bought and I am super excited to cook from it  I am making the Zucchini. Rice and Filo (I guess the British spell it filo as it is pronounced but I buy it as phyllo in the freezer section-Athens is a good brand) Pie for the second time. It is so easy and delicious and holds up well. I cut any leftovers into squares and eat it for breakfast or lunch.

Zucchini rice phyllo pie

1# zucchini, coarsely grated

1/2 cup long grain rice-I used jasmine

1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 1/2 oz. hard goat cheese or mature cheddar, grated (I used cheddar)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 T. olive oil

a handful of dill, chopped

a good handful of parsely, chopped ( I use flat leaf)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz. phyllo, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator

5 T. unsalted butter melted or olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix zucchini, rice, onion, cheese, eggs, olive oil and chopped herbs together in a large bowl. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Take a sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter/oil and line a small ovenproof dish, about 6 cup capacity, placing the pastry butter side down. Let any excess hang over the edge or sides. Add another buttered sheet and continue until you have one sheet left. Pour the filling into the phyllo lined dish. Fold the last remaining sheet of phyllo up to cover and then fold the edges in. Brush with butter and bake 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm or I even like it room temp. You could vary the herbs with any of your favorites.


Macaroni and Cheese

The perfect comfort food! This is Martha’s recipe via Food 52’s blog. If you haven’t gone to this blog before, check it out. It is chock full of fabulous recipes! I omitted the bread crust as I did not want it! Feel free to do the same, or not!

Macaroni and cheese

Serves 12

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
  • 6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn or diced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (or other small pasta shape)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter (alternately, melt butter in the microwave). Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside. Pull out 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar, and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and reserve.
  2. Fill a large pot with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. In the same pot you used for boiling the pasta, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
  4. While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  5. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano. Stir reserved macaroni into the cheese sauce.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes, it’s not browned to your liking, broil the topping rather than leaving it in the oven, which may cause the pasta to overcook and sauce to dry out. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.