Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Potatoes Lyonnaise

Potatoes Lyonnaise

Potatoes, caramelized onions, garlic, and butter layered and baked to tender savory perfection. Mmm. Even if it doesn't do my actual heart good, it sure comforts my soul today. 
This is just a satisfying potato and onion dish that compliments any meat, in my opinion. It's buttery, tender, intermittently crisp, with the sweet saltiness of perfectly caramelized onions. I'm literally sitting here after dinner eating the leftovers with my fingers, probably getting the keyboard all buttery.
Speaking of butter, the original recipe calls for a whole stick of butter, and I only used 6 tablespoons. I have to say, though, that the next time I make these I'll probably back it down to 5, or even 4 tablespoons. My remnants are nearly swimming in butter. Delicious, but really more than I should be consuming right now.

Potatoes Lyonnaise
    Adapted from DownHomeComfortFood.com

  • 2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, sliced thin (about 1/8 inch)
  • 4 smallish onions, halved and julienned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus a little more for brushing
  • more salt for boiling
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place sliced potatoes into a large pot with salted water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to separate potato slices so they can cook evenly. Drain water completely and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Stir and allow to cook until starting to brown. Stir again and reduce heat to medium low. Stir and cook onions on low to medium until they start to caramelize, but don't turn to mush (about 12-15 minutes). Add minced garlic, stir, and cook for another minute. Remove onions & garlic to a heat-proof bowl.
  • Return the pan to the burner and melt 6 tablespoons butter in the pan. Make a potato layer on the bottom of the pan with 1/3 of the potatoes. Evenly distribute half the onions on top of the layer of potatoes. Add another layer of 1/3 of the potatoes. Add another layer of onions. Top with the final 1/3 of the potatoes. Brush tops of potatoes with a little melted butter.
  • Place pan in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are browned.
  • Remove from oven and serve.
Potatoes: boiled and drained
Onions just starting to caramelize
The first couple of layers
Just a little butter on top before going into the oven
Comfort food--all hot and bubbly

Monday, May 29, 2017

Heidi's Bacon Green Beans

Mmm. Bacon Green Beans.

My sister-in-law Heidi can COOK. Every time I eat at her house I come away with a new recipe or five. This one has quickly become one of my favorites that is currently a weekly side dish at my house. I'm not sure if my family loves these as much as I do, but I don't care. Even as leftovers these green beans are heavenly. Must be the bacon.

The high heat on these beans makes them a little charred on the outside, and the salty bacon along with the fabulous savory flavor of the shallots make this a fabulous sensory experience. Even if you're not a fan of green beans in general, you might like these. And they're easy. So easy.

I use the meat counter slab bacon for these green beans. My brother pointed out to me that bacon is really cheaper that way, and it's a thicker cut, so it feels meatier AND it doesn't burn with the high heat in this application.

Heidi's Bacon Green Beans

  • 4-5 cups of washed and trimmed fresh green beans (I also like to cut them in half)
  • 4-5 strips of thick cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips (crosswise, not lengthwise)
  • about 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • Place a large cast iron skillet on the stove and turn the burner to medium high. Add bacon before the pan gets hot.
  • Stir bacon until is just starts to render some fat.
  • Add the green beans and continue to stir over medium high heat until green beans have some dark, almost burned spots. 
  • If bacon seems to be crisping up too soon, you can remove some of it, or turn the heat down a little.
  • Sprinkle with salt and shallots, cooking another minute or so after the beans seem done.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
Makes about 6 servings

Gluten Free Garlic Flatbread

Gluten Free Garlic Flatbread

I've been craving bread lately because I am just one of those people who loves bread. I am also a person who's recently discovered that wheat causes parts of my body to hurt, so I've been avoiding it. I miss bread a LOT. Like a lot. More than a normal person probably. 

So I've had to get creative with making some gluten free options. The Gluten Free French Rolls that my gluten-limited son enjoys so much just don't do it for me. I really love the taste of wheat bread. I thought maybe a thinner, less bready product might work, so I baked up some gluten free pizza crusts, spread garlic butter sauce all over it, and ate. 

It was good. Too good probably. But I don't eat it every day, even though I'd like to. It's a little crisp in places where the dough has been rolled thinner; and it's chewy in places where the dough was a little thicker. The texture and the chew perfectly satisfy a bread craving. Then there's the garlic butter sauce, which I just love--salty, buttery, with a gentle but assertive garlic flavor. Mmm. So good.

If you find yourself having to live gluten free, and you love garlic bread, you have to try this. Really. 
Gluten Free Garlic Flatbread

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Either place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet, or if you have a baking stone or baking steel, place parchment sheet on what you use as a pizza peel (I use an unrimmed baking sheet).
    Combine the pizza mix and the water. Mix until it reaches the consistency of Play Doh.
  • Turn dough out onto work surface that's been dusted with GF flour. Dust the top of the dough and cut dough in half.
  • Shape each half into a rough log, about 2 x 5 inches, and then flatten each log (see photo below).
  • Working with one piece at at time, roll dough on a well-floured surface to about 3/8 inch thickness.
  • Carefully move to parchment lined baking sheet either with your hands or by folding in half, transferring and then unfolding on the pan. If the dough sheet breaks on you, just press it back together; it's pretty forgiving.
  • Repeat with other piece of dough and place next to the other flatbread dough sheet.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes. Using a sharp knife, dock the dough every inch or so (see photo below).
  • Place baking sheet in oven (or slide parchment sheet with the dough onto baking stone/steel) and bake at 500 degrees for about 5-8 minutes, or until edges and bubbles start to brown. If you let it go too long, it will turn out more cracker-like than bread-like--still edible, but not as awesome.
  • Once flatbread is out of the oven, immediately spread 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic butter sauce over the surface of each. 
  • Cut into strips with a pizza cutter and enjoy.
  • Garlic flatbread tastes best fresh. I do not recommend saving leftovers for the next day.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix
      --Adapted from BetterBatter.org

  • 4 cups Better Batter Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
Mix flour with olive oil until incorporated, and then mix in the salt, sugar, and yeast. Store mix in a sealed zip-top bag in the refrigerator.

Garlic Butter Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Place butter and olive oil in a small saucepan or saute pan over low heat. While butter melts, mince the garlic. Add garlic to melted butter & olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Cook on low for one minute and then turn off the heat and allow to sit until cool. 
Serve with pizza (crust) or hot bread.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Use within about 10 days.

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