Monday, April 22, 2024

Crisp Roasted Potatoes with Shallots

Crisp Roasted Potatoes with Shallots

Roasted potatoes are just a delicious side dish, no matter what you do to them. I think I saw on Poppy Cooks that if you add a little baking soda to the boiling water, the outsides of the potatoes get mushier, and then when you roast them in oil, they get super crisp. And it really works. 

I'm not sure if it was in the same video or another that someone infused oil with garlic and red chili flakes, using that oil for the roasting oil and then adding the garlic and chili flakes at the end. I decided this sounded great and could be even greater with some finely minced shallots.

They smelled fantastic when they made it to the dinner table that first night. As I ate them, I had this very familiar sense from the flavor of the potatoes, but I couldn't quite pin down what it was. My son felt the same way, and then he realized, "They taste like Funyons." That was it. And I do love me some Funyons. This recipe was an instant winner and family favorite. I'm putting the recipe here so I never forget it.

Give 'em a go.

Crisp Roasted Potatoes with Shallots (AKA Funyon Potatoes)

  • 3-4 pounds golden potatoes (I prefer Klondike Goldust), washed and cubed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • salt
  • water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes 
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh shallots, finely minced
  • Place cubed potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with water, add baking soda and salt (about 2 tablespoons). Set pan over medium high heat. Boil cubed potatoes in water with salt and baking soda. Boil until potatoes are tender and outsides just start to look fluffy.
  • While potatoes boil, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic & chili flakes, and cook until garlic is tender, but not brown -- just a minute or so.
  • Place strainer over large bowl and strain garlic & chili from oil. Set garlic and flakes aside for later. 
  • Set oven to 400/425 degrees (I'd say 400 on convection)
  • When potatoes are ready, turn off heat and drain potatoes into colander set inside a sink.
  • Pour potatoes into bowl with infused oil. Stir throughly and pour/scrape onto nonstick cookie sheet. 
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned and crisp. Transfer cooked potatoes to a serving bowl then toss with garlic, chili flakes, and shallots.

Serve hot, but be careful

Makes about 4 servings

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Soft Cheese Crackers from Scratch

Marilyn's Cheese Crackers from Scratch

These little gems are a family favorite. They're rich, salty, cheesy. Mmm. They're kind of like a cheese cookie, if that makes sense. Crisp on the edges, soft and chewy in the middle. We usually make them using a small jar of Kraft Old English Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread, but I since it's really just made of cheddar cheese, I thought I'd try using some block Cabot sharp cheddar I have in my fridge. And it worked beautifully. Same gorgeous results without any preservatives. 

These are great for a decadent breakfast or brunch treat, afternoon snack, or appetizers for a party. 

Heads up, this recipe requires a food processor. No way around that.

(Click here for original recipe with the Kraft jarred cheese spread.)

Marilyn's Cheese Crackers from Scratch

  • 5 ounces quality sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place grated cheese in the bowl of a food processor and process until nearly a paste. It probably won't completely turn to paste, but will sort of bunch up into a sort of dry cottage cheese texture. 
  • Add the butter and salt, and process until smooth.
  • Add flour, pulse a few times and then process until flour is incorporated. 
  • Remove blade, carefully scraping off any dough and then incorporate any flour or cheese left of sides of bowl.
  • Make balls using about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of dough and place at least 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 11-12 minutes or until puffed and well browned on edges.
  • Allow to cool 5 minutes or so before eating.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container and consume within 1 day.

Makes 20 crackers

Cheese, butter and salt processed smooth

After mixing in flour

I scooped dough with cookie scoop before rolling smooth

Almost like a cheesy macaron

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