Tag Archives: herbs

Lobster on Thick Cut Idaho®Potato Chips with Spicy Saffron Aioli

17-lobsterDress up your favorite Idaho® Potatoes with lobster and saffron aioli for a special holiday appetizer! Salty, crunchy thick-cut chips are a sturdy base for buttery lobster tail.  Topped with a spicy saffron aioli and chives, it makes an elegant nibble for any party.  This post is sponsored by Idaho® Potatoes. All opinions are my own.

The holiday season is upon us, which means HOLIDAY PARTIES!  It’s a special time of year, so I don’t feel guilty about a little splurge.  The end of one year, the beginning of a new one…  It’s a time to celebrate with friends and family and it’s a time to pull out all the tricks and SHINE!  I make one or two special appetizers for parties and lobster on thick-cut potato chips is no slouch.  The saffron aioli elevates it to “high falootin’ status” and this appetizer is always the first to disappear.  It looks much fussier than it actually is, everything except the chips can be made in the morning and set aside in the refrigerator for later.  This is key when you have lots to do before guests arrive.

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11 of My Very Best Fall Recipes

fall-recipe-roundup

Crisp fall air and leaves turning shades of red and burnished orange, the crackle of them under your feet as you walk down the street with hands snuggled deep inside your pockets.    Autumn is by far my favorite season.  The temperatures begin to cool down at night, calling for an extra blanket or a down comforter.    This is something I miss now that I live south of the Mason Dixon line.  It’s only been 3 and a half years, but I doubt I’ll ever really get used to the lack of (distinguishable) seasons.

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Potato Dill Biscuits

Potato Dill Biscuits

Remember a few months ago when I went to a food conference and was assigned as brand ambassador for Idaho Potatoes?  They asked me to come up with a recipe using dehydrated potatoes and after bouncing around a few ideas, we settled on this biscuit.   Biscuits

When I was in the “testing phase” of this recipe, The Girl asked me why would I use dehydrated potato instead of leftover homemade mashed potato.  She had a good question and I figured if she was wondering that, someone else would be too.  Here’s the answer:
Other than Thanksgiving (when all of us make extra on purpose), when do you have extra mashed potato hanging around?  Not very often, I’m guessing.  Also, I don’t want to wait for the occasion to have them just to make these biscuits and furthermore, I don’t want to make them just to wait for them to get cold so I can make biscuits out of them.   All that being said, the biggest reason for using the dehydrated potato instead of leftover mashed:  THEY WORK BETTER!  I kid you not,  the biscuits are amazing.
If you’ve had potato bread or rolls, you know that sweet smell and soft, fluffy texture that can only be found by using potato. It works in breads, so it stands to reason that it would be great in a biscuit as well. And it is.

I wanted to flavor these biscuits with some kind of herb and dill was my first choice.  If you aren’t a fan of dill, swap it out for rosemary, thyme or whatever herbs you prefer.Potato Dill Drop Biscuits PP
The texture of the potato biscuit is fluffy and tender. The crust is beautifully golden and when you break them open, they smell of sweet, buttery mashed potato. You can’t beat that.

Potatoes do not have gluten (the protein that gives bread its chewy texture), so these biscuits remain tender and moist.  They are a smidge denser than regular biscuits, but are by no means heavy.  They are my new “go-to” biscuit.  They are easy as can be, because it is a simple drop biscuit, which means no rolling out and cutting dough.  I’ve made a rather big batch and froze about half of them to use in another recipe that will be coming soon!  I’ll give you a hint: breakfast.
I’m already planning ahead for the holiday season and these potato dill biscuits will be on our table this year. I can already imagine stuffing them with turkey for a little afternoon snack…
Potato Dill Biscuits PP
Thank you again, to Idaho Potato® for sponsoring this post! They are wonderful to work with and it allows me to share tasty recipes with you!

Potato Dill Biscuits
Yields 8
A simple and delicious drop biscuit.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1- 3.4 oz. package Honest Earth® buttery home-style dehydrated potatoes
  2. 7 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 ½ cups)
  3. 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  5. ½ teaspoon white pepper
  6. 2 large eggs + 1 yolk
  7. ½ cup light cream + 2 tablespoons for brushing on top
  8. 1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
  9. 1 tablespoon dill
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl: combine cream, eggs and yolk. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment: Combine flour and diced butter and let mixer run until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add dehydrated potatoes, baking powder, dill, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix for a few seconds until it is combined.
  5. Pour cream mixture into bowl of mixer and mix until just combined, do not overmix.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and with a rubber spatula, fold dough from bottom of bowl to the top to make sure all of the flour mixture has been incorporated.
  7. Using a 3-ounce scoop, portion 8 biscuits onto the sheet pan. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired.
  8. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, cool on pan for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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Sheet Pans
Parchment Paper
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Potato Dill Biscuits - Pook's Pantry

Summer Grain Salad

summer grain salad

It’s the unofficial start to summer and you know what that means:  dining alfresco!  Whether it be picnics, backyard BBQ’s or lunch hours outside on a bench while soaking up a little sunshine, this grain salad with it’s rainbow of colors has you covered.

It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy nature’s bounty of fresh vegetables.  If you are trying to eat a little cleaner and healthier, grain salads are for you!  The satisfying chewiness of whole grains, the crunch of fresh veggies,  the freshness of herbs and the zing of red wine vinegar make this salad a home run. 

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Quinoa with Pistachios, Lemon and Mint

6 PP
Winter is on it’s way out, Spring is right around the corner and it’s time to change up the menu, moving from hearty stews and roasts to lighter fare and my clients are no exception.  Although we live in a warm climate year-round,  when the temperatures start climbing, no one wants a pot roast.  

In this installment of #Client Food Fridays, we will put together this quinoa salad in about 20 minutes!  How’s that for quick? Did it mention it’s delicious & healthy too?  Winner!

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Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs

 

chix thighsI don’t often think of blogging about food that I cook for clients because the truth of the matter is that I didn’t think people would be interested.   I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Every pic I’ve posted lately about “client food” has been met with a one-word response:  recipe?

Add to that the request from several friends asking for healthy, real food that gets on the table (soup to nuts) in roughly 30 minutes and here you have it.   Dinner in about the time it takes to watch a sitcom.   This recipe is hardly a “recipe” in that it has a handful of ingredients and it is minimal effort.  The most laborious part of it is taking the chicken from the sauté pan and putting it on a sheet pan…  whew, I think I broke a sweat just talking about it.   Actual hands-on time is roughly 10 minutes, so you can grab a glass of wine and chill out while the oven does all the work.

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Sage & Onion Rolls

I opened the kitchen door to our house and the heady scent of yeast met me as soon as I crossed the threshold.  That is an unmistakable scent.  It stopped me in my tracks, book bag still slung across my shoulder. A smell I would soon start to look forward to.  Anticipation of very good things to come.  I came to appreciate the vast difference between store-bought bread and bread that had been brought to life in the gathering place of my home.   Yeast fermenting, bubbling away in a bowl set aside waiting to be introduced to a snowy pile of flour.  

We were starting our “bread” module in culinary school, I walked into the room and could hardly wait to get started.  There is something about the cool, smooth texture of bread dough that always makes me happy.  Rolling your shoulders forward and really kneading it; pushing with the heel of your hand and pulling it back toward you, feeling the dough come to life and slowly begin to change.  It transforms beneath your hands from a sticky mess into a beautiful, almost silky, elastic dough. 

My first restaurant job was as a “garde manger”, which literally translates as keeper of the food.  It is a bottom-of-the-food-chain position where most culinary graduates begin.  In addition to the hot and cold appetizers, soup and desserts, I was also tasked with making rolls.  In time it became my moment of peace in a whirlwind of chaotic activity.  Servers running from one place to the next, polishing forks and knives; line cooks taking stairs two by two trying to make their way from the walk-in cooler in the basement back upstairs into the kitchen to finish prepping for service; the clanging of pots and pans as dishwashers set clean ones at each of our stations.   Those few minutes kneading dough became the only moments of peace I would have for the next 10 hours.

 

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A Foolish Mess…

 

Fool

Let me say that I think we should appreciate our Mom’s on more than just one day a year…  It is an incredibly important job that is sometimes thankless.  Through terrible two’s and rebellious teenage years, through laughter and tears, joy and fear… you are there for it all.

So, to every Mom out there:  Happy Mother’s Day today and everyday for all that you do!  

Now that I’ve earned my birthday and Christmas presents for next year, let’s get to it.   

This weekend is Mother’s Day and the Internet, food magazines, morning shows, cooking shows, even the evening news is filling the space between our ears with recipes to make for Mom…

Most of them even look really good!  But here’s the problem:  MOM isn’t the one making them!  (I hope)!   

More than a few of the recipes featured have ingredient lists long enough to make even the average home cook sweat under the collar, much less someone who rarely ventures into that mystical space from where food magically appears.

Some of you out there are lucky enough to live with people who actually know:   A. where the kitchen is located in your home and  2) how to find things in this mysterious room 

Then, there are those of you who live with people that open the fridge door, stand there staring at it’s insides and then ask you “what is there to eat?”.  

Well, even THOSE people can handle this recipe.

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Chirmol

As many of you are fully aware, I have an exploding tomato population.  I went a bit “Little House on the Prairie” thinking I needed to sow all my seeds to get me through the long, hard winter on the farm apparently.  Well, now…  I am reaping what I have sown.   PUN. FULLY. INTENDED.

It’s mass chaos back there.  I think the tomatoes get together in some sort of secret society at night while I’m sleeping, plotting to overthrow me.  One day I may wake up to them all crouched down waiting to pounce (think: Lord of the Flies).  OK, clearly I’ve gone off on a tangent… Continue reading

My Tomatoes Runneth Over…

If you are a tomato person, you will want to check back here from time to time and here’s why:  I have an exploding tomato population.  As someone said to me a few days ago, this is not a bad problem to have! 
So let me just tell you now that for the next few months, there will likely be a number of recipes here using tomatoes…  Salsas, tomato tarts, tomato jam, tomato soup, etc.

Sometimes I am hesitant to put recipes here that I think will be too simple or maybe you just won’t find that interesting.  Recently, there was a discussion amongst a few of my foodie friends regarding the subject of “overdoing” food. 
Example: a cookie inside of a brownie inside of a cupcake inside of a pie, then deep fried and topped with caramel and chocolate sauces, whipped cream and sprinkles.
Obviously this is a gross exaggeration, but you catch my drift. Continue reading