Tag Archives: potatoes

Cassoulet + Some Catching Up

Happy New Year! I am kicking off the new year with a catch up post. I’ve continued cooking along with Cook the Book Fridays, but I haven’t managed to keep up with my blogging. I will be covering each item in the order cooked (because the order was strategic!).

Counterfeit Duck Confit

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Counterfeit Duck Confit provides a simplified way of making the classic duck confit at home. It takes some planning head (the duck legs marinate overnight then roast for close to three hours), but the technique is easy.

I don’t think I’ve ever had duck confit, so I’m not sure how it compares to the real deal, but I enjoyed this duck a lot. Part of the leg portion was a touch dry, but the skin was crispy and delicious and most of the meat was moist and tender.

I cooked four duck legs and froze two of them. I also saved the duck fat that remained in the baking dish. Keep reading to see why!

Fennel, Radish, Orange, and Crab Salad

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Fennel, Radish, Orange, and Crab Salad is pretty much what it sounds like. Simple crab salad placed on a bed of sliced fennel and radicchio topped with orange suprêmes and sliced radishes.

We liked this, but I would change a few things: 1) There were too many greens for the amount of crab; I ended up using only half the greens I prepared. 2) We didn’t care for the bitter flavor of the radicchio and felt like we would have enjoyed the salad more with romaine lettuce. 3) Buy a better crab! The crab I bought was only OK, so I can only imagine how delicious the salad would be with perfectly fresh crab.

That said, we enjoyed the all the flavors of the salad (except the bitter radicchio), especially the brightness of the orange.

Potatoes Cooked in Duck Fat

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Potatoes Cooked in Duck Fat: another very descriptive recipe title! Remember the duck fat I saved when I made the Counterfeit Duck Confit? I used it to make these potatoes.

What I like about this recipe is that the potatoes are parboiled in water and then fried. This helps ensure they are creamy and cooked through on the inside and not too overdone on the outside.

Yum! These are the best fried potatoes I have ever made. I served them with an egg scramble (using leftover fennel and radicchio from the crab salad) for “Breakfast for Dinner”.

Cassoulet

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Finally, the Cassoulet! Or, the more descriptive White Bean, Sausage, Duck Confit Casserole.

This was an all day project, even with the already-made duck confit legs I pulled out of the freezer. I cut out some of the time by using my Instant Pot to cook the beans and ham hock (I saved about an hour and a half).

This recipe make a lot. I cut the recipe in half and it still served us for two dinners, a lunch, and sadly some that went to the trash.

This is another French classic that I have never eaten before. I don’t know if the ratio is traditional, but I thought there were too many beans to the duck confit and sausages. Next time (if there is a next time) I would cut the beans in half again.

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I wanted to like this more than I did. The beans had a wonderful flavor, but I wanted more of the meat. Also, as my husband said, “It has a delicious background flavor, but it’s all background flavor”. He wanted more punch from the duck confit and sausages, but the flavors blended almost too well with the beans. So, while I had fun making this, and I really did enjoy eating it, I doubt I would make it again. Too much effort for not enough payoff.

Whew! I need a rest after that. Good thing it’s the weekend!

All the recipes mention in this post can be found in David Lebovitz’s book My Paris Kitchen.

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Salt Cod and Potato Puree + Scalloped Potatoes

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Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe 2016 is almost over. It seems like it was just January, and yet when I look back on all that happened this year, it was a pretty long year.

Cook the Book Fridays is ending the year with an “Extra Edition” recipe. It’s a bonus Friday in the month where we tackle a recipe that is a little “scary” or harder to get excited about. This month we made Salt Cod and Potato Puree.

I had no idea if I would be able to find salt cod here in Reno. But the fish guy at Whole Foods who noticed me looking around fruitlessly led me right to it. It came in a cool little wooden box:

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The recipe itself was pretty easy to execute; you just need to allow enough time to soak the salt cod for 24 hours. After a good soaking, the cod was cooked with cubed russet potatoes, and then blended with heavy cream, black pepper, and a tasty olive oil infused with thyme and garlic.

I divided my puree in half. Half of it went into the freezer for a recipe you will be seeing here next month. The rest I split into two ramekins, for individual lunch servings.

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I had no idea what to expect with this recipe! I have never had anything like this before. It was very good, but I still have trouble wrapping my head around it being a main dish and not an appetizer. This is definitely one of those recipes I would have never made without participating in Cook The Book Fridays, but I am glad I did.

I also did a make-up recipe this month. I made Scalloped Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic for Christmas dinner. It was decadent and delicious! It went perfectly with the prime rib roast I made. Definitely one to make again.

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Wishing all of you a happy and prosperous 2017!

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Fall Harvest Feast

A few weeks ago I made a wonderful meal with the last of our garden veggies. I love cooking with vegetables I grew and harvested myself. There is something very satisfying about enjoying the fruits of your labor. Plus, home-grown vegetables taste so much better!

I had a couple pounds of San Marzano tomatoes, several summer squash, and a bunch of potatoes. We had enjoyed most of the tomatoes in various pasta sauces and I wanted something different. I found a delicious-sounding tomato soup recipe on Epicurious. My Mom had given me a potato-zucchini casserole recipe that I wanted to try, so I decided to pair the two.

Roasted Tomato Soup with homemade croutons.

What a wonderful dinner! The soup was so flavorful and delicious. The casserole was fairly rich, so it went nicely with the lighter soup. It’s kind of like scalloped potatoes with a zucchini gratin on top. What a great way to enjoy the final harvest!

Cheesy Potatoes and Zucchini

The recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup with Garlic can be found on Epicurious, so I will not share it here.  FYI: I followed the suggestion of many of the reviewers and only used half the amount of chicken broth called for in the recipe.

I hope all of my U.S. readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Potato-Zucchini Bake

Print Recipe

  • 3 medium potatoes (I used red), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 3 medium zucchini, or other summer squash, sliced
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 10×6-inch baking dish.  Layer the potato slices with 1 cup of the cheese in the baking dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan.  Remove from the heat, then blend in the flour, salt, and pepper.  Stir in the milk.  Return the saucepan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly and begins to boil.

Pour the sauce over the potato slices.  Cover and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and uncover.  Layer the zucchini slices and the remaining cheese over the potatoes.  Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and combine it with the bread crumbs.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the zucchini and bake, uncovered, for an additional 40 minutes.

Serves 6

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Broth-Braised Potatoes

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is not very exciting, but it is one that I will be making often.

To make Broth-Braised Potatoes, chicken broth is first infused with the flavors of olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, bay leaf, fresh thyme, and salt and pepper.  Then the potatoes are cooked in the aromatic broth until tender.  If you wish to serve some of the cooking liquid with the potatoes (I did), remove the potatoes and simmer the broth for a few minutes to concentrate the flavors.

The end result is tender, flavorful potatoes that taste richer than they are.  My husband’s comment about these potatoes is that they “are just boiled potatoes”.  That they are, but they are much more flavorful, and don’t require butter to make them taste so good!

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Herbed Potato Salad

I love having an herb garden!  It’s wonderful to be able to step outside and harvest fresh herbs just in time for dinner.

I discovered this recipe last summer when I was looking for something that used some of the mint and oregano growing in my herb garden, which I had an overabundance of.  This recipe uses both!  It’s also perfect for me because the dressing is olive oil-based rather than mayo-based.  I have never been a big fan of mayo-based potato salad.

This would be a great salad for packing on a picnic because it really benefits from giving the flavors a chance to blend.

I found the recipe on Epicurious.  It was originally published in the June 2000 issue of Bon Appétit.

Herbed Potato Salad

(click here to print)

  • 1½ pounds small red-skinned potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces.  Steam until tender, 10 – 15 minutes.  Place potatoes in a large bowl.  Add olive oil to potatoes and toss to coat.

Add the onion, bell pepper, lemon juice, oregano, mint, salt and pepper and toss together gently.

Serve right away or can be made up to 4 hours ahead and chilled.  Bring the salad to room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Serves 3 – 4

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