Tag Archives: potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes and Leeks

As far as I’m concerned, the best part of eating ham for dinner is having scalloped potatoes alongside it on your plate.  We have a freezer full of ham steaks that need to be used up before December, when our next round of pigs will be all grown up.  Have I shown you piglet pictures yet? I can’t remember, so here you go!

Anyway, I had a big bunch of local leeks in my fridge, so I decided to add them into my normal recipe and it was delicious! I don’t measure when I make this recipe, since it’s all about the layering, so these measurements are just estimates.  Seriously, you want to make this recipe!

Scalloped Potatoes and Leeks

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • half stick of butter
  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced OR 8-10 small red potatoes, washed and thinly slided (no need to peel them!)
  • 2 large leeks, well washed, halved and sliced
  • 4-6 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar this time, but any cheese you like will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like LOTS of black pepper, and add a little bit to each layer)
  • 2 cups whole milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Cut the garlic clove in half, then rub the cut side on the inside of the a 9 x 9 pan to flavor it, then use 1 tsp of butter to grease it.  Begin with a layer of potatoes by placing them in the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and about a Tbsp of flour, then dot with about 1 Tbsp of butter.  Add another layer of potatoes, more salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Next layer in about half of the leeks.  Add another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and about half the cheese.  Add another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Add the remaining leeks, then another two layers of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Pour in the milk until the potatoes are mostly submerged, then press the layers down with your hands.  Top with the remaining cheese, some more pepper, and maybe even some more butter.  Bake for an hour until bubbly and the cheese is nicely browned, then let sit for about 15 minutes to cool and thicken before serving.  I’ve found that if I double the recipe I need to bake for up to an additional half hour to make sure the potatoes aren’t crunchy.

Ham? What ham? Pass the scalloped potatoes and leeks, please!

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Freezer, Pantry, Leftover Meal

This is just what it sounds like… a meal created out of leftovers, from the pantry and the freezer.  I thought it came out pretty tasty for a meal inspired by the fact that I didn’t want to let leftovers go to waste.

Seared Pork Chops

I thawed two thick-cut, bone-in pork chops from our pig in the freezer.  Pat the pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper.  Add about 1 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil to a cast-iron pan over medium-high to high heat.  Sear the pork chops on one side for about 3 minutes, sear on the fatty side by holding the chop in tongs for 1 minute, then flip and place in a preheated 350° oven for about 10 minutes.  This can get pretty smokey, so make sure to have the hood fan running or the window open (preferably not in winter!).

Mashed Potato Cakes

Mix about 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes with 1 egg.  Melt a few Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat, then drop in the potatoes in big spoonfuls.  Flatten the potatoes into cakes and brown on both sides, then season with salt.  My aunt always makes these for dinner on holidays, transforming the mashed potatoes leftover from lunch.  They’re better than the originals!

Creamed Spinach

Easy! I made creamed spinach for Christmas dinner, and just warmed it in the oven while I made the pork chops and potato cakes.

Homemade Applesauce

Also easy! Just open up a jar of home-canned applesauce.

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Flowers and a Surprise

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The pink roses in the front garden are putting on a show.

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This hydrangea in the back garden was supposed to be hot pink, but I guess nobody told her.  Good thing I like purple.

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The front garden’s hydrangeas are still producing big, showy blooms.

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In the veggie garden, the giant marigolds have started to flower by the tomato plants.

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Despite beetle attacks, the zinnias are beginning to bloom.  The beetles are mostly gone, so I’m looking forward to lots of pink and lime green flowers.

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Here’s the surprise! We decided to pull carrots this morning, since the ground was nice and damp which made them easy to pull up.  Thinking the potato plants were dead, I asked Ed to pull them out.  Turns out, the potatoes were ready! My mom had told me that when they looked dead it meant the potatoes were ready, but I still thought they were dead.  We got about 5lbs of potatoes from 3 experimental hills, so I think we’ll definitely plant them again next year.

To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.

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Half-Smashed

The potatoes, that is.  I was looking for a new twist on potatoes, and these are quite a twist.

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They’re called “Crash Hot Potatoes,” but Ed named them “Half-Smashed,” and so that’s what we’re calling them.  The chives on top are from our garden, the first harvest of the year.

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I served them with a roasted pork tenderloin and applesauce, and I made extra for leftovers.  You can find the recipe here.

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Potato Gratin

  • 3 lbs white or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large garlic clove, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2 minutes, then drain.  While the potatoes are cooking, rub the inside of a casserole dish with the garlic and grease with a butter wrapper or a little bit of butter.  Place half of the potatoes in the dish, making a pretty pattern.  Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Add half of the cheese.  Add the remaining potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, nutmeg, and remaining cheese.  Combine cream and milk, then pour over the potatoes.  Dot the top with butter.  Bake for 50 mins to 1 hour in a 325 F oven, until browned and bubbly on top.

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What’s for Supper?

Tonight I’m making honey mustard chicken (which I learned from Ed’s mom) and potato salad (which I learned from my mom).

Honey Mustard Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Honey, about 1/4 cup
  • Dijon mustart, about 3 Tbsp
  • Whole-grain mustard, about 1 or 2 Tbsp

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and grill until just cooked through.  While chicken cools slightly, mix together the honey and mustards.  Slice chicken into strips, place in a baking dish and pour honey mustard sauce over it.  Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 F until sauce slightly thickens.

Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • Mayonaise
  • Salt and pepper

Boil whole potatoes until cooked through.  Boil eggs about 10 minutes.  Allow potatoes and eggs to cool.  Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks.  Peel eggs and slice using an egg slicer.  Put potatoes and eggs into a large bowl, add enough mayonaise to hold the salad together and season to taste.  Chill, or serve warm like my mom does.

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