Crispy Potato Waffles

Last night I made these crispy potato waffles. The potato has to be the most versatile of all vegetables. I love coming up with new ways to make potatoes. These savory potato waffles are similar to potato pancakes, but in waffle form. The potato waffle has one advantage, it reheats exceptionally well and therefore can be made in advance. I put them in the oven at 275 degrees to keep warm. I’ve also been known to make grilled cheese sandwiches in a waffle iron!



Crispy Potato Waffles

Serves 4

3 potatoes, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbs butter, melted

Pre-heat waffle maker to the highest heat.

Liberally salt potatoes and lay them out on a stack of paper towels to drain. Stack a few paper towels on top, press down and let sit for a few minutes.

While potatoes drain, whisk together the onion, egg, sour cream, and pepper in a large bowl. Add drained potatoes to bowl and fold until combined.

Brush hot waffle maker with melted butter. Evenly spread potato mixture around the waffle maker. Close and cook for 12 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and brown.


Cowboy Casserole

Here is a recipe that we’ve been testing for our hot lunch program. This is the kids version. I think I would throw in some chopped green chilis!I hope they like it!


Cowboy Casserole

Serves 12

1 lb of ground beef
1 small onion, minced
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs flat leaf parsley
10¾ oz can of tomato soup
15 oz can of corn
3 Tbs dried mustard
32 oz package of tater tots
salt & pepper, to taste
4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Brown ground beef with the onions – drain. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, tomato soup, corn, dried mustard and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a greased 9×13 baking dish, arrange tater tots in single layer. Cover with 2 cups of cheese. Pour ground beef mixture over top and cover with remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Hasselback Potatoes UnPlugged

I love Hasselback Potatoes!  Hasselback potatoes cut in such a way as to resemble a fan or accordion when roasted. The name is derived from the restaurant where they were first introduced in the 1940s, Hasselbacken in Stockholm, Sweden which opened in that city in 1748 and where they are called hasselbackspotatis. The outside of the potato becomes crisp and brown while the inside is soft and creamy.  This version is sort of cheating because you cut the potatoes all the way through.


Hasselback Potatoes UnPlugged

Serves 6 to 8

6 Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Brush bottom and sides of a baking dish or cast iron skillet with olive oil.

Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice potatoes crosswise into desired thickness. Arrange potato slices vertically and loosely in prepared dish or skillet.

Sprinkle garlic and Italian seasoning on top of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot potatoes with butter. Cover skillet or dish with foil and bake in a 375 F oven for about 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp.

The thinner the slice, the crispier the potatoes get.

Croxetti with Potatoes, Green Beans & Pesto

I was in New York city several weeks ago and whenever I’m there I go to Eataly on 23rd Street.  I needed to warm up and kill some time before meeting someone for dinner.  While wandering in this Italian pornographic food emporium, I meandered into the pasta section and bought some interesting pasta shapes that I hadn’t seen before.  To me there is nothing more fun than researching regional recipes.  One of the pastas I bought (and didn’t have to take out a mortgage to buy!) was Croxetti.  I was waiting for my brother-in-law, Russell to come to town to make it.  

Croxetti originated in Liguria, in Northern Italy along the border with France, during the middle ages. In the past they were made by local peasants and used by aristocratic families as a display of wealth and status. A thin, disc shaped, Ligurian pasta that has been hand stamped with the family arms on one side and different designs, such as palm trees, sunsets, and sailboats on the other side. The disks are approximately 1¾ inches in width. This recipe is very popular in the region, which includes potatoes and green beans boiled in the same water with the pasta. I think this pasta bears a scary resemblance to Communion wafers!




Croxetti with Potatoes, Green Beans & Pesto

Serves 4

3–4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, in 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 heaping cup)
2 large handfuls slender green beans (if using frozen beans, thaw them slightly)
8 oz dry pasta
2 Tbs prepared pesto
1 cup (loosely packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of well-salted water (taste it; it should be as salty as the sea) to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 4 minutes. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions—adding the green beans to the pot when you have 2 minutes of cooking time remaining. Cook until the pasta is al dente, the potatoes tender and the beans still crisp.

Drain the pasta and vegetables, retaining 1/2 cup of cooking water. Return the pasta and vegetables to the pot and stir in the pesto; add a bit of liquid if needed to create a thin sauce. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and freshly grated pepper. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Potato Salad

Last week I had several back to back catering events. One of them was for 100 people. I was asked to make potato salad. Making potato salad makes me nervous! People are very particular about their potato salad and making it for 100 is tricky. I used 3 kinds of potatoes – red, purple and white. I did this so I did not have to peel them (all 16 pounds!). Fortunately, I had the foresight to boil the purple ones separately. They would have turned the entire dish a grayish / blueish tinge. I scaled the recipe down for you! This is a very simple and basic recipe, but it ended up being a big hit.



Potato Salad

Serves 6

2 lbs small red potatoes, scrubbed
3 to 4 eggs, hard-cooked and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cut the potatoes into small, bite-size chunks and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, until just tender. Pour off water, set the pan in a sink or larger pan of cold water to cool the potatoes quickly.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with eggs and green onions. In another bowl, combine the sour cream and mayonnaise. Add to the potatoes and stir gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Potato Tot & Bacon Nachos

Another post Super Bowl snack. It’s similar to Irish Nachos.  Tater Tots, a registered trademark of Ore-Ida (a division of the H. J. Heinz Company), are fried slices of potatoes.  Tater Tots were created in 1953 when the Ore-Ida founders were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. They chopped up the slivers, added flour and seasoning, then pushed the mash through holes and sliced off pieces of the extruded mixture. The product was first offered in stores in 1956. Originally, the product was very inexpensive. Apparently, people did not buy it at first because there was no perceived value. When the price was raised, people began buying it.

Potato Tot & Bacon Nachos

32 oz bag of frozen potato tots
12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz bacon, cooked and diced
1 jalapeño, sliced or diced
4 oz sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium oven safe dish, spread tater tots in an even layer. 

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove dish from oven, flip potatoes and add cheese, bacon and sliced jalapeños.

Bake for another 7- 10 minutes until cheese starts to bubble. Remove dish from oven, add a hefty scoop of sour cream on the top and serve.

Homemade Pittsburgh Pierogies with Sour Cream

My dad grew up in working class neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Last month, he was talking about how much he missed having chipped ham sandwiches. I went home and discovered that you can order chipped ham and Pierogies – Pittsburgh’s Halftime Gift Box from the from the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. I decided that this would be his Christmas gift. It arrived the week before Christmas. We went over and I made them and they were delicious! I decided to make them myself the next time.

Pierogies are Polish dumplings of unleavened dough – first boiled, then they are baked or fried usually in butter with onions – traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit.

Pierogies are a delicious treat and a Pittsburgh tradition that reflects the city’s multicultural heritage, especially that of the European immigrants of the early 20th century.  In Pittsburgh, they eat 11 times the pierogies of any other city in the nation. The Pittsburgh Pirates even hold a pierogi race during the bottom of the 5th inning at every Pirates home game.

Sour cream in the dough is a favorite secret of many Pittsburgh pierogi makers. You can serve it with sautéed mushrooms.



Homemade Pittsburgh Pierogies with Sour Cream

2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra to serve with the pierogi
1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
butter and onions for sautéing
ingredients for filling of your choice (potato & cheese filling recipe below)

Pierogi Dough
To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to over beat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 12-15 pierogies, depending on size.

Prepare the Pierogies
Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8″ thick. Cut circles of dough (2″ for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2″ for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.

Boil the perogies a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.

Sauté chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream for a true Pittsburgh pierogi meal.

Pierogi Tips

If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal.

If you don’t want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months.

You can fill pierogies with pretty much anything you want, though potato and cheese is the most common (recipe below).

Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling

5 large red potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbs butter
4-8oz of grated cheddar cheese

Peel and boil potatoes until soft. While the potatoes are boiling, sauté onion in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sautéed onions and add grated cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you want your pierogies), adding salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, or other enhancements if you desire. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1″ balls.

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

It’s the morning after. What does one make with all those leftovers cluttering up your refrigerator? Potatoes are my favorite thing to use up the next day. You can also make these into larger patties.

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

Serves 6

2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the egg, cheese, onions and bacon bits. Shape into 1-in. balls; roll in bread crumbs. Let stand for 15 minutes.

In an electric skillet, heat 1 in. of oil to 375°. Fry potato balls, a few at a time, for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Serve warm.

Spanish Roasted Potatoes with Tomato Sauce

I am always looking for new ways to make potatoes. “Patatas Bravas” is a classic Spanish tapas dish and is served in bars all over Spain. The sauce has a slight bite from the Tabasco, hence the name bravas, which means “fierce.” They are also called “angry” potatoes. You can serve them with toothpicks as a snack or as a side dish.


Spanish Roasted Potatoes with Tomato Sauce

Serves 4 as a side dish

2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (peeled or un-peeled, your choice), cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
Olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp tomato paste
14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt well. Arrange in one layer in a casserole pan or rimmed baking tray and roast until browned, about 50 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, make the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot set over medium-high heat. Sauté the chopped onions, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown on the edges. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.

Add the white wine to the pan and turn the heat to high. Boil on a high boil until the wine is reduced by half, then add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes, Tabasco sauce, salt, sugar and smoked paprika. Stir well and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Let the sauce cook slowly while the potatoes roast. If you want, you can use a blender or an immersion blender to purée the sauce until smooth.

When the potatoes are well browned, toss with the tomato sauce and return to the casserole pan. Continue to roast until the tomato sauce dries out a bit on the potatoes and caramelizes, about 10 minutes.

Serve with the remaining tomato sauce as an appetizer or side dish.

Sage Potatoes with Garlic

Sage is used in many recipes at this time of year. I had an enormous amount of sage growing in the backyard for the past several years and now it’s all dead! I’m not sure what happened. I live in Los Angeles, where it rarely gets cold. I recently bought a new sage plant. It has about 6 leaves on it, which I used for these delicious potatoes.


Sage Potatoes with Garlic

4 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup olive oil
6 sage leaves, chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 garlic cloves, smashed

Put a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 375 degrees F. Peel 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes and cut into wedges.

Toss with olive oil, sage leaves, kosher salt and pepper. Spread on the hot baking sheet and roast 30 minutes. Stir, then add garlic cloves; continue roasting until golden, about 30 minutes. Increase the temperature to 400 degrees F and cook until crisp, 15 more minutes. Season with salt.