Baked potatoes and tomatoes recipe

I wanted something crunchy, but I did not want something fried, so I started thinking: potatoes. And then playing with the idea of oven baked potatoes, I decided to add something bright and Mediterranean and added in some tomatoes. Here is what I did.

Baked potatoes and tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 large potatoes
  • 1 or 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. First slice the potatoes and put them in water so that they can loose part of the starch (you’d be surprise at how much baked potato improve if you let them in cold water for about 5-10 minutes before cooking). Now slice a tomato and an onion. It works best if potatoes, onion and tomato slices are more or less of the same size. Put the sliced vegetables in an oven dish, arranging them more or less artistically in concentric circles: I do one circle of potatoes and one of alternating onion and tomato. When you have filled the whole dish, sprinkle with oregano, pepper, salt and olive oil. Place the dish in a 375F oven for about 3/4 hours to an hour. Ready to serve.
  2. I like this dish because it is simple and bright. The tomato add something summery and light to the dish and makes it a very nice side for something like oven roasted or steamed fish.

Baked sardines and potatoes recipe

Growing up in the North, I didn’t eat much fish growing up and I am not great at cooking it. It is not that you cannot find good fish in North Italy, is just that we learn to cook from our mothers, who learned from their mothers, who didn’t had fish available if they did not close to the seaside. Plus my mom doesn’t like fish and I am not a big fan of fish either.

Anyway, while I am not a big fan of fish in general I somehow like blue fish more than other fish, because it has a bolder, more meaty flavor. The other day I finally found some frozen sardines and very happily bought them. The plan was to cook the sardines in the oven with potatoes and tomatoes.

Now in Italy sardines are usually cleaned when you buy them prepackaged, so the first thing I had to figure out is how to clean them. Thankfully I found this great video and followed it carefully, with pretty good results.

Baked sardines and potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 big sardines
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 tomato
  • garlic
  • EVOO
  • parsley or rosemary or oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. After figuring out the cleaning of the fish, I sliced some potatoes and put them in cold water and I sliced a big tomato. I cut the fish in fillets and started layering my ingredients in an oven dish, starting with a layer of potatoes only and then going on with a layer of fish, slices of tomato and slices of potatoes. When all the ingredients were layered, I poured some oil in a small bowl and added some minced garlic, salt, pepper and a pinch of rosemary (fresh parsley or oregano would also work very well). I poured the oil mixture over the fish and vegetables and then baked for about 40 minutes (or until potatoes are ready) in a 375F hot oven.
  2. Enjoy this very Mediterranean dish, it will make you feel like you are on a island looking out at the blue sea.

Celeriac and potatoes quiche recipe

BF keeps telling me how much he likes potato and turnips gratins you often get as sided in restaurants so I decided to put a quiche together inspired to those sides.

Celeriac and potatoes quiche

Ingredients

  • pie dough
  • 3 or 4 thinly sliced tomatoes
  • 1 big celeriac root thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 quarts milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups bechamel
  • grated parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. First I prepared the pie dough according to the base recipe and put it to rest in the fridge. Then, I boiled the potatoes and celeriac in a mixture of salted milk and water for about 10-15minutes, until the celeriac was soft. I used about 2 quarts of milk and 2 quarts of water. Then I drained the vegetables from the milk mixture and let them cool down a bit. Meanwhile, I prepared my bechamel according to the base recipe and seasoned it with black pepper and grated parmesan. I then rolled out my dough to a thin circle that I used to line a spring form pan. To make life easier, I lined the bottom of my pan with some parchment paper before lining it with the dough. I arranged the vegetables in the pan starting with a layer of potatoes, a layer of celeriac and finally a mixed layer. I poured the bechamel over the vegetables and put my quiche in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes. For the last couple of minutes I turned on the broiler to brown up the bechamel.

Celery and potatoes, chicken stir fry recipe

Today I decided to cook something quick but I wanted it to have celery in it. Also I quite early decided that orange and celery should make a pretty good combo and then I added potatoes and chicken to make for a more substantial dinner. Turned out pretty great!

Celery and potatoes, chicken stir fry

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken cutlets
  • 1 celery
  • 3-4 medium potatoes
  • 1 orange
  • salt
  • pepper
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. First I started out by roasting a bit of diced pancetta in some olive oil, then I added the celery stalks diced up and the potatoes also diced. I sprinkled the vegetables with the juice and the zest of 1 orange and seasoned with salt and pepper. I covered the pan to help the potatoes and the celery to cook down and let cook for 15-20 minutes. When the potatoes where soft, I added the chicken cutlets cut into stripes and continued cooking uncovered until the chicken was throughly cooked (about another 5 minutes). In the final minutes the juices should evaporate so you can get some caramelization on the veggies.
  2. A quick, light and bright stir fry great for any season.

Buttercup squash and sweet potatoes gnocchi

So today  it is World on a Plate and we are doing Dumplings! Yeah I know we did dumplings last month, but some of us didn’t make it and the theme was so good, we decided to do a repeat. And so this time I am making gnocchi. Not quite the original ones that are made with just regular old potatoes and that you can find here, but a rather popular version made with buttercup squash.

In the usual versions of this variation of gnocchi, regular potatoes are used, but I figured sweet potatoes could only enhance the squash flavor, so I went with those.

For dressing, a popular choice is just butter and cheese with maybe a bit of sage or rosemary. Or you can always go to our friend: pancetta (or bacon). But this time I decided to go for a more unusual broccoli rabe sauce, which is perfect for vegans and meat eater alike.

I should not boast, but I got pretty rave comments from my guests! So go on and try making some yourselves and let me know what you think!

Oh and don’t forget to check out other dumplings from around the world at the bottom of this post! I for one cannot wait to see what dumplings are there in Korea, India, Malaysia, Macedonia, Sweden, USA!

Kaboocha squash and sweet potatoes gnocchi

Ingredients

    Gnocchi

  • 1 lb butternut squash
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups flour
  • rosemary
  • olive oil
  • Sauce

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • chili flakes
  • 2 oz. pancetta (optional)

Directions

    Gnocchi

  1. Clean the squash and peal the potatoes.
  2. Cut the squash into slices and the potatoes into cubes and place on an oven sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and rosemary.
  3. Cook in a 400F oven until soft.
  4. Take out of the oven and let the vegetables cool down.
  5. When they are cool enough to handle, mash the vegetables using a potato ricer and place in a bowl.
  6. Add enough flour to get a doughy consistency. The dough should still be sticky and soft, but it should pull back when you try to pull it with the fork.
  7. Dust a work surface with lot of flour. Spoon some of the dough on the flour and form the dough into a long log that is about as thick as your thumb. With a knife, cut the gnocchi by cutting the log into 1.5 inch segments.
  8. Place the gnocchi on a abundantly floured surface and start on the sauce.
  9. Sauce

  10. Clean the broccoli rabe and put them in a pot with the water left on the leaves after washing. Steam until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes.
  11. Blend the broccoli with a pinch of chili flakes and enough olive oil to get a creamy consistency. Salt to taste.
  12. If using, in a separate pot render the pancetta with some rosemary until all the fat is melted and it starts browning. For the best results render the fat on very low heat.
  13. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water. Throw them in the water in batches and scoop them out when they start floating.
  14. Put in a bowl and dress them with the broccoli rabe sauce and the pancetta (if using). If necessary, thin the sauce with the cooking water of the gnocchi.

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