Welcome to Foodie Friday.
Are your Thanksgiving preparations underway? Will you be cooking at home, cooking with a group, or eating out? Are you trying a new recipe?
This week I'm bringing two potato recipes. The first, Simple Rustic Potato soup, is quick and filling, the perfect "one pot meal" for the busy days ahead. The hardest part is microwaving three bags of frozen russet potatoes, and that's not difficult, so you can just imagine the ease of this recipe.
Simple Rustic Potato Soup
3 24 oz packages Ore-Ida Steam n Mash Cut Russet Potatoes
1 32-oz box College Inn Chicken Broth
1 or 2 14-oz cans College Inn Chicken Broth
8 strips bacon
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chopped white (or yellow) onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 c. shredded mild cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Cook 1 24-oz package Ore-Ida potatoes in microwave according to directions (ten minutes) and set aside. In a large, non-stick Dutch oven, fry 8 slices of bacon (medium high flame). Crumble bacon and set aside. Add chopped onions and celery to pot and sautee until clear and tender. Add 1 32-oz box chicken broth and cook 10 minutes over medium low flame, stirring now and then. Meanwhile, continue to microwave two remaining packages of frozen potatoes. Add all three packages of potatoes to Dutch oven. Mash potatoes with a large whisk or metal masher. [I like a rough, "rustic" texture. If you prefer smooth, skip this step and place the cooked potatoes into a Cuisinart or blender, then add to Dutch oven.]
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook another 10 minutes. At this point, the soup is thick, and I always add one 14-oz can of chicken stock (if you like a thinner soup, add a second can of stock). Stir. Lower the flame and simmer soup for five minutes. Slowly add 1 cup cream and blend thoroughly. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Cover pot and remove from flame.
Pour soup into bowls and garnish with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.
The second recipe is Warm Potato Salad.
It's sassy and comforting, perfect with leftover turkey sandwiches.
Side dishes have always fascinated me.
I come from a long line of Southern women who believe that side dishes are a blend of nutrition and art. My mother will never serve corn and fried apples at the same meal, unless she balances the yellows with green beans or asparagus. She plays matchmaker with "sides," as she calls them, aiming for complimentary companions.
Entrees are easy, but I worry and worry about side dishes. I've been known to fall into a broccoli rut. My mother always tries to repeat flavors. If she marinates a chicken with lime juice, she will serve a key lime pie for dessert. A Granny Smith smothered pork roast will be paired with an apple raisin salad or apple tarts. And so on and so forth. A warm potato salad with a bacon vinaigrette is the perfect accompaniment for roasted chicken.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Potatoes: A Country Garden Cookbook.
Warm Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
4 potatoes, cut into 1/8" slices
2 cups chicken broth
4-6 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons bacon drippings
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 Tablespoons country style Dijon mustard
sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
fresh thyme and Italian parsley
roasted red bell pepper (optional)
Fry bacon and onions. Set aside and reserve 2 tablespoons of drippings. Slice potatoes (unpeeled for a rustic salad) and place in a saucepan. Add 2 cups chicken broth. Cook potatoes 15 minutes over a low flame. Drain potatoes and place in a bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup chicken broth. Into a clean bowl, add broth, olive oil, mustard, vinegar, and bacon drippings. Whisk and pour vinaigrette over potatoes. Sprinkle with bacon and chopped herbs. Cover potatoes (I use a large dinner plate) and steep 15 minutes. Remove plate (or lid) and stir potatoes carefully, making sure you distribute the vinaigrette.
For perky color, add a sliced roasted red bell pepper.
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