Simple Potato Gratin <3 Olivia

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Hi! First post since December for me… been in a pretty major cooking slump. Anyway, this is from the Smitten Kitchen (one of my favorite cooking blogs). We had this for Christmas dinner and it was delicious.

Simple Potato Gratin:
– 3-4 tbs. butter
– 1 1/2 yukon yellow potatoes (peeled)
– 1 cup half & half (or milk or cream)
– approx 1/2 cup shredded cheese (gruyere or parmesan)
– salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1. Slice the potatoes thinly (use mandoline if possible)

2. Grease a 9×12 glass dish with butter/oil. Place a single layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place 1/3 of the shredded cheese over the first layer.

3. Repeat the layering process, til you end up with 3 layers– but don’t put cheese on top of the final layer, you will do this later.

4. Pour the half & half into the dish, it will come up to the third layer–add more if needed. Place in the oven.

5. After about 30 minutes, remove the dish and press down the potatoes with a spatula so the potatoes are kept moist. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes. 15 minutes before it is done, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

eat & enjoy 🙂

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Potato Latkes <3 Olivia

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This picture is not doing the latke justice. I love latkes, but I wanted to try a variation that would offer a little more nutrition, so I added sweet potatoes and carrots to the mix- but I still fried them! Baking them probably would work also though. This blend was really delicious. I like my latkes with some applesauce, but sour cream or ketchup also works.

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Potato Latkes:

– 1 sweet potato
– 1 russet potato
– 3 carrots
– 1/2 onion
– 2 eggs
– 3 tbs flour
– salt and pepper, to taste
– Oil for pan frying (approximately 1/4 cup)

1. Wash and peel your vegetables. Julienne or shred your vegetables (I just used a vegetable peeler and then chopped roughly). Chop onion into small pieces. Combine all into one bowl.

2. Mix in your egg, flour, salt & pepper; mix well.

3. Heat oil in a large frying pan to about 375 degrees, or just when small bubbles begin to form. Drop your latkes in the oil and fry on each side, for a few minutes per side, or until golden brown. Carefully remove the latkes from the oil and place on a paper towel to dry.

4. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or ketchup, or plain! Enjoy.

Simple Roast Chicken and Vegetables <3 Olivia

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It is always great when you can make a complete meal in one pan. A roast chicken might seem intimidating but it is actually incredibly easy and so delicious. With this recipe I had a healthy lunch all ready for days and even more chicken leftover that I was able to use in quesadillas, salads, etc… it was very economical. The chicken looks beautiful on the plate and is a great substitute during the holidays for those who may not like turkey or don’t need such a large bird. You can sub in any vegetables you like, but these are the ones I like the most with my roast.

Simple Roast Chicken and Vegetables:

– 1 uncooked chicken, giblets removed
– approximately 2 cups chicken broth (I always use reduced sodium)
– 2-3 yellow onions
– approx. 6 golden or red potatoes
– approx. 6 carrots, peeled
– 1 head garlic (you can use less, if desired)
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 (I actually set somewhere between 425-450)
1. Remove giblets from chicken. Clean your chicken under cold water and dry WELL (this is important for getting a crisp skin). Rub olive oil over the chicken (approximately 1-2 tbs) and season with salt and pepper. Place your aromatics inside the chicken body (I used a few garlic cloves and half an onion, a lemon and fresh herbs would also be great!). Place your chicken in a large glass rimmed baking dish.

2. Chop your onions, carrots, and potatoes into bite-size pieces. Toss with 2 tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the glass rimmed baking sheet, with the chicken in the center.

3. Place the remaining, peeled garlic cloves in the baking dish, but make sure to cover them with vegetables, or the tops will burn. I think roasted garlic is absolutely delicious, but if you don’t, you can leave it out! I also place a few cloves under the wings of the bird for extra flavor.

4. Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock over the entire dish, be careful not to wash off all the seasonings on the bird. When it is ready to place in the oven it will look like this:
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5. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes. At the 45 minute mark, pour the remaining cup of chicken stock over the chicken, more if needed, allowing it to drip down the vegetables. Toss vegetables to avoid burning on the top. Continue roasting for another 30 minutes (total time will be about 1 hour and 15 minutes).

6. Remove from oven, allow to cool before carving.

mmm ❤ Olivia

Homemade Gnocchi <3 Olivia

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Yum!! I am listing the recipe for just the gnocchi, and I will post a mushroom sauce after that I served with the gnocchi. Gnocchi is really delicious and goes well with many different sauces (butter-sage, marinara, parmesan, mushroom, garlic-cream, etc…) This recipe is a little bit time consuming but worth it–the store bought gnocchi is just not good. For this recipe you will need a potato masher or potato ricer. You can do without but you may need to pick out the larger pieces of potato to achieve a smooth consistency for the dough. There are so many gnocchi recipes on the internet and they all vary quite a bit in how much flour and egg to use. I went ahead and added ingredients in order to get a pillowy feeling dough-and this is what I ended up using.

Homemade Gnocchi:

4 large russet potatoes
2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting/rolling
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup parmesan (optional)

1. Start by boiling your potatoes. You are going to want the skin off for the gnocchi so it is up to you how you want to do this. I boiled my potatoes in 2 inch chunks with the skin on and peeled off under cold water after, but it doesn’t really matter how you do this step. Boil until soft.

2. Once the potatoes are cool enough to work with and the skins have been removed run the potatoes through your ricer or mash very well. You want to eliminate all the potato chunks.

3. Next you want to prepare your working surface. Many sites recommend using the counter and covering in flour. I did not want to deal with cleaning that up so I used the biggest mixing bowl I have. Pour the flour into your bowl and push it to the edges. Place your potatoes in the center of the bowl. Form a small well with your hands and crack the egg in the middle. This may sound confusing–this site gives great pictures of each step (although the recipe is a little different than what I ended up using) http://www.delallo.com/articles/making-homemade-gnocchi-step-step-guide

4. SLowly mix your dough together, starting by combining the potato and egg and work the flour in. You want to achieve a fluffy, light feeling dough that is not sticky. Similar to a pizza dough.

5. Knead the dough for several minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. After a few minutes you are ready to form your gnocchi. At this point I would start a pot of water to boil.

6. Now flatten out your dough on a floured surface (I used a large cutting board). Using a large knife cut off strips from your dough, approx. 1 inch wide (similar to the width of a cigar). Roll each strip so it is rounded and even. Again, refer to that website if you want step by step pictures– my hands were too covered in flour to take pictures as I went!

7. Cut the dough rolls into 1 inch pieces. You can leave your gnocchi just like this or get a fork to make the classic gnocchi indents. I went ahead and used a fork. Roll your gnocchi gently on the fork until you see a light indent from the fork spears. Do not stack gnocchi pieces as you make them– keep them on the floured surface to avoid sticking and mushing together.

8. You are now ready to boil your gnocchi. Drop them in boiling water for about 5 minutes, they will float to the top when they are ready. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon to avoid any damage when straining. Now combine your gnocchi with your favorite sauce–or make the mushroom sauce I am about to post!

Enjoy ❤ Olivia