Cold Baked Potato Salad

Cold baked potato salad

Cold baked potato salad


Potato salads are great side dishes as well as appetizers. Served in nice presentation forms, they can make awesome party foods.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 2 onions, peeled, sliced
  • 3 eggs, boiled hard
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 bacon slices, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 20-30 black olives, cored
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt, pepper to taste

Preparation:
Heat the oven at 350F. Bake the potatoes for 60 minutes. Try them with a fork to see if they are done. If the fork doesn’t go in easily, extend the baking time by 10-15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool. If you want them to cool faster, you can immerse them in cold water.

Boil the eggs hard. This means that after the water starts to boil, you need to cook them for 15 minutes.

After the eggs are cooked, let them cool and slice them thin. Peel and slice the onion. Cut the olives in quarters. Peel and dice the baked potatoes in chunks of about 1.5 inch thick. Dice the bacon and the red bell pepper. Put all these in a large bowl, add mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix gently until the mayonnaise – vinegar combination forms a film that covers all other ingredients. If needed, add more mayonnaise.

Refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes before serving.

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Quick and Easy Breakfast

Nutritionists tell us breakfast ought to be the most important meal of the day. The stomach tell us the same thing. We probably all have days when we just ignore the stomach and forget about those nutritionists and their health advice. We are just too lazy or too rushed to sit and eat in the morning, not to mention cooking on top of that.

Well, here’s a breakfast that takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to eat.

Cut 5-6 salami slices. Dice them, then toss it in a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook it over medium heat. Chop half of a red bell pepper and add it in the pan. Stir frequently.

Red pepper and salami for my easy breakfast recipe

Red pepper and salami for my easy breakfast recipe

Take two eggs and beat them. Add a little bit of paprika powder. That’s only for the nice, red color of the food, so you can skip it if you wish.

Beat two eggs and add red paprika

Beat two eggs and add red paprika

Your salami and red bell pepper should be cooked enough by now, so add the beaten eggs to the pan. Cook over medium heat. Use a wooden spatula to lift the edges of the omelet, in order to allow the egg mixture to cook evenly.

Easy breakfast cooking

Easy breakfast cooking

After about 3 minutes flip the eggs, add some grated cheese on top and let them cook for one minute more. Fold the omelet and transfer it onto a plate. Add a few slices of cheese and a few olives, sprinkle some freshly ground pepper on top and enjoy your fast breakfast.

Your 10 minutes warm breakfast

Your 10 minutes warm breakfast

You probably figured out already that you can tweak this recipe in multiple ways. Add whatever you like, leave out what you hate. The main idea is that one needs only 15 minutes in the morning to start the day with a warm breakfast, even if it’s this simple.

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Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

As life goes pretty hectic these days, we’ve got less and less time for activities like cooking. Some people can’t even find the time to eat properly. We need everything fast and easy, otherwise we lose interest. If you ever tried the instant mashed potatoes that can be found in supermarkets, then you surely know that’s not “the real thing”. It’s a huge difference in taste between instant and homemade mashed potatoes. Believe it or not, there’s not so much difference in the cooking time needed, if you don’t take into account the boiling time.

Take 5-6 medium potatoes. Make sure they are all pretty much the same size, because you want them to get cooked at the same time. Choose only healthy potatoes, with nice skin, without sprouts. Wash them very well.

Put the potatoes in a large pot with water, add a tablespoon of salt and bring them to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done. If the fork goes easily, you’re ready.

Boiling potatoes

Boiling potatoes for a simple mashed potatoes recipe

Remove the pot from heat. Take the potatoes one by one, cut them in half and peel them. Beware, they are very hot, so you’ll nee to use a fork to get them out of the water. As you peel the potatoes, put them in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of butter, some salt and optionally some freshly ground black pepper. Cover the bowl to keep it warm until you’re done with all potatoes.

Boiled potatoes

Boiled potatoes peeled, salted, with added butter, ready to be mashed

With a wire masher, start mashing the potatoes, gradually adding warm milk until you’re happy with the consistency of your mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes almost done

This is one of the simplest potato recipes and it’s an awesome side dish for steaks, sausages, stews and for all meat-based dishes in general.

Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 medium potatoes (Yukon Golds or russets)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • salt, pepper to taste

If you’re really in a hurry, you can speed up cooking by peeling and dicing the potatoes before boiling them. However, boiling the potatoes unpeeled results in a better taste, therefore I reckon it’s worth the pain of prolonging the preparation time a bit.

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Crispy Potato Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 medium size potatoes, grated
  • 2 onions, finely chopped or grated
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 eggs, beaten (if you have large eggs, one is enough)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:
Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Peel and grate the onion. Peel the potatoes. Grate them. Squeeze the excess liquid from the grated potatoes with the help of your hands. As we are not going to use that liquid, you can just take handfuls of grated potatoes and squeeze them over the kitchen sink.

In a large bowl combine the grated potatoes with onion, garlic flour and beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper. Stir very well.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Form the potato mix into balls, then flatten them as much as you can, making sure they don’t fall apart. Cook the potato pancakes for about 5 minutes on each side. If they turn brown too quickly, lower the heat. When pancakes are cooked, remove them from the pan and drain them on paper towels.

Potato pancakes are best hot. If you prepare them in more than one-two batches, put the cooked ones in the warm oven until you’re done.

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Cheesy Potatoes

Cheesy potatoes are delicious. They make an excellent side dish for dinner. Even better, you can always enjoy the leftovers for next day’s breakfast.

Cheesy potatoes with ground pepper sprinkled on top

Cheesy potatoes with ground pepper sprinkled on top

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

Preparation:
Peel the potatoes. Slice them about 1/2 inch thick.

Grate the cheese over a bowl, then add two eggs and half cup of sour cream. Taste the cheese in order to see if you need to add salt to the food or not.

Preheat the oven at 400F. Oil a baking dish. Put one layer of potatoes in the dish, then pour the egg-cheese mixture over it. Arrange another layer of potato slices on top.

In a small bowl, beat the two remaining eggs, them add the other half cup of sour cream, the thyme and the curry powder. Pour this over the potatoes, covering all of them.

Bake the cheesy potatoes in the oven at medium heat for about 45 minutes. Try them with a fork or a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you’re done. If not, bake them for 10 more minutes, then try them again. This is how the crust should look like when ready:

Cheesy potatoes with a nice, brown crust

Cheesy potatoes with a nice, brown crust

Let the cheesy potatoes cool for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving them.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes are nothing else than stuffed jacket potatoes returned to the oven after the inside has been mixed with various fillings such as cheese, egg or bacon. Not only are these potatoes delicious, they are also festive, therefore they can make a hit at Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, or at any other celebration.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 3 large baking potatoes (choose healthy ones, with nice skin)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 bacon slices
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Clean and dry the potatoes, then bake them for about one hour.

Fry the bacon slices in a skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side. When they are nicely browned, remove from the pan and drain them on paper towels. Crumble them and set them aside. It’s nicer to first brown, then crumble the bacon, because if you do otherwise, it will retain too much oil.

When the potatoes are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes, then cut them in halves lengthwise. Scoop the interior carefully in a large bowl, leaving the skin intact. Don’t throw away the skins, we are going to need them later on.

Add sour cream, salt, pepper, butter, half the green onions amount and half the cheese to the bowl with potato flesh. Mix well until the composition gets creamy and uniform. You can use a hand mixer, it’s much faster than the manual way.

Spoon the creamy mixture back into the potato shells. Top with the remaining sour cream, onions and bacon. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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Goat Cheese Quesadilla

Goat cheese melts very well, therefore it’s a great choice for quesadillas. You can combine it with various fillings such as asparagus, mango, chicken, spinach or even bananas. Quesadillas are perfect as appetizers, breakfast or even dessert, they are easy to prepare and relatively inexpensive. Here’s my favorite goat cheese quesadilla recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 flour tortillas (6” diameter)
  • 4 oz soft goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic, cilantro, green onion, salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Set the food aside. Place the tortillas one at a time in the pan and heat them for 2 minutes on each side. It’s nice to do this because heat makes the tortillas crisp, preventing them from becoming soggy when you add the goat cheese.

Assemble the quesadillas as follows: one tortilla, crumbled goat cheese evenly spread on top of it, then the garlic and green onion mixture, then some fresh cilantro. Spread another layer of goat cheese, then cover with the second tortilla.

Heat the grill pan. Cook the assembled quesadilla for about 2-3 minutes, flip it over carefully, then cook it for about 30 seconds on the second side. Repeat with the second one.

Cut in wedges and serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream spread on top.

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Chicken and Taco Sauce Quesadilla Recipe

The beauty of almost any quesadilla recipe is that it can help you “clean the fridge”, meaning that you can turn food leftovers into delicious meals. Chicken quesadillas are great to be cooked just after you’ve prepared chicken roast, as there’s usually a lot of meat that nobody want to eat two days after. This recipe is based on chicken breast, as that’s the part of the roast chicken I like less. Quesadilla makes it much better, as you’ll see in a moment.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked, shredded
  • 1 cup Jack Monterey cheese, grated
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 chili pepper
  • 1 green pepper, seeded, diced
  • 4 tablespoons Taco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Directions:
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Cook the onion, garlic, chili pepper and green pepper for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the taco sauce. Stir and cook for 1 minute, then add the shredded chicken. Mix it well to make sure it’s covered in sauce, then add the cheese. Cover the pan and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Take another skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in it, then put a tortilla in the pan. Warm it for 2-3 minutes on each side, then place it on a plate and fill half of it with the chicken mixture. Fold it. Top it with sour cream and finely chopped fresh parsley.

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Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium baking potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preparation:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add salt, pepper and flour. Stir frequently, until you get a smooth mixture, then start adding the milk, little by little. Bring it to boil and cook for about one minute. Set aside.

Oil a baking dish, then arrange one layer of potatoes on the bottom. Cover with half of the chopped onion, add half cup of diced ham, then pour one third of the milk sauce over it. Add a new layer of potatoes, the rest of chopped onion and ham, then cover with the remaining sauce.

Cover the dish and bake it in the oven for about 90 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with dried oregano, then return to the oven and bake it uncovered for 10 minutes.

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Shrimp Quesadilla

This is a quesadilla recipe perfect for a light lunch. You can use fresh shrimps, if you can find them. If not, frozen shrimps are still fine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tortillas
  • 1cup frozen cooked shrimps, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red hot chili flakes (if you like very spicy food, you can use as much chili as you wish)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a stick-free pan. Add the green onion, garlic, chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring a few times. Add the shrimps, lime juice and parsley. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Heat the tortillas in a pan for about 30 seconds on each side. After you finish heating the second tortilla, leave it in the pan and add shredded cheese on top of it. Then add the shrimp mix on top of the cheese and cover with the other tortilla. When the cheese starts melting, flip the quesadilla over. You can do that with the help of a plate or of a second pan, or you can just use two spatulas, if you’re handy enough.

Cut the quesadilla in 6-8 wedges and serve it hot.

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