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.

Posted in Potato Breakfast Recipes, Potato Side Dish Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mushroom Quiche With Potato Crust

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Basic quiche recipes call for pastry for the crust. However, if you want, you can replace the pastry with potatoes. I did this and here’s my potato crust quiche recipe, which you can use as base for any kind of quiche you like: mine has mushrooms, red bell pepper, parsley, dill and onions, but variations are welcome.

The first step is to make the crust. You need two onions…

Two peeled onions

Two peeled onions

and about 6 medium size potatoes. Don’t ask me why my onions were one yellow and one red. Use whatever you have, the color makes no difference in this situation.

Peeled potatoes

Peeled potatoes

Peel and grate the onions. Here’s the part where you start to cry, so take your time, wash your face, grate some more, cry some more… the whole operation shouldn’t take you more than 5-6 minutes.

Grating onions

Grating onions

Peel and grate the potatoes. I grated them coarsely, but if you want a finer crust, use the fine side of the grater box.

Grating potatoes

Grating potatoes

Pre-heat the oven at 450F.

Squeeze the grated onions and potatoes very well to drain the liquid, then put them in a bowl and mix them.

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Use both your hands, not one like I did. You won’t have to hold the camera, I guess ;)

Add a teaspoon of salt, some ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of all purpose white flour. If you want, you can add spices. I added about a teaspoon dried thyme. Mix everything very well.

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Oil a baking dish (bottom and edges). Shape the onion-potato mix into a pie crust, trying to get even thickness all over.

Raw potato quiche crust

Raw potato quiche crust

Bake the potato crust at 450F for about 15 minutes.

Take the baking dish out of the oven, brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil and put it back in the oven again for 10 more minutes. If you don’t have a special brush, you can use a folded paper towel to oil the crust evenly.

Oiled quiche crust

Oiled quiche crust

While the crust is baking, we are going to prepare the filling for our quiche. You need one onion, 15-20 button mushrooms, half red bell pepper, parsley and dill.

Button mushrooms

Button mushrooms

Peel and chop the onion. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onion and fry it for about 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Chopped red onion in pan

Chopped red onion in pan

Thoroughly clean the mushrooms, chop them and add them to the frying pan. I also added about a teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced, but that’s optional.

Chop about half of a red bell pepper. Add it to the food. Stir and cook over medium heat. Chop the parsley and the dill and add them to the pan.

Vegetables in pan

Vegetables in pan

Continue cooking and stirring until the vegetables are soft and there’s a lot of liquid from the mushrooms in the pan. This process should take about 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from heat, transfer them into a colander and drain them very well. You can use a wooden spatula or a spoon to squeeze them dry.

Draining stir fried vegetables

Draining stir fried vegetables

Pour the vegetables over the quiche crust, spreading them evenly onto the surface.

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Grate the cheese. You’ll need about 1 cup of grated cheese. I used feta, but you can use any cheese you want such as Cheddar or Swiss cheese.

Grated Feta cheese

Grated Feta cheese

Spread the grated cheese on top of the baking dish.

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs. Please note that there are only two eggs in the photo, but after I beat those, I decided to add one more.

Beat three eggs and add milk

Beat three eggs and add milk

Add about 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika powder and some freshly ground black pepper.

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Mix well and pour over the grated cheese layer in the quiche dish.

Quiche - ready to bake

Quiche - ready to bake

Bake over medium heat for one hour.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. Cut and serve hot.

Mushroom quiche slice

Mushroom quiche slice

Serving suggestion: decorate the quiche slices with pickled beetroot or gherkins.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Ingredients for this quiche recipe:

  • 3 medium size onions
  • 20 button mushrooms
  • 6 medium size potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose white flour
  • 1 cup parsley and dill, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese

This recipe serves 4-6 people. I ate two big slices while writing the recipe for you, however :)

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French Onion Soup Recipe

It somehow amuses me how a basic dish for poor people managed to become gourmet. If you didn’t know it, find out that onion soup was a popular dish in ancient Rome. Onions were widely available and very easy to grow, so one didn’t need to have advanced gardening skills to be able to cultivate onions in their own backyard.

Another interesting finding is that the word “soup” comes from the Latin “suppa”, which means “bread soaked in a broth”. So, croutons are also originating from ancient soups.

The modern version of this onion soup with beef broth and croutons was born in the 18th century, in France, hence the name “French onion soup”.

What makes a good French onion soup recipe? Although the ingredients are pretty much standard, not everybody can cook a delicious onion soup. Some chefs claim the secret lays in the cooking time, because caramelized onions make the difference, therefore it’s important to cook the onions as slowly as possible to unleash all their wonderful flavors. Caramelization is the process in which the onions are very slowly cooked in olive oil or butter, with the purpose of bringing out the flavors of onions sugars. After the onions turn brown, wine is used to deglaze the skillet and to enhance the flavors.

The French onion soup is made from beef broth and caramelized onions, served with croutons and cheese toppings. The most popular cheese used to top the French onion soup is Gruyere. Various recipes, though, use other types of good melting cheese such as Swiss cheese, mozzarella, Cheddar or even parmesan.

The easiest French onion soup recipe is the one that uses canned beef broth or beef stock and dehydrated onion soup mix. Although it’s easy to just buy, heat and mix, I’m not a big fan of such ingredients which may be full of preservatives, thus not so good for you. I’m for the old-fashioned cooking style, which means starting from scratch and using fresh foods as much as possible.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 5 yellow onions, medium sized (sweet onions are best)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (if you can’t find it fresh, replace with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme)
  • 4 cups homemade beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 slices of white bread, toasted
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, grated
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

Get five medium-sized yellow onions:

Five yellow onions

Five yellow onions

Cut the onions in halves, peel them and slice them thinly. You don’t need to worry too much about how the slices look like, because you’re going to cook them for a long time anyway.

Sliced onions for French onion soup

Sliced onions for French onion soup

I have to tell you that my chopping board is small, so what you see in the above photo is only a part of the whole quantity. This is how five chopped onions look like:

Chopped onions ready to turn into soup

Chopped onions ready to turn into soup

In a heavy bottomed cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil, then add the onions and a bit of salt. I used a large, thick-bottomed stainless steel pot, as you can see from the image above.

Saute the onions over medium to low heat, stirring from time to time. After 1-2 minutes, set the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Don’t stir too often, because you do want the onions to turn brown and to caramelize.

Caramelized onions

Caramelized onions

After the onions get brown, add the fresh thyme and the garlic. Gradually pour the wine and scrape the burnt onions off the skillet bottom.

Pour red wine over the caramelized onions

Pour red wine over the caramelized onions

Keep on cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. Pour the beef broth, add a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. If the soup is dark brown, you know you’ve done a great job with caramelizing the onions.

French onion soup with homemade beef broth

French onion soup with homemade beef broth

Ladle the soup into four oven-proof soup bowls, making sure to put some of the caramelized onions in each bowl. If you have a traditional onion soup bowl set, use it, because those bowls have a special shape that makes the soup stay hot until the last spoon. Float the toast croutons, one on top of each soup bowl. Lay the grated cheese on top of the croutons. I found it easier to first set the grated cheese on the toast, then place it on the soup.

Toast floating on French onion soup

Toast floating on French onion soup

Put the soup bowls in the oven and broil them until the cheese melts and starts to get brown spots. This will happen in less than one minute. Make sure to closely watch the food at this stage, because it’s extremely easy to burn the cheese and spoil the whole meal.

French onion soup in the oven

French onion soup in the oven

This last photo was taken with the soup still in the oven, just before it was done. The cheese had already melted, but it looked like it was going to sink, so there wasn’t time for a proper table setup before taking the final shot.

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