Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Source:  Rochelle  ca. 1990’s.

Personal Notes:
There are two words to describe this soup; delicious and easy!  This soup is a perfect meal for a cold rainy day and can be made in a pinch.  It consists of 2 main ingredients with stock to follow and a hint of cream if desired.  I like this pureed in a blender, or you can leave it whole and chunky if this is your preference.  This can also be substituted by switching leeks with asparagus, or even spinach.  Enjoy!

potato leek soup
6-8 potatoes, cleaned 4 Tbs. butter
6-8 leeks-cleaned and chopped 1 onion
6-8 C. stock (vegetable or chicken) Salt/pepper to taste

Get your soup stock pot out, put your butter in to melt, and sauté your chopped onion until translucent.

Take your washed potatoes and cut them in equal proportions for optimal cooking.  You can dice them, or quarter them, your choice.  If you puree in the end, it doesn’t matter what you do.  If you leave the soup chunky, then I’d say to dice them.

Have your leeks washed well, and then slice them.

Once onions are cooked, add potatoes, leeks and cook in the butter/onion mixture for about 5 min or so.

Add your stock, bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, usually 15 min. or so.

At the end, add a dollop of cream, mix in.

(If you choose to puree the soup, pour in the mixer or insert the hand mixer and whip it up)

Serve and garnish w/ parsley and serve with home-made crostini.

Down Home French Fries

Down Home French Fries

Source:  Rochelle  Cir.  2002

Personal Notes:
Well, this recipe was inspired out of pure desperation.  It was one of those nights again where I was wondering, “What am I going to make for dinner?”  I’ve established the eating pattern with my family of having larger lunches and a smaller dinner.

This was perfect!  I took what I had for potato stock, washed and cleaned them up, sliced and diced then cooked!  Enjoy.

French fries
Potatoes (figure 1-2 per person) Fresh squeezed garlic
Olive oil Salt/pepper to taste

Wash and clean potatoes.

Prepare your oven to 220°C.  Line a cookie tray pan that has edges with baking paper.

Take a Julienne slicer with French fry adapter and begin to slice.  If you do not have such an apparatus, get one!  If you can’t, then hand slice your potatoes.

Put all cut strips in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, add your seasons (garlic, salt/pepper) toss to combine flavors evenly, spread out on the lined cookie sheet.

Cook in oven until you like what you see!

Potatoes Oven Roasted

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Source:  Mom Cir. 1980’s

Personal Notes:
If I can remember one thing from my mother’s kitchen, it was the smell of potatoes roasting in the oven.  This dish is a very simple Tuscan countryside farm dish.  This accompanies just about any main dish with meat, or is super as a main dish itself with a nice salad.  Just make sure you drizzle with a nice organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a must…fresh chopped rosemary.  Enjoy.

Potatoes oven rosted
10-medium size potatoes Pinch of Salt/pepper + 1 diced garlic clove
4-5 Tbs. Olive oil 1 Tbs. Chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Wash and peel potatoes (if you choose to leave the skins on, that is perfectly good as well).  Cut potato in half, (length wise) then turn ¼ and cut down the other long side, thus creating 4 long pieces of the potato.  Dice potatoes, creating about ½”-1” pieces.

Place cut pieces on a paper lined cookie tray. Drizzle the oil, add the salt pepper, garlic and finalize with the chopped rosemary. Put into oven, bake until golden.

roasted potatoes

Potato cakes

Potato cakes

Source:  Me about 1990’s

Personal Notes:
Long ago, I was a hairdresser.  I was doing a Jewish client’s hair around the time of Hanukkah and of course we were talking about her menu and what she was serving.  This was the first time I had heard of the potato cakes.  They are traditionally called Latkes.  Naturally, out of sheer curiosity, I gave them a try.  I found out they were easy and very, very good!  I did some research on these cakes via youtube.  To my surprise, it seems that many “Jewish” chefs advise on buying a Latke mix, and they promised it was easier and better.  Forget that!  Trust yourself that you can cook and prepare Jewish Latkes from scratch and enjoy them 100% more than by cooking them with a mix.  Key tip in preparing the Latkes, is once you have shredded your potatoes, let them stand and drain for about 15-20 min.  You will discard the drained potato juice and once there is no more liquid, add your dry ingredients and eggs.  Give them a shot if you haven’t already.  They are good as appetizers or good as a meal with a salad.

potato cakes
8-10 potatoes, peeled and shredded 3 eggs
1/3 C. bread crumbs Salt/pepper

Begin preparing the potatoes.  8-10 potatoes will serve about 5 cakes each for a family of 5.
Clean, peel and shred the potatoes.  Collect all shredded potatoes and place in a colander which will allow them to drain the excess water that potatoes have.
Combine the shredded potatoes, 3 eggs, bread crumbs and salt/pepper.  Form into small pattys, something comparable to forming meat balls, but a more-flat version.
In a sauce pan, add oil and heat.  Begin to cook the patty’s until golden brown on each side.  On a med/high heat, this is usually about 8 min. on each side.
Serve with applesauce, or a cream fraiche seasoned dip.


Potatoes au gratin

 Potatoes au gratin

Source: Adapted from B. Smith’s Entertaining and cooking for Friends, Artisan 1995

Personal Notes:
This is a super easy dish, and is complimented with a great salad.  So, this could be a light lunch or light dinner.  If you don’t have the cheese to add, it’s not a big miss, so either way, enjoy the dish!

potatoes au gratin
1/3 C. unsalted butter, softened 1 C. heavy cream
1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼” thick 1 tsp. salt
½ C. Gruyere ½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ C. fresh Parmesan 1/8 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 350*.

Butter a 1 ½ quart baking dish with about 1 Tbs. of the softened butter.

Arrange a layer of potatoes in the baking dish, and sprinkle some of the cheeses over them.  Continue layering potatoes and cheeses until you’ve used them all, ending with a layer of potatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the salt and pepper, pour this over the potatoes.  Dot the remaining butter over the top and sprinkle with the paprika.  Bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hrs, or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4: