Tag Archives: potatoes

Crock Pot Bratwurst with Potatoes and Sourkraut

This is an interesting way to use your slow-cooker. When I first saw the recipe in Real Simple, I wondered how the brats would get nice and browned when all they do is braise. But to my surprise, they actually turned golden around the edges, although the skins lacked the crunch you’d get from searing them the traditional way. Ah well, this still was surprisingly good and makes your house smell like Oktoberfest.

They recommend serving with dark bread and mustard, but it would even be good piled into a hoagie roll.

Adapted from Real Simple.

Crock Pot Brats, Taters and Kraut

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or your favorite beer!)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds bratwurst links
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • mustard, for serving
  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together the potatoes, sauerkraut, onion, broth, wine (or beer), caraway seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Nestle the bratwurst in the vegetables.
  2. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Sprinkle the bratwurst, potatoes, and sauerkraut with the parsley and serve with toast, butter, and mustard.

You’ll enjoy the kick from mustard with the sausage, potatoes and kraut. Cheers, friends! xoxo

Pomegranate-ginger glazed pork chops

Pomegranate seeds are like little rubies that burst with sour juice when you bite into them. When I was little, I loved popping them between my fingers, the purple spray going everywhere.

While fun to play with, pomegranate seeds are a bit high-maintenance. Especially after I watched my mother make pomegranate rum as a child – the process of extracting the juice took forever.

Nowadays, a savvy cook just buys the juice and uses the seeds as a garnish. Which is exactly how this dish works. Adapted from We Are Not Martha, the sweet glaze pairs perfectly with thick-cut pork chops. With the addition of fresh ginger, garlic and soy sauce, it has an Asian twist that is lovely.

This is perfect with a fruity red wine. We served it along side mashed Yukon gold potatoes and garlicy steamed broccoli.

Pomegranate-Ginger Pork Chops

Ingredients:

• 1/2 c. pomegranate juice
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 1 T cornstarch
• 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 3 T soy sauce
• 3 tsp ginger, minced
• 3 tsp garlic (3 cloves), minced
• 3 thick-cut boneless pork chops
• 1 whole fresh pomegranate, opened with seeds removed (cut into quarters, place under water and gently pull out seeds. The water keeps it from squirting you. Drain seeds.)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine pom juice, sugar, cornstarch and red pepper flakes. Stir until bubbling and thick, then remove and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium-high. Pat chops dry and place in hot skillet, then spoon half the garlic-ginger mixture over the meat. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn and spoon the remaining mixture over. Cook another 5 minutes, or until cooked through and barely pink. Remove chops from pan and keep warm. (Note: I had to pop mine in the oven at 350 for a few minutes to finish cooking – you don’t want the sauce to burn).

In the chop pan, pour a little pomegranate juice in to de-glaze, scraping up the stuck-on bits. Off the heat, add the pomegranate syrup you reserved and stir to combine. The sauce will be thick and very dark with a deep, rich flavor. Just splendid.

To serve, pour sauce over the chops and top with seeds.

This was a fun meal to make that filled the house with wonderful smells. The sauce is good enough to eat with a spoon! I literally licked the plate and spoon and fork.

I encourage you all to get your antioxidants in and drink more pomegranate juice! xoxo

How to make cheap steak delicious

Like any frugal gal, I limit my meat purchases to discount bins and sale signs. I recently read an article in Cooks Illustrated about how to cook cheap steaks. I happened to have a couple top sirloin steaks that were on sale, a cut of meat that Cooks Illustrated recommended. Each steak was 12 oz. and about $3.

I cooked it simply, according to their directions, and it was delicious. Even my ribeye-loving bf raved about it! Except he said it tasted kind of like a hamburger…not sure how to take that.

Heat 1 T canola oil in a skillet until smoking. Season steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned, 4-5 min. Flip and sear the other side, 2-3 min. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

In the still-hot pan, add 1 chopped shallot and stir for 2 min. Add 1/4 c. red wine (or whatever you’re drinking) and scrape up the browned bits. Add another 1 c. of chicken stock or beef stock and stir until bubbling. Reduce and simmer until reduced, about 10 min. Season to taste and sprinkle in chopped parsley. Spoon over the steak..

Meanwhile, I made these amazing roasted baby potatoes!

Write Gals’ Perfect Potatoes

  • 2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400. Toss potatoes with a drizzle of oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on sheet pan and place in oven.

Roast until potatoes are cooked through and browned, stirring occasionally, about 20-30 min. Cooking times may vary.

Yukon gold potatoes are simply the best, and roasting them really brings out their flavor. When I took them out of the oven, I tossed in one bunch of baby asparagus, smearing the existing oil and seasonings all over them. Then I roasted them 6-8 minutes, until just tender.

And that, my friends, was a wonderful and affordable meal! Enjoy, friends! xoxo

The Perfect Roast Chicken

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The chicken you see above cost a little over $2. Not $2 per pound, not $2 per serving. Two dollars flat. It was about 4 pounds and was on sale at the local grocery store – I noticed all these old ladies leaving with a dozen birds, so I knew a good deal was on.

The beauty of roast chicken is that it does triple-duty. We had leftovers for two full meals and then boiled the leftover bones or whatever to make a delicious stock. Our leftovers are becoming tortilla chicken soup tomorrow.

Back to the roast chicken.

You can really do anything with this recipe, but I’ll include my adaptations to the original Ina Garten recipe.

Ingredients

1 whole roasting chicken, giblets and extra fat removed and stored for later (boil them in your chicken stock).

kosher salt

pepper

1 bunch fresh thyme

1 lemon, halved

1 head garlic, cut crosswise, or whatever you have on hand.

2 T butter, melted

1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced

4 carrots, cut into chunks

1 bulb fennel, cut into chunks

1-2 pounds of red or new potatoes, cut into chunks

olive oil

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Method:

Preheat oven to 425.

Rinse the chicken inside and out, pat dry. Remove any pin feathers. On the inside, liberally salt and pepper, then stuff with half the fresh thyme, all the lemon and garlic.

In a roasting pan (or large baking dish), combine the onions, carrot, fennel and potatoes (you could also add garlic – live dangerously!). Toss with salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil (you could add other herbs if you have them, and I used dried thyme). Spread the veggies in an even layer.

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Now, tie the chicken’s legs together with twine and tucks its wings under its body. Brush it all over with the butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. I also added paprika, for color and because my mom did. Use your gut instinct! Place the bird on top of the vegetables.

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Roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the thigh and the leg (mine was perfect after this time). Tent foil over the chicken for another 20 min. Remove the chicken to a platter and serve with the roasted vegetables and fennel fronds, for decoration.

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You’ll notice that some of the veggies got nearly black. They are delicious! In fact, I kept all the “burned” pieces for myself – they were so caramelized that they stuck to my teeth with sweet, savory goodness.

To serve, plate up the chicken and vegetables and spoon over extra juices from the roasting pan. We had this with bread and a simple salad – ta da!

What a satisfying meal.  As I hope you can see from the pictures, it is a feast for the eyes and the belly. One chicken feeds four people easily.

Now, if you don’t mind, I have to check on my chicken stock. Enjoy, friends! xoxo