Chile Potato Cheese Soup

Brrrr! We’ve just had a blizzard, with more snow expected later in the week. Time for soup! This recipe was originally potato cheese soup with dill. But, I had no fresh dill, and I wanted something with a bit more kick. Using  the jalapeños transforms it into chile potato cheese soup. Think nacho soup, with tender chunks of potatoes, and lots of cheddar cheese, enlivened with a burst of hot peppers.

I’ve kept this pretty simple, but you could treat it like nachos and top it accordingly. Plus, unlike most of the other soups I found on the internet, this one is made with wholesome, real ingredients: no dried food packages with who knows what inside.

It should make about 2-3 servings, depending on your appetite, and the size of your soup bowls.




 

Chile Potato Cheese Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • go back to the original recipe and use dill instead of jalapeños (add it at the end)
  • start with some bacon
  • add hot sauce
  • top with sour cream and/or salsa

More Soup Recipes

caldo verde soupQuick Caldo Verde Soup

Rich with potatoes, spicy sausage, and sharp greens. And it’s ready in only a few minutes too. Instant soup (or nearly so) without a can or a packet.

 

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)

Aromatic veggies, beans, and tomatoes cooked slowly for a delicious, comforting soup.

 

split pea soup recipe with ham hockSplit Pea Soup Recipe with Ham Hock

Comfort in a bowl, slowly simmered until it’s rich and delicious.  The ham adds lots of smoky flavor.

 

ham and lentil soup

Easy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Just the thing for a cold winter day, and no fancy ingredients needed.  Not to mention, you only need one pot to make it.

 




Festive Cooking for One Person

Instead of being together in person, we’re on Zoom. Rather than lots of people gathered in mom’s or grandma’s or a friend’s kitchen, we’re eating and celebrating solo. But just because you are home alone for the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t have a delicious holiday meal. So,  I decided to create a holiday/celebration menu dedicated to festive cooking for one person.

We’ll start with zucchini carrot fritters. Then, rather than the usual links to recipes with similar ingredients, I’ve included options for the rest of a festive meal for one, including everything from entrees to desserts.

Since we’re celebrating different holidays, with different rules and traditions, I’ve picked foods that are easy, elegant and delicious.

You can eat the fritters as an appetizer, or a main course.  If they are the meal, start with some simple hors d’oeuvres, such as wine, cheese, olives, and fruit. For a delicious, easy appetizer, add a bit of milk to some goat cheese, and roll it in chopped almonds.




Festive Cooking for One Person (Chanukah)

zucchini carrot fritters

Zucchini Carrot Fritters

If you celebrate Chanukah, it’s traditional to have fried foods, usually latkes (potato pancakes) or donuts to celebrate the miracle of one day’s worth of oil that lasted for eight.  Instead of latkes, I thought I would go for something a bit different: zucchini carrot fritters. Rather than traditional sour cream or applesauce eaten with latkes, these are served with a yogurt and mint dip.  Still fried though! Some things don’t change!*

*Yeah, I know. Chanukah is over as I type this, but my family never did it on time!

Festive Cooking for One Person (Christmas/New Year’s)

For Christmas or New Year’s, since a whole turkey or ham is too much for one, I’ve included a pork tenderloin, and some sides. If you do get a turkey breast or some smaller portion and have leftovers, make my turkey pot pie.

Dessert for Everyone!

Regardless of which you celebrate, everyone gets dessert: choice of pears with ice cream or chocolate pudding.  Because who doesn’t like dessert?

And, to paraphrase what my grandma said about everyday eating, just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a party and delicious food.

Festive Cooking for One Person

Holiday Main Dishes for One Person (Christmas/New Year’s)

pork tenderloin with mushrooms and sour creamPork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Tenderloin is quick, easy, and cooks in a few minutes. The sauce is rich and creamy, with the bite of Dijon mustard and the sweet/sour capers. The perfect sauce for pork.

 

turkey pot pie for one personTurkey Pot Pie for One Person

Just right for one person, without creating even more extra food. If you don’t have extra turkey, get it pre-cooked from your local deli.  Made with a rich, all-butter crust. Because why not?

Delicious Holiday Side Dishes for One Person

skin on garlic mashed potatoesSkin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Creamy and sweet/savory all at once. Cooking the garlic with the potatoes mellows and softens the sharp flavor. This is a family favorite (especially with my sister-in-law, the mashed potato fiend).

 

honey mustard glazed carrotsHoney Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

The sweet carrots and savory mustard are a delightful combination. This pairs wonderfully with the pork, or a simple piece of roast chicken.

Festive Desserts for One Person

poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice creamPoached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Easy, delicious, and really quite simple to prepare.  Elegant enough for company, but a lot less fuss than you’d think.

 

single serving double dark chocolate pudding recipeSingle Serving Double Dark Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Just one indulgent serving of rich, delicious pudding, with an extra double chocolate punch.  Cook it more, you get pudding, a bit less and it’s super-thick European dark hot chocolate.




Polish Potato Pierogi for One Person

I normally wouldn’t post a recipe like this. It’s got several stages, and it’s time- and labor-intensive. And that’s usually a problem. Because we’re all running home from work and don’t have the mental bandwidth or energy to make complex recipes. However, these aren’t normal times. So, I thought I’d try my hand at making Polish potato pierogi from King Arthur’s recipe.

If you’re not familiar with pierogi, they are Polish dumplings, filled with potato or potato and cheese, meat, or even sauerkraut. Funny how every culture figured out some variation on this!  The original recipe was for potato and cheese, but I was low on cheese, so these are just plain mashed potato.

First you make the dough, then the filling, then boil them, and finally fry the whole thing in some oil with onions. I’ve cut down the recipe so it makes about 24 pierogi instead of 42. You can eat some right away and freeze the rest for later. Or do it in stages, and start the dough, then make the filling and assemble the pierogi another day, and finally cook them on a third day.

Here they are before cooking.

Polish potato pierogi uncooked


And here they are after.

Polish potato pierogi






Potato Pierogi Filling Substitutions and Variations

  • half and half potato and cheddar cheese
  • potato, onion, thyme
  • sauerkraut and onion
  • chopped or leftover shredded meat, onions, some broth, and the other half of the egg
  • use garlic mashed potatoes

More Potato Recipes

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Crispy outside, fluffy inside and full of flavor. These are much easier to make than fries (and less messy) but taste, dare I say, even better.

 

roasted paprika potatoesRoasted Paprika Potatoes

These always make me smile. My grandma used to make them for me when I was little.  They are baked, not fried, but still give you that French fry crispiness.

 

frittata recipe for one person

Frittata Recipe for One Person

Use the rest of the egg to make this frittata. It’s an Italian “omelette” with crispy potatoes on the bottom (like a crust), then topped with eggs and lots of veggies.

 

 




Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

This roasted root vegetable medley is a product of a bit of serendipity and a few internet searches. My local grocery delivery service was offering a farm share at a reduced price (and reduced size). I’ve wanted to try this for some time, but most of the boxes are way too much for one. So I pounced. And ended up with a box of mizuna (Japanese mustard greens) which I really liked, turnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

So, what to do with them? I’ve never made anything with sweet potatoes, and I’ve only used turnips for soup. I found this recipe for roasted sweet potatoes, and thought, well why not add more root vegetables, roast them all together, and make it a medley?

Potatoes and carrots are both sweet to start with.  Turnips start out a bit pungent and strong, but roasting them transforms that sharp, almost bitter, flavor into something sweet and slightly peppery, which is a good foil for the sweet carrots and potatoes.

This recipe takes advantage of that change and adds a bit of heat from chili powder, cumin, and paprika. And it’s easy too. Just peel and cut up the veggies, sprinkle them with some spices, toss in some olive oil, and pop it all in the oven.

Cook this with some roasted chicken (like the recipe I used for the chicken in my apple almond chicken salad). They both cook at the same temperature, and for the same time.  Then you only have to “cook” once to get a whole meal. Tricky huh?

 







Roasted Root Vegetable Medley Substitutions and Variations

  • Try different potatoes, such as yellow or red
  • Experiment with different root vegetables, like celery root or parsnips
  • Ditch the “hot” spices and use rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and fresh garlic instead
  • Try this with some butternut squash (technically not a root vegetable, but still good)

More Root Vegetable Recipes

honey mustard glazed carrotsHoney Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

Seems fancy, but it’s really easy to prepare. Another recipe that’s both sweet and savory (from the mustard).  This will also pair beautifully with roast chicken, and perhaps a glass of chardonnay.

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Little bite-size pieces of potato heaven that are crispy outside and fluffy inside. Easier than making French fries, and a lot less messy too. Plus there’s garlic! And basil.

 

skin on garlic mashed potatoesSkin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Because potatoes, especially mashed potatoes, are really a food group. Right? These leave the skin on, so they’re less work. Then there’s half and half and garlic, for a warm, creamy mouthful of delight.

Belgian Potato Salade Liegoise

I confess I’d never heard of Belgian potato salade liegoise until recently.  It may make you think at first of French salade niçoise, but there’s no tuna or olives. And definitely no anchovies! Instead, this is a traditional Belgian warm potato salad made with green beans, and bacon! It’s all topped with a quick vinaigrette that takes only seconds to make.

Well, you’re supposed to use bacon, but I had none so I substituted kielbasa instead (which June, who wrote the original recipe said was just fine).

It’s an easy lunch or light dinner without a lot of fussing. Just the thing for this time of year when you need a bit of a break in between stuffing yourself for all the holidays.  The salad comes together in about twenty five minutes, which makes it perfect for a relatively quick meal. Serve it warm and eat it right away, or save it for another time and eat it cold. It’s good either way.

Plus, it only requires one pot! Yes!

I used frozen green beans, since that’s what I had, but you can use fresh as well. Just cook them a bit longer, just enough so they’re tender/crisp. You want them to retain a bit of crunch.

I confess I did think about getting fresher beans and the bacon, but I’d already been up and down twice that day and that was enough! Living in a walkup does make you think about how often you climb all those steps.




Belgian Potato Salade Liegoise Substitutions and Variations

  • saute the onions first and then add them to the salad
  • top with chopped walnuts
  • try different kinds of vinegar (such as sherry or raspberry)
  • swap the standard potatoes for red ones

More Potato Salad Recipes

dill caper potato saladDill Caper Potato Salad

Sour/sweet capers with lemony dill and a light hand on the dressing combine for an easy summer potato salad.

 

dijon mustard vinaigrette potato saladFrench Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Love starch, but not mayo in the usual potato salad? This version has no mayo at all. It does have olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard.  Lots of flavor, no heavy eggy mayonnaise.

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

A hearty lunch (or light dinner) without a lot of fussing. Boil a potato and an egg, throw in some leftover chicken, and chop some veggies. Done!

 




Rosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza

I had never heard of rosemary potato pizza (or pizza con potate – which sounds sooo much better than the English translation) until recently. But when a friend described it, I had to have it. Sadly, he lives 3,000 miles away. And, the place that serves it only has it seasonally. Either that, or I had to fly to Italy. So, I decided to make my own pizza. I ended up mind melding two recipes and came up with rosemary potato roasted garlic pizza with thin slices of potatoes, roasted garlic, and mozzarella cheese.

The potato slices are soaked in salted water to soften and then layered on top of the pizza to get crispy, while the cheese turns brown and bubbly. Roasting the garlic transforms it into something sweet, mellow, and spreadable (incidentally this is also great on crusty bread). All topped with sprigs of fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil, and grated Romano cheese.

And yeah, you can definitely tell everyone you’re making potato chip pizza for dinner!

I’ve included the recipe and instructions to make your own dough, but feel free to take the easy route and buy pre-made dough from your supermarket or local pizza joint. That will get you pizza in about an hour.

Making the dough yourself does require a bit of time and effort, so it’s definitely a weekend, rather than weeknight meal. And, since this is a long weekend in the US, it’s the perfect time to try it.

So, order of operations: first start the dough (if you’re making your own). Then, while that’s rising, slice and soak the potatoes. While they soak, roast the garlic. Then wait for a while, while the dough rises, and put it all together. Once all the components are ready, it comes together pretty quickly.

The pizza is enough for one dinner, or you can split the dough recipe in half and use it for two lunches. The dough will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make sure to wrap it tightly so it doesn’t dry out. Or, you can freeze it.




Rosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza Substitutions and Variations

  • add some cooked chicken
  • top with sliced red onion
  • add some hot red pepper flakes
  • switch the cheeses and use fontina
  • or, add some crumbled bacon

More Pizza Recipes

goat cheese caramelized onion pizzaGoat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

Slow-cooked onions, tangy goat cheese, earthy spinach, and crispy bell pepper cooked together with a pre-made crust. Easy and delicious!

 

white pizza without ricottaWhite Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta

I love white pizza, and like ricotta, but somehow… not together. Instead, this pizza has lots of creamy mozzarella, sweet/tart sun-dried tomatoes, and summery basil.

 

 




Dill Caper Potato Salad

Nothing really says summer like potato salad (at least in America). It’s a staple of barbecues, picnics, and outdoor parties. This dill caper potato salad recipe comes via Smitten Kitchen via Bon Appetit via Rosanne Cash (daughter of Johnny).

I modified it a bit (OK, maybe a lot), but the essence of it is, I think, the same. First, I substituted yellow potatoes for red.  Second, I used capers rather than pickles. Third, I left out the hard boiled egg (because I was low on eggs and wanted them for something else). And finally, I swapped yellow onion for red.

The key here is the crunchy sour/sweet flavor of the capers paired with the starchy potatoes and the lemony, sweet dill.

And, since I don’t like that much dressing, I cut that too (even Deb said it was a bit much the original way).

The odd thing is, I was writing up the recipe, and I realized I hadn’t written down the reduced measurements (duh). So, I went back to the original to see what the amounts should be (planning to divide by 8).  Then I noticed she’d said that the dressing was enough for 150% of the original quantity of potatoes.

Since my brain balked at calculating how to get 150% down to whatever fraction is appropriate, I winged it and wrote down what I thought would work.
At the end, there was another note to use half the dressing and then only add more if you felt it needed it. Seems that amount of dressing would have worked for twice as many potatoes, as well as 150%. Then I thought, wait, better divide by 16 then just to make sure.

I started to do that, and found my “guessestimates” were exactly accurate. The only thing that was off was the capers, which I had consciously and deliberately reduced a bit.

Anyway, on to the recipe!




Dill Caper Potato Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • add a hard boiled egg
  • use red onion
  • if you use pickles, incorporate some of the pickle juice into the dressing
  • try white wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar
  • cut the mayo with some yogurt or sour cream

More Potato Recipes

dijon mustard vinaigrette potato saladFrench Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Delicious potato salad without the heavy mayo dressing. Get your starch fix here! Good warm or chilled.

 

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

A great way to get your veggies and clean out the fridge. All you have to cook is an egg, and add leftover chicken.  Or skip the chicken and make it vegetarian.

roasted paprika potatoesRoasted Paprika Potatoes

Think extra-thick French fries.  These are crispy outside, fluffy inside. Great comfort food, which my grandma used to make me.

 

skin on garlic mashed potatoesSkin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

No peeling! No kidding. These mashed potatoes are rich, creamy, and super-easy.  The garlic mellows out and sweetens as you cook it.

 




Crispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I loooove starch: pasta, rice, potatoes, you name it. Especially the noodles and the potatoes.  The trouble with the potatoes though, is that baking them takes a while. Yes, I know you can microwave them, but the texture isn’t right.  Or, you can fry them. That’s faster. On the other hand, cutting up and frying French fries still takes a while, uses lots of oil, and it’s messy.  However, there is a solution! The answer is these crispy garlic basil potato bites.  They’re bite size pieces of crispy, fragrant, fluffy potato heaven.

You cook them in a skillet, with just a couple of teaspoons or so of oil, and a bit of butter. Unlike a baked potato, they’re ready in under 25 minutes!  And the only thing you really need to chop is the potato. Yay!

The potatoes end up crispy and brown on the outside, and creamy on the inside. Almost like French fries (but much easier) and with an extra flavor boost from the garlic and the basil.

I adapted this from a recipe that called for making the dish with sage leaves.  I had none, so I used basil leaves instead. It would also be good with rosemary (preferably fresh). The garlic clove is left whole, so it adds lots of flavor without being overpowering.  Also, the recipe said to peel the potatoes, but I’m lazy, so I didn’t bother.  Besides, more vitamins that way!

Not to mention, it’s an easy side dish that doesn’t require a lot of fussing.  And, it goes well with crispy lemon chicken, a lamb chop, or meatloaf.  You can pop the chicken in the oven and then start the potatoes about half way through. Or, start a lamb chop about halfway through cooking the potatoes.  Great with a hamburger too (you may have spotted them in the background of last week’s newsletter).




Crispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites Substitutions and Variations

  • Use different fresh herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, or sage
  • Add more garlic
  • Try some hot pepper flakes
  • Or, add some crispy bacon
  • Try the potatoes with lemon, garlic, and sage

More Potato Side Dish Recipes

skin on garlic mashed potatoesSkin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Creamy, buttery, and sweet (yes sweet) from gently cooked garlic that mellows as it cooks.  My sister-in-law is a potato fiend (worse than me) and this is her favorite.

 

roasted paprika potatoesRoasted Paprika Potatoes

These are tossed in olive oil and dusted with paprika, then cooked slowly in a hot oven.  Crispy outside, fluffy inside.

 

dijon mustard vinaigrette potato saladFrench Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Since this is French potato salad, it’s made with olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. No mayo in sight. It’s good for picnics (no mayo), and you don’t even have to peel the potatoes!

dill caper potato saladDill Caper Potato Salad

A staple of barbecues, picnics, and outdoor parties. This one is a bit different from the usual mayonnaise-heavy salad. Instead, it’s got sour/sweet capers and lemony, sweet dill.

 




Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

I usually plan my meals, not precisely, but generally write down six or seven entrees and build from there. But, I had some ground lamb in the freezer and didn’t quite know what to do with it. My first thought was shepherd’s pie.  But that requires first making mashed potatoes and then making the meat mixture. Too much work.  Then I dug into my bookmarks and found a recipe for keema (or kima).  She says it’s her most requested recipe! Keema is, roughly speaking, Pakistani shepherd’s pie (or maybe cottage pie, since the original is made with beef). It’s got ground meat, potatoes, and some veggies.  And, best of all it only requires one pot!  That’s my kind of cooking.

I’ve seen this spelled keema, and kima or called keema aloo (for the potatoes).  However you spell it, you get a savory, not too spicy all-in-one pot meal. A meal which is ready in about half an hour too.

I used ground lamb, but ground beef is fine if that’s what you have.  You could probably even make it with ground turkey if you wanted to. Chicken would probably be a bit bland.

Don’t be put off by the ingredients list. It’s mostly just adding small amounts of spices into the pan. You don’t even really have to measure.  Just shake the jars a couple of times (if you have the kind with the small holes in the lids) or grab a pinch.

This is generally made with peas, but I didn’t have any so I tossed in some frozen broccoli instead. You could use the peas or whatever other veggies you have such as: cauliflower, cabbage, or peppers. I used Yukon gold potatoes, but regular russet potatoes will work too. You could even substitute sweet potatoes if you like.

As written, this recipe is relatively mild. If you want more heat, increase the curry, and/or add some fresh hot peppers or red pepper flakes.

If you want to go all out with the starch, you can serve this with rice or naan.  I just made a side salad (trying to get my veggies in!).




 

Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli Substitutions and Variations

  • Try a different kind of protein, such as beef or ground turkey
  • Use peas instead of broccoli
  • Add some coconut
  • Spice it up with hot peppers, more curry, or fresh ginger instead of ground
  • Add some yogurt

More Lamb Recipes

turkish lamb burgerTurkish Lamb Burgers

Bring out the napkins for this. It’s messy. Essentially, a compound burger, except with salty feta, Mediterranean spices, and a cool as a cucumber yogurt sauce.

 

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

Flavored with cinnamon, a touch of ginger, raisins, almonds, and lamb.  It’s rich, sweet, and warm, not spicy or hot. Since the lamb is cooked slowly,  it practically melts in your mouth. Great for a slow cooker, if you have one.

 

greek lamb breastGreek Lamb Breast

Throw a few ingredients together, marinate, and then slow cook this for a couple of hours. It’s rich, garlicky, and lemony: classic Greek flavors. And, there’s very little prep.

 




Quick Caldo Verde Soup

 

Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that’s made in one pot. And, it takes about half an hour to cook. It’s filling, spicy, and great for cold weather. The usual way to make this is with kale and linguiça, which is a garlicky pork Portuguese sausage. Except, I don’t like kale.  Some use collard greens instead, or cabbage. I didn’t have cabbage, but I did have spinach.  As far as I’m concerned, that works! It’s still a bitterish green and it takes less time to cook too.

This is good right away, but like many soups, it’s even better after it sits for a day or two.  I’ve cut the recipe from six servings to about 2 or 3, depending on how hungry you are.

It does come with a few minor cooking decisions.  You can cut the greens up roughly, or chop everything up into fine ribbons.  And, you can either purée the soup, or leave it as is. I went with rough chopping and skipped the purée this time, mostly because I was feeling lazy.  The last thing I made was pizza and I somehow got the tomato sauce everywhere: the stove, the floor, the cabinets, the sink.  I’ve had enough cleanup to last me for a while, so I didn’t want to clean one extra thing (even a stick blender).

Also, if you can’t find the Portuguese sausage, any other garlicky sausage will do just fine.




Caldo Verde Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • Use a mixture of baking potatoes (Russett) and Yukon Gold potatoes for different textures
  • If you don’t have the linguiça, try chorizo or andouille, merguez, or any garlicky sausage you have; even pepperoni in a pinch
  • Try it with cabbage (or kale) if you prefer
  • Skip the sausage entirely, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and make it vegetarian. If you want it vegan, use olive oil instead of butter.

More Sausage Recipes

creole cabbage and sausageQuick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

Fragrant with creole spices and mustard for a spicy bite, this meal is ready in fifteen minutes. Recipes for the mustard and spice mixture linked in the post.

 

lamb merguez sausage with rice and vegetablesLamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

A whole meal all by itself.  The spicy lamb sausage is mellowed by carrots, eggplant, and cinnamon.

 

Polish sausage with cabbage and potatoesOne Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

This dish only requires a few basic ingredients. However, it’s packed with flavor from rich sausage, braised cabbage, and sweet carrots. One pot!