Skin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It’s suddenly fall-like here in NY, with cooler weather and even a few leaves starting to turn.  So, time to start thinking about comfort food. And what better comfort food than skin on garlic mashed potatoes.

I’m posting this partly in honor of my sister-in-law, who loves mashed potatoes.  She practically thinks they are a food group. When she married my brother, I included a larger version of this recipe in a mini-cookbook we made for her.  Now, many years later, I make them slightly differently: not just mashed potatoes, but skin on garlic mashed potatoes.  It’s less work, less cleanup and more nutrition. Win win win!

The original recipe calls for milk, but I was feeling decadent, so I went with half and half here.  Use milk if you prefer.  Or, even a bit of cream.

Make sure to use thin skinned potatoes that are suitable for boiling and mashing.  I like to use either white potatoes, (sometimes called Eastern potatoes), or Yukon gold.  The skins on the white potatoes are thinner than Russets, which makes them better for a recipe that calls for leaving the skin on the potato.  Yukon gold are naturally more creamy and buttery tasting.  Also, I’ve never particularly liked Russets, they seem floury to me. They’re higher in starch, and don’t reheat well. They also don’t hold their shape (not an issue for mashing, but a problem for potato salad or soup).




Skin on Garlic Mashed Potatoes Substitutions and Variations

  • Top with some scallions
  • Add a few rosemary leaves
  • Try roasting the garlic, instead of boiling it with the potatoes
  • Stir in some freshly grated parmesan cheese

More Potato Recipes

dijon mustard vinaigrette potato saladFrench Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

If you’d rather skip the mayo in your potato salad, this recipe is for you.  There isn’t any mayo. It’s got a mustard vinaigrette dressing instead.

 

roasted paprika potatoesRoasted Paprika Potatoes

One of my favorite comfort foods as a child, these are crispy outside and fluffy inside. No frying (but you might think they’re extra-tasty steak fries).

 

dill caper potato saladDill Caper Potato Salad

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

 

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

A potato salad that’s hearty enough for a meal all by itself.  Cook the potatoes, green beans, and bacon (or sausage), whip up a quick vinaigrette, and you’ve got lunch.

 




Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

I first learned to make this eggplant dish when I was visiting a cousin in Boston. He was living in a rambling house with lots of roomies and a student budget.  Creativity was important!  This meltingly tender broiled eggplant infused with olive oil and flecked with fresh rosemary takes full advantage of seasonal produce.  Just grab some of the fresh eggplants popping up in your local farmer’s market and make this super simple recipe.

Since this recipe is made nearly entirely with pantry staples, all you have to buy is the eggplant.  Fresher eggplants are less bitter than their out-of-season cousins and the standard dark, nearly black supermarket offerings. And, the farmer’s market should have a much wider selection.  I used Graffiti eggplant (streaky purple), but white eggplant, or fairy eggplant (the smaller streaky variety, which is particularly tender) works just as well.

Look for smaller eggplants with firm skin.  A wrinkled eggplant is an old eggplant.  The smaller ones are sweeter too.  Check the stem to make sure it’s fresh; it should be free of mold or mushiness.  An eggplant that’s heavy for its size is better.  Lighter ones are likely to be hollow and less fleshy (so less to eat).

There’s some slightly inaccurate folk wisdom about “male” and “female” eggplants, with males having fewer seeds. The flowers are both male and female, but the fruit isn’t. However, if you want fewer seeds, check the bottom of the eggplant.  There’s an indentation which is sometimes oval and sometimes round. Eggplants with an oval indentation seem to have fewer seeds than the round ones.  So pick the oval eggplant (because you want fruit, not seeds).




Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant Substitutions and Variations

  • If you can plan ahead, pour a small quantity of olive oil into a separate, sealed jar.  Add a sprig of rosemary and let it sit.  The flavor will infuse into the oil
  • Add some zucchini to the eggplant
  • Or, put in a few slices of onion
  • Try some Romano or Manchego cheese instead of the Parmesan

More Eggplant Recipes

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant

Single Serving Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person




French Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Anyone else here a starch fiend (waits and looks for raised hands)? I just love potato salad, but I’m not that crazy about the usual heavy versions loaded with mayo. This Dijon mustard vinaigrette potato salad is different. It’s French, for one thing, which means there’s no mayo in it. Instead, it has olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard for a bit of bite.

It’s really easy to make, without a lot of fussing. You can eat it warm out of the pan, at room temperature, or chilled. Since there’s no mayonnaise, it also travels well if you’re going on a picnic or to a barbecue (make more!).

The best part? No peeling (oh, the scandal)!  That makes the prep time faster. And, you get more vitamins too.




Potato Salad Cookbooks

Williams Sonoma Collection: Potato

Oh, the humble potato. It’s not so humble after William Sonoma finishes with it. And their potato salads have artichokes, feta cheese, or red bell pepper. (There’s also recipes for fries, and roasted fingerling potatoes). One reviewer said she got it from the library – but her family wouldn’t let her return the book! So, rather than risk a giant fine, she bought a copy.

Potato Salad: 65 Recipes from Classic to Cool

Every kind of potato salad, from creamy to tangy. There’s even a recipe for potato salad made with beer, and an upscale version with caviar.

 


Potato Salad: Fifty Great Recipes

Potato salad with seafood, pesto, nicoise, and tarragon and lamb. Lots of delicious combinations you may have never thought of.

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • add a hard boiled egg
  • mix up your potatoes (try it with some red potatoes)
  • crumble cooked bacon over the salad
  • add tarragon to the dressing
  • use scallions instead of the bell pepper
  • add a splash of white wine to the dressing
  • replace the lemon juice with champagne vinegar

More Potato Salad Recipes

dill caper potato saladDill Caper Potato Salad

Sweet, lemony dill and salty/sour capers make a perfect foil for the potatoes. And no mayo in sight.

 

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

This potato salad is a full meal. Made with sausage, potatoes, and hard boiled egg, it’s savory, filling, and easy too.

 

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

An entree salad that’s great for a summer lunch or dinner (just cook the egg and potato). Use leftover chicken (or get a pre-cooked one). It’s flexible too. Use whatever protein and veggies you like.




 

Honey Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

It’s been a while since I posted a side dish, so I thought I’d fix that. Honey mustard glazed carrots are an easy and savory side dish that’s ready in just a few minutes.  The honey adds a hint of sweetness, while the mustard provides a bit of a kick. The carrots are really easy to prepare, but the dish feels fancy enough for company.

This side dish goes beautifully with a simply roasted piece of chicken.  Season it with olive oil, lemon, and rosemary, put it in the oven and then start the carrots about 20 minutes before the chicken is done.

Or, try them with a grilled lamb chop,  or a steak. This recipe would also be great with Thanksgiving turkey or a family holiday get-together (you’d obviously have to size up the quantities).

If you’re trying to eat more veggies, honey mustard carrots also go well with a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

I sliced the carrots in matchsticks, but you can make them whatever way suits you. If you’re in a hurry, use frozen carrots (which are pre-blanched and will cook faster than fresh ones will).

Another tip to speed up the process and make your life a bit easier: when you measure the honey, dip the spoon in water first.  It creates a barrier that  will keep the honey from sticking and make it easier to pour it into the saucepan.




Substitutions and Variations for Mustard Honey Glazed Carrots

  • If you don’t have honey, use brown sugar instead
  • Add some fresh rosemary to the carrots
  • Saute some shallots with the honey mustard mixture and then add the carrots back to the pan
  • Try roasting them in a 450 oven for 40 minutes with some parsnips

More Side Dish Recipes

Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

No Mayo Healthy Cole Slaw Recipe for One

Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person

White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

 




Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Fall has finally arrived, and the temperature is dropping. It’s time to start thinking about butternut squash, apple crisp, and soups.  I found this recipe for roasted cinnamon nutmeg butternut squash tucked into a cookbook. I’ve no idea where I got it from, but the combination of cinnamon, apple cider, nutmeg, butter, and squash is classic.

Cinnamon and nutmeg add both a bit of spice and sweetness, and the apple cider is both tart and sweet. It’s also apple cider season, so all the ingredients are at their peak now.

Butternut squash are notoriously hard to peel, unless you have an Oxo peeler, which makes this chore much easier.  Or, you can buy the pre-peeled squash.

The rest is just cutting up the squash (use a big, sharp knife), adding the spices, butter, and cider, and baking it in the toaster oven.




Substitutions and Variations for Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

  • Add some chopped pecans or walnuts after 15 minutes of baking
  • Make it savory: replace the butter with chicken stock, skip the cinnamon and nutmeg, and use curry instead.
  • Bump up the sweetness with honey or maple syrup

Tools and Ingredients for Roasted Butternut Squash

Oxo Swivel Peeler

This peeler cuts through butternut squash skin with virtually no effort. It’s no harder than peeling a cucumber. I’ve had mine for years and it still works flawlessly. There’s even a little scoop at the end for de-eyeing potatoes or removing bruised spots. The handle is comfy and easy to hold. It works on apples, squash, cucumber, carrots, and hasn’t needed any extra care or sharpening. I did add a dab of red nail polish at the end to make it easier to find in my utensil holder.

HIC Small Porcelain Baking Dish

Most baking dishes are far too large for one person or small batch cooking. This is perfect. I use it for the squash, to bake brownies or coffee cake, and reheat leftovers. It”s safe in the oven or microwave, looks great as a serving dish, and can go in the dishwasher if you have one.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

butternut squash brown sugar vanillaRoasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

It’s a veggie dessert! If you didn’t know it was a nice, healthy vegetable (packed with Vitamin A and C), you’d think you were having a dessert. Because that’s what it tastes like. But, it really is a vegetable!

butternut squash cream sauce pastaButternut Squash Cream Sauce Recipe for One Person

Roasted garlic, some cream, and parmesan balance against the sweet squash for a rich, creamy sauce. Punch it up with crumbled bacon or pancetta.

 

curried butternut squash soup with applesCurried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

Mild sweet curry is a perfect foil for apples and squash. Filling, comforting, and perfect for a cool fall or winter day.

 

 




White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I spotted this white bean salad with sun dried tomatoes when I was shopping.  It sounded delicious: beans, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, spinach.  Healthy and tasty!

The price was a bit of a turn off though: $8.00 a pound?! For beans?  Nope.  I had dry beans at home, but it was too hot to start cooking them. So, I trotted over to the canned beans section. Instead of $8.00 a pound, I got a whole can of beans for 88 cents (on sale!).  Score!

The rest was easy (and no cooking needed on a hot day).

Just soak the sun dried tomatoes, pour the beans into a bowl, roughly chop the spinach, chop some onion, and let it sit for a while to let the flavor develop.




Substitutions and Variations for White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

  • Add some olives and mozzarella cheese
  • Substitute fresh basil for the dried oregano
  • Make it a dip: roast some garlic, add that to the salad, and put it in your mini-chopper or blender. Or, do this with the remaining beans.
  • Use different colored beans or several different kinds. Put the rest of the can(s) in soup or chili.

More Bean Recipes

black beans and rice recipe one personBlack Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

A meal that’s budget and pantry-friendly, that somehow feels indulgent.  Simmer the beans with garlic, onions, and two surprise ingredients for a rich, delicious meal. Cook it less for soup, longer for a side dish/entree.

moroccan bean and chicken soupMoroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Adapted from a popular Ramadan recipe, this soup was a surprise.  It was supposed to be lamb and lentils, but I didn’t have any. So, I improvised. Delicious either way.

 

tuna cannellini bean saladTuna Cannellini Bean Salad Recipe for One

Open a couple of cans, add a few standard ingredients, and you’ve got a meal. No cooking needed.

 

Brazilian chicken paprika stewBrazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

Essentially Brazilian chicken paprikash, but with a South American twist. The cream is gone, and replaced with beans and sausage. It’s rich and satisfying, even without the cream. One pot meal!

 




Roasted Paprika Potatoes

Roasted paprika potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods.  My grandma used to make them (on semi-special occasions).  There’s an ongoing big family “argument” about whether she used olive oil or something else. However, I say olive oil, and it’s my blog so olive oil wins!

The potatoes end up slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The name says roasted paprika potatoes, but it’s really like making extra-flavorful French fries. Plus, you only have to use a little bit of oil, instead of filling a whole fryer with it. It’s a lot less messy, less wasteful (unless you don’t mind reusing the oil), and considerably easier to clean up.

These potatoes make a great side dish with a simple roast chicken or a lamb chop.

They’re not hard to make, but they do take a bit of time. If you don’t have an hour to  bake them, try cooking them at a slightly higher  temperature (425) for 35 minutes.

The important thing (which I noted in the recipe) is not to put anything else in the oven.  They don’t like to share space. Grandma said. And grandma was always right. Always.




More Potato Recipes

skin on garlic mashed potatoesSkin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sure, mashed potatoes are good. But they’re even better when you add garlic to them.  This recipe is super easy. You don’t even have to bother to peel the potatoes.

 

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

A warm potato salad that’s a full meal. Add sausage or bacon and some greens and it’s lunch or a light dinner.

 

dill caper potato saladDill Caper Potato Salad

Briny capers, tangy cider vinegar, and fresh dill add an extra depth of flavor to this potato salad. Low on the mayo too.

 

crispy garlic basil potato bites

Crispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Tiny, fluffy on the inside, crispy outside bits of delight.  The garlic adds punch, while basil makes it sweet and summery.