Showing posts with label potato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label potato. Show all posts

Friday, January 6, 2017

Potato Waffles

Every now and then you have to think outside the box. I stumbled on this recipe in the food section of the newspaper, and I had to try it. It’s easy, except maybe the part about squeezing the potatoes, but that’s a great way to work out your frustrations (pretend you’re strangling someone).

As it happens, I have a waffle iron—a wedding present—that sees action about once a year. New Year’s resolution: if it doesn’t work, throw it out. Let’s see if the trusty waffle iron still works. (It did.)

Potato Waffles


2 eggs, beaten
You'll notice I included three graters. The one
on the right is a vintage model, and it would
make really big shreds! I didn't try it.

2 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 russet potatoes (you know, the floury baking kind, not the waxy kind—it makes a real difference. Together they should weigh about 2-1/2 pounds. But I warn you: a single potato weighing over a pound is one BIG potato!)

Additional oil for the waffle iron


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (low). Get out your trusty waffle iron and heat it. (If like me you rarely use it, make sure it actually is heating!)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the eggs, shallots and oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Grate one of the potatoes. You can use the big holes on a box grater (I’m always sure I’m going to grate my fingers on those things), or you can use the coarse shredding blade of your food processor, if you have one. You want big shreds, either way!

Wrap the grated potato in a clean cloth towel and wring dry—twist hard! Add the squeezed potato shreds to the egg mixture and mix to coat the shreds. Do the same with the second potato. (You may be wondering why you do these separately: you need to have a smallish lump of potato shreds when you squeeze them dry, so you get as much liquid as possible out. You can put all the shreds into the same bowl with the egg mixture after they’re squeezed.)

Brush the waffle iron with vegetable oil. Add about 1/4 of the potato mixture to the center of the waffle iron and spread out a bit. Close the top of the iron (I recommend leaning on it a bit, to flatten the waffle and make sure it cooks through) and cook about 7 minutes, or until the potato waffle is golden brown and crispy. Remove it (it will come out in one piece, I promise) to the lined baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm.

I think if I practiced it would look tidier!
Repeat with the remaining potato mixture.

Serve as a side dish, or get fancy and add yummy things like smoked salmon and chives. Feel free to experiment—or eat them hot just the way they are! BTW, they also reheat well, if you happen to have any left over.


It's a Sale! One day only! On Monday, January 9th, Watch for the Dead (Relatively Dead Mystery #4) will be a BookBub Featured Deal, on sale for only 99 cents.

If you haven't read it, here are the details:

Looking to take a break from busy home renovations, Abby and boyfriend Ned Newhall jump at the chance to vacation on Cape Cod. Not only do they plan to get away from the dust and grime, but since Abby has no known ancestors in the area, the trip promises to be free of the unsettling ghostly appearances that have darkened her recent days. 

Dreams of a relaxing vacation are soon dashed, however, when a storm blows in and brings with it a scene from the past more disturbing than any Abby has ever experienced. The long-dead woman who appears to Abby is someone she’s met before, but this time her presence defies any explanation at all.

Determined to unravel the mystery of the woman’s recurring appearances, Abby follows a trail of family history and upheaval that spans generations and may yield the biggest revelation of all, not just about Abby’s ancestors but about her living relatives as well.

It's a nice summer story for a cold winter's day. Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and most other e-book platforms.

And then there's Cruel Winter, coming in just over two months! What do you do when you're snowbound in an Irish pub? Solve an old murder, of course.

You can pre-order it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Get the Classic #Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe and a Lighter Version from author Cleo Coyle

This fabulous side dish recipe of buttery sweet potatoes and crunchy nut topping is a Thanksgiving tradition for many American families. With the countdown now on for the big feast, I'm happy to make it the subject of my post today...

The classic version of this recipe goes way back. You may have memories of your mother making it or your grandmother. One of the earlier places I saw it published was a 40-year-old cookbook celebrating heritage recipes from Georgia--and that recipe likely had its roots in the "sweet potato pudding" published in the first American cookbook, circa 1796.

Pam Fulk, a longtime follower of this blog, happily shared the same recipe with me a few years back. She tells me she gets raves every time she makes it. And if you've been making it for your family, you probably get raves, too. 

To download the classic version 
of this recipe, click here
* * * * *

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.
Cleo Coyle's (Lighter)
Sweet Potato Casserole
with Brown Sugar and Pecans

I started with the classic casserole in the recipe above, cut an entire stick of butter, some of the sugar, and a small amount of flour. The results? I didn't miss them and neither did my husband, who is never coy about his opinion on good eats. 

To quote Marc after his first forkful, "Oh, yeah!"

The recipe is versatile, as well. You can make the casserole with brown sugar alone or with maple syrup. You can make it with dairy products or non-dairy.

Finally, I have a tip for making the process a snap on Thanksgiving day: Instead of following the traditional recipe of peeling, dicing, boiling, and mashing the sweet potatoes, try simply baking them alongside your turkey. 

If you follow my method for baking the sweet potatoes, they'll be just as moist as the boiled version, but with less fuss and cleanup. And (the best reason to do this...) baking the potatoes will help them retain more nutrition and flavor. 

Now let's get cookin'!

To download this recipe
in a free PDF document
that you can print,
share, or save,
click here.
Click here to get
the recipe PDF.


For the casserole:

3 - 4 medium to large sweet potatoes (You will use these to
        make 3-1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes)
1/4 cup light brown sugar*
1/4 cup pure maple syrup*
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup milk (cow’s low-fat milk or dairy-free almond)
4 tablespoons butter melted (or dairy-free margarine, melted)

*To make this recipe without maple syrup, increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup and reduce the amount of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes by 1/4 cup.

For the topping:

4 Tablespoons butter, melted (or dairy-free margarine, melted)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Generous pinch of table salt
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Step 1 – Easy-bake sweet potatoes (you can either bake these with your turkey or the night before your Thanksgiving meal): Wash the sweet potatoes and leave skins wet. Tap your inner serial killer and stab the taters a few times with a knife to prevent them from exploding in the oven.

Wrap the sweet potatoes tightly in aluminum foil and bake them in a well-preheated 350 degree F. oven for 90 minutes. Remove them from the oven, but do not unwrap! Allow them to cool in their foil cocoons for 30 minutes. This will keep them nice and moist. Now open and slice each potato in half.

As shown above, scoop out the still-warm flesh, 
which is now very close to pre-mashed for you.

A fork will make quick work of the mashing. 
See the photos above and below.
You want a nice, even consistency. 

Step 2 – Assemble the casserole: Measure out 3-1/2 cups of the cooked and mashed sweet potatoes and combine them with the rest of the casserole ingredients. Stir well. Pour into a well-buttered casserole dish (1-1/2 to 2 quarts in size). The dish you see below is 1-1/2 quarts.

Step 3 – Make the casserole topping: Melt the butter (or margarine) in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from heat, add the topping ingredients to the pan, stir well. The mixture should be damp and crumbly. Distribute it evenly over the casserole top. 

Bake at 350° F. for about 40 minutes. Casserole will be bubbling when finished and some liquid will appear to be pooling in the topping. Don’t worry. As the dish cools, the liquid will settle back into the casserole and the top will become crusty, crunchy, and delicious. So you'll be all set to...

Click here to get
the recipe PDF, and...

Eat with Thanksgiving joy!

~ Cleo Coyle
New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Learn about our books here.

Coming December 1st
the NEW Coffeehouse Mystery!

Now a Mystery Guild Selection

And a Baker & Taylor Fall Trends Pick

Includes great 
American recipes!

To learn moreclick here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

The Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter

Fun Contests, New Recipes, 
Book News, Videos, and more...

To subscribe, click here.

* * * *

Friday, February 28, 2014

Potato Something Else

by Sheila Connolly

Have I mentioned that I'm title-challenged? My choice seldom makes it to the cover of a book. So I had no idea what to call this dish, but it tastes good anyway.

Okay, you’ve served the big meal to friends and relatives, and at the end of it all you find you have half a bowl of mashed potatoes left over. You’re too thrifty to throw them out, but there’s not enough left to stretch for another meal. If you work from home, you might just microwave them and eat them for lunch. What a thrill—not! 
A bonus picture--a peeler I
bought in Italy. It's a terrible
peeler, but it's so cute!
But! I have a recipe! You can use up your leftovers and have a tasty side dish! (Oh, all right, you can make new mashed potatoes to do this too. Or—gasp!—make them from a box.)
The leftover potatoes--not too exciting, eh?
3 cups of mashed potatoes

2 eggs
2 Tblsp melted butter
1/3 cup sour cream
1 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
Salt and black pepper, to taste  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a metal pan. 

If the potatoes have been refrigerated, let them come to room temperature. 

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs, then mix in the sour cream. Stir in both cheeses (reserve a little for sprinkling over the top of the dish), the chives and/or parsley, and the melted butter. Add the mixture to the potatoes and mix well (it may end up a little lumpy, depending on the consistency of your potatoes, but it won’t affect the results—this is not a soufflé!). 
Spoon the mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese (you can dot the top with butter if you are so inclined). Bake 25- 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.  

Before...and after
Remove from the oven and let the dish cool 5 minutes in the pan. Top with sour cream if you like. 

I reduced this recipe by half (hey, there are only two of us eating it!) and it worked fine. You can experiment with different cheeses as well—I’ve been eyeing my goat cheese crumbles… 

This goes well as a side dish for a simple sautéed or broiled meat, like pork chops.

Two weeks on the New York Times bestseller list!

But you may not have heard that my ebook Relatively Dead is currently on the top 100 Amazon Ebook General list and the top 100 USA Today General list!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Potato Casserole Revisited

by Sheila Connolly

Some years ago when we visited one of my husband’s sisters, who lives in Indiana, she served us a potato casserole that our daughter fell in love with.  She requested it often while she still lived at home, and even now and then when she visits.

It’s one of those quick and easy recipes that everyone seems to have come across at some point—my sister (in Kentucky) knew of it, and one of our guest bloggers offered it up here a couple of years ago.

The ingredients are few: a bag of frozen hash brown potatoes, canned cream of chicken soup, chopped onion, sour cream, a bag of shredded cheese, salt and pepper and margarine, topped with crushed corn flakes. 

A good family side-dish, but then I started thinking . . . it’s just the two of us at home now, and I’m not in any hurry to get dinner on the table. Plus I enjoy cooking, after a day spent staring at my computer screen.  So I wondered:  what if I deconstruct the recipe and make it high-end? Just a bit more elegant?  So I gave it a try. 

You can give it a fancy name if you like, such as Gratin de Pommes de Terre

One pound waxy potatoes, shredded
2 Tblsp butter
2 shallots, chopped
2 Tblsp flour
1 1/2 cups liquid: milk/cream and chicken stock, combined
5 oz. cheese, shredded (cheddar is simplest, but you can be creative or use whatever you have)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread/panko crumbs for topping (about 1 cup?), plus additional butter if you want

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a casserole dish.

Potatoes, shredded
You can shred the potatoes by hand or use the shredding blade of a food processor. The shreds should be fairly fine. The same for the cheese.

Cheddar cheese, shredded
To make the sauce:  melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat and saute the shallots until they are soft.  Add the flour and mix, then let cook for a minute or so. Pour in the milk/cream combined with chicken stock, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth.  Cook over low heat just until it begins to thicken.
Shallots in butter

...with flour added...

and sauce, completed

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, the sauce, the shredded cheese, and salt and pepper, and mix well.  Spoon into the casserole dish and sprinkle the top with dry bread crumbs or panko (depending on how much crunch you want). Dot with additional butter if you wish.

Ready for the oven (with a bit of
melted butter drizzled on top
Bake for one hour in the preheated oven, until the crust is golden.

Golden brown and crunchy!
Serves four as a side dish, but can easily be doubled for a larger crowd.

And nice and creamy inside

By the way, there's this new book coming out next Tuesday (along with a lot of other great ones, including some of my fellow authors here at MLK). There are potatoes in this dish, so I guess that qualifies it as an Irish recipe, right?

Or I could call it Mhias Prátaí le cáis.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Eggplant-Potato Casserole

by Sheila Connolly

At the last of our farmers’ markets in town here, I snagged the last of the eggplants from one of the vendors.  They’re small, but I’m a sucker for cute little vegetables.

It seems a waste to dice them up, so I thought I’d do something that retained a hint of their diminutive size.

When I started considering recipes, I peeked at Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cooking (I will be eternally grateful to her for introducing me to quick pesto, which we eat all the time at my house). Alas, her suggestions for eggplant were few.  More troubling was her statement that small eggplants tend to be bitter.  How can that be? I cried.  When I checked other sources (would you believe that Google filled in the blanks for me with “are small eggplants bitter?”), they strongly disagreed.  Sorry, Marcella.

So I decided to try an eggplant-potato tart, mainly because when sliced, the potatoes and the eggplants are just about the same in diameter.  Slice them so they will cook at about the same rate.

I will admit that I don’t really like peeling anything.  My theory is, if your vegetables/potatoes/fruits are young enough and fresh enough, it won’t matter.  Besides, the peels are good for you—roughage, you know. (I would not necessarily say this of big, tough eggplants, but I do eat the skins of my baked potatoes.)

Traditionally recipes call for salting the eggplant to draw out the liquid, lest the dish become soggy when cooked.  I’m of two minds about that, but I guess it can’t hurt.  Just dry off the slices before you start sautéing, and make sure you don’t oversalt in the next stages.

Eggplant-Potato Casserole

2-3 cups small eggplant, sliced about ¼” thick (about a pound)
1 tsp coarse salt
The same amount of waxy potatoes (not Idahos), sliced to the same thickness

Cooking oil for the pan

The Mega-Shallot
3 Tblsp minced shallots


½ stick (1/4 cup) butter

breadcrumbs or panko and/or grated Parmesan cheese for the top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Slice the eggplant and place in a non-metallic bowl and toss with the salt.  Let sit for 20 minutes.  Remove to a clean towel or paper towels and blot dry.
Heat about 2 Tblsp oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Briefly sauté the shallots to soften, then add the eggplant slices. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then set aside.
In another, ovenproof sauté pan, add another 2-3 Tblsp of oil and sauté the potato slices until they are soft but not browned. Remove half, then season what’s left in the pan with salt and pepper.  Add the eggplant slices in a layer over the potatoes, then return the rest of the potatoes to the pan and season.  Press down slightly to level. 
Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs (you may mix in some grated Parmesan cheese) or panko, then dot the top with small pieces of butter.  Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, then begin testing the potatoes to see if they are done (a sharp knife works well).
Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes.  Serve  immediately.

This can be a main course for a light meal, or a side dish for a larger one (I think it would go well with a roast).  If you feel like experimenting, you can add some herbs such as oregano when you’re creating the layers.

Coming November 22nd

No recipes, but lots of food!