Oregano Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Oregano Roasted Fingerling Potatoes! Seasoning can change the taste of anything, especially when using fresh herbs. This is the time of year when I get excited about nurturing my herb garden. The hardier herbs, like mint, chives, and thyme withstand the winter months and breakthrough in the Spring with vim and vigor. Other favorites require renewing annually; rosemary, basil, cilantro, dill, and oregano are among them. Today’s recipe partners the delicate new fingerling potatoes, which grow small and narrow to live up to their name, alongside robust bleu cheese crumbles and the earthy flavor of fresh oregano. Together they produce a rustic dish characteristic of the south of France, Italy, and Greece. Enticing, isn’t it?

OREGANO ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES

Ingredients:

1.5 pound bag of petite fingerling gourmet potatoes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles

1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Pour vegetable oil on a baking sheet to coat the pan with a thin layer. Using a 2-quart pan on the stovetop, cut fingerling potatoes in half and place in the pan with enough water to cover. Add sea salt. Bring to a boil; cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain well. Set aside. Sprinkle dried oregano over potatoes. Cover pan with lid and shake vigorously to slightly loosen potato skins. Carefully transfer oregano potatoes to the baking sheet. Turn to coat in oil. Bake 30-40 minutes until skins are golden and crispy. Turn occasionally to cook evenly. Once the potatoes are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, transfer fingerling potatoes to a serving platter. Add bleu cheese crumbles and freshly chopped oregano. Serve immediately.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter W

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Wayward Wedge Salad! I get so excited when I come across bleu cheese at the Farmers Market! Recently, I was fortunate enough to lay my hands on a nice creamy chunk of Amish Bleu Cheese. And rather than nibble the entire portion away, I thought I better do something healthy with it. Does anyone else struggle with an internal tug-of war?

WEDGE SALAD

Ingredients:

1 head iceberg lettuce

6 slices bacon, precooked

2 eggs, hard cooked and chopped

Blue cheese crumbles

Blue cheese dressing

2 Campari tomatoes on the vine, quartered

Instructions:

Chill 4 salad plates in refrigerator. Cook bacon until crisp; let cool and crumble. Set aside. Quarter and core lettuce. Place one wedge on each chilled plate. Top with dressing, bacon, tomatoes, and chopped egg. Garnish with cheese crumbles. Serve immediately.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter W

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Home Cooking: Wholesome Waffle BBLT! You’ve never tried a waffle sandwich before? Me, either. Since I had some Belgian waffles in the freezer from the last time we pulled out the waffle iron, I thought today would be a great day to transform a classic BLT sandwich into something wonderful. The waffle dough keeps the sandwich soft and chewy, rounding off and eliminating the sharp edges of toast. The extra B, you ask? It’s for the subtle hint of bleu cheese; Bacon-Bleu-Lettuce-Tomato!

WHOLESOME WAFFLE BBLT

Ingredients:

1 Belgian waffle, quartered

6 slices black pepper bacon, cooked crisp

Romaine lettuce leaves

Sliced tomatoes

1 tablespoon Bleu cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Instructions:

Warm waffle wedges on low heat in a skillet brushed with a little butter. Do not let burn. Remove from heat. In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt, and Bleu cheese crumbles. To assemble sandwich, spread the mayonnaise blend on one waffle. Next, layer tomato, lettuce, and bacon. Top with another waffle. Secure the stack with a toothpick.

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Beet Bacon Bleu Salad!

Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Beet Bacon Bleu Salad! Remember when you were a kid and your mother made you eat beets? And you hated them? Well, thank goodness as we age, our taste buds change. Perhaps it’s time to give them a second chance. I did and the results made me wonder why I waited so long.

BEET BACON BLEU SALAD

Ingredients:

15-ounce can sliced beets, drained

3 tablespoons lemon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

2 cups mixed salad greens

1 egg, hard-cooked and sliced

3 slices applewood bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons balsamic reduction

Garnish with croutons

Instructions:

In a shallow dish, combine lemon olive oil, seasoned salt, and Herbes de Provence. Add sliced beets. Marinate 10 minutes, turn and marinate 10 minutes longer. Arrange salad greens in a bowl. Add beets, reserving marinade. Arrange egg slices on greens. Top with bacon pieces. Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles. Drizzle all with reserve marinade plus balsamic reduction. Garnish with croutons.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter N

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Chow Down: Nutty Cherry Crostini! Go international with an Italian appetizer that has become a timeless classic. Crostini is a fancy word for “little crusts”, according to Wikipedia. Did you know during medieval times it was pretty normal for Italian peasants to eat their meals on slices of bread instead of using pottery? Lucky for us, the idea caught on. I can’t think of a better way to socialize before dinner.  
NUTTY CHERRY CROSTINI
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved

4 baguette slices, toasted

4 ounces Danish bleu cheese, room temperature 

1-2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, chopped

Fresh sprigs if lemon thyme, for garnish 
Instructions:

In an iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add sliced cherries, stirring gently to soften. Meanwhile toast baguette slices. Spread on bleu cheese. Add a spoonful of cherries. Sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts. Garnish with fresh lemon thyme leaves. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Sunshine Eats: Cobb Salad! Some days the dinner option is as plain as the nose on my face. Leftover rotisserie chicken becomes the star attraction. Using seven of your favorite ingredients, which you probably already have on hand, this time-saving classic is the perfect solution to that mundane question, “What’s for dinner?” Go easy on yourself and build a Cobb Salad on a platter for show-stopping presentation. 
COBB SALAD
Ingredients:

Bag of Spring Mix Salad Greens

3 cups chicken, precooked and shredded

3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped

6 slices bacon, crispy and crumbled

1-2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced

8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

3/4 cup Bleu cheese crumbles

Salad Dressings of choice
Instructions:

Choose individual salad plates or a serving platter. Arrange salad greens as the base. Working from the left side of the plate to the right, arrange shredded chicken from top to bottom. Next arrange chopped egg, crumbled bacon, diced avocado, and tomato halves, ending with Bleu cheese crumbles. Drizzle with salad dressing of choice and serve. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter B

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Beet Bacon Bleu Salad! Remember when you were a kid and your mother made you eat beets? And you hated them? Well, thank goodness as we age, our taste buds change. Perhaps it’s time to give them a second chance. I did and the results made me wonder why I waited so long. 
BEET BACON BLEU SALAD
Ingredients:

15-ounce can sliced beets, drained

3 tablespoons lemon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence 

2 cups mixed salad greens

1 egg, hard-cooked and sliced

3 slices applewood bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled 

2 tablespoons balsamic reduction 

Garnish with croutons
Instructions:

In a shallow dish, combine lemon olive oil, seasoned salt, and Herbes de Provence. Add sliced beets. Marinate 10 minutes, turn and marinate 10 minutes longer. Arrange salad greens in a bowl. Add beets, reserving marinade. Arrange egg slices on greens. Top with bacon pieces. Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles. Drizzle all with reserve marinade plus balsamic reduction. Garnish with croutons.