Divine Duchess Potatoes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Divine Duchess Potatoes! Sometimes it’s fun to mix things up when serving leftovers. Take mashed potatoes, for instance. By adding a few more ingredients, you can serve them again with first-class results that would make a Frenchman proud. With the holidays coming up, I find this recipe invaluable. I used leftovers from Gail’s Kitchen “Havarti Mashed Potatoes” recipe simply because it was quick and easy. Take a shortcut that treats your family like royalty.

DIVINE DUCHESS POTATOES

Ingredients:

3 cups mashed potatoes*

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick oil. Combine mashed potatoes, egg yolks, and cream. Blend well. Transfer to a pastry bag or piping tool with a large star tip. Pipe and swirl upward to form a cone shape in each muffin cup. Brush with melted butter before baking 10 minutes. Switch oven to Broil for a golden brown finish. Watch carefully. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before serving.

*Havarti Mashed Potato recipe was used for this preparation since it was seasoned with cheese and herbs. Please follow the link.

http://Snapshotsincursive.com/2015/11/19

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Crockpot Mac ‘n Cheese! I find this is seriously the best way to make macaroni and cheese for a crowd without all the fuss. It is so kid-friendly, in fact, you may discover you have an extra pair of helping hands without even asking. When using a slow cooker, the pasta softens as the sauce thickens into a hot, creamy, extra-cheesy youthful delight. Top it off with crushed potato chips for a heart-warming side dish.

CROCKPOT MAC ‘N CHEESE

Ingredients:

1 pound cellentani pasta, also known as cavatappi, uncooked

4 tablespoons butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

1 cup potato chips, crushed

Instructions:

Spray the crockpot with nonstick oil. Pour the uncooked pasta into the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer the butter and cream cheese chunks over the pasta. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, milk, and cream. Mix well. Pour over pasta. Stir to blend. Spread pasta into an even layer, being sure to coat everything in sauce. Cover and cook on LOW for 1-2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Be sure to spread macaroni into one layer after stirring to keep pasta coated with sauce. When pasta is done, sprinkle shredded cheddar and pepper jack over all. Stir to combine. Replace cover and cook 10 minutes until cheese is creamy and melted. Sprinkle with crushed potato chips before serving.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter L

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Lyonnaise Potatoes! Don’t you love fancy names for regular dishes. Think about it. Instead of skinny flat pancakes, we say “Crepes”. Or an old-fashioned grilled ham and cheese sandwich popular in France goes by “Croque Monsieur”. What about American hot dogs in crescent rolls? Anybody? That’s right, “Pigs in a Blanket”. Today’s pan-fried potatoes and onions can be fancied up for dinner when you refer to them as “Lyonnaise Potatoes”. But don’t say that too often or the hubs may announce he wants to eat at “Chez Maison” tonight. (at home)
LYONNAISE POTATOES
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1-2 Idaho russet potatoes, peel on and sliced 1/4″ thick

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1 Vidalia sweet onion, sliced

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

Fresh chives and tarragon for garnish 
Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover bottom of pan with potatoes in a single layer. Season with sea salt and white pepper. Dot with half the butter. Repeat with remaining potatoes and butter. Cook until potatoes are brown on the bottom, 10-15 minutes. Add onions; season with garlic powder. Cook, gently turning onions and potatoes until thoroughly cooked, 8-10 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer potato mixture to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh chives and tarragon leaves. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter H

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Harvest Snap Beans! If you’ve ever planted a garden, you already know how easily and quickly green beans are to grow. They produce so well, even a novice takes pride in their bounty. When it’s time to harvest, choose smooth green (or yellow) pods. Lumps are a sign of an overripe bean, which means it could be dried out or damaged inside. Be particular. You can always tell how fresh it is by the “snap” sound it makes when broken. Perhaps that’s why my aunt on the farm used to call them “snap beans”. Taste is everything. 
HARVEST SNAP BEANS
Ingredients:

1 pound frozen yellow wax and green beans, thawed

6 slices bacon; cooked and broken into chunks

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange yellow wax beans and green beans in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle bacon pieces over beans. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce, garlic powder, and agave nectar. Mix well. Pour over green beans and bacon. Bake uncovered 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter P

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Foodstuff Redefined: Picnic Pork and Beans! Tradition speaks loud and clear at family gatherings and picnics, especially in the summer. No matter the cookout, barbecue, or pitch-in, certain foods are expected on the buffet table. One of them is the coveted baked beans. Usually the unmarried auntie or the matriarch is the keeper of the cherished recipes. The “grande dame” knows all the ingredients, especially the heavily-guarded secret ones. It might be a dab of this or a pinch of that. My advice? Time, patience, and integrity. After all, there’s a lot of responsibility in carrying on the Secret Family Recipes. In the end, it’s all worth it!
PICNIC PORK AND BEANS
Ingredients:

3 slices uncured bacon, thick

1/4 cup sweet onion, sliced

1 tablespoon bacon drippings

28-ounce can pork and beans

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

2 tablespoons pimento, diced

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Fry bacon in a large skillet until partially cooked. Remove bacon from pan and dab on paper towels. Let cool and then break into pieces. Discard all but one tablespoon bacon drippings. Add sweet onion to pan; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Combine sweet onion, pork and beans, seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, diced pimento, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Mix well. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Top with bacon pieces. Bake uncovered for one hour, or until beans are bubbly and sauce is thick. Let stand 10 minutes for sauce to thicken slightly. Serve warm. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter J

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Foodstuff Redefined: Jalapeño Spiced Green Beans! I must admit, the first time I tasted these incredible green beans, it was as a garnish in a Canadian Caesar Cocktail (a seafood version of America’s Bloody Mary). Talk about a natural kick of spice! Oh. My. Gosh! If you don’t mind a little kick of heat and like green beans, you must try these. Toss them into a garden salad, layer them inside a grilled cheese sandwich, top them on deviled eggs, pair them with shrimp cocktail. Do you see where this is going? It’s extreme, it’s appetizing, and it’s a party in your mouth. 
JALAPEÑO SPICED GREEN BEANS
Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves

1 cup apple cider vinegar 

1 cup water

1 tablespoon agave nectar 

2 tablespoons kosher salt

5 jalapeño peppers, sliced and stems discarded 

1 pound fresh green beans, stems snipped and snapped to fit in the jars. 
Instructions:

In a medium saucepan, combine garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, water, agave nectar, and kosher salt. Heat to boiling. Stir until dissolved. As it continues boiling, add the slices jalapeños. Keep them submerged under the pickling liquid. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Have ready 1-2 clean, sterilized pint jars. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add the green beans. Cook until the beans begin to turn bright green, 3-4 minutes. Drain the pan. Rinse immediately with cold water; place green beans in an ice bath for 10 minutes. Drain well. Divide the green beans between the jars. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeños and garlic cloves to the green beans. Ladle the pickling juices over top until the jars are filled. Discard any leftover brine. Let cool at room temperature before securing lids. Store in refrigerator at least 24 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter M

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Mango Medley! This is one of my all-time favorites when serving fish tacos. It’s fast and easy, not to mention soft and sweet. When the mango is at its peak in ripeness, the juice resembles a combination of peach and pineapple. I know, right! When mixed with Campari tomatoes (which have low acidity) plus fresh cilantro, it’s a perfect blend of flavors. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
MANGO MEDLEY
Ingredients:

2 ripe mangos, peeled and core seed removed

1-pound Campari tomatoes 

Fresh Cilantro to taste
Instructions:

Peel, pit, and cut up mangos. Place in a medium bowl. Slice tomatoes into quarter wedges. Add to mangos. Snip fresh cilantro over all. Toss gently. Refrigerate prior to serving for flavor enhancement. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter G

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Glazed Carrots! My husband, Gerald, absolutely loves the texture of cooked carrots. He usually asks for more in every recipe. Unimpressed by their nutritional value, he could care less about the fiber content. Maybe it’s the bright orange color that echoed an enthusiastic response at the dinner table as a child. In any event, I know without a doubt, whenever I serve this appetizing choice of root vegetable, he knows it’s been a very special day. 
GLAZED CARROTS 
Ingredients:

16 ounces of fresh baby carrots, greens removed

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly

1 cup water

Dash of sea salt

Cracked pepper to taste
Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine the whole baby carrots with remaining ingredients. Stir well to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Carrots should be tender and liquid evaporated to leave a nice glaze coating. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter A

Letter A – What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Au Gratin Potatoes! How’s this for comfort food? Butter, cream, and cheese……with potatoes thrown in. Can you say creamy and luscious three times very fast???
AU GRATIN POTATOES 
Ingredients:

6 medium potatoes 

1 clove garlic 

1 sweet onion, sliced thin

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup half & half cream

2 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese* 

Sea salt and pepper to taste. 

* Gruyere or Provolone or all three may be combined. 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly rub garlic all over a 9×13 baking dish. Butter dish then set aside unused portion of butter. Peel and slice potatoes. Hold in a bowl of cold water until ready to use. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until cooked. Divide drained potatoes, cooked onion, and shredded cheese into three layers in baking dish, reserving last third of cheese until the final 5 minutes of baking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat remaining butter with cream until the butter is melted and the cream is hot. Pour evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is browned, the cream has been absorbed, and the potatoes are soft.