Sunday, November 29, 2009

German Potato Salad

I stayed at Karen and Jon's this weekend and we decided to cook dinner instead of going out somewhere on Saturday night. Karen had boneless spareribs that she threw in the crockpot (so easy, love it!) and we decided to do pulled pork. I said I would make a side and thought I would do mac and cheese but then I remembered this great warm potato salad that my mom had made for dinner one night. I DO NOT like regular potato salad...something about cold potatoes just makes my stomach turn. But this is delicious and nothing like the old picnic staple you're probably used to eating.

German Potato Salad

2 pounds petite red potatoes
6 slices bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper

Wash the potatoes and put them whole into a pot of water. Boil until tender and cooked through. Drain and cool slightly, then quarter.

Cook bacon until crispy and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in pan. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add flour and stir; cooking one minute. Add sugar, vinegar, water and salt. Cook until mixture is thick and bubbly. Toss with potatoes. Crumble bacon and mix in to potato salad. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyere

Chad's grandmother puts out a great spread for Thanksgiving, but I always like to contribute a side dish of my own. I usually make my Granny's broccoli cauliflower casserole, but decided to do something different this year. This an awesome Cooking Light recipe that I made last year for my family at Christmas. With all the food we ate on Thanksgiving it was nice to have something healthy and light (but still delicious!).

Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyere
From Cooking Light

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (I used 2 heads)
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Place cauliflower in a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; coat cauliflower with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until almost tender. Cool 5 minutes. Preheat broiler. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in panko. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and chives. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 cup cheese, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, and pepper. Pour milk mixture over cauliflower mixture; toss. Top evenly with cheese mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly heated.

Apple Bread Pudding

My friend Kelly and I went to one of my favorite restaurants a few weeks ago. There has been a Brio in Orlando for a while, but we just got one in Tampa a few months ago. Our meal was great, and we decided to split one of their mini desserts. It was a tough choice, but we agreed on the apple bread pudding. I had never had bread pudding before, and this was absolutely delicious. Once I tried it, I knew I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving dessert. I searched around for a recipe and decided you can't go wrong with Emeril and I was right. This was sooooooo good. I didn't do the hard cider sauce with the recipe. Instead I opted for warm caramel sauce and ice cream. The perfect ending for a great meal!

Apple Bread Pudding
From Emeril Lagasse

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup apple cider
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups cubed stale raisin-cinnamon bread
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cubed (about 1 cup)
1 cup dried apples
caramel sauce
vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10 by 14-inch baking dish with the butter and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cream, cider, sugar, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk to combine. Add the bread, fresh and dried apples, and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the bread is well saturated, up to 1 hour.) Bake until the top is golden brown and the center is firm, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and let sit on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut into pieces and top with ice cream and warm caramel sauce. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

It seems like the simplest meals turn out to be some of the best meals. I threw this together in the crockpot, went to work and came home to a delicious dinner. So easy and tasted like I slaved the stove!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

3 lb. pot roast
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 tsp worsteshire sauce
1 1/2 lbs red potato, quartered
5 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 sweet onions, cut into large chunks

Put vegetables on the bottom of the crockpot. Put meat on top. Mix soup, water, onion soup mix and worsteshire. Pour in crockpot. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.

To make gravy:
1 cup of juice from crockpot
1 tbsp cornstarch

In a saucepan, mix 1/4 cup of the juice with the cornstarch. Add remaining juice and cook over medium heat until thickened.