Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde

When my cousin Kris came to visit me a few months ago, we decided to spend an entire afternoon eating at as many restaurants as possible. I know it sounds like a crazy thing to do, but we both love to eat, and I'm happy to have finally found someone who can eat as much and as often as I do! Anyway, we ended up really only eating at no more than 3 places, because she instantly fell in love with the crispy tacos at Las Palmas Taqueria on College Ave. in Oakland. Since she's from Vancouver, Canada, she has a hard time finding a good taqueria there to satisfy her taco needs. Needless to say, we spent most of our eating adventures at Las Palmas eating tacos. In fact, the first day we went in twice within a three-hour period, and the second day, we ended up ordering tacos three times in one sitting. I swore the staff thought we were totally crazy!

Anyway, ever since then, I have been looking for a good salsa verde recipe for her. So Kris, this is for you! :)

Read on to see if this is good enough for Kris...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Zesty Little Corn Muffins

Very close to where we live, we have this amazing neighborhood market, Piedmont Grocery, where we buy a majority of our groceries, especially meats and seafood. The butcher counter and display case is probably around 40 feet long, fill with the freshest looking meats and seafood, and makes my mouth water every time I gaze upon it.

Anyway, because of our busy schedules, I like to throw a few ingredients in the slow cooker, and have an easy meal the next day. One of my favorite things are split pea soup with ham. It is so simple and delicious! All I put in the cooker is one beautiful ham shank I buy from the butcher (I always have them cut in half), a bag of split pea, then fill the crockpot up with water. Since the shanks have been smoked already, it gives enough flavor to the soup that I don't have to add any salt to it.

So, long story short, I started the soup last night, and I decided to make some corn muffins today to eat with it. I thought that the savory of the soup and the sweetness of the bread might go well together. I did follow the directions on the box (I had no corn in the house!), but I added some orange zest to the batter before I baked it. It was really yummy! A little on the spongy and fluffy side, and not too dense, just the way I like my cornbread!

Read on for the corn muffin recipe if you happened to have thrown the box away...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough

Mushroom & Onion Pizza w/ Cilantro Pesto

It has been awhile since I've posted. Work has been busy and my computer just had a week-long battle with some virus. It was frustrating not being able to do my usual computer stuff, but I took advantage of this and took a mini-vacation from the online world. I wasn't as productive as I should've been, but I got to spend more time in the kitchen, took cat naps with Odin, and read some books...

I've been fascinated by bread-making lately. I can't say that I have too much success, but there were a couple of things that I was pretty proud about. With every bread-making project I embark on, the less and less I am afraid of using yeast. Now, I can't even remember why I hesitated to use yeast in the first place. If you remember a few posts before this, I made some yummy homemade English muffins. Strangely enough, that was one of my first attempts using yeast! Not even just regular bread, but English muffins! Sometimes I'm more ambitious than am practical.

Anyway, I've been making homemade pizza dough lately, even though it takes a little bit of time, but it's totally worth it! I love that I can have any topping I want and that I can make the crust as thin as I like! Now that I have had some experience with making dough with yeast, I find that it's very easy to do.

Read on if you'd like to see how I made my dinner last night...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Leftover Salmon Skin

If you've been following this blog the last few days, you know that I made some lox, based on FoodMayhem's recipe. Little did I know that they also have a recipe for the leftover salmon skin! The method they used (at least the one I read) was to broil the skin under the broiler until it's nice and crisp. Sounds good to me! I love anything crispy!

Read on if you love the idea of crispy fish skin chips...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Homemade Lox

About a week ago, I suddenly got a very strong craving for some lox. Don't know how, don't know why, probably because I was staring at the smoked salmon and then the fish counter while I was grocery shopping. So instead of going to the bagel shop across the street, I decided that I am going to make some myself. How I waited this long to satisfy my craving is beyond even me. I'm usually not this patient when it comes to food.

Read on if you wonder about what happened $10 and 5 days later...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easy Smoked Trout and Pasta Salad

Until today, the weather has been warm and sunny, perfect days for a leisurely outdoor picnic. Unfortunately, with my ridiculous work schedule, I don't have time to indulge right now. However, I decided to make a perfect pasta salad for picnics anyway. While I was at Trader Joe's the other day, I picked up a can of smoked trout. For days, I had no idea how I would want to eat it, normally, I would have just eat it straight from the can, but I was determined to make it slightly more interesting. So when I decided to make the pasta salad, what better to use than this can of trout?

I must say that the result was absolutely delicious! I made a decent size batch of it, so I can have a yummy snack for myself before and after work. Even my boyfriend thought it was very tasty and that I should remember this for our future outdoor dinner parties and potlucks!

Read on to see this very simple and easy recipe!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easy Fried Fish and Potato Cakes

If you have been reading my blog, you probably know that I'm a sucker for fried foods and panko. So, a couple of days ago, I had some leftover mashed potatoes and a fillet of cod in the fridge, and decided to make some fishcakes before work. It was very easy to make, and I didn't use very many ingredients, but it was delicious! It is a great way to use up leftovers and have a meal that I normally don't have.

Read on to find out how I made my fish cakes at home!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Homemade English Muffins

I love making food from scratch, especially ones you would never even think of making. I love the challenge of finding the recipes and actually testing them out. So, a few weeks ago, I decided to make some English muffins from scratch. I tried making them a few months ago and completely failed! It makes me sad to waste ingredients (it was completely unsalvageable), so I have been afraid to try again until recently. I had a day off and I was determined! This time around, I took extra care and read up on many different recipes to figure out what I did wrong. And it paid off! It was actually pretty easy and extremely delicious! I don't think I'll ever get store-bought ones again!

Read on if you'd like to go to English muffin heaven with me! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Going In a Different Direction...

When I first started this blog, I was fixated on the idea of posting and writing about all things potatoes, because I love eating potatoes. In fact, I was so focused on this particular subject that I ignored the fact that I actually love to eat. Anything. Period. Then, I toyed with the idea that maybe I'll have a separate blog for all the other foods and restaurants I like and enjoy...hmmm...

But who am I kidding? Between a crazy full-time restaurant job, my Etsy shop FoxesandRobbers, and trying to maintain two blogs, I barely have time to be human! Let alone starting another project that'll keep me in front of the computer longer! So, I have come to the conclusion that I should restructure this blog to serve my purposes better.

It is my hope from this point on, this will be my creative outlet for sharing my humble cooking, my discoveries of new recipes, my adventures, and my quest for a simpler and more fulfilling life.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Easy Diner-Style Breakfast Hashbrowns

I love hashbrowns! And surprisingly, around where I live, most breakfast joints serve homefries, and the ones that do serve hashbrowns, they almost never come out right. What is right, you ask? It is when the top and bottom are both golden and crunchy, while the insides are moist, soft, and meaty. It is heaven to me when I know that as soon as I crack open the golden shell, steam will come rushing out, and what awaits me is the generous juicy portion of shred potatoes that are perfectly cooked...

Anyway, enough about my daydream! I have learned years ago to make my own. After many trials and errors, I would like to say that I can actually make decent hashbrowns at home! The basic recipe is very simple, it's the process that one has to pay attention to. So I would like to share with you here how I make my easy diner-style hashbrowns! Read on for the tutorial!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Winner of the Poll is...

Ketchup! What a surprise! :) The poll was for your favorite dipping sauce for french fries and the runner-up is mayonnaise. Some other sauces that some of you have picked included the following: ranch, 1000 island, aioli, honey mustard, cheese sauce, and ice cream. I also had a fill-in vote for chocolate frosty from Wendy's! :)

Thank you all for participating in the poll! I personally don't like ketchup that much, but I would love to try and make my own. I found this very easy recipe for homemade ketchup and would like to share with you! I might even make this tomorrow...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Know it's Strange...

If you're visiting my blog, I highly encourage you to vote! It seems like a silly thing to do, but I enjoy posting many fun facts and information about anything about potatoes. :) I went to culinary school, and I still have tons to learn! Thanks again!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Winner of the Poll is...

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Waffle fries! I'm quite surprised by the results, even though I'm also a big fan of them. The poll was for "What's your favorite French fry shape?", with the following choices: skinny fries, steak fries, crinkle-cut fries, curly fries, and waffle fries. I honestly thought that skinny fries would beat out all of them, but it came in at a close second place. Oh well.

Anyway, have you ever wondered how waffle fries are made? You would need a mandolin with a serrated blade, and just slice away! I would like to share with you this video I found on YouTube that demonstrate this special cut (also called Gaufrettes in French).

One last fun tidbit! I found a Facebook Fan page for waffle fries, and it has over 80,000s fans! I think I'm going to mosey over there and check it out...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Giant Baked Potato

So I finally baked off the giant potato I had, and you know? It's not as big as I thought for some reason. It was still really yummy and fulfilling though. On a day when I'm busy with lots of chores around the house, and it's cold outside, I love to just turn on the oven and bake something. In my case, potatoes are the easiest thing to bake, since they require next to no preparation at all. Surprisingly, I originally thought that it would take longer to completely cook this bad boy, it actually only took 1 hour and 10 minutes! It was great, because I was getting really hungry smelling the aroma from the kitchen!

Read on to find out how I baked my potato and how to fluff it up real good!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Best Potato Cookbook Ever! (I think)

I found this most excellent cookbook about potatoes at my local library months ago. It not only has hundreds of potato recipes, it also has a history section, section on the many varieties (100s!), a couple pages devoted to potato-cooking tools, and basic cooking techniques! So of course, after I returned it, I went ahead and bought one for myself on Amazon. I must say this is one of my favorite cookbooks ever! Every page has glossy color pictures, and the recipes are easy to follow. For those of you who love potatoes like I do, I highly suggest finding this book. It's called Potato, by Alex Barker with recipes by Sally Mansfield.

Read on for some pictures of the book! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weird Japanese Potato Chips Commercial

I just found this very strange commercial about this Asian-brand potato chips, Calbee. It's kind of funny and disturbing, but interestingly enough, this is one of my favorite brand of chips! You can find it at almost any Asian supermarkets and it taste nothing like American potato chips. I can't really describe what's different, maybe a tad sweeter? Anyway, you must try it to understand. :) Enjoy the clip!

Here's the close-up packaging of the chips: (I actually have a bag on hand!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dairy-Free Potato Puree Soup

Many, many years ago, I worked at an upscale cafe that served amazing sandwiches, salads, and soups. One of my favorite thing there was their potato puree soup. Since they put their soups on rotation through the week, I usually get to have it at least once a week. In fact, I was so crazy about this soup that, if they were serving it on my day off, I asked all the cooks in the kitchen to call me at home, and I would loppity-lop down to the cafe and take home a little container of the potato soup.

Since then, I have often tried to re-create it at home, sometimes with success, sometimes...well, it becomes something entirely different. Anyway, I made this version of this potato puree soup today, and would like to share with you. It was extremely yummy, and my boyfriend and I devoured the entire pot in no time!

Read on if you love potato soups as much as me, and would like to know how to make it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Black Day...

I was going to take today to finish my blog about the potato soup that I love, but unfortunately, two important figures died these couple of days that I care about... First, the mystery writer, Robert B. Parker, who had written over 50 books, and was known for the "Spenser" series.  Secondly, Casper the cat who enjoyed riding the bus everyday was killed by a hit-and-run on his way to catch his bus. Although I have never met the cat, but I love cats (I have the most precious one!) and I curse the person who hit him and didn't even stop!

Anyway, I'll be mourning today...

Read more about the news of his death Robert B. Parker. Here's more about Casper.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Finally! A Mini Vacation...

My goodness! I didn't realize it has been a week since I posted last! My job at the restaurant has been unbelievably busy, and leaves me completely exhausted everyday! So I decided to take a couple of days off, recharge my batteries, and catch up on my projects! So far, I only took a nap.

Anyway, here's a little preview of what's to come...

Recipe for a non-dairy Potato Puree Soup...

...and let's see how long does it take to bake this bad boy?

Alright...I think I'm ready for another nap...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Potato Tacos!

When I lived and worked in Los Angeles a little more than a decade ago, my co-workers and I used to go to this Mexican restaurant called Senor Fish for lunch. They had really good fish tacos and a rather large and inexpensive menu. One of my favorite things they served were potato tacos. I had never had one before, and after trying it for the first time, I was addicted! The taco shell was crispy, while the mash potato was hot and creamy. What more can you ask for?

So when I was looking around my kitchen tonight, I found some white corn tortillas and potatoes (of course!), and decided to make some potato tacos for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised at the results! It may not be the potato tacos at Senor Fish, but it was pretty delicious. Even my boyfriend who swore up and down that he won't like potatoes in tacos or pizza (that's another story), he declared it was a success!

Anyway, I'm just happy we have left-over mashed potato now. Read on to see how I made them...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Junk Food Fridays - Fast Food Mashed Potatoes

As much as I love homemade food and amazing restaurant dishes, one of my (many) secret pleasures are processed potato products, namely from popular fast food chains. I don't usually frequent these establishments, especially now that I'm older and trying to eat healthier, but sometimes, the deep-fried aroma that wafts out from these buildings is just so hard to resist!

Exactly what happened the other day when I was on the way home from a little thrift shopping! As I walked past Church's Chicken, the delicious smell came rolling out at me, and I had to stop. I bought a 3-piece dark meat combo meal with mash potatoes and gravy, and I must admit, I'm a sucker for fast food mash potatoes. Something about the mushy, smooth, and slightly elastic consistency that makes me crave more after a have a bite. Not to mention the gravy! Hmmm...I'm getting hungry for more of that mash just thinking about it...

Read on if you want to find out the nutritional value of this meal...(which only took me 10 minutes to eat!)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Potato Casserole

I've been on a panko kick lately, and anything I can think of to put panko on, I do. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is made without the crust, thus it's airier and creates a crunchier coating. I have been using it for all my homemade mac and cheese, fried foods,...basically anything you would put breadcrumbs on. Anyway, I used some for my potato casserole the other night, and Yum! The crust was golden, crunchy, and delicious! In fact, I was supposed to share it with my boyfriend, but I ate most of it...oops!

If you enjoy the photo of the dish before I devoured it, please read on for the recipe:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gregoire's Potato Puffs!

There is a French takeout place, Gregoire, in Berkeley I've been in love with for years, and a few years ago, they opened one in Oakland near where I live. They have an amazing menu that changes from lunch to dinner, and month to month. Everything is delicious, but one of my favorite things are their potato puffs! They are so simple but delicious! I don't get it very often, but when I do, I'm in heavens! I got some today for an early evening snack, so it's time to chow down...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Berkeley Bowl Potato Section! Wow!

I finally have a day off today! So, for a fun little outing, my boyfriend and I decided to stop by the new Berkeley Bowl to do a little food shopping. It has been awhile since we've been to either of the Bowls, because of their locations and our lack of a car, we thought it would be a nice stop in our otherwise errand-laden afternoon. It was definitely well worth it! I went straight to the potato section in the produce department, and my goodness! I have never seen so many varieties of potatoes under one roof! There are so many different colors and sizes, my head was reeling just thinking about what I can make with them!

In the end, we just picked up a few food items and had a nice snack at the Berkeley Bowl cafe. Next time I get inspired, I'll know exactly where to go for some exotic potatoes!

Read on for more pictures!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lazy Sunday...

I wish it was true, I would love to lounge around the house and relax after these couple of crazy holiday weeks. Unfortunately, I have to go to work pretty soon and do it all over again. Since I just finished washing a tall mountain of dishes, I'm not terribly inspired to cook anything. Instead, I just settled for surfing the web, looking at food photos and getting hungry. Lucky for me, (and you, I hope.), I found this video that shows you how to speed-peel a boiled potato! I have never seen it done this way before! I must admit that it's pretty impressive and I want to share it with you! :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ham and Eggs Hash

It's been awhile since I've had eggs and potatoes for breakfast (weird!), so I decided to make some this morning. Since I just woke up, I'm pretty lazy about lingering in the kitchen for too long to cook, so my version of this ham and eggs hash pretty much cook itself, well, kind of. Anyway, here it is:

1 medium-size potato, diced 1/4"
1/4 cup of diced ham
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Eggs
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to garnish

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a pan, add diced potatoes in one even layer, season with salt, then cover with lid.

2. Every 5 minutes or so, shake the pan and flip the potatoes, make sure all sides are cooked evenly.

3. After 10-12 minutes, add the diced ham, mix well with potatoes, and continue to cook with the lid on.

4. After a couple of minutes, make a well in the ham and potato mixture, and crack the eggs into the well, then replace the lid.

5. At this point, it depends on how you would like to have your eggs, just keep an eye on it until it's cooked to your liking.

6. Lastly, garnish with a little parsley, season with salt and pepper, and voila! Easy and delicious breakfast!

I Love Potatoes!

I have no idea when it has started, but I have this crazy passion for potatoes and all potato products. I do not claim to be an expert, but I get very happy when I find a recipe or find a restaurant with an amazing potato dish! So I would like this blog to be a chronicle of all things potatoes, recipes, facts, fun stuff...etc.

I am not discriminate of where the potato product comes from, whether they're fries from McDonald's or gourmet steak fries from a fine dining restaurant, all spuds are created equal! I only judge them on how they taste.

I don't care anything about diet, I think life's too short to not eat food you want to eat!

Please feel free to comment or supply recipes of new ways to cook potatoes! Let me know!!

I think I'm gonna make some garlic mash now...