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Posts Tagged ‘potato’

Would still just be cheesy sauce I guess. This stuff probably doesn’t even taste like cheese but one of the good things about not having had cheese in a few years is that you don’t quite remember what it tastes like. I have a friend in North Portland that would scoff at that, and I think one in Tigard too – I’m not sure they think there’s really anything good about not eating cheese.

I came across Vegan Yum Yum’s cheese sauce recipe quite awhile ago. But being that there are about 13 ingredients in it I often find myself lacking one or two of them, or I just can’t bring myself to put 1/3 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of cashews in it. Thankfully, this conglomerate is quite forgiving and flexible. I don’t think I’ve made it the same way twice.

Last Saturday the old man and I (he called me old lady already so it’s payback time) went to Higgin’s for dinner before going to The Decemberists show at the Schnitzer (phenomenal show by the way). Higgin’s technically has nothing to do with my cheesy pasta, but since we went to a nice place for dinner we did the whole before, during and after dinner drinks thing. Then we had wine at the show (well I did, the old man stepped on his – but I was nice enough to share). That said, I was just a teeny tiny bit hung-over on Sunday. My favorite hangover food? Aside from pizza? Mac and cheese!!!

So whether or not it tastes like cheese I don’t really give a damn. It’s good. It’s versatile. It’s healthy. And it hits the spot. Nothing like carbs the day after!

This time I found myself without carrots, and I didn’t feel like using butter or tahini. So I threw a few slices of orange bell pepper and sesame oil in the mix and gave it a whirl. I used gluten-free pasta and added some arugula, broccoli, olives and mushrooms (I just don’t feel right eating pasta with just pasta).

So, here it is.

Cheesy Pasta (vegan and gluten-free)

  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • Half an orange bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup whole cashews (roasted, unsalted)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • Couple dabs of mustard
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T red miso
  • A few splashes of GF tamari
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • ½ t vinegar (light tasting)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Several dashes of paprika, thyme, basil, sage, cayenne

Roughly chop the potatoes, throw them in a pan and cover with water. You can peel them if you want but I don’t think it’s necessary. Boil until soft and drain the water.

Grind the cashews in a small food processor, blender, or coffee grinder.

Add the cashews and everything else to the pan with the potatoes. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can use a normal blender if you don’t have an immersion blender.

Poor over cooked pasta and veggies. Mix. Eat.

This makes a decent amount of cheesy sauce. I cooked about 9 ounces of pasta and still had 3/4 – 1 cup left over. I like to munch on the remains with chips or veggies. You can throw some jalapenos, tomatoes and Mexican spices in and call it nachos. Enjoy.

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i make gnocchi

For some reason the thought of making pasta always scares me.  Probably because I have never done it.  Until now.  Well, at least I’ve made one type of pasta (which will probably turn out to be the easiest one).

Making gnocchi seemed like it would be a daunting task as it takes quite a bit of your time, which is why it took me several months to get around to making it.  But in reality it just takes quite a bit of your oven’s time, and like he has anything else to do anyway.  I guess if you’re used to throwing something in the microwave gnocchi would still fall under time consuming, but I had the dough formed, rolled, cut and grooved in probably under 30 minutes – my husband didn’t even realize I was in the kitchen making something.

I’m guessing you would typically use a baking potato to make gnocchi, but I had randomly picked up some small red potatoes at Trader Joes the other day so that’s what I used.  I may be biased but I think they worked rather well.

Another deterrent for me making gnocchi was the fact that almost every recipe I see uses an egg.  After having successfully made it with only 3 ingredients, none of which are eggs, I am somewhat baffled as to why you would need an egg to make this at all.

And to top it all off my sister and brother-in-law bought me a potato ricer for my birthday!  What the hell is a potato ricer??  That’s what I said the first time I heard the word.  Is it for potatoes?  Is it for rice?  I guess most people consider them unnecessary kitchen gadgets, but I think it’s kind of nifty.  Basically it’s a great big garlic press that squeezes tiny little strips of potato out.  Mine even manages to remove the skin for you (it’s magic).  You can probably mash up a potato with a fork or masher or food processor, but I’m thinking consistency plays an important role in the gnocchi.

So being that I had the potatoes and a potato ricer, and even some left over marinara in the fridge, I no longer had any excuse to not make gnocchi.  I even found a recipe that didn’t use eggs.

Gnocchi, from In Jennie’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 lbs of potatoes
  • 3/4 C organic, unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

What you do

Heat the oven up to 400.  Stab the potatoes a few times with a fork and place them on the middle rack or in a pan.  I put mine in a pan and put foil over them halfway through the baking period as I wasn’t sure if they would dry out (I don’t bake a lot of potatoes).  Bake for about an hour or until the potatoes are soft enough to pierce, or accidentally smash.

Once they are cool enough to touch, grab a bowl and your potato ricer and, well, rice them.

Add the flour and salt and mix with a spoon until it’s mostly homogenized.  Then use your hands and shape it into a ball of dough.

Now divide your dough.  I only divided it into 3 portions but more would have made it easier to roll out into ropes.  Place the pieces on a floured surface and use your hands to roll them out (like you used to do with playdoh).

Gently cut the ropes into pieces; mine were about 3/4 – 1 inch long.  This is where you put the little grooves in the gnocchi.  They have wooden paddles specially designed for this, but I don’t have one.  I took Jennie’s suggestion and used my pastry cutter.  I rolled mine with the cutter on a cutting board but placing it in your hand and doing it that way may work just a tad better.

When you’re ready to eat, get a pot of salted water boiling and boil the gnocchi for 2 – 3 minutes; they float when they’re ready.  Use a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate or dish.  And word to the wise, don’t place them on a paper towel (they stick).

Top with whatever sauce and accompaniments you desire and tuck in!  We were a little low on veggies so we got frozen peas and black olives.

They were soooo yummy!!!  This recipe supposedly serves 4 but Gary and I gobbled it all up without a second thought.  Definitely worth making!

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I say potato bread!  I’m not sure how you make “actual” potato bread as I never looked up a recipe, but this stuff tastes fricken spectacular.  The first batch I made was better as I think it had less flour and more salt, but the 2nd go round is still blog worthy.

A few weeks ago I tried to make this focaccia recipe I found somewhere that had olives and tomatoes all over the place.  As many things do, it turned out better in my head than in my oven.  But!  There was a comment left by somebody on that post talking about adding boiled potatoes to bread dough… I just so happened to have like 8 potatoes from my CSA share, so into the kitchen I went!

This bread is light and moist and the crust somehow manages to obtain an almost perfect level of crunchiness.  Gary and I went through the last loaf in about 3 days.  We’re hoping to keep this little guy around long enough for his mother and sister to try… (we’ll see how that goes).

So, without any further him hawing, here’s what you do.

Potato Bread, adapted from the Urban Spork

  • 2 medium potatoes (yukon, red, what have you)
  • 1 – 1.5 C water
  • 2 & 1/4 t yeast (or a packet)
  • about 2 C AP flour & 1 C wheat flour
  • about 1 T kosher salt

Dice up the potatoes, through them in a sauce pan and cover with water.  You can peel them if you like but that always seems unnecessary to me.  Boil the potatoes until they are soft (like you’re making mashers), about 10 – 15 minutes.  Once done, pour them into a blender and puree them until smooth.  I measured about a cup of water (used the remaining potato water actually) at this point and added it to the blender.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and yeast.  Pour in the potato puree and mix with a spoon until the dough is evenly wet – you might need more water here.  You aren’t going to get a solid ball of dough; it’ll be sticky and look messy.  Cover with plastic wrap and lay a towel over it.  Let it rise about an hour or two and then stick it in the fridge for awhile or overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, pull it out of the fridge, cover your hands with flour and quickly make a loaf(ish) shape out of the dough and place it in a pan.  I used a round spring form cake pan.  If your dough’s a little too wet it won’t hold the shape so put it in a pan small enough to contain whatever shape you’re going for.  Throw some flour on top of the dough and cut a crisscross shape into it .  This might just be for looks, but I’m thinking there’s a higher purpose here.  Wait 20 minutes.

Now, preheat the oven to about 450 degrees.  I put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven as it’s supposed to help the texture of the bread (not sure if I’ve really been successful with this part or not).  Once another 20 minutes has expired, put the bread in the oven.  Mine’s usually done in 25 – 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and tuck in!

I’m going to try to make a gluten free version of this at some point, I just haven’t gotten there yet (sorry Rach).

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my Lunch

I’m giving you the pre-eaten version, in case you were concerned.  I decided to try to make these: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/03/colcannon-puffs.html.  I subbed spinach for kale as that’s what I had in the ole kitch, and decided some grilled eggplant would be lovely (I ❤ eggplant).  Not so bad.  I would recommend making the potato puffs not so puffy and more pancakey, and also fry them versus baking as I think they will end up crunchier.  I then topped it with my marinara sauce.

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