Saturday, June 16, 2012

One potato, two potato, three potato, yum!

The history of food has always fascinated me amd the wide variety of recipes from countries spread around the globe using basically the same main ingredient. Potato salad is a universal party food and different versions are served at different temperatures. Most potato salads are served at room temperature or chilled, though a popular German recipe is served warm.

In the United States we like our potato salad refrigerated in advance and served chilled. Mayonnaise is a favorite ingredient.
Brazilian potato salad is called batata calabresa, named after a spicy ingredient, the pimenta-calabresa -- a South American chili pepper. 
Bulgarian potato salad is made with potatoes, leeks or onions, oil, salt and black pepper.
Slovakian potato salad is part of the traditional Christmas meal as a side dish to fish. It contains potatoes, carrots, green peas, pickled cucumbers, celery, yogurt, eggs and onions. 
German potato salad is generally prepared with vinegar and oil, rather than mayonnaise, and bacon bits and served warm. 
Italian potato salad is made with green beans and red onion slices and dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
Romanian potato salad is made with potatoes, eggs, onions and olives.
At my house, we like this Three Potato Salad and we like it just the way most Americans like their potato salad -- served cold and accompanying anything grilled outdoors!

1 pound small red Bliss potatoes
1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 pound sweet potato
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons fine chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of salt (season to taste)
Wash all the potatoes. Peel the sweet potatoes and the Yukon Golds. Do not peel the red. 
Cut into chunks, place in a large pot ot salted water.  Cook on medium high until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.  In a small bowl, mix the mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper and celery until well blended. Fold into the cooked, cooled potatoes and season with salt. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving. Serves 6.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Berry Berry Good Streusel Ginger Muffins!

It all started with an impulse purchase of a Southern Living Almost Homemade magazine. Pictured on the cover was Lemonade Pie and the promise of the recipe on page 77 was too irresistable.

Up to now, I balked at the temptation to create an “almost homemade” recipe of my own and hate to admit giving in. Once you try my Berry Streusel Ginger Muffins I think you’ll agree, there might be something to this lazy cooking style rage. No berries on hand? No problem. Substitute dried cranberries instead of fresh raspberries in the recipe. If you are a ginger fan, these are the best muffins ever.

By the way, I haven’t tried Lemonade Pie yet. But on page 15 -- OMG! There’s a heavenly recipe for Blackberry Mojito Punch. The issue is on sale until July 13, 2012.

One 14 ounce boxed gingerbread mix
1 cup orange or apple juice
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons biscuit mix
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons raw quick oats
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup chopped honey roasted pecans
1/2 cup fresh raspberries 

Start by making the streusel. Blend together butter, biscuit mix, sugar, quick oats, and ground ginger. Once streusel mix is nice and crumbly, toss in 1/4 cup honey roasted pecans and set aside. Keep berries separate.

Now it’s time for the muffin batter. Using one box of gingerbread mix. Add juice, eggs and baking powder. Thoroughly mix with a wooden spoon about two minutes until battter is smooth.

Evenly distribute batter into lined 12 piece muffin tin. Drop 3-4 berries on top of batter (do not mix in) sprinkle a generous tablespoon of streusel on top of the berries.

Bake 18-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degree F. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan, cool another 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to mingle. Good warm or fully cooled to room temperature.