Baked Parmesean Potato Wedges

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Number one son is leaving to go back to school this weekend, so it’s time for me to get all his favorites in before he heads to his home away from home. He LOVES these potatoes!

Goes great with the Sliders for visitors they gobbled them up. These are very easy! But please again I plead that you do not use pre shredded parmesan cheese on these either, just like my REAL Mac and Cheese, it’s waxy and processed! Also, it doesn’t stick well to the potato (it just slides off), and doesn’t taste nearly as good as a good elbow greased grating of some real parmesan. Use the smaller grater side, it makes nice soft flakes that stick well and make a great crust on the fries. Also mixing them in small batches (so 1/2 the ingredients below with a 1/2 of the potatoes) allows them to be coated a bit more evenly, it’s up to you, but look at the small batch coverage.

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When you cut the potatoes into wedges, don’t make them too thin or they won’t stand up well on the baking sheet. Also don’t fool yourself that they all will stand up like pictures in magazines, at least 1/3 of them will be on their side. Just flip them half way during cooking so they get evenly crispy.

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Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs GOOD Olive oil
  • 2 Tbs Garlic powder
  • 2 Tsp seasoning salt (Lawry’s) or regular sea salt
  • 2 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of grated (not shredded) parmesan cheese
  • 4 Russet potatoes cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash, dry and cut the potatoes into wedges. Place potatoes in large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, seasoning salt, and grated parmesan. Toss well to coat all of the potatoes. Place on a single layer on a baking sheet with skin side down (as best you can). Bake for 40 minutes, turn the potatoes if needed 1/2 way through cooking.

 

 

Bacon Asparagus Fritters

During Thanksgiving, All Day and I were able to host a lot of my family here at our house. There were a lot of different recipes flying around and it was so fun to see folks working in the kitchen.

I was shocked at how well we worked together in the kitchen with all of those cooks. I think I just stirred my gravy and barked out orders (my sisters will attest). But nonetheless it was such a great week and Turkey Day could not have been better.

In the midst of this chaos, my Nephew-in-law made an awesome appetizer of bacon wrapped asparagus that was so yummy. I found myself the following weekend going through the refrigerator getting rid of gone by leftovers and found one more bacon wrapped asparagus. I needed desperately to get those flavors back again! I had a ton of eggs and also happen to have some Creme Fraiche I needed to use, so I was going to make a fritter out of that appetizer if it killed me. I did it, served it to my neighbors and it was delicious. I may now be on a fritter kick, so watch out. With this recipe you can either blanch fresh asparagus (directions in recipe) or use leftover if it’s not boiled to death and soggy.

These fritters were so good, that I’m sharing them with all of you. And thank you wonderful Nephew-in-law Ny for the inspiration!

Ingredients:

Fritters:

  • 1 lb of asparagus diced into small pieces (a little less than bite size)
  • 4 Tbs of Good Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 – 1 lb of chopped cooked bacon
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs ground pepper
  • 2 eggs lightly beatened
  • 2/3 cup of all purpose flour

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
  • 1 Tbs chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp of seasoned salt

Blanch the asparagus in a quart of boiling water for 3 minutes and then give an ice bath immediately.

In a medium mixing bowl place chopped asparagus, 2 Tbs olive oil, bacon, rosemary, salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Add the flour and eggs to the vegetable mixture and fold in.

Heat oil in large saute pan. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the batter and place in the hot oil, press down with bottom of measuring cup and fry 2 minutes on each side.

Dipping Sauce:

Mix together all 3 ingredients and serve with fritters for dipping

‘Out of the box’ Rice Pilaf

I grew up on Rice Pilaf it wasn’t rice-a-roni, we were lucky enough to live down the street from the original Near East rice factory in good old Leominster, Massachusetts. As I moved away to different states, my mother would always have several boxes in tow when visiting. It was always 2/$1.00 at Market Basket grocery store and whatever grocery store I shopped at in my fancy towns was surely overpriced. So in turn, I continued the tradition of having it with most meals that included some type of gravy at my home.

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Now that I’m old and can’t handle all of the sodium in boxed rice, that I never really knew was there when young and stupid! I have created a homemade, less sodium, still tasty alternative. Enjoy! and viva Leominster!!!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter and 2 tbsp oil
2 cups uncooked Basmatti Rice
1/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta (I use whole grain, nobody will every know)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (use full fat and sodium, if not add 1 tbsp of salt to final product)
2 cups water
Instructions:

In a large skillet with a lid, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the rice and orzo.
Saute until rice the becomes opaque and the orzo starts to brown lightly.
Stir in the spices.
Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a slight boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Cook for 20 minutes, covered, until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and serve.