Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  A simple way to use the cold, hard mashed potatoes that have been hiding in your fridge for three days. I can say with confidence that I always make too many mashed potatoes.  With the same confidence, I can also say that I’ve had that forgotten Tupperware container of mashed potatoes buried in my refrigerator.  I think we’ve all been there. So the next time you’re sifting through your fridge, desperately trying to find something for lunch and can’t believe you have nothing.  Dig deep and move a few jars to find the lost and lonely tub of mashed potatoes, begging to be consumed.  Mix with a few pantry items and a give a quick pan fry, you’ll find lunch is served.

What I like about this recipe, is the ratio of potato to egg and breadcrumbs.  I find the cakes stay moist and hold together very well during forming and frying.  While this is my own little version, you could easily customize the flavours to your liking. Maybe try different greens and herbs, garlic, parmesan, corn or sautéed onions. I also used sour cream and fresh dill as an accompaniment, but tzatziki would also be great. Use whatever you have on hand and enjoy!

Recipe source for Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes:  Compelled To Cook

Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, spinach, seasoning salt, onion powder and pepper Add mashed potatoes and mix until well combined. Stir in cheese, bread crumbs and chives. Mix until combined and bread crumbs have been absorbed.
  2. Heat oil in a non stick frying pan over medium high heat. While pan is heating, form 1/3 cup potato mixture into approximate 3" patties about 1/2" thick and place into pan as you form them. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until heated through and golden brown.
  3. Stir together sour cream and dill and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep chilled until ready to serve with cakes.

Cedar Plank Potatoes

Cedar Plank Potatoes

Want glorious potatoes, creamy on the inside, golden on the outside, without turning on your oven?  You will when you get a look at these amazing Cedar Plank Potatoes.  Mashed potatoes get amped up with a good helping of roasted garlic (also cooked on the grill if you want), fresh herbs and cream cheese.  They’re grilled golden on a cedar plank and can be fully prepped ahead, making them fantastic for entertaining.  But nobody needs to wait for that, right?

What spurred me to these luscious little domes?  My new Napoleon grill of course.  My husband and I recently upgraded our backyard with a deck and outdoor gas fireplace. As luck would have it, some of the more expensive items came in under budget.  This left a little cash for the frills, like furniture and new grill. We decided upon a Napoleon LEX grill, which has been amazing so far.  I love it because it gets crazy hot, has a smoker accessory and searing burner.  Napoleon Grills also have a great user friendly website with numerous recipes, and that’s where I found this great recipe.  I couldn’t wait to try them, and you won’t want to wait either.

I have to say, I didn’t really know how bad my old grill was until I fired up my new one.  We had the old one for at least 10 years, maybe longer.  A couple of parts had been replaced along the way and I figured it still had some life left.  I’m sure it did, but not a very good one comparatively to the new grill.  I guess we all adapt to what we know and sometimes don’t know any different, as was the case for me.  Today I give thanks to my wonderful husband for persuading me to purchase a new one.

Recipe source for Cedar Plank Potatoes, adapted from Napoleon Grills Plank Smoked Mashed Potatoes

Cedar Plank Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Cedar Plank Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" chunks. Simmer potatoes in lightly salted water until very tender 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat. Mash potatoes over low heat, allowing the potatoes to give off any excess moisture. Once potatoes are smooth, remove from heat and add butter, cream cheese, roasted garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until combined and creamy. Stir in fresh herbs.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high or 450℉. Scoop potatoes onto pre-soaked cedar planks using a 1/4 cup scoop, leaving at least an inch between scoops (can fit 6-8 per plank). Place planks on grill and cook for 15-18 minutes until hot and golden. Remove planks from grill and use to serve potatoes or gently place potatoes onto serving dish and garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.
Recipe Notes

Potatoes can be cooked, mashed, scooped and chilled up to two days in advance. Simply remove from refrigerator and place on pre-soaked planks when ready to grill. Makes 12 1/4 cup scoops.

To roast garlic, preheat oven to 350℉.  Cut the top off the head of garlic and place on a double layer sheet of foil.  Drizzle with oil and fold foil over bulb, crimping all edges to seal packet.  Place on a baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes until golden and soft. Alternatively, you can make roasted garlic on the grill, here's how Grill Roasted Garlic

Zahtar Potato Salad

Zahtar Potato Salad

Zahtar or Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend that I’ve not had the pleasure to work with a lot with over the years. It’s a real shame because I love it!  Earthy and nutty with hints of citrus makes it wonderful with so many foods.  Hummus and pita are probably the first things people think of when they associate it, but it goes way beyond.  Great with chicken, eggs and potatoes to name a few. I recently came across a Zahtar Egg Salad and figured why not incorporate it into a potato salad, and Zahtar Potato Salad was born. 

I was not far off the mark thinking it would be delicious. The combination of briny, salty olives and creamy mayonnaise brings baby potatoes to life and makes for a great Mediterranean version.  Even though I prefer the  mayonnaise based potato salad, I did experiment with a warm salad version using olive oil to dress it instead of the mayonnaise.  It too was a tasty version of potato salad but I just couldn’t stop scooping up the creamier version.  Maybe because that was the way my mom used to make it and by far the type I’ve eaten most in my life. 

The Zahtar I purchased contains salt, so I therefore found it was not necessary to add additional salt in this recipe.  If your Zahtar does not contain salt,  be sure to add salt to taste. You can also make your own if desired, here is a simple recipe from The Genius Kitchen

Recipe source for Zahtar Potato Salad:  Inspired by Bon Appetit Mediterranean Egg Salad

Zahtar Potato Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Zahtar Potato Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and place pine nuts in a single layer on a small baking tray or pie plate. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, turning at least once until golden. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat enough water to just cover the eggs and simmer gently for no more than 12 minutes. Drain and immediately cool under cold running water. Once cooled, peel and coarsely chop.
  3. Steam or boil baby potatoes in simmering lightly salted water until just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes depending on size. Drain and cool under cold water. Allow potatoes to drain thoroughly once cool.
  4. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, usually a baby potato cut in half or quartered makes for a nice size.
  5. In a medium size bowl stir together red onion, green olives, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, Zahtar and salt and pepper. Add chopped potatoes, eggs, pine nuts and cilantro. Gently stir into mayonnaise until combined. Serve immediately sprinkled with additional cilantro if desired. Can be chilled for several hours prior to serving if needed. Best served the day it is made.
Recipe Notes

-For time management, the potatoes, pine nuts and eggs can be cooked at the same time.

-The Zahtar I used contained salt, so little extra salt was needed. However, if your brand does not include salt you will need to adjust seasoning to taste.

Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes

Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes

I’ve never met a bowl of mashed potatoes I didn’t like and Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are proof that not all mashed potatoes need to be smothered in gravy.  These zesty and herbaceous potatoes need nothing more than a side of your favourite roasted meat.

A simple recipe that brings life to an everyday side dish and the pesto can be made ahead of time and simply swirled in at the last minute.  Like so many people I am prone to making the same things time and time again. Mashed potatoes are a good example of this behaviour.  Boil, mash, add butter, a little milk, salt and pepper.  The same thing over and over and at times it’s out of convenience, or time pressures and sometimes because my brain needs a rest from thinking of food (who am I kidding, it never stops thinking of food).  Whatever your reason, let this recipe pull you out of that rut for a brightened up bowl of everyones favourite side.

I love this Pesto Swirl Mashed Potato recipe because the basil pesto gives mashed potatoes a fresh and bright makeover.  The toasted pine nuts add a little crunchy texture that tells your palette it’s not eating just any mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook

 

Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are bright and zesty swirly with basil pesto and topped with toasted pine nuts.
Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes
Print Recipe
Herbaceous and bright basil pesto swirled into creamy mashed potatoes and topped with toasted pine nuts.
Servings
8 servings
Servings
8 servings
Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are bright and zesty swirly with basil pesto and topped with toasted pine nuts.
Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes
Print Recipe
Herbaceous and bright basil pesto swirled into creamy mashed potatoes and topped with toasted pine nuts.
Servings
8 servings
Servings
8 servings
Ingredients
Basil Pesto
Mashed Potatoes
Servings: servings
Instructions
Basil Pesto
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Spread 1/4 cup of pine nuts evenly onto small baking tray, bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden. Set aside and allow to cool. In a food processor bowl combine basil, 1/4 cup of untoasted pine nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until the mixture is broken down and finely chopped. With processor running, gradually add oil and process until smooth, approximately 10 seconds. Set aside. Makes about a 1/2 cup.
Mashed Potatoes
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until very tender. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat and allow any residual moisture to evaporate, 1-2 minutes. Mash potatoes or press through a ricer. Add butter, and mash just to combine. Mash in salt, pepper and enough milk to make creamy. Top potatoes with 3/4 of the pesto and fold into potatoes with a flat rubber spatula. Drizzle remaining pesto on top and garnish with toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

The basil pesto can easily be prepared while the potatoes are cooking.

Pistachio Crusted Scallops on Brown Butter Mashed

Pistachio Crusted Scallops on Brown Butter Mashed

Don’t wait for a special occasion to make these wonderful Pistachio Crusted Scallops on Brown Butter Mashed unless your special occasion happens to be “because it’s Tuesday”. This easy recipe uses just a few great ingredients to create an elevated weeknight meal for you and your family.

What makes this dish a weeknight candidate? Let’s start with the Brown Butter Mashed, we’ve all made mashed potatoes, and in this recipe you are simply making mashed potatoes with brown butter, super easy!  The scallop preparation is no different than pan frying any other type of breaded fish, and they take only minutes to cook. Both recipe elements are probably something you’ve already done, so get started and surprise your family tonight.

In this recipe I used scallop size 15 per pound, but feel free to use bigger if you can find them and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Because I live in the Alberta foothills “fresh seafood” is a relative term. It’s usually “freshly unthawed” for me, as the primary choice of fresh seafood is a half an hour drive and quite expensive and even then I question the label “fresh”. While I am not promoting frozen seafood, it is at times all I can get my hands on with relative ease. For those of you living in coastal communities I would expect you to delight in a recipe like this and use local fresh seafood. Yes, I’m jealous, but hey, I live in prime beef country!!  We’ll talk about that later.

Recipe Source: Compelled To Cook

 

Pistachio Crusted Scallops on Brown Butter Mashed are tender scallops coated with pistachios and served on brown butter mashed potatoes.
Pistachio Crusted Scallops on Brown Butter Mashed
Print Recipe
Tender scallops crusted with pistachios and served on brown butter mashed potatoes.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Pistachio Crusted Scallops on Brown Butter Mashed are tender scallops coated with pistachios and served on brown butter mashed potatoes.
Pistachio Crusted Scallops on Brown Butter Mashed
Print Recipe
Tender scallops crusted with pistachios and served on brown butter mashed potatoes.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Pistachio Crusted Scallops
Servings: people
Instructions
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt butter until foamy. Continue to heat until milk solids start to brown, swirling or stirring often. Once they start to brown remove from heat as they will continue to brown slightly off the heat. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot cook potatoes in salted water until fork tender, approximately 20-25 minutes depending on size. Drain well and return to low heat to dry slightly. Mashed until smooth. Add 4 Tbsp of brown butter, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper and mash until well combined and smooth. Keep warm over low heat.
Pistachio Crusted Scallops
  1. While potatoes are cooking prepare the coating by combining pistachios, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in a mini food processor or grinder. Pulse until small crumbs form and transfer to shallow dish. Set aside. Whisk egg with 1 Tbsp of water, set aside.
  2. Preheat a medium size non stick sauté pan over medium low heat, add oil. Dunk one flat side of scallop into egg wash and then into pistachio bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly to adhere coating. Place coating side down in pan, repeat with remaining scallops. Cook for 3 minutes, adjusting heat to attain a golden brown colour on coating. Using a flat spatula turn scallops and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160℉ is reached.
  3. Place a bed of brown butter mashed onto plate and top with 3-4 scallops, drizzle with brown butter and serve immediately.
Spicy Shrimp and Potatoes

Spicy Shrimp and Potatoes

Today I am compelled to cook something spicy and satisfying for no better reason than it’s a rainy spring day. It’s just a little too miserable to BBQ but not cold enough for a full on baked cheese laden casserole. So this dish is just perfect for such a day. Spicy and hearty without being too heavy.

The flavourful sauce gets its depth from a reduction of white wine, clam juice and juice from the canned tomatoes. Don’t be afraid to BAM it up a little more by adding more chill flakes. The 1/4 tsp in this recipe just adds a little bite so if you can handle the heat, go for it!

The extra time in this recipe is dedicated to the sauce which took longer than needed because I had to deal with the onions. My husband HATES onions and over the years I have done everything from chopping so small you can’t tell they are there, leaving them so large he can pick them out or not using them at all. Yes, it is very difficult for me to cook in this manner, but I guess that’s love.

For this recipe I added an extra step to puree part of the tomato mixture which included the onions. While my motivation for this step was my husbands dislike of the onion it did give the sauce extra body and in the end was a very good adaptation.

 

Spicy Shrimp and Potatoes
Print Recipe
Tender shrimp in a flavourful tomato sauce.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Spicy Shrimp and Potatoes
Print Recipe
Tender shrimp in a flavourful tomato sauce.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add paprika, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add half of the canned tomatoes and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Pour mixture into blender or food processor and blend until almost smooth.
  2. Pour blended mixture back into skillet and add remaining tomatoes, garlic and wine and cook uncovered until reduced, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add water, clam juice and potatoes and cook covered until potatoes are just tender, 10-15 minutes depending on size.
  4. Stir in salt, sugar, pepper and chili flakes, adjust seasoning and consistency by adding a little more water if necessary.
  5. Add shrimp and cook uncovered for about 3 minutes depending on size. Serve immediately with crusty bread. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

For this recipe I used shrimp size 21-25 per pound.  The acid in the tomato will help cook the shrimp so there's no need to cook longer than a few minutes.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Shrimp and Fingerlings in Tomato Broth, February 2009