Roasted Potato Leek Soup

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Outside cold, a blustery, muddy goop.
Inside warm, a calming, hearty soup.

The Barefoot Contessa’s Roasted Potato Leek Soup
Why mess with perfection?  There is nothing to add to this delicious soup that would make it any better. Just one thing, make sure to clean the leeks thoroughly, otherwise you’ll be eating dirt soup. Make that two things, 6-7 cups of stock is a lot of liquid. I didn’t use that much, especially since the recipe also calls for heavy cream and creme fraiche. Wait, one more thing. A little bit of this soup goes a long way!

FOR THE SOUP

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks

4 cups leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned well (4 leeks)

1/4 cup good olive oil

Kosher Salt and Coarse  Pepper

3 cups Baby Arugula, lightly packed

1/2 cup Dry White Wine, plus extra for serving

6-7 cups Chicken Stock

3/4 cup Heavy Cream

8 ounces Creme Fraiche

1/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish

Crispy Shallots (see below)

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine the potatoes and leeks on a sheet pan in a single layer.  Add the olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly.  Roast for 40-45 minutes turning them with a spatula a few times until they are very tender.

Add the arugula and toss to combine.  Roast 5 more minutes.

(Ina’s Recipe is a little different here but this worked perfectly well) Place the vegetables in a pot and make sure to scrape up the crispy roasted bits, stir in the wine and 1 cup of chicken stock.  Cook over low heat for a few minutes.

Unless you have an Immersion Blender, which is so much easier, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, adding the liquid and about 5 cups of the chicken stock to make a puree.  Pour the puree back into the pot or large dutch oven.  Continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they’re all done.  Add enough of the remaining 1-2 cups of stock to make a thick soup.

Add the heavy cream, creme fraiche, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and taste for seasoning.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup and gently whisk in 2 T of white wine and 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Serve hot with extra Parmesan and crispy shallots.

FOR THE SHALLOTS

1 1/2 cups Olive oil

3 T butter

5-6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings

Heat the oil and butter in a pan over medium-low heat.  Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots and cook 30-40 minutes until rich golden brown.  Stir them ocasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain well and spread out to cool on a paper towel.  Once they have dried and crisped, they can be stored at room temperature, covered, for several days.

Serves 6-8.

Tortilla Española – Wordless (Meatless) Wednesday

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Posting on this wordless day, I’m tired of talking anyway. :)


TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA
1 large Russet Potato, very thinly sliced
1 medium Sweet Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
1 Dozen Eggs, whisked
2 T Heavy Cream (optional)
Coarse Salt
Coarse Pepper

Coat the bottom of a *frittata pan, with olive oil. Add the potatoes, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook on medium high until they are soft. Add the onions and continue cooking on medium low until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Whisk the eggs and the cream.  Pour them on top of the potatoes and onions. Add 3/4 tsp. salt. Cook on medium low. With a spatula, gently pull the firming egg from the sides of the pan and let the runny part of the egg take its place to firm. Continue doing this until the eggs are no longer runny.

Place the second pan on top and flip the eggs so that the top is now on the bottom. Continue cooking until the bottom is nicely browned. You may have to flip it a couple times to make sure the tortilla is cooked all the way through. Serve warm or room temperature. Serves 6.

* If you do not have frittata pans – once the eggs are ready to be turned, slide them onto a plate. Put your pan on top of the plate and flip it quickly so the runny part of the egg is now on the bottom of the pan.

Potato, Onion, Gruyere Tart

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Bought too many fingerlings,
What should I do with all these things?

Slice ‘em up into a tart,
That sounds like a decent start.

Add sweet onions, caramelize,
Gruyere will make this tart a prize.

Bake it ’til there’s golden crust,
Rosemary sprinkle is a must.

Slice it up and serve it warm,
Careful ‘cuz your guests will swarm. :)


My friend, Sara, from OneTribeGourmet, inspired me to make this tart when she posted a pissaladiere just like this but with different ingredients. I made her recipe and it was so good I thought I would make one of my own. Any potatoes will do, although I think Yukon Gold would be best. I just happened to have fingerlings on hand.

Potato, Onion, Gruyere Tart
8 Fingerlings or 4 Yukon Gold (medium-sized) potatoes, sliced thinly
1 sweet Vidalia onion (medium-sized), sliced thinly
2 tsp. fresh rosemary (and some extra for garnish)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarse pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp. water, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add potatoes, onions, rosemary, salt, and pepper to a saute pan coated with olive oil. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender. Set aside.

Roll out the puff pastry to the length and width of the tart pan and transfer it on top of the pan. Fill the pan’s wedges in with the dough. With a fork, prick the dough all over the bottom and sides. Brush the pastry with the egg wash.

Fill the tart pan with the potato and onion mixture and top it with the Gruyere. Place it into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Garnish with chopped rosemary.  Slice and serve warm.

ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO…

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Rustic “Hammered” Potatoes

Rustic "Hammered" Potatoes

Rustic “Hammered” Potatoes Recipe

The great thing about potatoes is that they always make an excellent addition to any main course.  If you are serving only heavy hors’ d’oeuvres, these potatoes would make an excellent addition to your selection.  Are these particular potatoes fancy?  No, not at all.  In fact, they are very rustic and easy to prepare, and that is what I like about them.  What they lack in refinement and elegance, they more than make up for in taste.  You can spice them up to make them more of a highlight as opposed to a simple side-dish.  With as many spices, chutneys and sauces as there are out there, the possibilities for these potatoes are endless.

I have made them several times now and they are always a winner.  The first time, I served them with an Indian meal and toppped them with onions sauteed in butter and curry.

Potatoes Topped with Curried Onions

Potato Topped with Curried Onions

The second time, I served them topped with a beautiful halibut filet, both on a bed of spinach.  My mother served them on top of a juicy steak.  Any way you make them, you cannot lose.  Please try them and share your own ideas.

Potatoes Topped with Sour Cream, Bacon & Chives

Potato Topped with Sour Cream, Bacon & Chives

10 Small Unpeeled Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
Coarse Salt
With the tines of a fork, poke the potatoes so that they do not explode when cooked.  Place on a plate in the microwave for 5-6 minutes.  When cool, lay the potatoes on a cutting board.  Using a long, flat stainless steel or wood spatula, press down on top of the potatoes, flattening them.  Heat your vegetable oil in a pan on medium-high.  When hot, add two potatoes at a time and fry until golden brown.  Place on a paper-towel lined plate to soak up the excess oil.  Immediately salt to your taste.  At this point, add any topping you desire.
Breakfast Potato with Bacon & Eggs

Breakfast Potato with Bacon & Eggs