Again, another simple, quick, and depending on the state of your pantry, reasonably cheap side dish. Farmer’s markets have lots of tender new potatoes for good prices this time of year, and if you live near a good Indian market (or, say, within a short train ride of Little India in Chicago), you can find ghee for reasonably cheap. From there, just add sea salt and pepper, and the sage to infuse the ghee with. 

Pan Roasted New Potatoes Browned with Sage Infused Ghee

  • 1 lb new potatoes (I believe these were red or fingerlings?)
  • 4 T ghee
  • ~20 fresh sage leaves, torn, if you have them – otherwise ~2 T dried sage
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add your potatoes in, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes (I went with 15), until fork tender. Drain the potatoes. 

In a medium sized pan (original recipe recommends a cast iron pan, this works just fine with a normal pan if you don’t have one/don’t want to get it out), melt the ghee, adding the sage as it melts. Add the potatoes in a single layer once melted, and cook over medium, turning/stirring the potatoes every four to five minutes or so, until they’re browned on all sides (which should take around 20 minutes). 

Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and then enjoy your crispy potatoes!

These are technically two separate side dishes, however, I found them in one recipe together, and they accompany each other well, so I’m going to leave these together. Beer cooked mushrooms and cheesy roasted potatoes are a match made in heaven. Don’t skimp on the cheese or the beer for these, kids, they are the key ingredients in making these so good. 

Drunken Mushrooms and Roasted Blue Cheese Potatoes

Ingredients

Drunken Mushrooms

  • olive oil
  • 12 to 15 large button mushrooms, sliced (if you’re like me and feeling lazy, buy sliced mushrooms and use them asap)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz dark beer (I used Revolution’s EuGene Porter)

Roasted Blue Cheese Potatoes

  • 20ish small fingerling potatoes, washed and sliced in half
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 oz crumbled blue cheese (I used Trader Joe’s gorgonzola crumbles)

You can make these in roughly the same time frame, so do so if you feel so included! First, preheat your oven to 425, take your halved potatoes, toss them with olive oil and sea salt, and then spread them on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven, and roast the potatoes until they’re a nice golden brown, between twenty to thirty minutes. 

While the potatoes roast, take a pan and heat 2 T of olive oil over medium heat. Add your sliced mushrooms in, stir to coat in the olive oil, and then raise the heat to medium high, and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic in, and cook another minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant. 

Add half the beer in, bring to a simmer, and then cook for about five minutes. Add in the remaining beer, and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half, and thickened, another ten to fifteen minutes. 

While the mushrooms are doing the final cooking, your potatoes will likely be finished. Take them out of the oven, and sprinkle the gorgonzola over them, and then place them in the oven on a lower or middle rack, turning the oven to broil. Broil five minutes, until the cheese has melted. 

And then, enjoy your cheesy potatoes and beery mushrooms!

As of right now, this was one of the last new recipes that I ever cooked in my old place. My kitchen is now reduced to a few cups, mugs, what is left of my pantry that I’m taking with me, and whatever I have left in my fridge. It’s a real weird feeling right now, but I’m ready for what’s to come. 

I’ve been wanting to make this tart since Deb first put it up, and since it’s pretty easy and cheap to make, I decided to go for it. I could’ve made the tart shell, but as I was at the tail end of packing everything when I made this, I just decided to buy a pie shell and go from there, and didn’t really have the time or patience to make a pretty concentric overlapping circle with the potato slices. Still turned out damn good. 

Blue Cheese and Potato Tart
lasts about a week as a main

Ingredients

  • 1 savory tart shell (or, if you’re lazy like me, one pre-made pie crust), ready to fill
  • 1 lb small red potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • .25 lb (about .75 c) blue cheese of choice, crumbled (I took my hunk of Hook’s Blue Paradise, and crumbled it using a knife)
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1 T chopped herbs of choice (I used dried rosemary and thyme per Deb’s suggestion)

Take your potatoes, slice them thin, and then put them in a pot covered by about two inches of water, bringing the pot to a boil and then reducing to a simmer, uncovered, until the slices are tender, about ten minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 while they simmer.

Take your potato slices and attempt to arrange them in overlapping concentric circles around the pan. However, if you have been attempting to arrange a move down to Chicago in a little over two weeks and have been packing for most of the preceding week, take the potato slices and dump them in in a slightly artsy looking fashion. Take your crumbled blue cheese and toss it over the potatoes in a similarly artsy looking fashion. Don’t worry, it’ll look like you meant it. And probably rustic. 

Whisk together the yolk and heavy cream until combined, and then pour it over your potatoes and cheese. Sprinkle the top of the tart with sea salt, and your herbs of choice.  

Put the pie shell on a baking sheet (or if you’re me, a pizza pan), and bake at 350 for between 45 to 50 mins, until the tart is a good golden brown like in the final picture and bubbling a bit. Cool, and nom your fantastic tart (you can serve it warm or cold).

In terms of impulse decisions, this is one of my better ones. I had everything for this in my fridge except for potatoes when Deb first posted the recipe, and new potatoes showed up at the farmer’s market literally last weekend, so I decided to go for it. 

And man, this is amazing. The vinaigrette is lovely, bacon/potato/eggs is a well known good combo, and it turns out that adding blue cheese into the mix only improves things. In short, yaaaaaaaaas. Would probably be prettier in a non bento-sized container, but man, it still works. Do yourself a favor and do the thing.

Potatoes With Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette
Lasts 5 meals as a side

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs fingerling or other small potatoes (used new potatoes)
  • whatever amount of eggs you prefer (recipe recommends 4, I made a whole big batch the other night to use in combination with breakfast)
  • .5 lb thick cut bacon (get it from your farmer’s market if you can)
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • .5 t smooth Dijon mustard
  • crumbled blue cheese to taste

Take your potatoes, put them in a pot with cold water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer your potatoes for about 20 minutes, until fork tender. Drain them, and once they’re cool enough to handle, halve them. 

Meanwhile, chop up your bacon and cook it in a heavy skillet over medium heat, until it’s about ¾ths as done as you want it to be. When that happens, whisk in your red wine vinaigrette and dijon, and let simmer for ten seconds (see pic 3). As soon as that ten seconds passes, pour the bacon vinaigrette over the potatoes, add your blue cheese, and toss to coat. 

I recommend making the soft boiled eggs ahead. 

Bring a pot of water plus a good splash of white vinegar to a boil, add your eggs, boil for six minutes, and put into ice water.  Peel your eggs (if they’re cracked, it’s okay, that’ll make it easier) and store them. 

Right before serving, take a soft boiled egg, squeeze it gently so it opens in half and spills the yolk over your serving of potatoes and bacon, and then split the halves further to drizzle the last bit of yolk out, and toss the whites on the potatoes. And then, enjoy!

So, this right here? I’m not gonna lie, this is a bit more complex than I usually do my dinners. You’re gonna be doing a lot of stuff in order to get it to work. However, the end result is pretty fucking spectacular, so, if you need to impress someone? This is the meal to make.

Made a few alterations – I’m not that big of a fan of nuts, so I took out the walnuts in the brie stuffing. And yours truly picked up boneless skinless chicken breasts for this, because they were what was on sale – and the recipe needed skinned. If this happens to you, no worries! There’s a workaround from the pepperoni stuffed chicken that I make that works here. The end result is still tremendous.

One Pan Apricot-Glazed, Brie Stuffed Chicken with Potatoes
Lasted for a week’s worth of meals with the breasts split in half

Ingredients

Potatoes:

  • 1.5 lbs mix of roasting potatoes, halved (one of the stalls at the local farmer’s market sells a roasting mix of various potatoes, I just used that)
  • 3-4 T olive oil
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • zest of 1 lemon

Chicken, Stuffing, and Glaze:

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts (accidentally got skinless? there’s a work around)
  • 1 c fresh basil (got it from the plant in my garden, hee)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • 2 T olive oil (may need to increase to better blend depending on your basil)
  • 6 oz brie, cubed and rind removed
  • 2 T cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 3 T apricot preserves (if you can find some at your farmers market, great)
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400 F. In a large glass pan, combine your potatoes, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon zest, and toss to coat and combine thoroughly. Roast for ten minutes, or until you’re ready to add the chicken to the pan. 

To make the stuffing, combine the basil, olive oil, egg, brie, garlic, and cream cheese in a blender, and blend until combined into a thick cheesy mixture. If you need to add more olive oil to make it blend better, do so!

If you have skin-on chicken breasts, pull up the skin and stuff 1-2 T of cheese mixture underneath. If you’re like me and got skinless breasts, all is not lost. What you do is take your knife, slice the breast in half diagonally, so you have two diamondish looking shapes, and then cut a pocket in the middle of the breast, but not all the way through, so you can stuff the chicken with the mixture (see pics three and four for what this looks like).

At this point, take the pan out of the oven and slide the potatoes around so that you can nestle the breasts in them in the pan (see pic 6). Sprinkle your sea salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper over the chicken breasts. Mix together your apricot preserves, balsamic vinegar and an additional T of olive oil, and then brush the resulting glaze over the chicken breasts (see pic 7). Put the pan back in the oven and roast for another 30 to 40 mins, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden (I went 35, and the final picture resulted).

(If the potatoes are cooking faster than the chicken, feel free to remove them early.) And then? Impress the fuck out of someone with this really delicious one pan meal. 

This was a great dish to see out what is hopefully the last of the cold winter ugh. The local farmer’s market has a good winter potato mix (which is how I got this lovely roasting potato mix), and the miso I already had in my fridge, so this was pretty cheap and simple to put together.  

Plus, the coating is a pretty good blend of flavors. I ended up doubling the quantities for the coating because I had more potatoes than planned, and I liked the coverage that I got more. If you end up having closer to the original quantity, then I would recommend halving the quantities for the miso, sesame oil, and brown sugar.

Miso Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 lb roasting potatoes, quartered (mine was a bit closer to 2 lbs, original recipe recommends small new potatoes)
  • 8 oz button mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t minced ginger
  • 6 T white miso
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 4 T sesame oil
  • (optional: chopped parsley and sesame seeds for garnish)

Preheat your oven to 400. Mix together your garlic cloves, ginger, white miso, brown sugar, and sesame oil with a whisk in a large bowl, and add your mushrooms and potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat them. Transfer your potatoes to a large skillet or baking dish (I used the latter) and roast for a half hour, stirring at least once (If you have closer to 2 lbs of potatoes, throw it in for closer to an hour). Add parsley and sesame seeds if you so choose, but otherwise, enjoy, and spite the cold!

Looking for a nice quick meal that blends a pretty simple, traditional meal item (mashed potatoes) with something a bit savory and unusual? Then I recommend these miso mashed potatoes – the miso and potatoes combine perfectly, and the miso adds something new to the dish without being overwhelming. I used up a bunch of leftover potatoes I had in my veggie drawer with this, so I tripled the existing recipe – the tripled version will be in parentheses in the ingredients.

Miso Mashed Potatoes
Lasts 5 to 6 meals as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 lb potatoes (I used closer to 3, and reds), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 T butter (used closer to 3)
  • 1 T white miso paste (used closer to 3)
  • 2 T milk (used closer to 6)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional: green onions, didn’t use them here)

Take your peeled and chopped potatoes, and put them in a pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and boil until your potatoes are fork tender (usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes). 

Drain the potatoes completely, add in the butter and miso, and then mash (with a spoon, masher, or whatever have you) together. Add the milk, salt, and pepper, and stir in, until you have nice fluffy potatoes a la the final picture. Taste, and add whatever you may feel you need more of (salt, miso, milk, etc). 

(For a fun variant, put them in a dish in an oven at 400 and toast until the top browns slightly, appx 20 mins.)