Category Archives: Potatoes

Potato Soup with the Works

Last night, I needed a meal that would be quick to eat, without a lot of dishes, because the husband and I wanted to go out furniture shopping as soon as we possibly could.  What’s quicker to eat than soup?  Maybe a sandwich… but I really wanted soup. 

I browsed through practically a million cookbooks, before spying Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book.  A few years ago, I was really into Rachael, but a lot of her recipes use a lot of dishes… which aren’t so fun.  But she has fantastic, enjoyable recipes and a lot of them taste AMAZING!

I found the recipe for Potato Soup with the Works.  Um…. yum!  That sounds incredible!  And as my husband says “how can you go wrong with sour cream and bacon?”  I would have to agree.

The original recipe called for 4 leeks, white parts only, chopped.  I substituted 1 whole white onion, chopped.  It’s  a lot cheaper, plus easier to work with, as you don’t have to wash all of the grit out of the leeks.  Sometimes I do cook with leeks, but today, I just didn’t feel like it.

Potato Soup with the Works
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book
Serves 4-6

8 slices bacon, chopped
1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp. paprika, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken stock
A dash of hot sauce (optional)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese,  for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove the cooked bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and reserve.

Add the onions and garlic to the bacon fat and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the thyme, paprika, and salt and pepper, then add the potatoes and stock to the pot and bring up to a bubble over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through 8 to 10 minutes.    When the potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender (or food processor, or blender) to puree the soup until smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper and hot sauce, if desired.  Serve the soup in a bowl topped with cheese, bacon, green onions, sour cream and a dash of paprika.

So yummy!
The Hungry Teacher

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Filed under Potatoes, Soup

Chicken Strips and Spicy Fries

This is one of my favourite meals of all time.  We have made this meal so many times we have the preparation down to a science.  My husband loves to cut the potatoes (which I didn’t know until  yesterday.  I got out the knife and cutting board, and then he begged me to allow him to cut the potatoes…)

This is a quick, easy meal that is perfect for movie night.  I feel that it’s really rather healthy.  I mean, chicken breasts and potatoes?   There is only a bit of olive oil on the potatoes, and olive oil is definitely one of the healthier oils out there. 

We serve eating this meal with lots of Heinz Chili Sauce.  It tastes rather like spicy ketchup, and it’s something I recommend trying.  We also have plum sauce or honey mustard for dipping the chicken strips in.  Yum!

One thing I have considered doing is chopping up a box of chicken breasts, breading them all and freezing them, for those nights when I just don’t really feel like cooking.  Although, I have very few nights where I really don’t want to cook.  I think the chicken strips would freeze well though.  If you want to try it, place the strips on a baking sheet so they’re not touching each other and freeze until solid.  At this point, you can move them to a resealable freezer bag, and they won’t stick together because they’re already frozen!

A few notes I would like to mention.  I use my Pampered Chef Stoneware to cook these on.  The chicken strips would be fine on a regular cookie sheet, but the fries are much better on my stone bar pan (cooking sheet with raised edges).  The fries cook evenly (you don’t need to flip them or turn them), and clean up is a breeze!  If you cook the fries on a regular cookie sheet, they may stick.  I would recommend covering the cookie sheet with foil, to help with clean up, but even so, the fries may stick.  Buy some Pampered Chef Stoneware, you won’t be disappointed! 

One other thing I would like to mention, I cook both of these dishes in the oven at 450°F.  Put the fries in first, let them cook the five minutes with the foil on, remove the foil, put in the chicken strips (on the top rack) and continue to cook for 20-25 more minutes.  The timing usually works out quite well, but occasionally one or the other needs to be kept in the oven a bit longer.

Chicken Strips
Recipe adapted from Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips (If you ever see chicken tenders on sale, buy them!  They’re already the perfect size and don’t need to be cut!)
2/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.  In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and spices.  Add the chicken strips one at a time, and turn to coat evenly.  Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Spicy Cheese Fries
Recipe adapted from Grazing

2 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled but scrubbed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Cut potatoes into evenly sliced wedges or 1/4″ to 1/2″ fries.  Place them in a bowl and fill with hot tap water.  Soak the fries for 10 minutes.  Get a heavy, rimmed baking sheet and coat with oil.
Drain the potatoes and thoroughly dry with a clean kitchen towel.  Put the fries on the baking sheet and toss with the oil.  In a small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Toss this mixture with the oiled fries.

Don’t crowd the fries, or else they will not get crispy!  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for 25 more minutes.  Turn these once or twice while cooking.  Serve immediately!

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Filed under Appetizers, Chicken, Dinner, Potatoes