Tag Archives: butter

Mmmm…Bite-sized Potatoes and Butter!

B returned home from a two-week tour a few days ago and I wanted to make a nice dinner for us.

I cheated with the chicken and bought chicken breasts stuffed with roasted red pepper, feta and spinach from a local meat counter (Thanks for the tip, Ben S!) The .veggies were pretty straightforward, steamed green beans.

And the potatoes…I bought a bag of new red potatoes, small bite-sized ones and had to figure out how I wanted to prepare them.

My friend Michael made an awesome potato dish last year when we were in Montreal so I started with trying to remember how that what he had done to prep them.

All I remember is that it involved a lot of butter. And, oh, how I love butter!! Margarine, you can get the hell away from my fridge and take your plastic tastelessness with you! But butter….please come along and bring friends!

I knew I wanted to bake the dish, so I washed the potatoes and put them in a casserole dish with lid, while setting the oven to 375.

Then I put a few fairly large dollops of butter on them, followed by some minced garlic and a bit of salt.

Seemed pretty easy and I figured that was it until I spied a bag of brown sugar in my cupboard.  Did a little smell taste…garlicky taters….brown sugar….brown sugar…garlicky taters and the smells seemed to jive so I thought, what the hell, and added a sprinkle of sugar on top. I also poured in a bit of water…not much…just a bit to add some moisture.  Not sure if that was needed, but it worked out okay.

I know what you’re thinking.  Holy crackers, that’s a lot of butter!! Yeah….yeah it is.

But you know, you can put less.  I don’t know WHY you’d do that, but you have the butter-cutting power. 😉

So, oven pre-heated to 375, I covered them and let them bake for about 30 minutes.  At that point, I pulled them out and tossed them a bit and then allowed them to bake for another 40 minutes.

This picture doesn’t do them justice….but…

They were SO good! And SO easy!

And, as I’ve said before in this blog, the Smell Test seems to always work! I put a few ingredients side by side and see how them smell together…if they work, they seem to taste good together as well!

I am always surprised when some of my better dishes turn out to be the easiest ones to prepare.

You really don’t have to go all out to make a damn fine meal!

Nana’s Perfect Shortbread – Part 2

Shortbread Cookies Take 2

So I made a second batch of shortbread cookies and changed a few things around to see if I could make the cookies light and flaky as my grandmother used to do.

I shortened the baking time by almost half, hoping that would keep them from being as hard as the first batch.

Unfortunately, although I changed the baking time, I ended up having to slightly microwave my butter as it was too hard to work with and the middle liquified, which I didn’t realize until I added it to the dough.  I’m thinking that may have de-flaked my cookies as it seems to me that cutting in the butter is quite important for that layered light and flaky pastry texture.

I also had a friend of mine suggest using a different flour rather than all-purpose, which is what I have been using.  He suggested bread flour and I am now wondering if pastry flour would make a difference?  Any thoughts from my more experienced readers?

For the story behind my first attempt and to see the recipe I used, please check out my initial shortbread post “Nana’s Perfect Shortbread…Well…Almost”

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