Boxty – Irish Potato Pancakes

I’ve been getting lots of Irish recipes in my food newsletters, and thought I would try this one – especially because I saw someone do hashbrowns (a similar recipe) in their waffle iron!  I don’t make waffles, but I find lots of weird uses for my waffle maker and George Foreman Grill (both gifts/free to me).  I hope it will work with this recipe.

Fair warning, making boxty could have unforseen consequences – the saying that goes along with this recipes is “Boxty on the griddle, boxty in the pan, if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man.”  Cook with caution, you might end up with an extra man hanging around.

Boxty – Irish Potato Pancakes
5 large potatoes, peeled
OR 2 large potatoes, peeled, and about 2 -3 potatoes worth of leftover mashed potato – probably 2 1/2 cups or so.
1 small onion, minced
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/4 teaspoons fine salt, plus more for seasoning the potatoes before cooking
1 large egg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
handful of minced parsley or baby spinach for the decorative green “Irish look”
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Heat the oven to 200°F.

Chop half of the potatoes into large dice, place in a medium saucepan, salt generously, and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the potatoes uncovered until fork tender, about 8 minutes.boxty 002

Meanwhile, grate the remaining potatoes on the large holes of a box grater (or forget the damn box grater and use your processor – I would have but it was too early, and its a pain in the ass to grate potato!).boxty 001

Toss grated potato and minced onion with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and place in a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl,boxty 003 cover with a plate, and weigh it down with a  jar or something.boxty 004

When the boiled potatoes are ready, drain them, return them to the pot, add 1/4 cup of the milk, and mash until the potatoes are smooth (add the milk to the leftover mashed potato if using).boxty 005

Whisk the egg, remaining 1/2 cup milk, flour, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add the potatoes and stir until evenly incorporated.

With a plastic spatula, press the grated potatoes and onion against the sides and bottom of the strainer to remove any liquid. Add the grated potatoes, the mashed potatoes, and parsley/spinach if using to the flour/milk mix.boxty 007

Plug in your waffle iron (that you probably have and never use – wedding present? odd gift?) and wait for it to heat.

Brush oil over waffle iron, then plop aprx. 1/4 cup mix onto each waffle spot and cook until golden brown, 4 -5 minutes. If you haven’t received a waffle iron, fry in a pan about 4 to 5 minutes per side.boxty 008

Place on a rack set atop a baking sheet and set in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining butter and batter. Serve warm.

Result:  These were easy and delicious!  It took a while to get them all cooked, with only 2 cakes at a time on the waffle iron, but it made a lot.  I am going to stick the leftovers in the freezer like I do pancakes or waffles, then you can just pop them in the toaster to reheat!  They would be a good side dish instead of other potatoes as well.boxty 009


Spicy Chick Peas With Beef

I saw this recipe on a great website, Kalyn’s Kitchen and it seemed like a great way to use up a small amount of ground beef and some chick peas I had cooked earlier in the week. I adapted it to simmer in the slow cooker, and changed a few seasonings for what I had on hand.

Spicy Chick Peas With Beef
1/2 lb. ground beef (or other meat)
1 tsp garlic salt(Optional, or use your favorite seasoning for ground beef)
1 tsp creole seasoning
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drain and save liquid (or use 4 cups cooked chickpeas and save 2 cups cooking water)
chicken stock to add to chickpea liquid if needed to make 2 cups
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups chopped vegetables (I had leftover napa cabbage)
2 1/2 cups cooked bulgur (one cup bulgur mixed into 2 cups boiling salted water, let stand covered 30 minutes) or leftover brown rice
several handfuls baby spinach.

Add the cooked bulgur and chopped vegetables to lightly oiled slow cooker. chickpeas 001

Brown ground meat in skillet seasoning with garlic salt. Remove beef with slotted spoon and add to slow cooker.

Saute chick peas and creole seasoning in skillet until brown and popping, and add to cooker as well.chickpeas 002

Saute onion, carrot, sweet potato, cumin seed, hot sauce and garlic, and add to cooker. chickpeas 003

Pour chick pea/broth liquid into pan and scrape up any brown bits, pour into cooker.chickpeas 004

Cook on low for 6 or so hours. 15 minutes before serving, stir in chopped spinach.chickpeas

Result:  Despite the less than stellar appearance, this was a very tasty meal!  Really, it was. Believe me.  I know.  It looks gross.  It wasn’t.

Deviled Pork Chops

I liked the idea of this “deviled gravy” that I saw Rachael Ray cook as part of Chicken in Deviled Gravy so I decided to try my version of her recipe, with pork chops. The gravy will go nicely with our leftover potato and white bean mash, along with some roasted cauliflower and tomatoes.

Deviled Pork Chops
3-4 pork chops, seasoned with creole seasoning and left in the fridge overnight, or a few hours
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 1/2 cup chicken stock with 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons hot sauce

Heat skillet over medium high heat, add some oil, and cook seasoned chops for about 5 minutes per side.  Remove chops to a warm plate and cover while you make gravy.deviled 001

Add the butter to the pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and chile flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.deviled 002 Whisk in the flour, paprika and mustard powder.deviled 003 Whisk in the stock, then simmer until gravy has thickened.  Add chops and any juice back to the pan and simmer a few minutes to combine.deviled 004Result:  This was a super-tasty sauce, that reminded me a bit of Swiss Chalet sauce, with a lot more kick – I think their main ingredient must be smoked paprika!  Definitely want to try this again on chicken or other things!deviled 005


Braised Napa Cabbage with Mustard

I came up with this idea to use up some “less-than-happy” napa cabbage that I got half-price – it turned out delicious, and I’m sure would be great with any type of cabbage.

Braised Napa Cabbage with Mustard
1 head Napa (or other type) cabbage, chopped into shreds
1 small onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat some oil at medium heat in a large wok, then add oil, garlic, and mustard seed. shirt 002 Saute for a few minutes, then add onion, and saute until softened.shirt 003

Mix together fish sauce, mustard and lemon juice in measuring cup.

shirt 004Add cabbage to wok a few handfuls at a time, pouring a bit of liquid over cabbage each time, and stirring, until all liquid and cabbage have been added.  shirt 005

Cook, stirring occaisionaly until cabbage is tender to your taste.  Remove cabbage to serving dish with slotted spoon.  There will probably be a lot of liquid leftover – boil this down until you have just a bit of thickened liquid in the pan, shirt 007then pour over cabbage, toss, and serve as a side dish.shirt 006Result:  We had this cabbage with sausages and white bean mashed potatoes, which was a really good if slightly monochromatic meal!  I will try this again with other kinds of cabbage.mash 005

White Bean, Vegetable, and Potato Mash

I found this recipe in the new Martha Stewart “Meatless” cookbook which has a lot of great recipe ideas.  I changed it a bit, but its essentially the same – a great way to enjoy mashed potatoes that I’ve recommended to family who are cutting back on some types of carbs for health reasons.  And I love any excuse to eat beans!

White Bean, Vegetable, and Potato Mash

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
6 large potatoes (aprx. 2 pounds?), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups cooked white beans, drained (equivalent to one 16-ounce can)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Saute onion  and carrot in oil at medium until softned, 6 to 8 minutes.mash 001

Add potatoes and white beans and cover with water by 2 inches. Season generously with salt.mash 002

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup cooking water.mash 003

Mash vegetables, adding reserved water to adjust consistency. Season with salt and pepper.mash 004Result:  This was really good – I will make it again, and probably add beans to my mashed potatoes most of the time – they add a creamy rich taste without adding butter or milk!  We had them with sausage and braised cabbage.mash 005

Slow Cooker Brown Rice Pudding

Will has been telling me how much he likes rice pudding for a few years so I finally decided to make some! I have avoided it in the past because a lot of recipes call for cream which I never have, or a huge amount of milk (6 cups) or eggs, which I never want to use up on one dessert which may or may not turn out!

This recipe seemed a reasonable compromise… But most recipes I checked out used about twice the liquid.  I am thinking I am going to have to add more as I go along, but we will see!  I’m planning on adding water, because I’m not wasting any more milk!

Slow Cooker Brown Rice Pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup brown rice
1/3 cup brown sugar (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons butter/margarinerice 001

Turn slow cooker on high and melt butter in cooker. Brush butter all over the surface.

rice 002Meanwhile, toast the rice in a medium dry frying pan for a few minutes until it smells nutty.

rice 003Add all ingredients to cooker and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high.

Leftover Turkey Stew with Sweet Potato Dumplings

Normally, I like to make hot turkey sandwiches from leftovers, but we didn’t have gravy, and after liking the sweet potato biscuits so much, I thought I’d try sweet potato dumplings.

Turkey Stew with Sweet Potato Dumplings
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups (or what you have) leftover chopped turkey meat
4 cups (aprx.) fresh or frozen vegetables (I had asparagus ends, peas, corn, chinese cabbage, and carrots)
1 can or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 large onions chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water mixed with 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons fresh sage (or dried)
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tsp. ground pepper

Dump soup, herbs, pepper,  and turkey into slow cooker.  stew 002Saute onions and garlic, then add water to pan and simmer for about a minute.stew 001 Pour skillet into cooker.  Add vegetables.  stew 003Cook on low for about 4 hours or as long as you like.  Before making dumplings, turn cooker on to high for about half an hour until it is simmering and as hot as possible.

Sweet Potato Dumplings (almost the same as Sweet Potato Biscuit Recipe)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablepoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp vinegar (I had malt vinegar)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
1/3 cup milk (depending on the moisture of the potatoes)

Mix dry ingredients together.  Combine butter, sweet potato, sugar, and vinegar,stew 004 then cut this mixture into the dry mix to make a crumbly dough.  stew 005Mix in milk until dough is slightly sticky.stew 006

Drop by spoonfulls into simmering stew.  stew 007Cover and do not lift lid for 30 minutes.stew 008Result:  The dumplings turned out really well, you could really taste the sweet potato.  I was also suprised at how good the stew was considering the canned soup and how little effort!stew 009