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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Pesto Potato Salad

Warm-Red-Potato-Salad (1)

This Pesto Potato Salad requires no mayonnaise so it travels well. As a side dish with chicken, pork, or beef it’s perfect. The fresh basil pesto in this Pesto Potato Salad adds so much flavor. The sweet multi-colored bell peppers add a burst of color. A few really good ingredients make this potato salad a winner.

I’m never shy about taking help from the grocery store. You can now find fresh basil pesto in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, where they display the fresh pasta and marinara sauce. This pre-made fresh basil pesto is a huge time saver. Add basil pesto to warm potatoes and they’ll soak up all those delicious flavors.

Mini Sweet Bell Peppers

Warm-Red-Potato-Salad

Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes (depending on potatoes and size, time may vary slightly)
Total Cook Time: 25-27 minutes
Equipment: cutting board, chef’s knife, 6-quart stockpot, strainer, large mixing bowl. spatula or long-handled spoon, plastic wrap.

Ingredients:
2 pounds of red bliss potatoes, quartered (waxy potatoes work best)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup of multi-colored mini sweet bell peppers, finely diced (red, yellow, and orange)
1 7-ounce container, Rana fresh basil pesto (found in the refrigerated section by the fresh pasta)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
Wash and scrub the potatoes from any grit. Cut them into large, bite-sized chunks. transfer the potatoes to a large stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1-inch.

Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to keep the water at a gentle simmer. Add a good sprinkling of Kosher salt. Cook until the potatoes are tender all the way through when pierced with a fork, 10-12 minutes. Exact cooking time depends on the size of your potato chunks and the type of potatoes.

Drain the potatoes, then return them to the same pot they were cooked in. Do not set the pot back on the heat. Let any water that may be on them evaporate from the hot pot, about 1to 2 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl add the diced red onion, diced sweet bell peppers. Next, add the cooked, still very warm, potatoes, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Start with half the prepared pesto, using a rubber spatula, toss gently to combine. If more pesto is needed, add an extra tablespoon at a time toss to combines.

 

 

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Mexican Style Corn On The Cob

Mexican Style Grilled Corn On The Cob

Taco

 

Leftover Homemade Chili dressed up on a corn tortilla. My Homemade Chili is infused with Ancho Chilies, adding a real smokey flavor to the dish. Add fresh grape tomatoes, diced red onion, cilantro, Queso fresco, and lime. Reinventing leftovers into a completely new meal.

Alongside I served Mexican Style Corn On The Cob, grilled in their husks, smothered with a chili lime butter, and top with Queso Fresco.

Link for Homemade Chili is at the bottom of this post.

Equipment: indoor grill pan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Time: 15-17 minutes

Ingredients: For Chili Lime Butter
1 stick (1/4 pound ) softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 lime, zested
6 ears fresh corn, unhusked
1 cup of Queso Fresco, crumbles
1 lime cut into wedges

Directions: For Chili Lime Butter
Mix butter, chili powder, Kosher salt, black pepper,  and lime zest in a bowl set aside.

Directions:
Prepare indoor grill for medium-high heat.  Gently pull back husks from each cob, leaving them attached at the bottom of the cob. Remove corn silks from the cobs, (do not worry if a few still cling to the corn cobs). Season by rubbing the cobs with the *compound butter. Pull the husks back into place, (they may be a little loose, but that’s fine. Next, grill the corn, turning frequently, until the husks are charred, and corn is tender about 10-12 minutes.

To Serve:
Pull back the husks, sprinkle crumbled Queso Fresco over the corn and lime wedges. Enjoy!

*Compound butter: Butter that has been mixed with fresh garlic, spices, and or fresh herbs.

Homemade Chili

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Homestyle Fried Potatoes

Homestyle Fried Potatoes

I’ve been making these potatoes since my daughter was very young. She loved them so much that they were a regular side dish on most nights.

Working in a diner, I serve home fries, as a side with eggs and bacon all the time. People love their potatoes for breakfast. Imagine having them with dinner. Let me show you how I make my Homestyle Fried Potatoes.

 

 

 

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Homestyle Fried Potatoes

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch sautépan

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 large red onion, finely diced
6 cups of red potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup multi-color mini sweet bell peppers, finely diced
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine

Directions:
In a (12 inch) sauté pan, preheated on medium heat, add olive oil and diced red onion. Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of the Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes until onions are soft. Add the freshly minced garlic and toss through.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Add the diced red potatoes, diced sweet bell peppers, and dried oregano. Using a flat spatula, toss the potatoes to coat.  Allow the potatoes to cook for 5 minutes before turning. Continue cooking on medium-low heat for another 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally until potatoes are browned and cooked through. Turn the heat off add the Italian flat-leaf parsley and toss.
Serve hot.

 

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Sauteed Wild Mushrooms

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Perfectly sautéed mushrooms can elevate any dish to the next level. Whether you’re using them as a side dish, or maybe in lasagna, their beef-like texture and earthy flavor make the perfect meat substitute. Here’s a little secret I’m really excited about, my new upcoming video, on how to incorporate sauteed wild mushrooms into a dish that puts a spin on a traditional recipe we all love. www.YouTube.com/LindaHamel

Mushrooms are like little sponges, they absorb flavor really well. The three things that all mushrooms love are butter, garlic, and Thyme. Whether you choose a domestic mushroom, wild mushrooms, or a combination of both, the cooking technique is the same. This is my recipe for the best-sautéed mushrooms EVER!

First, I’m going to my hanging herb garden to grab a few sprigs of Thyme.

Thyme

Thyme is one of those herbs that pairs well with so many dishes. When Thyme matures,  the stems become hardy and wood-like. If that’s the case, you only want to use their leaves. The sprigs on my plant are still green and tender so, as I snip off a few sprigs for this dish, I don’t worry if the stems get chopped up along with their leaves.

If you are not able to find fresh Thyme, dried Thyme is perfectly fine.  I love the minty/lemony flavor of thyme, so I’m using both types for this recipe.

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I’m using a combination of domestic and wild mushrooms for this recipe. Let’s talk about the different varieties I have here.

Oyster Mushrooms

This one in the above picture is the Oyster mushrooms. Whenever using mushrooms, take a damp cloth and clean the outside to remove any dirt that may be on them. To cut an Oyster mushroom, use a sharp knife to carefully cut around the firm central stem and the individual caps will fall away.

Tip: Reserve the stems for adding to the stock. I’m not slicing the caps any smaller because these are a perfect size.

Trumpet Mushrooms

These are the Trumpet mushrooms. I just slice off the tip off the bottom of the stem,  the rest of the mushroom I cut up into 2-inch chunks.

Both the Cremini (baby Portobello mushrooms) and white Button mushrooms I slice the same way, with their stems.

Shitake Mushrooms (2)

With Shitake mushrooms, I remove their tough stems and slice the caps.  Save the stems for stock.

Portobello Mushroms

The Portobello mushrooms, I remove the stems and then using a spoon, clean their gills from underneath the cap, then slicing them, fairly thick

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Now we are ready,  the mushrooms are prepped

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Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Deep sided sautépan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh Thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dried Thyme
( about 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms total)
2 large Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 pint of white Button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 pints of Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
5 Oyster mushrooms, cleaned, central stem removed and discarded
6 Trumpet mushrooms, bottom tip removed, then sliced into 2-inch pieces
10 Shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and discarded, caps sliced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1/4 cup unsalted beef stock, or a good red wine

Directions:
In a large deep sided sautépan (if you don’t have one of these pans, sauté your mushrooms in two batches, about 5 minutes per batch) on medium heat,  add unsalted butter, olive oil, fresh and dried Thyme. When butter has melted, add the mushrooms, tossing and stirring continuously.

As the mushrooms cook they will start to release their water. Add in the minced garlic and black pepper, again, stirring occasionally.  Once all their water has evaporated, there will be mushroom bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock and scrape all those delicious bits up using a wooden spoon. Once the mushrooms have really started to brown, this is when you want to salt the mushrooms. Continue stirring and allow the mushrooms to cook, absorbing the remainder of the beef broth and become tender about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

 

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