Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

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When I was a growing up I despised mash potatoes, the texture, the taste, everything about them. As I got older, that all changed as I became a parent and cooked almost every night. I learned how to make some improvements to foods I didn’t like as a child. Honestly, I wanted my daughter to like and eat everything I made, especially all variety of vegetables. A mother can dream, can’t she?

I can remember, the texture of mash potatoes was just awful, NOW, I love their creamy texture. Funny thing, Steve doesn’t care for smooth mash potatoes, he likes them to have some texture like mashed potatoes with the skins left on, those he really likes. I came up with a compromise, I’m calling them my Lumpy Mashed Potatoes.

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Mascarpone Cheese

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, large mixing bowl, potato masher

Ingredients:
5 large Yukon Gold, cooked, peeled, and diced
4 large garlic cloves, roasted
1/2 stick of butter, unsalted,  room temperature
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of half-and-half
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoon of fresh chives, minced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Peel and discard the papery out layer of the garlic bulb, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top of the cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Set the garlic on top of a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Sprinkle each head with a pinch of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Wrap the garlic bulbs up in the foil. Place the foil packet on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed. Remove from the oven, carefully open the foil packet, and set aside to cool.

Start with a large saucepot add 5 large Yukon Gold potatoes. Cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring the potatoes up to a boil. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of Kosher salt. Continue boiling for around 10 to 15 minutes until just fork tender. Turn the heat off. Strain the water, return the potatoes back into the hot pot. Place a towel over the top so they will continue steaming for another 5 minutes or so. They will be perfectly cooked and the skins can be easily removed. Remove the skins and dice into approx. 1 1/2-inch size chunks. Place the diced potatoes into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In the same large saucepot over low heat, melt the butter. To the melted butter add the fresh chopped thyme, cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese, half-and-half, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stirring occasionally.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until everything becomes nice and smooth. Take the mixture off the heat, add the 4 roasted garlic cloves and diced potatoes right into the cream mixture.

With a potato masher start mashing. The warm potatoes start to absorb the liquid as I start the mashing. This potato recipe is kind of unique because it still has the creaminess of what you know mash potatoes to have, but yet because they are not whipped or put through a food mill they still have little bits of potatoes throughout. Finally, I add 4 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives. There you have it, my Lumpy Mashed Potatoes.

Homemade Meatloaf

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Homemade Chili Verde

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Chili Verde is a style of chili traditionally made with white beans, tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeno or serrano peppers. Verde (the color green) lets you know the sauce is not tomato-based, instead, using the ingredients I’ve mentioned along with a lot of bold spices.

Listen, you could also add your choice of protein, like, ground chicken, pork, or turkey to this dish. Today, I’m adding braised pork to my Chili Verde.

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Mexican chocolate as seen below is used as a spice in traditional chili recipes. This chocolate adds depth of flavor to this dish.

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The tomatillo, which is not related to the tomato instead belongs to the gooseberry family and comes in its own natural wrapping.

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Cilantro

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Stuffing (2)

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I have a great tip for removing corn kernels from their cob and that’s to use a bundt pan. This way the corn won’t fly off in every direction.

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Olive Oil

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Limes

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Cilantro

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Using the leftover Chili Verde to create a pie was a perfect idea. Garnished with a few slices of avocado, my Chili Verde Pie turned out to be a home run.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 (6-quart) Dutch oven pots, 1 (10-cup) food processor, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, chef’s knife, indoor grill-pan, bundt pan, pastry brush, non-stick cooking spray, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, kitchen twine

Ingredients For The Braised Pork Loin:
1 (3-pound) pork loin, tied
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of Canola oil (use for grilling corn)
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of ground chipotle powder
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
3 cup of chicken stock, unsalted
3 cups of orange juice
6 sprigs of cilantro
2 bay leaves
1 medium-size onion, peeled and halved
1 whole jalapeno

Ingredients For The Chili Verde:
1/2 cup of olive oil plus 7 tablespoons
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoon of ground coriander
8 tomatillos, peeled and quartered
4 large white onions, 2 quartered, 1 diced, 1 roasted
1 whole bulb of garlic, roasted, divided
4 Poblano peppers, roasted
2 limes, juiced
3 1/4 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
3 cups of orange juice
1 green bell pepper diced
3 jalapeno peppers, 2 seeded and minced (substitute serrano pepper)
1 cup of cilantro leaves plus 5 sprigs of cilantro (including their stems)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of Mexican chocolate, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 lime, juiced
2 (15.5-ounce) cans of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups of shelled Edamame, shelled (optional)
4 corn on the cob, grilled and kernels removed
braised pork cooking liquid, reserve 1/2 a cup for *slurry
2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch

Garnish and Toppings:
crunchy tortilla strips
cheddar cheese, freshly grated
Queso Fresco, crumbled
1/2 red onion, finely diced
lime wedges
cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start by spraying both sides of the corn tortillas with non-stick cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on top of each other slicing them into strips. Divide the strips in half giving you two equal portions. Arrange the tortilla strips into a single layer on each baking sheet pan. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the tortilla strips to cool for 15 minutes before placing them into a large resealable bag.

Adust the oven temperature to 425-degrees F.
Directions For Roasting The Vegetables:
To start, slice a whole garlic bulb in half crosswise. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Wrap tightly with foil. Place the poblano peppers, the halved onion, and foil-wrapped garlic bulb on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over the poblanos and onion halves. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, seed and dice 1 green bell pepper, dice the onion, quarter the tomatillos, and seed and mince the 2 jalapeno peppers. Place the vegetables on a large platter and set aside. Shuck corn, remove the silk. Set aside.

Transfer the Poblano peppers to a large mixing bowl cover tightly with plastic wrap, steam for 15 minutes. Next, carefully unwrap the roasted garlic allowing it to cool along with the onion halves.

Take 1/2 the roasted garlic bulb, squeeze the bulb until the roasted garlic slides out from the skins. Dice the roasted garlic, transfer to the plate containing the diced green bell pepper and onion.

Moving forward, using your hands, peel the skin off the Poblano peppers. Cut the tops off then remove and discard the seeds. Into the food processor, fitted with the metal blade, add the roasted poblanos, the remaining half of roasted garlic cloves, lime juice, and both the roasted onion halves. Next, add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 cup of chicken stock. Pulse until the mixture comes together in a thick consistency. Refer to the picture above. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.

This beautifully roasted poblano-garlic flavored purée that is going to bring this chili up to a level of perfection.

Heat the indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush each one of the corn with Canola oil. Arrange the cobs on the grill pan turning them every 2 minutes or until they begin to char around 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Using a bundt pan, remove the kernels. Set aside.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Directions For Braising The Pork Loin:
Start by adding the spices into a large mixing bowl for the pork loin. Add ground cumin, coriander, dried Chipotle powder, brown sugar, Kosher salt, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, mix to form a paste. Cover the pork loin with the spice rub, transfer to a large plate. Set aside.

In the bottom of a large Dutch oven add the quartered onions, 3 cups of chicken broth, orange juice, 5 tied sprigs of cilantro, 2 bay leaves, and 1 whole jalapeno. Arrange the spice-rubbed pork loin on top. You want to make sure the liquid comes up the sides of the pork without covering the meat. If needed, adjust the liquid by adding water.

Over medium-high heat bring up to a boil, reduce the heat allowing the liquid in the pot to be at a simmer. Place the lid on, transfer to the oven, and cook for 5 hours.

Halfway into the cooking process flip the pork loin and continue cooking. After the pork has finished braising transfer the pot to the top of the stove. Carefully remove the pork loin to a cutting board. Discard the string. Cut the pork into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In another Dutch oven over medium heat add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. To the oil add 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, and 2 tablespoons of ground coriander, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 1 minute allowing the spices to *bloom or until you smell their aroma.

To the pot add the diced green bell peppers, onions, minced jalapenos, and roasted garlic, stir to coat with spice mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft. Add the freshly grated Mexican chocolate, lime juice, and the Agave nectar stir to combine. Finish by adding the poblano purée, and tomatillos, again stir to combine.

Now it’s time for the liquid. Using a slotted spoon and scoop out the onions, bay leaves, and jalapeno. They ‘ve done their work. Reserve 1/2 cup of the braising liquid in a small bowl and set aside. I’ll explain in a minute. The rest of the liquid is going into the chili.

At this point add the corn, Cannelini beans, and Edamame (optional) to the pot.

To the pot containing the vegetables add the shredded pork and all the braising liquid. You want the liquid to come up to about 2 inches from the top. If needed, add a little chicken stock. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.

The liquid will reduce and the chili will thicken some but not enough. Here’s what I do. After the 45 minutes taste for seasoning. Add Kosher salt and pepper if needed. In the bowl containing the reserved braising liquid add the cornstarch, mix until smooth and paste-like.

Add the *slurry into the chili. Allow the chili to come back up to a bubble and cook for another 15 minutes.

The Homemade Chili Verde is ready.

The best part is the toppings. I chose to make some crunchy tortilla strips, cheddar, and Queso Fresco cheese, avocado slices, and lime wedges.

I’m wondering if you can #tastethelove that went into making this dish?

How can you change this chili into something a little different the next day? Dishes like this are always better the next day because the flavors marry together which causes magical things to happen. I spent a lot of time making this dish, so I thought I’d turn my chili into Chili Verde Pies. I bought 2 boxes of store-bought ready-made pie crusts. There are some great ones out there so don’t be afraid to take advantage whenever you can.

I took two of my pie dishes and placed 1 pie crust into the bottom of each pie plate. Then I brushed the bottom pie-crust dough with beaten egg whites. This helps to prevent that raw mushy-like bottom dough taste. The egg whites form a barrier between the filling and the crust. Cool right?

Using a slotted spoon, to separate as much of the liquid as possible, I filled both the pies with half the chili. Sprinkled shredded cheddar and the Queso Fresco on top of each pie. Placed the remaining two pie crusts on top of each pie, crimped the edges, brushed them with an egg wash, and cooked them according to the directions on the pie crust box. There you have it, Homemade Chili Verde Pie.

*Bloom:  The process of cooking spices in oil allowing them to release their essential oils.

*Slurry:  A thickening mixture that is made up of cold liquid with cornstarch. It’s used as a thickening agent.

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Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis

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If you and your family love garlic, this dish is one that you’ll be asked to make this dish again and again. This is my Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis.

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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese (2)

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E.V.O.O.

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Prep Time For Soup: 20 minutes
Cook Time For Soup: 1 hour
Total Time For Soup: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, cheese grater, Chef’s knife, foil, and parchment paper

Note: While the garlic is roasting, sautè the mushrooms and grate the Gruyere cheese. When the garlic is finished roasting, adjust the oven temperature for the Frenc baguette.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
8 heads of garlic, (reserve 2 heads for garlic oil)
1/4 cup garlic infused oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups of chicken stock, unsalted (substitute vegetable broth/stock)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

Ingredients For Sautèed Mushrooms:
1-pint of cremini mushrooms, sliced, quartered if small (substitute white button mushrooms)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped (substitute 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Toasted Crostini:
1 loaf of French baguette, sliced on the bias (yields 16 slices)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Gruyère cheese, freshly grated
prepared sautèed mushrooms
*E.V.O.O.

Directions For Garlic Oil:
In a small saucepot, on med-low heat add 1/2 a cup of olive oil and 2 heads of garlic, cut in half lengthwise (cut lengthwise through the middle), face down into the oil. Bring the temperature up nice and slow, so that the garlic infuses with the oil. Simmer for 20 minutes. You DO NOT want the oil to boil. After 20 minutes turn the heat off and allow the garlic to continue to steep in the oil. Using a pair of tongs, remove the garlic heads. Reserve 1/4 cup of the garlic oil.

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Peel most of the outer paper off the garlic bulb. Trim about 1/4-inch off the top off the garlic bulb. Do this for each of the six heads of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface allowing the oil to seep down into the cloves. Season with Kosher salt, and pepper. Wrap the 6 exposed garlic bulbs in foil, place on a rimmed baking sheet pan, and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done when a center clove is completely soft when pierced with a paring knife. Roasting time may vary depending on the size of your garlic. Remove from the oven and let cool. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into a bowl.

Note: Even once soft,  you have the option to continue roasting until deeply golden for a more caramelized flavor. Check the garlic every 10 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool then remove their skins. Roasted garlic can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Directions For Toasted Crostini:
Adjust oven temperature to 375-degrees F.
Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of baguette bread lightly with the remaining garlic oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden.

Directions For Sautèed Mushrooms:
Preheat a large sautè pan on medium, add unsalted butter and olive oil. Once melted, add sliced mushrooms fresh thyme, and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms become lightly browned. Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper, stir through. Simmer for an additional 8 minutes. Turn heat off and set aside.

Directions For Roasted Garlic Soup:
In a large Dutch oven, on medium heat add the roasted garlic cloves along with 1/4 cup of the garlic oil. Mash the cloves into the oil. Add the all-purpose flour to that mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon, cook for 5 to 6 minutes until a dark *roux is achieved. Change to a large whisk, add 1 cup of the chicken stock, whisk to incorporate. Repeat until all the chicken (or vegetable broth/stock) has been used. Add the chopped fresh rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to warm (if you don’t have that setting remove from the heat), and cover.

Spoon a tablespoon of the sautéed mushrooms on each crostini and add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated Gruyère to each slice. Place back into the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.

To Serve:
Ladle the hot soup into a serving bowl. Arrange 2 slices of the Mushroom and Gruyère Cheese Crostinis on top of the roasted garlic soup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a drizzle of your best *E.V.O.O. This dish is one that you will be making again and again. There you have it my Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Crostinis.

Note: This recipe yields extra toasted baguette slices for extra Gruyère And Mushroom Crostinis.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

*Roux: A roux is a cooked mixture of flour and fat (usually, butter) as a thickening agent in sauces and/or soups.

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