Goat Cheese & Chive Smashed Potatoes

For some reason I’ve always shied away from making mashed potatoes. They seemed too daunting – would I mash them enough? Would they be too dry?! There also was that one time I tried putting them in my mixer and covered our new kitchen in potatoes…

It wasn’t until I tried goat cheese and chive smashed potatoes at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain that I knew I had to get over my fear. These were the best damn mashed, smashed, potatoes I’ve ever had. I needed them in my life. The good news is, with smashed potatoes you don’t have to worry about them being “perfectly whipped”. You want a little chunkiness in them. Which means you don’t need to use your mixer, just your muscles. Which also means you don’t need to spend hours wiping milk and potatoes from your ceiling.

  • 4-5 medium russet potatoes, skinned and diced
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper

Boil the potatoes in a large pot for roughly 20 minutes, until soft. Drain water and place potatoes back in the pot. Begin to “smash” the potatoes with a wooden spoon, smasher, or I even used this pastry blender. Not what it’s intended for, but still does the job. Once chunky, add in the chives, goat cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until fully combined. These also make great leftovers. When ready to heat, crank the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.

Goat Cheese & Chive Smashed Potatoes_damndelish

 

Happy Eating, XO.

Fancy Flatbread

Since Jess is such a rockstar and makes her own pizza dough, I wont even tell you that I cheated and bought some pre-made garlic & herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. I know, shame on me. Don’t do it guys, the fresh stuff is EASY and so good. Steal her recipe and freeze it if you have leftovers.

Anyway, I love anything that pairs well with wine, I don’t know if you guys had picked up on that subtle piece of information through out our numerous appetizer posts. I was inspired by a farmers market in the Hamptons last month that had these plump, jammy fresh FIGS! I needed to buy a whole box of them and went to town with making this flatbread. I went on the same premise as we have on most of our salad recipes and wanted to hit all sorts of taste bud pleasers: salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy, etc. I shit you not, I knocked it out of the park. So grab your glass of Pinot Noir or chilled Rose and EAT up!

  • 3-4 oz. of goat cheese or shredded Manchego (My 1st attempt I did mozz and while delish, doesn’t pack the bite and sharpness this flatbread needs.)
  • 1 tbsp. of fig preserves OR balsamic glaze (emphasis on the OR. Again on the 1st attempt I did both and it was coyingly sweet especially if males plan on eating this.)
  • 6 oz. of thinly sliced Prosciutto (I am almost certain Pancetta would do the trick also but that’s a whole extra step of crisping that up, so just start tearing and placing on dough.)

Now, I could do thinly sliced red onion of 2 fistfuls of arugula on this just for that peppery crunch but my company wasn’t a fan of either so I left it off. But hey, it was still good, so what do I know? Anyway roll out the dough, smear the preserves or glaze, then nestle the globs of cheese with the crumpled up slices of prosciutto around the surface. Yes, crumpled is a technical culinary term, jerks!

Anyway, last but not least is the FRESH sliced figs, go nuts, as many or as little as you have. If you must have some guidance, try using 6-7 whole figs, sliced. I drizzled with a little bit of olive oil before placing in oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Happy Eating, XO.

Party Perfect

You guys know my two besties: Cheese and Wine?! Well they haven’t hung out in a while and what kind of food blog would we be if we didn’t impart multiple ways for them to be paired together. Don’t pull a rookie move and think that sliced cheese and crackers is what to serve at a party. This is done just as quickly and looks, tastes, and impresses much more than that tired old look. Plus it’s obviously DELISH!

  • Polenta log from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp of half and half or cream
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pine nuts, pistachios, or really any nut would work (optional)

Grab the Trader Joe’s polenta log (it’s cheap and cuts down the work a ton)! Slice into 1/8 inch rounds then cut into half moons. Brush with olive oil and grate parmesan cheese over them before sticking in broiler to make into a chip. Remember to keep an eye on them as they shouldn’t take more than 5-10 min at the MAX. While those are toasting up, whip goat cheese with the half and half or cream, add in the chopped basil with some salt & pepper to taste. I also think a nice crunch element would be to add toasted pine nuts (a handful) or pistachios to the cheese mixture.

Dollop the mixture on the cooled chip, (if its still hot the mixture will start melting) and serve!

Party Perfect

Happy Eating (And Partying), XO.

The “I’m too tired to cook” pasta

This is one of those recipes that comes together when you A) need to clean out your fridge and B) are exhausted and can’t stand the idea of making some fancy pants dinner. Especially after you’ve just done the holiday marathon of hosting an ugly sweater party, attending an ugly sweater party, attending your office party, attending your significant others’ office party, and making the rounds to all of your relatives on Christmas day. We know. You need a break.

Change in to your comfiest sweats and start throwing it together.

  • 1/2 box of angel hair pasta
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 2-3 oz of goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • Dash of salt and pepper (or Adobo)

Boil a pot of water for the pasta, and while that’s heating up, heat the olive oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add in the tomatoes, zucchini, and onion. Cook until soft and the zucchini is slightly browned. While that’s cooking, boil your pasta. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Add in the pan of vegetables and toss with the goat cheese, salt, and pepper.

Tomato, zucchini, goat cheese pasta

 

Happy Eating, XO.

Beat the Beet

Beet Salad with Fried Goat Cheese. Oh right, like I wasn’t going to trash up the health benefits of a salad by pan frying cheese. Puhlease. I don’t eat to live, I LIVE to eat. I need it to be tasty! Now, some of you a) don’t want to take the time to fry the goat cheese b) hate goat cheese and its strong flavor. Don’t fret, my pet: use gorgonzola or mozzarella instead! Be your own boss. Anyway, I was jamming out to some beats on the way to work this morning and told myself I was going to make a salad for dinner tonight (you know more time for a dance party when there is no hard cooking involved). Hmm what do I have lying around that could make my salad awesome, yup canned beets. Now I know you are thinking “ew canned veggies” gross on the preservatives etc etc. BUT, I don’t have the time or energy to deal with real beets so get over it. Plus “lipstick” as I used to call it when I was younger (you know because of the way beets stain your lips with that gorgina red/purply color). Anyway, “lipstick” doesn’t need to be fresh, if anything the fresh stuff requires tons of work with either boiling or pickling and listen here, Id rather focus my prep time on my cheese, so there. Oh and now I am going to be a total “Cheeseball” and play MJ’s “Beat It!” for my beet salad. LOL #nerd #corny.

  • 16 oz. log fresh goat cheese
  • 1 can of the DelMonte sliced beets (14.5 oz. and drain them obvi).
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian blend seasoning (I added a pinch of red chili flakes since goat cheese has such a sharp flavor)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups of mixed baby greens (or the Sorrento bagged mix at Trader Joe’s)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of candied pecans, if you don’t like the sweet some toasted walnuts would work too

Freeze the goat cheese for about 30 minutes until its solid but not totally frozen. While the cheese is hardening, mix together panko bread crumbs, seasoning, salt, pepper, set aside. Set up a breading line in the following order: flour, egg, bread crumbs, parchment/wax paper covered large wooden cutting board. Remove cheese from freezer and slice into 1/2 inch rounds by using plain dental floss or a knife. If using a knife make sure to wipe it off after each cut to stop it from crumbling. If any of your pieces fall apart just pat it together and try to keep a somewhat round shape. It does not have to be perfect. Take goat cheese rounds and dip in flour, then egg and then goat in panko/herb mixture. Lay onto lined cutting board. Continue until all slices have been coated. If your cheese is really soft pop it into the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill. Take a large high-sided skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil and add to range over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, fry goat cheese rounds until crispy on both sides. Gently remove fried goat cheese from the skillet onto a paper towel lined plate to help soak up any remaining olive oil.  Serve fried goat cheese warm. Toss greens with the nuts and balsamic vinegar, add the beets before laying 1-2 goat cheese rounds atop the salad.

Happy Eating, XO.