German Potato Salad

 

 

German potato salad (24) WM

After spending two weeks in Peru, we are back in Colorado.  Our trip to Peru took us on a 4 day trek to the Incan ruins of Choquequirao high in the Ande mountains, to South America’s largest zip line in Santa Theresa, to amazing hot springs over looking the river in Santa Theresa, to the not so tourist town of Quillabamba, the gorgeous city of Cusco, to the very tourist city of Aguas Calientes and Machu Pichu, to the hot, humid and noisy city of Lima, and to other small towns in between.

We left Colorado with several weeks of 5″ of snow and cold weather – and now we are back to sunshine and warm weather!  It will be nice and sunny until this weekend where we’ll dip 20-30 degrees and have snow…so is the life in Colorado.

I actually made this recipe last summer but didn’t get the chance to post it.  My husband and I made it again last night, and as before it was delicious!  If you are looking for a potato salad that does not have mayonnaise, look no further.  This recipe uses red potatoes, bacon, white vinegar, sugar and whole mustard seed mustard.  It is sweet and tangy.  Read below for the directions.

German potato salad (2) WM

Serves 6-8

time: 1 hour, roughly

Ingredients:

15 small to medium red potatoes, washed and poked with a fork

6 slices bacon

1 small red onion, diced

1 cup white vinegar

6 tablespoons water

9 tablespoons white sugar

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons whole mustard seed mustard

2-4 hard boiled eggs

1 bunch dill, washed and chopped finely

 

Directions:

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, once boiling place the red potatoes in the water and boil for about 20 minutes / until soft when poked with a fork.  Drain and set aside to cool.  Once cool slice into bite sized cubes.

2) Boil the eggs for about 20 minutes, drain the water, cool the eggs then slice them into bite sized pieces.

3) Heat a skillet to high and cook the bacon, being sure to not burn the pieces (turn the heat down if needed).  Once the bacon has cooked place on a paper towel lined plate and press out the extra grease.  Break into little pieces and set aside.

4) Drain most of the bacon grease.  Add the diced red onion and cook for about 5 minutes until slightly brown.

6) Place the cooked & cut up potatoes pieces into the pan with the cooked onions and cook for a little over 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so.

6) In a small bowl mix together the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Stir into the potato and red onion mixture in the skillet.  Remove from the heat.

7)  Scoop the potato mixture into a serving bowl.  Stir in the chopped eggs, bacon pieces and chopped dill.  Stir to combine.  Serve immediately (this potato salad can be served cold, but it’s better warm).

 

German potato salad (10) WM

 

German potato salad (15) WM

 

 

Broccoli Rice

Broccoli Rice (9) WM

During the World Cup hosted in Brazil, I decided to make a Brazilian dish.  I made Cachaca marinaded chicken and broccoli rice (arroz de brcolis).  From what I read, Brazilians eat rice every day.  I love broccoli and it was a really neat combination to plain ‘ol rice – I would have never thought to combine the two!  This meal (and the World Cup) made me miss Oasis Brazilian Steak House in Medford, MA – it was about two blocks from us and we would go there regularly for their pay-by-the-pound BBQ.  It was out of this world! Especially the fried plantains.  Another favorite was Muqueca in Cambridge, MA.  Muqueca is a Brazilian styled seafood stew that is so, so, so tasty!!!  We went there when it was super freezing / beginning of a snow storm…ah, the memories!

Onto the broccoli rice!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium bunch broccoli, crown only, chopped finely
salt to taste
3 cups cooked white long-grain rice, hot

Broccoli Rice (28) WM Broccoli Rice (26) WM

Directions:

1. Cook the rice according to the package directions (about 1.5 cup dry rice).

2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until they are soft but not browned.

2. Add the chopped broccoli;  cover the pan and let the vegetables “steam” for about 3 minutes.

3. Add the rice and salt, stir to combine the garlic & onion and heat the rice if it has cooled at all.  Serve immediately.

Broccoli Rice (2) WM

Brie & Blackberry Puffs

brie cheese puff pastries (22)

Brie cheese and blackberry jam are amazing together.  Add light, fluffy and buttery puff pastry, and you have yourself a quick heavenly appetizer.  I decided to be bold and try blue cheese.  Yep.  Blue cheese and blackberry jam do not go together.  Please ignore the block of blue cheese in all of these pictures.  I didn’t have much brie cheese left, and I hadn’t tasted the blue cheese and blackberry jam puff pastry yet, so I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be recommending not paring the two together.  So, maybe just put your finger over the blue cheese in the pictures and just pretend it’s not there.  Yep. That’ll be good.

brie cheese puff pastries (23)

Ok.  So, this appetizer is utterly easy to prepare.  You need like 3 ingredients and your two hands.  Oh, and an oven and baking sheet.

Ingredients:

1 box puff pastry, just thawed enough but not overly thawed

1 block brie cheese

1 jar blackberry jam (with seeds, it’s better)

Directions:

Since I always overthaw my puff pastry I end up with this gooey mess of two sheets of puff pastry that don’t want to come apart even though the cardboard between the two sheets is supposed to prevent this.  SO. Don’t thaw your puff pastry for too long.  And, since mine is always overthawed (yep, just made another word up) I have to roll the sheets out and make a big mess.  Try to avoid this too.

1) Cut little blocks of the brie cheese.  Cut little squares of the puff pastry.  Place the little block of brie cheese in the middle of the little square of the puff pastry.  Smear a small spoonful of blackberry jam over the little block of cheese.

2) Pull the edges of the puff pastry over the cheese and jam.

3) Place on a greased baking sheet.

4) Do with remaining puff pastry.

5) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

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Baked Brie with Chocolate & Blackberry Jam

baked brie w-choc& rasp (5)

I could not believe how good this dessert / appetizer turned out, I mean it was no surprise since I mixed brie, chocolate and blackberry jam together.   I’m sure that you could use any other kind of jam, but I’m a believer that blackberry and chocolate just go together.

Ingredients:

pie crust dough (1 or two depending on if you are using a wheel of brie or two triangles)

brie (either a wheel or two triangles)

chocolate chips

blackberry jam

1 egg, beaten

water crackers to serve this with, if desired

baked brie w-choc& rasp (6)

Directions:

1. Roll out the pie crust to make it just a tad thinner on a floured surface, place on a tin-foil lined or greased baking sheet.

2. If you are using two triangles of brie cheese place them skinny end to fat end on the center of the rolled out pie crust, or just place the wheel of brie on the pie crust.

3. Scoop out a good amount of blackberry jam on top of the brie cheese, sprinkle the chocolate chip pieces on and around the jam (the jam will slide off the top of the cheese).

4. Pick up the pie crust over the sides of the cheese and cover the top of the cheese.

5. Beat the egg, and brush over the pie crust.

6. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for roughly 30 minutes or until golden brown.  I envisioned a lovely held together brie/chocolate/blackberry pie that you cut into, but instead everything melted into one amazing mess.  All of my friends could not get enough of this cheese, chocolate, jam delight.  I was worried that two triangles of brie would be too much for 5 people but it was not at all!!

baked brie w-choc& rasp (3)

Slow Cooker BBQ Black Beans

slow cooker BBQ beans (1) WM

BBQ’d black beans sounded kind of weird, but we went with the recipe and they actually turned out really well!  We will make these again!  They were a hit at our BBQ!

slow cooker BBQ beans (4) WM

prep time: 20 minutes

cook time: 2 – 2.5 hours

serves: a lot!  reduce the amount of beans if you want less

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans in their liquid
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove excess grease on a paper towel.  Break into small bite-sized pieces.  Set aside half.

2. Add all ingredients into a crock pot, stir.

3. Cook on high for 2 – 2.5 hours.  When serving add a little bit of the reserved bacon pieces onto each bowl.

slow cooker BBQ beans (2) WM

Tomato & Feta Toasts

tomato and feta toasts (1) WM

I cannot believe how amazing this salad / toast was.  In fact, I want one right now.  I’m pretty much drooling.  This recipe will be a go-to summer salad recipe.  See, there are so many amazing ways to eat your veggies!

prep/total time: approximately 20-25 minutes

 tomato and feta toasts (2) WM

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

handful basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

sliced tomato or cherry tomatoes

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

pinch of kosher salt

feta cheese, crumbled

goat cheese, crumbled

toasted French bread, 2 slices each person

handful pine nuts, toasted

handful of arugula per person

Directions:

1. Chop, slice, and grate all needed ingredients.

2. Mix the olive oil, pepper and salt together, stir in the chopped, sliced, grated ingredients.  Gently fold in the crumbled cheeses.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Slice and toast the bread.

4. Toast a handful of pine nuts – careful not to burn, you only want them golden brown.

5. Place a handful of washed arugula on each plate.

6. Place the toast on the sides of the plate.  Arrange the cucumber on the bed of arugula, and scoop out the cheese and olive oil mixture on top of the toasts and arugula.  Enjoy!

tomato and feta toasts (3) WM

Corn, Chorizo, and Shrimp Salad

This is a pretty amazing salad.  One that is a total crowd please and is totally easy to prepare (I like that!!).

corn, chorizo, shrimp salad (3) WM

prep time: approximately 15-60  minutes

cooking time: approximately 20 minutes

Ingredients:

4 ears of fresh corn or 3 cans of corn, drained

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled

1 package Spanish chorizo sausage

2 bunches green onions, chopped

handful basil leaves, chopped

handful red cherry tomatoes (or regular tomatoes sliced)

handful yellow cherry tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons Sriracha

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

juice from 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

1. If you are using fresh ears of corn, peel and boil for 60 minutes, then slice the corn kernels off.  Otherwise open the cans of corn and drain.

2. Add the peeled shrimp into a pan of boiling water and cook for 5-7 minutes, until they turn pink.  Drain.

3. Cook the chorizo sausage.  Drain.

4. Slice, chop, mince, grate all needed ingredients.

5.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir well, taste and add any additional seasonings.  Keep chilled and serve chilled.

Vinegar Based Slaw with Cranberries

cabbage salad (1) WM

This is a great vegetarian coleslaw salad, and is perfect for those summer BBQs.  I added a little twist to a classic by throwing some dried cranberries in the salad.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cracked pepper

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 bag of shredded cabbage (mine had red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)

2  green onions, sliced

handful of dried cranberries

crushed top ramen (no seasoning packet)

Directions:

1. Mix all wet ingredients and seasonings.

2. Stir in the bag of shredded cabbage, sliced green onions, and dried cranberries –  stir to combine.

3. Right before serving sprinkle the crushed top ramen on top of the salad.  Serve chilled (but not the top ramen).

Quinoa, Cucumber, Olive, and Feta salad

quinoa salad WM

I love fresh summer salads, and quinoa is a great base for various types of salads with lots of yummy ingredients – a simple olive oil dressing is all that it needs.

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa (2 cups water)

2 lemons, juiced

3 tablespoons olive oil

red onion

green onion

half cucumber

feta cheese

olive mix from the olive bar at the grocery store

garlic (I used marinated and roasted/marinated garlic from the olive bar at the grocery store)

tomatoes – red and yellow – sliced

salt and pepper to taste

quinoa salad 2 WM

look at this great olive and garlic mixture!

Directions:

1. Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions; let cool.

2. Juice the lemons.  Slice the red onion, green onion, cucumber, the olive and garlic mix, and tomatoes.

3. Combine the lemon juice and olive oil and pour over the cooled quinoa. Add the sliced veggies and olive/garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve cold with BBQ or any other main dish!