Homemade Jo-Jos (Super Crunchy Potato Circles / Wedges)

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Maybe once a month I make a fun “dinner in” dinner.  We make something my kids would order in a restaurant.  The more kids can see how things are made from scratch and involved in the process the more open they are to trying new foods.  So every now and again it’s fun to let them pick something to make that’s more of a treat too.
These are super crunchy, tender and fluffy inside.  They even stay pretty crunchy the next day.

We tried wedges and circles, and both turned out great.  The circles are slightly easier to cook evenly since they are an even shape.

Either way, get ready for some mom points!

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Homemade Jo-Jos

1 1/2 – 2 lbs gold potatoes, cut in wedges or sliced in 1/4 inch slices
2 T vegetable or canola oil, plus extra for frying
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Spice Mix:
1 T kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika

Toss the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl with 2 T oil and 1 T of the spice mix.
Cover completely with plastic wrap. Microwave for 8 minutes, carefully tossing them around after 4 minutes to redistribute without removing the plastic wrap.
Carefully remove plastic wrap and pour potatoes out onto a baking tray and let cool. You should be able to pierce them with a knife but they won’t completely fall apart.
Heat a couple inches of oil in a dutch oven or deep pot to about 350 degrees.
Set up 2 bowls. In one, mix the buttermilk and baking soda together.
In another, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and remaining spice mix together.
Coat the potatoes in the flour mix, then the buttermilk, then back in the flour mix.
Place on a wire rack and continue coating the remaining potatoes.
Fry in batches for a few minutes, flipping halfway, until golden and crunchy.
Since they potatoes are pretty well cooked you’re really just cooking the coating more so.
When done, remove to a new wire rack set over a baking tray.
Sprinkle with salt while warm if desired.

Adapted from Cook’s Country

Homemade Jo-Jos (Super Crunchy Potato Circles / Wedges)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs gold potatoes, cut in wedges or sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 T vegetable or canola oil, plus extra for frying
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
    Spice Mix:
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Toss the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl with 2 T oil and 1 T of the spice mix.
  • Cover completely with plastic wrap. Microwave for 8 minutes, carefully tossing them around after 4 minutes to redistribute without removing the plastic wrap.
  • Carefully remove plastic wrap and pour potatoes out onto a baking tray and let cool. You should be able to pierce them with a knife but they won't completely fall apart.
  • Heat a couple inches of oil in a dutch oven or deep pot to about 350 degrees.
  • Set up 2 bowls. In one, mix the buttermilk and baking soda together.
  • In another, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and remaining spice mix together.
  • Coat the potatoes in the flour mix, then the buttermilk, then back in the flour mix.
  • Place on a wire rack and continue coating the remaining potatoes.
  • Fry in batches for a few minutes, flipping halfway, until golden and crunchy.
  • Since they potatoes are pretty well cooked you're really just cooking the coating more so.
  • When done, remove to a new wire rack set over a baking tray.
  • Sprinkle with salt while warm if desired.
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    Mediterranean Salad

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    Chicken Shawarma is one of our favorite dinners.  And if I’m making that you can bet I’m also making this.  It’s cooling and refreshing and is just what you want with the warm spices in shawarma.  I usually make it before I cook the shawarma so the acid in the lemon juice can mellow out the onion a bit before we eat.  You can use equal parts cucumber, tomato, and onion or cut back on the onion if you like.  This is something you don’t really measure.  Just chop, drizzle, and mix.
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    MEDITERRANEAN SALAD

    Cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
    tomato, diced
    white onion, diced
    flat leaf parsley, minced
    Lemon juice
    Olive Oil
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Mix the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions together in a bowl.  Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

    Mediterranean Salad

    Ingredients

    • Cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
    • tomato, diced
    • white onion, diced
    • flat leaf parsley, minced
    • Lemon juice
    • Olive Oil
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions

  • Mix the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions together in a bowl. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
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    Confetti Corn Casserole

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    I make this side dish for most holidays.  I usually make it a day or 2 ahead of time and pop it in the oven about 20 minutes before we eat.  One thing I have learned over the years is that having some dishes you can make a day or 2 before a holiday meal really helps everything go so much smoother.  Plus, maybe the cook wants to enjoy the holidays a little too! 🙂 Of course, there is a reason the kitchen is the center of the home.
    Don’t forget to plan out your menu and make a schedule to take some stress off of the holiday. I think all of America could use a break from politics right now and a good family holiday is just what I’m looking forward to!

    CONFETTI CORN CASSEROLE

    8 oz bacon
    32 oz frozen corn (approx 6 cups)
    1 onion, diced (approx 1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
    8 oz cream cheese
    2 T milk
    1 T sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    4 green onions, thinly sliced

    Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Chop bacon and discard all but a couple teaspoons of bacon grease.
    Add the corn, onion, and pepper to the skillet and cook over medium heat until cooked through and veggies are softened.
    Add the cream cheese, milk, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
    Stir in the green onions and bacon (or you can sprinkle the bacon just on the top if you’d rather).
    Place mixture into a greased casserole pan.
    If making ahead of time,, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate before warming in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

    recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and Southern Living

    Confetti Corn Casserole

    Ingredients

    • 8 oz bacon
    • 32 oz frozen corn (approx 6 cups)
    • 1 onion, diced (approx 1 1/2 cups)
    • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 2 T milk
    • 1 T sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

    Instructions

  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Chop bacon and discard all but a couple teaspoons of bacon grease.
  • Add the corn, onion, and pepper to the skillet and cook over medium heat until cooked through and veggies are softened.
  • Add the cream cheese, milk, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  • Stir in the green onions and bacon (or you can sprinkle the bacon just on the top if you'd rather).
  • Place mixture into a greased casserole pan.
  • If making ahead of time,, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate before warming in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
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    Greek Quinoa Salad

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    It’s been one crazy summer here.  I’ve been determined to finish up all of my lists of projects and ideas before September, and since I lead a 4-H group, we HAVE to participate with the county fair!  Enter: easy meals that store well.  This is one of those.  I can make it ahead of time and grab a bowl for a quick lunch, or add some chicken for a dinner.  If you have adventurous eaters this would be great for a lunchbox salad as well.  If you haven’t tried my Asian Quinoa Salad yet add that one to the list too!
    You can change up the add ins of course too to your liking.  Sometimes I leave the garbanzo beans out, especially if I’ll be serving hummus as well.

    GREEK QUINOA SALAD
    1/2 cup quinoa
    1 cup water
    1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
    1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half, or diced tomatoes
    1/4 cup red onion, diced
    1/4 cup olives, diced
    1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can, drained)
    3 T fresh dill or parsley, finely chopped
    3 T fresh basil, finely chopped
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

    For dressing:
    1 T lemon juice
    1 T red wine vinegar
    2 cup olive oil
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    salt and pepper to taste

    Bring the cup of water to a boil in a medium pot.  Add quinoa and return to a boil.  Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
    Fluff quinoa and let sit 5 minutes, covered, and off the heat.   This will make 2 cups cooked quinoa.  You will know it’s cooked because the outer hulls are popped off.
    Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Pour over quinoa and chill.  Add remaining salad ingredients.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.
    Serve with additional dressing if desired.

    Greek Quinoa Salad

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
    • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half, or diced tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
    • 1/4 cup olives, diced
    • 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can, drained)
    • 3 T fresh dill or parsley, finely chopped
    • 3 T fresh basil, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
      For dressing:
    • 1 T lemon juice
    • 1 T red wine vinegar
    • 2 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Bring the cup of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Fluff quinoa and let sit 5 minutes, covered, and off the heat. This will make 2 cups cooked quinoa. You will know it’s cooked because the outer hulls are popped off.
  • Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Pour over quinoa and chill. Add remaining salad ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  • Serve with additional dressing if desired.
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    Smoky Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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    I know what you’re thinking.  It’s almost Christmas and you were expecting a decadent dessert or rich holiday dish.  Well, I have a few of those too.  While this may not seem “special occasion” side dish kind of recipe, trust me, it is.  It’s also “monday” kind of special too.  Just before Thanksgiving our 90 pound baby dog was injured and knew I needed to simplify.  It was more important to me that we still have time together as a family than make time intensive dishes.  Instead a sweet potato casserole I opted for roasting them, and tossed in some smoky spices I know we all love.  Everyone loved them and while we usually have some sweet potato casserole left, these were gobbled up until the dish was clean.  I found it so refreshing to have a lighter side dish and the spices cut through all the richness of a holiday meal.  So these are definitely going to be repeated again!
    Oh, and the baby dog is done with surgery and doing great!
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    SMOKY ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

    2-3 sweet potatoes
    2 T olive oil
    1 T smoked paprika
    2 tsp cumin
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Peel and chop sweet potatoes into about 3/4 inch cubes.
    Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and spread out potatoes.  Make sure to not crowd the pan.
    Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with spices and toss to coat again.
    Roast at 450 degrees for about 20  minutes or until cooked through and browned.

    Smoky Roasted Sweet Potatoes

    Ingredients

    • 2-3 sweet potatoes
    • 2 T olive oil
    • 1 T smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions

  • Peel and chop sweet potatoes into about 3/4 inch cubes.
  • Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and spread out potatoes. Make sure to not crowd the pan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with spices and toss to coat again.
  • Roast at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and browned.
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    Oven Fried Cauliflower

    Oven Fried Cauliflower
    I love these cauliflower poppers I made awhile back but since I don’t fry food that often I had to try this baked cauliflower I found on pinterest.  Of course, I had to change it up since we don’t like super spicy food, and I wanted it to be something the kids would eat too.  Oh, yum.  I could eat a plate of these for dinner and nothing else.  Even my hubby, who despises cauliflower ate seconds.  Super quick and easy and yum!  Next time I’ll be making my roasted kale chipotle dip to serve with them.

    OVEN FRIED CAULIFLOWER

    1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

    Batter:
    1/2 cups flour
    1/2 cup water
    dash Frank’s hot sauce (or your favorite)
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp smoked paprika
    1/2 tsp dried onion powder (I only use Penzey’s toasted onion powder!)

    Coating:
    2 T melted unsalted butter
    dash hot sauce (more for spicier)
    pinch smoked paprika
    salt to taste

    Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick coating.
    Whisk together batter ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
    Add all the florets and toss with a spoon or spatula until they are all coated.  (You should have the batter coating the florets without a lot of excess.)
    Pour out onto baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. (If you had excess batter, remove the florets by hand so you don’t have a lot of extra batter on the baking sheet.)
    Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix together the coating ingredients.
    Brush the cauliflower with coating and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes.  Cauliflower should be crispy.
    Serve immediately with dipping sauce, if desired.

    Recipe adapted from Persnickety Plates

    Oven Fried Cauliflower

    Ingredients

    • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
      Batter:
    • 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup water
    • dash Frank’s hot sauce (or your favorite)
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp dried onion powder (I only use Penzey’s toasted onion powder!)
      Coating:
    • 2 T melted unsalted butter
    • dash hot sauce (more for spicier)
    • pinch smoked paprika
    • salt to taste

    Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick coating.
  • Whisk together batter ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Add all the florets and toss with a spoon or spatula until they are all coated. (You should have the batter coating the florets without a lot of excess.)
  • Pour out onto baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. (If you had excess batter, remove the florets by hand so you don’t have a lot of extra batter on the baking sheet.)
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the coating ingredients.
  • Brush the cauliflower with coating and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes. Cauliflower should be crispy.
  • Serve immediately with dipping sauce, if desired.
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    Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta

    Beets and feta.   I’m kind of addicted to the combination.  I think it’s the sweetness of beets with the salty briny flavor of feta that makes it so good.  If you haven’t tried it before you have to.
    Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta


    The greens will wilt up to much less than you thought, so if you want more greens in the salad I would add in some kale or other sturdy green and saute with the beet greens.
    And if you don’t like/have feta, it’s still delicious without it. 🙂   You could totally do a citrus vinaigrette on this as well, but beet and beet greens are really flavorful and I think a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing is perfect for them.
    Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta
    ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH BEET GREENS AND FETA

    2 bunches beets with greens attached
    Olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    Salt and Pepper
    Feta cheese, crumbled
    Balsamic vinegar (blackberry balsamic is my favorite!)
    Sunflower seeds

    Trim and peel beets.  Cut into quarters, then each quarter in half, so you have 8 skinny wedges per beet.
    Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
    About 5 minutes before they are done start on the greens.  Trim out the stem from the greens and cut into 1/2 inch strips.
    Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet.  Add garlic and cook until just starting to become fragrant.  Add greens and toss in skillet, cooking for just a couple minutes until wilted.
    Put the greens in the serving dish and top with roasted beets, feta, and sunflower seeds.  Serve with balsamic vinegar.

    Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta

    Ingredients

    • 2 bunches beets with greens attached
    • Olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Feta cheese, crumbled
    • Balsamic vinegar (blackberry balsamic is my favorite!)
    • Sunflower seeds

    Instructions

  • Trim and peel beets. Cut into quarters, then each quarter in half, so you have 8 skinny wedges per beet.
  • Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  • About 5 minutes before they are done start on the greens. Trim out the stem from the greens and cut into 1/2 inch strips.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add garlic and cook until just starting to become fragrant. Add greens and toss in skillet, cooking for just a couple minutes until wilted.
  • Put the greens in the serving dish and top with roasted beets, feta, and sunflower seeds. Serve with balsamic vinegar.
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    Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

    Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

     

    I’m all about tradition on holidays.  I tend to use my stand-by recipes, many are the same my Mom made with a few updates from me.  But this one might just make the cut!  Smoked gouda is such a good pairing with roasted garlic, and if you’re like me you keep some in the freezer for flavor emergencies. 🙂  Feel free to use russets instead of gold potatoes if that’s what you have as well.   This one is worth having for Thanksgiving or any day!

    SMOKED GOUDA MASHED POTATOES

    5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
    1 stick unsalted butter (8 T), at room temperature
    1/2 cup cream
    1/2 cup milk
    2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese
    1/4 cup mashed roasted garlic
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
    Drain and put through a food mill (or mash or put through a ricer, or whip).
    Put back in pot along with remaining ingredients and cook on low until everything is combines and hot.  Add more cream or milk if needed to desired consistency.

    Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

    Ingredients

    • 5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
    • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 T), at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup cream
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese
    • 1/4 cup mashed roasted garlic
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions

  • Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Drain and put through a food mill (or mash or put through a ricer, or whip).
  • Put back in pot along with remaining ingredients and cook on low until everything is combines and hot. Add more cream or milk if needed to desired consistency.
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    Roasted Garlic Parmesan Corn on the Cob

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    August seems like it is going to slip away a little too quickly.  I love fall, but I love the flavor of summer too.  And nothing tastes like summer like fresh corn on the cob.  I wanted to try a new take on it but didn’t want to overpower the corn either.  This was just the right amount of toppings.  While grilling corn is my favorite, I think roasting it in the oven is just as good.  Boiling corn just doesn’t give the same flavor.
    I always keep roasted garlic paste in the freezer, and after trying this I think you will too!

    ROASTED GARLIC PARMESAN CORN ON THE COB

    2 T roasted garlic paste
    2 T olive oil
    2 tsp Italian seasoning (or chopped fresh oregano)
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    4 ears corn on the cob
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Combine the garlic, olive oil, and herbs together until smooth.
    Brush mixture on the corn.
    Place the corn on a small baking sheet.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the corn.
    Roast at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Roasted Garlic Parmesan Corn on the Cob

    Ingredients

    • 2 T roasted garlic paste
    • 2 T olive oil
    • 2 tsp Italian seasoning (or chopped fresh oregano)
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 4 ears corn on the cob
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions

  • Combine the garlic, olive oil, and herbs together until smooth.
  • Brush mixture on the corn.
  • Place the corn on a small baking sheet. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the corn.
  • Roast at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
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    Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

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    I know it’s spring when these guys are going nuts in my herb garden.
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    Did you know chives are perennial?  I have a couple plants that were quite small when I purchased them and they have gone nuts for quite a few years.  One was in a pot actually and I thought it had died.  Dumped the dirt somewhere else and what do you know? It popped back up in the spring!   I use them to make champ often, one of my hubby’s favorite things.  But the other day I had the idea to add sour cream for that classic sour cream and onion flavor.  And I think we have a new favorite dish to use chives in!  These would make a great side for Easter too.  I have made them with both russets and gold potatoes and we liked them equally.  If you want creamier, richer potatoes, use double the butter and cream cheese and maybe a little cream too.  This was just right for us.

    SOUR CREAM AND CHIVE MASHED POTATOES
    3 quarts peeled and chopped potatoes (about 5 lbs)
    1 cup chopped chives
    1/2 cup sour cream
    4 T softened butter
    4 oz cream cheese
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
    Drain, then mash with butter, sour cream, and cream cheese.  Add milk if needed to make the right consistency.
    Add chives, mixing thoroughly.    Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

    Ingredients

    • 3 quarts peeled and chopped potatoes (about 5 lbs)
    • 1 cup chopped chives
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 4 T softened butter
    • 4 oz cream cheese
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions

  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
  • Drain, then mash with butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. Add milk if needed to make the right consistency.
  • Add chives, mixing thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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