Friday, December 28, 2012

Last of the Potatoes from the Garden

The harvest was medium in size, all my most favorite potatoes (the purple ones) were eaten, before they were planted in April of 2011. I had wanted to plant earlier, but life intervened. I stowed the sets under the deck, in brown paper bags. Conventional wisdom says: animals don't eat or like spuds. When I went to plant them, after a few weeks ONLY the purple starts has been consumed. A very picky animal did eat potatoes, preferring the most costly and hardest to find purple ones and selecting them to eat. This year, I know better. Here is a favorite of mine:

Potato Salad w/Mayo & Yogurt  
  1. 2 lbs. potatoes (5 to 6 medium), peeled and cut into slices when cooled to warm
  2. 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  3. 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  4. 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  5. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  6. 1/2 cup very small diced carrot
  7. 1/4 cu minced white onion, or red onion or green onion and dill pickle
  8. 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  9. salt, sugar, rice wine vinegar 
  10. about 2 tablespoons fresh dill minced
*Note: Cook potatoes until a sharp knife goes in with no resistance 


  1. Cover potatoes with water in 4-quart saucepot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes tender (see note* above). Drain and cool slightly.
  2. In the mean times put ingredients 1-8 into a large bowl. Mix. Add 1 teaspoon of each in #9. Stir and let sit 5 minutes. Taste mixture, you should taste salt, sugar, sour: the taste should seem overly strong. Add fresh dill. Add sliced potatoes and fold in keeping the potatoes as whole as possible. The potatoes should be liberally dressed. Set aside or chill 2 hours. 
  3. Remove before serving. Fold again and taste for salt, sweet and sour. Eat with grill meats, fish, sausage.
  4. This dressing may also be used for cole slaw, or any manner of shredded raw vegetable.           

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sauerkraut with Chicken or Mixed Grill

(serves 5-8 people)      Make 2-3 days ahead, tastes even better reheated! 
  1. 3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips (optional)
  2. 8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds in all) You can also use a whole chicken, or a mixture of chicken, duck, sausage and pork 
  3. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  5. 1 onion, chopped
  6. 6 carrots, pealed and cut into large pieces
  7. 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and chopped
  8. 3 cups drained sauerkraut (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  9. 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  10. 10 juniper berries, lightly crushed 
  11. I teaspoon brown mustard 
  12.  couple of pitches of Caraway Seed (optional) 
  13. 1 bay leaf
  1. In a large deep frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  2. Season the chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and add to the pan in batches if necessary. Cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, and apple to the pan. Cook over moderate heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut, bacon, broth, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the mustard, juniper berries, and bay leaf. If using caraway, rub it in your hands and break it up over the mixture. Arrange the chicken in an even layer on top. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cook, covered, until the chicken is just done, about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and discard the bay leaf. If too much liquid remains in the pan, raise the heat to moderately high and cook until slightly thickened. Serve the sauerkraut topped with the chicken.
scan recipe

Suggested Pairing

Full-flavored, and unoaked white wine. Light red wines, like Pinot Noir. Beer, of course. Serve with mashed potatoes, boiled parsley potatoes, or spaetzle.