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Archive for November, 2010

Gooooooooouda – A Lesson In Making the Traditional Not So

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone and it’s time for one of the recipes that I used over the holiday: smoked gouda mashed potatoes.  The idea isn’t mine, at least not all mine.  Over the summer, we went on a family vacation to my beloved Lake Michigan.  We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge with the kids in Traverse City and was really trying to keep a small budget.  We made sandwiches for lunch and bought pizza for dinner (made a nice lunch the next day as well).  We did a great job so the last night we splurged and went out to eat at a local restaurant.  We didn’t want a chain so we choose The North Peak Brewery to eat.  Nice choice on our part.  Wifey got pan fried walleye, the oldest got a burger and I got a nice steak and porter brew.  With the steak came . . . gouda mashed potatoes.  Very good.  So when I got home, I did a search and found a recipe from Emeril.  It used smoked gouda, but I tried them anyway.  My extended family loved them (they ate ’em all up).  Hopefully yours will too.

5 lbs red skin potatoes

1 1/2 cup cream

1 stick butter cut into 2 tbs pats

1 lbs smoked gouda shredded or cut into small cubes.

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Peel the potatoes so there is about 1/4 of the skins left and boil until the potatoes can be fork split.  Drain the potatoes and return to the pan.  Add butter and the cheeses and mash with a masher.  The heat of the potatoes will melt the cheeses and butter.  When they are melted, add 1 cup of cream and mash until everything is mixed.  I like my mashed potatoes thick so you may want to add more cream.  Serve hot.  I’ve added garlic to the recipe as well.  Just boil the garlic cloves right along with the potatoes and mash.

These are great to have with any meal: steak, turkey, chicken etc.  The smoked gouda meshes nicely with the traditional mashed potatoes, but isn’t overpowering.  They are also good to freeze and reheat.  Just leave in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and heat.  You may have to add more milk or cream when reheating, if you like.

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Your Bruchetta is not My Bruchetta

Well, it’s November and my coaching season is over.  It’s rather bitter sweet.  I love coaching the kids (middle school football) and the impact I can have on them.  It takes a lot of time and energy each and every day.  11-12 hour days can be very tiring so there is not a lot of time to be creative while cooking.  So, we had a birthday party to give over the weekend and decided to have hours ‘d vours instead of a dinner.  One of the things wifey always liked was bruchetta.  She found a bruchetta recipe at allrecipes.com and wanted to try it.  Well, she wanted to taste it.  So I looked at the recipe and changed it (like I always do) and we had it.  I had never made bruchetta before, so I had at it!

Ingredients:

1 loaf of French baguette bread – make sure the bread is wide enough to hold the topping

6 Roma tomatoes

1/3 cup rough chopped sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic – chopped

1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Set oven to high broil and allow to heat.  Cut the bread into 3/4 to 1 inch slices and place on a baking sheet.  Broil the bread until toasted on top and remove.  Chop the roma tomatoes and place into mixing bowl.  Add the sun dried tomato, garlic and, basil.  In a separate bowl, place balsamic vinegar and slowly wisk in the olive oil to emulsify.  Pour olive oil – vinegar mixture over the tomato mixture and stir.  Let the mixture sit for at least ten minutes.  Spoon the mixture on the toasted bread and top with mozzarella  and Parmesan cheese.  Broil until cheese is melted and serve.

Very yummy.  The mix of the flavors all complemented each other very well.  The sweetness of the balsamic meshed well with basil while the oil blended everything into one great flavor.  Enjoy with medium red like a merlot or chianti.

One last thing.  There was a lot of bruchetta left.  Maybe my bread was too narrow or I cut it way too thick, but I only used about 1/2 of the mixture.  The left over tasted great on a woven wheat cracker like Kashi’s Heart to Heart or Triscuit crackers.  I also tried some other treats with the leftovers, but that’s for another post.