wmpotatosalad1

Warm Potato Salad

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It may not be a mainstream menu item in most restaurants, but over the last couple of years I’ve enjoyed a few different variations of the Warm Potato Salad while eating out. Craving something dilly and in anticipation for company coming over for a BBQ dinner– I went on the search. In my travels, I came across this Earl’s copycat recipe from Playing with My Food. It was the beginning of something amazing. I’ve made a few modifications to make it more to my tastes.

wmpotatosalad2

My better half is not a fan of cold salads in general, unless it’s of the lettuce variety then it might be tolerable. So, I was glad when he embraced the idea of this warm salad. BBQ season around here is definitely well underway and so far this has become a new staple in this house.

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: YIELD: 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 4 to 6 medium to large russet potatoes
  • Kernels stripped from 1 to 2 cobs of fresh corn; approximately 1/2 cup
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil (or just enough to lightly coat vegetables)
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and fresh ground pepper, or to taste
  • 5 to 6 strips of cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt or sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Do not bother peeling the potatoes– wash them well, but leave the skins on.  Dice potatoes in approximately 1/2 inch pieces.  Strip fresh corn kernels and combine with potatoes and minced garlic.  Using frozen or canned corn would not be a deal-breaker, but why not fresh if it happens to be in season.  Season with salt/pepper and lightly coat the mixture in olive oil.  Bake for ~30 to 40 minutes until potatoes are soft when a fork is inserted and their outsides are beginning to get crispy and golden.  Alternatively– if you’re short on time and don’t want to wait, you can microwave the potatoes prior to dicing them on the ‘baked potato’ setting, and this should cut your bake time down by 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop bacon, dill and chives.  Combine the remaining ingredients, mix and set aside to use when the rest is ready to come out of the oven.
  3. Important: do not mix the sauce in until you’re just ready to serve.  Also a note of caution– the texture of the sauce changes not for the better (thus is the nature with mayonnaise) when the mixture is reheated, so avoid if possible.
  4. Enjoy!
turkpie2

Turkey (or Chicken) Leftovers Pie

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Anything goes when it comes to “turkey leftover pie”, well, within reason anyway.  It’s a prime opportunity to use up leftover vegetables as well as turkey (or chicken).  In addition to the ingredients listed below, in the past I’ve also added some minced garlic, green beans, etc.

It’s also great for stocking up the freezer with a few hearty and very easy dinners for those days when you just really don’t feel like cooking.  {What!  I can’t believe she said that!  This is supposed to be a cooking blog!}

After the last turkey dinner I hosted, I followed up dinner promptly by making four of these bad boys (it was a rather large turkey).  That was an especially long day, and if I had it all to do over again I would say the turkey could wait it out in the fridge for a day before making some pies… but it was rewarding in the end to make use of SO much food and not see any of it go to waste.

PREP TIME: 25 min  COOK TIME: 30 min  TOTAL TIME: 55 min  YIELD: 2 pies
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (I omitted this, because I don’t like peas!)
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 big leaf of kale, chopped (optional)
  • 2-1/2 cups of diced turkey or chicken
  • 4 to 5 cups of chicken broth (or substitute 1 cup with white wine if you happen to have a bottle open…)
  • 1/3 cup of margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp of celery seed
  • 3/4 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • mashed potatoes to top (I use 4-5 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, and add cream/butter/salt as desired)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, like a sharp cheddar
  • 2 prepared pie crusts
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel, cut, boil and mash potatoes or use leftover mashed potatoes.  {If you prefer, another option is to avoid the potatoes all together, and top with another prepared pie crust instead
  3. Chop, then cook celery and carrots (and peas, if you like that kind of thing) in 1 cup of either chicken (or turkey) broth or white wine until soft in large skillet under medium heat until al dente. Put aside while you cook the rest of it.
  4. Add butter to pan, then onions and cook until just translucent. Add flour and seasonings (celery seed, thyme, salt, pepper, anything else you want to throw in). Cook ~2 minutes, stirring slowly. Add 3 cups of chicken (or turkey) broth, mixing well.
  5. Add chicken, mushroom soup, kale (if you’re using), and vegetable mixture and combine well. Allow to simmer ~10 minutes, and if need-be use additional chicken (or turkey) broth. Or if too runny, simmer longer until mixture thickens.
  6. Divide mixture into 2 pie crusts, top with mashed potatoes.
  7. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is browned/cooked. Add cheese to top, then bake additional 6-8 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, then let stand 10-15 minutes before eating.

To Freeze:

  1. Bake pie crusts according to directions.  Meanwhile, follow steps 1 through 5 above.  Fill pre-baked pie crusts , top with mashed potatoes.  Cover with plastic wrap, store in freezer bags, label and freeze.  When ready to cook, thaw (in the fridge!) and bake 30-40 minutes at 425 F.  Or, if cooking from frozen, bake 50-60 minutes.  Tip: wrap crust edges with foil, then remove for the last 15 minutes to avoid burning.