The Best Home Fries Ever

February 10, 2008

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS HAS MOVED! If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

 

For a simple weekend brunch, no matter what the main course, I always crave a side of home fries.  The humble potato is truly transformed into something exceptional when fried up alongside slivered onion and whatever else you may please, from the most rudimentary (salt and pepper) to something more hip and funky (green pepper, tomato and avocado).  While I’m basically a purist when it comes to home fries, I do like them flavorful. 

Over the weekend, we cooked up a batch of my favorite version of home fries.  The process is incredibly easy.  I had just started thinking about it, so asked myself three essential questions: 

1) Feel like potatoes?  Yep.

2) Feel like spice? But of course.

3) Have both in the house, and about 20 minutes to spare? Jackpot!  Okay, then–let’s party!

I came up with this combination (likely not entirely original, I’ll venture) because we always have steak spice in the house for the HH’s carnivorous forays. I love spicy food, and the aroma of that particular combination of spices and seeds really sets my nose tingling.  Well, I decided, if I won’t put the spice on steak, why not try it out on one of my favorites–home fries?  The result worked amazingly well.  Never mind the steak–just give me a plate of these, please, and I’m happy.

I’ll often do up a cheater’s version of this dish if I’m strapped for time.  Like Johanna and her roasted carrots with dukkah, or Heidi and her friend’s skillet smashed potatoes, I’ll partially cook the potatoes before adding to the frypan, as I’ve found that, unless you overdo it and cook them completely, the dish isn’t really diminished by this move.  If you begin with parboiled potatoes, you’re looking at no more than 15 minutes before you can dig into some browned, caramelized, crunchy-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside potato contentment.

In fact, I love this recipe so much that I considered submitting it to “The Potato–A Blog Event” hosted by Eating Leeds, but I’ve decided I’ll just give the event a nod in this post, as I’ve got another potato-y prize in store for the event (which I’ll post later in the month).  In the meantime, enjoy this super-easy way to cook up America’s favorite vegetable.

(“Mum, those do look great, but you know we’ll have to pass because we can’t have that onion.  Sometimes you can be so heartless. . . “).

Montreal or Chicago Spiced Home Fries

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

homefriesspicy.jpg

This is a quick and easy way to provide a great side dish to a brunch or any protein main course.  Feel free to adjust the spice to your own preferences.

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS HAS MOVED! If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

 

 

Love never ceases to amaze me. 

 

In the halcyon days of our relationship, when my HH and I were still in early stages of romantic life, I was sideswiped with a doozy of a diagnosis that caused me to change my diet drastically for what turned out to be quite a long time.  

 

Still fiercely besotted back then, my HH was perfectly willing to accommodate my strange and singular dietary restrictions: no sugar, no wheat, no eggs, no dairy, no anything fermented (which included my half of those bottles of wine we’d grown accustomed to consuming with dinner), no caffeine, and on and on—for about three more paragraphs.  

 

As a couple who habitually dined out 2 or 3 times a week plus brunch on Sundays (one advantage of meeting when we were too old for kids is the increased discretionary spending), this new diet forced us to alter our regular routine, um, considerably.  All this, and my HH was still happy to comply, and even join me as I consumed cooked amaranth and tahini, tamari-marinated tofu, kamut pasta sprinkled with nutritional yeast, kale and arame salad, and every other manner of organic, whole, vegan foodstuff.  

 

Yes, for a time, life was good in the DDD household.  

 

After a couple of years of this regime, however, the cracks began to appear.  I detected quiet rumblings of protest, as when I’d serve up my favorite tofu-veggie stir fry in almond-curry sauce:  “What?” my HH would say.  “This, again?” He’d eat it, but he wasn’t happy.   

 

Soon, he imposed a veto on seaweed (unless, of course, it was wrapped around a hunk of raw eel or salmon at his favorite sushi bar). “It’s actually kinda slimy and gross when it’s marinated like that,” he’d remark of my kale and seaweed salad. Next, he tired of tofu. “That tofu stir-fry was okay at first,” he admitted, “But I think I’m maxed out on tofu for a while.” Before I knew it, he was once again craving caffeine.  Up came the coffee maker from the basement, where it had been relegated for over a year, amid the piles of as-yet unpacked boxes from our previous house-move.  

 

Almost imperceptibly, more changes took place.  Stealthy, small cartons of half-and-half cream began to make their way back into our fridge. At first, they lay low at the back, behind the cartons of soymilk; later on, they declared their presence boldly, at the very forefront of the shelves. Eventually, there came the final affront: last year, the HH rekindled his mania for meat. No more pasta with veggies and walnuts for dinner, no sir; from now on, he wanted steak.  

 

Well, what’s a vegan-loving gal to do when her HH suddenly reverts to his Neanderthal, bachelor appetites (for foods, that is)?  These days, most of the time our dinner table is graced with a dual repast: a vegan main course for me, which cheerfully serves double duty as a side for him, nestled next to his hunk of animal protein. I love the guy, and he cooks his own meat, so I can live with it. 

(“Steak ?  Did someone say ‘steak’? But Mum, we think you should be the one to cook it.  Dad never gives us as many leftovers as you do. . . oh.  Sorry to interrupt.”)

 

This past weekend, however, I decided to whip up a tofu omelette for myself for brunch. I also thought it would be the perfect contribution to Nandita’s  Weekend Breakfast Blogging event, this month hosted by  Rajitha at Hunger Pangs 

 

I’d been reading about these omelettes ever since coming across Cozy Inside, Joni Marie Newman’s blog for her cookbook of the same name (which I promptly ordered after reading the recipe). I also found a great recipe for a tofu omelette on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s page,  which was subsequently extolled by  Don’t Get Mad, Get Vegan  . And Vegan Ronin served up her own version back in 2006.  

 

omelettesmall.jpg I had tried both the Cozy Inside and Fat Free Vegan Kitchen omelettes and enjoyed them immensely. This morning, however, I was aiming for something a little richer and a little more gussied up, something I could serve to friends as the centerpiece of a brunch buffet.  So, using these three for inspiration, I played with the various elements of the recipes and devised my own concoction.    

An old recipe for a regular, egg-based omelette that had always intrigued me since I first read about it years ago is a sweet version, with an apple-cinnamon filling.  So that the flavors in the base wouldn’t clash with the sweetness of the filling, I decided to make the omelette itself as plain as possible, omitting any strong seasonings such as garlic, paprika, or chopped veggies.    

 

While cooking it up (and as you’ll see, the process is surprisingly easy), it still felt as if the dish needed something more than just apples to finish it off properly. I remembered a curried cream sauce I’d created to pour over broccoli raab, as a slightly sweet contrast to the bitterness of the greens.  I thought that would be the perfect accesory for this omelette, and stirred some up while the apples cooked.  The final product was a delicious and filling brunch. 

 

Once everything was completed and plated, I tentatively asked the HH if he’d be willing to taste it.  

 

Surprise number one:  “Sure,” he said. He took a big forkful. 

 

Surprise number two:  “This is delicious!” he proclaimed, and then: “Can I have half?”  Well, I’ve never been so happy to share. 

 

With great enthusiasm, he proceeded to eat it all, and practically lick the knife clean. Perhaps the tofu embargo has come to an end. 

 

Yep, love never ceases to amaze me. 

 

Tofu Omelette with Sauteed Apples and Sweet Curry Cream Sauce

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

omelettefinal1.jpg

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

Fluffy Fruited Pancakes

December 9, 2007

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved!  Click here to go to the new site.

Well, since I didn’t make it to the gym today to record my weight, my HH and I decided to go out to brunch instead.  (But of course!  If you can’t exercise, may as well eat.)  

We do this a lot, it seems.  For me, the allure is the meal itself; breakfast foods have always trumped lunch or dinner in my mind.  For my HH, it’s simply the act of going out to eat.  (Apparently, at one point in his twenties, he lived in an apartment for 2 years and never once turned on the stove.).    

Rather than bore you with the menu from today’s excursion, I thought I’d share a recipe for one of my favorite brunch foods, pancakes. So often, the ones you get in restaurants are heavy, wet, and shiny with griddle grease (how appetizing!).  The recipe that follows, however, really does live up to its name.  You’ll find these light, fluffy, and, as their eponymous title suggests, cake-like.   

To avoid overdoing the maple syrup when I eat these, I prefer to pour syrup on the side and daintily dip my pieces of pancake one at a time into it (rather than slathering it over the top of the stack, as in the photo, below).  This way, the pancakes don’t soak up too much of the syrup at one time (as they tend to do), and there’s no need to repeatedly re-pour when the pancakes start to appear dry on top. 

 Another way I like to eat these (perhaps while reading some Holidailies entries?) is topped with fruit-only jams–blackberry and mango are favorites–and forgo the syrup entirely.  

For the omnivores out there, feel free to use regular milk instead of soy or rice milk, and replace the flax seeds with 2 eggs.

  Fluffy Fruited Pancakes 

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

 pancakes.jpg

These light and foolproof pancakes are great with berries, apples, pears, or bananas. Unlike most vegan versions, they provide a good amount of protein on their own, due to the protein powder added to the batter.  You can use leftovers for another day’s breakfast or lunch: simply spread one pancake with your favorite nut butter and/or jam, then top with another pancake for a quick and delicious pancake “sandwich.” 

 

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

pancakeswbite.jpg 

TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.

 

 

 

 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

 

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