Scalloped Potatoes With Thyme and Bay

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave, minced
1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1⁄2 lbs russet potatoes or 5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, broth, cream, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of a potato slice with some resistance), about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.

Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish (or other 1 1/2 quart gratin dish). Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake until the cream is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

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Cinnamon Waffles with Caramelized Apples

Apples

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Waffles

3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
8 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
whipped cream, for serving

Directions

To make the caramelized apples, in a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter.  Add the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Mix until apples are evenly coated.  Cook about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in vanilla.  Set aside.

To make the waffles, in a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Whisk the flour mixture into the yolk mixture until smooth.  In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.  Gently fold 1 cup egg whites into batter; carefully fold in remaining egg whites.

Preheat waffle maker on medium-high.  Pour 1/3 cup batter into each well of waffle maker; close the lid.  Cook 5-6 minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve waffles with caramelized apples and whipped cream.   

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Spring Greens with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salad

Spring greens
Pomegranates or strawberries, sliced
Pecans, caramelized
Crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Vinaigrette

1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

To caramelize pecans: spread pecans on baking tray and roast in a 350 degree F oven until just starting to turn brown. Remove and toss with enough melted butter to lightly coat. Sprinkle nuts with 2 tsp white sugar and 1 tsp salt and toss again. Return to oven for just a few minutes, being careful not to burn them.

In a large salad bowl toss together spring greens, pomegranates or sliced strawberries, and caramelized pecans. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately after adding dressing.

Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing together all ingredients except olive oil, until well blended. Add oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated.

Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

Salad

10 oz baby spinach
3 small gala apples or 2 medium, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup pecans, toasted
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (don’t use the pre-crumbled stuff)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oilz
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, apples, pecans, feta, and cranberries. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately after adding dressing.

To make vinaigrette, add all ingredients to a medium-sized jar. Cover with lid and shake to blend well (or alternately just blend well in a bowl with a whisk).

Adapted from Cooking Classy