Search This Blog!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Smoked Gouda and Pancetta Potatoes Au Gratin

So the other day I posted a quick poll about what type of potato dish I should make with leftover smoked gouda and pancetta. I didn’t get any feedback before diner time, so I made an executive decision to make the au gratin style. I've made gratins many times so I just went with my standard ratios and adjusted them for the size dish.

I’m an incredibly indecisive person, so this was tough.

I was so happy with how these turned out. It doesn’t always happen that when testing a new recipe I come up with on the fly comes out so well. Sometimes it takes two or three trials before I feel a dish is good enough to share. I got lucky on this one…not that I would have minded making them a few more times because they are really, really yummy.
Smoked Gouda and Pancetta Potatoes Au Gratin
*Serves 4
(printable recipe)
- 1 lb russet potatoes
- 1.5 cups of smoked gouda, shredded
- 2 ¼” thick slices of pancetta, diced small
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- splash of oil
- salt and pepper


1. In a small sauté pan over medium high heat, add a small amount of oil and the diced pancetta. Sauté until pancetta is browned and then remove from heat onto a paper towel to remove excess oil. Peel your potatoes and slice 1/8” thick. If you have a mandolin – bust it out! Set aside.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Being less wasteful with Homemade Croutons

If you ever have a large amount of bread leftover that you need to use up, this is great way. Not only do you save money because you aren’t spending money of prepackaged croutons, but you will be able to get your money’s worth out of each loaf of bread.

Homemade Croutons


- approx 6-8 cups of day old bread cut into 1” cubes*
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

*This is roughly ½ loaf of long French or Italian bread.


1. Cube bread and spread on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle spices evenly over bread. Toss to evenly distribute seasoning.

2. Place in a 300 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until bread turns a pale golden color and are fully toasted. Give them a shake once halfway through cooking time. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Printable Recipe

What kind of crouton flavors do you like?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

POLL: What should I make for dinner tonight?

Tonight we're grilling an awesome pork chop recipe that I hope to share with you guys in the next few days. I'd like your input on how to prepare one of the sides!

I have potatoes, smoked gouda, and pancetta that need to be used. I can't decide if I want to make twice-baked potatoes, au gratin, or just mashed potatoes with the gouda and pancetta.

Which would you choose? Leave your vote in the comments below, and I'll make the winner and share the recipe (or what went wrong, if it fails) soon.

If it helps, steamed broccoli will be our veggie.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Havarti Horseradish Fondue

I follow a lot of other food blogs. I think right now I subscribe to about 175 feeds… and the list keeps growing weekly. While there are so many dishes I see posted that look utterly fabulous, I never make those dishes at home. The reason is simple – I have hundreds of ideas/recipes/creations of my own that I want to make. Some I’m downright dying to share to be honest. But all that changed when I saw this recipe posted on Pinch My Salt.

I think I actually fell out of my chair when I read the words: Havarti Horseradish Fondue.

I love havarti. Horseradish is pretty awesome in my book. And fondue totally and completely kicks ass. I mean its freaking melted cheese you get to dip things in. And call it dinner! How can that NOT be a winner?

Anyway, the original recipe comes from Michael Symon from the Food Network. He suggests serving this with Rib Eye, but I’m going to tell you to not stop there. We paired it with a Rib Eye but also some grilled Portobello mushrooms and it was awesome on those too. And I’m pretty sure it would be great on chicken, or even an old boot.

Ok, I’m kidding on the last one.

I departed slightly from the recipe when making this at home, so I will link both Symon’s and Pinch my Salt’s recipes below.

Havarti Horseradish Fondue

*Serves 2- 4 as a dipper
(printable recipe)

- 8 oz havarti, grated – about 2 cups
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons EV olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, squeezed dry*
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
* I would suggest adding the horseradish little by little until you reach your desired flavor level.


1. Over low heat in a medium sauce pan add EVOO, shallots, and garlic. Sauté for a minute or two until shallots are translucent. Add vinegar and reduce by half, stirring occasionally.

2. Add cream and let it reduce by half. This takes a looong time. About 25 -30 minutes for me. Stir occasionally.

3. Once cream is fully reduced, remove from heat and whisk in cheese slowly. Add horseradish (to taste) and chives. Add salt and pepper as needed.

4. Serve warm with your favorite grilled meat or vegetable.

Thoughts: This fondue is fantastic. It’s creamy from the havarti and has a nice kick from the horseradish. It would be perfect for a special occasion meal, or if you have a friend or two over for dinner that you want to impress. I will definitely be making this again.

Link Credits:
Pinch My Salt
Michael Symon

Monday, February 21, 2011

Smoked Gouda and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

I dreamed this recipe up a few years ago and it is one of Brent’s favorites. Anytime I take it to a party it always goes over really well and I get asked for the recipe. Once there was someone was telling people that they weren’t any good. I overheard this and didn’t think much of it until Brent told me later that the guy asked for the recipe. Odd, right? He admitted to Brent that he was telling people they weren’t yummy because he didn’t want every one else to eat them.

It was kinda genius if you ask me.

Anyway, stuffed mushrooms do take a little bit of prep work, but they are worth it in the end. You can prep them up to a day in advance; just make sure you cover them before putting them in the fridge.

Smoked Gouda and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

*Makes 45-55
(printable recipe)

- approx 32-40 oz of whole button mushrooms
- 1 lb bulk breakfast sausage, such as Jimmy Dean
- 12 oz smoked gouda
- 1.5 cups Italian bread crumbs
- 1.25 cups butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cooking spray


1. Break up and brown sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once done, drain well and place on a paper lined plate to cool. You want to omit as much grease as possible. Once cooled, give a rough chop to eliminate any huge pieces.

2. While sausage is cooking/cooling, de-stem mushrooms and wipe off excess dirt with a damp paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Also take this time to shred the gouda with a cheese grater.

3. When ready, combine sausage, cheese, butter, bread crumbs, and spices in a large bowl. Stir to incorporate. Next stuff each mushroom with a teaspoon to tablespoon amount of stuffing depending on size. It’s best to form a rough ball first and then form to make a dome on top of the mushroom. See the pictures below.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes with Mustard and Thyme

It would appear that roasted potato recipes are sought after rather frequently. I get a lot of hits from people looking for rosemary and garlic RRBP’s, a recipe I posted last year. Recently I had a small surplus of them in my house thanks to Brent making a southern dish that he likes. My New England roots don’t care for that dish too much, but I did want to make use of the leftover potatoes hanging around. So I checked the fridge to see what I had to work with and this recipe is the result.

Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes with Mustard and Thyme

*Serves 4
(printable recipe)

- 1 ½ lbs red bliss potatoes
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons course mustard, adjust to your taste preference
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Salt and Pepper, to taste


1. Wash potatoes, pat dry, and cut into quarters. Toss in butter and 2 tablespoons of EVOO and place in a baking dish in a single layer. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, giving a toss halfway through.

2. In a small bowl mix together mustard, thyme, white wine vinegar, and remaining olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while potatoes roast.
Related Posts with Thumbnails