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Potato Boursin Casserole

31 Mar

I was watching the Today Show the other morning and saw a piece on how to “fancy up” regular take-out food to serve it even to company…  I was intrigued.  Not because I am a take-out consumer, but I am always eager to learn how a simple twist or added ingredient can make something nicer and fancier…The one idea that struck me the most was to add Boursin cheese to KFC’s mashed potatoes.  You mix it up, put it in a casserole dish and bake it in the oven for a few minutes and voila, fancy mashed potatoes!!    I have seen this Boursin cheese in the grocery store before, but was never motivated enough to buy it.

At the Today Show demo, Hoda Kotb tried it and was amazed at the flavor… so, if Boursin cheese can do that to a tub of KFC’s mashed potatoes, what can it do to fresh baby red skinned mashed potatoes… try this one and you’ll see for yourself!!!



2 medium red skin potatoes, washed and cut in quarters
A  4.4oz packet of Boursin Light cheese – I used the Garlic and Fine Herbs kind
Drizzle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbs of butter
A splash of milk or buttermilk – Optional
Salt and Freshly ground Pepper to taste
Canola Oil Spray – for the casserole dish
  1. In a medium saucepan, filled about ¼ of the way with salted water, boil the potatoes.  I find that if the water reaches about half way the potatoes, they cook faster than if the potatoes are fully submerged in the water.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  3. After the potatoes are done, drain most of the water and the same hot saucepan add the butter, olive oil, and milk/buttermilk if using.  Mash the potatoes to combine the ingredients.  Add the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spray a glass casserole dish with canola oil spray and transfer the potato mixture.  Smooth out the top and then rake the top using a fork to create indentations.
  5. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the top gets browned a bit.


You can definitely eat these mashed potatoes after you mix in the cheese… but putting it in the oven for a few minutes creates a nice crunchy topping which I loved.  It all depends how much in a hurry or how hungry you are.

Sweet Potato Pastelón

3 Mar

I know this is not exactly a potato, but I wanted to add a new recipe to my Potato Festival collection.  In English, it fits.  In Spanish, it does not (Pastelón de Batata Mameya).  It’s delicious and super easy in either Spanish or English, so here it goes…



1 medium sweet potato or batata mameya – washed, peeled and cubed into 1″ slices
1/2 tomato – chopped finely
1/2 onion – chopped finely
1/4 green pepper – chopped finely
1 tbs butter or margarine
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
Extra-virgin Olive oil
Canola spray
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium pot, place sweet potato cubes, almost cover with water, sprinkle with some salt.  Cover and boil until fork tender.  This should take about 15 minutes.
  2. In a small skillet, pour about 1tbs olive oil and sautee the onions and peppers.  When they’re starting to turn soft, add the tomatoes until everything is soft and cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain the boiled sweet potatoes and return to the hot pot.  Add the butter, Parmesan cheese and mash until smooth with a potato masher.
  4. Transfer mashed sweet potato to a glass baking dish sprayed with canola oil. Spread it evenly.  Now, pour the sauteed mixture of onions, peppers and tomato on top of the mashed sweet potatoes.
  5. Place in a 350 degree oven so the sweet potato compacts a bit and the flavors meld.  For about 10-15 minutes.  It’s just for melding the flavors, because everything is basically cooked.

Serve with a simple salad for a nice supper or light lunch.

And if you’re in a hurry… just serve the mashed sweet potato and spoon the tomato/onion/pepper mixture over it.  It tastes just the same.


Creamy Potatoes

19 Feb

I’ve spent the last 4 days cleaning one of my rooms trying to make it into an organized and functional home office.  The more I threw out, the more things appeared.  Amazing. 

But more amazing was the bunch of old recipes I had written a few years back for the yoga center that I had completely forgotten about.  I found this folder with about 5 potato recipes I had made a looooong time ago, just waiting for me to rediscover them again.  Perfect for my Potato Festival theme…

One of these recipes is this Creamy Potatoes dish – it’s basically a potato gratin, but because the name in Spanish is Papas a la Crema, I thought I should stay true to the original name…  It turned out to be a very creamy and satisfying little dish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…



2 lbs potatoes – I used russets – sliced as thinly as possible
1 medium onion – sliced as thinly as possible
3 cups of milk
4 tbs cornstarch
1/2 stick of margarine
2 tbs sofrito
1 1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste 
Grated Parmesan cheese – optional
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash potatoes well and slice them as thinly as possible.  I used a mandolin for the first time and I love the way they come out – Super consistent.  Slice onion too.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, pour margarine and sautee sofrito for a few minutes.  Pour 2 cups of the milk.  In the remaining milk, dilute the cornstarch and  pour in.  Season with salt and pepper.  Whisk until the sauce starts to thicken a bit.
  4. Stack the potato and onion slices in a glass casserole dish.  Pour the milk mixture over the potatoes.
  5. If using, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the potatoes.
  6. Bake in oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Turn off oven and let the potatoes in the oven for an extra 10-15 minutes.  Let cool a bit before serving so the sauce does not run all over the place.

I served this together with Sauteed Corn.

Potato and Fried Eggplant Pastelon

16 Feb

I’ve been trying to “crack my head open” trying to figure out a way to translate the word “pastelón” for you guys.  A pastelón is very similar to a casserole… but the difference being that things are mainly layered in instead of mixed all -together.   So I figured that if Rachael Ray can invent a word in “stewp”, I can just use the word “pastelón” and you’ll learn to embrace it.

Pastelón is pronounced  [pas-te-LON], and as I mentioned before, it consists of layers of ingredients, sometimes pre-cooked, sometimes raw and then baked off in the oven.

This is a new installment for the Potato Festival I mentioned a few posts ago…  I know, the translation thing should have not kept me for posting this, but I guess I got caught up in it.



3 medium potatoes cut into 2″ pieces – you can use new, russet or red-skinned potatoes
 1 small eggplant – try to buy the lightest eggplant available*
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tbs sofrito
¼ – ½ cup of water
2 tbs butter
2 tbs cream cheese
4 tbs grated Parmesan cheese, divided
A splash of milk
¼ cup Italian cheese blend
Salt, Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste
Canola oil – to fry the eggplant

*  Note:  The lighter the eggplant, the less seeds it will have and the less bitterness it will have.

  1. In a medium sized saucepan with salted water, boil the potatoes until fork-tender.  I find the potatoes boil faster when I use as little water as possible…  I guess it’s a combination of boiling and steaming… I don’t even let the water cover the potatoes.  Just let the water come up halfway the potatoes.
  2. Then, you need to prepare the eggplant batter…  Mix together the flour, water, sofrito and season generously with salt and pepper.  Use enough water for the batter to have the consistency of pancake batter.  Set aside.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil for frying.
  4. Slice the eggplant your favorite way – in rounds or in long slices.  Dunk the eggplant slices in the batter.  Clean up any drips and fry until golden brown. Drain the fried slices over paper towels to soak up any excess oil.  Set aside.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. When potatoes are done, drain any liquid leftover.  Mix in butter, cream cheese, 2 tbs of the Parmesan and milk.  Smash then until creamy soft.  Season with garlic salt and pepper.
  7. Pour half the mashed potatoes in a buttered casserole dish.  Add in the fried eggplant slices creating a layer.  Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese (optional).  Add in the remaining mashed potatoes.  Top with the last of the remaining Parmesan and the shredded cheese mix.


10.  Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, until the cheese on top is melted and golden brown and the flavors meld. 



Roasted Mustard Potatoes

27 Jan

I love making this dish!!!  The smell of the mustard when it’s in the oven is divine…



2 lbs red-skinned baby potatoes, cut in quarters or halved
6 tbs mustard – dijon, grain or spicy mustards will all work great here
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp Italian seasonings
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Canola oil spray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the mustard, garlic, Italian seasonings, olive oil, salt and pepper. 
  3. Place cut potatoes in the same bowl with the mustard mixture and toss to fully coat all the potatoes.
  4. Move the mustard-coated potatoes into a  baking sheet sprayed with canola oil spray.
  5. Roast in oven for 40-45 minutes until potatoes are tender when speared with a fork.
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