Tag Archives: garlic

Thyme Rosemary Scalloped Potatoes

27 Feb

I loooooove potatoes and I love cheese too… But sometimes I want to take a break from cheese. Hey… don’t shoot me for saying this, but as the saying goes, “todos los extremos son malos” or all extremes have a dark side. And for me, eating too much cheese on a consistent basis does a number on me.

After I finish retreats, I try to avoid eating too much cheese. I seek recipes in my arsenal that do not rely on cheese. There are some, but not many. I must confess (*hangs head down in shame)…

I found this recipe by a daily email I receive from Cooking.com. It’s a Food & Wine recipe which they adapted from Daniel Boloud. So by me now adapting it once again, who knows if we’re either come full circle to the original recipe or taking it into a whole different place where chef Boloud never ever intended… either way, this recipe is a real keeper IMHO.

As you’ll read in the directions, I did it in a spring form pan. Some of the liquid seeps out, but the end result is really good still. Next time, I will make them individually in muffin tins and they will look cute and the liquid will stay with the potatoes. I will show you pics of that soon enough. OK??

scalloped potatoes


1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 small onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, smashed
1 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 cup mushroom broth… left over from rehydrating some morels
½ vegetable bouillon cube
1 large Yukon Gold potato, very thinly sliced with a mandolin
Salt and Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic clove and vegetable cube and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the thyme and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushroom broth and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10-15 minutes.


3.  Preheat the oven to 400° and oil a round cake pan. I did it on my spring form pan, but make sure you wrap it tightly in foil to prevent leakages. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and oil the paper.

4.  Arrange an overlapping layer of potato slices in the bottom of the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and spoon a small amount of the reduced broth on top. Repeat the layering with the remaining potatoes and reduced broth, seasoning each layer lightly. Pour any remaining broth on top. Cover the pan with a sheet of oiled parchment paper and then a sheet of foil and place in a sheet tray to catch any liquid.


5.  Bake the potatoes until they are very tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the foil and paper and bake until the top is dry, about 10 minutes longer.

6.  Turn the broiler on. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Take out of the spring form pan and broil it until the surface is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

7.  Cut into wedges and serve.



Mojito Criollo

19 Apr

When I’m on a hurry to eat but without any time to actually cook anything… I boil potatoes. I boil them by themselves or with any other root vegetable I have in my fridge – yautías, malangas, batatas (sweet potatoes), etc.

But potatoes by themselves are kinda boring, no?? But with a Mojito Criollo… not so much.

I like to eat my yuccas with a Cuban-style mojito. But in Puerto Rico, people prefer their mojitos with some tomato in it. And we’re not talking the alcoholic drink mojito… we’re talking something you use to “mojar” or dip your potatoes in. It’s a super versatile sauce. This is how I make it…



2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 red onion, sliced into strips
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
Olive oil – about 2 tbs
Salt to taste
Garlic & Herbs Seasoning
The juice of 2 limes
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-hi heat, pour the oil and add the onions, peppers and garlic cloves. Sautee for a few minutes until everything starts wilting a bit. Season with some salt to help that wilting process.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes. Season with additional salt and the garlic & herb seasoning. Mix well to combine. The moisture in the tomatoes will start to create the sauce. Cover the sauce pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the mixture to cook and the flavors to meld together for about 10 minutes.
  3. When you feel the onions, pepper and tomatoes look cooked and “saucy”. Turn the heat off. Add the juice of the lime juice and mix well together. Let it rest for a few minutes before you serve over your favorite “vianda”.

This is the best way to eat potatoes or other boiled root vegetables when preparing for a fast or when coming out of one.

Criollo Tomato Sauce

8 Jul

This is the perfect sauce to dress a batch of soy albóndigas

Unlike regular meatballs, these soy albóndigas are delicate and do not fare well when cooked nestled in the sauce. That’s why the sauce works best when prepared separately and spooned over right when you’re about to eat them. If not, they tend to crumble in the sauce and lose their wonderful round albóndigas shape.


2 cups of crushed or chopped tomatoes
1 medium sized onion, sliced thinly
1 large garlic clove, chopped
½ vegetable bouillon cube
½ tsp dried oregano or Garlic and Herb seasoning
About ¼ cup of apple cider or balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add some olive oil and the sliced onions and cook them to get them softened, not to get any color at all.
  2. When the onions have softened a bit, add the vegetable cube, garlic clove and season with salt and pepper. Work the cube in the bottom of the pan to make it dissolve into the onions and garlic.
  3. Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes or whichever version you’re using… mix all well and season again with salt and pepper, the oregano or the garlic and herbs seasoning. Add the vinegar and cook the sauce covered for about 10-15 minutes.

This sauce is great with soy albóndigas, but you can also just pour it over whole grain rice or over boiled potatoes…

Garlic Parsley Bread

8 Jun

I loooooove garlic bread… I know it’s not the most intelligent thing to eat when on a date, but I really do not care. I go by Rachael Ray’s philosophy that 2 garlics cancel each other out. Hey… the computer surfer guy who opted not to kiss me because of the garlic mushrooms we BOTH ate, missed out!!

I made this recipe as an easy side to accompany my Spinach Cannelloni for my BIL’s birthday party… it also works extremely well to use up those parsley stems too rough to put inside the cheese filling. It’s all about using everything in the kitchen and minimizing waste… just like in a restaurant.


1 whole-wheat baguette
5-6 garlic cloves, chopped in large pieces
Stems of fresh Italian parsley… I used the stems left-over from the parsley chopped for the filling in this recipe
2 tbs of softened butter
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  1. In a small food processor blend together the garlic cloves and parsley stems until you create a green paste.
  2. In a small bowl, add the green garlic/parsley paste, butter, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  3. Cut the baguette into a top and bottom half. Spread the garlic/parsley spread onto both halves. Place them one on top of the other back again and wrap in parchment paper before wrapping in aluminum foil.
  4. Place in a 425F oven… the same one you’re using to bake the cannelloni. Bake and allow the flavors to penetrate the bread for about 20-25 minutes. I usually just place it in the oven with whatever I am making and leave it there until we’re ready to eat.

Slice the bread into 2” slices and serve warm…

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

29 Sep

I have used and re-purposed this salsa recipe into so many dishes that I think it deserves its own Recipe Post.

I think I first learned this recipe from Tyler Florence… but he used jalapeños also in his mix.  Being the wimp that I am in the spiciness department I do not use them.  But feel free to add as much or as little as you want according to your heat tolerance.   I saw Marcela Valladolid make a version of this same recipe but with Serrano peppers… even more spicy.  It’s up to you which version you prefer…



1 pound tomatillos, husked
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
olive oil
juice of 1 lemon


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400degrees F.
  2.  On a baking tray, place tomatillos, onion and garlic.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices from the bottom of the tray to a food processor.  Add the lemon juice and pulse the mixture until well combined, but still chunky.
  4. If for your purposes the sauce is too chunky… just add a bit of water and pulse to loosen it.


I’ve used this recipe originally with my Cheesy Rice Burritos, in my Mexican Lasagna and more recently in my Broccoli Rice Burritos.  I will certainly also try it in a Chilaquiles recipe like the one Marcela Valladolid used hers in…  Yum.

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