Cheesy Mini Potato Gratin Stacks from recipetineats.com

  • Oil spray
  •  2 lb potatoes, large long ones (Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp  butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup cream, heavy / thickened (Note 4)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup grated melting cheese (cheddar, gruyere, swiss, mozzarella)
  • Fresh thyme leaves for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Spray a standard 12 hole muffin tin with oil.
  3. Peel potatoes. Stand upright then cut into cylinder shapes, then slice potatoes into thin slices around 2mm/ 1/10″ thick.

  4. Place butter, garlic, cream, salt, pepper and dried thyme in a microwave proof cup or bowl, then melt in 30 second bursts.

  5. Stir, then set aside.

  6. Place potato slices into the muffin tin so they go halfway up the muffin tin holes. Try to match by size to make them into neat stacks.
  7. Drizzle each potato stack with 1/2 tsp of cream mixture.

  8. Sprinkle HALF the cheese over the potato stacks.
  9. Top with remaining potato slices. Drizzle with remaining cream mixture and remaining thyme.
  10. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake without foil for 10 minutes or until golden and the potato is soft.
  12. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing. Use a tablespoon or butter knife to help scope them out. (Note 3)
Recipe Notes

1. You need to use starchy potatoes as they breakdown when cooked, becoming nice and fluffy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), Dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. However, great all rounders like golden delight, coliban, red rascal and Sebago (popular in Australia – the dirt brushed ones) still works great.

I use Sebago which are the brushed potatoes you can get from any supermarket in Australia (ie. the ones with dirt on them). If you are based in the US, a great all rounder to use is Russet which I understand is one of the most widely used potatoes in the US.
Get long large ones that are suitable to cut into cylinder shapes.

2. Fantastic for making ahead! Bake per recipe then either freeze them (defrost before reheating) or keep them in the refrigerator. Them pop them in a 50F oven for 10 minutes just to heat through.
3. Spraying the muffin tin + the butter and cream helps keep the gratin stacks from sticking to the muffin tin. Also, the muffin tin I use is non stick. If your muffin tin is not non stick, spray it generously with oil before putting the potato in to ensure it slips out easily! Because starchy potatoes are used for this recipe, they breakdown and become soft so they sort of bond together which helps keep these stacks upright. Some might slide slightly when you take them out but the resting time helps “set” them.

4. Any pourable cream is fine though thickened / heavy cream will yield creamiest result because they have a higher fat content.

 

Pecan Pie Bars from slowroasteditalian.com

Crust
1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.  Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18 by 12 by 2-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the edge like you would a pie crust . It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.

For the topping, combine

the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup from pressureluckcooking.com

  • 3 tablespoons (1/4 stick) of salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar
  • 4 big onions (I used 1 of each: Vidalia/Sweet, Red, Yellow and Spanish)
  • 4 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce (not shown in the video but I do add this)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • Croutons (you can buy a small bag of your flavor choice in any market or make your own)
  • Provolone and Swiss/Gruyere Slices
  • Paprika for presentation
  1. Cut the onions so they are halved and then slice into strips (don’t dice!) and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Put the Instant Pot on Sauté and melt the butter and oil until it sizzles.
  3. Add the onions and brown sugar and stir regularly for about 10-15 minutes or until the onions have cooked down by about half and have become translucent and have a pasta-like consistency. Make sure they aren’t too firm or too mushy!
  4. Add the broth, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Give it a stir and secure the lid. Hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” for 8 minutes. Quick release when done. Preheat your oven to broil while quick releasing. Taste the soup (but be careful – It’ll be hot!) and feel free to add additional salt and pepper as you see fit. But I think it’s perfect as is!
  5. Ladle the soup into the crocks until it’s just below the brim. Layer the croutons on top of the soup so that it serves as a foundation for the cheese. Seal with 1-2 slices of provolone (depending on how wide your crock is. Mine needs 2 to cover it properly but many will only need 1). And then layer a slice of Swiss or some shredded Gruyere. Leave some a little over the edges so when it bakes, it coats some of the side of the crock. Peeling the cheese off while eating is one of the best parts of the french onion soup experience! Sprinkle lightly with some paprika.
  6. Place the crock on a baking tray lined with tin foil and pop into the oven for 5 mins or until the top begins to bubble, turns slightly brown and forms a cheese-like crust.

Savory Crispy Potato Upside Down Cake

  • 3 medium baking potatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Rinse and peel potatoes. Slice thinly (we used a mandolin set to 1/8-inch thickness) and soak slices in cold water to remove excess starch.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat and sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  • Remove potatoes from water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Place dry potatoes in a large bowl and pour 3/4 garlic butter over them, reserving the rest for later use. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  • Add oil to the skillet and heat until it’s shimmering and ripply. Remove pan from heat and add potatoes in a spiral formation; the potatoes on the bottom of the skillet will be the top of the “cake.” Once all the slices are in the pan, press it flat like a cake.
  • Place pan over low heat and cover with a lid for 15 minutes, adding the remaining butter and loosening the edges as the cake cooks. Wipe away moisture that collects on the lid occasionally so the potatoes get crispy as they cook.
  • Lift edges of cake and check that it is browned; potatoes should be fork tender. Invert cake onto a large plate.
  • Add more oil to the pan if necessary to keep the cake from sticking. Slide the cake back into the pan with the unbrowned potatoes on the bottom, and cook an additional 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cut cake into wedges and serve hot.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars from Martha

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons melted
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 package (11.5 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 stick room-temperature butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt until coarse crumbs form. Pour mixture into prepared pan; press firmly into bottom.

2. Bake until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool, 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in same large bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, granulated sugar, and melted butter until well combined. Add chocolate chips and pecans; spread over crust. Bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan before lifting out (using foil to lift). Cut into 32 bars (8 rows by 4 rows).

Pumpkin Crazy Cake from michellestastycreations.com

1-1/2 cups + 2 Tbs. flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 Tbs. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tbs. canola oil
3/4 cup water

Frosting:
1-1/2 Tbs. Butter, unsalted at room temperature
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl or the 8 x 8 pan you are going to bake in place the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a whisk until combined.

Make three indentations (wells) two small and one large one in the flour mixture.  Pour the vanilla and vinegar into the small wells and the oil into the large well.

Pour the water over the whole mixture then add the pumpkin.  Mix well until completely combined.  If needed add more water up to a total of 3/4 cup.

Pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Do not over bake.  Mine was done at just 35 minutes exactly.  Mine took 40 min

Cool the cake completely then frost.  (If you want this to be a dairy free cake choose a frosting without an dairy products instead of the following)

To make the frosting place the butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat until completely smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until it is smooth.
Spoon the whole bowl of frosting onto the cake and spread to the edges.  Slice and serve.

Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

5 ounces fresh spinach half a 10 ounce bag1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can (15 ounces) can mandarin oranges
1 large Granny Smith Apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped*
Optional: Feta cheese

Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika & onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Slowly add in the oil and pulse until just combined. Stir in the poppyseeds. IF you don’t have a blender or food processor you can combine the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and whisk (or shake jar) vigorously.

  3. Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
  4. Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
  6. If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
  8. If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
  9. Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans. *UPDATE: we’ve found we like this salad even more with the pecans coarsely chopped- you’ll get more in each bite! 🙂

  10. Top the salad with the pecans and (if desired) feta cheese.

  11. Enjoy immediately.

 

Baked honey-marinated cod from nogojisnoglory.com

    • 4, 6-oz black cod fillets (aka sablefish)
    • ¾ cup honey
    • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • ⅓ cup toasted sesame seed oil
    • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1½ tsp freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tsp freshly chopped ginger
  1. Combine all ingredients (except for fish) in a medium-sized airtight mixing bowl. Add cod and marinate for 24 hours. If possible, flip half way through marinade time to allow even flavor distribution.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F; prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove cod from marinade and bake on the center rack for 7-9 minutes, until cod is opaque and flakes easily.

Caramelized Bluefish from myfishingcapecod.com

 Serve this with rice pilaf, a simple salad or my sautéed mushrooms, chickpeas and kale with pesto (link to the recipe in the post)
Ingredients
  • 1 lb bluefish filets
  • 1 bottle of red wine vinegar
  1. In a deep dish, arrange the bluefish in and pour the vinegar over the fish. Let it marinate for 30 minutes (and no longer!).
  2. Set the broiler to high and arrange a baking sheet with tin foil. Arrange the fish filets on the baking pan and broil on the second to top rack for 10 minutes, letting it caramelize. Watch carefully – the fish can easily burn.
  3. After 10 minutes, set the oven to 350 and move the fish to the bottom rack, cooking for another 10 minutes.
  4. The fish should be caramelized at this point and ready to eat. Serve immediately or store fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day.