Lemony Herbed Smashed Potatoes

smashed potatoes 2 Lemony Herbed Smashed Potatoes

Ah smashed potatoes where have you been all my life!  Why have I not known about you!  I love roast potatoes but can’t always get that nice crispy crunch on the outside but soft on the inside.  But I have made these lemony herbed smashed potatoes a few times now without any hiccups.

I first saw the smashed potatoes on a cooking show recently.  Maybe Ian Hewitson when the other morning tv shows were annoying me too much to hang around for the news.  I then saw a recipe on a food blog – maybe Damn Delicious?  It looked so easy.

smashed potatoes 3 Lemony Herbed Smashed Potatoes

The first batch I made just using olive oil with my trusty Italian herbs.  But a couple of weeks ago I got a tweet from the local Essential Ingredient telling me they had a sample pack for me.  Excitement!  They are one of the best places to get less common ingredients.  Essential Ingredient is where I first found chipotle in adobo.

One of the items in my lovely sample pack was this lemon agrumato (extra virgin olive oil with crushed lemon).  It took my smashed potatoes for a whole new level.  The oil element makes sure everything crunches up nicely and the lemon adds a lovely citrusy note to the potatoes.  If you can’t get lemon agrumato I am sure that lemon juice would also work well.  And the potatoes were delicious with ordinary extra virgin olive oil.

lemon agrumato 768x1024 Lemony Herbed Smashed Potatoes

Lemon Agrumato from Essential Ingredient

These are not super quick potatoes but if you are already planning to bake something in the oven, it is well worth popping these potatoes in a pot to boil and then adding them to the baking tray.  I give some oven temperatures below but if you are making something that requires a slightly hotter or cooler oven, they should be fine.  Just keep an eye on them.

Preparation time is only a couple of minutes and cooking time is 45 to 50 minutes.  A potato is about 160 calories.  The recipe below is for one potato but I made extra as I love fried potato for breakfast and these were perfect fried up the next day.

Lemony Herbed Smashed Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Flavour packed potatoes that are easy to make.
Ingredients
  • 1 potato - I used desiree so the potato kept a bit of its shape when smushed.
  • A splash of lemon agrumato (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • ¼ tsp of Italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 200C (390F)
  2. Put the potato in a pot of water and bring to the boil.
  3. Boil the potato until it cooked, about 20-25 minutes. If a skewer goes in easily, your potato is good to go.
  4. Pop the potato on a baking tray and smush down with your potato masher. Try not to break the potato into as many pieces as I did.
  5. Add a splash of lemon agrumato and sprinkle the potato with the Italian herbs and season to taste.
  6. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the outside of the potato starts to crisp up.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 160
Note the lemon agrumato was a gift from Essential Ingredient Canberra.  Any opinions are my own.

 

Smoky Sriracha Chicken Chili

smoky sriracha chicken chilli Smoky Sriracha Chicken Chili

Since I have started blogging and following other food bloggers, I have become addicted to classic American dishes such as Mac and Cheese.  As a lover of good food, I find it fascinating how diets change over time and what causes those changes.  Growing up in Canberra, my Mum was fairly adventurous in terms of 1970s home cooking but what we ate then seems positively tame when you look at all the gorgeous Asian influences that have flooded Australia since then.

It is hard to imagine there used to be a time when Thai restaurants weren’t ubiquitous.  Now Thai restaurants seem a bit passé and we’ve moved on to other more exotic sounding cuisines.  Mind you I still love a good Thai restaurant and Thai food is some of my favourite food.

Food blogging has introduced me to new ingredients, classics from other countries and great variations on old favourites.  I had never even heard of liquid smoke nor sriracha sauce before I got caught up in the food blogging world.  And yet here is a recipe incorporating both those ingredients – smoky sriracha chicken chili.  Chili in itself has been a bit of revelation this year.  Previously I had associated it with dodgy packet mixes with beef mince, tomatoes and red kidney beans.  I have now made chili with beer and cheesy chilli turkey pasta, plus other recipes that I just couldn’t get a good photo of and I am a bit addicted.

I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili by Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and was all ready to make it.  But when I came to cook it, I didn’t have any suitable hot sauce – just sriracha or tabasco sauces and there was no way I was going to put ¼ of a cup of either of them in my chili without blowing my head off.  I had a go at making the chili with just a smidgen of sriracha sauce but it was not very exciting – I didn’t have fire roasted tomatoes (can you even get these in Australia?) and that might have been the problem – along with not having the hot sauce.  So I mixed it up with the liquid smoke I bought to make these spicy New Orleans prawns.  I nearly added the chipotle in adobo that I have also discovered this year but channeled Coco Chanel and her quote ‘Less is always more”.  I think she saved the recipe from being confused.

smoky sriracha chicken chilli 2 Smoky Sriracha Chicken Chili

The chili has a kick but I love the way the liquid smoke adds a depth to the recipe. Plus it hides carrot and celery in it.  Neither carrots not celery are vegetables that I love, so I like it when I manage to fool myself in to not thinking I am eating them.  It is an easy to make recipe – no complicated techniques. The main thing is to keep stirring during the first part of the recipe so you don’t get too much burnt stuff on the bottom.  Preparation time is about 10 minutes with the vegetable chopping required.  Cook time is 45 minutes.

Calorie wise there are about 350 calories in this recipe including the sour cream and cheese.  The only real wastage is the third of a carrot but given my normal loathing of carrots, I can live with that.

Smoky Sriracha Chicken Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A twist on a classic with liquid smoke and sriracha sauce.
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 300g of chicken mince (ground chicken)
  • ⅓ of a carrot, finely chopped
  • ¼ of an onion, diced
  • 1 piece of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic (equal to one clove)
  • ½ tbs of chili powder (but start with less and taste as you add)
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of liquid smoke
  • ⅔ cup of chicken stock
  • ½ tbs of sriracha sauce (you can add more as you go along if it isn't hot enough)
  • 1 400g can of diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs of light sour cream
  • 2 tbs of shredded Kraft Mexican Cheese blend (you could use cheddar as well)
Instructions
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over a medium high heat (4 out of 6 on my electric stove). I used my small dutch oven.
  2. Pop in the olive oil and when the oil is hot add in the minced chicken and brown the mince. Make sure you keep stirring the chicken so it doesn't stick too much to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add in the carrots, onion, garlic, celery and the spices (cumin, chili powder and paprika).
  4. Cook for about 8 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the chili powder in stages and taste as you go, remembering you are going to add sriracha sauce.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot. You don't want to lose the flavour of those lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
  6. Stir in the canned tomatoes, liquid smoke and sriracha sauce. Add the sriracha sauce gradually to get your desired heat. Also add in salt and pepper at this stage to taste.
  7. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every now and again to keep things from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  8. Spoon the chili in to bowls and garnish with sour cream and cheese.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 350
 

Cooking for One: The Essential Equipment

cooking for one 2 Cooking for One: The Essential Equipment
Cooking for one can be challenging. As a single person there is a temptation to go for ready prepared meals and takeaway, but these are often not healthy options and you will have much more control over your diet if you cook for yourself. You may even surprise yourself and find it fun to try out new recipes.

There are many amazing recipes out there but they are often designed for at least four people. It isn’t always possible to modify these recipes for one person. Some ingredients are easier to reduce than others. It is easy to measure out a quarter of a tablespoon of olive oil if the recipe calls for a tablespoon of olive oil but chopping up a raw egg is not so easy.

Along with checking out the ingredients, having the right equipment can make your cooking more straightforward. This is my list of the top five pieces of kitchen equipment I recommend single cooks keep in the house.

 

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