15 November 2018

Roast Potatoes - Roasties

Roast Potatoes - Roasties - A British (and Irish) Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

Roast Potatoes, also called Roasties, are one of the key players in the British Sunday Lunch (or Sunday Roast). Served alongside Roast Beef, Roast Pork, lamb or chicken (or my Braised Brisket), Yorkshire Pudding and two vegetables, it’s a tradition that’s unstoppable.

Roast Potatoes - Roasties (this picture - served with Braised Brisket) / www.delightfulrepast.com

You can season this any way you like, but I usually keep it classic. Since achieving the perfect texture is job one, it’s important to start with the right potato. In the UK, try King Edward, Maris Piper or another floury, rather than waxy, potato. In the US, russets work beautifully.

Use a pan large enough to allow some space between the potatoes. A half sheet pan is perfect for 3 pounds (1.36 kg) of potatoes. If your potatoes are different shapes and sizes, cut them into similar sizes and shapes for even cooking. I’m a little obsessive, though, and always pick out four nearly identical 12-ounce (340 grams) potatoes

Make only the quantity you’ll consume at that meal. Don’t make “extra” as they don’t really reheat all that well. 

Are you a roast potato fan, or is this something new for you? Once you’ve had perfect roasties, audibly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, you’ll want to have them all the time! 

Roast Potatoes -  Roasties - A British (and Irish) Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

Roast Potatoes – Roasties

(Serves 4 to 6)

4 roughly equal size and shape russet potatoes (about 12 ounces each)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 Peel the potatoes and quarter them (I often quarter them lengthwise as pictured). Place in a large pan with 1 teaspoon of salt and enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a beginning boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, cover loosely and simmer for 5 minutes. Start the timer at the “beginning boil” stage.

2 When you first start cooking the potatoes, preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas7. Spread 2 tablespoons of oil in an 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan.

Note: A 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan is perfect for a half recipe.

3 About 3 minutes into the 5-minute simmering of the potatoes, put oiled half sheet pan into the oven.

4 Drain the potatoes thoroughly, put the lid on and shake the pan gently several times to give the potatoes a bit of a bashing to rough up their surfaces without breaking up the potato quarters. Remove the lid and leave the potatoes to dry for a few minutes.

5 Carefully place the potatoes in a single layer in the hot oil. Drizzle with (or brush on) melted butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes; repeat once, cooking until the potatoes are well browned, crisp and tender, about 60 minutes total. Serve immediately.

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08 November 2018

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com

Key Lime Pie is a dessert we really like but, invariably, find far too sweet. Since it is made with condensed milk, it isn’t simply a matter of just cutting back on the sugar. So I put on my lab coat (figuratively speaking) and went to work. Since it turned out so well, I just had to share it with you. 

Since it's made without condensed milk, you can control the sweetness. Even if you prefer to use more sugar than I do, it will still be considerably less than a pie made with condensed milk.

Besides its excessive sweetness, the other problem I have with condensed milk is that the sugar in it is often beet sugar, and a high percentage of the sugar beets grown in the US have been genetically modified to resist herbicides. Since the US does not require labels to designate whether the sugar is from sugar cane or beets, you never know unless a manufacturer volunteers the information. 

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com

Then there’s the matter of the limes. From what I’ve read, there is very little commercial key lime production in the Florida Keys these days and Key lime juice that is bottled there is often juice from imported Key limes. So let’s just throw the whole “authenticity” thing out the window! But to be perfectly accurate, we could just call my pie “Lime Pie.” 

But whatever variety available to you, look for limes with the thinnest, smoothest, least “pebbly” skins that have a lot of yellow rather than bright green and that yield to gentle pressure. They will have more juice and better flavor than the big, pretty, rock-hard, evenly green limes. 

Do you prefer your lime pie with whipped cream or meringue? I wouldn’t say No to one with meringue, but I really prefer it with whipped cream. 

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com

Key Lime Pie – Without Condensed Milk 

(Makes one 9-inch/23cm pie) 

The Crust – A Graham Cracker Crust 

1 1/2 cups (4.5 ounces/128 grams—9 whole crackers) graham cracker crumbs
1/8 cup (0.875 ounce/25 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ginger 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, melted 

The Filling 

3 large eggs
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest from organic or unsprayed unwaxed limes

1/8 teaspoon salt 

Note: Key limes are not as widely available as Persian limes, so I use Persian. There are about 5 medium Persian limes in a pound (16 ounces/454 grams), each lime with an average yield of 2 tablespoons of juice and 2 teaspoons of finely grated zest. Four of them should yield enough juice for the recipe, but have a fifth on hand, just in case; today I needed 4 1/2 limes. 

1 Preheat oven to 325F/165C/Gas3. Lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate. Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and melted butter until the mixture comes together. If you used a food processor to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust in it as well. If you used your fingers or the rolling pin/plastic bag method to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust with a fork in a small mixing bowl. The mixture should be a bit crumbly but hold together when squeezed. 

2 Press the crumb mixture evenly and firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate just to the top; don’t make a raised rim. I used a flat-bottomed stainless steel measuring cup to get it even and well compacted. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Place it on a wire rack to cool completely while making the filling. Leave the oven on. 

3 In 2-quart bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure), whisk together eggs, sugar, cream, lime juice, lime zest and salt until well combined. Pour filling into prebaked and completely cooled pie crust. Bake for about 25 minutes, until just set and still with a bit of a wobble in the center. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 145F/63C. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days loosely covered, before serving. 

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01 November 2018

Recipes for November and Beyond

Comfort Food Recipes for November and Beyond / www.delightfulrepast.com

It was bound to happen eventually. For the first time in 8 years and 9 months of blogging, I got sick at a time I didn’t have a new post ready to go. 

So I’m popping in, between coughs, to refer you to recipes from the first week of November for the past 8 years, starting with last year.

These are comfort food recipes for the cold months ahead. So Pin and share your favorites. And stay well!

Hope your November is off to a better start than mine! But I'm sure I'll be back in the kitchen soon. Happy November! 


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Chili Verde) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - my Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - The Ultimate Dairy-Free, or Not, Hot Chocolate) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Brussels Sprouts Salad) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Swiss Steak) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Homemade Granola and Granola Parfaits) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Hazelnut Shortbread) / www.delightfulrepast.com

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