Saturday, June 9, 2012

Utelizing What You Have

I love to try new recipes. I am one of those people who flip through any magazine and if I come across a recipe that even remotely interests me, I tear out the page to save. I do this so often, in fact, I have had to flip through to 'purge' these pages because my tastes have changed or I simply have too many! Well recently I have been noticing a build-up of these 'recipes-to-try' so I've tried to make a pact with myself: I have to try one new recipe a week from the stack of recipes I've been collecting or something new from a cookbook I own. The second criteria for these dinners is that they must utilize things we have, or most of what we already save on grocery bills. So far, my husband and I have been fairly successful!

Every night has become almost a game as far as dinner is concerned. We have BOTH been working full-time as of late, so my enthusiasm isn't always at its peak, but none-the-less, we always try to find something to make with the ingredients in our fridge, pantry, garden, or freezer; and something out of our norm. My husband, Cam, has made me several phenomenal dinners of sushi, poke salad, shrimp scampi, mushroom pasta, mushroom & onion quinoa...I've tried barley gratin, new fish dishes (Cam is a fisherman...we have been blessed with quite a bit of fish!!), coleslaws, and lately, new potato salad concoctions! It's exciting for us both, but most rewarding of all is that we are making good use of what we have, save on our grocery bill, and our food waste has dropped to almost nil! To me, that is benefit enough!!

I celebrated my fourth year anniversary with my husband this past Thursday and wanted to make him a special dinner (we went our for the actual day-of, but after that I wanted to show him how special he is, always...) This recipe is one I stumbled across as I flipped through the pages of the newest Cooking Light magazine. From the moment I laid eyes on the picture and read the ingredient list, I knew it was the one I wanted to try. Well, I did. It tasted just as good as the picture signified, and now I'm excited to share it with you!! This recipe almost turns out like a hash...honestly, I think it would be stellar with two fried eggs on it for breakfast...just saying! :-) I made this to go alongside grilled chicken thighs and a basic red leaf salad.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Lemony Grilled Potato Salad
(adapted from Cooking Light, June 2012, pg.128)

2 pounds of potatoes (russets or Yukon gold)
3 TBS olive oil
1 small-medium onion, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded, and cut into bite-sized chunks

3TBS fresh basil, finely chopped
2 TBS fresh chives, finely chopped
3 TBS fresh lemon juice, from about one lemon
1-2 tsp capers, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, more if you like the spice:-)

(Please keep in mind, I strayed away, slightly, from the recipe as it is written in the magazine. I adapted it to what I had and to what I was able to do!)

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
2. Wash and chop potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tsp Olive oil and stir. Place on a baking sheet, put in oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, chop the onion and bell pepper and place in a grill pan or baking
sheet. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tsp oil and place in oven with potatoes and roast until tender and slightly charred (you can also do these on the grill; sear them until they are soft and slightly charred).
4. As the vegetables cook, combine the remaining 2 TBS olive oil, basil, chives, lemon juice, capers, salt & pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to blend.
5. When the veggies and potatoes are done, place them into a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and combine thoroughly. Serve!!

This is absolutely delicious warm, equally as good at room temperature, and would be wonderful cold. I still think I'm going to fry an egg and put it on top of this in the morning!! If I have  the gumption in the morning, I'll tell you how it turns out!!


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