Potatoes

A great, cheap, filling starch. A good base for soups and stews, or a quick emergency side dish.

Potato Dauphinois

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I had a bad day, so I decided to splurge on something special: A nice, expensive wedge of cheese. Gruyere, in fact, a cheese I've never tried before. I needed it for this recipe for Potato Dauphinois, a classic from Julia Child.

I've made a couple potato gratins previously, but this was by far the best. The gruyere was the perfect choice, though cheddar could do in a pinch. This time I used heavy cream instead of half-and-half from other recipes, which I think was the biggest improvement. I added some onions to the recipe, because why not? Potatoes always go great with a little bit of onion.

Make sure you use enough cream. When you press down on the center of the potatoes, the cream should come up to cover the potatoes. Also make sure you check the doneness: A fork should slide easily through the potatoes.

I served this alongside some basic roasted chicken. Nothing fancy there, just salt and pepper, and the resulting meal was excellent. I had to stop myself from gorging myself to save room for the pistachio gelato I bought for dessert (bad day, remember).

Potato dauphinois with roasted chicken and peas

Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes

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I'm clearing out the chicken from my freezer, which means finding at least a couple new ways to do it. Unlike last week's chicken parmesan, which I've made dozens of times, this week, I found this recipe for Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes from SimplyRecipes.

I've seen recipes like this before, simply tossing some chicken on top of some veggies and shoving it in the oven for an hour, but this is the first one I've ever tried. It turned out pretty well, all things considered, and I was pleased at how easy it was.

Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes in the oven

I didn't have any red wine vinegar, so I substituted an equal amount of balsamic. The shallots I replaced with small yellow onions, and I ran out of fresh garlic, so I used 1/2 tsp of garlic powder (1/8 tsp powder per clove).

All told this is a great, easy, inexpensive dinner, and you can vary the herbs and sauce for infinite possibilities. Something hot and spicy sounds good, or a heaping helping of your favorite seasoned salt.

Next time, I might try a different cut of meat. Thighs and legs might not be the right cut of meat to use, due to their higher fat content. Roasting the chicken on the potatoes means the fat can't drain away.

Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Corn

Indian Spiced Stew

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I keep promising co-workers that I'll try more Indian food. I enjoy it immensely every time I have it. And yet, it's a rare night that I will actually make something Indian, though I have started keeping my pantry stocked with the right ingredients.

This Indian Spiced Stew with Chicken and Potatoes is easy to make. It only needs a quick sear on the chicken and then 4 hours in the slow cooker. It can be served as-is, or over rice. Do not forget to add the yogurt! It's mildly spicy and fragrant, and I will enjoy trying this again.

Indian spiced stew with chicken and potatoes with yogurt on
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