Here’s TWO Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weeknights and Leisurely Weekends!
Cheese-and-Herb Potato Gratin
8 to 10 SERVINGS
1 HOUR 20 MINUTES
ROUNDS OF ALTERNATING sweet and white potatoes tossed with herbs and spices are baked up with cheese in a gratin that is as delicious as it is impressive. It’s worthy of any holiday table yet simple enough for a regular day.
Choose your preference when it comes to the cheese, but Gruyère will add a sweet, nutty flavor to the gratin while a sharp white cheddar like Tillamook is creamy and complex and adds an aged, bold flavor to the potatoes and herbs.
Allow me to sing the praises of a spice cupboard. I’ll wager you have a collection of dried herbs and seasonings in the pantry just waiting to be used. Use them! This will let you focus your prep time on slicing those potatoes. (Tip: get a mandolin!)
3 medium sweet potatoes
6 small Yukon gold potatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
8 ounces Gruyère or sharp white cheddar, grated (2 cups)
½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion, chopped
½ cup whole milk or half-and-half
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Peel potatoes, and, using a mandolin or vegetable slicer, cut into very thin slices. In a large bowl, gently toss potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, cheese, and onion, until everything is evenly mixed. Be careful not to break the thin potato slices.
2. Working with a small handful of potatoes at a time, gently line up coated slices in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 2-quart baking dish. Pour milk and broth over potatoes. Cover pan with foil and seal around edges.
3. Bake 50 minutes and remove foil. Continue to bake until potatoes are tender and top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. You can test the potatoes with a knife to see if they are tender throughout. Cool slightly and serve hot.
LOOKS DELICIOUS You can layer the cheese and potato slices flat in a baking dish as a classic gratin, but this presentation is all about the wow! Standing up the slices, whether in rows or a circle, creates an impressive look and is worth the extra minutes to arrange them before cooking.
This recipe is a great way to use the fresh herbs you have left over from a holiday meal or the last bits after a week of cooking. I use fresh herbs in the spring and summer when they are plentiful and cheap. I’ll use my spice cupboard in the winter months. Use double the amount of fresh as you would dry.
Adobo-Lime Chicken and Summer Melon Salad
2 HOURS 40 MINUTES
A QUICK MARINADE gives chicken the boost it needs to get out of the weeknight dinner rut. A delightfully intense combo of soy, vinegar, and lime juice is perfect with fresh, sweet melon, the sharp flavors of feta, and summery mint.
When melon isn’t in season, use tropical fruit such as mango or pineapple, or a thinly sliced apple.
1 recipe Adobo-Lime Marinade (below), prepared
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ cup chopped pistachios
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup coarsely chopped mint
4 cups thinly sliced melon (watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe)
1. Pour marinade over chicken breasts in a large resealable bag. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator 2 to 5 hours.
2. Heat grill to medium-high. Remove chicken, reserving marinade, and grill until just cooked through (165ºF on an instant-read thermometer), 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
3. Meanwhile, add reserved marinade to a small saucepan, along with the brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until mixture is slightly reduced and like a glaze, 4 to 5 minutes. (Boiling the marinade kills the bacteria from the raw meat.) Brush grilled chicken with glaze.
4. Slice chicken and arrange it over watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe. Sprinkle with pistachios, feta, and mint and serve with extra adobo glaze.
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD the term “adobo” in reference to Mexican flavors and foods. It’s a wonderful dried chili-based paste used for a million things. This adobo has Filipino roots and is a concentrated flavor base with soy sauce and garlic.
¹⁄3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 large garlic cloves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup water
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate in airtight container until ready to use, up to 2 days. Shake well before using.