Monday, June 3, 2013

What we've been eating

 
Why yes, I do sometimes get stuck in a cooking rut.  You know, you come across a recipe that #1 tastes good, #2 is easy to assemble, and #3 your family also loves to eat.  And so what do you do?  Add it to the meal rotation...a lot!  Ok, at least that is what I do.
 
I love a meal idea that is greatly versatile and can take on several different roles and flavors.  We've been enjoying this in several different versions and never a complaint arises!
 
Happy Pickles.  Happy Chef.
 
Here's the basic idea:
 
Roasted Potato Bites with _______________
 
1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
 
2.  Wash and chop enough potatoes to cover your baking dish.  Chop them in little bite sizes.  In our case, it is my favorite 10x15" stone bar pan. 
 
3.  Toss potatoes with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper.  Spread evenly on your baking dish.
 
4.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender with lovely crispy color on some edges!
 
Now here's where we get snazzy:
 
When you add the salt and pepper, dig through your spice cupboard and break out some more/different spices, herbs or seasonings.  For instance, in the above photo we seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh rosemary sprigs.  Ah!  Do you know how good rosemary makes your house smell while it bakes?  Go get busy and find out!  Go Italian.  Go Mexican.  Go season those potatoes with what sounds good! 
 
This makes such a marvelous accompaniment to a Saturday Morning Scrambled Egg breakfast or a Thursday Night Crock-Pot Roast Beef.  It pairs with burgers or grilled chicken.  Buuuut....
 
Another variation that we love is to just go ahead and make this a full-fledged main dish.
 
Follow the steps through to seasoning the potatoes, then go ahead and bake them for 15 minutes.  While baking, chop up two chicken breasts into small bite size pieces like the potatoes.   Toss chicken with a bit more olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you feel like (and will accompany well the seasonings you already have on the potatoes in the oven).  I like dried basil and garlic with my chicken.  Do you like garlic as much as I do?  Throw in a few cloves and let them get all tender and roasted with the dish.  MMMMmmmmMM!  Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees Farenheit and bake the complete dish for another 20-30 minute or just until chicken is cooked through, stirring once while baking.
 
You know what else is good?  Grab some banana pepper rings and scatter them over the chicken and potatoes for the final bake.  Mmmm...I like banana peppers. 
 
Actually, you could use sausage links cut into rounds instead of chicken...
 
You could...
 
Wellllll, what would you do? 
Leave a comment with your favorite flavor combos!
 

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