Scalloped Potatoes

Hello all–  Who doesn’t love potatoes??  Add a creamy sauce and a couple kinds of cheese, even better–hot and bubbly from the oven.   We served up these potatoes with peppery grilled tri-tip and a bright salad to a table full of friends Saturday night. Delish!

SCALLOPED POTATOES
3 tab. butter
2 small yellow onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1  1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. thyme leaves, divided
4 pounds yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, sliced thin
2 cups cheddar, grated
1/2 cup parmesan romano

In a large skillet melt the butter and throw in the chopped onion, cook until the onion is tender, not yet browned.  Add in the garlic and cook a minute more.

Stir in the flour, until a thick paste forms.  Then pour in the chicken broth, stirring as you go until they mixture is smooth.  Keep simmering.  Stir in the milk, salt & pepper and 1 tsp. of the thyme leaves.  Keep stirring as the mixture simmers until it is a thick smooth sauce (about 3 or 4 minutes).  Turn off the heat.

Slice the potatoes thinly and layer half of them in a 9″x13″ pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Over the first half of the potatoes, drizzle half of the sauce.  Then sprinkle on 1 cup of the cheddar cheese and all of the parmesan.  Add the rest of the potatoes and top with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover the top with foil, tenting it so that it doesn’t touch the sauce and cheese on top the potatoes.  Pop it covered into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Then remove the foil and cook 20 to 25 minutes more until the potatoes are tender when you poke them with a fork.

Serve them hot, garnished with the remaining teaspoon of thyme leaves sprinkled on top.  Delish!!

 

Lemon Rosemary Baked Chicken

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Hey there– Dinner time.  When our kids were growing up, it was everyone in their place, sitting around the table, talking through the day–the one time in the day we were all together.  Now it’s just Larry and me.  Sometimes we just grab a plate and sit in the kitchen, sometimes pull up to the coffee table and watch tv.  But it’s still a time to connect.

And the best connects are with friends who come in and sit down to the table with us.  Last week it was with Esther, an amazing young woman we’ve gotten to know.  Heard her heartwarming story of an encounter with a young shepherd boy on her trip to India for a cousin’s wedding.  Talked about her future plans…  It was more about the conversation than the food.

But- we did eat!  And dinner was centered around this Lemon Rosemary Chicken.  Easy to pop in the oven so you have time to pull up a salad and a pot of rice. It’s savory and fresh tasting.  I think you’ll like it– and I hope it comes with good talk around your table…

LEMON ROSEMARY BAKED CHICKEN
6 chicken thighs
2 tab. live oil
2 lemons
3 tab. honey
2 tab. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs of rosemary
6 sprigs of thyme (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
garnish:  a little more rosemary/thyme

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Brown the chicken thighs in the skillet, cooking on medium high heat for 3 minutes on each side.

Cut one lemon in half and juice half of one lemon.  Slice the remain 1 1/2 lemons into thin slices.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, olive oil and garlic.

Then spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  On the bottom of the dish lay out half of the lemon slices. Top them with the browned chicken thighs and spoon the pan juices over the chicken and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Then layer on top the remaining lemon slices and the rosemary and thyme sprigs.  Finally spoon the honey/lemon juice mixture over the top of the chicken.

Pop the baking dish into a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Then lay the chicken out on a serving dish, top with the juices from the baking dish and the lemons, plus a couple fresh sprigs of rosemary.

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Honey Goat Cheese Toasts with Walnuts & Thyme

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Hi friends– I know this recipe name is way too long.  But I wanted to include every flavorful bit of these little toasts– the tangy goat cheese, sweet honey, little bite of thyme.  It made a delectable lunch last Saturday with a mug of tea and a book for company.  And I thought you might like it too.

HONEY GOAT CHEESE TOASTS WITH WALNUTS & THYME

2 slices sturdy bread, sliced thick*
3 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnut
freshly ground pepper
honey
fresh thyme leaves

Spread the goat cheese on the slices of bread and toast it for 3 or 4 minutes until the walnuts are toasty and the cheese is warm.  Then lightly pepper the toasts, drizzle on a generous coat of honey and sprinkle to thyme leave over it all.  Enjoy!!

*I love La Brea Bakery sour dough loaf for this.  The picture shows just one of those slices, cut in half.

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Maple Apple Pork Cutlets

IMG_5478Hi all– It’s the sauce, the glorious sauce, that makes this dish so delectable.  All the apple-y sweetness, not to mention the maple syrup, finished off with a bit of cream.  It’s a dish made for stay at home fall evenings, with a glass of wine, a bright salad and a loaf of rosemary bread.

MAPLE APPLE PORK CUTLETS
6 pork loin cutlets (a little over a pound)
1 tab. olive oil
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup whipping cream (or half & half)
2 tab. maple syrup
2 tsp. fresh snipped thyme
thyme for garmish

Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  Brown the cutlets on high heat about 2 minutes on each side.  Remove them from the pan, leaving the juices.  Put the apples and garlic in the pan and saute for 2 minutes.  Then add the apple juice into the pan and simmer 4 minutes more.  Stir in the cream, maple and bits of thyme and simmer until it thickens, a few more minutes.

Nestle the pork chops in among the apples and leave it on low just until it’s all warmed through.  Serve it all up on a pretty plate and sprinkle on a few extra sprigs of thyme.