Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brussel Sprouts with Yukon Gold Potatoes

Winters in California are highlighted with cruciferous and root vegetables. Brussel sprouts on the stem are at the farmer's market throughout the valley and coastline. Broccoli, so sweet, that just a light steaming will suffice. Yukon gold potatoes, the creamy yellow flesh rivals all potatoes for flavor. All are so good along with the fresh winter onions that look like gigantic fresh green shallots. Here's a great veggie and vegan dish that will have you craving for more on the next camping or rafting trip!

Brussel Sprouts with Yukon gold potato
Dutch oven or large iron skillet
1/4 cup of olive oil (or less)
1 whole large diced yellow onion
1 bunch of chopped shallots or fresh winter onions
3 large diced Yukon gold potatoes
1/4 stem of fresh brussel sprouts
1 cup of cleaned cut broccoli heads
1 Tbsp of oyster sauce (skip this for vegans)
soy sauce to taste (omit if using oyster sauce)
splash of rice wine vinegar
pinch of chili flakes

Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet. Heat until oil is medium. Add diced onions. Saute until edges are carmelized. Add diced shallots. Continue to carmelize both onions. Push to the side of the pan. Add more oil. Add diced potato and cook until translucent. Push to the side of the pan. Add brussel sprouts. (if cut in half, they will cook faster) As brussel sprouts start to wilt, add broccoli heads. Cook until heads are bright green. Add oyster sauce or soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and a pinch of chili flakes. Stir all ingredients gently; try not to smash the potato. Serve immediately.

Variations: add cooked meat; chicken, pork, beef to make this a one-pot meal. Add kale, cabbage or other greens to this dish at the very end of the cooking process for even more of a cruciferous boost!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Creamy Pan Fried Potatoes

Potatoes are a favorite among everyone. Fried, mashed, boiled or baked, the lowly potato can be a featured dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. On camping and rafting trips, the potato rules. Easy to pack and store, that starchy tubor is king on overnight and wilderness trips. Keep them dry or they will deteriorate. We used to keep them in ammo boxes so they were locked and kept dry on extended trips through the Grand Canyon, Middle Fork Salmon and American river trips. But now, there are so many high-tech containers to keep stuff dry on water, that I highly recommend bringing that potato along. Start with this breakfast hash... the rafters and campers will love it.

Creamy Pan Fried Potatoes
large frying pan or dutch oven
1/4  cup + 2Tbsp olive oil (or your fav oil)
2 med diced yellow onions
1 cup of chopped raw bacon (or vegan substitute)
10 large potatoes diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup of water
pan lid or dutch oven lid
salt and pepper to your liking
1/2 cup of chopped parsley (Italian is good) or lemon thyme
options: cheddar cheese (or vegan sub)
options: eggs (or vegan sub)

Prepare all chopped ingredients first, set aside. Heat pan to medium. Add olive oil. Add onions. Carmelize onions slowly by letting them cook until edges are dark and center is translucent. Push to the side of the pan. Add bacon and cook thoroughly. Mix the onions and bacon together and push to the side of the pan. Add additional oil to the empty side (if real bacon, you won't need the oil). Add potatoes and coat with oil. Mix pan ingredients together. Heat until pan is hot again. Add water and cover immediately. (Be careful, steam will rise when you add the water) Hint: don't open the lid for 5 to 8 min or you will have to add more water. Check potatoes with the tines of the fork for softness. Uncover when potatoes are done. Add salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients. You will notice they are very creamy. (I hate dry potatoes) No fat or dairy, just water will bring out the starches and creamiest to this dish. Add parsley and serve.

Optional eggs: when the potatoes are done, push to the side. Add as many eggs as you like at the empty side of the pan. Add a bit of salt and pepper on top of the eggs. Let set then scramble. When eggs are set, toss the entire pan ingredients together into an egg potato hash. Add parsley. Serve immediately. (should serve approx 8 people... yeah right... rafting guides say about 4-6 hardy eaters Haha!)