I’m just starting to get back into some solid meal planning. Even though I’ve been feeling better for weeks, I haven’t been mentally ready to prep big meals more than once or twice a week. We’re on about week 3 of a real meal plan again and it feels good. Even if I’m mostly just doing main dishes and praying that the sides figure themselves out.
These delicious potatoes were mostly an after-thought. We were planning to make dinner on the grill and I decided to throw these on too instead of roasting them. The simple seasonings made them a breeze to throw together but they were still really good. And using a foil packet meant no dishes to clean up – always a plus!
Italian-Parmesan Grilled Potatoes
(adapted from Kraft)
4-5 red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. Italian dressing
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley, for garnish
Preheat the grill to medium heat.
In a medium bowl, toss together the potato chunks, olive oil and water. Transfer to a large sheet of foil and fold into a packet.
Grill the foil packet of potatoes for twenty minutes, turning halfway.
Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and toss with dressing, cheese, salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve.
For the first time since I started this blog, one of our local grocery stores stocked hatch chilies. I feel like I’ve been watching my more-Southern food blogger friends rave about them for years and could never participate in the hatch chili fun. So now that they’re here? I’m making hatch chili everything.
First up: mac n cheese. I really, really loved this. The roasted chilies paired really nicely with the jack cheese sauce. I had split this into two pans with intentions to freeze one for later – but it all got eaten before it made it to the freezer. Oops!
Hatch Chili Mac ‘n Cheese
(from Life’s Ambrosia)
Serves 6-8 as a side
5 hatch chilies
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 Tbsp. flour
2 cups whole milk
3 cups shredded jack cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
On the grill, roast the chilies over high heat until charred and blistered. Transfer to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel the chilies, seed, remove the membrane and dice.
Cook macaroni according to package directions.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the diced onion and cook until nearly translucent. Whisk in flour until the mixture is a play dough consistency. Add milk, whisking constantly, and cook until starting to thicken, about a minute. Stir in cheeses and stir frequently until melted. Stir in cooked macaroni and diced chilies and season with salt to taste. Spread the macaroni in a greased baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine the panko and olive oil. Spread over the top of the macaroni.
Bake at 350F degrees until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
We just finished up our annual June celebrating marathon. It always seems like everything happens this month and we end up over-indulging in party food. Rather than keep the trend going, I’m planning to make some really fresh, seasonal meals for the July 4th weekend, including this salad.
We’ve had really beautiful berries in the stores lately so this will be a perfect accompaniment to any grilled meal we cook up this weekend.
Red, White & Blue Salad
(adapted slightly from Green Lite Bites)
Serves 4 as a side
8 oz. baby spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup quartered strawberries
1/4 cup feta cheese
3-4 Tbsp. poppyseed dressing
In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and dressing until evenly coated. Toss in the berries and transfer to serving bowl. Top with feta. Serve immediately.
As soon as warmer weather hits, I want to grill everything. I’m pretty sure that 90% of the recipes I’ve pulled out of magazines or bookmarked in the past month have been grilling-related. Besides just feeling summery, it generally means that Mark does more of the cooking and there are fewer dishes to wash – wins all around.
This was a great way to serve a loaf of Italian bread. I usually end up making garlic bread or just slicing and buttering – this was a nice, different treat. And with the fresh herbs starting to come out of the garden now, it’s especially perfect!
Grilled Bread with Rosemary Dipping Sauce
(from Tastes Lovely)
Serves 6-8 as a side
1 loaf Italian bread, cut in half horizontally
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Cut the bread in half, horizontally and brush each cut side with olive oil. Grill on high for 2-3 minutes, until you have char marks. Remove from the grill and rub the cut side with the clove of garlic. Slide into strips
On a deep plate, stir together the olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Add the balsamic vinegar.
Serve the bread along with the oil for dipping.