Sunday, April 12, 2009


Aside from Thanksgiving, Easter is probably my favorite food holiday. Roast lamb, rice pie, ham pie (pizzagain)...all things that I love, made even more special because I only have them once a year on Easter and the fact that they are all expertly made by my mother. Oh yeah, how could I forget the Cadbury Mini Eggs...I really love those too!

Here's my contribution to this years meal, two loaves of french bread and an Easter Rye.

Whether or not you celebrate Easter (you can still have the Mini Eggs at least), have a great day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Braised Escarole with Garlic and Oil

The other day I was faced with a head of escarole, a leftover ingredient from a pot of soup that I never made, that I had no idea what to do with. Roasted chicken sandwiches were already on the menu for dinner, so I figured I could easily turn the escarole into a side of some sort. My wife told me that her grandmother likes to saute escarole with a bit of oil and garlic (knowing her grandmother, I'm sure it is actually WAY MORE than a bit) and that it comes out bitter, but that's the way grandma likes it. I was into the oil and garlic, but not so much the bitter. After looking through a few recipes online, I decided that I would go with a quick braise, which hopefully would result in nice soft (but not mushy) greens, without me having to worry about burning garlic over a longer cooking time. Since I was having chicken, I chose chicken broth as a braising liquid. I decided to add some onions for a little sweetness to balance the bitterness of the escarole, and a little crushed red pepper for a touch of heat. It all came together quite nicely. In a moment of inspiration, I did what my dad would probably do, and ended up putting the escarole on the sandwich, which was really nice.

I liked it so much that I bought two more heads the next day and made it to accompany the turkey burgers I was having. I can imagine this would be great stirred into some pasta with a little grated cheese, or with some sausage on a roll, or maybe with some cannellini beans...

Start by cutting, washing well, and drying the escarole. Heat the oil over medium for a few minutes, then saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper for a few minutes.

Add the escarole and braising liquid, stir to combine, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Give it a stir and it is ready to go.

Makes a great side or sandwich topping.


Braised Escarole with Oil and Garlic
About 30 minutes - Serves 2 to 4 as a side
  • 1 large head escarole, washed, dried, and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth, dry white wine, etc.)
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes, until it shimmers but is not smoking
  2. Add the onions, garlic, and red pepper and saute for 3 minutes
  3. Add the escarole and chicken broth, stirring to combine ingredients
  4. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes
  5. Remove the cover, stir, salt to taste and serve
Use a non-meat based braising liquid for an all-veggie version of this recipe.

If you would like the escarole to be a bit drier, uncover after 10 minutes and cook for the last 5 minutes uncovered to boil off some of the remaining liquid.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Falafel and Pita

There were three lunch trucks outside the library where I worked in college, one of which was affectionately known as the "Greek Truck." I am pretty sure that this had to do with the fact that they had gyros and a big Greek guy, who whenever you would order anything with the works, would yell into the back of the truck to whomever was working the grill, "Give me a gyro all the way!" From this man I had my first pita with hummus, sprouts, and cucumber and I was hooked right away. Soon after I had my first falafel, and all was right with the world. Now anything on a pita always makes me think of that lunch truck and the man who taught me that it's not pronounced "jahy-ro," but "jeer-oh."

I have made a few pita recipes over the past year or so with pretty good results, but I have tried a different recipe pretty much every time. Recently, when I saw a post about pita on the Smitten Kitchen blog, I knew that I had yet another new recipe to test. Now, what to put in the pita once they were baked? Falafel sounded good to me, so I decided to try my hand at frying some up. Except for one somewhat failed attempt many years ago at one of my first all-veggie meals to try and impress my new fiance (she married me anyway so I guess those falafel couldn't have been too bad), I have never made falafel at home. I perused a few recipes and settled on this one from Mark Bittman.

The pita recipe worked beautifully. The dough was very easy to work with and the pita puffed nicely in the oven.

Now I think I'm finally ready to take the plunge, settle down, and commit to a pita recipe.

The falafel were very good as well. I cut down the cayenne in the recipe by half and forgot to add the onion, although I don't think the falafel were any worse for it. I am definitely going to be making this recipe again as well. I prefer a light, tangy yogurt sauce on my falafel rather than a tahini-based sauce. I just combined some yogurt with a bit of lemon juice, some minced garlic, and a dash of salt, pepper, and cumin. Delicious!

All I can say is, "Give me a falafel, all the way!"

Pita Bread Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Falafel Recipe from Mark Bittman's Bitten Blog

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Brown Rice and Black Bean Soft Tacos

A few weeks ago I inadvertently recreated one of my old favorite fast food items. I had not eaten anything from any fast food restaurant in at least 5 years, probably even longer, but nonetheless I found myself experiencing a bit of food déjà vu. I was pretty sure I had never made a burrito (actually it was more of a taco due to over-stuffing) with this exact combination of ingredients, but I knew I had eaten it before. Then it struck me, the Seven Layer Burrito from Taco Bell - rice, beans, sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato (I looked it up). Of course, my dinner was slightly different as I had mashed avocado rather than guacamole, crumbled goat cheese instead of cheddar, and salsa instead of tomato, but the essence remained the same. Fond fast food memories came flooding back, making me feel all nostalgic, as well as slightly nauseous, for times spent with good friends driving around and...well, eating at fast food restaurants.

The amazing technique for cooking the brown rice used in this recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated Magazine, and it has been a revelation for me. I know it sounds pathetic, but I have never been able to cook brown rice with any type of consistency. This technique has you bake the rice in the oven, which was completely new to me. I have made brown rice this way at least ten times now, and its always come out exactly the same, that is to say, absolutely perfect. I'll never simmer it on the stove top again. The only down side is that you need to start 1 hour and 20 minutes before you want to use the rice, so some planning ahead is definitely required. Alternatively you can make a large batch of rice in advance, and freeze it in smaller portions to defrost and reheat as needed.

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of brown rice into an 8-inch, oven safe baking dish. Measure out the spices and bring the water and oil to a boil.

Stir the spices into the boiling water and pour it over the rice. Pouring the water into the dish will move the rice around, so just use a spoon to coax it back into a nice even layer.

Cover tightly with a double layer of foil and place into the oven for 1 hour.

While the rice cooks, open up a can of black beans, rinse them and drain them well. When the rice is done, make sure to uncover it carefully or you can get a pretty nasty steam burn.

Fluff the rice with a fork, and place the foil loosely back over the top for 5 minutes.

While you are waiting for the rice, mash the avocado. You don't want to do this too far in advance because the avocado tends to discolor quickly. Stir the beans into the rice and allow it to sit uncovered for a few more minutes.

To assemble your soft tacos, start with a medium size (about 8 inch) flour tortilla. Spread as much sour cream as you like in the middle (I generally use about 1 tablespoon per taco).

Spoon approximately 1/8 of the rice mixture onto the sour cream and top with some goat cheese. I got the idea for goat cheese in tacos from this great recipe by Rick Bayless, the undisputed king of authentic Mexican cuisine in America. I know goat cheese sounds a little weird for tacos, but I think it adds a really nice tangy flavor and creaminess that you don't get from grated cheddar or jack cheese, but you can use whatever you like of course.

Next comes a little of your favorite salsa spooned over the top and a generous dollop of mashed avocado. If tomatoes are in season, I'm sure some fresh, diced tomato would be great, but if they're not in season, skip the tomato and use the salsa.

Top with some nice crispy romaine lettuce and you're ready to eat.


Brown Rice and Black Bean Soft Tacos
1 hour 30 minutes (about 10 minutes if rice and beans is cooked in advance) Makes 8 to 10 tacos
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 8 to 10 flour tortillas
  • sour cream
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • your favorite salsa
  • romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into bite size pieces
To make the rice and beans:
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven t0 375 degrees
  2. Place rice in 8-inch square, oven safe baking dish
  3. Place water and oil in small saucepan and bring to a boil
  4. Stir spices into boiling water
  5. Pour boiling water over rice, smooth rice into an even layer with a spoon
  6. Cover tightly with a double layer of foil
  7. Place into oven for 1 hour
  8. Remove from oven and carefully uncover
  9. Fluff rice with fork, then place foil loosely over top and allow rice to sit for 5 minutes
  10. Uncover, mix in beans with fork, and allow the rice to sit uncovered for 5 more minutes
To assemble the tacos:
  1. Prepare flour tortillas according to package directions
  2. Place a tortilla on a plate and spread about 1 tablespoon of sour cream evenly over the middle of the tortilla
  3. Place 1/8 to 1/10 of the rice and beans (about 1/2 cup) onto the tortilla
  4. Top the rice and beans with a few crumbles of goat cheese (about 1 to 2 tablespoons)
  5. Place a few spoons of salsa on top of the cheese (about 1 to 2 tablespoons)
  6. Top the salsa with a generous dollop of mashed avocado (about 1/3 cup or more if you like)
  7. Sprinkle a few pieces of lettuce on top
  8. Repeat as many times as you like

Brown rice is much healthier for you than white, but it takes considerably longer to prepare. The cooking method in this recipe makes delicious rice, is very simple, and is hands off for almost all of the cooking time leaving you free to prepare the rest of your meal. Use the brown rice cooking technique above whenever you need brown rice, simply omit the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and beans.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chicken Salad Contessa

Ever since I was a kid I have always loved turning leftover protein into salads, and then sandwiches. Of course, what I mean by this is chopping whatever chicken, beef, pork, lamb, hard boiled egg, etc., remains from dinner into little bits and mixing it with gobs of mayonnaise, then heaping the mixture onto whatever type of bread was available. Not exactly the most elegant preparation, but it always got the job done. It never actually occurred to me at the time that you did not have to wait for leftovers, you could prepare the meat specifically for this purpose, and that the addition of a few other ingredients could turn ho-hum, overly mayonnaised salads into some truly spectacular sandwich fillings. Hence, over the years my love of mixing meat with mayo has not diminished one bit, but has undergone quite an evolution.

My friend and coworker John has been bringing this chicken salad to work for lunch the last few weeks that intrigued me quite a bit. A slightly modified version of a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa (recipe link at the end of post), it starts with roasted, skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts and combines the meat with mayo, sour cream, some toasted nuts, grapes, and tarragon.

I wanted it immediately the first time I saw him take it out of his lunch bag and heard him describe the recipe. When my other friend and coworker Diana came in last week with some chicken salad of her own, the same recipe, I knew I had to make it as soon as possible (which turned out to be last Friday).

The thing I love about making recipes that others have made is that the recipes have already been tested and any possible trouble spots are thus easier to avoid. This recipe is a good example, as it calls for 2 teaspoons of salt (yes, 2 whole teaspoons) to be added to the dressing, hardly any of which is necessary. I knew this going in, and cut down the salt dramatically. I also knew that the dressing amount could be cut as well, and I used seedless red grapes instead of green. All information gleaned from discussions with my friends. If you don't have your own personal recipe testers, a great thing to do is find a recipe website, like Food Network or Recipezaar, that has user comments along with the recipes. You can pick up many great tips from countless others who have tried the recipe before you.

For this particular recipe I doubled the chicken, halved the mayo and sour cream, reduced the salt to 1/4 teaspoon (and I'm not sure it even needed that), and reduced the nuts by half. Although the recipe was intended to produce a salad eaten on a bed of lettuce, I could never eat chicken salad this way knowing I'm just 2 slices of bread away from sandwich heaven. I found this particular recipe to be quite good, the grapes added a nice refreshing burst of sweet flavor that I found to be a nice accent. And tarragon is fast becoming one of my favorite herbs, as I find it pairs extremely well with poultry. The real keeper though from this recipe is the easy and delicious chicken preparation. The meat came out cooked perfectly, and starting with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts really kicks up the flavor while reducing the price tag (don't be a boneless/skinless chicken snob). I'll definitely be using this particular prep whenever I make chicken salad from now on.

Oh yeah, the recipe(s)...

The recipe described above - Chicken Salad Contessa

My favorite chicken salad - Cranberry-Walnut Chicken Salad

My favorite egg salad - Egg Salad Sandwich

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spaghetti with Tuna, Arugula, and Hot Pepper

Here's a quick pasta dish that can be made with (mostly) pantry ingredients from another great blog, Simply Recipes. Saute some minced garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, add in some tuna and mix with the spaghetti and arugula, a little salt and pepper and you're done. Once the water boils, this one comes together in about 10 minutes with very little prep.

I'm not always crazy about arugula because I find its bitterness a bit off putting in certain dishes. I was going to swap in baby spinach, but they did not have any at the grocery store when I went shopping, so I ended up using baby arugula. All was well in the end, as I found the slight bitterness added a nice note to the finished dish. When you buy your tuna in oil, make sure it's packed specifically in olive oil (which is what the recipe calls for), not canola or some other oil. I made this mistake and ended up having to make a stop on my way home for the correct product.

Recipe: Spaghetti with Tuna, Arugula, and Hot Pepper

Monday, February 23, 2009

Escarole and Orzo Soup with Turkey Meatballs

So as I am sure you are all aware, bacterial resistance to antibiotics is starting to become a major issue all over the world. This means that some of our old standby drugs, which are some of the main reasons for our increase in life expectancy over the last 100 years, no longer cure diseases that they used to cure. Medical researchers are constantly having to devise newer, stronger treatments, and then the bacteria continue to evolve resistance. You can imagine the frustration of doctors as they try their reliable fallback treatments to no avail....I'd imagine it's not entirely unlike trying to satisfy the ever developing palate of the 2 year old child. Thankfully for the doctors (and for me), there are some things to fall back on that still work (for now).

I'm sure this is not unusual at all, but as soon as my daughter rejects whatever new menu item I have cooked up that night, we start going through the list...cheese sandwich, Cheerios and milk, peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, and we can usually find something that she'll eat. But lo and behold, some of these items just don't cut it anymore, and any or all of them may be rejected. Panic starts to set in as my wife and I realize we're entering a whole new world where past practice does not necessarily indicate future success. Luckily there's one item that so far has always been a hit, always does the trick, and is devoured within minutes, and that's meatball soup (more specifically Escarole and Orzo Soup with Turkey Meatballs). My daughter even eats the escarole AND asks for seconds.

The recipe for this soup is originally from Bon Appetit but I found it featured on one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen.

Start by beating an egg with a bit of water and soaking the bread crumbs in the egg mixture.

Mix the egg/crumb mixture with the parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, garlic, and ground turkey. Mix until just combined.

Using wet hands (so the mixture does not stick), form the meatballs. They should be about 1 inch in diameter (or smaller). A small scoop works well here for portioning. If making them 1 inch in size, you should be able to get about 40 meatballs*. Once they are all made, cover them and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot (at least 4.5 quarts).

Add orzo and chopped carrot, reduce heat and simmer vigorously for 8 minutes. In the meantime, wash, dry, and chop some escarole.

Add the meatballs (turn up the heat a bit as the cold meatballs will bring the temperature way down) and simmer for 10 minutes.

If you have to walk away from the pot, make sure you have somebody to watch it for you.

Add the escarole and simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Don't worry, your kids will eat it (until they won't).


I've made different minor changes and adjustments each time I've made this recipe, and have a few suggestions:
  1. *I use 1 pound of ground turkey instead of 12 ounces (and I don't use turkey breast meat, but the ground turkey that is a combo of light and dark meat). The seasoning to me is perfect when you make this change, and you get more meatballs!
  2. The taste of this soup is excellent as the Parmesan cheese in the meatballs really infuses the soup with flavor, especially if you make it a day in advance. One (potential) downside to making it in advance is that the orzo sops up quite a bit of the broth, and the once brothy soup becomes more stew-like. Now this is not a problem for my family and I because we like the soup this way. If you want your soup flavorful buy still brothy, either thin it out with a little warm stock or water then next day, or don't add the orzo when you make the soup, instead just boil it when you are reheating the soup and add the cooked orzo before serving.
  3. I've used dried parsley instead of fresh, and the soup has been just as good.
  4. I've made this soup with both homemade and store bought chicken stock, and it's pretty good both ways, most people probably wouldn't even know the difference.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

I love having people over for dinner because it allows me to indulge in all my chef fantasies. One such fantasy is serving multiple course dinners (3+ courses), which for many practical reasons I never really do. It's an exciting challenge to pick complementary recipes, put them in sequence, and then figure out how to pull off all of the cooking so I can get the food out in a timely fashion (and enjoy the company of friends). I've learned not to be too overly ambitious in recipe choices, and definitely not to try a recipe for the first time during one of these dinners. Good prep work and mise en place is absolutely essential, so any cooking that needs to be done in between courses can be done in a neat and efficient manner. Most important for me is to make a time line of events and follow it closely, this way there is no forgetting to do things like preheat the oven, or start cooking the rice, which can really throw you off your game.

I had a few friends over the other night, and this is what I served:



Sliced Sourdough French Bread with Seasoned Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Dipping and Provolone Cheese

First Course
Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Second Course
Cauliflower Soup with Gorgonzola

Third Course

Prosciutto and Provolone Stuffed Chicken Breast with Risotto Milanese and Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onions and Balsamic Vinegar


Toffee Cake (compliments of my baker extraordinaire mother)


Soup is a great thing to serve during a dinner like this because it can be made in advance and reheated. This particular soup I had made many times before, and it is always a hit (it's always nice to have a ringer on the team). Good homemade bread is always a standout as well. My third course was a little unwieldy thanks to my choice of risotto (which I cooked part way in advance - an ongoing experiment of mine) and a rather labor intensive (but very good) chicken recipe (this one's not free) from Cook's Illustrated. I will definitely make the chicken again, but probably as a standalone dinner, not as a course in a larger meal. The real standout recipe to me in this bunch was the salad.

I was vaguely aware of the concept of a spinach salad with a warm bacon dressing, but I'd never had it before. Somehow this was the first idea that popped into my head when I went about planning this particular menu, so I first had to find a recipe that sounded good to me and test it out. The basic idea is to make a warm dressing utilizing a little fat from some bacon, then pour the hot dressing over the spinach to wilt it a bit before serving. I thought this particular salad made a perfect first course - something slightly out of the ordinary (although apparently it is a classic American recipe), very good, and relatively simple to prepare. I'll definitely be throwing this one into the fancy dinner rotation.

Here's the recipe: Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

My changes:
  • I used apple juice instead of apple cider (hard to find cider all year round)
  • I used baby spinach instead of regular spinach (I HATE picking spinach leaves off of spinach stems)
  • I added some crumbled Stilton blue cheese around the edges of the salad (highly recommended)

As a quick aside, let me just say that I don't think there's any better way to spend an evening than at somebody's house, with good food, good wine, and close friends.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baked Ziti

I hate baked ziti. I hate the dried out pasta tubes around the edges, the mush in the middle, the flavorless sauce, all topped with a plastic layer of cheese, that so often grace picnics, potlucks, birthday parties, etc. I've had so many delicious pasta dishes in my life, that I was perfectly willing to never give baked ziti another try. That is until the March 2009 issue of Cook's Illustrated showed up in the mail and I read this. The good people at Cooks promised me "perfectly al dente pasta, a rich and flavorful sauce, and melted cheese in every bite," and so I was willing to give baked ziti one last try. Even though I knew I was in good hands as Cook's meticulously tests their recipes with every possible trick and tweak until they get them just right, all my past ziti experiences cast a doubtful shadow over my mind (which was somewhat lifted with the help of some good red wine).

The verdict? I've spent the last two days trying to think of the next occasion that would give me a reason to make this dish again, it was that good. It was everything Cook's said it would be, and one of the better pasta dishes to ever come out of my kitchen. Sadly, it is both way too rich and unhealthy, and somewhat time consuming to prepare (about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish), to work its way into my regular meal rotation, but it definitely moves to the head of the class on the "special occasion" list.

Cook's requires you to subscribe to their site in order to get the recipes (if you're ever going to subscribe to anything, you really can't go wrong with Cook's Illustrated), but a little poking around and I found that somebody had posted the recipe on Recipezaar. There's just one mistake to note, it should be 4% fat cottage cheese, not 1%. Cook's recommends Hood brand cottage cheese, and whole milk mozzarella as opposed to part-skim (and warns not to use the pre-grated stuff). And just for me, use the ziti with lines (people, it's all about texture). So if you love baked ziti, I imagine you'll love this reworking of the recipe, and if you're a hater like me, then this might be the one that converts you.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spaghetti alla Boscaiola

I try a lot of different recipes that I find on the various food blogs that I read. Usually they are very good, but I just don't have time to write long blog posts detailing all of them. In the spirit of efficiency and being concise, I figured I could just past them along here on my blog.

Here's a nice quick pasta dish that I made this past Thursday night. It only involves a few ingredients, and although it's somewhat irritating to have to use 3 separate pots/pans, it's worth it in the end. If you like mushrooms, give this one a try.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

I generally make my menu for the week and go food shopping on Saturday morning. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what I want to eat all week long, and I'm not always crazy about the idea of buying veggies and things on Saturday for a dish I'm not going to prepare until Friday, so I've been making "breakfast for dinner" for the past couple of Fridays. Nothing too fancy, a six-egg mushroom and cheese omelet, some sourdough or whole wheat toast, and some potatoes. I really like being able to come home at the end of the week and make a simple yet satisfying meal, and the thing that's really been making this meal has been the potatoes. Now I've extolled the virtues of potatoes with breakfast before, but I've refined my technique and seasoning a bit after trying many different recipes and cooking methods, and I think I've come up with something pretty good (and really easy).

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and cutting up some Russet potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes. I like to leave the skin on, but peeling the potatoes would be fine.

Season the potatoes with salt, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix in a little vegetable oil and spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet that has been generously coated with cooking spray.

Roast the potatoes on the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the potatoes, and roast for another 20 minutes until the potatoes are nice and brown and crispy.

Serve immediately with your breakfast item of choice and a little ketchup.


Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes
about 50 minutes - serves 4
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, washed well and dried
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes
  3. In large bowl, mix potatoes with salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and oil until well coated
  4. Generously coat a non-stick sheet pan (1/2 sheet size) with cooking spray
  5. Spread the potatoes evenly on the sheet pan and place the pan on the center rack of the oven
  6. Roast for 20 minutes, flip the potatoes over, roast another 20 minutes until the potatoes are brown and crispy (roasting time may be extended 5 to 10 minutes for darker, crisper potatoes), serve immediately