Thursday, June 25, 2009


I received this kind of funny video about how to peel a potato very easily. At first, I thought it was a joke but after watching the video I've decided that it might be very useful. I can see using this method of peeling a potato when making potato salad or mashed potatoes. If you need to boil and peel a boatload of potatoes, give this method a try. I'm definitely going to try it since peeling potatoes is one of my least favorite cooking tasks. We all do it but I don't know anyone who really enjoys it. In honor of discovering this new easy method to peel potatoes, I thought I would provide a few great potato salad recipes and an interesting potato ice cream recipe. We haven't tried it yet but I think we will.

Southern Potato Salad

Serves 4


4 potatoes
4 eggs
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup sweet relish
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes; drain and chop.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water; peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, sweet relish, garlic, mustard, mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Gently mix together and serve warm.


Serves 4


4 potatoes
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped green onions
salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes; cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop.

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Reserve bacon fat.

Add the flour, sugar, water and vinegar to skillet and cook in reserved bacon fat over medium heat until dressing is thick.

Add bacon, potatoes and green onions to skillet and stir until coated. Cook until heated and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.


Serves 8


8 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup minced onion
5 hard-boiled eggs


1. Boil peeled potatoes in salted water till done. Cool to room temperature.
2. Place diced potatoes in large bowl.
3. Mix next 7 ingredients in another bowl.
4. Add to potatoes.
5. Add celery and onions and mix well.
6. Stir in eggs.
7. Sprinkle a little paprika on top.


By H. Alexander Talbot

500g raw russet potatoes, cut into quarters lengthwise
530g skim milk
80g agave nectar
4g salt
370g whole milk yogurt

Cook the potato quarters on the grill until they are charred on all sides. Once the potatoes are grilled, cut them into chunks and put them in a pot with the skim milk, salt and the agave nectar. When the potatoes are falling apart, turn off the heat and fold in the yogurt. Use a food mill to coarsely pulverize the base mixture.

Chill the mixture. We use a pacojet to make ice cream, a device which thinly shaves the frozen mixture into creamy ice cream. In lieu of the pacojet, I would recommend quickly pulsing the ice cream mixture in a blender to smooth the mixture. This process must be done quickly so as not to overwork the gluten in the potatoes. At this point, freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker.

Grilled Idaho® Potato Ice Cream


2 cups milk
2 cups cream
4 - 5 each skins of grilled Idaho® potatoes
¾ cup sugar
9 egg yolks


Bring the milk and cream to a boil with the potato skins.

Whisk the yolks and the sugar together. Temper the liquid into the yolk mixture and return to stovetop.

Cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Strain and cool in an ice bath. Process in ice cream machine.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lemon - Cornmeal Cake

I made this recipe last week for D's first Boy Scout Court of Honor. He received his "scout" badge. It was a very nice event. Everyone seemed to enjoy this cake. There wasn't any left over for me to take home so I guess that is a good sign. If you like lemon cake, this is a really good recipe for you to try. I found this recipe in the March 3, 2009 issue of Woman's Day Magazine.

Lemon-Cornmeal Cake

Baking Spray (cooking spray with flour)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt, stirred to loosen

Sugar Glaze

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll need a 10-cup decorative tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan coated with baking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt.

2. In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk until batter is smooth.l Scrape into prepared pan; level top with spatula.

3. Bake 55 to 65 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the sugar glaze: Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl just until combined (sugar will not be totally dissolved). Invert cake from pan onto rack; place rack over a baking sheet. Brush glaze all over the hot cake until absorbed (sugar crystals will be evident). Cool completely. Transfer cake to a serving plate and cover. Let cake rest several hours, or overnight, before serving. Store cake covered at room temperature up to 4 days. Cut into thin slices to serve.

Tip: Use lime zest and lime juice for a zesty alternative.


The Creative Cook

Friday, June 19, 2009

Albondigas - Mexican Meatballs

I am aware that Mexico is not part of our Southwest but you have to admit that southwestern cuisine is very much influenced by Mexico and Mexican flavors. I thought this recipe would be a good addition to Southwestern week. So here goes. . .

This is a recipe that I have had in my possession for quite a while but I haven't tried yet. I figure that if I go ahead and post it on this blog, I'll finally make it. I found the recipe in the July 8, 2008 issue of Woman's Day Magazine. That is how long I've been holding onto it. I'm going to also include a recipe for Enchilada Sauce because after reading the ingredients on a few cans/jars of this stuff, I'm not happy with the ingredients. Emeril's recipe looks straight forward and easy so I'm going to try it instead of a jar of sauce with these meatballs.

If you have every tried these, please let me know how you like them. They sound yummy to me.


12 oz lean ground pork
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/4 cup each chopped scallions and cilantro
1 egg
1 teaspoon each minced garlic, ground cumin and dried oregano

Roll into 24 meatballs. Brown in a little oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add a 15 oz. can tomato sauce or (for more heat) a 10 oz can enchilada sauce. Cover; simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are cooked.

Serves 4

Emeril's Easy Enchilada Sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
10 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings. Serve atop your favorite enchiladas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Southwestern Recipe!

This is another recipe that I was holding onto in hopes of making it for the Wining Women event. I didn't make it then but I did make it this past weekend when we had some friends over for a cookout in our back yard. It was very well received. It reminded me of the Buffalo Chicken dip that I make frequently. If you are a vegetarian or thinking of becoming one, this is a great alternative to the chicken dip.

Southwest Artichoke Dip



1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp cumin
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 (4 oz) can sliced green chiles
1 tablespoon chili powder
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, mild
1/2 cup sour cream


Step 1: Drain artichoke hearts and chop

Step 2: Add chiles, mayonnaise, sour cream and garlic

Step 3: Mix well

Step 4: Add in spices and hot sauce, then 1 cup of cheese

Step 5: Transfer to small casserole sprayed with non-stick spray

Step 6: Top with remaining cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and dip is heated through

Step 7: Serve with tortilla chips or scoops

Enjoy the Southwest Artichoke Dip!

The Creative Cook

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Southwestern Recipe Week Continues. . .

My youngest nephew graduated from college last year and got his first paying job shortly afterwards. He seems to be working at a very nice place. They had a pot luck lunch last week and convinced him to make something. He was concerned because he doesn't really cook. They gave him a list of ingredients that he went out and bought and then they dumped it all into a crock pot for 4 hours. He wound up winning an award for "best dip". Amazing! I don't think he'll be shy about making something for a pot luck in the future. Here is his award winning recipe:

Queso Con Chorizo Dip

2 jars of salsa (mild)
2-3 tablespoons chili sauce
16 oz cream cheese (he used chives & onion flavor)
8 oz sour cream
1 package Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage Patties (precooked & crumbled)
8 oz shredded cheddar
1 jar bacon bits (he said lots)
1 can light kidney beans (optional)
1 green pepper chopped (optional)

Put all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for at least 4 hours. Serve with tortilla chips or scoops.


The Creative Cook & Son

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Cheesecake Factory Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

I tried making these cakes thinking they would be great for the Wining Woman event. I didn't realize that they only make 4 cakes. I could have increased the recipe or used an idea I saw on another website where someone used a pampered chef scoop and made balls out of them. Of course, this would definitely make a better appetizer since it makes about 20 balls. You can try it either way. I used store bought Salsa Verde and Tomato Salsa. These are the appetizer that my nephew and his wife order every time we go to Cheesecake Factory. They really are yummy. I read where someone who had worked at Cheesecake Factory looked at the recipe and said it was the exact recipe but that the original recipe I found had the corn cakes being cooked in the oven but they should be made on the stovetop in a skillet. All I know is that they are really yummy~

The Cheesecake Factory Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

By Todd Wilbur


Salsa Verde

2 tomatillos, chopped (remove papery skin)
1 4 oz can mild green chilies
1 green onion
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1-1/4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch ground black pepper

Southwestern Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon water
3/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch onion powder
dash salt
dash garlic powder

Tomato Salsa

1 medium tomato
1 tablespoon minced Spanish onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 small fresh jalapeño, minced
dash salt
dash ground black pepper


1-1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup corn masa (corn flour)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Preparation & Cooking Instructions

Prepare salsa verde by combining all ingredients (tomatillos, green chilies, green onion, cilantro, sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper) in a food processor on high speed. Cover and chill.

Prepare tomato salsa by combining all ingredients (diced tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, salt, and pepper) in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

Prepare southwestern sauce by combining all ingredients (mayonnaise, vinegar, water, sugar, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, salt, and garlic powder) in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

Prepare the tamale cakes by chopping 1 cup of the frozen corn in a food processor until it's coarsely pureed. Combine pureed corn with softened butter, sugar, and salt. Blend well with electric mixer until smooth. Add masa and flour and blend well. Mix in the remaining ½ cup of frozen corn kernels by hand. Measure 1/2 cup portions of the mixture and form it into 3" wide patties with your hands. Arrange the patties on a skillet and cook on low-med heat like you would pancakes until very golden brown. Carefully flip all cakes with a spatula and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until other side is browned.

While the cakes are baking, spoon a portion of the salsa verde onto a plate or platter (you may want to heat up your plate in the oven for a bit to help warm the sauce). You'll need to use enough salsa verde to coat the entire plate -- it should be about 1/4" deep. Arrange the tamale cakes side-by-side on the salsa verde. Spoon a dollop of sour cream onto each tamale cake. Drizzle the southwestern sauce over the cakes in a crisscross patter (use a squirt bottle if you've got one). Spoon some tomato salsa over the cakes, followed by the chopped avocado. Finish off the plate by sprinkling the coarsely chopped cilantro leaves over the top. Serves 4.


The Creative Cook

Monday, June 15, 2009

Southwestern Recipe Week

Hey, I'm back from outerspace! I finally got the energy and time to do another post. I have had a few Southwestern recipes that I have been wanting to post. About a month ago, I went to the last Wining Women event in my neighborhood and the theme was the Southwest. The person who was hosting didn't know (until she went to the liquor store) that Maryland does not import wines from the Southwest. Instead, she chose wines from South America. They were very good wines. I don't particularly care for dry red wines but there were a few sweeter wines and several whites that I liked. She kept the food theme to the Southwestern United States so I brought a really tasty dish called Enchilada Meatballs. My niece who lives in Arizona sent the recipe to me. We ate those meatballs for dinner and I brought some to the Wining Women event. The recipe makes a lot of meatballs. They are yummy.

Enchilada Meatballs
from Taste of Home

Servings: 48


2 cups crumbled corn bread
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend


In a large bowl, combine the corn bread, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and salt. Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Shape into 1-in. meatballs.

Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat tomato sauce and remaining enchilada sauce. Drain meatballs; place in a serving dish. Top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with toothpicks. Yield: about 4-1/2 dozen.


The Creative Cook