Hasselback potatoes are something I had never even heard of until I found them during one of my trips to Pinterest-land, where I find myself taking Mommy mental vacations. With approximately 30 seconds of extra prep time per potato, you can make a spud have some serious wow-factor.
My Hasselback Potatoes
Inspired by Pinterest
Potatoes (hey, whatever you have in the house works) 4-6
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 peperoncino or 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp melted butter
Earlier in the day, measure the olive oil and add the garlic and hot peppers, allow the flavours to infuse the oil. Melt butter and add to oil when ready to make the potatoes. Wash your potatoes well and dry them off. Sit them on a cutting board, letting them find their flattest bottom. Cut very thin slices in the potato, making sure not to cut all of the way through (I made a couple slices all of the way through, but unless they are for company or for blog photos, just push the pieces back together). Brush liberally with the oil/butter, sprinkle with coarse salt, and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40-60 minutes, or until done and edges are getting crispy. I pop the broiler on for the last minute or two.
Steamed carrots are another not-so-exciting side. But by tossing them in some ginger-infused maple butter, they end up being anything but boring. Also, by using heirloom rainbow carrots, you can add some extra visual interest to your plates with no extra work.
My Ginger Maple Carrots
1.5 lb carrots, peeled or scrubbed
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Fresh ginger, a piece about the size of three stacked quarters, peeled and score the surface with a knife
In a small glass bowl, combine butter, maple and ginger. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, to melt the butter and warm the mixture. Allow the ginger to infuse the maple butter while you steam or boil your carrots until they are done to your liking. Drain the carrots, remove the ginger from the butter and pour the maple butter over the hot carrots, tossing to coat.
I haven't had meatloaf in years. During my 7-year stint of vegetarianism I did perfect my lentil loaf though, which is a recipe I will be sharing as well. Since it had been so long, I thought I would just wing it, using what I had in the house and it ended up being a really tasty meatloaf, with lots of garlic flavour.
2 lbs medium ground beef (lean would be fine as well)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup ketchup (I use low-sodium)
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
In a large mixing bowl, add beef and all other ingredients (except topping). Mix well by hand until all ingredients are ground together. Form into a tight loaf and place on a rack placed on a baking pan lined with tin foil (for ease of clean up, and to allow the fat to drip off). Flatten the top and spread the topping on the loaf. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 90 minutes.