Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mashed Potato Soup

This entry could also be called, "How to Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes". If you're like me, you will often make too much of a dish for holiday meals. Such is the case with my mashed potatoes, whose leftovers filled a large tupperware container. This recipe is an adaptation of my Creamy Potato Soup.

There are no real measurements for this recipe because it can be altered for your needs. The butter and milk that many people add to mashed potatoes just makes this more flavorful from the get-go. You can also treat the potato soup as a starting point and add other leftovers for a heartier soup. Imagine throwing in your leftover cooked corn or chunks of ham after the liquid has heated up.

  • olive oil
  • small wedge white onion, diced
  • leftover mashed potatoes (I had about 5-6 cups)
  • water (I used about 4-6 cups)
  • spoonful vegetable/chicken base (or 1 bouillon cube)
  • pinch dried thyme leaves
  1. Heat stockpot over medium heat. Add drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Cook onion until translucent.
  3. Add mashed potatoes, water, vegetable base, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  4. Whisk soup to break up any remaining mashed potato chunks.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Polenta with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Shallots

Polenta is cooked cornmeal. Translation: a great dinner option for those who are avoiding wheat or other products with gluten.

Polenta can be purchased pre-cooked, usually in a package whose shape resembles a giant pill. Or, you can go the old fashioned route and buy cornmeal, cooking it according to directions that are usually written on the back of the box.

Try out this dinner meal alongside grilled chicken, or as a vegetarian option accompanied with some greens. Ours cooked up crispy on the bottom and smooth inside. You can mix it up by adding parmesan cheese to the polenta before you bake it, or changing the toppings to your liking.

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • olive oil
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot, sliced (or can substitute 1 medium red onion)
  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook cornmeal according to package directions. (usually a 1:1 ratio with water)
  3. Coat glass 8x8 baking dish with olive oil.
  4. Spoon cornmeal into pan and top with tomatoes, basil, and shallots.
  5. Drizzle olive oil on top of vegetables and add salt and pepper.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until shallots are tender.