Mediterranean Potato Salad

Med Potato Salad

 

I found the original recipe for this at Simply Recipes while searching for a mayo-free potato salad. When it’s a million degrees here I want something that can handle the heat and stay safe longer than mayo-based salads. This has become a staple in my house! It’s good cold or at room temperature, and the simplified version I make comes together crazy quick.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut
  • 1 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they’re easily pierced with a fork; scoop them out but don’t drain the water
  2. Boil the green beans in the same water until they’re also tender, or as tender as you like if you’re one of those “tender-crisp” people
  3. Cut the peppers into strips or dice, whatever your little heart desires
  4. Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper, then add in all the vegetables; taste, and add more salt if needed (potatoes need a lot, I find)

Variations: you can change out the lemon juice for any kind of vinegar: champaign, red wine, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar are all good. You can add some Tony Chachere’s or similar in place of some of the salt if you like a kick to it.

Once it’s been chilled in the fridge, I like it to sit out about 30 minutes or so till the chill is knocked off a bit; then it’s perfect for me.

What other variations should we try?

Fruity chicken salad

 

The Yankee recently made a discovery, and I’m in love.

With tea.

I used to buy gallons of fruit tea from a BBQ joint called JJ’s in Spring Hill, TN. It was amazing, and usually came in a washed out gallon-size pickle or mayonnaise container. Fine by me, as long as it ended up in my kitchen.

We moved away from Spring Hill about nine years ago, though, and I have been fruit-tea-less and bereft.

UNTIL NOW.

The Yankee found Alley Cat Tea at our local Publix and bought some for me to try. It is the real deal, folks. So much so that they don’t even know I’m writing this review/recipe — they didn’t give me any free or pay me, I just think it’s so great that y’all should know about it. To be fair, they DID offer to give me some tea, but our schedules do not mesh well.🙂

Anyway!

My favorite is to just drink it straight, but a little Jack Daniel’s in it doesn’t hurt either.😉 I wanted to find a way to cook with it, too, so I made this fruity/fruit-tea (see what I did there) chicken salad and it’s SO GOOD. It has sweetness from the tea, pineapple, and craisins; it has a tiny bit of sour from the lemon juice, and the chicken holds it all together. It does not have celery, because I don’t like eating dental floss.

To make your own:

  • 2 chicken breasts, marinated (see below)
  • 1 cup fruit tea, divided
  • 2 ounces mayonnaise
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
  • juice of one lemon
  • Salt, pepper
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks, and marinate in 3/4 cup fruit tea — at least a couple hours, preferably overnight
  2. Cook the chicken in the tea; I did mine in a slow cooker for about 2 hours, then shred the chicken
  3. Mix cooled, shredded chicken with mayo, apple, raisins, pineapple, lemon juice, plus remaining 1/4 cup fruit tea, then add salt and pepper to taste

 

This is amazing served as a sandwich on Hawaiian rolls, and also great with crackers for little appetizers. Enjoy!

Fresh salsa

I know. A salsa recipe! From ME! It’s shocking. I’ll give you a minute while you collect yourself.

This one comes courtesy of my BFF’s boyfriend, and it is so good. Very different from my usual roasted salsa roja, and perfect for right now when the tomatoes are in season and easy to find. Around here we can still find a farmer with a card table of tomatoes and a cigar box for cash sitting out at the end of the driveway. Best tomatoes in the world!

Anyway, the salsa is also easily customizable, so you can make it anywhere from diced tomatoes to melt-your-face-off hot (which, you’ve probably figured out by now, is my preferred level of heat).

Fresh salsa:

  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium-large white onion
  • 3 serrano peppers
  • 1 bunch cilantro*
  • salt, and black pepper to taste
  • 3 large limes

To assemble:

  1. Dice tomatoes, onion, and peppers and stir together in a bowl
  2. Chop the cilantro and add in
  3. Add salt and pepper, then squeeze in the juice from the limes
  4. Stir, and enjoy! The longer it sits, the hotter it gets — just something to keep in mind

*A note on cilantro: for the last three years or so I kind of hate it (pregnancy was weird), so the first time I made this myself I just left it out. And I MISSED it. It really makes that much of a difference, so my advice is to try just a little bit in it even if you think you hate it.

Random: this reminds me so much of the now-defunct Salsa Y’all. Does anyone else remember that?

Strawberry vinaigrette, and Ball giveaway

It is no secret to any of you that I adore kitchen classics; cast iron pans and Mason jars are at the top of the list. When Ball contacted me to see if I wanted to do a giveaway with them for the inaugural International Can-It-Forward Day I was ALL OVER THAT. This is stuff I use in my kitchen every single day, and have for years before I even started a blog.

The info on Can-It-Forward day:

On Saturday August 16, Jarden Home Brands will host the first annual International Can-It-Forward Day with special guest renowned chef and Bravo’s Top Chef judge, Hugh Acheson!  A day to celebrate home canning, International Can-It-Forward Day allows food enthusiasts to connect via a variety of online and in-person activities. New and experienced canners can participate in a live webcast on http://www.frespreserving.com, taking place on ground in Brooklyn Borough Hall Farmers Market, filled with canning demos where viewer questions will be answered in real-time by Chef Acheson and other experts while they learn the most popular (and delicious) home canning recipes. Twenty five farmers markets across the country will also be hosting Can-It-Forward Day celebrations!

In addition to the canning demos, there will also be segments on crafting, herb gardening and the brand’s new drinkware line! We will also be attempting a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Mason Jar Mosaic!

Here is the ridiculously awesome prize pack for the giveaway:

You can see my documented love for Mason jars here, and here’s another favorite food-in-a-jar, a recipe that’s sort of an amalgam of a few recipes I found online:

Strawberry vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 10 strawberries, hulled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Process the strawberries in a food processor until they’re pureed, then add lemon juice, sugar, and salt; process again until completely blended
  2. With the processor still running, add in the vinegar then oil in a steady stream until completely combined and thickened

I’m required at this point to tell you that Ball provided me with all these goodies to review at no charge, but for heaven’s sake y’all already know I love the stuff. Opinions are mine, and I’m not paid to say how much I adore them. I just do.

Giveaway closed! Thanks, y’all, and CONGRATS LEAH!

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Want some???

Let’s make this easy: just leave a comment below telling me which item in the prize pack you’re most excited about, and what you’d use it for (or for what you would use it, in case my Aunt Jane is reading).

Want an extra entry? Pin this post and come back and leave an additional comment telling me you did.

I’ll use random.org to pick a winner after midnight on August 15, central time.

And go!

JACKed sweet potato muffins

I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite recipe.

I was going through my bookshelves to see if I had any cookbooks I could live without (spoiler alert: I didn’t), and came across this one: Jack Daniel’s Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook.

This had belonged to my great aunt, and was signed to her from one of the authors, Lynne Tolley. It’s a treasure trove! I went looking for something involving sweet potatoes and found these, what they call sweet potato muffin delights.

They are SO GOOD, y’all. There isn’t a lot of flour, so the eggs and sweet potato make these so light and airy, and the flavors are great! Just a little hint of Jack, but not so much that you can’t respectably eat these for breakfast.😉

JACKed sweet potato muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • 1 1/4 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (microwave is fine here)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease or line 12 muffin cups
  2. Combine eggs, milk, Jack, sweet potatoes, and butter and mix well
  3. Put a wire strainer or sifter over the top of the bowl and add flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar; shake or press through until all the mixture is sifted into the bowl
  4. Mix until JUST combined, then spoon into prepared muffin cups
  5. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar, then bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean; the cookbook says 35-40 minutes but mine were done after 20, so don’t go far

Because I am positive that you all need to make these, this is a good time for you to try out my snazzy new ZipList functionality! You can save recipes from One Particular Kitchen (and all these amazing blogs), and create your shopping list as you do it! Just click on that “save recipe” button at the top of my recipes, or you can get to your ZipList recipe box or shopping list from my main menu. Let me know if you have any questions!

Also, let me know when you make these muffins, m’kay? Trust me.

Sweet, savory carrots

I am not the world’s best vegetable eater. I know this about myself, but I also know they’re, you know, vegetables; I need to find ways to make them taste good to me.

And friends? I have found the way with carrots. I am in LOVE with these. I’ve eaten them with lunch every day this week. This is HUGE.

I started with bacon, because so many good things start with bacon. I fried it up in a pan, then added some carrots (I used baby carrots because I had them; any kind will do). I poured in some chicken broth I had in the freezer and let them simmer a long time, because I’m Southern and I like my vegetables cooked a long time. I salted them and they were really good, but could maybe use something else, so I was digging around the fridge looking for inspiration and I found it: apricot preserves. Seriously, one tablespoon simmered in with the chicken broth and they were heaven on a plate. Please try it and let me know what you think!

Sweet, savory carrots

Ingredients

  • two slices bacon
  • half pound carrots, cut however you like them
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. apricot preserves

Instructions

  1. In a shallow pan, fry the bacon till crispy, then add in carrots, chicken broth, and salt; simmer, covered, till the carrots are as soft as you like them
  2. Add in apricot preserves and simmer with the lid off, stirring periodically, till preserves are all melted in and sauce is slightly thickened
  3. Serve with a little sauce spooned over the top (these are awesome served over rice so the rice can soak up a little sauce as well)

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

My friend Lissa and her family are in town this week! So fun! We’re all about sharing recipes with each other, and we’re both definitely drawn to ones that are quick and easy but over the top tasty. As soon as I saw her this week she said she had a new one for me: macaroni and cheese cooked in a pressure cooker in six minutes. SIX MINUTES. Speaking my language, girlfriend.

The recipe originates from this bookwhich may have found its way into my Amazon shopping cart. I added some frozen mixed vegetables to it because, hey, vegetables.

By the way, this Fagor Multi Cookeris the pressure cooker I have. I’ve had it since 2009 and use it several times a week — still going strong!

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

Instructions

  1. Add pasta, chicken stock, water, butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, salt, and pepper to pressure cooker
  2. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for six minutes, then quick release
  3. Stir in cheddar and Velveeta until melty and creamy; let everything sit for five minutes before serving if you want it to thicken up a bit (I found it didn’t really need it)

Informal poll! How many of you have a pressure cooker? What’s your favorite thing to make in it?