Potato Hot Pot

A “hot pot” has it’s roots in England.  Typically served with lamb or mutton on the bottom, a hot pot was popular during the industrial age because it could be left on the stove all day, and could feed several people for generally a small amount of money.  This version does not have any meat, but you could add chicken, pork or beef to it. Bake in a deep charlotte pan to get a beautiful hot pot like the one pictured.

Potato Hot Pot 

3 cups sliced or diced potatoes

1 medium onion, sliced

2 tbsp. fat

3 ½ cups tomatoes

1 ½ tsp. salt

Pepper

Cook the potatoes and onion in the fat for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes and tender. For variety, add a cup of cooked green beans during the last 10 minutes of cooking, or add a dash of chili powder or a few sprigs of thyme, or sprinkle with a little grated cheese, just before serving.

 

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Potato Scallop

Scalloped potatoes can be so much more than those that come from a box.  If you have a food processor with a slicing blade, or a good mandolin, making scalloped potatoes from scratch is simple.  You only need a basic knowledge of how to make white sauce to get you started!  This one is the simplest of all.  No white sauce is needed.  Just slices of potatoes and milk.  Build from this recipe to make your own special dish.  Add bacon, cheese, sliced onions… the possibilities are endless!

Potato Scallop

6 medium-sized potatoes

2 tbsp. flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

Pepper

2 tbsp. fat

2 cups hot milk

Peel and slice the potatoes. Put a layer of potatoes in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with part of flour. Dot with fat. Repeat until all the potatoes are used. Pour in the milk – use very fresh milk or it may curdle. Bake in a moderate oven (350ºF) for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and browned on top. Add more milk if the potatoes get dry.

Swedish Almond Bars (Mandelskorpar)

Much like the Italian biscotti, mandelskorpar is a crispy cookie, best served with coffee or tea.  They are baked twice: once to set and brown the loaf, and again to crisp and dry the cookie.

Swedish Almond Bars Mandel Skorpar 

1 cup white sugar

2 tbsp. butter

1 egg and 1 yolk or three yolks

½ pt. sour cream

1 level tsp. soda

½ cup chopped almonds

Flour to roll

Mix sugar and butter, add eggs and beat well. Put soda in sour cream. Add chopped almonds. Add flour enough to roll. Form into four flat loaves. Bake in moderate oven until light brown. Cut into one inch pieces and dry in a slow oven for about 45 minutes.

These may be cut smaller and are grand for a tea or coffee party.

Jalapeño Corn Bread

This seems to be a seriously kicked up corn bread recipe. Great with chili or any other spicy soup or meat dish. Use as few or as many jalapenos as you like. This recipe will be spicy with 5 peppers. Remember to remove the seeds and membranes and wear rubber gloves when chopping your peppers.

Jalapeño Corn Bread

1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal

3 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup grated yellow longhorn cheese

1 cup grated onions

5 large Jalapeños, chopped finely

3 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup Mazola oil

1 cup sour cream

1 8 ½ oz. can cream style corn

Mix together cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cheese, onions and Jalapeños. Add eggs, oil, sour cream, and corn; mix well. Grease a large loaf-cake pan and pour in batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Serve Jalapeño corn bread with black-eyed peas… there is a tradition that those who eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will have good luck throughout the year

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

More booze! I do not know if I have ever had one of these, but I think I’d like to have maybe 20 of them at once.  Then I would go into some sort of quasi sugar shock drunken stupor, which might be entertaining for those around me.  This is obviously an adults only cookies, so make sure the munchkins are dipping in these when finished.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

50 pecan halves

100-proof bourbon, about 1 pt.

1 stick butter, softened

2 boxes confectioners’ sugar

3 squares Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate

Paraffin

Place pecan halves in jar, fill jar with enough bourbon to cover pecans. Seal jar and soak for 24 hours. In one bowl, mix butter and one box of sugar. In another bowl, mix bourbon from pecans and second box of sugar. Combine two mixtures and refrigerate until chilled. Roll into balls with a pecan in the center of each. Coat balls in chocolate that has been melted with a small sliver of paraffin. Store bourbon balls in a tin box in a cool place Makes 50 balls.

Blender Pop Overs

Pop overs are basically a single serving of Yorkshire pudding.  I am sure that someone will argue that, but it’s basically the same thing.  An eggy, light bread, golden brown and perfect for sopping up gravy or delightful spread with jam and butter.  If you do not have a nifty pop over pan, don’t fret.  Single serve ramekins will work just as well.

Blender Popovers

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place ingredients in blender and blend at low speed until batter is the consistency of heavy cream. Scrape sides of blender occasionally. Put two teaspoons of melted butter into each cup of an iron popover pan and heat in the oven for two or three minutes. Remove pan from oven and fill each cup two-thirds or three-quarters full of batter. Because the pan has been preheated, batter will sizzle when poured in. Place in over for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook 20 to 30 minutes more. Popovers should come out tall, brown and airy. Makes 12 popovers.