We’re Cooking: Roasted Potato Salad with Blue Cheese; Cheddar and Herb Biscones and Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Thyme and Arugula Salad

Roasted Potato Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon

We had barbecue night over the weekend for some friends.  Being the smart people that we are, we opted not to grill (as I hate to admit…our grilling expertise is a little lack luster….Gary says it isthe grill and not us) and instead bought what may be the BEST brisket from the amazing team at Pecan Lodge, housed in Shed 2 at The Dallas Farmers Market.  If you have never had Pecan Lodge you are missing out.  Not only are they some of the nicest people we know, they also make some of the best barbecue, creating juicy, luscious homemade sausage, ribs and brisket with lots of burnt ends daily for their lunch crowd at The Farmers Market, or for the lucky guests who have lunch or dinner catered by them.

With three pounds of brisket and a pound of sausage we were set for protein for the night, but what to pair.  Obviously, Gary’s famous baked beans.the man can make some killer beans….along with a few salads from me and homemade biscuit/scones with lots of cheddar cheese and herbs.

Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta and Cucumber

Since tomatoes are still looking so beautiful right now we pulled out our Watermelon-Heirloom Tomato Salad.  Fresh and beautiful, this time with lots of green zebra tomatoes, purple tomatoes and sweet watermelon, along with the addition of super crisp English cucumber and substituting cilantro and tequila with lots of herbs from our garden including mint, basil, chives and tarragon.  Also on the salad menu was a Roasted Potato Salad, afterall what is a barbecue without potato salad, but I don’t really like a lot of mayo in things so I opted to roast the potatoes and then top them with an herb, Dijon and blue cheese vinaigrette and a dash of crispy bacon.  And finally, because I always like to have something green on our table, a Roasted Portobello Mushroom Salad with fresh thyme on a bed of baby arugula with a thyme and sherry vinaigrette.  So fresh and seasonal, perfect for  a summer Sunday night dinner with friends.

Recipes:

Roasted Potato Salad with Blue Cheese 
Ingredients:
3 pounds red potatoes, washed and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and pepper
2 strips bacon, cooked very crispy and chopped for garnish
1 tablespoon blue cheese (optional)

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup fat-free or regular half and half (not the French Vanilla though)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon each parsley and chives, chopped fine
6 ounces blue cheese

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the potatoes and garlic in the oil and tumble onto a baking sheet in one even layer.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven.  Meanwhile, combine all your ingredients in the dressing together, whisking the oil in last to create a slight emulsification.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Chop your celery and onion and toss into a bowl.  Chop the herbs and place in a ramekin to toss in at the end.  When the potatoes are tender remove from the oven and let cool slightly, about 5-7 minutes, then toss into the bowl with the celery, herbs and onions.  Pour enough of the dressing over to coat the salad well, but not have it swim in it (you may have some left over.)  Toss well to incorporate all the flavors.  Check your seasoning and adjust to your taste.  Can be served now or refrigerated until ready to serve cold.  Before serving top with the chopped bacon and any remaining blue cheese you may have.

Cheddar Herb Biscones

Cheddar and Herb Biscones
These were a cross between biscuits and scones….I didn’t really have one or the other I was hoping for, so a “biscone” made perfect sense.
Ingredients:
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 sticks very cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons each dill, parsley, tarragon, basil and chives, chopped fine
3/4 cup fat-free half and half
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs

Preparation:
In a mixer sift in all the dry ingredients,  then turn on a slow speed (2 on our Kitchen Aid) and add the cheese and herbs and give it a twirl for a few repetitions.  Then add in the butter and gently let the butter begin to mix into the flour, eventually creating small balls throughout the mix.  Don’t over beat it, you don’t want the butter to melt, but get it incorporated.  Meanwhile whisk the eggs and milk and half and half together.  Add to the flour mix once the butter is incorporated and beat until all the ingredients are mixed well.    Pour out onto a floured surface knead the dough together about 4 or 5 times, then roll into a ball. With a floured rolling pin roll to about a 1/2 inch thickness, then with a well floured biscuit cutter cut the biscuits and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment (or, if you don’t have parchment make sure your baking sheet is well oiled so the biscones don’t stick.)  Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes (give or take a few depending on your oven) and serve hot.  This should make about 3 dozen or so biscones.

Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Thyme and Arugula Salad
Fresh thyme is such a fragrant and flavorful herb, and one I love with mushrooms.  Add in spicy arugula and it is an ideal earthy summer salad.
Ingredients:
3 or 4 portobello mushroom caps, brushed clean and cut into 1 inch by 2 inch strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, stems removed
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
6 oz baby arugula
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400.  Toss the mushrooms with the oil, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic, shallot and season with salt and pepper.  Pour in to a baking dish and roast for about 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are super tender.  Whisk together all the ingredients in the dressing and set aside.  When the mushrooms are ready add the arugula and onion into a serving dish and top with the warm mushrooms.  The heat will slightly wilt the greens.  Drizzle over the dressing, toss to coat, top with parmesan cheese and serve.

5 thoughts on “We’re Cooking: Roasted Potato Salad with Blue Cheese; Cheddar and Herb Biscones and Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Thyme and Arugula Salad

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