Swiss Cheesy Mashed Spuds

Stop me if you’ve heard this one already… I may be repeating myself. These days I’m not so sure, but I did find a good price on Swiss cheese at Best Yet Market, they’re having their crazy 88 sale. So, as I have some potatoes here hat as starting to soften, I figured I would make some Swiss cheesy mash potatoes to accompany the pork chops Best had on sale (three buck for two nicely sized chops).  The chops were simply sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and broiled. The ‘fancy’ part of our dinner was the potatoes, the pickled beets part of the dinner came straight from the jar, but that’s just between us.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Six medium Long Island potatoes
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup chopped chives

Start by peeling and quartering the potatoes, toss then in a pot with some salt and some water and boil them up. Let them boil about fifteen minutes and then sit for five to really soften them up. In a large mixing bowl add the butter, cubed, and the milk. Add in the drained potatoes and start mashing… working the cheese in a little at a time so it melts into the mixture. Once that’s accomplished, add the chives and mix well… transfer this into a serving bowl and get it to the table.

cute-mouse

Tortellini with Crab Sauce

Pasta and sauce, a simple combination that can have so many different variations on the theme. Well, this one is inspired in part by a Sicilian sauce I had at a little Italian place. There are no anchovies in this version however (perhaps next time we’ll add the little salt bombs).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 rashers of thick cut bacon
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Dash of pepper

Remove any shell and cartilage from the crab meat. Sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and bacon until the bacon has been fairly well rendered and the veggies are tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, and a dash of sea salt and pepper. Simmer this for about a half an hour getting the sauce to meld together. Then, add the crab meat and heat through. Serve this over your favorite pasta but I really like this over cheese tortellini.

tortellini-chunky-tomato-sauce

Clams Au Gratin

This is a noodle casserole with fresh clams and clam juice. It’s a yummy, cheesy, seaside comfort food for chilly winter days. This dish bakes up nicely in a warm oven that helps take the chill out of the air.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One pint of clam meat
  • 1 ¼ cups of clam juice and milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup of butter (bless you Paula Dean)
  • 1 cup of elbow macaroni cooked
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese (use the good stuff or you’ll get tat day-glow faux cheese nastiness)
  • 1 tsp seal salt
  • Dash of pepper

 

Shuck the clams and save the juice. Chop up the clam meat, scald the juice and milk or cream if you prefer.

Add the butter and melt that into the liquid. Take it off the heat and add in the macaroni, bead crumbs, grated cheese, salt, pepper, clams, mix well. Then, blend in the two eggs. Transfer this mixture to a well greased casserole dish.

Bake the casserole in an oven at 350 degrees for about forty five minutes. Let it set for a few minutes before bringing it to the table.

SteamerClams1

Long Island Comfort Potatoes

What’s better to keep you company during an original Star Trek marathon. When I think of these marathons, I think of hammy acting, cheesy scenes, and scalloped potatoes from right here on Long Island. I like to use a good amount of ham and cheese so as to make this side dish more of a one pot winter comfort food. So ‘beam me up Scotty’ ahead warp factor yum!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound fully cooked ham slice, 1/2-inch thick
  • Half a dozen thinly sliced Long Island potatoes
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cut ham in bite-size cubes and mix with the veggies in a large bowl. Place a layer of the potatoes in a greased 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with some shredded cheddar, then a layer of ham and veggies, then a layer of potatoes and cheese, then a layer of ham and veggies, then a layer of… you get the picture.

Combine the soup with milk and pour over potatoes.

Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove covering; bake 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until potatoes are done. If desired, sprinkle even more shredded Cheddar cheese over the top of scalloped potatoes the last 15 minutes of baking time.

Sit back and enjoy the warm cheesy goodness of Long Island’s comfort food.