Tag Archives: thyme

Crash Hot Potatoes

25 Mar

Smashed potatoes

I’ve never been a huge fan of red potatoes. Especially when quartered and boiled and served as a side at restaurants. No thanks. But, over the years I’ve come to find several variations of red potatoes which I actually enjoy. These Crash Hot Potatoes are my latest and most tasty find. I’ve made these babies probably 4 times in the last month or so. While they do take a bit of time to make, they really aren’t much work. Most of the time involved is waiting for them to cook. Using smaller potatoes will obviously cut way down on the cooking time. I’ve taken to using my pressure cooker for the first part of the process as it’s quicker and more fool-proof to get tender potatoes. This works especially well when I only have larger potatoes to work with.

One really great thing about this recipe is you can pretty much use whatever herb you like. The first time I made these I only had dried thyme available but they still turned out great. I’ve since made them with fresh thyme and fresh rosemary, both of which were awesome. This is now my go-to side whenever potatoes are needed. Give them a shot!

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Chicken and Dumplings

7 Jan

When I was choosing my meals to make for the week, I didn’t look super close at the time requirements of this recipe and missed the one hour cook time for the chicken. Since I had already bought 5 pounds of chicken thighs, I was kind of stuck using this recipe, but luckily Seth is around on weekends so it makes these more time consuming meals possible. After all was said and done I think it took me close to 3 hours to get this on the table. Keep in mind I wasn’t rushing around the kitchen or anything, so if you work faster than I do it’s highly possible it won’t take you that long.

The question is, was all that time and effort worth the results? It’s hard to say. I mean, this turned out really good and I feel better feeding my family purely homemade food. So, if you’ve got the extra time, go ahead and make this. If you don’t and don’t mind a few store-bought substitutes, try this other winner from Sandra Lee. You can’t lose with either recipe.

chicken and dumplings atk

“Don’t use low-fat or fat-free milk in this recipe. Be sure to reserve 3 tablespoons chicken fat for the dumplings; however, if you prefer not to use chicken fat, unsalted butter can be substituted. Start the dumpling dough only when you’re ready to top the stew with the dumplings.”


  • 5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 12 thighs)
  • table salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 4 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup whole milk (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leave, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons reserved chicken fat (or unsalted butter)

For the Stew:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Pour off the chicken fat and reserve. Return the pot to medium-high heat and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken. Pour off and reserve any chicken fat.

Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, milk, thyme, and bay leaves. Nestle the chicken, with any accumulated juices, into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 1 hour.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken,(using two forks), discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.

For the Dumplings:

Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth. Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

Drop golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the stew, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

Pasta with Sauteed Mushrooms and Thyme

5 Jan

This is another gem from my new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. It was fast enough for a weeknight meal and actually had a lot of flavor. I used a combination of button mushrooms and baby bellas because that’s all my grocery store had on hand. The leftovers from this meal went quick, a sure sign of a winner!

mushroom pasta

“Vegetable broth can be substituted for the chicken broth to make this dish vegetarian. If you add the pasta to the boiling water at the same time the cremini go into the skillet, the pasta and sauce will finish at the same time.”


  • Table salt
  • 1 pound campanelle or farfalle
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large shallots, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps wiped clean and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high; add the shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the cremini and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture released by the mushrooms has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Off the heat, stir in the cream and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the mushrooms, chicken broth mixture, cheese, and parsley to the pasta. Toss over medium-low heat until the cheese melts and the pasta absorbs most of the liquid, about 2 minutes. Adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved pasta cooking water as needed and serve immediately.

From: The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013

Garlic Roasted Salmon & Asparagus

16 Nov

My wonderful father-in-law recently went on an epic fishing trip to Alaska and brought us back some salmon… way better than a crappy t-shirt, eh? I figured this special salmon warranted a deviation from my typical ‘salt-pepper-sear’ method of cooking salmon, so I decided to try this recipe out. It ended up being a fabulously easy way to enjoy my favorite kind of fish.

Originally this recipe called for brussels sprouts which I love, but Seth does not. Also, they were a bit expensive for my taste so I swapped them for asparagus and shortened the initial baking time to 10 minutes. I also subbed thyme for oregano because the fresh stuff wasn’t available to me. This really hit the spot and it’s definitely something I’d make again, even if just for those little pieces of roasted garlic… mmm.

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Golden Summer Squash Soup

27 Aug

I know. Who in the hell makes soup in the summer? Me apparently. But it uses summery ingredients and tastes delicious so it’s ok. Trust me.

This stuff really didn’t look super appetizing as I was making it. Chunks of squash floating in chicken broth don’t exactly please the eye. BUT, after it was pureed and some thyme, corn, and goat cheese were added, this soup looked like a gourmet meal. And it was. I’m sure there are many of you out there with loads of yellow squash on your hands. This is a great way to use a little of it. This made two bowls of soup, so enough for the main course for two people. If you’re cooking for the family, you’ll definitely want to at least double the recipe. Heating up the stove is worth it for this one. I promise.

p.s. This soup could easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

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Corn Chowder

18 Mar

A couple of weeks ago Seth and I stopped in at Mimi’s for lunch where I ordered a half turkey sandwich with a small bowl of corn chowder. Somehow that corn chowder hit just the right spot and I knew I needed to make my own.

I don’t think I’ve ever made corn chowder before, but it was way easy and so delicious! It had the perfect amount of sweetness and crunch from the corn and a nice complement of salty from the bacon. Did I mention it has thyme in it too? This is another recipe from my America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook of which I’m sure I’ll be making again. The soup can be made with either fresh or frozen corn which makes it the perfect year-round recipe!


Corn Chowder

America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Serves 6

2 pounds frozen corn
4 slices bacon, chopped fine
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
12 ounces red potatoes (2 medium) scrubbed and cut into 1/4 –inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper

Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend half of the frozen corn in a blender with the 3 cups of chicken broth until smooth.

Add the onion to the bacon and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly stir in the milk, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the potatoes, corn puree, bay leaves, thyme and remaining corn. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the cream. Continue to simmer until the corn kernels are tender yet still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Open-faced Egg Sandwich with Thyme Pesto and Lemon Cream

19 Jan

I know I’ve told you a million times how much I love thyme, but I’m going to tell you again. I LOVE THYME. When I saw this recipe I was like, You can make pesto out of THYME? WHA?! 

I was a little scared of this. The lemon cream was especially scary because I used plain Greek yogurt instead of crème fraîche and 1 tsp. lemon zest (and a tiny bit of lemon juice… probably 1-2 tsp.)  instead of the preserved lemon. I tasted it after it was all blended together and was like, huh. Not sure about this stuff. But I put it in the fridge and finished making the rest of the components. Each thing tasted just ‘OK’ on its own, but when I put all of it together, YUM! This was a super fast meal and was a great option for dinner on a hectic night full of running errands.

p.s. I don’t know what it is about me and my egg sandwiches lately, but there’s something about a fried egg with savory ingredients that makes them taste so much better than they do with pancakes and syrup. In other words, fried eggs for dinner? YEAH! Fried eggs for breakfast? gag

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