Perfect, Pesto Potato Salad

Pesto Potato Salad

It's (almost) spring here in the Canadian north. The snowfall has slowed to once/week and it rises above freezing on the regular.  To capture the mood, I made my go-to pesto potato salad. A delicious pesto reminds me of summers past, spring peas brighten it all up and the yolk from soft-poached eggs creates a rich, smooth dressing. This potato salad never lets me down & it's a favourite around the easter dinner table. 

This recipe has only a few modifications from one of my all time favourite cook books, 'Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi'.  If you don't have this cook book, do yourself a favour and pick it up. I have always been a meat man, but this cook book featuring vegetable recipes changed my view entirely. This is one of my staple cookbooks and to date, not a single recipe has let me down. Topping it off, the photography is incredible and it is incredibly well written.  I cook from it weekly, it's well worth the money & Amazon will have it on your door in a day or so. 

 

This recipe starts out with a great pesto. Predictably, parmesan, basil and pine nuts enter the mix. Added to them is fresh mint, garlic and olive oil. I have to admit that fresh pesto is expensive to make (at least here in Canada). Pine nuts and loads of fresh basil take their toll on the wallet (for those of you with access to cheap, fresh produce, i'm jealous). BUT with pesto, you get a big bang for your buck. You don't need a ton of pesto to pack any dish with loads of flavour. This pesto is great over meat, tossed with pasta ... but it's especially delicious tossed with fresh baby potatoes.

Pesto Potato Salad

To get those potatoes to soak up as much of this delicious pesto as possible, add them while they are still warm and then let them marinate. I like to leave them overnight, but even a couple hours at room temperature will do the trick.  The addition of green peas brings a sweet & fresh aspect to this dish and they look fu&*ing awesome.  Pine nuts add crunch and a bit of earthiness. 

Pesto Potato Salad

Really sending this dish to the next level though? Soft boiled eggs. The rich and silky yolks work with the pesto to make this outstanding dressing. I understand if you're not a fan of eggs, but if you're up for it, the addition really takes this salad to the next level. 

Pesto Potato Salad
Pesto Potato Salad

And with that, we're done. A delicious, fresh and savoury potato salad that will make you a damn superstar. 

Pesto Potato Salad

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe, it is hands down my favourite potato salad. 

Until next week!

James Ede Signature



Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

Meat. MEAT. I love it, I really do. I grew up in the heart of the USA’s Midwest - the great state of Minnesota - where the basic food groups consisted of potatoes, cream of [insert mushroom, chicken, or celery here] soup, butter (or Land-O-Lakes margarine), tall cold glasses of milk with every meal and…meat. Minnesotans know what’s up.

I had a recent craving for beef stroganoff. Although I ate this dish frequently as a child, I had yet to make it myself. The beef stroganoff of my youth was a retro reflection of my Norwegian-American-Lutheran upbringing - a nostalgic combination of ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, condensed beef broth, and low-fat sour cream.

Although I (of course) had cream of mushroom soup in my cupboard like any good Minnesotan ex-pat, I wasn’t really feeling that version. I wanted to create something a little less…..processed. That being said, nixing the gelatinous soup schlop does NOT mean the recipe that follows is for someone watching their fat intake or cholesterol levels. This is comfort food at its finest. 

After making a few tweaks to the Simply Recipes version, I came up with a winner. Gather up some easy basics: butter, beef, onions, garlic, mushrooms, sour cream (be sure to read my footnote on the sour cream!). If you have tarragon, nutmeg, and Worcestershire sauce on hand, even better.

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

First, get your beef in some sputtering, aromatic, delicious butter. Work quickly - you’re just browning and the thinness of the meat doesn’t require much time in the pan. Set beef aside. Sauté your onions and garlic in the same pan.

beef-stroganoff--1-2.jpg

Let the onions/garlic rest in the beef bowl, add more butter to the pan and get those mushrooms in there. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, nutmeg (tarragon if using), a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and Minnesota-nice vibes.

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

Deglaze with a bit of broth. I like to thicken everything up with a bit of corn starch, but that is optional.

With the heat on low, add your sour cream, then add back in the onions, garlic, and beef. Give ‘er a stir and then serve over your starch of choice. I say egg noodles for the win! Top with a bit of parsley for a nice green garnish.

 
Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

This lovely, creamy, delectable meaty stroganoff is exactly what I was looking for. And it was completely sans cream of mushroom soup. (Just don’t tell my mom.)

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

Other than cooking your starch of choice and needing a bowl to “set aside” ingredients, this is a one-skillet dish. I found it’s best to have everything sliced, diced, and chopped from the get-go, as once you get started there isn’t a lot of down time.

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

 

Happy stroganoffing!

Mara Signature - Bake, Braise & Broil