This first recipe uses potatoes, but it's not entirely Irish. It's Cajun, too and not only because of the spices used. It was created using two standard Cajun guidelines: Don't waste anything and make something delicious out of something meager. Irish or Cajun? It's kind of like me, a mixture of the two.
2 links smoked sausage, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
6 medium-size Idaho potatoes, cut into small cubes (clean and dried)
1 cup chicken broth added to 1 cup water (you may not need all of this liquid)
Cajun seasoning (I like Tony Chachere's)
fresh parsley or sliced green onions for garnish
Brown sausage in a large pot (with a tight fitting lid). Make sure some sticks to the bottom of the pot. This is called "gratin". It gives the dish great flavor! Remove sausage and set aside.
Here's what the "gratin" on the bottom of the pot should look like:
Add a little oil and saute the onion, celery and bell pepper until cooked down and brown like this:
Add a little of the broth/water mixture to the pot and quickly put the lid on to steam for a few minutes. Remove the lid and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom the the pot. This will help lift the "gratin". Remove the sauteed vegetables and set aside. Add a little more oil and turn up the heat to medium-high. Fry the potatoes (make sure they are dry!) until a little brown on the edges like this:
Here's what the finished dish looks like:
The next recipe is one I saw on a t.v. show and had to try. I love potatoes au gratin, but I used to make it with a boxed mix (for shame!). Not anymore! I thought it was such a hard thing to make, but it's so not! It's super easy, but it does takes time in the oven. If you've got the time, make this! It's so yummy!
POTATOES AU GRATIN
1 TBS butter, softened
4 large Idaho potatoes, clean and dry
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk (you can use all milk, but the cream makes it incredibly good)
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking dish with the softened butter. Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch slices or dice them, whichever you prefer. I sliced them. Place potatoes in the buttered dish. In a bowl, combine cream, milk, flour, salt, and pepper(as much as you like). Whisk together well. Pour this over the potatoes. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on top. It will melt from the heat of the dish. Then sprinkle the green onions on top. Done! See, I told ya it was easy. Pretty, too.
So, there are a couple of my favorite potato recipes. Embrace your inner Irish (or Cajun/Irish) and eat some potatoes!