Dill Potato Salad by Awesome on 20

Dill Potato Salad

Dill Potato Salad by Awesome on 20

4th of July is looming on my calendar. I’m not gonna lie. I’m a bit disgusted that it’s here already. Time needs to take a bit of a break if it doesn’t mind. I’m about to be the mother of a teenager. Can we please make the next month go by as slowly as possible?

Of course, when I think of the 4th, the first thing that pops into my mind is a backyard barbecue with charred hot dogs, chips and dips, potato salad, and a million cans of soda, all from the neighborhood grocery store. I had a lot of fun as a kid eating all that junk food and running through the sprinklers to keep from melting. These days, though, it takes a bit more to impress me. But just a bit.

Making your own potato salad takes about fifteen minutes of work, and it’s at least a million times better then that mushy, gloopy stuff from the store. And you can customize it to your own taste, which means you don’t have to pick out any celery if you don’t want to.

Dill Potato Salad by Awesome on 20

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s potato salad. I fell in love with it because it contains dill, which is a phenomenal flavor, in my opinion. Now, if you have a house in the Hamptons and have fourteen kinds of imported French mustard in your fridge and a gardener to provide you with every type of fresh herb known to man, invite me over. And make this potato salad with the very best ingredients you can get your hands on.

If, on the other hand, when you visit the store, you find yourself searching for the most inexpensive ingredients available, don’t worry. Expensive ingredients do taste a bit better, but the inexpensive ones can still taste awesome, and making it yourself makes it automatically better. I changed a few things to make this recipe a bit more accessible by using condiments I had in my fridge, and a dill paste rather then using a few snips of the fresh stuff and then letting the rest go to waste. The paste is full of flavor and lasts much longer, so you’re more likely to get your money’s worth out of it.

Dill Potato Salad by Awesome on 20

I hope you get to spend your 4th with some awesome people eating some awesome food. And by all means, see some stuff explode!

Dill Potato Salad
Serves 4
A creamy flavorful potato salad with a punch of dill.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  2. Salt
  3. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  4. 1/4 cup buttermilk
  5. 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  6. 1 tablespoon dill paste*
  7. Black pepper
  8. 1 green onion
Instructions
  1. Put your potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until you can pierce the largest potato with a sharp knife. Mine took about 30 minutes, but it will vary depending the size of your potatoes.
  2. Drain the potatoes then put the colander back over the hot pot. Place a clean kitchen towel over the colander and allow your potatoes to continue to steam for another 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the mayo, buttermilk, mustard, dill paste, and salt and pepper. The mixture will be quite thick.
  4. When the potatoes are cool enough to not burn your fingers off, cut them into bite-sized pieces. The skin of Yukon golds is quite tender, so if the skin sticks you can leave it on. If it falls off, I discard it. Don't stress yourself out.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and toss with dressing.
  6. Using scissors, cut your green onions directly into the bowl and give it a final stir.
  7. Allow your salad to hang out in the fridge for a couple of hours before revealing it to your family. Then go blow stuff up. In a fun way.
Notes
  1. *You can, of course, substitute fresh or dried dill. Use whatever is easiest.
  2. This is actually half the original recipe, so you can easily double this to feed a larger crowd.
Adapted from Ina Garten
Adapted from Ina Garten
http://awesomeon20.com/
Check us out at Inside BruCrew's link party
Check us out at Inside BruCrew’s link party
Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy Spaghetti for Dad

Cowboy Spaghetti

Dudes, my dad is awesome! He showed me the stars, took me on hikes, made me pancakes, and gave me rides on his motorcycle. He watched me dance, read my bad poetry and let me cry on his shoulder. He gave me piggy back rides to bed for way longer than his back was probably happy about. He taught me that it’s totally okay to eat cake for breakfast. Best of all, he taught me to read which has been a precious gift. My dad has always been there for me and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. I am so very lucky.

photo by Gareth Grindle
photo by Gareth Grindle

We live half an ocean apart, which is not the farthest away I’ve been. I wish I could make him a feast for Father’s Day. He deserves it. Alas, dinner will have to be virtual. He’ll forgive me.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy spaghetti is the dish my dad requested. I’ve made it for him before, and he loves it. At least I can share the recipe with the world so he can make it himself, or even better, get someone else to make it for him. It’s the least a daughter can do.

This stuff is perfect man food. Why? Two words: bacon and beer.

There’s also ground beef, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce for added awesome, but for me it’s the bacon that makes it magical. And since my dad loves beer, and he puts it in just about everything, I knew the first time I looked at this recipe that he’d love it. I’ve slightly adapted this old Rachael Ray recipe to make it more conducive to my vegetable loathing palate, but if you’re into chunky tomatoes just swap out the crushed tomatoes for something with more texture.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Make sure you have plenty of extra cold beer for your dad on Father’s Day. He’s worked hard your whole life to give you stuff you probably didn’t even appreciate. The least you can do is make him dinner and bring him a cold one. Let him put his feet up. Feed him with love and cowboy spaghetti. He deserves it.

Cowboy Spaghetti
Serves 4
Meaty, manly spaghetti with bacon and beer
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound spaghetti
  2. salt
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 3 slices of bacon
  5. 1 pound ground beef
  6. 1/2 onion, diced
  7. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  8. black pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon hot sauce (or more if you're into that sort of thing)
  10. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (it's required that you read that line out loud)
  11. 1/2 cup beer
  12. 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  13. 1 cup tomato sauce
  14. 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
  15. 4 scallions, scissored
Instructions
  1. Put a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Don't forget to put a lid on it, or it will take forever. When the water boils, add salt and spaghetti, stirring occasionally. My pasta cooked for 10 minutes. Check your package. Bite into a piece to see if it's done, or throw it against the refrigerator to see if it sticks. That's what my mom used to do.
  2. In the mean time, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut your bacon with scissors right into the pan. Cook to desired level of crispness (the correct answer is very crisp). Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and pour off some of the fat, leaving enough to coat the pan.
  3. Add your ground beef to the pan to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Depending on how lean your beef is, you may want to drain the fat off before proceeding. I'm poor so I have to get ground chuck, which needs to be drained.
  4. Add onions and garlic to your ground beef and then season with hot sauce and Worcestershire. Add the beer and scrape up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and sauce. Bring everything back up to a simmer and check for seasonings. This is usually where I add more hot sauce.
  6. After you drain your pasta, put it back in the pot, then pour the sauce over the spaghetti and stir to combine.
  7. Top your bowl or plate of spaghetti with plenty of cheddar cheese, a sprinkling of crunchy bacon, and green onions. Serve it to your dad in an old recliner, and don't forget to bring the man a beer.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Check us out at Chef in Training’s link party
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Mom's Tacos

My Mom’s Tacos

Mom's Tacos

I don’t think more than two weeks ever passes at our house without my husband asking me to make tacos for dinner. But he doesn’t mean authentic Mexican roadside tacos, or fish tacos with fresh guacamole, or even hipster tacos with kimchi or pork belly. He wants my “tacos,” which are really my mom’s tacos. This is weeknight, working mom, dinner on the table in 20 minutes food. It’s not pretty or trendy or sophisticated. It’s just damn good. No need to set the table or uncork the wine. These tacos are meant to be eaten in front of the TV with a big glass of milk. That’s how I did it when I was a kid, and that’s how I do it now.

taco ingredients

It’s so simple I hesitate to even share it with you, except for the fact that this is literally the most eaten dinner in our house. My mom’s secret is a can of refried beans mixed into the meat. It bulks up the tacos in the best possible way. Tacos that are just ground beef are so boring. Why aren’t they doing this at every drive thru taco place on the planet? My mom was so clever.

She also fried the flour tortillas in a bit of hot oil. This is delicious, but I’m mostly too lazy, and trying to keep the calories down ever so slightly, to bother with this step. But by all means, if you want to make these extra ridiculous, slide your flour tortilla into about an eighth of an inch of hot oil. It only needs about 30 seconds a side. Just stand right there and turn it when it gets brown. Drain them briefly on a paper towel, then load up your taco meat and toppings. It’s 80’s suburban familial bliss.

Mom's Tacos

My mom died in 2009, so I’m always looking for ways to keep her close by. Cooking the food she made when I was a child is one of my favorite ways to do that. Don’t tell anybody, but I still put ketchup on my tacos, just like when I was 10. I don’t recommend it to normal humans. I’m not normal.

Next time you’re exhausted on a Wednesday, make these tacos. They’re so simple you could make them in your sleep, and so freakin’ good you won’t be able to move afterward. 

Moms Tacos3

 

Mom's Tacos
Yields 6
Fast and simple week night tacos just like the old days
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  4. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1 packet hot taco seasoning (you should probably make your own, but I always forget)
  6. 3/4 cup water (or just refill the seasoning packet)
  7. 1 can spicy jalepeno refried beans
  8. whole wheat tortillas
  9. shredded cheese
  10. sour cream
  11. salsa
  12. and all your other favorite taco toppings
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, break up your ground beef with a wooden spoon and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
  2. Drain the fat from the ground beef by pouring it into a colander. Return it to the pan.
  3. Sprinkle your seasoning packet over the cooked meat and add water. Stir to combine.
  4. Add refried beans and smoosh everything together. It will become easier to stir as it heats. Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. For a softer tortilla, heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Spoon your taco meat onto your tortilla and add all your favorite toppings. You can even have ketchup. I won't tell.
Adapted from my mom, Traci
Adapted from my mom, Traci
http://awesomeon20.com/
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