Categories
Appetizer Side Dish

You won’t want to hush about this week’s southern dish

Hushpuppies
Homemade hushpuppies are a pretty easy side dish to create.

This summer, we have had the privilege of welcoming an intern from the University of Kansas into our newsroom.

It’s amazing how quickly someone can go from being a stranger to being part of the family, and that’s definitely been the case with Will. So, with his final day looming this week, Joey and I decided to have him over for dinner to treat him to a home-cooked meal and thank him for all of his work this summer.

I sent him a text message before setting the menu, double checking that he didn’t have any allergies or major dislikes before I started planning, and he gave me a carte blanche to do whatever I liked.

As anyone who knows me is aware, that can be a bit dangerous, but after some pondering and discussion, Joey and I decided it was going to be Cajun night at the Youngs, mostly because Joey has been craving some hushpuppies lately.

I’ll share the other recipes from the weekend with you in future columns, but I wanted to start with those hushpuppies, because they were absolutely delicious and actually way easier to make than I ever would have thought.

The recipe I used comes from the blog “Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen.” You can find her original post at https://www.melissassouthernstylekitchen.com/hushpuppies/. I added extra seasonings in my version.

Hushpuppies
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Hushpuppies

Homemade hushpuppies are a pretty easy side dish to create.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Keyword cornmeal, fried, garlic powder, hushpuppies, Old Bay, onion powder, seafood seasoning, yellow onion

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons seafood seasoning I used Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or regular milk with a splash of vinegar
  • 1 yellow onion minced
  • 4 to 6 cups canola or vegetable oil

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, seafood seasoning, salt, garlic powder and onion powder and stir until everything is well combined.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg with the buttermilk, and then add the mixture to the larger bowl, mixing until all of the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
  • Fold in the minced onion, and then set the mixture aside.
  • In a stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. (You’ll want to put enough oil in the pot to make it a couple inches deep.) Using a two-inch ice cream scoop or a large spoon, carefully drop the batter into the hot oil. (I was able to do about five hushpuppies at a time in my pot.) As the hushpuppies cook, slide a slotted spoon underneath them to make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom.
  • Let them fry, turning them to let them evenly brown, for about four minutes or until your hushpuppies have reached your desired color.
  • Carefully remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle them with a little more seafood seasoning, if desired.
  • Wait until the oil is back to 350 degrees, and repeat until you have used all of the batter.
  • Serve hot.

These were everything Joey had been dreaming of, and he was super excited with how they turned out. I was, too. They were a little sweet but also had fabulous onion flavor without it being overwhelming, and they were a great side dish.

Truth be told, I could probably just eat a plate of them for dinner by themselves, too.

We ended up having a wonderful dinner together with Will, and we’ll be sorry to see him go back home this week. He’s been a great addition to our crew. Maybe someday we’ll be able to entice him into coming back and working with us again. I mean, at least he knows he’ll eat well.

This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 18, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Side Dish

‘Tajin’ up the flavor with yummy seasoned rice

Tajin rice takes on all the flavors of the popular spice mix—chili peppers, lime and salt—and is perfect as a side dish to all kinds of Mexican dishes.

When we were stuck in the house for lockdowns at the start of the pandemic, I (like everyone else) started getting a bit stir crazy and began looking for ways to reorganize different parts of our house.

One of my first projects was my horribly organized spice cabinet. The way it was all stacked in, I had to pull half the contents out to find what I needed. I started looking online and discovered a large spice rack I could hang on my kitchen wall and immediately bought it.

That thing has been a game changer. I love having everything in its place, alphabetized and ready to use immediately. It also freed up an entire cupboard in the kitchen for other items.

Recently, I kept staring at a large bottle of Tajin Clasico (pronounced tuh-heen) seasoning in my spice rack, which I purchased for a failed recipe and hadn’t touched in awhile. I decided I needed to put it to good use.

If you’re not familiar, Tajin is a mild seasoning that features chili peppers, dehydrated lime and salt. The lime is the flavor that really sticks out when you first give it a try. Some people swear by it and put it on everything.

This comes from the blog “The Fiery Vegetarian.” You can find the original post at https://www.thefieryvegetarian.com/tajin-rice-recipe/. I added more spices in my version.

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Tajin Rice

Tajin rice takes on all the flavors of the popular spice mix—chili peppers, lime and salt—and is perfect as a side dish to all kinds of Mexican dishes.
Course Side Dish
Keyword chicken stock, garlic powder, onion powder, rice, Tajin Clasico, vegetable stock

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white long-grain rice
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Tajin Clasico seasoning

Instructions

  • Rinse your rise with cold water several times until the water runs mostly clear.
  • Add the rinsed rice, vegetable stock, garlic powder and onion powder to a medium-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid. Heat over high heat, stirring to dissolve the seasoning, until the mixture is at a boil.
  • Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to a simmer. Leave it on the heat, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the butter until it’s melted and fully incorporated. Stir in the Tajin and then let the rice sit, off the heat, for about five minutes to let the flavors meld. Add any additional seasonings if desired, and serve as a side to your favorite Mexican entree.

This was a nice side dish. We had it alongside some chicken tacos one night and ate the leftovers with quesadillas on another evening.

I will say that if you’re not a fan of Tajin or citrus flavors in your savory dishes, you definitely won’t like this rice, but we thought it was pretty good—especially as a side dish. I don’t know if it could hold its own as the main star of a dinner, but it probably depends on how much you like Tajin.

So, that spice bottle is still staring down at me from my spice rack, but at least it’s a couple tablespoons lighter. I’ll have to come up with some other ways to use it up—especially since it’s nice and tall and has to be stored out of alphabetical sequence in the rack. Now that I finally have things organized, I want to keep it that way.

This piece first appeared in print on July 14, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Side Dish

Roasted vegetables will be the ‘bell’ of the ball this summer

Southwest potatoes combines potatoes, bell peppers and onion with plenty of herbs and spices for a delicious summer side dish that’s easy to make and looks pretty on the table.

Even though I try not to heat up the house with my oven too often in the summer, I am definitely willing to make an exception for the right recipe.

Last week, that exception came when I decided I didn’t want one of the typical cold summer sides like coleslaw, potato salad or a green salad to go with our dinner, and I stumbled on a delicious-looking recipe that combined potatoes and bell peppers. It sounded like a fantastic summer side, especially with all the brightly colored peppers included.

It fit the bill perfectly, and not only was I happy with the flavors but it also ended up being a great meal for leftovers later on.

This comes from the blog “Will Cook for Smiles.” You can find the original post at https://www.willcookforsmiles.com/southwest-roasted-potatoes. I added extra spices and vegetables in my version.

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Southwest Potatoes

Southwest potatoes combines potatoes, bell peppers and onion with plenty of herbs and spices for a delicious summer side dish that's easy to make and looks pretty on the table.
Course Side Dish
Keyword bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, potatoes, summer side dish, yellow onion

Ingredients

  • 2 large Russet potatoes
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a large, rimmed baking sheet by lining it with foil.
  • Cut potatoes and onion into about one-half-inch pieces. Cut the peppers into about one-inch pieces.
  • Add all of the vegetables to a large bowl or directly onto the baking sheet to combine with the other ingredients.
  • Add the oil, herbs and spices to your vegetables and mix well until they are evenly coated in the mixture.
  • Evenly spread out the coated vegetables on your prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Serve hot.

If you’re into something a bit spicier, you could easily toss in some hot peppers or maybe some cayenne pepper in the mix for this. But I will say this combination of spices was definitely flavorful while still being a crowd pleaser.

It was also super gorgeous on the table. I would highly recommend this one for a gathering if you need a good side dish this summer. We really enjoyed it.

And, in the grand scheme of things, heating up the kitchen was very much worth it. There’s something about roasted bell peppers that I absolutely love, even if I have to sweat just a bit to get them.

This piece first appeared in print on June 9, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Main Dish

Avocado tuna salad pits spouses against each other

Avocado tuna salad is packed with yummy vegetables, along with the creamy addition of Greek yogurt and ripe avocado.

Joey and I love to prepare meals together. He’s a great cook in his own right, so we take turns with one of us cooking while the other helps with prep work.

Well, that’s most of the time.

For this week’s recipe, I was all on my own. As soon as Joey heard the words “tuna salad,” he was out.

I tried to explain to him that it was mayonnaise free, since he has a very vocal dislike of the condiment, but he said just the idea that tuna salad is normally laden with tons of mayo meant he was going to make himself a nice turkey sandwich for lunch instead.

Oh, well. More for me.

I kind of went rogue on this recipe, but it was inspired by a recipe from Carrie Walder at her blog, “Walder Wellness.” I took her base and subtracted a little and added a little to land on my version. You can find the original post at https://www.walderwellness.com/no-mayo-high-protein-tuna-salad.

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Avocado Tuna Salad

Avocado tuna salad is packed with yummy vegetables, along with the creamy addition of Greek yogurt and ripe avocado.
Course Main Course
Keyword avocado, English cucumber, garlic powder, Greek yogurt, green bell pepper, tuna, tuna salad

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces tuna packed in water
  • 1 medium-sized avocado
  • 5.3 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup English cucumber diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Drain the tuna extremely well.
  • In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork, and then add all of the ingredients. Stir well and then taste to see if there’s anything else you need to add.
  • Serve immediately on bread or as a wrap with additional vegetables as desired (I did mine with fresh spinach and a few more slices of cucumber). Refrigerate any leftovers.

I really, really liked this. I like regular tuna salad, too, but this had a little bit of a tang from the yogurt and tons of fresh flavor from the cucumbers and green peppers.

The only drawback was when I went to eat the leftovers. Because the cucumbers and green peppers have so much water in them, there was quite a bit of liquid in the bottom of my container the day after I made this. I drained it off and still had a great wrap, but I think it was much more delicious when it was first made.

This would also be very easy to customize, depending on your favorite veggies and maybe what’s growing in your summer garden over the next few months. This is already pretty full of protein, but you could add eggs, too, if you wanted a bit more.

I probably won’t ever give up traditional tuna salad, and Joey will still have to deal with having a jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator for the rest of our marriage, but using an avocado and Greek yogurt instead was a nice change of pace. Plus, it was kind of nice that I didn’t have to share.

This piece first appeared in print on May 5, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Main Dish

Be ready for an enchi’little’ heat with jalapenos this week

Jalapeno cream cheese chicken enchiladas are a great weeknight dinner. They’re spicy, cheesy and make for fantastic leftovers.

Sometime last summer I found a huge bag of hatch green chiles that were on clearance in our local grocery store.

I immediately threw them in my cart, visions of cheesy enchiladas with mild, roasted chiles dancing in my head.

What I created was an abomination. I quickly realized how spicy the chiles were when Joey and I each took our first bite and nearly choked from the heat. I’m sure there are people who love playing chicken with the Scoville Heat Scale who would have absolutely loved them, but at the point that they even made Joey sweat, I knew they were way too spicy for either of us to consume. They ended up being deconstructed and made into another dish with lots of other ingredients to balance out the spice.

When I told Joey I was going to try a recipe for jalapeno enchiladas this week, he looked at me with a bit of skepticism that I wasn’t going to try to kill us both again. Luckily, though, we ended up with a dinner that was just the right amount of spicy and was really delicious.

The recipe I used is from the “All Recipes” website. You can find the original post at https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/218031/jalapeno-cream-cheese-chicken-enchiladas. I added extra seasonings in my version.

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Jalapeno Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

Jalapeno cream cheese chicken enchiladas are a great weeknight dinner. They're spicy, cheesy and make for fantastic leftovers.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cayenne, cream cheese, cumin, enchilada, garlic, garlic powder, jalapenos, Monterrey jack cheese, paprika, rotisserie chicken, shredded chicken, weeknight dinner, yellow onion

Ingredients

  • 1 rotisserie chicken cooked and shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper divided
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 or 3 jalapeno peppers diced (remove seeds and ribs for milder taste)
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese I used fat free
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 28 ounces green enchilada sauce
  • 7 to 8 flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a bowl, combine the shredded chicken, one teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate the ingredients. Set it aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapenos, and saute until they are soft. Add in the minced garlic and saute for another couple of minutes until it just starts to brown.
  • Cut the cream cheese into one-inch cubes and add to the skillet, stirring to melt the cheese and combine the ingredients.
  • Once the cheese is melted, remove the pan from the heat, and add one-half teaspoon cayenne, one teaspoon garlic powder, paprika, cumin and the seasoned chicken. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • In a nine-by-13-inch pan, spread half of the enchilada sauce on the bottom.
  • Assemble the enchiladas by spreading a large spoonful of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle the filling with about one tablespoon of shredded cheese, and roll the tortilla tightly, leaving the ends open. Place it seam-side down in the pan. Continue until all the filling is used, squishing the tortillas together as necessary.
  • Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Let sit for five minutes before serving. Garnish with sour cream and pickled jalapenos, if desired.

These had just the right amount of heat, and it was balanced really well with the cheese, but you can also decrease the spice level a bit by leaving out the cayenne pepper. They were also fantastic leftovers, which I always appreciate on busy weeks.

If these still sound too spicy for you but you’re in the mood for enchiladas, I’d encourage you to search for “queso fresco enchiladas” on my website (spiceupkitchen.net). Those would easily fit the bill.

But if you decide to make up your own recipe, just be careful not to blindly trust mystery peppers at the grocery store. And if you do, let me suggest purchasing some good anti-perspirant, a big box of tissues and a gallon of milk to help you recover.

This piece first appeared in print on March 24, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Main Dish

Casserole should tread care’philly’ with its cheesesteak claims

This casserole is a quick weeknight meal with lots of cheesy flavor, complimented by bell peppers and mushrooms.

There are tons of great copycat recipes out there.

I was blown away several years ago to learn that you can make a pretty convincing Butterfinger candy bar with candy corn and a few other ingredients. I also once tried a great recipe claiming to mirror Starbucks’s lemon bread.

So when I tried a casserole this week that promised to mimic the flavors of a Philly cheesesteak, I was intrigued. I have only gotten the opportunity to visit Philadelphia once, and if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend getting one of their famous sandwiches.

Unfortunately, this week’s recipe was not a great substitute. Fortunately, though, it was just a solid, tasty casserole. So I decided to rename it and present it to you. It has great flavor, and it comes together quickly, which is something a lot of us need in our lives now that school activities are starting up again.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog, “Bowl me Over.” You can find the original post at https://bowl-me-over.com/philly-cheesesteak-baked-tortellini-recipe/. I added mushrooms, extra roast beef and seasonings to my version.

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Bell Pepper Baked Tortellini Casserole

This casserole is a quick weeknight meal with lots of cheesy flavor, complimented by bell peppers and mushrooms.
Course Main Course
Keyword Alfredo sauce, bell pepper, casserole, cheese tortellini, cream cheese, garlic powder, mushrooms, onion powder, provolone, roast beef

Ingredients

  • 19 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 15 ounces frozen bell pepper strips or use fresh
  • 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
  • 15 ounces Alfredo sauce
  • 2 ounces cream cheese I used fat free
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound deli roast beef sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 slices provolone cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
  • Cook the tortellini according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper strips and mushrooms and saute until the peppers are lightly browned and soft.
  • Add the Alfredo sauce, cream cheese, seasonings and roast beef and stir.
  • Once the cream cheese is melted and everything is well combined, fold in the tortellini.
  • Dump the entire mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the slices of provolone, overlapping them as needed.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

This casserole was filling and cheesy and hit the spot for dinner. Plus, it reheated really well for lunches later in the week. 

It certainly wasn’t a good facsimile for an actual Philly cheesesteak, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. I guess I’ll just have to wait for another East Coast trip to taste the real thing, but until then, at least I have a quick dinner recipe to add to my list.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 2, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Appetizer Side Dish

Sweet peppers are the stuff of dreams

Stuffed sweet peppers are a showstopper appetizer that are extremely simple to prepare and can be served warm or cold.

Joey and I tied the knot back in 2010, which meant our 10-year anniversary was pretty anticlimactic last summer with COVID in our backyard. 

No date night out on the town. No restaurant dinner.

We still enjoyed one another’s company (I mean, it’s not like we could be apart while quarantined in the same house.), but when our anniversary hit this summer, we decided we should have a night out for number 11.

We ended up going to Lola’s Bistro in Wichita, a favorite spot of Wichita food blogger “Wichita by E.B.” (Check out his site, if you never have. He does a great job and has visited a lot of mom and pop spots all over the state. It’s at wichitabyeb.com.)

The meal was fantastic, and one of the items we liked quite a bit was a palate starter our waiter brought out before our appetizer. They were bite-sized, delicious stuffed sweet peppers, and we decided the next time we needed an appetizer for a group, we were going to try to recreate the recipe.

The recipe I decided to try did not disappoint. It comes from the blog “From Which Things Grow.” You can find the original post at http://fromwhichthingsgrow.blogspot.com/2012/01/chew-on-this-stuffed-mini-sweet-peppers.html. I added extra garlic powder in my version.

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Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Stuffed sweet peppers are a showstopper appetizer that are extremely simple to prepare and can be served warm or cold.
Course Appetizer
Keyword bacon, cream cheese, garlic powder, seasoning salt, sharp cheddar cheese, sweet peppers

Ingredients

  • about 2 pounds mini sweet peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 5-6 strips bacon cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by spraying each well lightly with cooking spray.
  • Wash the peppers, and then cut off the tops. Scoop out the seeds and ribs to hollow them out.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients together and fill each pepper with as much of the filling as you can (it’s OK if they’re overflowing just a bit).
  • Stand the peppers up, filling side up, in the wells of the muffin tin. The peppers can share wells to help them stand up. Crowding isn’t a problem.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, and then serve warm, or refrigerate them and serve them cold later on.

These were absolutely delicious. Our local grocery store didn’t have itty bitty sweet peppers like we tried at the restaurant, so these were more like two-bite appetizers, but they were fabulous. 

Personally, I like them better warmed up than cold, but they were good both ways, and they actually reheat out of the refrigerator pretty well, if you end up with leftovers.

I also had extra filling when I was done. It would be delicious on crackers, and I even tried it inside a quesadilla, which was pretty darn good.

I’m certainly not trying to claim that my cooking is anywhere near the quality of a fine dining restaurant, but if I can brag just a bit, I do think these stuffed peppers turned out extremely well.

Hopefully, when our 20th anniversary rolls around, Joey and I will be able to celebrate with someone else doing the cooking. But if the next decade repeats the last, at least I know what we can have for our first course.

This piece first appeared in print on Thursday, Aug. 12.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Side Dish

Just ‘fry’ to resist these scrumptious potatoes

Italian fried potatoes are a relatively simple recipe with lots of flavor.

When I was younger, I knew it was going to be a great supper if I saw my mom’s electric skillet sitting out on the counter.

That meant we were having fried potatoes as our side dish for dinner. I can still smell them cooking when I think about that skillet. It was one of my favorite things.

Mom would cut Russet potatoes into about quarter-inch rounds and add them with oil, garlic salt and pepper into the electric skillet.

They always came out creamy and delicious—especially if you got one of the crispy potatoes that was just a bit thinner than the others.

Now I’m making myself hungry.

Well, in the spirit of my Mom’s tried and true potato recipe, I decided to try one that’s extremely similar but adds Italian frying potatoes (or whatever long, mild green pepper you can find) into the mix. I wouldn’t recommend bell peppers for this, but if that’s all you can find, go for it.

I found this recipe on a blog with a fantastic name, “Panning the Globe.” You can find the post at www.panningtheglobe.com/2016/11/02/italian-fried-potatoes-peppers/. I added more seasoning to my version.

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Italian Fried Potatoes and Peppers

Italian fried potatoes are a relatively simple recipe with lots of flavor.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword garlic powder, onion powder, peppers, potatoes

Ingredients

  • about 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 5 large Russet potatoes
  • 4 long mild green peppers (I used Anaheim)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Slice your potatoes into rounds as thinly as possible or no bigger than one-quarter inch. If you have a mandolin slicer, this would be a good time to pull it out. Slice the peppers into one-by-one-inch strips and remove the seeds.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. (It may feel like a lot of oil in the pan, but the potatoes will soak it up as they cook. You’ll want somewhere around 1/4-inch of oil in the bottom, but if you want to use less and just keep an eye on it, go for it.)
  • Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the potatoes and seasoning into the pan and stir to coat the potatoes.
  • Don’t stir them again for another three to five minutes—letting the bottom get nice and browned with the lid on the pan.
  • Add the peppers into the pan, and flip the pan’s contents so the browned potatoes end up on top.
  • Put the lid back on and let things set for another three to five minutes. Repeat that process until your potatoes are all either crispy or nice and fork tender.
  • Add more seasoning to taste.

I didn’t peel my potatoes for this, but if you’re not really into potato skins, you’ll probably want to. They’ll mostly separate from the potatoes into long strips in the mix.

These potatoes also reheated really well, which was good, because it made tons and tons of food. It certainly wasn’t my healthiest week of lunches to take to work, but I tried to rationalize the fact that I was also taking meatless lunches made it better somehow.

You might want to decrease the number of potatoes and peppers if you’re not planning on feeding a small army, though.

The only disappointing part of this recipe is that this was definitely not as good as my mom’s. I may have to sweet talk her into firing up that electric skillet again sometime soon.

This piece first appeared in print on March 8, 2018.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

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