Search Results for: crispy potatoes

Side Dishes Vegan

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes

I have this thing about regular potatoes that if they aren’t cooked extra crispy (I mean borderline charred), I really don’t care for them. To me, baked potatoes and mashed potatoes are just so boring (I know, I am crazy!). It must be a texture thing.

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Such a delicious side dish recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis, on the other hand, loves potatoes, so if I make them, I always try to roast the bejesus out of them to make them super, super crispy.

With my old method, I would cut the potatoes into squares or wedges, turn the heat in the oven up very high, and hope for the best. The result never satisfied me.

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Such a delicious side dish recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Recently, I was looking over an old issue of Cooks Illustrated, and I spotted a few tips for making super crispy potatoes. From the picture, I could tell these potatoes were the level of crispness I needed, so I decided to try their method that night. As always, America’s Test Kitchen pulled through, and their tips worked like a charm. Today, I’m sharing an adapted version of their recipe with you guys. I promise this method works – these potatoes are PERFECT.

The first tip is to cut the potatoes into discs, instead of wedges. This way, you only have to flip the potatoes once during the cooking time and both sides get VERY crispy.

The second tip is to parcook the potato discs before roasting them. This releases the starches to the surface, starting the crisping process.

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Such a delicious side dish recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After parcooking, it is important to toss the potatoes with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil with a large spatula for at least 2 minutes. The potatoes will be slightly tender at this point, so their surfaces will break up a bit as you toss them around. This is a GOOD thing because you are speeding up evaporation in the potato. (think: there are more escape routes for the moisture inside a potato in a rough surface than in a flat one).

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Such a delicious side dish recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The last tip is to preheat your baking sheet with the oven. This way, when you place the potatoes on the baking sheet, they will immediately begin to brown and you shave a few minutes off of your cooking time. Win win!

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Such a delicious side dish recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

When I cook potatoes this way, I could eat one million of them. No more boring potatoes for me! The discs cook down, so some of them become just as crisp as a potato chip! Yum, yum, YUM.

This recipe is a guaranteed winner and perfect side dish to almost anything!

 

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb potatoes, sliced into ½ inch thick discs (I used a variety of purple, red, and yukon gold)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Place a baking sheet in oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees (it is essential that the baking sheet is in the oven for this step).
  2. Fill a large pot with water. Place the potato discs in the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the potatoes are almost-tender (a fork should offer some resistance when poked into the center).
  3. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Toss the potatoes with 1-2 Tablespoons of the olive oil to coat. Use a spatula to stir the potatoes for about 2 minutes (don't skip this step because this is what will help them crisp up!) Season liberally with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary.
  4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Brush the sheet with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Place the potatoes on the sheet in one layer (you don't want any on top of each other). You should hear a sizzle when the potatoes hit the hot baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and flip the potatoes. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
 

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Such a delicious side dish recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.comExtra Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Such a delicious side dish recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Side Dishes

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes

These smashed potatoes are so simple to make, and only require two ingredients. Once you try them, you won’t want to eat potatoes any other way!

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You all know how much I love my Crispy Roasted Potatoes recipe, but I also love shortcuts (especially when I’m cooking a bunch of things at once). These smashed potatoes are so easy because you don’t even need a knife and cutting board.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

To make these easy smashed potatoes, all you need to do is par-boil a half pound of peewee potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they’re tender. Next, drain them and spread them onto a greased and lined baking sheet.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Then, use a fork to press down gently on each potato. The flatter you make the potato, the crispier it will be. Just be careful not to press too hard, or the potato will crumble.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Finally, brush each potato with a light coat of olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. After roasting in a very hot oven for 25 minutes, you’ll have delicious, crispy smashed potatoes that are reminiscent of potato chips!

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I make these smashed potatoes at least once a week because they’re delicious with everything. It’s also fun to change things up by adding minced garlic, red pepper flakes, or other spices that pair with what you’re eating.

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Give these a shot. You won’t be disappointed!

 

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ lb. peewee potatoes, cleaned
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Course sea salt and ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on the baking sheet and brush to coat all of the parchment paper.
  3. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and fill the pot with water, just enough to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and spread on the lined baking sheet.
  4. Use a fork to press down gently on each potato. The flatter you make the potato, the crispier it will be. Press down carefully because the potatoes will be very delicate and break easily.
  5. Brush the tops of each smashed potato with a small amount of olive oil. Then sprinkle each with course sea salt and ground black pepper.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are crispy.
 

The Easiest Smashed Potatoes Recipe. A delicious vegan & gluten-free side dish! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Side Dishes

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved crispy foods. I think I get this from my mom. I love the edges around a brownie pan, pizza crust, extra crispy french fries, and any type of crunchy topping.  So it’s no surprise that when I roast vegetables, I like getting them nice and charred, also.

If you’re like me, keep reading because I’m going to teach you my tips for perfectly crispy roasted vegetables!

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

How to make perfectly crispy roasted vegetables:

  1. Turn the oven temperature up to 450F.
  2. Preheat a large baking sheet in the oven. This way when the vegetables touch the baking sheet they will immediately start cooking.
  3. Cut your vegetables based on known cooking times. Vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes will take longer to cook than bell peppers and onion pieces, so cut sweet potatoes smaller than bell peppers. That way everything will roast in the same amount of time.
  4. Spread the vegetables in an even layer on the sheet. If they sit on top of each other then they will steam and become soggy, not crispy.
  5. Only flip the vegetables once during the cooking time.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

When your veggies are done roasting they’ll look like this. Yes, the baking sheet itself won’t look very pretty, but it’s all for a good cause. 😉

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Crispy Roasted Vegetables are the perfect side dish to meal prep for the week. I make a large batch (two baking sheets worth) to last a couple of days. You can eat them with any protein for a quick, healthy meal.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper (I like to use coarse Kosher salt)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and onion. Toss with the olive oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the vegetables into an even layer on a baking sheet, ensuring that the pieces are not resting on top of each other.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven when vegetables are browned and crispy at the edges. Either serve immediately or allow to cool and store in tupperware.
 

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travel

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin

Hey guys! I hope your week is going well! I am heading home to Boston later this week to do some wedding planning, and I can’t wait to be with my family and soak up some quality time with my one-year-old nephew, Oliver. He is the CUTEST.

I am back today sharing my list of where to eat and drink in Berlin! I’ve had a lot of fun writing these recaps from our EuroTrip for you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. Berlin was the second to last city on our trip. You can read about the other cities we visited here: Paris / Amsterdam / Vienna / Prague.

While in Berlin, we stayed in an Airbnb in Prenzlauer Berg, which is a very vibrant and gentrified neighborhood. The streets are filled with young families with strollers, healthy supermarkets, independent bakeries, and boutique shops. It was a fantastic place to stay in such a sprawling city, and I would highly recommend it to any first-time Berlin visitors.

In terms of dining out at restaurants in Berlin, I have two important tips:

  1. In most cafes and more casual restaurants you seat yourself. If you wait for a server to seat you, then you will likely end up standing at the front of the restaurant looking like a looney for 15 minutes. If you see an open table, most of the time, it’s fine to just go ahead and sit, and a server will then bring menus to your table.
  2. Unlike most Americans, Germans don’t drink tap water with their meals. In fact, most scoff at the idea. While drinking bottled water is common in many European cities, we found that in Germany we received strange looks or pushback upon request for tap water. If you’re not bothered by this, then just do your thing and order tap. If you want to do as the locals do, then go with bottled.

Alright, now let’s get to it! Keep reading for my list of where to eat and drink in Berlin.

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Breakfast

Schlomo’s

(Image source)

On our first morning in Berlin, we woke up exhausted and starving after a long day of travel the day before. Schlomo’s was just what we needed. It was a quick ten minute walk from our Airbnb, and we were pleasantly surprised that the staff spoke perfect English. Schlomo’s makes real New York-style hand-rolled bagels, and the menu offers a wide variety of toppings including cheese, salmon, eggs, tofu, guacamole and more. They’re very accommodating to substitutions, so if you don’t see the perfect menu item, just ask!

What to Order:

Any of the egg breakfast sandwiches. And coffee — unlimited free refills…need I say more!?

 

Pasternak

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I can’t say I am very familiar with Russian cuisine, but if Restaurant Pasternak was any indication, then I’m hooked! The restaurant has an old-time feel, with red checkered tablecloths and dark wooden furniture. We visited in the winter, so we sat inside, but there’s also a large outdoor seating area, which I’m sure would be fun in warmer months.

What to Order:

The Russian pancakes with homemade jam and fresh fruit. The homemade jam really stole the show. I wanted to bottle it up and bring it home with me. You also can’t go wrong with any of the egg dishes.

 

Barcomi’s

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Barcomi’s is tucked away from the main street, and the entrance looks out onto a quaint little courtyard. The cafe is known for their coffee, bagels, and baked goods — all perfect for breakfast. We started with cappuccinos and split a homemade bagel and gluten-free lemon waffles. Everything was delicious, and by the end we were licking our plates clean.

What to Order: 

Definitely the coffee — you can even buy a bag to bring home. The waffles were a special item, but if they’re on the menu don’t miss them!

 

 

Lunch

Lia’s Kitchen

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Lia’s opened at the end of 2016 by a group of Israeli guys who noticed a need in the area for good vegan food. Everything on the menu is 100% vegan, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it was some of the most delicious vegan food we’ve ever had. I really appreciated that there was nothing processed about the ingredients in the salad and burger we tried, and there is a lot of attention put into the flavor and texture of each dish. The guys at Lia’s take no shortcuts in creating delicious meat-free meals. I even overheard a few customers inside say that they’re not vegan (like us), but just love the food at Lia’s.

What to Order:

Lia’s Salad and the Chili Bean Burger

 

Zweistrom

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Zweistrom is the perfect lunch spot to grab a quick pita sandwich or falafel and hummus. There are about four tables in the restaurant, so it definitely caters more towards pick-up orders. We’ve had a lot of Mediterranean food, and we were genuinely surprised by how amazing this food was. For a tiny kitchen, Zweistrom knows how to pack a lot of flavor into each bite of food.

What to Order: 

The Mixteller platter allows you to try a little bit of everything: hummus, salads, schwarma, falafel, and a variety of dips.

 

Mogg

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Mogg makes an incredible pastrami sandwich. It’s lean and juicy, just the way we like it. We didn’t try anything else on the menu, so it’s honestly all I can recommend. But if you’re looking for a delicious deli sandwich, go to Mogg.

 

Hummus & Friends

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Hummus & Friends is a short walk from Museum Island, making it a great lunch spot to visit after a long day visiting the museums. Aside from a couple of dishes that contain eggs, everything on the menu is vegan, and many items are also gluten-free. We sampled a bit of everything, and there was nothing we didn’t like. The portions of hummus are large, and I would recommend sharing a few items among friends.

What to Order:

Three Potatoes in the Oven and the Friends Salad

 

 

Dinner

Standard Pizza

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Standard Pizza in Prenzlauer Berg serves Neopolitan-style pizza. The dough is crunchy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. If you’re a crust-lover, this pizza is for you! We ordered two pizzas because that’s what we saw most other couples doing, but in reality we would have been fine splitting one pizza and a salad. Ask your server for a wine pairing suggestion. They have a unique selection of wines that we hadn’t seen anywhere else in Germany.

What to Order:

While it might sound boring, you really can’t go wrong with the Margherita pizza here.

 

Umami

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

(Image Source)

We loved Umami so much that we went twice in our six day stay in Berlin. Both nights (a Tuesday and a Friday) the restaurant was packed and there was a bit of a wait for a table. Umami is incredibly popular with locals, and for good reason! The dishes are incredibly flavorful, the service is fast, and the prices are unbelievable. Entrée dishes that would be $15+ in Los Angeles, were only $7-$8 at Umami. The first night we had to get two orders of the Saigon Pancakes (crispy sweet potato pancakes) because we couldn’t get over how good they were!

What to Order:

The Saigon Pancakes, Deep Gold Beef Bowl, and Tongkin’s Roast Duck

 

 

Wine Bars

Weinschenke Weinstein

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

(Image source)

Weinstein is a cozy neighborhood wine bar that serves a delicious selection of wines from around the globe. We were particularly interested in German wines, so that’s all we tried. You can sample a wide variety of wines in varying quantities, which is fun if you don’t want to stick to one thing. Weinstein also serves food, but we only ordered fresh bread, which was perfect to soak up all the wine!

 

Cordobar

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

(Image source)

Cordobar is hip, trendy, and always busy. The bar opens at 7PM, but on the night we went a line formed outside the door as early as 6:30PM. You can grab a seat at the bar or sit at a table in the main dining area. Wines can be ordered by the glass or bottle. I’d suggest ordering by the glass because there are so many great wines to try! There’s also a small menu that changes regularly, and the items are perfect for pre-dinner or late-night snacking.

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If you have any questions about where to eat and drink in Berlin or need additional suggestions about your stay, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email!

 

Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I would never include any restaurant that I didn’t genuinely love. As always, thank you for your support!

 

Life Lately Meal Plan

I Need to Get Back on Track

What a crazy month it’s been!

I’ve traveled a bunch, we got engaged (!!!), Travis’s sister visited, I celebrated one of my best friend’s weddings, and I attended a bunch of events for both work and my blog.

I won’t lie, it’s been FUN, but I have had my fair share of indulgences this month — way more than usual.

Cinnamon Crunch Donut from Sidecar Donuts & Coffee in Santa Monica, CA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

My ideal healthy lifestyle is all about balance. I aim to workout 5 times a week and eat healthy 85% of the time, leaving the other 15% to allow myself to splurge a bit and just live it up.

Recently, I’ve really been slacking my on diet and because of that, I’ve been feeling super sluggish at the gym. I’m glad I haven’t fallen off the bandwagon with my workouts, but I know that if my diet was better then I would feel way more energetic while working out.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich from Hollywood Burger in Hollywood, CA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Now that things have calmed down a bit and we have a lot less travel planned, I’ve set myself a few healthy goals for the next few months:

  1. Plan and buy groceries for at least 4 dinners every week. I know that meal planning is one thing that really helps to keep me on track, so I need to be better about planning specific meals as opposed to just winging it when I get home after a long day.
  2. Cut down on that vino! Sure, work is crazy and at times I can be pretty stressed, but having a glass of wine every night isn’t going to fix that. During the week, I am going to swap out my glass of wine for fruit-infused water or green tea and leave the wine for weekends and special events. I know the wine is also contributing to making me feel sluggish in the mornings, which leads me to my next goal…

Rose from The Anchor in Venice, CA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

3. Work out 5-6 days a week. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with my workout schedule, but there have been plenty of mornings where I skip my workout because I would prefer to sleep an extra half hour or I tell myself I have too many other things to do. No more excuses — make fitness a priority.

I need to get back on track with my worksouts ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

So keeping with my healthy goals, here’s this week’s meal plan:

Monday: Pizza Spaghetti Pie (Never tried this one, but the reviews are raving!)

Tuesday: Maple-Mustard Salmon + Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad –> Man, I love summer fruits!

Wednesday: Turkey Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze (Love this recipe and I haven’t made it in so long!) + Roasted Broccoli

Thursday: Out with friends

Friday: Grilled Skirt Steak + my favorite Extra-Crispy Roasted Potatoes

 

I am focusing my meals around protein and vegetables with some healthy complex carbs mixed in.

Alright, off to the gym now. I hope you guys have a great start to your week!