Tag Archives: Potatoes

Gluten-Free Side Dish 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 Recipe

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

Recently, I was looking over an old issue of Cooks Illustrated, and I spotted a few tips ensuring super crispy potatoes.  The more I read, the more excited I became to try their tips. From the picture, I could tell these were the level of crispness I craved. The next thing I knew, roasted potatoes were on that night’s dinner menu and I rushed out to the store to grab a couple pounds of potatoes.

As always, America’s Test Kitchen pulled through, and their tips worked like a charm. The result was extra crispy roasted potatoes that Travis, our guest, and I devoured almost immediately. 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.

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes Recipe

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 Recipe

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 Recipe

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 Recipe

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes Recipe

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 Recipe


Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 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
  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.

Beef and Lamb Gluten-Free Main Meal Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I think it is safe to say I am slow cooker obsessed.

Let me preface all of this by saying, yes, I know I am WAAAAAY late to the slow cooker game. For a while now, everyone  has been telling me that I needed to get one. Given my busy work schedule and limited time in the evenings, I always acknowledged it would be a very helpful appliance to have in my kitchen. I loved the idea of coming home from a long day of work and having dinner already made and ready to eat!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

When I arrived back to LA last week from my trip to Boston, there was a GIGANTIC package sitting on my porch. I was ecstatic when I opened it up to find a new shiny slow cooker from my brother and sister-in-law for the holidays! Seriously. Perfect. Gift. Remember when I told you Dave is the #1 gift giver? Well, he and Morgan nailed it again.

I broke in my slow cooker this weekend by making a delicious beef stew.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I prepped everything after breakfast on Sunday morning and then threw it all into the slow cooker for 7 hours.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

I have made beef stews in my dutch-oven before, but despite long cooking times in an oven on very low heat, I still always found the beef was never as tender as I would have liked. I was excited to see what would happen to the beef this time by using the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Holy Moly, was this beef tender! It was falling apart just by the slightest touch from my fork — just the way I like it.

The best part was that when the evening rolled around (Sunday evening always seems to come too soon, doesn’t it?), I didn’t have to do anything! I just stirred in a few final ingredients and the stew was warm and ready to eat!

This was the most delicious beef stew I have ever had. The addition of the brown ale really amps up the flavor in the broth and after slow cooking all day, the beef, carrots, and potatoes were so tender and soaked with rich flavor through and through.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was one of those meals where we both sat there not talking to each other, just saying “Mmmmm” with every bite we took.

Yup, I am so hooked on slow cooking. I am honestly sorry I waited this long to try it! If any of you guys have great slow cooker recipes, please pass them my way. I am ready to try everything!


Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6
  • 2 lbs trimmed boneless chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces (I recommend buying 2.5lbs because once you trim the excess fat it will be about 2 lbs)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced in half and cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 12oz Nut Brown Ale (I used Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale)
  • 1¼ cups unsalted beef stock, divided* (I used Stock Options Classic Beef Stock)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Parsley for serving
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Add about a teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add half of the beef to the pan, cook for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and place in a heat-proof bowl. Repeat by adding another teaspoon of oil and the remaining beef. Remove the beef and any leftover juices from the pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic and onions and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the ale to the pan, scraping down to loosen any bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of stock and the remaining 1¼ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper (*NOTE: If you could only find salted beef stock omit the added salt at this point, but add the pepper). Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add the beef, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
  4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir the flour mixture into the stew and cook for 13-15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the red wine vinegar and dijon. Discard the bay leaves. Serve with fresh parsley.
**Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com


Spicy Home Fries

Think of the best brunch place you know.

What do you like to get there?

Do they have the best pancakes in town? Do you love their omelet? What about their home fries? Do they do them right? Or are they pretty bad?

The thing about home fries is that when they are good…they’re amazing. You can’t stop eating them and you completely clean your plate…then you eye the plate of the person next you and hope that they won’t finish theirs…so you can.

Am I right?

But, when home fries are bad – you know, soggy and flavorless – you could care less about them and end up pushing them to the side of your plate. You probably won’t even ever go back to that breakfast joint.

Well I am going to show you how to make home fries so good you won’t even need to go out to breakfast.

And it’s all because of one little trick.

It’s something I learned from my all time favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Family Cook Book.

The trick is to microwave the cut up potatoes before putting them in the skillet. This helps to cook the insides of the pieces before the outsides become overcooked. It will give them a perfect crisp on the outside and a soft inside.

Exactly what you want, right? Yeah, don’t thank me – thank the guys at ATK.

Then you want to add a bunch of spices to the potatoes for great flavor. Don’t worry – I didn’t make them too spicy (I personally wouldn’t be able to handle that).

It’s just the right amount of spice for [most] taste buds.

Spicy Home Fries Recipe

You also want to make sure that they sit awhile to ensure a crunchy outside coating.

Spicy Home Fries Recipe

Make these babies for a crowd – you’ll be sure to impress ‘em.

Spicy Home Fries Recipe

Spicy Home Fries
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • ⅛ cup vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder (I added more because I like the taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½ inch cubes (leave the skin on if you want your potatoes to be even crispier). Place in a microwaveable bowl and toss with vegetable oil and lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave the potatoes of 5-10 minutes (until they are tender, but not falling apart), shaking the bowl every 3 minutes to redistribute the potatoes. Remove plastic and drain the potatoes in a strainer.
  2. Toss the potatoes with the spices.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes on one side and then flip. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet. Continue cooking and turning the potatoes every few minutes until they are browned to your liking and the onion is softened (about 10-15 minutes).
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.