Today happens to be National Puppy Day, which is great because I love puppies – especially when I don’t have to train them! Neva continues to require training, but she’s much more of a big dog than the little munchkin she once was. Her puppiness still bubbles forth when she meets new dogs and people, because she’s young and because she can’t help herself. For the most part, though, she has turned into a pretty good pup (PGP). Looking back at her early pictures, I am amazed at what a chunky little chunkster she was!
the day after we brought her home (8 weeks old)
We missed another storm while wrapping things up in Crested Butte. The weather can be tricksy like that. Back home in Nederland, they’re getting more powder days than non-powder days. Here in Crested Butte, we got shafted once again with nary a 2-inch delivery of snow overnight while 6 miles away (as the crow flies), Lake Irwin is reporting 2 FEET of blower powder. I shall stop complaining. We have had VERY good powder days this year and will no doubt sample a few more before the season ends. I’ll just repeat that over and over again… *twitch*
the joy of powder
Last week (on a non-powder day), Jeremy and I got a lesson from our friend on firearms. He actually came over the day before with charts, graphs, diagrams, and his unloaded pistols to explain how everything works. The following morning, we went to the shooting range for some hands-on practice. I am not a gun person. The only gun I’ve ever fired was a plastic squirt gun. Guns scare the hell out of me and always have, but I thought it was high time I at least educated myself on what these were about. It was a very good learning experience and we are fortunate to have had a knowledgeable, thorough, safety-minded teacher. And you know what? I’m still not a gun person, but now my fear of guns is rooted in fact rather than the unknown. However, I did enjoy the target practice, as did Jeremy. After we got home, we began thinking about trying winter biathlon: a combination of skate skiing (woohoo!) AND marksmanship with a low-powered rifle. That and archery. It’s always good to learn how to do things.
at the range
While some of you will be celebrating Easter this Sunday, we will be celebrating Neva’s first birthday! I have yet to figure out a menu for the pup pup, but I’m pretty sure it will involve beef. Since we don’t do Easter in this house, our Sunday dinner will probably be some form of cleaning out the freezer. Oh, but if you are looking for a nice side dish for holidays, Sundays, or special dinners, I want to share this lovely potato recipe with you.
baby yukon gold potatoes, italian (flat-leaf) parsley, butter, salt, pepper
When I made chateaubriand, the recipe included a mini recipe for chateau potatoes. I had never heard of chateau potatoes, but they sounded good and looked easy enough. Good and easy – always a great combination. Emeril tournés his potatoes (it’s a seven-sided football cut with truncated ends), but I find that to be annoying and wasteful in a home kitchen (well, in MY home kitchen). I have used both baby potatoes and regular (adult?) potatoes with great results. The baby potatoes can be a pain to peel because of the greater surface area of potato skin to potato volume and the difficulty in manipulating such a small object, but they look fantastic when served. Regular potatoes work just fine as long as you cut them into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
peeling the itty bitty potatoes
Aside from the potato peeling, the rest of the recipe is simple and straightforward. It helps to have an ovenproof pan because you sauté the potatoes in butter on the stove for a few minutes before transferring the pan to the oven for roasting. If you don’t have an ovenproof pan, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to sauté the potatoes on the stove, then pour everything (the potatoes and the butter) into a roasting pan and finish the potatoes in the oven. I used a wide Dutch oven for this task because it’s so easy to clean.
melt the butter in the pan
add the potatoes
season with salt and pepper
Once the potatoes are in the oven, you can chop the parsley. Just a note – if you don’t already use Italian or flat-leaf parsley, I recommend that you use it over the curly parsley. The curly parsley has little flavor compared to its flat cousin, and aside from garnish, I don’t really know why anyone uses it. Give the potatoes a turn every five minutes or so. The outsides should begin to just brown when they are ready, but the best test is to pierce or eat one to test for doneness. My potatoes roasted for about 25 minutes total.
chop the parsley
toss the potatoes with the parsley
There is quite a bit of melted butter left in the pan after you serve the potatoes. I save it out and refrigerate it to be used in things like garlic bread or grilled sandwiches or mashed potatoes or whatever you like. The chateau potatoes are a lovely accompaniment to just about any protein – seasoned, slightly buttery, crisped and golden outer skins with soft and fluffy insides. They are fancy enough for entertaining, but simple enough for a weeknight side.
a pot of gold (potatoes)
2-3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled
8 tbsps unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped fine
Preheat oven to 400°F. If the potatoes are small (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter), then leave them whole. Otherwise, cut the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch size pieces. Melt the butter in a wide, ovenproof sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the potatoes to the butter and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the potatoes for 3-4 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and roast the potatoes for 20-20 minutes, tossing the potatoes every 5 minutes or so. Test to make sure they are cooked through. Remove from the oven and toss the parsley with the potatoes. Serve hot. Serves 6-8 as a side.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
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