Gluttonous and Good For You!

Gluttonous and Good For You!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Italian Style Smashed Potatoes

As an Irish girl, I love potatoes. When presented with this week's sensational sides theme of mashed, I knew was going to make potatoes. Italian smashed potatoes have become one of my favorite way to mash potatoes. It's just boiled unpeeled red potatoes with Italian parsley, a good Italian hard cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Remember, all those nutritional goodies are in the skins. They go with everything. So simple. The amount of these ingredients listed below is a mere suggestion.

2 pounds of red skinned potatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 pound of really good pecorino romano or Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse, clean, and cut the potatoes into roughly equivalent chunks to ensure even cooking. Place them in a medium to large sauce pot with salted water. Bring to a boil on medium high heat. Boil under fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove about a cup of the water before draining if need when smashing.

Smash/mash drained potatoes with the olive oil. Try not to over mash them. I personally like a chunkier texture. Add some of the reserved water if you want a creamier, looser consistency. Using a spoon add and mix in the parsley, cheese, and salt and pepper. As always, season to your taste preference.
-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Food Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The spring food we're focusing on here is anything "mashed." On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides.  Here’s the link to our Pinterest board:  Here are smashing mashed other delicious recipes:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mexican Cocoa Brownies with an Almond & Pepitas Crust (gluten-free)

When I think of brownies, I think of dense, fudge-y, chocolate "cake" with that thin layer on top. I love that thin layer on top. So in developing a recipe for a complex brownie, I made sure nothing would be on top. What is that thin layer? People call it a meringue layer: the proteins from the egg whites combining with the sugar and migrating to the top during the baking process. However, I have seen this with vegan brownie recipes I have made. Maybe in general, a film of protein and sugar forming on top. A syneresis as I would call it as a scientist. (A good example is the liquid whey that separates out on top of yogurt.)

I decided to go the Mexican spiced chocolate route, using cinnamon, chili powders, coffee, nuts, and seeds to add depth and complexity. But at first, I pondered, "How am I going to incorporate the seeds and nuts?" I know, make a crust. This will give a unique texture to the brownies without interfering with that special thin meringue layer and giving an emphasis on what I chose: marcona almonds and pepitas. The marcona almonds are skin-free and make it easier to work with. Given, the crust makes for more work and a double bake with crisping up the crust first, cooling, then adding in the brown batter. So. Worth. It. I bet you have never had a brown like this. My friends told me this is their new favorite. The ratio of these brownie were (roughly) 2 parts eggs : 4 parts sugar : 2 parts butter : 1 part cocoa powder : 0.6 parts flour.


50 grams marcona or any almonds
50 grams pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
25 grams brown sugar
25 grams butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of chipotle powder, cayenne
salt to tast

200 grams sugar
200 grams brown sugar
113 grams natural cocoa powder
30 grams GF oat flour
30 grams tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 teaspoons Nescafe instant coffee
2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla (if possible)
4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature, mixed well
226 grams (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • In a processor, combine the almonds, pepitas, brown sugar, seasonings and pulse until coarse like gravel. Add in the melted butter and pulse again until completely incorporated.
  • Turn out into brownie pan (8"x8") into a thin, 1/4", layer and pack well.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, flours, seasonings (all the dry ingredients) and mix very thoroughly.
  • Add in the eggs, butter, and vanilla all at once and mix with a wooden or silicone spoon until uniform.
  • Pour the batter evenly and slowly onto the cooled almond and pepitas crust.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes or until only a tiny amount of chocolate is visible when a toothpick is inserted and removed from the center.
  • Cool on a rack and cut when mostly cooled. Store in a tightly-sealed container in the fridge.
Trust me, they disappear fast.

-Erin Swing

Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out The FN Dish. This week we're focusing on brownies. On twitter, we're tagging #ComfortFoodFeast. Here’s the link to our Pinterest board: Here are other amazing brownie recipes to try out from our other friends:

Dishing with Divya: Beetroot Brownies
Creative Culinary:
Chocolate Chip Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Elephants and the Coconut Trees:
Brownies with Condensed Milk
Food for 7 Stages of Life:
Easy Eggless Brownies Recipe
The Mom 100:
Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies
Napa Farmhouse 1885:
Chocolate Brownie Pie (GF and Sugar Free)
Taste with the Eyes:
Chili Chocolate Brownies with Gochugaru, Ginger, Sesame Seed, Olive Oil, Fleur de Sel
Swing Eats:
Mexican Cocoa Brownies with an Almond & Pepitas Crust (gluten-free)
FN Dish:
10 Ways to Revolutionize Your Brownie Intake

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Healthier Twice Baked Potato Skins

I'm a sucker for bar food. Admit it, who is not? My favorite menu item is the loaded potato skins. Problem is, I cannot eat them safely as a celiac. Turns out they deep fry them before stuffing them with cheese and bacon before broiling and topping with sour cream and scallions. Wow, it's probably a good think I can't eat them - far from the healthiest menu choice. At the same token, I never considered making a homemade version of potato skins, since scooping out the baked potato seemed like a waste. Another favorite unhealthy potato recipe of mine is twice baked potatoes. The portion alone is twice too big. Ah, I know, split them in half, stuff with tasty healthier options and bake until crispy. The ultimate potato mash-up: a twice baked potato skin.

This version I stuffed with some of my tasty favorites: Gorgonzola cheese crumbles (a blue cheese), Greek yogurt, scallions, parsley, chives, olive oil, garlic salt, and black pepper. Get creative and try with your favorite flavor saturated ingredients like Parmesan, nutritional yeast, anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes.... you get it. Flavors usually too strong on their own make great fillers without feeling the need for super fatty unhealthy ingredient choices. This recipe is for 2 generous servings using 1 russet potato. Scale up according. Note on type of potatoes: russet/Idaho is the only wise choice. No other type will work as well.

Healthier Twice Baked Potato Skins with Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, Greek yogurt, scallions, parsley, chives, olive oil, garlic salt, and black pepper:

  • russet/Idaho potato, 1 large, washed well
  • salt
  • Gorgonzola (blue cheese) crumbles, 1/2 cup
  • Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup
  • scallions (green onion), 1 stalk, chopped fine
  • herbs such as parsley and chives, 2 tablespoons, chopped fine
  • olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons
  • salt, black pepper, garlic salt to taste
  • Preheat oven (toaster oven is perfect for this) to 375F. Wash the potato well. While it is still wet, generously sprinkle the whole surface of the potato with salt. This will make the skin extra crispy. Bake for about 45 minutes until crispy on the outside and fork tender, or it gives easily when squeezed. Allow to cool just until you can handle it safely using a clean hot pad.
  • Cut the potato in half lengthwise. Using a fork, carefully scrap out the insides into a mixing bowl. Try to keep away from the skin. Leave about a quarter of an inch lining for the skin. Place the hollowed out skins on a foil lined mini cooking sheet.
  • In the bowl with the potato "meat", mix in the cheese, yogurt, scallions, herbs, seasonings. Mix well. Taste. Adjust seasonings accordingly. Split the filling in half, and fill the potato skins. Put back in oven and bake until it starts browning, about 15 minutes.
-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out The FN Dish. This week we're focusing on potatoes. On twitter, we're tagging #ComfortFoodFeastHere’s the link to our Pinterest board: Here are other amazing potato recipes to try out from our other friends: