What a Beautiful Combination of Flavors!
Well folks, this will be my last post for a couple of weeks. I’m in the midst of a big move and won’t be doing much cooking. After 40+ years of living in Florida, I’ve decided to move to Pennsylvania, where I’ll get to experience all 4 seasons again. It’s really funny that I’ve lived in South Florida all this time, seeing as how I’m not fond of heat. Needless to say, I’ll miss my mango tree, but I plan on planting different fruit trees at my new home.
At this stage of my life I figured it was now or never. We have a house waiting for us and we’ll be enjoying getting it all fixed up to suit our needs. Of course, I’ll get my kitchen set up right away, but it will take some time. Figuring that it will be awhile before I do much cooking, I wanted comfort food and I doubt there’s anything more comforting than a dish of creamy potatoes au gratin.
This time around I changed things up and went with Spanish influences for flavor. Hot pimentón * (smoked paprika) and Manchego cheese are such a delicious match. Even though I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of the pimentón *, it didn’t end up being too spicy. It had a nice kick of heat, but wasn’t overbearing. It paired wonderfully with the nutty, slightly sweet Manchego.
I used a method for cooking the potatoes of which I’m especially fond. Stir together sliced potatoes, milk, cream, pimentón *, and salt in a large pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 7 minutes. This gets the potatoes to an almost-done stage and then you only need to bake the dish for 30 minutes.
After they’ve cooled a bit I sprinkled on snipped chives for a pop of flavor. There are few things I love to eat more than these kinds of potatoes. I make sure I don’t serve them with something rich because the potatoes couldn’t be more decadent. A simple grilled piece of meat or chicken is what I like best. Add a bright salad and you’ve got one very good meal.
The next time I post a recipe, I’ll be enjoying the beautiful changing leaf colors and my new home. Till then, happy cooking!