Garlic and Herb Compound Butter…

A while back I had an out of town guest and I decided to make a special dinner for her, steak and lobster. I have a lobster recipe on this blog entitled Quick And Easy Lobster Tails, and as for the filet that recipe is yet to be posted. My guest turned me on to something that took the steak we had over the top. She mentioned that one of her favorite restaurants is Ruth Chris Steak House and said when they serve steaks they top them with a compound butter. I never tried that before but I can tell you if you want to be in steak heaven just put a pat of this compound butter on your next steak and you’ll never go back to plain old steak again!

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler and the flavor of this butter is a garlicky and herb heaven. The hardest part of the recipe is waiting for the butter to soften to room temperature. Then you simply add all the ingredients, mix, roll a log, refrigerate and serve once it’s firm again.

So lets talk garlic and herb compound butter…

Lesson Learned 1 – The butter must be room temperature soft: This means the butter must be mushy. The only way you’ll be able to evenly incorporate the ingredients is by making sure the butter is completely soft. You want the ingredients to be evenly incorporated throughout the butter as there is a lot of garlic in this recipe and you don’t want to wind up with big pockets of garlic and very little herbs.

Lesson Learned 2 – Don’t add any salt to this recipe: I recommend using salted butter for this recipe so there is no need to add any additional salt. If you add salt it may become overpowering. If you want to add some heat to this butter add some cracked black pepper or a very small amount of red pepper flakes but don’t overdo.

Lesson Learned 3 – This compound butter can be used in a variety of ways: Not only will this compound butter give you the most delicious steak you’ve ever tasted but it is fabulous for making garlic bread or putting on a baked potato. If you plan on doing a vegetable saute you can use this butter instead of an oil and it will wildly enhance the flavor of the veggies. Or just steam your veggies and put a pat of this butter on top.

Lesson Learned 4 – Don’t make this butter if you don’t like garlic: This butter has a healthy dose of grated garlic in it and the flavor is very robust. If you don’t like garlic you won’t like this compound butter. I recommend using fresh cloves of garlic and a grater to process the garlic. Grating fresh garlic, in my estimation, allows the full garlic flavor to shine through.

Lesson Learned 5 – The ingredient amounts in the recipe are a guideline: The beauty of this butter is that you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. If you don’t want the butter quite as garlicky then use a little less. If you want a little more flat leaf parsley, feel free to add it. When I make this butter I normally just eyeball what I put in always erring on a little less until I mix everything together and see what I’ve got. The flavor combinations are really all up to you.

And that’s it. I am originally from Chicago and there was an Italian restaurant on the North Side that made the best garlic bread. Since moving away from Chicago I have not been able to find anything close to that garlic bread – until now! This butter slathered on top of a sliced baguette and baked in the oven (I bake it in my toaster oven) is simply divine. And when I pull this bread out of the oven I take some more of the butter and let it melt on top of the warm bread. I guarantee you it will be garlic bread heaven!

So try this compound butter and let me know what you think. These days I am never without a stick of it in my refrigerator!

Garlic And Herb Compound Butter...

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


1 stick softened salted butter

4-5 medium cloves of garlic, grated

1 Generous TB chopped chives,

1 Generous tsp. chopped flat leaf parsley


Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Place softened butter in the center of a piece of clear plastic wrap. Fold one side of the plastic wrap over the butter and roll the butter back and forth until it forms a log. Use the remaining plastic wrap to completely seal the rolled log. Chill until firm. Serve with steak, on bake potatoes, or garlic bread. Actually the possibilities are endless.


Pinwheels, Pinwheels, Pinwheels…

Just call me queen of the pinwheels! Whenever I am expected to bring an appetizer to an event and I want something simple, easy and impressive I make pinwheels. Your imagination can soar when concocting these tasty bite size morsels and I always look for new ways to put a delightful spin on a pretty basic recipe.

The holidays are quickly approaching and with that holiday parties and of course lots and lots of food. And since I think there can be a pinwheel for just about any occasion, the holidays are not exception. This particular recipe will be a hit on any holiday table and it couldn’t be easier to make.

So lets talk Cranberry Feta and Chive Pinwheels…

This recipe follows the same basic format for making pinwheels that being softened cream cheese, the ingredients of your choice, and flour tortillas – couldn’t be easier. This particular variation adds the warmth of the basic holiday colors, red and green, and boasts of a spectacular sweet and savory flavor. I have posted two other pinwheels recipes since writing this blog.

The first, and one of my all time popular recipes judging by the number of hits it gets on a regular basis, is my Cream Cheese, Spinach, Bacon and Scallion Pinwheels:

I never in a million years could have guessed this recipe would be so popular.

The second pinwheel recipe I published was my Bacon Turkey Ranch Pinwheels:

This was also a hit with the slightly different twist of adding a cherry tomato on top – great finger food.

With this particular post I thought I might provide a one stop shop for the pinwheel recipes I’ve published with my latest edition being my Cranberry Feta and Chive Pinwheels:

Normally I include some lessons learned making a particular recipe. Since this recipe follows the basic formula for making pinwheels, I suggest you look at the other two recipes if you feel you need additional support in being successful making these. The only caveat I will add is to make sure not to skimp on the chives. The chives provide that nice counterbalance to the sweetness of the cranberries so minimally use 1/3 cup of chives and even more if you want. The choice is yours.

Cranberry Feta And Chive Pinwheels...

  • Servings: 30-35
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup chopped chives (can do more if desired)

1 Tbs. garlic powder

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

4 flour tortillas (10 inch)


In a medium sized bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Spread mixture evenly on a tortilla leaving a 1/4 inch open all the way around. Tightly roll each tortilla to form a log. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. Slice into 3/4 inch rounds and serve.

I want to take this opportunity to inform my readers that I may not be posting as regularly in the near future. I am dealing with a debilitating family illness that is taking up the greater majority of my time. Rest assured that once my life gets more on an even keel I will post more regularly. Until then I ask for your patience. In the meantime check out my recipe index for my many years of posts which should satisfy your desire for recipes in the interim. And when I can I will check in. Thanks for your understanding!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball…

Want something quick and easy to bring to your next get together? This recipe is the one for you. I like this recipe for a wide variety of reasons. First, it is very easy to assemble. Second, and this is perhaps my favorite reason, it’s small enough to minimize waste but large enough so that everyone can have some of it.

I think that has been my bug-a-boo about most cheese balls. A lot of recipes make a cheese ball that is big enough to feed an army. And what always seems to happen is a lot left overs. So, with good intentions you wrap it up and put it back in the fridge. The problem is I don’t know a lot of people who eat cheese balls outside of a party venue. So the remainder sits in your refrigerator until you wind up throwing it away. But not with this one. It’s just the right size. And if you need a bigger cheese ball, just double the recipe. But my experience has been that when there are lot of appetizers to choose from, making an appetizer that is smaller in size eliminates a great deal of waste.

So let’s talk cheddar bacon ranch cheese ball…

Lesson Learned 1: I found a great shortcut for adding bacon to recipes. The last time I was at the grocery store I noticed a package of Boar’s Head fully cooked bacon. It comes in a box and is not refrigerated. Inside there are two vacuumed sealed packages of cooked bacon with approximately 6 pieces per pack. One pack was perfect for this recipe. I avoided all of the grease and clean up associated with cooking bacon. Since then I’ve used it on salads and in other recipes. I love the taste and convenience of it. You may want to try some. It really makes putting together this cheese ball a snap.

Lesson Learned 2 – Grate your own cheese versus using the packaged kind. Although I just touted the convenience of using precooked bacon, I don’t recommend using the grated cheese you get in a bag in any recipe. It may take a few seconds more to grate your own cheese but for flavor and  health reasons I strongly recommend it.

First, grating your own cheese is less wasteful less expensive and it tastes so much better. But the main reason I grate my own cheese is an additive put in bags of grated cheese know as cellulose. Cellulose is actually derived from wood pulp, yes wood pulp, and is added to packages of grated cheese to prevent the cheese from clumping together. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of adding wood pulp to my diet if I can avoid it. So next time, take the couple of extra seconds and grate your own cheese. Your body will thank you for it.

This recipe couldn’t be any easier, is perfect in size and is tasty as all get out. So try it and let me know what you think…

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

  • Servings: 25
  • Difficulty: Easy
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1- 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

5-6 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped

1/2 package of ranch dressing mix (you can add more to taste if you like)

1/8 cup fresh chives, chopped

1 cup chopped pecans


In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients except the chopped pecans. Mix well and form into a ball.

Roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans until the ball is completely covered. Cover the ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Mixed Ingredients

Roll Into A Ball And Place On Top Of Chopped Pecans

Completely Cover With Pecans




Home Fries…

I love my cast iron skillet. It only cost me about $20 and it’s one of the best skillets I have. But there’s a reason for that. Cast iron produces even, sustained heat and that’s the best for cooking just about anything. The only drawback to cast iron is it’s so darn heavy. But I just think of it as an upper body workout and move on from there.

This recipe uses the features of a cast iron skillet to produce the tastiest home fries. And making home fries is not all that complicated. The flavor of homemade sure beats the taste of the frozen kind.

So without further adieu, let’s talk home fries…

Lesson Learned 1 – Make sure to cut the potatoes to the correct size: For the purposes of this recipe you need to keep the pieces close in size (approx. 3/4 inch pieces). Here’s a little trick to help you achieve that. Using your chef’s knife cut a thin slice off of one of the longer sides of a peeled potato. Set the potato on the cut side and slice crosswise into even planks. Stack several planks and cut crosswise. Then rotate and cut crosswise again. This will give you evenly sliced potatoes.

Lesson Learned 2 – You can cook the pieces of potatoes two different ways, on the stovetop or in the microwave: (I will include both methods in the recipe printout). I chose to cook them on the stove. The process is not much different than making mashed potatoes. The only difference is you want to monitor the potatoes as they boil to make sure they don’t get overly soft, otherwise they’ll break apart. You want them to hold their shape. I would boil them for about 7-10 minutes and check their consistency. If they are still hard, check every couple of minutes until they are just becoming fork tender.

Lesson Learned 3 – If you choose to boil your potatoes first, let them cool a little in the strainer so they are as dry as possible when you put them in the cast iron skillet: In order to get your potatoes nice and brown you want them to be as free from water as possible. I would boil the potatoes first, strain them and let them sit in the strainer while you saute the onions and garlic. That way most of the moisture will drain off before you put them in the skillet.

Lesson Learned 4 – Once you saute the onions and garlic remove them from the pan and set them aside. The first time I made this recipe I kept them in the cast iron pan while I was browning the potatoes. Big mistake! They didn’t stand up very well through the browning process and wound up getting burned. Once you saute the mixture remove it from the pan and add it back in at the last minute just to get it warmed through again. That way you won’t get browned potatoes and blackened onions and garlic. Lessons learned from the cook who never could…

Lesson Learned 5 – Don’t continuously move the potatoes once they are in the skillet: In order to get the potatoes nice and brown you have to let them sit for a while in the skillet. The whole browning process can take about 20 minutes and you don’t want to be flipping the potatoes continuously during that time. If you want to check to see if they are ready to flip, turn one of the pieces or look on the sides of the pieces to see if the bottoms have started to to turn color. You’ll get a much better result if you are patient during the browning process.

And that’s it, couldn’t be any easier. I like these so much better than the frozen kind. Try them and see if you agree!

Home Fries...

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


2 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 3/4 inch cubes

2 – 3 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 small-medium size onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. fresh chives

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a high rimmed pot, boil the potatoes until they just fork tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside. (NOTE: you can also microwave the potatoes. Put 1 Tbs. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a covered microwave safe bowl along with the potatoes. Stir. Cook 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Drain the potatoes well).

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Start with 2 Tbs. of oil (you may or may not need to add more later) added to the skillet and heated until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned. Salt and pepper the onions. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.

If needed, add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the potatoes and gently pack them into the skillet using the back end of a spatula. Cook, without moving for 7-10 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Flip the potatoes and lightly repack them into the skillet. (check to see if you need to add oil during this process). Continue flipping process until the potatoes are browned on all sides. Add the onions and garlic back to the pan, mix with the potatoes and heat until warmed through.

Season with salt and pepper, garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Potatoes during the browning process




















Easy Tangy Cucumber Salad…

I don’t know about you but after the holidays I crave eating light. My body just wants to go back to a more reasonable routine and dictates that my diet consist of mostly feel good food. And after a few days I feel back on track. Does that happen to you?

Quite often that change in diet consists of revisiting what I call “free” foods. By free foods I mean those that technically have no calories. Don’t get me wrong, all food has calories, but free foods are the kind that take more calories to digest than what they have resulting in a negative balance of calories. And one of my all-time favorite free foods is cucumber.

There are many ways you can serve cucumber that ramps up the calories, but this particular recipe, even though it does contain some sugar (and only if you feel you need it), keeps it down to a dull roar. This recipe is so easy to make and if you like tangy foods like I do, it will easily become your go-to salad option.

So let’s talk easy, tangy cucumber salad…

Lesson Learned 1 – Yes the dressing has sugar in it, but you can regulate that: After pouring through several variations of this kind of recipe I found that the amount of sugar used to offset the tartness of the vinegar can vary. Personally I like tart. I can eat a lemon like a piece of fruit. So I do not find apple cider vinegar to be over the top in terms of tartness. So here is my suggestion. Start with a light teaspoon of sugar (or maybe even no sugar at all). If after you taste the mixture you think it is too tart, add a little more. I would not go any higher than two teaspoons. After all this recipe is designed to be tangy.

Dressing Mixture

Lesson Learned 2 – Use a mandolin slicer to get nice thin, even slices: Nothing replaces a mandolin slicer for consistency in slicing. The main drawback of the mandolin slicer is the potential for slicing your skin as well, especially if you aren’t paying attention. Always use a mandolin slicer with caution, but use it to get the best results in slicing.

Lesson Learned 3 – This dish is not meant to be eaten immediately: This recipe tastes much better after it has a little time to sit so the cucumbers and dressing can get well acquainted. I would let it sit a minimum of 1 hour before serving. It’s even better if you let it sit for about 4 hours.

Lesson Learned 4 – This recipe is best if eaten with 2 days: Make only enough so that you will either finish it at one meal or for have it only for a couple of days. After that the cucumbers get lose their freshness and get too limp.

Quick, easy and flavorful. That’s what this recipe is all about. Try serving this as a replacement for a side salad or use it as a bed for a nice piece of roasted salmon as pictured below. You will love it, I guarantee it!

Easy Tangy Cucumber Salad...

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


1-2 English Cucumbers (depending on size) sliced into 1/8 inch slices

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

1-2 tsp. sugar (start out with none or a light teaspoon, taste and go from there)

1 tsp. kosher salt (add more if needed)

1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper

2 Tbs. fresh chopped chives


In a medium bowl mix the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Slice the cucumbers and chop the chives. Add the cucumber and chives to the dressing mixture. Stir till well combined. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve as a salad or as an accompaniment to a meal (see roast salmon suggestion above).














Grilled Three Cheese, Bacon and Chive Potatoes…

Summer time is grilling time. And I love to grill though I have to admit I’m not a purist. I grill on a gas grill. Some people like fooling around with coals and all that stuff. Not me. I like a grill that heats up on its own and can tell me the grilling temperature I am working with. That’s about how hard I want to work at grilling.

Things just taste better on a grill, don’t you think so? From chicken, to steak, to brats and burgers there’s nothing like it. So the other day I had it in my mind to grill a filet I’d had in my freezer for a while and I also decided to try grilling some potatoes in a foil packet. A few years ago I posted a recipe for a blue cheese, onion, garlic and basil potato packet. This time I tried for something that mimicked a steak house baked potato.

Now let it be known I love grilled steak, but this time I found the grilled potatoes to be the star of the meal. This recipe is so easy and so flavorful I bet it will become your go-to grilled potato recipe.

So let’s talk grilled three cheese and bacon potatoes…

coxo-v-blade-mandolineLesson Learned 1 – For uniformity in cooking, use a mandolin slicer to slice your potatoes: The mandolin slicer I use is pictured at the left. I like this particular one for a couple of reasons. First, it was reasonably priced. I just can’t see spending close to one hundred dollars on a mandolin slicer. This one is about half that amount. Second, it has a variety of blades and cutting options (slicing, julienne, french fries). It is a powerful tool that can cut your prep time significantly.

For me, the best part about a mandolin slicer is that you get uniform cuts. That’s important in this recipe. Having various thicknesses in your potatoe slices will skew the cooking time. You want all of the potatoes to be cooked through at the same time. I’ve found no better way to do that than with a mandolin slicer.

One other tip: You see that little round thing next to the slicing unit? That is a hand/finger guard. You should ALWAYS use that when cutting with a mandolin. The mandolin blade does’t distinguish between vegetable and human flesh. It will cut both easily and with equal proficiency. So be very careful when using a mandolin slicer if you cherish your fingers and hands.

Lesson Learned 2 – Keep the potatoes on a little longer for great crispiness on the bottom: This is the first time I tried these. When I checked the potatoes at 40 minutes at 400 degrees, they were done. But I still had more time left for finishing my filet. I left the packet on an additional 10 minutes and much to my surprise that created a wonderful crispy crust on the bottom of the pile of potatoes. It was almost like having a bottom layer of potato chips with the wonderfully soft and flavorful potatoes on top. I think I’m always going to do them this way. I loved the distinction between the crunchy bottom and the soft top. It was delightful!

Lesson Learned 3 – Bacon bits work really well with this recipe: Although you can fry and chop up your own bacon, I found that bacon bits work equally as well with this recipe and help save you some time. So don’t be afraid to use prepackaged bacon bits. Just remember to refrigerate what you don’t use

Lesson Learned 4 – The layering process is very simple: Here it is in pictures.

Place the potatoes and onion on a piece of foil sprayed with olive oil cooking spray

Place the potatoes and onions on a piece of foil sprayed with olive oil cooking spray

Top the potatoes and onions with the cheeses: cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan

Top the potatoes and onions with the cheeses: cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan

Top with bacon and chives

Top with bacon and chives

Crimp the top and sides of the foil and place on the grill

Crimp the top and sides of the foil and place the packet on the grill

Doesn’t the uncooked version look simply divine as well. I love the contrast of the colors. And this dish looks phenomenal both uncooked and cooked. And it’s really easy to put together. One potato serves two people so the dish is pretty economical as well. I loved this one so much I made it two nights in a row. I hope you love this too!


  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced to 1/8 inch thickness

1 medium onion, sliced

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup shredded cheddar

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella (I had unshredded mozzarella that I tore into small pieces)

1/3 cup bacon bits

2 Tbs. chopped chives

2 Tbs. of butter, cubed

Seasoned salt and black pepper


Light your grill to high heat. Divide the potatoes and onions up on two large sheets of foil sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.

Combine the cheeses and top the potatoes and onion with the cheese mixture. Top with bacon bit and chives. Dot the tops with butter. Season with seasoned salt and pepper.

Fold the foil over the top and crimp the edges. Fold the sides up and crimp the edges securely. Grill for 40 minutes (add an additional 10 minutes for a delightful crispy bottom).

Open the foil carefully and serve immediately.

Grilled Three Cheese and Bacon Potatoes

Grilled Three Cheese And Bacon Potatoes

Savory Profiteroles…

Now if you’re anything like me the first question you’re asking is what in the world is a profiterole? I had no idea. It never ceases to amaze me that I learn something new in the kitchen just about every day. Basically a profiterole is a pastry puff and usually accompanies some sweet concoction for a decadent dessert. But I decided to do a savory puff.

gruyere and havartiThis recipe has its roots from a video I saw on Facebook. Quite often on Facebook you see quick video bytes of various kinds of recipes. I enjoy them actually because they show how simple many recipes can be. Nothing is more powerful than a picture or video. I saw this video for french “cheese puffs”, shared it on my timeline and decided to make a version of it.  After I shared it I got a reply from a friend saying “I love profiteroles”, and I thought to myself what the heck is a profiterole. I googled it and found out. Another lesson learned in the kitchen.

The recipe on the video was fairly straightforward but I decided to add a couple of twists. The video only showed using gruyere cheese but chopped chivesI decided to use a combination of gruyere and havarti. And then to add some color as well as flavor I used a couple of tablespoons of chopped chives. The result was fabulous – they were delicious.

So let’s talk savory profiteroles…

Lesson Learned 1 – Make sure you line your baking sheet with parchment paper: This will keep these puffs from sticking to the pan. If you use parchment paper they easily lift off. During the baking process some of the cheese settles to the bottom of the puff. The parchment paper prevents the cheese from sticking to the pan. I would not advise using cooking spray as an alternative. I think the bottom of the puffs would get too greasy if you used cooking spray. The parchment paper has what you might call a “paper towel” affect. It absorbs some of the grease from the cheese and it prevents the puffs from sticking.

parchment paper lined baking sheet

Lesson Learned 2 – Let the butter and flour mixture cool before you start beating in the eggs:  Once you have the butter and flour mixture thoroughly combined it will be quite warm. Take the mixture out of the pot place it in a mixing bowl and let it cool for a couple of minutes. You don’t want the first egg to start to cook when you begin to beat it in.  The picture below shows what the mixture looks like when it comes out of the pot.

egg and flour mixture

Lesson Learned 2 – Mix the eggs in one at a time: This recipe calls for four eggs, which is a lot. When you first start beating the eggs in, the batter somewhat separates into smaller pieces. Continue mixing until the batter becomes smooth again. Then add the next egg and continue the same process until you’ve beaten in all the eggs.

beat eggs in one at a time

When you’ve finished beating in the eggs the batter should be nice and smooth as shown in the picture below.

the finished batter

Lesson Learned 4 – Use a heavy duty freezer bag when piping these on the baking sheet: The batter is heavy and a little thick. If you use a regular gallon size plastic bag it will probably split due to the weight and thickness of the batter. I used a heavy duty freezer bag and had no problem piping the batter onto the baking sheet.

Lesson Learned 5 – How to pipe the batter: First you need to get the batter into the freezer bag which can be quite tricky. I found the best way to do this is to get a large measuring cup (4 cups or larger), place the bag in the cup pushing the bottom of the bag down to the bottom of the cup and folding the sides of bag the over the sides of the cup. This gives you a fairly large supported opening so that you can use both hands to hold the bowl and transfer the batter into the bag. Once the batter is in the bag, seal the bag pressing out any air as you seal it. Cut a quarter inch slit in one corner of the bottom of the bag and twist the top to form a homemade pasty bag. Start piping the batter around the outer circumference of the circle you’re piping and continue to make smaller circles until you fill the inner part of the circle completely.

batter piped on to a baking sheet

These tasty little morsels are even good the next day. You can re-warm them in the microwave for a few seconds or in the oven wrapped in foil at 350 for about 10 minutes. But be careful. These taste so good you’ll want to eat them all up at once right out of the oven. Enjoy!


  • Servings: 2 Dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy To Medium
  • Print


savory profiterole

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup water

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup flour

4 large eggs

1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded

1/2 cup havarti cheese, shredded

2 Tbs. chives, chopped


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Put the butter, water and salt in a sauce pan. Heat until the butter is completely melted. Keeping the heat on, add one cup of flour and stir continuously until the mixture becomes dough-like.

Take the mixture off the heat and transfer it into a mixing bowl. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until each one is thoroughly incorporated. Add the cheese and chives and stir until combined.

Transfer the mixture into a heavy duty freezer bag. Seal the bag, pressing out the air as you seal it. Cut a quarter inch slit in the corner of the bag. Pipe the batter in circles onto the baking sheet (see lesson learned 5 above).

Bake for 20-25 minutes (I needed to bake mine for 25 minutes). Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.

savory profiterole

The Inside of the Profiterole

Savory Profiterole

Mashed Potato Cakes…

Give me my druthers and my carb of choice for any meal will always be mashed potatoes. I love potatoes any which way you can make them but when it comes to deciding how to prepare them, mashed potatoes is on the top of the list.

That being said, I obviously make a lot of mashed potatoes and because of that I normally have a fair amount left over. Leftover reheated mashed potatoes are fine, but I wanted to make something with a little more flair. So the other evening I ventured into making mashed potato cakes.

Lesson Learned 1 – Determining the correct consistency can be tricky. Everyone likes their mashed potatoes prepared a certain way. I like mine with a little more body, stiffer and less runny. Some people like their’s softer and “wetter”.  The key to creating a mashed potato cake you can work with is to make sure the consistency of the cake is not overly soft. So you may have to play with the amount of the ingredients a little until you get it right. For me, I beat one egg but only added a little bit at a time. I wound up using about 1/2 of a beaten egg to the potatoes. The same thing with flour. I probably used between 1/6 and 1/8 cup of flour. I added it gradually to make sure I got a good consistency but I also wanted to make sure the flour would not overpower the flavor.


Lesson Learned 2 – Once you get them in the pan leave them alone: You will need the help of a hardened crust on the bottom to help you flip the cakes over. I fried mine over medium high heat for four minutes before flipping them. That could vary for you depending upon your stove and heat source. The good thing is you will be able to see the browning occurring. Give it at least four minutes before you try to flip them over. Then flip them quickly as the top part will be much softer than the bottom.

I think there are basically two specific things to keep in mind when making this recipe. First is getting the correct consistency for the cakes. Second is making sure you have a good crust on the bottom and flipping them quickly. But even if they don’t come out picture perfect, I can attest to the fact they are damned delicious!

Mashed Potato Cakes…

  • Servings: 4 Cakes - 2 Servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg, beaten and added gradually (you may not need the entire amount)

3 Tbs. chopped chives (or more if you like)

1/8 cup flour added gradually (you may not need the entire amount)

4 Tbs. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Flour for dredging


Combine mashed potatoes and chives. Slowly add some of the beaten egg, continually checking the consistency of the potatoes to make sure they do not become too runny. Add the flour gradually and mix until the potatoes have a somewhat firm consistency (they will be soft, but you don’t want them runny – they need to be firm enough to hold the shape of a rounded cake).

Form the potatoes into 4 equal sized cakes (about 2 inches in diameter). Put some flour on a plate and dredge the cakes in the flour. Shake off the excess. In a medium size skillet melt the butter over medium high heat. Place the cakes in the skillet and cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.