How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Patty Pan Potatoes -- Day 2

We often remember the wisdom of Mrs. Poole once said on Valerie, mac & cheese is best on the third day ... with milk. (Quote is inexact, as this show predates social media, so I would have to watch the whole series to figure out exactly what she said.) We can picture her saying this -- and hear Edie McClurg's distinctive voice in our heads -- any time we have a simple dish that seems to improve with a little melding. The most recent example was this evening's side dish of roasted potatoes and squash, which I prepared last night to go along with some fresh salmon.

Putting the kitsch in our kitchen
I had prepared this because I was going whaling for the evening; and would be bringing back a late dinner from Kyler's Seafood. Since I had some leisure in the afternoon, I wanted to prepare a side dish that would require minimal effort from Pam. At this time of year, we also endeavor to use something from our farm share every day, and so far all we had used was the veggies from leftover ratatatatouille. With the bounty of vegetables coming in from Colchester Neighborhood Farm this time of year, we need to do something original every day! It is one of the challenges but also one of the chief benefits of eating locally -- readjusting our food calendar to include more of what is available nearby at any given time of the year.

What came to mind was a simple modification to an old standard of mine -- in fact, when Pam suggested blogging about it this evening, I was confused, because I hardly think of this as a "recipe" at all, much less a "nueva receta." But I do not think I have posted this handy dish before, and certainly not the modification.  I started with a few small potatoes, partly peeling each with our handy monkey peeler. (We usually refrain from peeling potatoes, and if we do, we usually remove only about half the skin.) I then peeled a patty pan (UFO) squash, and diced both to about half-inch cubes.
I put all of this in a casserole dish and added a generous dollop of olive oil and thoroughly dusted the vegetables with paprika (lots and lots), oregano, and pepper. I mixed it all thoroughly and left it for Pam to bake (about 375 for close to an hour) in time for my arrival with the fish, which I simply pan-fried with lime-infused oil and Old Bay. It was very good, served with our home-vinted Gewurztraminer.

But none of this is what inspired us to write this up. It was this evening, when we were putting together a quick dinner of organic hamburgers that we realized this would be a good side. I reheated the roasted potatoes and squash in the indispensible cast-iron skillet, alongside the patties (which included a healthy dose of Worcestershire sauce). The result was simply amazing -- overnight the olive oil had worked its Mrs. Poole magic on the vegetables, and refrying them worked just beautifully. (We did not, as we sometimes do, top this with plain yogurt.) This evening's pairing also worked very well -- our home-brewed Chinook pale ale.

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