Smashed Air Fried Baby Potatoes


I recently purchased a 5.3 quart digital Air Fryer and I have been loving the results coming out of it. I haven’t really tried to duplicate frying anything in it yet. I just love the way it cooks. The more I use it, the more comfortable I am with it. I use it more for roasting. As I play around with it, I will share more recipes!

I’ve made a lot of different things, from portobello mushroom pizzas, steak & cheese subs, brussels sprouts, skin on chicken thighs and these amazing potatoes!
Smashed Air Fried Baby Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb baby Yukon Gold potatoes
*I get the prepackaged potatoes in the mesh bag
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick) – melted
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
Kosher sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1) Place the potatoes in a medium sized pot
2) Pour in the chicken broth, enough to cover the potatoes
3) Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender
4) Drain the potatoes and transfer to a cutting board
5) In a small bowl combine the melted butter, olive oil, parsley & paprika
6) Dip the bottom of a small drinking glass in the butter mixture and gently press the potatoes with the bottom of the glass. Dip the glass into the butter as needed while smashing the potatoes. Be careful not to smash them too hard so they break apart. Just enough to flatten slightly

Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees
7) Spray or lightly coat air fryer basket with a little bit of olive oil
8) Gently transfer the potatoes in one layer to the basket of the air fryer
9) Brush some of the butter mixture with basting brush over the tops
10) Sprinkle salt & pepper evenly over the potatoes
11) Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees
12) Remove the basket & gently flip the potatoes
13) Brush with more of the butter mixture. Season again with salt & pepper
14) Continue to air fry for 8 minutes at 400 degrees until crispy and browned

If you need to air fry in batches, remove the potatoes and keep warm in a 170 degree oven or tent with aluminum foil while the second batch cooks

I recommend serving the potatoes with sour cream and some fresh chopped scallions.

They are also delicious with this Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast

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Deviled Egg Pasta Salad


This is the pasta salad that I make the most for my family, because everyone chows it down! It’s super easy to make and if you and your family love deviled eggs or egg salad, I really think that you will enjoy this particular pasta salad as much as we do.

Another bonus, I always have the ingredients on hand, so that is another reason it’s my “go to” pasta salad.

Of course you could tweak it, too. A little bacon crumbled over the top wouldn’t be a bad thing. I use dill pickle relish because that is what our family likes, but if you prefer sweet pickle relish you certainly can use that. Coarsely chop up some baby dills or gherkins to make the pickle more prominent.  I use the brine from the sweet relish jar, to give it some sweet twang. You could always use vinegar. If you use dressing instead of mayo, I won’t judge! Play around with it. Use the ingredients that you like to use when you make deviled eggs. To me, this recipe just has a great balance.

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1 pound Cavatappi Pasta ( I used half bow ties & half medium shells, because that is what I had on hand when I made this )
6 Large Hard Boiled  Eggs, chopped*
2 cups Mayo
3 Tbsp Yellow Mustard ( a mix of yellow & dijon is also yummy! )
1/3 cup Dill Pickle Relish
2 Tbsp Sweet Pickle Juice
1 tsp Sugar
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

Optional for those that don’t have picky eaters:
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Vidalia Onion
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Celery

Cook your pasta in salted water until al dente.
Drain and let cool in the strainer, but do not rinse with cold water
In a large bowl add the mayo, mustard, dill relish, sweet relish brine, sugar & chopped eggs ( onion & celery if using )
Mix thoroughly. Add pasta to the mixture and give it a good mix.
Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
You could add more sugar, too if you find that it is too tart or tangy.
Transfer the pasta to your serving bowl and evenly sprinkle the top with paprika

Cover and place in fridge until completely cooled and ready to serve.

Enjoy!!!

*If you are looking for a “no fail” way to prepare hard boiled eggs, this is what I do:

Place eggs in a small pot ( one that has a lid ) and cover eggs with water.
Bring to a boil, uncovered. Turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and leave the pot of eggs alone.
In a medium size bowl add 6 ice cubes and about 3 cups of cold water.
When the timer goes off, with the lid on the pot, drain the hot water off of the eggs.
Give the eggs a good shake with the lid still on the pot, to crack the shells.
Drop the eggs into the ice water and let sit for 10 minutes.
Peel the eggs while holding them under the water.

To easily chop the eggs, use a cooling rack.
Place the rack over a bowl and press the eggs down through the grates.
Easy, breezy & you’ll never chop eggs any other way 🙂

 

 

The Best Ever Broccoli “Puff” Casserole


This broccoli casserole is a must have at every one of our holiday family gatherings. We always have it at Thanksgiving. We sometimes even have it again at Christmas. It’s THAT good!

Everyone in my family has the original Broccoli Puff recipe. It’s posted in a “Taste of Country” cookbook that was released in 1987 by relatives and friends of ours that live in Washington State. I think I got it as a high school graduation present, or shortly there after. I can’t believe I have held on to this cookbook for almost 30 years!?

I have always been the one to bring the broccoli puff, for the last 20 years or so, because I make it a little different. I’ve added my special touches to it to make it my own.

The recipe is for a generous 9×13 casserole which is what you’ll need if your making it for a crowd! I always make a big batch because we all love to take leftovers home! It’s easy enough to divide in half to have  a reasonable casserole to have with dinner, or FOR dinner. You could add cooked ham, or chicken into the mix, for a one dish dinner casserole! You could also add cooked rice, too.  Enjoy 🙂

The Best Broccoli Puff Casserole EverThe photo above is just a small portion – Don’t let the size fool ya.
This is one big batch of a casserole!

Ingredients:

8 cups of chopped fresh broccoli, steamed until just crisp tender & drained
*(or) 40 ounces of frozen broccoli florets, thawed
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup real mayonnaise (I prefer olive oil mayo)
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
3 full sleeves of Ritz crackers, crushed *divided
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted *divided
*1 sleeve of crackers & 1/2 stick of butter go IN the casserole
* 2 sleeves of crackers & 1 stick of butter goes ON TOP of the casserole

Optional Mushrooms: (steps below)
8 ounces sliced baby bella or button mushrooms
1 vidalia onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp cooking sherry

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a 9×13 casserole by buttering the bottom and sides of the dish.

In a large mixing bowl combine the soup, mayo, eggs, cheddar cheese & seasonings.
Add the broccoli. Now, add 1 sleeve of ritz crackers, crushed and 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) of melted butter to the mixture. Give it a good stir. It’s going to be a lot, so it’s going to take a few minutes to get it thoroughly mixed. Spread the mixture into the buttered casserole dish.

If you love mushrooms, this next step makes the casserole even more divine!

In a medium sized pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil & 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, thyme and a good sprinkle of salt & black pepper.
Saute until onion is tender and starts to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and give a good stir. When the mushrooms have dried out, releasing all of their juices and have started to brown, add the sherry and let simmer until sherry has been absorbed. Set aside to cool. Add to broccoli mixture and combine thoroughly then add to casserole dish and top with crackers.

In a bowl, combine the rest of the crackers ( 2 sleeves crushed ) with remaining 8 Tbsp melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the buttery crackers over the top.

Bake for 1 hour ( if halving the recipe it will only take 45 minutes )

It should cool & set for about 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

Broccoli “Puff” Casserole


Broccoli “Puff” Casserole | Blue Eyed Soul Food | Broccoli and Cheese Casserole Topped with a Buttery Cracker Topping

This is one of those casseroles that has been in our family for MANY years!
I have adapted it over the years and this is the casserole that has everyone craving it during the holidays.
You could easily adapt it to your family, too.
Add rice. Add chicken or ham if you’d like!
It is one of those decadent dishes, so be prepared to devour a hearty, tummy filling, comforting dish 🙂

Now with that said, I am posting this as I make it every year for the holidays. It makes A LOT! This will feed a hungry crowd

It’s easy enough to adjust and cut the ingredients in half.

You will need a Large Mixing Bowl
and a buttered 9 x 13 Casserole Baking Dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In mixing bowl combine:
40 oz Broccoli Florets* ( If frozen, heat through until just tender – don’t over cook or use frozen)
2 cans Cream Mushroom Soup
1 Cup Mayo
4 Eggs
3 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Cups Crushed Ritz Crackers
2 TBSP Melted Butter
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Granulated Garlic

Optional:
Sauté 8 oz Sliced Mushrooms with Half Vidalia Onion.
with butter, salt & pepper, a pinch of thyme until onions are tender and mushrooms have released their moisture.
Deglaze with a good splash of cooking sherry, white wine or white wine vinegar. Continue to sauté until lightly browned
Let cool and add to the broccoli mixture.

Evenly spread the mixture into the buttered casserole dish

Top with more crushed Ritz crackers – I find that 2 sleeves mixed with a stick of melted butter cover the top nicely!

Bake for 1 hour until bubbly and crackers have browned a bit.

Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving

*I have used a mix of chopped broccoli with broccoli florets/crowns. If you use spears just go through and break them down a little bit. Baby broccoli florets work the best. Make sure you don’t overcook the broccoli before adding them to the casserole or it will get mushy.

Enjoy!!!