Traditional Irish Champ (Mashed Potatoes with Scallions and Cheese)

I've had a bit of trouble getting motivated the past few months, so I decided it was time to take a brief break from writing and spend more time in the kitchen. That's always been my solution when words don't come to me easily. I spent the summer testing out new canning recipes, then took a brief vacation to Ireland where I was able to travel the country by train and try some new-to-me dishes.

There is nothing like a vacation to provide a bit of inspiration, but two days in to our trip I realized something: Despite the fact that I live in what I refer to as the frozen North, the temperature difference between Ireland and Southern Wisconsin is pretty substantial, even in the summertime. The days were cold and rainy, much like our typical fall weather back home, so I spent my vacation gorging myself on soup, fresh baked bread, and other dishes that are wonderful at warming you from the inside out.

Once I returned home the temperatures had gone through the roof, so I tucked all of my ideas away, thinking to pull them out once our weather back home cooled off. The trouble with that is our weather has been incredibly mild this year, it was 60°F only a week ago. This hasn't really put me in the mood for comfort food yet, but things are slowly changing. We finally had our first substantial snow of the year, so I knew the time had finally arrived to dust off the new recipes I'd been working on, starting with this delicious Irish Champ. 

Traditional Irish Champ | Not Starving Yet

Traditional Irish Champ

makes 6 - 8 servings


Ingredients

3lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup whole milk
6 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup Kerrygold Irish butter, salted
1 - 2 ounces sweet cheddar cheese, shredded (see notes)
white pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Place cubed potatoes in a saucepan, add sea salt, and cover with 1 - 2 inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Allow the potatoes to simmer in an uncovered pan for 20 - 30 minutes or until they are fork tender. Larger potatoes will need to be boiled longer, so I prefer to check mine around the 20 minute mark and continue cooking as necessary.
  • In a small saucepan add whole milk and sliced scallions, then cook until the milk is warm. Do not boil.
  • Combine cooked potatoes, butter, warmed milk, and scallions in a large bowl, then mash until they've reached your desired consistency (I prefer to leave mine a little chunky.) Add the shredded cheddar and white pepper. Mix well, then serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until later. Enjoy!

Notes

You can use any type of cheddar you'd like in this recipe, although I'm partial to Kerrygold's Skellig. It adds just a hint of sweetness and gives the potatoes a rich, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. 

If you need to feed a large group of people this is a great dish add to your menu. It can be made a day or two in advance and reheated in the oven when you're ready to serve it. After you've made the potatoes place them in an oven safe baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. To reheat: Remove the plastic wrap, place the dish in a cold oven, turn the heat up to 350°F, and bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until the potatoes are no longer cold in the center.

 

2017 Holiday Gift Guide - For the Last Minute Shopper

I know there are only a few shopping days left until Christmas, but today I have a gift guide for those of you who like to wait until the last minute. I know you're out there, because I live with a last minute gift buyer. So, I dedicate today's guide to those of you who enjoy living on the edge and ordering your gifts less than two weeks before a major holiday. Here's hoping your deliveries arrive undamaged and on time (and may you have a backup plan in place for when they don't!)  

2017 Gift Guide for the Last Minute Shopper | Not Starving Yet

Spiceologist Pink Peppercorn Lemon Thyme All Purpose Rub from Amazon

Casina Rossa Gourmet Sea Salt Gift Pack from Amazon

Death Wish Ground Coffee from Amazon

Hammond's Candy Stirrers from Amazon

Mustard and Co. Gift Set from Amazon

Daelmans Stroopwafels from Amazon

Claey's Peppermint Candy from Amazon

Fuego Hot Sauce - The Good Hurt from Amazon

Didn't find what you were looking for? Don't worry, we have you covered! Check out our past gift ideas for more inspiration.
 

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide - For the Writer in Your Life

Every year I spend countless hours browsing the internet, seeking out the coolest items to add to our yearly gift guides (which really is an excuse to cover my horrible shopping addiction, damn you Amazon!) Today I have a roundup of some of my favorite gifts for the writer in your life.

2017 Writers Gift Guide | Not Starving Yet

Peter Pan Collector's Edition Moleskine Notebooks from Amazon: You just think lovely wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air.

Honest Acronyms File Folders from Amazon: These fun folders perfectly sum up most of the paper items found in most offices. They may or may not help keep you more organized, but at least they're honest, right?

Writers' Tears Irish Whiskey from Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak: I stumbled across this remarkable Irish Whiskey at the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin, Ireland this past summer. Next time I'm facing yet another rejection letter I can at least drowned my sorrows with something tasty, yet humorous. 

Soap for Writer's Block from Hallmark: It smells like regurgitated ideas and probably a vampire. Come on. It's a bar of (handmade) soap, not magic. Try vodka (although I prefer Whiskey myself.)

A - Z Bookends from Amazon: These fun and functional bookends are the perfect gift for the writer (or reader) in your life. 

The Writer's Block - Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination from Amazon: This 3x3x3 block will either jump-start your imagination, as promised, or provide plenty of excuse to procrastinate further which can be a double edged sword. 

Too Much Coffee Mug from Amazon: My words, like most writers, are fueled by coffee. The words stop flowing once the coffee does. True story.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Don't worry, we have you covered! Check out our past gift ideas for more inspiration.
 

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Simple Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Caramelized Fennel and Onions Served Over Sourdough Dressing - A Sheet Pan with a Plan #Sponsored by @OXO

In the midst of holiday over indulgence, sometimes it's nice to sit down to a simple meal that won't leave you feeling guilty. Today we're partnering with OXO to bring you one of our favorites: roasted chicken leg quarters, served over sourdough dressing. We've paired it with some of our favorite fresh, seasonal vegetables—fennel and yellow onions, which have been lightly careamelized to perfection. It's the type of meal that will be on the table in under an hour, making it perfect for a busy week night or last minute guests. Added bonus: the dressing is a great way to use up that loaf of bread you bought, but forgot about (or the heels that no one ever eats.)

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Chicken Leg Quarters
 

with Fennel and Onions


makes approximately 2 - 3 servings



 

Ingredients


1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 - 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
sea salt and pepper, to taste

2 - 3 chicken leg quarters
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
garlic sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups stale sourdough bread, torn into chunks
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced  
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3/4 cup chicken stock
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
 

Directions
 

 

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice the fennel and yellow onion into uniform pieces, brush with melted butter, then add sea salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables so the butter and seasonings are evenly distributed, then transfer the vegetables to one half of the baking sheet. You'll reserve the other half for the dressing and chicken.
  • In a large skillet add onion, celery, and butter. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the celery is slightly tender. Add poultry seasoning, bread, and chicken stock, then mix until all of the liquid is incorporated. Do not add additional stock if you still have dry bread, the juices from the chicken will moisten the stuffing as it cooks.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, then mix everything together. Transfer the finished stuffing to the second half of the sheet pan.
  • Place the chicken leg quarters on top of the dressing, brush with melted butter, then season generously with smoked paprika, garlic sea salt, and black pepper.
  • Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, making sure to stir the onions and fennel several times through the cooking process to keep them from burning along the edges. Once the stuffing is slightly brown on the edges and the onions have caramelized, remove from the oven and check that the chicken has cooked throughly. You can use a quick-read thermometer to ensure that it has cooked to 165ºF, or poke with a fork and make sure that the juices run clear. If they're still pink, just pop the chicken back in the oven for a few more minutes.
     

Notes

 

If you have time you'll want to lay your bread out the night before making this recipe so it will have time to dry out. I'm lazy about planning, so I put mine on a baking sheet, then let it sit on the counter until I'm ready to use it. If you decide to make this recipe at the last minute you can always bake your bread for 10 - 20 minutes at 200ºF to help dry it out a little faster.

The amount of chicken stock you'll need can vary, so make sure to have extra on hand. If your stuffing comes out of the oven on the dry side you can always add a little bit of extra stock to moisten it up. 
 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Tools


To facilitate today's recipe OXO sent along a handful nifty kitchen items. Keep reading for more information on the tools featured in our post today and where you can purchase them.

Chef's Precision Digital Instant Read Thermometer: The Instant Read Thermometer provides quick, accurate measurements for cooked meat. The pivoting head allows reading temperature from any angle.  Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Silicone Roasting Rack - Elevates food above fat and liquid for healthier cooking and allows air to circulate around food for faster, more even roasting. Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Non-Stick Pro Half Sheet Jelly Roll Pan - Square-rolled edges add reinforcement for structure, strength and durability. Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Flavor Injector Inject marinades and other flavorings into meat for delicious flavor and juiciness. Two needles for thick and thin marinades store inside injector tube when not in use. Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Good Gravy Fat Separator (not pictured) - Easily separates the fat for healthier gravies, soups and sauces. Purchase from Amazon or OXO
 

Disclosure


Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.