13 February 2011

Recipe: Apulian-style Potatoes, Onions, Tomatoes

I used to use a computer program called MasterCook. It was a way of organizing favorite recipes. One of the features I liked was that it would calculate the nutritional contents of recipes based on the ingredient list that you entered into the program. It was pretty cool. But the main problem then, as now, is that when I’m cooking, I’m in the kitchen, pretty far from my computer. If I bring a laptop into the kitchen, I can put a recipe on the screen. But then the screen blanks out after a period of time, or I have to scroll down, and my hands are all messy. Not very convenient. Of course, I could always print out the recipe. But that kind of defeats the purpose of entering it into a computer in the first place.

As I prepared to write this post, I was somewhat surprised to learn that MasterCook still exits! Version 11 for XP/Vista/7 is available for $20 – download or on a CD. I don’t know what version I still have. (I never throw anything away, so I probably still have the original installation disk somewhere.) I do know I quit using MasterCook quite a while ago, which presented something of a dilemma. I had a bunch of favorite recipes stored in the program, and I didn’t want to lose them.

Fortunately, I found a way to export them to a .txt file. I did that and now have them stored as ‘notes’ in Outlook. So last Friday, I volunteered to make the potatoes for our family dinner. I remembered this recipe that I had stored on MasterCook for Apulian potatoes (from the Puglia region of Italy). So I hauled my laptop into the kitchen, fired up Outlook, opened the notes, and voila – there is was.

I’m glad I kept it. Everyone loved it; even my wife who normally doesn’t eat potatoes had a few bites. Of course, I did make a few adjustments. So first, here’s the recipe, which I noted came from Food & Wine Magazine, October 1992. Then after that, I’ve noted Krik’s variations.

Apulian-Style Baked Potatoes, Onion, & Tomatoes
Recipe By     : Food & Wine, 10/92
Serving Size  : 6    Preparation Time :1:15

   2      pounds        potatoes -- peeled and sliced
   1      large         onion -- sliced thin
   2      cups          tomatoes, red ripe -- diced
     3/4  cup           Romano cheese -- grated
     3/4  teaspoon      oregano
     1/2  teaspoon      salt
     1/2  teaspoon      pepper
     1/2  cup           water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss several times.  Oil shallow baking dish, 9x13 and spoon potato mixture into dish; drizzle with ¼ c. olive oil. Bake for 1 hour turning potatoes every 20 minutes.  Cool for 10 min. and serve; makes 6 servings.

Krik’s Variation: I didn’t have fresh tomatoes. (It is February, you know.) So I used canned plus a little of the liquid instead of the 1/2 c. water. I didn’t have Romano cheese, so I used Parmesan instead. I stirred half of the cheese into the potato mixture and sprinkled the rest on top before putting it in the oven. I didn’t have oregano (imagine that), so I used about 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, minced. We wanted it to be creamy, so I stirred in about 1/3 cup sour cream. I also stirred in about 1/8 cup capers. Oh, and I forgot to drizzle with olive oil.

After I put it in the oven, I didn’t turn the potatoes every 20 minutes, as the recipe suggests. By not turning them, they came out with a nice parmesan crust on top. When I took them out of the oven, they were just on the verge of getting overdone. I think the next time I make this, I’ll probably heat the oven to 375 rather than 400 degrees.

There wasn’t even one tablespoon leftover. I definitely will be making this again.

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