Friday, November 5, 2010

Smashed Potatoes + Pear Cobbler

Today was a busy day — I began by working 3 hours in the lab, and then headed to the library for 3 hours there. In my rush to get out the door this morning I forgot to grab a single thing to eat, and did pretty well until about 2:00. Missed the 2:00 bus, and by the time it showed up again at 2:30, I was starved!
Once at home, I scarfed some chocolate pudding with a graham cracker, then began to think about what else I could make… my first idea (always the go to) was pizza. But no; no tomato sauce. Next thought… We have potatoes that need to get used. I read a recipe yesterday or the day before about smashed potatoes, and thought it sounded like an interesting try.
And so things began. Washed and boiled a bunch of cute little potatoes from the organic farm. At the same time, I cut up an onion (also from the farm), and put it on to cook. There may be nothing in this world that I enjoy as much as a slow-cooked onion.  When the potatoes were tender, I drained them, and let them cool a bit. After cooling, I laid them out on a cookie sheet, cut an X into the top of each, and smooshed them with the bottom of a drinking glass. Smashed potatoes! Into the smash I drizzled garlic-infused olive oil, and then wedged bits of my somewhat-caramelized onions.  Then I put the little guys under the broiler to crisp up. Except I got busy with the cobbler that I was working on, and the onions burnt. But, in the end, still tasty. In the end, I just set the oven to bake at 350 to crisp things a little and keep them warm while I worked on the cobbler.
So… cobbler? Somewhere along the way this afternoon I started thinking about all the ripe pears sitting in the kitchen. I know I’ve seen tons of recipes involving baked pears, so rummaged through my little binder of recipes.  Found only one that had pear in it – butterscotch pear pie from Gourmet, September 2009. And I was totally ready to make it, until I realized we have absolutely none of the butter required for pie crust. And then, light bulb! How about a cobbler? I made a great strawberry cobbler over the summer, so pulling out that recipe, I basically made the top crust and put it over the pie filling. Baked at 375 for 40 minutes, which seems like an incredibly long amount of time, but I was waiting for the crust to get nice and solid.
In the end, both halves of the meal tasted pretty dang good. I feel I should point out that the main ingredients for tonight’s meal were grown just a few miles from my apartment, at the WSU Organic Farm: potatoes, onion, the garlic in the oil, and the pears!
Top left: potatoes after baking (note the burnt onions)
below that... cobbler going into the oven, and pears with the sugar coating
top right: smashed potatoes before baking, and below that--the finished cobbler!

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