I Am Happy With This One

June 30, 2011

I have been receiving emails letting me know that some of you are having trouble leaving comments here. I am not sure what the problem is, but I have put in a request to Intense Debate. While I love ID, it seems to be one of those hit or miss programs. Some days it works great, some days there is a big glitch. If you are having trouble leaving a comment, I would love an email letting me know what is happening when you try.

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Let’s just spend the whole week talking about food, shall we? Apparently I am rather hungry lately, and besides general parenting, little else seems to be taking precedent in my life at the moment.
No, that is actually a complete lie. Soccer games, track meets, and a crazy project I have taken on are taking precedent, but cooking is my retreat, my sanctuary from all the chaos.

In 2009, Molly Wizenberg, the creator of Orangette, released her first book: A Homemade Life. When the book arrived on shelves, I had actually just been introduced to her blog and knew very little about her. I did, however, buy the book and proceeded to read about the first 50 pages before becoming distracted with some kind of parental emergency, and put it down, not to pick it up again for almost two years.

As I mentioned, I have been hungry lately, and cooking hasn’t seemed enough. I have had to read, write, and pretty much just think as much as possible about food to quell the hunger pangs, and that is how Molly’s book found it’s way back to me.

I love stories about food. Recipes are about as boring as calculus to me, but stories about recipes are fascinating. While my mom might have kept my dad and I from cooking with her, she did instill in both of us a love of cooking, and more importantly, food. Sometimes I think that living in Northern California does that all by itself, but my mom was a big help.

I have taken each nursing session, each nap snuggle with Landon this past week to devour Molly’s book (sorry, couldn’t help the pun), and it deserves every ounce of praise it has received. I came to realize a few days back that although I have been reading Molly’s blog for some time, I have only made two of her recipes: Banana bread with chocolate chips and crystallized ginger, and her apricot torte. Both were amazing, but both were made at least two years ago. I thought it was time to take the book into the kitchen with me.

I decided on Molly’s recipe for Bouchons Au Thon,a simple recipe made with canned tuna that sounded like the perfect fit for a blazing hot night that was calling for a small amount of time in front of an equally hot stove.

Now what to serve on the side.

I have a nasty habit of deciding on only part of my meal in advance, and leaving most of the side dishes up to the fate of what is in the refrigerator, pantry or garden. Some times this works like a charm, sometimes we eat canned beans. It is really a toss up. On this night, I had a bag of red potatoes sitting in the pantry, and it seemed like a good side for the small proportions of the Bouchons. I wasn’t in the mood for mashed or steamed potatoes, it was just too darn hot out, and I had recently had pan fried potatoes that left me wanting more, so that is where we started from.

The Bounchons have a wonderful base of creme fraiche and Gruyere cheese that packs some good flavor, and I had a lot left over that I did not want to see go to waste. While my original thought for the potatoes had been just a simple fry up in butter and kosher salt, the end result was SO much better.

Pan fried red potatoes with creme fraiche, and gruyere cheese

This recipe is not for the faint of heart, and it is perfect with a simple side salad from the garden to lighten it up. Frying the potatoes until really crisp on the bottom gives the dish a great texture, and adds a nice bit of flavor as well.

1 lb. red baby potatoes
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic chives
1/2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 large pat of butter for frying

Cook potatoes, just covering, in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender but not all the way cooked through. 
Drain and cut in half. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet and place potatoes, cut side down. Pan fry until brown and crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. 

In a bowl, combine all the rest of your ingredients, add warm potatoes and toss. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, at room temperature, or chilled. 


***** My kiddos can’t eat dairy, and most likely would not be fans of gruyere even if they could, so we fried their potatoes up in a little olive oil with salt and pepper. 

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin June 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Yay… I have new red potatoes in my pantry too! This is perfect… will try it for our tea tonight. Thank you! :)

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Hannah June 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm

These look scrumptious! Thanks for sharing. -Hannah

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earth mama 101 June 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Sounds delcious. I love the almost all eaten photo of your plate…that proves it, right?!

:)Lisa

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Melanie June 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Those potatoes look amazing!!!

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Kim Akari June 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Ooooooh, these look delicious! I recently read Molly's book after following her blog for a while. I thoroughly enjoyed the book! I agree, stories make food much more interesting than just a dry recipe. It made me think of writing my own version of our homemade life, just for my kids to have someday when they grow up and want to recreate favorite family recipes.

My little Hazel used to be allergic to dairy and recently it seems she's growing out of it. Not totally out of the woods (milk still gives her hives) but on the path at least.

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Only In Louisiana June 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

It is noon, I am hungary and those photos should be outlawed they look so good right now! Can't wait to make the potato recipe!

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Tracey June 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I love Molly's book and have made quite a few recipes from it; they were all wonderful. I read on her blog that she is working on a new book!

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Lisa Q July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I really enjoyed that book too….very inspirational. it made me hungry everytime I'd pick it up. just like your post just did! yummmm!

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Adrie July 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Yum!! Wish I was there to eat some. :)

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Nina - Tabiboo July 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

That makes me feel hungry just looking at it. A superb recipe and one for trying – thank you for sharing.

Nina xxx

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shannon July 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

your photos make me want to eat my computer screen. :) YUM!!

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Debbie Qalballah July 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

Oh my. I had thise, or a similar recipe years ago and I swear it was one of the best things I've ever eaten – although as well as the cream I added korma sauce and garnished it with freshly chopped spring onions and mint. Divine. Truly.

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clarice July 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Yumm, this is like comfort food, reallllly good comfort food xoox Clarice

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Camille July 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Now I'm hungry!
Have an awesome 4th of July, Camille

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Shayay July 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Oh my that looks yummy.

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bendingbirches July 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

oh boy…drooling here…..there's nothing like those little red creamer potatoes…mmmmm…. love to you and yours, friend:)

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angie July 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I'm trying that tonight, looks fabulous!

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Angela July 6, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Well I am heading over to your house to eat! Those potatoes look delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe for your gorgeous food!

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Jodi July 7, 2011 at 2:58 am

Please invite me over for dinner! Everything looks so yummy.

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erin July 11, 2011 at 3:12 am

We have quite a few red potatoes, this looks like the perfect recipe for them. :-)

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iniyaal July 11, 2011 at 4:29 am

Looks delicious :) Our cooking is quite different.. but the picture makes me want to try out this recipe.

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Megan July 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Those potatoes look so divine! I just bought a nice block of Gruyere this weekend. We are taking a 2 week cleanse, my hubby and I, so I will have to try this recipe in a couple of weeks. YUM!

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imene July 13, 2011 at 3:11 am

Hi Heather, I am catching up with you and you have decided to talk about food and yummy one to boot.
It is so hard for me right now as I am on a diet. I guess it will be a feast for the eyes only ;o)

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Lacey July 14, 2011 at 12:56 am

that looks amazing. I'm totally with you on the recipe story over recipe any day. I LOVE cooking shows though, and if we had cable i'd probably have to force myself away. The way people talk about food while they cook is always what sells me…this looks lovely!

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thiscosylife July 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Oh, that looks so yummy! I use intense debate as well and a friend had mentioned she had trouble commenting and I've noticed a significant drop in comments. :-( I'd love to know how they respond.

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vanzare masini July 24, 2011 at 5:35 am

Oh my God this looks so good and i`m sure that it is delicious too. I think it is not a very difficult recipe so i will give it a try, thanks a lot for sharing.

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