Man, I've been so frustrated in the kitchen this week. This Cream Cheese and Chives Potatoes side dish was one of my few happy moments. In the last few months, I've been lucky in that after afternoons of chopping and stirring and cooking that most of my inventions have turned out to be delectable. Until last week.
First, I made a flavorless Spanish tortilla with potatoes, eggs, ham, and tomatoes.
Second, I wanted to make Niños Envueltos, a typical Dominican dish that consists of ground beef and rice wrapped in cabbage and baked in a made-from-scratch tomato sauce. I 've never bought cabbage before and I bought it too green, making it impossible to wrap up the filling. The Niños Envueltos ended up as soft tacos, albeit delicious tacos, but it wasn't what I really wanted. However, the tomato sauce was just right. I'm making a pasta dish this week, so I'm hoping to make this sauce again so you can be included in its delight.
Third, I spent most of Sunday preparing conch, a seaside delicacy here, only for the end result to be...bitter. Who knew cooking with lime rinds leaves a painful aftertaste? (Evidently everyone at my house invited for lunch, except for me.) To make it worse, this was a meal shared with four other people. Ahh! *%#@^!!!!! *$%$*%* #@#**&!!!!
Instead of frustration, this time with the conch, I was embarrassed.
The lesson for last week's disasters is that I have to be patient with myself. I'm learning something new everyday about cooking, primarily by reading extensively online in my free time - blogs, recipes, cooking websites and magazines, and more, more, more, - but also by talking and asking questions to the fiance, coworkers, friends, and my mom. It's a process, and with every "mistake" that I make now, it is one less that I will make in my next attempts. Right? RIGHT?!
One thing I'm realizing is that my cooking style is all over the place. I really want to stick with the theme of my apprenticeship of Aunt Clara with her Dominican recipes, but then I get cravings for things like cream cheese and I shoot it all to hell. So, I'm making peace with the fact that I'm developing and learning about what I like and don't like in the kitchen, and you all just happen to be along for the ride. So...wear a seatbelt?
Case in point: Cream Cheese and Chives Potatoes. Really? Could anything be less Dominican? I used the ingredients I had left over from the Stuffed Chicken last week to make these potatoes, and they turned out to be unbelievably good. They should have lasted for a few days, but we ate them in just about 48 hours. And in silence, while looking at each other in disbelief.
If you are trying to impress, make these potatoes. They will be great for a party or a potluck. I'd even go so far as to say to invite people over and only serve them these beauties because they are that good.
So, thank you Cream Cheese and Chives Potatoes. As I was remembering each of the said catastrophes, I remembered you, and sighed in the remembrance of your deliciousness.
Cream Cheese and Chives Potatoes
2 lbs. potatoes, quartered
4 oz. light cream cheese
1 small onion
1 large handful of chives, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced finely
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
First, boil the quartered potatoes in water with a generous amount of salt for around 15-20 minutes, or until tender. While the potatoes are boiling, make the cream cheese and chives sauce. In a saucepan, add the milk, cream cheese, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and chives. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and it is all thoroughly mixed together.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread out the boiled potatoes evenly in a lightly greased pan. Pour the sauce evenly over the potatoes and then top with 1 teaspoon each of salt and paprika. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have absorbed almost all of the liquid of the sauce. Top with more fresh chives. Serves 4-6.
a buen tiempo!