A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: At Home in Rhode Island Edition

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What's For Dinner Wednesday: At Home in Rhode Island Edition

As you know, Alex and I recently spent a few days in Rhode Island visiting with my family. We dined at some old (and new) favorite restaurants while we were there, but one of my favorite things to do when I am home is to cook a big family dinner. I get my love of cooking from my mom and my youngest sister Libby (pictured at right... photobombing my shot of the family table) has inherited that passion as well.

My family is pretty large by today's standards-- I am the oldest of 5 kids-- and with 2 of us married, a grandchild, 2 big dogs, 2 "grand"dogs, and 3 sisters in their teens and early twenties with friends and boyfriends stopping in at any moment, dinner is never a small and quiet affair. And that's just the way we like it!

Meet Tucker and Sully: the big dogs mentioned above. They also enjoy big family dinners as that usually means that their best friend (my husband, above right) will share some of his dinner with them. That evening it was a cheeseburger and they could not have been more thrilled.

On that first night we did a simple grilled burgers and brats dinner. We served them with some grilled corn and I made a quick saute of bell peppers (not green because I hate them) and sweet Vidalia onions. We had a ton of sauteed peppers and onions left over and not wanting to let them go to waste, we added them to a big breakfast scramble along with some chopped Black Forest ham and cheddar cheese on Sunday morning. Keep that in mind the next time you're looking to use up bits and pieces in your fridge-- an omelet or a scramble is an excellent way to use up ingredients and to still have a delicious meal!
On Friday night we got a little more creative with dinner.For Father's Day, we sent my dad a case of barbecue sauces from our favorite BBQ joint Lillie's Q here in Chicago. This weekend he decided to break them out to flavor a grilled pork tenderloin and it was delicious! The Carolina Gold sauce is my favorite, by the way... In addition to that, we grilled some veggies and my mom made a peach crisp that was SO delicious! You can check out my version (featuring adorable individual portions!) here

I made some simple roasted baby potatoes to serve with the pork and I am sharing that recipe with you below! They are so easy to throw together and get crispy and flavorful in the oven. The flavor is simple enough that you can serve them alongside almost any grilled meat-- from steaks to fish with virtually any kind of sauce since the seasoning on the potatoes is simple and versatile. These are also a great side dish to serve at your 4th of July cookout tomorrow!

Simple Roasted Baby Potatoes

  • 2 1/2 lbs. baby potatoes *For us, it was two 28 oz. bags. I used 1 bag of tricolor and 1 bag of baby reds.
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. dry parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. dry ground thyme *I prefer ground thyme to dried leaves here
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a large shallow** baking dish and set aside.

Rinse and scrub the potatoes well and then cut into quarters. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss to coat. Pour evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-45 minutes (removing once or twice during the roasting process to stir) until potatoes are golden and soft.

Place under the broiler for an additional 4-5 minutes to brown the potatoes. Serve warm.

**Shallow is better as the more spread out the potatoes are, the more brown and crispy they will get.

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