Tag Archives: potatoes

Oven Baked Fresh Pork Hocks and Veggies Serves 3

Oven Roasted Pork Hock plated

Oven Roasted Pork Hock plated

pork-hocks-roastedOven Baked Fresh Pork Hocks

This is a German inspired dish.  It’s called Eisbein in Northern Germany and Schweinshaxe in the southern part.  My inspiration is not totally authentic because I’ve added more root vegetables to it;  for fall time cooler weather this is a perfect dish.  It’s nice to serve for the family and even guests.  Not only is it quite healthy, but it’s also super economical.  The dish shown here cost me $13 (including the sauerkraut and optionals) for 3 generous servings.  And that cost is here in the Sun Valley, Idaho region where prices are a bit more than in other lower lying areas.  If you wonder from where the “hock” comes, let me tell you: it’s the part of the pig where the foot was attached to the leg.


  • 3 Fresh Pork Hocks
  • 1 or 2 onion(s)-sliced thin
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, halved or quartered
  • 1 leek sliced thin
  • 3 celery sticks roughly chopped or even diced
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tsp. juniper berries or some rosemary (I used about two small sprigs but you can use dried as well—maybe 1 Tsp. full) and 1 Tsp. or more of fresh lemon juice or you can use some gin (use your discretion for this)
  • 4 C. or less of heated beef stock (if cumin is your thing, you can add a little of that to the stock)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Additions if you wish
  • 3 white potatoes – quartered or in large chunks
  • 3 carrots peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 3-4 Brussels sprouts—quartered
  • 1 parsnip- peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 turnip peeled and cut in large chunks
  • Serve with separately heated sauerkraut and if you didn’t use the potatoes in the dish, those can be cooked separately and served with the “kraut” and the hocks.


  • Pre-heat oven to 425
  • In a roasting pan that you can easily cover, spread the onion, celery, garlic cloves and leek on the bottom.
  • Place the pork hocks on top of the veggies and pour the olive oil over the hocks and pepper and salt both sides but make sure the hocks are rind side up before placing in oven.
  • Pour on 1 C. beef stock
  • Place in 425 oven and bake for about 25 minutes or till the rind is crispy.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven down to 350.
  • At this point of the recipe, I did check every half-hour to make sure the stock had not totally evaporated. If so just add more.  Also you can baste the meat every half-hour.
  • Probably all of the stock has evaporated which mine did; so add 2 more C. of beef stock. Add the juniper berries or fresh lemon juice and rosemary sprigs (or gin), the 2 cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.  I also added the optional parsnip and turnip at this stage.
  • Cover and bake for 1 hour.
  • Then add the optional potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts. You might need more beef stock at this point so add another cup.
  • Cover and bake for another hour or until the meat is easily removed from the bone. However, don’t over cook or the hook will become tough.



Margot’s Oven Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce


DSCN0729 DSCN0735 DSCN0742

before poaching                             after poaching                     ready to eat

I love fresh salmon and when I find some well priced, I buy it immediately. I was really lucky to have found this King Salmon for the same price as the North Atlantic variety–$6.99/lb. What a deal!!!! I have many recipes for salmon but there are two which I prefer: oven roasted and this recipe which is oven poached. Both are simple and easy to prepare yet make for a very elegant looking and tasting dish. As such it is a fine one to serve for guests.


I many times serve my poached salmon with couscous or roasted fingerling potatoes (see my blog for vegetable roasting recipes) as shown in the third food picture above; they took about 20 minutes to get done in the 450 oven so see how easy this dinner can be because you can roast them during the same time that you oven poach the salmon. Sometimes I’ll serve this dish with our wonderful Hagerman fresh corn which I so easily cook in the microwave (see my blog for the easy recipe). For the greens I really love making my Lemon Lovers’ Asparagus recipe (also found on my blog) which features roasted asparagus and freshly cut and roasted lemon slices.


You can use any kind of nice looking and fresh salmon fillets but the King Salmon makes for a very fine dish indeed. You can roast fewer fillets or more so for instance for one fillet in a smaller baking dish, I reduce the specified amounts of wine, water, etc. mentioned below to 1/2 of what the recipe calls for. As well, because my fillet (shown in picture) is one luxurious inch thick and measures 4” X 4”, it took about 13 minutes instead of 10 minutes to poach. So, take this all in consideration if you poach fewer or more fillets and as well as to the thickness and size of each one. The trick here I think is to keep a close eye on it all. You definitely don’t want an overdone fillet. Lastly, this is a dish that does not have to be steaming hot when served. It is fine served at medium hot temperatures or even at room or cold temps.


In conclusion, I think that this is an easy meal to serve for just yourself or for a crowd of people without sweating the preparation because actually you can make it well before you serve it and serve it at room temp.


Ingredients for the salmon poaching:

  1. Four 6-8 oz. salmon fillets with the skin. I lift the salmon off the skin with a metal spatula.
  2. For 4 filets, use 2/3 C. white wine or white dry vermouth. Adjust the amount for less or more filets.
  3. 1/4 C. water –once again adjust if necessary
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 Tblsp. chopped FRESH dill and some more for presentation purposes
  6. 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  7. Lemon wedges for décor and individual use if desired

Directions for the oven poaching of the salmon:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Smear olive oil on a 7 X 11 nonreactive (glass, Pyrex, etc.) dish
  3. Place the fillets, skin side down, into your dish. Pour the wine and water over them, season lightly with salt and sprinkle the 1 Tblsp. dill and the scallions on top.
  4. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven.
  5. Bake until just cooked through and flaky usually about 10 minutes however, if your fillets are quite thin, you might check after 5-7 minutes. Be sure not to cook them too long. Even if they look a bit underdone, remember, they will cook a bit longer when out of the oven.

Ingredients for the Dill Sauce:

  1. 1/4 C. sour cream
  2. 1/2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
  3. 1 Tsp. lemon juice
  4. 1 Tsp. chopped FRESH dill
  5. Ground black pepper to taste

Directions for the Dill Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl place the above ingredients and stir well.
  2. I place a generous dollop of the sauce on top of the salmon, but if you wish you could pass the sauce around and let people serve themselves. In that case, I do put some extra chopped fresh dill on top of the salmon for the presentation.


Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.


Be sure to take a minute to visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com for over 200 more simple and delicious recipes. You also can call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting for small B&B kinds of food gatherings. Margot’s phone number is: 208-721-3551. Friend Margot on Facebook and also find her on Linkedin,Twitter,Pinterest and other social sites.


pic Pats oven poached salmon 6.14

Pat’s picture above of her oven poached Copper river salmon

 6/18/14  email from Pat below:

Hi Margot

Did your poached salmon with my Copper river salmon. It was outstanding !!!

Will do again in SV

Yummy. Pat


Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash


Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash

mini-pumpkin, egg and squash hashegg in mini pumpkin w sweet potato hash

Serves 4

Left picture with squash; right one with sweet potato

This is probably not a dish that you will make more than once or twice a year, but for around Halloween or Thanksgiving, it’s a colorful and yummy dish with which to surprise your family and overnight guests for a breakfast or brunch. It’s a pretty and unique dish to serve and I think just plain memorably fun.


  1. 4 mini orange pumpkins (4 inches in diameter) which you’ve cut about 1/3rd of the way down, seeded and spoon-scraped clean the insides so that an egg will fit in nicely. The pumpkin inner flesh is delicious to eat with the egg. SAVE THE TOPS FOR DÉCOR and if they have a stem, all the better.
  2. 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil for the frying pan
  3. 1 small package cut up fresh squash and cut up even smaller by you into 1/2 inch diced pieces or 1 sweet potato peeled and coarsely shredded or grated.
  4. 1/2 C. onion or shallot, minced
  5. 1 red pepper cut longwise into slender strips
  6. 1/2 C. uncooked bacon, diced or Black Forest ham diced
  7. 1/2 C. olive oil
  8. 1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
  9. 1-2 Tsp. red chili flakes
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 2 Tblsp. fresh sage or rosemary, minced
  12. S&P
  13. 4 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 the day of serving.
  2. In a small bowl whip together the olive oil, vinegar, chili flakes, garlic cloves and sage or rosemary. Reserve about 2 Tblsp. to either brush on the bottom of the pumpkins before placing in an egg or to drizzle on top of your egg when the egg is cooked.
  3. In a medium sized frying pan, heat up the 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil and sauté the onion or shallot along with the red pepper strips until both are softened (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the vinaigrette to the onion/red peppers and quickly add the sweet potato or squash; gently stir everything so well mixed.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, uncovered until softened and tasting pretty good (about 10 minutes).  At this point you can put a lid over the skillet to keep warm until you serve your egg/pumpkin or you can refrigerate it and reheat it with the pumpkins and eggs when you cook them. If you refrigerate the hash, let it come to room temp before putting in the oven with the pumpkins. Baking the hash in the oven will crispen the hash and you may prefer it like that.
  5. The day of serving, for the pumpkins, line a baking sheet with foil and place them on the foil lined baking sheet, cut side down.
  6. Bake the pumpkins on the sheet for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
  7. Turn the pumpkins right side up on your baking sheet and if you wish, brush the inside of the pumpkins with a little of the leftover vinaigrette and season with S&P or save the vinaigrette for top of the egg drizzle when the egg is cooked. Crack one egg into the center of each pumpkin and if you wish to have a crisper hash or need to reheat your room temp hash, single layer that around your pumpkins.
  8. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue baking until the eggs are almost set—around 15 minutes.  Start keeping a close eye on them about 10 minutes on and remember that when the pumpkin is out of the oven, the eggs will cook a bit more inside the hot pumpkins.
  9. To serve: Spoon the hash onto plates and nestle the pumpkins in the center. Lean one pumpkin top on the side of each pumpkin.  Drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette on top of the egg if you desire.

One Very Easy and Healthy Complete Chicken Casserole


breasts ready for oven corn unshucked and breasts dish ready to eat plated

One Very Easy and Healthy Complete Chicken Casserole

Serves 4

Very often I don’t have any specific plan or recipe in mind however one always seems to pop up.  Atkinsons’ had some very delicious looking and well priced whole (with bone and skin) chicken breasts which I had bought. That was my main ingredient.  I also had bought some fresh California corn (2 ears for $1), fresh organic red chard and for an additional side goodie, some huge CA artichokes (2 for $5).  At home I had some garlic heads, yellow onions, and one red and one white new potato.  So, there you go————I took out my 13 X 9 Pyrex dish and below is what I came up with.  I made it just for myself, but it’s a nice complete dinner for 4 and I envision a busy mother or dad being very happy to make something so healthy but yet so easy for the family—or even for guests because it did look very pretty.   Also, it’s a fun dish to eat because part of it entails just using your hands.  Be sure to have some extra bowls set on your table for discarding the artichoke leaves and corn husks.



  1. 2 large whole chicken breasts, with skin and bone—rinsed and pat dried
  2. 1 large bunch of red or white chard, washed and rough chopped
  3. 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  4. 2 or 3 large new potatoes, thick sliced
  5. Olive oil and/or olive oil spray
  6. Fresh ground pepper to taste and salt if you wish
  7. Several generous squirts of one of your favorite hot sauce—I used a hot mango sauce
  8. 1 C. vegetable or vegetarian broth
  9. 4 whole heads of garlic
  10. 2 ears of corn, soft end slightly cut off, left in most of its shucking and soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  2. Spray your 13 X 9 Pyrex dish with olive oil and layer first with the onion slices, then the potatoes, and last the chopped chard.  Sprinkle some hot sauce over it and then pour the broth over it all. Then place one chicken breast at each end—on top of the greens, etc.  Sprinkle the chicken with fresh ground pepper/salt and some more of your favorite hot sauce and place the whole garlic heads at each corner.
  3. Put the dish on the middle rack in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. After the initial 30 minutes, take the dish out, turn the oven down to 350, and place the two un-husked presoaked corn ears in the middle of the dish.
  5. Cook for half-hour more and everything should be done just perfectly.
  6. Take the corn out with gloved hands and remove the husks.  Break each ear into two and place back on top of your dish.  If you wish place a small pad of butter on each corn ear.
  7. As I said, I served this with a side of artichoke.
  8. As always, bon appetit

Pommes de Terre a la Provence


Pommes de Terre a la Provence

One medium sized one will fill two 4 inch ramekins and will serve 2

Many of you may already know this, but Pommes de Terre in French literally means apples of the earth—and so what would that be?—a potato of course.  I just have always thought that’s such a cute name.  This is a very delicious dish and so easy to fix.  I’m sure it’s not light in calories or cholesterol, but every now and then a splurge is OK.



  1. 1 medium sized baking potato (Idaho of course), peeled and sliced relatively thin.
  2. Crème Fraiche- 1/2 C. total will do.  *see below for recipe you can make yourself–much better and more economical however you have to start making this the day before making this dish.
  3. S&P to taste.
  4. Chopped Italian Parsley for topping.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pam oil or butter spray the ramekins
  3. Place some of the potato slices on the bottom layer. It’ll probably be around 3 slices.
  4. Spoon the Crème Fraiche over this layer, sprinkle lightly with S&P and continue doing this for however many layers will fit in the ramekin. You might need to make some more Crème Fraiche.
  5. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour.
  6. Top with chopped parsley.
  7. If you wish to add a cheese to this mixture to accompany a meat or fish dish that has no sauce involved so that it wouldn’t conflict with a more complicated potato sauce, that would be very easy to accomplish.  You might think of Parmesan, Cheddar or Blue Cheese mixed in with the Crème Fraiche. You don’t need much to make a culinary imprint.  Also, spread a little on the top before putting in the oven.


You can also make this dish with other types of potatoes and/or just using  one large dish.  You will have to adjust your cooking times of course and I think for a larger dish, it could be as long as 2 hours or until tender.

  • Creme Fraiche-homemade: Easy but start making it the day before you make this dish. In a small bowl whisk 1/2 cup heavy wipping cream with 1/2 cup sour cream.  Cover well and leave out in a warm place for 12 hours.  Then stir and place in the refrigerator for another 12 hours.  At this point it should be perfect–thick, creamy and delicious.
  • Fresh Herbed Cream Sauce: No cooking here — simply blend 1/2 cup creme fraiche with 1 teaspoon each finely sliced chives and fresh tarragon. Add about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serves up to 6 people. Streak a little over pieces of grilled, baked or poached salmon, sole, or scallops. Herbs could be pureed with a little shallot and stirred into the cream for a pale green color.
  • Pan Sauces: Stir a generous tablespoon into defatted pan sauces after pan grilling poultry, fish or vegetables. Bring to a simmer, taste for balance, and pour over foods.
  • Soups: Reduce the amount of cream called for in your favorite creamed soup by half and substitute creme fraiche.
  • With Fruits: A few spoonfuls of creme fraiche lift fruit flavors. Try over berries, ripe peaches or nectarines, or on sauteed pears. The cream could be lightly sweetened, flavored with a little lemon, orange or vanilla.
  • Imagination is everything. Try creme fraiche in other dishes as well. Streak it over mousses and jelled sweets or savories. Finish an appetizer plate of marinated leek or grilled scallions and asparagus with a zig zag of creme fraiche. It is classic in Beef Stroganoff instead of sour cream.


Bon Appetit

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes


sour cream mashed potatoes

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8

Sometimes plain is the best.  Mashed potatoes are one of those dishes where this axiom may hold tried and true.   In this recipe, one who is watching his calories can use low-fat milk and fat-free yogurt but frankly, I like the more decadent version.  As a last note, my daughter makes some really good mashed potatoes and she actually uses bakers.  She scrubs them well and leaves the skin on.  Then she boils them and when they are tender proceeds with the recipe below.  They are delicious and after beating them with an electric beater, you barely note that the skins were left on.


  1. 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes or other boiling potatoes peeled and quartered-I used Yukon Gold and left on the skins
  2. 1/2 C. milk or half and half
  3. 1/2 C. sour cream
  4. 1/4 C. chopped fresh chives
  5. 1 egg well beaten (optional)
  6. S&P to taste
  7. Melted butter to float on top at the end (optional)


  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water to barely cover.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  2. Drain and place them back in the pot to mash by hand or with an electric mixer
  3. Add the milk and mash or mix until blended and fluffy.
  4. Stir in the sour cream, chives, S&P.
  5. If you wish you can add the one egg, beat some more and then put the potatoes in an oven proof dish.  Pour some melted butter on top and place under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes or until the top has browned somewhat.  The egg addition is a very old tradition and the reheating of the potatoes will ease your worries about the raw egg addition.

Creamy Cauliflower (a lovely and healthy mashed potato substitute)


Creamy Cauliflower (a lovely and healthy mashed potato substitute)creamy cauliflower puree 5

This is a very variable dish and fun to “fool” your guests with—because many of them won’t even note the difference between usual and the different.  Cauliflowers which now can be procured from markets in all different kinds of shades and resembling it’s cousin, broccoli, in form is low in fat, low in carbohydrates but high the good stuff like dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C.  You actually can see cauliflower mentioned in the writings of the Arab Muslim scientists in the 12th and 13th century.  For me, I first heard of it when my parents informed me that they picked me as a baby from a cauliflower patch.  Yes, you heard right.  This was a common European/French statement to make to the younglings—when they asked that pertinent question:”Where Did I Come From?” Choux which in French alludes to the cauliflower is still used as an endearing term as in: “Mon petit choux”.  So there you have it—Margot loves cauliflowers because from it she was derived.  No laughing please—this is a serious topic.   To end this little diversion, here is a recipe that I often use and enjoy:


  1. 1 nice creamy white cauliflower: about 8 C. of bite-size pieces (but if you wish to be inventive another color will do) and save the stem greens if you wish to use in presentation decoration.
  2. 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled or minced
  3. 1/2 green cooking apple (I use it unpeeled but do as you wish) such as the wonderful Pippin—diced
  4. 1/3 C. Buttermilk or I use 1/3 C. milk with 1 Tblsp lemon juice which has sat for 5 minutes
  5. 2 Heaping Tblsp Parmesan—1 to be saved as a topping
  6. 2 Tsp. butter-1 tsp to be saved as a topping
  7. 1/2 Tsp. Salt or as much as you wish for taste
  8. Fresh ground pepper for taste


  1. Place bite sized cauliflower florets in a microwave safe dish along with the minced garlic and diced apple- and just a bit of water with a cover and microwave on high for about 8 minutes. Steam until very tender.  Then drain well.
  2. At this point, either use a potato smasher to smash everything before putting in a blender to puree; or use your food processor to puree the ingredients.  Before switching your machine switch on, add the milk, 1 heaping Tblsp. Parmesan, 1 Tsp. butter and S&P.
  3. When you have finished the puree, place the ingredients in a broiler proof dish and top with your remaining butter and parmesan.  Place under broiler until nice a brown on top.  (If you have made this dish several hours or more before serving and want to heat it up in the oven before broiling, please do that. Or you can even microwave it till hot and then broil it.)
  4. By the picture, you can see that I surrounded this dish with roasted Brussels sprouts and the very exterior rim is lined with the leaves I had saved from the Cauliflower itself.
  5. Variations include using different kind of cheeses, chopped herbs without the apples; or even nutmeg, cinnamon or currents with the apples; and so once again, it’s your imagination that can rule.  I imagine you could even use rich cream or 1/2 & 1/2 instead of the milk.
  6. In conclusion, this can be a very healthy dish and it’s fun to play around with and with which to surprise you dining guest.
  7. Bon Appetit from Margot, TempInnKeeper.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.