Patio Snacks: Home Fries, Crudités and Mint Lemonade
On the flight to Kelowna this weekend I was of course thinking about what I may be cooking in the next few days. Kelowna is wonderful for fresh seasonal produce. There are farm-direct produce, a good size farmers market on Wednesdays and weekends with excellent local produce and countless fruit stands everywhere. Heaven for vegetarian cooks. As it happened we were invited out every day so I didn’t get to do as much cooking as I usually do but we did have the opportunity for a few snacks on the patio when the sun peeked out from under the heavy blanket of clouds. On my stop at Modern Accents on the way from the airport I picked up a few glasses for iced coffee and also found these fun looking French fries holders that can be used for other things like crudités (raw vegetables) and dip etc. Even though I didn’t do much cooking I still was able to make some home fries and crudités to serve with homemade Mint lemonade. Not a major recipe here but I am posting it non-the -less. More cooking to come as I am here for the week.
4 red or brown skinned potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
A generous sprinkling of salt
Wash and dry the potatoes but do not peel. Cut them into french fry sticks or into wedges and place in a bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt.
Have a baking sheet lined with foil ready and place the potatoes on it, spreading them so they do not touch. You may need two sheets to accommodate all the potatoes in one layer.
Heat the oven to 400℉, place the baking sheets in the oven and roast the potatoes until golden. You may need to turn them over once to brown evenly on both sides.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more salt.
Pile into the french fry “stands” and serve with ketchup or another dip.
Shortcut tip: making oven fries is very easy but I have used frozen potato wedges before and it was fine too.
Crudités with blue cheese dip:
Cut all vegetables into sticks and pile into French fry holders or a glass dish preferably upright. You can stick a few herbs such as rosemary or parsley stems in between for garnish.
Blue Cheese dip:
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled (or to taste)
Combine all ingredients, refrigerate until ready to use.
Shortcut tip: Buy a good quality blue cheese salad dressing and use that as the dip.
Vegan dip: For a vegan dip use canola mayonnaise and spice it up with lemons juice and chill powder.
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 bunch mint (2 cups loose)
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups ice water or sparkling mineral water
Pour boiling water over mint and let steep a few hours or overnight. When ready to proceed with the recipe remove mint and pour the mint water through a strainer into a pitcher.
Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil, cook for a few minutes to melt the sugar. Remove from heat and cool, adding ice to speed up the cooling.
Add lemon juice to mint essence and then add the sugar-water syrup.
To serve fill glasses with ice, place a few sprigs of mint in each glass and then pour the chilled lemonade over the ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint in each glass. With every sip you will get a beautiful fragrance of fresh mint. Enjoy.
Shortcut tips: you can buy a good lemonade and just add the mint leaves to the glass or pitcher before serving.