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Leftover Mashed Potato Puffs

Let’s give thanks to eggs, sour cream, cheddar, Parmesan and chives for giving leftover mashed potatoes (Or fresh – if you don’t have any leftovers!) a new lease on life!
No more pushing them to the back of your refrigerator hoping they’ll disappear. This will make you wish for leftovers.

The potato puffs are baked in a cupcake pan (I use a square one made by Wilton) until golden and crusty on the outside with soft, fluffy middles that just about melt in your mouth.

They don’t taste like leftovers. Not one single bit.

From here on out I will intentionally make mashed potatoes for the sole purpose of turning them into these puffs. Forever and ever. They put mashed potatoes to shame. I see lots of variations in my future. . . and in yours. . .

Truly you can use any type of mashed potato and they need not be leftover. They’re worth the trouble of making fresh.

Once you have your base of mashed potato and eggs you can mix just about anything into them – cheese, fresh herbs, cooked bacon. . . whatever flavors you like with potatoes.

Cowboy Chili

A hearty, stick-to-your-ribs chili that will warm you from the inside out!

With ground beef, pork and beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, beef broth and beer plus lots of spices including two types of chili powder, paprika, cumin, and Worcestershire.

The chili is slow-cooked giving it a rich flavor, making it thick and hearty. The liquid cooks off leaving behind a ton of concentrated flavor.

When I was a kid I painstakingly picked every single bean and piece of vegetable out of my chili so all I was left with was meat. Never mind that it took half the night, there was no way on Earth I was going to eat them. Call me a picky eater.

I now know the depth of flavor all those onions, peppers and garlic were giving the chili and they rank up there as my most used and most loved vegetables.

The beer is entirely optional and you can use your favorite type of pork and beans or baked beans. If you don’t have a favorite look for one without high fructose corn syrup.

Garlic, Broccoli & Olive Oil Pasta

Penne pasta tossed in garlicky broccoli and olive oil with a hint of heat from red pepper flakes topped with plenty of Parmesan cheese for serving.

Simple, easy and completely delicious.

Broccoli florets are cooked in a skillet with lots of olive oil and whole garlic cloves to infuse them with flavor. Once the broccoli is tender the whole cloves are taken out and minced garlic is added in along with red pepper flakes.

It’s tossed together with the pasta and finished with lots of Parmesan cheese.

This is the perfect meatless meal and even works as a side dish to chicken or steak.

It’s also versatile meaning you can add to it – cooked chicken, shrimp or steak, more veggies and you can spice it up even more if you like with red pepper flakes.

You can find this in almost every Italian restaurant.

It’s a classic.

Now you can make it at home.

Taco-Stuffed Taquitos

Tortillas stuffed and rolled with seasoned taco meat and all your favorite fixin’s like cheddar cheese, avocado, salsa and sour cream.

They’re pan-fried to a golden brown crispness with molten gooey insides. They’re better than tacos.

Once, eons ago I tried those frozen taquitos from the supermarket. After just one bite, I concluded they weren’t edible. Not by me.

My taste buds revolted and my stomach flip-flopped. The entire box went into the trash and I never, ever bought any other again. I was too chicken to even try another brand.

After that bad experience, I didn’t even think about taquitos again until a few months ago. Homemade is definitely the way to go.

Not only for the quality ingredients you can put into them but because they’re highly adaptable to all your very own favorite taco fixin’s.

You can use shredded chicken or ground turkey in place of the ground beef, leave out the avocado or add guacamole instead, add in chopped lettuce or cilantro. . . whatever you’re in the mood for.

I used a mix of both corn and flour tortillas and found that my family liked the flour ones a lot better.

We also prefer them pan-fried. This adds a layer of flavor and decadence that is unmatched in the baked version.

For those of you who do prefer baking, I’ve also included those directions at the end of the recipe.

To bake them: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line them up on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and spray them lightly with vegetable spray. Bake 10 - 14 minutes or until golden brown and hot on the inside (you might need to test one!).

Spinach Lasagna Cups

Spinach lasagna filling stuffed inside flaky puff pastry cups with a dollop of tomato sauce for a twist on the much-loved classic.

The filling is made with frozen chopped spinach sauteed with onion and garlic then mixed with ricotta, shredded mozzarella, a touch of Parmesan and an egg to hold everything together.

A sheet of puff pastry is rolled out and cut into 9 squares then fitted into a muffin pan. A tablespoon of your favorite tomato sauce goes into the bottom and the spinach filling is spooned over that.

They’re baked until puffy and irresistibly golden brown. Once out of the oven they’re finished with a sprinkle of mozzarella.

They’re perfectly suitable for dinner and also make great appetizers.

I bet they’d be one of the first things to disappear at a potluck or party.

If they even make it there.

All recipes here are reprinted with permission of their respective owners.

If you’re a grower, chef or home cook and would like to contribute, please send your recipe and personal or company contact information to us at recipes@southeastproduceweekly.com.