Friday, May 21, 2010

Food Cravings and Fried Pickles and New Potatoes

All of my life I have had food cravings.

Not just any food either.

Very specific foods.

At times I have craved beef or chicken or fish.
Sometimes it is chocolate I crave.
Other times it has been bread or a potato or rice or an egg.
I have driven myself crazy in the quest for the perfect salad or tomato.
Once I craved grilled vegetables for weeks and that was all I ate; another week it was all manner of cheeses and fruits.

Do you know what I mean? That feeling way down deep in your gut that tells you no matter what else is available your hunger won't be satisfied until you have that one specific thing you are craving?

All my life I have been following the cravings. From market and garden to stove to plate to mouth I have given in to the inner whisperings of my stomach.

I believe that if I crave it, my body needs it. It's like my body is whispering to my stomach - hey... send some iron down here and while you're at it throw in some folic acid. Or maybe it's vitamin C that's needed or calcium or sugar or salt or carbohydrates or potassium... whatever it is, when my body calls for it, I cook and eat it.

Lately I have been craving all manner of vegetables. No meat necessary, just vegetables of all variety. I've been adding beets to every meal. Eggplant, grilled, fried and roasted. Fennel and roasted tomatoes; just finished a pan full. Broccoli, peas, asparagus and greens to name a few have been gracing my table morning, noon and night. I am surveying my vegetable crisper right now trying to decide what combination of yellow peppers, carrots, beets and greens I will have for lunch.

Last night while TBHITW grilled some beautiful grass-fed ground beef hamburgers, I made the sides. Because of my recent vegetable craving (potatoes) I made some simple boiled and browned new potatoes with fresh rosemary. To satisfy the burger eaters (and my salt / cucumber craving) I added some fried pickles. Unless you've eaten fried pickles, don't turn your nose up. They are as addicting as chocolate (which I'm sure I'll be craving in a week or so....)

Potatoes in the spring. Is there anything more beautiful? Thin skinned and buttery, they are nothing like your late winter spud with it's tough skin, dirty appearance and knobby eyes. This recipe is so simple, yet so delicious you too may be tempted to skip the burger and just go for the sides.

New Potatoes with Rosemary and Olive Oil: serves 4

About 5 medium sized "new" potatoes (pale yellow with very thin skins) washed and pricked with a fork
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Sea Salt
1 [heaping] tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped.

Place potatoes in a good sized pot and cover with cold water. Add a few pinches of Kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered until easily pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool for a bit.
Cut into quarters.
Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan. Place potatoes, cut side down in pan. Cook on medium-low until slightly browned and crisp, turn and continue to cook until all sides are golden and slightly crisp.
Sprinkle with rosemary, toss to coat and place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with a few pinches of sea salt.
Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt (optional) on the side. Leftovers are wonderful reheated and topped with a poached egg.


Fried Pickles with Two Dipping Sauces: serves 4

1 Jar Vlasic "Ovals" Hamburger Dill Chips*

1 egg
1/2 cup flour (divided into two 1/4 cup portions)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
Oil for frying (I use canola)

Drain the pickles then dry them by laying on paper towels.
Mix the egg, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup milk in a shallow bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth.
Mix the other 1/4 cup flour and the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl.

Place the pickles in the egg, flour and milk mixture, spooning them around to coat.



Heat up the oil in a deep fat fryer or large Dutch oven (you should have about 2 inches of oil)

Dredge your pickles in the flour and bread crumb mixture and working in batches fry the pickles until they are golden brown.
Bread Crumb Mixture

Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags. Serve hot with one or two dipping sauces.


Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce: makes 1/2 cup

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
Mix in a small bowl and serve along side hot fried pickles

Spicy Thousand Island Dipping Sauce: makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup bottled thousand island dressing
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
few drops (to taste) tabasco sauce
Mix in a small bowl and serve along side hot fried pickles

A Cook's Notes: The fried pickles (my youngest tells me) are AWESOME as a topper for hamburgers, no sauce required. *I find the Vlasic brand stays the crispest when fried but do feel free to try any variety you like.

What are you craving lately?

11 comments:

  1. Today, I am not craving anything. And I've banned myself from buying cheese for the time being. Because tomorrow we are going to a new restaurant downtown called Chedds. A CHEESE STORE! IN MY VERY OWN TOWN! And I'm going to buy some gouda and some havarti and muenster and sharp cheddar and swiss and then I'm going to eat it all and go into a cheese coma.

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  2. I have HORRIBLE food cravings. Those fried pickles are now ON MY LIST. I think if I was not someone that was so cravings-based in what I ate I would save a LOT on groceries. I am simply one of those people that has to go to the market daily. I cannot just stock up on rice and beans and call it a day. I have to have FRESH GOURMET FOOD EVERY DAY. What a life, I tell ya. ; )

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  3. I'm a cheese craver myself. Late night, desperate for cheese and crackers. But these recipes sure got me hungry this afternoon. Thanks for putting them up!

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  4. I read somewhere if you eat what you crave, you'll eat less and lose weight...

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  5. I get these cravings sometimes - and as you describe, I tell myself that my body knows what it needs. But lately it's been chocolate all the way.... not sure why!

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  6. I may have to make some fried pickles. I LOVE those things.

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  7. I'd never heard of fried pickles before, but I have a feeling I would like them.

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    Replies
    1. OMG you must not be from the south

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  8. My cravings tend to run to things such as Mallomars. I'd like to believe my body needs them...

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  9. I am seriously craving those fried pickles! I must have those tomorrow night. Or maybe for breakfast.

    I've been going meatless lately so tonight we are having grass-fed meatloaf, cauliflower with cheese sauce and salad. I will post a recipe from my daughter, at some point, for baked cauliflower and parmesan cheese with herbs. Wonderful.

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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