Oven-Roasted Potato Peels are so easy, you’re going to wonder where they’ve been all your life. Just peel potatoes – preferably organic – toss them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they get crispy and start to curl up around the edges.
You can add a dusting of spices or fresh herbs once they’re out of the oven, but the earthy flavor of the peels with these simple adornments is the perfect foil for your favorite dip. Or, perch them atop a steaming bowl of the Basic New England Clam Chowder you can make with all of those potatoes you’ll have! You’ll find that recipe here.
2 cups potato peels
1 Tbsp olive oil – spray or pour
1 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Line an edged sheet pan with parchment paper.
Wash/scrub potatoes well to remove any dirt. Cut out any blemishes or sprouts with a small paring knife. Peel potatoes with a peeler so you get peels that don’t have too much potato flesh.
Soak peels for ½ hour in cold or room temperature water, to get rid of excess starch. Rinse the soaked peels and dry them with a kitchen towel and/or a salad spinner. Get peels as dry as possible, so the chips get really crisp.
Spread potato peels in a single layer on the sheet pan and drizzle/spray with oil, coating peels well but not weighing them down. Sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Bake potato peels for 15-18 minutes, turning half-way through so they cook evenly. Broil for a few minutes at the end to get them even more crispy, watching carefully so they don’t burn.
Notes: You can save up potato peels until you have the amount you want to use. Store in water in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, changing the water daily.
You can also make these in an air fryer, same temperature but they will be done much faster so keep an eye on them.
Perfectly citrus-y with a subtle sweetness, the Blood Orange Paloma is a great addition to your bartending repertoire. This version was created in honor of “Dry January,” a 30-day challenge for folks to “drink to their health” and enjoy mocktails instead of the real deal.
BriarPatch carries non-alcoholic Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative, which Food & Wine magazine recently named as “the best” (The 12 Best Nonalcoholic Spirits, According to Bartenders – 12/19/2023). Its smoky flavor profile is more akin to mezcal and lends itself well to libations such as this delightful drink. Cheers!
2 oz Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative
3 ½ oz blood orange-flavored kombucha or sparkling soda
1 ½ oz fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
½ – 1 oz agave nectar (start with less and adjust to taste)
Salt for rimming glass, optional
Grapefruit, blood orange and/or lime slices, for garnish
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Moisten the edge of the glass with lime and rim with salt. Fill glass with crushed ice.
Add a few ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and add tequila alternative, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave nectar. Shake for 15-20 seconds and pour in the glass.
Top with blood orange-flavored kombucha/sparkling soda and stir to combine. Garnish with citrus slices and rosemary sprig.
Smashing cucumbers is an ancient Chinese technique, bringing together the veggie’s coolness with the intense spice of Sichuan cuisine.
Crushing a cucumber produces flavors un-smashed cucumbers can’t. When you crush cells in a vegetable rather than slicing cleanly through it, certain compounds get released and you can get a significantly different flavor.
Use firm-fleshed, fresh cucumbers for this dish. Crushing them can soften them into mush if you start with old, soft ones.
7-10 Persian cucumbers
1 tsp kosher salt
½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp chili oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
Cut ends off cucumbers, halve lengthwise, and then into 2-inch pieces. Carefully using the flat side of your knife, smash them gently – just enough to break the fruit inside. Toss pieces in salt and drain in colander for 30 minutes.
Mix together the rest of your ingredients, reserving 1/3 of the cilantro, and let sit while cucumbers drain.
Toss cucumbers and sauce together, then right before serving, sprinkle remaining cilantro on top.
There’s something fun and festive about pull-apart bread, and this recipe is sure to bring the “wow” to your holiday spread. Golden crust on the outside, soft and fluffy insides, it’s versatile and easy to put together on the fly. Here we’ve shaped it into a Christmas tree, but the shape is limited only by your imagination.
You can switch things up depending on the dough you have on hand (adjusting baking instructions accordingly) and the filling you’d like. Pesto, zhug and other herb or tomato-based sauces can work as well.
2 8-oz packages crescent roll dough (we used Immaculate brand)
Small bit of flour
¾ cup chimichurri sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp water
Fresh cherry tomatoes and parsley sprigs for garnish
Optional: Marinara sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 375°. Get an edged sheet pan with parchment paper.
Open crescent roll dough and lay on a large, lightly-floured cutting board. Take two of the pre-perforated triangle shapes from the rectangle of dough and reposition them so the shape is now a triangle. Gently push together perforations and roll dough so the triangle is about 15” long. Carefully move to a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Spread sauce evenly over triangle surface, then sprinkle shredded cheese and then Parmesan across the same area. Create the same triangular shape with the other package of dough. Gently place it on top of the first, matching and gently pinching together the edges.
Lay a ruler down the middle of the tree for a visual of the “trunk.” Using a serrated knife, cut inward to the “trunk” so that each “branch” is about 1 inch thick. Repeat top to bottom and on both sides, so there are plenty of tasty branches for folks to enjoy without cutting through the trunk that’ll hold everything together, and a nice, pointed treetop.
Take the two bottom branches and fold them a few times toward the center. This will be the tree trunk. Then, carefully pick each branch up and give it 2-3 evenly-spaced, gentle twists – depending on how long the branch is. Beat egg with water and brush onto tree.
Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
Garnish with several cherry tomatoes and parsley sprigs arranged like holly sprigs. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
You know how to make Irish Cream and can surprise your friends with this easy and absolutely delicious holiday gift that is ready in 30 minutes.
The origins of Irish Cream are a bit opaque, but seem to mostly point in the direction of a marketing effort in the 1970s by Gilbey’s of Ireland concocted by an Englishman…yes, that would be Baileys.
This recipe was gifted to us by Grass Valley born and bred Sarah Cain, an expert cordial and spirit maker. Now based in Vallejo, Cain currently works in beautiful, molded chocolate. Learn more at spiritedsweetschocolates.com.
Drink with a bit of ice, or mix with some coffee, for an Irish coffee. There are loads of fun cocktails to enjoy once you’ve made your liqueur.
750ml Whiskey (your choice of style, but buy something you’d like to sip!)
Dairy version: Cream base
1cup heavy cream (or ½ & ½)
1cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup dark roast coffee beans – coarsely cracked
¼ cup cacao nibs
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
Non-dairy version: Coconut milk base
2 14oz cans coconut milk (full fat!) – you could also sub 1 can for 14oz coconut cream (thicker)
2 cups dark brown sugar
¼ cup dark roast coffee beans – coarsely cracked
¼ cup cacao nibs
Combine the cream/coconut milk), brown sugar, coffee and cacao nibs in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, especially as the mixture approaches a boil. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean jar and stir in the condensed milk, then stir in whiskey. Store in the refrigerator. Use within a month.