Thanksgiving Potatoes Au Gratin

potatoesIf you’re looking for a last minute idea to jazz up your potatoes this year, we’ve got you covered.  This is our family traditional potato dish, and we thought we’d share it with you.  Easier than you think it would be, it makes a delicious addition to any dinner!

Potatoes Au Gratin

4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1 onion, sliced into rings

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a buttered 2 quart casserole, layer the potatoes, onions and cheese, while evenly placing small pats of butter in the layers. Reserve a little cheese for topping.  In a medium bowl, stir the milk, flour, salt and pepper until smooth, and pour over the potato mixture.

Put into the oven and bake until potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes.  Let cool for around 10 minutes and enjoy!

 

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“Street” Style Tacos

street style tacos with carnitas 2

Street style tacos with carnitas as the meat option

I’ve had many customers ask about the “Street Style” tacos and what it means.  There’s a little bit of history behind this popular treat, and as with so many American ethnic favorites, it’s theorized it started out as a working man’s lunch.  Silver miners working in Mexico in the 18th century called the charges used to excavate the ore, “tacos”.  After a period of time, this name carried over to their portable meals; easy to carry, tasty to eat, filling and nutritious.

The taco has gone through many transformations since its humble beginnings and continues to change, such as tacos arabes introduced in Mexico City with the arrival of Lebanese migrants back in the 50s, which was changed a little more by the second generation to become tacos al pastor.  (Click on link and read the article!)   Here in mainstream America, the “street” style has enjoyed great popularity amongst Mexican food devotees and casual restaurant patrons alike.  But where did it come from?  Mario tells me that the street vendors in Mexico can not have any dairy on their food because the heat spoils the cheese and makes people sick; so, in order for the vendors to offer their hungry customers a favorite, they simply omitted the cheese.  Clever, huh?  And now you know.

 

What’s your favorite?

Scrumptious!

Scrumptious!

I was munching on my chicken fajita salad during a lull after the lunch rush, when I thought of a question a customer asked me:  What’s your favorite dish here?  I had to think about it since pretty much everything my talented husband cooks is spot on.  But it came to me while I was eating; the chicken fajita salad, of course!  But when I’m in a burger mood, nothing beats the Blue Moon.  Salad or fries?  Depends on my mood.

So I thought I would ask you all, what’s your Cafe Luna favorite?

And while you’re thinking of that, don’t forget to vote for your Best of the Best 2016!

http://www.colfaxrecord.com/crbob

You all have a great day and hope to see you soon!

Family Traditions: Cranberry Relish

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I’ve been looking through the seasonal recipes we keep locked up in the family vault for this time of year…Ok, ok.  No vault.  You got me.  However, there are some gems passed down from generation to generation, and then there are those that are “discovered”, such as this surprisingly delicious dish.  “Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish” was found on NPR and has been served every year at our house since.  We just wanted to share a little bit of our family tradition with yours – Happy Thanksgiving!

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

Photo Credit: Selena N.B.H./Flikr

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish

2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed

1 small onion

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar (“red is a bit milder than white”)

Grind the raw berries and onion together. (“I use an old-fashioned meat grinder,” says Stamberg. “I’m sure there’s a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind — not a puree.”)

Add everything else and mix.

Put in a plastic container and freeze.

Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. (“It should still have some little icy slivers left.”)

The relish will be thick, creamy, and shocking pink. (“OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. Its also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, and with roast beef.”)

Makes 1 1/2 pints.

contributed by Susan Stamberg