Even in the hot summertime, I’m attracted to a potato casserole. The “Swedish Spuds,” from thedailyspud.com, required 50 minutes in a 428-degree-F oven, but I remained confident and pleased with my results. Why are these potatoes Swedish? Well, the traditional recipe asks for Swedish anchovy fillets, which are described as sweetly preserved sprats (small sardine-like fish). So I was excited to sneak a can of sardines into my family’s meal.

I even used my mandoline, to slice my potatoes into 1/8-inch matchsticks. After converting your metric ingredients, you’ll see you need 3.38 oz. single cream (half-and-half) and 8.5 oz. whole milk to pour into this casserole. All this creaminess makes the casserole taste almost “cheesy” at the end, which is lovely, of course. You’ll need an 8x12-inch casserole dish, 1.6 inches deep.

Make sure to generously salt this casserole. My sardines were nice and fishy here. Edges were crispy and browned breadcrumbs were a treat.

Now here’s a brilliant recipe, wonderful to eat at room temperature: the “Barely Cooked Carrots with Tahini, Lemon, Garlic, and Sumac Dressing,” from kalynskitchen.com. A beautiful sweet carrot needs no fussing, to be sure. However, this tahini/lemon dressing adds such a classic “falafel” flavor to these barely steamed carrots. I was very enthusiastic with my garlic, so my carrots were too spicy for my youngster. I used cilantro instead of parsley, and did indeed use plain sumac -- an incredible warm spice that reminds me of woodsy raisins. Do this to your carrots and see how happy you’ll be.

PRICES
Yukon Gold Potatoes ( 1.5 lbs.) = $1.54
Onion (5.25 oz.) = .38¢
Canned Sardines = $2.33
Carrots (1.5 lbs.) = $2.03

RECIPES: indulge in a creamy/fishy potato casserole, and marvel at carrots + tahini + sumac
PREP TIMES:
devote 90 minutes to the prep and baking of the potatoes; carrots need only 10 minutes of prep/cooking, but will then sit and wait for you to eat them
TASTES:
creamed potatoes with crispy edges, embellished by fishy sardines; enjoy falafel-flavored carrots, spiced with garlic and warmed with sumac

Still jazzed by this casserole vibe, next time I will cook the “Egg, Cheese and Bread Pudding with Vegetables,” from luculliandelights.com. See how successful this will be, when you return to my site soon.