1 1/2 teaspoons each, sea salt, shichimi togarashi and sugar

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Place racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place half the potato strips on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with half the olive oil and toss to coat. Place remaining potatoes on another baking sheet, drizzle with remaining oil and toss to coat. Roast potatoes for 20 minutes. Use a spatula to turn potatoes over. Switch baking sheets on racks. Roast another 20 minutes.

In a bowl, combine sea salt, shichimi togarashi and sugar. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with sea salt mixture. Serve hot. If not serving right away, keep warm in oven (turned off), loosely tented with foil.

Submit a Letter to the Editor for the Laurel Leader, Columbia Flier and Howard County Times

Blueberry bars

Actually, we use blueberry preserves in the topping for these cheesecake bars. We highly recommend putting together a melange of fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries macerated with a bit of sugar and/or fruit liqueur to serve on the side.

Make the bars ahead if you like. Cut into bars just before serving.


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Blueberry-cheesecake topping

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup blueberry (or other) fruit preserves

For the crust, heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butter into 1/2 inch pieces. In a food processor, combine butter, flour, sugar and salt, and pulse-process until mixture forms small lumps. Sprinkle mixture into a 13x9x 2-inch baking dish and use a metal spatula to press lumps evenly onto the bottom. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden, about 20 minutes.

For the topping, while crust is baking, whisk cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Add eggs, sugar and vanilla. Have preserves handy.

The moment the crust is done, immediately spread preserves over top of crust, then pour cream cheese mixture over preserves. Return to oven and bake until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely before cutting into 24 bars.