Posts from the ‘Potatoes’ Category

A Girl and Her Kismet

Actual fortunes from actual New Year's Day.

 

The first week of the new year has been precious enough to last me through the rest of it. The years of living in a money pit (while a great movie with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, not mine, thank goodness), overdrafting weekly, locking ourselves out of the house three times in one month, having the bus pass us by after a long, cold, rainy night, hearing about countless others vacations and new cars, while we have to remind ourselves that walking to the store gives us exercise, deciding if we need cat litter or flour and sugar, are behind us. They aren’t necessarily not in front of us also, but for now, the world doesn’t seem to be single-handedly against us. We still have that litter/ flour decision to make, but I’ve adapted.

We started the new year out with lobster, and oven crisp potato chips, and a game of dominoes that some gin may have impeded on. I made my first brioche (I know, really? First?), and baked for 100 the day before culinary school started. It was a strangely therapeutic beginning to an otherwise nervous situation.

My first week of school has passed, but will never be true history. I will never forget Chef saying, “cattywapus”, or drying my first metal bowl with my new classmate. I realize even though we are all in this class together, we are all experiencing things in a completely different way. Some people don’t come from the obsessive world of food, reading blogs, books, and food sites all day. Some people don’t know what Vichyssoise is. And that is fine by me. In a pre-Le Cordon Bleu-world I may have judged that lack of knowledge. Not because I know everything, but because if I know it, everyone else must. Right? Wrong! Cooking is a never-ending learning process, and that tends to scare me sometimes. I am having a favorite reading light shined on what I know, which is more than I realize. I feel I am getting more out of class because of what I already know, be it books or chefs mentioned, not knife cuts, and food-borne illnesses. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? Embrace and acknowledge the things you know, don’t deprecate them, but realize you and everyone else can’t know everything. It’s like when you think of all the books you would like to read, and then think of how many books you can realistically read, given you live a normal life span. Scary! Overwhelming. On average you will only have four couches in your lifetime. Maybe less!

I am coming to grips with not knowing everything, and for those who know me personally, they know what a challenge that is for me. I can learn what makes me comfortable, and happy, and keeps me alive. And then a little more. And with you all as my witnesses, buy as many couches as I can financially afford, to appreciate for the rest of my time as a couch-sitting-human.

 

I am highlighting the sauce here, we all know what lobster looks like. Hopefully 🙂 If you don't already have this book, go get James Patterson's book Sauces (2008 edition) Go!

Slice potato, brush with olive oil, season before and after cooking, *390 until brown and crisp. 10-15 min.

Okay, don’t be scared, but below is dipping butter. Don’t think, just eat it. I finely chopped and added: a sprig of Rosemary, a small handful of fresh Oregano, and 2 cloves of garlic, added a pinch of crushed red pepper and nutmeg, salt and pepper into some butter and melted it over low heat while the potato slices were cooking. You can strain out the herbs, but why? I like a friendly slap of flavor once in a while.

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”
— Edgar Allan Poe

“Mayonnaise: One of the Sauces Which Serve the French in Place of a State Religion.”

-Ambrose Bierce

I hope the holidays have been treating you all well, and you got some needed rest and relaxation. I hope you talked and laughed and hugged the ones you love. I’ve been eating and drinking and not blogging. Bad me. Culinary school starts on Monday, so I expect to be blogging my little learning heart out. I can’t wait to get all my kitchen swag, and start learning about food-borne illnesses for six weeks. Should be great for my OCD recovering self. Seriously, there was a point where my own mother couldn’t use my toothbrush, or deodorant  if such an emergency arose.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day usually fly by with lots of my time spent in the kitchen. Not to say I don’t enjoy every managed minute of it, but this year instead of cooking on the days leading up to the holiday, we ordered pizza, went out for dinner, and opted to have dinner on Thursday night so I could enjoy the long weekend. It worked out swimmingly with plenty of choice bites, time for kisses, board games, and bad-Christmas-movie watching. No rushing to the store for last-minute forgotten ingredients, just blankets and time well spent. So no fancy pants this year, but don’t worry, I made up for it on New Year’s Eve with a night to rule all nights. Dressed to the nines, on my love’s arm, calamari, a whole loaf of bread, duck confit and Negroni’s at Cafe Campagne, and fried apple pie with vanilla ice cream, chocolate Ovaltine cake with ice cream, champagne and Gimlets at Palace Kitchen to ring in the new year. Oh, and Tom Douglas stopped in to check on the night’s success. It was perfectly unpacked so it felt like we were with family.  Entering the new year with compliments, smiles, and holding hands. A great end to a night and a year.

 

Potato sausage, roasted fingerlings, and red cabbage

Shallot caper mayo, garlic mustard mayo, curry mayo

For a quick way to add lots of flavors to the meal, I made three different flavored mayos for the fingerling potatoes. I used prepared mayonnaise, but these would be even better with some homemade mayonnaise. No time for egg yolks Dr. Jones!

Mustard Mayonnaise

1 tsp. of mustard per 1/4 of mayo (I used garlic mustard, but Dijon, or beer mustard would be great too)

Combine mustard and mayonnaise.

Shallot Caper Mayonnaise

1 tbls. capers, rinsed and chopped

1 small shallot, sautéed until soft in some olive oil

1/2 tbls. finely chopped parsley

pinch of salt

freshly ground white pepper

tiny squeeze of lemon (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Curry Mayonnaise

1/2 tbls. curry powder

1/2 tbls. olive oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

a heaping tbls. sour cream or yogurt

Gently cook curry powder in oil for 1 minute

Combine all ingredients.

These would be great on veggies, steak, chicken, pretty much anything on which mayonnaise would be good. And that is basically everything. I have heard this nasty rumor that there are actually mayonnaise haters out there. I would not like to meet any of these mayonnaise misanthropes.

Turn that nose back down, kielbasa with ketchup and hot horseradish is tasty.

"If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world." - J.R.R. Tolkien