Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Like most people, I find potatoes very comforting, so I thought I'd make a pot of potato soup in an attempt to soothe my weary soul. I cracked open Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and settled on Potage Parmentier (Leek and Potato Soup). It couldn't get any easier than this:
~1 lb. peeled potatoes, diced
~1 lb. thinly sliced leeks including the tender green (leeks can be pricey, so you can also use 1 lb. of onion, thinly sliced/diced)
~2 quarts of water
~ 1 tbsp. salt (I used 1/2 tbsp. because I don't like things overly salty)
Simmer the potatoes, leeks, water, and salt, partially covered for 40-50 minutes until vegetables are tender. Mash the vegetables with a fork or run through a food mill.
**I actually prefer a smooth potato soup, so I put the soup, in two separate batches, into my blender. I quickly pulsed it 4-5 times, just enough to barely puree the mixture. Make sure to only fill your blender half way if you use this method, because the hot liquid will expand.
Right before you are ready to serve, stir in 6 tbsp. whipping cream, or 3 tbsp. of butter. I decided to use 3 tbsp. of whipping cream, and one tbsp. of butter, just to be crazy.
The result, a no-frills, completely comforting soup with delicious flavor. While I did serve it the day I made it, it tasted so much better the next day, and it was quite a bit thicker as well. If you like potato soup, this is an easy, delicious recipe - - one that I will make over and over.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
The lovely Hotel McCall - - I'd always wanted to stay here and am so glad we finally did!
The next morning, Steve got right up and went cross-country skiing. I opted to walk around town in the snow, take pictures, sip a delicious mocha from the Fogglifter Cafe, and soak in the jetted spa tub. I took a picture of this little bench at the Hotel because I want one just like it. Anyone want to build me one?
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I think I've mentioned here before, how much I love this movie. I'm not too into giving my endorsement on movies, because whether a movie is good or not really depends upon what a person does or does not like in a movie. For me, this one is right up my alley. I love the food, cooking, blogging, history, relationships, etc. - - I absolutely loved it. I adore stories about people who follow their passion, no matter what. As for the two-volume cook book - - I'd never thumbed through it until Christmas Day. Really, the cookbook is amazing. I tend to prefer a cookbook with a lot of pictures so I know what my end result is supposed to look like. These books have no pictures, aside from a few pencil drawing here and there. What it does have is explicit instruction. Explicit. I really believe even the most novice cook could pick a recipe from these books and produce a fabulous dish.
Here's the "boeuf"....
....and the "bourguignonne"...
The end result was a dish that I never would have guessed in a million years that I could have produced. The flavors were amazing and I must admit that it was completely satisfying to enjoy a meal that I spent such a long time preparing. It was so much fun!
Part of the process was to learn to properly brown-braise pearl onions...these smelled soooo good while they were simmering.
I also learned that to properly brown mushrooms, you cannot crowd them in the pan. Yes, those mushrooms are swimming in butter and oil...yum.
As for the cake...it was also a delight to prepare, although I didn't think it was very pretty to look at, unfortunately. I think the cake decorator in me expects to see high, perfectly decorated end-result. What I learned is, a cake does not have to look like it came from a bakery to taste divine. This cake only contains a half-cup of flour, and therefore results in a texture similar to a chocolate truffle - - smooth, creamy, and bursting with chocolate (and rum, I might add).
Next on my list? Coq au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms, and Bacon). I'll let you know how it goes.