Not just mashed potatoes, but garlic mashed potatoes! What is better than that? I can’t think of too many dishes that are better than a correctly made garlic mash. I grew up on mashed potatoes, but once I tried it with garlic in it, I knew I was in love.
I have tried to make mashed potatoes correctly ever since I started learning how to cook. It didn’t matter what recipe I tried, they just didn’t turn out tasting as good as those in a great steakhouse.
- I tried different seasonings.
- I tried different levels of milk fat.
- I tried butter versus margarine.
- I tried different kinds of potatoes.
- I tried peeling versus not peeling, whole versus chunked versus diced.
- How to do the garlic, mashed, chopped, diced, cooked, not cooked, boiled or raw.
- I tried a hand mixer versus the more powerful kitchenaid mixer. I had a masher, but never used it for that, because I thought it was not necessary.
What Happened to My Crepe?
That is a very good question! Hopefully I can figure out the answer rather quickly, because the french crepe is a great thing to eat and experiment with.
Time for a confession. I tried to make crepes the other night. It’s my goal this year to try a new recipe each week, if at all possible. Which might be hard sometimes, when I have two roommates who don’t like trying unfamiliar foods. So I have to be very careful with my experiments.
Anyway, they were okay tasting, but a disaster to make and to look at! What had gone wrong? I don’t know!
First, the Crepe Batter
I had tried a batter mix I had gotten at Sur La Table. I have recipes to make them from scratch, but sometimes a goddess is in a hurry, or she is just flat out lazy. There is nothing wrong with mixes, as long as you don’t use them as a crutch to avoid making things 100% homemade.
I followed the recipe. The lady at the store had told me when they made them they put the batter in the fridge overnight. So I figured what would the harm be in putting the crepe batter in the fridge while I cooked the filling. Well, it was way too thick when I went to use it! The crepe batter would not swirl in the pan like it was supposed to. It was staying in the middle. When I tried to use enough batter to spread over the pan, they turned out too thick. This was not supposed to happen. Read more
Madeleines! That wonderful, dense bite of cake that Parisians love. You can make these at home, instead of spending lots of money for average tasting ones in a store.
This was a find I was willing to pay for.
You all know I am obsessed with Julia Child. I have several of her PBS DVDs. I have the Art of Mastering French Cooking, both volumes. I have Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom. I found a signed copy of ‘The French Chef Cookbook’. It’s not a first edition, but I didn’t care. What did I care about? I was paying for this book (about $150) that was signed by both Julia and Paul Child. It was inscribed to a George, so I made up a story that I got it from a relative named George.
I have a goal this year of trying to make a new recipe each week. I have made a few; some things maybe too complex for this blog (like the croissants that took me 10 hours), or they just haven’t turned out right.
I wanted to learn to make madeleines because I absolutely love them. They can be addictive. I was tired of paying $3 for a set of 3 of them at Starbucks. Plus, I found a story in Bon Appetite magazine about a family who moved to France, and fell in love with these concoctions. Someone was telling me I had to give it a try. Read more
Pot Roast Made Easy
Pot Roast is a classic. It has been around for centuries, I bet. Obviously longer than I’ve been alive (at least I hope so). It is a favorite in most households that eat red meat. It is one of those recipes that everyone has one or more, and they are all different and everyone says theirs is the best, including me!
Styles of Pot Roast
Pot Roast comes in all kinds of flavor combinations:
This is all I need. I didn’t have beef stock, so I used water.
- onions, beef stock, carrots, celery
- switch the beef stock for wine
- switch the beef stock for cream of mushroom soup and water
- add dry onion soup mix
- don’t use any vegetables
- add cut potatoes half way through cooking
- serve over potato, mashed potatoes, rice or pasta
- sear the meat
- don’t sear the meat
- cook in the oven
- cook in a crock pot
See what I mean? Read more