Friday, November 12, 2010
Cook the Book - #1
For some silly reason I have always wanted to cook every recipe in a cookbook. So when I ran across this one at the school book fair - I thought I would give it a try. The book isn't too long and most of the recipes appealed to me so I thought it might be doable. Most of the recipes I have tried so far have been well-received by my family and others. A couple haven't been so great. But as I "cook the book" I will try to post the recipes I think are worth keeping.
Potato and Leek Soup (I halved this recipe and it made plenty for one meal)
6 C peeled, cubed russet or Idaho potatoes
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
2 C sliced celery
2/3 C thinly sliced leek
1/4 C butter
4 C peeled, cubed sweet potatoes
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t nutmeg
3 C milk
1 t salt
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large saucepan combine russet potatoes and 2 C broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender; do not drain. Cool slightly.
2. Transfer the potato mixture to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth; set aside.
3. In a large saucepan cook celery and leek in hot butter for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add sweet potatoes, the remaining broth, the 1/2 t pepper and nutmeg. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pureed potato mixture, milk, and the 1 t salt. Cook and stir about 5 minutes more or until thickened. Season to taste.
Alterations and family opinion: It ended up too thick so I added more milk and I think I even added some half and half to make it more creamy. I also added more nutmeg. This had an interesting combination of the two different kinds of potatoes but overall we liked it. We gave this 3 stars.
Bacon Cheddar Loaves (I halved this to make one loaf)
4 C flour
1 T baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 C milk
1/2 C butter, melted
6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1. Grease two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper. In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk and butter; add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in bacon and cheese. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
2. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 to 65 minutes or until browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. If desired, wrap and store overnight in refrigerator. Let stand at room temp 30 minutes before slicing.
Alterations and family opinion: I love any bread recipe where I don't have to allow time for raising. Just because most of the time I don't plan that far in advance. Anyway - I felt like even with the bacon and cheese this bread needed more flavor. I would increase the salt a little next time. But we all really liked this bread (especially with the soup) and gave it 4 stars.