Thursday, April 8, 2010

It is really hard

to blog about food when you're stuffed to the gills. It might be kind of like going to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you just don't do it or you'll spend more money. Of course if go on a stuffed tummy, you'll be too full to even think about food until you're hungry. It's a vicious cycle.

The other day was a soup kind of day. Just dreary and cloudy all day. I really didn't want to venture out and since I had everything to make Potage Parmentier and we love Potage Parmentier. I'll bet you do too. Of course I hadn't yet tried this recipe. But really how can you possibly go wrong with Potage Parmentier? Especially when there are only 6 ingredients and one of them is water?

We made Potato Soup. Easy peasy potato soup. I've never made Potage Parmentier when I've had to mash the potatoes and add parsley.

Oh my word!! This soups is literally to die for. The girls are begging me to make it again. And we just had it. 

To me the soup tastes like a summer soup, I can't really say why I think that. It just strikes me as a soup you'd make in the spring or summer. And winter. And fall.

Delicious dish!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Boeuf A La Mode

Or for those of us who are sadly lacking any French language skills, "Beef Braised in Red Wine". This was quite the interesting recipe to make. I've always been somewhat of a teetotaler..okay so I've always been a complete teetotaler.  I have only been in a liquor store once and it was, I think, to request a donation for a school function. But that seems really odd to me. So I have no idea why I was in there but rest assured I was sure I was headed straight to hell. I promised myself over and over I'd never, ever, EVER go into another one of those stores again...EVER.

I've managed to keep my promise for lo, these many years. I can truthfully say that because to buy two ingredients in the roast marinade, I went to my grocery store. I felt like a complete nincompoop. I meander the aisles of their liquor adult beverage section, thinking the entire time "I hope no one I know sees me" while at the same time desperately thinking of anyone and everyone I could call to get information on wine. After casing the joint...err meandering the aisles I saw an employee heading my way and I made a beeline for her. "Hi. I have never bought alcohol in my life but I need some for a recipe. Could you help me?" We both wander a bit until another employee comes up and we ask her for help. She tells me I only need a small bottle and they of course do not have any small bottles. I bought a large bottle, because if we like the recipe, I'll want to make it again and I definitely do NOT want to go through the whole thing again.

I'm not normally too keen on recipes that have to be made in stages. Marinades tend to be beyond the scope of my preparedness. To marinade something means I have to think far enough ahead to get it out of the freezer early enough it defrosts, make the marinade and marinate it for how ever long the recipe says. This one says a minimum of 6 hours and preferably 24 hours. After the trouble I went to just to obtain the ingredients for the marinade, I made sure I remembered.

I get my vegetables chopped, my herbs measured, I carefully open and measure the brandy. The brandy opened so easy and you know they stick a cork in a wine bottle? Thus making it impossible to get the wine out to add to your marinade? They do. I had a small cork screw on my handy-dandy-pocket knife. It wasn't big enough. I tried using a screw and pliers to get the cork out. That didn't work. I called a friend to see if she had any brilliant ideas, she suggested the neighbor, I thought of breaking the bottle but who wants glass in their marinade?  Back to the store I went. I was going to forget the bottle of wine I had and just get cooking wine. I found a corkscrew. But I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get it to work so I bought it and the cooking wine. Of course the corkscrew worked like a charm....once I figured out how to use it. All is well my roast is marinading and my life is good.

Not only do you have to marinade it, you have to boil it down rapidly. In a roaster. On one small-ish (compared to the roaster) burner. I am sure that was to be sure all the alcohol was cooked out, but it still took forever.

And that, my friend, is a poor picture of a delicious roast. I had planned on making Puree De Pommes De Terre A L'Ail as a side dish. But since I forgot the garlic and that is a main ingredient. I mean it would be hard to make Garlic Mashed potatoes without the garlic, I went on a mad hunt through the cookbook to find a quick easy potato recipe. And I found one.  Pommes De Terre Sautees or as I like to say, Potatoes sauteed in butter.
The potatoes are a lot like french fries (who knew? The French make french fries!) only much much better!!
The finished meal. Boeuf A La Mode, Pommes De Terre Sautees and peas. Regular ol' frozen peas.

Who knew I could cook like that? Score one for the Irish girl cooking french from a cook book no one in America can cook from!!