Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Experiments with food

Potato pancakes

Don't those look good? Last week I made mashed potatoes, and I made sure I had enough left over to make potato pancakes later in the week. It's so simple to make - take the leftover mashed potatoes, add an egg (or two, depending on how many you have) and enough breadcrumbs to make sure the whole thing sticks together. Coat them with something, be it more breadcrumbs, flour, or cornmeal (as I did above), fry them in vegetable oil, and that's it.

There's plenty of room for improvisation. I always add grated cheese, and this time I also added tobasco sauce, dried parsley, paprika, pepper, cumin, and salt. If I have green onions, then I add them. But nothing is written in stone - feel free to add other things, like seasoned breadcrumbs instead of plain, for instance.

Potato and carrot soup

This was soup I made on Sunday night, and it was one of my successful experiments (they don't always end that way). My sister makes soup by roasting vegetables, adding them to stock, and then pureeing them, which, again - fast and easy.

The above soup is potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Seriously - it took less than ten minutes to peel and chop everything into bite sized pieces. Rinse them, put them in a big bowl, and drizzle olive oil over them - but not too much. Add whatever spices you want to add, which, in this case, was fresh rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix the vegetables well, spread them on a cookie sheet, bake at about 400 for 40 minutes (or less - actually, ignore me; if you're going to try this, 30 minutes will probably do you, unless Rachelle wants to correct me).

When they came out of the oven, I sauteed half a sweet onion in butter, added the roasted vegetables, some dried chilis and parsley, and a cup of chicken stock, plus three more cups of water. I let that simmer for 15 minutes (which is the amount of time I needed to make biscuit dough and get it into the oven), then pureed it. Now, how smooth or chunky or thick or thin you want the soup will depend on how long you puree it for and how much water you add. I like mine smooth and not too thick, so I ended up adding another four cups of water and pureeing it for about ten minutes (this also will vary based on what you use to puree it - I use on of those Braun wand thingies.)

I've been eating it for supper and lunch every day this week*. It was delish!

*I also had an unexpected root canal on Monday, so I couldn't chew anything anyways.