" /> I taste: March 2007
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March 27, 2007

Baked Potato Soup

(makes approx. 4 qts.)

• 6 slices bacon
• 1/3 cup butter
• 5 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 cups half n half (the fat free works well)
• 3 cups whole milk
• (I suppose 5 cups of skim milk would work—haven’t tried)
• 2 huge or 3 med-large white baking potatoes
• 1 bunch green onions
• 1 small yellow onion
• 1 tbsp powdered mustard
• 2 tsp. white Worcestershire Sauce
• 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Coat potatoes with butter, salt heavily with freshly ground sea salt, and bake in a 350 degree oven until well done--at least 1 ½ hours for huge ones (This can be done well before. I usually bake a few extras when serving potatoes at a prior meal. Just refrigerate them until ready to use them.) In any event, be sure the potatoes are cool and easily handles—otherwise you end up with mashed potato soup.
2. Do not peel the potatoes! Cut them in half lengthwise, slice the halves into 3/8 inch slices, then dice them crosswise into 3/8 inch pieces.
3. Peel and coarsely chop the yellow onion
4. Mince the white part of the green onion; slice the green crosswise into ¼ inch rings
5. Fry bacon until crisp, remove, drain, cool and chop into medium pieces. Reserve oil.
6. In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the margarine over medium heat, add the bacon oil and briefly sauté the chopped onions. Brown slightly. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook for a few minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in HnH/milk, and whisk until thickened. Simmer for at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not burn the flour!
7. Stir in potatoes, green onions (reserve a few), Worcestershire and mustard. Bring to a simmer for another few minutes. Be sure the potatoes are heated thru. Stir occasionally, but do not pulverize the potatoes.
8. Reduce heat, add the bacon, cheeses and sour cream, return to a simmer. Taste, and add S/P to your preference. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. You may have to add more milk, since the potatoes also thicken the soup.
9. Serve hot, with a sprinkle of reserved onions on the top. A little extra cheddar atop is also improves the presentation.

Posted by respeto at 11:26 AM

March 3, 2007

Great Buttermilk Cream Scones

(Full recipe is about right for 4-6 people. Half a recipe works well.)

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. powdered buttermilk (optional but great)
4 Tbsp. sweet butter
2 eggs well beaten
½ cup cream
1 cup dried sweet cranberries or cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
• Mix dry ingredients well.
• Cut in butter, in food processor or with hand device. Be sure it is fairly finely incorporated.
• Mix eggs and cream, then add to dry mix, incorporating it, but do not mix to batter consistency, that is, just until it is adequately mixed. Add and stir in chopped fruit.
• Turn out on to floured board and knead for a minute or two. (Your hands will be rather gooey . . . live with it.)
• Pat into a circle ¼ inch thick.
• Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.
• Cut into wedges (8 is about right), separate a little, and place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.

Posted by respeto at 11:01 AM