Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots (Page 559)

  • Date: Thursday, November 23, 2006 - 6pm - THANKSGIVING!
  • Location: Southboro, MA
  • Kitchen: Richard and Anita's House
  • Fellow Chefs: Chris and Ana
  • Dining Companions: Michael, Ephraim, Terry, Teri, Richard H, Richard, Anita, and Renato
  • Recipe Rating: B-
I picked this recipe out for Thanksgiving dinner because you can't have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes! The recipe wasn't great though. There were several different complaints. One, the potatoes came out a little dry. Some people also didn't like having the pieces of carmelized shallot mixed in. That didn't bother me so much. I thought the biggest problem was that there was just too much buttermilk. I love mashed potatoes, but the tanginess of the buttermilk in this recipe was overpowering. The dish also lacked the richness of traditional mashed potatoes. When I was seasoning it, I really wanted to add butter. I didn't (as that would not have been faithful to the recipe), but it would have been a huge improvement. These potatoes were fine, but I would have preferred just some russet potatoes mashed up with butter and whole milk!

Chris is in town, and he is working on maintaining his lead in the recipe rankings. He is 19 recipes ahead of Ana (who is in second), but since he doesn't live here and she does, he is not totally safe from being caught! Last night Chris and I made a rather large meal for the two of us. We knocked down 4 more recipes and now my fridge is overflowing with leftovers! We have cooked together so much in the last four years that we are rather efficient in the kitchen together.

I have decided that my current method of selecting recipes (whatever sounds good to me or the people I am eating with) is a bit dangerous. I don't want to be eating all the things that didn't sound appealing for the last year of the project! But random number selection is impractical for big meals because the food might not coordinate well both in terms of taste, and equipment (oven space, etc...). So, I used the random number generator to make a list of 12 recipes. Now each time I make a big meal I am going to try to select at least one component of the meal from the list. Then it will get replaced, so there will always be 12. Last night Chris and I chose "Lentils and Curried Rice with Fried Onions" off the list, and it was pretty good. Hopefully this will help me incorporate some of the recipes that I otherwise might not have chosen for another year or two!

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