Update 15, Part 2: New Year's Goal: Become an "official" Gourmess by August 2010

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

Tonight's potato demonstration was Pommes Purées (Mashed Potatoes), which I thought would be pretty easy, seeing that I've been making mashed potatoes forever...but, I learned a few things anyway. Of the most useful: 1) Put the potatoes in the pot with the water and then bring to a boil--don't throw them into boiling water 2) Instead of a masher, use a food mill or potato ricer (mill works like a charm) 3) Add WARM milk to the potatoes and room temperature butter and beat with wooden spoon until a light, fluffy, satiny smooth texture is achieved. 4) Butter. Butter. Butter. (7 TBS worth!)

I served them with some slow-cooked pork I had simmered in the Slow Cooker overnight that had marinated in a special sauce/concoction I made up of shallots, bacon, apples, cranberry chutney, maple syrup, mustard, garlic salt, and a few other secret ingredients. I made a smaller portion of the sauce on the stove and then added the meat (which was falling apart and smelled smoky and lovely) and then 2/3 of the drippings from the slow cooker pot and heated it all through. This went over the potatoes and we had steamed baby carrots with a dollop of butter and sprinkle of ginger on the side. Pretty nice supper for a Monday!

I also started Pommes Sautées à Cru (Sauteed Potatoes), but will cook them tomorrow, as I'm pretty tired and got sidetracked with the mandoline. Chris actually got the hang of it faster than I did and tried to show me up--but I'm a quick learner and have it down now, so no worries. (This kitchen isn't big enough for the both of us.)

That's all for now, but rest assured, there's plenty more to come in potato land...



  1. Maybe you and Chris could do what my wife, Rachel, and I did. We've learned the entire Annie Get Your Gun "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better" and we break into singing it when we feel like we're being upstaged. It defuses potential conflict/tension while ensuring our children have the magical, musical childhood they deserve. Takes learning some numbers, though.

    Very nice supper for a Monday. This dish has that saucy, reduction-seduction quality to it. Love that sort of thing over potatoes. I’m wondering what the pork looked like when you bought it (type/packaging) and what sort of potatoes you selected. And nothing says "Monday" like Merlot.

  2. Would love to be a fly on the wall for that show!

    It was a boneless pork loin roast from the butcher section of my grocery, but I've used various types of thick cut pork with similar results. The potatoes were reliable Russets. (I've gone through two 5 lb. bags already!)

    Chris is the house sommelier, so I'll leave that to him, but I usually go by the trying-to-stay-slim-despite-all- this-butter mantra of: "No wine if having dessert!" And, we still had some of that blueberry cobbler to finish...