Tonight I finally made Potato and Leek soup from the bunch of leeks I had turning to leek puddles in my fridge. And, because I was a crafty minx and stole a bunch of stuff from work saturday night, I had a delicious loaf of stale organic artisan raisin bread (wtf does artisan bread even mean anyway) and decided to make a bread pudding. I accompanied my soup with pan-seared filets of mahi mahi, and broccoli. Very Nice.
Potato Leek Soup (from The Joy of Cooking)
Makes about 8 cups
Melt in a soup pot over low heat:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Add and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, about 20 minutes:
6 medium leek, well cleaned and chopped
1 1/4 pounds all purpose potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Bread Pudding (from The Joy of Cooking)
Butter a 2 quart baking dish. Trim and cut into 1/2 inch cubes:
12 to 16 ounces sliced white bread, stale but not hard (or raisin bread)
You should have 4 to 5 lightly packed cups. Spread the bread in the prepared baking dish, then scatter over top if desired:
(3/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit)
Whisk together thoroughly in a bowl:
4 large eggs (I used 3)
3 cups while milk (I used half and half, ha!)
3/4 cup sugar (I used brown….)
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used the blood of a stillborn infant)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
Pour the mixture over the bread and let stand for 30 minutes, periodically pressing the bread down with a spatula to help it absorb the liquid. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the ouddng in a water bath, untl a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 55 minutes to an hour. Serve with icecream, warm whipped cream or a whiskey sauce.
I’ll also include this recipe for “cauliflower steaks” which is what I also wanted to make tonight but No Frills was out of cauliflower, damn them to HELL! Anyway, this looked good.
Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Puree (from epicurious.com)
Few ingredients, big payoff: Large “steaks” are cut from a head of cauliflower, sautéed until golden, then baked until tender. They’re served over a simple puree made from the cauliflower florets. An impressive first course, this can also be a lovely side. Just sear two mahi-mahi fillets in butter and place them alongside the cauliflower.
Makes 2 servings
1 1 1/2-pound head of cauliflower
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional for brushing
Preheat oven to 250°F. Using sharp heavy knife and starting at top center of cauliflower head, cut two 1-inch-thick slices of cauliflower, cutting through stem end. Set cauliflower steaks aside.
Cut enough florets from remaining cauliflower head to measure 3 cups. Combine florets, 1 1/2 cups water, and milk in medium saucepan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to boil and cook until cauliflower florets are very tender, about 10 minutes. Strain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Spread florets on large rimmed baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes until slightly dry. Transfer florets to blender. Add reserved 1 cup cooking liquid and puree until smooth. Return puree to same saucepan and increase oven temperature to 350°F.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Brush cauliflower steaks with additional oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower steaks to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and bake cauliflower steaks until tender, about 10 minutes.
Rewarm cauliflower puree over medium heat. Divide puree between 2 plates; top each with cauliflower steak.