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David Ross

2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

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My mom used to make scalloped potatoes to go with meatloaf. 

 

She sliced peeled potatoes and put them in a casserole dish. She tossed with flour then added milk and margarine (Blue Bonnet, sticks) with S&P. Then baked it until it started to brown on top. 

 

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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

 

 

I basically use Bourdain's recipe with modifications

I'm of the opinion that the common additions to scalloped potatoes lessen the dish. Esp cheese.

 

Put a sprinkle of fine diced garlic on the bottom of a baking dish...not too much...maybe 1/3 tsp for a 8x 11 dish.

Salt the dish lightly and then each potato layer as it goes in. Maybe pepper...I don't.

layer mandoline sliced peeled yukon golds to just short of filling the dish

pour in cream to about 3/4 up the potatoes...maybe more

cover with foil and bake at 375 till potatoes are soft to a skewer pierce...maybe 45 minutes. taste the  liquid and correct salting

bake uncovered 10 or 15 min more to brown.

let sit 20 minutes to firm up before serving ...DON"T rush the rest period

 

Thanks gfweb.  Looked up Bourdain's original recipe also.   Garlic to the sky.  My Mother-in-Law probably never put garlic or thyme or rosemary in anything.  And no Gruyere cheese for sure.  We are talking 1950s and a family in which my Father-in-Law never tasted something so foreign as spaghetti.   The question for me is:  Did she use onion or not?  Probably not. And would that matter to Ed now or not?   She probably used flour.  And does he really remember 'how' they tasted?  Oh, and he will help with the slicing. 

(You see...Ed's Mother was an excellent cook.  She made cream puffs even.  And my Mother hated cooking...and really didn't.  And I couldn't make anything when we got married, except for what my family called French salad dressing...which we now call Italian...and that was it.)

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30 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Thanks gfweb.  Looked up Bourdain's original recipe also.   Garlic to the sky.  My Mother-in-Law probably never put garlic or thyme or rosemary in anything.  And no Gruyere cheese for sure.  We are talking 1950s and a family in which my Father-in-Law never tasted something so foreign as spaghetti.   The question for me is:  Did she use onion or not?  Probably not. And would that matter to Ed now or not?   She probably used flour.  And does he really remember 'how' they tasted?  Oh, and he will help with the slicing. 

 

There is always Betty Crocker Creamy Scalloped Potatoes! Onions can be made optional!


Edited by robirdstx (log)
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I’m a big fan of Two Potato Gratin.  There are many recipe variations online.  

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I may have a guest for Thanksgiving dinner who must eat gluten free (sorry, no gravy for her, not making two batches) does anyone have a favorite recipe for rice dressing in case I need it? I don't mind making a small batch in addition to the bread variety since I will eat the leftovers. My bread stuffing/dressing has mushrooms and onions, so an alternate flavor profile would be nice (maybe dried fruit?).

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Jeffrey Steingarten's Gratin Dauphinoise, from his book It Must Have Been Something I Ate, is my go-to recipe. There is a hint of garlic, but no onion. I think the essays in this particular book are hilarious, enlightening and entertaining. If you don't have the book and can't get it at the library, here's a blog entry with the recipe from someone with the same opinion as mine.

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2 hours ago, Darienne said:

The question for me is:  Did she use onion or not?  Probably not. And would that matter to Ed now or not? 

 

The easy way to deal with this may be to make two smaller batches, one with onion and one without and see which he prefers.    :smile:

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1 hour ago, BeeZee said:

I may have a guest for Thanksgiving dinner who must eat gluten free (sorry, no gravy for her, not making two batches) does anyone have a favorite recipe for rice dressing in case I need it? I don't mind making a small batch in addition to the bread variety since I will eat the leftovers. My bread stuffing/dressing has mushrooms and onions, so an alternate flavor profile would be nice (maybe dried fruit?).

 

The New York Times Cookbook has a rice + wild rice dressing recipe that I thought very nice, the time I tried it. It included pecans, probably some chicken broth and parsley. I've forgotten what else, but I'd start with those elements. It's been a long time since I made it, since my dinner guests all clearly preferred bread stuffing and didn't know what to make of rice where they expected bread. :laugh:

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@Smithy, thanks found that recipe online. It has apples, cranberries, and pecans, which will be a nice counterpoint to the bread dressing if I do need to make both.

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I've posted this before over the years, but here it is again.  A simple, easy salad to start with before the turkey.  A mix of salad greens, toasted hazelnuts, sliced apple or pear, dried cranberries and bleu cheese.  Then I dress it before serving with a basic mustard vinaigrette.  I love it, but some in my family and group of friends think it's a bit too much.  They happen to be the folks who prefer an ages-old Jell-O molded salad made with whipped cream, cranberries and walnuts then frozen. 

Pear, Blue Cheese and Toasted Hazelnut Salad (1).JPG

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5 hours ago, Darienne said:

Thanks gfweb.  Looked up Bourdain's original recipe also.   Garlic to the sky.  My Mother-in-Law probably never put garlic or thyme or rosemary in anything.  And no Gruyere cheese for sure.  We are talking 1950s and a family in which my Father-in-Law never tasted something so foreign as spaghetti.   The question for me is:  Did she use onion or not?  Probably not. And would that matter to Ed now or not?   She probably used flour.  And does he really remember 'how' they tasted?  Oh, and he will help with the slicing. 

(You see...Ed's Mother was an excellent cook.  She made cream puffs even.  And my Mother hated cooking...and really didn't.  And I couldn't make anything when we got married, except for what my family called French salad dressing...which we now call Italian...and that was it.)

 

I have made test recipes of varied potato gratins in cupcake molds or ramekins. You could test 8 or 10 versions and see which comes close.  They cook quickly


Edited by gfweb (log)
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21 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

I have made test recipes of varied potato gratins in cupcake molds or ramekins. You could test 8 or 10 versions and see which comes close.  They cook quickly

 

Right!  No more words needed.

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On 11/4/2018 at 7:14 PM, Darienne said:

So far I've mentioned the spiral ham for our Christmas dinner as something we've never had before.  And now Ed has asked for Scalloped Potatoes which I think I've made only once or twice, and haven't made for decades, and have no idea what recipe I used.  Now, Mr. Ed, having been the one who taught me to cook, is quite happy to interfere (my words) in everything I cook if he has ever had it before.  Or even worse, if his Mother ever made it.  (Which is partly why I specialize in dishes which he's never eaten and has no preconceived idea of how they should taste.)

 

So now begins the Scalloped Potato recipe search.  And they must be like his Mother's...which he hasn't had for almost 59 years.  It took 5 recipes to get the salted caramel sauce correct to his liking.  I wonder how many recipes it will take for the Scalloped Potatoes......??????  And he can't recall if they had onions in them or not.

Here's my mom's recipe - and I one I always make

 

Scalloped Potatoes
  • 1 large onion sliced into thin rin
  • 5 cups potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 cups milk, 500 grams
  • 3 tbsp flour, 25 grams
  • 3 tbsp butter, 45 grams
Make white sauce by melting butter, cooking together with flour, salt and pepper. Stir in milk and cook until thickens. Place a layer of potato slices, topped with a layer of onion slices into a large casserole. pour over some of the white sauce. Continue to layer potatoes, onions and white sauce. Top layer should be white sauce. Bake 375 for 2 hours.
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On 10/29/2018 at 11:11 AM, David Ross said:

My history in cooking contests is abysmal, but I end up coming out of them with great recipes that I've created.  This was my entry in the "Eggland's Best" contest supposedly showing the versatility in using eggs.  That's what I interpreted the contest to be.  Anyway, this savory little "gougere" is something I plan on doing for the holidays.  In this case they were filled with smoked salmon mouse, but any filling will do, sweet or savory.

 

Cheese Gougeres #1.JPG

 

Ingredients-

Gougeres (Pastry)

½ cup water

2 tbsp butter

½ tsp salt

½ cup flour

2 whole eggs

½ cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 whole egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

 

Smoked Salmon Mousse-

4oz. softened cream cheese

4oz. Nova lox-style smoked salmon

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp chopped fresh dill

1 tsp snipped fresh chives

¼ cup whipping cream

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Mayonnaise-

2 large eggs

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 ¼ cups olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

 

1 tsp snipped chives for garnish

1 tsp dill fronds for garnish

 

Preparation-

Gougere’s-

Heat the oven to 425 . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

In a saucepan bring the ½ cup water, butter, salt and cayenne to a boil. Pour in the flour and stir the dough very fast with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the saucepan, about two minutes.

 

Take the pan off the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, and beat the eggs into the dough with a wooden spoon until the eggs are fully incorporated. Stir in the Swiss cheese.

 

Using two spoons, form small balls of the dough about 1” in diameter and spoon onto the baking sheet. (You can also add the dough to plastic bag fitted with a piping tube and pipe the dough in 1” circles). Brush the gougere’s with the egg wash and sprinkle some of the parmesan on top.

Bake the gougere’s for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let the gougere’s cool before filling with the smoked salmon mousse.

 

Smoked Salmon Mousse-

Place the cream cheese, smoked salmon, lemon juice, dill and chives in a food processor and pulse until blended and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper and stir in the cayenne. In another bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff and then fold into the salmon mixture.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Mayonnaise-

Place the eggs, salt, lemon juice and mustard in a blender. Pulse just a few seconds until the mixture is combined. With the blender at low speed, (place the top on but leave the hole open), slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil. As the mayonnaise starts to thicken, increase the speed and continue to add more grapeseed oil until the mayonnaise is thick. Stir in black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Cut each gougere in half and scoop out some of the inside dough. Spoon some of the smoked salmon mousse on the bottom layer and cover with the top layer. (You can also pipe the salmon mousse onto the bottom of the gougere using a plastic bag fitted with a pastry tube).

 

Place the gougere’s on a serving platter. Spoon some of the mayonnaise around the platter. Garnish the plate with some snipped chives and dill fronds.

 

! Recipe Notes: The Gougeres are good on their own, but even better when stuffed.  Any filling will work, herbed cream cheese, crab or deviled egg salad, once you have the pastry made the fillings are endless.  I like to serve the Gougeres with sliced cucumbers and poached asparagus.

How far in advance can these be filled?  They sound spectacular!

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On 11/4/2018 at 7:25 PM, kayb said:

 

I was always disappointed with my scalloped potatoes, which just didn't turn out like my best friend's mom's did (hers were the Gold Standard). So I eventually did this:

  • Slice and parboil the potatoes
  • Make a white sauce, with sauteed onions if you want (I generally use onion powder)
  • (I add cheese to mine, though this isn't canonical in scalloped potatoes)
  • Layer potatoes with (cheese) sauce in baking dish
  • Top with more grated cheese
  • Bake

No problem with the sauce breaking or curdling. The more cheese, the better. I usually use a combo of cheddar and parmesan.

 

They may not be Ed's mom's version, but I'll betcha he likes them.

 

This is me, too.  Until I found Bourdain's recipe , I could not make them properly to save my life.  The parboil is really the secret, I think.  

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On 11/5/2018 at 9:33 AM, BeeZee said:

I may have a guest for Thanksgiving dinner who must eat gluten free (sorry, no gravy for her, not making two batches)

 

What about making the turkey gravy with corn starch?

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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

How far in advance can these be filled?  They sound spectacular!

I would say no more than an hour.  If you fill them too soon the moisture in the salmon mousse will make the gougere mushy.  By the way one trick I use is if the gougere is too soft, I just pop them in the oven to crisp them and then let them cook and fill.

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Thank you, @David Ross!  I've made gougeres plenty of times, and never thought to stuff them.  I definitely want to try them when I have the right opportunity.  They would make a really elegant NYE dish.  Unfortunately, our NYE are seriously less than elegant and the folks we spend it with wouldn't touch fish in any form 😄.  But they look wonderful and I certainly trust your taste!  I still make your Apple, Pear and Parsnip Salad and the meat filled cannelloni recipe that you so kindly and laboriously typed out for me years ago (I actually put the recipe in my online cookbook on 11/11/2007 - almost 11 years ago to the day!!!).

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1 hour ago, Porthos said:

 

What about making the turkey gravy with corn starch?

Not a bad idea, I can just separate a small amount of the stock. Will keep it in mind if needed.

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I look forward to the holiday cooking posts every year. I'm going to have to give those gougeres a whirl.

I'm going to get a head start on Thanksgiving appetizers and sides that I can freeze. The cornbread for the dressing. Sausage balls using some of the spicy bulk sausage I picked up at Benton's Bacon in Madisonville. The wild rice casserole. Alison Roman's salted butter chocolate chip shortbread cookie dough (great to throw in the freezer).

I need a new green thing, maybe a spinach Madeline that will come together easily. Any suggestions? This one is looking good so far: https://food52.com/recipes/74218-spinach-madeline

Also - opinions on how long deviled eggs are both tasty and safe in the fridge? I thoughtlessly tagged on a tray of them when I ordered my turkey from Fresh Market - so I will be picking them up Tuesday night. Will I kill everyone I serve them to on Thursday? 

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1 hour ago, pistolabella said:

I look forward to the holiday cooking posts every year. I'm going to have to give those gougeres a whirl.

I'm going to get a head start on Thanksgiving appetizers and sides that I can freeze. The cornbread for the dressing. Sausage balls using some of the spicy bulk sausage I picked up at Benton's Bacon in Madisonville. The wild rice casserole. Alison Roman's salted butter chocolate chip shortbread cookie dough (great to throw in the freezer).

I need a new green thing, maybe a spinach Madeline that will come together easily. Any suggestions? This one is looking good so far: https://food52.com/recipes/74218-spinach-madeline

Also - opinions on how long deviled eggs are both tasty and safe in the fridge? I thoughtlessly tagged on a tray of them when I ordered my turkey from Fresh Market - so I will be picking them up Tuesday night. Will I kill everyone I serve them to on Thursday? 

That spinach recipe looks good, but the instructions confuse me.  At the end of the recipe, it looks as if they are telling you that you can refrigerate it to serve later.  But then no directions are given for heating in a casserole.  Am I missing something?  If you do decide to make it ahead (which I love doing), I wouldn't bother cooking the frozen spinach.  I think that the reheating in the oven should be enough - otherwise I think you'll get spinach mush.  Or, add a couple of beaten eggs and get a really nice souffle! 😁

 

And I think the deviled eggs will be absolutely fine.  They will probably be good through the weekend, actually.  

 

Let's see if anyone else has any other opinions, but that's what I think.

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I almost never host Thanksgiving because we always have the big Xmas Eve family/friends/friends of friends/neighbors etc. gathering at our house.  Long time eG’ers might remember that I used to make the full sit down turkey and fixings dinner for 50+ people.  I got increasingly frustrated at folks who wouldn’t RSVP and who treated it like an open house – arriving whenever.  So I changed things up and now we actually do an open house.  I’ve done beef burgundy, a sandwich buffet, assorted appetizers and such over the last few years. 

 

This year for Xmas Eve, I’m planning to scale down even farther, despite the sad looks I’m getting from Mr. Kim and Jessica.  All the sweets will be the same.  All that stuff can be made ahead of time – most all of it freezes well.  But for the food, I’m planning on ham, a platter of cheeses and crackers (for the vegetarians), rolls, salad with two dressings, slow cooker sour cream mashed potatoes, and these pineapple upside down biscuits:

pineapple.png.03e7b9927c03201d2dfa0c3604e50215.png

 

Thanksgiving this year is a whole ‘nother thing.  I think that Jessica is feeling pushed aside and neglected with my mother needing so much care and time.  So, she has pleaded for us to host Th’giving as well as Xmas Eve this year.  Sigh.  Did I mention that she is a very much indulged 34 year old only child?  That menu is:

Turkey

Gravy

Challah bread dressing

Sweet potato gnocchi

Corn pudding

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Butternut squash soup

Broccoli casserole

Fruit salad

Cranberry sauce

Slow cooker sour cream potatoes

Rolls

Pecan pie

Apple pie

 

Supposedly, I am only responsible for the turkey, gravy (already in the freezer), cranberry sauce (also in the freezer), and the sour cream potatoes.  She has promised to make the dressing, gnocchi, corn pudding, soup and sprouts.  The rest of the family is bringing the other things.  We’ll see how this turns out. 


Edited by Kim Shook (log)
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Kim, as a very indulged 35 year old only child, I think you're great for hosting again at your daughter's request! I think i will take your advice on not precooking the spinach, and on the eggs. Being able to purchase them ahead takes such cumbersome task off my hands; I hate making deviled eggs. There must be a level in Hell for the mildly ill behaved that sentences one to a lifetime of peeling eggs.

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8 minutes ago, pistolabella said:

Kim, as a very indulged 35 year old only child, I think you're great for hosting again at your daughter's request! I think i will take your advice on not precooking the spinach, and on the eggs. Being able to purchase them ahead takes such cumbersome task off my hands; I hate making deviled eggs. There must be a level in Hell for the mildly ill behaved that sentences one to a lifetime of peeling eggs.

I know there are a billion "tips" out there for peeling eggs, but I'll offer one more.  Do you know the 'spoon' method?

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2 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

I know there are a billion "tips" out there for peeling eggs, but I'll offer one more.  Do you know the 'spoon' method?

Once my friends try hard-cooking eggs by steaming they never go back. Steamed eggs simply peel easier.

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