The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

Boil-and-Freeze Spuds

Posted on November 8, 2015 at 8:10 PM

 

Boiling a Whole 10-Pound Bag of Potatoes, Economizing on Energy ©M-J de Mesterton 2015 Boiling a Whole 10-Pound Bag of Potatoes Uses Less Energy than Little Batches


 

To boil a whole sack of spuds at once, I added a tablespoon of salt and a quarter-cup of vinegar to the water in this huge stock-pot. The potatoes came out of the sack clean enough to dump directly into the pot. I turned on the gas and waited for them to start boiling, then let them simmer for thirty minutes. Reserve the Potato-Water to Use as Fertilizer for Your Garden ©M-J de Mesterton Reserve the Potato-Water to Use as Fertilizer for Your Garden
©M-J de Mesterton


When the boiled potatoes were soft enough to eat but still firm enough to slice, I turned off the gas. I then transferred the potato-water to a more manageable pot. Because the large stock-pot filled with potatoes and water was too heavy for me to handle, I used a heat-proof pitcher to ladle it out, and poured the remaining hot water into a bowl in the sink. Later, when this nutrient-rich water is cool, I shall take these vessels of liquid to the garden and water plants with them.

The potatoes, after having been drained of hot water, sat in the stock-pot to cool for a few minutes. To peel them, I simply throw some ice and cold water over the potatoes, let sit for ten minutes, then the jackets will usually slide off easily, leaving a very attractive spud indeed, ready to be frozen for later use. Depending on what you iintend to use the potatoes for, they may be frozen in their skins, which is a breeze.

I developed this method of preparing potatoes for the future when an economy-sized bag of them threatened to sprout. To prevent the spuds from going bad, I boiled and peeled and froze them. They are perfect when turned into gratin Dauphinois, hash-browned and mashed potatoes.

©M-J de Mesterton 2015

Austerity Cookery

These boiled potatoes are ready to be doused with ice-water for easy peeling. When the spud-jackets are removed this way, there is no waste like there is when a peeler is used on raw potatoes. These particular potatoes have such delicate skins that, testing them for softness, I smashed one in a bowl, seasoned it with Himalayan salt and Malabar pepper: the little spud, jacket included, was delicious!

Elegant Blanched Potatoes

Potatoes_Boiled_Peeled_ElegantSurvival.net

Potatoes, when cooled, may be packed in zippered bags or BPA-free food-storage boxes for freezing. In the freezer, there are a few spuds in a bag and the majority of today's produce in a BPA-free Ozeri Green Earth container, flanked by haricots verts and home-made bread, topped by stacked home-made pizza slices and yesterday's chocolate pie.

Pre-Boiled and Peeled Potatoes in the Freezer

Sweet Potatoes and Yams

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM



Our friends at Paleo Works in Yorkshire have written a wonderful essay about a dietary marvel known as the sweet potato. Read it HERE, and while on their page, you can read about the sensible, successful Paleo Diet. Below, please find a recipe for a health-promoting salad that I devised using yams and beets.



A refreshing way to eat health-promoting vegetables, this elegant cabbage and yam salad is also a nice thing to serve your friends: red cabbage is sliced as thinly as possible, and marinated for several hours in the vinaigrette of your choice, then mixed with yams that have been cut into match-sticks and cooked in water with a bit of honey until slightly soft.
Recipe and Photo©M-J de Mesterton

Economical, Elegant Swedish Meatballs

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 5:10 PM
An elegant way to stretch your meat budget in these austere times is to make Swedish or Scandinavian-style meatballs. Each household cook has his or her recipe, but the basics are ground meat such as beef, veal and/or pork mixed with bread crumbs or bits of bread (I use bits of brioche pulled out from my brioche hamburger buns, which have been reserved in a freezer-bag), an egg and some cream or milk.  Finely-minced onion is optional. Spices include nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper. Onion powder can take the place of minced onion, or that flavour may be omitted altogether. Meat mixtures are shaped into small balls and rolled in flour, then fried in butter. A pan-gravy is made while the finished meatballs rest in a warm oven until serving time. I prefer to use ground beef, brioche bits, sour cream, minced onions or onion-powder, nutmeg, salt and white or green ground pepper. ©M-J de Mesterton 2011
Serve Swedish meatballs with new potatoes and perhaps a little lingonberry or cranberry sauce on the side. This Danish baking-dish has the traditional cream gravy at its bottom, topped with the meatballs (this type of meatball recipe is found in Swedish, Danish and Finnish cookbooks). Very small new potatoes are usually just boiled in salted water, and not cut into pieces. These Yukon Gold new potatoes have been cut and boiled, then sautéed in butter and smashed lightly. ©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Elegant Valentine Dinner Menu

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Potage aux Artichauts

Pommes de Terre Vapeur

Filet Mignons wrapped in bacon

Profiteroles au Chocolat


I will return with more....


~~M-J

Slow-Cooked Potatoes

Posted on February 11, 2010 at 2:29 PM

The Original Crock Pot by Rival Uses about as Much Electricity as a Light-Bulb: It's the Energy-Efficient Way to Slow-Cook Your Food