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

M-J's Pasta all'Uovo

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 5:30 PM



I use a wooden clothes-drying rack when I make pasta all'uovo (egg noodles).  My recipe: four cups of flour, five medium eggs, one teaspoon of salt and 1/3 cup of water, all mixed together into a stiff dough. I employ a Kitchenaid pasta-rolling attachment and a Kitchenaid pasta cutting-wheel to create these fettuccine-style strips. When they are sufficiently dry, the noodles are boiled for two minutes in salted water or diluted chicken-stock. Any excess pasta is stored in a tall container. ~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton ©2014

Pasta all'Uovo with Bolognese Meat Sauce
Click Here to Read M-J's Main Website, Elegant Survival

Elegant Home-Made Hamburger Buns

Posted on September 19, 2011 at 8:45 AM
See M-J's Original Recipe for Hamburger Buns at The Elegant Cook Bread Page

Elegant Eggs Vienna

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 2:51 PM

See Elegant Breakfast for M-J's original Eggs Vienna recipe.

M-J's Elegant Pineapple Pork-Chops

Posted on November 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Elegant Split-Pea Soup

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Split peas, chicken bouillon powder, diced pepperoni, parsley, diced celery, diced onion, and water, cooked overnight in a Rival Crock Pot: served with croques monsieurs or home-made English Muffins, this dish makes a filling, nutritious meal.



The Elegant Cornish Pasty

Posted on February 16, 2010 at 9:12 AM

 

I’ve been making Cornish pasties since the age of 20. My mother wrote a book about the pasty and its history which was published in 1990, but my method and ingredients differ from hers. The following is my pasty (pronounced “pass-tee”) recipe: I will not formally transcribe my recipe and method for making pasties, because I never use measurements. I can tell you, however, that they are made with a short crust containing both butter and lard, water, a teaspoon of malt vinegar, and unbleached, plain white flour. Since salted butter is used in the dough, add just a dash of salt to it. I add sea-salt and hand-milled pepper to the filling, which consists of four raw ingredients, all diced very finely: tri-tip steak, which is always well-marbled and never tough; ordinary, high-starch brown-skinned potatoes, turnips, butter bits, and white or Spanish onions. The finely-diced beef and vegetables are tossed together in a mixing bowl with the salt and pepper before being laid upon the dough, dotted with butter and enclosed. The edges are crimped, either on top or on the side of the pasty, and a couple of well-placed slits are made in the top to allow steam to escape. The final product is brushed with a beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of cream. The pasties are then baked in a very hot oven for close to one hour. Once the pasties have cooled for about twenty minutes, serve with an oil-and-vinegar-dressed lettuce salad. Offer Cornish cream, Spanish or Mexican Crema, or sour cream as an optional condiment. The pasties depicted here, which I made, are the optimum size for a meal; the dough for them was shaped into a ball about half the size of a woman’s closed hand, then was rolled out and cut around a 7″ luncheon plate. Making giant pasties just isn’t elegant, nor is it traditionally Cornish. I also make miniature pasties for parties, by using a tin can or the bottom, inner ridge of the same luncheon plate as a cutting guide. These mini-pasties are easily eaten by hand with a cocktail napkin to catch any pastry-flakes. For a basic short-crust guide, please see my Elegant Apple Pie recipe.~~Recipe and Pasty Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton