"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Creamless Creamy Squash Soup and Potato Latkes

Creamless Creamy Squash Soup has a really awesome flavor thing going on, but you'll only get it if you actually have the nerve to put crumbled cookies on top of your soup.

Come on, don't be a sissy! Just think of Anthony Bourdain and all of the weird things he's put in HIS mouth. A few amaretto cookies won't kill you.

Actually, the cookies bring up the sweetness of the squash, which is well masked by the sea salt in the soup (you might want to tone it down to 1 tsp if you're sensitive). The texture is delightful and the color is lovely, and of course, there are the cookies. Best of all you don't have to count them as dessert, you can say you HAD to eat them because they were part of the recipe. See how I make your life easier?


Is there anybody who doesn't like Potato Latkes? I can understand not eating them because you shouldn't, or not liking the ones you're eating because they were poorly cooked (soggy, greasy, raw), but done well latkes have got to be one of the world's perfect dishes.

And it's not hard to do well. You just have to have the oil hot enough and the pancakes thin enough and don't forget the salt. This recipe makes a suggestion I was glad to see, which is to hold them in a 250 oven on a cookie rack set in a pan (new for me) which does away with any steaming effect you might get otherwise. This keeps them nice and hot and crisp. Damn, even writing about them is making me hungry.

For those of you who are into potatoes in their various guises, The Gourmet Cookbook has about three recipes that seem to be variations on a theme (the theme being some form of fried shredded potato). One is Potato Latkes, another is Pommes Paillasson, the French version of that (which means of course it's cooked in butter, takes up the whole skillet and takes longer to cook) and the third is Rosti, a Swiss variation which uses cold cooked potatoes rather than raw ones.

I'll be trying all three because I seem to be in a potato mood. Watch this spot.

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