Friday, September 28, 2007

2 for 1

Is it any surprise? It shouldn't be. Clearly smitten with my great grandmother's cookbook I couldn't help but make not one but two recipes from it. Neither is particularly difficult or unusual. These are the kind of recipes that you make once and then you its yours. Some busy night you are standing, hands on hips, still in work clothes, looking around the pantry and contemplating ordering Thai again, when, aha! Potatoes! Mushrooms! Green beans! And of course, you always have a bottle of wine open or one just begging to be opened (right? tell me I'm right).

The potatoes would probably look nicer under finely chopped vegetables, but the flavor is a nice basic background for just about anything you can think of. If you feel the need to have a significant source of protein with every meal, some variety of white bean would be nice, maybe just added to the beans and mushrooms at the last minute and warmed. Finally, the adapted recipe below reduces the amount of butter and adds olive oil and significantly reduces the amount of liquid called for in the original recipe which was 2/3 cup (water, stock, or wine). I was afraid it would make the mushrooms too mushy but if you plan to use them as a spread on toast or with pasta it might be just fine.

Mashed-Potato Baskets
Adapted from "The Boston Cooking School Cook Book," 1948.

3 cups hot mashed potatoes
3 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg, divided
milk to moisten

Add butter, salt, whole egg and one egg yolk to potatoes. Mash well and mix in enough milk to moisten. Shape into small baskets with pastry bag and tube. Brush with egg white and cook for about 20 minutes in a 350. Broil until brown on top. Fill with vegetable or any creamed dish.

Sauteed Mushrooms and Green Beans
Adapted from "The Boston Cooking School Cook Book," 1948.

1 pound mushrooms
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
Flour for dredging
2 cups green beans
1/2 tsp salt
paprika (something like this, not just something red and flavorless)
1/4 cup dry red wine, water, broth, or cream

Clean and slice mushrooms. Melt butter in heavy pan, add olive oil followed by mushrooms, salt, and a sprinkling of paprika. Dredge with flour. Add green beans and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine or other liquid and cook for a couple minutes more. Serve alone, over potatoes or rice.


Arfi Binsted said...

When do you mix the eggs in? Do you need to wait until the potatoes are cooled?

Me said...

I added the egg while the potatoes were still fairly hot, but after they were mashed so they had a chance to cool a bit. If you have leftover cold mashed potatoes this recipe would work just fine, but you may need to cook the potatoes a little longer to warm them up in the middle. Thanks for the question!