Friday, December 14, 2007

Butterless Kitchen

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's most of us find ourselves making and sampling (or scarfing) mounds of fatty foods. Given the current array of butter and cream cheese coming to room temperature on my counter right now in anticipation of hours of baking, Classic Cook's home is no exception. Thus, a newer book in my collection, "Gourmet Cookery for a Low-Fat Diet" offers a brief contrast to this seasons eatings. This book from 1961 shares dire warnings about the dangers of fat and gives us confidence to "[g]o into [our] butterless kitchen without despair, for now it can be done."

And, oh, the joy these authors have for fat free cooking! We will become the "Columbus of the kitchen, a Magellan of the markets" using this book that is destined to "become a kind of classic, a pioneer, a Dan'l Boone of what to eat and how to eat it." Oh my. That's a lot from one cookbook.

Here's something many people can get behind: the importance of alcohol. They dismiss the "Puritans" among us who don't drink alcohol because the authors "do like enlightenment, and heed to the dictum of science which says that alcohol is the purest food known." Well there we have it. It's scientific! I'm enlightened! Now bring on the bourbon!

But first, a recipe. My potato repertoire is pretty limited: oven baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. This recipe for Casserole Potatoes really isn't outstanding, it's just, well, potatoes in milk. The beauty of it how easy it is to modify, making it a good basic recipe to have. Get rid of the caraway seeds and add garlic or a little cumin or thyme. Add a little cheese and butter (ignore the fat free crowd!).

And remember, "ignore the dull, dreary rules, regulations and restrictions of the diet books and still feel confident entering the Kingdom of King Pausole."

Casserole Potatoes
Adapted from Gourmet Cookery for a Low-Fat Diet, 1961. Modify, modify, modify this recipe. I think more than anything it gives you the confidence that you don't need a recipe to make potatoes.

White potatoes
Caraway seeds
Skim milk

Preheat oven to 375. Slice some raw potatoes into a lightly buttered casserole. Cut them thin. Scatter some caraway seeds and salt in between the layers and pour in skim milk to a depth of about one inch. Cover, place in 375 oven for 30 minutes. Stir potatoes. Recover and place in oven for another 20 to 30 minutes.


Rural Vegan said...

This book sounds like a hoot! I enter my butterless kitchen without despair on a daily basis, but I also heed the author's warning and slam down as much wine is needed to make me feel pure. Yes pure, that's it! :P

Classic cook said...

Wine definitely counteracts despair!