Thursday, February 1, 2007

Vampires Need Not Apply

Today was Day 2 of a conference. Very informative, but boy, oh boy, is it hard for me to sit in a room for 8 hours at a time. I definitely needed a little cooking therapy by the time I got home.

Yesterday, the mailman brought me the March/April edition of Cook's Illustrated, which had an amazing-looking Garlic-Potato Soup. As you might guess, it had was a little different from most potato soups, as it had garlic, and lots of it. It even had garlic three different ways--minced and sauteed, whole heads simmered into the soup until the garlic slipped from the skins, and sliced garlic sauteed in olive oil to make crispy chips (which, by the way, is my new favorite snack).

This was a little time-consuming, but really low maintenance. After sauteing a chopped leek and the minced garlic, chicken broth, spices, and two entire garlic bulbs are added to the pot and left to simmer for 40 minutes. That's plenty of time to chop the two kinds of potatoes (russets for their thickening quality and Red Bliss for their ability to hold shape) and the herbs. Once the potatoes are added to the pot, dinner is only 20 minutes away. An immersion blender allows total control over the final consistency--anywhere from smooth to chunky, as you wish.

Also on tonight's menu was a Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze from Stonewall Kitchen Favorites. This was described as a cake for those who "can't bake." The cake was really good, but none of us were crazy about the glaze. It was tart-too tart even for us. It was almost bitter, which would make me think I got pith from the lemon when I zested it. My Microplane has never failed me, though, so I don't think that's it. It could be that I didn't measure the zest and just got too much. I think it's worth a do-over when I'm paying more attention to what I'm doing. In the meantime, I know we're sleeping safe from vampires.

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