delicious resolutions :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

this week I cooked.
I mean I cooked!

this is quite a big deal for me.  anyone who knows me knows I love to bake, but cooking just isn't as natural to me.  plus when your family is just as happy with tyson chicken nuggets and tater tots you start to wonder what the point is.  but I am determined to do this at least once a week and introduce my family to REAL food at least once a week.  in my post on musings I wrote about things I'd like to accomplish this year...and number 24 is going to be to cook at least once a week with REAL food.  and this week I did!

for my menu I was inspired by my friend chef david who owns the liberty market and his magnificent dinners he makes.  for valentines weekend he made a special layered potato side that I simply LOVED so I wanted to try and recreate it at home.

my menu:
grilled ribeye steaks with mushrooms
sauteed in butter + merlot wine
with a side of cheesy potatoes gratin
and sweet corn.
for dessert I made molton chocolate lava cakes
w/ strawberries + whipped cream (or for my kids - angel food cake). 

the recipe I'll feature this week is the potatoes gratin...I should layout a disclaimer that I didn't really use a written recipe for this one...I got a lot of advice from cooks illustrated + as a guideline, but I just added the ingredients that I liked for this recipe and it turned out AH-mazing!

first you start with three large russet potatoes that I got to slice on chef david's mandolin...I'm sure if you had a really sharp knife you could slice them pretty thin and it would have the same effect.  but something about saying you cut the potatoes on a mandolin makes you sound extra snazzy, plus he let me borrow it so I felt like I was channeling some of his amazing cooking abilities ;)

chop up two cloves of garlic super fine...this part made me feel like a chef b/c I've watched carylann at work mince things before and I tried to copy her...and I didn't even lose any fingertips!  bonus! :)  add this to the potatoes...

melt five tablespoons of butter.  now for this part I felt like paula deen - who I love.  partly b/c she just might be a little bit crazy and mostly b/c she makes amazing food and could care less how much fat is in her food...she cares about the way it tastes and I can appreciate that.  and according to her, you can never have too much butter.  and I think she's right. :)  I used unsalted horizon organic butter for this recipe.

add the cooled melted butter to the potatoes and add about one cup of whipping cream and salt and pepper.  mix all of this.  I used my hands because it seemed the easiest to me. 

at this point it was time for a chocolate/diet coke break for me.  my son was the keeper of the chocolate (so I wouldn't eat too many) and he took this job seriously...he enlisted the help of his star wars storm troopers to zap me if I snitched more than four.  however, his storm troopers were not so trigger happy with him, I noticed!

finally grate the pecorino cheese...super good with these potatoes!

so now I have a bowl of milky, buttery, garlicy potatoes.  and a pile of grated cheese.  I layered these in individual cake tins (b/c individual portions of food makes me just feels fancy) :) that were sprayed with butter spray.

I baked these at 350 degrees for about forty five minutes.  in the meantime I sauteed the mushroom in the butter/merlot wine...

and sliced up the strawberries and dusted them with a splenda packet that has fiber!  yes, fiber!  who knew?!

and an hour later I feasted w/ my family on this!  granted my kids held their noses while I made them eat at least two bites of the potatoes.  and I didn't force them to eat the mushrooms (more for me!) but my family plus uncle josh loved everything else!  success! :)


kiersten said...

YEAH!!!! So great! Love the little pan ideas! Where are the Molten Lava Cake pics??? Forget the pics...where's my Molten Lava Cake!

elizabeth said...

WOW! Wish I was there to eat that! YUM!

Swatchbook Weddings said...

Oh my gosh, this looks amazing!! Great job!!

janet said...

OK...all my dieting ideas just flew out the window...when is "cooking" day next week, and can we be invited? The photos are AMAZING & I love that you are doing this for your family...keep it up!

Jenn said...

Jen, I loved this post! Your food looks so stinking yummy!!! I love the idea of the individual servings for your potatoes. It motivated me to actually do my own meal planning for this week, so thanks!

Kate the Great: said...

Okay when are you inviting me over for dinner....Aydan can bring some of his storm troopers too!!

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