Archive | 7:08 pm

Oh oh oh. Scalloped Potatoes!

16 Nov

Will try and refrain from talking about the….incident….that happened halfway through this. Just note the change from “no hospital bracelet” to “hospital bracelet” .

Both my mom and sister sent me their recipes for this. I made my mom’s, just because I know how to hand adjust the proportions to what I personally like, but my sister did a better job of writing it all out. Plus she uses a stick more of butter. Winner!

And I know you all are gonna say, “what if I add cheese?” — to which I say, SURE. Add cheese. You know me. I would prefer if everything in the world was wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with cheese. But this is one of my most favorite dishes in the world (see “interesting day” post) and I really, REALLY would urge you to bake it this way first, then taste and add cheese at the end if you just must have cheese. The fact that this can be so satisfying and delicious to me without having cheese should tell you something…it’s awesome.

Here is what my sister wrote, with a couple of my little changes from my mom’s recipe:

Scalloped Potatoes (with bacon and ham)

5 large potatoes
1 lb pack Thick cut bacon
1/2 lb Ham steak
1/2 c Flour
2 sticks Butter
1 lg Onion
1 pint Half and half
Milk

Salt/Pepper/Lawry’s/Garlic powder

Peel and slice potatoes, rinse and drain and layer about 1/4 of potatoes in a large casserole dish. Cube the ham into 1/2 inch cubes and sprinkle on top of potato layer. Repeat alternating potatoes and ham. Dot pieces of one stick butter on top of butter. On top, lay 4/5 slices of bacon.

For the sauce/roux:

Fry 5 slices of bacon in a sauté pan in a touch of hot oil. Remove cooked bacon and add diced onion, sautéing until lightly brown. Transfer bacon grease to a large saucepan. Add remaining stick of butter and sautéed diced onion. Add half of the flour, stirring into a thick paste.  Add half of the half and half and whisk out all the lumps. Add rest of flour, sprinkling lightly to avoid lumps and add rest of half and half. Allow sauce to thicken, stirring constantly. Should be the consistency of really thick gravy. Add milk and stir constantly; enough milk to lighten sauce a bit, approx 4 c. Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually end up adding many dashes of lawry’s, one small dash of galic powder, and salt and pepper in the end to this gravy. If the gravy you pour over your unbaked scalloped potatoes isn’t flavorful, your entire dish won’t be. So make sure to keep tasting this gravy at every “dash” of something. Should taste like oniony, garlicy, salty, bacony deliciousness without being completely salty overwhelming.

Pour over potatoes and bake covered at 350 degrees for about 90 min, then uncover and broil the top for 5 minutes or so, til brown.

adding bacon grease to the stick of butter. oh baby. (sautéed the onions in bacon grease after this, forgot. Blame the hennessy in the background)

adding flour to the oil / butter mixture

terribly blurry and disgusting photo of the finished gravy. Once again, blame the hennessy.

oh my how did that get in here?

lalala…back to work. do do doooo.

oh did I mention I also made my chipotle chicken with my severed thumb? because I did.

it was good. the key is to get your guests so drunk that they don’t even mind that there may or may not be blood in it.

poke-test for softness! that’s what she said.

mmm. wish I had my camera but this’ll do for now.

Remember to try and get some thickly sliced ham at the deli counter and cube it yourself. A lot more flavorful to get good ham. And by flavorful I just mean salty. Nomnomnom.

xx

Thanksgiving Lineup….

16 Nov

I tried to look up some photos for this post, maybe some old Thanksgiving photos, then I saw this, which is ummmm perfect and fitting. There was a point in my life that I was absolutely OBSESSED with the fat booth app. Literally obsessed. I did it to ANYONE I encountered. Flight attendants, waiters, anyone. I have hundreds of these photos on my phone. Also I figured that if I posted this at the top of this post, I’d be more inclined to post again soon, to try and bump it down to the bottom. I mean look at it. Shudder.

Ok so Thanksgiving.

Absolutely terrified. Excited. But LOATHING the trip to the grocery store for this. And I LOVE the grocery store. I go to one where they are a bit nuts, Ralphs on Ventura. Every couple of minutes someone comes on the intercom and says something funny or makes fun of the other employees (with love) or sings “happy super old birthday” to someone at the deli counter. It’s kinda awesome and I find myself giggling up and down the aisles.

We will be having about 20 or so people in our home, with one oven. John’s family will be coming from Ohio for Thanksgiving, whereas every other year we have gone out there. So it is awesome of them to come out…and I need to make this great. Did I mention one oven? I mean who has 2 ovens besides those real housewives people who hire outside chefs to even come use them, but man, you never notice until this holiday that having one oven sucks. As soon as I get back to LA, I will be looking for one of those double ovens because timing and hot food is extremeeeely important to me and something I am normally really good at, but not with this many dishes. Nooooo way.

Since a baked turkey would steal all my oven space, we bought a pretty snazzy deep-fryer and have Todd English sending us his favorite recipe for deep-fried turkey. What a cool semi-friend to have, right?? Didn’t even know you needed a recipe for deep fried turkey! I thought you just dropped that shit in (thawed, of course) and ran for your lives.

I never even eat turkey on thanksgiving. Maybe a tiny sliver, but for me, sides are where it’s at. Still picking out the desserts, but definitely thinking pumpkin cheesecake in jars (because jars are awesome), and berry cobbler with brown sugar crumble and vanilla ice cream melted all over.

And I’ll tell you this right now. Think of a flavor you want to to have. A dish. See if Paula Deen or Ina Garten have the recipe for it online by googling, and go to the food network site listed. That is the only way to go for me, unless it’s a family recipe or a near and dear friend of mine has passed me their own recipe for something. I always put all my faith in Paula and Ina and their hearty, homey, flavorful recipes have literally NEVER let me down.

Ladies and gentlemen. Presenting my starting lineup for Thanksgiving 2011…

*Deep fried turkey with gravy (recipe to come)

*Cranberry sauce. I refuse to have that can-molded cranberry gel on my table, delicious as it is. So simple. Make it. (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/cranberry-sauce/detail.aspx)

*John’s macaroni and cheese (http://www.marthastewart.com/348566/john-legends-macaroni-and-cheese) Make SURE to click the video for an awesomely red holiday sweater.  Also, “seasoning salt” means LAWRY’s. MUST BE LAWRY’S!

*Ina Garten’s parmesan mashed potatoes, that I add some garlic and bacon crumbles to…tastes like you put a baked potato into a blender and poured it into your mouth, which is pretty much what my elderly years will be about. I’ve had other recipes where the parmesan overwhelms, but this is just perfect. (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/parmesan-smashed-potatoes-recipe2/index.html)

*my mom’s scalloped potatoes with cream and bacon. You know, the one I cut my fingertip off for then came home to finish making like nothing had happened because THEY ARE THAT GOOD! Posting today, I promise. I also have a sweet potato dish coming up. You might think that’s a lot of potato dishes but 1, why are you questioning potatoes? Are you a terrorist? They’re awesome. 2, each dish has totally different flavors. Cheese. Cream. Sweetness.

*Green bean casserole. Can’t you just picture the fabulous Paula Deen saying this in that adorable southern accent? “Grain Bain Casserollllle”. There are about 350 comments on Paula Deen’s site regarding this 5-star reviewed recipe. I am a rating freak, by the way. I will do a lot of research before deciding upon a recipe, and make sure to read 90% of the comments. If a recipe is great, the only low ratings will be from people who made their own mistakes. Who burns something then gives it one star?? I give YOU, one star, jerk. NOT MY PAULA!  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/green-bean-casserole-recipe/reviews/index.html)

*Deviled eggs with spicy dijon and tabasco. I know it’s a bit Easter-y, but these little egg halves basically exist for me to pop into my mouth all throughout this cooking process, so hours later I can say, “fuck, who let me eat all those eggs??  I feel disgusting”. It’s tradition. (http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/deviled_eggs/)

*My favorite Thanksgiving bite. Stuffing with a bit of gravy allll over it. Since this dish is clearly so important to my tastebuds and I, I will be branching out this year and trying a recipe different from Stove Top. All fanciness aside, I think Stove Top stuffing is delicious. I also love the Marie Calendar’s boxed mix. It’s so easy on a day where everything is a bit overwhelming. But I’m gonna really dive in this year, meaning I will be testing out some stuffings all week. Not a bad job at all. Now only if I got paid for it…..I pretty much only get paid to look like the opposite of someone who enjoys stuffing. Damn my love for food.

*Sweet potato casserole with pecan and brown sugar crumble. Never made it but this one has nearly 1000 reviews praising it like baby Jesus. The only tragedy here is that all the photos look like baby Jesus’ diarrhea. So that’ll be something to try and adjust. And I am totally doubling up on this butter/pecan/brown sugar crumbly top. BEST BELIEVE. (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/yummy-sweet-potato-casserole/detail.aspx)

*Paula Deen’s cream biscuits. Which will probably be the last thing I make. Out of exhaustion and basic lack of clean dishes to use, these biscuits (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/cream-biscuits-recipe/index.html) might turn into pop n fresh.

*Paula Deen’s baked wild rice. Stumbled across this yesterday and it hasn’t left my mind. Mushrooms, onions, cream, sherry. And judging by the video, pretty easy. One of the things I am most looking forward to cooking! (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/baked-wild-rice-recipe/index.html)

* (UPDATED) Southern fried corn. Something I’ve been talking about ALL year. It’s time. It’s time. (http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2010/06/southern-fried-corn.html)

So there you have it. The list so far. No life-changing, innovative ideas here. But it’s Thanksgiving! Making things that everyone already knows, that everyone will love, more than any other year. I like that challenge. And did I mention the football and the drinking? The football and the drinking. And family. Family too.

PS: Really feeling like I need more veggies, so if you know of an awesome veggie dish, lemme know before I settle on cheesy broccoli. And believe me, I would love to settle on cheesy broccoli. Any other non-veggie side ideas also welcome in the comments! I want to over-do this Thanksgiving to the max. MOREEEE DISHES!

Xx

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