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Alsatian Potatoes

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by the recipe folder I have had on my computer for years. Literal years. I found recipes dating from 1997 – and I haven’t finished looking at them all. I’m just a bit of a pack rat when it comes to recipes. I have them on my computer, I have them in file folders, in manila envelopes… If I cooked three meals a day for the next 40 or so years, I couldn’t go through all of them.

And then I find another one.

I think I saved a goodly portion of the recipes when we were creating different recipes at work. That’s pretty much the only reason I can think of for all of the edamame and tofu recipes. Neither item is on my normal pantry list…

I started going through the recipes because our friend, Bonnie, was talking about a recipe app she had gotten called Paprika Recipe Manager. It can be used for grabbing recipes from the web – I have a browser bookmark folder of a bazillion of them – as well as adding recipes of your own, so I bought it and started entering them. I did a few and all of a sudden decided what I really needed to do was create another cookbook on the website and post them all here. Share the craziness that has been collecting electronic dust for years.

The Other Stuff Cook Book was born.

The interesting thing about all of these recipes is I really don’t know where most of them came from. They’re mere text files for the most part without any attribution. They were really more for inspiration than actually making. That being said, a few of them – like tonight’s potatoes – are easily attributable. Martha Stewart’s fingers are all over this one! Others… not quite so easy.

I have just started getting them done, so check back now and again for more…

In the meantime… the potatoes were a lot of fun. The recipe takes time and lots of pots – that’s pretty much how I figured it was probably Martha and not Jacques Pepin – but the end result was really good. I scaled the recipe way back and then made it as two separate pastries. If I revisit this one, I may add the chicken right into the pie and make it as a one-pot meal.

I used an onion instead of leeks and russets instead of yukon golds, and just a pinch of nutmeg.

Alsatian Potato Pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 (about 1 1/2 pounds) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed with the flat side of a large knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium leek, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, and washed well
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 (14 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Comte or Gruyere cheese

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1
Cover potatoes with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt; cook until just tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain. Let cool.
STEP 2
Bring 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cream, the garlic, and nutmeg to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook mixture until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
STEP 3
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add leek; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
STEP 4
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk egg yolk and remaining tablespoon cream in a small bowl; set aside. Divide puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into two 6-by-13-inch rectangles. Set 1 rectangle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add half of the potatoes, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around and overlapping potatoes slightly. Top with half of the leek mixture and 3/4 cup cheese; season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering with remaining potatoes, leeks, and cheese. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Cover with remaining dough rectangle; gently press edges with a fork to seal. Cut 2-inch slits lengthwise in center of crust, 2 inches apart. Brush with egg wash. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
STEP 5
Bake pie until golden brown and puffy, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Pour cream mixture into pie vents with a funnel. Bake 10 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

And then we had the chicken…

This is a New York Times recipe.

Chicken in Vinegar Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • butter
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Chop onion.

Heat nonstick pan over high heat, reduce heat to medium-high and add butter. Add onion, and saute until it begins to brown and soften.

Add chicken breasts, and brown on both sides.

Reduce heat to simmer, and add tomato puree, wine, vinegar, chicken stock and tarragon.

Cover, and continue cooking until chicken is tender, about 10 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper.

Don’t be put off by the amount of onions! It seems like a bazillion, but it works! I used my Passata for the tomato puree and cut back on the balsamic because I was using a thick, aged bottle that is pretty potent.

We only ate half of them, so there’s leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow night!

Oh… I decided I’m going to use the Paprika Recipe Manager for my bazillion bookmarked recipes. That’s another chore for another day…

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