Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scalloped potatoes II (p. 296), Glazed carrots (p. 266), and Chicken and sweet potato fricassee (p. 100)

First off, don't forget to enter the contest!

I was really hoping that the Scalloped potatoes II (p. 296) would be terrific. The recipe was simple enough--I combined a can of cream of mushroom soup with cream, heated it up, and then added cheddar cheese and sauteed mushrooms:

I thinly sliced three pounds of potatoes (which would have been easier with my mandoline--the slicer, not the instrument--but I couldn't find all the pieces), which was about six Yukon Gold potatoes, and layered them in a casserole dish:

I poured the mushroom soup mix over the potatoes:

And cooked until it was done:

Absolutely amazing. This honestly took me about ten minute of active time and was soooo good. It was just as easy as the boxed mixes and was at least a thousand times better. And, sadly, I think the cream of mushroom soup made it even more homey for my American tastes.

I meant to make Glazed carrots (p. 266) last Thanksgiving but ran out of time. I was trying to think of a vegetable that I could make and I didn't have almost any produce in the house except carrots. It was an easy recipe--I quartered the carrots and layered them in a skillet, adding chicken stock, butter, brown sugar, brandy, and salt. I cooked the carrots until the glaze formed:

SO SO SO SO good! So good that Josh almost didn't manage to wrestle any away from me. They were sweet but not cloying and reminded me how much I love carrots while making me wonder why I don't make them more often...I can't recommend this recipe enough. Fast, easy, and cheap, the TJOC trinity.

I decided that I could get one more meal out of my crock pot before wrestling it away (actually, I'm so sick of trying to fight it into the cabinet that it's going out into the shed with the roasting pan). I thought that Chicken and sweet potato fricassee (p. 100) would be perfect.

The first thing I did was chop up my chicken with my brand-new Wulstoff cleaver (thanks, mom!):

The cleaver is terrific and my former coworker Phil told me that they are perfect for cutting a pizza, which I'm pretty excited to try. That being said, the cleaver is difficult to use--you have to swing it down where you are aiming it without chopping off your finger, which is harder than it sounds. Even so, I still have all ten fingers *knock on wood*

The chicken was browned briefly, then removed to a plate.

I fried up some smoked ham, although not the cubes that TJOC asks for, but rather sliced-up slices. I added an onion, carrot, and celery rib and sauteed for a while, and then added (homemade) chicken broth. The whole concoction was poured in to the slow cooker.

Cubed sweet potatoes and water were added:

And then the chicken was layer in the top. I cooked the fricassee for about five hours and then stirred in a little heavy cream (although stirring around the chicken was extremely difficult):

Yum! It was really good, although really strange. I loved the tender sweet potatoes and the delicious broth but the broth was really thin--so thin that it was more like a soup than an entree. Are you supposed to pour it over something? I will make it again, although I'm going to transition it into chunks of pork rather than the chicken, and I'm going to drink it like a soup. A little cilantro would be great too...just thinking out loud here...

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