Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Love ...

To Cook. Yeah -- that's a news flash!

Tonight I thought I'd share 2 recipes I swiped from a bloggie friend, Jo-Lynne. She's a REAL blogger. This means she has advertisements on her page and she gets invited to bloggie conventions. And she has tons of readers too.

Anywho, here's her blog link.

And here's her blog about making tapioca pudding, the best I ever put in my mouth.

And here's the YOUTUBE video of Jo-Lynne making potato cakes, which also turned out swimmingly.

Now, if for some reason you'd prefer to hear it from my own sweet fingertips, here goes!

Tapioca Pudding:
1/2 cup tapioca -- She used pearl, but I only had instant, and it worked just fine.
3 cups milk -- We both use whole milk because we like the fat.
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar -- She uses sucanat. I don't even know what that is.
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Stir the tapioca into the milk in a saucepan. I used a whisk. This recipe needs a lot of stirring so it won't burn on the bottom of the pan. This is over medium high heat. Add salt. Bring to a boil, and turn the heat down some. Gradually add sugar as you continue stirring for several minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs up with a fork. Add some of the milk mixture (I probably did about 1/2 cup) to the eggs, to temper them. This means you're helping those poor little eggies adapt to their new surroundings, before throwing them into the hot milk all at once, in which case they might freak out and COOK. And we all know that cooked eggs in your tapioca pudding is just gross.

Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and stir fairly constantly until it thickens beautifully and your tummy starts to gurgle in response. Bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until you just can't stand it anymore and your patience is expired. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and nutmeg. I must say, these two flavors just MAKE this recipe. My family consumed all of it, lickety split.

Now, on to potato cakes, if you have any patience.

Yes, there were just that good.

I grated 4 white Russet potatoes, and the nubby end of an onion. The flavor of the onion adds quite a bit to the bland, humble potato. After all this grating, blot the potatoes dry. TOO much moisture in there only keeps them from cooking well.
Then add some salt and pepper, to your personal taste. That's my way out of giving you measurements, because I really didn't measure. But potatoes need lots of salt.
Add flour too, I'd say about 3 tablespoons at least. Then beat an egg into it. These both add thickening and body to the recipe. Mix well.

Heat up some oil and butter in a heavy skillet. I used cast iron, as always. Now, this is the tricky part. Potato cakes are only good if they are cooked through thoroughly, and if they are crispy on the outside. So you'll need to cook them a long time. But you can't cook them on a low heat or they will turn rather gray and soggy in the oil. I'd advise putting them into a hot skillet at first, and after attaining the required yummy crisp on either side, allowing them to cook more to get the middles nice. You really don't want any of the cake to be just vaguely yellowish-brown. Make sure they are dark brown on the outside.

Your family will say, "Thank you!!"

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