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Apr 1, 2008 07:26 PM


This is a weirdish combo, but I didn't want to make millions of tiny posts.

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  1. Old Report - Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes:

    Last Wednesday night while out for dinner, my husband announced that he would be roasting a chicken this weekend. When I asked him if he wanted anything with that, he said, "a knife and fork". Nothwithstanding that, I went ahead and made the Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, possibly the best mashed potatoes I've ever had. I used Yukon Golds rather than russets, or "Jersey Royals", as he also recommends. Milk is infused with garlic, rosemary and thyme (but I had no thyme, so more rosemary), and then added to 1 cup of olive oil (to 2 lbs of potatoes) and then mixed in using a stand mixer to the potatoes (I used a food mill on them). I used a fruttato, and the potatoes had the slightest (but appealing) green sheen to them. There's a reason this recipe is in the "olive oil", rather than "potato", chapter. Definitely will make these again.

    Posted the full recipe here:

    No photo!

    7 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Those sound great MMRuth. Thanks for the recipe on the other link, I'm adding this to my list for the month.

      1. re: Rubee

        I just bought another bottle of fruttato yesterday, so looking forward to cooking them again myself.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Fruttato is a type of olive oil?

          Sounds delicious. I suppose it wouldn't be the same if I cut the amount of oil to 2 tsp per serving?


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Yes - Sardinian and no, it wouldn't. Honestly, with this, I wouldn't bother. The 1 cup of olive oil (gasp) is what makes these so great.

   - not the same brand I have though.

            It is a wonderfully flavored olive oil though, and does give you "bang for your calorie bucks" when drizzled on anything.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Ooh, I think I'll order that. I am allowed so little oil that I often want maximum flavor when I use it. But, I do have a question about ibfoods slogan "When Being Delicious is Necessary".

              Isn't delicious always necessary? ;-).

              Anyway, thank you for the tip.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I'll try to remember the post of the brand I have when I have a chance.

      2. re: MMRuth

        I made these again last night for our final SH meal for COTM, served with the Steak au Poivre and asparagus - just as wonderful as the first time.

      3. Piperade, page 84

        This recipe turned out to be something like the eggs and tomato dish we prepared last month but the name and author of that recipe escapes me for the moment. . Different flavors but the same components, or so it seemed. Eggs, bacon, red bell pepper, spring onions, white bread croutons... we used an artisinal loaf DH brought home last night. Extremely simple comfort food, basically scrambled eggs and bacon. Side dishes were baked potato and stir-fried bok choy. It all went well together and was very tasty. The next recipe has to be more challenging, though. The lamb chapter has some intriguing recipes which I've been reading......

        1. Crisp Parmesan Crackers, p. 142

          Sort of an odd dough (but then, I've never made crackers before), but a tasty result. Rolling it out as thinly as possible led to, not surprisingly, a dough as thick as the almond slivers. I used a 3" biscuit cutter, but did not end up with 15-20 crackers. I made one using a smaller one (2"?). I ended up with 6 large one and one small, but threw out some of the dough as I didn't feel like dealing with it! I baked them for about 8 minutes. I preferred the smaller cracker - it was a bit crisper, and next time would make them all smaller. A nice nibble with a glass of wine while finishing up the rest of dinner. I did think that maybe next time I'd try toasting the almonds lightly first.

          10 Replies
          1. re: MMRuth

            Just had one - definitely not as good the next day - perhaps b/c I just wrapped in foil instead of putting in a tin. The larger ones probably needed to be baked a bit longer still, and I'm wondering if my newly purchased almond slivers were a bit old.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Thanks for your report on these crackers. I want to make them but was concerned about the rolling out the dough part. When I've made crackers before, I formed the dough into a log and then sliced thinly which seems much easier. I'll see how it goes...

              1. re: MMRuth

                So I couldn't sleep last night and decided to try the Crisp Parmesan Crackers...But I'm not sure if I can even post here due to all the substitutions and changes I made...But what's a girl to do at 2am? She just uses the ingredients she has on hand...

                First of all, I used Land O' Lakes Spreadable Butter w/ Canola Oil instead of butter. Only had whole roasted almonds on hand, so after about 5 minutes of slivering, I decided to just finely, finely chop them instead. Also, there was only about 2.25 oz of almonds. But perhaps the most egregious substitution was dry parmesan (yes, the green container) for fresh grated parmesan. I did have some mozzarella cheese shreds, so I ended up using about 2 oz. of dry parmesan and 1 oz. of grated mozzarella.

                I think the texture of the parmesan made it a little drier, so I ended up putting in another egg white and then had to put in a little bit more flour as well.

                I cut them out w/ a champagne flute and baked them for 7 minutes on a baking sheet sprayed w/ olive oil.

                Despite all the substitutions/additions, they came out crisp and quite yummy...And somehow I ended up w/ about 30 crackers. I'm sure they would taste better w/ fresh grated parmesan, so I will have to try them again w/ the appropriate ingredients.

                1. re: soypower

                  Gee, and what did I do at at 2am and couldn't sleep? Just watch infomercials movies on TV. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to do a grocery run and cook something, though! Anyway, it's nice to know this turned out well even with canned parm. It's only up from there!


                  1. re: soypower

                    Yours look great! What diameter were they, do you think? I'm particularly impressed that you garnished the plate in the middle of the night!!

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      thank you...i forgot to mention that i substituted the basil for parsley...:o)

                      i just measured the champagne flute and it looks like it was about 2.75". i think the fact the the almonds were so finely chopped allowed me to roll them extra thin...

                      1. re: soypower

                        That makes sense - about the "extra thin". Were they supposed to have parsley in them - I missed that!!

                        1. re: soypower

                          i just looked and the parsley was part of the parmesan fritter recipe...can you tell i'm a bit sleep deprived?

                          1. re: soypower

                            Sleep deprived but with lovely crackers to nibble on!

                      2. re: soypower


                        When I was single I loved using sleepless night for baking. Might as well, right?

                    2. Vinaigrette (p. 132)

                      Probably sort of silly even to report on this, but I just didn't think it was anything special. Perfectly acceptable, although I felt the need to add some tarragon to give it a little more oomph.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Could you taste the walnut oil? Tarragon sounds like a good addition.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          No, to be honest I couldn't taste the walnut oil (after having paid a pretty penny for it).

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            What a shame your walnut oil didn't have any flavor. I realize your last post is 2 1/2 years old, but do you remember what brand it was? I buy La Tourangelle walnut and it has a wonderful, toasted walnut flavor that definitely comes through, even in vinaigrettes. Very early on I bought, hmm, I think it was the Spectrum brand, and it had negligible flavor.

                            1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                              Hi Karen, Sadly, that can of oil is *still* sitting in my fridge (and your post reminds me that maybe its time to toss it) so I was able to check the brand. Weirdly, it is La Tourangelle (round can, kind of beige). I was disappointed in the flavor. I suppose after all this time it isn't fair to give it a sniff and see if I like it any better than I originally did ...

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Heh, well, it won't hurt to sniff before you toss. Though I'm sorry that La Tourangelle didn't work for you. Maybe it's just a tastebuds thing. Perhaps hazelnut oil would be more your thing (me, I dislike hazelnuts and find it very irritating how often it's included in chocolates, especially European).

                                If you ever feel like trying walnut oil again and if you have any Marshalls stores near you, try checking their food clearance area. For some reason, I regularly find cans at ours, for $6.95, and they've always been great.

                                1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                  OK, I'll give it a sniff. Maybe I was just having an off day that time.

                                  And I'm with you on hazelnuts .. what is UP with the europeans loving them so much, yet disparaging our lovely peanut?

                      2. I made the parmesan crackers for a dinner party at my mother's house. She doesn't have a kitchen scale and most of the ingredients are by weight not volume, so I guesstimated. I'm not sure if that made a difference. Like MMRuth, I couldn't get the dough any thinner that the almonds. When I took them out of the oven after seven minutes they seemed underdone. I put them back for a few more minutes and they seemed slightly overdone. Still and all, they were pretty good. People said they liked them. But unlike MMRuth's, mine apparently were better a day or two later. At least that's what my mother says. (I'm back home in NYC and she's in California with the leftovers.)