Monday, December 21, 2009
ok, ok - recipes
Potato Chip Oatmeal Cookies Excuse me while I go make a cup of tea and get a few of these to eat while I write this recipe for you... they are that good!...ok, I'm back with 3 cookies in hand. The original recipe is from Maida Heatter's Brand New Cookbook (which it isn't) of Great Cookies (which some of them aren't) where she calls them Key Largo Oatmeal Cookies. I have never been a big fan of oatmeal cookies - they are fine, but not my favorites. However - THESE!!! Here is my adaptation of her recipe 4 oz salted potato chips, crushed put a bunch of chips in a plastic bag and squeeze them to crush them a bit - but they should be coarse, not fine. They should fill 2 cups when they're crushed (of course, I cheated and added more). 1-1/2 cups walnut pieces 2 cups sifted unbleached flour (I used whole wheat) 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 to 1-3/4 packed cups brown sugar** ** The recipe calls for 1-3/4 cups light brown sugar. I cut it almost in half and used 1 cup because I don't like very sweet stuff. I also used dark brown because that's what I had. Suit yourself anywhere in between. 2 large eggs 2 cups old fashioned (not instant) oatmeal 1 cup raisins 1 cup dried pitted sour cherries (I used dried cranberries but you could use cut up dried apricots, dates, or whatever. I like the tart things best, though) 1. With electric mixer in large mixing bowl, beat butter till soft. 2. Add vanilla and sugar and beat till mixed. 3. Add eggs and beat till mixed 4. Add sifted dry ingredients and beat on low only till incorporated. 5. Add oatmeal and beat to mix. (if using food processor, move contents to a large mixing bowl to continue) 6. With wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir in the dried fruits and nuts. 7. Finally, stir in the potato chips. The chips should still be visible. Line cookie sheets w/ parchment, put a tablespoons of dough on the sheet, about 1" apart: press down to flatten. Bake at 350 for 18-20 min or till lightly browned all over. Maida Heatter uses 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie but I'd rather use a tablespoon and get twice as many cookies out of the deal. You will be glad you made smaller ones and more of them! Happy eating. Mushroom Barley Soup there are a zillion recipes, some of which you can find on the Internet. I grew up with a grandmother and a mother who were good cooks and Nanny never used a recipe. Both cooked by instinct, taste and experience nothing written, nothing measured exactly--adding unspecified amounts and giving this kind of advice:"if it needs salt, add more"; if it is too sweet, next time, add less," "cook until it's done", etc. While nothing was ever the same twice, it was always delicious. Actually, in my family, this was called Bean and Barley soup and the only mushrooms in it were dried Polish mushrooms, which gave it a wonderful,smoky flavor. I never saw a live mushroom in my bean and barley soup. My mother and grandmother made it in the pressure cooker because it cooks in 20 min, and they always included a soup bone (beef marrow bone). I use the pressure cooker, but if I don't have a bone I make it without. If I have fresh mushrooms, I'll throw some in - but if not, I don't care. The dried ones are the ones that count. Here's my "recipe" - give or take. If you are the type of cook who needs measurements, skip this and go to the cookie recipe. 6 cups water - Put into pressure cooker or pot and add: a few cut up celery stalks, including leaves a few cut up carrots 5 or 6 dried Polish mushrooms a couple big onions or a few small ones, cut up about 1 cup pearl barley about 1/2 cup dry lima beans (more if you want, or none if you don't want) a bay leaf 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced salt & pepper OPTIONAL a parsnip if you have one a couple pieces celery root if you have any sliced fresh mushrooms a beef bone If you have about 3 hours, you can cook all of this on low. If not, cook under pressure for 20 min, adjust salt and add a handful of fresh dill. Soup should be thick. If it isn't, add more..but by next day you'll probably have to add water. (see what I mean?) If you look on the Internet for a recipe, ignore all that add tomatoes or green peppers (no self-respecting Jewish grandmother would add those!) and skip any that tell you to sauté the onions and carrots, etc. before you add the other stuff. Too much trouble - just throw everything in at once! Enjoy! R.