An old friend of mine made a suggestion when I posted on facebook “what should I cook today?”….potato soup and crusty bread! I wanted a challenge, so I went for it, I needed to change the type of soup so it would appeal for dinner, so I decided while at the market….spying those beautiful ears of corn…to make a potato-corn chowder! Then there is the bread, this was the real task…I decided to make French bread, from scratch….yes friends, that means yeast, and rising, and pounding down, and time considerations. Fortunately football is on so my other half is in another world except when he sneaks up for a cookie….
I wanted to time things just right. I selected a soup recipe from a site I LOVE: epicurious.com the recipe is as follows:
Potato Corn Chowder Gourmet | July 2008
Adapted from River Ranch Lodge; Lake Tahoe, CA
This satisfying chowder is sweetened with summer corn and made extra-creamy by adding the milky starch from the cobs.
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Active Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1 1/2 hr
3 ears corn, shucked
2 quarts water
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 1/4 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, halved lengthwise, then sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 thyme sprigs
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
3 cups heavy cream
3 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Cut corn from each cob, then hold cob upright in a bowl and scrape with knife to extract “milk.”
Bring cobs, water, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot, covered, then boil, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Discard cobs.
Meanwhile, cook onion, carrot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is pale golden, about 10 minutes.
Add bell pepper, corn and its “milk,” thyme, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
Stir in potatoes with water and cream and gently boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 7 cups, about 30 minutes. Stir in scallions, white pepper, cayenne, and salt to taste. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
Missy Notes – SUB broth for the water! Veggie or chicken is fine! add extra potatoes as well…I did about 3 cups!
The French bread is just the ole’ standard, but if you need one, post me and I will put it up here.
This post is really about timing, and reading your recipes multiple times and planning your cooking in advance, it is like a ballet, or a symphony – you can;t do things out of order or it just doesn’t work. Understand, you have to really love cooking to get into this. Take Thanksgiving. I standardly have 16-22 people at my home. I go over every item in my recipe, what order I will go in ( peel potatoes, put in pot with water, set aside, pull yams out of oven…etc) so that you can “time a meal” which is truly a lost art. With stove-top stuffing, and ready made side dishes…the fine art of Thanksgiving is almost lost (insert little tear) But I digress….what I am trying to say is PLAN ahead. Really read those recipes and put your plan of attack together. If you need help – send me your menu for a big night and I will draft out the order I would do things to get them on the table…Or at least how I would do it.
So, it kind of looked like this: Make dough – set to proof – go workout, punch down, make into 2 loafs for final rise, take shower, start the prep for soup – get every thing a sizzlin on the stove, place first loaf in oven, combine all ingredients in giant pot for soup, and relax – soup must reduce, and I can focus on the bread and setting the table……Fabulous! Just like you, Shelene! This post is in honor of you!