Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two Deceptively Delicious Recipes That Aren't In The Book But Would Have Been If...

...I'd Thought To Write A Book 18 Years Ago When I Started Putting Vegetables In All Kinds Of Things And Now I Have Teenagers Who Love Vegetables, OR, You're Not The First Mother To Do That, Mrs. Seinfeld, But I'm Pretty Sure You're The Richest.

I made both of these for Christmas dinner at Mom's and the recipes were requested by a few people. Here they are:

Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

* 8 pounds potatoes, quartered
* 2 large packages frozen broccoli
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 stick butter
* Salt and pepper
* 1 cup cheddar cheese
* Bacon bits (you be the judge of how much)

Boil potatoes* until very tender; about 20 minutes. Add the frozen broccoli to boiling potatoes, let sit 5 minutes (or until broccoli is thawed and warm). Drain.

Heat the milk and butter. Pour into the potatoes and broccoli, mash everything together. Large chunks are ideal. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with half the cheese and bacon, top with the rest.

*My trick for good mashed potatoes is to put them into a pot of cold, salty water as soon as they are peeled. Then put them on the stove and let them heat up with the water. I read somewhere it does something with the starch in the potatoes. Or maybe I'm wrong and simply superstitious.

Squashed Buns

* ¼ c. lukewarm water (105-110º)
* 5 tsp yeast (2 pkgs)
* ¾ c. milk
* 1 c. squash*
* ½ c. sugar
* ½ tsp. salt
* ½ c. butter
* 4 ½ c. (approximately) flour

Soak the yeast in the lukewarm water (I usually add a pinch of sugar) for about 10 minutes. If a foam develops, the yeast is good. Meanwhile, heat the milk and squash in a saucepan and stir until smooth. Add the sugar, salt, and butter. Heat to 110º, stirring often and making sure the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Add 2 c. of the flour to a mixing bowl and stir in the foamed-up yeast, and the squash mixture. Mix, adding in the rest of the flour in half cup increments until the flour is all incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place the lump of dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double in size. Heat the oven to 350º. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place in a greased baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Baked rolls can be frozen in freezer bags so you can make them well ahead of time.

*Frozen squash (thawed) or cooked and pureed squash, but I always buy the frozen kind and it thaws and I can't get the rolls made and I end up throwing it out, so I started using canned pumpkin and it works fine and the rolls are a nice orange color.

P.S. As I was eating these delicious rolls this year, I was thinking that perhaps they would make really yummy cinnamon rolls. And then I collapsed under the sheer weight of unrealized ambition and took a nap.

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