Cooking is as much about intuition as it is skill. You can master all kinds of techniques, sauces, chopping and such, but at the end of the day you need keen senses to guide you. To me cooking is an art not a science. I’m sure Alton Brown (who I adore) would argue with me as well as any purists out there. But, I am not a chef. I am merely a housewife running a 24 hour cafe for six regulars and a few occasional guests.
As such, I am learning to trust my instincts. Timing is a big one. Is the salmon finished? What about the pork? I know I could use my meat thermometer, but I’m getting quite good at turning out well timed products. Pairing the right foods requires good intuition as well as a honed palate. I don’t profess to have this ability but it’s certainly fun trying to make a symphony out of dinner. Just enough heavy, light, soft, and bold to make the whole experience a delight to the senses.
What I’m really trying to say is that I made Christmas worthy potatoes tonight. And the individual parts of my Christmas symphony feast are beginning to come together. I’m not aiming for Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus or anything….my ability is more in alignment with the kindergarten school rendition of Jingle Bells. But I am on the right track nonetheless.
My instincts told me last night that the Boursin Potatoes were wonderful, but perhaps not worthy of a once a year meal. While a definite crowd pleaser with my children, the mild flavor of the boursin just didn’t hold up to the strong presence of the beef tenderloin. But tonight’s potatoes my friends were out.stand.ing.
I wish I could attribute these potatoes to the genius who created them. The recipe comes from The Dallas Dish which is the latest cookbook offering from the Dallas Junior League. However this modern cookbook has updated itself so completely that names of the women no longer grace the pages of the recipes they’ve submitted. Isn’t half the fun of reading Jr. League cookbooks looking at who’s best friend’s mother’s aunt makes beef stroganoff?
Since I can’t properly credit Mrs. W.R.U. Soinso IV for these potatoes I will simply encourage you to buy the Dallas Dish Cookbook. It’s wonderful and tastes like home.
Twice-Baked Blue Cheese Sweet Potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 1/4 c butter, softened
- 1/4 c sour cream
- 1/2 c crumbled blue cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise into halves and scoop out the pulp. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
Combine the pulp, butter and sour cream in a bowl and mix well. Mound the pulp mixture into the potato shells and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and sprinkle with blue cheese. Serve with Jalapeno Maple Cream.
Jalapeno Maple Cream
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 1 T maple syrup
- 2 tsp minced seeded jalapeno
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- salt to taste
- Tabasco sauce to taste
Combine the sour cream, maple syrup, jalapeno chile and lime juice in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and Tabasco.