Sunday, June 19, 2011

As Jim knows very well...

I can't cook if my kitchen is a mess. And I have trouble functioning in other areas of my life if I can't cook. Is this problem debilitating and ridiculous? Obviously. Does this mean I have kitchen-specific OCD? Perhaps. But either way, it stands to reason that the night I decide to tackle a gourmet meal (maple glazed salmon with a glaze reduction, oven roasted garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli) clearly would be the night that my garbage disposal would malfunction.

Correction. Just now as I sit and write this, my wonderful, handsome, brilliant fiance managed to fix it using only his wits, a plunger, and his bare hands.

So now that crises have been averted, let's get to that gourmet dinner I mentioned. First of all, even in my agitated state, I could tell that this meal was delicious. Possibly the most tasty salmon I've ever made and most certainly the best mashed potatoes possibly ever prepared by myself or anyone else for that matter, throughout human history, until this day. Here you go!

Maple Salmon


Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

As you can see, we made a serious dent in them. For these, I used evaporated skim instead of real milk, for added creaminess minus the fat. And, as I'm still in the learning stage of my cooking prowess, I had no idea how to roast galic, but this website helped a lot. Apparently you can roast the whole head at a time by peeling off the bulb's outer layer, cutting about 1/4 inch off the top of all the cloves, drizzling with oil and putting them covered with foil in a muffin pan. Easy as pie, and twice as delicious, if you love garlic. I'm so garlic-saturated right now that I feel like I did after eating at the Stinking Rose in San Francisco, which was delicious and probably my favorite restaurant in the world, albeit I did go into a garlic coma after my meal there.

Here's the recipe, adapted from allrecipes of course.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
(makes about 8 servings)


2 medium heads roasted garlic
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop.

2. Stir in butter, evaporated milk, salt and pepper. Squeeze the softened cloves of roasted garlic into the potatoes. Blend potatoes with an electric mixer until desired consistency is achieved.

Now I may have to start my new baking project, namely, an attempt at previously mentioned favorite chocolate Italian Christmas cookies ever! More on that later.

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