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We find inspiration and influence in avenues that appeal closely to our own. Both in delivery, and message. There’s no rule in the book that says you have to be Julia Childs to be legitimate source of food knowledge.
Enter Rachael “Yummo” Ray. When Sam is home during the day, she’ll pop over to her television show to watch her whip up some “30 Minute Meals”. I’ve had my reservations about her, but let’s face it: food made quick, easy, and delicious … who can argue with that?
In one episode, Ray served up some broccolini, which I can only describe as the perfect hybrid between Chinese kai-lan and its standard namesake. Sam loved the name, and went out in search of the vegetable. And in her mind, if her ambition took her the grocery story to find sometime she’s never heard of, why not go the full monty and make a main course that she’s never made either: lamb chops.
Holidays are good for two things: gifts and leftovers. Yeah, I said it. Materialistic? Maybe. I’m not completely downplaying the whole “family and friends” angle, or that small “good will toward your fellow man” bit. I’m just saying presents and food are the two factors that get us kid-on-Christmas-morning giddy around this time of year. One dish that Sam has ranted and raved about since we started dating is her famous grandmother’s potato puffs, made from very specific mashed potato leftovers. When she was little, her family ate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners early, and her Nan would make these puffs as a late evening snack with the leftowards. The trick here, according to this love of mine, is to pressure cook the potatoes, using powdered milk instead of regular, and allowing the starchy goodness to sit overnight.
All of that did help when forming the potato patties. The spuds stuck together with minimal crumble, and held both the egg wash and panko bread crumbs extremely well. I heated a small pot of vegetable oil, and dropped them in the hot bath. The oil swallowed the puffs with just a small section of the top popping out. Giving it about 6 minutes each side, flipping over once, take them out and let them dry on a paper towel.
I have to say, Sam was on point! The puffs had a delicious crust, both added from the panko and natural from the inside layer of potato. The insides were smooth and creamy, almost more than from where they started the day before. I made a ham and mozzarella sandwich to accompany. Try CPR-thrusting the bread before toasting to get a really nice thin crisp in each bite!