Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10th, 2007

I don't know about all you other food bloggers out there on the internet, but I for one love gadgets!!! If my kitchen were bigger and it is probably a good thing that it isn't I would have it filled with all sorts of gadgets and they would be out in the open not tucked away out of sight. I sometimes forget which gadgets I have and where they are hidden in the kitchen. This is one of my favs and I only bought it a few years ago and why it took me all this time to get one I have no idea. It is a potato ricer....

Great for making the smoothest mashed potatoes ever!!! I know lumps are okay sometimes too. Sometimes I like just smashed potatoes, but alot of time I love nice and smooth mash.

It is very easy to use and once you use it wash it otherwise the starch from the potatoes dries on it and it is a bear to clean. It comes with a couple of plates with different sized holes for different sized mash I guess. This is the one I usually use.

First boil your potatoes and when tender (you can add some onion, garlic, or other ingredients, such as carrots or celeriac while boiling the potatoes depends on the flavour you are after). And with a slotted spoon load the ricer with the cooked potaotes

And then clamp down and squeeze!!

That is all there is to it. But like I said make sure to wash it off after use.

This is the potatoes after being riced. Now add your milk, butter or whatever and proceed with your mash. I added a knob of butter, greek yogurt, salt and pepper....
Now for the recipe........
One of my fav dishes when we would go out to eat in the US was Beef Manhattans. You can also have turkey or chicken too. But my fav was always beef.... Well since moving here to Britain you can't find this dish so I have learnt to make it myself. And I have converted my hubby to enjoying it too.

First off you need to make the mash which we did above. Oh and you will need some bread....But that comes after the sauce.... My sauce will vary to the mood and ingredients that I happen to have on hand. But it tastes yummy which ever variety I choose. This is comfort food and not good for the waistline.
Anyway start the sauce off by frying a bit of onion and mushrooms until slightly golden. (you can add garlic if you like or herbs such as rosemary or thyme)

Now you remember we used a slotted spoon for the potatoes. Our potatoe water was left over and not thrown down the sink.... Once the onions and mushrooms are ready then I add in some sherry or brandy and you can flame if you like for a bit of drama. Or you can use red wine. Either is fine or if you are a teetotaller just skip it. Next I use the potato water and some beef stock made from hot water and a stock cube. If you have homemade beef stock even better.

And now to thicken.... I used to use beef gravy mix in the US, and here it is bisto which is a gravy mix. You can use cornstarch or flour as the thickening agent. The flour method takes a bit longer to do. (There is a trick to that though, take a jar with a lid and put your flour, salt and pepper in and add your beef stock to the jar leaving about 1 inch. Put on lid and shake like mad. Then you can strain this mixture into your sauce and it should thicken when you boil it.)

Next add some sliced beef from the deli or if you happen to have cold roast beef leftover from Sunday's roast all the better.

Put slices into the gravy ...

and gently simmer till heated through.


Now for the bread part of this dish....

You can use any bread you like and in the US it is usually on the white stuff.... just traditional I guess. But here I am using Brians homemade bread.(this is the only thing Brian cooks other than rolls and it is only since getting the bread machine that he has started baking.)

And this is gadget number 2. A bread slice and keeper. I use a serrated knife and slice between the posts.

Once it is sliced then you can store the leftover bread in the little clear box. Homemade bread doesn't keep long so being clear you can tell when it is time to ditch the old loaf and make a fresh one.

Take your slices and make triangles and place on the plate like so.

Now take your mash and put in the middle of the bread and make a well in the centre of the mash.

Take the slices of beef from the sauce and lay over one layer of triangles.

Top with the other layer of bread....

And then cover the bread and the mash with the remaining gravy!

And there you have it, Beef Manhattans!!!

Serve with some healthy veg so you don't feel over guilty and enjoy.

And this is a clean plate from a man that said he had no appetite because he wasn't feeling well....
Like I said it is comfort food!!!!

17 comments:

Charlotte Hume said...

I like this. Beef Manhattans look great.
And I want to buy a potato ricer now!
Charlotte

milansagar said...

Mouth watering!

Pat said...

Thanks Charlotte!!! And Milansagar.

Charlotte a potatoe ricer would be great for your p vegetables!!!

Joe said...

Pat - we also like to use the potato ricer to squeeze excess water out of sauteed or frozen (thawed...) spinach.

Pat said...

Ooooooohhhh Thanks for that tip Joe, hadn't thought about using it for that. Brillant!!!

Cottage Smallholder said...

We love our potato ricer and own the same model. It's a great kitchen gadget.

Great tip from Joe too.

Pat said...

Thanks Fiona!! Isn't it great!!!

Kelly-Jane said...

Your super looks great! Like your step by step pics :)

I have a potato ricer, and the first time I went to use it I got complaints from Hubby, because he didn't want potatoes that were too smooth, not like his Mother's he said (they are much lumpy-ier than mine apparently) What's a girl to do? I think it's time I rebelled and gave smooth mash a go again. :)

KJxx

Pat said...

Thanks KJ, you could do both. Put some of the potatoes through the ricer and just smash a few for hubby and stir through the smooth ones.

Kate said...

what a lovely step by step photo guide. I almost felt as if i were standing right next to you in the kitchen :D , and yes this meal does look very comforting.

Pat said...

Kate, thank you so much for your kind words and welcome to my blog!!! Your blog looks really lovely!!!

Valli said...

This dish reminds me of restaurant days gone by when you could order a hot turkey or beef sandwich. Very retro but spruced up with innovative flavours. I love the addition of mushrooms, etc. I am enjoying browsing your blog. Kudos!!!

Pat said...

Thanks Valli, I come from the retro era. LOL To me that is what I grew up with, along with meatloaf, chickenfried steak, southern fried chicken just to name a few. :)

Crafty Gardener said...

I make these also Pat, but just call them a hot beef sandwich (or chicken, or turkey) Swiss Chalet (a favourite restaurant) now serves hot chicken sandwiches and it's a great meal on a cold winter evening. The potato gadget looks like it does a great job on the potatoes. My husband does the mashing when it is for a special occasion and they always turn out creamy and without any lumps.

Pat said...

Linda, I've always known them as Manhattans. Not sure where it came from. Might be an Indiana thing. LOL I do all the cooking except the occasional loaf of bread or rolls. The only thing Brian cooks. I used to use an electric mixer for my mash, and if I want lumpy I go for the hand masher. LOL Soooooo many choices!!!

Cynthia said...

(lol) I loved this post Pat. I have been undecided whether or not to get a ricer. Do you think it is necessary?

Pat said...

Thanks!!Cynthia, if you do alot of mashed potatoes or vegetables or use alot of drained spinach(Joes tip) then I say go for it. I just love mine.