It's interesting how viruses have their own "personality". My husband brought this one home from work last week. He was just coming down with it, and although I tried to give him a wide berth after that announcement, (I hate being sick) I caught it, of course. They name hurricanes, so I named my virus Clyde. I've been checking with other people in different parts of the country, and they seem to have Clyde too. In fact, my cousin Kathy, who lives in Mississippi, has exactly the same symptoms as me. Here they are: No fever, slightly stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, fatigue, and chest congestion. And my taste buds have vanished. I can't taste or enjoy food, with the exception of soup.
I've been making soup for the last few days, but decided to make something different that would be easy and tasty. This recipe for French Quarter potatoes has lots of herbs, spices, garlic, cayenne pepper, and andouille sausage in it. My husband said it was very good. Unfortunately, I couldn't taste anything in it, not even the four Turkish bay leaves from Penzeys. If my taste buds hadn't decamped for parts unknown, I would have been able to appreciate their woodsy taste. So, I dedicate this dish to my memory of bay leaves. And it is Weekend Herb Blogging created by the lovely Kalyn . She's still cleaning up from the anniversary party, I think. This weekend hosting duties are being handled by the divine Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. If you go to her site you'll find bloggers much more lucid than me. I host next week, so I hope Clyde has left my premises.
There are several herbs in this recipe, but bay leaf has a prominant role. Here in Davis, bay laurel trees are very common. However, when I cook with bay leaves, I use Penzeys sweet bay leaves, laurus nobilis, which come from Turkey. A different variety than the laurel bay here, they have a much better taste and lend a subtle flavor to any cooked dish. This recipe also calls for Creole mustard, which is hard to find outside of Louisiana. It's a nippy mustard and adds a wonderful taste to food. If you can't find it, use some Dijon mustard, with a dab of horseradish thrown in. I know that sounds like heresy to Creole mustard lovers--but so be it.
I had some nice soups in the last few days. I wanted chicken noodle soup, but didn't have several crucial ingredients, including chicken So, I made soup with what was available in my pantry. For some reason, I had a lot of split peas. First, I made yellow split pea soup--mostly on autopilot.
If anyone sees my taste buds, tell them to come home.
French Quarter Potatoes (Williams Sonoma)
2 Tablespoons Creole mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoons ground Allspice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 lib (625 g) small red or white potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
6 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped red onions
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
4 andouille sausage links. quartered lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch chunks
2 green onions, pale and green parts, chopped
In a small bowl, combine the mustard Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and allspice. Set aside
Heat olive oil in a heavy nonstick skillet and cook the potatoes, bay leaves and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Cover the pan as they cook. When potatoes are tender, add the garlic, onions, and bell pepper and raise the heat to high and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the sausage and stir until heated through. Stir in the mustard mixture, then serve.