Friday, December 19, 2008

Fudging the Facts

After finally learning after nearly 26 years of marriage that my husband adores peanut butter fudge, I decided to indulge Mr. I-Have-a-Secret by making some.

After verifying that my husband didn't want chocolate in his peanut butter fudge, I set about finding a recipe. I settled on Alton Brown's recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge. As a added bonus, I even had all the ingredients on hand. Here I have powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup creamy peanut butter and 2 sticks unsalted butter.

Following the directions, I heated the butter and peanut butter in the microwave. After three and a half minutes, I stirred the melted butter mixture.

Alton Brown's recipe calls for one pound of confectioners' sugar, but I only had an open two-pound bag of sugar on hand, so some research was needed to discover what measurement one pound equals. I discovered that different sources disagreed on the exact measurement, so I opted to go with 3-1/2 cups as an equivalent for one pound of powdered sugar. In the end that seemed to be the correct amount.

Stir with a sturdy spoon until everything is incorporated.

I buttered an 8" x 8" baking dish and lined it with a sheet of parchment paper. I then spread the peanut butter fudge in the pan.

The directions call for another piece of paper to cover the fudge and this went into the refrigerator to chill.

I pulled the fudge out of the fridge a few hours later and cut it into cubes with a large pizza cutter. This is good stuff and my husband loves it. Alton, your peanut butter fudge rocks.

By then it was time to think about dinner. What to make, what to make? Let's see, it's dreary outside, the temperature is dropping and it's trying to rain/sleet. I think soup sounds about right. Potato soup sounds really good, so I set about looking for a recipe.

Hmm, I'm not finding any recipes that are to my liking, so it looks like I'll have to make up my own. What, are you surprised?

My mise en place. Here I have Half and Half, salt, black pepper, hot sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, dried basil, turkey consomme, Yukon Gold potatoes, onion, leftover mashed potatoes, and bacon and sharp cheddar cheese for garnish.

I peeled the potatoes and cut them into cubes, about 1 centimeter in size. They went into a microwave-safe dish and I added a splash of water before covering and microwaving on high for about 5 minutes.

I cut up and sauteed the bacon over medium-high heat in a large pot. I removed the cooked bacon and set aside to drain on a paper towel. At this point I decided to forgo the butter and just use the bacon grease in the dish. I left about two tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pot and sauteed 1/4 cup diced onion over medium heat until softened. I then added 2 tablespoons of flour to the pot and stirred while cooking.

I added 2 cups of turkey consomme to the mix. Stir well.

Then I added about 2 cups of the mashed potatoes, a dash of hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dry basil, 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.

The cooked, diced potatoes were added to the pot and then I poured in some Half and Half. This soup slowly cooked over low heat for about 30 minutes while we waited for my husband to come home from work.

I topped the soup with some grated sharp cheddar cheese and crisp bacon. Sadly, I had no green onions on hand, so I had to do without.

My daughter assembled salads for me while I cooked the soup and made my salad dressing. Tonight's dressing was a Raspberry Vinaigrette, made with raspberry jam, honey, white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of black pepper.

I was right. Soup was just the thing for a cold, grey day.


MrsVJW said...

I've always wondered about that peanut butter fudge recipe.... looks awesome and he made it look so easy and pretty fool-proof (which I need sometimes). Glad to know it works! Might have to buy some extra ingredients at the store tomorrow....

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I might just have to make that fudge today.