Friday, September 23, 2016

Recipes by William Holden: Boiled New Potatoes with Herbed Butter Sauce; Tossed Green Salad with Sour Cream Dressing

William Holden's Boiled New Potatoes with Herbed Butter Sauce

For the potatoes:

1 lb. new potatoes, preferably of uniform size
Boiling salted water

1. Wash potatoes well. Place in saucepan, cover with boiling salted water. Cover, boil until potatoes are just tender (about 20 minutes) when tried with a fork. Drain, shake over heat a minute to dry.

2. Skin potatoes and place in heated serving dish. Pour heated herbed butter sauce over them and dust with paprika or serve alone and pass sauce in separate bowl. Serves 4-5.

For the "herbed" butter sauce:

1/4 lb. sweet butter
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 tsps. lemon juice (or good sharp pure white vinegar, distilled or white wine vinegar)
2 tsps. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. minced chives
1/2 tsp. each fresh (or tiny pinch dried) thyme, tarragon (or chervil), summer savory and basil

1. Clarify butter by cutting into pieces and placing in a saucepan (or skillet) over low heat. When butter has melted, skim off and discard the foam, strain clear liquid into a bowl, leaving the milk residue (use in soups or stews).

2. Heat clarified butter over very low heat. Gradually whisk in lemon (or vinegar); heat thoroughly. Add snipped fresh herbs (or dried herbs pulverized using a mortar and pestle or simply rubbing between the fingers and palms); heat a few minutes until well blended.

Thoughts: As Bill Holden suggests, "Success with the sauce is just a matter of taste." Although the basic sauce is designed to go with most bland vegetables, let your palate be your guide and experiment. Key the herb selection to choice of entree. For example, if you're serving a leg of lamb, substitute fresh mint for parsley, limit mixed herbs to rosemary, savory and basil, and increase the amounts of fresh lemon juice and grated fresh lemon rind. For "beefy" favorites, heat 1 small clove of garlic in clarified butter a few minutes before discarding; limit herbs to oregano, parsley and basil, and "spice" up the sauce with Tabasco, catsup, Worcestershire sauce or dry mustard. For fish or fowl, vary herbs by using dill, watercress, ground saffron, ground fennel or coriander, alone or in combination.

William Holden's Tossed Green Salad with Sour Cream Dressing

For the sour cream dressing:

1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A good pinch of dry mustard
A few drops pressed onion
Dash of cayenne

1. Combine all ingredients and blend well. Chill until ready to use.

For the salad:

1 head lettuce
1 head Boston (or Bibb) lettuce
1 head Romaine
1 clove cut garlic
1 ripe Israeli (or California) avocado
1/2 cut lemon
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill (or a good pinch of dried dill)
2 tbsps. minced fresh parsley (or watercress)
2 tbsps. snipped chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Wash and crisp greens. Rub salad bowl lightly with cut garlic. Break greens into bite-size pieces. Cut peeled avocado into hunks, sprinkle pieces lightly With lemon juice to prevent darkening. Add cucumber, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon generous amounts of sour cream dressing over salad. Toss lightly, serve at once. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Again key your choice of herbs to the entree. Celery or caraway seeds make unusual additions for salad to serve with fish; curry, cumin or ginger-flavored salad dressing if served with chicken, duckling or turkey.

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