Monday, January 21, 2013

Baked Potato Soup and Barack Obama

Yesterday was January 20, the day set aside for the quadrennial presidential inauguration.  However, with the day falling on a Sunday, the public events were all set for today.  Further, the United States Constitution [specifically the 20th Amendment] requires the President (and Vice President) to be sworn in before noon on the 20th of January - so both Barack Obama and Joe Biden were sworn into their second terms yesterday.

Today was also the day to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and as such, a "federally mandated playdate" for LBA and some of his friends.  This is a tradition that we began several years ago and it has continued though LBA and his friends are no longer in the same daycare.

So we had some friends over and Mrs. BA decided on soup for lunch for the grownups.  (There had been a chili discussion - but that is the usual go-to dish for these events so she wanted to try something else.)  As has been noted here before, Mrs. BA and I are/were big fans of the Houston's Baked Potato Soup and she wanted to try and replicate it.  She did a really good job.  Then again - how wrong can it be with milk, cheese, butter, and sour cream (and potatoes)?

Here's the recipe she started from.

Houston's Baked Potato Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 8

This soup is beyond yummy! Your family and friends will love it!

  • 5 Medium Russet Potatoes 
  • 3 cup Whole Milk 
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half 
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream 
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Chives 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt or to taste 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper or more to taste 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon Butter 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt 
  • 1 Green Onion Diced 
  • 5 Strips of Bacon Diced and Fried Crispy-drain 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Fennel Seeds 

 Wash and scrub potatoes, pat dry. Rub potatoes with butter and place in baking pan, bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool slightly. When the potatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel 4 of the potatoes, we will need the skin on the 5th potato. While potatoes are cooling, add fennel seeds to milk and half and half, and scald the milk. Scalding is heating milk at moderated temperature just until boiling point but not boiling and quickly remove from heat. Scalding will keep the mixture from separating. Let milk cool slightly with fennel seeds in mixture. When potatoes or cool enough to work with carefully cut 4 in half and place in a food processor. Potatoes should measure out to 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked potato. Dice the 5th potato and set aside, leave the potato skins on this potato. To the cooked potato add sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, celery salt and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese. Strain the fennel seeds from warm milk and discard seeds, pour milk mixture into food processor and processes 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until smooth. Place mixture into a sauce pan add butter and diced potato stir frequently and simmer on very low setting for about 15 - 20 minutes. When ready to serve ladle into individual bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green diced onion.

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