The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

Boil-and-Freeze Spuds

Posted on November 8, 2015 at 8:10 PM


Boiling a Whole 10-Pound Bag of Potatoes, Economizing on Energy ©M-J de Mesterton 2015 Boiling a Whole 10-Pound Bag of Potatoes Uses Less Energy than Little Batches


To boil a whole sack of spuds at once, I added a tablespoon of salt and a quarter-cup of vinegar to the water in this huge stock-pot. The potatoes came out of the sack clean enough to dump directly into the pot. I turned on the gas and waited for them to start boiling, then let them simmer for thirty minutes. Reserve the Potato-Water to Use as Fertilizer for Your Garden ©M-J de Mesterton Reserve the Potato-Water to Use as Fertilizer for Your Garden
©M-J de Mesterton

When the boiled potatoes were soft enough to eat but still firm enough to slice, I turned off the gas. I then transferred the potato-water to a more manageable pot. Because the large stock-pot filled with potatoes and water was too heavy for me to handle, I used a heat-proof pitcher to ladle it out, and poured the remaining hot water into a bowl in the sink. Later, when this nutrient-rich water is cool, I shall take these vessels of liquid to the garden and water plants with them.

The potatoes, after having been drained of hot water, sat in the stock-pot to cool for a few minutes. To peel them, I simply throw some ice and cold water over the potatoes, let sit for ten minutes, then the jackets will usually slide off easily, leaving a very attractive spud indeed, ready to be frozen for later use. Depending on what you iintend to use the potatoes for, they may be frozen in their skins, which is a breeze.

I developed this method of preparing potatoes for the future when an economy-sized bag of them threatened to sprout. To prevent the spuds from going bad, I boiled and peeled and froze them. They are perfect when turned into gratin Dauphinois, hash-browned and mashed potatoes.

©M-J de Mesterton 2015

Austerity Cookery

These boiled potatoes are ready to be doused with ice-water for easy peeling. When the spud-jackets are removed this way, there is no waste like there is when a peeler is used on raw potatoes. These particular potatoes have such delicate skins that, testing them for softness, I smashed one in a bowl, seasoned it with Himalayan salt and Malabar pepper: the little spud, jacket included, was delicious!

Elegant Blanched Potatoes

Potatoes, when cooled, may be packed in zippered bags or BPA-free food-storage boxes for freezing. In the freezer, there are a few spuds in a bag and the majority of today's produce in a BPA-free Ozeri Green Earth container, flanked by haricots verts and home-made bread, topped by stacked home-made pizza slices and yesterday's chocolate pie.

Pre-Boiled and Peeled Potatoes in the Freezer

Elegant Breakfast Radishes

Posted on May 1, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Home-Grown Radishes

Posted on April 30, 2015 at 10:25 AM
The Elegant Radish, Edible in its Entirety
The Elegant, Entirely Edible Radish, an Easy-to-Grow Vegetable
Salad with Radish Greens, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
Three ounces of radish greens contain on average 200mg (20% RDA) of calcium. They also provide 13% of the human RDA (recommended daily allotment) of iron, and  vitamins A (280% RDA) and C (173% RDA). All vegetable-greens are high in vitamin K. magnesium and other beneficial minerals.
This elegant salad is composed of radish greens, cucumbers, and home-roasted almonds. My dressing is a vinaigrette made with white wine vinegar, olive oil, dry mustard, salt, and a few drops of honey.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Radishes with Soft Butter, a Traditional Component of Breakfast in France: the Elegant Radish is a Liver-Tonic
Radishes, a Natural Hangover Remedy
Radishes, a Natural Hangover Helper

Health-Promoting Tubers and Vegetables

Posted on April 28, 2015 at 11:40 AM

Labels: Antioxidant Turmeric, Celery, Cucumber, Elegant Survival, Elegant Vegetables, Ginger, Ginger Root, Health-Benefits Turmeric, Red Onion, Turmeric Okinawa Diet, Vegetables for Good Health, Yams

ARTICLE at Natural News: Turmeric for Cancer-Prevention

M-J's Elegant Celery Soup

Posted on April 23, 2015 at 4:05 PM

When I put my original cream of celery soup recipe on the internet in 2006, it was the first and only one there. It is a simple process: sauté some finely chopped celery in butter with salt, pepper and herbes de Provence until just slightly browned and soft. Clear a little space in the bottom of the pan, where you will make a roux by melting a tablespoon of butter, adding a tablespoon of flour to it and lightly browning the mixture. Slowly incorporate a cup of milk or cream into the pan, continuing to stir everything together, When the soup is thick, add water and milk or cream as desired. Use your own judgment as to measuring ingredients. For a finer consistency to the celery in this soup, run a hand-blender in the pot, which will make it beautifully smooth.

©M-J de Mesterton 2015

Elegant Artichoke Casserole

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 2:45 PM

 Fresh, dry spinach and canned artichoke hearts are arranged in a buttered baking dish.
Softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, and a little milk to facilitate spreading, are whipped together into a topping.
The assembled artichoke-spinach casserole is baked in a medium-hot oven for 35 to 45 minutes.
©M-J de Mesterton 2015

M-J's Elegant Vegetable Dish

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 6:20 PM
Rich in probiotics (miso), medium-chain fatty acids (coconut oil), omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts), chlorophyll, vitamin K, manganese, fiber, folate and vitamin C (green beans), M-J's elegant vegetable dish is prepared in a wok and ready within eight minutes.

M-J's Green Beans with Walnuts

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 3:30 PM

M-J's Green Beans with Walnuts in Miso-Honey Glaze

Petite green beans are sautéed in red chile oil, partially-crushed walnuts are added and lightly-browned; then a teaspoon of miso, a half-teaspoon of honey are mixed with a third-cup of water and stirred into the pan or wok to coat the string-beans and nuts.

©Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2013





Categories: Elegant Cuisine, Elegant Entertaining, Elegant Survival



Elegant Green Smoothie

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Lentil Sprout Sandwich

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Home-Grown Lentil Sprouts on GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbread topped with Strained Yogurt

Savoy Serrano Salad

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Marinate finely-sliced Savoy cabbage overnight, in white vinegar and olive oil. Add pickled serrano peppers, cut into pieces. This simple salad is an elegant accompaniment to meats and traditional Mexican dishes. Variation: use lime juice instead of vinegar. ©M-J de Mesterton 2012

M-J's Elegant Spinach Salad

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 6:05 PM

M-J;s Spinach Salad features bacon, toasted walnuts and Parmesan cheese, in a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
©M-J de Mesterton 2012

I sauté the walnuts and bacon bits in olive oil, to which some balsamic vinegar and seasoning salt have been added. When this mixture is combined with fresh baby spinach, its warmth wilts the leaves to a pleasant degree. I then dress the elegant spinach salad with more vinegar and oil.
©M-J de Mesterton 2012

Elegant Bowl on Platter

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:25 AM
A Noritake antique bowl atop a California platter is an elegant serving presentation for crudites and dip. ©M-J de Mesterton, Elegant Decorating

M-J's Roast Beef Salad

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 5:40 PM
Lettuce, Sliced Roast Beef, Thinly Sliced Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, and Olive Oil
©M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Salad Dressing: Ranch Style

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM

For an elegant salad design, dress the lettuce first and then decorate with tomatoes and peppers (capsicums).

I make a tradional western ranch-style dressing with the following ingredients, and never from an over-priced packaged mix:



Sour Cream


Onion Powder

a dash or two of D.L. Jardine's Texas Five-Star Ranch Rub (or Lawry's Seasoning Salt)

A squeeze of lemon and a bit of freshly-ground green or white peppercorn

©M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Late-Summer Salad

Posted on August 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM
Grape Tomatoes, Home-Grown Italian-Style Parsley, Mozzarella Cheese, Olive Oil and White Wine Vinegar Make an Elegant Late-Summer Salad ©M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Home-Garden Radishes

Posted on July 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM
Home-grown radishes and their greens, ready to eat with soft butter or vinaigrette, look lovely on a plate.

Yam and Red Cabbage Salad for Health and Taste

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM
A refreshing way to eat health-promoting vegetables, this elegant cabbage and yam salad is also a nice thing to serve your friends: red cabbage is sliced as thinly as possible, and marinated for several hours in the vinaigrette of your choice, then mixed with yams that have been cut into match-sticks and cooked in water with a bit of honey until slightly soft. Recipe and Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Radishes with Soft Butter

Posted on April 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM
Radishes with Soft Butter, a French Breakfast Favourite

Konnyaku Stir-Fry

Posted on April 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM
Few calories and lots of taste go into this elegant stir-fry, made with celery, onion, ginger, coconut oil and shirataki noodles. ©M-J de Mesterton
Shirataki Noodle or Konnyaku are Stir-Fried with Vegetables
 A Japanese chile, soy sauce and peanut dressing will be just the thing to add a pleasant piquancy.