Filipina American food enthusiast with a taste for life

YumSugar docs two brunches at TK's ad hoc

Susannah (aka YumSugar) documents her two favorite brunches at Thomas Keller’s ad hoc in a photo slideshow. You might recognize the first meal from my post here. Thanks for the shoutout, Sus! We’ve come a long way from our dorm-room experiments of cottage cheese, canned tuna, and flaming hot cheetos.

Potato-Leek Soup

Last month, I participated in a potluck night that brought together many loves - soup, community, and Thomas Keller. My contribution? Potato-leek soup, inspired by the abundance of leeks at the Farmer’s Market in the fall. The recipe? The Bouchon cookbook that doesn’t get enough love in this graduate student’s home.

Now, I love the way that potlucks bring people together around food, and I love to cook for people. But I also have to admit that my anxious-neurotic tendencies make it a somewhat stressful endeavor - so much so that I ended up making this potato-leek soup not once or twice, but three times! First time was a test run met with much success (pictured below). The second time was supposed to be for the main event, but then I left the soup unattended and scorched the cream in the soup.  I just couldn’t deal with the brown tinged product (and let’s face it, I have a food blog…people are going to have expectations).  So, I prepped a third batch (including a whole new batch the vegetable stock) that I cooked right before the event. Really, it’s not a difficult soup to make, but even with proper planning and prep, it is a multi-step process. Boy, did I learn from the experience.

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Thomas Keller can come over and whip my potatoes any time.

"You see why Keller loves this so much. It all matters to him — the smells, the music, the storytelling, the flavors. And you understand that measurements — while important for a cook like me — are training wheels. "If it calls for a quarter cup of chopped parsley, do you really need to measure?" he says. "Does it matter if it’s an eighth of a cup?" After that, it becomes impossible to do something wrong. The way everything tastes will be the way it was supposed to taste." (via Esquire.com)
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