Monday, September 24, 2007

This weekend's exploits

1. corn tart. leftover corn (3 cobs); 1/2 c grated colby-jack; 2 eggs beaten; 1 c (less?) buttermilk; 1 c diced potatoes, sauteed; 1/2 c onions, sauteed; ancho and chipotle chili powder (small amount); oregano; cumin; basic pie crust plus ancho powder. Prepared and chilled crust, mixed other ingredients and poured in. Baked 350 30-35 mins. Good flavor, but textural issues for me (C liked as is) - too much corn/solids for the egg base, I think. Also gummy crust suggests prebaking would help.

2. red cabbage slaw. sliced red cabbage, 3 c?; 1 sliced granny smith apple; 1/2 c dried cranberries; 3 T sugar; 2-3 T each of rice vinegar and white wine vinegar; salt, pepper. prepare dressing first, dissolve sugar fully. Add fruit/veg, stir well. If this is to sit for any amount of time, it will turn everything fuschia, which is a little weird on the cabbage but really irritating with the apples, at least if you're doing some sort of fancy thing.

3. wrote down recipe for low fat cheese cake from America's Test Kitchen. We'll see.

4. biscuits last week during the week - started at 7:30, ate at 8am. Didn't realize there was time for that in the a.m., but then remembered Grandma's house ALWAYS had biscuits that she must've whipped up at 3:30 in the a.m., so 7:30 is no big deal.

5. I love Roti Grill in Plano. Newest favorite is Punjabi pakora (kadhi?) - vegetable dumplings in yellow yogurt sauce - tangy and delicious. Almost as well-liked by C as the malai kofta. The gulab jamuns were extra good yesterday as well - thinner sauce with more flavor? not sure. but so good.

Monday, September 17, 2007

No pictures equals no posts. I've been remiss in photographing my cooking exploits in recent months, and more remiss in posting. I've made a few good things, and forgotten more, I bet. The thing is, having taken up knitting, I choose to spend less time cooking and more time knitting! I have put some notes on recent dishes below, and will post more some other time as a reminder to myself (the intended nature of this whole blog) of what dishes we've made and enjoyed.

  • 101cookbooks whole wheat mexican wedding cookies, only with almond meal rather than pecan, and with 1.5T pomegranate molasses included for flavor, and oats instead of oat flour, and a bit of extra flour b/c they seemed rather wet (due to same lack of oat flour). Good, but loads of butter. Can this be reduced? Also, let them cool on the pan, b/c otherwise they fragment horribly.
  • Spinach-parmesan-chive souffle - not a winner in Husbandville, though I thought it was OK. A bit...tangy? Like the thing about some swiss cheese that makes it nasty instead of good? A bit of that in this souffle. And it fell, lots. Perhaps they just do that. I thought it was good, but too much work for the lack of spousal interest.
  • Pierogies made with won ton wrappers. Just don't think this will work next time, OK self?
  • Sour cream yellow cake and sour cream chocolate frosting. A big hit. Rich cake, great tangy icing. I chilled it and should've let it warm up before serving (not least b/c it was VERY difficult to cut). Delicious. The frosting - so fun, just a ton of chocolate, melted, with a bunch of sour cream and a tiny bit vanilla. How easy and neat a solution!
  • Strawberry cupcakes - interesting recipe, called for yogurt (like, Yoplait pre-packaged sweetened flavored) in order to low-fattize the recipe. Fresh strawberries. The strawberry flavor was good. I blew it on the icing though (in my opinion, though eaters liked it OK). I tried to take frozen fruit, grind it up in blender with butter, sugar, as one would normally go about making buttercream. I kept adding powdered sugar until I got the texture I wanted, but then it tasted TERRIBLE like powdered sugar more than any other thing (for instance the FRUIT). I added some frozen raspberries to bring the flavor back (as I was out of strawberries) and that punched up the flavor and color to be very pink. It was good, but too glazey, not enough fluff. Needs improvement.
  • Did I post about that quince cake? I got quinces when visiting Philadelphia, and brought them home in my suitcase. The cake - loads of work, results were off. Too buttery/nutty, not enough flour perhaps. An oily (but sweet and odd and fruity) cake, needs refinement, but probably not worth the time because quince is not available, and poaching them took hours. Blah! British-people food! (you can tell b/c they describe it as something to eat with Tea).
  • Couscous with shrimp and vegetables, only it became thai-inspired at some point. Fish sauce, soy sauce, white wine, rice vinegar, canned diced tomatoes, various veggies, fresh basil at the end, and there it is - a huge pot of something the husband doesn't like! How will I eat all this freaking couscous/soup mess? I'm trying my best.
  • At C's mom's house when we visited not long ago - roasted potatoes (new potatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, high heat, one hour, stir every 10-15 (I should've done, and didn't, so they stuck a bit)), strawberry-rhubarb pie, boiled shrimp. I am a late comer to this train, I know, but boiling the shrimp with store-brand non-cayenne-ized crab boil makes them taste great! Nothing wrong with plain shrimp, but this makes them seem finished, I guess. The pie - pretty good! Frozen fruit, corn starch, sugar, pie crust, bake, etc. etc. For 1 lb. rhubarb Joy of Cooking recommended 1c sugar, but reduce that if using strawberries, so we went for 3/4 c? for 1 lb rhubarb and 1 lb strawberries. A good pie.
  • Wheat pancakes - probably 101cookbooks-inspired. Mixed up light wheaty pancakes, very tender, and made fruit compote of frozen peaches and frozen blueberries plus a little sugar, a little pomegranate molasses. Nice and easy, fruity, warm, good. Husband not 100% a fan - more like 70% I think. Is it the warm fruit? Not sure.