Category Archives: Cooking

Why hello there

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You’d think I’d forgotten my blog with how long I’ve been away (other than that PSA). Sorry! Just was busy and then drained and then busy.

I ended up not finishing the Tour. With everything going on I got rather burned out, so I have some yarn, and lots waiting to be processed.

But lately I’ve been feeling more human, so here’s a generally update on what’s been happening. Mostly food, actually! Love food.

It all started when I sprung and bought myself a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I got it for fairly cheap (especially compared to the retail price), and I adore it already. Oodles. (It may or may not have to do with being able to make my favourite royal icing at any time without needing to set aside 30 minutes to hand whip egg whites).

Next thing you know, this happened:

Why yes, that is four different types of butter. From left to right–my favourite Irish butter, butter from a local creamery, some organic butter I bought, and a European style butter. Mmmm. Just before this shot I was making croissants(!) so that’s why there’s not as much as there could be.

Speaking of croissants, I’m very pleased that you can take something sludgy like this:

and a bit of flattened and beaten butter like this:

and get something quite as glorious as this:

These croissants came out much better than my last batch! So. Much. Better. They’re fabulous.

Next time I’m going to aim to get even fluffier insides, but this ain’t half bad:

Also made a batch of cookies because why not:

Not pictured are the already eaten chocolate cake and strawberry buckle that I made over the past two weeks.

I’ve actually been knitting too, though just on one project (which I want done by Halloween). The heat laying off a bit here has definitely helped, since it’s (gasp) a blanket (and we all know I don’t knit blankets so shut up).

No, it’s not grey. I have no idea why it photographed grey. I know it must hate me since it did, but that’s about par for course for this particular blanket/yarn, so no big deal. A slightly fuzzy detail of the ring I’m on now:

And another overall shot:

This thing is going to be massive. I’ve only just started ball 3, and I’ve still got a ways to go. Scary, I might get devoured by it. Welp. You’ll know where to find me!

And that’s about all I’ve got for you this evening. Keep knitting, keep cooking, and have fun!

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Market market market

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It feels like all I post is market stuff.

This is because I keep forgetting to take photos of the gloves and stuff I’ve finished.

This week’s loot:

Why yes, those ARE gouda cheese curds you see at the front. So glad you asked. Also bok choi, radishes, eggs (holy shit none broke on the bike home!), 4 lamb sirloins, jalapeno plant, sweet banana pepper plant, kohlrabi, varenyky (I FOUND A UKRAINIAN STALL), and potato and cheese pirogi (I FOUND A UKRAINIAN STALL). Not pictured is the Indian lemonade (made with rosewater it’s so good guys) and pulled bbq chicken from the bbq guys I got bbq sauce from last time. I ate them both. Stuffed. In. My. Face. Or drank, as the case may be.

That, my friends, is my lone ripe strawberry. I’m letting the backside also redden up a little and then I’m going to eat my first HOMEGROWN strawberry of the season. ๐Ÿ˜€

And, because you haven’t seen these guys in a while:

Neville (the brown hooded one) and Winston (the white one) wanted to know what mummy had brought home. ๐Ÿ™‚ Winston still has the sniffles but he’s sounding slightly better. Stewart was having none of it and stayed asleep in his hut. Well, he poked his head out, but I wasn’t really surprised that he had little interest in me dragging stuff in.

Maybe he’ll be interested in the hardboiled egg I give them later.

I have two projects to show you guys, just waiting on Stephen to visit so I can take decent pictures of the man hands sized projects. And get a zipper. So that’s three projects. How’re you?

Bread Challenge–No Recipe Bread

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So last week on Sunday I came across a Cook or Die Challenge in the goons with spoons forum of SA. As I had not made a loaf in a while and it seemed like a fun idea, I ran with it. For your pleasure, I happened to also know the general gist of how I made it and the ratios, so you too can eat delicious bread!

The whole idea of the challenge was to make a yeast-risen bread without a recipe. You could do anything you wanted, as long as no recipe and it was yeast risen.

I present the Mushroom Pepperjack Delicious Bread*

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese
  • 2-3 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 4-5 large white button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c of flour premixed with wheat gluten, plus some extra for kneading
  • 1 egg for washing

Tools:

  • clean counter for kneading
  • 1 bread loaf pan
  • bowl for mixing in
  • cup to proof yeast in if needed

Recipe! (which I totally didn’t have at the time, but can give you ๐Ÿ˜› )

  1. Combine yeast, salt, sugar, and water, stir thoroughly to dissolve. Set aside.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour premixed with wheat gluten, pepperjack, mushrooms, and paprika thoroughly.
  3. Add proofed yeast mix into the bowl and stir. If needed, add more flour, until you get a dough blob.
  4. Throw your dough blob on a well flour counter and knead. Knead until you get a pretty thing, like this: Try to add as little flour as possible, mine was a bit tacky still.
  5. Clean your mixing bowl, oil it, and put the dough in. Cover with either plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise for 1-2 hours, till doubled.
  6. Once dough has risen, gently turn out onto counter, and press flat with hand. Shape into a loaf shape and put in a lightly floured bread pan. Slash across the top with a sharp knife 3 times, then cover and let rise for another 1-2 hours Like so.
  7. Preheat your oven to 425F/218 C.
  8. Once everything is ready, if desired, brush the top of the loaf with an egg wash (1 egg + 2 Tbsp water). Put in oven for about 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature should be roughly 200F/93C when it is done, and it will look delicious.
  9. Turn onto cooling rack and allow to cool for about 15-30 minutes before eating.

So delicious! The challenge was really quite good for me, it’s given me a lot of courage in trying to make my own breads. This one is really the perfect crumb for what I like in my bread, so I’m quite happy.

 

——

*the name might need some work

Pasta Brooke Style

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So I got in a real food mood tonight, so thought I’d show off the basics (and an example) of a Brooke Style pasta.

The gist:
pick some veggies
pick a noodle
get your butter out

Friendly kitchen dinosaur to watch the process is totally optional:

I usually use a wine of some sort to blend in, and also a bit more oil when I don’t want to plow through my butter reserves. (Did I say this recipe is low fat? Ops.)

I start by boiling my noodles. If I’m doing a thick noodle, like linguine, I go ahead and dunk it and let it cook about 4-5 minutes before I start the veggies. If I’m doing cappelini (super thin noodles), I just get the water boiling. Those cook in literally the time it takes you to put it in the water.

In a different pan, you’re going to heat up your butter/oil. This should be pretty high temp, you’re basically sauteeing the veggies. Dump them all in and sautee.

Check your noodles while this is going on. If they get to al dente you want to go ahead and turn the heat off so they don’t cook too much farther. Meanwhile, once the veggies are mostly cooked out (onions caramalized if using, mushrooms lost most liquid), add your wine/stock/spices.

(This $5 marsala is surprisingly delicious)

Then, before all the liquid cooks off, toss in your butta.

You now have a kind of liquidy buttery soup with your veggies. Good. Now, before they get too cooked off again, grab the noodles and just dump them in the pan. All of them. (This is not a recipe for more than 2 people without huge pans) The pasta water is gonna help sticky the sauce and everyone is gonna soak in everyone else.

Stir/swish generously, then remove from heat before anyone starts burning. Usually this step takes 1-2 mins tops.

Plate, salt, and pepper:

(that toast is toast covered in homemade ricotta, balsamic vinegar, Himelayan mineral salt, and pepper. oh. em. gee.)

And that, my friends, is how you make Brooke style pasta.

The little things

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Really it is the little things that being one delight.

Like my immature triumph over some fancy machine beater lady who said not to bother even trying to beat egg whites to stiffness if by hand and you have no copper bowl.

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Take that lady. Take THAT.

Rather satisfying and incredibly pretty. (no that wasn’t quite done. I finished getting them stiff after I added the sugar. This was making royal icing for gingerbread cookies)

Christmas Dinner + Recipes for All

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I know I promised this post way ages ago, but I’ve only got around to it. This is going to be a whammy of a post, including all sorts of goodies. This was the first time I’ve ever made a rack of lamb, and I’ve got to say–it’s good. It’s good eats. If you like lamb for the reasons I do (the slightly sweet fat, the tenderness of meat, how juicy it is) you are going to love rack of lamb.

I’ve also included the recipes for what I ate with it, as best I recall them, because everyone likes food.

Have a beauty shot of the lamb though:

(and that’s after it rested for 10 minutes)

That photo came out super yellow, which is a shame, because I didn’t realize it till just now. Should know to take tons more pictures. Alas.

And the whole meal:

No, I can’t wait till green things are in season again. Eating in season is boring on the colour palette, that’s for sure! I really like how I laid the lamb out in this shot though.

Anyway, time for the two recipes you’re here for: one for lamb, one for the distinctly brown onion-mushroom marsala (I assume you know how to make potato sticks fried)

Roast Rack of Lamb

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • ground mustard
  • majoram
  • rosemary
  • salt & black pepper
  • thyme
  • honey

Tools

  • 12″ cast iron skillet or similiar oven friendly pan
  • foil
  • tongs
  • oven/stove

Do ahead:

  1. Between 1 – 3 days before you are going to be preparing the lamb, rub it down in the majoram, rosemary, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. Be generous. Wrap in butcher’s paper or wax paper and store in fridge.

Cooking

  1. Make sure the lamb is room temperature. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. ย Heat pan over medium with some oil in (I use grape seed). Brown the lamb on both sides (roughly 1 -2 mins a side). Set aside on a cutting board/platter.
  3. Wrap the exposed bone in foil.ย  With bones down, cover the ‘top’ of the lamb in honey. Set in skillet bones down.
  4. Put in oven, and roast for 12-18 mins depending on taste. I cook mine to 14 for the slight pink in center.
  5. Rest on a platter or rack for 5-10 mins.
  6. Cut between the bones and arrange for eating.

 

Super Mushroom & Onion Marsala

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of mushrooms
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 medium onion
  • Marsala dessert wine
  • 4 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/2-1 cup chicken, lamb, or veggie stock

Tools

  • Nonstick pan, 12″
  • Knife

Cooking

  1. Slice the onions and mushrooms thinly. Preheat the pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Warm some oil/1 Tbsp of butter in pan. Saute mushrooms and onions till most liquid cooked off.
  3. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of marsala wine, and allow to cook down till most liquid gone again.
  4. Add stock. Stir and bring to simmer.
  5. Add 3Tbps of butter, until melted and mixture creamy. Cook down so it is thicker.
  6. Top with salt and eat!

Voila! Hope at least one of these appeals to you and happy eating.