Monday, February 28, 2011

today's lunch: stereotypically french potatoes!

 You know what's awkward? Trying to take a picture of your plate with a webcam that's built into your laptop because you can't find your actual camera. But even so, I think it came out pretty well!

Today I had baby red potatoes with caramelized onions, brie and bacon. Seasoned with Herbes de Provence, French grey sea salt, and cracked black pepper. It's 700 calories of awesome, and I'm totally okay with it being half my calorie intake for the day.

Make like so:
Put the potatoes to boil on med-low with sea salt.
Chop the bacon, then cook it slowly on pretty low heat to get all the fat out, until it's crispy and crumbly. Take it out of the pan.
Chop the onions small and cook them in the bacon fat with a pat of butter. Once they're a little clear and juicy, add a pinch of Herbes de Provence. Caramelize slowly for as long as it takes for the potatoes to cook. I like mine pretty soft and sweet.
Drain the cooked potatoes and add a pat of butter, more sea salt and cracked black pepper. Let that sit and absorb while you cut the brie into little rounds or slices.
Dump the taters onto a pretty plate and break them up a little with the back of a fork. Top with the onions, the brie and the bacon bits.
Enjoy deeply.

Monday, February 21, 2011

link: Wednesday Baking | Troubleshooting Yeast Bread

Wednesday Baking | Troubleshooting Yeast Bread

This is a super-useful page. The other day, I used the last of my flour to make a loaf of bread in the machine, and it turned out flat and hard, so I figured the yeast was dead. This one helped me figure out how to make the next loaf better.

I doubled the yeast, and left it in the warm-water-and-sugar for a while to wake up whichever ones weren't dead, and then made the next loaf with that slurry. It was more successful, edible as bread, though it was still heavy. So I need new yeast. I also need to lower the amount of sugar in the recipe-- it's too sweet for sandwiches. I'll try it with live yeast first, though. Maybe the yeast eat it all up before I do when they're working right?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

recipe: african stew

Last night, while I should have been revising my novel and cretiquing my partners' work, we took time off to make dinner with friends and play some mahjong with the set H brought back from China for us. I can only say that this is one of the most delicious soups I have ever had, and we have firm plans to make it again with different vegetables and different meats to see how it goes. We're thinking orange veggies, like butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, things like that would be good as a blended soup. We're thinking potatoes and carrots. We're thinking beef stew meat, left to cook for several hours, maybe in a crock pot.

We served this in handmade bread bowls (handmade by Publix, but still handmade), and it was perfect.

4 cups water
3 each chicken bouillon cubes
1/3 cup curry paste (or can be dry curry)
2 Tablespoons ground coriander, toasted
2 Tablespoons granulated garlic
4 cups coconut milk
¼ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 pounds beef/pork/chicken, large diced
2 cups mixed red and green peppers, diced
2 cups onions, diced
½ cup whole kernel corn, frozen
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons cornstarch (make slurry)
1. In kettle, heat water, chicken bouillon cubes, curry paste, ground coriander, and granulated garlic. Let boil and add in sugar and coconut milk.
2. Add in the soy sauce and the diced meat. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add vegetables, spices, and cook until tender.
4. Bring to a boil and add cornstarch slurry slowly to the mixture and whisk until thickened.