It turns out life sometimes gets you busy, and though I haven’t made time recently to try making too much in the way of experimental or atypical delicious things, I thought I’d share an array of some ordinary or partially helpful things I’ve done in the kitchen.
Just last weekend I went in for some crème brulée. Now, this I’ve done a number of times, but I think this was the first time I did all the burning myself. And, being a pyro, and burning sugar surrounded by a group of other pyros, it was pretty fun indeed.
From memory, I believe I put in:
1/4 cup granulated sugar (the recipe calls for extra fine, but c’est la vie) whipped (possibly more than necessary, but hey, whisking is fun!) with
6 egg yolks till much lighter than before. (They also increase in volume a bit more than I would expect, which is neat. And fall into a yolk and foamy top when left on their own too long doing other things. Neither effect is particularly important, but nifty to see.) Next, warm till just scalded
1 tsp. vanilla and
2 1/2 cups cream of a 2 c. cream, 1 c. heavy whipping cream mixture or whatever mixture you happen to like of some sorts of cream. Temper the egg/sugar mixture so you don’t get cooked strands of yolk by whisking a couple tablespoons at a time at first of the cream into it to warm the yolks gradually. Then pour the cream in a stream into the now custard mixture while whisking. Pour into ramekins which stand in warm water (take a baking pan, put empty ramekins in it, fill with warmed water to a point where it won’t slosh over the side of the ramekins when moved). Bake 25-35 minutes at 350F till they only wiggle a little but before the bottom gets foamy and eggy. I had to borrow some ramekins because I don’t have enough on my own. I do really appreciate my helpful and generous foodie friends with such useful things! Mm, this makes me recall the cuisinart zesters, and the giant industrial key lime squashers I’ve borrowed in the past.
Then there’s my sometimes activity of making my own yogurt. Not so hard, especially since I found my brother’s old yogurt maker to keep the tins at a constant 90F indefinitely. To make yogurt, in brief:
Scald milk (185F), cool to 120F, temper yogurt & mix, keep at 90-110F till done.
Or in not so brief: Take as much milk as you want (will get a mass/volume equivalent of yogurt). Bring to 185F or just under a simmer to kill any germs that might hurt you or out compete the yogurt. Cool milk in water bath (for instance: a metal bowl inside a larger metal bowl with changing cool water, or water and ice) or just by leaving it out till it is 120F (but not below 90F). Put a big spoonful, or a cup of, or however much you like of yogurt in a small bowl (needs active cultures). Gradually mix in a spoon of warm milk. Then another, till you’re sure that the yogurt will pour without lumping into the milk. Mix all together, then store at 90-110F several hours to several days depending on how sour you like it and how hot your yogurt stays. Taste to be sure.
How much you like the milk you started out with greatly affects how much you’ll like the yogurt. Also, if you add sugary flavored yogurt it’ll affect the taste. If you strain it through a kerchief or cheesecloth lined strainer in the fridge you’ll get greek style thick yogurt (try with honey!). That’s got a real bite and is very tasty.
Sort of on topic, some small cups of Brown Cow yogurt happened to be on sale recently, and though I normally get large cartons of plain stonyfield farm when I’m not making my own, I thought I’d go for it, and it’s really a lot more delicious than I expected. Maple flavored all the way. And the cream that floats on top is really divine. (:
Risotto, and some other delicious things
And then last month or so I played sous-chef and made a delicious mushroom cheese risotto while some yummy apples were being boiled away for apple sauce (and raspberry-cardamon apple sauce). I don’t remember the details there, but saute things you want to saute (like onions, and what not), cook rice on low adding broth to cover when needed, stirring regularly, add fresh Parmesan at the very end. Mixed with some other cheese, but I’ve forgotten what. Build into a delicious looking form, sprinkle with a strong green like spinach, or anything else delicious that adds color, and with flecks of fresh Parmesan. Ah, and that’s banana bread.
Going out to eat is sometimes fun too…
Then some sushi in Knoxville, TN was had. Not impressed with anything they cooked (shrimp, seared tuna) but all the raw things were very tasty, and there was an interesting sort of sweet coconut flavored number that was unusual and delicious. And the sashimi on seaweed salad was also delicious, but I was pretty full by the time it arrived. (all these are cell phone photos today, so, all considering, I suppose you can see them pretty well!)
And I tried some interesting smoothies in Indiana I may try and simulate… if you’d like the general idea:
I’m told you shouldn’t add too much spinach and it’ll all work out (odd as it sounds). It was very delicious when I tried them, so it must work in some combination.
Well, such is the end of a particularly rambling and still delicious post, with more hope for future eatings and directions on more delicious things. I think I might have to make some more coconut rice something soon.