Tag Archives: cooking

Great flour explosion of 2019

Ordering online from Costco the other day (online meaning ordering for delivery the next day!), I decided for the 25-pound bag of all-purpose flour.

“I’ll save quite a bit of money,” I thought.

And so arrives the 25-pound bag. And it’s big.

“I’ll do a lot of baking,” I thought.

And so arrives Saturday week later. I’m in the kitchen after sundown, a cup of Earl Grey on the table, and making decisions about what to bake this weekend.

Bread, of course. Specifically peasant bread, my usual early-Sunday-before-church activity. Simple. Relatively fast. Foolproof. And done before I’m out the door to sing God’s praises.

Sunday evening, most likely sourdough, to be baked on Monday or Tuesday morning.

And Saturday evening? Cardamom buns, inspired by Henry on the Great British Baking Show.

All is well. Mise en place is set. And that 25-pound bag of flour is sitting on a bar-height kitchen stool.

I’m mixing away when I hear the bag start to slip. Before I could drop the ingredients in my hands, the bag is on the floor. As is at least two pounds of all-purpose flour.

I couldn’t bear to take a photo; the housekeeper was just here three days ago.

But it looked something like this:

As I write, the dough is on the first proof, and the kitchen is now clean again. Wall to wall. With broom and vacuum and towels and glass cleaner. I could lick this floor and it would be cleaner than my stovetop.

Let’s hope the cardamom buns turn out well.

Here ends the tale of the Great Flour Explosion of 2019.

Passionfruit curd

Labor Day.  I invite my Webster University voice students over for some Sunday finest home cookin’ — slow-cooked brisket, cheesy potatoes, cheesy corn, green beans, pie.

And passionfruit juice!

I had some passionfruit juice concentrate left over, so I decided this last weekend to make passionfruit curd.

Now anyone who knows me well knows that passionfruit, mango, and pineapple are three of my favorite fruits.  I have loved passionfruit (maracuja, in Portuguese) ever since my first trip to Brazil in 1994.  And on my weeks-long trip in 2001, I couldn’t get enough.

So I searched out a recipe, and used seven egg yolks, 10 tablespoons of butter, a cup of sugar, and a half cup of the passionfruit concentrate.

The result was spectacular.

I made crepes Sunday morning, since I was hosting a guest for brunch, and served with passionfruit curd.  And mango and pineapple on the side.

Heaven. Sheer heaven.

The recipe: https://www.garlicandzest.com/sweet-tart-passion-fruit-curd/

Next time, passionfruit tarts . . . . .

Here’s the Wednesday-morning breakfast plate:

Kung Pao chicken

Cooks Illustrated recently sent me a recipe for Kung Pao chicken for two.

I had all the ingredients except for the peppers, which I easily found at Global Foods in Kirkwood (about which city I blogged last week).

So on Friday, I whipped up a terrifically tasty and quite (strongly? powerfully? almost-overwhelmingly?) spicy dish of Kung Pao chicken. This was SO good!!

I also made, for the first time, rice in the insta-pot cooker, rather than on the stovetop. I shall never make stovetop rice again. This was foolproof.

I’ll get two more meals out of this, so it’s Kung Pao chicken for three!

This week’s menu

Back the menu-making for a couple of weeks before traveling again . . . .

Sunday, 9 June (sourdough day)
Homemade buttermilk biscuits with homemade jam and marmalade
I’m craving Tex-Mex for lunch
Chicken in a white wine/lemon sauce, couscous, salad

Monday, 10 June (make a vanilla cream pie)
Bacon and eggs and fresh sourdough toast
Ham salad and fruit
Dinner with my sister Beth

Tuesday, 11 June
Bacon and eggs and toast, fruit
Lunch meeting at the office
Brisket, Dauphinoise potatoes, salad

Wednesday, 12 June
Bacon and eggs, fruit
Ham on sourdough toast, fruit, pie
Brisket and such

Thursday, 13 June
Sourdough French toast, fruit
Leftover chicken, pie
Brisket, beans, and a cooked apple

Friday, 14 June
Sourdough French toast and bacon, fruit
Lunch on the run
Steak, salad, and pie

Saturday, 15 June
Sausage roll and eggs, fruit
Lunch with a former student at Southwest Diner
Brisket, beans, salad

Grocery list:

  • Brisket
  • Lard
  • Potatoes for fries
  • Apple
  • Chicken
  • Yogurt
  • Tonic water

Smoke

A couple of weeks ago, the sticky buns in the oven decided to grow larger than expected, and all sorts of brown sugar and butter slopped over onto the floor of the oven. I forgot to clean it. This is what happened when I turned on the oven this morning.

So out came the exhaust fan, and off went the furnace, and the house spent an hour venting. After I took the batteries out of the noisy fire alarms.

T.H.I.S.

I just finished two bowls of this incredible chicken and lentils. The result is SO damn good.

This may be one of the best things I’ve made at home in the past few months. And all I did was follow the recipe (using only chicken thighs, since they were the cheapest). I do think that next time I will skin them first. Otherwise, perfection!

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/01/quick-and-easy-pressure-cooker-chicken-lentil-bacon-stew-recipe.html

Now to teach four hours of voice lessons!