February 28, 2005

Dumplings in onion soup

I heated up the rest of my veggie broth, added an onion, then made some dumplings and put them in. The flavor was a little off so I added some sri racha and that seemed to round it out enough. It was nothing fancy but it was filling.

Posted by chris at 10:59 PM

Ginger cookies

I made these with blackstrap instead of molasses, since I have blackstrap but not molasses, and they came out tasting too much of blackstrap. So they more "spicy blackstrap cookies" instead of "ginger cookies". I used an extraordinary amount of ginger in order to create a superspicy cookie, and it does tingle, but I guess the blackstrap still overwhelms it. Oh well!

Posted by chris at 01:00 AM

Macaroni and cheese

I made macaroni and cheese from scratch, based on The Joy Of Cooking's recipe. Eeeeek. 12oz cheese, 12oz evaporated milk, 2 eggs, some butter. This was deadly goopy. And perhaps, just perhaps, far too rich.

I used to be really into the nastiness of Stouffer's microwaveable mac & cheese, because it was goopy and nasty and somehow deeply appealing: This seems to be specific kind of mac and cheese they were aiming for (rather than the Kraft Dinner stuff). It was even more reminiscent after microwaving it the next day (it didn't really refrigerate well, and sort of glomped together into a big mass, but it was edible after microwaving).

I don't think I'm going to make this again!

Posted by chris at 12:48 AM

Pepper twists

These are little twists of bread, two threads braided, that could almost fit around your finger. They are almost like pretzels, except they are French, and they are filled with ground pepper, and have a big hit of pepper flavor. Hot-cha. They are bread #15, I think.

Posted by chris at 12:45 AM

February 25, 2005


Who knew that the secret ingredient is cream of tartar? Fascinating.

Posted by chris at 10:49 AM

February 23, 2005


#14? I made crackers. French style. They were OK. I dunno. They didn't hold cheese as well as I had hoped. The crackers I made last year were better.

Posted by chris at 11:20 PM

February 22, 2005

Tomato raita

I made this to go, more or less, with the chapatis, because we didn't really have any vegetables in the house, and there wasn't enough time to make a bean dish, etc. This came out much better than the chapatis (although they went pretty well together). Some chilis and brown mustard zinged up the tomato and yoghurt quite well.

Posted by chris at 11:58 PM


I made some chapatis. This was the first recipe I tried from the Indian cookbook, and they came out OK. I think I'm not toally familiar with what chapatis are supposed to be like. These tasted a bit undercooked. But they were OK. I think this is bread #13.

Posted by chris at 11:56 PM

February 21, 2005

Cumin through the rye bread

I wanted some rye bread and I didn't feel like spending a day making it. So I decided to try the speedy bread route.

Speedy bread is heretical and nonartisanal, but this is why we put quotation marks around the name of this blog. Speedy bread is when you forget about sponges and bigas and you just mix all the ingredients together, knead it, shape it, give it one rise, and throw it into the oven.

This will work. It will make bread. It will not be terribly interesting bread, because you're not giving the yeast time to work. The texture might not be ideal. But it will give you bread.

I decided on rye bread, and then I couldn't find any caraway seeds. We might be out. So I added cumin instead. I figured the stronger spice would mask the fact that the bread wasn't all that developed. And we like cumin in this house.

So the bread rose well enough. It took two-and-a-half hours from first mix to coming out of the oven. We ate half of it that night and enjoyed it. This seems reasonable. I am in favor of yummy and intriguing slowly-made bread, and I am in favor of sometimes having bread right away. So. This is good.

Posted by chris at 11:54 PM

Apple cranberry pie

Holy crapamoly. This pie came out of the oven beautiful, and I was very anxious about it, thinking it surely couldn't live up to its beautiful pieness. It's beautiful in the way a covered pie can be—the lovely bumpy top, the little slough around the nicely wavy trim, and in this case, a little circle cut out of the middle.

All night and all day it sat there, waiting to be cut into. And when it was finaly cut into, the apples, cranberries, and raisins (for there are also raisins in it, to take a bit of the edge off the tartness) looked great, glistening and tumbling atop one another. This looked like clarified mincemeat. "Hello," it said, "we're in a pie."

And then the taste. Even after all that beauty, I still worried about the taste. But it was ideal: Perfectly flaky crust that wasn't soggy at all, a noted tang to the cranberries and Granny Smiths, sweetness that modulated the tang perfectly without actually being noticeably sweet. It was the same trick as the full-on cranberry pie from a while back, where the tartness of the fruit was reduced so that it tasted as tart as you imagine it tastes in the first place.

This is not a very showy pie. It's just apples and cranberries, and although beautiful, those aren't entirely shocking ingredients. The all-cranberry pie, that was a bit shocking. The green tomato pie, entirely shocking. But this pie, this was a simple pie—not as overly familiar as a plain apple pie, but nothing that screamed "hey! hey! fancy pie here!"

I'm very pleased with this pie. It feels like I've earned my B.A. in Piemaking. I can now make a great pie. Sure, I still use a recipe, but I have great recipes, but the last few pies have shown me that I can make it work.

Posted by chris at 11:45 PM

Cauliflower in cheese sauce

Some steamed cauliflower in a cheddar cheese sauce. With mustard. Pretty nice! The leftover sauce, in the fridge, is not unlike Velveeta. Hm.

Posted by chris at 12:56 AM


This is bread #12, I think?

Either I made this bread wrong or it's just not my kind of bread. It was a bit dry and chewy. Actually it made a good sandwich bread but I still feel disappointed by it and I doubt I'll try to make it again. I was hoping for something as delightful as the pugliese, but it tasted flat and was mostly just chewy.

Posted by chris at 12:55 AM

February 17, 2005

Peanut butter tart

This turned out a bit complicated, but really delicious.

The crust of the tart is basically a peanut butter cookie dough. Peanut butter cookie doughs are not really meant to be rolled out into a tart. It doesn't cohere very well. But at the same time, you can just kinda shove it in to the tart pan, so that works out.

By the way, if you know where the bottom of my tart pan is, let me know. I wound up kludging it with the bottom of a springform pan. It worked ok, but still.

Anyway, then I made a peanut butter mousse to put on the prebaked cookie tart. I'd never made a mousse before, and actually this might have been the first time I used the whip beater on the KitchenAid. It went fairly well, for my first time.

Then I made a chocolate ganache to spread on the top. This also went OK. I didn't have the right kind fo chocolate for the recipe (which called for a mix of milk and bittersweet; I just had semisweet) but it worked out. This was also my first time using the food processor attachment to the blender, which worked out OK.

Now there are like a zillion dishes stacked up in the kitchen, but also a really rich tart in the fridge. Also my hands smelt of peanut butter all night, which was pretty great.

Posted by chris at 04:28 PM

February 16, 2005

Peanut butter cookies

I'm making a peanut butter tart, and the crust is made with peanut butter cookie dough. Since the recipe calls for 1/2 an egg, I decided to double the recipe and make some cookies as well.

They are pretty good. But peanut butter cookies often come out a bit dry, and these are no exception.

Posted by chris at 09:43 PM

February 14, 2005

In other news

In other news, I might be trying to cook some Indian food soon.

The thing is, is, launching into a new cuisine requires purchasing a ton of new stuff. I finally have some of every flour imaginable, and now I'm thinking about hunting down some odd beans and spices that I can't spell yet. So. We'll see.

Posted by chris at 12:18 AM

Sicilian vegetable pizza roll

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a bread. I'm going to not count it just yet, even though the recipe came from the Bread Bible, but if I need to include it to make my goal of 50, well, then I might.

This is, basically, a pizza dough rolled up with some broccoli and garlic and olives (which I substituted for the artichokes I didn't have). It would have been good to dip into tomato sauce, but actually it was pretty good on its own. Also it was something like 20 inches long. Maybe longer. It barely fit into the oven—it cooked on a diagonal.

But it was surprisingly easy to make and I ate, well, all but a few inches of it for lunch and then dinner.

Posted by chris at 12:11 AM

February 08, 2005

Shoo fly pie

Another shoo fly pie, but this time the molasses I used was blackstrap. This turned out to be perhaps too dark and earthy for the humble pie. It's a shame because the pie baked perfectly, and looked great. But, while hardly inedible, it's just too dark to be the molassesy dream that the previous pie was.

Posted by chris at 04:15 PM

February 07, 2005

Pasta e fagioli

I've had these bits of vegetables in the freezer for months, and I finally got around to trying to make a soup out of htem. The stock was, for me, the more exciting part of making this, and I'm glad to see that the "throw in a little of everything" works. Adding the pasta and beans to it was fine, although at the last minute I realized I didn't have the proper kind of beans (or the proper kind of pasta, really) but it was fine.

Posted by chris at 10:59 AM

Rye bread

#11. A more traditional rye bread, made without sauerkraut. Once again I nearly forget the salt, but manage to knead it in at the last moment (after I've already started to let it rise). It seems to have worked -- there is good flavor to the dough. I cannibalized the sauerrye to add a little "old bread" to the mix, which allegedly fills out the flavor. It doesn't seem to have done much this time around, but it's better than throwing it out.

Posted by chris at 10:56 AM

February 03, 2005

Flour tortillas

And this, yes, is bread #11. These were pretty easy to make but they came out a bit too flour tasting. If it's going to taste this floury then I'm going to add some whole wheat!

Posted by chris at 05:23 PM


This is bread #10. Pugliese is the bread featured on the cover of the Bread Bible:

And that is pretty much exactly what these breads looked like. Except they look really large on the cover, and in fact they're about the size of a Mac Mini:

This was a light and almost balloonish loaf, with a light but chewy crust. It was perfect for dipping into a little oil and vinegar; I ate a loaf for dinner last night.

Posted by chris at 03:29 PM