kitchen_kink: (cat-tini)
So yesterday, I decided to make ice cream from this recipe by David Lebowitz. (He doesn't tend to fail me.) I chose, however, to sweeten my ice cream with honey rather than sugar.

Well, did you know that honey is acidic? To borrow a page from [ profile] sparkymonster, WHO KNEW

Turns out if you heat up good milk and good raw honey in a pan together, you will get MELTED HONEY AND CURDLED MILK.

I let the gross-looking mess sit there with the vanilla in it and steep anyway, because dude, 3/4 cup of local raw honey is expensive and I wanted to see if I could salvage it.

Turns out I was in luck. I did the custard Very Carefully and it actually sort of reconstituted, and when I strained it into the cream, most of the tiny solid bits stayed behind. I churned it this morning, and whoa, it's amazingly tasty. So, not a total fail. Still, I think next time I'll try this recipe, which was developed with honey in mind. (Pro tip: apparently you add the honey at the end. WHO KNEW)
kitchen_kink: (breadmonster)
One of the things that was remarkable about moving into our new place was making a new sourdough starter. We began with flour that had come from our three disparate houses, and that thing bubbled into an absolute sourdough monster in no time at all. Between that, the awesome oven we have, and still more trial and error, I've gotten pretty damn good at making beautiful, tasty white sourdough bread.

A whole grain bread, though, has eluded me for some time. I tried an all-rye recipe a few times, but the loaves were always, if not brick-like, at least somewhat too dense. 100% whole wheat loaves proved equally difficult, even with super-long overnight retards and proofing times, even with added fat. The bread would be dense, grainy, with very little spring if any, and would fall apart when you sliced it or handled it too much.

Finally this weekend I tried this recipe, being careful to watch especially the second video and learn how to properly handle rye flour. I changed a few things - I used white whole wheat flour in place of bread flour, omitted the seeds and the zest, and substituted maple syrup for molasses. I just wanted a tasty whole grain loaf without all the fancy stuff.

Not having a stone cloche baker, I decided to experiment with a technique I picked up from glancing over [ profile] meristem's gorgeous Tartine book: baking in a closed cast iron Dutch oven.

The results:

This bread is thick-crusted, with a delicious spongy crumb and a balanced flavor. I am so psyched to make it part of my regular repertoire.
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
Warm salads. How did I never think of this before?

I have trouble eating salads in the winter, because I want warm food. This makes getting enough vegetables on a regular basis more complicated - finding ways and time to prepare them.

At Scutra in Arlington - which, by the way highly, highly recommended - I had a salad from their specials menu that was served warm. Revelation! Suddenly salad is comfort food.

So I decided to try it at home. The basic idea is to take your dressing, and presumably whichever other ingredients you want warm, and heat them in a pan. When they're good and hot, throw in your greens and toss them really well and really quickly, before they wilt, and remove from heat. Voila - warm salad.

Today's involved half a mango (all crushed because overripe), a blob of salsa, and some sliced turkey in the pan. Threw in baby spinach, then turned it all into a bowl and topped it with walnuts, cheddar cheese, and crumbled blue corn chips.

kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
It turns out that it takes a long damn time to shell enough pistachios to make up a cup.
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
Hey all,

I know many of you work with wild sourdough, and I've started my own starter and am on my third attempted loaf.

I've been working off of this recipe - which is really more of a guideline - and I'm running into some problems. Mainly, the loaf is not rising much, even when I let it rise under heated conditions, or for a very long time. What does rise tends to spread out rather than puff up, and the dough, which initially feels almost too dense, becomes wet and sticky and hard to handle.

I'm about to put the third in the oven, and it's looking a little better than the first two, but it definitely spread out a lot. I put oil in the bowl this time so I'd be able to fish it out and hold it together more easily.

The bread that comes out has tasty crust and tends to be tasty all through, but the middle is usually bunched up and inedible.

Thoughts, bakers?
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
Where do I find almond paste in the GBA (Greater Boston Area)?
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
I just roasted a bunch of tomatoes, and plan to roast more tomorrow.

What should I use the discarded skins for? Infusing vodka? Olive oil? Other ideas?
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
What does it say that in FitDay's serach results on the word "strawberry," not only are fresh strawberries not the first thing to come up, but they aren't on the list at all in three pages of results about Kellogg's cereals and weird frozen pastries and ice creams and drink powders?

(Addendum: a search on "strawberries" produced fresh raw strawberries as the first hit. Possibly what it says is that they need to fix their freakin' search engine.)
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
I've been meaning to start an urban gardening project for forever, but have never actually done it (the garden at Crooked House was pretty much entirely [ profile] motive_nuance's project). I now live in a house that has a substantial back yard, and a deck to put containers on if the soil turns out not to be suitable.

So I ask thee, oh LJ:

1. What sorts of plants have you had the best luck with? Any particular tips for growing them well?

2. Any other tips for me as I'm starting out?? I'm completely clueless, here.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I slept. Slept and slept until about noon. Ohhhhh yay.

I tooled around the house, organizing things, then tooled around the neighborhood, looking for Halloween supplies. My housemates are busily organizing all the books in the house, which is awesome. I'm making fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream, with six freakin' egg yolks in it. I may die, but I'll die happy.

Not a hell of a lot going on today. But I'm liking keeping to my promise to write daily, just about the little things I'm doing in life.
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
From [ profile] roozle:

[ profile] redheadedmuse and I were brainstorming about how to help a beloved friend who is feeling the pinch financially more than most. Short of a fabulous job, the most helpful thing we thought we could give her was some cash.

So we'd like to help her out in a small way by hosting an on-line bake sale. If you're interested in baking something for this project, fill out the form we've created at Next week, we'll post up all the entries on the lj site we created,, and auction off the items through the blog. All the items will need to be available to be picked up at 110 Boston Ave. on or before Friday, July 24 at noon.

We're already going to have some delicious stuff by talented bakers, but more would be helpful. Fill out the online form by Friday, July 17 if you want to contribute. Even if you don't bake, you can help: spread the word and help us find people who want to bid on and eat tasty baked goods. Post here or email [[ profile] roozle] privately if you have questions.
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
Saute a handful of chopped onion in some olive oil. Add a handful of diced ham. Chop up some baby spinach and add that, cook until wilted. Break two eggs into the pan; muddle them around until mostly cooked. Add leftover rice and a quantity of soy sauce, stir.

kitchen_kink: (Default)
Me: *crrrrrackkk!!*
He: Wow. That was just amazing.
Me: It's always that spot, isn't it.
He: Not always, but frequently, yes.
Me: I wonder why that is.
He: Impure thoughts.


Talking about diet:
He: The best thing to do, really, is just give up all grains, entirely, and just eat foods in their whole forms. Try it, it makes an incredible difference.
She: The tough part is breakfast.
He: I like to take some smoked trout with some sliced egg, put it on a bed of Bibb lettuce, and drizzle a little of whatever dressing - and that's breakfast. So much better than having coffee and a croissant all the time.
Me: ...
He: On the other hand, what's the point of living?
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
Dear foodies on my friends list:

I made a batch of cheese out of some week-old raw milk, and now I have about 4 cups of whey.

What should I do with it?? The internets tell me that you can use whey to make ricotta, but not if it's been separated with an acid (like lemon juice or vinegar, which is what I used). Other camps talk of using it as a liquid in recipes, but I Have The Fear about ruining recipes. Can I put it in smoothies as a protein/mineral boost? Use it to ferment things? What?
kitchen_kink: (eggplant)
Dear Self-The-Cook,

It would behoove you to recall, in a semi-regular fashion, that when you add spice to food before you cook it, particularly if there is fat involved, said food will become hotter with cooking.

Sincerely yours,
kitchen_kink: (Default)
My sourdough starter, which had been smelling, well, like sourdough and going strong, now smells like something between beer and vinegar. Seems the yeast is overactive and a bunch of alcohol is coming through.

Is there anything I can do to recover it? Should I dump what's in there and start a new batch without washing the jar, or might the whole batch be problematic now?
kitchen_kink: (Default)
So I made some sourdough starter using wild yeast, which took a while, but I finally got it working. Last night and the night before, I set about to make my first loaf of bread with it, using the techniques seen in Sandor Ellix Katz's Wild Fermentation.

I probably rushed things a bit, because I'll be out of the house tonight and much of tomorrow and wanted to make sure it got baked and not just ruined. I think I didn't let it rise enough. The resultant loaf is quite dense and tasty, but has something of the texture of gluten-free breads I have known; not a lot of air in that bread, I'm afraid. I think perhaps I also didn't knead it long enough.

The good news is, though, that I now have clearly active sourdough starter, which I replenished after I used some, and which perked up again really fast. I've stuck it in the fridge, and will probably take it out again next week and try again, with a bit more patience.

In other food preservation news, I have some new good sauerkraut, and ten tins of mighty fine apple butter. :)

Now what happened to my food icon??
kitchen_kink: (Default)
While I'm still grateful for my [ profile] imlad, who often does do the dishes in the morning, on the morning I wrote that post it was actually [ profile] queen_of_wands who'd done it.

Gratitude for my housemate, who does all kinds of neat things in the kitchen when I'm not looking. Wait...that sounded dirtier than I meant...

But there are wreaths of drying herbs and flowers in my kitchen! And pickled green tomatoes, for which I should also thank [ profile] motive_nuance! And before we gobbled them all up, there were fresh figs.


Yay for housemate and almost-housemate. :)


Aug. 4th, 2008 11:04 pm
kitchen_kink: (Default)
The abundance of fresh and nutritious and amazing food to which I have access. Tonight's dinner involved grazing on When Pigs Fly sourdough bread, organic ham, raw cheddar cheese, lemon and garlic olives, farm share tatsoi, and tomatoes fresh from our garden. Served with organic, sulfite-free wine - not bad, not bad at all.

Batman Begins, the accompanying entertainment, also roundly failed to suck.


kitchen_kink: (Default)

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