Eating the Essence Being.

Random thoughts about food floating out of my head into words.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Blueberry Tart



Blueberry Tart is one of my more successful attempts at baking. I ended up buying a pie tin with a removeable bottom so my tart would come out easily. The recipe worked out really well, the crust tasted like shortbread and I had too much blueberries. I stired in two cups instead of four, expecting to use the last two cups to garnish my tart. The tart was too full for me to add anything to it. Another thing, I learned was if you don't have a masher a fork is a decent subsitute. It takes much longer and the consistency is chunkier but it works.

Introducing the recipe for Blueberry Tart:

Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
3 tbs packed powdered sugar (confection sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
10 tbs butter (chilled, unsalted butter)

preheat oven to 350
blend flour, sugar, salt for 5 secondsadd butter using on/off pulse
blend butter until clumps formgather dough into ball
press dough over bottom and up sides of tart pan
pierce all over w/forkbake crust until golden (25 min.)cool completely

Filling:

3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs corn starchpinch of salt
2 tbs cold water
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp grated lemon peel
6 cups of blue berries

wisk, sugar, corn starch, and salt in a sauce pan to blend
gradually add 2 tbs of water and lemon jice, wisking until smooth
add butter and lemon peeladd 2 cups of blue berries and mash coarsely w/ masher
cook over medium heat until mixture thicken and boils, stirring occasionally
remove from heatfold in remaining 4 cups of berries
transfer filling to cool crust
refrigerate until all cold at least one hour (cover w/ foil)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream


For a co-worker's farewell party, I made a chocolate cake and added store bought vanilla ice cream. The cake was easy to make and delicious. It resembles a flourless chocolate cake but it isn't as dense. A bite of cake and a bite of ice cream mellows out the richness of the cake. I found the recipe on Chocolate & Zucchini.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Baby Shower Entree Madness

Singaporean Vegetable Curry

Pinapple Fried Rice

Turkey Scampi with Fettucini

Beef and Vegtable Stir Fry

These four dishes were made for a Baby Shower I co-hosted over the weekend. Each dish was designed to feed 6 - 8 people. We had about 20 people over and there was some leftovers. It helped that the guests snacked on buffalo wings, fresh fruit, pita and hummus. The Baby Shower was a success. Games were played, drinks were poured, food was eatten and presents were opened.

Here's my little burb about each dish:

Singaporean Vegetable Curry - I used pre-packaged dried Singaporean Curry Mix and added cabbage, red peppers, potatoes, and yellow squash. The dish turned out well with a bit of salt and a dash of sugar. It was at the right level of spicyness. I forgot the onions until much too late.

Pinapple Fried Rice - The key ingredent was day old rice that could feed eight people that was chilled and set aside. First, I partly cooked diced onion in a generous amount of olive oil then I added the rice in. When the rice was warm and soft, I added my shreded carrots and shredded red bell peppers. For taste, I poured 1/4 cup light soy sauce, two tablespoons of dried parsely and dried basil each, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt and sugar, three tablespoons of garlic powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes. Pinapple chunks and cashews were the last ingredients to be added. Approximately 3/4 cup of pinapple chunks and 3/4 cup of cashews.

Turkey Scampi with Fettucini - For this recipe, I followed the directions for Linguini with Shrimp Scampi from Food TV, except I used Fettucini because that was in my pantry and I subsituted turkey breast for shrimp. I marinaded the turkey in cooking sherry, salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons of garlic powder.

Beef and Vegtable Stir Fry - Must admit, I just tossed the ingredients together. My father cut, tenderized, and marinaded the beef for me. I cut the green onion, carrots, onions, and broccoli and added a bit of garlic and salt.

I've never cooked so much in my life. Creating four main dishes for a party of 20 people takes time, a food processor, a Dad that's a chef, and a really big pan, at least for me. Thank you Dad!

By the time I remember to take pictures, the food was almost gone. Therefore the pics aren't the greatest, but it was the best compliment yet. People liked the food! Yes!


Sunday, August 22, 2004

IMBB 7: You're Just the Cutest Little Dumpling!


Breakfast Dumpling Posted by Hello is my contribution to the 7th Edition of My Blog is Burning. The theme is "Your the cuttest little dumpling".

I've never made a dumpling before, all the dumplings I've read about have flour in them of some sorts. Since, I was short on time and didn't know how to make any dumplings, I made an Akins inspired dumpling for breakfast.

I made a scramble using mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions and wrapped it up in a deli sliced ham. I bunched up the ham and secured it in place with tooth picks and tied it together with a green onion. I was going to brown the ham on a skillet but the dumpling was too fragile to move. The picture above was my 5th attempt at getting the concoction to look like a dumpling. The filling is outside the dumpling.

Taste wise, the picture looks better than the dumpling. The ham was too salty and there wasn't enough egg inside the dumpling but if I cut myself a bit of ham and forked a bite of the scramble then it tasted good. The ham would have been better if I browned it on the skillet. There's my entry, a Flour-less Breakfast Dumpling.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Pasta Sauce.

Pasta Sauce can be comprised of almost anything.  I usually associate it with a tomato base.   In my quest to make the perfect pasta sauce, I have tried using can or bottled sauces, tomato paste, and fresh tomatoes.  Yet, my pasta sauce doesn't turn out quite right.  It's either bland or too liquidy.  Today, I chopped up fresh mushrooms, onion, zucchini, and carrots.  The vegetables were cooked with garlic in olive oil and finished with Merlot.  Next, I cooked the diced tomatoes until they wilted, then added parsley,  salt, chili pepper, and fresh basil.  Finally, I mixed in the vegetables.  The sauce topped cheese and spinach ravioli.

Either the pasta or the tomatoes produced water, but my sauce had too much water.  I drained the water from the cooked vegetables, before I cooked the tomatoes, and after I topped the pasta.  The taste was a bit bland.  I believed the chili pepper over powered other flavors.   

Back to the drawing board.  Is there a fool proof pasta recipe?  Can someone please share it?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Potstickers

Potstickers.  Gyoza.  Dumplings.   Whatever they are called, they are good.  The come in all shapes and sized.  Chinese potstickers are separated into Northern and Southern style.  Northern style has them shaped elongated with meat packed solidly together.  Southern style has them short and plump with a mix of pork and vegetables to leave the meat tender and moist.   My dad makes my favorite kind, the Southern style types.   He uses store bought wrappers then uses a rolling pin to thin them out.  His filling is a mix of pork, green onions, napa, large bak-choy, and eggs.  He seasons it with salt, pepper and a bit of sugar.  Once they are shaped he places them in a pan coated with oil and top with enough water so it covers the potstickers half way.  The water steams them and the oil makes the outside crisp. 

The hot potstickers are delicious eaten by themselves or dipped in the condiment of choice:  chili sauce, Worcester sauce, vinegar, vinegar/soy sauce/chili, or vinegar/soy sauce.

There is no picture because I ate them all before I remembered to take a snapshot.  :(

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Breakfast


Blueberry Muffins Posted by Hello are Mmm...good.  I love the smell of bread baking in the morning so much I woke up early to make muffins.   I used the recipe found in my Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook.

3 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup fresh or fozen blueberries
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1.  Preheat the oven to 425F.  Brush a 12-cup muffin pan with melted buter.  Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl, stir in the sugar and blueberries, and make a well.   Since I used fresh blueberries the muffins did not come out as sweet as the store bought ones.  I added a bit more brown sugar to make it a bit sweeter.   Also, I would sift the brown sugar next time because it came out in huges chunks that I had a hard time blending into the flower.

2.  Wisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together and add to the well in the dry ingredients.  Add the butter, and stir with a metal spoon until just combined.  Do not overmix- the mixture should be lumpy.  I used jumbo eggs because thats all I had, the muffins were light and fluffy.  I would not use eggs smaller than large sized.

3.  Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan, filling each cup to the top.  Though the recipe calls to bake for 30 minutes, mine were done in 20.  Bake until a skewer comes out clean when instered into the center comes out clean.

I enjoyed them with a cup of hot coffee with lots of milk and a bit of sugar.  A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.