Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

After a multi-year break, we did Thanksgiving again this year.

Here's what we had:

  • Roasted Turkey: salted and buttered, started breast down at 250C for 30 minutes, flipped and finished at 180C; roasted on a rack over carrots, potato, celery root, onion and a bit of water
  • Gravy from heavily reduced roasting pan drippings + chicken stock. Thickened with potato starch
  • Mashed potatoes made in advance and then held at 65C in a ziploc bag in a water bath
  • Mashed sweet potatoes: potatoes started for 3 hours at 65C in the sous vide, then roasted for an hour, then peeled and cut into chunks. Finished in a pot with butter and salt. This prep worked well, and the sous vide step definitely makes a difference (we tested that) but the potatoes should have been roasted longer so that they cooked further at that stage; it took way to long to finish the potatoes in the pot.
  • Stuffing: ruchbrot, leek, mushroom, veggie stock, thyme, sage.
  • Roasted green beans
  • Apple-celery-quinoa salad (from "Plenty More")
  • Green salad
  • Roasted apple sauce: I've been making this lately starting with boskops and then adding chunks of pinova later. The boskops make a nice tart sauce while the pinovas remain somewhat firm and add a nice aromatic sweetness
  • Snacks:
    • Mixed olives with chili-garlic oil
    • Mixed olives with preserved lemons
    • Roasted almonds with salt and cumin
    • Honey-roasted pecans with salt and chipotle (these are one of my new favorites)
    • Dates with bacon
  • Desserts (our friends brought these):
    • Chocolate-pecan pie
    • Apple hand pies
    • Pumpkin pie
    • Chocolate mousse
Needless to say, no one went hungry. ;-)

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

kitchen follies: mayonnaise

Last night I made aioli. For whatever reason I decided to use the whisk attachment on the hand blender instead of using the minichop. I guess I didn't while have my brain fully engaged, because when it didn't seem like the emulsion was coming together I turned the motor speed up.

The result is probably best described as "aioli foam": it tastes fine but the texture is certainly odd.

Next time I will go back to the minichop. 

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The granola experiment

They changed the recipe of our normal breakfast cereal, so we decided to look for something new. For the heck of it, I gave making our own a shot. This is attempt one.

The basic idea and recipe and from Bittman, but I adapted it heavily, of course.

500g mixed rolled grains (the stuff we get is wheat, oats, barley, millet, and rye)
200g slivered almonds
75g sesame seeds
50g flax seeds
100g toasted soy flakes
Cinnamon, ginger, salt
150g honey

Mix the dry ingredients well. Heat the honey in the microwave a bit to lower its viscosity. Mix the honey into the the dry ingredients.
Spread on a baking sheet and bake at around 160C, stirring occasionally, until nicely toasted.

Let cool and then store in an airtight container.

This batch turned out really nicely and isn't all that much work. It'll probably become a regular thing.

First local strawberries of the year


Just in time too, this week we thawed the last of the frozen berries from last year.