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eG Foodblog: pastameshugana (2011) - Looking for an Oasis in a Culinar

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#31 pastameshugana

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:06 PM

Well, headed off to bed, so I thought I'd share a meal that we had on the road last week.

On our way to Lubbock, TX (the 'city' in these parts), we stopped in Seminole, TX to eat. I was really craving the 'Super Pollo', which has a 12 foot chicken smoker out front, but alas, they were closed for the holiday (didn't anyone tell them holidays are for people, not restaurants?!).

Anyhoo....

We ended up at a little place called Daily Burgers:
DSC02119.JPG
DSC02118.JPG
...which as you can see by the window signs, has quite a variety of dishes.

I ordered corn dogs for the little people, which I was informed were 'hand made', which I deciphered as 'hand battered', and it's the first time in my life I've been impressed by a corn dog:
DSC02123.JPG

Is that thing beautiful, or what? The batter was so rich and buttery, and it was a quality dog inside to boot. As they would say in Bangalore: Pukka! (Which I am informed means 'of high quality or reputation' - If, in fact, I've been translation-bombed and it actually means your father smelt of elderberry, then my sincerest apologies (and there go the parentheses again)).

Then a green chili burger with everything for Mrs. Meshugana:
DSC02125.JPG

Which was wonderful except for the meat being too small for the bun.

And when I asked the employee what they were famous for, she recommended the home made Pirogies, stuffed with home made cottage cheese and grilled:
DSC02128.JPG
DSC02129.JPG

I was very surprised by these, and enjoyed them enough that I would make the 30 minute drive for them alone (and cheap gas in Texas). They were served with a little piece of ham and some sort of gravy that tasted a bit like a thin, milky cheese sauce. Who knows what it was, but it was very tasty.

Sweet Dreams! (if you're in the Western Hemisphere), Good Morning! (to the Eastern) - be back in a few hours!
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#32 Pierogi

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:36 PM

And when I asked the employee what they were famous for, she recommended the home made Pirogies, stuffed with home made cottage cheese and grilled:
DSC02128.JPG
DSC02129.JPG

I was very surprised by these, and enjoyed them enough that I would make the 30 minute drive for them alone (and cheap gas in Texas). They were served with a little piece of ham and some sort of gravy that tasted a bit like a thin, milky cheese sauce. Who knows what it was, but it was very tasty.

Sweet Dreams! (if you're in the Western Hemisphere), Good Morning! (to the Eastern) - be back in a few hours!

As someone who knows a thing or 5 about pierogies....*THAT* is a thing of beauty. I literally just sat down after finishing dinner, and I'd eat a plate of them in a heartbeat.

That corn dog looked pretty damn swell, too. But those pierogies are truly swoon-worthy.
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#33 pastameshugana

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:48 AM

Top of the morning.

Here's today's breakfast, inspired by kayb!

The last time I made huevos rancheros was in India, and only my second son (then almost 6) would eat them with me. He's a chili head to the core. It was almost a test of manhood for him, and he refused to have anything to drink till he was done!

Now, my 'Indian' rancheros were deadly, featuring Guntur chillies and what the markets called 'green chili' - which were a lot like serranos.

Todays was a little less intense.

Ingredients on the cutting board (I love my sani-tuff):
DSC02178.JPG

Hard stuff being sauteed:
DSC02174.JPG

Tortillas ready for the eggs:
DSC02179.JPG
Today it was me and my chili-headed second son and Mrs. Meshugana. The others aren't interested and would rather have corn flakes...

Posing for the paparazzi:
DSC02180.JPG

Ta-Da!
DSC02182.JPG

For this dish, after softening the onion, garlic and chillies (Serrano and Anaheim), I added 1/2 can of Hatch diced, plus one full can of El Pato hot tomato sauce. (This stuff is the bomb. Go right now and buy some. Heaven in a 59 cent can!) Tossed in the tomatoes and let it all stew while frying the eggs.

As I mentioned earlier, I've got a small appetite, so no sides. Don't want to waste precious stomach real estate with silly sides!
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#34 pastameshugana

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:36 AM

In my effort to shore up for this week's food blogging, we did some power shopping in Lubbock last week.

I was super-excited that we were there at the beginning of Farmer's Market 'season', June 1st. From what I read online, the city was going to be awash in fresh produce at every corner in bright colors and at fabulous prices.

The first market we visited was an empty lot. That's it. No market, just the weeds. The second one had one tired old man with (and I counted): Two crates of apples.

Hmmm...

To make a long story short, we ended up at a (chain) grocery store called Sun Harvest Farmers Market:
DSC02154.JPG

They're a regular grocer, but they source most of their produce from 'local' or 'local-ish' farmers.

Man, I don't care if they came from china, but it was the greatest produce section I'd seen in a loooong while:
IMG_0240.JPG

The prices were also amazing, compared to what we've been paying over here in 'The End of the Culinary Universe.'

They had lots of interesting, different stuff, like the bulk grains:
IMG_0249.JPG

We scored some very tasty yogurt raisins and chocolate covered cashews plus a cooler full of veggies. We also took advantage of their 'mini-carts' to train #4 in the art of produce shopping:
IMG_0242.JPG

The best thing about this store? Their the first store in the US to have 'Locally Grown Restrooms'
IMG_0251.JPG
(Thanks to my sharp-eyed 7-year old for catching that one)

We were so impressed with the store that we're going to schedule monthly visits there to stock up. How far do you guys drive for vegetables?
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#35 MissAmy

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:30 PM

OH MY GOD HOBBS! My mother and her siblings all grew up in Hobbs, I spent my childhood summers with my grandparents there. I hear it's changed a lot in the last twenty years, what with casinos and such.

By the way, the Mexican restaurant my family always ate at was La Fiesta, and I know for a FACT they have green chile. I know they're still open, too. Recently saw an old friend of the family and she said it's exactly the same as it ever was. Way old school at this point. (Fun family fact: my parent's divorce was sparked over an argument about guacamole salad at La Fiesta.)
-Sounds awfully rich!
-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

#36 pastameshugana

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:54 PM

Uh oh - I guess we'll be avoiding the guacamole salad. ;)

MissAmy - You're right in that there are places here that serve green chile. You can also buy them here (fresh in the right season), but the 'culture' of the city is so much more like Texas than the rest of New Mexico. Red asado would be much more prevalent here than good green chile stew.

And yes...Hobbs now has a casino (with a buffet!), so it's changed a bit from what I hear.

BTW - La Fiesta is a decent little place, but (at least nowadays) it's a very 'gringo' menu. Very little spice and nothing to excite you (except, I guess, the guacamole salad? Depending on your definition of excitement!).

:D

Edited by pastameshugana, 07 June 2011 - 03:00 PM.

PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#37 pastameshugana

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 04:30 PM

Headed out to buy a new prep island my wife saw on sale.


From iPhone using Tapatalk
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#38 pastameshugana

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 06:20 PM

Struck out on that island - it was a battered floor-model only.

On to better things!

Here's the final result of those smoked pork ribs, on a bun:
DSC02188.JPG

I tossed the meat with some 'magic dust' from Memphis Championship BBQ, and a little bit of Stubbs BBQ sauce. This was a sandwich of glory.

Tonight was supposed to be discada, but our friends cancelled and other things came up, so maybe Thursday for that. Tomorrow I'm planning on Challa bread and Leek soup for dinner. We'll see what else happens!
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#39 janeer

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:14 PM

You have a fascinating culinary heritage and I hope to see how/if they combine somehow--although very happy to see "single origin" dishes like the beautiful huevos rancheros and pork sandwiches. I laughed when you said Lubbock was the big city--a great way to communicate how REALLY rural you are. And yo certainly convinced me that you are in a food wasteland--a kind of Bermuda Triangle of ingredients (although pecans are always special). Power to you for doing this blog, and doing it so well.

#40 kayb

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:41 PM

Top of the morning.

Here's today's breakfast, inspired by kayb!

The last time I made huevos rancheros was in India, and only my second son (then almost 6) would eat them with me. He's a chili head to the core. It was almost a test of manhood for him, and he refused to have anything to drink till he was done!

Now, my 'Indian' rancheros were deadly, featuring Guntur chillies and what the markets called 'green chili' - which were a lot like serranos.

Todays was a little less intense.

Ingredients on the cutting board (I love my sani-tuff):
DSC02178.JPG

Hard stuff being sauteed:
DSC02174.JPG

Tortillas ready for the eggs:
DSC02179.JPG
Today it was me and my chili-headed second son and Mrs. Meshugana. The others aren't interested and would rather have corn flakes...

Posing for the paparazzi:
DSC02180.JPG

Ta-Da!
DSC02182.JPG

For this dish, after softening the onion, garlic and chillies (Serrano and Anaheim), I added 1/2 can of Hatch diced, plus one full can of El Pato hot tomato sauce. (This stuff is the bomb. Go right now and buy some. Heaven in a 59 cent can!) Tossed in the tomatoes and let it all stew while frying the eggs.

As I mentioned earlier, I've got a small appetite, so no sides. Don't want to waste precious stomach real estate with silly sides!


YUMMMMM! Glad to have inspired it, sure wish I could have sampled!
Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

#41 robirdstx

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:51 PM

Ta-Da!
DSC02182.JPG

For this dish, after softening the onion, garlic and chillies (Serrano and Anaheim), I added 1/2 can of Hatch diced, plus one full can of El Pato hot tomato sauce. (This stuff is the bomb. Go right now and buy some. Heaven in a 59 cent can!) Tossed in the tomatoes and let it all stew while frying the eggs.


That looks awesome! I am so going to make it as soon as I get that El Pato sauce. Going to the store in the morning! Thanks for blogging - really enjoying it!

#42 pastameshugana

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:55 PM

robirdstx - just a tip - you'll usually find the El Pato in the tomato sauce section, not the hot sauce.

Good luck!
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#43 robirdstx

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:44 PM

robirdstx - just a tip - you'll usually find the El Pato in the tomato sauce section, not the hot sauce.

Good luck!


Thanks for the tip. I also noticed you use the hot Hatch diced green chiles vs the mild. I'll get a can of those as well. Fortunately, I live in an area with a large Hispanic population so these are products that are very easy for me to find.

Edited by robirdstx, 07 June 2011 - 08:52 PM.


#44 Shelby

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:08 AM

Top of the morning.

Here's today's breakfast, inspired by kayb!

The last time I made huevos rancheros was in India, and only my second son (then almost 6) would eat them with me. He's a chili head to the core. It was almost a test of manhood for him, and he refused to have anything to drink till he was done!

Now, my 'Indian' rancheros were deadly, featuring Guntur chillies and what the markets called 'green chili' - which were a lot like serranos.

Todays was a little less intense.

Ingredients on the cutting board (I love my sani-tuff):
DSC02178.JPG

Hard stuff being sauteed:
DSC02174.JPG

Tortillas ready for the eggs:
DSC02179.JPG
Today it was me and my chili-headed second son and Mrs. Meshugana. The others aren't interested and would rather have corn flakes...

Posing for the paparazzi:
DSC02180.JPG

Ta-Da!
DSC02182.JPG

For this dish, after softening the onion, garlic and chillies (Serrano and Anaheim), I added 1/2 can of Hatch diced, plus one full can of El Pato hot tomato sauce. (This stuff is the bomb. Go right now and buy some. Heaven in a 59 cent can!) Tossed in the tomatoes and let it all stew while frying the eggs.

As I mentioned earlier, I've got a small appetite, so no sides. Don't want to waste precious stomach real estate with silly sides!


Oh this is close to the perfect breakfast for me! Love the melty cheese. *drooling*

#45 Zeemanb

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:36 AM

Tonight was supposed to be discada, but our friends cancelled and other things came up, so maybe Thursday for that. Tomorrow I'm planning on Challa bread and Leek soup for dinner. We'll see what else happens!


I am really curious to hear about and see some discada....it is a recently discovered fascination of mine. Our newly-found favorite Mexican Market, Bonito Michoacan in downtown Kansas City, Kansas is the first place I've seen it. Their version is basically the trimmings (discards/discada?) from marinated beef and pork, bacon, hot dogs and ham. It goes from scary looking back at the meat counter where you can buy it by the pound...to "if loving this is wrong I don't want to be right" when it's coming out hot in a street taco, gordita or torta at the front counter.

Curious to hear if this is in any way similar to what you'll be preparing...and if so, the different variations, etc.

#46 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:51 AM

Today's a busy day (in my other, non-cooking life), but I'll be posting as I go along. Keep your eyes open for 6-braid challa and Leek soup.

Here's a peek back at one of the treats from last week in Lubbock. A little pizza place called West Crust Pizza.

Here's a look at the decor, very 'surfer-dude' friendly, and comfortable, actually for being so pretentiously hip:IMG_0219.JPG

IMG_0221.JPG
Note the real, fresh pineapples in the baskets (barely visible in the top picture). From what I could tell everything was real and fresh.

Now, I can be a pizza purist at heart - have spent my time searching for that elegant, simple pie, and I know the beauties of a simple pizza (and there's one to show here, don't worry!). BUT. And that's a big but. There are times when it is OK, even praise-worthy to do something completely out of the ordinary and wild on a pizza crust. Sure, Grandma Fuzaro wouldn't approve of this pie, but oh! what a treat!

The special on the menu:
IMG_0231.JPG

The special on my plate: (it didn't last long)
IMG_0228.JPG
This was one of the finest 'complicated' pizzas I've eaten in memory. Everything was perfectly balanced and just exquisite.IMG_0223.JPG


Now, here is the aforementioned 'simple' or 'classic' margherita pizza on the table: (it's the bottom one)
IMG_0225.JPG

IMG_0229.JPG
In spite of being just a tad bit saucy (which softened the nice 'cracker' crust), this really was a fine piece of pizza as well. For all the culinary shenanigans that the curry pizza pulled, they still managed to do a spectacular job at a pizza my dad would be proud of (especially considering the place is in West Texas (no offense meant to our Texan brethren)).

Be back soon with more!
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#47 Darienne

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:51 AM

Their version is basically the trimmings (discards/discada?) from marinated beef and pork, bacon, hot dogs and ham.

From Wikipedia, the font of much knowledge:

"The dish [discada] includes a mixture of grilled meats cooked on an agricultural plow disk harrow, hence its name.

Who knew? I like Zeemanb's idea better actually. :smile:
Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#48 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:56 AM


Tonight was supposed to be discada, but our friends cancelled and other things came up, so maybe Thursday for that. Tomorrow I'm planning on Challa bread and Leek soup for dinner. We'll see what else happens!


I am really curious to hear about and see some discada....it is a recently discovered fascination of mine. Our newly-found favorite Mexican Market, Bonito Michoacan in downtown Kansas City, Kansas is the first place I've seen it. Their version is basically the trimmings (discards/discada?) from marinated beef and pork, bacon, hot dogs and ham. It goes from scary looking back at the meat counter where you can buy it by the pound...to "if loving this is wrong I don't want to be right" when it's coming out hot in a street taco, gordita or torta at the front counter.

Curious to hear if this is in any way similar to what you'll be preparing...and if so, the different variations, etc.


This is the basic idea, although I believe the name comes from the 'disco' (dee-sko) that it's cooked on. Traditional lore says it came from cooking in a beaten plow, but this is what I'm using nowadays.

The meat is something like what you mentioned, although I forgo the 'wieners' and use: Chorizo, bacon & pork cutlets, plus random spices and chiles along the way. We usually serve it outside, coming hot off the disco into fresh tortillas. I'll document the whole thing in detail tomorrow!
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#49 Zeemanb

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 08:18 AM

The meat is something like what you mentioned, although I forgo the 'wieners' and use: Chorizo, bacon & pork cutlets, plus random spices and chiles along the way. We usually serve it outside, coming hot off the disco into fresh tortillas. I'll document the whole thing in detail tomorrow!


Cool, great insight into the meaning...the griddle cooktop they use at our market is great, but what you're describing hits at the very heart of why I love to eat. Brings back memories of open-fire lard-cooked Navajo fry bread wrapped around cheese stuffed fresh roasted chiles in northern Arizona...while that was fantastic, I think I'd be a discada man!

#50 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:47 PM

Getting ready for tonight's dinner.

My favorite (only?) baking book (if we say cookbook, can we say bakebook?):
DSC02191.JPG

"I'm-a-kneadin-my-dough, I'm-a-kneadin-my-dough""
DSC02189.JPG

I actually made challah the first time by hand, just to say I could (and because I didn't own a stand mixer!). Back in the days I had the time I made all my pasta by hand (no mixer) because it was very relaxing. Now I buy dried... I know, I'm ashamed.
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#51 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:48 PM

... memories of open-fire lard-cooked Navajo fry bread wrapped around cheese stuffed fresh roasted chiles in northern Arizona...


Where in Northern AZ? That's my 'native place' as they say in B'Lore.
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#52 Zeemanb

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 01:11 PM


... memories of open-fire lard-cooked Navajo fry bread wrapped around cheese stuffed fresh roasted chiles in northern Arizona...


Where in Northern AZ? That's my 'native place' as they say in B'Lore.


Up in Houck, on the Navajo reservation just over the border from Gallup....in a former life working with an old pastor and his wife. The daily excitement was driving ten minutes to Ft. Courage to get our mail...going to Window Rock once per month was like Disney World! Boy was I pissed the first time they took me to the petrified forest and we didn't drive through actual groves of stone trees....

Just remembered- in addition to the awesome semi-relleno's we'd use as a vehicle to eat more fry bread, one of my favorite things was strips of lamb fat wrapped in some lamb intestine so that it would hold together while it char-roasted over the fire. Sounds kind of out-there, but wow the crispy fatty goodness....

#53 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:14 PM

Challa just about to go into the oven...
Posted Image


From iPhone using Tapatalk
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#54 kayb

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:25 PM

Challa just about to go into the oven...
Posted Image


From iPhone using Tapatalk


I think I can be there in, oh, maybe 12 or 16 hours?

I love challah. Haven't ginned up the courage to try it, plus there's a great bakery in town that does it, which means I have it when I want it for French toast. Best French toast in the world, bar none: Challah, eggs, heavy cream. Fried in butter. Arteries be-damned.
Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

#55 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:27 PM

I love challah. Haven't ginned up the courage to try it, plus there's a great bakery in town that does it, which means I have it when I want it for French toast. Best French toast in the world, bar none: Challah, eggs, heavy cream. Fried in butter. Arteries be-damned.


Yes! The leftovers get made into eggs on toast and French toast (Mrs. Meshugana). Absolutely the best french toast ever.

You should give it a whirl, it's really quite easy. In fact, this is the only bread I've ever made. The only hard part is the braiding, but there's so many designs (like the pull apart loaf you see there) that are much easier. I also highly recommend this book, very easy to follow for a 'non-recipe' guy like myself.
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#56 Pam R

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:27 PM

Does the book have braiding instructions? I use my own recipe but struggle with anything over a 3-strand braid. Beautiful challah - can't wait to see them baked.

#57 doc slaughter

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 05:23 PM

I always wanted to make my own challa but since the jewish deli near me makes the best ever I've never had to. we've been using it for french toast since I was introduced to it in the 70's and I can tell u nothing else comes even close. when the kids have friends over it's either that or big fat belgian waffles with fruits. When we make the french toast I'll make up a bunch that will fit in the toaster for quick breakfastes and their great

#58 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 05:30 PM

Does the book have braiding instructions? I use my own recipe but struggle with anything over a 3-strand braid. Beautiful challah - can't wait to see them baked.


Yes there's very good illustrate braiding instructions. More pics in a few hours! We also added ribeye kabobs to the menu...


From iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by pastameshugana, 08 June 2011 - 05:31 PM.

PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)

#59 Kerry Beal

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 05:51 PM

Getting ready for tonight's dinner.

My favorite (only?) baking book (if we say cookbook, can we say bakebook?):
DSC02191.JPG

One of my favourite baking books of all times.

#60 pastameshugana

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:26 PM

Well, here's a few pics from the rest of the prep for tonights dinner.

Challa out of the oven:
DSC02192.JPG

DSC02193.JPG

The bread really isn't as brown as the pictures make it look. It was cooked nearly perfect, but the color correction is wacking these photos out. This is, however, actually one of the more disappointing challas I've made. I used all-purpose instead of bread flour, and it wasn't perfect. Still darn good and there's barely a shred left, but not perfect.

Kebabs onto the skewers (Bacon wrapped through pieces of ribeye, onion, and anaheim pepper:
DSC02194.JPG

I feel like crying because I didn't get a picture of the finished product. It was worthy for sure. The meal was just eaten in a frenzy, so all picture taking was out the window.

Finally, the main course, Mrs. Meshugana's Leek Soup:
DSC02197.JPG

Just leeks, garlic, yukon gold, carrot, celery, sauteed in butter, simmered in chicken stock for an hour, then blended. Added about a cup of heavy cream to finish. Yowser. That, my friends, is a soup worth eating. So incredibly simple, healthy and tasty to your toes.

Back in the morning with more adventures!
PastaMeshugana
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)





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