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  1. I have a hankering for red beans and rice. I used to make a vegetarian version years ago, but now I want to try and make the real deal. What makes a great dish?
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q8zTVlZ19c Mmmm. The sweet, spiced aroma of a freshly baked pumpkin pie wafting over the Thanksgiving table. A large bowl of chilled, sweetened cream is passed around the table, a cool dollop of cream cascading over a slice of “homemade” pumpkin pie. (In many households, removing a frozen pie from a box and putting it in a hot oven is considered “homemade.”). Americans can’t seem to get enough pumpkin pie during the Holidays. Some 50 million pumpkin pies are sold for Thanksgiving dinner and according to astute company marketing executives, 1 million of the pies are sold at Costco. And Mrs. Smith sells a few million of her oven-ready, frozen pumpkin pie. In August of 2013, we debuted the Summer Squash Cook-Off (http://forums.egullet.org/topic/145452-cook-off-63-summer-squash/) where we presented a number of tasty zucchini and patty pan dishes showcasing summer squash. But our squash adventure wasn’t over. Today we expand our squash lexicon with the debut of eG Cook-Off #71: Winter Squash. (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index). Cut into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and crafted into cheesecake for Thanksgiving, pumpkin reigns supreme each Fall. But pumpkin is just one variety of winter squash--squash that grows throughout the summer and is harvested in fall. The acorn, butternut, spaghetti, hubbard, kabocha, red kuri, delicata, calabaza and cushaw are but a few of the many winter squash cousins of the pumpkin. Winter squash is not always the best looking vegetable in the produce section--knobby, gnarled and multi-colored, winter squash has a hard, tough skin. Peel back the unfashionable skin and sweet, rich squash meat is revealed. Winter squash cookery doesn’t end after the last slice of pumpkin pie. You can stuff it with a forcemeat of duck confit and sautéed mushrooms, purée roasted squash into a creamy soup garnished with lardons or slowly braise squash with peppers and corn in a spicy Caribbean stew. Please join us in sharing, learning and savoring winter squash.
  3. Ah, the avocado! For many of us, this humble little fruit inspires only one dish. Yet the avocado has a culinary history that is deeper than we may understand. The avocado (Persea Americana) is a tree thought to have originated in South Central Mexico. It’s a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant - yes, it's a fruit and not a vegetable - is also called avocado. Avocados grow in tropical and warm climates throughout the world. The season in California typically runs from February through September, but avocados from Mexico are now available year-round. The avocado has a higher fat content than other fruits, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of consumers who are seeking other sources of protein than meats and fatty foods. Avocado oil has found a new customer base due to its flavor in dressings and sauces and the high smoke point is favorable when sautéing meat and seafood. In recent years, due in part to catchy television commercials and the influence of Pinterest, the avocado has seen a resurgence in popularity with home cooks and professionals. Walk into your local casual spot and the menu will undoubtedly have some derivation of avocado toast, typically topped with bacon. Avocados have found a rightful place back on fine dining menus, but unfortunately all too often over-worked dishes with too many ingredients and garnishes erase the pure taste and silky texture of an avocado. When I think of an avocado it’s the Hass variety. However, a friend who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, can buy Choquette, Hall and Lulu avocados in the local markets. This link provides good information about the different varieties of avocados, when they’re in season and the differences in taste and texture. https://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/10/18/know-your-avocado-varieties-and-when-theyre-in-season/ I for one must challenge myself to start eating and cooking more avocados. I think my recipe for guacamole served with chicharrones is superb, and the cobb salad with large chunks of ripe avocado is delicious, but as a close friend recently said, “one person’s ‘not especially new’ is another’s “eureka moment.” Well said and as history tells us, we’ll find plenty of eureka moments as we discuss and share our tales and dishes of avocado during eG Cook-Off #81: The Avocado. Fun fact: The name avocado derives from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl,” which was also slang for “testicle.” See the complete eG Cook-Off Index here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/
  4. Thanks to @blue_dolphin, I was forced to buy this cookbook and it was delivered today. No matter how hard I try, I just don't super enjoy cookbooks on my Kindle. Anyway, I'll most likely be alone on this thread due to low okra likability lol, but I'm an only child and I'm used to being alone 😁 First on the list will be the Kimchi Okra from page 100--as suggested by @blue_dolphin. I'll be back on this thread soon
  5. Hello friends and welcome back to a time-honored tradition--the popular eG Cook-Off Series. We're in the heat of summer right now and our gardens are literally blooming with all manner of peak of the season ripe fruits and succulent vegetables. And there's no better time of year to honor a vegetable that is often maligned as not being as colorful or trendy as the chi-chi breakfast radish or the multi-hued rainbow chard. In addition to not always being recognized for it's looks, every August and September it becomes the butt of jokes at State Fair competitions across the country. If you can get past the embarassment of seeing the poor devils dressed up and carved into silly, cartoon-like farm figures or pumped-up with organic steroids, you'll find a delicious, low-calorie vegetable packed with potassium and vitamin A. Yes friends, your dreams have come true for today we kick-off eG Cook-Off #62, "Summer Squash." (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index). According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, summer squash, (also known in some circles as Italian marrow), are tender, warm-season vegetables that can be grown anytime during the warm, frost-free season. Summer squash differs from fall and winter squash, (like pumpkins, acorn and butternut squash), because it is harvested before the outer rind hardens. Some of the most popular summer squash are the Green and Yellow Zucchini, Scallop, Patty Pan, Globe, Butter Blossom and Yellow Crookneck. My personal favorite summer squash is the versatile zucchini. Slow-cooked with sliced onion and ham hock, zucchini is perfectly comfortable nestled on a plate next to juicy, fried pork chops and creamy macaroni and cheese. But the chi-chi haute crowd isn't forgotten when it comes to zucchini, or, as the sniffy French call it, the "courgette." Tiny, spring courgette blossoms stuffed with herbs and ricotta cheese then dipped in tempura batter and gently fried are a delicacy found on Michelin-Star menus across the globe. Won't you please join me in crafting some delicious masterpieces that showcase the culinary possibilities of delicious summer squash.
  6. Breakfast in India vs Breakfast in our homes outside India My breakfasts have varied from the time I started to cook for myself instead of just enjoying my Mother’s cooking. At first they were a mix-match of meal fixings, or just dinner leftovers. Or the good old breakfast cereal and milk. But as the years passed and I was more organized, the meals I enjoyed in my Mother’s home began to swim in my memories. And I began to prepare those for my family. However, I am no amazonian chef, so depending on the hectic nature of the days plans, I switched back and forth from convenience with taste, to elaborate and of course tasty breakfasts. We do have both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods but Indian breakfasts will mostly be vegetarian. So here are some of the things I might make: 1. Poha as in mostly ‘kande pohe’. 2. Cheela/ Pudla 3. Masala toast 4. Indian Omelette 5. Handwo piece 6. Thepla 7. Vaghareli rotli 8. Dhokla chutney 9. Idli sambhar 10. Leftover sabji 11. Muthiya 12. Khakhra 13. Upma 14. Paratha 1. Kande Pohe: The dish derives its name from Maharashtra where the Kande Pohe are celebrated as breakfast. They can of course like any breakfast, be eaten at any time. Pohe/ Poha are steamed rice grains that have been beaten flat and then again redried. So they are like Rice flakes. Except they are hand pounded, so have a knobbly texture. You get several varieties in the market. I prefer the thick white variety. 1 cup dry poha per person 1 medium onion sliced 1/2 jalapeno deseeded 1 sprig curry leaves 2 small garlic cloves 1/4 t cumin seeds 1/2 lemon 1/8 t asafoetida 1/4 t turmeric small handful of cilantro leaves 1T fresh grated coconut 2 T Peanut oil salt to taste sugar to taste In a pan heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds sputter, add sliced onions and stir. Saute on medium heat till they turn slightly browned here and there. Do not burn the onions. Meanwhile wash the Poha in a colander and drain. Do this two or three times to get rid of any dirt and also to allow them to rehydrate. They do not need soaking. Fluff the poha with a fork. Add salt sugar turmeric asafoetida and chopped cilantro. Mix and set aside. Once the onions are ready add minced garlic and chopped jalapeno along with the curry leaf sprig. Turn the heat to low and add the poha mixture. Stir to coat and to allow the turmeric and asafoetida to cook. The poha will turn mildly yellow and start giving a wonderful fragrance. Turn off the heat. Fluff gently and plate. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and a squeeze of lemon juice. Finger licking good!! Now when I make this next I will post a picture. Update: Ok I felt the urge to have Kande Pohe for tonight’s dinner. So here is a picture. I am certain to enjoy it for breakfast as well. The measurement of 1 cup poha per person is too much for one meal. But carried over to another meal thats super good! I will also have some stir fried bok choy greens made in the same kadhai after the poha was done, and some cooked and sliced beetroot for salad. My family will add some haldiram sev on the poha for extra crunch! And we will all have some chaas to round off this meal. ************* 2. Cheela/ Pudla These are essentially crepes but in the Indian style. 1/2 cup sieved garbanzo bean (Besan) flour. Water to form a thin batter 1T plain yogurt 1/2 t ginger garlic paste 1/4 or less green chili crushed 2 t heated oil * pinch asafoetida pinch turmeric salt to taste chopped cilantro (two sprigs) some ‘masala’ from a readymade pickle Method: mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! **************** 3. Masala Toast : 1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted 1/2 small red onion minced 1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have) cilantro (few leaves) 1/8 t cumin (optional) 1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores) 1 inch cube paneer 1 T peanut oil pinch turmeric (optional) Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer. I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. ************************** I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. Bhukkhad
  7. Tiff


    Hi there, Kinda repeating myself from another topic forum, but I am looking for good spelt recipes. I am doing a lot of baking at my work as I am alone in the kithcen with no budget for a pastry chef, as is often the case these days, and I need some help in the low gluten, no gluten , wheat free area of baking which is so foriegn to my sensibilites. I like working in a healthy vegetarian enviroment but I miss the more passionate immediacy of cooking mains on a line. The things I make are packaged and have to last a week or so. My boss said she wanted someone classically trained who could learn about vegetarian and vegan eating as they go. I have found it a challenge and have learned way more than I thought I would need to learn in order to cook the way I must at work. Any advice, recipes or similar experiences would be appreciated.
  8. Okay, I've never made this but my SIL made something she called Spanakopita, and it inspired me to do better. She used frozen phyllo, and that was the best part of the dish. Her filling was missing the spinach, as far as I could tell, and the cheese tasted sweet. I believe I bit down on some nuts, too. So the filling was pretty awful (like out of some new age vegetarian health food book), but the dough was crispy and flaky right out of the oven, and not greasy. Not critical, but my first stumbling block upon googling recipes was spelling. Spanakopita wins, but spanikopita is popular. Is it phyllo or filo? The frozen package I have says filo. Here are some other questions: Butter or oil to brush the layers? How eggy should it be? Some recipes call for 3-4 eggs. As for cheese, some recipes use a combo of feta and ricotta or feta and myzithra, presumably to cut the saltiness a bit. Adding some ricotta would make a creamier filling, I presume. That sounds reasonable, but is it typical? When I make Greek salads I've taken to using French feta, because it seems less salty than some others. My preference would be heavy on the spinach and not too salty. As for spinach, I'm going to use frozen to start with, since I have some Cascadia organic spinach and I think it's pretty good. Once I get some technique down I'll branch out and try fresh spinach. I have no intention of making my own dough, not just yet that's for sure; I already have some frozen. But rolled or flat? Some recipes make folded triangles, some make a flat casserole. Flat sounds easier to start with. Some recipes suggest scoring the top filo layers before baking. How essential is that? Does anyone have a great traditional recipe? Or other hints? I'm already hip to the fact that you need to keep the filo/phyllo moist and work quickly, and I won't be surprised it there's a steep learning curve there.
  9. As a new (Experimental) vegetarian (See here for more details) I have been going through quite a few cookbooks and online resources. A lot of them are fairly poor to say the least. Also seems to be a theory that if you are vegetarian you must want to eat 'Healthy' food all the time, or they are full of meat substitute recipes. The thing that really gets me is that in so many of the books - even some of the better ones (The Cranks one in particular) is that they seem to put soy sauce (Well usually tamari actually) in everything. Don't get me wrong, I love soy sauce - in moderation and in the right things. But to put it in anything creamy, cheesy or mayonnaisey just seems wrong to me!
  10. This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish. Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries. Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results. Prep Time : 5 mins Cook Time: 5 mins Serves: 2 Ingredients: 1 cup rice(basmati), cooked 1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated 1 green chili, slit 1 dried red chili 1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter) 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas) 1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram) 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped A pinch of hing (asafoetida) Few curry leaves Salt to taste Directions 1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish. 2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned. 3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well. 4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame. 5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
  11. Years ago, when I visited Tokyo, I ate in a small but fascinating restaurant called 'It's Vegetable' which is now, unfortunately, closed. The chef was from Taiwan, and he made Buddhist vegetarian and vegan dishes that resembled meat. During my visit, several monks wearing robes stopped in to eat dinner. The dishes were pretty amazing. I understood some of them, like using seitan to mimic chicken in stir fry dishes, others used tofu products like yuba, but, others were complex and obviously difficult. One very notable dish we enjoyed was a large 'fish' fillet designed to serve several people. It had a 'skin' made of carefully layered 'scales' cut from nori and attached to the surface. Inside, the white 'flesh' flaked and tasted much like a mild fish. Anyway, apparently Buddhist fake meat meals are very popular in Taiwan and many places, cheap through to fine dining serve them. Yes, if I worked on it for a while, I could probably refine one or two dishes on my own, but, I am wondering if there's a Modernist Cuisine type cookbook for skillfully making these mock meats from scratch? (I have heard that some items are commercially made and available frozen there, much like soy-based burgers are in the US.) I am willing to try almost any offering, even if it's entirely in Chinese. And, I know how to use remailers to purchase regional items from the various local retailers worldwide who do not ship to the US.
  12. I know it's a bit early to start talking about a crawfish boil, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately, so I figured this would be a good way to pass the time waiting for the bugs to grow a bit bigger.... As a NO non-native in NY (whose wife grew up in NO - but was vegetarian during most of her time there (can youbelieve it!?!)) I have no choice but to bring in the crawfish by FEDEX every once in a while to get my fix to tide me over between our annual trips back down there... so, being that the shipping is usually more expensive than the critters, I'd like to make the most out of them... I learned the technique I've been using from the instructions that come with the crawfish: boil crawfish for 2-3 minutes; turn off heat and let soak for 15-20 minutes; put into styrofoam cooler dusted with creole seasoning and steam for 10-15 minutes... My boil is powdered boil plus extra garlic and lemon halves... although this year, I think I'm going to add some liquid boil to the mix... At their best, they're pretty good, but they're still not as good as I get when I'm down there, which I'd like to remedy... Somebody help, pleeeeeeeeease!!!!
  13. A few weeks ago I checked out a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India from the library, and it is well on its way to earning a permanent place in my collection. I've really enjoyed the recipes I've cooked from it so far, and thought I'd share a few of them here. Of course, if anyone else has cooked anything from the book please share your favorites here, too. To kick things off, something that appears in nearly every meal I've cooked this month... a yogurt dish such as Simple Seasoned Yogurt, South Indian-Style (p. 324)
  14. Does anyone know of a source for a vegan confectioner's glaze suitable for sugar/chocolate panning (for sealing the candies from the Evils of the Outside World)? I have a couple of friends who are vegan or vegetarian, and I'd like to avoid being a total jerk if I can help it ("Look at these tasty treats I made THAT YOU CAN'T EAT!! MWAHAHA!!"). I need small quantities, as this is just for occasional home use.
  15. While not a new cookbook by any means, I haven't really had time to dig into this one until now. We've previously discussed the recipes in Jerusalem: A Cookbook, but not much has been said about Plenty. So, here goes... Chickpea saute with Greek yogurt (p. 211) This was a great way to kick off my time with this book. The flavors were outstanding, particularly the use of the caraway seeds and lemon juice. I used freshly-cooked Rancho Gordo chickpeas, which of course helps! The recipe was not totally trivial, but considering the flavors developed, if you don't count the time to cook the chickpeas it came together very quickly. I highly recommend this dish.
  16. A vegetarian friend and I have agreed to get together to cook on a regular basis, and I was hoping to pick up some tips from folks who have had experience cooking with what I'll call "meat substitutes"--tofu, tempeh, tvp and the cornucopia of fake meat products like Soyrizo or I Can't Believe It's Not Bacon! I've had success with vegetarian cooking in the past, but also enough spectacular failures that I'm wary about trying anything new without some preliminary research.
  17. We are catering a wedding this weekend and are considering doing a summer vegetable strudel-type dish using puff pastry as our vegetarian entree. However, the bride has requested whole grain and organic products only. We can get a pass on the organic requirement, but we'll need to rethink the dish unless we can get whole wheat puff pastry. Does it exist? Not that I have the time or space or inclination, but can it be made or are whole grains too heavy? Thanks for any help!
  18. Article in Beer Advocate: I found this to be a real eye-opener: Has anyone thought about the potential ramifications for this? Do your vegetarian friends discuss this issue?
  19. Years and years ago I lived up the block and across the street from a large country store on the outskirts of a college town that sold incredible cheesecakes, Archie comic books for the devout and everything you could possibly need for baking for cheap: all in clear plastic bags sealed with twist ties, weighed and priced. There and then I first noticed different kinds of powdered milk sold next to yeast, wheat berries and rye flour. These were the days that the popularity of Diet for a Small Planet was just beginning to wane and I always associated dehydrated milk with that kind of economical, fringe cooking. Having somehow misplaced my favorite source of simple, basic bread recipes, I opened up Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997; sorry, no time to tend a poolish) and was surprised to see that Deborah Madison recommends the use of dry milk or dried buttermilk in several of her bread recipes. Since there are only a few recipes, it is hard to see a pattern. However, in one case, the recipe is for a whole wheat bread that includes a little gluten flour, but no unbleached white; another is for a rye bread. Does powdered milk complement heartier flours in a way that distinguishes it from fresh milk or buttermilk? Or might it be an established, superior source of protein for vegetarians? Edited to ask: Do I need to make any adjustments in simply replacing some of the water in the recipe with milk--other than, perhaps, increasing the amount of flour slightly?
  20. While eating at the Organic Grill (a vegetarian restaurant in NY) today, a vegetarian friend asked me why many non-vegetarians have a general aversion towards vegetarian or vegan restaurants. I didn't quite know the answer. Truth be told, I would never even consider going to a vegetarian restaurant (except Indian) unless I was actually with someone who is a vegetarian. Although I am not one myself, I do frequently order vegetarian entrees at "regular" restaurants and generally enjoy them as much if not more than meat or fish entrees. Why the stigma then, towards vegetarian restaurants? Is it really the taste of the food? I'll admit that today's Miso Soup was not great (probably because of the bonito-less dashi) but I can also turn around and say that Organic Grill makes a damn good vege-burger. So is it instead a perception or image problem that keeps non-vegetarians away? Is it the "hippie" scene that these restaurants seem to attract? Or perhaps it is the feeling of having to limit ourselves, by not having the choice or option for meat dishes...and in some cases, the blatant misrepresentation of certain dishes as meat (tempeh as "vegetarian duck"). What exactly is the beef with vegetarian restaurants?
  21. Let me emphasise that this is work in progress. I'm experimenting to get what to me is the best texture and taste. This how I currently make sourdough baguettes. Its not the only way. It may not be the best way. You need to experiment to "dial in" the method to suit your environment, flour, starter and personal taste. However I hope to show some basic techniques that have general application for handling very wet doughs. The dough can also be used for other breads and rolls. This is a home recipe, but could be scaled for restaurant or small shop use, making a few dozen baguettes. Industrial scale production has different issues. I like big uneven holes and an open texture. To achieve this we need to break some of the rules, which were designed to make the even textured bread thought desirable in the past. This demonstrates my version of the "a l'ancienne" style, where the dough is mixed cold with a long cold fermentation to allow the enzymes to break down the starches in the flour to sugars before the yeast becomes active, so when the dough warms up it is exceptionally lively. Combined with short proof times to give lots of oven spring the result is an open texture.. The problem is that the acid in the sourdough degrades the protein and the long starch molecules, making the dough very wet. Step 1: Build the sponge 100g Flour 100g water 1 Tbs "clef" The "clef" (key) is the mother sourdough starter. I store it in a jar in fridge. You can see it seperates into two layers. That is OK, just dig though the liquid layer. I'm actually making a double recipe, since the clef is running a bit low, and the excess will go back into the jar. I'm using a 11.8% protein (actually measured by the nitrogen content) organic white supermarket flour, after some discussion on the sourdough baguette thread, since this approximated to the french type 65 flour. However flour in France is classified by the ash content when burnt at 900C that is they indicate the mineral content (in milligrams) per 10 g flour. In Germany they measure the same thing, but per 100g, of flour, so German flour types are ten times as much and have three digits, such a type 405. Thus a type 65, a common baking flour, has 0.65% ash. Mineral content is roughly a measure of the extraction rate, or amount of the grain in the flour, since most of the mineral content is in the husk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour#Flour_type_numbers. However this only loosely correlates with gluten and protein content. Traditionally french baguette flour is quite soft. There are some books that indicate french flour has about an 11.5% protein content, so that is today's experiment. Why they indicate in several places on the bag that flour is suitable for vegetarians is unclear to me, It states it only contains wheat flour. What would non-vegetarian flour have in it? Ground bones? Weavils? Mix together. Ferment for 18 hours at 30C. Temperature is important. Just mix it until its more or less even - time and the bugs will do the rest. This is in bakers terms a 100% dough, that is the water content (hydration) is 100% of the flour content. Note its like a thick batter, just holding together. This is a wet sponge or poolish. 18 hours later... Ths sponge is bubbly and alive. It has thinned out a lot, now like cream, since the acid in the sourdough has attacked the long starch molecules and the gluten in the flour. The long sponge development time gives lots of sour flavour to the finished baguette. Stage 2: Make the dough. Flour 500g 83% Sponge 200g 33% Salt 12g 2% Water 330g 55% (iced) Vit C 5g 1% Total flour 600g 100% Total water 430g 72% Total dough weight 1047g The percentages are bakers percentages, that is relative to the total amount of flour, including the flour in the sponge. Whizz together, without the salt in a food processor for 20 seconds, then add the salt and whizz for another 20 seconds. This short intensive mixing makes a softer dough. Don't mix a lot more, or you will overmix the dough. If you use a conventional mixer, mix on high speed until the dough clears the bowl. You can also hand mix the dough - again just mix to an even consistency, no need to knead, and I tend to hand mix larger batches. I have experimented with leaving the salt out until you come to shape the dough, and that works well, and gives the bread a saltier taste. Weigh everything. There is no substitute for precision if you want to be able to make the same bread again. The colour is a bit off in the picture - the dough is light cream, rather than orange. After the second mix. This is a very extensible dough that windowpanes well. Turn out into a bowl, cover and put in the fridge overnight (12 hours plus) Timing is not very critical. I mist the top with a hand pumped EVOO spray, which is the silver cylinder to the left. The trigger pump sprays that cleaning products come in, well washed out, also work well to spray oil. The worst part of this is the cleanup. The dough is very sticky. A rubber spatula and lots of hot water helps. Next day not much seems to have happened, but if you look closely uyou will see lots of bubbles in the dough. To get it out of the bowl cleanly ease it all round the edge with your fingers (oiled or floured), then lift it out in the piece. You can only sucessfully handle the mature dough when it is very cold. Put it on a lightly floured (or oiled) pastry board, and fold sides to middle and top to bottom, like a turn in puff pastry. This gently stretches the dough, and because of the coating of flour or oil makes it easier to handle. Divide into three baguettes with the traditional weight of about 320g. Use a square dough scraper, and press rather than saw the dough. Let the pieces rest for 15 mins. Shape. The objective is to make a half-length baguette that gets stretched later, but one where the outside layer is stretched and tight, like the skin on a balloon. Take each piece, flatten a little and again make a turn, long sides to middle. You will need some flour on the board to stop it sticking but not too much, since we don't want the flour pickup to unbalance the formula. Now flaten the top edge a bit (assuming the dough is in the orientation shown), and taking the flap pull it out to stretch and fold it over pressing it down as you go along. The do the same with the other side. Its to work form the top edge, the edge away from you, forming the baguette. Normally, at this point one would put the dough into a couche, folded floured linen to prove. Mine is an old oven cloth in a half sheet pan, and a short rolling pin. However I'm experimenting with very short or no proof times for this method, instead using intensive mixing and Vitamin C in the dough to provide aeration, so we are going to bake immediately. Let me again emphasise you can ony handle the dough cold, so we need to get it into the oven befoe it warms up and becomes liquid. At this point he oven should be pre-heated to around 500F/250C, with a layer of tiles, brick or pizza stone to bake on. Make yourself, if you do not already have some three baguette boards, the length of your desired baguette, usually what will fit in your oven. Put some baking parchment on it, and put the dough on it. Stretch the dough to the desired length. Repeat for the other baguettes. Slash them and using the boards slide them into the oven so that the baking parchment under the dough is in direct contact with the hot base or stone. Steam, mist or put a cup of water into a pre-heated heavy pan in the oven to provide a burst of very hot steam that gelatanises the outside and gives a shiny crackly crust. (caution scald danger and oven glass or light can shatter if not protected). Close the door. The slashes form the "grigne" (grins) on top of the loaf. Traditionally bakers use a lame, or razor blade on a stick. Cut at an angle, not staight down. and nearly parallel to the loaf. 5-7 slashes along the length is usal, each just overlapping the previous. I did not slash these. Bake 30-40 minutes or until the desired crust colour looks about right. Texture is OK, but not as good as that made with softer (9% protein) flour. As I said at the top, I'm still experimenting, and I encourage you to do so too, and post your results. Ther are lots of variables: flour, hydration, mix times, bulk ferment time and temperature, proof time and temperature. Maybe this stronger flour needs longer proof times. I've put the couche with a baguette from this batch in the fridge (in a plastic bag) overnight, and will try baking it tomorrow to see if that makes any difference.
  22. mostly brought up on vegetarian Indian food, I would like to know the wonderful uses of the two spices. I did find out from internet searches that kabab chini is all spice but have not much clue how to use them in Indian cooking p.s. I am a converted non-veggie so feel free to encompass meats in your suggestions
  23. This weekend, I made Chichilo Oaxaqueno from Susana Trilling's book, Seasons of My Heart with chiles I brought back from Oaxaca. Unfortunately, I was flying blind here because Chichilo is one of the only moles I didn't try in Oaxaca. The result was tasty, but I needed some culinary guidance on this one. 1) Any suggestions on how to burn those chile seeds? I felt like I needed the blow torch to really do it right because I had to go outside (child at home). There was quite a bit of wind so I couldn't get a good burn. 2) I'm not sure if the mole truly had the most authentic taste bc I couldn't get those seeds to burn properly. The tortilla was fully blackened, but maybe only a quarter of the seeds. The mole was not a dark brown, but more of a very dark red. (in shade between a mole coloradito and mole poblano) Can anyone give me a proper color description of Chichilo or has anyone done a comparison with chichilo eaten in Oaxaca with their own version at home? 3) My DH is a vegetarian, and I used red potatoes, chayote, green beans and chochoyones in my stew (recommendations from Iliana de la Vega from El Naranjo). Pork and beef as well as vegetables are traditionally used in this stew type mole, but the vegetables alone were quite delicious. Any other suggestions on possible vegetable combinations with this mole? I'm thinking some nopales would be good too.... Thanks! Caarina
  24. Ok..so everyone is talking about it. Just for fun, what is *your* Saffron Menu. We have the truffle menu and the chocolate menu, so why not saffron? Starter+Main(1 or 2)+Dessert Optional: canapes, beverages, petit-fours, wine matches and all that stuff. Can be designed to be suitable for any season, specific to any region or dining preference(vegetarian/"healthy"/no dairy etc)
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