comfort food

Rice pudding

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I remembered some raisins, currant’s and dried cherries that have been taking up fridge space soaking in rum and spices for over a month..

The usual basic rice pudding got a make over and the result was an OMG that’s so good moment.. the problem is I make a quart at a time and think it needs to be eaten NOW..

Which is a hold over from my pre-fridge third world lifestyle.. and yet another story, everything I cooked had to last a week on a counter….

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Pie dough and insomnia

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Sometimes projects come under the heading “proof of concept” which is then followed by refinement, hopefully ending in the OMG factor…

In some of the empanada looking things, the filling was green chili and pork “brisket”…. the others were roasted chicken, also with green chili.. plus they both got mozzarella mixed in with everything else…

I used a dough I could bake…. because fried isn’t something I like doing and have no good answer as to why not…

The concept is better than good, the little pie crusty things hit the OMG zone from the start.. just the baking aromas were enough to fire up a weak appetite.. The taste clinched the deal… I want a dozen or so more even it it was a pain to pull off…

But I learned a few things.. mince the filling finer, so the lumpy look goes away and it doesn’t poke through the dough… And don’t think about handling that kind of dough when its over 100 degrees at 3:00 AM cause it won’t be pretty even if it is amazing in every other way..

Seriously, I can put holes in that type of dough by looking at it, and need every advantage possible.

But other than that I was happy, happy with the results.. the crust was flaky and it all worked just right together..

Once the weather cools to a point butter doesn’t melt in five minutes… I want to do some more of the little crusty things with an eye to making them beautiful and refining the process..

And now I need to defrost the beef tongue so that can be dealt with, hopefully during daylight hours so the neighbors don’t smell smoke at 3:00 AM and freak out…

Baking custard at 4:00 AM

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I’m prone to waking up between 2:00 and 4:00 AM then cooking something for later in the day, rather than midnight snacking like a normal person..

Which is fine in it’s way… this time it was a little different, I had everything out and ready to go, rather than rummaging or working through some half formed idea.

Using the ramekins for egg custard, rather than some culinary alchemy is the pay off “this time”..

Why I only bought three ramekins is beyond me, other than I live by myself and don’t entertain… so it seemed like a reasonable number at the time..

Most recipes are for a goodly quantity and three is a logistical nightmare.. So it seems I need more or bigger ramekins.. probably both.

Working through the current project list is a project…since stuff gets hi-jacked and pressed into service as dinner out of sequence.

And there are some compelling projects.. Pot pies being a big one, but I keep eating the pork, beef and whatever meant for fillings because I’m to tired to fool with crusts and pans, much less waiting another hour…

The smoker is 10 hours of watchful attentiveness and that ain’t happenin, just yet.

Roast or bake everything..

100_8784Roasting is my go to plan for dinner in a hurry… its everybody in the pan, see ya in 45 minutes or so.. the fat in meat or poultry renders out and everything else caramelizes..

Which lets me wander off, take a nap, annoy people on face book, or stare at the oven and zone out..

Later today I need to give the ramekins a work out… egg custard is kind of a favorite thing that I never get around to making, which I excuse on account of not being a dessert guy…

There are the brisket “bones” to deal with at some point, a beef tongue to thaw, kidneys to pick up and tons of little things to do the next few days.. not to mention a pot pie extravaganza of alternative fillings..

AND hopefully take pretty photos of it all before I decide to eat everything..which is sort of a chore, since the whole omnivore, primal thing kicks in and it cares naught for photography..

Bacon and cabbage

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100_8971 Every now and then you revert to comfort foods… which all depends on how you define comfort..

So lunch is cabbage and bacon, its different than when I was a kid in that it contains actual bacon, but it still works.

I use bacon ends, because I cut everything up anyway so why pay the overage? The cabbage isn’t fried its steamed.. and some shrimp got added to the mix, I was thinking the cabbage or bacon might overwhelm them, but wanted to know for sure….

It was actually a really good combo…

Red pepper flakes and black pepper were used in the cooking as was caraway seed… garlic and a little water to make steam once the bacon was rendered…

It was way better than memory… always a plus no?