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Cookclub

in Meatspace
"you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
Setting up a cooking thread, we'll see how long it stays on the surface.

So, generally speaking, this is a thread for discussions of cooking, whether by your own hands, by others, or in fiction. Feel welcome. Personally for me, I've long had an interest in cooking, but only relatively recently began to try my hand at it. I like to try out recipes, generally coming from my small set of world cuisine cookbooks; did improvise a few times, but with mixed results. Starting this thread is for me a bit of an opportunity to brag. I intend to post once in a while and tell a story of some recipe I will have recently tested.



So.

The recipe I tried out most recently was a quesadilla. The way it was described made me think it's some sort of deep-fried dumpling with cheese filling, but then I went to the Internet and things got confusing. Looked like the first one was some unusual take on it - all the Internet recipes used "finished" tortillas (or how do you call it when you put a raw tortilla on a dry pan and heat), not raw. So it took me some time to make a decision. But, in the end, I decided to make the dumpling version and it went particularly fortunate in that I had an excess of raw tortillas, which were then used to make the second version.

In general, the cookbook I use has this issue that my bro described with the words "these must be some sort of girl-sized portions or something" - sometimes the sizes scale weirdly. Im my case, they must've intended for the tortillas to be much smaller, I used like six when the recipe called for fourteen.

2 x jalapeno pepper
200 g Cheddar cheese (I guess it's a stand-in for some Mexican cheese that I probably wouldn't be able to buy without travelling abroad)
tortillas (I had simple wheat, but the recipe called for corn flour; still worked though)
oil (I went hipster on this one and actually managed to get corn oil, not that it made a big difference)

So it's like, you shred the cheese, chop the pepper, mix, and place some of it on a raw tortilla, glue the edges together, and fry in oil. End result is somewhat like a cheese-filled pastry, quite tasty and filling. Not the fastest of foods because of tortilla preparation, but would make a good snack if you want to serve your friends, or to make something unusual to like eat at work or something like that.

Then, like I said, I had those leftovers so I could make the other kind. For these, I added chorizo sausage that I had in my fridge, left over from some earlier culinary experiment:

2 x jalapeno pepper
200 g Cheddar cheese
100 (?) g chorizo sausage
tortillas
oil

I chopped the chorizo into smallish pieces and added to the mix, then it was like this: I heated the oil, placed a single tortilla in the pan, spread the mix over it, covered with another tortilla. Turn over once the bottom is fried (it gets crispy), watch out for cheese. End result, a crispy cheese-filled snack, good in taste and nicely crunchy, the downside being that you might be averse to the amount of fat in it, because, frankly, it felt like a dietician's nightmare. (I personally wasn't.) Because of the fat and the lack of glued edges, it's more of an at-home dish than the previously described version, but don't get me wrong, I would not recommend it less than that one.

Apparently, quesadilla is one of those dishes that actually are a family of related dishes sharing the same basic concept, like pizza. In this way it's comparable to pierogi of Polish cuisine. The Internet did certainly impress me with the diversity, although for the first test I didn't want to go beyond the simplest take on it.

Comments

  • edited 2019-02-26 00:58:00
    My understanding is that a quesadilla is basically folded flatbread (to the extent that a flat sheet of flour or corn can be considered flatbread) containing stuff, almost always cheese but often also other ingredients, and then cooked on a pan or griddle. It's not meant to be sealed, in contrast to pierogi (or empanadas or jiaozi/gyoza), though if you did seal it I guess you'd just end up with a burrito instead. The traditional burrito just contains meat and beans while the traditional quesadilla contains cheese, but the fillings are pretty much mixed liberally these days, with the exception that quesadillas have to contain cheese.
  • edited 2019-02-26 04:39:10
    All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    I feel like I just stepped into an alternate dimension way outside of my cooking knowledge. For one thing, my mother won't stand for anything with cheese. She doesn't even have any intolerance issues like I do, just doesn't like it.

    I also don't do anything outside what you'd consider traditional British stuff, and the actual fanciest thing I've made was mini beef wellingtons. I'm feeling inspired now though. I might try making burritos if I ever have more than an hour of free time. If only because I'd only do it if I could try making my own dough/pastry/thing.

    I guess I'm a good enough cook? I used to cook every day and I'd go all out and make lunch* and dessert on Sundays. Now that's down to about twice a week. I also used to love making sweets, I guess I still do? but my own waistline started to, for lack of a better term, 'scare' me. Those skinny dessert YouTubers* surely don't have to eat what they make.

    I kind of quit in the middle* of learning to make Arabic sweets. I was quite obsessed with them because you could be making something similar to what you already knew but the fragrances you infused things with were insane.

    I feel like food is one of those things you can't discuss without mentioning your IRL situation a lot (why you were cooking X, who you were cooking with, why certain things had to be done certain ways). I mean I guess that's okay, but that's certainly a departure for us here.
    I went hipster on this one and actually managed to get corn oil

    When I make rice I use this brand of olive 'oil' that it took me five or so years to realize was not actually olive oil but a mix of sunflower oil, other vegetable oils and a half of olive oil. I honestly felt cheated, but when I bought an entire bottle of fancy, pure olive oil and made rice it... was a very strong, pungent taste that stayed on the tongue for a really long time.

    Needless to say I went back to my old brand after that.

    *I tried to get my parents to call it Sunday brunch but every time I did they rolled their eyes at me.
    *I don't actually watch them, but it always struck me as odd that the people in YouTube preview images promoting making desserts were all Hollywood skinny.
    *well, a few recipes into
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    I feel like food is one of those things you can't discuss without mentioning your IRL situation a lot (why you were cooking X, who you were cooking with, why certain things had to be done certain ways). I mean I guess that's okay, but that's certainly a departure for us here.

    Aye, you guys know where I'm from, but even then I actually did omit some minor details that I didn't feel completely open about.
    I kind of quit in the middle* of learning to make Arabic sweets. I was quite obsessed with them because you could be making something similar to what you already knew but the fragrances you infused things with were insane.

    Have you tried masala chai? It's an Indian way to prepare tea with milk and like a sh14tl0ad of sugar and spices, mostly ginger, cardamum, cinnamon and whateverelse. (Also, it's a fun way to learn the English names for spices.) Also, I've been told the Kurdish way to prepare coffee is black with cardamum.

    I don't know if Lebanon counts in this context as Arabic enough, but without this booklet of recipes I wouldn't ever come up with the idea to add mint to anything that isn't related to dental hygiene, so there's that too.
    My understanding is that a quesadilla is basically folded flatbread (to the extent that a flat sheet of flour or corn can be considered flatbread) containing stuff

    I tried to fold them, but they were left for a few days and dried out, so I went for the sandwich approach.
  • edited 2019-02-27 05:17:07
    All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    I actually did omit some minor details that I didn't feel completely open about.

    That's fine. I mean, I debated on whether I should mention certain things in case it sounded whiny or obsessive, but like, what ended up here ended up here.

    I didn't do anything with mint myself. I did think it would be interesting to try a few of the recipes that did but ended up quitting before I got that far. In terms of Indian desserts, I've always wanted to try making kulfi (a sort of ice-cream-ey dessert with, you guessed it, an infinite number of spices) because I don't get to try it as much as I'd like. It's extremely rare to find sorts without nuts of unknown origin (or nuts of any sort), and we all know how that turns out for me. Not that I should be trying to find more ways to bring even more lactose into my life but like... ice cream is good (yes this is my whole counterargument).

    I really only made two or three recipes, including Oum Ali. That's sort of like a bread pudding, except with a real pastry. I used a yeast-type dough that I'd used before to make (never the right shape) croissants. Instead of bothering to make croissant shapes, I just kind of rolled the dough into weird roundy rolls, baked it, and then crumbed those up.

    This part is kind of jumpy since this was quite a while ago. I mixed coconut shavings which was really pushing it because I hate them with a passion (they feel really really weird in my mouth) with raisins (I hate those even more) and ground cardamom seeds (this I'm okay with). You're supposed to use lots of nuts to give it texture, and really the nuts are the bread and butter (puuuuuuuun) of the recipe but like, nuts, so I made it with what I could actually eat. If this sounds depressing it actually wasn't; the coconuts and raisins weren't bad when masked with literally everything else.

    I set this out into a baking tray whilst I boiled water, vanilla essence and condensed milk (also I preheated the oven).

    I added the cardamom, raisins and coconut shavings to the 'croissant' (fauxsant?) pieces in a baking tray, poured my boiled milk mixture over them, waited until the fauxsant was completely soaked. Then I used my (store bought, he admits in shame) whipped cream can to completely cover the now-super weird mixture I was 100% sure I'd gotten wrong.

    Anyways I popped the whole thing in the oven and it actually worked out! It was really rich and creamy, and the fauxsant and really soaked the flavors up. It's an easy enough recipe to make too if you don't insist on making your own sad excuse for croissants.

    Oh also IIRC Cardamom goes really well with some sorts of coffee.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    ice cream is good (yes this is my whole counterargument).

    *nods in agreement*
    Instead of bothering to make croissant shapes, I just kind of rolled the dough into weird roundy rolls, baked it, and then crumbed those up.

    Yeah, I guess we all know that moment when after getting through two thirds of a recipe we suddenly discover we don't really care that much about following it to a letter. Like, I had it just a while ago.
    I mixed coconut shavings which was really pushing it because I hate them with a passion (they feel really really weird in my mouth) with raisins (I hate those even more)

    I'm fine with raisins, but I second the coconut. It's like, the king is naked, but for some reason everyone tells me he's delicious. I kept quiet until someone recently admitted to not liking the feeling of it.

    Overally this Oum/Omm Ali sounds like a recipe to try out one day, in particular as I have it in my cookbook. You certainly make me believe I could do it.

    So.

    Today I did bryndzové halušky.

    The ingredients're like:

    * 500 g of (ca. four) potatoes
    * 120 g of flour
    * 120 g of bacon
    * 120 g of bryndza
    * some three or something spoonfuls of milk
    * some salt

    Speaking in general, if you are served a relatively traditional main course in my part of Europe, you will see potatoes, wheat flour, or both at once. I suspect the latter were invented mostly to deal with leftover boiled potatoes, so I was surprised this recipe calls for raw. (Actually there even is a whole wikipedia page "kluski".)

    So. You need a pulp, and since I didn't feel like taking out the machine, my fingers are now all in cuts and tears. Trying to avoid getting my blood all over the potato pulp was a bit of a chore. But anyways. I mixed it (the pulp) with flour and the result was pretty much as advertised, a gently flowing dough or how do you call it. Now came the part I mentioned earlier: the recipe said to push the dough through a big-holed sieve into boiling water, but after an initial attempt I decided to make it by hand. Much less of a fuss this way. I guess the original idea is to make small round thingies, but it didn't work for me. You fish them out, then get a pot (I used the same I had for boiling; I am a bit of a boor, I'm not gonna lie), throw bryndza and milk into the pot, stew until bryndza melts. From now on I guess you can do it in various ways; I threw the stuff into the pot and mixed it all together. In the end, you throw fried chopped bacon on top of it. I mention it only by now, but chopping and throwing it into the pan was one of the first things I did, the bacon was slowly getting ready the entire time.

    Taste is good if uncomplicated, but this is some filling shit.
  • Gallina seráfica
    I used to not like coconut stuff, but over time I've grown to accept or even like it.

    But raisins are still the worst.
  • But raisins are still the worst.

    you.
    me.
    pistols that use raisins as ammo.
    dawn.
  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    500 g of (ca. four) potatoes

    This recipe is almost half potatoes.

    I haven't dealt much with potato dough myself but I've always been intrigued by it.
    In the end, you throw fried chopped bacon on top of it.

    One day I will find a recipe where adding the bacon in is the first thing you do.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    This recipe is almost half potatoes.

    Yeah, and I gotta say I admire the simplicity. You just add the flour to the grated potatoes and boil. You don't need to add water or oil to the mix because the potato juice serves well enough in their stead.

    One of my favourite dishes is pretty much just grated raw potatoes mixed with an egg, fried in oil. The egg is not even necessary, although it helps.

    Speaking in general, potatoes simply are easy to grow and filling when eaten. No wonder they became popular in more simplistic cuisines.
    One day I will find a recipe where adding the bacon in is the first thing you do.

    There are soup recipes that start with frying some chopped bacon and chopped onion in a pot and then adding stock. An interesting one I've tried out was the Dutch mustard soup. You fry like a spoonful mustard seed with the rest of the stuff at first, and once you add the stock you add a spoonful of mustard to it.
  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    No wonder they became popular in more simplistic cuisines.

    Indeed. There is a certain appeal to a dish that delivers a genuinely mild flavor over something that's absolutely bursting with everything. One thing I've discovered over time is that both will probably (cognitively, not actually) taste the same when you're just looking to have lunch mid-day, so it's best to just eat what you enjoy.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    Also, yesterday was the Fat Thursday, or whatever it's called where you guys live. (Mardi Gras?) I didn't make any donuts personally, but I ate plenty of home-made ones.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    So. I told you that I learned to use mint as a flavoring through a Middle Eastern recipe, specifically it was tabbouleh. I'm inclined to say it's currently my favourite snack-level dish. The recipe for it that I have goes like this:

    * 200 g of bulgur groats
    * green onion
    * 3 spoons of olive oil
    * like, a lemon or half of it
    * (dried?) parsley leaves
    * dried mint leaves
    * green pepper
    * pepper
    * salt

    first you soak the groats (had to check how it's called in English) in water; the cool part is that you don't have to boil, you just some hour or two. You mix it with oil and lemon juice, add pepper and salt for taste and leave for a while. In Polish we have different words for pepper as the ground stuff you add to chicken soup and for pepper as that fruit or whatever that chilli is an example of, that makes things a bit easier. But anyways. Then you chop the onion and the green pepper and add to the salad, and crush the leaves and add them too, then mix everything. There might be some additional steps consisting of giving the salad some time to rest, but I usually disregard them and just make it in one go.

    End result, I added too much parsley.

    Previously, I added too much onion. Before that, too much pepper. Eh. But at least, now I know a recipe for a salad that's easy to prepare, light on resources, and that mint does have a very nice refreshing taste. (Which I ruined with the parsley.)
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    I don't know the word for that again, but the other day I tested a Spanish recipe that's a fun way to make use of leftover fish (or leftover boiled potatoes). It goes like this:

    * 115 g cod fillet
    * 500 g potatoes
    * two tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
    * one egg
    * one onion
    * two cloves of garlic
    * salt and pepper and perhaps ground chilli/paprika for taste
    * some flour
    * oil and olive oil for frying

    I had, like, twice the fish so I went easy with the potatoes. Didn't really care so I had somewhere between one-point-five to twice the potatoes needed, but it still worked. You need to boil the potatoes and the fish - I'm putting it first since both need some time and you can do the rest in the meantime, I guess (personally I optimized the amount of cooking utensils needed, but you may prefer to go for optimizing cooking time). Chop the onion and garlic, then fry in olive oil until it's somewhere between softened and caramelized (I actually waited beyond the point of softening and it worked out well). Then throw everything including parsley into a bowl and mix. The boiled fish is soft enough for that. If that's not too hot, then throw the egg and spices and mix again. Now you break out the flour, get a plate, throw some flour onto the plate, cover your hands in the flour, and start making small balls with the mix in your hands. Flatten them and leave on the plate. Once you're done, put it into the fridge (I guess the point of it is to make them more solid, but whatevs) for 15 minutes, then pour oil onto a frying pan (should be like 0,5-1 cm of it) and fry the stuff.

    End result, nice handy stuff that works as a standalone dish, an appetizer, and I guess also a part of a larger meal. You can serve it with a sauce - the recipe recommends aioli, but the one time I tried to make it, it tasted awful; something tells me Tartar could work better - or with a slice of lemon. Lemons work well with fish.

    So, that's pretty much that. Took me a good while to make it, but if I actually worked with leftovers that would be a lot shorter. And the recipe is pretty easy, so that's good too.
  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    My dad's a big fish fan, so I might try making this sometime as a side.
    I added too much parsley.

    I once read this Martha Stewart recipe in a magazine when I was like, a kid, and she warned about the dangers of parsley. I, already being somewhat skeptical about her (I think she was in prison at this point) didn't really believe her.

    A few years later it finally happened to me, and it turned out she was right.
  • edited 2019-03-19 17:14:54
    "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    In that case, I think I used circa 10 g of parsley leaves for the fish stuff, but I don't want to be too strict lest I ruin it for you. If you ever do it, it'd be my pleasure.

    Today I did that aioli sauce. The stuff kinda intrigued me ever since I heard of it, but never managed to do it well, until I found this recipe on the internet. Turned out people describe it as "garlicky mayonnaise", and I guess this was the clue that finally made it click for me. So, you'll need a blender and:

    * an egg
    * two cloves of garlic
    * 1/3 to a half of a cup of olive oil
    * 1/3 to a half of a cup of vegetable oil
    * a spoonful of mustard
    * a spoonful of lemon juice
    * pepper and salt

    So, you drop mustard, garlic and egg in a blender and blend them. Then, slowly pour olive oil and vegetable oil, preferably with the machine running as you add it. Then add lemon juice and spices and blend it again.

    Apparently the traditional way is all olive oil, which is a bit too strong for the tastes of anyone who isn't a Mediterranean traditionalist. Using a blender is also supposed to result in a sup-par product, but I doubt anyone here is enough of a hipster to bother with mortar and pestle.
  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    Cooking is full of pretentious stuff nobody actually uses, it seems.

    I've been meaning to make fried dumplings ever since I had them a few weeks ago, but I haven't really been able to fit it into my schedule*.

    *I keep forgetting.
  • edited 2019-04-05 21:42:52
    Gallina seráfica
    Edit: oh you silly snowclones
  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    I think you meant to post this in the Bookclub thread.

    Maaaaybe the thread names are a liiiiiiittle too close.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    That's been the joke. But, if you know of a good way to cook a book, you're welcome.

    Also, it's been a while since I cooked something new (excluding these ready-to-eat pierogi with additional fried onion that I've burned). Perhaps I'll post of some older recipe I've tested, if this continues.

    Hm, while I'm at it...

    You know what's my favourite pasta? All'olio. (Full name aglio et olio or something like that.) Not so much for the taste (although it's perfectly fine) as for the premise of it. It's pretty much:

    * a clove of garlic
    * a chilli pepper (optional I guess)
    * an onion
    * olive oil
    * spaghetti (or some other pasta if you feel this way)
    * parmezan (or some other grated cheese good for Italian cuisine)
    * ground black pepper (I also used white and it seemed to work)

    and I guess you could do it without the onion too. Chop everything, fry until soft, then throw in cooked spaghetti and mix. Add pepper and cheese and that's pretty much everything. So, like I said, I'm fascinated by the premise. It's like, somebody once had lefover pasta and couldn't be bothered to do anything beyond throwing in some olive oil, and to everyone's surprise, it worked.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    So, I made on of those macaroni-and-stuff thingies that you bake in an oven. Casserole, right? But anyways. The recipe was in the Caribbean section of my cookbook. Here are my ingredients:

    * 2-3 spoons of flour
    * like, one-fifth or one-sixth of a bar of butter
    * ca. 100-200 ml of milk
    * 200 g of cheddar
    * an egg
    * like a half teaspoon of cinnamon
    * a spoonful of mustard
    * and, of course, 500 g of pasta, or macaroni, whatever's the difference

    So. Let's assume I already had the pasta cooked. I took a glass pot for baking stuff, smeared the inside with fat, and put some one-third to a half of pasta inside, then took to prepare the sauce. First part of that is to melt the butter and fry the flour in it until it darkens (will taste floury if it doesn't). I forgot the name for that practice, but it was something French (roux?). Then you slowly spill the milk in, mixing it until it's kinda uniform, then you add half the cheese and mix so it melts, then you add the spices and let it cool down, then add raw egg and mix. You have the sauce ready. Add like half of it into the pot. The original recipe at this point asks you to fry two chopped tomatoes and half a can of corn and spread that over the pasta and sauce, but I omitted that step. So, next thing I did was to add the rest of the pasta into the sauce pot, mix thoroughly, and throw into the baking pot. Then you spread the rest of the cheese over the top and place into an oven - 180 Celsius for some 45 minutes should do the thing (if you need you can turn the oven off and let it stay inside for a while longer).

    End result, I didn't do the roux right, and it tasted floury (I think I had too little butter). Could've also been better if I did that tomato-and-corn layer, I guess. That probably means I'd be better off if I just mixed macaroni with cheese melted in hot milk (which is, I guess, the fabled mac'n'cheese of America that I keep hearing about), but I don't complain. It's quite a hearty dish and I wanted to do something like this for a while now. The cinnamon and mustard together make for an uncommon taste that is an interesting thing to try out. Just watch out for cinnamon - it's easy to add too much of it (certainly a lot easier than overdoing the mustard).
  • I have a mint plant. I'm not yet sure what to do with it though.

    I also have a chives plant.

    Both are pretty small but the mint plant is growing quickly.

    Anyhow, I discovered the zapiekanka and now I want one.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    Zapiekanka is relatively easy to make, so go for it and post the story here. (Here's a link if you want the luxury version.) As for mint, my personal recommendation is that you can dry some leaves and either keep them for boiling herbal teas, or try out tabbouleh. I'm actually not that fond of mint taste outside of breath fresheners and teas, so the discovery of mint as a seasoning/spice was a pleasant surprise.

    Also, I've been thinking about sharing the story of my attempt at frijoles.

    So, as far as I can tell it's a Mexican tomato-and-beans stew. I've tried to do it several times, but didn't really work right until the last one, and the trick seems to have been let it simmer on low heat because one couldn't be bothered to check if it's done. Also, I kinda wonked the ingredient proportions, I guess, but it seemed to be a wonk in the right direction.

    Listing the ingredients (from memory so watch out):
    * bay leaf or two
    * an onion
    * a clove or two of garlic
    * some oil (I used olive, but apparently I should've used corn)
    * some two cans of chopped tomatoes
    * a can or two of red beans
    * two leftover jalapeno peppers that I had in my fridge for like months

    ...and I guess that's all. I chopped the onions and garlic, fried them, added tomatoes, peppers and bay leaf, and left to simmer. The original recipe called for boiling raw beans for a freakishly long time, and one of these earlier attempts I did that with canned beans, but that's a bad idea. So I added them after the rest boiled for some time already. I drew a spoon, began to mash the beans inside the pot, then after I figured I mashed enough left everything to simmer on low heat. I switched off the heating after like the second time I had to scrape off the stuff that stuck to the pot's bottom, figured it means that it's thickened enough. That's pretty much it.

    Final note, apparently it's meant as some sort of appetizer and the amount I made was meant to be enough to serve six to eight people, but I ate it in one go. I guess there are better appetizers anyway.
  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆
    It's been a while since I've posted in here seriously but that's probably because I haven't really had the time to whip up something special lately. That is, until today.

    When I was younger there was this bakery a few blocks away from the bookstore I used to work at and they used to make the best mille-feuille custard slices around. However, the place closed down about a year after I discovered it (a few months after I'd stopped working at the bookstore) so I ended up having to learn to make my own since not many other places care to make them. Nobody seems to think they're very fancy outside of France, but I really like them.

    I haven't made them in a while, but this long weekend I finally got the opportunity to hunker down and make some!... literally yesterday because otherwise I totally forgot but also knew if I didn't make them I'd totally forget again.

    Just a warning, prooooooobably leave any notions of this being healthy right here.

    I like to make my own pastry, but it's not necessary (I certainly didn't make mine this time round). My custard recipe is pretty standard though, so I feel like it'd be cheating to try and not make that either. I've found that most storebought custards tend to reaaaaally suck.

    So you'll need:

    -Puff Pastry (homemade or store-bought), two sheets, make sure they're nice and thawed
    -Icing Sugar
    -Baking paper
    -Two baking trays
    -A deep baking tin
    For the Custard:
    -Butter, about half a stick
    -375-400ml Milk, and about the exact same amount in Cream
    -125ml of Water
    -Six egg yolks
    -150g of Caster sugar
    -50g Cornflour
    -Vanilla extract, at least three teaspoons

    So preheat the oven to 180 (golden baking temperature, I find) and set out your sheet of pastry on your baking tray (it should be a relatively big tray). Make sure to lay out some baking paper under it so it doesn't stick, which pastry really loves to do.

    Dust some icing sugar on it so it caramelizes nicely, and set some baking paper on top of it. Then put another tray over it, this is all to stop it from rising. Warning, this means a lot of hot metal coming out of the oven, so there's even more opportunity to burn yourself than usual. Unlike with a lot of things, where I'll just use a folded (dry) towel to get it out of the oven, I break out the heavy duty gloves for this.

    Once the tray is over the parchment and pastry, pour out baking beans into the top tray because puff pastry is not called puff pastry because it just gives in and doesn't rise when you will it to. Now put this gigantic burn hazard into the oven for about 25 minutes.

    Then do all of this again because mille-feuille was invented by somebody who made sure that deliciousness could only be achieved with much toiling. (Really it's so you have two layers of pastry). Actually though, don't use any icing sugar the second time around, but this is actually against conventional home-baking knowledge.

    Okay, now place your baking tin over the layers of pastry in the trays and cut them to size. If you don't have a tin that comes apart, place an oversized piece of baking paper into the baking tin so it hangs over the sides (make sure to fold it along all the corners before feeling sure of this).

    Then place your first layer of pastry inside the tin, hopefully the sugar didn't caramelize to a crisp or your pastry will be fragile and crack at the slightest nudge (when I first did this I was not good at the oven timing/heat ratios, relatedly don't overdo the icing sugar).

    Now for the custard!

    In a saucepan, mix the butter, milk, cream, vanilla and some caster sugar and cook until the mixture is on the cusp of boiling, then take it off the stove. Mix the cornflour with water, then pour it into the saucepan and quickly (well, not burn yourself quickly, faster than leisurely) whisk in the egg-yolks too.

    Put it back on the stove and whisk until it boils. Usually at this point I start to feel lumps in the mixture, but whisking tends to work those out. Let it cook for a bit, whisking until it's thickened. Now take your mixture off the heat and pour it into the baking tray, smoothing it out so it covers the tray evenly.

    Moving on to your second layer of pastry (you can let the custard sit, it's thick enough not to soak into your pastry... hopefully) cut your second layer of (softer if not caramelized*) pastry into even parts. I use a ruler to make sure this actually works out evenly. In my oven, this usually means about eight rectangular parts. Now take those bits and assemble them on top of the custard like a puzzle so they all fit on top.

    Finally, take your baking tin and place it in the fridge for anywhere from five hours to overnight. I chose to keep mine overnight. Take them out of the baking tin and cut along the convenient lines provided by the top pastry layer.

    *A lot of recipes suggest caramelizing the top layer as well, but I find the puff pastry is already pretty flaky and without the weight of the custard it just kind of moves around and doesn't cut right. Plus, the flavour of pure baked puff pastry is nothing to shake a stick at. Plus plus, if you melt some chocolate really quickly in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water you can coat the top layer of pastry for an even better finish (though I didn't do it this time around).

    It took over thirty minutes to type this up @_@
  • edited 2019-05-06 16:19:40
    "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    I skimmed through that post, didn't feel like commenting, left it for later and subsequently forgot about it. My bad.

    Hard for me to address cake preparation. I made a cake only once, and though it came out decent (I overdid the sugar coating but otherwise tasters declared it perfectly fine), I'm kind of overwhelmed by cakes. I don't like preparing the dough, in general, I feel like I won't eat through it fast enough before it spoils, and I'm kind of afraid of faring poorly. I guess it's not actually more difficult than other stuff I already did, but there's a bit of a mental barrier I haven't fully overcome yet.

    So, anyways, it's been a while since my last post and I figured I'll post another recipe. This time it's going to be vegetarian chilli (that's how my cookbook calls it), another recipe from the Caribbean. In case you had to contend with a vegan, it can be all-vegetable, too.

    So, the ingredients:

    * 100-120g of dry red lentil
    * 1-1.5l of vegetable stock
    * a can of chopped tomatoes (or some 200g of tomato)
    * a can of red beans (I''d say ditto, but I'm not sure how much would the equivalent in dry beans weigh)
    * vegetable oil
    * an onion
    * two cloves of garlic

    And, for taste:

    * ca. teaspoon of thyme
    * ca. half of a teaspoon of ground cumin
    * soy sauce
    * a chilli pepper
    * a cup of white wine

    It's essentially a chilli stew, but with lentil replacing the meat. Concerning the container, you'll only need a big pot. Chop the onion and garlic, fry in oil, and once they're soft, add tomatoes. Let it stew for a few minutes, then add stock, lentils, wine, other spices, and a chopped chilli pepper.

    In my experience it's mostly the thyme that gives it a taste, but you can experiment with different proportions of wine and soy sauce. I think I added a bit too much wine last time, but soy sauce is used sparingly in general anyway, and it would be hard to overdo the thyme. Also, you can make it as spicy as you wish - last time I was serving it to my family and I wanted to go easy on them, so I did it with no chilli [ed.: well, almost, but whatever], and they seemed pretty impressed anyway.

    Anyways. Once the lentils are soft, add the beans and let it stew for a few minutes, and that's all. You can serve it with rice, or with a slice of bread, or on its own.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    The other day I had a sausage tooth (like a sweet tooth, but for sausage). I remembered that a long time ago, before I got into cooking for real, I tried out a recipe that was described as some sort of Hungarian stew. Figured I'll try doing it from memory, and actually it worked pretty great, so here's the recipe:

    * two thin sausages
    * an onion
    * cooking oil
    * a can of chopped tomatoes
    * two potatoes
    * a chilli pepper

    ...and that's pretty much everything, although you can try adding spices. I tried ground caraway and basil or or oregano or something (I don't remember for sure), but I didn't see much purpose to that in the end. I'll leave it to you, or for next time.

    Anyways, first thing you do is chop the sausages and throw them into the pot with hot oil. Then chop the onion into half-rings and throw it in, so it will fry in oil until soft, then add tomatoes and chopped chilli. I recommend starting with sausage so that they fry a while longer on their own and get crispier. Now you have a while during which everything stews together. You can use this time to chop the potatoes into small pieces and add them, or you can have them prepared and add them without delay, or you can cook them separately and at this point you just add cooked potatoes and thing's ready to it. But, I like to let the potatoes boil in the stew. Less of a mess this way - and kinda cooler too, since the fact you just throw all the ingredients into a single pot made me feel like I was preparing some sort of an adventurer's field meal.
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