lwood: (Default)
Late last night, I was in the Safeway nearest [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson's house, wondering what to make for tonight's meeting. I knew it would be soup (it's Soup Weather), but I was teetering between split pea and lentil...when I saw it, peeking out at me from the shelf.

Oh, what, WHAT did she see? If you don't click, you'll never know! )
lwood: (hrafnar logo)
This is the recipe for the soup I served at last night's Hrafnar. I modified it slightly from this one, which itself is a copy of this recipe, published in the now-defunct Gourmet magazine in November 1996.

The significant changes were to use butternut squash purée instead of pumpkin, and vegetable broth instead of beef broth--one of our irregular attendees is a vegetarian who cannot have pumpkins-as-such for religious reasons. As one may freely substitute the winter squashes for each other in most cases, this didn't present a significant challenge.

Recipe behind a cut )

And Last...

Sep. 4th, 2007 12:36 am
lwood: (falcon)
Given this recipe for Beef Tenderloin in Salt Crust.

On viewing it, it immediately struck me as something that would work dandily with a pork tenderloin--let us grant this, no argument needed.


What if, inside that very salty dough, you had an intermediate layer of leek leaves? Would it delicately scent the meat, prevent the salt from doing its work, or simply be redundant?

Please discuss.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (daffodil)
[Dear [livejournal.com profile] purplevenus et al, I make much talk of cooking meat, although also some of okra; you may not want to enter )
lwood: (stitch)
So far, I have made two batches of Labneh, aka "yogurt cheese". This is made by relieving the yogurt of its liquid whey, either by making a cheesecloth bag and allowing the cheese to compress itself (as is traditional), or by pressing yogurt through a cheesecloth and strainer, possibly with the aid of a weight (Alton Brown favors this).
What happened to them? Click to see! )
lwood: (stitch)
As promised...

Adventures in Bacterial Ranching behind the cut )So, after all of that, I have two quarts of yogurt, which I'm going to squeeeesh into soft cheese, thus:

Cheese One: 6-7 April (projected)

Tonight, I'm going to take the two batches, wrap in cheesecloth, and allow to drain in the refrigerator under weight. The result is going to Greyhaven for taste testing on Sunday during Tea. Some will be plain, some will dance with roasted garlic, some will get cozy with basil, and yet more with sundried tomatoes, the whole to be nibbled with $flatbread. Should this all go over well, I'll probably do it all over again for Hrafnar, only with different flavorings: dill, garlic, straight, and I-dunno-yet.

Tea at Greyhaven is an open affair, should anyone be interested. 8-) Perhaps not this week, it's Easter/Twins' Birthday/Etc. Well, Hrafnar Happens anyway. ;)

-- Lorrie
lwood: (oracle-sign)
So, for no damn good reason, I was suddenly compelled to start making yogurt this week.

Now two people who don't share much of a data pool in common are making probiotic noises: One of them has been clubbed over the head by them in a way I can only consider akin to acquiring a spirit ally*, the other wants to repopulate their GI tract after a bout of food poisoning.

Oh! That's why!

Extended post detailing my adventures in monster probiota ranching to follow, this is just funny.

-- Lorrie

* - Re: bacterial buddies. Yeah, that sounds ravingly fluffy. Look at it this way: lots of folk have animals, another wide swath have ancestors, I know a few with trees, I know another few with fungi. I could argue that it wouldn't suck for a brewer to deal with his yeast this way, but bacteria with whom you, as a human, are engaged in a mutual symbiotic relationship would be--dare I say--logical. Next, someone who's read A Wind in the Door will run up to me and explain how they have deep, meaningful relationships with their mitochondria. I will not be surprised at this. Also, someone else will find yet another reason to affix my face to a dartboard as I am the Living Symbol of All Things Fluffy; I will not be surprised at that, either.

PS: Yes. Oracle. It's a town in Arizona. I was there (it's not far from Tucson, right by the Biosphere, near the non-Interstate route between Tucson and Phoenix).
lwood: (troth new logo)
Well, after last quarter's lengthy discussion of draugar in the Icelandic sagas, I have made another contribution to this quarter's Idunna.

A rabbit stew recipe.

While the posting of recipes is normally reserved for Aunt Hilda, her offering on strawberries was, unfortunately, not available at press time.

Still, rabbit's really yummy stuff. This particular stew is essentially a chicken stew recipe in order to encourage the unadventurous: they're not completely swappable, but this will do. Oh, and I encourage experimentation with root vegetables besides potatoes and carrots (egad!).

Perhaps for this next Hrafnar I will go so far as to commit actual hasenpfeffer. Making carrot cake with [livejournal.com profile] water_of_fire, though, and some kind of wabbit, are in the cards regardless.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (raven watching)
"So, I want a great big roast that I'm going to dry-age in my refrigerator*, then sear on all sides and roast to pink perfection. What cut would you recommend for this treatment?"

I am at my local high-end grocery store, what has the real meat counter. It's slow right now, and two meatmongers, call them Alan and Bob, are behind the counter.

Alan: "Oh, well, we like the Sirloin Tip and the Cross-Rib SHoulder. Those have good prices--$4.99/lb--and good size."

They also have bottom round, standing rib, and eye round roasts. The roast is for this weekend's Odin Party, so obviously, I want to have a word about that eye round... "Those eye rounds, how would they do? It doesn't look like it'd be big enough."

Alan: "Oh, those are only three, four pounds."

lwood: "Yeah, I'm going to need about nine pounds, it's a big party."

Alan: "You'd need two eyes, then."

Bob: "I got two eyes."

Alan: "Really? Do they both work?"

Bob: "Oh, yeah. All twenty-twenty over here, man."

I want you all to know it was only by a heroic effort of self-control that I did not break out into inappropriately large gales of laughter that I would then have to explain.

Meanwhile, a gent of my acquaintance was discussing Odin with me. As long as we're making up alphabetical names, call him Carl:

Carl: I get the whole - "Luke, turn away from the Dark Side" thing from everyone

lwood: Only because you haven't talked to the scary Odin kids, who of course say, "Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies."

Carl: Except you're not all that scary.

-- Lorrie, Not Scary. Want a cookie?

* - As done in The Finest Restaurants, this is basically letting your beef sit around in refrigerated air for four days so that, yes, it starts breaking down (OMGs!). While this results in more tender and flavorful meat, this still seems Wrong to some inner hygiene freak of mine, who is going to have a lie-down until Saturday. It's also pretty safe: the outer layer dries up and is sliced off, and the new outer layer gets seared with high heat. Still freaked? Then don't eat it--more for ME.
lwood: (Default)
Lorrie's "Rouse the Hunt" Eggnog

(inspired by [livejournal.com profile] dduane's Mysterious Miss S., [livejournal.com profile] lferion and Alton Brown)
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: Well over a gallon; call it five quarts.

12      large eggs, separated*
1    lb casters, superfine, or confectioners sugar** (approx 3 3/4 cups)
2    qt whole milk
1    qt heavy cream
1 1/2 c dark rum (e.g. Myers') (half a big bottle/a whole little bottle
1 1/2 c good bourbon whiskey (e.g. Maker's Mark)
much    nutmeg, to be grated on the spot--or you'll get the back of my hand!

Crack each egg into a small bowl. Put the yolk in one medium bowl, and the white in another. This will only seem like too much fuss until you screw up separating one of the eggs, and then you'll thank me. Repeat for the whole dozen eggs.

Now take all those whites, which should be about 1 1/2 c, seal them up in something airtight, and pop it into the refrigerator. We'll get back to them tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, whisk the yolks together until they are of a uniform consistency and have lightened in color. Now slowly add the sugar while continuing to whisk, always aiming to incorporate old sugar as new sugar is added. By the time you're through, it'll be quite thick in there, like a thick batter or thin dough. That's okay, you're about to thin it right back up.

Begin adding the milk. As you incorporate it into the sugary yolks, it will thin back up considerably (hooray). At some point...you're gonna need a bigger boat bowl, so transfer it then. Once you're done adding the milk, go for the cream.

Now, before you grab that booze, a sidebar:

This is just about the only pothole in the crafting of eggnog: when a big blob of alcohol hits an innocent strand of protein, the protein grabs onto all of its buddies, and they go into a big clumpy huddle. Those proteins call their friends in, and they call their friends, and so on, and so on. You want this to happen slowly, gradually, throughout the pitcher because that'll thicken the whole thing, rather like a custard. Do it wrong and the protein forms scared, clumpy lumps, which really isn't what you wanted. Separating the eggs was the first step in keeping this wolf at bay, as those whites were nearly all protein, but here's the other:

Pour the booze into the egg mixture v-e-r-y s.l..o...w....l.....y. Trickle it. Use a measuring cup if that'll help, and stir your proto-nog all the while.

Apply all of this to a pitcher, and throw the pitcher in the chill chest for not less than overnight. Well, okay, you can have a small taste...but I suggest a shotglass.

The next morning, you may, if you like, whip the egg whites to soft peaks, sprinkle in some more sugar to ensure they'll stay...firm...then whip to stiff peaks and stir into the mix. Whipping the tar out of those whites gets those proteins all coagulated, and will lighten the texture of your eggnog considerably.

It'll stay good in the refrigerator for several days--many, really. Embrace the power of booze!

* - Los federales would like you to know that so much as looking crosswise at a raw egg means certain death from salmonella. This is generally only a problem for people with weakened immune systems: very young children, old people, and otherwise immuno-compromised. If that's your deal, find one of the cooked recipes. However, even if it isn't, this would be a great time to splurge on those highfalutin' eggs.

** - Casters sugar may be hard to find at the local megamart; I specifically went to the local snooty grocery looking for it. Most stores I've been to in California have a "superfine" that's finer than granulated but not as fine as confectioners (or as casters), but should do fine here. Confectioners is ground quite well enough, but has cellulose in it as an anti-caking agent, which can throw off the taste and inhibit some of the coagulation you're aiming for. Why such a fine grind? So it takes less than all year to dissolve in a cold liquid...

-- Lorrie

PS: Note to Self: The two dozen eggshells of your courageous double batch, once run through the disposal, turn your kitchen sink's drainpipe into a filter. This is suboptimal. Do not do that again.
lwood: (Default)
Herein, I compare and ponder four eggnog recipes:Read more... )
lwood: (daffodil)
Depending on how you reckon things, I am 100000, 40, 32, and 20 years old today*, all at the same time.

Owing to lack of any real planning, celebration will be:

ME! Having SUSHI for LUNCH! Woohoo! A feast of raw fleshy fishy bits, and lo, green tea ice cream.

And! A quiet dinner at the home of The Notorious DLP, in the company of whomever was invited and could show up on essentially no notice. But they will get salmon, aspearagus, and, if I've anything at all to say about it, ice cream cake. 8-)

My only sadness is that [livejournal.com profile] countgeiger is away in Vegas for a class this week. Last year, I was away in Jotunheim for the occasion, off gaining crazy wisdom in strange places like a good little Oðinnsgyðja--and what I got instead of cake was worth it, I ween. Next year, I want cake and my husband and the kin of my heart while fresh from another trip to Jotunheim--and I aims to get 'em.

Mad props, and my love, to all y'all.

-- Lorrie, now a happy power of two.

* - That's 1000002, 408, 3210, or 2016 years old, respectively, apply appropriate base as needed.
lwood: (stitch)
A study at Johns Hopkins University released in the past few days has determined that ingesting psilocybin (from context, apparently in a refined, mushroom-free form) gives you profound psychospiritual experiences.

I'm happy that they're researching these things on the one hand. On another, "don't do this at home" actually does have some credence over and above spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Mind-blowing experiences are best had, at the very least, when there's someone nearby with twin crucial wisdoms of "here, have a Kleenex" and "getting the fuck out of the way of a mindblowing experience".

Here's a link to the article in the SF Chronicle, article text pasted behind the cut. )
lwood: (mandelbit)
Someone on my friends list is gainfully employed at an answering service whose primary clients are medical professionals, and so collects many All-New Words for, well, private parts.

And yet, I bet nobody has called her to say, "Call my gynecologist, there's something wrong with my perthro!"

This is probably because her list of suspects would be rather short...

This brought to my attention by [livejournal.com profile] kenazf:

Meanwhile, back at the Stately Mad Science Lab, the on-campus cafe is serving as one of its specials, a:

G uacamole
B acon
L ettuce
T omato


"[Co-Worker]", says I, "that's one queer sandwich."

Better not tell [livejournal.com profile] hauk about this new secret meaning of bacon...

-- Lorrie


lwood: (Default)

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