Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cleaning House

No pictures today - Blogger Beta is giving me problems...

As some of you have noticed I was not posting this week - apologies proferred... work & stress got in the way. Hopefully that is done for.

What has been going on? Well, I have another 2 casseroles in the kiln, they need decorating, but I have some ideas - completely irrelevant to their intended use - but why not?

I have made another Sullivan Street No-Knead bread - this time using 1/4 whole rye flour. It turned out incredibly. This time I let it sit for about 20 hours (I just couldn't face getting up at 6am on a Saturday) and then I got caught up in cleaning house and only threw it into the oven at about 11:30 - so it had a second rise of about 3 1/2 hours. It came out light and full of holes, with an extraordinarily crisp crust and a sourdough flavour that put it into what I think of as a stellar state. It has been the most succesful combination to date. I ate a slice just with butter and a touch of Maldon salt, and then I had another slice with avocado, and then I couldn't resist and had a third slice for dessert with creamed clover honey and butter. Delicious!

I did get to the Carmel market on Friday - what is Friday without that? But I didn't buy anything, just took pictures. Everything seems to be orange at the moment - persimmons, clementines, oranges, orange peppers, pumpkin, even the egg yolks are bright orange at the moment... Good thing I like things that are orange!

I have been cleaning house all day - including trying to clear out the fridge a bit. I made a lovely smoked salmon, goats cheese and broccoli quiche - so that is lunch dealt with for the entire week - though I might freeze a slice or two and have some ready for a day when I don't get a chance to cook.

I took a piece of beef shin with attached tendons out of the freezer and, inspired by Chubby Hubby, made a Vietnamese style dish. Very simply, you braise the meat with water, soy sauce, ginger and garlic for about an hour. Don't be dismayed if it is still tough - it is supposed to be. You then chill it completely in the stock. You then slice it VERY thinly (it is much easier to slice when it is cold) and rebraise it briefly in a sauce made of caramelized sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce. The meat is supposed to be a bit chewy, but because it is sliced so thinly that is not a deterent, it adds interest. The tendon bits go unctuous and slithery. We have a word in my family that is used to describe steamed ho fan noodles (thick white rice noodles)- glibbery. And that is how the tendons were. This oozes umami. I served it on crushed butter beans tossed with sesame oil, green onions and coriander, and the whole dish was drizzled with chili oil for some kick.

The leftovers will be frozen and then go onto instant ramen soup for another quick and easy lunch.

Also being cleared out of the fridge were lots of potatoes (sweet and white) from the CSA. I am roasting them in the oven with a generous glug of olive oil and then I will have some for dinner with preserved herring roe, they crunch like tobiko - flying fish eggs, but are sweet and salty - Russian style, and a fried egg. I think of it as a deconstructed taramosalata. Also in the oven is a small slice of pumpkin with some maple syrup, cinnamon, savory, sage, cayenne and allspice. I'll dash some Maldon on top for the final touch. And I'll have a mixed baby greens salad with a squish of lemon and some Syrian olive extra virgin oil.


Emily DeVoto said...

Whew. I'll be right over to help you consume your leftovers.


(What's the Chubby Hubby reference about?)

I'm also having problems with Blogger Beta today :( .

aja said...

Hi Emily,
Toda Raba!

C'mon over and join me for supper - I have lots to share!

I would have put a link to Chubby Hubby - he is a blogger from Singapore who seems to have a very glam life and wonderful food opportunities... both eating and cooking , but the good folks at Blogger Beta, unfortunately, seem to have been on vacation today... oh well, I'll post pics and links tomorrow.

burekaboy — said...

no pictures needed. your descriptions are good enough for the mind to conjure up pictures of your escapades. :-) chubby is very popular, isn't he? no doubt with food like that.

glad to hear the bread turned out so well. the long ferments are what make it so good. of course, people expect everything in a flash and are dismayed at having to wait. you are also only going to get the right hole [crumb] structure from this long, slow process.

things that go crunch are the best! sounds like you ate well. ;p

aja said...

Hey BB,
Thanks! I agree with you about the long time for rising - it definitely makes a huge difference in the taste. This one even tasted good the next day - chewy and tangy...

burekaboy — said...

i bet even the holes tasted great :P

aja said...

Hey BB,
Heck, they were just filled with hot air!