Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cheese Overload!

We have made and eaten some pretty awesome foods this week.

Last night I made tomato cobbler from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian; like any cobbler, it's chopped up fruity stuff with a batter topping. Unlike fruit cobblers, the tomato is mixed with salt, pepper, and cornstarch, then covered with a flour and cornmeal batter. It was pretty good, but not as good as I'd hoped; probably because I didn't add enough cornstarch and so the tomatoes didn't sufficiently gel.

I hate cornstarch. Every time I open the box up, the silken powder gets everywhere. It sticks to my hands, won't measure easily, and doesn't wipe up or wash off without work. So I try to avoid it as much as possible.

This morning I made scones again, and again with chocolate chips. The recipe from Quaker Oats is wrong about adding raisins (or chocolate chips) halfway through the process; if you do that, the raisins or chips will end up mostly on the edge of the scones, and will become burnt into bitter carbon. The rest of the scones turned out fine, though.

Dinner tonight was fondue, from our Barnes & Noble fondue cookbook. It was easy - chop an onion, sauté in a hunk o' butter, add flour and sour cream, then stir in gruyere and cheddar until gooey deliciousness achieved. It was so awesomely cheesy tasty, and none of us should have eaten as much as we did, even using broccoli and cauliflower florets as a nod to balanced nutrition.

Also a frequent dunk into the cheese goodness was Cook's Illustrated's "Almost No-Knead Bread" recipe, which is sadly no longer online for free. It's a variant of Bittman's loaf, with a little tweaking for a higher rise and tangier inside. And it worked, despite all my attempts to ruin it with inaccuracy (I'm not sure I added enough flour), shortcut-taking (we didn't let it cool for two hours because we were too hungry), and my complete inability to knead. The crust is crunchy, the inside soft and tangy, and it tastes like something you get at a restaurant. Next time, we're making it with whole wheat flour.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Argo has a package of cornstarch which is really a plastic jug. It leads to a LOT less mess. Try that instead. It's all I'll buy now.