Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving, short break

Howdy folks. Since I'm going to be moving in a few days, I need to take a break while all this goes down. A few days of driving, a few days of packing, a few days of unloading... I'll be back in maybe a week. Sorry folks.

I'm sad that I won't be able to visit all of your awesome blogs :[

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Busy today

A little busy today, so I'll just let my biscuits and gravy speak for themselves.
Until next time!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making over leftovers.

Hmm, what's in the 'fridge? Some leftover fried chicken and french fries? Sure, that's a light snack for one person, but we can turn it into lunch for two with some work.

 The chicken was easy. Shred it up, add minced celery, green onions, cilantro, and bring it together with mayonnaise and a dab of sour cream. Chicken salad. The fries... well, we can cut them up, toss 'em in a hot pan with some oil so they crisp up again, add minced onions and some generous seasoning, and we've got home fries. Perfect! Let's eat.
There you go. Chicken salad sandwiches and home fries, from table scraps. Just takes a little effort, folks!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gyoza/Jiaozi/Pot stickers

Here's something you don't see in an American kitchen too often (made fresh, anyway)
Gyoza! Or pot stickers, whatever. I love these things. I make them so often Ihardly bother measuring the ingredients anymore. You get yer' ground pork, soy sauce, garlic, scallions, salt and pepper, and an egg white (to hold it all together!) mix it all up (get your hands dirty, it's easier that way) and then you enlist your mother and sister to take a little spoonful of the filling and wrap a won-ton wrapper around it (get these guys at the store). Then you sear-steam-sear and eat up.

I like this recipe because it stretches your meat budget. With one pound of ground pork you can make roughly... 70 of these guys. Serve with some rice and veggies and you've got a nice meal.

Oh, they freeze easy too! Once frozen you don't even need to that them, just toss 'em in a pan and steam them. Better than anything you'd find in your supermarket freezer section ;]

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Dinner time again. I did some more baking.
Pretzels! I also made some bratwurst, but those weren't as attractive. I got a little tired of the usual shape, so I got a little creative on some of them. Half are with salt, and half are with salt and sesame seeds.

I got this recipe from the TV show 'Good Eats' hosted by Alton Brown. That man is brilliant, and being able to watch each process of making these pretzels really made it easier. Not much more to it than mixing the dough, shaping the pretzels, boiling 'em in water spiked with baking soda, and baking 'em. They were delicious, and I've still got some left over!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

And now for something completely different

I spent most of yesterday working so I didn't have time to make anything worth mentioning for dinner. I'll make a quick post though, so I"m not letting anyone down :3

Just wanted to mention the upcoming 'Berserk' anime that people have been chatting about for a while. I started reading Berserk a month or two ago, and I love it. I haven't watched the first anime series, but I've seen bits of it. It looks... well, not nearly as good as the manga. However, with the release of the 35th manga volume, a new anime for 2010 was announced:

So far three teasers have been released. It's supposed to be in CG or something, which has a lot of people pissed off but I think it looks okay (with the exception of Zodd in the second teaser...). The teasers show scenes from the Golden Age arc, all the way up to the beginning of the Millennium Falcon arc, so I assume it's not going to be a continuation of the original anime, which left out a bunch of important characters and plot points. I always know the manga will be better in my opinion, but I'm looking forward to this anime in any case...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Making pizza, part 2...

Sorry for the delay, I got a little bogged down working on other things... Where were we?

Ah, yes, our pizza. One hour later, it should look like this:

 Roughly doubled in size. The oil keeps it from sticking to everything, and gives it a nice flavor too.

Now, get whatever you plan to be baking on, preferably a heavy baking sheet, and carefully pour out the excess oil onto the pan, and spread it around with your fingers. If you're using a double batch you may need to add a little more oil to cover the whole pan. Next, plop your dough ball onto it.
Excellent. now using your fingertips, gently spread the dough out into a thin disc. If you get it too thin, it'll break up, or burn when you cook, but if it's too thick the pizza won't be nice and crisp. (TIP: if your dough doesn't want to cooperate with you and recedes when you stretch it, simply let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The gluten will relax, and the dough will stretch out easier!)
Poifect. Now we wait again; 30-45 minutes. This is called proofing. In the meantime, heat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the time's up, pop that sucker in the oven for about 5 minutes. Should yield something like this:
Lookin' good. Now for the fun part; toppings. This is where I can't help you. It's your pizza, you can put whatever you like on it! Today I'm just doing tomato sauce, mozzarella, and smoked sausage.
Rock and roll. Now, if you have a pizza stone in your oven, now's the part where you'd get your peel, and slide the pizza onto it, where you'd cook it for about 2 minutes, then transfer it directly to the oven rack and let it sit under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. However, I don't have my stone at the moment, so we're just going to pop it back in the 500 degree oven for another 5 minutes or so. For at least two of these minutes, I turn the broiler on. Basically, keep an eye on your pizza. Take it out when she looks ready. Something like...
This! From here you can cut it however you want, add red pepper, tabasco (thank you shiro you putz), parmesan, whatever the hell, and eat that sucker. Enjoy it, you just made your own pizza!

Well, there you have it. I have a little more work to do, but then I'll finally be able to relax and catch up on some other blogs I've been reading. Have a good one, folks.

Making pizza, part 1...

I decided instead of just telling y'all the recipe, I'd show it to you as well, so I set out to fix up a pizza for lunch. This recipe makes a small, very rustic-style pizza, nothing like the crap you get at your local pizza hut. One of these guys makes for a modest dinner for one, but the recipe is easily doubled.

First, the ingredients:
-Flour, unbleached, all-purpose
-Instant yeast
-Olive oil

Now, the equipment:
-A mixing bowl (medium for a single batch, large for a double batch)
-A sturdy mixing spoon
-And somethin' to bake on. I've gotten decent results doin' the whole thing on my cheap-o pizza pan, but, the best ones I've made were started on a pan, moved to a baking stone, then finished on the oven rack.

Now, the recipe:
4 ounces (by weight!) unbleached, all-purpose flour (approx. 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. by volume. if you have a scale, USE IT! you know how to mesure flour by volume, right? dip and sweep, dip and sweep...)
1/2 tsp. each of your yeast, sugar, and salt
2.75 ounces (by weight, again) slightly warm water (1/3 liquid cup by volume)

Add your dry ingredients and give them a little mix to get it all incorporated, then make a little 'well' in your bowl and pour your water in, like so:
Now gradually stir the flour in... This is where practice makes perfect, it might be a little troublesome to get your dough together the first few times, but if it looks a little dry and crumbly, buckle down and stir the dickens out of it. This is why I told you to use a sturdy spoon! You can add a teensy bit of water if you need to. your dough should turn out somethin' like this:

Shaggy, sticky, unappetizing. Perfect. Scrap the dough off your spoon with a knife if you need to. And you will need to.

Next, drizzle in a bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon, I never measure...) next to your dough, and use your spoon to coat the dough ball in the oil. Like-a this:
Now it's shaggy, sticky, unappetizing, and OILY. Cover your bowl with foul, plastic wrap, whatever, and let that guy sit for one hour.

Yes, a whole hour. I never said it'd be fast. I'll be back later in the day to wrap this one up for y'all :3