When the ratio is wrong, the "soup" is regarded with (at best) thinly veiled disdain as a shallow plateful of damp vegetables. My goal is to improvise soups that elicit cries of joy and satisfaction; the team appreciates the food I make, but the joy's not always there. Excelsior!
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup stone ground rye flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup coarsely ground shelled, toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp melted sweet butter
and built up the contour with slanted sides in regular clay
and lined with regular pie dough.
I was worried about the difference in thermal conductivity of the metal and the clay and thought baking the bottom crust blind before filling might be prudent. (Line pan with pastry and cover the pastry with foil. Fill cavity with pie weights---I use dry navy beans which I keep for reuse. Bake at 425F for 25 minutes. Remove weights and foil and return to oven for about 10 minutes to brown crust.) I made enough filling for two pies, filled the still-warm bottom crust, topped the pie and decorated.
Apple pie is lumpy and pie dough puffs and shifts on baking and none of this makes for easy sculptural effects. As you can see, the result didn't exactly scream "bro fist", but a little paint (slightly diluted red food colouring)---and being six feet directly above the pie---made all the difference. Hard to tell from the picture, but the thumb nail is sugar crust. Also hard to tell from the picture is how delicious the pie was!
The bottom and top crust were well baked and browned and the pie cut just fine, but the sides were still a little softer than I would have liked. If I had to do it again, when baking the bottom crust blind, I would take out most of weights after 25 minutes, pull the foil away from the sides (which will have baked enough not to collapse), return the pan to the oven for 10-15 minutes and then remove the rest of the weights and foil and give it a final 10 minutes. This would allow the sides to be fully cooked and more deeply browned before filling the pie at which point browning of that part of the crust clearly stops. The hot filling steams the side crust, which is up against the clay dam, whereas the bottom crust keeps browning on the outside, where it is in contact with the metal pan. (This is assuming I don't go into business making countless bro fist pies, in which case I would first have metal pans custom made in the correct shape and not have to prebake the crust at all.)
Happy 12th Birthday, Nate! Keep being awesome, like I know you will bro'. Love, Dad.
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts split lengthwise
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp alepo pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 extra-large onions (Spanish are good)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil, not EVOO)
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- pinch of ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground Ramshapatti pepper (or something else hot)
- 1.5 c light cream (or 1 cup heavy cream and 0.5 - 1 cups of water)
- 1/2 ground almonds
- 1 tsp garam masala
- lemon juice and salt
Trying to experiment with (and use up) leftover black-eyed peas, I put three chopped rashers of bacon, one small chopped onion, one cup of dried black-eyed peas into the pressure cooker. I put in 3.5 cups of water, 2 tsp salt, and 0.5 tsp of ground cayenne pepper. I took it to high heat for 24 min and then let it come down in pressure naturally.
They came out delicious, but next time I would (a) reduce water to 2.5 cups, and salt and cayenne proportionally, and (b) reduce cooking time by a few minutes.
For New Year's, I fried up a quarter pound of chopped bacon, one chopped carrot, one chopped onion, and some chopped celery in the pressure cooker and then added 1.5 cups of rice and 1.5 cups of black-eyed peas, 3 cups of leftover turkey broth, 4 cups of water, less than a tsp of harissa, lots of pepper, and 1 tbsp of salt. I cooked it at pressure for 24 min and then let it come down in pressure naturally. We ate it with spinach sautéed with onions, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil, and some bacon bits.
We ate it with hot sauce and celebratory champagne. The crowd of four was very happy; it would have served at least six lumberjacks. Next time I would switch to 2:1 ratio of beans to rice, drop the liquid by at least one cup, and reduce cooking time by a couple minutes.
Same recipe as usual (I used butter as the fat, and a 50-50 mix of maple syrup and molasses as the sweet), just 30 minutes at full pressure in the pressure cooker instead of six hours in the oven. It worked! Full disclosure: I began with the parboil step, so the end-to-end time was a full hour. But still awesome.
I sautéed a chopped half-onion, half-carrot, half-parsnip, and half-pepper along with a small lamb shank in lots of olive oil in my pressure cooker. I added half a cup of french green lentils, one cup water, and a tsp each of salt and cumin. Then, in a refrigerator-clearing move, I added the flesh from a small pumkin-like squash (the 'fuzz says its name starts with a "k").
I put the lid on and took the cooker to high pressure for 14 min and then let it cool down for 15 min. I opened the cooker, pulled the meat off the bone, chopped it, and stirred everything together into pumpkin-lamb dal. I added more salt, as usual. The 'fuzz made couscous to go with. Slightly sweet and very delicious!
The 'fuzz gave me a pressure cooker for my birthday and I am learning how to use it. I made great lentils and great vegetable stew, but bad beans. So I am trying again, with a very small quantity. Here's what I tried tonight:
- three rashers bacon, cut into small pieces
- one small onion, chopped
- one clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried black beans
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp cumin
Fry onions and bacon for a few minutes, then add garlic and beans and water and cumin, bring to high pressure for 40 min, let cool off for 10 min. Add salt and pepper to taste.
They came out good. We ate some in quesadillas and ate some more mixed with corn and hot salsa. Next time I will make them with a lower bacon-to-bean ratio and a slightly lower water-to-bean ratio.