Huffity Puffidy Frittely Doughedy Crustify Lustilley Craftity Fry

plllog

It's time for a new thread. I'll add-in a digest of what was said in Kool Beans's FP thread about Fry Bread and Beignets and Pasta and things out of basic dough, especially fried. Please feel free to wander, but extra points if you can end every post with "beignets" (must be used in a natural sentence to get full marks)


Some of you may know that I've been doing recipe tests to make August birthday desserts. I've just done the peach tart (there's a thread) and the Princess Cake is up next. The final one is Strawberry Shortcake, which isn't a big challenge. There's a December birthday, however, who never gets the specialnesses. I finally worked out of her that her very favorite cake is Napoleon. It's actually pretty easy if you control for moisture properly, but I hate frozen puff pastry. So my next big project after next week will be mastering traditional puff. Nor quick puff, or rough puff, or any kind of cheater puff, but the real deal. And not inverted puff until I have the normal kind done.


Do any of you have a good puff pastry (traditional with the folds) recipe? I've been reading a bunch of them and they're weird! The kind I mean has flour and water, and maybe a little salt for the dough and butter for the butter. Beurre Sec. The brand of butter I like does come in a baking ready beurre sec version, but it's hard to find. I haven't tried the restaurant supply store for an industrial brand yet. I don't need to make that much puff! There are different versions of the fold and chill. I saw an interesting one which uses the FP slicing blade on frozen butter to make it thin and organized in shape. That's cool. Another talks about bringing the dough in long panels from four sides over a central block of butter, but I can't figure that out and there are no pictures. The traditional book fold doesn't intimidate me. Getting the dough and butter perfectly square does, but not the folding. But recipe? Some use bread flour for the high gluten. Others warn against developing the gluten. Some stretch the dough. Others just pat it with the rolling pin. I'm lost!


2Many, here's a link to the sufganiot recipe I last used. I remember they were good, but would probably have been better if I'd sloshed the oil with more abandon. :) Some of them opened up--I probably overfilled and/or got them too goopy to seal. They all tasted good, and this is the real deal, as far as I'm concerned, with the jam on the inside rather than injected after baking, and small balls rather than big American style jelly doughnut pillows. I think it would be easier with helpers. I make yeast hamantaschen too, and it's always an issue with the dough blossoming at the wrong point. Work fast in small batches for best results. I found another recipe which uses two pieces of dough around the jam. I wonder what would happen if you froze jam spits and formed the dough around them? Do you think without the jam, they'd just be beignets?

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foodonastump

Not sure what your objection is to frozen puff pastry, but I’m wondering if you’ve tried Dufour brand. If you don’t like it, it’s probably not because of the ingredients: butter, flour, water, salt, lemon juice.

Time to look up exactly what beignets are. I associate them with Tiana and that’s about it. Partial credit?

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plllog

My objection to frozen puff pastry is that it never comes out like the real deal. I don't think we have Dufour, which may be superior. I used to have issues with frozen filo, but Fillo Factory, while being a bit thick, is really nice, even though frozen. We can't get fresh anymore, so that's a really good thing. I'm never going to be able to make filo that satisfies my notions of what it should be like. But puff pastry doesn't look that hard. I mean, it might take a lot of practice to really get right, but I'm pretty good at this stuff, and it looks entirely doable, once I have a recipe and method that's right. I'm willing to put in the effort.

Sure, FOAS, partial credit. They're NOLA fried pastries. Apparently the ones I've seen pictures of that look like layers are actually fried puff pastry! There are also the kind that are cut like ravioli and form a single balloon puff, and the ones that are more like regular doughnut balls. I'm trying to be very specific because this builds on a conversation about the puffing of fry bread and sopapillas and puffing vs. bubbling, which has nothing to do with puff pastry. For complete extra credit, try to make the last word "beignet(s)".

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Islay Corbel

I really think this film is interesting. It's in French but it shows the technique. I don't know anyone who would fuss about dry butter....2% more fat? Don't worry.

https://www.marmiton.org/videos/faire-la-pate-feuilletee-soi-meme-v505652.html

A doughnut is just a beignet.

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lindac92

I have traditional puff pastry....once. The recipe came from Gourmet magazine...I likely have it somewhere. Time consuming but not in any way rocket science....I just made the flour and water dough and made a flat "brick" of butter.....rolled out the dough after chilling folded the butter into the middle, book folded, rolled out, folded and put to chill again. Repeat. The trick was to have the dough and the butter equally cold and to have the dough soft enough to roll but not so soft that the butter squishes out....roll out, fold, chill and repeat.


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plllog

Thank-you Linda and Islay. That's the method I'm familiar with and just need a good recipe for (I have enough French (repuposed Spanish) to more or less read the one with the video, but not sufficient, I don't think, to follow it. There are plenty in English. Not the one with the egg, nor the ones with vinegar. I'd prefer not to flour the butter, as well. The butter that qualifies as beurre sec is just the unsalted version of what I use as table butter. I just have to find out who carries it. They make it for baking, and I'd like to oblige them. I'll search on Gourmet for Linda's recipe.

ETA: I looked it up. The recipe I found was one of the kind that cut butter into the flour. Lots do. The recipe with the incomprehensible, complicated roll out has the right kind of recipe, but I'm hesitant to use the proportions from one with the method of another.

Update: IC gave me an idea. I searched in France and found a video and stills. This is exactly what the recipe I have was talking about. I've seen this done on TV as well. It's definitely worth a trial. Getting the butter to sit right on the dough at the start, in the normal folding method, is the most worrisome for me, so I like this one a lot. :)

IC, you're right, though, here, it's specifically the kind made in New Orleans that's called beignet.



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plllog

Thread of origin. We need some good recipes for beignets.


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writersblock (9b/10a)

You definitely win Thread Title, plllog!

Ann T's latest blog post is about savory puff pastry tarts:

http://www.thibeaultstable.com

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foodonastump

Yum. She makes it sound easy.

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2ManyDiversions

Been itching to get to this thread! Busy day: doctor, errands, putting out fires (remodel fires, metaphoric, not actual fires!) and still going... Started to make a reference to the Energizer bunny, but as I picked a sculpt I did of a bunny with a ladybug on it's nose for my GW User picture I felt that was just too much rabbit).

plllog, I think I really get you. Mayhap I'm wrong ; ) But, seeing as the December Birthday rarely gets anything special (DH's is in December and some of my other close friends, so close to other holidays that often they are just combined) you want to make it very special (because you care, and I get that too). Also, like me, you want to try new things, and you want it to be authentic, or as close as possible. For me it's an adventure, and in the end, sometimes, a triumph. I have so few of those anyway (triumphs), ha! However, whenever I make assumptions about people, I'm usually 70% right and 50% wrong. Sorry, couldn't resist that.

I have 2 recipes. I rushed home thinking I knew where they were... box in the back hall says 'cookbooks' (packed due to remodeling for those who wonder), and they'd be in a pile of printed papers with blue ink handwritten notes, inside a clear but very wrinkled baggie. No dice. Not there. Obviously in another box. I packed all my pastry recipes as I knew I wouldn't have the time. Apologies for having so little, however...

Pre-made puff pasty. When I first started pastries, I bought it because it just looked to fussy to make and I was just beginning. I have a very sensitive nose, and after a while I couldn't tolerate the smell. Vinegar. The yeast smell burned my nose, and I love, nay adore, yeasty fresh baked bread! This was different. Like opening a bottle of white vinegar and taking a deep whiff. So, aside from Pain Au Chocolat's (Lars and I had a nice convo on that some time ago), which I made quite a bit as a fast dessert, I stopped using the stuff. After I started a small hobby of making pastries for friends' and acquaintances' special occasions I realized I wanted the real McCoy, and I wanted to conquer the light, flaky, airy, Puff Daddy of all Puffinesses. Or Puff Mommy. First time I used something along the lines of this video (long wait at the doc's):

So, that was a mess. I mean, melting butter, bits of soggy flour everywhere. Even my hair. Maybe my fridge wasn't cold enough. Maybe I was too slow (more than likely). Nevertheless, I somehow tackled it (metaphorically, again), and managed a passable puff pastry. Passable. Not triumphant. I feel sure the video above is fine, it was my mistakes.

I gave myself a couple months respite, during which I experienced nightmares involving giant globs of melting dough dripping off the countertop. Yes, I dreamed about pastry making. Now I dream good dreams mostly about entrees, but latkes had a starring role in one dream and plllog was there. I'm not even kidding. Back to it: Your video and Islay's are, combined, almost identical in technique to my 2nd effort and self proclaimed Triomphe. I'm pretty sure some things I did were wholly unnecessary. Maybe. Not sure where I found the recipe, but it was, from distant recollection, a combination of a french recipe and an american one (because I don't speak or read french). When I saw the dough gently hand-mixed... ah. Yes. I am gentle with meatloaf, so yes with the dough. Your video is beautiful for that technique! Ah heck, this needs to be seen... Here it is by the same guy, exact same technique - see how gentle the dough work is, and how it's kept almost aerated:

So I used my Mom's marble rolling pin, which I wrapped in plastic then unwrapped to keep off condensation, putting it in the fridge to chill with the pastry after each 2 folds. I am quite sure my old wooden one would've been fine, no need to refrigerate, wrap and unwrap. But I had warm hands at the time. Now my hands tend to be cooler. I did the initial quadra-fold method shown above - I remember that, but my mountain in the middle was more like a little hill which had nothing to do with not trying to make it bigger, ha! AND, I turned the dough with each fold, which I kinda forgot to do the first time. So, don't forget : ) So I fudged with the cold rolling pin and resting-in-the-fridge breaks, but it was light, airy, flaky, and magically puffy!

Truth? I only made it one more time {head hung in embarrassment}. I had reasons.

Doubt I helped much, as you already found the video, but I'd go this route, and I'd avoid the dough hook (except for mixing the butter and flour) and mix gently with hands... : ) I used plain old non-salted butter. Never having heard of dry butter until now. although I've since read (I mean, a really long wait at the doc's) that it's an improvement when making Puff Pastry.

Thank you for the sufganiot recipe link : ) Oh please don't say work fast to me! That's where I always mess up with first time recipes!

So I need to get busy. But first and not remotely off topic, one reason for the doctor trip was that I've badly pulled a muscle in my neck and shoulder region, painting crown molding (three $#^&#!! coats, up on a ladder, head tilted radically back to use my &*%#ing readers because I'm getting older) and I needed some medical attention. I was going to put beignet on it, but she said to use BioFreeze. Oh c'mon. Rhymes with BenGay. I still get extra points, right?

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2ManyDiversions

Ohohohohoh! Uhm, the matzah meal pasta idea you had plllog (in previous thread)... I found something! I'm so excited! Will link it tomorrow! I must get busy! ETA: Beignet.

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plllog

2Many, I think you get me asymptotically approaching 100%! I know perfectly well my December friend would appreciate and enjoy a napoleon made with frozen puff pastry, but it wouldn't be the best I could do and it wouldn't be an adventure, and, really, when else would one go to the bother? If I'm having company, I'm certainly not putting that much into the dessert. Nor, for that matter, making a cream cake, which has to be chilled, and made day of, and all of that. Not to mention the richness. This will be a cake for her to take home and share if she wants and I can focus on it entirely, like the Princess Cake.

::snicker:: Okay, the Ben-gay was a stretch, but really rank puns are an art to themselves, so you get bonus points for that one. This game you invented is a lot of fun, but only half marks for the ETA one for not using it in a sentence. ;)

2Many, are you okay? I hope it's just strain and not an actual injury! You shouldn't have to suffer to have a nice home....

I've made matzah meal spaetzle (which are good) and read pasta recipes, but the problem is that it still tastes like matzah. The lightbulb went off when you were talking about the grana arso pasta and the way to utilize it to enhance the toasty flavor. Embrace the matzahness!!

BTW, thanks for posting your version of the video. I love the background music (But "Nachtmusik"? I'll definitely be doing this by daylight!) . And the cow. :) Was that supposed to be a size comparison? Do we know how big the cow is? Is that Dark Side of the Moon? It looks more like a mini disc than a CD. (ETA: On watching full screen I can say, yes, it's Pink Floyd, and changing my impression to the notion that his bench scraper is actually the same size as mine tells me he has giant hands and it is a CD--and a darned big cow. Maybe 8".) YouTube changed it to a different video!! Google is our frenemy! Reloading the page might fix it. (ETA, yes, reloading brought it back and I'm going to watch it again.) I'm going to watch daily until it's time to make it, so hope to fix the steps in my head, and try to get a better handle on the correct hydration without being able to touch. I really love that the master has water escaping the well and wiggly edges, just like me. :)

But can I tell you how absolutely, divinely encouraged I am about "light, airy, flaky, and magically puffy"! That you've done this technique and got the result? I am SO impressed and thrilled to be following in your footsteps. So the thing about the beurre sec is that you don't have to even do the flouring of the butter. Or so the recipe that led me here says. :) It's about the higher fat content keeping the butter from "melting". I think that means while you're rolling, and the point of the flour would be to soak up the water released.

Preventing the butter from melting also is the point of working on marble, chilling in stages, etc. On TV, they do bigger batches, like for a bakery. I'm guessing, using a cubit as a measure, that what I've seen is about the same length and double the width. I figure if I pump up the a/c to make my kitchen cooler, ice the soapstone, and chill the flour, I might be able to do the 8 minutes without chill rests, but part of the point of having fridge drawers just there is for chilling on the fly. I have a metal fondant roller which I think might be better for the purpose than my wood rolling pin, if it's not so long as to be too awkward.

So, back to the other kind of puffing, have you found a recipe you want to try for beignets?

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bragu_DSM 5

Are you happy or sad with the direction of the thread?

JC, I have found it wonderfully distracting.

Stroopwafles come to mind.

Now where did I last see my pizzelle iron?

Still, I must vote 'yay' or 'nay' on the wonderful distractions and tendrils of the thoughts and minds on this thread.

And according to my instructions, I must vote to join the consensus, which have largely seemed to have beignet.

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plllog

Dave, what's to be sad about? Some gave good suggestions for my puff pastry question. 2Many got exactly what I wanted and reported on the successful outcome when she did it herself. There's way more stuff to get into, on the puff-bubble spectrum, and it's all pretty ridiculous which makes it fun. :)

Stoopwafles sound like a fine addition, especially if you're going to make the authentic Dutch version. On The Spruce it says that Dutch cake flour is different from ours from growing by the sea, and is starchier. I wonder if you could come close by adding some starch. :) Probably not. I might find a pizzelle iron in my mother's cupboards, but I'm not sure I'm in on this one. Stroopwafles are too sweet for me and I'm not sure whom to feed them to. I'll look forward to hearing your progress!

It's not really a vote thing. We started with latkes, fry bread, sopapillas, pasta and sufganiot in the first thread, all being fried and/or simple dough. Here we've expanded to anything bubblipuff, but I think your Stroopwafles belong too. They're yeast, so they must be puff even if limited by the iron. I agree, however, that it always comes back to the beignets.

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foodonastump

Well the layers of the puff pastry and mention of doughnuts, combined with a lunch invitation next week got me thinking about sfogliatelle. It’s an annual visit with an old friend, and this year like last I’ve been asked to bring dessert. When I go there I’m away on vacation, not in my home kitchen so it seems easiest to buy something. Last year I picked up a box of gourmet doughnuts from a shop in town, they were great but my hosts didn’t touch them: He’s always trying to lose weight and she’s not a dessert person. Turns out that’s why they asked me to bring; dessert was really just for me and the kids. So come to find out she has exactly one weak spot for dessert, and that’s sfogliatelle. I’ve looked up recipes, it seems to be time consuming (although I haven’t figured out why recipes allot several hours) but I can’t decide if it looks “hard.” I’m generally a mess when it comes to finicky things, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s beyond my capabilities. Anyone here made them? If so, a few questions:

1) am I ok to make and roll the dough night before and refrigerate, or should it be done that morning?

2) same question for filling?

3) regardless of the answers to 1&2, would you take it formed and bake there, or bake ahead of time?

4) is it hard?

Maybe a trial run this weekend is in order, along with some experimentation for the above.

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Islay Corbel

Plllog the video you posted was very interesting. Especially about adding flour to ordinary butter if dry butter not available. Loving the thread. I'm off to watch 2manys videos. Beignets!

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plllog

xLxaxrxsx FOAS, I had to look it up, being unfamiliar with the Italian name, and found this recipe on Food52. I'm learning to like the recipes there. I've seen people on TV making them, more often the American kind with the choux, but have never seen one in person. This recipe author likes them still warm from the oven, which is also the suggestion of the charmingly named nonnabox.com, but they're generally bakery fare, I think, where one would think they'd be more likely served several hours out of the oven. I'm guessing that baked at home and perhaps rewarmed a bit in a low oven at the destination might be a good compromise--or disaster. :) Once you've done a test run, it would be easy enough to test rewarming one. I wouldn't want to travel with laminated dough. If the moisture wanders you'll get gluey blobs that lose their separations.

This looks like a really fun project. I hope you push forward with it and share pictures! An interesting and sophisticated alternative to beignets.

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foodonastump

Lars? LOL, in retrospect I can see where my post is kind of Lars-ish. :)

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plllog

OMG! I'm so sorry, FOAS! My computer does weird stuff sometimes and it was bouncing around. There was probably a post by Lars on the feature list. Or the brain is just melting unaided! LOL, because, yeah, I wasn't thinking that it wasn't something Lars would say or anything, except he's travelling just now.

So, are you going forward with the experiments? Are you going to use a pasta machine as a sheeter? These laminated dough pastries make it sound so simple to just make beignets.

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foodonastump

No worries, nothing offensive about being called Lars. Though he might feel differently. ;)

I bought semolina flour on Amazon. It’s a start. Not because I can’t find it locally, but because any time I buy semolina I’m not sure if I’m buying the right thing. Worst pasta I ever made was with semolina; it was a gritty mess. Clearly I bought the wrong one for the purpose. So when one of the recipes I’m looking at linked to Amazon, I went for it. So yeah it’s a start, but if you knew me, you’d know that buying ingredients or equipment is far from a guarantee that I’ll actually do anything with them.

I do have a pasta roller, but it’s hand crank and I really, really wish I had a KA attachment. Can’t justify the cost. Although come to think of it, I do have kids who could play the part of the motor.

We’ll see. Today’s yard work resulted in a bad back and a hacked up irrigation line, so if my back allows tomorrow’s free time will more likely be spent digging up and replacing tubing than baking.

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plllog

Ouch! I hope your back straightens itself out pronto. Annoying about the irrigation line. When you get your equanimity back, I agree, get the kids to be the motor. It's a bonding experience for them to look back on fondly. And that's what they're there for, right? You can always bribe them with the promise of beignets.

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2ManyDiversions

Well, seems I’m waaay behind on this thread, and several points behind plllog on the beignet points, not that I’m counting or anything. Hmph! Got unexpectedly busy, and will soon get busier, which just figures. This is so interesting!

Oh, I get it now, it was the toasting that got you excited plllog (and here I thought I’d found something new for you - matzah noodles. I shoulda known better. LOL! Which, BTW I did finally order some fresh (I hope) matzah meal. Yes, I’d think toasting the matzah meal prior and making something with that might be a new twist! I’ve sure not seen reference to in anywhere online. Wouldn’t that be something? Coming up with a whole new flavor?! Please tell me if you try it!

In the puff pastry video I think he was trying to create a dramatic atmosphere with the cow… when the flour water damn broke, I thought for sure the cow would be drowned ; ) Went with the music, right? FWIW and totally OT, I listen to every style music, but when cleaning house, classical, loud, does it for me, ha! Good eye! Yep, that’s Dark side of the Moon and yes, I do think it’s a mini disc. Goodness you are observant. I initially thought it was Def Leppard, Hysteria – that cd also has a triangle on it, although it used to give me the willies as I didn’t like the creature face on it. You win bonus points for a sharp eye. “I'm going to watch daily until it's time to make it, so hope to fix the steps in my head”. Oh my, the similarities continue! When I’m a bit nervous about a new recipe, I watch videos over and over and read the recipe several times! Must be the freckles. Seriously?? You’re going to try to do that in 8 minutes without chill breaks? Ok, you’ve got way bigger cahones than me. But being confident definitely helps with anything one does.

No, I still don’t have a beignet recipe. Anyone? (that’s one).

Bragu, I know exactly where you pizzelle iron is : ) My furthest upper cabinet, laying on its side, underneath the customized paper bags I made DH for his coffee bean roastings. I’d show you the bags, but frankly they are quite, uhm, crude with several naughty references and uh… drawings. I will never allow anyone other than my DH to see my twisted side! LOL! Have had that pizzelle maker for eons. Put it in a garage sale and no takers. Kinda glad, because one never knows! Oddly the anise seed stroopwaffles were my favorite and I’m not a big fan of anise. I didn’t fill mine. What’s your favorite stroopwaffle?

FOAS, I mean, Lars (JK!) (clearly this will be a long post), I used to work at Dunkin Donuts, many moons ago. Didn’t make donuts. Ate them though. Gained 15 pounds (all you can eat, free, loved that). They threw out all donuts every night (jerks, shoulda given them to a food ministry, a shelter, or something). Fresh only, made that day were served. I think those sfogliatelle look a-mazing. Now, if they were eclairs, made with pate a choux, I’d know they’d be fine the next day as I’ve done those, filled them with a stabilized cream filling, served the next day. But pate a choux is a dryer dough. Hmm… I’d probably make the dough, roll it, cool it, slice it, but not form the shell-cups, and take that and the filling and fill and bake them there at your friend’s home. But I’d do a trial run. I think using a pasta maker to roll it out is genius! I’ve a hand crank which I love, and I think it’s doable! Making ahead of time? I think that flaky loveliness is too delicate to hold the heavy filling without getting some sog overnight. But I could be wrong, so yes, I’d do a trial run to see. That way you could visit rather than worry about those lovely layers. Gosh, now I want to make them! Someday. Photos and story if you do make them, please! I do hope your back improves – aching backs are no joke. Back to working at Dunkin Donuts.. they had wonderful bear claws, but the crullers were always my favorite. They never made anything quite as unique as beignets, sadly. (that’s two).

Regarding semolina in pasta. Yes, I’ve made my own gritty mess pasta doughs with semolina. It’s just a booger sometimes. I find I need to either add less semolina (maybe at most ¼ cup semolina to 1 cup flour) or add more egg, water, oil to the mix. I also let it rest on the counter, wrapped, longer. First time I used half and half proportions, same amount of liquids as for flour only and it was a toss-away. Maybe I’m doing it wrong as I’ve ‘seen’ others use it quite a bit online.

plllog, (you knew I’d get back to you, didn’t you?), my doc says I keep re-injuring my muscle every time I’m on the ladder looking up, which was again yesterday, and today. So. There’s that. I just put my rice-sock around my neck after zapping it in the microwave. I’ll be fine, after we get this remodel done. One thing I’m sure you and I don’t have in common – I tend to move too fast and injure myself frequently in doing so. Dumb, I know. I’m quite sure you’re far more responsible than that.

So I’ve a question, which relates back to me being a dolt and thinking the zeppole was a beignet. (that’s three). Which would (anyone chime in here) prefer to make and eat, the zeppole or the beignet? Or something else? (and that, would be numero quatre).



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plllog

LOL! 2Many, "beignets" is your game so you're still many points ahead, and I think it's style that matters more than quantity. We don't want a bunch of one line posts just for points. :) I do acknowledge and appreciate your catch up count, however. :) Remember, full points for making it the last word. :)

We're still at cross purposes on the matzah pasta (which you can buy, btw, but only dry). Matzah meal is already toasted being ground up matzah. Matzah crepes, for instance, taste toasty, so one has to take that into consideration. I thought that your ideas for serving grana arso (which I know means burnt (toasted) grain but which always looks like big derriere to me) would work well with the flavor of the matzah meal in pasta. A pappardelle would be such a nice texture change during the week.

On an anatomical note, cojones (note the letter jota) are literally cushions or balls. I have none about my person. An alternative colloquial usage is "huevos", which, if you think about it, can be applied to either gender. :) I don't say I will be able to do it in 8 minutes, nor that I won't need to chill. I'm going to aim for it and do what I can to save the project as I go. I don't know if I'm a strong and efficient enough whacker and roller to do more than one turn at a time. I like the general thought, however, that the chilling in between is to make up for my weaknesses, rather than being a requirement of the process in general. :)

Me too on the any music with a few exceptions. I don't do "mellow", easy listening, drunk dog ate my truck kind of country, orchestrated pop, pop in general though it's tolerable in passing, screeching nouveau-punk, anything evil, and I have limits to how much shred metal I can take. I also cannot create in an arhythmic environment. I might like the music to listen to well enough, but it totally saps the creative juices. I don't know a lot of cover art, actually, but, I mean, Dark Side of the Moon is known like the Mona Lisa.

So... Is there a difference between Italian zeppole and ball style N.O. beignets?

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2ManyDiversions

Well, clearly I am confused about the toasted flour or toasted maztah. When we were discussing grano arso (toasted flour) in the other thread, you had said ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful to do a version for Passover’, which made me look up making matzah into pasta (and yes, you guessed my excitement about that so correctly), and since that is already something done (I know very little about Judaism) which you’ve now explained to me, and since matza is already a toasted product (I’ve used matzah meal, but know little about it, and hadn’t really thought through that it is toasted), I am not sure I understand what you were wanting to try for Passover. (Talk about a run-on sentence, that last was a doozy!) I think now it’s my lack of knowledge on Judaism (and if anyone else is curious, plllog was helping me make good latkes, because I wanted to get in touch with my culinary ancestry roots – my Paternal Grandmother being full Cherokee, my Maternal Grandfather being German Jewish. I’ve greatly appreciated plllog’s help with this). I guess I thought if one kept Kosher (and please, correct me in anything where I am wrong), one could not eat anything with flour at Passover? I’m wrong on this, as well?

What? You didn’t think my beignet questions had ‘style’? LOL! Honestly I didn’t make the Dunkin Donuts job to add that in, but did take the opportunity to use it : ) The other questions and comments were equally earnest : ) I have absolutely no idea the difference between a zeppole and a beignet, but I sure wish someone whose made either or both would chime in as I’d really and truly like to know which people prefer. I’ve never made either. The zeppole I had at Olive Garden (stop wincing! LOL!) was pale, doughy, and I actually liked it.

Oh good grief, I misspelled cajones (and did it again just now but caught myself!). I’m doing that a lot lately, not just typos, actual misspellings. I would add to the huevos topic, but it’d be oversharing {said with a goofy smile}.

Music… I used the description ‘every style’ far too readily and agree with every style you mentioned as not being fond of. I’ll add contemporary country to that as well. I’ll listen to Patsy Cline, but really, once you hear Crazy, is there a need to listen further? And no, I can’t listen to music when creating, rhythmic or arrhythmic… cooking, or doing any task that requires a degree of brain power. I clearly cannot multi-task. And since I’ve gone so far OT that we’re not remotely near the topic of food, I’ll pick David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane as my Mona Lisa of covers : ) The surreal pool of water on the collarbone.

So, back to puffy dough topic at hand, I recently learned where I might acquire some ground bison, which my Grandma Bird used to top her fry bread! Living in the Land of Limited, this would be quite the find for me, and if so, eventually I will make one of her traditional meals!

Ok, for real, no bonus points requested… ANYONE have a recipe for either zeppole or beignets? Pretty please?


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plllog

2Many, I like your beignets style fine. :) I just was so tickled at the thought of you ending every post with "beignets" (from the prior thread) that I thought we all should! What I meant is that you didn't have to worry about the count. Especially since it's your game!

So, okay, yes, levels of practice and observance come into play for Passover. Even though there's no such thing as "a little kosher"--it's a binary state, either kosher or not--for Passover one is supposed to keep "more kosher". There are rules of mitigation, for instance, that make life easier, but aren't usually used during the holiday when one is being "more". My family don't keep kosher for complicated reasons which aren't worth going into, but for Seder I do a strictly meat meal. Our haggadah is a great crash course in Jewish thought and is a good way to keep the kids knowing who they are and where they came from. I don't want to confuse that with a mixed meal, even if it isn't actually kosher. We do hold the no leaven strictly, however, though we don't do quotas. Some people have a minimum amount of matzah that they must eat every day.

So, flour. I don't think you were active here when I went through my whole must catch my own sourdough starter and it must be from my wheat (rye is a lot easier--I've done that too). You soak your flour from your milled grain and the bacteria and wild yeast eat the sugars from the grain and multiply. The yeast dominates and turns into something that will raise bread, and the other organisms die off. My wheat is straight from the grower, straight from the field. It took a couple of tries, but I caught my yeast with just the ground grain and water. As the exodus story goes, the people had to grab up what they could carry and flee Egypt with no warning nor time to prepare. They took their bread dough, but it couldn't rise in their bundles and it just baked in the sun, flat. At least they had something to eat before they got to the hinterlands where there was manna. But that's more or less the origin of not having leavening at Passover.

There are also prohibitions on "kitniyot", tiny things, which generally means flours and other grains. People would get around not having wheat flour by using rice flour, for instance, but we're supposed to eat the matzah. There's more leniency for things that aren't mentioned in the Torah or bible such as potatoes. Corn, however, is forbidden by most, which is why you'll see kosher for Passover Coca-cola. It has no corn syrup and the facilities where it's made are certified to having been cleaned and kashered of all grain products. Different traditions have different ideas about this. Recently, rabbis have ruled that quinoa is okay because it's seeds not grain, but it still qualifies as tiny things you can make flour from, so I don't see why that holds. There are other non-grain kitniyot. OTOH, the tradition in my family (the Eastern side) is that rice is okay if it's served as a "vegetable", that is ordinary cooked rice, but forbidden as a flour, starch, syrup, or, really, any kind of processed.

But the yeast grows on the grain! Even on my packaged at the farm and shipped grain. Get it wet and it grows! So, we could just give up grain for Passover and not deal with it, but that's not the point. We eat the matzah to remember when we were all equal, all poor former slaves (okay, only a fraction of the people were actually in the exodus--there were still plenty of Israelites who never left Canaan and surrounding parts, but the tradition is that all Jews everywhere and any time were there at Sinai for the giving of the law--but, again, that's not the point). So we need the flour to make the matzah. But not the yeast. So, still to this day, they take the last of the wheat crop and store it so that it can't get wet (or sometimes the first of a winter wheat crop). There's even moreso matzah for which the grain is watched so that no transitory damp can pollute it. In the old days, they'd hang the bags of grain from the rafters in the attic near the chimney where it would be kept dry. In this way they keep the yeast from growing.

This dry wheat is then ground and immediately made into a dough with water and baked immediately so that no yeast can grow and dies in the baking. This is done in minutes. Once baked, the mitzvah is done. It's matzah, and is kosher to eat during Passover. Required to eat during Passover. I prefer simplicity for our times, as a way of being like our ancestors who had little, but the tradition from the times of having little is that it's a time of feasting, and that being a happy time, we should show abundance and enjoy fine things, as much as we have them. So we want dumplings and cakes and even pasta. But we can't use flour because yeasts could awaken. So we grind up matzah--the commandment has already been fulfilled in the making of it (there are some on the fringe who won't do anything to dampen the matzah for eating even, let alone cooking, but it's extra levels of complication that aren't really necessary). The ground up matzah? That's matzah meal! We grind it up finer and we have "cake meal", which has the consistency of baking flour, which makes for nice textures in baking. No flour. Matzah meal.

Matzah doesn't have much of a flavor, but it's toasty. That's the brown dots. Things made with matzah meal and no stronger flavor can taste toasty too, like the crepes.

When you mentioned grano arso (which I misspelled frequently upthread), you said "So lovely with a simple sauce, brown butter or a nice tomato sauce. Perhaps a bit of julienned basil over the tomato sauce, and yes, even a beurre blanc, or that with scallops or a a very mild poached fish. But you don't want to hide the Grano Arso flavor too much : )". I was thinking that it was a great idea for matzah pasta, to use it as you would your grano arso pasta because it tastes toasty.

I'm not sure if you can make matzah beignets...

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plllog

So, re spelling. I'm not generally a good speller, but Spanish is far easier. Cajones is big boxes (crates) or drawers. Cojones is balls. I wouldn't bug you about it, but the American spelling was still the "h" sound, but the vowel... (I just have this urge to tease my friend in freckles), and I wouldn't want people to look at you funny.

Totally with you on the Patsy and Crazy! But while I love Bluegrass and folk and Americana and Old Timey and folk rock and even Western, I just can't do straight on Country. Some of the modern stuff, however, is more like the folk influenced rock of days gone by and I'm okay with it. I even like Delta Rae enough to have a disk. I first heard them on Carson Daly and didn't know they were "country". I can cook to music, however, no problem. Or, at least, maybe I require silence for dreaming up something entirely new, but just going ahead with the cooking, it's good company. I only ever play holiday music while cooking for that holiday, but too many of the albums have at least one song with kids singing--real kids not trained child choirs--and it's way irritating, so I have to program around them.

Today, while assembling the Princess Cake, I listened to the Vienna summer concert that was on PBS last week. It was American composers directed by Dudamel, and the quality was excellent, but I kept having uncharitable thoughts about the Austrian way of thinking and that kind of spoiled it a bit. OTOH, since I had to get up several hours early, it was nice to have music as familiar as old bedroom slippers.

I don't remember noticing the pool of water on the Bowie, though I'm sure I must have back when. I just don't really know cover art. I suppose my favorite must be Physical Graffiti, but mostly because I've bought it three times. :)

Congrats on the potential bison find! They used to have it in the case at my local Whole Foods. It's so good! Naturally lean and tasty like beef used to be. I used to make all my meatballs, meatloaf and sloppy joe's out of it, as well as bison ribs and chuck. The sous vide bison chuck was amazing. But now, Amazon. Ugh. They have prepackaged ground bison, but I hate that packaged stuff. There is a butcher a town over who is supposed to have bison. I'm planning to check them out. I hope you get it! I want to hear all about your Grandma Bird dinner!

I'll do a recipe search later, and see what I can learn about the intersection of zeppole and beignets.




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bbstx

Plllog, I confess I haven’t read the above responses, but I will do so later when I have more time. Have you seen this YouTube video of Richard Medrich and Julia Child making puff pastry? It starts with the butter in the middle. https://youtu.be/Aqbqk5SFKhc It seems to be the first in a series of videos on puff pastry.

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2ManyDiversions

Plllog, I couldn’t sleep last night so got up to do a bit of deskwork, and found your posts above. I wanted to read them again this morning before making any response – particularly the first explaining Kosher, et al. I’ve since read it three times as I’ve been utterly fascinated. I am incredibly touched you’d go into such wonderful detail, explaining keeping Kosher and the varying degrees (and why or why nots), the reason for not leavening, the process for your yeast and the processes for matzah, and the stories that explain. You often write very fluently, making what you are explaining easy to understand, and also easy to visualize. It’s a story-telling gift. Unless you’ve ever read Stephen King’s earlier works, including non-horror, you might not understand the compliment I give you, but he was a great story-teller (I did not say writer, that’s arguable). Even in your second post when you wrote “OTOH, since I had to get up several hours early, it was nice to have music as familiar as old bedroom slippers.” Sentences like that paint a picture : ) What I’m trying to say is that I appreciate the time you took to explain so much to me, and that you did it in the expressive way I often see you write, perhaps one that is reserved to what you hold close : ) Thank you, and now, finally, I am clear on your intentions of the toasty matzah for Passover!

I was sitting in my computer chair, leaning forward, enthralled, absorbed (as I often am when learning something new and interesting), delighting in my light-bulb moment as well and the story where you explained matzah meal, when I read that last line “I'm not sure if you can make matzah beignets...” and I burst into laughter!

Alright… said one lightly freckled face to another (code for this is meant to be said with a smile, in jest): And what makes you think I wasn’t referring to your big boxes, hmmm? Seriously, thank you for showing me the error of my… spelling! I honestly had no idea!

I’m missing music. Stereo is still packed. Cabinet in storage. I’ve a mini blutooth Bose but it’s just not the same.

I’ve heard that about bison, that it’s lean and amazingly tasty! Of course, Cherokee fry bread tacos and Three Sisters is far easier than puff pastry! I feel like a cheat! LOL! It’s simple food, just fry bread with ground bison, topped with taco goodies. Three Sisters is basically corn, some kind of bean, and squash, usually a soup, not always. Easy food. I’ll post it if, no, when, I make it. I think my source mentioned bison chuck too, and right now, sous vide is saving my hide for dinners so thank you for the heads up!

Ok, all I’m seeing as regards ingredients only; zeppelle has no milk, while there is milk in beignets.


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plllog

Thanks, Bbstx! That was an interesting video. Sort of a cross section in the evolution from the traditional that's still being taught, and the star version we posted up topic. Medrich has the mound in the middle and the wrapping of the butter block from four sides, as well as six turns of trifold, and the same marking system of finger dents showing how many turns, as in the one I liked. The rest, having a separate butter block, chilling between turns, etc., are standard. I like how he beat the frozen butter into shape rather shaping then chilling the butter. I still have to see if I can get the butter I want. Some people use puff pastry for the dough for their beignets.

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plllog

2Many, my reply got chomped! It was my fault. I can't redo it now :( But I think you're right. I've seen recipes for beignets made from choux or puff, but the ones that look like zeppole do seem to have milk whereas the Italian ones do not. We're going to have to have a fry up when the weather turns cooler so we can see what the differences are between beignets.

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plllog

Okay. Now I can't get on with dinner because I'm all rankled over my lost post. First off I was thanking you for your ever so kind response. I haven't written formally for years and get discouraged when I post something to a group and can't get my point across no matter how hard I try. It's gratifying that the explanation not only worked, but was worth reading. Thank-you.

So, re "kosher", the word means "fitting", so regarding food, "fit to eat". It applies in general to anything that has to be right or has rules, like you can have a kosher mezuzah that hasn't decayed or degraded (there are people who will inspect and repair them for you), and you might have heard someone say about someone who cheated, "That's not kosher!" The rules fill books. If you need to learn how, the recommendation is to learn from a friend and just do what she does.

To define what it means regarding food in general: All permitted animals (mammals must have cloven hooves, chew cuds, and be healthy/ birds must be ones that Jews have always eaten--a couple of enterprising students in Jerusalem interviewed people from different parts and traditions and made a list) must be slaughtered cleanly in the traditional way, along with other standards meant to minimize suffering, blessed properly to acknowledge the taking of life, inspected for disease and butchered according to custom. The blood must be drawn by salting, which many kosher butchers do for you now as a value added. This doesn't need to be done if the meat will be spit roasted or grilled on a rack, however.

Meat and dairy are eaten at separate meals with a time interval between (which varies by community) and must be physically separated by two layers, such as in the fridge with layers of packaging or shelves, or if you have to cook in an oven that hasn't been kashered, with a couple of layers of foil. Different dishes and implements are used, with some materials like pure glass being easily changed from one to the other, and others requiring much more complicated kashering. Ovens need to be kashered between, but different communities have varying rules for how to do this. Fish (fins and scales, no bottom feeders), bird eggs and all plant produce are neutral and can be eaten with either or on their own, with some special rules for certain circumstances. Vegetables, especially greens, must be inspected for bugs. There are limits allowable, especially of certain kinds. (This assumes from the garden. It's harder to inspect when it's been cleaned and packed and shipped before you see it.) Only two insects are kosher to eat. There are specific prohibitions to pigs and shellfish which probably go back to the likelihood of disease back then and there. You may not cook or boil on the Sabbath and there are rulings as to what temperatures can hold food warm without "cooking". And then there's "kosher for Passover" which refers to the unleavened, no incidental flour, etc.

That's just the definition, and I've probably left out something important. Now's not the time to discuss practice. :)

LOLed at the big boxes!

So, when I first read your message, I was on hold trying to find out where to get the dry butter. It's supposed to be at a store that's halfway to the new butcher, so I'll have a shopping day tomorrow. I frankly don't believe it, that they have the right butter rather than one of the others from the same dairy which I know they carry, but I need to do a marketing anyway, so I'm willing to try. Maybe I'll score some good bison as well.

I'm supposed to be working on high fiber without whole grain or beans. Do you think it would be any good if I put chia in beignets?

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plllog

The butter quest lives on. The guy who orders wasn't there, but the store took my info to give him. OTOH, there was a butter there I hadn't seen before that looked promising. I haven't opened it yet, but it's unsalted and cultured, and I was guessing looking at the label that it might be the right fat content.

So, if there are 12 g of fat in a 14 g serving, as listed, that means, rounding up at the decimal, that it's 86% fat, right? That's the magic number. I think these smaller dairies are making it specifically for crazy ladies trying to bake fancy stuff. :)

I have too many overripe bananas and no particular desire to make banana bread. I bethought me of banana fritters. I looked it up and there are a number of recipes. They look like beignets.

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plllog

So I tried the new butter--which is local!--on some plain bread. The best way to judge butter, I think, because of the way it interacts with the crumb and the way it tastes with the crust. It doesn't have as much flavor as some butters, though the cows are supposed to be pastured. I that that's fine. It's for baking after all, and did fine as bread and butter, if not super tasty. What worries me more is that the nutrition info is different than on their website. Sigh.

The fritters are looking like a go for tomorrow. Banana beignets?

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czarinalex

I'm new to the cooking forum, but not to Houzz. :-)

I saved this link to making beignets ages ago, but never tried it out.

http://www.byrontalbott.com/beignets-louisiana-style-doughnuts/

My very favorite beignets are made in a great oceanside restaurant, 'The Beachcomber'. It's in Crystal Cove state park, Newport, CA. I've had the beignets at Cafe Du Monde. A little heavy for my taste. The Beachcomber's beignets are little puffy clouds, served with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

I love beignets.

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plllog

YES! Puffy rectangular clouds! California beignets rock!

Welcome to the cooking forum, Czarinalex!

Thanks for the link. That looks like a good recipe. Classic ingredients, demonstrable puff. :) I want to try it.

The banana fritters are as yet unmade. I caught a little bug and couldn't even face it yesterday. Today, I'm thinking about devoting to binging TV. The bananas weren't entirely gross yet anyway. :)

No milk, so those won't be beignets.

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2ManyDiversions

Oh my, where do I start? LOL! First off, bbstx, thanks for the Julia Child video – I have always liked her, her videos, and her recipes.

plllog, I agree, when it cools down is a better time to attempt both beignets and zeppole (and I didn’t ‘end’ with beignet because I’m just repeating what you said). Moving along, I am vaguely familiar with some things, like the tradition of keeping meat and dairy apart, but I had no idea they were eaten at separate meals, or the other boundaries (I use the word boundaries as it sounds better then limitations, which came to mind first). And… oh my word, NO! Do not put chia in a beignet! LMAO! I kind of like the idea of caramel in a beignet. I think it would have to be injected after the frying, though. “Hmmm” on the butter. I’d probably wait and go back when the Butter Man is there, and let him order it, especially if that which you found has contradictory info. Are you really set on the dry butter? Wait, dumb question. I do know why you want to use the dry butter if you can fine it : ) Did you make the ‘naner fritters? Oh, no I see below… I’m so sorry you are under the weather, and I wholeheartedly recommend a good tv binge when sick. Relaxes the muscles and the mind (well, depending on what one chooses to watch). I hope you are feeling better, plllog. Do you have any chicken noodle soup you can pull out of the freezer? That's my go-to when I've got The Crud. Sometimes some plain tomato soup, but not often. I wonder if there are any healing properties in beignets?

czarinalex, my apologies for welcoming you so late – some things came up and I’ve been offline a bit. Welcome! And do please continue posting! We’re a friendly group here! Thank you for the recipe link… but that pic… oh my! Funny, I’d never have thought of a sandy beach, or any beach for that matter, as a backdrop for such an enticing photograph of beignets! Gorgeous!

I found the bison meat, ground. They had some small steaks but held off on those. Pricey. Decided to toss together some bison burgers first, grilled, just to get an idea of the flavor. I found it meatier tasting than ground beef, and just a hint of sweetness, too. I usually put a bit of BBQ sauce when mixing seasoning into burgers for grilling, and next time will use a spicier BBQ sauce as I think it’d compliment the burgers. I liked them quite a lot, but DH seemed lukewarm. Far leaner, which is always good. I think DH was just being contrary.

Guess I’m ready to make the fry bread tacos… except I still can’t find the darned cast iron skillets, or even my Staub D.O. which I could use for the oil. Lard is what Grandma Bird used, and of course I found that! Actual lard! But I didn’t buy it. Maybe I should have, to be authentic? What say you? Not sure what else I’d use it for, and it came in a bucket. Certainly not zeppole, Stroop waffles, or beignets.

BTW, I honestly didn't mean to use 'beignets' so much in one post, but it just kinda worked out that way!

Be well, plllog.

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bbstx

My BIL killed a buffalo (~1,000 lbs before it was dressed) once. He was on a hunting trip with his cousin, who killed an elk (also large, but I don’t remember how big). They each took half buffalo and half elk. Most of the buffalo was made into ground meat. We all got a package or two or six. He couldn’t give it away! The elk must have been better. He never tried to pawn off a package of elk meat. Mostly, we made chili with the buffalo. It disguised the flavor better than any other way.


The rest of the story: He had the buffalo head mounted for his study. My sister threw a blue perfect fit. For Christmas that year, she got very large diamond earrings that we refer to as buffalo chips.

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plllog

I'm okay, thank-you! Just a couple of days of ... your word, 2Many, is best--"crud". It was a weird kind of nausea. It didn't want soup or any of the approved things, but there wasn't any actual intestinal distress either. It wanted salad (easy, I had a premade one) and potato chips. SO weird. TJ's classics (real potato chips, ingredients potatoes, sunflower oil and salt) actually settled my stomach. The world is weird sometimes. I was going to make the fritters today, but I had work to do and it got hot. I did make the orange sugar (just a tablespoon of zest to 1/3 cup sugar). It was a revelation! Maybe I'll make them later.

ROTFL, Bbstx!! What a story! It took me awhile to figure out they were apology earrings. On first read, I was thinking "very large" mean gaudy and fake and they were hung on the buffalo head! I can't say anything about roaming free and hunted buffalo. The ranch bred bison we get is just a lot like what beef used to be before they ruined it with all that tinkering.

2Many, one of my people is a culinary school graduate, but wouldn't eat the bison meatballs I made. There were also turkey and one other, so no biggie, but I was astounded. I mean, they're cattle. You can have kosher bison. Not ewww worthy. Next time, don't tell your husband they're bison and see if he notices.

Yes, get lard. According to Trailrunner, the good kind is "flake" and I think it's from around the kidneys. Maybe don't get a whole bucket. You'll have to freeze it or it'll go rancid. Ask the butcher, maybe? I'm thinking duck fat would be a good substitute. When I made the Christmas goose, everybody loved the peewee potatoes etc. which I baked with a drizzle of goose fat rather than oil, but duck fat is pretty easy to find since duck fat fries are so trendy. And it's white and fluffy like lard.

Okay. I promise not to put chia in the beignets (no problem saying beignets however many times you want!). I haven't heard back either from the butter man or the local dairy, the latter of whom I asked about the discrepancy on the labels. I use the salted versions of the same butter I was trying to order from the butter man for at the table eating. Best butter ever. I never even though about the higher fat content until now. The cultured part makes a big difference, but some kind of cultured is easy to get here.

I'm not a big fan of glazes, but I think the zest sugar from the fritters would be admirable on beignets.

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bbstx

”Flake lard”? Is that the same as “leaf lard”?

Oh, plllog! Now I need to get some HUGE fake earrings to put on Bob, the buffalo! I can just see him. Wonder how long it will take my BIL to notice?? Sister’s apology earrings were nearly as big as beignets! (Look! I finally worked “beignet” into a post.)

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plllog

I'm sure it must be the same thing, looking at Wikipedia. Trailrunner probably said "leaf" and I substituted the more recent word I heard. From what I read, "flake" might be a corruption of "flare" which seems to be the name of the region of pig where it's found. Or maybe a reference to what it does to the pie. Maybe it's regional. "Leaf" appears to be much more common.

ROTFL about bringing Bob bling. :D

Congrats on bringing out your beignet!

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2ManyDiversions

bbstx, I also had to read twice to figure out the buffalo chip earrings! That’s pretty funny! Thank you for sharing the story. I had no idea buffalo and bison had different flavors (yeah, I’m meat stupid at times). And I think you get a special star since you got beignets in there!

plllog, I’m so glad you’re feeling better. This is crazy, but I couldn’t sleep the other night and let my mind wander to the odd foods I liked when I would be sick, and of course it depends on the symptoms, so I totally get salad and chips, although I admit, salad would be my last thought for some reason. When I’m nauseous, I often find myself wanting large meals just after I… uh, you know. Weird, huh?

Yep, I feel sure if I’d not told hubs that it was bison, he’d never know. His taste buds aren’t that fine-tuned.

I couldn’t post yesterday for the longest time, then got busy, but even before I read your answer, I knew, I shoulda picked up the lard for authenticity. Durn it. Thanks for reminding me what I was going for : ) Duck fat or leaf lard here in the Land of the Limited? Nope. I went on a quest for the perfect fries a few years back, looked for duck fat. None. Butchers? You mean the humans who stand behind the meat counter of my local grocery and pretend to know things? I once asked them to break down a chicken for me (to save myself time). Came back to find they’d cut everything into little squares. Nothing was recognizable. And they tossed the legs. Tossed the legs!

So, my Grandma Bird wouldn’t have used leaf or flake yard if it were even a little expensive as they were poor. I’m thinking that bucket of lard will do (I never thought I’d type that last sentence for any reason! LOL). But, here’s another issue. When I do find my dutch oven I’ve got the fry bread tacos covered. The bison is in the freezer, and I intend to prepare and season it as I would a taco (including my own chunky salsa). But to go with it would be the Three Sisters (which my young mind had a hard time grasping as I thought she was talking about her sisters). Recipes online aren’t at all like hers. Now, Grandma Bird, don’t take this wrong if your up there in heaven or nirvana or just ghosting about, or you’ve returned as our cat, Snow, but you didn’t season much. So, now that hopefully I won’t suffer any bad vibes or juju, what do I do with pinto beans, corn, and summer squash (not turning it into soup or adding meat as she didn’t) to make it as authentic as I can, but still… edible. ? I mean, salt and pepper I know, but I was thinking pre-roast the squash (DH hates squash), or give it a bit of browning in the skillet, then add the beans and corn, S & P… and then what? That’s a step further than Grandma B ever went. I feel lost on this. I mean, authentic is one thing, but tasteless, naw.

I should move. You talk about best butter ever. I can’t even get duck fat, and you’re over there eating amazing butter on bread. Killin’ me, plllog! BTW, I agree about the zested sugar on fritters or beignets. I think it’d add a really nice little layer of flavor. You mentioned glaze, but instead of a glaze, what about using the zested sugar as just.. dusted lightly with the sugar?

So, when are the fritters? I can almost see you, butter knife in hand, snickering slyly, sliding a melty pat of butter onto a warm fritter, thinking Land of the Limited, eat your heart out! ; )

Did I tell you my matzah meal came? Now I gotta find some spare time! I need to re-read your well explained latke how-to again, as well. What does one serve with latkes? I mean alongside latkes? DH would want protein of some sort… can it be anything? (thought about cheating atrociously and asking about beignets, but won’t).



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bbstx

I used the term “buffalo” but I think all you get in North America is bison. Buffalo and bison are the same family but there are some differences (beard and hump are the big ones).


From Encyclopedia Britannica: Contrary to the song “Home on the Range,” buffalo do not roam in the American West. Instead, they are indigenous to South Asia (water buffalo) and Africa (Cape buffalo), while bison are found in North America and parts of Europe. Despite being a misnomer—one often attributed to confused explorers—buffalo remains commonly used when referring to American bison, thus adding to the confusion.

I hear that they will not eat beignets.

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bragu_DSM 5

yeah, 'Bison Bill' also did not appreciate a good beignet

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plllog

Yes, American buffalo is bison, same thing. The difference was hunted wild vs. ranch raised as cattle, where the grower controls the conditions, diet, and how much/far they walk, which all affect flavor. Ranchers also breed for things like size and fat content, but they haven't been at it with bison for long enough to really mess it up. :)

2Many, I think there are two choices with the fry bread tacos. Either make them authentic, as close to your grandmother's as you can, or reinterpret them for today. Both are legit. Do either one kinda sorta is on the road to perdition.

So if you're making the meat the way you like tacos, and your memory of the three sisters is that it was underseasoned, I say go for something that will please the both of you. Although I think I've eaten three sisters, it wasn't heritage or home made, just food in a diner, and not memorable enough to be sure that's exactly what it was, so let's think it through.

What does your husband dislike about squash? Flavor? Texture? Wateriness? Bitterness? There is little so delicious as yellow squash in chunks lightly steamed so it's cooked through, but still very firm. No wateriness nor bitterness. Really sweet, with lovely texture and exquisiteness. How are you with a steamer basket? Or did you get a steam oven?

Squash, corn and beans all cook at different rates. All turn to goo at some point. If you cooked them all together from fresh and ripe, the squash would be goo and the corn would be pretty well cooked down by the time the beans were cooked. That might be really good! And that might be how it started and why it's sometimes soup. If you want them to be more of a warm salad, the easiest way is to cook each separately, then just toss and/or heat them up together. In the combination, you can add herbs, fat (too bad no duck fat!), heat, acid. Whatever takes your fancy. I'd probably go fenugreek, but that's just me loving fenugreek. :)

You could also take a portion of each of the sisters and puree them with some oil and citrus juice, S&P and, if you like it, cilantro, or tarragon maybe. Heat iup your three sisters dressed in that.

Make boats out of the squash and fill them with refried beans, with corn on top.

String them like beads and smoke them on the grill. Or use one of those grill basket things and barbecue them. Toss with some salt and chipotle powder or chili powder.

The potentials are endless. I think I might have liked your Grandma Bird's simple version. All the components are tasty and may not need a lot of help.

2Many, I am horrified by what the non-butchers did to your chicken!

All it takes to elevate the food culture is to have a few pushy people push the needle forward. Maybe start by finding some like minded people who want to get together and order some rare stuff through the local stores. Then have fine foods parties and invite non-foodie influencers. All that stuff. Maybe after your kitchen and garden are done. :)

So, re latkes, they can be the focus of the meal or a side or something in the middle. Traditionally they're served with sour cream and applesauce as condiments (either or at one time, though there are always some of mushed them together since childhood). Go for real cultured sour cream. Some people like other things like sour milk (leben), "white cheese" which isn't something Americans eat much, thick (strained?) yoghurt, or anything along those lines. Others could go towards ketchup or similar, hot sauce. You can put just about anything on a potato latke.

For a meal, it would depend on dairy or meat. Dairy would have the sour cream, some smoked fish, vegetables. Meat would have no sour cream, maybe a fancy sauce or gravy that's good on both the meat and the latkes. I'd think anything lean. Generally, if you go to the bother of making latkes, they're the star, so less likely to be a side for meat. OTOH, take some out of the freezer and they'd go well with anything from chicken skewers to fillet mignon to sloppy joe's.

One thing a latke is not, however, is a beignet.

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plllog

The crazy people finally backed off, I got a decent amount of sleep, and I was feeling pretty good. And those bananas, while not totally black, couldn't have been any riper. Out of their debauched yellow dresses, however, there wasn't quite a pound, so I added half of a perfect banana, oh so delicious before the full sugar set in, sacrificed to a bubbling end. The banana fritter recipe called for 3 TBSP dark rum. I didn't have any rum in the house. When I was young everyone drank rum, but I never liked it unless it was fully tarted up in a daiquiri or something. All the places we'd go did this thing with sweet girly drinks. They'd do a light pour on the first one for the young ladies. But then if a second were ordered--and why not when they were so light and refreshing and we were dancing off the calories?--they'd give you the full tot plus the bit they held back on the first one, thinking you weren't such a lightweight after all and someone was paying for the booze. Dangerous, those, especially because you can't taste the amount of rum. Demon rum.

So, with this in mind, I was perusing the shelf at the snooty grocer near the computer store (see thread on the weight of sugar), since I'd forgotten to get any at the normal people store the day before. In California, you can buy alcohol at any licensed premises, including grocery and convenience stores. The owner/operator just needs to be an upstanding citizen, and not in a blighted area, to get a license.

The liquor department at the snooty store has shrunk mightily, probably because of stores like Costco and BevMo cutting prices. The shelves literally shrank. (Well, replaced with shorter ones, at least.) Not much to choose from and I didn't want a big expensive bottle. An older gentleman who I guess runs the department, saw me looking confused and showed me where they had all the same brands in smaller bottles. I've never heard of arranging the bottles by size. I mean, not small on the high shelves and large below, which is normal, but fifths over here, tenths over there, we mostly sell wine here anyway, you lush. There was a 375 ml flask of Myer's Jamaican Dark Rum. Check. Good enough to serve if someone asks for rum, but really just for the baking. (Fritters are pastries, but they're fried, can it really be called "baking", and if not, what do we call it?)

The recipe allowed for substituting a couple of teaspoons of vanilla for the 3T of dark rum, but that didn't sound good, and I thought the lesser amount of alcohol might also affect the crumb, so I didn't want to do that. When I thought I'd get a chance to make them but didn't have any rum, I was thinking Kahlúa would do. I still think it might be a good flavor. I tasted the rum left in the corner of the measuring spoon and didn't like it at all. It's fine in the fritter, but I was hoping for more of a caramel flavor. It just tastes like the rum (not boozy). Kahlúa might be really good!

Anyway, I put the batter in the mixer because it seemed just like the kind of thing that does well that way. The recipe said it should be like soft peak eggwhites. Um. NO. I finally figured out that that meant a mound wouldn't just sink back into the pool. I know all about beating eggwhites. It's nothing like that.

The setup was simple. Cast iron frying pan, not too large, plenty of oil to cover (Safflower), pie plate with paper towels to drain and another with the orange sugar, rack to set them on, spoon to drip from, tongs to turn and move.



The first two batches weren't quite there. The first were too light, the second weren't quite there and too big. I thought of the color of the very best apple fritters ever and aimed for that. Just right. The amazing thing about frying on induction is you don't have to worry about fire. I could turn my back on the ones cooking while I rolled the others in the orange sugar, or even step off for a sip of water. No open flame, no overheating, still a place of caution, but no problems. :)

Patience is a virtue. The batter sinks, then puffs and floats. Turn over and brown the other side. In the end, it took about a minute + fiddle time on each side. The color was a good guide, but even better, they started bubbling like pancakes when ready to turn. Number 6 was the perfect setting on my highest powered single element. I didn't need to adjust it at all.

The orange sugar, however, didn't stick. I did the right hot out of the pan. I did the after draining. I spoke misleadingly earlier when I said I don't like glaze much. The orange sugar was supposed to be instead of glaze. It's really yummy! And brings out the bananiness really well. But didn't stick.



You know I was testing. Um, not just corners. I was kind of starved for carbs and even the not right ones went down really well.

In the end, I loved the orange sugar so much I just dropped it loose all over the fritters, and omitted the called for powdered sugar glitz, hoping more orange sugar would stick, or at least stay on.

The actual flavor of the fritter is very mild and too much like rum. I think less ripe bananas might suit me more, and I might like some small chunks. The texture, however, is divine. The crust is very tender. The crumb is airy and soft. There's just a whiff of banana. The rum doesn't taste rummy or strong. I'm just aware of which note it's singing. What I love is that they're not very sweet, even with the sugar on top. The only sugar in the dough is from the bananas.


Can you see the crumb? I adjusted out the overexposure. It's all lacy and airy. So much so, that tearing doesn't show it. I had to bite that one. :) Such hardships! Now that they're cold, there's more sense of fried in oil, but they're not greasy. The flecks are the orange zest sugar.


The whole mess look lovely stacked under the cake dome. Though, I think, in terms of flavor, I may have made banana beignets.

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Islay Corbel

Bravo!

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roxanna7

pillog, I LOVE the way you write!!

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2ManyDiversions

5:00am this morning on the back porch, still dark with a light drizzle, holding my 2nd cup of coffee. Squinting at my cell phone... and I see those fritters. Those banana fritters. With orange sugar. I scroll to the crumb shot and have to get up for my readers. Staring intently at the airy holes, the delicate crust, and think 'she must have had her oil at the perfect temperature for that'. I read this: "The only sugar in the dough is from the bananas." {sigh} The gentle sounds of the pond falls fade away. I no longer register the hummingbirds squabbling over the feeders. I re-read 'airy and soft; a whiff of banana'. And finally, the piece de resistance - the 'whole mess' stacked on top of each other, in all their golden glory, needing to be eaten. By me (selfish reasoning). Because of your delightful account, I can taste them, even smell them. Then the cat runs directly in front of me and comes full stop at the porch front (she's white, so I can see her). Something white on something dark moving slowly on the ground 5 feet away distracts me for a moment. I look back at the stack of what I wish were beside me. The cat hisses. I'm jolted from my golden-brown, airy fritter reverie by the sharp scent of skunk. Whhhhyyyyy??? (said in the Sally Field Terms of Endearment wavery cry sort of way).

I second Islay... Bravo indeed!

You were right not to dust something so perfect with powdered sugar. I'd choose those fritters any time over beignets : ) Anytime.

plllog, you’re right, about the bison tacos and 3 sisters. Authentic to grandma Bird (who truthfully, was not a good cook), or reinterpret them and make them good. I’m choosing good. I think DH doesn’t like the flavor, wateriness, or texture of squash. I’ll just use less, and yes, I’ve a small steam toaster oven that’ll work just great. If you’ve not figured it out, and I feel sure you have for some time, I’m not thinking clearly, or I’d not ask for help with something like a 3-veg dish. Embarrassing to admit, but I might have added the squash too early, and made a mess of it all. Tired from remodeling work, unpacking, caring for my little dog (whose prognosis is grim), everyday work, and several other significant things going on. And here I sit, wondering if I’ll mess up such a simple dish! I need to take a wee break. Concentrate on what needs to be done, not what I want to do, right now. Cooking (and eating what is cooked) is my major love. (Gardening, the other. Well, aside from DH of course). I’ve been clumsy at cooking since I started in the new kitchen, stupid mistakes. Can’t really blame it on new appliances, though that has a little to do with it. Not whining, mind you, just realizing that perhaps I need to slow my roll a bit : ) Fritters, stroopwafels, sufganiyot, sfogliatelle, zeppole, and beignets have been rolling through my brain, but will wait until I’m sound of mind and far less busy again!

I think, though, I could finish the remodeling in record time, unpack by tomorrow, and cook anything, including latkes, if only I had a banana fritter or four right now : )


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plllog

Thank-you, IC and Roxanna!

Overnight, under the dome, as I had hoped, the sugar melted from damp into the fritters. Even though some zest remained, a lot of it melted under the tutelage of the sugar, as well, and the flavor was apparent on the fritters.

Ah, 2Many, if only I could wing them off to you. So, 15 seconds in the old microwave on a Corelle bread and butter plate is the perfect warm up. They do release a little oil, as they must, but that's just the nature of zapping fried things. I took your advice and tried a little butter, and it was good. What was brilliant, however, was St. Nuage cheese. Brilliant. Happy accident. It was open and needed eating.

Thank-you! For the lovely musings on the fritter by phone reverie. Beautifully descriptive, I can see it all.

Re the Three Sisters, tired understands tired. I knew you were looking for thoughts to put together and choose bits of. We know you know how to cook! The other day, I was too tired to recognize a kindred spirit when Writersblock posted about a recipe for ... salad dressing? And I, stupidly, asked if she actually needed a recipe? She was very nice about it, and informing my clueless self that she was looking for inspiration. Which I would have known if I wouldn't get very literal when tired. And voluble. And the words get bigger. When I'm tired. So I understand your tired and your need to turn away from the zeppole. It's still Summer though, and we agreed to wait until the weather changes to do them.

I still have the strawberry ice cream and shortcake-biscuits next week., and the puff. The butter man has not gotten back to me. One of our vendors kind of disappeared for the last few days too. My theory is that they just closed up and went on vacation and the butter man might have too. I haven't heard back from the local dairy about their butter either. Blame August.

So for Saturday, I"m making a barbecue chicken lasagna with blueberry-peach and tomato barbecue sauce. I was thinking I should try your FP pasta, but they had such beautiful sheets at the store, I couldn't help but buy them. But they're nothing like beignets.

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2ManyDiversions

Ah! So you did have a warm fritter or two for breakfast! : ) I was wondering! I'm glad it re-heated well in the microwave - often smaller things re-heat pretty nicely. I've never eaten or seen St. Nuage cheese, so of course I googled it. Saw a pic, read 'triple cream' and... Dear heavens! Why can't I find wonderful things such as that locally! (pouty face). I'm so glad you made such lovely fritters, and so happy you're enjoying them. After a case of The Crud, no matter how long or brief, one deserves a bit of heaven : )

Shame about the butter man. Eventually though. And there is always the flour in the butter if you can't find the dry.

Funny, I told myself to chill about cooking anything for a while (and you could tickle me until I wet myself, I would not tell anyone what concoction I made for last night's meal!). Then, there I sat, on the back porch (the only place with comfy seating) last night and started thinking about your comments on the 3 sisters, and of course, that got me thinking again. Thank you for taking the time to offer suggestions. I'm not good at making recipes as I go. I'm good at adding or subtracting to existing (new) recipes, tho', to suit my tastes or 'fix' them if needed. I came to the conclusion your suggestion of cooking the 3 separately (and seasoning each with the other slightly in mind), then combining to heat, was the best way to go for a warm side.

Than, last night I woke up and thought of latkes! Ha!

My brain 'froze up' trying to grasp lasagna that's also BBQ, with blueberries and peaches in the sauce. Sounds fantastic, and very unusual!

Today I baked a couple loaves of plain white bread (been a year since we've eaten home baked, which was all we used to eat). Not enough flour to make more, sadly. That's the extent of my puffy baking lately! I use milk, eggs, and butter, but it's a far cry from a beignet.

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plllog

And yeast! Where there's a yeast, there's a puff!

Making up stuff, like a new sauce, takes contemplation. Like should I grill the peaches first? I'm substituting the fruit for brown sugar and molasses. I've going to put some orange juice in too, probably, because someone wasn't careful getting out the milk and lost the new bottle of OJ on the floor, breaking the top and the safety seal. Ugh. I've made bbq chicken lasagna before. Think bbq chicken pizza with more cheese. Or, wait, you probably don't have that there... Basically, chicken or chicken sausage (I have two kind of mild Italian chicken sausage, and a pound of ground chicken which I'll brown with barbecue spices), smoked cheese (I have mozz, and a couple others of different textures), normal ricotta...maybe I should put the oj in the ricotta instead instead of the sauce, or both...red onions for looks, or Spanish, mushrooms, multicolored bell peppers, and any other veg you think will go with barbecue. I have some mixed riced veg from TJ's I got as a cheater, and some wild arugula and basil.

ack! The time! Off to be useful.


Reading about your foray into reclamation of your baking oven, i was wondering, if you dropped balls of white bread dough into hot oil, would you get anything like beignets?

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2ManyDiversions

Well of course yeast! And flour ; ) Mentioned the milk, eggs, and butter because not everyone uses one or all in plain bread. I like it rich, of course. Ha! I think I over-proofed it a wee bit, but will know when I slice it later tonight.

No! We don't have bbq chicken pizza here - hey, you're catching on to my pitifully limited stores! But... I can make it someday if someone, like my friend plllog, reminds me : ) Your lasagna sounds so unusual... do you ever wish you could taste other's dishes here? Well, of course you do. Me, I'm still day-dreaming about fritters. Banana fritters.

Gonna toss in my 2 cents and say, yep, I'd grill the peaches, just because that sounds like it'd go with the bbq lasagna. Have you made this before, or some rendition of it? Or am I the last on earth to know about such a thing? It does sound good : )

I'd imagine so, now that you mention it - the doughs are so similar. Huh. Never occurred to me. I still can't find my cast iron, my dutch oven, or the fry daddy I've tucked away. Unpacked two more boxes earlier this morning and no joy. Eventually they'll turn up.

Ok, back to work for me as well. And I can't think of a single beignet comment.


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plllog

ROTFL!!! I knew you knew you used yeast and flour! I just meant the part about the puffing and the possible relationship thereby to beignets. I might even learn to like chicory coffee if a lovely man were bringing it to me every morning with beignets. Did I mention I took most of the fritters to lunch yesterday. The one who is a trained cook, but not a natural cook and with limits on cooking and food knowledge, asked if it was supposed to be soft. Yes, I said. Crispy was a different kind of dough. The bananas are far too moist to crisp. "Oh. Yeah. But what about apple fritters? They have crunchy bits." But those are the thin edges that dry out while the center of a big ol' apple fritter is getting cooked through, and they get hard and then are soaked in icing, which hardens crunchy, and keeps them on the chewier side of too hard. But I didn't say all of that. Just a few words so as not to cause embarrassment. BTW, you can call your bread "enriched". It's a thing. And if you did a ritual sacrifice and made your loaves with an uneven top you could call your enriched loaf "challah".

Without invoking the evil eye, I'll mention again that my cast iron grill press has not showed up to this day after the remodel. I saw it out of a box, put it somewhere because its drawer wasn't lined yet, and it has been gone ever since. Sending you brownies and cooperative fairies to locate all your cast iron and safely restore it to your hands.

I've made barbecue chicken pizza before. I can't remember exactly what I put in it besides some leftover roast chicken, chicken sausage (might have been roasted red pepper chicken sausage) and the less sweet, more tomato-y barbecue sauce I invented when FOAS was looking for something for pulled pork (or something like that) that was less cloying than the norm. But I've also seen peach barbecue sauce and blueberry barbecue sauce, and oj used in barbecue sauce, and I've made countless lasagnas of the clear the fridge variety. I'm still consider the fruit. I like the idea of the acid from the oj, but it may be too sweet. I could use red wine vinegar. But still may use some oj in the ground chicken. I'm going to concentrate on the peaches, because they need using, and only add the blueberries if the sauce seems like it needs it. I also have a few spoons left of meat juice/demi-glace leftover, and I might add some or all to boost the savoriness. I'm also considering serving the mushrooms on the side, sauteed and cooked to get them a little charred. This is the way I cook, often. If the outcome is stellar, I write it down, like my pumpkin lasagna. :)

By other people's dishes, do you mean that laundry list of everything you cooked sous vide last year? Hmmm? Oh, boy!

Give your dog a kiss of encouragement for me.

I think I've earned a nap. I'll be dreaming of Italian waiters with curled mustachios bringing me demitasses and beignets.



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plllog

You had to know it was coming:

Banana Fritter bread pudding. With the end of last week's challah to have a bit of variety. Also pecan halves and banana slices. I thought about spicing and toasting the nuts, poaching the bananas, flavoring the custard, etc., and decided it was too much. No added sugar even. If I were serving this to impress, I'd make a cinnamon icing and Gran Marnier hard sauce, but simple is good. :)

I'm not so sure about making bread pudding from beignets.

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plllog

I didn't mention, the lasagna got pushed to Sunday. I just made the barbecue tomato sauce. It's AWESOME! I've been doing a lot of recipes recently. It felt so good to just go in the kitchen and cook.

It's about two two-handed handfuls of small diced peach, one normal double handed handful of blueberries, a skim of lite olive oil to start them in, until they were shedding juice and beginning to melt. (The peaches were too soft to grill.) During, I added some Penzey's Adobo seasoning and BBQ 3000 (if it were "important", I'd make my own blends but for just cooking, I check what's in it and if sounds like what I'd use, I put it in. In the long run, the proportions don't really matter unless they're whacky. I just adjust as I taste.) Added a big can of organic diced tomatoes and a medium can of fire roasted. Turns out the latter have jalapeño, which I didn't realize (I read labels, but last time I bought the same product it didn't have them--ETA: It does say on the front in small print. I'm sure I bought it on purpose but it's been too long to remember and it was just sitting insouciantly in the pantry waiting for an invitation to dance) until I tasted the sauce after adding cumin, smoked spanish paprika and a little chili powder, and evening it up with some s&p. It has a little kick. :) I hope the lasagna will mild it out for the old folks. :) Oh, I also put in about a fifth of a big plastic spice bottle of dehydrated onions which were self rehydrating. Perfect way to use them up. And then I dumped in the beef braise from the doggy bag. SO good. You can have your Worcestershire! Demi glace with the addition of beef juice, braising veg and salt. What an impact! It's not enough to single out the flavor. Just an umami bomb come to court the tomatoes.

Yeah, this is off topic, but I'll bring along some of the fritter pudding for afters since I'm completely out of beignets. :)

ETA: The final picture doesn't do the color justice. It's a deep, rich barbecue sauce red, but the flash makes it a lot lighter and brighter.

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plllog

OMG!! The bbq sauce was so much even better this morning. I know this is off topic, but it started with the pasta, which I didn't make, but which did follow from the FP thread. :) I figured something out today. In my big Bunzlauer baking dish, one pound equals one layer. I can't remember which is where in the stack, but the fillings are mixed grated cheese (smoked gruyere, smoked something white with an odd American name (ETA--ewww. Picked the label out of the trash for the third time and finally remembered it long enough to tell you: It's Beecher's Smoked Flagship cheese, from Washington--it's very good), and semi-dry (as opposed to fresh and wet) mozzarella). The ground chicken was cooked with adobo seasoning and pancetta (it wasn't ever going to masquerade as kosher, and since that's a binary state, c'est la vie). There was some bought cooked sundried tomato and basil chicken sausage. Ricotta with eggs and OJ. The riced veg medley cooked in OJ until dry, sprinkled with wild arugula as it was layered. And, of course, the peach blueberry tomato barbecue sauce. Stacked high, with sauce on top, and covered with gooey fresh smoked mozzarella mixed with some of the semi-dry mozz to give it something to cling to. I was very careful with the moisture content so it would travel well, but still be moist. Served with brown butter cabernet crimini mushrooms. The kick settled down to just flavor and everybody really liked the lasagna.

They liked the banana fritter pudding, too, which I only took because I had it, and just a little bit. Not a lasagna informed choice. :) "Stuffed" was heard. :) It might have been nice to have the puffer kind of flyaway beignets.

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2ManyDiversions

plllog, before I forget, and I'm liable to given the photos and commentary above... Thank you for mentioning our little dog. I kissed her cheek from you and told her : ) She's been getting a lot of cuddles, top of the head and cheek kisses.

How do I put this? Your killing me ; - ) In a wonderful way, yes, but killing me! I want to taste it all! I love bread pudding. But those fritters as bread pudding? I'd not have thought of it. And I'd have eaten half that dish right out of the oven. Do you even realize how tantalizing that looks? Do you understand how stomach-growling inducing that is? Aaaah.

While I cannot make up recipes, I am good at looking at ingredients and technique and knowing if it's good, or should I clarify and say good to me. Most of us here can, at this point in our culinary lives. So again, the ingredients, technique, and the description of the sauce had me salivating. I've never tasted anything similar, yet I could from your commentary. Odd, huh? The sauce in the tupperware? I wanted it. I'd have put it on anything! Ha! I was so thrilled for you that your sauce was so amazing.. and then I saw the lasagna this morning. Again drinking coffee on the back porch. It's cooled off here, and each layer of that lasagna looks outrageously good. I'm counting 4 layers. I can't ever get past 3. Need your lasagna dish (lovely, BTW!). Wonderful job of keeping the moisture content to 'just right'. I might have gone overboard with such amazing sauce. We have 2 kinds of mozzarella here: The processed floppy kind, and the fresh wet kind (at least we have the fresh!). Reading, every time you added one more ingredient, I thought I'd die from just desire. I mean, ground chicken with adobo, then pancetta? It was the crimini that finally did me in : )

OMG! I laughed so hard when I read that you got into your trash for the label, more than once! - I've done that! It's gross, I know, but sometimes one does what one does! And sometimes... one must repeat!

Busy weekend, so no joy finding a fry bread vessel. Yellow squash in the fridge needs to be eaten now, but DH won't touch it. Jumped the gun on that, thinking I'd have more time for box unpacking. Eh. Not puffy, but I need the same for latkes too! Not to mention beignets.

The enriched (!) white bread came out lovely, albeit a bit off kilter (rushed and pretty much dumped the dough in), shared half a loaf with the fella who's building our garden. Also made Ann's artisan bread, did not screw it up this time, and managed an 'ear' on one boule by pure accident. I'm posting it on another thread but double pic's aren't outlawed are they? : ) I feel I must contribute something puffy!


Midweek I'm unpacking again. Fingers crossed per favore!

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plllog

Oooh! Lovely bread! Of course, double posts are allowed, and we needed puff! I'm working my way toward a few weeks of ultra-low carbs, so much as I'm showing all this fun stuff, I'm actually slowly backing off of the carbistry. I have until Thursday (the last birthday dessert, since I'm still running down butter. I had a nice answer from the local butter who check ed with their lab. The like any butter info on the website is what they're currently selling). I want bread. I want to make bread. I have to feed my starters whether or not I make bread. Sigh. And I want to see what happens if I fry regular bread dough. :)

I sorry (a little) for tantalizing you so. The barbecue sauce is mostly easy to make. The tricky part would be the leftover beef braise, but one could buy a jar of demi-glace (Amazon, if not available near you, or you can make your own), reduce some beef stock with some aromatics, and add some strong seasoning. Or...Make braised beef and make sure to reserve a quarter to half cup of the juices. Even the peaches and blueberries can be gotten frozen if not fresh, though now's the time to do it for fresh. :) Which is a long way of saying, I wish you could taste it for real too. Your enthusiasm for the description is very gratifying. BTW, I have some leftover cheese mix. I'm thinking a bit of the sauce for quesadillas.

Yes, that's four levels of filling in the lasagna, plus the topping. Five levels of pasta. That's because of the flat fresh pasta sheets. Even better are the lasagna pan sized sheets from the Italian deli, but pasta machine sheets are still great. That's what I want to learn to make when I'm back to carbs using your FP recipe and my inexpensive roller machine. Even the sheet style dried pasta doesn't make such nice layers. The "lasagne" with the ruffle edges come in two types (which you probably don't have there)--the noodleier large ruffles and the harder, more open textured micro ruffles. The latter are higher quality pasta but don't make as nice a lasagna casserole. The former are nice enough, but they rehydrate very thick and pasta-y, unlike the sheets that are thin and just divider-y. The sheets are more elegant and do better with crumblier fillings. The ruffle pasta is great for a heavy, traditional, meaty cheesy, saucy, carby comfort bomb.

So, given a three inch side to your pan, the secret to getting so many layers is to have a good control on lumps. My regular meat sauce tends to be lumpy.. The lumps in the tomato barbecue sauce, crumbled sausage and ground chicken were all pretty even. and not too huge. Also, put a sheet pan on the bottom rack and let the top be above the rim of the dish. It doesn't usually drip, however. It sinks as it cooks and the cheese melts. Re sauciness, I actually used a lot--I just reduced it to very little loose water. I put the mushrooms as a side dish, however, because even totally cooked down, they can release unexpected moisture. Similarly, I made sure the veg were tender but cooked until dry, and having forgotten the bell peppers and onions until I was half done, I decided they'd be too wet anyway. Not having the lasagna drip over the sides in the car is priceless. and being able to lift out a clean square from the first corner on makes serving beautiful.

It passed the ultimate test this morning. The leftover cut piece was great cold for breakfast. The fritter pudding is much better piping hot. Cooling it was very good. Cold from the fridge it's only okay. Zapped with some drippy cheese on top? Fab!

I think I'm going to have to wait until after the carb hiatus to make beignets.

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2ManyDiversions

“Carbistry” – I love that! Gave me a very nice chuckle : ) Ha! Never apologize for tantalizing me… you never know, maybe someday I’ll ‘create’ something such as your lasagna… or maybe not. About the only thing I can create is chicken or tuna salads. I just toss things in until it tastes good. That’s simplistic though.

I think my issue on lasagna layers is that I put too much in between. Of everything. DH’s favorite is a lasagna that uses 4-cheeses stuffed ravioli (I make the ravioli a day or so ahead as I can never do the whole thing in a day). It’s pretty decadent, but once a year is fine : )

That lasagna, I’d have gotten up in the middle of the night and had some, cold. I do that when I really love something, especially if I’m lying awake and can still smell the cooking scent of whatever it is.

See, there ya go again, talking about those fritters. I had nada for breakfast. Cabinet people and garden fellow here, trying to cook and do deskwork. But I thought about those banana fritters and the banana fritter bread pudding. Truthfully.

I’m hoping this weekend I find the cast iron. Getting antsy to make either the fry bread meal or latkes. Both, really. As agreed, when it’s cooler, beignets : )


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plllog

Oh, I have your permission re tantalus. Remember (or not...I'm not sure if you were in that thread) the raspberry jam experiment? I made a test before the real jam for the princess cake. I used the low sugar activator style pectin. Annie had mentioned that it could give a weird texture. I also over reduced the tester. I think maybe there is an odd texture, but it's only noticeable if eating straight off the spoon. Anyways, since I didn't need it for the cake, I bethought me to try it on the banana fritter pudding, which I had zapped with a piece of havarti. The latter was a dud. I can't get the really good havarti that was amazing melted onto stuff. This was just cheese, and didn't melt in. The "bad" jam, however, was so much more amazing than any slice of cheese could be. The intensity of the raspberry flavor, without seeds to navigate, is awesome!!! It didn't hide the flavor of the fritter pudding, but bumped it up a couple levels of complexity. I ate too much of it though. Unlike regular jam, it doesn't have that squishy candy taste because of the lower amount of sugar.

I've made ravioli pizza (pizza sauce and toppings atop ravioli rather than crust), but never ravioli lasagna. That does sound decadent! It seems a bit of a shame to make nice ravioli just to bury it in a lasagna, but I just just imagine the pleasure of that lovely cheese oozing out of the middle of the pasta. Couldn't you just fake it? Lay down a layer of pasta in your lasagna, dot it with ravioli filling, and cover it, then continue layering up? If that's your pasta, however, no wonder you're not getting as many layers!

So, if you can be creative with tuna or chicken salad (I am!) you can create anything. You know how to anticipate flavors. You just said so. And you know how to cook. The big stumbling block most people have is that they really don't know how to cook. They think they do because they can produce meals, but they really only know how to boil and bake according to the directions. So, you've adjusted recipes, right? Creating a recipe is mostly a combination of that (though the recipes might be part of the knowledge base in your head) and what you do when you're inventing what to put in the tuna salad. That is, figuring out flavors and textures while go together and with your main protein. If you want to test yourself, grab (mentally) four things that you want to use for dinner at random, and figure out how to make them work. This isn't a competition, so if you really want to use the fennel but it just doesn't seem to go, it's okay to put it back.

The carb hiatus has been pushed. The birthday girl has to get her teeth attended to on Thursday. She was concerned when she told me about her strawberry ice cream. I promised we could do it Saturday night. :) But biscuits, not beignets.

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2ManyDiversions

Yes, I did follow your jam experiment, and I though I didn’t post much on the Princess Cake thread I followed it as well. Well, there you go again talking about those banana fritters and the pudding. I’ll come round to that again in a sec…

I once (once, mind you) made raspberry jelly/jam for fancy truffle filling. Not having a clue what I was doing, I just winged it (ok, so apparently I’ve made up a few recipes?), tossed in lots of raspberries, a wee bit of water, added probably way too much sugar, and the pectin I found at the grocery. Never used pectin before, and it blobbled up right off the bat, but melted in. Somehow, by chance, it cooled down to the correct ‘thickedness’ (ha!) for inside a dark chocolate truffle. When you took a half bite, the raspberry didn’t ooze out, and the texture was good and clean (no seeds), the flavor just strong enough. It was the only non-ganache truffle I’ve made. But I ruined a sieve pushing those seeds through, the jam was so thick. One of my favorites. I’m with you, not fond of raspberry seeds. Or blackberry seeds.

So, plllog, is it just you and I now on this thread? Are there any silent readers? If not, I’m fine with that as I’ve so enjoyed our sharing and our conversations. Much like the F.P. thread Kool Beans started, I love the curves and side roads we take : ) But it would be nice if someone else was reading about your recent creations. Two nights ago I was up, sitting outside on the back porch, quite late (darned muscle spasms in my legs from too much work), and I could not stop thinking of your fritters. That crumb shot did it for me. And your description. And the fact I’ve never eaten a banana fritter, but love banana. Then I thought of your unique lasagna, and the photos posted, and it occurred to me, you should have posted those on separate threads. I feel very sure others would have been dreaming of fritters, and mind-tasting that lasagna, as I did. It bothered me a bit, actually. Thought about it again last night, late, again, muscles being naughty. Finally I poured some emergency zero-sugar Powerade, which I hate, but it’s the only thing that helps. Water, potassium tablets, and yes, even bananas, don’t work. I thought of that decadent bread pudding from the fritters, and snacked on that awhile in my mind as I sipped that awful drink, then again to the lasagna, wondering if it tasted anything like my day-dream brain said it did.

I’d agree, a shame to waste ravioli (and clearly you made ravioli, or you’d not have thought that!) in a lasagna, except… it’s just that good. And it’s just once a year. What? Did you say fake it? That did not come out of plllog’s mouth! Ha ha! Well, that’d just be lasagna then!

You know what? I did ‘create’ a meatless pasta recipe once. I forgot all about that! Had garden tomatoes, Vidalia onions, and tons of basil from the herb garden, and I made (ok, I actually got this recipe online now that memory improves) – Vidalia onion pesto. Pasta went back into the tomato sauce, and when done it was topped with the Vidalia pesto, which was mild enough not to overwhelm the other flavors. I made it 4 times it was so good. No garden tomatoes of late, but there is next year. Still, nothing like your lasagna. That’s far more intricate, far more complicated with layers of flavor.

4 things, huh? Ok… For the fry bread tacos (yeah, back to that old thing again), I’ll make up the sauce (tomatoes, sautéed onions, a few spices, toss in some fresh herbs – but that’s all standard…), and… peppers, not too hot coz I’m a wimp, but enough to add heat-flavor. I’m sure I can find those here. Surely. I wonder… what if I mixed cheese into the fry bread batter? No. It’d just burn probably. Maybe I’ll try it anyway. Mexican crema to top it off. I’ve crème fraiche. Yeah! Not Grandma Bird’s version, but mine! And for the 3 sisters… I’ll wing that too (create it), since my memory is that it was bland. So my plllog-inspired task is to make 3 sisters as a side dish, without looking at any recipes, and make it my own. {Big Smile}

So I’m confused, are you making the ice cream? Are you making the entire dinner? Are you traveling with it? Me thinks so : )

I’m taking a couple weeks off from GW and anything not related to remodeling or deskwork – and cooking simple meals. Though truthfully, I may try to pop in now and again. But we’ve got another big push coming, and I have a few wounds to lick before we start. Pick up where we’ve left off then?

It’s decided. Soon as I catch up on things, the weather will be cooler (we can hope!) and I’m making those banana fritters, maybe even before the beignets.

(I really couldn't blame anyone for not wanting to read my ramblings!)

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plllog

Travel is a grand word for a few miles. ;) I changed my mind when I saw the chickens at the butcher counter. Huge. Ugh. I got boneless breasts. I wasn't originally responsible for this birthday dinner, just the ice cream. That was the birthday girl's request. But because it's now on Saturday, I'm making the dinner, so it was going to be roast chicken because she asked for Marsala but it thought it didn't go with strawberry ice cream. Now I have breasts, but didn't think to go back and get mushrooms. I don't know if I'll have a chance to get them, and I'm thinking some kind of lemon (not piccata) would be better with strawberry ice cream to follow. Oh, and she asked for onion rings rather than biscuits, and I'm not sure lemon goes with onion rings.

So, maybe lemon, ginger and garlic. I don't know why that sounds like good with onion rings, but it does. And I don't even like ginger with garlic!

So, why post here? I felt like chatting about the lasagna and bbq sauce and chicken, because this has turned into a freewheeling chat, but I don't do the WFD threads, and they're just food. Maybe we need a just food chat thread? But I still have my mind on the fry and puff experiments. I'd love it if others would join in. I do think some are reading. BTW, I asked about the butter today and the man I spoke to said that it looked like they had probably worked on it but not resolved the issue.

If you're disinclined to continue here, feel free to stop. I've been enjoying the chat immensely. Enjoy your respite and heal well! I'm writing this not for a response, but in case you and anyone else reading wants to read it. I like your ramblings.

Your winged it raspberry truffle filling definitely counts as creating your own! So does the pasta with tomatoes and onion pesto. I've never heard of onion pesto, but it sounds like something I ought to learn about.

Yeah, I don't think cheese would improve fry bread. Too heavy. You could make a side of battered and fried cheese using the end of the fry bread batter. Cheese poppers, basically. Brava on the three sisters with no training wheels project! So it's three things--close enough. Whatever you come up with can't be bad. The three with just some salt would be fine. So anything you think of to make them really good should work.

Why not fake stuff? I'll take your word that rolled out ravioli that haven't been sealed and cut would not be the same. I was going to do a whole stuffed thing, experimenting with wonton, ravioli, and similar. I got a ravioli press for my pasta machine, and a really cool flippy dippy folded maker, thinking about quantity. I can do it by hand but am slow, and the only such thing I willing to make in large quantity is borekes. But something happened and I've never gotten back to it. Maybe after puff and fry, I should go back to stuffed. :) But I don't making faking it in the kitchen. I mind fake food, and I really mind mayonnaise substituted for cooking or seasoning, but I'm not anti-jars and cans if their good--I don't often use them, but am glad to when appropriate--and I don't mind inventing short cuts. :)

So, for now, I'm just getting through this weekend's special dinner, then on to the cooler weather and the beignets.


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bbstx

FWIW, I’m skimming the thread from time to time. We seem to have been pretty busy lately although I can’t tell you what we’ve been doing....but there’s been lots of it! HA!

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2ManyDiversions

I am not here. Since I am not here I will keep this simple. Oh that's such a strain for me. I will be returning, and a food convo thread that meandered would be awesome. But this is that. Please post your B-day dinner pic's. Please? I can ogle them. I am still not here.

FWIW, almost anything goes with strawberry ice cream (not oysters). Lemon, ginger, and garlic are lovely together, and I've done it with chicken piccata. Mayhap your tastes prefer something else? Burgers, onion rings, and strawberry milkshakes are wonderful, so why not chicken, onion rings and strawberry ice cream? : ) Again, still not here.

bbstx, so glad someone else has witnessed plllog's fritters and lasagna! As an aside, I meant it when I said the ice cream recipe was NOT a dud.

Not here.

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plllog

The chicken was never an issue. I just can't feature following up mushrooms and marsala with strawberry ice cream. Pistachio maybe, but not strawberry. But I have to go to the post office, so I could buy some mushrooms and do it anyway. :) But chicken marsala and onion rings? If she's feeling better today, I'll ask her.

I don't know if there will be pictures of the meal or not. I have to make the onion rings, and frying and iPads shouldn't be in the same room. :) I'll try...

ETA, yes, she sounded happy and interested in orange ginger chicken, which sounds much better with beer battered onion rings, followed by strawberry ice cream. I'm going to try to keep the chicken on the sour, spicy, savory side, so it won't turn into a carbtastic coma affair.

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plllog

This is the chicken recipe. I was in the middle of looking for influenes when I read this and it sounded good. Thinking on it, it says "fresh garlic" so maybe the oj was meant store bought and the ginger and zest dried. I didn't do that. I used oranges and ginger. It was really good. Perhaps with fewer fresh ingredients it would still be good. It calls for 1.25 lb of chicken. I was a couple ounces over that with three b/s breast halves. There was plenty enough sauce for another breast or two. I brought the extra home. Because we had onion rings, I didn't make rice. The sauce would be great over rice. I served the whole thing over baby spinach, letting the sauce wilt the spinach. That worked great, but could have used another couple handfuls. The chicken was just the right amount for four moderate appetites.

Sorry about the lack of pictures.

i overslept and ran out of time on the ice cream, so It's back to strawberry shortcake with strawberry ice cream on Tuesday with someone else cooking. I'm not sure if I should churn it tomorrow and let it get too hard in the freezer or let the mix sit in the fridge--the eggs and cream are cooked, but not the strawberry puree. Whatev...


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2ManyDiversions

Again, I'm not here... Your chicken recipe sounds quite good, and I bookmarked it. Thank you : ) I made an Orange Chicken Instant Pot recipe some while back, and curiosity got me so I looked it up to compare as it was just awful. I did not use fresh juice, it has sugar AND brown sugar... no rice vinegar... in other words, I will be swapping the recipes! I like the idea of serving it over baby spinach (which I adore!). It's Tuesday now, but I'd have suggested making the ice cream ahead for the sake of ease. But we all know fresh made, soft, is to die for. I also like the idea of strawberry shortcake with strawberry ice cream.

Ok, so I really am here... trying not to be ; )

PS: for another time, though I feel you know this already, if serving all or most of the ice cream, you can soften it in the microwave once without creating ice crystals. 10 seconds at a time. I don't care for too frozen ice cream either. Can't taste it well.

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plllog

Yeah, tongue numbing isn't good! I forgot that it was two days between, not one, so churned it Sunday. It'll be very cold I will definitely try to remember to put it on the counter for awhile before serving. I also need to remember to take my sawtooth scooper. :) Thanks for the MW tip. I didn't know. I'm not sure about putting my fancy ice cream container in, though.

Re the chicken recipe, even though the instructions say something like "or stir fry", I have no Asian cooking skills. It said to cook the chicken strips in a skillet. I used a cast iron pan. After both sides were good and brown, I stirred them around a bit, but that's not stir fry. :) I don't know the dishes the author was comparing it to, but it is good and all the flavors are distinct. It did seem a little salty, but I used up the end of a bottle of lite soy sauce, and that might have reduced some over time. OTOH, I'm sensitive to salt content. But, yeah, the flavors are well balanced.

I hope the not being here is having a good effect!


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plllog

Sorry. No pictures. The strawberry shortcake was served in shallow cereal bowls with spoons, which turned out to be a good choice. The biscuits had a strange texture but tasted fine. I may have overdone the buttermilk. The strawberry sauce was nice--fresh tasting and not overly assertive. I looked at it when it was theoretically done but still too lumpy and decided I didn't want to stir it any more, so thought about the Vita-Mix, but I wanted it to have some texture and thought I'd lose too much in the pitcher. It was shallow, but I risked the immersion blender. It was just deep enough not to spray. Yay! Perfect texture. Which is why I have a lot of tools. I didn't forget the sawtooth scoop, and I remembered to take out the ice cream just as people were starting to finish the dinner. It wasn't icy and scooped okay with M. Sawtooth. No beautiful rounds, but it was fine. And being so frozen, it didn't melt before it even landed on the table. The birthday girl was thrilled.

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2ManyDiversions

Yes, I'm getting things done, thank you : ) But it's hard to stay away, uh, clearly! Your strawberry shortcake dessert sounds wonderful... I am glad you mentioned using the immersion blender. I've recently purchased one, my first. I love it, but need to experiment and use it more so I am familiar with what it can do. Shocked at how well it blends. Far better than a blender. Of course my blender is just a basic unit. I'm glad the birthday girl was thrilled with your gift of food, but I would not have expected any less.

Ok, the sawtooth scoop - that had to be a joke, right? I laughed aloud when I read that the other evening on my cell... surely heard by at least 3 neighboring homes! You didn't ask, but I like melty ice-cream (sensitive teeth and mouth I suppose).

I miss cooking, plllog. Terribly. Oh well. When relaxing, I look up recipes, think on what I'd love to make. The latkes occupy my mind of late. More so than beignets. Your fritters have not left my thoughts... darn it!


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plllog

Well, that's natural, that you should miss cooking, and think about it. So long as you aren't sacrificing nutrition, think of it as recharge time. Please don't mythologize the fritters, however! They were good. Beignets are better! I hope the no-cook pledge is giving you greater progress toward the finish line.

The sawtooth scoop is no joke! The fat content of ice cream keeps it from getting too hard, but I really was trying to make fat free frozen yoghurt. It's refreshing in a way ice cream can never be, But it really needs to be eaten right out of the machine because it ices up so fast and hard.





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annie1992

2many, I also have sensitive teeth and almost never eat ice cream because of that. I'm that person that stirs the ice cream around in the bowl until it's nearly melted and then it's too messy to eat. I just gave up on it. (sigh)


Plllog, I was going to try to make frozen raspberry yogurt for Mother's birthday, and you have just convinced me that it's a bad idea. Back to whipped cream on the raspberry slab pie, as Mother doesn't care for cake. Fine with me, I much prefer pie too, but I'm thinking I need to sieve out t least some of the seeds...


No pictures. Well, that's disappointing. (grin)


Annie

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plllog

I like pie too. :) Frozen yoghurt is fine if you're serving it right out of the churn. It's when you put it in a regular 0°F freezer that it goes icy and hard. I've done both regular and drained yoghurts. Just throw the fruit in and some breaks up and becomes part of the yoghurt while some stays in small bits. Or you can do the puree thing, but I think it makes it that much icier. BTW, when I did it with peaches, the resulting color was like the peach crayon. I guess the color "peach" is really peaches and cream. That was probably Flare peaches, certainly orange fleshed.

Pie is good. :)

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jerzeegirl

I have a real problem with frozen yogurt. I really like the way it tastes. But it hurts my teeth. Ice cream has no affect on me. Strange, right?

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plllog

It may be the higher water content or lower fat content makes it feel colder?

My dentist told me that new cold sensitivity was because if the gums recede a little, they expose little fissures that convey the temperature to the nerves. I got aggressive with the gum stimulator and it went away. :)

BTW, I just remembered Linda's suggestion to put a little alcohol in ice cream to lower the freezing point. I would guess it would work for yoghurt as well, Annie, if you want to try it for your mom.

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plllog

Back to beignets. And puff pastry.

I was in Trader Joe's looking for the buttermilk which isn't with the milk and the thought hit me. If I can't find my dry butter, I could, perhaps, make my own! I could put some butter in my cheese press and just squeeze out some extra water, right? If I weigh the whey I could figure out the approximate percentage.

It was all I could do, at a meeting this week where the Jewish ladies were planning a lunch with blintzes, not to volunteer that I knew how to make hoop cheese. I won't even be there, and if they can make them without, that's fine. It's a big bother and expense to make retail. :) But, having made proper blintzes for Shavuot, the dairy holiday, I'm now thinking I need them for Sukkot, too. ;)

But pressing butter does seem to be a viable alternative to flouring it.

Nothing to do with beignets.

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bragu_DSM 5

How about homemade buttermilk?


It should do for blintzes.


4 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar, OR fresh lemon juice (I like lemon juice)

1 cup milk


makes one cup. refrigerate til needed. need more? make more. I hate paying more for buttermilk when it is so easy peasey...


of course, still, nothing to do with beignets ...

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plllog

That's not actually buttermilk. :) If you're baking something simple and don't have buttermilk but need the acid to make your baking soda rise, you can use the milk to do all the milky stuff and add the vinegar or lemon juice to do the acidy stuff. You can also use vinegar instead of buttermilk when you make cheese. But that doesn't make milk plus acid into real buttermilk. :)

What has buttermilk to do with making blintzes? I was looking for the buttermilk when I thought of making my own butter dry for the puff pastry, using the cheese press I used to make the hoop cheese for the blintzes. ... Oh, yes, I do use a recipe which calls for milk plus buttermilk to make the curd cheese that becomes the hoop cheese that fills the blintzes. If that's what you meant, then, yes, if I didn't have buttermilk (I usually have a quart (plus dry)) I could use vinegar.

Dave, thanks for your contribution, but is that what you meant about the blintzes? Or am I missing your point?

Other than it still having nothing to do with beignets.

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bragu_DSM 5

I thot it was all non-sequitur.

Rule 1: never overthink my posts.

Rule 2: never forget rule No. 1.

Just trying to help keep this wonderful thread going. It's darn fun. But does it have to be relevant?

My prime rib and sweet corn today also had nothing to do with blintzes, puff pastry, curd cheese or beignets ...

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plllog

Nope. Doesn't have to be relevant. I was pretty sure you were being silly, but I have a tendency to react with deadpan straight, which tickles my fancy, even though people don't always know I'm giggling. :) I'm so glad you're enjoying the thread, and I'm sure it'll pick up steam when the weather cools down and we can actually deal with frying beignets.

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jerzeegirl

Would the combination of buttermilk, sourdough starter and cornstarch cause some kind of science disaster?

I am thinking of making sourdough buttermilk waffles tomorrow. The overnight mixture consists of 1 cup of starter, 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of AP flour and 1 TB of light brown sugar.

What if I reduced the flour to 3/4 cup and add a 1/4 cup of cornstarch to crisp them up a bit? Would that cause fountains of batter to erupt all over the kitchen?

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plllog

Have you used this recipe before? The basic one? If that's a proper waffle batter, I don't know that stubbing the starch for flour would affect its hydration enough to make it erupt. I'm guessing it would be fine. The acid in the starter and buttermilk and the overnight development will condition the wheat in a good way, but without baking soda for it to react with--and that reaction would start discharging right away--I can't imagine an eruption on that point. In terms of puffidy crustify, I'd be very interested to know if the cornstarch works on the crisp.

OTOH, intuition should be listened to. Maybe do a small tester in the middle of the waffle iron and see how it does. If it erupts, it'll be within the machine.

I'm trying to recall a guy who kind of seared off waffles (hard enough outside to handle but raw/wet inside) and threw them into the fryer to finish. I wonder if you can make waffle beignets?

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jerzeegirl

I think I am going to try it. I will let you know how it works out. The baking soda doesn't go in until the next morning along with the egg, salt, vanilla, and butter. There is always a reaction when I add the baking soda so that I am expecting. With cornstarch I probably should be more worried about ending up with a blob of flour. (cornstarch as thickener). I can't help it - I really love to experiment, lol.

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plllog

Experimenting is good! Cornstarch as a thickener is just like flour as a thickener, but starch is refined down to the part that does the thickening and dissolves, whereas flour is more floury. :) I don't think the quarter cup will steal enough of the hydration to mess up your batter, but you could always soak the flour in the buttermilk for a couple of hours before you make the batter if you're worried.

Good thing we don't have to worry about hydration rates with beignets.

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jerzeegirl

Well, I chickened out. I just couldn't do it. The waffles ended up being crispy until they were no longer crispy (after about 15 minutes I'd say). It's just the nature of the waffle, which is why every single recipe says turn the oven on to 200 degrees and put the waffles in there until you are ready to serve. We never get to that point. My DH gets them right off the griddle so they are always nice to eat. Then I flash freeze them and when we want one for breakfast it gets popped into the toaster oven.

Only one thing went wrong. That lovely starter that you helped me with two years ago? It died (it succumbed to pink mold). I had to begin a new starter and it just doesn't have the developed taste that the other one had. Rats.

I saved this article for you. Thought you might be interested. I am going to try it one of these days when the new starter is more robust.

Challenging sourdough starter convention

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plllog

Cool article, Jerzeegirl. Thank-you! It jibes with what I've experienced, but it's so great to see a good experiment. But as the author said, the cold rest. That helps the smaller amount of starter to catch up.

I'm so sorry about your poor starter! Your new starter will age and improve. Or if you'd like me to send you some wubby, send me a message. Or send an envelope and a buck and get Carl's Oregon Trail. Now that you can catch your own starter reliably, you have nothing to prove.

So...once your new starter is well developed you can try drying it. I haven't done this, but if I remember, I'll try it too. You hydrate a portion of starter until it's loose, and brush it on a piece of parchment paper and leave it flat to dry. When it's good and hard dry, crinkle the paper over a sheet pan (line with clean parchment if you like). As you crinkle the dried starter will fall off. If you put paper under it and are nimble you can roll it in a cone and put it in a jar. Otherwise, use a funnel in the jar, and a soft dry pastry brush to help the powder out of the pan into the funnel. It's supposed to last nearly forever that way. I'd be tempted to freeze it. It's important to do enough to do an experimental rehydration in a week to make sure it's alive. :)

Re waffles, you're right. They steam out and get uncrispy. I used to make the best, airy crisp outside waffles, and then they weren't coming so crisp, and I haven't figured out why.

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jerzeegirl

I wouldn't mind drying a bit of starter. If I put it in my freezer, I might never find it again.

I can't wait to try baking a loaf with the reduced unfed starter. That promises to be interesting.

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plllog

BUTTER!

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plllog

Long version: I was at the Kroger local subsidiary. They have some weird butters there so I was looking for anything new. There's a black label Land O Lakes "extra creamy" with the 110 Calories per 14g serving, 12g fat that the butter labelled 86% butterfat has--but the LOL nutrition info says 82% butterfat. It has 0 carbs and 0 protein. Their regular unsalted butter says 11g fat per 14g serving, and older, but probably still true, info on the web says their butterfat percentage is between 80.93% and the note from CS said 80%. I sent a message. asking about the disparity for the extra creamy butter and was told it was rounding error. I had assumed that, but ....

Is it a measurement issue? Standardizing volume is tricky. How even and flat is the measure? How much is lost as residue? Etc. So my assumption was that the 14g on every label was the real standard. Perhaps I'm wrong. If one assumes, however that the 14g is exact, 12.0g is 85.71% and 11.0g is 78.57%. So, therein lies the rounding. But how do we get the same number of Calories as in the 86% butterfat butter? I'm thinking it's some kind of standardized number. The note from LOL said that they were following the FDA guidelines, which may dictate exactly how the math is done, including rounding by truncation rather than up or down from 5.

So then I looked at Vital Farms, again. It's not cultured, but it is from pastured cows at smaller farms (implication is that they eat grass as well as feed). It has the same 14g serving with 12g fat and 100 Calories, and claims 85% butterfat. In the long run, I might prefer the cultured butter, but short of ordering it from a store 3000 miles away, it's going to take a lot more effort to get hold of. I can at least practice with the Vital, even if it may have slightly less depth of flavor.

So now I just have to clear off the small appliances, etc., and clear some time, and I can at least make a start on the puff project.

The weather has to turn before I commence beignets.

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