Cooking thread, anyone?

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,470
Downeast Maine
My kids have somehow learned of the existence of eggs Benedict and want to make that dish. I told them that we couldn’t unless I made the English muffins in advance. Today was a good day to make some sourdough muffins, so I cooked them up this evening and turned some of them into pizza sandwiches for dinner.

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Tomorrow morning is the planned eggs Benedict project. I’ve never made a Hollandaise sauce before and am not sure it even sounds appealing to me. I’ll try it, and if I never post again on this thread, you’ll know that it has done me in.

@SpaceBus, I don’t know if you and your wife enjoy English muffins, but they are quite easy. I just use a sandwich bread recipe and cook the rounds on a griddle instead of baking a loaf.
We actually get English muffin bread in loaf form from a local bakery. I would love to try and make my own. I don't yet have a griddle, so I'll try my frying pan maybe?
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
I think I made some English muffin bread several years ago, but that’s a different dough from what’s used for English muffins. The muffins just use a traditional sandwich loaf recipe (in my case it was an einkorn sourdough with milk and butter), and what makes the difference is the style of cooking. A frying pan would work perfectly. The only reason I use a griddle is because I make large batches at one time since I need to feed a family of six and prefer to have leftovers.

The eggs Benedict turned out well, I think, though it was, in my opinion, more work than reward. It might not have been so bad had I just been doing it myself, but I was coordinating four kids in the kitchen, trying to give them all jobs they could do and keep everyone happy.

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We have some leftover Hollandaise sauce that I believe I will serve tonight over asparagus. Does anyone have any fun suggestions for something I can do with the three egg whites that are now stored in my refrigerator?
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
698
MA
I usually just add one more egg and have an omelet for breakfast the following morning.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
698
MA
The English Muffin Toasting Bread recipe at the King Arthur Flour web site is very good, easy loaf bread, BTW.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,619
South Puget Sound, WA
I think I made some English muffin bread several years ago, but that’s a different dough from what’s used for English muffins. The muffins just use a traditional sandwich loaf recipe (in my case it was an einkorn sourdough with milk and butter), and what makes the difference is the style of cooking. A frying pan would work perfectly. The only reason I use a griddle is because I make large batches at one time since I need to feed a family of six and prefer to have leftovers.

The eggs Benedict turned out well, I think, though it was, in my opinion, more work than reward. It might not have been so bad had I just been doing it myself, but I was coordinating four kids in the kitchen, trying to give them all jobs they could do and keep everyone happy.

View attachment 259328

We have some leftover Hollandaise sauce that I believe I will serve tonight over asparagus. Does anyone have any fun suggestions for something I can do with the three egg whites that are now stored in my refrigerator?
Meringue!
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
Meringue!
That’s just what I did. I had thought about throwing the extra whites into an omelette or frittata as @PaulOinMA kindly suggested, but after using numerous eggs that one day, I was trying not to use a lot more. We’re limited in what we can buy right now, and two dozen eggs doesn’t last very long in a family of six, so I’m not making a lot of egg dishes.

I made pizza for dinner this evening with fresh tomatoes and a couple of types of basil that we are growing. I had a purple basil and a lime basil, and the latter was a bit too citrusy for our meal (for some). One of my children suggested it would be a good addition to vanilla ice cream. Might have to try that next time I take some cuttings.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,619
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds like you have a creative thinker in the family.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
698
MA
Nan does meringue with the egg whites, if I don't make an omelet. Only problem is that meringue cookies don't last long around me. :)
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
It was hot here yesterday, and after spending an hour or so in the garden in the morning, I decided that that vanilla ice cream with lime basil sounded like a pretty good idea. I added the basil to the eggs when I was beating them, cooked the French vanilla custard in the morning and started it cooling, got the kids through with their schoolwork over the course of the day, added cream and vanilla in the evening, and let the four year old turn the crank occasionally while I cooked the rest of dinner. I had removed the basil pieces while I cooked the custard, and I’m not sure their flavor came through, but the ice cream was definitely a hit and nice on a 94 degree day.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,470
Downeast Maine
I found this on sale today for baking bread outside. Well, I actually found it a few weeks ago but they were sold out. Seems worth a try and has great reviews.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,619
South Puget Sound, WA
It's cute but looks more like a novelty item. The opening is small and so is the area for the pizza. I would want something about twice that size. Some of the reviews and pictures appear to be staged. Like the one with a pizza on a pizza peel that is wider than the oven opening. The quality also seems poor. Read the 1 star reviews for some perspective.

I've seen the Ooni 3 and the Camp Chef Artisan at the Hearth show, even had pizza from them. They seem like a better long-term investment.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,470
Downeast Maine
It's cute but looks more like a novelty item. The opening is small and so is the area for the pizza. I would want something about twice that size. Some of the reviews and pictures appear to be staged. Like the one with a pizza on a pizza peel that is wider than the oven opening. The quality also seems poor. Read the 1 star reviews for some perspective.

I've seen the Ooni 3 and the Camp Chef Artisan at the Hearth show, even had pizza from them. They seem like a better long-term investment.
I have been looking at the Ooni ovens, the ads pop up frequently. My plan with the Terra cotta oven was just to make bread outside. Maybe I'll get an Ooni next summer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,619
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds dicey for bread with the small opening and uneven heat. My wife suggests getting a decent bread maker machine. She is a trained pastry chef and now makes all our sandwich bread in the breadmaker. She has perfected a very nice whole wheat loaf. A solar oven might also be fun to play with for baguette-style bread if one can get consistent temps for the baking duration.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
698
MA
I agree. Read the reviews after seeing the dimensions. Someone said it fits a 5" or 6" pizza.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
It’s loquat season down here in Texas Hill Country. The other night I picked and processed seven pounds of the little fruits. They don’t have much flesh in comparison to skin and seeds, but our tree had an abundant crop, and I wanted to see what I could do.

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The first picture just shows what loquats look like. I had never heard of them before moving here. I think people grow the trees as ornamentals, and the fruits come after mild winters. They are also called Japanese plums or medlars.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve made loquat jelly from the skins I saved from the food mill (top right in the photo), loquat jam with cardamom (bottom right), and loquat barbecue sauce (top left). The front left is peach peel/pit jelly (and yes, I didn’t skim the foam). I had a bunch of unprotected peaches that I picked yesterday and made a big batch of peach salsa. That’s in our fridge. It’s yummy but not so photogenic.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
We had BLTs for lunch this week, and it reminded me of the mayonnaise discussion that we had earlier in the thread. Since I had to make a fresh batch, I thought I’d post a picture and give a recommendation for using a stick/immersion blender for the process. In my experience it eliminates the need to add the oil slowly the way you must with a conventional blender or food processor. I have no idea what the science is about the emulsification process there, but I just love putting all my ingredients in, processing for 30 seconds and being done.

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Has anyone ever heard of nun’s puffs? I hadn’t until my oldest read me a recipe she wanted to try. It’s like a sweeter, richer popover and more fuss, but I gave her permission provided that she did the unloading of the dishwasher first and cleaned up afterwards (a struggle in our house). She did and made a tasty breakfast for us, too. Here’s her picture.

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,619
South Puget Sound, WA
I have not tried making mayo with the immersion blender. That sounds like a good idea. Never had a nun puff, though my mother said she got them pretty puffed up during her Catholic school days.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
It has been hot down here, and my tastes change in the summer. I made sourdough crackers and hummus for dinner yesterday. There was leftover hummus but no more crackers, so I ended up having to make a batch of “wheat thins” for lunch today. My four year old pretends to make food, too, and he put his crackers on the table as well.

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I also managed to make up a batch of simple granola earlier in the week. It was a hit on top of homemade yogurt with homegrown blueberries.

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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,470
Downeast Maine
It has been hot down here, and my tastes change in the summer. I made sourdough crackers and hummus for dinner yesterday. There was leftover hummus but no more crackers, so I ended up having to make a batch of “wheat thins” for lunch today. My four year old pretends to make food, too, and he put his crackers on the table as well.

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I also managed to make up a batch of simple granola earlier in the week. It was a hit on top of homemade yogurt with homegrown blueberries.

View attachment 260373
Do you grow your own oats for the granola? I'm considering a grain mill and flaker to make my own rolled oats from oats we plan on growing.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,619
South Puget Sound, WA
Do you grow your own oats for the granola? I'm considering a grain mill and flaker to make my own rolled oats from oats we plan on growing.
That's a lot of work for a bowl of granola.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
Do you grow your own oats for the granola? I'm considering a grain mill and flaker to make my own rolled oats from oats we plan on growing.
No. Even if I wanted to, I think we’re too hot and dry a climate. I’ve never really aspired to grow grain crops, though we do eat a lot of oats and einkorn wheat. Our efforts this season are concentrated on tomatoes and cucumbers, and long term we are nurturing young blueberry bushes, citrus trees, and olives. You should come join us in the garden thread, Spacebus.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
698
MA
Nan finished the cinnamon rolls that were in the freezer. Took six with us on vacation last week to have as an evening TV treat.

Will make a batch this week. Two 13- by 9-inch pans. 12 cinnamon rolls each. Will give one pan to the girl across the street that watched our two cats last week while we were on OBX. :)
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
As the weather heats up here in Texas, I try to move away from using the kitchen oven as much. I’ve been relying more on the crockpot and the grill. I don’t have a grill pan for veggies but discovered that a pizza plate that I own but don’t usually use (it doesn’t quite fit properly in our usual oven) worked well for fish and brussels sprouts.

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We’re also endeavoring to raise a bunch of cucumbers this year, which we eat in a variety of ways. My kids all love pickles, though, so I promised to ferment a batch. The right-hand jar is sliced spears that I started earlier in the weak. The cloudy brine and more olive tone to the skins is a sign that fermentation is progressing. The left-hand jar is whole pickling cucumbers just after they were packed in brine. There are a few peppers thrown in as well.

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I wanted to try something different with a few of the cucumbers this week, so today I made a cucumber sorbet. I simply pureed a pound of cucumbers with 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 2/3 cup of sugar in my blender and froze it in our ice-cream maker. It was a huge hit with most of the family. I liked it, but prefer savory cucumbers. It was good for variety, though, and is a great summer dessert. I think lemon juice would be even better.
 

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