roast beef sandwich, pan-fried bread



This is my preferred bread for sandwiches presently. It has several advantages. It is dense and substantial while delicate and light without being airy. It does not compress on the roof of one's mouth. It is easy and fast to prepare in the amount needed per batch, so no need to buy a loaf of bread and have it sitting around becoming stale or growing fungus. And no need to buy a dozen tortillas or fixed amount of pita. There is no surplus, there is never any waste and it is always absolutely fresh as can be.



Anasazi bean paste. The beans are particularly suitable for this technique. Their texture somewhat mealy, they absorb water readily. 

Beans turned to powder using a coffee mill
Water 1 + 1/2 X the amount of beans
Spices to suit your contentment
salt/pepper, of course
garlic (here powder)
oregano (Mexican type, this time)
cumin (mere pinch)
mustard powder (because I like it)
chile powder (Dixon type, from New Mexico) 
butter

Heat in pulses in the microwave, stirring between pulses. Four stirs this time. Stirring makes sure the powder does not sink to the bottom and clump. It is very good with multiple uses. Here the bean paste is used as a spread, but a substantial and nutritious spread. 

I recommend trying this with any dry bean on hand, but I especially recommend Anasazi beans and black beans. All beans work very well. I honestly do not understand why this is not seen in cookbooks. 



Roast beef purchased on sale from Tony's Market a few blocks down the street.



Tomatoes are never refrigerated. If you do not get to them within a few days they begin to wrinkle. 




salmon with maple and ginger garlic glaze, Brussels sprouts and cut green beans



grated ginger
grated garlic












Ginger and garlic with soy sauce plus something sweet is a classic Asian combination flavor whereas maple syrup is quintessentially North American but there you have it. The combination works beautifully. 

Frozen vegetables are microwaved steamed in butter and white wine with chile flakes. They could use something sweet as well. A box of white wine is kept on the counter for easy access just for things like this, a little spout of white wine right there at hand.

The fish skin is seared at medium high heat so it crisps then turned and finished under the broiler. This fish is cooked through and that's the way, uh huh, uh-huh, I like it, I like it, 

smashed shrimp with rice balls


It is not possible to make proper ebi sushi using pre-deveined easy-peal shrimp due to the cut along the back of each shrimp. In order to have the shrimp lay flatly on the rice ball it must be cut and deveined from the bottom. That keeps the back of the shrimp intact for presentation and cuts through the connecting fibers that allow the live shrimp to curl and to flip its tail. Therefore this looks a mess but is no less delicious. This is a big deal for Japanese sushi makers so this whole thing would be flatly rejected.



The rice is prepared the usual way. Rinsed short-grain white rice in 1 + 1/2 X the amount of water. This ratio depends on the size pot. Look for approximately 1 inch water above the rice. Brought to boil, covered, turned to low and cooked for 25 minutes. Without removing the lid, never checking on progress, the heat is cut off while the rice continues to steam an additional 10 minutes. Basically, steamed for 35 minutes. The last ten minutes with no heat, and never uncovered until 35 minutes is completed. This water contains sugar and vinegar in equal portions, so a sweet and sour enhancement going on. This rice has whole mustard seed and chile flakes for additional flavor. Real sushi will have sugar dissolved in heated rice-vinegar separately and poured over cooked rice and stirred with wooden paddles as it is fanned to cool so that each granule is coated with a sticky syrup and tinged with a faint golden hue.



The water to cook the shrimp never boiled. The highest water temperature was 180℉ / 82℃. Removed from the pot the moment the interior of the shrimp turned from glossy translucent to opaque white and the shells turned completely pink. The shrimp dumped in ice water to cool them instantly. 

Wasabi, mustard, and horseradish all belong to the same group. American wasabi uses horseradish dyed green. The sauce is: 

soy sauce
yellow mustard powder
prepared horseradish
sugar
water

I do have real wasabi in powder form on hand but I didn't feel like using it. The difference is only slight. It is actually a bit milder. Anything can be added, grated ginger, grated garlic, would enhance the sauce nicely.




pain perdu

Lost bread, French toast.




This is another example of the brilliance of French cooks making use of stale bread. It does not work with fresh bread. What happens when bread is fresh is the slices become coated with egg mixture and fry as egg coated bread. That is not what you want.

Pain perdu is a fried variation of bread pudding. The dry crumb of stale bread absorbs liquid egg like a sponge. It takes a bit of time. Once soaked it cannot be handled as a piece of bread anymore because it becomes too wet, too saturated and tends to fall apart. That is what you want. When gently lifted by spatula onto a heated pan with butter and fried on heat low enough to allow the center to cook before the outside browns then the whole thing will puff up like a soufflé.

The wetter, the better.

The egg mixture can be flavored various ways, here, cream, sugar, and cinnamon with a touch of salt. But anything you like will work, for example, vanilla, berry juice, mint, anything.

Powdered sugar on top with maple syrup. Not maple-flavored syrup. 

steak sandwich







The dough is no-knead method with scant yeast made wetter than usual. It contains salt to retard yeast activity, to slow it down overnight. It also contains bacon drippings for flavor. The stretched dough is folded and rolled, set aside to rest and to rise just a bit then baked  inside a long clay cloche at extreme high heat. Removed before it bakes dark.





Leftover flank steak from yesterday, half of this is used for one huge sandwich.





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