pressed ham sandwich


Sweet and sour slaw made from the purple cabbage is the element that distinguishes this sandwich from all others. 

That, and the Black Forest ham.

And homemade bread. So three things, 

No wait, mustard made here too, best in all the land, so four things distinguish this sandwich from anything else, other that those four things, everything is ordinary.

This bread is shown already under ciabatta, but it's more like Brogan boots. 


Except for the smasher, that's improvised too. So five things. Water in the pot determines how much weight is applied. 


But why slaw?

Because it's better than lettuce. 

It will be pressed and heated, lettuce will wilt. That's okay, but cabbage is better.

Warm slaw transforms this sandwich into something else. It has more impact than the cheese does on this. This sandwich, this cheese. Three types of cheese, one of them very robust, but the slaw dominates all that. A different cheese will be different, like goat cheese would be tangy whereas this cheese is not.

A wedge is sliced from a head of cabbage, then the wedge sliced into chunks.

The cabbage chunks are heated with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar salt and pepper, butter or bacon fat if available, water if needed. Onions, garlic. Heat to crispy tender. The balsamic, butter or bacon fat with the liquid portion from cabbage reduce to a thick pleasant sauce.

Win.

ciabatta






Dough is started in advance with very little active yeast and full salt and cold water.

Like driving with one foot on the brakes. Don't you hate driving behind that? It's like, "Get your foot off the brake already."  For how will you know when they're actually stopping?

And half a day later it turns into this. 


And then the same thing all over again except this time with full yeast and warm water so that it goes quickly. For dough.


See? They're different.


One is older than the other by at least twelve hours.

They say punch it down but don't do that, what are you, a woman? 

It's be kind to your dough over here, jab around the edges vigorously, yes, to get flour between the glass and the dough stuck to it, and that does deflate it getting it out of the bowl, yes, but no punching, that's just rude. 


And stretching, yes, there's that, but no punching. My God, who writes that stuff, are they punch happy freaks?


The two doughs unite and become as one with each other, ignoring their differences in ages and life experiences, which are considerable. 



Strrreeetch away from me, play hard to get.


And then come folding right back as you do.


Stretch to me, Baby, come on, stretch.


"CHIP, STOP PLAYING AROUND WITH THAT DOUGH!"


These are the same thing  ↑ ↓ no change in state.



Pulled out to dainty little slippers




Where dainty is women's size 14. 

chocolate pralines


Chocolate pralines, fourth in a series. 

There were two approaches I could think of to get chocolate inside the pralines, powdered cocoa, a little of that goes a very long way, and couverture chocolate, which I used, dark Barry's.

They're not very good. 

Of the three types, peanut butter flavor is my favorite, I think it does improve the caramel but I used too much, and I used very little. 

I'm almost an expert at this. I learned that at your signal of introducing something cooler than the exceedingly hot caramel, and off the heat, the mixture rapidly cools and changes as it cools, it clouds and becomes less viscous, more difficult to pour out by the spoonful,  water can be added at that critical point with no disruption to caramel stability so the pouring state can be easily extended. None of the YouTube videos point this out that I saw. 

These were the first that were made with condensed milk rather than cream. I still don't know which of those is best. Right now I think I prefer cream.

Fail.

chorizo, egg breakfast


"Waiter..."

"May I have an adult-size fork, please?" 

*covers mouth, whispers*  "You'd think they'd know better."


"Thank you."



Form dough into balls and cover with a magicians towel reinforced with quick sorcerer's spell. And then time. At least ten minutes, and no peeking either or the spell evaporates, it's a delicate and unstable procedure. 


Open the towel with a flourish and no small amount of suspense, this is essential for proper browning. The tortillas, magic tortillas, appear fully formed, sometimes a bit misshapen, and cooked, warm and ready to serve. 

There's really no point in buying these things unless of course you just don't want to bother your own magic abilities and that's perfectly understandable, what, given the attitudes you see today. 



This is an experiment to see which is better, the store brand, or the brand recommended by the Mexican-American guy who works at the store who said he never tried his own brand in the department where he works, and walked me instead aaaaalllll the way around to where the bacon is to get the tube of stuff. 

Conclusion:

The Mexican-American guy doesn't know chorizo from a hole in the ground. His own house brand is better by far but he doesn't know it because he never tried it. There is no comparison. The brand in the tube is flavored pork sludge that disperses into granular flavoring, and the flavoring and color is not all that great. The house brand keeps some semblance of being sausage in intent. 

He also told me he likes chorizo and eggs, a broad smile crossed his face and he rubbed his stomach which everyone knows is unmistakable sign language for "I sure enjoy that in a way that words cannot convey," thus this breakfast today. To see if it's all it's cracked up to be. If you search Google images for chorizo and eggs, everything looks like unappetizing crap.

Conclusion: 

Very good and satisfying, but bacon is better. 

slaw


 Balsamic vinegar. 

I didn't know what kind to buy at the store. I was completely lost.

They mostly said 'aged' but only one said 'aged at least four years' and it was cheaper than everything else. I figured the others would brag how many years but they don't so it's probably not worth mentioning. 

bangers and mash




This photo does not belong here


A diversion.
This potato is growing buds emanating from its eyes.
If the bottom were in wet dirt or water, it would grow roots too.
It's how tubers roll.
And thus we see its survival strategies right before our wondering eyes. 

I have a bonsai tray but I can't find it. Storage. It'll show up sometime.
Until then, improvisation.
The bottom will be cut for a base and allow water and encourage roots
The potato will be set at an improbable angle.
I expect roots to grow down and cover the upturned cup and curl in the bowl. 
It will look like a bolder growing on a root mountain. 
That's what I'm seeing in my mind.

These two potatoes will be be mashed.
The mashed potatoes are loaded with mustard.
Three types of mustard usually, but my mustard is better than all three, so that's what is used.




If you would fry these stovetop or grill them too hot they will likely pop, but these are baked so they don't. They crisp nicely and evenly. 

These are Bratwurst not Cumberland, or blood or whatever, there is a very broad variety of sausages available in the U.S., some six or so places nearby I can think of offhand, but not so much variety at most large volume grocery stores. So these are the most popular around here, Kielbasa will do. 

The gravy, you just have to be here. I'm magic. I could show you, but you'd just screw it up.

It uses commercial beef broth and a roux, my own touches, my elements laying around, my own stern looks and pow there it is. There is no magic for cleaning the mess. A machine does that. 

mac, cheese, cheese cheese, rice, burg






Job# 00032489
Request by  Chip A.      
For   blog post
Explanation of job request: please provide description for photo set and order photos.
                                                                                                                                                   



This simple sexy comfort food fusion boasts a toothsome al dente pasta with perfectly cooked rice flaunting a floosy cornucopia of sauceboats of decadent delectable cheezealicious epic meltyingly tender unctuous enrobement of three extraordinary artisan fromages that will satisfy with its luscious velvety silky drooling mouthfeel. Yummy yum yummy it's the money! A handsome handmade biscuit and you're good to go while this sinful off -the-hook dish knocks it out of the park again and out of bounds. With its additional protein and triple-whammy carbs a hungry eater can tuck in and nom nom nom their their little foodie hearts out.


Job status: complete
checked by:      bu





burgers and mash


This is Mickey Mouse shot dead, his face bleached by the elements and turned to mush but his ears oddly largely undamaged, thus a curtain is drawn across the gripping campaign for world domination by a megalomaniacal animated mouse.

50% minced beef loaded with customary sausage spices 
50% Italian sausage

mashed potato, cream and a heavy hand with mustard

onion gravy

spag


Prepared spaghetti sauce is a kindness extended to stupid people for profit. 

If you ever buy it, remember when you hold the jar of sauce in your hand and read its label, that's a company saying to you and really meaning it, "Ah bless, here you go."  

fruit, cookies



The practice of growing three fruits together into a single fruit of three types originated in Italy near Naples. Fruititoni as as the new fruits were termed then were introduced into the United States in the late nineteenth century by immigrants from that area who brought with them their expertise in combining frutti, thus Neopolitan fruttitoni. 

The popularity of fruttitoni frutti quickly grew and the numbers of parcels and farms that  were turned over to fruttitioni frutti groves increased, alarm grew within the environmental protection sectors of the United States over the widespread use of genetically modified foods. Attitudes had changed in the intervening decades and the increase in turnover was suddenly halted and slowly reversed until presently fruttitoni frutti is produced on only a few small farms by licensed growers under strict conditions and steeply regulated, very far away from everything else and with an alligator moat around it.  



persimmons


These are the main attraction, the stars of the show. 

I tasted a piece of one of these persimmons and it wasn't all that great. I recall them being stronger than this with more intense persimmon goodness.  These can use some help, maybe a persimmon liqueur or something. 


I thought maybe a little sugar, just a little, and cinnamon and nutmeg too, just a little so that's what I did. Then heated it and it tasted fine. Improved.

Made these little cups, and they're so light and delicate, ordinary farm lady pie crusts but folded and chilled and folded and chilled like puff, and sure enough, they all puffed.


Then I blew it. 

Whipped cream blended with the mixture obliterated all trace of persimmon. Then topped with it, the filling could be anything banal.


Don't do this.


An affront to persimmons. Pointless. 

Fail.

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