Gougères







1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 cup gruyère cheese
5 eggs room temperature, 1 for brushing finished balls
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, (use less salt if butter is salted)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Use two teaspoons or piping bag. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle shredded cheese for nest-like outer cheese-coating.

Oven 425℉ first five minutes 350℉ additional 19 or 20 minutes, shifting position of pans halfway through. 

You want high temperature to start so the air inside expands rapidly and toasts in expanded state, then bake on lower heat to finish cooking the insides. 


These are light as bubbles. 

white beans with plantain, mango salsa, hamburger


Plantains are uncooperative with removing their peel. The peel tends to blend right into its starchy banana center. Parboiling for a few minutes, say two minutes, breaks down the tissue that connects peel to center and the peel comes right off.


Basil because I had to nip some off as it's bolting. It could have been cilantro or mint. Those two other things are also growing outside.

Mango salsa is chopping up favorite things and tossing them together. This was chilled and it did not damage the tomato.

* mango
* English cucumber supposedly no seeds but the center removed anyway. No watery center allowed.
* tomato, same thing, no gushy insides allowed. All that wet stuff scooped out and discarded.
* green onion in place of regular white onion.
* serrano chile diced finely
* lime squeezed all over with a magnificent stainless steel lime squisher, and boy, does it ever squish limes. No more plastic breaking in your hands. And when you squish as much lime as we do, well, the thing becomes an investment. 

This is the best lunch ever. No hamburger bun taking up room in your tummy, just the good stuff and the elements complement each other quite well. 

"That will be $25.00 please."

"Ha! A bargain, Sir, and my compliments to the chef." 



hamburger from rump roast, sourdough bun fail



Sourdough starter languishing in the refrigerator. A few tablespoons removed, fed fresh whole grain wheat flour.

The few tablespoons turned out to be too much. The weirdness of the starter with its exhausted flour contributes nothing in fact detracts significantly. It affects fresh flour rendering it akin to clay. It is inelastic and awful. 

If the languishing starter were brought back to life fully bubbling away then it would not have enough time to exhaust its medium like this. Then a few teaspoons would flavor regular dough without adversely affecting its texture. But this is another story. 

The trouble is refreshing the starter takes days of regular feeding, uses a lot of flour milled here at home, and hooks me into baking regularly to keep it going and there is only so much bread a bloke can have around. It doesn't keep well.

The whacked clay-like dough was adjusted  three times with fresh water and flour and proofed three times, and it still did not behave as normal dough. 

But I must hasten to say although the texture of the of the buns is too heavy, too dense and too dreadful to use for a bun, it sure does taste fantastic. 

Of the original batch, one half of one bun was consumed. It tastes outstanding, but useless as bread. The portion adjusted with three additions fared as poorly and did not taste so intriguing. 

A fresh batch without sourdough starter was whipped out in near record time. Using the same method the dough produced light puffy airy buns just as they should be for hamburgers and sliders. 

Sometimes the sourdough is simply not worth the trouble. 




Not much fat in this roast.







This is a roast ground to hamburger by Cuisinart and not by grinder. Due to the low fat content, significant butter is added. 

It is simply the best hamburger I've ever tasted. Had I known hamburger can taste exactly like steak then I'd have done this a lot sooner. I learned some kind of fat doesn't grind very well, that should be removed. You can tell what fat will grind in the Cuisinart and what won't. 


mango, avocado salad
















Mint in the middle and top right.


A week ago I was scrounging and this is what came up by chance with poor specimens of each thing and the whole thing together was great and I could not keep off it until it was gone, hit, hit, hit, gone, and I thought, man, this would be even better if the ingredients are fresh, and it is. 

beef soup, tofu, vegetables



Slab of leftover prime rib roast.






Tony's Market broth is what makes this soup so impressive. Tasting it straight, testing for adjustments, I thought this is perfect for dipping French dip sandwiches. Nearby Taste of Philly does not have such a sandwich. It's stunning they're so close to having such an amazing sandwich to dip but think the idea is ridiculous. They laughed when I suggested it. Their sandwich, this broth, perfection. 

All my additions are incidental. There is no point in adjusting the flavor with Asian spices or with wine or even sake. It's too good to mess with. 




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