Chile omelet

There was never a doubt this would be satisfying and delicious, and it is, in a France meets Mexico kind of way. And is that so odd? France does border Spain after all, not that Spain is like Mexico, but they at least speak the same language. 

Chiles from a pound tin. I love them. 

Tomatoes are Central American too. Before that Cristóbol Cólon guy got here, Europe never heard of such things as tomatoes. Mexican cheese. Cilantro. 

Red chile sauce from here.

These guys, ↓ hopelessly unfertilized eggs out of a chicken's butt! (Cloaca actually, but same thing.) They never had a chance. Neither does the hen. Day after day, egg after egg Day after day after day. Egg after egg after egg, and never a chance for a single chick. Now I'm sad. 

No I'm not. 

I love eggs and I'm glad they're not fertilized. Chickens are radical anyway. Have you ever seen them? Sometimes they even eat their own eggs. And once a chicken becomes an egg-eater, and they realize how delicious eggs are and how available they are compared to scratching around for grubs and bugs, there is no rehabilitating them. They cannot be trained to behave. The only option left the chicken farmer is to kill them. I learned these things from an Earth-person chicken-having vegetarian who ate eggs. 

Pasta with chicken

This pasta dish makes use of the excess chicken pie filling made earlier.  Pasta dough is put together using semolina, kemet whole grain flour, flax, and AP flour along with one egg, olive oil, and water. 

I find for best results for homemade pasta it's best to stick with at least 50% AP flour along with whatever other powdery substance you have in mind to include. That's just the dry ingredients and not calculating the egg or oil or water or whatever vegetable matter.  Anything less than 50% AP flour or higher protein bread flour then you risk noodles that tend to break when cooked as these have, and that's a drag after going to all the trouble. 

One egg yolk, no white, a few tablespoons olive oil, and 1/2 egg shell of water. Combined without bothering to measure, upon mixing, this batch appeared to be too dry so the whole bowl was waved under a tap of lightly running water. Wot? I live dangerously that way sometimes. It turned out to be the perfect amount of additional hydration. I could always correct the other way with a tad additional flour but that wasn't necessary.

I love playing with dough. I just love it. Better than Play Doh™ because you get to eat it. But I don't love it so much that I'd consider making it for a party of ten or so. Not without the Atlas, anyway. Come to think of it, that does sound kind of fun.

There is nothing much to say about the sauce. It's not that great. Pretty much anything would have been better including plain olive oil with Parmigiano, maybe with a little garlic. I considered mushrooms. Maybe plain cream lightly flavored with mace, nutmeg, garlic, Parmigiano. This chicken sludge  glop  goop  filling isn't as good on pasta as I thought it would be. The idea was to replace egg pasta for a baked pie dough. It doesn't work very well. 

I did take Synova's suggestion to thicken the filling with cornstarch. I also thickened it with gorgonzola cheese. One infusion of the cheese and two infusions of the cornstarch, checking between each addition. It thickened alright, and it tastes fine by itself, I just did not enjoy it at all on this pasta. 

While I was thinking about mushrooms and before opted for the chicken pie filling, I also considered the idea of topping the pile with a poached egg yolk without the egg white. Wouldn't that be cool to have a yellow globe on the top that drained when punctured? Come on, that's a great idea! These yolks poached too long because I was mucking about, but I think the idea is still a good one. 

Conclusion: I don't like this chicken pie filling anymore. I'll get rid of what's left and everything that reminds me of it. I learned the lesson again to not use less than 50% AP flour when I saw the noodles breaking up in the water. That won't happen again. I hereby swear an oath to avoid over-poaching egg yolks. But given all these setbacks, expect to see something similar again because I'm a bit thick when it comes to accepting defeat. 

Egg rolls

This should conclude my present egg roll fixation for awhile because all the egg roll wrappers are used up. But there are still plenty of spring roll wrappers and there is still an open pound tin of Hatch chiles only half used. 

A filling is prepared of regular mild breakfast sausage lightened with tofu that is processed to a paste, and of vegetables par-cooked to give them a head start and to encourage them to release excess water before being rolled. The filling is rolled into wrappers, sealed, and deep-fried until golden brown.

The same pan is used separately to fully cook the sausage, par-cook dense vegetables, and wilt the cabbage. 

This little processor that came as an attachment to the higher-powered immersion blender sure is handy. More handy than I expected. (I burned out two previous lower-power blenders by the same manufacturer. This one is noticeably heavier.) At first I blew it off as nuisance because I already have three other similar processors including another mini that is freaking LOUD compared to this one.

My intention was to mix the processed tofu with the sausage to lighten it. That's a little Asian trick. Silky tofu is better for this, but firm tofu is all I had so I added a few tablespoons of olive oil. The sausage still seemed too lumpy so I put it all back into the processor and whirled away until smooth. 

I love it when a plan comes together. The sausage/tofu mixture is combined with the vegetable/cabbage mixture and enhanced with a mysterious unexpected spice. Guess what it is. 

Guess, I said. 

You'll never guess. It's not any of my usual favorite things. Answer below displayed in white text. Select all to see. 
w did you?

So there's that.

The sauce is the same sauce as for the spring rolls in the previous post except this time rice vinegar substitutes for lime and there is a hefty shot of sake rice wine. 

Amounts are approximations:

1/4 cup Three Crabs fish sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup sake, rice wine  
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons refined sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon hot chile flakes

Notice the sugar and vinegar. That is to impart sweet/sour. It could just as easily be brown sugar or mirin or honey or Lyle's golden syrup, or maple syrup, or corn syrup, or the like mixed with lime or lemon, or grapefruit juice, or any vinegar or anything puckery and sour like that. See? Live creatively and invent your own thing. The point is to create sweet and sour contrast within the sauce somehow, and then contrast that with yet other attributes. 

Spring rolls

I discovered these by accident with my father and I've been in love with them ever since. They have everything all at once; sweet and sour, tart, salt, bitter, umami, the capsicum heat, herbal aromatics, the freshness of good carbohydrates, protein ...  

Hey! It doesn't have any fat. Does shrimp have fat? 

It occurs to me this can all be done quite simply by forgoing these fragile rice paper wrappers, but where's the fun in that?  

I learned something by watching a guy on a YouTube video. These wrappers are brittle. They soften when soaked in hot water. I've been over-soaking them. I learned from the video that they can be made wet then removed while still a bit stiff. They continue to soften but it makes rolling them up a lot easier. 

Okay, let's see if I can remember all this. You can put anything you want inside including mushrooms, tofu, chicken, shredded pork, calamari, weird vegetables, any type of noodle you like. 

* lettuce
* napa cabbage
* Julienne carrot
* barely cooked shrimp
* mung bean sprouts, 
* green onion
* mint
* cilantro

I didn't have the proper rice noodles, and do not care to use those precooked soup-bowl noodles, so I used angel hair pasta instead. 

There are about a billion variations on sauces, or possibly ten. This is the most common. Heat in a pan:

1/3 cup Three Crabs fish sauce
1/3 cup water
2 rounded tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 diced Thai chiles, or any red chile flakes (something hot)
1 large  garlic clove or 2 medium size garlic cloves crushed and finely diced
1 squeezed lime, or 2 Tablespoons  rice vinegar or white wine vinegar. 

You know what? I didn't even taste-test this sauce. I'm just that arrogant about being positive it has all the things that work. Plus I can smell it. 

I'm a spaz about rolling these things. You can probably do better than I do. I tend to overstuff them. 

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