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Things I made which were good:

Grilled Mexican Corn, from Cooks Illustrated, with a spicy creamy sauce. They have you rub the corn in oil mixed with chile powder before grilling, which gives it a great flavor. I used the broiler, since we weren't grilling anything else.

Vegetable stock, two giant pots full. I didn't bother sauteing any of the vegetables this time. I have made stock ice cubes from some of it, and used some of it in...

Vegetable soup that was sort of supposed to be borscht. Mainly it had a couple beets in it. It ended up being your standard tasty veggie soup with carrots and celery and potatoes and things.

Squash dumplings with brown butter. Thank you, Alton Brown! These were fantastic. You bake some potatoes and some squash (I had delicata, not butternut) and mash their fleshes together. You add salt and nutmeg and flour, then shape into little balls. I couldn't get the dough to become non-sticky, so I just sort of hand-shaped some blobs. I refrigerated them overnight (okay, I left them out in the garage) and boiled them in salted water the next day, until they float. Then you cool them in ice water and toss them with a touch of oil. Before you serve them, you brown them in butter which has first been browned itself, with some sage leaves. So fantastic, rich and decadent and relatively healthy, as decadence goes.


Oct. 28th, 2008 11:47 am
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Grilled cheese sandwiches with the perfect ratios of homemade sourdough bread, Beecher's Flagship cheese, and Zeke and Zach's Honey-Jalapeño Hot Sauce, melted in the toaster oven. So good.

Saffron-Pistachio Cookies. They have a beautiful saffron flavor, probably from extracting the threads in melted butter rather than hot water, and are very buttery and delicious.

White Winter Vegetables baked in Cream, from Greens. I used cauliflower, parsnips, fennel, and leeks, and 2 cups heavy cream, plus a buttered breadcrumb topping. It was pretty popular at Pumpkin Fest. I'm going to mix the last of my butter-sauteed chanterelles into this for tonight's dinner.

White Bean and (Winter Squash) Soup, also from Greens. This is a lovely hearty winter soup, and the Delicata and acorn squashes I used are slightly sweet and very nice. You make a stock from the pumpkin seeds and some other detritus, and use the bean cooking liquid as well. I threw in 2 cups of my vegetable stock from last year's CSA to make volume, which added a nice complexity.
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Cajun Fried Zucchini, pg 40 of On the Chile Trail.

I did Various Summer Squash, including zukes, patty pan squash, crookneck squash, and an odd ridged variant of zukes. I had seven cups of squash, which took 3 and a bit cups of breadcrumbs. (Breadcrumbs equals 1 package of TJ's hot dog buns, dried in the oven on warm for about 10 hours and food processed vigorously.)
I needed only 1 cup of flour and the 2 eggs/1 cup milk ratio they recommended for the 2 cup batch. I used 3/4 cup half and half and 1/4 cup skim milk, since that's what I had.
The spice mix is tasty, but it underflavors the bits. I'd add a teaspoon and a half, rather than a teaspoon, per cup of dried starch product. Although as they cool, they taste more of spices and less of delicious warm fried food.

I've never deep fried before, so that was an experiment. I was quite terrified of the hot oil, quietly shimmering at 350 °F. But once I actually dropped the food in it was easy and not very splashy. I followed Alton's recommendation and let the breaded food sit for awhile, which I think was a good call. (What I did was to bread everything, and then fry everything.) Now I have two cookie trays piled high with fried squash. Om nom nom.


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