We gelatinized our What IiF flour. We whisked together 500 grams of water and 100 grams of What IiF flour. We put the mixture in a stainless steel bowl set in a pressure cooker with 2-inches of water in the bottom. We cooked the mixture for 20 minutes at high pressure and let the pressure dissipate naturally. Then we pureed the starch mixture in a food processor and let it cool. When it was cold we made pasta dough.
We combined 200 grams of the gelatinized starch puree and 200 grams of What IiF flour. We reserved the additional gelatinized starch for other applications. We kneaded the flour and the puree together, without adding any additional water, until it turned into a pliable dough. Then we rolled it into logs, cut the into 1-inch pieces, and shaped the dough into little ears. When we were done we made a quick butter and cheese sauce, spiked with black pepper. The orrechiette were tender and chewy, with a slightly sweet flavor, enhanced by the sauce. Now the doors are open for exploration.
We've played around with creative applications while melting cheese in the CVap. What we missed was the practical application of melting cheese in a uniform low temperature environment. In a recent workshop we adapted our butter burger. We cooked the burgers in the CVap for one hour at 55°C. Then we topped the burgers with slices of cheddar and American cheese. After 10 minutes the cheese had melted smoothly over the top of each burger. We were then able to briefly char the bottom of the burgers on the Kotaigrill. We created a perfect storm of flavor: perfecly cooked juicy burgers, silken melted cheese and the flavor of char from grilling.
It's no secret that Dogfish Head makes some of our favorite beers. It's a rare day when you can't find some 60 Minute IPA in our back fridge. So when we came across this Dogfish Head Sixty One at one of the local butcher shops, I immediately put it in the cart. Beer brewed with Syrah grape must, how could this possibly be a bad thing? Turns out Alex had already tried it. It was part of a dinner he did with Hari Cameron at a(Muse.) in Delaware last year. He told me that I definitely needed to get it and he was right. This is a complex flavorful beer that encapsulates the flavor of the grapes without being overly fruity or sweet. It is still very clearly an IPA with a nice hoppy edge of bitterness. I had it with runny cheese and wheat crackers and that definitely worked. It's not a beer I would drink every day, but it was a fun change of pace, especially for fall.
Instant ramen was probably one of the first things that I cooked for myself. As a kid, most of the things I learned to cook were for other people, making scrambled eggs for Mom or helping Aunt Marie cook dinner. Ramen noodles were something that I enjoyed and could cook for myself at an early age, even when I was home alone. I learned how to make them from my mom. We would buy them at the corner store. Then she would make them for lunch, always cracking an egg or two in the pot and slicing up a scallion to sprinkle over the top. It was one of the few things that she cooked and I quickly adapted it for my own.
Over the years I refined my technique. Choosing a favorite brand (which has recently disappeared much to my dismay) and figuring out the best way to cook them. I always add greens, baby kale or arugula or chopped romaine if that's all I have in the fridge. I add the vegetables when the noodles are about halfway cooked and then I add the seasoning, usually 2/3 of the seasoning packet(s). Finally I add an egg to the pot. The greens keep the egg from sinking to the bottom so the pot is easier to clean. I pull some noodles over the egg, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Then I let it sit for a minute or two. Finally I transfer the noodles to a bowl, being sure to be gentle so the not yet fully cooked yolk doeasn't break. It's important that the egg be completely covered with broth so it finishes cooking in the bowl. A sprinkle of finely sliced scallions is always a nice tough if you have them.
The first few bites are all about the noodles. If I've done a good job, they are light and springy, with a slightly sweet, wheaty flavor and a nice chew that is balanced by the sweet, silky texture of the greens. About halfway through I scoop out the egg with a spoon and cut it open. A perfectly cooked egg will have firm whites and a liquid, slightly viscous yolk. There's a little bit of magic in the way it washes across the noodles and doesn't quite emulsify into the salty broth. You can get a few bites out of each egg, savoring the way the flavors merge and separate in your mouth. When you get back to the noodles they have changed, softening and expanding in the soup. No longer springy, they are softer, though still pliant with a gentle chew. This works nicely because you're no longer ravenously hungry and the tender texture of the noodles is comforting against your tongue. It's a perfect lunch, easy, delicious, loaded with msg, and one of my favorite guilty pleasures.
You get what you get and then you make chowder. Our NH CSF has had its ups and downs. Instead of planning what to do with the fish ahead of time, we have found it smarter to see what shape the fish is in. Today our share was hake. It was fresh, and roughly handled. It needed more than its fair share of trimming. Instead of being frustrated, my usual approach to most things, I opted to look at what remained and figure out a delicious way to enjoy it.
We started with some linguisa that we sauteed in olive oil. Then we added onions and salt, and hard sweated them down. When the onions were soft we added half and half. Then we added Yukon Gold potatoes and shaved Tuscan kale. (It's not a contemporary approach without kale.) When the potatoes were tender we added the hake pieces we had brined in a 5% salt solution for 30 minutes. This was a longer brine than usual. We did this to rinse off surface proteins and to season the fish. We cooked the fish for 5 minutes, then turned off the heat and let the chowder rest.
The fish gently flaked into the chowder, flavoring and finishing it. Chowder, like soups and even many pasta sauces, is a functional medium to utilize odds and ends to create something seriously delicious.
All Amazon links on this website are part of an affiliate program. Ideas in Food will earn a small percentage on any purchases made by visiting Amazon through our links. Thank you for supporting Ideas in Food by making purchases through our site.