Saturday, February 21, 2015

pancakes please

Danish pancakes are crepes.  There was not a morning that I woke up in my Grandmother's house that we did not have Danish pancakes.  A person would think that when we reached adulthood it stopped, but it didn't.  Mor made pancakes for our kids, and there was nothing better.  Gabriella wanted a full day of favorites for her birthday and that was just fine with me.  She decided on Danish pancakes for breakfast. 

I was happy that I would finally be able to use our new crepe pan.  I made the batter the night before because Mor always said that it tasted better when the batter sat overnight.  As I was making them I was thinking about Mor, when we were small she was able to make two pancakes at once.  She could juggle two cast iron fry pans with ease and they are heavy.  I will say that my Grandmother was made of stronger stuff than me, my pan is made out of stainless with teflon.

Gabriella had her choices of fillings or topping.  I went with my absolute favorite, jam.  We did not have cherry so I had to settle for strawberry.  I was my Grandmother's most apt pupil, and I think I have done her proud.  
All is right in this world. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

still looking for the difference

When I was introduced to Thai food I was later than most.  Andrew indulged in the cuisine long before I did.  He would sometimes eat take out Thai for lunch, come home and tell me about it.  In truth, I did not know what I was missing.  That being said, I have been trying to make up for missed time.  I especially enjoy cooking Thai, or my version of Thai.  I absolutely cannot master Pad Thai.  I cannot get it to taste anywhere near as good as my favorite Thai place in Highland Park.  I try, I really do but to no avail.

I have however embraced curry.  I love to make curry dishes, there is something so warm, fuzzy, comforting, and enjoyable about the spices, smells, flavors and the coconut milk that lets me forget about how truly fattening it is, so I tend to over indulge.  We like to go to the HMart and the Hong Kong Supermarket just to peruse the shelves.  I still have not been able to have a steady source of Kiffir Lime Leaves though, they are very elusive.  I have a stash of frozen leaves, that I use very, very sparingly.

I go to the Hong Kong Market so much that one of the butchers is happy to see me and tries to converse with me, we do a lot of nodding and smiling, it is magical.  He thinks that I make a tremendous amount of pork broth and is incorrect in thinking that I usually use the broth for Asian dishes.  I will say that our friendliness has afforded me very nice pieces of meat and chicken.  He also gives me some awesome pork bones with a goodly amount of meat on them.  I have met some very nice people in the market that have shared some insights on which brands are better, what goes together, and some techniques that I should use when preparing some of the food.  I also have two wonderful cookbooks that I rely on heavily, and the internet is fantastic for videos. 

I am loving our new rice maker, it is all that.  It was a fantastic idea to have the entire manual laminated and spiraled because I need it just to figure out how to turn it on.  It is going to be a long while til I master that too.

I am still trying to figure out coconut milk, I use Aroy-D brand and their cans are marked with their purpose, it is the ones that are not marked that are throwing me for a loop.  I can't figure out the difference, all the ingredients are the same, and the internet is not helping me at all with this problem.

In my favorite Thai book there are three different desserts, and for a while I have wanted to make Sweet Rice with Mango.  We have never had this out because I get blinded by the Fried Ice Cream and have to have it.  So I decided now is the time, only to be met with you can't make it on the fly.  Sweet rice needs to be washed and then soaked overnight.  I started the day making dessert because it needed to cook and then be chilled.  Then I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, oh well....

I spied sliced flank steak in the freezer and decided we would have Red Curry with beef.  Fresh bamboo shoots and basil were all I needed to pick up for it, so l am doing pretty darn good. Red Curry was the first of the curries that I had ever tried, and yes, it had beef, so maybe that is why I think that it is best with it.  Masaman Curry is great with chicken or shrimp, don't forget the potatoes.  I love potatoes in curry.  I have to say that life is pretty fantastic when you can open the freezer, see that someone thought about you by taking the time to make your life easier, better, and happier.  Doesn't take much, I am a pushover.  Buy me a blue stove and I am that easy.  Wait that stove is pretty new, yeah he had me at hello.  Goodness, I love that man. 

Making and eating curry dishes is like home.  It takes preparation but I don't stress it, I just place the ingredients in a line and just add, it just flows, easy peasy.  Making Pad Thai......not so much.  I get all kinds of nervous and jerky.  I stress and I don't know why.  I could have everything staged and ready, just doesn't go.  Andrew said no worries, he will do it.  Well that was the trick, we both had our assigned tasks, like usual, but this time, I assisted, I was the sous chef.  Andrew does a massive amount of cooking, but never in this genre.  When we have Thai it is always me that does the actual cooking, preparing the meat or seafood to be cooked is usually his skill set, mine the wok work.  This time, it was all about him....he did was fantastic to watch....he was relaxed and enjoyed himself....he was amazing and it was the bomb....perfect.....heaven....I am in awe....Roll out the delicious Pad Thai pictures......

That is what it is all about.....


Sunday, February 8, 2015

yes, pork again....

I don't care, I made Pulled Pork again.  I love it, that's it.  There was only one small problem, we had only a small amount of Dinosaur sauce, the only hitch in our collective giddy up.  There will be changes the next time, like two weeks from now, I will use the Butt Rub not the BBQ Butt Rubb.  The second said rub was not as flavorful as the first, even though I let in set in for five days.  I am going to have to send away for more of the first Butt Rub.

I cooked it low and slow....275 for 4.5 hours.  I want a smoker real bad.  I used some liquid smoke to catch some extra flavor.  Mr. Ron's  coleslaw was served with it, along with crunch veggie salad, tater tots, and some sweet rolls.  Life is good.

Finally, finally, finally after almost two years of saying "I want waffles", we had waffles.  Of course, we had the typical "breakfast" waffle.

We had a brainstorm, I really wanted savory, this is what we came up with....

 Hey now....Pulled Pork with coleslaw on a waffle.  Now that is big time, real big time.