Archive for the baking Category

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Venezuela

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, recipes, venezuela with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Caraotas negras

Arepas

Tajadas

Quesillo

If you’ve never heard of Venezuela, it’s that weird horn that sounds like bees that people kept blowing at the World Cup that one time. It’s also our first culinary journey into South America.

In honesty, it’s been so long since I actually cooked this food that I forget a lot. Since this time, we went on vacation. Our central air unit died (and was later replaced, so I can use the oven again thank todd). I made friends with the groundhog that briefly lived in my car!

The first recipe, caraotas negras, is a black bean dish. It’s full of veggies, spiced and also sweetened somewhat with a little brown sugar, and cooked down. Here’s a mid-cook pic.

Oh, I do remember something now! I and my whole kitchen smelled like oil! That’s because I spent the rest of the time frying up arepas (a fried cornmeal-based flatbread) and tajadas (plantains). There’s not a lot of ingredients that go into either, so they’re fairly plain – but really good! Oil!

I dunno, you can put the beans in the arepas with cilantro and some avocado and mama mia u got urself a sandwich.

I appreciated the ripeness guide for the plantains in the linked recipe. These were better than fried plantains I’ve had in the past. Wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

And now what you’ve paid to see for years here: me destroying a dessert!

Quesilla is Venezuelan flan. I’ve successfully made flan before. The recipe calls for a flan pan with a tight sealing lid, and then put the whole thing in a water bath. I don’t have a flan pan. Instead, I just put loose custard cups in the water bath and then covered the whole thing up with the lid or foil or something.

The difference between the former and the latter: in a tightly sealed flan pan, the moisture is kept out somewhat. I sealed the juices in!

So what! So it’s a little curdled looking! It actually tasted fine. Rachel and my kid hated it, so I got 6!

Next time I will buy a flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flam pam flan pan film flam man flan pan flan pan flan pan flan flan pan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan flag pag flap pap flan.

Look at that! I’ve hit the word count to make this count as an actual literary work, and I didn’t have to use any filler at all!

Venezuela u tasted fine. Some day I will ride a gondola thru ur canals.

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Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation – Madagascar

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, madagascar with tags , , , , on July 22, 2018 by uglydudefood

Recipes in this post:

Malagasy lasopy

Vegetable Biryani

Madagascar vanilla fruity clafoutis

Our first culinary visit into the heart of Africa, or at least off the coast of Africa where David Schwimmer plays a hypochondriac giraffe.

I don’t do any research for these things, but Rachel does, and apparently Madagascar cuisine is slurped up from both the Indian and French cultures. The end result is a soup that wouldn’t surprise me on an Indian menu, a rice dish I’ve absolutely ordered from our local kebab place, and a French-ish dessert.

Malagasy lasopy is a puréed vegetable soup. You basically take a bunch of vegetables, boil em in broth, and whiz the whole thing together in a food processor. The recipe calls for water and an animal bone instead of broth, but fuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. You can probably do this with literally any vegetables, I stuck to the recipe.

Even with no seasoning/spices besides salt and pepper, the soup is a pretty good hit and gets good flavor from the turnip and green onions.

The biryani is a warm spiced rice dish. I substituted vegetable bouillon for the chicken bouillon, and I couldn’t find ginger garlic paste so I made my own. You’ll be horrified to know that my grocery cart at one point had both a jar of pickled ginger and a jar of “garlic paste” which apparently also had, like, parmesan cheese in it? Then I decided to avoid a complete Ugly Food meltdown and actually google the recipe for ginger garlic paste in-store and picked up a ginger root and effing did it. I ended up accidentally making like a cup of ginger garlic paste (only needed a tablespoon) so I ended up using it for a stir fry the next day.

Anyway, pretty good. It tasted about the same as restaurant biryani, although it made a lot more (and cost a lot more – not sure if it evened out price wise). Suggested wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

The clafoutis dessert is kind of, I dunno, a flat custardy cake? At least mine was. I think the pan I used was too big. The recipe just said “tart pan,” man! Be clear in your recipes!

Anyway, it still tasted good as hell.

lol

And then the animals, who all had been pampered in the Central Park Zoo previously, learn a lesson about survival and not eating each other, and it sucked. I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT, I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT, I LOKENTO MOGE IT MOTR IT, I LIKENTO MOOOOBE ITTTTT

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Kazakhstan

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, kazakhstan, recipes with tags on June 30, 2018 by uglydudefood

Recipe in this post: chak chak

We expected it to happen eventually, and here we are. We were unable to find a good meat-free recipe for Kazakhstan. Pretty much everything had horse meat or sheep heads. Some article says, “the only people that eat more meat than Kazakhs are wolves.”

I don’t find anything reprehensible about the idea of eating horse, by the way, or at least not any worse than eating cow or duck or pig or something. When in Kazakhstan, meat as the Kazakhs meat. But eating meat makes me sad, so we moved on. My Wife was grossed out by looking at animal heads anyway.

So we did dessert. Chak chak is described in the recipe as “the Rice Krispie treat of Kazakhstan.” It’s homemade egg noodles, fried in butter and then drenched in a hot honey glaze and hardened.

I also made some honey-free ones for my honey-averse brother with corn syrup. I call them “the Rice Krispie treat of Kazakhstan of America.”

It was okay. Neither version really stuck together well, and they were super sticky. The noodles did not get super crispy, just either “hard soggy” or “crunchy burnt.” That’s probably my fault.

Kind of makes me wonder why they just don’t make delicious Rice Krispie treats in Kazakhstan. Also wish I had just turned my noodles into some delicious pasta.

I give chak chak my fifth highest rating: “very nice.” Wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Albania

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, albania, baking, food, recipes with tags , , , , on June 16, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Byrek

Turli perimesh (recipe 7 at link)

Albanian walnut cake

The CULINARY ADVENTURE took us to Europe. Albania. I don’t know where in Europe it is, shut up.

The first thing I made was byrek, which I guess can be made in a lot of different varieties, but this one is cheddar and spinach. A bunch of that type stuff in phyllo dough.

byrek and turli perimesh

From previous recipes I’ve done, I learned that puff pastry and phyllo are super insanely hard to make, and homemade isn’t any better than store bought, so don’t waste the time. Thanks Dorie!

It was real easy, and I’m definitely gonna make it again with the other half of my phrozen fyllo dough.

The turli perimesh is Albanian mixed vegetables. I used green pepper, potato, zucchini, and eggplant. It cooked down to stewlike consistency and I’m tempted to think that I may have overcooked it. Regardless, this meal receives my highest rating: GOOD AS HELL. Suggested wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

The walnut cake was really good, too. Basically a simple cake batter with toasted walnuts mixed in, and then soaked in a lemon sugar glaze and baked again for ten minutes. Nice and moist. Reminded me a lot of a zucchini bread or something similar, even though the only fruit was lemon juice in the glaze.

Albania, u have earned ur place on earth’s map. Bless.

The next country we picked was very challenging from a vegetarian standpoint. See u then, buttz.

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: The Bahamas

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, the bahamas with tags , , , , on June 9, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post: Bahamian Mac and Cheese

Johnnycakes

Bahamian rum cake

I was excited when the random country generator picked the Bahamas, mainly because I misread it as THE BAHA MEN.

come on everybody, sing along, u know the words!

Difficult to pick fishes from this area. That was a genuine phone typo for “dishes,” but a happy accident, because everything in the effing Bahamas is seafood. So ladies and gentlemen, here is the vegetarian option from the Bahamen!

Bahamian mac and cheese is basically mac and cheese with some veggies chopped into it, and then cooked until you can slice it into bricks. I made the mistake of saying “WELL THIS DOESNT SEEM VERY CULTURALLY RELEVANT” and getting hit across the head by Rachel, who does all of the research on this stuff. Anyway, doubt it all you want: Bahamian macaroni and cheese isn’t just the title some schmo gave on a Cooks dot com recipe, but also something with a cultural tie to the Bahamas as evidenced by Tru Bahamian Food Tours Dot Com! English traditions filtering into the island nations etc etc.

I’m pleased to announce that it’s good as hell!

As a side dish, johnny cakes! Best known in America for that mention in one episode of the Simpsons, these are very simple, and very similar to biscuits in both ingredients and technique. Cold chopped butter, a little hand kneading, and baking. A bit sweeter than biscuits, and cooked as a big block (although certainly these could be portioned before baking).

Ugly by design, works for me

I could have baked these a little longer. I didn’t want them to get too dry, but the middle part had a thin band of doughy/gummy undercooked stuff in the middle. Still tasted great.

So this is the meal, you shits. Bahamian mac and cheese and Bahamian johnny cakes. Suggested wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

For dessert, Bahamian rum cake! I don’t drink, so this recipe caused me to go into the liquor store and feel like a naughty little boy. I usually keep rum in the baking cabinet (I use, like, a tablespoon or two over the holidays every year in pies), but this cake calls for like two cups and a designated driver. Twenty dollars for a bottle of rum!!!! The extra large soda I grabbed at Sheetz while I was out was a buck twenty nine, and it had more liquid!

I’m going to steal a term from those creepy internet pizza blogger assholes: here is the “upskirt.” Gross!

Anyway, it’s a rum-flavored bundt cake with a strong butter rum glaze. It was real good. I took the rest into work but probably ate most of it myself anyway.

As you can see, my running headphones are pink and my counters need a wipedown.

In conclusion, the Bahamen is a country of something.

Rachel is really enjoying learning about all of the countries and making a traveling list. I’m really enjoying making and eating food. My kid is really enjoying Mickey Mouse these days.

Next up: another country I wouldn’t be able to find on a map. Thanks for stopping by, dickwads!

Tuesdays With Dorie – Granola Grabbers

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by uglydudefood


Well, let’s see here.  Today’s recipe was Granola Grabbers.  I followed the recipe to the letter, even making a last-minute run for coconut.

I plopped my cookies out onto the parchment-ed tray, and I stuck my trays in the oven.  Easy.  So easy.  And if the dough was any indication, these cookies were going to be damn good.

I had quite a bit of extra dough, and I began to toy with ideas.  EXPERIMENTATION!  It’s like I’m back in college again.

Experiment #1:  Microwaving.  I formed a ball of dough onto a microwave-safe plate, and I nuked it for thirty seconds.   Mistake.  The center was burnt to a smoking crisp, and the outside was still malformed, soft dough.  I tried to eat the whole thing, but after my first bite of burnt…well, it was trash time.

Experiment #2:  THE MONSTER COOKIE.  I was going to bake the rest of my dough into one big monster cookie.  This was destined for disaster, as I’d have no idea how to adjust temperature or baking time.

This experiment was not to be.  My first batch of cookies came out with burnt bottoms, and I was going to have to use the rest of the dough to make some edible food.  Bummmmmer!

I adjusted the baking time to eight minutes, and the cookies came out just fine.  So I had thirty burnt-ass cookies and ten decent ones.  I guess my plans to offload tons of cookies to girlfriend and work fell short.

If you divided your batch into the recommended number of cookies (40), here are your nutritional stats. PER COOKIE. Boy, this sure makes the eight burnt cookies I ate (had to save the rest of my family from such a grisly fate) that much more depressing.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 30.0g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

141
Calories from Fat

75
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

8.3g
13%
Saturated Fat

3.4g
17%
Cholesterol

15mg
5%
Sodium

49mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates

14.5g
5%
Dietary Fiber

1.5g
6%
Sugars

7.5g
Protein

2.9g
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% Iron 4%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation

Tuesdays With Dorie – Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by uglydudefood

I was really good this week, I swear!  After I made the decision to use an ice cream maker for this week’s recipe, I went right out and bought one.  I had all the ingredients in my fridge so that I could get right to it when I got back from my trip to Ocean City, MD.

Ice cream was a new and exciting challenge for me.  I conquered the oven and mastered the art of the leaky food processor.  I could make Dorie’s “Good For Anything Pie Dough” with my eyes closed.  I would even be able to tell you what a gallette was!  Then Dorie threw me for a loop–“baking” without baking.

I’ll tell you this much:  the recipe came together easily enough.  I had initial hesitance in bringing the solid items to a boil, but one should learn never to question Dorie Greenspan.  Ever.  If Dorie Greenspan told you to walk off a bridge, you should do it.  It would be a delicious and fattening trip.

And then to my shiny, new ice cream maker!  I opened the box and took stock.  I had managed to purchase an incomplete ice cream maker.  It didn’t have the metal ice cream canister or the lid, which were arguably the most important pieces of the ice-cream-maker.  I got what I deserved for buying an $18 ice cream maker at Wal Mart.

I went in to exchange my ice cream maker at Wallyworld, and they were out of stock.  I refunded my purchase onto a gift card (which will give me an excuse to purchase $5 DVDs in the future) and wandered away to Target.  I picked up a nicer (and complete) ice cream maker there.

When I returned home, I looked in the garage for what my parents assured me was rock salt.  Not rock salt.  It was chemical ice melt, which would probably cause my ice cream to eat through my esophagus.  And so I hopped into my poor car and began my second journey of the night.

The grocery store did not have any sort of rock salt.  It was only after asking three different associates at the Home Depot that I found my way to the “water softener” salts and ice cream salvation.

I huffed and puffed my way into my home carrying the sixty-pound bag of salt that I had purchased.  Sure, I only needed about half a cup of salt, but I had to get the best deal!  I’ll have enough salt to make ice cream when I’m dead.

By the time I got home, it was 8:00, meaning my ice cream wouldn’t be frozen to eleven or midnight.  Then, I’d have minimal turnaround time to take photographs, eat the stuff, and type out a silly blog entry for the next morning.

Was all the trouble worth it?  Well, yeah.  All of the pain and strife and gasoline expended on making Dorie’s creation only enhanced the obviously-delicious flavor.  Dorie:  you’ve not done me wrong yet.  Good show.

Random thought:  I’ve never had sour cream before.  It is disgusting on its own, and amazing in ice cream.

Here’s nutrition info for 1/4 of the recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 119 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

255
Calories from Fat

157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

17.5g
27%
Saturated Fat

10.8g
54%
Cholesterol

50mg
17%
Sodium

32mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates

24.4g
8%
Dietary Fiber

0.9g
3%
Sugars

20.4g
Protein

2.1g
Vitamin A 13% Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 7% Iron 1%
Nutrition Grade C-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

And since I have a captive audience!

Here is my girlfriend (Rachel) eating my sister’s (Melvin’s) face. The Ugly Dude is oddly indifferent.

And here is the Ugly Dude all cleaned up for his job interview. This is the first time in years that he has not looked like a dirty, dirty hippie.