Archive for the recipes Category

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Guyana

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, guyana, recipes with tags , , , , , on September 2, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Channa and potato curry

Butterflap

Guyanese vanilla fudge

Stupidest thing happened in this post, and it’s either my mood or the food of Guyana or the country of Guyana, but I am at a complete loss for dumb jokes. Maybe they’ll come to me as I keep typing.

The channa and potato curry is pretty simple – onion/garlic, spices, broth, potatoes, chickpeas. I think that I overburled my taters, so this eventually became “spicy yellow mashed potatoes with chickpeas.” The recipe called for what is apparently a super spicy Guyanese pepper, and that wasn’t at the store anyway, but Rachel and my kid don’t do spice so I replaced it with the Green Bell Pepper.

coulda used some spice

Those cookies you see behind it aren’t cookies – that’s butterflaps, baby! It’s yeast leavened dough, rolled and then filled with garlic butter, and then folded over itself twice, and then covered with more garlic butter and some herbs. For me, these ended up super crunchy. I would have baked less, or doubled the size, and probably would have doubled the garlic butter too. Wine pairing: Diet Mt Dew.

butterflap in the sky, i can flap twice as higghhhhhh

Dessert was Guyanese vanilla fudge, which mainly differs from US vanilla fudge because it’s only sweetened with brown sugar. It’s good as hell.

The recipe was big on “this is how you eyeball it to get that perfect fudge consistency, just like in Guyana, and it took many batches to get this right,” and I have to say that I just used a candy thermometer and got it right the first time like a big dumb champ.

fudge me big boy

All in all, I give Guyana an 8 out of 10, and it kicks ass.

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Hungary

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, hungary, recipes with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Hungarian lángos

Fözalék

Dobos torte

Hello and howdy. Hope you’re HUNGARY because I’m about to post some food. Get it?

First ding dang thing to do was mix up some lángos dough. Lángos are the little fried bread treats that just taught me how to do áçcéñt märkš on my ïPhøńē. They’re little fried dough cakes topped with cheese, sour cream, garlic, or, ya know, whatever.

Unlike the fried bread treats I just made in Venezuela (arepas), these are made from all-purp wheat flour instead of cornmeal. In fact, the recipe is pretty much exactly the same thing I eyeball for pizza dough. So, like, fried pizza after you put cheese on these suckers.

Apparently according to a Hungarian guy I know, these sometimes have potato in the dough. Sorry GARY. That’s not what the only link I looked at on the internet told me!

rising n resting

While I was waiting to fry those up, I got started on the fözalék, which is like masters-level iPhone accent mark training. It’s got two little dots over the o! It’s creamed Hungarian vegetables. The linked recipe is like “usually there’s actual cream, and you thicken it with flour, but in this one we’re gonna substitute that with potatoes?” Sorry GARY.

Basically you burl yerself some veggies in milk and veg broth, and then you thicken it (in this case, the potatoes thicken it, ok? don’t call the police).

The recipe calls for kohlrabi, which is a made up vegetable, but google tells me that broccoli cuts are a reasonable replacement.

After the veggies were creamed, I fried up the lángos. Took me a while to find the sweet spot in both temperature and cook time, but once I did these were really good. Crispy around the edges, soft in the middle, cheese melty on top.

u can see an awful burnt one and a good one, and if u look carefully in the upper right corner u can see a birthday candle shaped like a “3”

Pretty good. I doubled the recipe and ended up eating nothing but fözalék for a week. Wine pairing: Diet Mt Dew.

The dessert was interesting! And time consuming! The dobos torte is like eight individually baked thin layers of heavy lemon zest and vanilla flavored egg-based cake batter, layered with chocolate buttercream, and topped with a crunchy caramel disc. Lemon, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel, man. Or as Rachel said, “this has one too many flavors.” Didn’t stop us from eating an entire giant cake.

Listen. It ain’t pretty, but there’s a good explanation: I didn’t care enough to try.

I did want to make sure I had my Ts crossed and my Ös dotted, but apparently I misread or screwed this one up a little – because I put a layer of icing on top of the caramel crunchy deal. Ööps.

Here it is: the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

okay.

I thought it was pretty good. So did my kid. The caramel disc was crunchy as hell, btw. Thanks, Hungary. Thanks, Gary.

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.

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.

Amazing Black Bean Brownies: good for your heart, make you etc.

Posted in baking, food, recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2008 by uglydudefood

My last post was a recipe post, I guess. More, it was just a suggestion post. This here is my first post where I actually experimented with ingredients and made foods that did not taste like crunchy water!

I have an ever-increasing backlog of recipes that I kinda-sorta want to try, but will probably never get to. Homemade Marshmallow Peeps. Vegan, fat-free carrot cake. Pumpkin muffins recommended by my friend Silliker. Various veggie burger recipes. They all incite some sort of interest in me, but not enough to send me right to the oven to work the ol’ Spoodles magic.

I was blogrolling on Monday; The moment I saw the phrase “Black Bean Brownies” on 101 Cookbooks, I knew. The words made absolutely no sense to me. I mean, sure. I knew what they all meant individually. Black–an absence of color. Bean–a protein-filled treat that develops in pods. Brownies–chocolatey delights. When you put the three together? The phrase “Black Bean Brownies” sounded like “Cotton Ball Checkbook” or “French Fried Pants.” The words simply did not go together in any decipherable way. I was going to have to create this recipe. Immediately.

Closer inspection of the recipe showed that black beans were not the only experimental item. These brownies were sweetened with agave nectar, a sort of natural, healthier (although, obviously, by no means healthy) corn syrup.

The recipe initially comes from Baking With Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature’s Ultimate Sweetener, which at $11 is actually close in price to what you’ll pay for damned agave nectar in this one recipe. For the sake of trying new things, I did spring for the organic agave nectar, but 101 Cookbooks says that you can easily replace the nectar 1:1 with honey.

I won’t reprint the recipe here (as I probably don’t have permission), but here are my notes. This was only my third time baking, so I was prepared for it not to go…smoothly.

THE PROCESS

  • The recipe stated that canned black beans worked just fine for this project. I bought canned, no salt added beans, and they seemed to work fine. With the usual, high-sodium canned stuff, you would probably want to spend a good amount of time rinsing the beans.
  • I made the decision not to include the walnuts. My family is fairly picky when it comes to such things, and I thought these brownies were weird enough due to the beans and the sweetener. Didn’t want to rock the boat too much. As mentioned in “Final Thoughts,” this may have affected my final batch.

THE TREAT

  • Inexperienced as I was. I was unsure what the instruction “Bake…until the brownies are set” meant. Did I want them to come out of my oven looking like I wanted my final product to look? Or did I want to take them out a little soft (still solid), and the heat from the baking process would finish it all the way? I checked on my brownies at thirty-five minutes and they seemed a little…shiny. Internet research seemed vague at best, although if I had followed Slashfood’s direction I probably would have fared better. At forty minutes , I removed the pan and hoped for the best.
  • After cooling (and after refrigerating, as specified by this recipe), my brownies were still gooey. Not uncooked-gooey, and not inedible-gooey, but certainly too gooey to cut out of the pan with any confidence. I knew that if I put these things back in the oven after they’d cooled, they would only burn. I was left with some extra-gooey fudgeypuddingbean brownies.
  • That said, these things tasted really good. There was no bean taste to them at all. They tasted like super-decadent, fudge brownies. The coffee flavor was pretty strong, but not bad at all. Even the consistency wasn’t terrible. Certainly softer than I would have liked–and softer than any brownie I’d ever eaten before–but I could pick them up with my hands without them falling apart, so that was good enough.

THE REACTIONS

  • Mom: “Is there coffee in this?” She didn’t seem entirely unimpressed, but didn’t enjoy the flavor all too much. I offered her another the following day, and she accepted. Conclusion: not poison.
  • Dad: “I’m not that adventurous.”
  • Brother: I didn’t even bother asking. He ate a cheeseburger instead.
  • Coworker 1: “I’m impressed!” “This is more like fudge than a brownie.” Later, “I have a brownie craving!” As one of my better friends, she might have been tempered by pressure not to hurt my feelings.
  • Coworker 2: “Those brownies were…interesting.” After some hesitance, she came out and said, “I think I’m so used to [regular sugar] that these just don’t hit my craving.” She also expressed that she liked my previous two baking attempts far better (Toll House Cupcakes and Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper Cupcakes). Note to self: less adventurous baked goods for the office. This was actually my favorite bit of feedback, simply because it was actual, constructive criticism. I’ll come back to her because I know she’ll actually tell me how she feels about the food. I’m hoping it will be complimentary, but I know it won’t be needlessly so.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • I’m wondering if other types of beans would work in this mixture. Black beans seem to be a common Internet trend in this brand of baked goods, but the flavor of a canned black bean tastes fairly similar, for instance, to a canned pinto bean or a canned white bean. This is one thing I would change if I ever made this recipe again, just to learn whether these are acceptable substitutes. Maybe white bean “blondies?”
  • I loved the taste of these brownies, and specifically how the instant coffee offset the chocolate flavor. However, the coffee did tend to come front-and-center. I think the amount of coffee could stand to be cut in half (unless it was used to mask some sort of beany aftertaste that I didn’t sense at all). This would, I think, make my family far more receptive to these brownies.
  • I left the walnuts out of the recipe, and now I’m wondering if they would have helped to bind the mixture and make for a more cohesive and less goopy brownie. I don’t believe nuts actively bind food, but you never know. Since my family didn’t eat more than one of these apiece anyway, I would probably leave the nuts in next time for a more full and textured brownie.
  • I was too much of a wuss to pull a fast one on people. When consumers asked me about the brownies, I came right out and told them they were full of beans and alternative sweetener. It would have been interesting to put these brownies to a blind taste test. Would these just seem like “super-fudgy” brownies, or would people notice something awry?
  • I really like the idea of using beans in a recipe instead of flour. It adds a world of protein and fiber that you aren’t going to get in a regular brownie. This makes them more substantial, more filling, and–dare I say it–more satisfying than a normal baked good in a lot of respects.

NUTRITION (for 1/45th of batch)

via Caloriecount.about.com

Serving Size 30.0g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
98
Calories from Fat
53
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
5.9g
9%
Saturated Fat
3.5g
18%
Cholesterol
30mg
10%
Sodium
11mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates
10.8g
4%
Dietary Fiber
1.1g
4%
Protein
1.6g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 3% Iron 7%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet