Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tackling the Monster

Finally tackled a large Blue Hubbard Squash we bought at Eastern Market a few weeks ago for $2. Pretty easy to cut into, not too hard to peel (though I had to go at it with a knife - too big for a peeler), appealing bright orange flesh that tasted pretty good too! Roasted it and tossed with roasted chickpeas, brown rice, wild rice, wilted winter greens of some sort from the Adams Morgan farmer's market, parsley, and olive oil. Tasty picnic lunch for tomorrow Shenandoah trek.

Pancetta, Weeks Later

After weeks wrapped in plastic in the fridge, the pancetta's moisture levels have evened out significantly and stopped dropping. It's perhaps a bit dryer than it should be, which happily means it's easy to slice. When cooked, it's less sweet and more aggressively porky than when it was younger. The meat has been sitting in my fridge for somewhere near two months, so even though I know the curing has probably made it quite safe, I'm not up for trying it raw any more.

Friday, November 5, 2010

English Muffin Success?

Haven't tried them yet, but they look great!

Followed this recipe, mostly. Where I went off the reservation: used 50% whole wheat flour, proofed/rested the dough for a few minutes after I rolled it out and again after I cut the muffins out, and I used somewhat lower heat in the pan (still burned a few).


Burgers That Don't Rot

From the same guy who brought you "How To Make Peking Duck At Home" comes an experiment in using hamburgers as vector for mold growth.

A bunch of websites/people have kept McDonald's hamburgers around for ill-advised amounts of time under ill-advised refrigeration conditions to demonstrate that they don't grow mold. The lack of mold is said to in turn demonstrate that said burgers are not "real food," but in fact some kind of chemical-laden horror show. Perhaps they are, but J. Kenji Lopez-Alt demonstrates that it's not chemicals that are inhibiting mold growth, but low moisture levels. It turns out that a similarly-shaped burger made at home from freshly ground beef, sans preservatives, also does not mold, whereas the larger 1/4 pound patty does grow some mold. Moisture loss rate is the difference. The regular McD's burger, and presumably the home-made version of the same (though moisture loss information was not provided for all specimens), lost moisture far faster than its larger cousin.


Recent Tasty

Steeped some ginger batons in thick coconut milk the other day for dinner, ended up with a delicious breakfast the next morning:

Coconut milk + ginger + yogurt + pear + mango + crispy-crunchy cereal.