Monday, August 16, 2010

Black-Eyed Peas and Aloo Sabji

Best Indian dish EVER.

I'm so pleased with myself about this, you have no idea. I've been making a lot of Indian food lately, especially since I discovered that cooking dried beans wasn't the hardest thing in the world (I was convinced that it was - especially after an unfortunate black bean cooking episode back in the vegetarian days). This is the best dish I've made so far! I got the recipe over at hungry desi. I won't reinvent the wheel here; Nithya does a superb job of explaining it. The only thing I did different was sub in some lentils to make up for the black-eyed peas that I didn't have enough of, use the red chilis that I had instead of green and add some fenugreek leaves (methi) at the end. Everything else was the same. I will say it was a little too spicy for me, but I added a bit too much cayenne (red chili powder) and I'm not actually sure how hot my peppers were (though Liz at the Farmer's Market told me they were pretty mild/medium). No worries, I piled on some yogurt and cilantro and barreled through it with no problem. Rice would've helped - but please do note the delightful cultural clash of a tortilla at the top there.

If you think you can't make Indian're wrong - you can. Give this dish a try; you'll be happy you did!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Faux quoi?

Faux bois my dears. I have a cute little table that I scored at GoodWill (I do <3 GoodWill) for $13. It's sort of industrial-looking, with a metal/chromey pedestal and an MDF top. I've been debating what to do with that top and I think I've found the answer over at apartmenttherapy

...white paint + faux bois. I'm hoping contact paper will stick to said white paint...I don't see why not though, right?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

English muffins

On the griddle
So, I love having Adelaide around, really I do, but sometimes I feel bad that she's just sitting in the fridge, not giving bouncy, fermented life to something. That's when I go in search of sourdough recipes that aren't for just a loaf of bread. Recipes like this, and this, and this! Especially that last one. I just finished cooking my second batch of English muffins. They are really delicious and fun to make.

I've adapted my recipe from the one on thefreshloaf, and by adapted I mean I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose.

Sourdough English Muffins
Makes about 14
  • 1/2 C starter  
  • 1 C milk
  • 2-3/4 C mixture of whole wheat and white whole wheat flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • Cornmeal, for dusting

Stir the starter, 2 cups of flour and the milk together. Cover with a lid or a plate or some plastic wrap and leave out (not in the fridge!) for 8 hours/overnight. I usually opt for overnight. 
The next day (or 8 hours later) add the rest of the flour if you think you need it. I only added sort of a handful and then used a pretty good bit when kneading. Add the sugar, salt and baking soda and stir until well combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes. It's going to be pretty sticky. Roll out to 3/4" and cut with a biscuit cutter (Um, did you mean pint glass? Yes? Ok good.) into rounds. Reroll the scrap pile until you've used it all up. The last one may be sort of a mutant; that's ok though. Place the muffins, at least 1/3 inch apart on something (parchment, silpat, cutting board, whatever) with enough cornmeal to really keep them from sticking. Your beautiful circles will turn into ugly ovals when you try to pick them up and they stick to the surface.  Leave them alone for 45 min - 1 hour.
That Guinness glass...not a unitasker!
Rub a griddle with oil using a paper towel (don't burn yourself, please) and heat it to about medium. Cook the muffins for around a total of 10-14 minutes, flipping them every few minutes. I find this works best so you know that you're not burning them and, well, I like to keep an eye on them. 
I love my grandmother's cast iron skillet that fits over two eyes!
Split them open with a fork - for optimum nook/cranny experience, using a knife sort of smooshes them - and enjoy!
Eating three is not really recommended...but I won't tell if you don't!
*For more photos, check out my Picasa page!

Monday, August 2, 2010

No coincidence

There is 100% correlation between the lack of posts from June to July and my teaching summer school. Now that it's over, I'm like, oh yeah, I have a blog. DUH! Not that I haven't done anything over the past two months. I have. Adelaide and I have gotten better acquainted. I've made all manner of sourdough things - whole wheat and spelt breads, pizza dough, pita bread, English muffins and's been great. Sourdough starters are very forgiving, which is good, because mine inevitably has a dark liquidy "hooch" on top by the time I think about feeding it again. Sigh.

Other than that I sewed up an old-man-plaid shirt to fit me. I love it. It's sort of my new favorite article of clothing. This weekend, the first weekend of freedom, I turned a men's shirt into a skirt (I should have made a tutorial, it's a little different from anything I've seen so far on the web), and I made a cover for my sewing machine using this tutorial from sew4home. I even, feeling particularly crafty and summer-campy, made a friendship bracelet the other day! Speaking of friendship bracelets - check out these beauties!

Well, I'm out for the day. Trying to stay cool, probably failing. C'est la vie!