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Oh, Saria,

ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
What are you cooking this weekend? Un-choosy eaters want to know (and drool).
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  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    Who wants to know?

    I want to know!

    Inquiring minds want to know...
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  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Heh, it's a bit tough these days, but I called dibs on the day off tomorrow (really today). I'm having a hard time deciding.
    I am going to hit up the markets (I love the Sunday markets) and the plan was to bake a rhubarb tart, but if cherry season finally starts up, I'm making a cherry almond loaf.
    I will probably load up on English peas yet again and pair them with some ricotta gnocchi I've been wanting to make. If I see green garlic I'll of course feed my addiction in that respect.
    The tough part is that I also want to make some quark cheesecake bars with lemon curd and to finally make some iced citron vodka chocolate truffles. I just don't have enough time! Work is taking up anywhere from 80-100 hours a week right now!
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    Mmm.... Sairis, when I move out on my own I'm gonna gave to pick your brain a hit on getting into this cooking thing. I eat junk and am always trying to say i'm gonna start cooking for myself.

    Just wondering: what is green garlic? What makes it different from regular garlic? All of your food plans sound delicious. Can't wait to hear what you ended up making. :)

    80-100 hours of work?! Wow! You guys are BUSY!!! That us always good! Better busy than not right?

    Hope you get some relaxing in somewhere tomorrow!
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  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    Sairis wrote: »
    Heh, it's a bit tough these days, but I called dibs on the day off tomorrow (really today). I'm having a hard time deciding.
    I am going to hit up the markets (I love the Sunday markets) and the plan was to bake a rhubarb tart, but if cherry season finally starts up, I'm making a cherry almond loaf.
    I will probably load up on English peas yet again and pair them with some ricotta gnocchi I've been wanting to make. If I see green garlic I'll of course feed my addiction in that respect.
    The tough part is that I also want to make some quark cheesecake bars with lemon curd and to finally make some iced citron vodka chocolate truffles. I just don't have enough time! Work is taking up anywhere from 80-100 hours a week right now!

    Ricotta gnocchi? Green garlic? Chocolate truffles?
    Da-rool, da-rool.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Minxy, the green garlic looks like this:
    green_garlic.jpg

    So, a bit like scallions. During the spring, it's basically one of the first vegetables to appear early in the season at the markets. It's just garlic that's picked when the leaves are green and the heads haven't yet matured.
    It's so delicious with a mild, fresh garlic flavor, with almost a hint of onion in there. When I have some, and happen to have cream as well, I make really slowly scrambled eggs (about 15 minutes on really low heat) with cream and green garlic. Aside from that, I make souffle with lots of it and some goat cheese and also throw it into pasta, vegetable stews, and well, pretty much anything.

    Another good one is garlic scapes:
    2619050035_e99d3f8878.jpg?v=0

    These are lopped off from hard-neck garlic. They loop around themselves.
    The scapes are hard and very strongly flavored. I slice them thinly and throw them into eggs as well. Or I chop them into large pieces and blanch them then throw them into vegetable dishes. They're great in stir fries!

    I'll be glad to help you get you cooking. :) I actually think the farmer's market is conducive to single-person cooking, since you can just buy whatever looks good to you and chances are that whatever you decide to do with your produce will be good (what grows together goes together).

    As for the hours, a lot of it has to do with having just opened and things still not being settled. We have to be there early to prep as we still haven't gotten ahead on our prep lists. Eventually things will fall into place and I expect our hours will be cut down.

    I don't know if I will get to cooking today. I was not able to wake up as early as I would have liked (I have only been sleeping maybe five hours a night after working 12-14 a night) and still have to go to the markets.
    My mother is cooking, so I might not do it. I will probably make the gnocchi and freeze them to cook off later. I will still do some baking though.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • Curls=BeautyCurls=Beauty Posts: 1,781Registered Users
    Sairis wrote: »
    Heh, it's a bit tough these days, but I called dibs on the day off tomorrow (really today). I'm having a hard time deciding.
    I am going to hit up the markets (I love the Sunday markets) and the plan was to bake a rhubarb tart, but if cherry season finally starts up, I'm making a cherry almond loaf.
    I will probably load up on English peas yet again and pair them with some ricotta gnocchi I've been wanting to make. If I see green garlic I'll of course feed my addiction in that respect.
    The tough part is that I also want to make some quark cheesecake bars with lemon curd and to finally make some iced citron vodka chocolate truffles. I just don't have enough time! Work is taking up anywhere from 80-100 hours a week right now!


    Mmm...that ricotta gnocchi and quark cheesecake bars with lemon curd sounds good!
    I love to cook!
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  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    The haul:
    3648237583_1a92c828de.jpg?v=0

    3649043610_64cbaeed01.jpg?v=0

    I was right about cherry season finally starting and loaded up! There were still strawberries, but I finally had the will to resist. Blueberries were very tempting, but I managed to show some restraint. It won't be long until I'm making some fresh blueberry scones though. :)
    I got no peas, as both markets I went to today were all out. People really do appreciate the sweet deliciousness of fresh peas here, apparently! I was a bit late getting to the two markets I visited today (my two fave Sunday markets).
    I did get some lovely summer squash as you can see. Plus some marjoram, pictured there along with some red and white spring onions and one garlic scape. That will all go with my ricotta gnocchi.
    Plenty of rhubarb, as you can also see.
    Not pictured is some chocolate mint and some spearmint that is infusing some cream as we speak. The truffles have to wait until tomorrow because this is a cold infusion, which needs 24 hours.

    A funny thing happened while I was at Whole Foods picking up anything else I might need. There was a guy asking about different types of flour, and honestly the guy working there couldn't provide much information, so I had to say something! Well, we got to talking with him asking me if I was a chef, and basically trying to learn how to cook and stock up his pantry now that he's no longer living in the dorms and can't afford to not cook, and I gave him my number. No, I am not interested in that way, and my gaydar pinged, so I only hope it is not wrong. He was very nice and certainly I would enjoy him as a friend (maybe my small list of friends will grow, heh).
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    That's nice! I think bonding over food and cooking advice is a great way to make a friend.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Okay, so I've been really lazy about taking photos, and I haven't been as productive as I'd like (though I've been baking something pretty much every day, waking up at 8 AM most days to get things done by 11 AM when I have to leave for work), but I have taken a few photos that I just haven't posted. Rest assured I've made more than just this stuff.

    Made this morning (well, yesterday considering what time it is now) and absolutely delicious, sure to be made again:

    Blackberry galette
    n42406663_35817245_1248040.jpg

    A couple of days ago:
    Tart of matcha financier with fresh currants (the financier doesn't look as green in the photo as it actually was)
    5214_610232991455_42406663_35817247_6646053_n.jpg

    From way back:
    Almond Cherry Loaf:
    3773732873_50af62d55b.jpg
    I wish I'd taken a photo of the even tastier sour cherry cake I made recently.

    Cherry rhubarb tart:
    3774539220_66bce1bc8e.jpg

    Those cheesecake and lemon curd squares
    3773732649_b140f44451.jpg

    Oh that I had time to really go crazy with all the gorgeous, irresistible fruit at the market. Gooseberries, currants, peaches, plums, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, oh my! It's so hard to pick just one or, okay, three types of fruit and say no more because I know I can't keep up. :(

    Tomorrow (a few hours from now really) I'll bake off some lavender and lemon madeleines and hopefully some blueberry scones.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    jummy!

    Talk about good lookin' pictures!

    I want a cup of water (for the breadier desserts - I have an aversion to dry foods... i don't get it:dontknow:) and a giant plate of... EVERYTHING!

    ...yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy...
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  • sassysuzannesassysuzanne Posts: 501Registered Users
    Sairis, your desserts are beautiful. I love lemon curd, yum. How do you keep your figure making desserts like that all the time? Oh...it must be the 100 hours of work a week...well, at least you'll probably be able to get another new pair of shoes! or three! :thumbright:
    Suzanne

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  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    You're the dessert temptress.
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    Evil woman!
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  • JayneeJaynee Posts: 2,039Registered Users
    That all looks so amazing! Mmm those cheesecake and lemon curd squares....

    What on earth do you do with all these goodies? Are you constantly giving things to friends and family?

  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    What's great is that I take most stuff to work and it's guaranteed to go with the number of staff we have.
    I'm down to only about 60 hours of work now that we are getting Sundays off. It's only until Labor Day and then we are apparently going to do the awful, dreaded, kill-me-now shift known as brunch. Lord, how I hate brunch service. A busy dinner service is nothing compared to the torture that is brunch.

    I managed to stay away from the market this week so I'll be taking it easy today. Well, not really. I figure I can get started on a rather ambitious little project (well, not as much as it could be) and freeze the components until my next day off when I can bring them all together.
    Also, for some reason I really want to make puff pastry again. Usually I do the quick version, but it got into my head the other day to do napoleons, and while the quick puff pastry I make is fabulous stuff, I want the rise that only the real deal can provide.

    On the savory front, I bought these a while back. They were so darn cute and I just love eggplant. It's such a difference when it's fresh and in season, with no bitterness to speak of.
    They're called Fairytale eggplants:
    3774539354_481068a52e.jpg

    I also got these Japanese eggplants:
    3773733037_1f40ebdeb4.jpg

    Eggplant dishes don't make very appetizing photos, but these were so delicious. I just made slits in them and put slivers of garlic in, then braised them until tender. I showered them with chopped parsley and added a few drops of sherry vinegar. So simple, but all that these sweet, creamy nightshades needed. :)
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    Now, see, I have so much trouble getting the texture right whenever I cook with eggplant. And I rarely order eggplant dishes when out for the same reason: it's either underdone and crunchy, or a soggy mess. How do you get yours right?

    Why is brunch bad? Is it too long, or is it the dishes/menu available? Just curious.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    ninja dog wrote: »
    Now, see, I have so much trouble getting the texture right whenever I cook with eggplant. And I rarely order eggplant dishes when out for the same reason: it's either underdone and crunchy, or a soggy mess. How do you get yours right?

    Why is brunch bad? Is it too long, or is it the dishes/menu available? Just curious.

    Eggplant should never be crunchy. It should be fully cooked. That is, it should be nice and creamy and tender. When cooked whole, it'll yield to the touch of a fork, but not fall apart. It shouldn't be soggy at all though. Salting beforehand helps with that, but fresh eggplant in season doesn't need that. It's sweet, not full of seeds and water, and the skin is also very tender, so no peeling necessary.
    Maybe you should pick up some eggplant at the market soon and give it a try. ;)

    Brunch is bad because everything is basically order fire. Order fires are annoying enough for dinner (and at this place the servers are seemingly incapable of selling appetizers), but it doesn't compare to the barrage of order fires of brunch. Basically, it's order fires coming at you all at once in every direction. Plus the constant substitutions people ask for. Egg whites only, no onions, no peppers, and all the different combinations they can come up with to completely change a menu item all while one is trying to keep track of all the specifications on other tickets.
    And yeah, brunch service feels like an eternity in a way that dinner does not, even though the hours aren't all that different.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    Um....order fire? (It sounds like purgatory.)

    Maybe I will give eggplant another try. Should I start with the petite type you showed? And are there are specifics to your braising technique?
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Posts: 2,812Registered Users
    ninja dog wrote: »
    Um....order fire? (It sounds like purgatory.)

    Maybe I will give eggplant another try. Should I start with the petite type you showed? And are there are specifics to your braising technique?

    I think it means everything is cooked to order, as opposed to some pre-prepped or long-cooking dinner items. Maybe?
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  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    That makes sense.

    Is Sydney, bless her banana-bread baking heart, right?
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Order fire is when you have to make it right away. For example, if someone orders a steak, I get notice and get it cooking to the temperature specified so that by the time it gets fired (picked up), I'm ready or just need a couple of minutes.
    Order fire means pick up that steak, so if I don't have an extra (which I usually do), I'm now lagging and people have to wait for their steak. This is why selling appetizers is so important!
    With brunch, while there are people who order something like yogurt or scones to start off, most just go straight for the eggs and other entrees right away. Eggs don't take long to make, but it still gets really hectic when you only have so many pans and burners to work with.

    Depends on what you're making. Bigger eggplant are great for making dips like eggplant caviar and for stuffing, or if you're doing something like a baked eggplant casserole (ooh, I'm craving some real eggplant parm now . . . no breading, just simple tomato sauce, eggplant, and a bit of cheese). Though, small, elongated eggplant make really cute little boats for stuffing.
    Just make sure not to pick up red-orange skinned eggplant, since that's best left for pickling!

    As for braising, there is nothing to it in this case. I just took the eggplant, made a few slits, put in some garlic slivers, then heated up a bit of olive oil, sauted them a couple of minutes, then added a bit of water, brought to a simmer, and covered until the eggplant was tender. Then I uncovered to brown the eggplant a little. Err on the side of too little water since you can always add more if they're still not cooked enough.
    Sprinkle parsley or any other herb you like and serve with vinegar of your choice or lemon juice, or even something like a bit of creme fraiche, though that's entirely optional.

    If you have a grill you can just grill eggplant whole. You can scoop out the flesh and mash it or just shred it and serve it with garlic, soy, lemon zest and juice, sesame seeds/oil/paste, herbs,yogurt, pesto, etc.
    Last place I worked we used to do this and add garlic, lemon zest and juice, and parsley. We served it with bluefish. It was so delicious and addictive!
    There are a lot of really great recipes, so it all depends on what you're in the mood for! I'll be glad to help make an eggplant convert out of you. :)
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    Convert me! I'm ready to see the light!

    In fact, I have now decided to go out for some Baba Ghanouj for dinner.

    And I'm earmarking this thread for directions.

    Thank you!
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Mmm, I love baba ghanouj and pretty much all eggplant purees. I hope you get some really good baba ghanouj!

    I have a whole lot of egg yolks left over from the financier. If I had that ice cream maker I can't fit anywhere around here, you can bet I'd be working on some ice cream.
    Instead, I'm making some sables that will take up half of those yolks and lemon curd with the rest. I could make a savory custard, but I'm just not feeling that idea right now.
    The lemon curd is going to be one of the components of that next project I'm working on.
    Part of me wants very much to just toss the yolks, but I just can't do it. Heh.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    I love this thread. Makes me want to cook.
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  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Behold an eggplant dish that I think even the lovely ninja dog would enjoy:

    Baked eggplant with tomatoes, tarragon, and creme fraiche.
    3789897207_187044d167.jpg

    Sorry that the pic's not great, but so it goes without natural lighting . . .

    This dish is bad, bad, bad for you, but so, so, so good!
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Posts: 2,812Registered Users
    I'm not an eggplant fan either. The only way I've ever had it is it's almost gritty... and bitter and soggy. I think you'd have to lie to me about what's in it to get me to try it, Sairis. :)
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    SydneyCurl wrote: »
    I'm not an eggplant fan either. The only way I've ever had it is it's almost gritty... and bitter and soggy. I think you'd have to lie to me about what's in it to get me to try it, Sairis. :)

    Ah, but eggplant in season has been known to convert former eggplant haters.
    Not a hint of bitterness in these. Just creamy deliciousness. :) I'm not sure how eggplant can be gritty. Heh.

    I've got some more along with a few more tomatoes and some fresh mozzarella for simple eggplant parm when I get the chance. :)

    And how many avatars has that been in the past couple of days for you?
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    I love eggplant!

    That dish looks so good!

    Yummy yummy yum.
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  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Posts: 2,812Registered Users
    Sairis wrote: »
    SydneyCurl wrote: »
    I'm not an eggplant fan either. The only way I've ever had it is it's almost gritty... and bitter and soggy. I think you'd have to lie to me about what's in it to get me to try it, Sairis. :)

    Ah, but eggplant in season has been known to convert former eggplant haters.
    Not a hint of bitterness in these. Just creamy deliciousness. :) I'm not sure how eggplant can be gritty. Heh.

    I've got some more along with a few more tomatoes and some fresh mozzarella for simple eggplant parm when I get the chance. :)

    And how many avatars has that been in the past couple of days for you?

    I think it's the seeds in the big overgrown ones that make it gritty for me.

    I'm working on some new product designs and was playing with designs, so I've been putting up the different stages for fun. :)
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users
    The ninja dog would indeed enjoy that eggplant dish. As well as the sables, and the lemon curd.

    The ninja has been known to eat lemon curd straight from the jar in winter. But I'm sure yours is better.
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