Tuesday, 28 April 2009

hesitation move

Being as my last post was about cooking, here is another.

Over the course of last week I rather recklessly bought up quite a lot of ingredients for cooking. I had grand plans - another kangaroo roast, another quiche-cum-tarte-thing, galettes, a chicken & leek pie, brie pizza, etc. Unfortunately, the nature of fresh ingredients meant that I had to get cracking.

With that in mind, last night I started on a quiche-cum-tarte thing, using a bunch of things in my fridge that needed using - some crème fraiche, a pack of smoked salmon, a bunch of celery, some leek, onion. I have a couple of new tricks with quiches, courtesy of Emily. First, I am separating the eggs and beating the whites to get a fluffier texture. I still don't have a beater, electric or hand, but I have been getting reasonable results just going to town with a fork. Secondly, I have been trying to blind-bake the shortcrust pastry in order to have it crispier in the final product.

That last step brought me undone last night. Monday night is not a great night for cooking. I generally get home between 5:30 and 6, and I have trivia at 7:30, which doesn't leave a lot of time for preparation. I managed to get things underway with (I thought) enough time to at least get the pie cooked and out of the oven before leaving. In my rush, though, I forgot to put down a sheet of oven paper between the pastry and the rice weighing it down, which was, to paraphrase Ron Burgundy and his wise words on dairy products, a bad choice.

Anyway, I had to put aside my ingredients and run off to trivia (reasonably succesful - 83 points, good for 5th place on the night). This morning I baked a new pastry and got the pie cooked and out just before heading off to work. It will be waiting for me when I get home, to fill my belly and reinvigorate me for beach volleyball.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

By way of rejoinder

I would have to say that, on the whole, the quality of my culinary preparations has probably gone slightly down since returning from France. This is attributable to any number of factors: the unavailability of ingredients to which I had become accustomed, the increased distance to the shops, and perhaps the general laziness associated with getting older :)

However, one of the great blessings I've had is introducing myself to kangaroo meat. I've had a number of kangaroo steaks, fillets and roasts since getting back, and I have found them thoroughly palatable, both from a pure taste point of view, and from the point of view of eating a lower-fat, lower-carbon-footprint, lower-water-footprint form of meat.

" * * * "

What's that, skip? You say you'd taste lovely with some roast potato, sweet potato and garlic? Ok!