Adventures in Food
Rich was out of town for a few days, and you all know what that means…time to try out new recipes!
I only got to try one new recipe. I made naan (flaky, delicious middle-eastern flat bread), with a yogurt-mint dipping sauce. The naan itself was a really simple dough.
*Confessions for this post*
1) This was the first time I (personally, without the help of my mom) baked with yeast
2) This is also the first time I’ve ever used the dough hook in my KitchenAid mixer
It started out with yeast (the active dry variety, one packet) in warm water with a little sugar. The recipe didn’t actually tell me how much sugar to put into the water and yeast, so I guessed and added a heaping teaspoon. Seemed like the thing to do, ya know? I then waited until the yeast got all gooey and foamy in the water.
Next, the flour/salt and 4 Tbsp melted butter went in the bowl, and I ‘kneaded’ it for 5 minutes. Here’s a lovely video clip of the dough going around in the mixer.
I covered the bowl with a towel for the dough to rise,
…and proceeded with the chutney (which turned out more like a sauce) preparation. I started with peeling and chopping a chunk of ginger. That’s my tablet in the back, with the recipe on it.
I threw the ginger, along with yogurt, garlic, mint, cumin, Asian chile paste, shredded coconut (the recipe wanted unsweetened, but I checked 2 stores, and I suspect that’s not an option in Moab – so I soaked it in water to get rid of some of the sugar), and a little soy sauce into the food processor. I pulsed away like a mad woman…possibly for too long, since it was less like chutney and more like sauce.
When the chutney/sauce was done, the dough was done rising, and I had to ‘punch it down’ (which I assumed I should also do with the KitchenAid). I then divided it into 6 pieces, and divided my chopped green onions into 6.
I floured my table, and smashed the onions into the naan dough, then rolled them out to about 8 inches around.
The naans then got fried in the skillet in some vegetable oil, for just a little while on each side. The first one I did got a little too brown around the edges and was a bit underdone in the middle. After that, I seem to have gotten the hang of it a little better, and they were all cooked correctly. The first one is below, then one of the better-looking ones is below that.
The naan was tasty, and the sauce (though sharply garlicky and gingery) was really amazing. I’m super glad I tried it out!
Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting!
P.S. Here’s the place I got the recipe. You’ll have to read this with a grain of salt (har dee har har), as there are some mistakes…such as they tell you to mix the salt with the yeast, but they mean flour…and they don’t tell you the amount of sugar to put into warm water with the yeast.
Last week, I smoked cheese for the first time ever. I got the cold-smoking accessory for my smoker last year for Christmas, and just never tried it. The smoker you’ve all seen before. The cold-smoking gizmo is the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker. I love it! I used Hickory pellets for this smoke. As far as the cheese goes, Here’s what I smoked:
1 lb. Sharp Cheddar, aged in the fridge for 7 months
2 lbs. Extra Sharp Cheddar bought this week,
1/2 lb. Colby aged in the fridge for 7 months
1/2 lb. Colby-Jack bought this week
1/2 lb. Sharp Cheddar bought this week
1 lb. Monterey Jack bought a few weeks ago.
I neglected to take pictures of the pellet smoker, and the pellets. The pellet smoker goes inside the unplugged smoker. It generates little to no heat, so it is used for smoking things like cheese, lox, etc.
Here’s the smoker, full of cheese. You can see the pellet smoker near the bottom – the little metal thing that’s full of holes.
It did have one flare-up, and I had placed it too close to the bottom rack of cheese, so two of the sticks of cheese (1/4 lb each) melted down into the pellets, and put out the fire. Here’s the melted cheese:
Mmmmmm. Delicious! Once I cleaned up the pellet smoker and restarted the pellets, everything went well. The cheese smoked for almost 4 hours all together.
Once it was done, it got taken out of the smoker, and sat on the counter for more than an hour. It did produce quite a bit of ‘sweat’ (which was actually oil from the cheese), but the kind people on the smoker forum I belong to assured me that once it sat for a while, it would re-absorb the oil.
I put it in the fridge for 4 days, where it did re-absorb its oil nicely. On the 4th day, I took it all out of the fridge, and vacuum-sealed it all individually.
Now, I have to endure the AGONY of waiting 3 weeks for it to ‘mellow’. *SIGH*
Thank you, Mom, for all your help with my first cheese smoke!
Thank YOU, loyal readers, for stopping by and reading and commenting!