February 10, 2015
"Oh, No - Another Learning Experience!" was the bumper sticker on the SUV I followed home from Whole Foods today. I was looking in vain for garlic chives ("don't carry it anymore") and vegan bread ("you mean 'certified vegan'?") This is how many of my cooking projects go, at least a little bit. Truth be told, I substituted regular chives for garlic chives in the Szechuan Salmon, and it still tasted good. But I'm not sure I'm up to baking my own vegan bread, though I might try it just to see.
These first couple of weeks (I'm counting the last week of January) have been filled with learning experiences. I've tried three different popover recipes - Alton Brown (not enough lift), another one that was awful enough I threw out the recipe, and the official Osterizer recipe my mom uses (see tennis-ball-sized results on right, with a cork for scale). I've got until Saturday to find a way to Popoverville (and Eggs Benedictburg). [More than three recipes have been tried, and the event has already happened. I still haven't gotten the results I want, so I think it's me (technique). I'm not giving up though - updates forthcoming as I experiment more.]
Happily, there have been more surprising successes than setbacks. Pretty much everything done using the grill as a smoker has so far been fantastic IMHO, including smoked salmon and pulled pork (watch out, Barbecue People). The Mexican rice recipe I used last Saturday was a real keeper - great texture - and the rice was just as good the next day. And my family, our guests and the dog have all been very well behaved and appreciative.
But right now, I have very little energy left for yet another learning experience in the kitchen. So I'll just have some Oreos and think about something other than food for a while.