Thursday, March 3, 2011

And don't eat too much fried food

I have embarked upon two major cooking projects in the past two nights.

Tonight I made falafel. Everything in this falafel sandwich is homemade--the pita bread, the falafel balls, the pickled red onions, the cucumber yogurt, and the tahini dressing. Okay, for the tahini dressing I just mixed together some store-bought tahini with some lemon juice and hot water. But who makes their own tahini from scratch, grinding sesame seeds with oil until they form a smooth paste? That's crazy.

As I was writing the caption for the picture above and rhetorically asking myself that question, I remembered that my friend Gustavo the Fulbright Scholar wrote a blog entry about making his own tahini from scratch three years ago. In Paraguay. Before food blogging was even cool. Probably before I even knew what tahini was. God, I'm so two thousand and late.

Last night I was sitting at my desk getting ready to go to choir and I was somehow struck by the urge to make bacon beignets à la Frances as a practice round for a Mardi Gras party that Jeff is having next week. Honestly, it wasn't too difficult. I just made this beignet dough, rolled it thin, and cut it in half. Half of the dough I topped with bacon at regular intervals, and the other half I cut into circles using a jar lid. I placed the circles on top of the evenly-spaced bacon, and then I used the same jar lid to cut out little doughnuts. I was worried they would be more biscuit-like than doughnutty, but it turned out that they puffed up perfectly as soon as they got in the oil. Using a thicker-cut bacon and a dot of brown sugar or maple syrup in the filling would have made them even better. Next time, Gadget, next time.

So, all in all, the past two nights have been tremendously satisfying for me from a cooking perspective. I've made some really tasty food, and I've really gotten better at deep frying, which used to be one of those cooking techniques where I would look at a recipe, see that it involved deep frying, and say, "Nope, not that one, George." There are only two things that are not satisfying--first, it's hard to take pictures of fried food, because, well, fried food is not fun to eat if you don't eat it right away, and what's the point of cooking something just to take pictures of it instead of eat it? Don't answer that. Second, well, it's hard to eat six doughnuts and eight balls of falafel in the space of 24 hours, no matter how many carrots and bowls of oatmeal you choke down in between.

Here's a picture of roasted pencil asparagus and spaghetti squash with marinara sauce (get it? it's a pun. and a visual pun) that I made on Monday, just so this is not quite the Minnesota State Fair of blog entries.

No comments:

Post a Comment