4 Weekend Cooking Experiments

Hungryphil here, reporting on this weekend’s cooking experiments, the victories and defeats, the yummy and not so yummy.

First up, Friday’s Fried Eggplant with tahini, balsamic drizzle (and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and sumac) Good taste but could have been cooked more. You can see the uncooked piece by the watermark. Still worth trying again. I liked the nutty smoothness of the tahini with the acidity of the balsamic.

Saturday and second, I attempted to make Bangladeshi “hat roti” (like a tortilla but softer and without fat in the dough). It is made by pouring the flour into boiling water, cooking it enough to absorb and rolling it out without the addition of much extra flour. When done correctly, it is soft, delicate, pillowy, warm, and wraps around halwas (sweet grain, nut or fruit paste, bars) or bhajis (dry vegetables) perfectly. It is a craft and a skill. I failed :o(

I tried pouring boiling water into a food processor with flour in the bowl in order to avoid the whole kneading a ball of hot dough with my hands unpleasantness.  Didn’t work. This will have to be a regular practice of skills, like making a colorless french omelet.

But. I did make the best paratha (a flaky fried flat bread) with the dough. The layers were light and crispy because there was no fat in the dough itself, only between the layers. From now on, this is how I’m making paratha. Mix dough without fat in the food processor, roll out, ghee, fold, roll out again, fry.

So, this experiment was a tie between food fail and fantastic. Sorry no pictures, tried to hide the evidence of failure and then in my excitement ate the paratha too fast to snap a pic. Now I also have a blog excuse to try it again.

Third, Korean Japchae and Bulgogi.

http://kimchimari.com/bulgogi-korean-beef-bbq/

http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/japchae-korean-stir-fried-sweet-potato-noodles-30269

Delicious and surprisingly easy.Worth making again. Score for me.

Fourth, Pumpkin Bread (with Cranberries and with Crystallized Ginger) and Chocolate Chip Cookies for fall college care packages. Here are the recipes:

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/03/crispy-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

http://restaurant.recipes-network.net/starbucks-pumpkin-bread.html


Both were great recipes! The chocolate chip cookies were decadent and flavorful. The texture was just perfect as it’s namesake, crispy on the edges and chewy in the center. Perfect as is. Would make it again and again.

The pumpkin bread was also wonderful. I added cranberries to a batch and crystallized ginger to another. Both had pecans. The ginger is a bit aggressive and takes getting used to. In small, finely chopped portions it might be just right. That will take some tweaking.

Hope the kids enjoy the fall treats! Next time, more cookies!

Busy weekend but thankfully there is a lot to snack on in the kitchen this week.

Hoping you had a delicious weekend too,

Hungryphil

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