steam your bread!

14 Apr

situation: you have fresh acme loaves and some mt. tam from cowgirl next door. you bring them home to make a sandwich. you forgot to bring the sandwich the next day, but it’s okay because you had left it in the fridge. you finally get to it…and it is a brick.

you once heard a friend say that if you stick it in the microwave, it’ll get soft again. but you have to eat it fast!

ah, but you are a clever boy. you steam that shit. yup. set up some kinda double boiler in a larger pot. i used an ikea pot, and a metal  lunch tin. i set the inverted cover along the bottom, put in about a quarter inch of water, and set the sandwich in the tin. bring the water to a boil, and turn off the heat. leave on the pot cover and your sandwich will steam. magically, the bread is edible again! and if you made a ham and cheese like i did, then your cheese will have warmed up and melted in between the layers, oh yes.

what to do with over-ripe bananas?

21 Mar

1. make a mental note to not let bananas over-ripen again, unless you intend to

2. make banana bread!

freeze the bananas until you are ready to use. they will turn yucky colors in your freezer, so hide them from sight if you’re picky about how food might already look like what it’ll look like on the way out. jus sayin. when you are ready, pull them out of the freezer and let them defrost in a bowl. yes, they will be sticky. yes, they will have a pungent smell. trust, these are just signs of awesomeness.

now, for that batter. don’t have a recipe? oh, don’t trip! aunt jemima’s got you! or any other pancake mix for that matter. yeah. use pancake mix. bisquick and the like are dry, basic batter mixes, and are actually much more versatile than the picture on the cover of the box/bag led you to believe. throw in some more sugar since you’ll want sweet banana bread (you’re not on a diet, are you?), some vanilla, maybe some rum. a little leavening wouldn’t hurt either, if you want some puff in yo bread. eggs, and little milk, adjust to the eye. with pancake batter, i find that even if you miss the perfect ratio by a little, it will work out.

mash up yo bananas and throw them into the oven. enjoy with satisfaction that you were able to save what was gonna be compost a few weeks before :)

(reclaimed) fish cakes and stir fry

21 Mar

you’re frying fish, and it falls apart. damn. take 2 and cry it out? done? okay, go get a few eggs. make a quick batter, season it as you like, and throw it over the some flaked-some whole fish filets. scoop them up and drop back into the frying pan, preferably nonstick. no need for oil, ladies. press them flat a little, and don’t move them. allow the egg to cook so that it binds your flakes together. they will brown, flip and let cook for another minute on the other side.

fish cakes

looks like a crabcake maybe? well that’s the idea. crab cakes come about since it’s expensive, flakes apart, etc. there are also extenders in there (cheap cheese, flour/constarch, etc.). feel free to add into the fish cakes, but really we’re just trying to salvage ponyo here.

i look into my pantry and i have canned baby corn and bamboo shoots, some green peas in the freezer…and ling-ling potsticker sauce (don’t judge). throw this into a pan with some sauteed garlic, onions, and ginger. when cooking seafood, you would want to add ginger, since it counters the “fishiness” that people sometimes complain about. i chose these ingredients since the fish i cooked (on sale at ranch99) had a sweet taste, so i wanted to go with that, and all those ingredients would be sweet. allow the onions to sweat out (throw it in, let it cook down: same basis for french onion soup) to allow the sugars to develop. i made a mistake here, chopping the ginger the same way the bamboo was cut, so i couldn’t really identify them after. by sweating out the onions though, the ginger also had a chance to caramelize, so it wasn’t as strong as the ginger people tend to dislike. by adding in the ling-ling sauce, which is kinda vinegar-y, i ended up with a more sweet/sour take, rather than a dessert. to bulk up on more of that savory flavor, go with oyster sauce instead of soysauce.

"stir fry"

future variations could include a wine sauce base, or you could take raw rice noodles, and use that as a kind of outer coating for the fish cakes (as opposed to flour, or panko).