Monday, August 3, 2015

New Recipes

The new recipes I tried last week are stuffed mushrooms, pizza and glazed carrots.

Stuffed mushrooms are basically cutting off mushroom stems. I think I did it wrong; whenever Mom did it, she had empty caps. I couldn't figure out how to cut the part of the stem that's in the cap. Anyway, chop the stems a lot and mix them with bacon, salt, pepper, flour, whipping cream and shredded cheese. The recipe has a lot of complicated individual steps; you need to switch your microwave back and forth between 100% and 70% four times. It ended up tasting great! The only problem was the bacon. Apparently, you're supposed to cut the bacon into little pieces, not just throw a full slice of bacon over the mushrooms.

The glazed carrots were okay; the hardest part was figuring out how to cut carrots into strips. I still don't know how to do that. I just gave up, and cut it into circle pieces. So much easier to chop. The glaze is 3 tablespoons brown sugar, with two tablespoons butter and one tablespoon water. You can add small amounts of salt and cinnamon, if you want. Once you make the glaze, coat the carrots with it. I imagine professional chefs do fancy coating. I just threw the carrots into the glaze bowl and said, "There, they're covered." The glaze was good, but there was definitely way more glaze than carrot. Next time, I'll have to use more than four carrots.

I made the pizza from scratch, and it didn't go so well. The dough, the sauce and the meat all have to be cooked separately, at basically the exact same time, so I was expecting Katie to help. She was busy talking to her dad, though, so I got to have the fun of cooking with ingredients I've never heard of before. The dough was the hardest part. The recipe says you cover the table with flour, then put the dough on top of the table...and knead flour into it. This doesn't make sense to me. If your goal is to get flour into the dough, why is the first step "throw flour everywhere except the dough"? Katie says I kneaded the dough wrong, which is possible, because I don't know how to knead. All I did was smush everything together, like play-do. I know that professional pizza people spin the dough and throw it in the air, but I am not foolish enough to try that on my first try.

The dough didn't rise after I cooked it, which is how I know something went wrong. Dough is supposed to rise, right? I added yeast, and I think that's the magic ingredient that makes dough rise. When I cooked the pizza, though, the sauce rose. I...I don't understand. The dough stayed the same height, but the sauce and cheese thing ballooned an inch. So it ended up being deep-dish pizza. It wasn't bad, and it was an interesting difference to have pizza which is heavy on the garlic. Still, a two-hour pizza is too much effort to do normally, especially since it requires some specialty ingredients I don't usually have. So I probably won't cook it again, except for a fancy occasion.

This week, I'm going to try re-cooking recipes. That is, I'll try the stuffed mushrooms again, maybe the glazed carrots, and the yam casserole. This time, I'll make slight differences, like making mashed yams first, and doing stuffed mushrooms with chopped bacon and no green peppers. If everything turns out well, I'll add these recipes to my official recipe book.


Elizabeth Pfeffer said...

Good for you Michael I'm glad your trying new recipes and doing them again. There is premade pizza dough if you want to try that or you can to your local pizza place and ask them to give you some dough it's up to you! Here's a link for a pre-made one

Katie said...

Pizza: If you have a Trader Joes, they sell Pizza dough ready to go. Maybe start out with something like that next time.

Carrots: How to cut carrots:

Mushrooms: Sort of scoop out a bit of the cap so that you can stuff it, and add the scooped out stuff (which is really stem) to the rest of the stem. Basically, some of the stem is still in the cap, and you need to pop that out.

Meg s said...

The flour goes on top of the counter in order to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface.