Archive for the ‘Failure’ Category

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Flavour Mixture!

December 19, 2009


I have been a bit slack with my Flavour of the Month Essential Christmas Cookbook I actually thought I’d been doing ok, I thought I’d been baking and making a lot. But, I went a bit all out to begin with and suddenly have dropped off.

And, now…I’ve sustained an injury and am not allowed to walk until Christmas really. It’s an issue! But anyway, I can write about the things I have done still – I’m not stopped from doing that.
I am going to do a bit of a bulk post though, minus recipes – I feel a bit slack with that, but there is pain associated with my above injury. And, well I am slowly sipping my peppermint laced hot chocolate and watching Top Gear at the same time, so I am a little distracted.

First off is the Raised Pork Pie delightfully tasty! I could’ve devoured the whole thing too myself, the sage with the apples were delightful. Of course it’s not surprising to say the least that these worked well with Pork. It’s a quintessential combination isn’t it? However, as you can see……my pastry failed! Oh how it failed. Texture and taste wise it was good, but it wouldn’t hold its form, and it just fell to pieces as it cooked? Pastry continues to bother me!

Next up is the Raspberry Miroire I made this for a family gathering, minus the white bark on the outside. It was well received, I was a little worried about the texture but it actually turned out very well. My SIL was the person who I was concerned about in relation to this texture thing, and she enjoyed it so must’ve been ok yea? I had to pass on the recipe to the Husband’s aunt the next day so it worked out! And didn’t really take a good photo, because there was not really a lot of time for me to fiddle around between it being ready and it being taken to be eaten!

Then the Spicy Nuts were a hit with my grandmother, she loves nuts (as long as there were no hazelnuts) and she devoured them in half a moment. The original recipe just called for pecan, cashew and almonds but I just used a natural nut mix that included macadamias and walnuts as well. These are actually her favourite nuts so I really needed to include them didn’t I! I also, did not have any garlic powder so I substituted it with nutmeg, it worked well.

Finally Roast Sirloin with Mustard Sauce….saved the best for last! Oh my word it was divine! Perhaps it was the good quality meat I happened to get my hands on? Well it probably helped, but the recipe would’ve had something to do with it definitely! Oh it was moist and juicy and so perfect for the food to celebrate my 4th year wedding anniversary! I should actually stipulate that I didn’t make the mustard sauce, because I didn’t use a 1.5kg roast sirloin, I used 2 pieces of sirloin that I covered liberally with the mustard, honey and garlic mix they used as the crust. Oh it was good! My mouth waters as I remember it. Will have to do it again soon I think, and maybe take better photo’s because I was so busy wanting to eat it this time!

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Nigiri attempt

November 14, 2009

I tried I really did….I tried for a good 3 hours before I sighed and resigned myself to the fact it just wasn’t going to happen Daring Kitchen got the better of me

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.

We were being asked to make 3 types of sushi Dragon sushi roll (inside-out rice roll with a tasty surprise filling), Decorative sushi (nori-coated rice roll which reveals a decorative pattern when cut) & Nigiri sushi (hand-shaped rice rolls with toppings). When I first saw this challenge I originally balked, let me explain…

Just prior to getting married to the Husband he was “diagnosed” with a range of food sensitivities/allergies. He went to a specialist, got the fun prick test done on his arm, and spent a few days itching like made, doped up on anti-histamine. The long and the short of it was that whenever the Husband consumed: egg, soy, wheat, potato, tomato or corn, he broke out in a lovely rash of hives on his body. This resulted in a MASSIVE change in diet, especially with the removal of potato as an option. My grandmother is a vegetarian who can’t eat wheat (can eat gluten, just not wheat) or anything dairy, so I’d had a little bit of a “precursor” into the world of no wheat eating. However, the removal of corn and soy through a major spanner into my works – so many of the substitutes had these ingredients, and then take away potato as well…what were we left with? Essentially….rice!

Fast forward 18 months of eating rice everything….rice with all mains as his “carb”, rice noodles, rice pasta, rice flour baked goods, rice rice rice…….the Husband was over it big time. Thankfully, he was told to start giving these things ago again because it had been a bit of an odd on-set of this sensitivity/allergy and so he dived on the potato, no reaction, it was like all his Christmas’s had come at once. Slowly we began the reintroduction of the other ingredients. Fast forward 3 years and I now have a husband who essentially will not touch rice with a ten foot pole.

Sure he’ll eat it with sweet and sour chicken/pork, and when we have Chinese he wants the fried rice. But, try and serve it to him with a curry or stirfry and he looks at you like you’ve killed the cat. He’s not interested in the slightest, so with this challenge I wondered to myself what would I do with all of this sushi? Who was going to eat it? I couldn’t eat it all, and actually I’m not a big fan of it at any rate. Occasionally I get a craving and I’m good to go, but for the most part? Thanks but no thanks, I’m not a big starchy/carby eater really and so when I do have it, I find that I get full very quickly.

Dilemma then yes? Well I spoke to the Husband, explained the dilemma and in his wonderful way he consented to “giving it a go” so rubbing my hands together I headed to the shop to buy all the consumables required and then set to work.

I thought to start with what I thought was the easiest, the Nigiri, which are the ones in the photo. I chose a smoked chicken and wasabi for one and a roasted capsicum for the other. That worked for the most part, they weren’t beautiful but they held there shape and tasted good, isn’t that the important thing here?

Then I moved on to the dragon roll, and here I met my defeater. For nigh on 3 hours I laboured, I tore nori, I had my rice be too thin or to thick, the nori wouldn’t stay rolled together, problems, problems everywhere. And after all that time, I sat down looked at my pile of mess and gave up. I couldn’t do it anymore, I just couldn’t. I tried to read the decorative sushi instructions, but it all seemed like Japanese to me at that point and I gave up before I even tried that one.

Perhaps my heart wasn’t in it? I’d waited and waited to do it until I felt like I wanted sushi but that feeling never came, I was at the weekend prior to the reveal date and I knew I’d have no time during the week so it was my final opportunity. I also knew that the Husband was only going to try it out of the goodness of his heart and his love for me, so it felt like such a mission for something that neither of us really wanted.

In the end, we both enjoyed the Nigiri it was tasty and simple on the pallet, and I love wasabi so it was a nice little punch to the dish. But, the others? They all ended up in the bin, which did feel like a bit of a waste of food, but after working with it for so long, the smell of the nori turned me off, and there really wasn’t much rice left over once I’d struggled with it for so long.

I persevered which I feel was very important, and the reason I joined the Daring Kitchen was to push myself, learn new skills and improve. So I did feel like I learnt something from this challenge that was valuable. I just didn’t get a great deal of food out of it!

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Epic Failure

October 27, 2009


The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

My second Daring Kitchen world, but my first ever Daring Bakers, and for me it was an epic Failure…..

My KitchenAid did all the hard work, making perfect stiff peaks, it all look great. I followed the directions step by step I read up on all the suggestions, I tried my best. I was so super excited; I thought maybe this one time I’d get it! But, no….failure! And, as with my Daring Cooks Challenge I left it all too late to try again.

Did I over-fold? I don’t know! But I failed! No feet! No form! Epic failure!

Taste wise? Excellent! Delicious! Gosh I nearly ate them all in one foul swoop off of the baking tray once they were completely cooled. But, they didn’t hold their form, they didn’t form the feet! Maybe next time?