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Semiformalishmaybe

Call for Recipes 2011

A few of you cook. If you have relatively lazy recipes for the following, I would be delighted to hear them:

  • Spicy guacamole - So far all my attempts at this have ended up inedible in various ways. Store-bought spicy guac is good, but I enjoy making guac from avocados
  • Beer Fondue - I don't like beer, but I have occasionally had excellent beer fondue (the best was in StLouis). At least, I think it was fondue. It was definitely a delicious cheese-beer mix used with dipping bread.
  • Creme Brulee - Are there any simple ways to make this? So far all my attempts have been reasonably tasty but also very much not what was intended
  • Handmade Pestos - I can actually do this, but my recipe is dull. I would love to hear how other people do it
  • Cheese-breads - All my attempts at this have been disasterous
  • Cherry crisp - I love cherry crisps and can actually make them. I'd love to hear other recipes though!
I would also love to hear good vegetarian things to do with:
  • Curried rice
  • And a reasonable vegetarian equivalent to marinated chicken, if there is such a thing, because while I don't miss the meat part, I do miss the overall flavour
If you know of any other good non-meat things I might like to cook, ideally without an eggy taste, I'd love to hear them.
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Comments

The cheese bread attempts have ranged from mush to fires, but this has mostly been experimentation using intuition (And banana bread experience; banana breads are not hard!)

Thanks for the recipes/ideas!

Edited at 2011-12-27 06:24 pm (UTC)
If you're trying to improvise a cheese-bread, you should start with a BREAD-bread recipe and not a quick-bread/sweet-bread recipe. Banana bread is not really bread. It is cake. The bread is a lie! The cake is not a lie!

Banana bread, zucchini bread, applesauce bread... All of these use fruit as a moisture source. Cheese is goopy when melted, but it is NOT full of water (hence the fires, or the goop when it fails to evaporate).

Find a recipe that requires kneading the dough and engaging in several periods of waiting for the dough to rise. I'd imagine any cheese should be kneaded in only at the very end, when you're forming loaves before the final rising period.
using broil sounds like a good way to scramble the custard. even if you cook it at 300-some until just before the end, i can't imagine an oven which could change temperature fast enough to not affect the interior as well.
i would imagine cheese bread is most dependent on your bread technique. are you making it from scratch? following bread recipes to the letter is probably not reliable, since different flours, yeasts, and ovens behave differently.

breadmaking is hard to teach not in person, but i could give some links, and mention the general heuristics: dough should double in bulk when risen; use the windowpane test to see when you've kneaded enough; internal temperature should reach 190F-200F, etc.
Creme brulee, like any other custard, is simple but not necessarily easy. There are few steps but they have to go right.

I think the problem you had with flan was that the eggs weren't really scrambled all the way, and the whole thing wasn't mixed enough to distribute the ingredients thoroughly. Were you using just a fork or a spatula? If you don't have an electric mixer, maybe try at least a whisk to help.

Creme brulee is the kind of custard that goes in the oven, and most recipes will tell you to put water in a pan/tray so that the water comes partway up the outsides of the ramekins sitting on the tray. That's for distributing heat.

For a more rich custard, you'll wind up using lots of egg yolks but not including all of the whites.
Tofu is a great thing to marinate because it's pretty much waiting to have flavor put into it.

Another non-chicken to consider: Quorn. It's based on mushrooms, denser than tofu, and very high in protein.
If you cook the tofu a bit first (cut it into 1/2 inch slices, cook it in a dry pan on the stovetop until most of the moisture has cooked off) it will absorb marinade better.