Food! Glorious Food!

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by paddoboy, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    The unavailability of our local patisserie during the lockdown inspired me to make a cake, for the first time, for my son's birthday last month. It was sufficiently successful that I have repeated it.

    This is the classic Victoria Sandwich, made possible in the c.19th by Mr Bird's invention of commercial baking powder as a raising agent and much loved by Queen Victoria, apparently. Picture below:

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    I have to say I am quite pleased with this. But then, a chemist ought to be able to follow a cookery recipe.

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    davewhite04 and wegs like this.
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I’m wondering if others have experienced this, but I’ve found lately that Indian dishes that Ive made, are turning out much better than my attempts at Middle Eastern cuisine. I’m part Iranian and Syrian and I’d really like to become a better cook in regards to some of my fave dishes of these regions, but the spice balance is always off. Not by a lot but ...it’s never as good as the local ME restaurants I’ve tried. In my experience, Indian food seems to allow for more liberal use of spices - the hotter the better! Although, too much of any one particular spice could ruin the dish.
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I've only tried a few very simple Middle Eastern things, like baba ghanoush and hummus, so I can't really say. I don't do much Indian cooking, as the number of spices involved makes them complicated and they do make the house smell, rather. Also one can have had enough of coriander and cumin after a bit. Apart from the pooris, all I do is a really excellent dahl with spinach recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's cookery book, which is quite simple. And I sometime put fried mustard seeds in rice to make it more interesting. But that's about it.

    I'd quite like to do more with chickpeas, if you have any tips.

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  7. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm, fried mustard seeds. Sounds interesting. Re: chick peas, they're pretty versatile like eggs, in my opinion. I have tossed them into scrambled eggs, with some cinnamon, cumin and ginger. I've mashed them with a tad bit of olive oil (or tahini) and added cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar, to spread on wheat toast. I've made quiches with chick peas (mashed) as giving it a thicker texture. So many possibilities!

    Re: Indian food, it's not really as complex as you think. At first, I felt overwhelmed trying my hand at Indian cooking, but in the past few months, I've become adept at taking risks with the spices. lol Cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, garlic (fresh preferably) cayenne pepper and curry are really the main spices you need, to start off with most dishes.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes the dahl recipe calls for coriander, chilli and ginger, though I admit I add cumin and garlic too if I'm not cooking something with it that has these in. Turmeric seems to crop up in a lot of the recipes and I've found you have to be bloody careful with that, as it stains all sorts of things yellow, including plastic mixing bowls!

    Have you tried making pooris by the way? They are fun and nice to eat, but rather calorific in view of the oil they are cooked in.

    Madhur Jaffrey uses mustard seeds in several recipes and always says you put them into hot oil until they start popping, which is almost immediate, in fact, but gives them a toasted flavour.
     
  9. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Ahhh, pooris! So good but no, I’ve never tried making it myself. Super caloric lol I recently bought Naan and added spices, minced garlic and olive oil and oh my, it’s nirvana.
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I have never found bought naan to be much good. It is great fresh in a restaurant, but not otherwise. I'd like to make them but it's too difficult. Hence the pooris.

    By the way, I made kedgeree for dinner tonight. I was thinking of our exchange about Middle Eastern food and thought to myself that I suppose it's a sort of fish biryani really, but Anglicised.
     
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    As a tin lid and going to a Catholic school, we had this little book entitled "Christian Politeness" which encouraged us kids to do things like standing up for a Lady or elderly person on a bus or tram, respecting our parents decisions etc etc.
    But the one actually crazy point that was listed, was one should always leave the table after a meal, feeling as if you could eat a little bit more!

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    I man how bloody stupid is that!

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    Getting onto food that I never eat.....eggs...never had one in my life, even as a baby, my Mum told me after feeding me any egg, I would bring it back up. In fried rice, in small bits I don't mind, strangely enough.
    Other stuff I never touch are tripe, brains, or any offal or internal animal organs. Otherwise, I eat everything and anything [within reason

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  12. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    You might not like the idea, but I eat half of that with hot custard. Victoria spongecake homemade with hot custard, heaven in a big bowl. (2 tins of ambrosia custard. I'd be amazed if I could eat it, half now half later I'm easy. A cake is only happy when shes getting eat. The more people enjoy them the more glory they get when they go to cake heaven, hopefully the same heaven as us. That cake looks like it would have glory, if it isn't low sugar or low fat. Lovely, I'll get my wife to make one.
     
  13. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Tried my hand at a middle eastern lamb dish yesterday and it was just meh. I’m not sure why I can’t get the spice balancing perfected. :/
     
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Well, many recipes have eggs as an ingredient, so inadvertently, you’ve eaten many

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  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I am a lover of a good mud cake, way too much so!!

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  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I made a cheese and spring onion souffle tonight, which came out rather well:

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    Four eggs in this, plus 70g Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and 2 small spring onions.
     
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  17. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Instant pot max. I made wine (primary fermentation) and I think I got ultra sloshed cause I, uh, believe I passed out quick cause I don't remember. Soaking lentils and stuff is super fast and easy and there's tons of recipes on the net to use.
     
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Jesus Christ, BwS, I do NOT want to make booze with chickpeas! Really!

    Sometimes I think you post these things just to shock me.

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  19. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Oh shit no! I used peaches.

    Three sentences should have been three paragraphs and not one...
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Oh well, that's a different matter. I had a very nice kir pêche before my cheese soufflé tonight.

    I'm deeply relieved to find you have NOT being trying to make wine with chickpeas, anyway.

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  21. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Look at you getting all posh! Looks so good.
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Heh heh. It's just habit: my late wife was French, so this is the sort of thing we used to eat (and drink).

    She bought me an excellent and very practical French recipe book:" Les Recettes Faciles" by Francoise Bernard and, being a chemist, I find I can follow many of these with relatively few screw-ups. I am impatient with complicated things that take ages to prepare, but a soufflé on Sunday night is one of my staples. 30 mins prep time and 30 mins in the oven and not too heavy before an early night, to be ready for Monday morning.

    What I have not yet fully mastered is what it is that influences how high they rise. They vary a bit. Last night's was particularly successful, hence the photo. It seems to help if the flavouring in the sauce doesn't have too many bits in. I've done them sometimes with flaked smoked haddock and, while they are delicious (ideally with a couple of glasses of Chablis), they don't rise nearly as well as a simple cheese one.
     
  23. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    What I hate is when they say, "Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour into a 9x9 pan and bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes," and then they add, "Remember to separate the eggs."

    Umm... I can't separate the eggs. They're baking in a 375-degree oven.

    I'm like a computer. I have to be told what to do and when to do it. I don't read ahead.
     

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