Let me tell you something.
I like cream puffs. I like making cream puffs. I like serving cream puffs. I like eating cream puffs. I like that the choux pastry is easy to make and is so flexible. I have never had a fallen cream puff. Ever.
Well, technically, a gougere is not a cream puff, but rather a savory application of the choux pastry dough. The dough is rich in eggs, which provides the steam so the puffs can, well, puff. Gougeres are a slightly richer dough with grated cheese mixed in.
For some unfathomable reason I seemed to have put too much milk, or moisture in the dough, which caused it to be able to incorporate less egg. Less egg means less structure and rise. Which means a fallen puff.
It is a sad, sad thing.
However, the poor things wrinkled up attractively and had terrific flavour. Both my siblings loved it and had one after another. Which I guess is a good thing. But until I recover from my cream puff failure, I won’t post the recipe for gougeres.
I guess sometimes baking is forgiving.
You know what? I became six years old today. I skipped down the road with my six-year-old little sister. It was a sight. I’m not sure if I still skip as gracefully as I did back then, but I do know that I have to skip slower for Carolyn to keep up.
I did feel younger momentarily. You should try it one day. Just do something completely childish, like skipping down the road, yell “EWW!! COOTIES!!!”, or something.
Then I played frisbee with the kids, and Carolyn, as bad luck would have it, got hit in the nose with the disk. So the poor dear got a nosebleed and I helped her to calm down and clean up. Then she said later that I looked like a mom.
I felt older momentarily. Much older than I should feel. But Carolyn is okay, and after she ate a fudgsicle, she was better than okay.
Then we had lunch, which was pasta. Pasta with shrimp and broccoli, and a sauce with onions, garlic, and lime. I used whole wheat penne. Hey, gotta get your fibre right? And I added some cooked mussels, out of their shell, just because we happened to have it.
Shrimp Pasta with Lime
serves 4, for lunch
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. whole milk or cream
salt and pepper
1 small crown broccoli, broken into florets
1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled, and the shell reserved
8 oz. penne pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the shrimp shells. Boil for a couple minutes, then use a slotted spoon to remove the shells and discard. Add the pasta.
- Heat a large sauce on medium high, add the olive oil. When oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes, until starting to become soft. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper.
- Ladle in about 1/2 cupful of pasta water and reduce slightly on medium heat.
- Add the milk, then squeeze in the lime juice.
- Slide the butter into the sauce and stir in the shrimp. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the broccoli to the pasta pot with the pasta still in it. If you test a piece of pasta, it should still be hard in the middle. Boil all together for another 2-3 minutes or until broccoli is crisp tender.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the saucepan. Toss well to coat. Season again.
- Turn off the heat but keep tossing until the sauce is mostly absorbed. Serve.
Filed under Lunch, Seafood
For meat lovers. Nothing else to be said. Stuff inside sandwich rolls. Stuff ’em good. I mean, well.
Steak and Onions
enough for 4 sandwiches
1 lb. shaved steak
1 large onion, sliced thin
lots of salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp. butter
about 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
a few dashes of Tabasco
Season the steak well with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the onions until softened and slightly brown, about 6-7 minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat another Tbsp. butter on medium-high heat, add the meat when hot. Fry until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the onions back in and add the Worcestershire and Tabasco. Season again to taste. Turn off the heat and melt in the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter.
Serve on hot, toasted, buttered sandwich rolls.
For the guys.
These aren’t the traditional latkes, which to my understanding, contain little or no flour. These are more like savoury pancakes with some shredded potatoes added in. The potatoes lend the pancakes moisture, softness, and texture. A little bit of grated jalapeno monterey cheese kicks it up a bit. Excellent for breakfast, and the leftovers make for great snacking.
makes twelve 4-inch pancakes
1 medium potato, shredded to make about 1 cup
1/2 c. grated jalapeno monterey jack cheese
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
generous pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. chopped green onions
oil for frying (2-4 Tbsp.)
Place potatoes, egg, cheese, sour cream, and milk in a large bowl. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until moistened, taking care not to over mix.
Heat a skillet on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the batter by the spoonful and spread out. Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles rise to the surface and bottom is golden brown. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes.
Serve warm. Sprinkle with more shredded cheese and green onions. Sour cream makes a nice addition.