Featured post

Sigh… the white screen of death…

19 May 2015: I’ve been meaning to do some sprucing up here for a while but just didn’t feel like actually doing the work. But this morning, just as I was thinking about posting about grilled chicken wings (great chicken wings too…), I suddenly encountered the white screen of death. That wouldn’t go away.

It’s clearly a problem with my poorly coded theme. So, for who knows how long, this generic WP theme will have to do.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll grow to like it and never change back. :lalala:

edit 22 May 2015: it’s going to take a while to get the links to various pages to work correctly. ( :stomp: I hate change…. :lalala: :stomp: )

edit 23 May 2015: Sigh. I thought I was getting somewhere with making a Child of WP’s Twenty Fifteen. But because it’s primarily designed for people using mobile devices (as if anyone I know is using a mobile device to access this page), I just kept running into major problems.

So. Back to the drawing board I go. This time with WP’s Twenty Twelve as a template.

:-( :stomp: :stomp: :-(

image

Delving into the Archives… the Ultimate Wings

summary: Beijing Chicken Wings and Grilled Green Onions; how to use wooden skewers so onions won’t fall through the grill; delving into the archives; re-reading SAVEUR; (click on images for larger views and more photos)

Over the years, on a number of occasions, I’ve said how much I love SAVEUR magazine. But, alas, over the last few months, with each new issue, we have been more and more disappointed. So we have been delving into back issues.

Beijing Chicken Wings  wp-image-2048 Because it’s barbecue season again (yay!), we pulled out the July 2013 issue and were reminded about the most wonderful chicken wings.

My favorite chicken wing joint, Kuan Dian, is set atop a shack in Xicheng district, near central Beijing. Here, a grill in a makeshift kitchen overlooks a maze of hutongs, the traditional alleyway dwellings unique to Beijing, and rowdy students clamor over chicken wings that have been smoldering over charcoal embers until the blistered skin resembles a crisp veil the color of mahogany.
 
-Lillian Chou, Fire in the Belly, SAVEUR No. 157

I cannot believe that I didn’t rave out loud about this chicken before! Because when we first had it in 2013, I wrote in my diary:

Best. Dinner. Ever!

Continue reading

Ring! Ring! Bread with Flaxseed Soaker and Prunes (BBB May 2015)

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: spring at last; recipe for Flaxseed Soaker Bread with Prunes, based on a recipe at the San Francisco Bread Institute; following (or not) instructions; baking on time but posting late… oops; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Kitchen Window wp-image-2041 Bread Baking Babes (BBB) May 2015

It’s spring at last!! You’ll have to excuse my lateness in posting! I was so thrilled to be able to go outside without a jacket on, that instead of being on time, I went out for a lovely bike ride in search of farmers’ asparagus (alas, we didn’t find any; the farmers’ markets aren’t open until next weekend). Then today was another beautiful day and we found ourselves on the bikes again all afternoon….

A while back, I saw the most beautiful loaf that had been baked by one of the bakers in the Facebook group, “Artisan Bread Bakers”. I immediately made a mental note to make one just like it.

And when Cathy announced that we would be making bread with plums in it, I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to try this amazingly beautiful shape!

Flaxseed and plum bread is a ciabatta-style bread made with a soft dough that has a hydration of over 90%. The formula contains small amounts of whole wheat and dark rye flours, which contribute to the flavor and the rustic appearance. The preferment used in this formula is a poolish, which is mixed the day before and fermented overnight. A matured poolish almost triples in size and is slightly concave at the surface. Over the long fermentation time, poolish slowly builds up lactic acid which gives the bread more depth of flavor.
 
In [the] video clip, we demonstrate how to mix the dough by hand. In a small batch, soft dough like this can be quickly put together by hand and is also very easy to make at home.
 
-sfbi.com Flaxseed and Plum Bread Recipe

BBB Flaxseed Prune Bread wp-image-2039 Ciabatta style? Oh oh. What if that means croc? Continue reading

image

Stretch Chicken is Great!

summary: recipe for Chicken Savoy – sans vinegar and with burnt toast crumbs, based on recipes in SAVEUR magazine Nos. 115 and 171 (November 2008 and January/February 2015); re-reading past issues of SAVEUR magazine; (click on image(s) to see more photos and larger views)

Move over Fried Chicken!

SAVEUR No.115 wp-image-2017 We have been going through past issues of SAVEUR over the past month or so. The writing and photography are significantly superior to what is in this year’s issues of SAVEUR. I do have to admit that we liked some of the articles in the most recent issue but still, I cannot see myself renewing the subscription; I will not be at all surprised if SAVEUR magazine folds. It’s just not the magazine it was.

Of course, there is also the occasional recipe that stands out. And surprisingly, we almost missed out on trying one that is destined to become one of our standards.

Step aside fried chicken! Stretch’s Chicken Savoy from SAVEUR No.115 requires the table space.

By the time I open the door to the Belmont Tavern, […] [a] crowd of regulars stands three deep at the bar, content to wait out the rush […] As far as this crowd is concerned, Stretch’s chicken [savoy] should be Jersey’s state meal. […] The menu holds many temptations, but I’ve come fo the chicken; it arrives atop a puddle of caramel-colored vinegar. I grasp a thigh and crunch through the seasoned skin into the juicy meat. Ever hopeful, I again ask my waitress for the cook’s secret. She crosses her arms before spinning toward the kitchen. “I have my integrity, ” she answers. “I have my principles.”
[…] We think our version is pretty close.
 
– Michael Ames, “Local Favorite”, SAVEUR No.115, p. 19

Of course we had to make this. But we decided to omit the vinegar and use sherry instead. And we added some burnt toast crumbs too…. Continue reading

Cozonac – Romanian Easter Bread (BBB April 2015)

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Romanian Easter Bread, based on a recipe in The Festive Bread Book by Kathy Cutler; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) April 2015

The garden chives are up! The garden chives are up! Can it be true? Is it really spring at last?

BBB Romanian Easter Bread wp-image-2011 When Pat (Feeding My Enthusiasms) told us what she had chosen for the BBBabes to bake this month, I thought, ‘Ooooh, lovely! This looks like fun!’ And what a nice comfort it would be for us as we sat inside, wrapped up in blankets, wondering when spring would appear.

I really was beginning to believe that winter wouldn’t end….

Pat announced that our comfort food would be a Romanian Festive Bread:

Sweet bread (cozonac – the Romanian for panetone) is the Romanian traditional cake for all holidays: Easter or Christmas, wedding or christening. Every Romanian woman has a recipe from her mother. […] Cooking sweet bread is a magic ritual: it must be done in a warm room where the doors and windows stay close during the cooking time. Any thread of cold air could damage the dough. We have to begin early in the morning when the sun starts to fly its eyelashes over the skyline.
 
– Exploring Romania, Sweet bread recipe – the Romanian name being “cozonac”

I was going to make this in time for Orthodox Easter last Sunday. But… here’s a big surprise: I missed the deadline. Continue reading