Flying Flour, Splashing Spices, Roomful Aromas

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vietnamese Calamari Salad

This cookbook has some of the very dishes we enjoyed while traveling through Vietnam.
 As you can see here, I have been making this one for awhile now.  And yes, I make notations in my cookbooks.  when all is said and done, my cookbooks will be the better journal of important events in my life.  I love reading previous notations and when I loan a book, I encourage friends to jot along as well.
I found a 2.5 lb package of squid at my local grocery.  I let it thaw and come to room temperature.  I used my kitchen shears to snip the small tube bodies into rings. This made 4 cups of squid for the salad. Put on 6-8 cups of water to come to a boil.  Your pasta put with strainer section is perfect for this.  Prepare a large bow of ice water for dunking cooked squid to stop the cooking process. I made the dressing before blanching the squid rings.
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 c rice wine
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finally chopped
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
1/4 cup fish sauce
Combine all ingredients well. Let sit.
For the dressing

Back to the squid rings.  Place the squid rings in the boiling water for 60-90 seconds. SECONDS is correct.  Remove, drain hot water and immediately dump squid rings into the ice water being sure to submerge all pieces.
Pretty blanched squid rings

Dressing going onto the squid rings.

When thoroughly cooled transfer squid to bowl with dressing and toss thoroughly.

Serve on a bed of crisp greens with a side a bowl of soup or serve with crackers or a favorite bread or as here, with a hot tea.  Enjoy.

This salad keeps well in the fridge for three days but it never lasts that long in my house.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes in Blue Cornmeal

Cut the tomatoes a bit thicker than a quarter inch. Dredge in milk, then seasoned blue cornmeal.  Repeat.  

In a large skillet with half cup hot oil, fry the slices of tomato with plenty of room until a toasted brown color is achieved.

 Flip slices over and brown.  This smells wonderful.  The toasted cornmeal, the tart tomatoes, mm-mm.
Drain on paper towel  This is a great snack with a slab of your favorite cheese, an accompaniment to a roasted meat dinner with black-eyed peas or as you see here, a salad.

This is a Vietnamese Calamari salad atop a bit of fried rice.  True it is out of the ordinary in combination!  Tasty!  Tasty!

Add a little blue cornmeal to your preparation of favorites for a change and surprise of great taste and texture.  I am happy to find  Blue Cornmeal by Bob's Red Mill now at my local grocery.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Foodie Blogroll (widget lower right)

Have you ever clicked the Foodie Blogroll widget on a foodie site?  If not, try it.  There you will find all kinds of news of food and ingredients for making your favorite cuisine.  You can also find more blogs about foods.  Click the Foodie Blogroll widget and see what fun you find.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pretzel Buns
Start with the bread dough, form the buns, snip an X in the top and allow to rise.  Once risen, dunk in a boiling water bath for about 1 minute.  PLace them on the baking sheet.  I used coarse corn meal but parchment paper would have been ideal!
Give a little egg wash across the tops, sprinkle with coarse salt and pop them into a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes.   The finished product has a brown amber color, with a paler X color.  The texture is slightly open crumb with a tooth similar to a good New York bagel.  These buns hold up well for sandwiches, makes a great toast and are tasty with a slice of your favorite cheese.  The baked buns disappeared before I could snap a photo.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Anderson House: First Homemade Pizza

While visiting my sister and family, I taught the boys how to make yeast dough so they could make their own pizza.  Here is the result.  A  plain cheeze pizza, just the way they like it.  The process was not overly complicated.  The nephews, teenagers, don't have a great deal of kitchen experience.  They pitched right in and got great results.

Yeast Dough for Pizza is the same as my Italian bread recipe.  Once the bread had rested and had time to rise, gently place the dough on a floured work surface.  Divide n half.  With oil on hands, start with the center of lump of dough and press outwards to form a circle.  Finger tips make the edge stand up.  Keep pressing outward from the center until you have the circle the size you prefer or to match the pan size.  Spread the dough with tomato sauce (I use paste). Cover with the cheese you like or a blend.  Mozzarella is the pizza cheese of choice because it stretches well and the mild flavor goes will with all seasonings or toppings.

If you want other toppings so you do not have a plain cheeze pizza, this is the time to add them.  Be  traditional or be creative.  Make the pizza your way!

Pop the pie into the hot 425 degree oven and bake until the cheese is toasted and the crust has a a great golden color.  I baked my pizza on a screen to enhance the crustiness of the bottom.  Now I have a baking stone in the oven and it produces a great crunch of crust.  Riley enjoyed making his first chocolate cake but I noticed without icing, no one was going to cut it.  Riley pulled out a can of ready made frosting and then it began to disappear.  Davis discovered the wonder of the difference of home popped corn and theater pop corn.  He is a great corn popping master now.