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September Record of Cooking

I've been trying to cook more (because I enjoy it). I also want to get better; I am already a reasonably good cook, but better is always better. The notes are here to help me improve. I'm doing science to it.

This is what I've been cooking. It's not all that I ate this month, just the foods that I, myself, prepared/cooked.

  • 2023-09-30 SAT
    • Wintertime Tomato Soup, from Bittman's How to cook everything Vegetarian. Man, this has been a favorite for years. Taking advantage of an early cool weekend to get another soup on.
    • Pan Toast with that bread from a few days ago. In olive oil. Delicous.
  • 2023-09-29 FRI
    • Minimalist Korean Street Toast Egg Sandwich. Pan toasted thick slice of bread. One egg, lightly scrambled. A bit of ketchup. (picture).
  • 2023-09-28 THU
    • Roasted cauliflower.
    • More popcorn.
  • 2023-09-27 WED
    • Another loaf of bread, The Standard #1. More sesame seeds. picture.
  • 2023-09-25 MON
    • Oven roasted Brussels sprouts.
  • 2023-09-24 SUN
    • Another The Standard #1 Loaf (picture). I gave away half of yesterdays, and used much of the other half for those hamburgers. This loaf is for another friend, so I'll probably make another in a couple of days. Bread (is) Life.
    • Cheeseburger, again. Achieved my desired improvements over yesterday's burger: a bit more salt and pepper on the patty, thinner bread slices, less pink in the middle (picture). I'm still amazed that I got the patty the right size for both burgers. I think I would improve on the crust of the patty next?
    • Grilled chicken thigh (picture).
  • 2023-09-23 SAT
    • The Standard #1 Loaf, from Forkish's Evolutions in Bread (picture). I put sesame seeds on it, which is not part of the recipe. I'll be doing that again for sure.
    • Cheese Burger, on slices of the loaf above (picture).
    • Oven fries (potatoes).
    • Roasted Artichokes. I'd never prepared them this way; they were quite good (picture).
    • Grilled chicken thigh.
    • Popcorn.
  • 2023-09-21 THU
    • 'nother grilled cheese (picture).
  • 2023-09-20 WED
    • Grilled Cheese, with my bread (picture).
    • Dinner: roasted broccoli, grilled chicken, semi-brown rice (picture). Yumm mmm.
  • 2023-09-19 TUE
    • Pan toasted a slice of my bread (no picture). This counts, right?
  • 2023-09-18 MON
    • The Standard #2 loaf, from Forkish's Evolutions in Bread (EiB). It's that loaf I started yesterday.
    • Mushroom and Eggplant Yassa, quite good actually.
  • 2023-09-17 SUN
    • Sautéed Cabbage, topped with olive oil, balsamic glaze. Letting it sit for about 5 minutes after dressing it made it better. (picture)
    • Started a loaf bread.
  • 2023-09-16 SAT
    • Pain Au Bacon, from Forkish's FWSY. It's a hit! Kind of a lot of work though, well cooking the bacon is. Pictures: outside, inside.
    • Better Than Snickers Ice Cream; we'll see about that. But I did make my first caramel (picture). Maybe a touch burnt? Not sure.
      • I kinda wish the peanuts were lightly salted, at least.
      • Damn, this is good (picture).
    • Bittman's Potato Leek Soup. High of 76 F is soup weather, right? Right??
  • 2023-09-15 FRI
    • Bacon, for Pain Au Bacon that will be baked tomorrow (picture). I used the simmer and sauté method. The finished product was perfect, but it sure took a while.
    • Pain Au Bacon, started, but it has to rise overnight.
    • Bacon Sushi, because science, and I had the materials available to me. It was ok, not really consistent with the vibe of sushi. But... experimenting. picture
  • 2023-09-14 THU
    • Classic/Rome Style Alfredo, again. Better this time. picture
    • Sushi party: I am sushi roll construction challenged, so we make them sloppy hand rolls. Trim the nori to small squares just big enough to hold the rice and one topping. Usually the toppings are veggies: carrot, cucumber, avocado. Not this time: tofu, egg. Instant pot sushi rice.
  • 2023-09-12 TUE
  • 2023-09-11 MON
    • Babish's instant pot risotto. I doubled it. Half is for my wife who is currently doing an elimination diet, so no cheese. The uncheesed part was surprisingly good; if I didn't eat cheese I would definitely still eat this. The other half I cheesed, ate, and plan to also make arancini with the leftovers. If you can be non-traditionalist about it, the instant pot version is just great.
  • 2023-09-10 SUN
    • Toum, but started here. Tasted off. It wasn't the right texture/consistency. Too liquidy. Maybe because I didn't remove the germ? And I made it with the stick blender. Or maybe it was the wrong oil (canola). I tried to save it on Monday, by putting it back in the chilled food processor and adding some more chilled water and oil. I added a bit more salt too. It didn't help. I'm frustrated, this is one of my favorites. Update: it broke. ☹️
  • 2023-09-08 FRI
    • Faux-tisserie chicken, again. This time I used regular poultry seasoning.
    • Started a new sourdough starter, since my previous one (Vigor and Theref) got moldy. Picture at the end, on the 15th.
    • Popcorn again.
  • 2023-09-07 THU
    • Spaghetti Squash Broccoli Pasta. This is normally made with linguine, but my wife is on an elimination diet at the moment, so we subbed in squash instead. It worked quite pleasantly well, which wasn't really that surprising to us. It's not the same at all, think of it as a different delicious dish.
  • 2023-09-06 WED
    • Fettuccine Alfredo, Original Rome style, for a crowd. I used dry pasta, and while the end result was tasty, it was also not very creamy. So, I will try again, with a smaller (single serving sized) batch. I think more starchy water is key. Other notes: Nailed the pasta amount, and al dente perfectly. Well almost, I got a bit of crunchy stuck together pasta, which I really don't understand because I stirred the pot quite well several times.
  • 2023-09-03 SUN
    • Ken Forkish FWSY Same day pizza. No canned tomatoes in the house, and no regular mozza either. So, this is what I'm topping it with:
      1. Garlic candy (smashed cloves sautéed in evoo over low heat), Pecorino Romano, evoo and a few left over mozza pearls (picture). So so good. It's another one of those random things, but sautéed garlic just became one of my favorite pizza toppings, and pecorino didn't disappoint either (but I think it only worked so well because there was no sauce).
      2. Mozza pearls, basil, evoo (picture)
  • 2023-09-02 SAT
    • Molly Baz Cook This Book Wedge Salad (pic). This was quite good, and I would make it again. Maybe next time I would add bleu cheese or Gorgonzola to the sauce or just on top.
    • Molly Baz Cook This Book Popcorn. I find that the 1:1 ratio of fats to kernels in the recipe is way too high. 1:2 fats to kernels is right for me. I skip the turmeric, and go more with something like Carla Music's toppings. These two recipes are not all that dissimilar, and work better for me than the OG Alton Brown recipe, which uses less fats, and is in a bowl + foil. I used to have so much success with that, but somewhere I lost the thread and it just burned all the time.
  • 2023-09-01 FRI
    • Brian Lagerstrom's mashed potatoes from the faux-tisserie chicken video (picture). I made the chicken the day before, and dang is that good- going to be a go to recipe for a while I think. I don't have a chinois, but I do have a food mill with a fine grate; that worked well. Next time, I would reduce the liquid a bit, maybe 25%. The potatoes were very good, but a bit slack in the final result.
    • Brian Lagerstrom's bigggg cinnamon rolls (picture). I doubled the recipe, but something went wrong, maybe my notes were off. I had to add more flour to get a firm enough dough. The bake needed an extra 20 minutes to reach 190 F too. Still totally amaze-balls. Note: I double the cream cheese and reduce the sugar to 100g in the frosting. It's still sweet, but not too sweet and it's so so good.
      • Ok, figured out what went wrong: I didn't weigh my wet ingredient, I used volumetric. This lead to a ~6% error in the amount of liquid, which agrees with my need to add about another ~100 g of flour. Oops.

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