2010 - Week 12 Cooking Results

Bison Dogs

These were pretty good. Not outstanding, but certainly better then joe-cheap hot dogs. We ended up having them twice, because one night, Shannon had her hair appointment, which led for either a early dinner or a very late one. I wouldn't be opposed to trying other varieties with differing spice mixtures.

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill (p77 Bon Appétit March 2010)

This was very good. I really liked the taste of the dill in it. It made very a very fresh and cheesy combination.

Spice-Rubbed Steak with White Beans and Cherry Tomatoes (p48 Bon Appétit March 2010)

The steak here, with the spice rub, was absolutely fantastic. It cooked up well, though I altered the time a bit, since it was a bit thinner then the recipe asked for. The combination made for a hearty dinner. The next day I ended up having some of the the leftover steak on a sandwich with some Colman's Mustard...oh it was fantastic.

Chicken Parmesan Burgers (p48 Bon Appétit March 2010)

While these were not picture perfect and a bit messy, it was quite tasty. Certainly an nice change on a common formula. It was nice. I served them with some fries.

Pork and Poblano Tamale Pie (p76 Bon Appétit March 2010)

If I would have fully read this recipe, I would've realized that it was going to take 3 hours to make, but because I didn't, so we ended up eating on Friday at around 9 or a bit late. It made for a good dinner once it was done, but being as late as it was... Over all it was quite good and I used some of the roasted peppers that I had bought at the farmer's market and frozen.

Because I had pretty much not eaten all day (had some coffee and toffee samples), I wasn't ever hungry, when I sat down and had a beer while the pie was finishing cooking, it hit my like a brick. Being my first taste of Madhouse Brewery's wheat beer, which I described on my twitter as "Tiny bubbles, smooth, wheaty and fruity notes." Madhouse Brewery is a related company to Jasper Winery (producer of my favorite Iowa Wine, Chancellor) (both run by Mason Groben) and my favorite restaurant in the metro, Proof (run by Carly Groben).

Dark Salty Caramels

There were a couple of problems with this recipe, at least that I had. The thermometer had at setting for caramel at 320°F and the recipe stated "When the temperature approaches 350 degrees F". Which is not very specific. I got to 342°F and decided that was quite enough, because I started to smell a little bit of that awful burnt sugar smell. The other problem I had, was that it called to pour out the hot mixture on to wax paper. The caramel, once cooled, clearly had developed a special bond with the wax paper. So when I was cutting up the caramel, I had to cut it out of the wax paper, so I ended up having to basically toss about 1/3rd of the caramel because of that. Just a bit frustrating.

The caramels went over very well at game night. They were rich, sweet, bitter and salty, so it made for a wonderful combination.

I also felt like making something else, so Saturday before the party, I ended up making Chewy Brownies (p23 March and April 2010 Cook's Illustrated). I think the addition of the instant instant espresso powder (just a tiny bit) actually added something quite special to the taste. While they use a similar method to Nuclear Brownies to make them, they use less chocolate and more flower, so it creates more of a crispy crumbly top with the chewy gooey inside, as opposed to my normal ones, which has a firm pan crust and is melty gooey on the inside. Very nice though. These were also very good and went over well, though there was a debate over which type was better. I suppose it would be nice to have a side by side comparison, but that would be a silly amount of chocolate.