Sunday, September 28, 2008

Epic Cooking continues

Cirque de cuisine continued today.

TheRoommate had some apples that were starting to go soft on him. I think a soft, yet tasty, apple is still great when baked in a pie.

It's been about a year since my last pie endeavor. No surprise then that I screwed up the first batch of pie crust. The flour was far drier than expected, and I overworked the dough trying to get enough moisture in. I generally season both crusts and pie fillings, so in addition to the small amount of sugar that I put into dessert crust, I also added lemon zest and a dash or two of nutmeg. Equal measures of allspice, nutmeg and cardamom went in to the apples along with a touch of sugar, a spritz of lemon and dots of butter. I often prefer allspice to cloves; they have a similar flavor, but it's less assertive. It's always a coin toss on whether to use cinnamon. It is so commonly used in desserts, but it's such a great spice. Thankfully cardamom provides a delightful alternative.

Today's pastry recipe was sponsored by Jacque & Julia cooking at home. Finally! A pie dough recipe that doesn't make way too much. I had just enough for a bottom crust and a lattice top.

Since I was already making dough, it made sense to make a half batch of savory pastry fortified with poultry-seasoning. I've been hankering for truly homemade chicken or turkey pot pie ...

While the pie was baking I peeked into the fridge to see what I could use up. There was some corn and black beans lurking from my last taco salad, so I decided to make some more red onion, corn & black bean salsa. Alas, the beans had fermented and I had to pitch the entire batch.

A couple of pork sirloin roasts have been waiting their turn. Rather than trying to stuff and patiently wait for a roast, I sliced one into medallions. The round slices were roughly 3/4 of an inch thick. I dredged them in the beaten egg left over from the pie crust and then breaded them in panko breadcrumbs spiked with salt and pepper and a mixture of celery seed, thyme, and oregano. I panfried these using a small amount of corn oil. The result was a surprisingly light dish somewhat like a cross between wiener schnitzel and chicken fried steak.

The sun hasn't set yet, and I still feel like making a few more things. What those might be I'm not yet sure, although it may involve cherry tomatoes and yellow squash.

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