Maybe it was the hamburgers, maybe it was the rumored possibility of contraband Heinz Ketchup at lunch, and maybe it was just this week's group in Kitchen 3, but this Monday morning, everyone was in fine form. I set out to make onion and thyme beef burgers (which were topped with ginger mushrooms), thick wedge fries, and glazed carrots with cumin seeds. Inspired by this weekend, I also got started on dough for croissants (its similar to making puff pastry, only you add yeast and milk in addition to the truckload of butter).
Pretty much everything went just fine, with no major mishaps to report. Come lunchtime, someone did indeed manage to smuggle in some good ol' Heinz. Not organic, not homemade, totally delicious.
For our afternoon demonstration, Rory walked us through two grilled squid dishes, madras curry with different accompaniments (including mint and apple chutney, tamarind and banana chutney, raita, and hot chilli sauce), three different Indian breads (naan, poori, and chapatis), pears poached in saffron syrup, stuffed prunes with rosewater cream, and various filo pastry desserts.
You'll be shocked to hear that we DO NOT make our own filo pastry! After recipes for things like homemade vanilla extract, homemade yogurt, and homemade vinegar, I was half expecting Rory to start rolling out paper thin sheets of filo as well! But, no, he opened the store bought box, just like the rest of us!
- When serving curry, include some type of fruit as an optional additive, such as chopped mango, sliced banana, diced apple, grapes, etc.
- Turmeric is said to combat arthritis
- You can buy filo pastry fresh or frozen. Try not to handle it much, and get it into your freezer as quickly as possible once home from the grocery store. Don't bash it around in your freezer, or else it will crack.
- When using filo pastry, take out one sheet to work with and keep the rest covered with a damp tea towel.
- The smaller the squid, generally the more tender the meat. Today, we worked with a rather large squid ("So, if this were a quarter of the size, I'd be four times happier" -Rory).
- With squid, you either want to cook it really quickly or really slowly. Anywhere in between and it will be quite tough.
- Squid ink (that's right!) can be used in pasta, sauces, risottos, etc.
- Again, when working with a braised meat dish (like curries, stews, etc), since it is cooked in liquid, any fat left on the meat going into the oven will still be there when you take it out. Keep this in mind when trimming your meat!
- Curry doesn't have to be piping hot when served. You can allow it to cool slightly, and the flavors get more interesting.
- Used in one of the chutneys we made today, tamarind is a fruit from a tree native of South America. The fruit's paste is astringent and refreshing.
various accompaniments to go with curry