Ok I am going to be the first to admit that this particular recipe didn’t exactly come out the way I had originally hoped or intended. It was good, don’t get me wrong, and creamy… but it was almost too cheesy and not creamy or milky enough… which was probably my own fault since I didn’t really use much in terms of milk and had too much cheese.
Ah well… you live and learn… right?
So first here are a couple of more legitimate recipes that I used as inspiration… because obviously I used neither of them!
First there is the recipe from Food.com’s Tiramisu Ice Cream Recipe…. and then there is FoodandWine.com’s Once-a-Year Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe.
Why did I decide to combine two recipes? Well because I had the following ingredients that I wanted to get rid of:
Another attempt on the savory menu during the Bake-a-thon was Artichoke Soup (though technically ours would be better described as Spinach-Artichoke Soup but who is really paying attention here?
Anyway… from the website Examiner.com we have:
6 cups chicken stock
12 articoke hearts, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
6 Tbs. yellow cornmeal
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. cilantro
1: In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the chicken stock, artichoke hearts, onion and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
2: In a medium bowl whisk together the milk and yellow cornmeal. Whisk this mixture into the soup until it is smooth.
3: Add the remaining ingredients into the soup and cook 5 minutes before serving.
Another recipe my friend and I worked on during the Bake-a-Thon was Cheese Bread… or more precisely: Brazilian Cheese Bread (aka Pão de Queijo). So how is this any different from a popover? Well in general:
- Popover is a light, hollow roll made from an egg batter typically baked in muffin tins
- Bread is prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients, such as butter or salt to improve the taste.
After sifting through plenty of recipes I settled on one that I found via AllRecipes.com.
Since there was no tapioca flour on hand traditional flour was used instead… what happened in the end was that our version of the about (though tasted fantastic) didn’t look like the picture. Hmm… How did ours look? Well from my friend’s Facebook Wall…
One of the recipes that me and a friend of mine tried during the Bake-a-Thon in late January was the Cheddar Cheese Popovers. I found several recipes on the internet but the one I ultimately decided to try was from Food.com
From the original recipe below…
I naturally made changes… like what? Well…
Yesterday I talked a little bit about the inspiration towards what I chose to be the dish brought to the Oscar party that was thrown by friends. Just to keep things simple I actually found a rather common recipe used to make Rau Cau that uses generally the same ingredients that my mother and I used for our version. As always I will start with what I found online that you guys might like and then I’ll talk about how the one I made differs.
Now below is the recipe used by the Ravenous Couple:
Below are the directions provided:
Have multiple, ideally 3, small saucepans ready. Split the agar packet into thirds for each layer. The amount of condensed milk/sugar is really up to you as some people like this mildly sweet and some really sweet, so adjust according to your tastes.
For the coffee layer, heat about 1.5 cup of water in small pot, add about 1/3 of the agar packet, stir constantly until the agar dissolves. Add 2 tbs of instant coffee, add about 2 tbs of condensed milk or 2 tbs of sugar and a drop of vanilla extract. Taste, adjust condense milk/sugar to your taste and bring to boil. Carefully pour this into your mold. This will slowly set so in the meantime, start the next layer.
For the coconut layer, heat about 1 cup of water and can of coconut milk. Add 1/3 of agar packet and stir constantly. Add about 2 tbs of condensed milk or sugar and then adjust to taste and bring to boil. Before adding to the bottom coffee layer, check to make sure it is not fully set…test with your finger–it should not perforate through but spring back but still slightly sticky. You don’t want it too soft or else the coconut will just mix with the coffee. Conversely, you do not want it to completely harden or else the layers will slide apart when cut. Carefully ladle on the coconut layer to the slightly hardened, but sticky coffee layer.
Finally, for the pandan layer, heat about 1.5 cup of water, the rest of the agar packet, 1 tbs of pandan extract (if using pandan leaves, tie in bundle with twine and remove at last minute), 2 tbs of condensed milk or sugar, and a drop of vanilla extract and 2 drops of green food color. Stir constantly and adjust to taste and bring to boil. Now you’re ready to add the final layer. Again, before adding this layer, check to make sure the coconut layer is slightly hard and still sticky to the touch and then carefully ladle this on.
Let the jelly cool at room temperature or refrigerate to quicken the process (around 10 min-the thinner and larger surface area, the quicker it will set) and enjoy!
For the most part the above is rather close to what we have done… so how did we change it up?
This was a recipe that my friend wanted bake for kids and as thus was primary chef while I just helped out… kind of. Snickers Brownies, which automatically sounds heavenly and doesn’t really need much worry as to how it came out.
Since she tends to follow the recipe to the tee… here is the recipe that (I believe) she used from My Baking Addiction:
Every year within a month before the new Lunar New Year, I make a point of taking a weekend off from everyone else I know on the planet to be with my mom to make Banh Chung… a rice cake that we only make for the Lunar New Year… not only that, but we make a massive number of them (anywhere from sixteen to twenty cakes total… but usually eighteen cakes) and we give some to my maternal grandparents… I take a cake or two back with me and she takes the rest.
- approximately 10 pounds of glutinous (or sweet rice)
- approximately 6 pounds of mungbeans
- approximately 6 pounds of pork loins (the more lean the better I always say)
- cleaned banana leaves
- olive oil (if using lean pork)
(creates 18 rice cakes)
Variation: If you are vegetarian then subtract pork and mix mungbeans with sugar. It is tastier with light brown sugar.
Since we make a massive batch… we went with an eight pound hulk of pork loins from Costco (we ended up using up to seven pounds of it though). If you don’t want to go all out with so many rice cakes for yourself the below are approximations of the above for just one rice cake:
- 2/3 pound (though according to the above it is closer to 1/2 + 1/9) of glutinous (or sweet) rice
- 1/3 pound of mungbeans
- 1/3 pound of pork loins
PREPARATION for MUNGBEANS
1: Soak the mungbeans in water overnight
1: Rinse the mungbeans and toss a little salt
2: Put mungbeans into the steamer until it is just cooked through (how to test: take a small portion in hand and smash, if you have to put pressure then it is good, if falls apart easily then it is bad)
3: Ground mungbeans when completely cooled down
PREPARATION for EVERYTHING ELSE
As with all Vietnamese cooking I don’t really have set directions, so here is what I know:
1: Cut the pork in 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick slices. Marinate with salt, pepper, and chopped shallots. Add olive oil if using lean pork. Set aside
2: Clean the banana leaves and wipe reasonably dry
3: Rinse the glutinous rice, drain, toss with a little salt… set aside
Now here comes the fun part… you will need four sheets of aluminum foil approximately 12 inches by 12 inches square and then fold in accordance to the video below: