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    Entries in might be dangerous (20)

    Thursday
    May142015

    Mayhem: Now math-free!

    NO. MORE. MATH.

    Well, at least, no more calculus. Well, no more calculus that I have to do by hand with no reference material, and sometimes not even a calculator. From now on, it’s just the everyday calculus we all do in our heads without even realizing it. No, really, you do! Every time you…

    For fuck’s sake.

    NO.

    MORE.

    MATH.

    What there will be more of though is every starving student’s favourite meal (and the only reason we join clubs that meet after class around dinner time):

    PIZZA!

    But, of course, since this is Mayhem, we’re not doing the usual. Well, not yet. We just have to start off weird here because, well, that’s what we are.

    Biscuits and Gravy, Pizza Style

    Yup, I’m serious. Biscuits and gravy in a pizza.

    I had no plans to do this wacky (and omfg tasty) mashup, but then I saw Taneasha’s first post and dude, it was on. It was mother fucking on. (ha! I made it 160 words before a fuck. Go me!)

    The crust is basically just half a biscuit recipe, with only 1 tsp of baking powder.

    The Crust

    • 1 c flour
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tbsp butter, cold
    • 6 tbsp milk (give or take)

    Stir the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.

    Cut the butter into the flour (otherwise known as ‘mash it in with a fork’) until there are no more big chunks.

    Gradually add the milk one tablespoon at a time, stirring as you go, until the crumbly mass starts to come together into something dough-like. If you need more than 6, keep going, but if 6 is too much, you can make it less sticky by adding a tablespoon of flour.

    Dump it out onto the counter and press it into a ball, disc, thing.

    Roll that out into an amoebic shape that is nothing at all like Taneasha’s fucking perfect, round circle of crust. Holy shit woman.

    Poke it a bunch of times with a fork – really, it’s only fun for the first few times, but you’ll manage – then … dammit, oven’s not hot. Preheat the oven now while you cook the sausage. Totally planned it that way.

    Sausage Gravy

    • 2 big sausages, of whatever kind you like (mine are Andouille, made in store, and a bit spicy, but whatever kind you want or have will work)
    • 1 tbsp bacon fat
    • 2 tbsp flour
    • Salt and pepper
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • 1.5 to 2 cups milk
    • Fresh thyme leaves

    Remove the sausage from the casings, crumble it, and fry it up over medium heat until it’s got yummy crispy little golden bits in it. I recommend doing this in a pan that is not non-stick. You want the stuff that’s stuck to the pan. It’s tasty, and it will come up off the bottom after a couple more steps.

    Your oven should be hot by now, so pop in the biscuit crust and bake it at 425 F for exactly 4 minutes. Hey man, she did it first.

    Once it’s done, take it out and let it hang out for a bit while you finish the gravy. Also, turn up the heat on the oven as high as it will go: mine went up to 525 F.

    Remove the sausage from the pan, leaving as many of the drippings behind as possible. Reduce the heat to medium low, and since sausage never leaves enough drippings, add the bacon fat. Once it’s melted, stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk this around in the pan for a minute or so.

    With a whisk in one hand and the milk in the other, slowly pour milk into the pan while you’re whisking. The brown bits from the bottom of the pan will be whisked in, and the gravy will immediately thicken. Just keep stirring. And keep slowly adding milk until you have a very thick gravy, almost custard or pudding consistency; this should take about 1 cup.  And then add the thyme leaves.

    Blob a few tablespoons of gravy onto the crust, spread them around, all the way out to the edges. You should still have lots of gravy left in the pan. This is a good thing.

    Toppings

    • Crumbled sausage
    • Crumbled bacon
    • 1 to 1 ½ cups shredded cheese: cheddar or a cheddar – jack mixture
    • Green onion
    • Thyme leaves

    Spread your sausage and bacon on top of the gravied crust, then top with cheese.

    You can put the green onions and thyme on now if you’d like, but I left mine off so I’d have a bit of sharp fresh flavour on top of the creamy cheesey sausagey biscuitness.

    Bake in the hottest oven possible until the cheese is melty and bubbly, and the edge of the crust is golden.

    While it’s baking, pour the rest of the sausage into the gravy and gradually add the rest of the milk until you have a nice gravy consistency. This gravy, you can use for dipping your pizza into, or for spreading on top of the pizza.

    Once it’s out, decorate it with the onion and thyme (if you haven’t already) and serve with gravy!

    Holy crap.

    Why didn’t I think of this sooner??

    Oh, right. FUCKING MATH.

     

    Tuesday
    Jun112013

    Sweet Madeleine

    A different kind of cookie.

    Very soft and cake-like. Cakies!

    These are one of those fancy seeming french food things that people are scared to try making. But there's no reason to be afraid of these plain little things.

    And they are quite plain. I have no idea how they got their reputation. Gossip is a crazy thing. Someone somewhere probably heard something out of context and misinterpreted the statement and then of course went running off to tell everyone they know. Who all of course did the same thing.

    I once made a joke about gossip that turned into a rumour: some editor had left a publisher and I commented about the gossip flying and jokingly made a ridiculous speculation; a few hours later someone started a thread on the forum where I'd made the joke about the editor going off to do the very thing I'd joked about. She's see my speculation repeated on some other forum, but not as a joke! I think it even made it to a blog or two.

    I laughed my ass off. I'm still proud of that one.

    Also proud that I managed to make nearly 7 dozen madeleines in about 2 hours. And that includes dishes.

    Madeleines

    **these are the quantities for about 2 dozen**

    **I tripled the recipe!!**

    • 2 eggs
    • 2/3 c sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 c flour
    • 1/2 c butter

    There is absolutely nothing fancy or difficult about this ingredient list.

    You also don't need fancy tools or mixers or anything to make them.

    First thing you should do is melt the butter.

    Next, sift the flour.

    I'm usually not an advocate of the sifting step, but in this case, I think it's a good idea. Old school baking recipes were done by mass (weight) not by volume, and when you sift the flour, you lighten it. A cup of packed flour weights a lot more than a cup of sifted.

    There, that's the toughest part of this recipe. Sifting flour. OMG AN EXTRA STEP!!!

    I sifted mine into a bowl and let it hang out there until I needed it.

    Measure a tablespoon or so of butter out of the half cup that you melted, and add it to a bit of flour in a small bowl.

    Rather than butter and flour your pans, you're going to use this mixture to flour-butter them. I am loving this idea. I covered the leftovers and put them in the fridge; I'll let you know how it works out on the next cake I bake!

    Crack the eggs into a big bowl, add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. You don't even have to beat them. No whisking. Just stir. So unfancy.

    Once the eggs and sugar have been stirred to a bright yellow, add the lemon zest and vanilla.

    You can leave the zest out, or replace it with orange, if you'd prefer. I'm contemplating replacing it with lavender flowers.

    Spoon the sifted flour into the measuring cup, and level the top. Trust me, this way, it will weigh a lot less than if you'd just spooned it from the bag.

    Again, a plain old stir is all you need to do to get the flour mixed into the batter.

    Pour the remaining butter around the edges of the bowl and once again, stir it in.

    You should end up with a sticky feeling batter that makes a wide ribbon when you lift the spoon from the bowl.

    When you let the batter rest for a minute, it will thicken, but as you stir it, it will start to feel thinner.

    So, we've used all the same basic ingredients that are in pretty much every other cookie, but we've put them together in a very different way. That's what appealed to me about this recipe. Cream-butter-and-sugar-add-eggs-and-vanilla can get a bit mindlessly repetitive when you bake cookies almost every weekend.

    Plus, the pans. I'm not fond of single use implements, and the shape is a very distinctive part of madeleines. I borrowed these ones from a coworker, but I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a set of my own. These things are way too easy, fun, and tasty to never make again.

    Rub the flour-butter mixture into the molds while the oven preheats to 375. A little hotter than usual.

    Drop a tablespoon or so of batter into each spot. Underfilling these things is better than overfilling them.

    If your molds are completely full, bake them for 15 minutes. If partially like these ones, only 12 or 13 minutes is enough.

    The edges will be crispy, the shell side golden, and the strange bump that forms on the top (which is apparently some kind of madeleine requirement) will be soft and buttery.

    And then you dust them with powdered sugar.

    I don't seem to have a light enough touch to "dust" anything.

    They are tasty without the sugar too!

    I can't help but wonder if the first ones were baked in the shells they resemble.