Friday, October 23, 2009

to while the cold winter away

although we should really be outside enjoying beautiful fall weather and golden leaves out in the coulees, we're - well, not. The weather has vacillated between snow and freezing rain with the occasional chinook to break things up, and the onset of cold and flu season has struck earlier and harder than usual, with burgeoning fears of H1N1.

Saturday morning is usually judo practice, but only one out of the three of us felt really up to it, so the other two of us picked up wonton skins with the idea of making chicken soup - wonton chicken soup, that is.
won ton, 290/365

we ground up chicken thighs, added chopped carrot and onion, and seasoned it with black pepper, salt, soy sauce, and some ground ginger. Next time I think we will add green onions and water chestnuts. I was pretty happy with these, considering that I haven't made them since I lived at home with my parents. Dropped into homemade turkey broth from the freezer and simmered till tender, they were fabulous, and I'm sure, very therapeutic.

chicken wonton filling

I hate deep frying things because I can never get the oil the right temperature and I inevitably burn things. Plus the house smells like McDonalds for a few days. Ecch. Yet I felt compelled to try it anyway, just this once, because hey, wontons.

They were not a succcess. The skins burned, and the filling did not quite cook through, necessitating putting them in the microwave, which of course toughened the skins. Ugh.
In the same batch, threw in some samosas made with a curried beef filling. However, the samosa pastry I bought at the local ethnic food store kept falling apart - probably freezer burned and a bit brittle. No matter how much I tried to soften it with a damp paper towel, etc. it cracked even when gently rolled.

burnt offerings

so I made some empanada dough to enclose it instead.

filling the sampenadas

We baked most of them, but for the sake of experimentation, tried frying a few.
The filling turned out better than usual - I think because of the addition of toasted cumin seeds.


Almond toffee bars. Stasha made these. I'd forgetten how good roasted almonds are, and that's just what happens to these almonds here, after baking in the oven surrounded by butter and sugar...
They are horribly addictive. She has been ordered to never ever make them again, except maybe at Christmas.
Almond toffee chocolate bars

I was inspired by mikomiao's picture and post at Flickr to roast eggplants and make baba ganoush, using Pioneer Woman's graphic and very funny recipe. It would have been a lot better if I'd realized that the 4 garlic cloves the recipe called for was meant for three eggplants, not the two I actually used. Whoops.

blast o' baba, 293/365

It is still worth another try, either with more eggplant and less garlic, and maybe a less heavy hand with the tahini. But overall, a good food weekend.

Next up? Maybe some Vietnamese style salad rolls? another stab at the baba? I did enjoy scooping out their brain-like innards. And, I have a butternut squash just sitting on my kitchen island waiting for something interesting to happen. Hmmm.

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