This year I asked for, and thus received, a fair amount of cooking related paraphernalia for Christmas. I've already used two of these gifts.
The Le Creuset Dutch Oven (which I may occasionally refer to as 'my precious') was put to work to make this Almost No-Knead Bread recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I've wanted to make this forever, but even after I got the dutch oven I had to wait for a good time with 8 hours to rise.
Whenever I wait to do something though, I tend to end up doing it on impulse when I can't stand to wait any longer. So, on a Friday night at 11pm I sent the boy for a quick trip to the local store for the instant yeast I thought I'd had, and then threw the dough together in about five minutes. It was supposed to be left standing at room temperature, but since it's chilly here I put it in our oven where it was kept a little warmer by the pilot light.
Saturday friends came over and I pulled this baby out for it's almost-no-kneading and second rising, and then popped it in the oven. It cooked faster than expected, and burned on the bottom, but it was still absolutely delicious. I'm going to invest a few $ in an oven thermometer, because I suspect my oven sometimes runs a bit hot. Next time I make this (which will definitely be soon) I'm going to do the Rosemary-Parmesan version.
My younger brother gave me "Let's Cook Japanese Food!" by Amy Kaneko, and I've already tried out two recipes, including the shrimp seen in my previous blog. Those were delicious.
So was this, "Mapo Nasu", spicy pork with eggplant. I've made "Mapo Tofu" using another recipe, the main difference (besides tofu vs. eggplant) was this one had no miso added. I missed that flavor, so next time I will try adding it to this recipe.
I was pleased with how the eggplant came out, since they have given me trouble before, though one of them was a little tough. I think I'm going to blame that individual eggplant since the rest were quite yummy.
I've still got a few Christmas gifts to experiment with, some money at amazon that might go towards cooking gadgets, and I think I need to work on my camera skills...