Saturday, February 28, 2015

This and That

Delicious Failure
Here are some things that happened this week. Lessons were learned without too much sadness, victories were victorious, and I found a new favorite mayo.

First off, I'd wanted to try making French-style onion soup using red onions. After being frustrated by the onions lack of caramelization I did some too-late Googling. It turns out that something as simple as adding salt to draw out the excess moisture in red onions which slows down browning, cranking up the heat a bit to cook off that excess moisture more quickly, and deglazing with sherry to slow things down and keep things from burning, would have helped both the caramelization and the Maillard reaction along. I suppose that the big problem was that I went in blind. Next time I choose to monkey with something I'll remember to do my research first. I've found that it's best to learn from the mistakes of others, but I need to remember to do it.

My next problem was that I couldn't remember how oven-safe my Emile Henry soup bowls could take, so I didn't want to risk breaking them to achieve the crusty Gruyére that helps make this soup so great. I could have used Pyrex, but that wouldn't be very pretty, would it? Again, research ahead of time.

The result was still good, but it's going to be even better next time. Note to self: Slice the onions on the mandolin, head-of-knuckle. Lessons learned.

My slow cooker-braised Flannery Beef short ribs with cheesy garlic mashed potatoes and roasted delicata squash, however, turned out great.

My new bestie
I know. I should make my own mayo, and once I start I'll probably do just that but I still have a freezer full of garden peppers to hot sauce so time is a thing. I usually find that Trader Joe's organic mayo works for me, but recently at Hanson's I ran across this mayo made with sunflower oil and I was curious. It's mayonnaise, but with more zowee.

Unlike most mayonnaise, Sir Kensington's is rich in flavor. It's something I'll use in some things but it's too much for some uses where a more subtle flavor would best serve. Last night, however, I mixed it with some honey mustard to make a sauce for breaded fish and cabbage tacos. Zowee, indeed.

Lastly, on a recent visit to Palm Springs (and Sherman's, duh), I learned that if a hummingbird is hovering right in your face they are likely a mother trying to distract you from their nest of cute little eggs.

No, I certainly did not make a "hover omelette".

TTFN, Chowbaccans.