We'll be revisiting the recipes our grading system marked out as our all-time favorites: our cheddar biscuits, the seitan tacos with barbecue sauce, our roasted squash, and the seis leches cake.
Crispy Seitan Bacon can be found at http://recipes.hewus.com/Show_Recipe.pl?ID=553
Our Cheddar Biscuit recipe can be found at http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/mini-cheddar-biscuits-with-homemade-cinnamon-apple-sauce
Flour Tortillas come from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-flour-tortillas/
For the beginning of our Seis Leches cake go to http://www.bravotv.com/foodies/recipes/pan-de-tres-leches-with-candied-cocoa-nib-and-tequila-caramel-sauce, but note we are putting in 4 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tbs vanilla, 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream, 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2, 1 cup condensed milk, 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup coconut milk. Oh, and also we're skipping the candied cocoa nibs. Oh, and where they say the top should be brown, we went for more of an amber color. But apart from that it's just like this recipe!
To kick off the biscuit making, Jim has bought SEVEN KINDS of cheddar cheese!
|So much cheese it can't fit in a single photo!|
This post is being brought to you by Newcastle Werewolf Blood Red Ale, by the way, and a tiny bit by Rocky Top, a cocktail I drank at noon and am still a little buzzed by at 7, because I have no natural tolerance for moonshine apparently.
|Your Humble Blogger|
I feel like as this might possibly the last cooking club night--Alex and Jim are moving to the West Coast soon, which will make future meetings more tricky (the mise en place alone will be a nightmare)--we should be making this post special.
A holiday gift idea for Alex, for those of you looking to cross him off your shopping list: condensed milk is "my favorite thing of all the things."
|He is also accepting gift cards towards getting this tattoo.|
While we talk about cartoonist Allie Brosh's suicide plan of finding a puddle on a cold day and lying down in it until she died of hypothermia (never carried out, thankfully), Alex is cutting up butter for the biscuits. Janet faces the fact that in place of bacon bits and Tony's, we have fake bacon bits and tapotio.
Like the first time, the actual printed out recipe for Seis Leches is actually for Tres Leches, and we have to guesstimate how to reduce and increase the proportions to add the three additional milks (sweetened, condensed and evaporated, for those of you playing along at home). Thin ice, meet our skates!
|The Mighty Six!|
Janet is now frying the tortillas...or, okay, heating the pans for the tortillas to eventually be fried in. It's all good. We have a holding pattern for the oven; biscuits need to go in first, for twenty minutes, before the cake can go in for its 45-50 minutes.
Talking about seitan leads Janet to remember that she used to have a friend who was offended by the satanism inherent in deviled eggs. We research the etymology and learn they've also been called Angel eggs, Russian eggs and dressed eggs. Jim mis-hears this as "breast eggs" and is now not sure HE wants to have any.
|I can see how you'd be suspicious.|
Alex declares that it is time to do a little bit of clean-up. Jim, meanwhile, takes his little paring knife and begins peeling apples for the applesauce that will complement the biscuits.
At this point the cake is ready to go, Deb is taking over the apple peeling process, Janet is still tortilla-ing, Alex is biscuiting and Jim is...um...doing everything else. Alex is concerned he might have worked the dough too much; he apologizes in advance.
|Tortilla Action Shot|
I make a JOKE and ask if we have any condensed milk left that Alex can dip the Chocolate Candy Cane cookies into. (Janet brought them, btw, credit where it's due.) EVERYONE LOOKS AT ME AS IF I JUST CURED CANCER.
Jim is mixing mustard into the sauce for the cabbage coleslaw that'll be part of the tacos. As one does. There's some pondering of whether tofu should be blended into it to mellow the flavor, but that seems over the top. Deb, on the verge of sitting down, is roped into working with the seitan and turning it into "pulled pork", crumbling it to maximize the surface area.
|Yes. To vegetarians this is what pulled pork looks like.|
Alex and Jim have leapt in to help Deb with her "pork pulling". Deb is appalled at the speed they're going; Alex explains that he is just making pieces that are "Jim-sized", which leads to a bit of mockery.
The biscuits come out! They look yummy!
We are creating the water bath for the cake, only it is called a "bain marie" because we are fancy fancypants. Yes.
The seitan is being grilled!
One meal and one mind-blowing episode of Orphan Black (omg such a good show) later:
Biscuits: A! A! A+! A! and "pretty good" from Alex, who thinks the applesauce really makes the biscuit. On the other hand Deb felt like the sauce got in the way of the tasty biscuit, and Janet felt the two tastes weren't really complementary.
Squash: A! A! A! A! and "some parts were a little burnt" from Alex, so B+ from him. This causes Janet to change her grade to a B+...she thinks she wanted it to be crispier.
Tacos: A!A!A!A! and...drumroll please...A from Alex too!
Beaucoup des Leches Cake:
Brian: It's ready at 10:17. Ten. Seven. Teen. Yes, some of us were late getting here tonight, but that's still a cooking club record for how long it took something to be ready. A little bland, too? B
Janet: I'm suffering the Full Deb phenomenon. I'm going to say B. It was good but it wasn't amazing. (...and my tummy feels so bad...)
Deb: I'm going to act on 8 years of self-knowledge and grade mine an A! I'm raising it up a letter grade because I don't want to be a Full Deb grader!
Alex: (while eating his second serving) A-. The texture is custardy and creamy and very nice. I really wanted that tequila caramel sauce to reduce and be thicker. Maybe there should have been something else...sugar? Cinnamon? Vanilla?
Jim: I would give it an A-, because I too wanted the tequila sauce to be more caramel-y.
Jim would say the high point of cooking club, for him, was when he caught the sesame seeds on fire. Cooking club is all about drama, and for him that was the biggest dramatic moment we've faced. Wisdom, my friends, wisdom.
Alex feels that for a him a high point has been the phase where he bought us the artisan breadbook and we proceeded to make almost everything in it, and it was almost delicious. Wait, no, he said ALWAYS delicious. Bit of a slip, there.
Janet's high point was the first cooking club she came to! (Which means it's been nothing but downhill since then. I can see that.)
For Deb the high point was the first time that Jim admitted that a vegan dessert was good! Neither Deb nor Jim remember exactly when this was, but he remembers it was tasty.
Thank you for reading, folks. I hope you eat well.