Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Culinary Missions

I'm undertaking a number of culinary missions over the next week, and I'm hoping I'm up to the task!

Mission #1: Crazy Mac and Cheese
I really should stop asking my husband what he wants for supper. The answer is always either "Baked Mac and Cheese" or "Pizza". If you remember, a month or two (or three) ago I posted a recipe for some pretty decent Mac and Cheese that I had whipped up. The secret was in the sour cream for some bite and the panko for a really good crust. Well, Matt apparently thought it was pretty great because I've had to make it a few times since just to appease him. Apparently he still had not satisfied his Mac and Cheese cravings because when we were out for dinner last month he ordered a Blue Cheese and Lobster Mac and Cheese. Truth be told, it was a totally basic Mac and Cheese (velveeta-ish), just with chunks of lobster in it and blue cheese on top. I wasn't thrilled, but I was inspired. So tonight when I asked my dearest-darling what he wanted for supper tomorrow ("Taco Pie, Oven Fried Chicken or Mac and Cheese), and he answered the way he always answers, I secretly started scheming to make him the most kick-butt bowl of gourmet Mac he's ever had. I have a bit of crab in my freezer (because who doesn't keep crab in their freezer? It's somewhere buried behind the elk heart, the homemade chorizo and the duck) that I'm going to toss with clarified butter before I mix it in, and then I'm going to put in a layer of a goat cheese-parmesan cream sauce under the panko crusting and top it off with grilled asparagus. This will by no means be a healthy entree, but it will be a good one! Hopefully Matt agrees!

Mission #2: Whole Wheat Baking
I can't remember how much I already said about this, but I'm going to be doing some recipe development for a friend. I'm very excited about this particular mission since it will be my first real-world assignment that I'll get real credit for (I've developed recipes before, but I didn't even get to retain rights to them after I finished them for the cafe I was working at). And no, developing recipes and posting them on my blog (that has a whopping 4 followers) does not count as a real-world application. Anyway, the product I'll be playing Iron Chef with is Stone Ground Whole Wheat, but to be honest, I don't use whole wheat exclusively in, well, anything. Ergo, a week of whole wheat baking is ahead of me! This won't be so much to develop actual recipes - that will wait until I have access to the actual product - but moreso it will be so that I can get used to the flavors and minutiae of whole wheat baking. Hopefully this will make my recipe developing go more smoothly (I've only got 3 shots - max! - per recipe, so I'd better be ready for it!)

Mission #3: Cake Mix
This one may not even be relevant, I'm not sure, but my darling cousin and I had briefly discussed producing cake mixes that would make her cake-making business easier. I was planning to break down some really great recipes into a dry mix that would require the standard egg/oil/water additions and nothing more. Furthermore, I had hoped to do that with cake flavors ranging from Red Velvet to Aztec Chili Chocolate and Chai Spice Cake. I think I had best start with a basic white cake to make sure that I've got all of the measurements and ingredients right (granulated sugar vs. powdered sugar, cake flour vs. all-purpose flour + xanthan gum, etc) and then branch out, but I have a feeling that my poor family is going to be eating a lot of cake!

I'll keep you posted on my triumphs (and any epic failures I may have) so you can learn (or laugh) with me (or at me)!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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