This seems to be the way to get me to actually post here, doesn’t it! We got whomped with a snowstorm, and in between hiding from my roommates (I, ah, don’t get on with my roommates) and reading, I managed to get into the kitchen long enough to do some baking. Posting here about it seems to be getting me to bake more, and baking more seems to get me to actually post here. Well, that’s a fun productivity feedback loop!
I started with Double-Chocolate Muffins. I think my turbinado sugar got left at my partner’s house, so I used what was left in the bag here and then some brown sugar, and I used semisweet chocolate chips instead of brown sugar. They came out pretty nice– they’re dense and chocolatey and tasty, especially right from the oven when the chocolate chips are still melty. It’s a pretty simple recipe to make, but muffins are supposed to be. You mix dry ingredients, you mix wet ingredients, you combine. And then you add extra liquid because you’re using an egg substitute. They didn’t poof like I picture muffins doing, but that may have been the lack of egg.
My coworkers thought they were great.
I now have a general curiosity about whether homemade muffins as a whole don’t poof. Is this because I’m using an egg substitute? Is this just a particularly dense recipe? Or is the poof with cap we usually associate with muffins a product of food additives?
I guess I’ll have to make more muffins to find out. How terrible for us all. (But seriously, there’s a whole bunch more muffin recipes in this book, all of which I will eventually get around to making.)
Next up was Chicken Pot Pie Cobbler. I’m not sure whether to count this for “Chicken Pot Pie” or “Chicken Cobbler with Corn and Chiles”. It’s listed as a variation under the cobbler, but it’s essentially a combination of both recipes: you make the filling from the Chicken Pot Pie and then you follow the cobbler recipe the rest of the way. I’ll probably count it for cobbler, since that was the broad technique and there are other interesting-looking variations under the chicken pot pie where there aren’t under the cobbler.
Anyway, the point of this project is to level up my baking skill, and that I am succeeding in. I cut up actual raw meat, y’all! (I know, that doesn’t seem like it’s a high-level skill, but I have wicked OCD.) This was easier than rolling out pie crust would have been, and it’s pretty tasty. It’s another one where I followed the recipe only in the general sense, since I can’t have carrots or onions. So I did it with broccoli, eggplant, and potatoes. Also I didn’t have thyme so I used herbs de Provence. (And really, Mark Bittman, who has fresh herbs lying around all the time? Who has the money to be constantly buying fresh herbs when no one ever uses one of those whole packages before they go bad? Why don’t all these recipes say “or X amount of dried herb,” since potency varies between fresh and dried? Not that I’m going to stick to the amount of seasoning the recipe says anyway, but still! Anyway, where were we?)
You cook all of the above in chicken broth on the stove and then once it’s cooked down you put in a casserole dish, put the biscuits on top, and bake. It came out a little thinner than I like my chicken glop, closer to a very thick soup with biscuits on top. I might put more flour in next time, or cook it down more on the stove. It thickened right up in the fridge overnight, though, and when reheated it was just about the right consistency. My day started with shoveling out my car, which I got clear right when I had to leave for work, so post-shoveling lunch was jerky and chocolate muffins eaten in the car. After work and then the trip home, it was lovely to come home to Real Food which could just be reheated with no actual effort involved.
Incidentally, I told my mother about all this baking– though not about the blog– and she asked if I had considered writing a cookbook. I pointed out that I bake by adding things until it looks right; I often end with no idea of the precise amount of half the ingredients. Also, I’m ostensibly doing all this from a cookbook.