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Brewer Burns

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Turkey Noodle Soup 1/8/05

Okay, so today I made turkey noodle soup with homemade turkey stock and homemade herb noodles. I used the stock that I made from the New Year's Day turkey. I made the noodles from scratch too. After consulting several cookbooks and finding that each of them had the exact same recipe, I made the noodles using two cups of all purpose flour, two large eggs, a 1/4 c. of water, and a tablespoon of canola oil, and a handful (maybe half a cup) of chopped fresh chives. I added these to the turkey stock in addition to two small carrots, chopped, one bell pepper, chopped, one celery stock, chopped and two scallions, chopped. I cooked the vegetables until just tender and the noodles until they were al dente and then added them to the stock. It was really tasty. I had diluted the turkey stock with 3/4 c. of water so the soup was just the right amount of salty. The noodles were chewy and delicious. I managed to roll them out to just the right thickness (1/16 of an inch) which was still pretty thick for a noodle. It was just really, really good. I've been inspired. I'm going to make homemade pasta much more often, and next time I'm going to use at least part wheat four, because then it will be even more chewy. I really enjoyed the chewiness of the noodles.

Cold Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce 1/7/05

So it's Friday night and I wanted to make something from my the January issue of Bon Appetit. I decided to make the Cold Sesame Noodles 66 with Peanut Sauce. This recipe was a lot of fun to make and it was really interesting. First you bring soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and rice wine (mirin) to boil in a pan. Then you add a cinnamon stick, jalapeno and coriander seeds and remove the pan from heat. You let that mixture steep for 45 minutes. Then you make the peanut sauce. To do so, you add crushed garlic, crushed ginger and sugar to pan and heat over medium heat for about three minutes, until the mixture carmelizes. You remove that from the pan and let it cool. Once cool, you add it to the food processor with peanuts, olive oil and a jalapeno. Once you've done that you then make a pasta salad using mung bean noodles, apples, cucumbers, the peanut sauce and the soy sauce sauce. It was so good I almost cried. It was sweet and salty and soy sauce-y all at the same time. It was really good. Amazing.

Thai Bamboo 1/4/05

It's time to explain a little about me. I'm female, 25 and I live in Spokane, Washington. Spokane is located on the far eastern border of Washington, just a few miles from the Idaho border. Unlike Seattle, Spokane is very dry and very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. It's the kind of town that looks like there's not much going on, until you look beneath the surface. Or more appropriately for this blog, go into restaurants that look like dives, just to discover that they're really fabulous once you get in there. I've lived in Spokane for four and a half years now and it wasn't until last summer that my husband and I discovered Thai Bamboo. Thai Bamboo is located on North Division street, the main north-south thoroughfare through the city, just north of the mall. From the outside it doesn't look like much but once inside we found that the staff is quick and curteous, with few exceptions, and the atmosphere is nice with little live bamboo plants on each table and other little knick knacks like buddhas and elephants. And the food is delicious.

Stephen and I were sick on tuesday so we decided to order takeout from Thai Bamboo. Stephen ordered the Mongolian Beef, I had the Drunken Noodles and we had the "Butterfly" appetizer. An order of steamed jasmine rice rounded off the order. The Mongolian Beef was delicious. It is prepared with a chili sauce and is glazed with some sort of sweet sauce. It is sweet, crunchy and perfect. The Drunken Noodles were very good also. The noodles were wide and perfectly done, then tossed with a chili sauce also. Very, very good. The "Butterfly" was also good. It consists of a deep fried wonton filled with crab meat and cream cheese and served with sweet and sour sauce. They were incredible, if a tad cold by the time we got them home. All very, very good. If you're ever in Spokane definitely check it out.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The One and Only Fabulous Turkey Day Three: 1/3/05

Today is day three of turkey leftovers. Normally I don't like having leftover turkey for more than a day or two but this turkey was so good I'm going to be sad to see it go. Stephen and I had classic turkey leftovers today for lunch: the turkey sandwich. We put slices of turkey on wheat bread (Stephen had sourdough) with mustard, mayonnaise and cheese. I used a bit of the leftover stilton with apricots from our Stilton Toast appetizers on mine (see New Years Day Feast) and Stephen went with the cheddar for his sandwich. It was really good and hit the spot. The bread, by the way, was all from "Hearth Bread Bakehouse" which is located here in Spokane, Washington and uses no preservatives. I have no idea whether they sell their bread outside of the Spokane area but it is really good bread, although its shelf life is limited because of the lack of preservatives.

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Fabulous One and Only Turkey

Time to wax poetic about my new year's day feast. The turkey was sumptuous. Rich and juicy. A little on the salty side, but that can be expected when you brine a turkey. Every once in a while you would get hit with a flash of thyme, rosemary or black peppercorn which the turkey absorbed from the brine. I wish the skin had been more browned and crunchy but it was altogether delicious. The pear gravy was amazing. Sweet and savory at the same time with just a hint of rum taste. It was perfect for the turkey. Actually, making the gravy was one of my favorite parts of the meal. There's something so sinfully satisfying about melting the butter with spooned-off turkey fat from the pan drippings and then adding flour to make the roux. And then waiting while the roux browns to a sumptuous chestnut brown color. The whole process is just fabulous.

The profiteroles were great. They puffed up in the oven just the way they were supposed to, leaving a cavity in the bottom and the top halves, into which I spooned generous helpings of pumpkin custard. I was delighted that they came out exactly as planned. With the drizzle of maple-caramel syrup on top and the dry champagne (Mountain Dome, 2002, Spokane, Washington) we ate them with they were just perfect.

We all loved the sweet potato torte, and my father in law especially. It's taste was reminiscent of a pumpkin pie but not as sweet and not as spiced. It was heavenly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The stuffing was also quite good. I loved the combination of the sausage, fennel and sourdough bread cubes. The only alteration that I made to the recipe (Bon Appetit 11/04) was the substitution of mild italian sausage for apple-fennel sausage. It worked quite well.

The last thing, which I forgot to mention in my previous post, was the appetizer: Stilton Toasts. Baguette sliced thinly with a mixture of stilton cheese and sour cream spread on them. It was quite good, if a little dry. f I had toasted the bread it would have been better.It was my first experience with stilton cheese and it reminded me of something but I couldn't quite remember what....All in all a fabulous meal.

The only thing I wish I had done better is get the turkey skin to brown more. I think maybe I should have rubbed the butter into the skin more vigorously before cooking it. Something I will have to research.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Year's Day Feast

Well, we had a New Year's Day Feast this year because my in-laws were here and I had a good excuse to make a lot of food. All of the recipes came from the November 2004 issue of Bon Appetit. I made the herb brined turkey with pear gravy, goat cheese mashed potatoes, sweet potato tort, pumpkin profiteroles, salad with lemon vinaigrette dressing, and sausage fennel stuffing. Everyone was very happy with the spread. My father in law really enjoyed the sweet potato tort and the turkey was very moist and juicy. It was fabulous.

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