Monday, September 01, 2014

Lemon vanilla crinkle cookies

The recipe, that I found on reddit can be viewed here. There isn't much to add to the recipe; I might have measured the butter wrong or something, but I had to refridgerate the dough before dividing just to have it stiffen up and make it more manageable.

Pork loin in fruit mole

In a previous post I commented about the moles we brought back from our trip to Ensenada. This is one of the possible presentations for the most unknown of them: the fruit mole. Well, after a bit of investigation my suspicions were true and it does go well with pork meat, hence the loins. What follows here is a pictorial of how we prepared and presented the dish accompanied by red rice and corn tortillas.

One of the loins after cooking in the pressure cooker

Seared post-cooking,a.k.a. reverse sear

As if it were some illegal substance, the mole! (powder form)

According to my brother, it takes a 2:1 ratio of tomato sauce to mole powder to reach a nice pastey consistency to which you add the stock

On the pan, tomato sauce + mole powder

After mixing and adding some pork stock to get a pleasant texture


Oh yeah!, the sesame seeds!

Lomo de puerco con mole de frutas

En un post anterior comenté acerca de los moles con los que nos mandaron de Ensenada, esta es una posible presentación del más desconocido de ellos, el mole de frutas. Bueno, un poco de investigación en el tema dice que si, mi sospecha era correcta y va con carne de puerco. Aquí presento algunas de las fotos de como lo preparamos en casa, acompañado de arroz rojo y tortillas de maíz.

Uno de los lomitos después de cocerse en la olla a presión

Sellado post-cocido

Como si fuera sustancia ilegal: el mole! (en polvo)

Según mi hermano, se requiere de una proporción de 2:1 de salsa de tomate:polvo para lograr una pasta adecuada

En el sartén, la salsa de tomate + el mole en polvo

Después de revolver y agregarle caldo de puerco hasta lograr una textura agradable


Ah si! las semillas de ajonjolí!


En nuestro mas reciente viaje a Ensenada no solamente nos tocó probar algunas de las mejores cosas que tiene que ofrecer el puerto, sino que también nos tocó que muy como hubiera hecho mi abuelita, nos mandaron con nuestros bultitos de comida, en este caso: moles. Desde el más conocido mole poblano hasta el (al menos para mí) desconocido mole de frutas pasando por pipián y mole negro.

In our most recent trip to Ensenada, not only did we get to taste some of the best things the city has to offer, but we also left with our bundles of food, not unlike my grandma would have forced upon us. This time it was mole, and by mole I mean 4 varieties: from Puebla and Oaxaca, a pipián and a new-to-me variety made with fruits.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Make your own sourdough starter

So you're getting into this bread thing, you've done a few no-knead ones and like the results, but you know.. it's missing... something.. I'd be willing to bet that that something is bacteria or rather lactic acid caused by bacteria, no, don't go out and put dirt on your bread, it's not that kind of bacteria that we're talking about No, no, go to your kitchen and grow something!! 

Ok, now that I've got your attention I just have to mention that getting a decent starter isn't the most complicated thing in the world, but it does take a bit of luck and perseverance. It'll start off fine, then it'll wreak for a few days and then it'll stabilize and unless it starts growing mold; keep at it and it'll reward you with some great tasting bread.

First off, you need to commit to at least 10 days for this to happen.We started off our er... starter with some grapes that came with our farmer's share about a year ago, but to be completely honest, after a few cycles I very much doubt that the yeasts from the grapes contribute anything and it all ends up being yeasts from the flour you use to feed the starter with.

You'll want to mix around 100gr. or 1 cup each of flour and water. If you want to add fruit into the mix, mash them up a bit and add them. After mixing leave it out on the counter or somewhere with good ventilation (this supposedly catches your region's wild yeasts). If there's bugs around where you are, cover with some cheesecloth or leave the lid loose.

Feed daily with equal amounts of flour and water, remove mass as needed. After a few days it'll start to get bubbly and probably stinky like on this video.

At this stage you can fish out the grapes and strain the starter; your grapes have done their job.

If there's some water accumulated at the top, remove it, then feed, compensating with more water as needed.

After about a week, the awful smells should subside, but what you need to happen is for your starter to double in bulk after 4~8 hours for it to be considered strong enough. Once you've reached this stage, you can move your starter to the fridge in a container with a tight fitting lid. And, you're done!

Now that you have some starter, you can use it for some bread or (I've only recently discovered), pancakes!!

My procedure for when I use the starter is to

  • Take it out of the fridge
  • Feed it with the amount I need for the day's baking
  • Let it work it's magic
  • Take out what I'm going to use
  • Put it back in the fridge
This process has been going on about every week for the past year (maybe more) and we've even gone to the extreme of neglecting it in the fridge for 5 weeks; let me tell ya it was hungry when we fed it, as indicated with the rapid creation of bubbles.

For what I like to believe gives you a better, stronger colony is to vary the types of flour you feed it with, this way there's more variety of yeasts in the mix and really, only the strongest survive ;)