Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shocking Dip Part 2 - Szechuan Sauce for Breading Chicken

Last night, continuing this train of thought, I dipped some chicken in Szechuan sauce before I applied my mix of pankoesque crumbs with flour, salt, pepper and a tad of cornbread mix. I used a different brand than Kame, because I can't find it around. A good Szechuan sauce is fermented all together, in my opinion. It has soy and hot red pepper flakes or powders, and also other flavorings such as plum, garlic, ginger, sesame. I'm no expert on how to make these sauces; all I know is the brand Kame sold a few years ago was really good. I think they changed the recipe; it was not available for a few years and then all of a sudden I saw it again. Just not lately. So I used Asian Gourmet brand Szechuan stir fry sauce.

This made very tasty fried chicken. It almost browned too fast but I turned down the heat, and kept flipping it in the pan, and let it finish on low. I may never dip chicken in egg dip again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Malted Chocolate Ice Cream

This is another example of using malted barley syrup for uses other than making beer. Here I poured some "amber" malt syrup over some chocolate ice cream. No hops in this syrup, of course.

Malt seems to be a big mystery to lots of people. It used to be sold as syrups more widely. All I can say is follow the malt link and learn. It's widely used in the mass-produced candy market, but no longer a common home ingredient. A malted milkshake is a milkshake with malt syrup or dry malt powder added.

It's a similar taste to caramel, but it is distinctly itself, a different flavor of sweet. It's often blended with caramel sugar, and can be caramelized itself.

"Malted milk" powder is a bit different. It's malt sugar mixed with dry milk powder. And wheat, apparently. I say, why pay for the part that's dry milk when I already have my own milk and ice cream to mix with the pure malt sugar and syrups?

Some use pure malt to sweeten waffle and pancake batter. I think it would make a great syrup on waffles and pancakes. Or both in the batter and on top. It's also used to provide a boost to yeast in breads and rolls.

Before sugar cane or sugar beets, it was known and available as a sweetener in Europe and surrounding parts. I don't know if it was widely used that way much historically. It would take extra fuel to extract pure sugar syrup or crystaline powdered malt sugar. Beer would be easier to make from malted grains.

Here's a link to beer making.
A short orientation about sweets in the Middle Ages.

Oh, the ice cream was delicious.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tamale Pie

(The photo was taken right before I put it in the oven)
There are several variations of "hot tamale pie" to be found on the internet. Lots of them seem to have bell pepper and most don't use masa. Some criticize it for being "inauthentic."

It has a lot of similarities to a Cuban traditional dish, a pork and cornmeal stew.

In any case, here is mine:
I basically made a recipe of chili con carne, using 1¼ lbs. of hamburger and a little bit - 4 oz.? - of smoked salt pork I had.

No beans. Instead of beans, it uses whole corn. Read further.

I use dried Mexican savory peppers and add cumin, garlic, and oregano instead of buying commercial chili powder to season it. You can heat it up to your level of fire using different hot sauce or hot peppers in addition. I find this recipe benefits from a large dose of black pepper, also. To me it complements the corn flavor.

The recipe then departs further from traditional chili. In this 1½ gal. batch, I then added half a can of corn and 1½ cans of creamed corn and a cup of milk. I made the tomato-y part with tomato paste but I added a 16 oz. can of whole tomatoes. Then I added a whole cup of masa harina, which will thicken it up far more than a regular sort of chili. I prefer yellow masa, aka maize amarillo. It is not as common as white corn masa. (This bugs me. The white corn people are cramping my style. ¡Viva maíz amarillo!)

After it all comes to a boil and then simmers a while on a lower heat, and the masa is fully cooked (about 10 minutes), I cut up a pound of Monterey Jack cheese with peppers in it - "pepper jack." I stuck the slices down into the stew. Then I put that in the 265º F. oven until the top browned just slightly, about 25 minutes. Turned off the oven, cracked the door, let it rest for 15 minutes, and served.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


In my way, I see Geithner and a large amount of others as guilty of blatant fraud at the highest levels, they are guilty, the talking heads are lying about the legality of what they did (i.e., they are guilty), they are too powerful, that it is an emergency that that they are still in power. Large numbers should be imprisoned immediately with bail sufficient to pay all possible fines they might reasonably be assessed if they flee and are tried in absentia. Stuff like that.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Food Pills and the American Dream

You either understand why the idea of "food pills" strikes me with violent resistance, or not. It's the worst concept the progreNot only food pills were ballyhooed in the United States of America, but certain other promises were made. And the nature of those promises tells a story.

Oddly, it all peaked in the '60s. People who aren't from that era may think the violent reaction against such mechanization was overwrought. I suggest they should re-think the situation.

We were also promised new drugs that would banish sleep; and flying cars, which would presumably transport us from point A to point B without having to bother with the world outside our futuristic capsule at all. In the end, right about when they realized they had been "outed," they were even proposing reproduction without touching.

A curious quest indeed; to lower human consciousness to the level of the present-day machinery, rather than the different, later proposals to do the opposite, and improve the consciousness of machines.

Although America ultimately expressed its rejection of the poisonous tenets of blatant dehumanization, for a brief time this philosophy openly took root in the USA and Britain and lingered through the postwar and cold war periods. And it is assuredly not dead yet.

To lose the experiences of flavor, and dreams, and touch. To gain "efficiency." No wonder people like C.S.Lewis freaked out.

The food pill is not a uniquely American proposal. But assuredly the meme survives here. And there.