Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Brussel Sprouts, Cheese, Cinnamon Rolls, Scotch Eggs or Food On My Phone

It's a hodge podge this week for What 2 Eat. These are foods that I felt strong enough about to take pictures of so that explains for the oddity of the collection.

First off, this cheese: Cheddar Cheese with Cracked Black Pepper. It's pretty good, if you ask me. I love a good cracked black pepper anything and this cheese holds it own. Best of all, you can find it at Aldi. Here's a little secret: Right now, Aldi has a bombdiggity selection of cheese. You don't need to make a trip to Trader Joe's for cheese for that upcoming wine and cheese party. You can swing by Aldi. You will be pleasantly surprised. FYI: bring a quarter and your own grocery sacks. If you happen to have any Trader Joe sacks definitely make sure you bring them because TJ's and A are related (the founders were brothers!). 

And then I made brussels sprouts again this year. 

I am the only one in my family who is in any remote way even slightly happen that the b sprouts are back in season. I am kind of deliriously happy they are available right now.

My friend, Laura, has a cooking blog, The Kitchen Tutor, and she takes you step by step through her recipe of brussels sprouts. My recipe is in the comments of her post. 

Yesterday I promised you the story of what I brought for Thanksgiving dinner. Well, I told Jessica that I would bring a wild rice and broccoli casserole and rolls. I have to bring the rolls. My kids will not eat a celebratory meal without the rolls. I'm also known as the bread person in my family. I bring the bread. I've got the bread touch. Except for this Thanksgiving.

I decided I would use The Pioneer Woman's basic dough recipe for the dinner rolls this year instead of my tried and trusted Betty Crocker Traditional Roll recipe (except I always add more butter to the dough). I've mentioned before how PW's cinnamon roll recipe baffles me but I still use it because it works. I was skeptical that it was going to make an equally delicious dinner roll but since I'm a pretty good judge of recipes, I went ahead and made a batch and a half. I got a little mixed up with my baking soda and baking powder and let out a yell that Halena heard while laying down her kids but I wasn't worried about the dough. This dough is so resilient it'll be fine, I thought, and I popped it into the fridge for overnight. Early the next morning before I left for my run, I pulled it out to start warming up. I was a bit concerned because it seemed to be in pretty much the same state as when I placed it in the fridge but decided I'd let the yeast work it's magic while I was gone.
Six miles later and some considerable time in front of a warm over, both the dough and me, I concluded that this dough wasn't going to be transformed anytime soon. I pulled Betty C. down from the shelf, turned to page 58 and made her Traditional Dinner Rolls with more butter and chopped rosemary and sea salt sprinkled on top. Make them and your kids will not eat a celebratory meal without them either.

I knew what happened to my PW recipe. I killed the yeast by mixing in the too hot milk too soon. I knew I couldn't solve this 13 cups of flour dough blob problem right away so I just let it sit on my counter for two days until I decided to see if I had killed it all the way or only seriously maimed it. Aha! It was slightly alive and needed just a little bit of time to let the lone surviving yeasts to come out from hiding and work through the dough. So then I made cinnamon rolls.   

As I mentioned, I also made a wild rice and broccoli casserole. I prepped all the ingredients the night before because it's not a good recipe to assemble all the way and bake the next day. While I was cooking and assembling the next morning, I realized this was going to taste like broccoli and wild rice soup only in casserole form and was pretty excited about it. 
I learned a couple things about this particular recipe that I'll share with you. Starting with two cups of uncooked wild rice is a lot of rice. It's also quite expensive as far as rice goes. I only used about half of my cooked rice in actual assembly because I knew it would be too much rice. (I froze the other half for another time.) Second, the amount of sauce or gravy or roux or whatever you want to call it is not enough for this particular amount of rice (the full amount or halved), I feel. I was expecting more of a saucy casserole and it wasn't all that saucy. If I had used all the rice, it would have been too dry. Finally, and this is really my own preference, I do not care for Panko crumbs. I've tried them before on a couple of other dishes and they fall flat in terms of taste and crunchiness for me. I can't recommend a better substitute for this recipe at this time but if you don't have Panko you don't need to panic-o.
Of course I brought home leftovers. It's Thanksgiving! But I knew, however, that this was going to be a hard sell on leftover night and wondered if I could revive it in a new form. This was, after all, broccoli and wild rice soup in casserole form. So I scraped as much of the crumb topping off that I could, scooped a bunch into a pot and added chicken stock until I felt I had the right proportion of casserole to broth to make a soup and heated it through, seasoning it with more salt and pepper. Right at the end I added in some cream, heated that until warm and served it up. Guess what my family said? It was better as soup than as casserole!

Lastly, here are Scotch eggs. Scotch eggs are hard boiled eggs with sausage wrapped around them then fried and served either warm or cold. Accompanying them is a mustard that will clear your sinuses out mighty quick but is so good. Bill and I tried them at The Mucky Duck Pub in Ames.   

Now tell me, have you ever saved a food from disaster? What's your favorite double take recipe? Do you want some cinnamon rolls? 


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Thanks for reading. Kind comments are always welcomed!