08 September 2011

Further Research into Popped Loaves of Bread, and Others

It has been a while since my last post. Shortly after coming back from vacation-vacation, I went on a week-long work-vacation to attend PAX, visit my family, attend a wedding, and work out of every coffee shop I could think of drinking in in the neighborhoods of Seattle that I know. To name drop: Victrola, Vivace, Verite, Fiore, Trabant, Solstice, Ladro. I did a tiny smidge of cooking by introducing my grandparents to the wonder that is dinosaur kale and by making them a loaf of bread. I did a rather lot of eating out, some of it even at new places. And now that I'm back, I've done a bit more cooking. All of these things in due time.
First, the bread. It looks like some other popped loaves I have prepared. This had a few things in common with the first loaf - that it used normal flour and it was cooked in an oven that was not my own. The oven is most likely older than I am, and probably approaching as old as my mother. It doesn't like being told what temperature to cook out; I set it to 425 and it gladly sat at 450 for long enough to call it stable; yet, when I checked ten minutes later it was sitting at 475. This gave the bread a somewhat scorched flavor, but it still had an odd taste which I will attribute to the use of normal flour. My grandparents found it delicious but I found it simply average. Lesson learned, don't use normal flour for bread. Moving on from this bread, I cooked dinner with E last night and made, roughly, this
It was pretty good, though we did make a few substitutions. Noticeably, we have figs where the recipe called for dates (we both read figs, and local figs where available). Less noticeably, although very apparent when tasted, we left out the serrano pepper and put in chili powder in its stead. Not enough, though. E commented that the sauce tasted like herbed cream cheese and that it belonged on crackers or bagels; I would recommend making sure it has a kick, and, if you are using a mortar and pestle in place of a food processor, cutting the amount of oil in half initially and building from there. Still, a delicious meal that was, roughly, one pan. Especially so if you leave out the mint sauce.
And, lastly, the notable places I went to in Seattle much in the style of my fellow food friend

  • ThaiTom because that was a large part of my college cuisine. Cheap Thai food ready in 5 minutes, seating right next to the woks where the magic happens? Sign me up!
  • Solstice because ditto, although the coffee-and-bagel portion.
  • Paseo. Yes, I was just in the Caribbean. No, they did not have sandwiches anywhere near this level of goodness.
  • Palace Kitchen, which was an excellent meal for a good price (as always). We had an appetizer and split the burger; I would recommend the same.
  • Tilth; I felt like spending a chunk of change on a good meal. This was definitely a good place to do it. We went with the smaller tasting menu and enjoyed every dish.
  • Facing East (on the Eastside, but not too far out of the way). Something about this place was delicious; I don't know if the food was truly good or if it was simply the sauces.

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