12 April 2012

Cinnamon Rolls, Mushroom and Fennel for Dinner

Things have calmed down a bit in Mikey-land; I even got a quick weekend trip to Seattle in. This means back to baking and cooking; I took this as an opportunity to handle a long-standing request from coworkers for cinnamon rolls. The recipe is straight from Artisan Breads Everyday, one that I have even used in the past (the dough, not the filling). And if I remember one thing from that, it was the amount of glaze called for by the recipe was preposterously excessive. I used a quarter of the called-for glaze and still had a bit left; I don't know why anyone would want to dump a full two cups of sugar on top of something already filled with it.
The filling was what I thought traditional, and the book as well, but my coworkers seem to have differing ideas w.r.t. the makeup. Cinnamon and sugar, plus equal parts chopped pecans and raisins. For a brief moment, I contemplated walnuts and went so far as a taste test. Walnuts taste like... walnuts. Dry things. Salads with apples in them. Pilafs. A single bite of the pecan brought back memories of cinnamon rolls as a child; the association is so strong that I think pecans taste like cinnamon rolls. The only tweak I did was a bit of lime juice in both the dough and the glaze; a hint and no more. They also puffed immensely in the oven - below is the just-sliced photo; a two hour rise later, they didn't look much different. 20 minutes in a hot oven, and they almost filled the pan.
I also quicked a cook dinner with E the other night, though she honestly did most of the work. I was in charge of a veggie side, knowing the main was garlic and lemon flavored. Asparagus is an obvious choice, but an overdose in the past week left me blasé on the matter. Mushrooms with fennel seemed a good idea. There wasn't anything remarkable in the dish - the mushrooms were cooked in a pan with salt, no oil, until they began to sweat then a bit more. At that point, you add the oil and a few minutes later the fennel, cooking it for just long enough to not. Something learned: however many cloves of garlic we used were too many, especially to deglaze with a splash of white wine and dump on the potatoes.

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