Recipe Remedies: In which I attempt to document my experiments with food

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by rittenremedy, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. rittenremedy

    rittenremedy

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    I tweak recipes. It's just what I do. For our all's entertainment, I thought I'd start posting some of my... successes and failures.

    And quiches. So, so many quiches.
     
  2. rittenremedy

    rittenremedy

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    I'll get to quiches another day. Today's experiment: adding butternut squash to a perfectly good pastitsio because it's fall and Assassin's Creed Odyssey is out.

    Huh. I should have taken pictures. I'll upload some tomorrow.

    For once, I didn't do anything different other than the intended change, adding an ingredient.

    Well, I didn't change anything I haven't changed before... I have a gluten thing, so I eat gluten free. Brown rice penne and white rice flour replaced the wheat pasta and flour. Somewhere someone started a rumor that rice flour rues are unstable and grainy. These are both lies. I've made this recipe so many times, I only reference the ingredient list for the spices. The white sauce is smooth, delicious, and I've even used it for regular macaroni and cheese (subbing cheddar). Whoever started that rumor, go eat a brick.

    What else have I changed? I left out the eggs because I like the smoother texture in the white sauce. I also subbed pork for the lamb because I'm in college and can't afford lamb. ;(

    I may have a problem. However, my Frankenitsio is delicious.

    Then I added roasted squash. Now, it's still good, but the flavor balance is off. I love the combination of pork, pumpkin, and pecorino, and when you bake all that in a casserole, yeah, that's fall. Now, the simplest answer is leave out the squash. I had a perfectly good recipe before I messed it up. Why add stuff?

    Because the squash was there.
     
  3. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    301
    Exp:
    Retired Owner/Operator
    Why jam all those things together and try to force butternut squash into the dish? Its like trying to jam that one last item into your trunk or closet that won't let the lid close. :)

    Why not use the roasted butternut squash to make a butternut squash bisque or soup to serve as an accompaniment?
     
    drirene likes this.
  4. rittenremedy

    rittenremedy

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
     
  5. rittenremedy

    rittenremedy

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    sgsvirgil likes this.
  6. sgmchef

    sgmchef

    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    142
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Hi rr,

    I don't have permission to view the images.

    I do appreciate that you are experimenting! Too many people that enjoy cooking, only follow recipes.

    When I think of butternut squash, I think of sweet and creamy as dominant traits. Like sgsvirgil, I think about a savory soup option because I wouldn't want that sweetness or additional creaminess in that dish.

    Everyone has a different style and mine tends to the savory side of foods.

    I hope you continue to post your ideas!
     
  7. rittenremedy

    rittenremedy

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Hopefully I fixed the image permissions.

    Thanks for visiting, sgmchef! I wasn't sure when I started this thread that it was the sort of thing that would be welcome on this site. I know it's more for professionals than random people making casseroles at home, but it's just for fun. I think we learn at least as much from failure as success, so maybe at least it'll provide a laugh for an old chef.

    And if my cooking gets better, awesome.
     
  8. rittenremedy

    rittenremedy

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Dumpling Disaster

    This week I revisited a failed recipe from the past: pierogis. In the interest of a real experiment this time, I picked a recipe and attempted to stick to it as closely as possible while making it to gluten free. Unfortunately, my ex still has my stand mixer, so mixing the dough was a huge pain and probably contributed to the... lack of overwhelming success.

    The original recipe, which I forgot, called for something along the lines of 2 cups of flour, half a cup of water and some oil. In order to make this safe for me to eat and in an attempt to create a baseline, I used only one "flour mix" which was Bob's all-purpose gluten free. I swapped 240 grams of flour and added 1/2 teaspoon xanthin gum.

    Because this dough needs to be strong, I used the same method I use to make pie dough. The idea is to add hot liquid to the flour so the gum has time to hydrate fully, and the heat helps to gelatinize some of the starch, making a more stable, flexible gluten free dough. Then the flour is cooled and cold butter added like normal. It works great for pie, just don't make it in front of anyone who knows better than you.

    I also swapped an equal volume of water for 1 egg, which I added during the "butter step." I didn't use any oil and relied on the egg to provide fat and some extra strength.

    This is where it went wrong. The dough was WEEEEEET. The downside of adding the liquid first is the inability to adjust the hydration after the egg is added. I had to add a lot of extra flour, and without a machine, the dough was incredibly difficult to get smooth. Then, because it was gluten free, still too wet, and unevenly mixed, rolling was a mess.

    In the end, the dumplings got made. The dough held together, but was thick and fragile. The flavor of the finished product was actually delicious. The filling was ground pork, onion, apple, black pepper, and a bit of cinnamon. So, so good. The dough was actually nicely savory from the bean flour (and adequate salt, my one unexpected success). The chew was actually nice, just too thick. They were edible, but nowhere close to letting anyone else eat them.

    Thoughts
    1. Normally gluten free flour is much thirstier than wheat flour. I was surprised the dough was too wet. If I ever make these again, after I get my mixer back, I'll probably forgo the pie method until I get the correct amount of liquid more or less nailed down.
    2. I really, really want to see what happens if I halve the flour with sweet rice flour. I want a thinner dough, and I like think the mix of bean-based AP and chewy mochiko could really work out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018 at 10:15 PM