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

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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.
 
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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?
 
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Oh hey, I took pictures of leftovers. I know leftovers aren't as sexy as the original dish, but it's a casserole. Casseroles are about as sexy as old hoodies anyway.

View media item 141686View media item 141687
Honestly though, I agree with sgsvirgil. Most of my meddling involves taking unnecessary ingredients out, not adding them in. Maybe that'll be the next incarnation of this recipe.
 
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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!
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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84
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Joined Nov 10, 2017
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.


Rather than jam the squash in the casserole just for the sake of doing it, why not roast it, puree it, and add it to the custard? could use it to help thicken the custard while adding the flavor more subtly. No reason the squash shouldn't work with the warm spices in pastitsio along with the pork.
 
113
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Joined Apr 18, 2016
Rather than jam the squash in the casserole just for the sake of doing it, why not roast it, puree it, and add it to the custard? could use it to help thicken the custard while adding the flavor more subtly. No reason the squash shouldn't work with the warm spices in pastitsio along with the pork.

OMG that's such a good idea. I need to try this!
 
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Joined Nov 10, 2017
OMG that's such a good idea. I need to try this!
I've done several custards, panna cottas, and crème brulees with butternut squash. It adds great body, allowing you to reduce the fat and make a healthier product without compromising mouth feel too much. You can just puree it, or puree it and strain it if you want a smoother texture.
 
84
74
Joined Nov 10, 2017
OMG that's such a good idea. I need to try this!
I've done several custards, panna cottas, and crème brulees with butternut squash. It adds great body, allowing you to reduce the fat and make a healthier product without compromising mouth feel too much. You can just puree it, or puree it and strain it if you want a smoother texture.
 
113
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Joined Apr 18, 2016
How is Assassin's Creed Odyssey? I just finished Syndicate.

I haven't played it myself, but I've been watching and it's on my list once I get my computer. You should check out some streams on YouTube. The guy I follow is Japic O'Death. He does a lot of Assassins Creed and pretty adventure games.
 
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Joined Apr 18, 2016
It's been awhile since an experiment that deserves reporting here. Not that I haven't, because I can't resist, but with holidays and school starting back up, I haven't had the time for anything beyond playing with flour ratios in biscuits. I should post my gluten free experiments here. I look for low cost, simplicity, and reliability, so maybe one of the pros could actually use the information.

Anyway, I'm thinking about playing with that pastitsio again. I swear I've only made one casserole since the original post (kale and pecorino, I needed a cheap offset to Christmas dinner). I should try ChefBryan's suggestion of squash mornay, but I had this crazy idea I can't find any examples of on the internet. What would happen if I ground eggplant like lamb/pork? Would it turn to mush? I don't know. I have to find out.
 

phatch

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I predict mush.

Rather freeze tofu then finely chop if you need it to bind together, use some egg. And a powder starch of one sort or another
 
84
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It's been awhile since an experiment that deserves reporting here. Not that I haven't, because I can't resist, but with holidays and school starting back up, I haven't had the time for anything beyond playing with flour ratios in biscuits. I should post my gluten free experiments here. I look for low cost, simplicity, and reliability, so maybe one of the pros could actually use the information.

Anyway, I'm thinking about playing with that pastitsio again. I swear I've only made one casserole since the original post (kale and pecorino, I needed a cheap offset to Christmas dinner). I should try ChefBryan's suggestion of squash mornay, but I had this crazy idea I can't find any examples of on the internet. What would happen if I ground eggplant like lamb/pork? Would it turn to mush? I don't know. I have to find out.


My first thought if I were trying this would be to do a small dice on the eggplant and then roast it. You'll draw out the moisture, improver the texture, and add some umami.
 
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Joined Apr 18, 2016
My first thought if I were trying this would be to do a small dice on the eggplant and then roast it. You'll draw out the moisture, improver the texture, and add some umami.

I like that idea. It probably has more potential than grinding it. I think ground eggplant would either turn to mush or burn in an oven. Unfortunately, eggplant's not in season now, so I can't find it near me. I'll have to bookmark this idea for the summer.
 
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Now about this new cookbook I bought, Korean Home Cooking by Sohui Kim! I've been oddly haunted by Korean things the passed two weeks, so when I saw this in the university bookstore, I bought it. The last time I bought a cookbook full price was, actually, never, but, so far, I have no regrets. There's a few small issues that someone who has no experience with Korean food and didn't read the book cover to cover might encounter, like she lists "sesame oil" but means toasted sesame oil. There's a picture in the front, but no mention of the different oils.

And I have to dodge gluten in the form of soy sauce (easy), gochujang (difficult), and rice cakes (don't have the time). Oh man.

So anyone who actually reads this is going to get to watch me tinker with gluten free flours after all. The first recipe I tried was pajeon, scallion pancakes. They're supposed to be thin (or less thin if you add shellfish yum!), savory, and crispy. Kim calls for a mixture of half AP wheat flour and half potato starch.

Normally, recipes that cut a large chunk of wheat flour are easy to make gluten free. I usually don't have to change anything but the flour. I didn't have potato starch, but I did have corn starch, so I used that and Bob's Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour, which I can get from the local Smart Foodservice for a great price.

Wow, it was a starchy mess. The batter held together perfectly, without xanthan gum and with less water than the recipe called for. The flavor, aside from being too starchy, was actually nice. I like the Bob's GFAP flour in savory recipes. The texture was just awful, a gummy mess.

The next change I made, this was all in the same week so no time to visit the grocery store for potato starch, was 120 grams GFAP flour and 15 grams corn starch. It was better, less starchy, crisper, edible, but not something I'd serve to anyone else. The next two trials on my list are all GFAP flour and the original recipe half potato starch. Bob's GFAP flour already contains potato starch, and even the low starch trial was gummy, So, I don't want to, but I will. What I really want to try is part rice flour.
 
84
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Joined Nov 10, 2017
Now about this new cookbook I bought, Korean Home Cooking by Sohui Kim! I've been oddly haunted by Korean things the passed two weeks, so when I saw this in the university bookstore, I bought it. The last time I bought a cookbook full price was, actually, never, but, so far, I have no regrets. There's a few small issues that someone who has no experience with Korean food and didn't read the book cover to cover might encounter, like she lists "sesame oil" but means toasted sesame oil. There's a picture in the front, but no mention of the different oils.

And I have to dodge gluten in the form of soy sauce (easy), gochujang (difficult), and rice cakes (don't have the time). Oh man.

So anyone who actually reads this is going to get to watch me tinker with gluten free flours after all. The first recipe I tried was pajeon, scallion pancakes. They're supposed to be thin (or less thin if you add shellfish yum!), savory, and crispy. Kim calls for a mixture of half AP wheat flour and half potato starch.

Normally, recipes that cut a large chunk of wheat flour are easy to make gluten free. I usually don't have to change anything but the flour. I didn't have potato starch, but I did have corn starch, so I used that and Bob's Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour, which I can get from the local Smart Foodservice for a great price.

Wow, it was a starchy mess. The batter held together perfectly, without xanthan gum and with less water than the recipe called for. The flavor, aside from being too starchy, was actually nice. I like the Bob's GFAP flour in savory recipes. The texture was just awful, a gummy mess.

The next change I made, this was all in the same week so no time to visit the grocery store for potato starch, was 120 grams GFAP flour and 15 grams corn starch. It was better, less starchy, crisper, edible, but not something I'd serve to anyone else. The next two trials on my list are all GFAP flour and the original recipe half potato starch. Bob's GFAP flour already contains potato starch, and even the low starch trial was gummy, So, I don't want to, but I will. What I really want to try is part rice flour.


I did a special not too long ago that was chicken and waffles with a Korean twist, Seoul food if you will. I made a watermelon gochujang glazed chicken thigh on top of a kimchi jeon in waffle form, using only rice flour and cornstarch. The recipe wasn't perfect, but it was good. It could have probably used a third starch to cut some of the rice flour flavor, but I think you're on the right track.
 
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