Thursday, January 26, 2006

6 Challenges

During the last week I've been exhausted and not sleeping well. But I HAVE been eating. Here's a small sampling of the week's dinners:

Pizza Alsatian

Chinese-style soup

Slow-cooked Lotus Root

Pasta Con Salmone Affumicato

Crazy Gaijin, I haven't been ignoring your tag. Honest. Here is my stab at it ;)

Six Cooking Challenges for 2006 (I changed it to six to reflect the year). I was tagged by Crazy G at Nihon No Ryori

1) In case you haven't been reading my blog, jam/jelly is on my to do list. I'm actually terrified of the whole procedure because I feel like things will explode on me. Heat and glass near each other does give me some frissons of panic. It's not like I haven't seen it a number of times before with The Mom. My mom has been jarring jams and preserves for as long as I can remember. I guess I just haven't been paying as much attention as I guess I should have instead of stealing the skimmed foam for a sandwich.

2) Like Crazy G, I really need to learn how to clean and fillet fish. My last attempts really sucked. Luckily with the amount of fishing and preserving going on around here in booneyville, finding people to show me techniques shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

3) Make a decent custard. I haven't managed to get a good custard going without somehow curdling it. Even on really low heat. HELP! If you have any suggestions, preferably step by step and very detailed. Pictures would help too. I am from a watch and do kind of family.

4)Make pastry dough from scratch. Errr.. yah. You see, I've never done it. What pies I have made have had premade shells (which, around here, bite the big one). It will not only help with sweet pies but the meat pies I want to make for the Frog (in case you don't know it, I haven't eaten a heck of a lot of meat for about twelve or more years)

5)Errr... I haven't ever made any kind of souffle. Yeah, you heard right. I've never made one but then my mother never really did either. Her influence on my cooking styles has been fairly heavy. Souffles therefore have not crossed my mind much until living with a Frenchman. Well, seeing all the pretty souffles from challenges of food blog past have influenced too *S*

6)I need to learn to make profiteroles as they are pretty much the only dessert that the Frog likes. That way his B-day "cake" will be something he actually craves.


Melissa CookingDiva said...

The lotus roots look fantastic, I have always been amazed by the sexy looking shape they have. Hugs,

Crazy Gaijin said...

maybe that is what I will do today. Buy a fish and 'ave a go!
Oooh - the baking things sound good. Pastry is reasonably easy to do -just don't do it on really hot days!!

I've never tried a souffle, or profiteroles either. They kind of scare me, as most things I make aren't knkown for their lightness! Thank god Japanese food doesn't have much baking!

Good Luck!

sailu said...

Nerissa,that food looks delicious..:)
Souffle is a challenge to me as well.

Nerissa said...

Melissa: Thanks! I have always been intrigued by the shape of these exotic roots. I was so glad to find it in pre-prepped, frozen form for my first try. Next time I'm down south I will pick up the fresh ones and not be so worried about what to do with them.

Crazy G: Good luck on the fish. Let me know how it goes! I don't think I have to worry too much about hot days here right now so my pastry will be safe.

Sailu: Thanks so much! I'll conquer souffle somehow and someday. ;)

michelle said...

Nerissa, I'm so impressed! I've been wanting to try a lotus root recipe for quite some time now...I just need to get my butt to the asian food market near my house as soon as I get a paycheck! I had never made a souffle before until about 2 weeks ago (I've got to post that picture sometime soon...) and it's much easier than I thought it would be. You will conquer all! I'm looking forward to these recipes to come!

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Where are you Nerissa??? What have you been cooking up these days? We MISS you :)

s'kat said...

Now that's a groovy little collection of dinners! How on earth does one prepare lotus root? What's in the soup... enquiring minds want to know!

Good luck on conquering your culinary goals this year!

Nerissa said...

Michelle: I did cheat a little on the lotus root this time round because I could get them precut and frozen. I think it's worth the trouble, though, if you like water chesnuts. The texture is a bit similar. As for the souffle. I know I'll do it sooner or later. I just need to rush headlong into these things instead of thinking.

Melissa: Awwww, hun. I am so sorry about the last little while. The computer server has been a royal pain about letting me get online except at the most inconvenient times lately (ie: just before work starts, just before I should be in bed). I really have been a bit sick too so not very creative and sleeping in a lot. Now, enough of the excuses. I haven't cooked much lately but I will get some things online hopefully very soon.

S'kat: Thanks for your compliments. I will get you some recipes online ASAP. Thanks for your good luck as well ;)