Sunday, May 18, 2008

Because I haven't posted in a while....

It's been a while since I posted anything here. Not quite sure where this is going but I figured I need a post. It's not completely my fault. I can't post my Daring Baker's post yet.... and that's a long one.

I don't have any pics but here are some of the concoctions that I've made recently. I haven't actually finished the burgers yet, I have to get the turkey but the rest of the stuff is sitting in my fridge. When you open the door, you get a huge whiff of garlic. Which is making me wonder about eating the berries I have in the fridge.

Lemon Strawberry cake

Yellow cake box mix and whatever it says on the box (oil, water, eggs, don't remember how much of each)
lemon juice
lemon buttercream (recipe will be posted at a later date)
strawberry jelly

Make the cake mix per the directions. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice to the mix. Divide evenly between 2 9" cake pans. Bake per the directions on the box.
Allow the cakes to cool on baking racks.
Split the cakes so you have 4 layers.
Brush the cut sides of the cakes with lemon juice and let it sit and soak in.
Heat the strawberry jelly with a bit of lemon juice to soften. Mix together until smooth.
Put down the bottom layer of cake
Put a ring of buttercream around the edges then cover the center with 1/3 of the jelly mixture. Put a thin layer of buttercream on the next layer. Put that layer, buttercream side down, on top of the 1st layer.
Repeat 2 more times so all 4 layers are on.
Put a real thin layer of buttercream (the crumb coat) over the top and sides of the cake. It's OK if you get some crumbs in at this point. Put the cake in the fridge for 30 mins to allow the crumb coat to firm up.
Put the rest of the buttercream on the cake and make it pretty. Or as pretty as you can, which in my case means get the rest of the buttercream on the cake, spread it out so it isn't a big glob and call it done.
Put it in the fridge to let if firm up for at least 30 mins.
Eat some more.

Falafel Burgers

1 T coriander
2 T cumin
1/2 T black peppercorns
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas
1/4 cucumber, finely shredded
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 lb ground beef

Toast the coriander, cumin, peppercorns, sesame seeds, garlic until aromatic. Process in a food processor. Add chickpeas and process some more.
Combine everything together in a bowl.
Form burgers, there should be enough for 8 large burgers.
Cook in a skillet or on a griddle. Not on a george foreman or a grill.

This was supposed to be turkey burgers but I was lazy and by the time I got to the store they were out of ground turkey. All there was was ground beef so that's what got used. I originally only intended to do 1 lb of meat but they only had the 2 lb and bigger packs left so that's what I ended up with. The spices and whatnot would probably be overwhelming if I had only used 1 lb of meat. I actually used 5 cloves of garlic and that was way too much. 2 should be better. These came out pretty crumbly. I kind of lost patience with the food processor so the spices weren't really ground very well and the chickpeas didn't get completely pulverized into paste. I chalk it up to that.

I'm having mine with a yogurt sauce and tomatoes.

Yogurt sauce

1 container greek yogurt
2 cucumbers
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or processed in a food processor

Shred the cucumbers. You can use a box grater. Don't use a mandoline. It doesn't work well. You can't grab a cucumber well with the guard because the only way to do it is hold it perpendicular to the cutting plane and the guard is just not made for that. If you don't use the guard bad things happen. Alternatively you could use the mandoline and wear cutproof gloves. You'd want to use a fine julienne cutting attachment and hold the cucumber perpendicular so you don't end up with long strips. You can guess how I figured this one out. Those blades are sharp. Anyway...
Put the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for a few minutes. Press out the extra moisture from the cucumbers. Let it sit some more and press again.
Mix the drained cucumbers, garlic and yogurt in a bowl. Let it sit in the fridge overnight or longer to let the flavors meld.

This is pretty garlicky, you may want to cut it back to 1 clove. The garlic is pretty strong since it's uncooked and all.

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