I spent my final weekend before Tyler's return cranking out recipes. I chose a Filipino focus in honor of an eGullet friend who had just passed his final med school exams. I'll post a variety of pics, but the last one - cassava cake is the most interesting. I had my mom ship me a cassava root and a few other key ingredients that I couldn't find. Filipino Cassava cake is apparently like a Texas sheet cake - found at almost any potluck or family gathering. But every recipe ended in "dump a can of sweetened condensed milk over the top." That was just too much - I'm sure it was good, but too much (even for me). I lightened the cake itself and then topped it with a mango mousse. The mousse was then topped with a pineapple gelee that I infused lemongrass into. Nice flavor combination. I also experimented with the crust using both filo dough and lumpia wrappers. The filo was pretty, but of course, soggy. The lumpia turned out well - not super crisp, but convenient and well suited for this cake.
Well, if Tyler is going to go away for 2 weeks, I'm going to throw a party for our friends! Tonight was a big Indian meal I had been planning for quite some time. First was a chai tea caviar with warmed honey, chai masala and brown sugar. Then homemade chapati naan with tomato chutney. Followed by a cucumber, strawberry salad with walnut oil, mint, orange juice dressing. The entree was tandoori chicken cannoli style filled with basmati mousse, alu ghobi, fried turmeric rice patty with browned ghee powder (tapioco maltodextrin), and adorned with chat masala and saffron oil. Fried homemade paneer with walnut. Dessert was fresh coconut scoop with chocolate caviar, cinnamon dacquois over chocolate pastry cream, and hot chocolate with cinnamon, vanilla, almond and madras curry marshmallow.
Tonight I made Amernick's Espresso Succès with Espresso Ice Cream. This was very fast and perfect on this hot night. I used our Cuisinart ICE-25 for the ice cream and the espresso powder from the store.
Yesterday was a sushi class at the store. We had a new intructor, Mel Pearson, a chef from Johnston & Wales in Rhode Island. She lived for a couple of years in Japan, and is a really great sushi preparer.
The thing about survivalist dining is that its really only about proving to your spouse that it can be done. No less than twice a week, we come home and Tyler says, "We don't have anything to eat." That prompts me to open the cupboards and the fridge and come up with a voila meal. 85% of the time they are good (15% we won't talk about). So going into my second week of no shopping and no major cooking, I grabbed a can of masaman curry, 2 coconut milks (regular and light) and chopped up a potato and zucchini (a meal for less than $5). I poured it over sticky rice and added some coconut and peanuts. Great meal - and leftovers for two more meals. Who says we don't have anything to eat?!
With Tyler travelling for 3 weeks, I am on my own. That normally means all of my meals appear (as if magic) from odds and ends ingredients in our cupboard. Last night was pasta with Taste of Crete Olive Oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and big chunks of 5-year gouda. I enjoyed it with a Pete's Strawberry Blonde Ale.
Sunday at church I announced that anyone wanting to get a free dessert for a party, friends...whatever, just needs to let me know since I'm baking up a storm while Tyler's away. Our friends the Holmbergs were the first to cash in. They got mini cheesecakes with Alta Margherita cheese and nectarines, wrapped in El Rey white chocolate and topped with nectarine/limoncello compote. Very nice.
I'm still testing recipes from Amernick's Art of the Dessert and today I finished the "dessert that launched my career." She calls is a birdseed cake - which is just a name given to the dessert by her kids. Think chocolate almond genoise, kirsch, rum, buttercream, almond nougatine....oooh la la!