Thursday, January 31, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Today I made SARDINE PUFFS because my mom asked me to. She's absolutely mad for sardine puffs, and asks for them all the time. A while back I was crazy over puff pastry, but since I got over my fascination, I was left with a couple packets of puff pastry, and so I put them to good use and made these beautiful puffs.
- The secret to perfect golden brown puff pastries is to put as much egg wash on it as is humanly possible. This means that every millimeter exposed must be covered, and also that one wash is usually not enough. After the first wash dry, give it a second wash. A third if you have the patience.
- I don't know if everyone knows this, so I'm just putting it down; cover all exposed parts EXCEPT for the bottom, otherwise you'll have a hell of a time prying it off the tray. Also, avoid the edges of the pastry. If the egg wash get onto the pastry edge, it'll glue the pastry together and you'll get a half-stuck-half-rised frankenstein of a pastry.
- Most cookbooks will say that, if you are cutting shapes out of your rolled pastry, only rework the left overs once, or even not at all, as the pastry would not be able to rise evenly after that. I say, however, that unless I'm serving the President or Lee Kuan Yew himself, I am not about to waste food just because they won't rise that well. So unless I'm making vol-au-vent, I generally use up every scrap of pastry.
- Puff pastries dry up rather quickly, so work fast. Especially if you are reworking it, don't leave it to roll out later; they'll dry up and be no good at all.
- Absolutely no shame in frozen puff pastries, takes a saint to be able to whip these up everytime they need some. Just remember to take it out to thaw at least 3 hours before use.
Ok then, back to the puffs. These are really great, they taste fantastic, a snap to make [minus the time it takes to thaw], and they look sooo pretty, all golden and puffed.
Canned sardine [roughly 2 large cans of sardine, roughly 300g each, to 750g pastry]
1 large yellow onion
1 1/2 packet of frozen puff pastry
*measurements are according to what I had on hand, adjust as you like
Flake sardine, as chunky or as smooth as you like, taking as little liquid with it as possible. Chop up onions into cubes and mix into the sardine. Taste and season. That's your filling done.
Roll out pastry into desired thickness, probably around 2mm, then cut desired shapes out of it. You can do either triangles, rectangles or circles, and of varying sizes as well. You can also wrap them in a variaty of ways, but I'm lazy, so I used a pastry cutter to cut circles, fill them up and press down the edges with a fork. Take note to seal the pastries with a dab of the egg wash, or chances are they'll be gaping open when they cook and the sardine expands. Brush well with beaten egg and bake in a hot 200 degree celcius oven until golden brown, and that's it!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
And, the point is, every time I start a diary [including this one; I know its a blog, but that's basically a virtual diary right?], there comes a point where my initial enthusiasm for writing in it starts to wane, and I actually feel guilty and write 'justification posts', in which I justifies [yes, I know, to an inanimate object made of blended up trees and possibly cancer causing ink] why I haven't been writing. And, when I finally can't even be bothered with 'justification posts', the guilt somehow lingers. It may be impossible to see, but I assure you all the ghosts of every diary I've ever abandoned is haunting me.
Which is why I'm trying to stop abandoning this diary. This may not sound very promising to anyone who's reading, but I really am trying my best.
And here comes the justification: school's starting! And when school starts I'll be lucky to get time to breathe, normally, I mean, not the panicky-essay-due-and-I'm-so-screwed kind of breathing that's par for semesters. One thing though, I do have another post coming up, as I'll be baking up a batch of cookies for Geraldine before my last day at Freeflow, so that'll be something to see.
On a random note, I found myself craving the strangest thing yesterday. It began normally enough. It was only a short hour after lunch, which means I have no business feeling hungry, but I do. I couldn't fathom what exactly it was that I craved, so I ran through the usual list: Chips? Chocolates? Ice Cream? Soft drinks? Iced Coffee? Cookies? Cake? None of them felt right, and then it hit me. I wanted a salad. I am not joking, and I have to say this has never happened before and to say I'm stunned is to put it mildly. I am by no means a health nut, and would shoot anyone who insinuates such a travesty. Yet there it was.
Cautiously, to be sure I had not misread the signals my stomach was sending towards my brain, I made myself a salad, deciding that the only way to prove or disprove my conclusion was to eat a salad and see if my cravings were appeased. Lo and behold, it was! For the first time in my life, my stomach lusted not after something fat and sinful that I shouldn't have, but a healthy, tasty salad my mother would have been very proud of.
This is revolutionary, to say the least. I have not yet absorbed the full implications of this, event, yet, and I will be sure to share any other revelation I chance upon.