Monday, February 22, 2016

High Anxiety Fueled Cooking Frenzy

I've been going through some personal dramas in my workplace, and had to file a hostile work environment type complaint against a co-worker, and thinking that TODAY was going to be the day they interviewed all my witnesses, I woke up at 7:30 on Saturday morning with a case of Jimmy-Legs and anxiety and an inability to force myself back to sleep, I got up and got a jump on my big cook day. 

First things first, I did my two minute low pressure steamed "hard boiled" eggs for the week. 

Then I pressure cooked potatoes and cauliflower for a few applications. I strained and pressed my cauliflower through a cheesecloth to get as much of the excess water out of it, as I was planning on using it 50/50 with potatoes for several things. 

The next thing was a batch of "knodel" type dumplings for both, Chicken and dumplings, as well as my dinner for tonight which will be jager schnitzel, knodel, and red cabbage. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. I present the before and after photos of the knodels.

I also managed to make four quarts of chicken bone broth (using a whole bird this time, instead of just 3 lbs of chicken feet--and I picked all the meat off the carcass for the wazerzooi, with some leftover for a salad or a snack), which was strained out, and separated for two quarts of a chicken and dumpling/egg drop/Wazerzooi hybrid I've been daydreaming about; and the remainder was used towards two quarts of Cauliflower bacon bisque.  
 I also managed to fry up a SHITLOAD of cauliflower pakoras/fritters for both, garnishing the bisque (above as well as making a gobi pakora frittata with leeks and bacon (pictured below). Also pictured below are twelve days of sausage and sweet potato frittata/omelettes for the Maharajah's grab-and-go breakfasts.

I also managed to season and fry up some potato cubes (cooked previously, see above), and deep fry them after all the cauliflower was fried, and I managed to make a nice batch of Maharajah's favorite aloo gobi and I found some lotus root in the freezer, so I threw some in for contrast.

I was farting around on Pinterest, and saw a recipe for "creamy chicken roll ups," and I thought it was a brilliant use for some left over chicken w/gravy and veg from a few days previous--and in an attempt to minimize food waste, I knocked out a batch (using some canned crescent roll dough), and VOILA:

I also had mixed up a batch of sourdough bread, using rye flour, and followed the recipe to the letter, and it left me feeling a bit non-plussed. I proofed it a little longer, as it didn't have enough bubbles (IMHO) despite the sourdough starter being fed and happily percolating bubbles like crazy. Anyway, when I pulled this brick out of the oven and felt FAILURE IMMINENT, I immediately mixed up another batch, this time using this recipe from Breadtopia. (There will be a follow up post, about that particular dough/recipe) I mixed it up TO THE LETTER, let it sit in a warm oven for 18 hours, and now it's in my fridge to retard the fermentation, and to buy some time until I am ready to dispatch it to the oven. 

Anyway, back to the BRICK...this is the recipe I used which elicited this brick.

Here is a cross section... dense, no bubbles in the crumb, and oh yeah, I forgot to put an egg wash on the outside so the seeds I sprinkled on would adhere. Maharajah tells me the bread tastes fine and might even toast up well. So, I let it cool off a bit before slicing the entire loaf. I sliced it and put it in an airtight container in the fridge--afraid if I left it whole, as the loaf ages (we don't go through bread like crazy in my house), it might end up getting so hard I won't be able to get a knife through it.
This morning before heading to work, I put the second batch of sourdough rye in the fridge, and I also set up the Nesco pressure cooker with minced red onion, shred red cabbage, fresh ginger minced up, and a Braeburn apple which I shaved into it. I set it up to delay cook, and then set for a 4.5 hour slow cook, hoping that what will result will be a pretty good facsimile of red cabbage for tonight's German themed dinner...

... Assuming I have energy to fry up the schnitzel and get the gravy set up for it!

The anxiety attack which was fueling all this food production was brought on by the (false) knowledge that today was to be the day all my witnesses give statements on my behalf, only to find out today that the interviews have been postponed until March 3rd.

I came into the office first thing today still riding high on the anxiety, and it's taken me all day to try and relax a bit--the reality is, I won't really relax until this is all sorted out.  But now I'm shifting things from high anxiety mode back to my baseline of dysthymia. Pork has been seasoned and pounded already, I just need to dredge and fry and set up the gravy--when all I want to do is just go to bed. 

That all being said, I'm now daydreaming about a babka/kranz, and cannot for the life of me justify making it for myself as I'd be the only one eating it. But damn. I need one now.  

I just need to get through my day (roughly 1.5 more hours to go, then it's off to the market for a few incidentals). 

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