The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.
So, for the February Darling Bakers’ challenge was to make Tiramisu. Let me clear this up from the start, I just did not make Tiramisu, I made everything from scratch. The challenge was to make Mascarpone cheese, Salvoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers), and Zabagline. At first the part that scared me the most about this challenge was making the cheese. I had never made cheese before, and the unknown is scary I suppose. So this blog post is going to take you though my journey. My ups and downs of my first Tiramisu. First I will explain the Mascarpone, then biscuits, then Zabaglione and finally how to assemble the darn thing. Please keep in mind that this is a three to four day process. I would recommend making the cheese and the biscuits on the first day. The next day make the pastry cream and the Zabaglione. Assemble it the following day, and eat on the fourth day.
This recipe was inspired from The Silver Spoon: Pasta cookbook. You might read this recipe and think butter in red sauce?? Trust me its my new favorite trick. It adds a velvet quality to the sauce that just rolls across your tongue. Do yourself a favor, taste this tomato sauce before you blend it up, before you put in the mascarpone cheese.. you will be beyond shocked the flavor and the velvet quality this simple sauce has. If you don’t have mascarpone cheese, just blend the sauce up and serve it with the pasta and maybe some freshly broiled shrimp or chicken. This is a great week night meal that is easy on your pantry and wallet.
This recipe was inspired from Gourmet Magazine. I often hear the following complaints: week nights are hard to find the time and energy to cook up a fabulous meal, and the most common complaint is recipe X has too many ingredients that I don’t have in my pantry. I think this recipe is good for a causal cook because most of the items are things all cooks should have in the kitchen. The only thing I may not have on hand all the time is the cream, but more often then not I have a little jug of it in my frig. I have scaled this recipe down to serve two people; you could easily double this recipe to feed four. This recipe is also kid friendly in my opinion. You could easily cook five pork chops, make the sauce for two and serve the kids chops with apple sauce.
I’m not sure why or when simple whole food got replaced with processed food. Processed food usually still has to be heated or doctored in some way or another, and always costs more then whole food. I’m sure you could buy some processed pork chops for more than double the price of what you would pay to make this meal, and save like 15 minutes time. Just being a little more organized with your menu planning will save you money and the time won’t be an issue. And don’t forget the biggest bonus; you will be eating delicious healthy food vs what you get from the deli counter.
The 2010 February Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.
This months challenge allowed for lots of creativity. The two mandatory items were the Pita Breads and the Hummus. Even though the hummus recipe was mandatory we were allowed to flavor our hummus; I choose to add fire roasted red bell peppers. The fresh hummus was just delicious with the hand made pita bread. I added a bowl of green olives and raw almonds to my Mezze table along with a balsamic vinegar couscous salad.
I used dried chick peas to make the hummus and I would recommend using them over canned. They bring so much more flavor and almost a different texture than canned. Using dried beans is always cheaper to boot.
For sometime now I have been very disappointed with the sourdough bread that I can purchase locally. I live in the Bay Area and for crying out loud sourdough bread should be easy to get. There are a few places I know that are not very close to my apartment so I decided to make my own sourdough starter and give this a try.
My idea was to make sourdough baguettes to serve at Brenda and Tom’s Superbowl party. The only problem I ran into was the size of my baking pans. The sheets were a little to small to fit a nice long baguette. In the end they came out like cute little chubby baguettes. The taste will make up for the larger size bruschetta I plan on serving.
This recipe has been adapted from Alaska Cookbook: Inside Passage. Years ago my Parents went on a trip to Alaska and brought back this cute little cookbook/pamphlet. I remember the trip fondly as I house sat for them. Ah that was a fun summer. Sorry about your car Mom, love you.