pork floss garlic cheese bread

pork floss garlic cheese bread
pork floss garlic cheese bread
pork floss garlic cheese bread

My parents love to garden, especially things which grow well – and in more recent years they’ve discovered garlic. It began as one type, then a few more from the farmers market or specialty plant stores or gardener friends. Each saved bulb gets separated into papery cloves and planted in the fall, emerging next spring and harvested in the summer as a complete bulb. It all means I get access to all the garlic I could ever want and far more.

This year it is several cultivars of garlic. No one has kept track of just how many cloves got planted last year, but no doubt it is a lot.

pork floss garlic cheese bread
pork floss garlic cheese bread
pork floss garlic cheese bread
pork floss garlic cheese bread
pork floss garlic cheese bread

This is a sort-of-ish take on Korean cream cheese garlic bread – flower-shaped buns stuffed with sweetened cream cheese and dipped in a garlic-heavy custard. Between the cheese and custardy glaze, which soaks into the cut edges of the bread, it makes for a rich (and gooey) garlic bread with a noticeably endearing sweetness. It’s a case study in combining sweet and savoury, all in the backdrop of toasty bread and plenty of garlic.

As delicious as the classic cream cheese garlic bread it, I find myself slightly wishing it wasn’t quite as sweet (which is very much just my personal preference!). That, and I was thinking about how this might go well with another sweet-savoury thing, pork floss, made of dried shreds of pork which are slightly sweetened and spiced. The result were these buns, made of milk bread bread baked with a savoury garlic cream cheese filling, then doused in the classic garlic glaze and crowned with a majestic pile of pork floss. Slid into the oven for a second bake, they emerge pungent, the bun soft and the frayed edges of the pork floss charred. By letting the pork floss be the main source of sweetness, it retains the sweet-savoury homage to the classic, but keeps it more subtle. To me, it’s the perfect balance and my ideal sweetness for a garlic bread. (Though if you’re a true Korean cream cheese garlic bread fan, I’ve also included a suggestion for a sweetened filling as well.)

After a couple batches of these two weekends in a row the entire kitchen smelled like garlic, my clothes smelled like garlic, and I smelled like garlic. I ate one every day for lunch for a week until my blood became permanently infused with garlic. I think I finally became one with the garlic. Good practice for the upcoming garlic season later this summer.

pork floss garlic cheese bread

pork floss garlic cheese bread

Milk bread adapted from Christine’s Recipes. Korean garlic cheese bread aspects adapted from The Plaid Apron.

tangzhong

  • 51g water
  • 10g all-purpose flour

milk bread

  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp warm water
  • 36g milk
  • 10g heavy cream
  • 25g egg
  • 150g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 10g granulated sugar
  • 16g butter, softened

first bake

cream cheese filling

  • 80g cream cheese
  • 1 thin green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

eggwash

  • beaten egg for egg wash

second bake

garlic butter glaze

  • 28g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 15g (1 tbsp) milk
  • 3/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp each dried oregano and dried basil
  • 12g egg

garnish

  • pork floss

To make the tangzhong, whisk together the flour and water in a small saucepan until there are no lumps. Heat over low-medium, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens into a thin paste and lines are left in the roux behind when stirring (check by stirring without touching the bottom of the saucepan). If you have a thermometer, check the temperature – it should be 65C or 149F. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

For the dough, mix together the yeast, tbsp of water and a sprinkle of sugar. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes until it bubbles and smells yeasty (not necessary with instant yeast but sometimes I prefer this to ensure the yeast granules break up).

Whisk the milk and eggs into the tangzhong.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat gluten if using, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the tangzhong/milk/egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon (or use the dough hook of a standmixer) until a cohesive dough is formed. Turn out onto the counter and knead in the soft butter in two additions. The dough should be smooth, elastic and tacky. Place the dough in a container and let rise overnight in the fridge (or if you want to do it all in one day, go ahead and let it rise 1 hour at room temperature or until doubled and then proceed immediately).

The next day turn out the risen dough on a floured surface. Deflate and divide into 6 equal pieces (each about 50g). Roll each piece into a ball, then use a rolling pin to roll each ball out to 8cm diameter disc. Place the pieces of dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Use your fingers to poke the centre of each disc to thin out the amount of dough there (it will make it a bit easier for you later when filling). Cover and let rise until well puffed, 1-2 hours (longer if the dough is cold).

Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix together the cream cheese, green onion, garlic and salt. (If you prefer the sweet filling which is more classic, you can also mix in about 15g of sugar.) Set aside until ready to use.

Near the end of the rise, start preheating the oven to 375F for the first bake. Once the dough is risen, fill the dough. Wet your fingers under the tap so the dough doesn’t stick, and tamp a loonie-sized area in the centre of each bun to accommodate the filling. Scoop about 1 tbsp of the cream cheese filling into each indent. Brush the buns all over with beaten egg. Place the buns in the oven and turn the temperature down to 350F. Bake around 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let the baked buns cool a few minutes before proceeding with the next steps.

Next, prepare for the second bake by turning the oven temperature up to 400F. Make the garlic butter glaze by placing the butter and milk together in a small heatproof bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the remaining ingredients for the glaze.

Use a thin bamboo skewer to poke the buns all over – this will allow a little but of the glaze to seep into the bun itself. Brush the buns generously with the glaze. Put a large spoonful of pork floss on top of each bun.

Bake the buns for about 5 minutes or until the pork floss has browned a bit, the garlic is fragrant and glaze that has slid down the sides of the buns and onto the tray is sizzling. Eat warm!

rosemary & yuzu kosho focaccia (& the cousin reviews…2021)

rosemary yuzu kosho focaccia

The Cousin (aka the Writographer) is my one and only loyal blog reader. As she lives across the country from me, she often doesn’t often get the chance to actually try my bakes but I always love hearing her impressions on the recipes. I went through our texts to collect some thoughts she had sent about the past year’s worth of recipes, for a bit of a blog year in review from her perspective. (Shared with my cousin’s permission!)

the cousin reviews…2021

Chocolate prune and whiskey ice cream: Why would you add prunes and whiskey to chocolate ice cream? Interesting though, just not my taste.  

Mango fennel mousse cake: The mango fennel mousse cake looks incredible!
Do I like mango? No…
Do I despise fennel? Yes…
But it looks really good. I am almost tempted.

Orange, fennel & almond biscotti: I almost like the flavours, but I hate fennel.

Grapefruit cream tart: I think I would eat that grapefruit tart! Yay, you’ve now made two things I’ll eat.

Saffron & cardamom hot cross buns: …hmm.

Burnt miso and star anise banana tarte tatin: Interesting. I am not a fan of bananas and I really dislike star anise. So…

Cardamom-poached rhubarb & browned butter almond tart: I hate cardamom, not sure about rhubarb and sometimes I like almond. But I love butter.

Beet morning glory muffins: Your photos for the muffins look so good! But I don’t think I’d enjoy them… (beets, coconut, raisins, and pecans…)

Caramelized banana houjicha cream puffs: Apart from the banana, the cream puffs look delicious!

Spiced chestnut pumpkin tart: I’m surprised that you’re still cooking with chestnut purée. I am scarred for life.
Pie looks great though.
Ugh I will never have chestnut puree again.

(While this might make my cousin sound picky, she does seem to eat just about anything I give her (including many of the ingredients she professes to dislike) so either she is far too trusting or far less picky than she thinks, or both.)

rosemary yuzu kosho focaccia
rosemary yuzu kosho focaccia
rosemary yuzu kosho focaccia
rosemary yuzu kosho focaccia

I made this rosemary focaccia with the addition of yuzu kosho, a fermented yuzu and chili condiment (for more on yuzu kosho and ways to use it, look at this article from Just One Cookbook!). The yuzu kosho provides spice and a bit of citrus, a combination I love along with the rosemary, and acts to really brighten up the focaccia. I’m also a big fan of this dough, adapted from a Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe: high hydration, springy and rises with a great craggy crumb.

I am on the fence about how edible my cousin thinks this focaccia would be. While I think she would like the yuzu kosho, I’m not sure how she feels about rosemary… (Edit: the cousin has spoken – rosemary is fine but she is not sure about the spice from the yuzu kosho… until next time she visits, I suppose!)

rosemary yuzu kosho focaccia

rosemary & yuzu kosho focaccia

  • Servings: one 9 by 13-inch pan
  • Print

Dough adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible. 

dough

  • 300g all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 240g water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + more for the pan

topping

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp green yuzu kosho
  • 1 heaping packed tbsp rosemary leaves
  • coarse salt

To make the dough, combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Once a rough dough is formed, cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 20 minutes.

To knead in a mixer, use the dough hook (about 10-15 minutes on medium speed; probably quicker on a higher speed) and work the dough until very stretchy and elastic and at least close to passing the windowpane test. It will become less sticky as you go on.

To knead by hand, as it’s a very well hydrated and sticky dough, this is a perfect time to use the slap and fold method à la Richard Bertinet (Beranbaum describes a method to do with pinching the dough to elongate it but I expect it accomplishes the same thing). Pick up the dough in both hands and slap it down on the countertop. Pull the part of the dough you’re holding towards you to stretch the dough, then fold it in half. Pick up the dough again, but this time from a 90 degree angle so that when you slap it back down the dough is rotated 90 degrees. Repeat. Throughout the process the dough will be very sticky, but that’s okay! Relax, tell yourself it’s okay that my hands are coated in sticky dough, and try not to use any additional flour. I find the best way to keep myself motivated about kneading is to listen to music – this dough is a three-song knead (about 10 minutes). By the end, the dough should be supple and stretchy, and perhaps less sticky than it began.

Place the dough in a bowl, cover with the damp cloth, and let rest twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch out the dough into a square and fold into thirds like a letter in one direction, and fold into thirds again in the other direction. Return to the bowl, rest another 20 minutes and repeat the folding.

Let the dough rise until it appears about doubled, 1-2 hours.

Pour a bit of olive oil into a 9×13″ metal baking tin and spread it around to grease the tin. Pull the dough out of the bowl and stretch it out in your hands first into a rectangular shape. Place the dough in the pan and turn it over so both sides are coated in oil. Use your fingers to stretch out the dough to fit the pan. It will probably spring back on your a bit so cover the pan, let the dough relax 15 minutes, and then stretch the dough again. (Repeat another time if needed – try not to overdo it on the olive oil and this process will be easier).

Allow to rise until bubbly and it appears somewhat doubled in height, approximately another 1 1/2 hours.

While the dough rises, whisk together the olive oil and yuzu kosho – it won’t become smooth, but the yuzu kosho will separate into smaller bits and become more distributed throughout the oil. Add the rosemary leaves and mix.

Preheat the oven to 450F near the end of the rise.

Once the dough is risen, dip your hands in water and use your fingers to deeply dimple the dough all over, pressing down to the bottom of the pan. Use a spoon to scatter the oil mixture evenly, being sure to get some yuzu kosho clumps in each spoonful, over the focaccia (you may need to use your fingers to separate the rosemary leaves to prevent them from clumping). Sprinkle generously!! with salt.

Place the focaccia in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until browned on top.

bureka with green harissa and eggs

bureka with green harissa and eggs
bureka with green harissa and eggs
bureka with green harissa and eggs
bureka with green harissa and eggs

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery is a bit of Calgary institution, and for good reason: think dark-crusted loaves, immaculate pastries and Israeli cuisine. A few years ago I had tried the the cheese bureka (or boureka), flaky pastry around salty cheese, warmed and filled with sliced egg and a herbaceous green harissa. It was one of the most immediately delicious things I’ve had.

Not a hmm, it’s growing on me delicious or a hmm, acquired taste delicious or even a hmm, actually that’s quite delicious. It was a OH, very delicious sort of thing. No time to hmm. As you might imagine, between the butter, flake, salt, spice and herb there is almost no path except to very delicious.

bureka with green harissa and eggs
bureka with green harissa and eggs
bureka with green harissa and eggs
bureka with green harissa and eggs
bureka with green harissa and eggs

Most often burekas tend to be filled with cheese, spinach, potato or meat (read more about the history and origin of burekas here!). I like how simple cheese filling plays the additional fillings. Making them yourself is never going to be quite Sidewalk Citizen, but it’s hard for it not to be still rather good! I’ve brought these on picnics too, with sliced eggs and green harissa in separate containers for the splitting and filling.

I’ve made these a number of times now and I often seem to end up with some filling leakage (probably because I like an overly generous filling and can’t stop myself…). The browned and crisped cheese filling is actually quite yummy…but to minimize filling leakage, I found these steps help:

  1. Ensure the dough is rolled out large enough for each square to be 4.5 to 5″ squares, otherwise they’ll be overfilled!
  2. Also ensure the dough is fairly thin, about 3mm. Use the recommended quantity of dough rolled to recommended dimensions. Too thick and they can pop open as happened to me in one batch!
  3. Seal the dough well – ensure you have a border free of filling, brush the border with a bit of egg or water to help it seal, and press down
bureka with green harissa and eggs

bureka with green harissa and eggs

Puff pastry from Joe Pastry, filling from Epicurious, and shaping more so from Tori Avey. Green harissa recipe from bon appetit. Inspiration from Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.

bureka

  • 350g puff pastry (a bit over half recipe, see below)
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  • sesame seeds

filling

  • 50g (1/2 c) grated old white cheddar
  • 65g (1/2 c) crumbled feta
  • 1 egg
  • 18g (1 spoonful) thick yoghurt
  • ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

For the filling, mix together all ingredients.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle 9 by 14.5″ or 10 by 15″ (dough will be around 3mm thick). To prevent the dough from springing back as you roll it, you may need to rest the dough in the fridge once partially rolled out. Trim the edges to make a clean rectangle. Cut into six 4.5 to 5″ squares.

Place a generous tablespoon of filling on each square (you’ll probably have a bit extra). Brush a bit of beaten egg along the border to help it seal, then fold half the dough over onto itself to form a triangle. Press to seal.  To ensure there’s no leakage, make sure you at least have a border of 1 cm to seal with. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then turn down temperature to 350F for another 15-20 minutes or until very golden and puffed.

to serve

  • boiled eggs, sliced

green harissa

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced (use a small clove so garlic is not overwhelming)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
  • juice from half a lemon (around 1.5 – 2 tbsp)
  • scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt

I won’t even attempt to provide instructions on boiling eggs! It’s is a very personal thing – in terms of preference, altitude, and stovetop, anyhow. For me, at a bit of a higher elevation, a creamy deeper yellow – but not runny – yolk takes 9 minutes of simmering, but at sea level it’s been closer to 7.5 minutes. Boil your eggs however it works for you!

To make the green harissa, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Taste and add lemon as needed.

To serve, open a warm bureka, spread with green harissa and top with sliced egg.

puff pastry

  • Servings: about 650g pastry
  • Print

From Joe Pastry – see here for recipe and here for lamination instructions. His lamination instructions are a gem – both for the instructive pictures, but also for the gleeful lines such as “when making pastry, violence is always the first resort.” Indeed. 

  • 250g a.p. flour
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 35g soft butter
  • 113g water
  • 1/4 tsp vinegar (which I’ve read elsewhere helps prevent discolouration of the dough – likely referring to the oxidation of the flour)

butter slab

  • 252g butter
  • 2 tbsp a.p. flour

Make the dough: whisk together/use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to combine the flour and salt. Add in the butter, mixing into it’s fairly incorporated. Add the water and vinegar, mixing until a dough is beginning to be formed – at this point switch to the dough hook. Add a bit of water at a time if some dry flour remains until it is all incorporated. Knead just until a cohesive dough is formed. Wrap in plastic and chill at least a couple hours.

Once the dough is chilled, make the butter slab: Lay the butter on a double layer of plastic wrap, sprinkling over the flour. Cover with more plastic and use a rolling pin to smack the butter flat. Turn the butter over onto itself to help incorporate the butter and smack again, continuing as needed until the butter becomes soft and flexible, but still cool to the touch and not shiny or greasy appearing, at which point it would be too warm. As you do this, use the pin or a ruler as a straight edge to mold the butter into a tidy square shape.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square a bit larger than the butter slab. Lay the butter slab on the square dough like a diamond, so the points of the butter slab point to, and nearly touch, the midpoint of each side. Pull each corner of the dough to the middle of the butter slab in order to seal in the butter slab. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal.

Smack with a rolling pin starting from the middle out in each direction to help distribute the butter into all the far reaches of the envelope. Once the butter has been distributed, start rolling out into a large rectangle – my dough may have been around 1 cm thick or so. I haven’t put in any specifics on dimensions because at this point I don’t think it matters too much – and I found that not worrying about measurements made the whole process less stressful and more enjoyable. Fold the dough into thirds along the largest dimension to form a new, smaller rectangle to complete the first fold. Wrap tightly in plastic to prevent the outside of the dough from drying out and chill for 1 hour.

For the second fold, lightly flour the counter and again roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Fold into thirds, then wrap tightly and chill for another hour. Repeat the process four times more for a total of six folds. The dough is then ready to use.

giant aged cheddar gougères with jam & butter

giant cheddar gougeres
giant cheddar gougeres
giant cheddar gougeres

My love for these gougères makes me wonder at the power of form, shape and dimension in influencing our experience of eating… or to put my revelation in other words: bigger is better.

In the end they are what they are – gougères, choux pastry flecked with grated cheese – and the exact same recipe I’ve made multiple times before. But the larger size gives these puffs a generously rustic, scone-like presence. You can hold it in two hands and take what you think is a substantive bite only for it to collapse in a puff of air and bronzed batter and butter and toasted cheese. They are what I imagine scones would be if you rubbed in air in the place of cold butter.

giant cheddar gougeres
giant cheddar gougeres
giant cheddar gougeres

I was inspired by the gougères at Pigeonhole where they’re served massive plus butter and jam. I haven’t had the chance to try theirs, but I was immediately fascinated when I mistook them for scones at first glance.

These gougères are delicious on their own (and that is generally how I end up eating them), but after trying them with some strawberry rhubarb jam I made last summer, I quite enjoyed that too! Another idea: apple butter?

The gougères are best the day of while they’ve retained a contrast between the crisp exterior and a custardy honeycombed interior. It’s not too hard to finish them on the first day though; after all, they are literally half, if not more, air and hence easily inhaled. (Or so I excuse myself after eating half the batch.)

giant cheddar gougeres
giant cheddar gougeres
giant cheddar gougeres

tips to keep your giant gougeres giant

I’ve made several batches of these, and while I still occasionally have a sinker or two, there are a couple of things I’ve picked up on to ensure maximal puff:

  1. Allow the batter to cool before mixing in the grated cheese to prevent it from melting before hitting the oven
  2. Resist the temptation to sprinkle additional shredded cheese on top – small gougères can handle it, but these ones tend to sink under even a little bit
  3. Proper batter consistency – sometimes if I’m making choux pastry where I want it to hold it’s shape, I’ll err on slightly stiffer batter. But I’ve found that if it’s too stiff, the pastry won’t puff as much, so in this case be sure to add the entire 2 large eggs as specified in the recipe.
giant cheddar gougeres

giant aged cheddar gougères with jam & butter

  • Servings: 6 gougères
  • Print
Adapted from Alain Ducasse with whole wheat flour, cheddar, herbs and now gigantic. They are big, but they go so fast that a double recipe could be warranted…

gougères

  • 60g water (1/4 cup)
  • 60g milk (1/4 cup)
  • 57g butter (1/2 a stick)
  • good pinch salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp picked thyme leaves (fresh) or other herbs if desired (optional)
  • 65g whole wheat flour (1/2 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g aged white cheddar, coarsely grated

to serve (optional!)

  • salted butter
  • jam of choice

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a saucepan, warm the water, milk, salt and butter until the butter is fully melted. Bring to a boil, add the flour and quickly mix in with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and continue to cook the mixture until it forms a ball. Remove the pastry from the heat and let cool a bit before adding the eggs one at a time, beaten into the pastry most easily with the aid of a wire whisk. The dough should now be shiny, but not fluid. If still quite hot, let cool until room temperature, and mix in the herbs, some ground black pepper, followed by the grated cheese. I’ve found that the gougères don’t puff as well if the cheese melts when mixed into the hot dough, so let it cool!

Transfer the pastry to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (or no tip is fine too!). Pipe six mounds of pastry, around 3-4 tbsp in size (or about 6cm in diameter by 2-3cm in height) evenly spaced on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of coarse salt. While it’s tempting to sprinkle these with grated cheese, I’ve found it impedes their rise and causes a bit of collapse. Great for small gougères, not so great for giant gougères.

Bake for around 30-35 minutes or until deeply golden brown. If they’re browning relatively evenly, I would not bother rotating the tray. If they’re browning very unevenly, wait until a a brown crust is formed (at least around 25 minutes) before rotating them near the end to minimize risk of collapse.

As soon as you can handle them, cut a slit in the bottom of each puff to let the steam release and let cool on a wire rack.

Best still slightly warm on their own, or with salted butter and jam.

rosemary & gruyere sourdough brioche

rosemary gruyere sourdough brioche bun loaf
rosemary gruyere sourdough brioche bun loaf

If we were to try to summarize the state of my sourdough starter Bartholomew, “criminal neglect” would be an accurate term to use. But recently my sourdough starter has been the happiest and liveliest it has ever been. And no, it’s not because I have taken on the mantle of pandemic sourdough baking. Rather, my mum has. And she has also taken to the task of keeping Bartholomew fed and watered with gusto.

I feel a bit jealous sometimes – a companion I created in eighth grade, living up life under someone else’s care and seeming all the more happier for it. But sometimes if you love someone, you’ve got to let them go.

And more than I am jealous, I am lazy so all in all it’s a relief. The situation has been rather convenient – upon spontaneously deciding I want to do a bit of sourdough baking, I can borrow some bright and bubbly starter. (This, as opposed to opening the jar for the first time in months to find a layer of sludge laying below an inch of alcohol, necessitating a week-long pampered revival before Bartholomew deigns to leaven even the smallest bun.)

Continue reading “rosemary & gruyere sourdough brioche”

beet green pasqualina

beet green pasqualina

I have, perhaps, lamented the annual fall beet harvest before, where we are routinely overwhelmed with a last minute deluge of beets prompted by the first frost. But the problem dubious blessing about growing your own beets is that you also end up with triple the volume in beet greens.

And so after we’ve had our fill of boiled beet greens, beet green goma ae, beet greens cooked with garlic, and beet greens cooked with dou ban jiang, I start to wonder what else we can do.

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potato & cheddar danishes

potato cheddar danish
potato cheddar danish
potato cheddar danish

This dreadful idea came to me a few years ago while I was preparing for a university club bakesale: a danish filled with thin layers of potato and cheese. And, even worse, in the form of a neat square-shaped danish which necessitates a neatly cut square-shaped filling.

What a horrendous idea. Each time I make these, I survey a work surface covered in bechamel and swear I will never make them again. Though, given that I’ve made these finicky danishes four times, perhaps they are worth it.

Continue reading “potato & cheddar danishes”

yuzu kosho pissaladière danishes

yuzu kosho pissaladiere danishes yuzu kosho pissaladiere danishes

Certainly advocates are not a monolith, but some of the key advocacy organizations leading the current movement such as Black Lives Matter TO, have not recommended body cameras as a measure to reduce police violence. On the other hand, body cameras seem to be a popular proposal by governments, and a frequent recommendation in police service use of force reviews I’ve read. As I’ve explained before, I think it is best to follow the lead of advocates.

A recent discussion I had about body cameras has prompted me to write up my impressions on the debate in order to formalize my thoughts for any future discussions. In sum, I would characterize body cameras 1) a reform with a small potential benefit likely outweighed by a large cost, and 2) furthermore a measure that maintains/increases the scope of policing, which is the opposite of what the defund movement is pushing for.

Continue reading “yuzu kosho pissaladière danishes”

white cheddar & za’atar scones

cheddar za'atar sconescheddar za'atar scones

My introduction to Bouchon Bakery  by Thomas Keller & Sebastien Rouxel began with my sister waxing poetic on everything she had made from the book. Even the chocolate chip cookies were probably the best cookies she had ever made.

This scone recipe is a riff off of their savoury bacon cheddar scones, and they are probably the best scones I’ve ever made.

What’s that – a good scone? Yes – a good scone: i.e. the perennial struggle! There are many things that I tend to make terribly over and over again, scones one amongst them. There have been tough scones, flat scones, scones that are just straight up proper paperweights.

These scones are actually, like, good scones – baking up light while tasting like blocks of butter and browned cheese and herbs.

Continue reading “white cheddar & za’atar scones”

olive paste & feta babka

olive paste & feta babka
olive paste & feta babka
olive paste & feta babka

For me, part of hashtag-quarantine-cuisine is reacquainting myself with the contents of my parents’ cupboards.  Such as a tin of black olives with a best before date of Feb 9, 2011 (or perhaps Aug 2, 2011 – I never remember whether the day or month comes first – but either way we can assume 11 refers to the year). I asked someone to try an olive for me. Surprisingly, or rather unsurprisingly, the olives tasted fine.

After meeting my family’s approval for consumption, I still had some reservations of eating them straight. Or perhaps more accurately, I don’t often eat canned olives as a snack, so they ended up being chopped into a paste via food processor. Spread onto a butter-enriched bread dough with crumbled feta produced this savoury babka.

Continue reading “olive paste & feta babka”