Been thinking about what to do for 3hrs of documentation. Initially I did a timelaspe of myself sleeping but it was kinda boring (seriously it’s just me fidgeting a lot, and it’s not very clear either since my sheets are navy and my room is dark so it’s like black-on-black lumps) And then I was talking to Scott, and one of the things he mentioned was he hadn’t had pg tips and shortbread! and I was o.m.g I need to rectify the situation!!!!!!!
….Thus, the 3hr condensed timelaspe of close-ups of me cooking. When I’m stressed I cook. Or bake. Or both. During my undergraduate thesis year there was never a house more well-fed; I would make things like beef bourguignon, fish head soup, handmade icecream, earl grey creme brulee, double-boiled herbal chicken etc etc basically if it was complicated, required ridiculous amount of prep and technique – I would do it. The equation was Stress = Complication. So the more stressed I was, the more complicated the dish would be. One finals week – I clearly remember – I had 2,500 words to write in 8hrs, and I was standing in front of the oven making noisettes de porc aux pruneaux (simple trans: pork & prunes – but I make mine as a pork roundale with a prune compote stuffing, roll it; tie it and bake the entire thing) and torn between utter ZEN of cooking and utter PANIC of omg-i-haven’t-finished-writing!!!!
So today’s dishes is shortbread chocolate chunk biscuits and frustrated pasta. Shortbread is something I can make in my sleep – I’ve been making it since I was 10, and selling it at every single bake sale/school fair/valentine’s day/church sale/whatever. The “short” comes from the crumbly texture of the biscuit – it should be buttery but not oily; crunchy but not flakey and have a kind of “more-ish” crumbly taste. Adding chocolate makes it non-traditional (my sister calls it “a decadent abomination.” LOL) but since everything else is oldschool – what the heck, it’s my biscuit!
1 part sugar
2 parts butter (SALTED BUTTER!)
3 parts flour
1. heat your oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
2. cream butter/sugar. add flour until combined. chuck into the fridge for 20mins
3. re-flour surface and unload dough. DO NOT KNEAD. fold flour until paste is not-sticky. put in a greased pan. top with extra sugar. bake for 15-20 mins~.
** other flavours I’ve tried is myrtle lemon & thyme; lavender & chocolate; coffee & hazulnut flour (substitute half normal/half hazulnut flour); orange & almond flour
Also I’m a proud supporter of the Salted Butter tradition. If you use salted butter you don’t need to add additional salt, plus the saltyness is mellowed out since it’s combined (it’s a creamy saltiness as opposed to grains everyyyyywhere) and the cooking purist in me just fucking hates unsalted butter.
I call this my Frustrated Pasta because I only cook it when I’m frustrated. It’s an unbearably tedious thing to make because it involves ridiculous amounts of chopping – you have to made the sauce from scratch (luckily, I usually make a ton and keep it in the freezer), and then involves more chopping etc etc
5 green peppers (cleaned, halved de-seeded)
5 red peppers (cleaned, halved de-seeded)
** 3 fresh birds’ eye chilli (clean, halved de-seeded)
8 beef tomatoes or 10 roma tomatoes
1 whole bulb of garlic
-glazing marinade (melted butter, tsuyu (japanese soy sauce), brown sugar, olive oil)
1. heat oven to 350f
2. dump and dunk all your veg in the marinade, including the garlic (skin and all)
3. roast veg for 20-30mins until charred and soft
4. blend all your veg + spices together (for garlic, squeeze the goop out. it’ll come out like jam). leave it to cool. pour a layer of oil to preserve
frangrancers (garlic + 1/2 green pepper + onion + fresh basil) <– sliced
hard veg ( 1/2 eggplant + 1 zucchini + kale stems + cherry tomatoes) <– chopped, chunked
soft veg (kale leaves, rocket)
meat ( 5 stripes of bacon)
butter/olive oil/balsamic vinegar/tsuyu/sugar/base sauce/pepper/tabasco
1. heat your pan, add oil. heat somemore until the oil is fucking hot then add all the frangrancers and turn the heat down to low and wait for the veg to sweat
2. once the veg begins to sweat, add a lob of cold COLD butter and whisk it into the hot oil with sugar and tsuyu. you’ll produce a creamy sauce base (in french, it’s a buerre monte)
3. turn the heat up, add your sauce base + balsamic vinegar + tabasco and let it thicken until the sauce begins to caramelise (it’ll turn darker) add your bacon strips to the demi-glace ( you’ll get glazed bacon which is 100x superior to plain fried bacon)
4. just before it burns, add you chunky veg, turn the heat down, stir. If it’s too sticky, take a ladle-ful or two of pasta water (cos obviously your’re multitasking, right. right???!) simmer the stuff until it’s goopy and soft and smells like the Italian grandmother you don’t have.
5. turn the heat off, add your soft veg and mix it in. add your pasta and let it cool a bit. the sauce will become thicken once cooled (personally I think it tastes best the next day)
and ta da!! not only are you LESS frustrated (all your energy in the chopping and boiling and sweating on stove) but you also have a fantastically delicious meal that can keep for a week or two AND you have 3hrs of documentation completed AND you have yay! shortbread to snack/bring to school. It’s usually too much for one; so I pack it up into tupperware. Pasta feeds 8 meals for 1 person.