Saturday, July 21, 2012
chaos in the kitchen
It started last night. I was prepared to make some succulent lamb shanks ~ a great favorite in this household. I got out the cutting board, the carrots, little Yukon golds, onion, garlic, rosemary, broth, red wine. Then Mr. C unwrapped the shanks he bought a few days ago and put DIRECTLY into the freezer. The smell just about made me toss my cookies. Mr. C insisted they were fine and we should just go ahead and cook them. I should note here that he is the official taster (and sniffer) but he missed by a mile on this one. I was all for rewrapping them and going back to the store with the fetid things. Oh no, they'll cook up nicely. So into the pot they went and the stench was just that; not a scent, not a delicious odor of braising lamb, but a nasty, acrid stench. Half way through the cooking Mr. C finally relented and hauled the pot outside, opened up all the doors, turned on the AC and aired out the house. Needless to say, the above photo was not our entrée. We had pizza. The shank wrapper and the second package we bought go back to the store tomorrow. If the butcher doesn't believe this story we will take the rotten things up and let him get a whiff.
Not satisfied with that effort, today I decided to make some yeast bread with fresh corn to try out my new KitchenAid® with a bread hook. I have made this recipe several times and it makes sensational toast but it's a real labor of love. The dough is sticky and hard to knead. I made the poolish first thing this morning, got out the machine, tossed all the ingredients in the bowl and started it up. Now I know why it was only $100! Some types do not have a motor arm that lifts up; it's permanently in place. The one I bought does have the motor arm on a hinge so you can lift it up away from the mixing bowl. There is a little sliding lock to keep the arm in place when the machine is running. Here's where the problem showed up. The lock doesn't seem to hold the arm in a locked position so as the bread hook does its work the motor arm jumps around. I ended up having to hold the arm down while the machine did the work. It's a fair trade-off, almost. After two risings, the dough bloomed over the edge of the pans beautifully. I put them into the oven and an hour later, out they came.
The hardest thing about baking bread is keeping Mr. C from slicing off a piece before it's cool enough. He waitied the required two hours, then brought me a piece to test. The best I've ever done on this recipe; crusty on the outside, soft, tender and fragrant with corn on the inside. Lovely soft texture.