Monday, September 29, 2003

You might think that I would rest on Sunday and not cook at all. Ha! I have Baking with Julia to conquer, remember? Plus we had to do something with those leftover short ribs. I snagged a recipe from The Gift Of Southern Cooking that was totally different than the ribs I'd done the night before. You brown the ribs, and then saute onions and then add garlic and canned tomatoes and chicken stock and wine and simmer it before pouring it over the ribs in a casserole and baking them. They came out very nicely, though Jeff insisted I serve them with rice instead of grits. Jeff's a grits hater.

I also made the whole wheat sandwich bread from Baking With Julia, even though I couldn't find any malt extract. I'm not normally so cavalier about omitting ingredients, even in non-baking recipes- I'm a pretty by the book kind of cook. Even my one big homemade dish, pizza with lemon pepper cream sauce, caramelized onions, and prosciutto, is basically a restaurant recreation using separate cookbook recipes. I'm not that creative or instinctive, which is okay- I just want to be a good home cook. Anyway. So without malt extract or a stand mixer, I proceeded. The dough was supposed to be a tad sticky, and it was, but it was so much more handle-able than the shaggy sticky messes that my other two sandwich bread attempts had been. The last bread I made, I could barely look at the dough without getting it all over my arms. This bread dough, though, I could actually knead, and I did. It rose beautifully and I punched it down and put it in the loaf pans where it rose again. Then I went to bake it and somehow, midway through, the oven got turned down from 375 to 275 (I blame Jeff, who had been clearing up the kitchen after dinner). So I turned it back up and left Jeff in charge of getting the bread out of the oven. It came out quite tasty- my favorite sandwich bread yet.

I also decided to make mayonnaise from the recipe in The Gift of Southern Cooking. Substituting sherry vinegar for cider vinegar is not a good idea, I'll just tell y'all that. The mayonnaise came out vinegartastic. Vinegarrific. Vinegarabulous. Then I was too exhausted to make salad dressing, but fortunately had leftover orange citrus dressing from the dinner party.