Monday, January 8, 2007

This year, I dare...


No, no, no - no kissing of fish! Silly!

Yes, I'm a follower. So sue me. But I like this idea - I'm always game for a challenge, especially the ones I impose on myself, heh! So this year, with a little inspiration from my fellow bloggers, I dare:
  • To do more comparative cooking and, especially, baking. Why are bleached flours better in some instances? Why do a cold rise for bread, when the warm one is so much faster? What happens when you use sour dough vs. yeast vs. a biga? Hmm. Let's see if I can do this...
  • Cook Osso Buco. The whole "big pieces of meat"-thing hasn't entered my kitchen too often, but I love me a good braise - Osso Buco could be a place to start.
  • Make pasta Ooops. I actually did this, for the first time, for New Years Eve - and I loved it! I was given a pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid two Christmases (is that a word?) ago, so it was about time. How about this, then: to use my Kitchen Aid attachments more often - I've also got a meat grinder, and (of course!) a sausage stuffer - must try making homemade sausages!
  • Enter the Indian kitchen. I like spices. Martin like spices. I like Thai and Chinese food, but for some reason, they don't really appeal to the loved one. Indian food though - that he likes. What little he's tried so far, anyways. I've been reluctant to try making it myself, 'cause I have no idea what the 'real' deal is like - Indian restaurants are here, but a lot of them are just too, umm, grungy looking for me to want to try them. With the help of all the Indian food bloggers out there, I should be able to get a got idea of what it's all about though, so I feel pretty confident that authenticity shouldn't pose too big a problem. Anywho, as long as what I end up with tastes good, authenticity might have to wait until I lure him with me to the country itself! Dishes I'd like to try: samosas - Dal Makhani - five in total is the goal (but more are of course okay!)
  • Cook Chicken Parmesan, a classic Wienerschnitzel and Cordon Bleu. Yup - MEAT! These are dishes I've either heard a lot about or already know I like to eat myself - but I've never tried making them, just ordering them. Time for a change.
  • Make puff pastry. GAH! And then bake me some fine Danish "Wienerbrød" with it. Doesn't get much more Danish than that, does it?
  • Thrash less food because it's gone bad. I'm guilty of doing that way too much, and it a) makes for a food budget that's probably a lot bigger than it ought to be and b) I feel bad when I do it. It's thoughtless and overflow-ish in a way I don't like, so I'll try to be more aware of what I have lying around and use it/freeze it/give it away before it's gone'rs. Starting with that big tub of mascarpone from New Years...
  • Find the recipe for Ranch dressing I've been looking for...
  • Make stock! Vegetable, veal and chicken - and maybe fish. And actually keep some handy, throughout the year (am I clashing with no. 7 here?) Shall this be the year of the death of Touch of Taste? (a liquid stock thing)
  • Cook fish, at least once a week. Or, maybe, eat fish, at least once a week. Because it's good for me. And Martin, too.
  • And oh, the agony: It has been suggested that my cookbook collection is ever-expanding, and the basket of magazines ain't getting no smaller as the years go by. So. I know this is probably going to be somewhere near IMPOSSIBLE for me to keep, but I'll try. I'll try not to buy any cookbooks. Like Jennifer said, gifted ones are of course perfectly acceptable. As are magazines, bought myself or gifted ones. C'mon, you don't want me totally deprived and depressed, do you?
Let's see how it goes, shall we?:-)


18 comments:

ilva said...

I like your list and I'm looking forward to see the results! Great pics too!

Pille said...

Great list! I'm posting mine in the next 2 days (hopefully), and osso bucco features on mine, too.
I love the bottom picture of the fish - so romantic:)

Tanna said...

Beautiful picture!
Good for you - your dare choices are excellent although I'm not to sure about that last one. Maybe you've left enough wiggle room for yourself there, so OK.

Tanna said...

I mean both the pictures!

McAuliflower said...

great listing! I know I'm inspired!

joey said...

Fantastic list! I have been dreaming up of my own list in my head but I don't know if I'm brave enough to post it...Good for you though! :) It's really exciting and I can't wait to see all your posts on these!

I have an Osso Buco recipe if you want to add it to use it for comparative cooking :)

Jennie Kaae Ferrara said...

For the Indian, I really recommend Sandeep Chatterjee's Vegetarian Cookbook, if you can find it anywhere. Fabulous recipes.

As for the fish, you know aarstiderne.com can deliver your weekly fish fix directly to your door. I'm thinking of going for it, since the fish don't seem to be jumping upstream to my 5th floor apartment by themselves.

Anonymous said...

I love that second picture! Very nice. Can't wait to see you cross some items off your list.

Zarah Maria said...

Hi guys! Thanks for your comments - I was really happy I got to use the pictures, I thought they were a bit funny! (and I did have a lot of fun setting them up, too!)

Joey - I've already got your recipe bookmarked!;-)

Jennie - Thanks for the tip on the Indian cookbook - I'll see if I can find it somewhere and get someone to give it to me - can't buy none! I used to get one of the vegetable boxes from aarstiderne, and half of the times I was awfully disappointed with them... Never tried the fish one though - have you?

Jennie Kaae Ferrara said...

Of course we have the most boring box, it's hard to be disappointed by a banana, also I enjoy not having those kilos to carry around, and I know it's organic.

Haven't tried the fish yet. Did here from someone though that it can apparently be a pain in the ass to come home late and have a half a kilo unrinsed stenbiderrogn (lumpfish caviar) to rinse before going to bed.

Jennie Kaae Ferrara said...

Oh, and Zarah, if and when you get around to making your own sausage, would you mind making this recipe and then get back to me?

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Hot-Italian-Sausage/Detail.aspx

It's how my Italian grandma used to make it, but you just can't find it in DK, not even at Super Marco!

Zarah Maria said...

Aha! That recipe looks great - you must have read my mind Jennie, 'cause just shortly before you posted the link to that recipe I was mumbling to myself that it's all fair and well that I promised to make sausages, but where the heck to get a decent recipe? Will most certainly try it and let you know! (btw, can just imagine how the whole stenbiderrogn-affair would end around this household - wouldn't really comply with the whole waste less thing, argh!:-))

Anonymous said...

Letting food go bad and then having to throw it away - I'm guilty of that, too, I'm afraid. I'll try not to that either in 2007.

Caroline said...

Zarah,

Hope I'm not too late. An excellent list for the new year, BTW.

Have you heard of the indian cookbook "cooking like mummyji"? Nigella mentions it once or twice. It even has a recipe for samosas. It's reasonably easy to follow.

I'll enjoy hearing your findings:-)

Mads said...

I can really recommend cooking Osso Buco.
Toss in a bit of garlic and you've got a cure for the common cold.
The stock isn't going to have you throwing out more food as long as you stick to the classic types that freeze well. Using the ice cube bags usually works and makes getting the right amount easier.
Good luck with decreasing the rate of growth of your cookbook collection - I've tried that and failed many times over. So instead of limiting the collection, I've just resigned to reading more of my books and cooking more from them.
Good luck with your quest.

Anonymous said...

You have the cutest and funnest blog I've seen in a long time! So quirky and witty too. I'm really enjoying myself, so excuse me while I explore and grin some more. :)

BTW, that 2nd picture of the fish is adorable!

annulla said...

Fabulous fishy photos. Who ever thought that a fish could look so seductive?

Pille said...

Ok, I made osso buco last week. Fabulous. Not gonna post it for a few days, dear Zarah Maria, so you've still got a chance to beat me to it:)