We stopped by CAM International Market on Saturday to see if they’ve got bat nuts, find fruit I don’t find at the local supermarket, and pick up a few expensive-elsewhere items (sesame oil!). Scott spotted a large, pokey looking fruit and asked if we should get one of those. Durian, the sign said … and I had to stop for a second because I don’t think I’ve had those before. And then I remembered where I’d heard the name …
The Singapore subway banned them because the odor was so offensive. And some people loved the things. We did not get the big durian fruit. Or the smaller vacuum sealed pack of durian flesh. He spotted durian-stuff a few more times and kept asking if we should try that. Finally, we happened across some mochi balls with durian ice cream. If you’re going to eat something with a stench awful enough that a subway system would bother banning it … a bit of it in ice cream is probably the way to go, so yeah … we’ll try it. There were four balls, just enough for each of us to have one.
I diced up a few persimmons — something that I knew was sweet and tasty — as a chaser. One ball out of the package in a bowl, and it smelled floral with a hint of not-so-good onions to me. But my nose doesn’t pick up a lot of chemicals and I figured, honestly, I’d be among those who don’t notice the smell. Scott tried a bite. He gave Anya a bite (and why didn’t we think to record this? She make an incredible YUCK face before and after trying it). I tried a bite. It was not good. The flavor was very onion-y with a sweetness like caramelized onions. But onion and ice cream isn’t really something that goes together in my mind. Maybe durian with roasted pork, but dessert? Nope. And then the half-a-ball sat in its dish. It got stinkier as it warmed up. Until it was voted off the island and into the city sewers (sorry gators!).
None of this prepared me for the horror of durian burps. A terrible combination of sewage and onions coming back to haunt me. Or sitting next to someone with a durian burp and thinking the stench has somehow lodged itself in my nasal passages. It was a good twelve hours before I wasn’t experiencing durian again.
Which makes me wonder … What in the world does a durian plantation smell like? I have fond memories of driving along the Nile at sunset and smelling sugar cane on the air. Even if the smell is significantly reduced in the whole fruit, a whole plantation of the things baking in the sun?!? And what does this stuff smell like if it’s gone bad? Does it rot and smell better? Or is it sewage and gym socks without the floral undertone?
But it was an entertaining experience. We’ve all had our lifetime supply of durian. And there are still three of these things in the freezer 🙂
Add enough water to fully cover seeds (2 cups, in my case)
Add a tablespoon of salt for each cup of water. Stir and let sit for a few hours (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Boil seeds in the saltwater for ten minutes, then spread across a baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes, stir to flip seeds over, and make for 5-10 more minutes.
Add equal parts groats and water (i.e. 2c water with 2c groats) to pressure cooker. Add a teaspoon of oil to reduce foaming (butter, olive oil)
Bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to release pressure naturally.
To serve – shred an apple, mix into hot groats. Add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add 1/2 cup of almond milk.
- flat iron steak
- 4T butter
- 3 cloves roasted garlic
- 16 oz mushrooms
- 1 large onion
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups beef broth (pressure cooker: beef bones, carrot trimmings, onion trimmings, celery trimmings, potato peels)
- 1-2T mustard spice blend
- 2-5T porcini mushroom powder
- 2T corn starch
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- package wide egg noodles cooked for lowest time on package directions
Mustard spice blend: mortar together 1c brown mustard seed, 1T salt, 3 bay leaves, 1t rosemary needles, 1/2t sage
- Slice beef across the grain into strips. Season with salt & pepper. Divide meat into small batches so pieces can be placed in pan with an inch between them. Divide 2T of butter into same number of pieces. Put pan on medium heat (6), melt a piece of butter then sear a batch of meat. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining batches.
- Slice mushrooms. Divide into 4 batches and sprinkle with salt. Divide the remaining butter into four batches. Melt a piece of butter in pan, saute mushrooms until they become golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining batches.
- Slice onion into thin pieces about 1″ long. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Add flour to onions & stir to coat them in flour. Remove from pan.
- Deglaze pan with 1/2c of beef broth. Add mushroom powder and spice blend. Stir to remove any lumps.
- Mush garlic cloves and stir in.
- Lower heat to simmer. Add remaining beef broth. Return onions to pan and stir to distribute flour.
- Put corn starch in a bowl or glass. Add *just* enough water to turn it into oobleck. Drizzle into pan, while stiring, to form a thick gravy.
- Return beef and mushrooms to pan and simmer until beef is cooked.
- Stir in sour cream.
- Serve over egg noodles.
- 2 cups shredded carrots (about half a pound)
- 2T Dijon mustard
- 2T extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5T red wine vinegar
- 1t fresh orange zest (or 1/2 t Penzey’s Mural of Flavor)
- Combine the Dijon and vinegar, whisk to combine
- Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture, whisking constantly
- Stir in zest or spice blend
- Stir in carrot shreds, making sure to coat the shreds evenly
- Cover in clingfilm and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour
This recipe is a version of the Dijon carrot salad I ate during trips to Lyon and Geneva. It’s got a lot of Dijon, so you might want to start with half the amount and taste as you add more.
Anya wants to eat pepperoni pizza, but without the meat. I’ve seen a few vegan pepperoni products for sale, but they all look quite unappetizing, they include all sorts of crazy ingredients, and they’re super expensive. So I set out to find a veggie pepperoni recipe online. Took a lot of searching, but I found a recipe that looked promising. I made it with half the lowest amount of red pepper flakes. It was so hot, the stuff was inedible. Great taste, but a total waste. Also, the recipe didn’t indicate what type of extra-firm tofu to use. I happened to have some of the not silken sort, so I used that. So we had an oddly textured burning hot pepperoni (and I had to add a good bit of liquid to form anything even approaching a paste). I’ve been wanting to make it again without the pepper flakes and try silk tofu instead.
I tried it again tonight, modifying the recipe
- 10 ounces extra-firm silken tofu
- 1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp Tellicherry peppercorn
- 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, split into two 1/2 teaspoon portions
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 star anise seeds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a stone mortar, crush the garlic cloves. Add the sea salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, one half teaspoon of fennel seeds, and anise seeds. Grind to form a powder. Add sugar and smoked paprika, and blend together.
In a food processor, blend the tofu until it is creamy. Add the spice mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and blend until combined. Once it has enough flavour for you, store the remaining spice mixture (I used about half of the spice blend).
Spread the tofu on a lined baking sheet. You can spread separate little sections, cut it like the linked recipe, or just make one big chunk that you break up before using. Either way, bake for 10-15 minutes. Mmmmm! This tastes good, the texture is great … we made vegetarian pepperoni!!!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup diced onion greens
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Melt butter and combine with buttermilk. Mash garlic cloves and mix into milk/butter.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cayenne.
Add cheddar cheese and onion greens, stir to combine.
Add buttermilk and stir until moistened.
Use 1/4 cup measuring cup to form biscuits and place onto silicon baking sheet lined tray.
Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!