Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Known, An Unknown

I return to cooking and baking. The baked good, I have already mentioned: the Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread from Simply Recipes. The cooked good involves famous Heidi's Magic Sauce, but more on that later.
For now, Zucchini Bread. Having failed in acquiring a good used grater, I had to resort to using my Microplane grater to shred the zucchini, which is really supposed to be used for grating, you know, nutmeg, not sawing off whole zucchinis. But, the recipe was on my list; its number was up, come hell or no grater.
What I learned was that repetitive motion of the tricep variety is very tiring. WOW. After 13 minutes of intense concentrated grating, it didn't look like I had enough for 3 cups, so I scoured the fridge and... parsnip? Why not. Sweet enough for the sweet quick bread, and also an oblong-ish vegetable. I did the zucchini the night before, the parsnip the [early] morning of. My triceps needed to sleep on it. This is what the end result looked like going into the eggs and sugar mix:
Yeah. It reminded me of Spinach Souffle, Stouffer-style, which used to be one of my incongruent favorites growing up. Go. Figure.
Anyway, don't worry about that. It blended in. What you do want to turn your attention to (and why you should make this recipe on a nice, gloomy, rainy day) is the SMELL.
Think about it: Lemon. Rosemary. Sugar. Baking.
Dry ingredients above (herbs just crushed with mortar and pestle), fragrantly beaming.
All of it blended together below, looking like a spinach-ricotta singalong, but never fear...
We're in the clear! They baked up quicker than Elyse's did, but that's usual for my oven- I have to check everything about 2/3 of the way through to ensure no burning, drying out, or collapsing. I took one in to work that day and it was fell apart a little, but not in a dry way. Not sure what's behind that. Flavor was good, subtle and pleasant. Also, I noted that contrary to common sense, the metal pan appeared to have cooked the bread faster than the glass (they were taken out at the same time). Isn't it supposed to be the reverse?
Now for the unknown. You didn't know that I had cooked up Heidi Swanson's Magic Sauce to stow away until the right occasion. But I did. It was lying in wait for the right occasion, as I said, so of course the right occasion came along. It's called Oven-Minor-Explosion-Wiring-Mess-Landlady-in-Europe-Handyman-Slow-to-respond-I-Can't-Use-My-Oven-Until-Further-Notice. See? Perfect!
I decided to use a third of the stowed-away sauce to punch up a barely-there meal. Bottom of a package of supermarket Broccoli Slaw for precut vegetables, frozen yaki soba noodles for Asian grocery, and Magic Sauce. Plus I used a little bit of the yaki soba flavoring packet instead of adding salt. It was great! I though I'd get 2 servings out of the effort, but no, it was too good. I wolfed it down. Ya gotta move fast in my house.

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