Thursday, April 17, 2014
Is it right to mess with a classic? Should the traditional look of a pineapple upside-down cake be altered? Well, I think if I can get more pineapple in every bite, then it's forgiveable. Normally, the cake has full rings on it, but an American chef ~ darn it, I cannot remember who it was other than that it was a lady ~ gave this suggestion of using pineapple ring halves so that the whole surface of the cake would be covered in the fruit. About using a ring pan instead of a round or square one, well, I had to for practical purposes: the middle of my cakes sometimes don't cook because of my wonky oven. One final change to the classic recipe: it's not a sponge cake; it's made with a sour cream pound cake batter. A little heavier, but it still managed to absorb all the lovely brown sugar syrup.
Monday, April 14, 2014
If portobello mushrooms weren't so expensive, I'd cook them three or four times a week. Unlike other fungi, portobellos don't disintegrate so easily or shrink when cooked in dishes like stews. They have such an intense flavour, even being compared to meat; and like meat, benefits from being seared before being added to stew-like dishes. That is what I did when I made this mushroom and lentil ragu: braise green lentils in a chilli tomato-based sauce; separately fry thickly sliced portobellos and flavour with soya sauce; combine the two components and simmer for a bit before tucking in. I served them (to myself!) with potato-cheese pierogies only because I had a stash of those and needed to clear out the freezer. Portobellos play second fiddle to no one.