Lately, I have been thinking about writing for fun on my website. If you remember the ill-fated Sunday Scones, this isn’t a new idea but one that I haven’t quite figured out how to master.
I think it’s because I have a tendency to make everything far more challenging than it needs to be. For instance, Sunday Scones focused on tackling difficult cooking projects weekly, and that is, candidly, just not my vibe. When I want to tackle something difficult, it’ll sort of bubble up out of inspiration from somewhere. I don’t like forcing myself into a weekly window of difficult cooking projects. No, thank you.
I keep wanting to find opportunities to share things with readers that aren’t strictly recipes, like little ways to give you a peek into my kitchen–or life–so you can learn more about me. In fact, one of my biggest regrets with this website is that I had this notion at the time that I wanted to be a completely invisible force. I used the royal “we” religiously as if I had a team of editors on the site because, well, I don’t really know why. Actually, that’s not true. I can venture a guess. It really just boils down to being afraid of making mistakes. I’d hide behind a “we” so that “Kylie” wouldn’t have to feel like she was the one who goofed.
I’m much more confident now than I was in 2016, but I also feel a bit of remorse that I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to make Tried & True a more personal experience.
At any rate, I think I just have to start writing and see what happens.
I hope to use this place as just an opportunity to share and chit-chat. Maybe no one will ever read it, and that will be okay too.
I don’t really have anything specific to talk about in my first post. I had a few recipes that I attempted this week. They were good, but not “put-on-the-site” good, so I’ll talk about them here. I think I will revisit both of them to finesse the flavor profile.
Black Pepper & Turmeric Chicken Soup
I really enjoyed this soup, but I think I went way too heavy-handed with the pepper. I also didn’t like the style of noodles I used in it. I used ground chicken because I needed something quick, but I think this soup demands to be made with a whole chicken that simmers for hours on the stovetop. A rich, homemade broth would pair nicely with the piquant, peppery flavors.
That said, it was really easy to make. Here’s the gist:
- I browned some ground chicken with an onion. I added turmeric and an absolutely unhinged amount of black pepper, like probably a tablespoon and a half. I also added a shake of white pepper. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I was really committing to the idea of a black pepper soup.
- I added some celery, carrots, scallion whites, Better than Bouillon, and 4 or 5 cups of water. From there, I just boiled it for 30 minutes.
- I had a quarter of a bag or so of leftover egg noodles, so I chucked them in.
- I finished with scallion greens.
Overall, I think it has potential. But I definitely needed to slow my roll on the black pepper because everyone’s eyes watered–cats included–as it cooked.
Portobello mushrooms continue to defeat me
This one actually makes me sad. I have been craving portobello and Swiss for the past couple of weeks. Initially, I wanted to make a wrap, but I decided to start with a basic sandwich. It was good. I made these really nice sweet vermouth mushrooms, but my bread was so thin and pathetic. I also added lettuce, which I feel was not the right move.
I also tried making a portobello Swiss wild rice and chicken casserole, but that was a disaster. That’s all you need to know about that one.
Tonight I forged ahead with my portobello Swiss dreams. I decided on stuffed portobello mushrooms with Swiss cheese. I’m still totally in love with the sweet vermouth portobello mushrooms (and, as a rule, I just like sweet vermouth and mushrooms together), but I want to get even more sweet vermouth flavor.
I made a pot of wild rice, then I minced up two portobello mushrooms and fried them with celery and spinach. I mixed that with the wild rice, a little mozzarella, and bread crumbs. The filling was really tasty.
My downfall is what I love most, the sweet vermouth. I stuffed the mushrooms then I added them to a hot skillet. The issue is the high heat immediately causes them to begin unfurling. I pressed on and added the sweet vermouth, even though I knew what would happen. The steam sped up the unfurling process even more. I was still committed, so I popped them in the oven and baked them for 15 minutes, then I topped them with Swiss cheese and broiled them.
I really liked the flavor, but the method was messy, to say the least. It would really only work if you have perfect portobello mushrooms that have high edges and are quite deep. When I buy them, I find that most of them end up being too shallow or the edges are too flimsy, and I really only end up with one good, deep mushroom that is ideal for stuffing. I wonder if a drizzle of sweet vermouth butter sauce would be better.
What do you think? Braise the mushrooms in sweet vermouth or finish with a sweet vermouth butter sauce? Decisions, decisions!
A new Etsy purchase
I tell myself to stay away from Etsy, but here I am. I bought a couple of new cookbooks. The one above was published by The Hong Kong China and Gas Co. Ltd. in the 1960’s. The whole premise is recipes that can (or should?) be cooked on gas stoves, and the book is separated into sections, each one representing a different country or region. The representation is broad, from France to China to Scandinavia to Indonesia. I picked out a few that I’d like to try and make.
The first recipe I’d like to make is for the Lion’s Head meatballs. This recipe calls for Wun Yee (black fungus), so I am excited to try that. I’ve made Lion’s Head meatballs in the past, but I haven’t used a recipe that calls for adding mushrooms to the meatballs. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it tastes.
I am also extremely interested in that flammable omelet. I mean, of course, I want to set my omelet on fire! From what I read, it used to be a popular dessert, and it does sound quite good. You just sprinkle some sugar on the omelet, throw on the rum, and light it on fire. I’ve only flambéed once, and it absolutely terrified me. This may be one I have to work up to slowly.
I think that’s all for today. It feels a little gratifying to write just for myself and talk about the things I like.