[Sca-cooks] Adamantius' Christmas Diner

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Jan 3 04:35:28 PST 2007

On Jan 3, 2007, at 2:44 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> On Monday we put them all, with the potatoes, in the pan with the
> lamb for the last half-hour or so, so there wasn't too much heavy
> caramelization at the bottom of the meat pan >>>
> Interesting idea. Depending upon how i peel my potatoes and in how
> much haste I'm in, my potatoes may not be smooth, but have a
> multitude of facets, not very symmetric, though. So doing this
> intentionally sounds like an interesting presentation. Did you serve
> these as mostly rounded whole potatoes? Or did you perhaps cut them
> in two so they sat flat on one side?

Most of them were 3D, and a comparative few started out as being of  
dimensions such that they'd be really small if cut to that shape, so  
some of them might have looked like split versions of the shape. If I  
were selling these in a restaurant for big bucks they'd all be quite  
close in shape and size.

> <<< Small portions of lasagne my sister had made, and/or stuffed
> mushrooms as a starter (both my wife and the Evil Spawn had allergy
> issues with different components of the lasagne) >>>
> Admittedly, most of the lasagna I've cooked started out frozen, but
> what were the allergy issues with it? Nothing occurs to me, but I'd
> like to know what to keep in mind.

My wife is pretty seriously allergic to tomatoes and citrus, and my  
son is somewhat lactose intolerant. Ideally he gets his cheese fix  
from things like pizza made with soy cheese, or he experiences  
various digestive distress and gives whole new meaning to the term  
"pizza face". Since both of these can have disastrous social effects  
for a 15-year-old, he tends to avoid dairy like the plague.

> <<< Leek and potato soup with chicken stock and just a little cream
> (improvised on site when my Mom got an immersion blender as a gift)>>>
> Were these some additional potatoes? Or had you peeled the potatoes
> first and then used the scrap left from cutting the facets off of the
> potatoes that were going to be roasted?

I started to use additional potatoes, then remembered the little bits  
I had saved.

> <<< MInt Sauce (made with mint, a little sugar, and sherry vinegar
> instead of the usual malt)  >>>
> I've never made mint sauce, although I've seen it sold in jars. The
> use of malt in this is a surprise to me. Does anyone know how far
> back mint sauce goes? Do we have any period recipes or mentions of  
> this?

Well, I think it sometimes appears as an ingredient in various sauce  
vert incarnations, as do parsley and sage. As for malt vinegar, there  
may well be some period recipes calling for vinegar where that was  
the vinegar used in some locations.

> <<< Almond Macaroons (made from a sugar-free recipe for a diabetic
> family
> member)  >>>
> Recipe? Or was this simply a matter of substituting a sugar
> substitute for the sugar in a regular recipe? Since I'm diabetic I
> might like such cookies.  Sugar-free commercial cookies tend to be
> expensive and small. I wonder if a lot of the sugar/carb savings on
> such cookies might simply be from making the cookies small. :-(

That, and the fact that some people react rather explosively to some  
of the sugar alcohols being used as sweeteners, if eaten in any  
quantity. But I had noted the phenomenon of which you speak. My wife  
has a co-worker who will cheerfully eat a dozen of these without ill  
effect, and we've stopped giving him any more than a dozen at a time  
because we didn't want to find out how many it really _would_ take to  
mess him up in some way.

This is my [not very different] adaptation of a recipe I pulled this  
from some low-carb blog. If you can find the ingredients, it's a lot  
easier than it sounds, and is very possibly the best sugar-free baked  
product I've ever had.

> 11.5 oz. almond flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
> 1 1/4 C. polydextrose
> 1/4 C. xylitol
> 3/4 C. splenda equivalent (IOW, the equivalent in Splenda,  
> depending on form, of 3/4 cup sugar)
> 3 egg whites  (appr. 3 ounces)
> 1 teaspoon almond extract
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> ----------
> Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line baking sheets  
> with parchment paper (spraying the parchment with non-stick cooking  
> spray helps, too).
> In a food processor or mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix  
> well. While processor is running, pour in eggs/almond extract/ 
> liquid splenda. Process until a smooth dough forms around the  
> blade, or simply mix until a dough forms, but work quickly.  
> Polydextrose, if allowed, dearly loves to form dense clots.
> Using a teaspoon, place well rounded spoonfuls of dough onto  
> prepared baking sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly. Cookies  
> should be at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for  
> 25 to 35 minutes (check after 20). Cookies should be golden. Allow  
> cookies to cool completely on the paper before removing. Store in a  
> dry place.
> Notes:
> This recipe does not contain much liquid for the polyd to dissolve  
> in. In all of the instances where my recipe didn't have much  
> liquid, the polydextrose was clump city. I'd like to recommend  
> combining the polyd with the almond meal, but almond meal seems to  
> have some moisture it - again, that little bit of moisture could be  
> bad news. Try the process I've given. If you end up with PDX rocks,  
> then I think this recipe will have to be done with a polydextrose  
> syrup. I'd like to avoid that, as the additional water will change  
> the baking directions, but if we can't get the PDX to assimilate,  
> there'll be no other choice.

The original recipe contains all sorts of dire warnings about  
polydextrose forming rocks your bowl when exposed to liquid. In  
actual fact, If you use regular ground almond flour/meal (which, if  
you do this more than once, is probably something worth keeping on  
hand), mix all your dry ingredients together first, then add your  
liquids and stir it quickly, it's quite childishly simple, made even  
more so by my use of a small trigger-driven one-inch ice-cream scoop  
for measuring and forming the dough onto greased parchment on a  
cookie sheet. The mixture of sweeteners really seems to balance out  
and none of it screams, "Hello, I'm an artificial sweetener,"  
presumably because it really doesn't taste like any one obvious  
candidate. The polydextrose comes from the Honeyville Grain people  
(it does the bulking and tenderizing/conditioning that would  
otherwise be done by sugar, is not especially sweet, and is probably  
what makes this recipe work) and the xylitol is either from them or  
the King Arthur flour people. I used liquid Splenda because I have a  
large supply from back when it was legal ;-), but you could use the  
powdered stuff without problem, I'm sure.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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