Monday, 2 April 2007

Unwitting WFF 8 - Cooking like clockwork

Hmm, I just realised that I never did specify what constitutes a WFF (for latecomers, that means "Weekend Feeding Frenzy", where I attempt to cook so much on one day of the weekend to avoid cooking on a weekday in a foul mood :) )... Now I will! I'll set the minimum number of dishes to 3, not counting desserts and accompaniments (e.g. plain rice). It's actually quite easy to accomplish!

The weekend started out stressful enough for me (ahem, it had to do with proving I could be trusted with a car), so food wasn't really my priority, but as it progressed, I found myself at the supermarket buying nothing, really, with dishes materialising under my nose! Am I turning into a - gasp! - machine?!?! I didn't even make a decent list of what to cook, or what to buy, but somehow I managed to make at least 3 things! I'm losing control!

Bread is a big part of life here, so when I was at the baker's buying a baguette, (a.k.a. ficelle, a.k.a. flûte, depending on where you buy it), I chanced upon this cute "crown" of bread and ordered one without missing a beat. ;-) Naturally, without having a concrete idea what to do with it! I was simply swayed by the alternating poppyseed and sesame buns.

Fortunately, I always have a few cans of tuna in my pantry to fall back on, and made a tuna salad from a recipe that was passed on from an aunt's friend, to my aunt, to my mom and then to me. Originally, it consisted of tuna in brine, mayonnaise, hardboiled eggs, chopped gherkins, 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped apple. For this time, I skipped the onion and replaced the gherkins with capers. As for the apple, I only eat green apples since they're always guaranteed crunchy. I hollowed out each individual bun and filled it with the tuna salad, saving the crumbs for something indeterminate at the time.

Variations: There aren't many things I wouldn't eat with tuna! Well, except strawberries, I guess.

Body count: 1 can of tuna

Then I remembered I had 6 green apples that had been lying around for more than a week, initially purchased for a potato, apple and camembert terrine. I only needed one for the tuna, but went on to skin the other 5, cut them into sixths and sauté them in a liberal amount of butter. I had cheddar-potato mash and a ready-made pizza crust languishing in my fridge, too, and put them to good use - together. There and then, the idea of a terrine became a pizza!

I spread the mash on the pizza crust, arranged the buttery apple slices on the mash and thinly sliced a whole camembert, which went towards adorning the apples. Baking time - 15 mins at 210°C. It may sound like a strange combination, but I didn't make it up - the recipe for the terrine came from one of the oldest cookbooks in my possession. I merely transferred everything onto a crust.

Body count: 0.

With all the apples used up, there was still a lot of butter left in the pan, which I sponged up with the crumbs from the hollowed-out bread crown. I really didn't want to, but the buttery breadcrumbs ended up as a crab stuffing for raviolis! Last week, when I made Maultaschen, it was the very first time I'd used my pasta machine even though it's been two years that I've had it. Making pasta turned out to be more fun than work, so I was itching to use it again and watch the pasta sheets getting churned out. The Maultaschen experiment was also the first time I'd heard of using bread to make stuffing, so there you have it - Crab & saffron raviolis.

Dough: 350g flour, 3 eggs, 2 capsules of powdered saffron, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt. The Kitchen Aid did it all for me this time. Ordinarily, I'd knead it myself given the insignificant quantity.

Stuffing: 350g crabmeat, 150g of breadcrumbs, 30g butter (I think), 1/2 a bulb of garlic, crushed, salt and Martini for moisture. I'm unable to specify how much Martini went into it, but I just poured until I got the right consistency. I think I forgot to add salt, though!

I don't suppose I need to explain how to make raviolis, but I boiled these for about 7 minutes or more, and served them with a garlicky tomato & basil sauce.

Body count: 3 cans of crabmeat.

During the grocery shopping trip, I decided to treat myself to a bottle of Amaretto. When pouring myself a shot on the rocks Saturday evening, it suddenly occurred to me that all my favourite drinks came in squarish bottles! Just take a look for yourself to see what I mean:

Coincidence? Clever marketing? I'm not ashamed to proclaim that I get zero help from my hubby in drinking any of these, but I am sure the low levels in each bottle have more to do with evaporation than consumption! Oh, definitely!


Lydia said...

Every one of your weekend dishes looks like a winner to me! I love the beautiful forms of the ravioli. Now I really must get a ravioli mold....

cheesewithaspoon said...

Hey babe,

Was it time for the driving test?!? You can't mention it and not tell us how it went! No fair!

It's three in the morning and I'm up looking at your beautiful ravioli. Yum yum. They've got such perfect round cavities. Are they called cavities?

Does your hubby not drink? Or does he just prefer round bottles?!?

So many questions at three in the morning.....

tigerfish said...

Your ravioli pui pui (fat fat) wor, with the stuffings! I like! I must learn from you liow, cook a lot a lot on one day, then rest of the week, can kiow kar (cross leg, shake leg). Hahah!

WokandSpoon said...

You know what, ever since I've been in France, I've been "sampling" more alcohol that I usually do. There's just such a variety here!

The potato, apple and camembert terrine sounds interesting. I like the sound of the sweet-salty combination

Shilpa. said...

Aww, Lydia, you are too nice, thank you... :) actually, I wasn't too pleased with the ravioli, I must have added too much Martini so the filling was slightly bitter. When you do get ravioli molds, I highly recommend metal ones. The plastic version is rather blunt, so I had to press harder with the rolling pin to separate the squares.

Hey cheese girl, haha, no, it was merely an "evaluation" with my driving school to determine if I deserved to sit for the driving test, and it went better than usual. Not sure when I'll get to sit for it, though.
Err, ravioli cavities? I'd prefer not to use such strong language given my dental mishaps.. how insensitive of you! ;-)
As for the drinks, my hubby drinks mainly wine, and nothing stronger than Get 27 at 20% alc. sold in round bottles! :) wuss!

Hey tiger, you're not working, so you don't need to rush like me! :) I'd prefer to space out my cooking and have more time to think about it, but no choice.. but heh heh, you're right, will be able to kiow kar until at least Thursday! :)

Hi Wokandspoon, alcohol here costs a third of what it does in Singapore, so I have landed in the right place! :) What you don't see are the two bottles each of vodka and gin that I consume on average in a year on top of all the wine - red, white and sparkling! Ulp. One day my liver's just going to take its revenge.
As for the terrine, I found it more troublesome than the pizza. You had to boil the potatoes, cut the apples in rings and fry them, and choose a camembert that's not too ripe. Then put them in layers before briefly baking them, chilling before cutting, blah blah.

Asha said...

Ravioli looks fabulous.How neat and uniform!I could never get that.Of course you have that mould!:)

Crab and Saffron!!!How fancy smanshy!!;D

Mandira said...

shilpa, welcome back, each and every recipe looks delicious. I've been attempting to cook over the weekend for the weekday, but haven't been too successful at it yet.

Keropok Man said...

oooo. that looks so so so so pretty!

you really have lots of patience i see :-)

Sandeepa said...

Hey Amaretto does not come in squarish bottles or does it ?

The header looks pretty , but I think the width is a tad bit longer than your content -- have alook

Chris said...

Hi Shilpa,
Your weekend started out stressful?
Sorry to add on to your stress. I've just tagged you! Again from ECL lor. This one is quite a chore and quite different from your daily "masak-masak" one. Do it only if you really one too. Check out my blog for details.

Victor said...

Hey Shilpa, luckily you explained. I have always thought that WFF was a typo of WTF, haha.

You took your driving test? With all that alcohol that "evaporated"? Oh no!

Shilpa. said...

Hi Asha, if I didn't have that mold, I doubt I'd ever bother! :) Haha, as for the saffron, it doesn't show, huh? The pasta's so pale! :(

Hi Mandira, thanks! :) I'm not all that successful sometimes, this food can disappear by mid-week!

Hey Keropok, haha, don't be fooled! I'm only patient with food, not with people! Food doesn't talk back! :)

Dear Sandu, well, the Amaretto bottle has a few angles, so I don't consider it tound either.. ;-) thanks, I know my header is a bit too long, I kept altering it and got fed up, haha.. might change the image again, so am leaving it for the moment.

Shilpa. said...

Hey Chris, thanks for tag, but see how lah, sorry... will be very busy for the rest of the month since I'll be going back to S'pore for the whole month of May! I think I'll be seeing you then, right?

Hi Victor, wah, why would I say WTF about my own cooking?? :) But no lah, no driving test, lah, just an evaluation.. Eh, what's that supposed to mean?! Alcohol evaporates fast, you know, the air here is so dry! :)

tigerfish said...

Who say I not working? I working...
Working on how to maximize output with minimal input - then save on water, gas, electricity, and time!
I don't cook different dish every day wan lah....too stressful, and expensive. Heehee..;p

eastcoastlife said...

I love the look of your raviolis! So cute!!!!

The apple pizza is such a great idea! I'm gonna make it for the kids. My hubby loves anything tat has apples.

The bottles so nice hor! I would clean them up and display. :)

My voice command thingy is good except it cannot recognise Singlish. hehehe...

Sharmi said...

Hi Shilpa,
Did you change the look of your blog? it looks really good now. btw the spread of all those dishes looks like a treat to my eyes.

happy cooking

AKR said...

These ravioli look delicious. How do you get them so perfectly round? I assume it is the ravioli press...


BuddingCook said...

wow your food looks so pretty! i like the pizza and the raviolis! such a cook. :D

Shilpa. said...

Eh tiger, sorry sorry, of course you're working, but this kind of work no need to go to office, right? heheh..

ECL, tankew tankew, I hope your hubby doesn't find the combination too strange! :) As for the bottles, I used to clean and keep them, but then I started accumulating too many, so I stopped being sentimental about them, haha...

Hi Sharmi, thank you dear. Yes, I changed the header, Sandeepa (Bong Mom) taught me how to! :)

Hi AKR, yes of course the press came in handy, but I also tried my best to stuff the raviolis to their capacity, heh heh!

Thanks, buddingcook! :) Just a word of caution about the raviolis, they were kind of bitter, too much Martini, I think. Ugh.

Victor said...

Hi Shilpa, I just found out that WTF also stands for "Where's The Fire" a Technorati page where it tells you which are the current hottest blogs. So I guess in a way, you need ask WTF when you're cooking because you need a fire mah. Haha.

Shilpa. said...

Eh, Victor, WFF lah.. hahaha... sorry, don't use fire to cook, my stove modern kind with a glass-ceramic range. :) Thanks for the link!