Monday, February 27, 2017

Arroz Con Oscars

Yesterday, of course, was the Oscars telecast, which is accompanied (in my house) by two days of furious cooking. Let's start with the menu for this year.

  • La La Land: Absolut La La Land cocktail.
  • Hidden Figures: Somewhat fancy deviled eggs.
  • Manchester by the Sea: Haddock chowdah.
  • Fences: Root beer braised short ribs.
  • Moonlight: Arroz con pollo.
  • Hacksaw Ridge: Okinowan sweet potatoes. 
  • Hell or High Water: Green beans.
  • Arrival: Universal language cheesecakes.
  • Lion: Jalebis. 
Saturday, then we started cooking. We figured we'd get what we could done, so we started out with the line/saffron syrup which would be used to soak the jalebis. 

Most of the ingredients for which you can see here.
Making a syrup is pretty simple; it's just water, sugar, and whatever flavoring you want (in this case, line zest, saffron, and green cardamom). 

A-like so. 
While that was going, we figured we'd do the short ribs, too, because we could cook them and then fridge them, and just reduce the sauce and glaze them right before serving. This would prove to be a really smart decisions for a number of reasons. 

So, first, we have our meat:

And our two batches of veggies and herbs, because we doubled the recipe: 
The appropriate amount of thyme, here, is "fuck it."
And then the veggies get cooked, the meat gets browned, and everything goes into the pot for a few hours. 
Browned meat.
Cookin' veggies. 
Root beer!
While that was going (in the oven), we also roasted some garlic for turning into roasted garlic mustard. 

Garlic pouch!
So fragrant! Fuck off, vampires!
Also on Saturday, we decided we'd make the cheesecakes, which involves Michelle making graham cracker crust:
Crusts. Plural. 
And then filling those little bits of joy with cheesecake filling. 
Cheesecake: Not great for fantasy art, but terrific for dessert!
And that was Saturday. I mean, we baked the cheesecakes and then stuck 'em in the fridge, and put the short ribs in separate tupperwares and poured off the juice into another container, but I didn't get pictures of that. Just know that the fridge was full to burstin'. 

Sunday! Up early, time to make the jalebis. Now, jalebis are basically Indian funnel cakes, but the recipe we found was wrong because the batter was far too dry. Fortunately the way to get around that is to add water. 
Yellow food color and saffron, you see. 
And then we melt a bunch of ghee.
And then we dumped the batter into a piping bag and fried us up some jalebis!

It took some practice to get the thickness and all right, so we wound up with a plate of broken, but delicious, dreams. 

Seriously, so tasty.
But we eventually got it right, made a bunch of jalebis, soaked them in the lime saffron syrup, and stuck them on a drying rack. 
Two thousand jalebis!
No rest for the hungry, though. Figuring that deviled eggs needed time to cool, we boiled them suckers:
Can't really think of a way to make boiling eggs interesting. It's pretty straightforward.
Same with peeling them.
Ah, but then! Time to make the chowdah! We figured we could make it and then put it in a crock pot to stay warm. So that's onions and butter in one pot, potatoes and water in another...

I so want a bigger stove, you have no idea. 
And then hacking up poor defenseless haddock. 
So: haddock in the potato water. Meanwhile, Michelle was mashing up egg yolks and mixing in goat cheese and that fantastic roasted garlic mustard we made yesterday. 

Slightly fancy deviled eggs.
Soup, meanwhile, gets all combined, hit with cream and broth, and simmered. 

Seriously, this was so tasty. 
And then deviled eggs arranged in the nice little plate thingies we bought. 
Which held 17 each. Still haven't figured that one out.
So then, the cheesecakes. Yes, they're done cooking, but we made them for Arrival (the other option was to serve grilled squid, but Michelle vetoed that), so they had alien language written in chocolate on them.
Michelle also discovered luster powder yesterday.
"Costello is dessert-process."
OH SHIT GREEN BEENS. So first, I had to trim them, which is fucking tedious, and then I sauteed some onions and red pepper flakes.
Cast iron is the best thing.
And shocked the green beans.
And into the pan they go, along with bacon!
Secret to cooking literally anything: bacon. 
Figured we'd better get the arroz con pollo going, since it takes a while. This starts with chopping up a whole bunch of onion and red pepper, browning the chicken in a pan, cooking the onions/peppers in said pan, putting the chicken back in, adding a shitload of liquid, adding rice, and forgetting about it for an hour.
The pepper is on top of the onion, if you're wondering. 
Veggies softening. 
One more thing! The short ribs! That mostly involved putting said ribs in a pan with the liquid and boiling it until it was reduced down to sauce.
You can't smell this, but you wish you could. 
And then there were the sweet potatoes. I didn't get pictures of this process because we were scrambling to get them done alongside everything else, but basically they boil, you peel them while going "OW OW OW," and then they get sliced and tossed with a lime/butter.

The cocktail, likewise, didn't get any photos, because it'd just be me adding fruit juice to a glass.

And here are the finished products!

And that's all you get! See you next year!