I didn’t realize when I asked Tom for a dish for ETWYRT that he also food blogs. Which makes sense, really, I know a few authors, like myself, who are rather fond of this food thing, and putting things in our mouth, especially tasty things. Tom, being a father, makes foodstuffs for his baby bears (totally makes sense if you look at his blog or read his Tales of the Minivandians). So he sent me a pair of recipes when I asked, with links, and I said ‘yippee! less work for Cedar!” So thanks, Tom.
This didn’t, of course, let me out of the cooking, photographing, and inevitable clean-up involved. But that’s ok, because this was a very tasty meal and I’m glad for the opportunity to have eaten it. While Tales of the Minivandians is a lovely book to read while cooking, because it’s vignettes and shot bits of a story in a post-apocalyptic medieval setting (it works, really it does), you might also want to check out his latest, Via Serica, which I reviewed recently. Via Serica is a historical novel, and a very well-done story. Now that we have the reading material out of the way, we shall commence with the food porn, links to recipes are in the titles. I’ve added my cooking notes.
When I do this again, I will omit the green peppers. They didn’t really add anything to the flavor, and they were an off-green when cooked, not appealing. Or, as the First Reader will point out, I could just be prejudiced against green peppers.
When I was first looking at the recipe I turned to the First Reader and asked “what’s cooking bourbon? I’ve heard of cooking wine, even if I don’t use it, but cooking bourbon?” He shrugged, “the cheapest stuff in the store?”
So that’s what I got. The flavor of the finished sauce (it’s not properly a gravy) was quite good, so I did something right I guess.
The sauce took forever to cook down. I’d done the initial cooking in the slow cooker and mine is quite well sealed, keeping all the liquid in. I would either cut back the bourbon to one cup, or actually do a gravy with a roux base, if I try this again. I did do it from scratch, with fresh mushrooms and cream rather than the cream of mushroom soup. But I was in the mood to fuss, which isn’t always the case.
This cake comes out very dense. If you prefer your cake a little spongier, use all white flour instead of the whole wheat portion. I doubled down and added 1/2 cup of walnut meal to this one. I also added a little ground cardamom to the spice mix.
We talked about making caramel sauce to have over this – from Dave Freer’s Sticky Date Pudding, and this is closer in texture to English pudding – but wound up eating it as-is. It’s yummy, and not terribly sweet so it’s nice for breakfasts (says the busy student who grabbed a slab of it on her way out the door and was surprised at how long it lasted for fuel).
Eat This While You Read That! index page is here.