Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cooking versus Baking

Although both cooking and baking are experimental, experimenting as a cook is much more forgiving than experimenting as a baker.

Flank Steak Stir Fry with Broccoli and Bok Choy

Yesterday evening I cooked flank steak stir fry with broccoli and bok choy. I started by cutting a large flank steak against the grain into 1" thick strips and marinated the meat for several hours in ground ginger, black pepper, and soy sauce. Then in a large wok I heated canola and sesame oil. When the oil was hot, I added chopped onions and garlic and white sesame seeds. Once the onions were tender, I added the flank steak strips. After several minutes I added a cup of beef stock and cooked the meat until medium rare. I transferred the meat and onions to a bowl but left the liquid in the wok. I then added broccoli and bok choy to the wok and cooked until tender. I transferred the meat and onions back into the wok and served the stir fry with brown rice.

Blueberry Scone

I also experimented with a scone recipe that was given to me by the Painted Horse Coffeehouse in Albuquerque. Since the elevation of Albuquerque is much greater than Seattle (10,000 feet versus sea level) I increased the amount of baking powder in the recipe by 25%. This was the first time I have made these scones, and the recipe is quite simple: flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, heavy cream, and fruit. Although I was pleased by the taste and texture of the outside of the scone, the texture of the inside was soft and muffinlike, rather than having the crumbliness I had hoped for. Next time I will use less heavy cream, depending on the fruit I use. Future scone flavors I will try making: cinnamon raisin, honey lavendar, lemon currant, mixed berry, and chocolate. I can't wait!

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