Hello my lovelies! This week I discovered a new podcast. About bread. I finally found my favourite instant ramen. I chose my Christmas theme. And I battled polenta chips.
My bread obsession knows no bounds these days. Thankfully I have a few friends who are equally obsessed and they share awesome news with me. Modernist Cuisine have a new podcast all about bread. It’s a DEEP dive into the components. Modernist Cuisine was started by ex Microsoft big-wig Nathan Myhrvold and is big on the science of cooking. I was gifted Modernist Cuisine at Home a few years ago. It’s how I knew my snug bug was probably a decent sort. They have released a multi-volume book set on the science of bread. It costs about $800 here. Sigh. I live in hope of a lottery win. Anyway the point is you should listen to the podcast if you’re looking to get nerdy about bread.
So I have been on a noodle quest since I watched Samurai Gourmet on Netflix a little while back. I talked about it in a previous post. It’s such a great quirky relaxing show. One of the episodes sees the main character go to get ramen for lunch and he doesn’t want to wait in line at the popular place so he goes to a quiet restaurant instead. While he is there is is increasingly filled with dread by the signs that it’s a terrible restaurant and in the end he eats hardly any of his lunch because it’s awful and he goes home hungry. His wife makes him instant ramen and it’s delicious. And ever since I have been craving noodles. For over a month. I have been trying selections of flavours from my favourite Asian supermarket trying to find the right noodle for me. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it. And I found it! I know you’re happy for me. If you want to try Ottogi Sesame Ramen I highly recommend it. Just probably not the dehydrated egg block that’s in there. Give that a miss.
Continuing the slow march of the super organised Christmas season I have chosen my theme. I understand that not everyone gets this meta. This year we are having an origami Christmas. It ticks so many boxes. A touch of international style. Something striking and colourful. My tree will be decorated with origami forms and fortune cookies. All recyclable. No additional plastic. I will have to brush up on my folding skills. I was pretty good back in the day. But when I say back, I mean baaaaack in the day. Might have to have a folding party with a couple of friends. I had thought about getting a bigger tree this year but my god they have gotten expensive. Like several hundred dollars. So we will make do with my 10 year old tree and make sure to lay on extra cheer elsewhere.
So one of the breads I was making this week was an Italian polenta bread called Pane de Mais. It’s made using a cup of cooked polenta along with other bread ingredients. It’s absolutely delicious. It has such a soft crumb that stays soft for days. And it has a great flavour and sweetness. But when you make polenta there is a minimum volume that is manageable to cook. And I only needed a cup for the bread. The natural solution was to make polenta chips. We love to have them when we go out to eat but I haven’t made them at home. They were delicious. And kind of a pain. It’s easy enough to get them prepped for frying. But once they’re in the oil they stick to the pot. To each other. To the draining spoon. To everything. They’re not the worst thing ever to cook. But they fall into the zone of kind of annoying where you keep passing over them to make something else instead. Anyone who has tips for making polenta chips hit me with them!
Dive deep into something. Find the right noodle. Reduce Christmas plastic. Look after each other.