A Trying Time in the Kitchen - Pt. 1

>> Saturday, 14 March 2009

My friends, never before have I ever been so frustrated, confused and at times angry in the kitchen as I have been this past week.

It all started last Monday as I was trying to make a couple of things in order to complete a forthcoming column that I am working on. For the full details, please read this week's column and be sure to check back next week for part 2 in which I will reveal what has given me all this pain in the kitchen this past week.

Now on to easier things to prepare. Remember this post? About the butterflaps? Well, a few days ago a reader emailed me for the recipe and in our conversations, she said that she wanted to try making 2 batches, one with the butter and the other with a cheese paste! The cheese paste idea immediately got my attention. While I knew all along that eating the butter flap with sharp cheddar was an excellent idea, I didn't think about actually stuffing it with a cheese paste. This is why I love talking about food, so many ideas are shared. So you know what? Uh huh, I made the flaps and these are called cheese flaps for obvious reasons.

Here's my Cheese Paste Recipe and the dough is any regular white bread dough.

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (New Zealand or English cheddar works great)
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons spicy mustard
1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)

Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mash to a paste with a fork

Look at it here still very warm with the melting cheese paste. All you need with this is a cup of tea or coffee.

I've also been doing some blog cooking. Through Chef Paz, I've discovered a fantastic South Amercian food blog. The author, Laylita, is Ecuadorian and she makes some great food. I am overjoyed at the many ways she uses plantains. And you know how much I love plantains. Visit her blog, you will not be disappointed.

When I saw this recipe, I knew immediately that I had to make it. And the cilantro hot sauce that accompanies it contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the plantain and the mildness of the mozzarella cheese. It is one of those versatile sauces that will work well with many things - seafood, meat, spooned over plain rice etc. Laylita's recipe for the baked ripe plantains are here and the sauce is here.

Have a great weekend and a wonderful week everyone!

Oh, please note that the vermicelli cake (last week's post) is a no-bake cake.

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