Last year I’d planned to make Korean Market Chicken which is deep fried and requires roasted soy bean powder. After a fairly lengthy search of 3 Asian stores I was not able to find it. Or even find anyone who knew what I was talking about. I am not even sure if they understood what I was saying and I certainly did not know what it was. I ended up making it but without the soy bean powder.
Later, after reading this blog, a friend in San Francisco sent me a pack. I can see why I didn’t find it in the store if, indeed, it was actually in the store.
Seems a lot like “bowls,” “sheet pan dinners,” and “tray bakes.” Like, oh, here’s a fad, let’s hop on it real quick! Taco bowls. Zucchini grape bowls. Marshmallow tuna bowls. It’s what? In a bowl? Is it a salad? Why is this a slab pie? It’s a pie. A slab? It is a huge pie though, I’ll give it that. Wisconsin strawberries, my service berries and then filled out with extra fruit I had on hand to make the requisite 3 pounds according to the recipe. (which is here)
It was fine. The polka dots were cute. I put ice cream on it. That saves anything. Well, not anchovies.
A different recipe, completely different method, addition of butter and milk. I thought it seemed like this would produce a better bun, and I bought a silicone bun tray (don’t bother doing this), and followed the recipe exactly. They were better than my first try but, meh, not what I was looking for. I could stop with this, after all, plain old hamburger buns are fine and brioche buns are delicious if just the wrong texture.
I dunno. I have one other recipe up my sleeve. After that . . . store bought and giving the silicone bun thing to Good Will.
Diddling my way through my myriad YouTube subscriptions I saw that Akis had a “only hands” recipe for something that looked AMAZING (very short video here). Crispy potato stacks. It takes a day but not really much of that is hands on time. Slice your potatoes on a mandoline, mix them with butter salt and pepper, put ’em in a loaf pan, weigh them down, cook at 250° for 3 hours and then refrigerate for at least 15, hours, that is. Slice and deep fry. OMG. Soooooo good.
While I rarely see news, I happened to catch a story about Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls. This is the bun used at Shake Shack. I have never eaten there but when I saw the bun I could see exactly what the roll was going to feel and taste like. The soft and sweetness of a brioche bun but more substance and durability.
I just knew I was going to have to try to make them.
I’m sure you’re thinking I could simply buy them but I cannot. Apparently the CEO of Martin’s is a heavy donor to some QAnon nut bar candidate for governor of somewhere or other (my details are a little sketchy) and there is a call to boycott Shake Shack whose response is to say they don’t pay attention to the politics of their suppliers. I’m assuming they may now if the boycott is working. I dunno. Like I said I’ve never eaten there and won’t now for sure. It’s possible that things may have changed. I wouldn’t know, I’ve been too busy chasing down a copycat recipe. (see the video here). This guy, Tommy Campbell, is a Canadian comedian and I’m assuming he made this before the whole boycott thing happened since I think Canadians are considerably less insane than Americans and he doesn’t mention it.
He swears these are as good as Martin’s. I am now less sure of that even though I have never had them. These, his and mine, look different than the pictures I’ve seen of Martin’s. I mean, mine look like exactly like Tommy Campbell’s which they ought to since I followed his recipe exactly (used the 1/4 cup of mashed potato). The dough looked like his (a sticky mess but rose beautifully).
I baked them and then buttered and grilled them for a pulled pork dinner extravaganza. They were OK but not really all that great. Or, in any event, not what I was looking for. Back to the ol’ stand mixer . . . I’ve got buns to make.
I’m actually making an effort to be more careful than I usually am. And still this happened. My response to this was probably more manly than many other accidents in the kitchen in the sense that my language might have been compared to a rougher sort than I generally seem to be.
The point of life in fact. Of course, that’s just my opinion. And the squirrels don’t touch them but there’s a lot of other things that can go haywire before I get to a ripe tomato. Bugs, blight, blossom end rot . . . the mind reels.