Monthly Archives: October 2008

Soggy Homemade Pizza with Eggplant, Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

This pizza was an almost complete failure. I say “almost,” because it actually tasted really good. The flavors mingled perfectly: tomato, mozzarella, basil, and eggplant. What could be better? The problem was that the dough would not cook all the way through and it remained so soggy, I couldn’t really pick up a piece of pizza with my hands. I ate it in forkfuls. Tasty, soggy, forkfuls.

I thought I had taken all of the necessary soggy-avoiding measures. I salted the eggplant and let it sit for 30 minutes, blotted out the moisture with a paper towel and repeated for another 30 minutes followed by more blotting.

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Hard-Boiled Disaster

Hard Boiled Egg Exploded in the Boiling Water

Hard Boiled Egg Exploded in the Boiling Water

Last night, I decided to make some hard-boiled eggs for a chef’s salad. Well this chef is embarrassed to admit that I had it in my head that 20 minutes are required to hard boil an egg. I also couldn’t remember if I was supposed to bring the eggs and the water to a boil together or boil the water first and drop in the eggs. I second guessed myself a couple of times and then decided to boil the water first.

I think I did everything wrong. The photo above demonstrates that. The eggs were overcooked. It turns out that 20 minutes completely overdo it. Also, some of the eggs exploded in the water, indicating that perhaps they should have heated up along with the water rather than being tossed in and shocked.

I found this video about boiling the perfect egg and posted it to StreamingGourmet. Next time, I’ll follow the instructions in the video, which include bringing the eggs and the water to boil together and boiling the eggs for only 7 minutes!

The Perfect Ragù alla Bolognese

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Usually for this blog, I document my attempts to make recipes I’ve never tried with ingredients that are new to me. I must confess that I have been working on perfecting a Bolognese sauce for years. I think I’ve finally got it.

This Bolognese sauce has a secret ingredient that you won’t find in most Bolognese sauces. But we’ll get to that later.

First a little background.

For a long time, I was dissatisfied with the results of my Bolognese attempts. The sauces always seemed relatively tasteless and never thick enough. My normal approach was to brown onions and ground beef, add dried herbs (like oregano and such), add a jar of prepared sauce (like Classico) and let it simmer for a long time. I thought that the longer it simmered, the tastier it would be, and that was a little bit true, but not all that much. I tried adding garlic and then adding more and more garlic, to give it flavor. It worked a little, but it seemed that the garlic flavor just disappeared. I tried adding red wine. That worked a little too. I tried adding lots of olive oil once. Again, it enhanced the flavor a bit, but it came at a cost and didn’t give the dramatic flavor I was after.

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Pork Chop with Marsala Sauce (Creamy Version)

Pork Marsala with Noodles

Pork Marsala with Noodles

I’m a huge fan of chicken Marsala and veal Marsala, but I’ve got a craving for a pork chop, so I figure “why not try pork Marsala?” At the store, a double thick pork chop catches my eye and once again I think, “Why not?” (read on to find out why not). I’ve never made Marsala sauce before, but I figure it’s a variation on the Fig Sauce I did in September, just with mushrooms and Marsala wine instead of figs and Balsamic vinegar. Let’s see how this one turns out. An ingredients list (of sorts) is at the end of this post.

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