The Joy of Spam Folder Cooking

Month: July 2017

Oeufs en meurette

This week my spam folder brought me an incomplete recipe.  While not unusual, it was even missing the title.  I had to go searching for it and it turns out it is Oeufs en meurette.  My high school french was useful enough so that I know that oeufs is eggs, but it was lacking meurette.  Google translate wasn’t any help either.  Google told me it’s eggs in a red wine sauce.  The spam folder didn’t tell me how to put it all together.

The ingredients!

Oeufs en meurette

  • about 350ml fruity red wine
  • 225ml chicken or veal stock
  • 1 small onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot , thinly sliced
  • 1 stick of celery , thinly sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove , crushed
  • bouquet garni (see below)
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 25g butter
  • 85g unsmoked lardons
  • 85g button mushrooms , quartered
  • 8-10 small (sometimes called pickling) onions , peeled
  • 4 slices white bread , cut 5mm/quarter inch thick
  • thick oil for frying
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • thumb sized piece of dark chocolate optional
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 fresh eggs

I went back to my spam folder because there had to be something after that list of ingredients, right?  At least, that’s what I thought.  This is what I got:

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I don’t know about you, but that has nothing about putting oeufs en meurette together.  Instead it looks like the cut and pasted from some news article.  Come on, spam guys, give me the whole recipe next time!

Coconut-Palm Sugar Flan

This week the spam folder brought me only half the recipe.  I had to go ask Mr. Google again, and it turns out it’s Coconut-Palm Sugar Flan.  I just got the ingredients, I didn’t get a single instruction.  If my spam folder doesn’t tell me how to cook it, then I’ll just give you what it gave me.

Coconut-Palm Sugar Flan

  • 1 2/3 cups (9 ounces/257 grams) crushed palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (16 ounces/454 grams) whole milk
  • ¾ cup (7 ounces/200 grams) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3½ ounces/98 grams) finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
  • ¾ cup (5 1/3 ounces/150 grams) sugar
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces/58 grams) evaporated milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon salt, optional

I did have to go find out what fleur de sel is.  Apparently it’s french for flower of salt and Wikipedia says it comes from seawater when it evaporates.  I know you get salt when sea water evaporates, I guess this is the special kind of salt.

I may have to make this some time, first I’ll have to find Palm Sugar.  It looks like Amazon sells it so that’s nice.  Though I’m not sure I want to spend $10 on a bag of sugar I’ll use for one recipe.  Then I’ll have to convince Fred he likes coconut.  He likes it when I don’t tell him it’s in it, like in my mom’s coconut pecan bars, but if I tell him there’s coconut, he doesn’t like it.  (I just tell him we’re having pecan bars and skip the coconut.)

Until next time, toodles!

UBC’s CINNAMON BUNS (Bread Machine)

This week, my spam folder had a recipe that calls for a bread machine.  I don’t own one.  I refuse to own one.  I like beating up bread dough and in my opinion that’s the fun part of making bread, beating it up.  The recipe calls it kneading,  but I call it beating it up.  It is quite relaxing to take a pile of bread dough and go to town on it.  Anyway, this week’s recipe is for Cinnamon Buns.  Something I am very fond of, but if it requires a bread machine, I’m not making them.

UBC's CINNAMON BUNS (Bread Machine)

  • Rolls:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp water, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast
  • Filling:
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Rolls: Put milk, water, egg, butter, salt, flour, sugar and yeast into bread machine pan in order listed by manufacturer. Select dough/manual cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to lightly floured surface. If necessary, kneed in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. (This is a soft dough). Cover and let rest for 10 mins. Meanwhile prepare filling. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough into 14"x9" rectangle. Generously brush with 2 Tbsp melted butter. Place remaining 4 Tbsp melted butter in bottom of 10" diameter by 3" high round baking pan. Sprinkle dough evenly with sugar-cinnamon mixture. Roll dough up tightly like jelly roll, starting from the long side; pinch seam to seal. Remeasure and shape back into 14" long roll. With sharpe knife, cut into 2" slices. Arrange slices in prepared pan and cover loosely with greased wax paper. Let rise in warm draft free place for 20 to 30 mins or until doubled in size. Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 m

ins or unitl done. Remove from oven & immediately invert on to serving tray. Makes 7 large cinnamon buns. For each bun 399 calories, 8.3g protein, 15g fat, 57.5g carbohydrate.

Note: for smaller cinnamon buns, roll dough into 12"x 9" rectangle and proceed as above. Cut dough into 12 (1") slices and proceed as above.

This recipe did teach me that there is such a thing as bread machine yeast.   I had no idea because  I thought there was just yeast and fast rising yeast.

I went to find this recipe in the usual Gutenberg cookbook, but it wasn’t there.  I guess that makes sense, that’s only for books outside of copyright.  A bread machine is too recent to be in there.  Instead, I found it at Dave’s Garden Cookbook.  Well, Dave, your recipe is being used by spammers!  It does look tasty though, maybe I’ll open up my own cookbook and make some cinnamon buns without a bread machine.

Until next time, toodles!

Peach Cake

I love peaches. I especially love fresh peaches, but if I’m lazy (or need a lot), canned peaches will work just fine. Did I mention how much I love peaches? Which is why I’m so happy that this week the spam folder brought me peach cake. A lovely concoction that I just couldn’t wait to try. Fred says that peaches are too sweet for him, but he said that he’d try the cake if I’d make it. Wasn’t that just too nice of him, willing to eat cake for me.

Peach Cake

  • Three-quarters cup of sugar
  • One egg
  • Four tablespoons of shortening
  • Two cups of flour
  • Four level tablespoons of baking powder
  • Three-quarters cup of water.
  • Topping:
  • Six tablespoons of flour,
  • Four tablespoons of sugar,
  • Two tablespoons of shortening,
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon.

Put all of the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat just enough to mix and then pour into a deep well-greased and floured layer-cake pan. Cover the top thickly with diced peaches.

Rub the topping ingredients between the tips of the fingers until crumbly and then spread on the top of the peaches and bake in a moderate oven for thirty minutes.

I put the batter together (four tablespoons of baking powder? Wow, that’s a lot) and spread 2 cans of Dole diced peaches on top. I could have used a third can as well. Here’s a picture of what it looks like: I used my 8″ square pan because it’s deep and my cake pans aren’t.

Peach Cake batter with peaches on top

Peach Cake batter with peaches on top

Then I spread the topping on top. I admit to having fun using my hands to mix it together. Here’s a picture:

Peach Cake with Topping

Peach Cake with Topping

Then I baked it:

The Finished Peach Cake

The Finished Peach Cake

I admit the middle fell a bit, but boy, that cake was delicious. Fred said it wasn’t bad, but then I caught him having seconds and thirds and… he liked it.

It made an awesome breakfast as well, I have got to make it again. And again. And maybe again.

Until next time, toodles!

Warm Mexican Bean Dip

This week my spam folder included a recipe but forgot to tell me the title.  You know, the important part that tells me what I’m actually making?  I asked  Mr Google (this blog has taught me more about googling!) and I found that it is Warm Mexican Bean Dip.  It’s from the BBC and some of the ingredients were in grams (not ounces or cups)

Warm Mexican Bean Dip

  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 400g tin mixed beans , rinsed and drained
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes , with garlic
  • handful grated cheddar
  • 100g tortilla chips
  • serve with chopped avocado (optional)

Fry the chopped onion in olive oil until soft. Add soft brown sugar, wine vinegar and Cajun seasoning. Cook for 1 min then add the mixed beans and chopped tomatoes with garlic. Simmer for 10-15 mins until the sauce has thickened then season.

Scatter handful grated cheddar onto tortilla chips. Microwave on High for 1 min until cheese has melted. Serve alongside the dip (top with some chopped avocado if you like). Make ahead and reheat dip before guests arrive.

I mentioned the recipe to Fred and I told him it had Cajun seasoning.  He said ‘Nope’.  I reminded him how much he loved that guacamole dip and the salsa I had made, but the word Cajun just turned him off.  He is convinced that he hates all spicy food.  Never mind the part where he loved the almonds, spicy food is just not for him!  I made the mistake of telling him about that spice.  If I hadn’t, I bet he would have eaten every last bite.  Well, live and learn.

Until next time, toodles!

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