Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jelena and my trip to a Asian market

My friend Jelena and I went to this Vietnamese restaurant that we really like. After we went there we went across the street to the Asian super market. When we were there we took pictures of the fish tanks, they had all kinds of fresh sea food. I was looking at the prices and it was really cheap, I think if I wasn't a vegetarian I would have bought some crabs or something. It was pretty cool.

Vanilla Extract

I was watching Chef At Home on the food network and he made vanilla extract. I really wanted to try it myself and I did a few weeks ago. I looked online for several different recipes and found that it was basically vodka and vanilla beans. When it came time to me making it I didn't follow a recipe. I don't know it that was a good idea or not. Right now(about a month after making it) it still isn't the right colour. I think this may have the do with the amount of vodka I used. I used a whole small bottle. I added another vanilla bean yesterday and I'm going to let it sit for a few more weeks to see it that helps. Since this is the first time I've made this I don't know if there is a certain kind of Vodka that makes it taste better. I used Smirnoff, but I would think that any kind of Vodka would be fine. Vanilla bean are a little expansive, so is the vodka. I got 2 beans for $6.99, but I think if I went to a bulk food store I could of saved a bit but oh well.

You will need
1 small bottle of vodka
3 or 4 Vanilla beans
1 glass jar with a tight fitting lid

1) Cut two vanilla bean in half length ways and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds inside the jar. Cut the Vanilla bean into half width ways and place into jar.
2)Cut two vanilla beans in half width ways and place inside jar.
3)Add Vodka and put lid on jar.
4)Shake vanilla ever couples days until dark brown.

Oven Dried Tomatoes

I use sun dried tomatoes a lot. I decided to make my own, I kind of went on this whole preserving and dehydrating thing little while ago. I like the way the tomatoes turned out. I used cherry tomatoes but I also used these orange and yellow ones. I don't really think you can tell that there is a difference in colour.

You will need
Tomatoes cut in half length way
wire rack
baking pan

1)Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees or the lowest setting on your oven.
2)Cut the tomatoes in half length ways
3)Place the tomatoes on the wire rack in a single layer
4)Put the tomatoes in the oven for about 6 hours or until dry
5)Let cool and place in a jar
6)Add oil to the jar and place inside the fridge

Dried Mushrooms

So I've always wanted to make dried mushrooms. I was at the super market and there was a big bag of mushrooms on one of those 5o% off racks so I bought it.I ended up making a bunch of stuff from it. I haven't found a recipe that I want to try that used dried mushrooms but that's alright. I still enjoyed making these.

You will need
As many mushrooms as you like
Salt- varies depending on the amount of mushrooms
oil- varies depending on the amount of mushrooms
baking pan
wire cooling rack
Mason jar or a glass jar with a lid

1)Preheat the over to 150c or the lowest setting on your oven
2)Take the stems off the mushrooms.I think that taking the stems off make them dry faster. You can use the stems in stock or just throw them out, whatever you perfer.
3)Put mushrooms in a bowl and add a little salt and oil.
4)Place the wire rack on the baking pan.
5)Place the mushrooms in a single layer on the wire rack
6)Place in the over for about 6 hours or until dry
7)Let the mushroom dry completely and place inside a glass jar

If the mushrooms are not completely dried when they are out inside the jar you may find water droplets around the jar. If this happens all you have to do it shake the jar a bit and it will go away. I also find that depending on the size of the mushroom it may take a shorter time or a longer time to dry.