This is the first food cooking challenge that I have not personally eaten. I picked it because it was 1) the only recipe of Michael Symon’s that I thought I could get my family to eat, 2) it seemed easy, and 3) strawberries are in season. It seems terribly unhealthy and I’m trying to eat better, so I took it to my parents’ house and made them my guinea pigs.
I should first point out that this recipe states that the cook time is 35 minutes and that it’s “intermediate.” That doesn’t account for time running all over creation (in vain) to find a vanilla bean. Apparently they aren’t native to West Virginia, or anywhere near it. Sulking, I googled and discovered that 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract will be a decent substitute. So if you decide to try this recipe, save yourself some time looking for exotic ingredients and just use the extract. The 35 minutes also doesn’t count the hour you have to let the stuff sit on the stove, or the 4-5 hours you have to refrigerate it to set. So pretty much, with travel time you are looking at close to a week to prepare this. I may have exaggerated that a little bit, but it felt like it.
Since I didn’t have a vanilla bean, I brought the heavy cream to a boil, turned it off and then added the extract. I didn’t want the extract boiling off or anything. That’s when I noticed that I had to wait an hour before doing the next step. I must admit I was a little nervous letting cream sit on the stove for an hour. Probably remembering all those times I’ve had the kids (when younger) leave milk in sippy cups around the house and I find them later, solidified into some yucky, curdled mess. It just seems wrong to let a dairy product go unrefrigerated.
While I was waiting the hour, I read ahead on the recipe and realized that I was going to need five egg yolks. What about the whites? What a waste. I decided at this point to make a lemon meringue pie, using the whites for the meringue. No waste, woohoo. Very pleased with myself, I sat down to chat on Facebook with Xeo. My computer is just a few steps away from the counter, so I was multitasking, carefully cracking my eggs and dividing them into 2 bowls (one for whites and one for yolks). Going back and forth to the computer got me a little mixed up and *gasp!* I accidentally dumped an egg white into the yolk bowl! There was no getting that sucker out, either. It had bonded with the yolks and was clinging for dear life. It could have been worse, because if I’d tainted my egg whites with a yolk, I wouldn’t have had a decent meringue. At any rate, I blame Xeo for distracting me.
I sprinkled the gelatin into the milk and went on with the egg yolks. I mixed them up just fine, and by the time I went to add the milk/gelatin mix… it was set up and had the consistency of Moon Sand. It was NOT appealing looking. I scraped it in anyway. Now the recipe tells you to put it in an ice bath, but one of the people who tried this recipe commented that it sets up quickly and an ice bath isn’t needed. I took this to heart. It’s obvious anyway that Michael Symon doesn’t test out his recipes, based on the poor ratings so many of them have gotten.
I poured the mix into 4 little bowls and prepared to put it in the fridge to set up. As I started to cover them with plastic wrap, a little voice in my head reminded me that the recipe called for whipped cream. I glanced back at the recipe and realized that it was supposed to mixed in with the other stuff. I remembered about the person saying it sets up quickly and I called in reinforcements. I yelled for both kids to quickly help me scrape the mix out of the little bowls and back into the big one. One kid was assigned to washing out the bowls. I stirred that whipped cream in with reckless abandon, fearful that the mess would harden like cement before I had a chance to fully mix it. By the time it was mixed in, I managed to pour it back into the little bowls and sit down to relax.
When the recipe said “intermediate,” I would agree.
This looks and smells like vanilla pudding. I don’t like pudding or really anything with that consistency. Grabbed my little bowls and some strawberries and headed over to my parents’ house. The recipe tells you to dump them out of the little bowls and top them with strawberries. I thought the stuff would stick to the bowls and look bad if I dumped them out, so we just topped them with strawberries and they ate them like that.
I was told that this has more of the consistency and taste of cheesecake. Mom and Dad both ate all of theirs and said it was very good. Jordan ate all of his and asked me to make it again. I said no, that recipe is a pain. I ate my lemon meringue pie and I’m happy. 🙂 I left one little bowl of bavarian cream at my parents’ house. They can fight it out to see who gets to eat it.
Xeo’s whine / rant about Michael Symon from earlier this week.
soooo…. this week we had Michael Symon. Even if you aren’t cooking have you looked at his recipes? Most of his recipes have gotten a 3 rating at best… and that’s if someone even made it. In fact, most of his stuff is scary nasty. Smoked salmon and horse radish cheesecake… not a fucking chance. I struggled to find a recipe I could make and have decided on chicken pinwheels.
I’m also going to violate my cardinal rule… don’t go changing recipes all willy nilly! This recipe has tarragon on it (at the end) and I know I hate tarragon. Second it has dill pickles in it… that you then bake. Has anyone ever had baked pickles before? Should those words even go together in one sentence let alone in a recipe?! So yea… I’m nixing that to. Then you have scrambled eggs wrapped in bacon wrapped in ham wrapped in chicken. I call it chickpiggen (like turdurkin, only not).
I’m not to keen on the scrambled eggs but I’ll make one with… and one without them. One of the comments suggested using smoked mozzarella in place of the dill pickles. We don’t have smoked mozzarella around here so I got smoked provolone. I don’t really know the difference in flavors but hey… their both smoked, their both cheese, it has to work out alright… right?
I just started a second job this week so I’ve been super busy, I’m gonna try to make the recipe Saturday evening when I actually get some time. I didn’t want y’all to have to wait though (and I have a guest post or two that needs to go up). I’ll add the linky to this and when I write it I’ll just update the publish date on this (so it’ll move back to the front).
Hope everything is turning out great for y’all… I’m mostly blarg thinking of Michael Symon and his plethora of /shudder-tastic recipes.
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