Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kitchen Experiments: Homemade Soymilk, Round the Third [and then some]

I made my third attempt at soymilk tonight. It resembled my last attempt in most ways, except that I doubled the amount of soybeans I used, and I attempted to thicken the end product up some by letting simmer. For nearly an hour. And there is little discernable difference in texture. There is a much smaller end amount than my previous attempts, but that makes sense considering how many beans I used [and therefore less water].

Let's go try some shall we? [This will also encourage to stop laying on my arms while I attempt. He attempts to 'catch' my fingers. With his teeth. It is almost a fun game.]

Okay. So. Don't use so many beans. No need for it. Just makes for extra beany flavour. And the simmering and stirring did help a bit, it's not water thin anymore.

Palatable. I'm getting closer to the desired result.

And since JacQueline will be here soon, she can be my kitchen experiment co-hort for the next batch.

Since I am insane, I made the soymilk tonight while I was cooking a butternut squash to make a ravioli/wonton hybrid. And then while I was filling all the wontons with my butternut squish filler, I started boiling aduki beans to make my own red bean paste [also known as anko].

So. I haven't actually tasted my ravioli/wonton/squish love children yet, but the filler tasted pretty good. The recipe I found had me smashing up the cooked squish with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and parmesan cheese. I added more parm than the recipe called for because damn do I like cheese.

It wouldn't be that hard to change this recipe up. I've always maintained that more than half the battle is just having the idea to begin with. The recipe was the idea, now I can figure out how to do fun things with it. Like, instead of using wanton wrappers, I could get something a little more pasta like, and make a chocolatey filling for some tasty and fun dessert. Or something fruity and sweet [like apple pie filling], that would be fun too.

I'm going to take some of them to work for lunch tomorrow. I mixed up a sauce out of ground sage, savory, corn syrup and dijon mustard. Next time I will use regular mustard, dijon is about too hot for me most days [yes. I am a big wuss].

Then came the anko. I spent most of the time sure I was doing something drastically wrong. I followed a couple of different recipes kind of loosely [the end product was almost the same, the instructions on one recipe weremore clearly written, on the other, the measurements made more sense, so I took the bits fromeach recipe that made sense to me]. I wanted an anko that was smooth – read: not bean skins. So, as the recipe called for, I smashed the cooked beans through a sieve with the palm of my hand. And by sieve I mean my cheap blue plastic colander. And by palm of my hand I mean a wooden spoon and the now-burned-and-tender knuckles of my hand.

If you try this at home, I recommend you don't stick your hand into a colander full of freshly boiled beans that are still steaming and try to smash them into a goopy pulp. It hurts.

All told, that smashing process was time consuming and annoying, and I burnt my knuckles, and irritated them fromscraping them against the colander. I couldn't use my palm, because my fingers do not bend in such a manner that would compensate for the curve of the device.

I swore to myself that if I ever get it into my head to make anything that requires anko in the future, that I would find it premade or something. There has GOT to be a better way to make that puree and still get the skins out.

Anyway. Once I had my pot full of purplish goop, I looked at it skeptically, not trusting that simply adding sugar to it would turn it into a paste. But it sort of worked. I say sort of because I figured it would turn out thicker in the end, but after stirring [in a straight back and forth manner, not in circles, because stirring things with super high sugar content in circles makes it less shiny. The recipe told me that circle stirring would cause it to lose luster, but while I was actually doing it, I remembered Mrs.Strelioff telling me that in HomeEc oh so many years ago]... after stirring for nearly an hour, I got really stupendously bored. Maybe it will thicken more as it cools?

Anyhoo, I have the rice I need, so tomorrow I hope to have the motivation to use that rice and my anko and make ohagi... which it turns out I am missing an ingredient for. Dammit.

Maybe I will make dorayaki instead.


JQ said...

Wow you grub fiend. :P

I do not remember Home Ec at all. But I re-learned that useful tidbit just now thanks to you! :)

You are right of course. I will be assistant grub fiend when I come.

Sarah K said...

Asst GrFd. I might have to make you a tag.