Friday, April 02, 2021

COVID-19 VACCINE REACTION AND COOKING - How about baking Pâte à Choux today?

During my rest time after receiving my 2nd COVID-19 vaccine, I tried many different home menu.  Not that I really want to, but, the vaccine has been making me quite ill.  From high fever of 102'F to swollen arm with itchy red rash, insomnia, at times it feels like I am charged up with super steriod on 2nd and 3rd day, then slump into whole body ache.  Muscle weakness. Blurry eyes, brain fog, forgetting things after 30 seconds.   Then, at times, I am all clear on what I need to do and finish it.  My arm's rash disappeared after five days, this time.  It lasted 15 days during my first shot.  The spring weather aided to cheer me up.  Had a couple of nice fresh Kale leaves cutting to make dishes from the garden.  
It's been many years since I last baked Pâte à Choux.  The ingredients are simple and fun to make.
Before I post my adventure result on Pâte à Choux, I want to post some other cooking testing I've completed thus far.
1.  Fennel, Banana, Apple, KAKI Salad
This one was fun tessting.  I had a bumper crop of KAKI in 2020 FALL, and I still had some KAKI lasting into Jan and Feb.  This addition of Banana and apple was very good.
Thinly slice 1 large bulb of organic fennel
Chop 1 granny smith apple
Cut up 1 banana
Cut up 1 KAKI
For dressing, Mix some Mayonnaise, a bit of vinegar, a bit of dijon mustard to taste.  

2. Snap Pea Couscous Salad.  This one is very easy to make.

Rinse and soak snap peas in cold water with a pinch of Salt for 20.  Rinse clean.  Devein and slice into halves.

In addition to  preparing Couscous as instructed on the box, add Organic white corn (mine is frozen that I got from COSTCO).  Add as much as you like.  Cover and let couscous pot set as instructed. And cooled off.  Toss couscous and Snap peas in a serving bowl.  Mix your favorite vignairette and serve.

3.  Tempura - Light as feather.

There are many recipes on making the Tempura batter.  At least once - many many years ago, my batter bloomed like a flower when fried.  It was airy and quite delightful.  But I could not remember the formula for it.   One time after the other I tried.  I could not recreate it.  So, I gave up and came up with my own.  

For this you need 1 or 2 egg whites beaten into stiff peak meringue or whole egg beaten to pale foamy peak, 2 Cup of PANKO or home made bread crumbs, a bowl of 1/2 C to 1 C flour.  The measurement depends on how much vegetables you want to fry.  I had shrimps (not farm raised - wild caught), wash, soaked in salt and some wine for 15 min. to get rid of smell, devein and slice open the shrimp.   Coat with flour, let dry.  Wash, peel, and slice Organic sweet potatoes (not Yam), coat with meringue.  

Heat in frying pot - I use organic avocado oil.  Dip sweet potatoes sliced in meringue, then, coat with bread crumb.  Fry gently in medium low heat.

Do the same with shrimp.  Dip into meringue, then, coat with bread crumb.  Fry till when pierced with fork, it is tender and golden.

Let extra oil drip off.  Place on oil remover sheet or paper towel.  Serve.

 For deep fried fish, I used thawed out Cod. Wash with Salt. Pat dry.  Slice them thinly.  Coat with seasonings and flour.  Dip in batter - beaten foamy eggs mixed with flour with some KIRIN beer with 1/4 tsp baking powder.  (The batter should be thick.)  Deep fry it till golden.  Result - I don't like it.  The batter tasted really good, but it did not form a crispy crunchy crust.   Maybe I should have used baking soda.  Well, till next time.
 4.   Avocado Fennel Salad with Banana.
This one was also delicious.  Slice Avocado, Fennel, Banana, Bartelle Pear - top with some cilantro.  Toss and serve with your favorite vinaigrette.  
So, are we there, yet for the Pâte à Choux ?
Everyone knows the basic  Pâte à Choux  recipe, right?   1 C water, 1 Stick of unsalted butter, 1 C flour, 4 eggs @room temperature. *Wash eggs and dry before use..
Heat 1 C of water and butter in a pot.  Bring to boil. Have a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon or large sturdy spoon ready.  *Quickly add flour into the boiling water and stir crazy.   
Remove from the heat.  Quickly Stir until smooth.  *Do not let the batter cooled down.  
Crack and add 1 egg into the batter, and mix quickly to incorporate into batter.
Add next 1 egg.  Mix quickly to incorporate into batter.
Repeat the same with the next 2 eggs.
The batter should be nice and smooth.
When there are large lumps, keep stirring till you can minimize it.
If there are many lumps, put the batter through the sieve.
* I had to stop and refrigerate the batter to bake in the morning because the house is already quite warm from the heat trend we are having during the day.
The next morning.  I brought out the batter from the refrigerator.  The batter remained soft.
I poured the batter into a piping bag with #8 tip.
On a sheet pan with organic heat proof parchment paper, pipe the batter into desired Pâte à Choux shape or into Eclare - bar shape.
Preheat  oven to 450'F (mine is a large gas stove). 
 *NOTE:  DO NOT OPEN the OVEN Door to Peek.  Pâte à Choux batter depends on the steam formed within itself to puff up and create its crispy outer shell.
Bake in center rack for 10-12 min.  Then, lower the oven heat to 350'F and bake for 20 min. - 30 min. or till golden brown. 
Fill with chantilly, decorate with fruits, powder sugar, chocolate glaze, Matcha frosting, dragonfruit frosting, etc, etc, and serve.  
I filled it with slice of banana and chantilly.  Bad idea to cook them when you are hungy.  I ate the whole entire half sheetful.... No food for the rest of the day.

To make my chantilly, to assure my body can handle the lactose in the heavy cream, I used 1 Cup of Heavy Whip Cream, 1/4 C Lactose free Non-Fat Milk, 2 Tbsp of sugar.  Whip heavy cream and lactose free non-fat milk together for 1 min.  Add sugar 1/2 Tbsp at a time.  Increase speed after 2 min.  Whip for 1 min, then, at high till the desire medium to stiff peak form.  Transfer to piping bag with desired tip. and pipe into completely cooled Pâte à Choux shell.  *Normally, the center of the Pâte à Choux shell is emptied.  I noticed mine is quite puffed up and empty that I left them alone as they are.  I didn't have powder sugar and my Nutribullet is out of commission for the moment that I did not decorate with snowy powder.  
(The pictures will be uploaded a bit later.)

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