It was BKH’s birthday this past weekend so we ate some foods. I made some of them and other ones were made by other people.
On friday night we were going to see a dance show. We went to a casual middle Eastern restaurant and had this dessert. It is called a Kanafeh. The top is sorta a sponge and the bottom is cheese, that sorta have a texture of very melty stringy mozzarella. The entire thing is then soaked in a sweet sugar syrup. Was it good? Well I think it was good for two bites, it is so rich and heavy. Also the cheese keep reminding me of a grilled cheese. So it sorta was a sweet? grilled cheese. It was an experience, I would only do it again if there are 6 people sharing this plate.
The next day on his actual birthday we went for some fish and chips. We have only recently discovered a fish and chips place he likes that is easy to get to. …. the theme of “too much food” continued. BKH is saying he is really taking a liking to salmon in fish and chips and starting to prefer it over white fish. When he told it to his dad I think my father-in-law was ready to disown him. YOU HAVE CHANGED, MY SON!
Of course I would be planning a dinner for his birthday though. No special occasion is completed unless I spend a silly amount of time prepping something from scratch.
When I discussed with him what I was going to do he said,
“Oh you know you don’t have to do all those extra work.”
“… this isn’t about you.” I replied.
Because it isn’t! Well it is, but it isn’t at the same time.
I enjoy putting in some stupid amount of extra effort to make it an extra special day. I love the planning and the extra work that goes into it. It makes me feel like I have a useful skill to offer.
Main course was a Steak and Stout pie with caramelized onion, mushroom and puff pastry. I agonized a bit whether or not I should be making my own puff pastry. Of course I did in the end. This is the same pastry I made for Pasteis de Nata, it was easy to make and best of all it can be made ahead of time so that is exactly what I did. I spent one evening doing the puff pastry and another on the filling since the beef needs time to get really tender.
The amazing thing is I think I am actually eating the best version of the puff pastry for the first time. Turns out, if your pie/tart filling isn’t custard, you can bake this for 30-35 minutes and have it fully crisp up. It was an amazing sound when I cut the edges off from the pie dish. The crunch is so satisfying. And the filling! It is so rich and meaty it was great on its own and/or eating with mash. I’d totally make this again in a heartbeat.
I googled a few different recipes to make sure it is perfectly acceptable to have just the pie lid and not bottom. Because I would not have enjoyed doing an enclosed pie. …. but I am willing to give it a go at a later date. In an attempt to be a bit more authetic, I also made some mushy peas, only to be told that I got the wrong kind of peas for them. In my defence, I have never even heart of marrowfat peas in my entire life, how am I supposed to know? Also, the first 5 google search recipes said frozen peas would do. >.>
For dessert I decided to keep them simple and just made a lemon meringue cupcake. (if I had decided to make a pie then I would have bought a pre-made puff pastry. You know, you work on some stuff but not another, to keep sane). Funny story, the recipe calls for melted butter in a bowl and you mix in all the other wet ingredients in the same bowl. I poured cold buttermilk into the same jug my melted butter was in. It became a semi solid chunk of fatty grossness. I had to melt the whole thing in a water bath. Not fun.
I also had a lot of meringue (from making the lemon curd) so I decided to super meringued the cakes. I torched the meringue as BKH and my brother stand in a fair distance holding their breath talking about how unsafe it all looked. One cupcake wrapper did catch on fire for a second, no one was hurt. I don’t know why they were so tense.
The cupcakes texture I messed up a bit so it isn’t perfect. But the flavour in general were amazing. I will do up a recipe for it at some point, stay tuned!
Anyway. I think BKH had a great food birthday.