Wednesday, December 25, 2019

salad and Faux-fredo fusilli

The salad:

There's a bit of a story behind the salad, and it has to do with the dressing, which isn't pictured in the above photo. A standard oil-and-vinegar dressing usually involves about three parts oil and one part vinegar (you can vary that proportion according to your taste). I used olive oil and Kirkland balsamic vinegar, and since I have a huge supply of xanthan gum thanks to my keto-dabbling (which has been going on for a while, now, even though I haven't blogged about it that much), I added a tiny fraction of a teaspoon of xanthan gum to the oil and vinegar in an attempt to create an emulsion. A little xanthan gum goes a long way: you can significantly thicken a half-gallon of Chinese egg-drop soup with half a teaspoon of the magic powder. I put in less than an eighth of a teaspoon, and that proved to be too much: I got an emulsion, yes, but the dressing basically turned into goop. Luckily, I added some water, and the mix thinned out into something pourable while still staying emulsified. Xanthan gum is a great little thickener, especially for salad dressings, but also for various sauces. The fact that you need so little of it makes it a very economical purchase.

The pasta:

The tightly spiraled fusilli pasta is great for trapping sauce, which is why it's one of my favorite pastas to use. The Faux-fredo sauce came out great: it's "faux" because, instead of using Parmigiano Reggiano, I used the much funkier Gorgonzola, which I love. I think Alfredo works better when it's less subtle. I made enough Faux-fredo pasta for another whole meal, so I'll be saving the leftovers for later—maybe this weekend.

Dessert courtesy of Shinsegae Foods:

Korean/Japanese-style cheesecake is much lighter and fluffier than American cheesecake, which is tasty but way too heavy for my taste. In East Asia, they place less emphasis on the cheese and more on the cake. Makes sense to me.


John Mac said...

Very impressive looking creations. Never even heard of Xanthan gum before but it certainly adds some adventure to the cooking experience. Could aliens somehow pour huge amounts into our lakes, rivers, and oceans thereby dooming the human race? Talk about gumming up the works!

Kevin Kim said...

Your mind goes to very dark places.