Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Almost Cajun Patties

The patties were to be a "welcome back to home and hearth" for Sushi, but a series of events lead to us ordering pizza for the welcome back and the patties happened on the following day or the one after. Patties, to me have always meant meat stuffed in a flour casing and then baked, which is what I was googling for in the first place. Google seemed to think they were what I'd myself want to call "cutlet", but hey! who am I to contradict the wisdom of a zillion websites.

So, Cajun style patties it was to be and heart shaped, because you know, it was a welcome back for Sushi, and I rather like the dude and all that. DP even suggested that I draw an arrow through 2 hearts with ketchup. That, I forgot at the last minute, stressed as I was, which....hmm..maybe, just maybe, might have been a tad too demonstrative in any case.

So there I was in the kitchen all ready to go when I found that I had mis-pla-ced the.. p-p-prin-n-tout of the recipe!! There was the ground meat, the bread crumbs (I had definitely remembered those), eggs, and for some reason, milk, all staring at me in the face and no printout! A lesser mortal might have quailed at the prospect of a printout-less kitchen session, but not me. I decided to do what I had never before done - cook from memory.

See, I think I may have some intrinsic Cajun instinct, for I thought to add onions and capsicum to the frying pan. Celery, we don't see too commonly in these parts, which probably explains its omission from my frying pan. Then to spice up the mixture, in went g-g paste, Worcestershire sauce(I got it for the shepherd's pie and use it at every opportunity) and chilly sauce and parsley and pepper and salt. Cayenne pepper I didn't quite recall, but the same Cajun instinct led some red chilly powder into the pan.

I'll let you in on a secret - once upon a time I took some French lessons, like back in high school. My "education" has imparted the ability to mouth fluently anything remotely Francais, even as my mind is registering "gibberish gibberish blah blah blah". Well, we went honeymooning in Mauritius, Sushi and I, and I gleefully read out all the notices and signboards and adverts and whatnot at him. Suitably impressed, he'd ask me "Wassit mean?" and I'd muster all the smugness I could, give a French little smile and shrug "Je ne sais pas". I think he quickly saw through the ruse, he did.

Back in the kitchen, I was pretty sure milk came into it somehow, but to this date, can't say whether that was memory playing tricks or a genuine ingredient that I let fall by the side, metaphorically of course. One must never ever waste milk. Anyhow, next we put the eggs into the ground meat. It's supposed to help with the binding, essential for the shaping. In my case, it just made the meat more runny than it was to begin with, weird that! A tip at this point: never throw away bread crumbs. That genuinely helps with the binding, which is, I might have mentioned before, essential for the shaping - of the patties. Me, I had disdainfully thrown, yes, thrown , not even put away the bread crumbs on the lofty premise that the patties should taste like meat not bread.

The obvious thing to do if you happen to act like me is to somehow coerce the meat into some semblance of shape - hearts, ovals, whatever and then pop it into the freezer for a bit. It's like when you want ice, you put water in the little cube things and put it into the freezer - the same principle.

You then wait patiently for about half an hour or so, depending on the runniness of your meat shapes and transfer the tray (do not yet attempt to handle the individual patties) to the microwave. Once your creations start to look a little less fragile, you flip them over - a heart stopping moment, in my case, heart crumbling ..(see the pic) and then cook some more.

Guess what, at the end of it, you can hold the patties without them flowing through your fingers and the taste, that ain't too bad either!

1 comment:

  1. So when u want curd u put it into the freezer by the same principle :-o