Baking is a choreographed dance. Inspiration hits and one must mis-en-place, preheat the oven, toast the nuts or melt the chocolate. Delicate eggs are cracked and gracefully spill their contents. Spices are freshly ground and grated to enliven the masterpiece. Mixing is always done by hand, palms and fingertips glide across the batter like ballerina slippers across the stage.
There is an inherent difference between cooking and baking. No matter how hard you may try, it is near impossible to improvise and turn out the exact same dish, but in baking, it is possible. My crumble bars are consistently balanced elements of sweet, floral, spice, fruity and tart. Roasted, warm pumpkin puree always makes the the most silky-smooth pumpkin pie. Caramel-pecan pie is always heady, nutty, and sweetly intoxicating.
Speaking of caramel, it is one of my favorite things to play with in the kitchen. Made from milk, whey, cream, or just sugar and water and flavored with sea salt, cinnamon, maple, vanilla, lemons, or fruits...
Here is a recipe for you that I may never be able to replicate precisely, but I hope that it serves as an impetus for creativity in your own kitchen.
Fried Brown Rice with Lemon Cream Caramel
Heat your range to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a pan. When oil shimmers add chopped onion and allow to burn a bit. Add minced garlic and hot chiles if you like. Add leftover brown rice to pan and let brown a bit. Turn off heat. Pour 1/4 cup or more of heavy cream, a spoonful of sugar, juice of one lemon, salt and pepper, and 1 or 2 beaten eggs over rice and mix well. The cream and sugar will bubble into caramel and the egg will cook together around the rice kernels appearing as white specks. Serve warm with sauteed greens.
|source: Google images|
p.s If you eat this immediately your hands will carry the perfume of organically grown lemons with each and every bite.