Thursday, April 1, 2010

Loveliness


Things that make me happy right now:
-A Mover El Culo (we of course have our version, Mystikal's Shake Ya Ass, but I am pretty sure I was the only one who found this funny when I put it on afterwards at a recent party...I think they were more horrified at the video than focused on the translation of the lyrics...)
-breakfast tacos...in Argentina! oh I am so not even kidding...after several failed attempts, I've got the flour ones down, and I just found out the Mexican embassy sells corn ones...my mornings have just been improved exponentially
-Ryuichi Sakamoto's Casa album...goddamn is it beautiful
-late afternoon Quilmes and maní (peanuts) outside on the "terrace" (really the outside steps going up to my housemate´s room)
-1.5 kilos (3.3 lbs.) of chicken wings for 2.70 pesos (about 75 cents)
-vanilla bean pudding...that´s sort of a lie, actually, given that I have a long term running obsession with all kinds of puddings, which seems to leave me open to getting made fun of an awful lot. Apparently a lot of people associate pudding with kind of icky childhood memories and general textural mushiness. I associate it with home and loveliness and my mom making milky chocolate pudding on the stove out of The Settlement Cookbook which is about 100 years old. I did learn (along with my poor sister, who may never recover from the experience) that making rice pudding with brown rice is, um, really gross. But otherwise, sitting on my bed, eating pudding and watching the historic trashiness that is The Tudors serves me extremely well and makes for a very nice chilly Sunday afternoon.



Vanilla Pudding
     adapted from Mark Bittman

2 ½ c. whole milk
2/3 c. sugar
pinch of salt
½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (optional)

Put 2 cups of the milk, sugar and salt in a small or medium saucepot over medium-low heat. If using a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into milk or half-and-half using small sharp knife, then add pod. Cook just until mixture begins to steam.
Combine cornstarch and remaining milk in a bowl and blend; there should be no lumps. Fish pod from pot and discard. Add cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to thicken and barely reaches a boil, about 5 minutes. Immediately reduce heat to very low and stir for 5 minutes or so until thick. Stir in butter and vanilla extract, if using.
Pour mixture into 4 teacups. Put plastic wrap directly on the pudding if you do not want a skin to form (I love the skin so I don´t put the plastic directly on the surface, but I do cover the cups so weird smells from the fridge don´t give the puddings a funny taste). Refrigerate until chilled.


Pudín de Vaina de Vainilla
     adaptada de Mark Bittman

2 ½ tazas de leche entera
2/3 taza de azúcar
una pizca de sal
½ vaina de vainilla, o 1 cucharita de extracto de vainilla
3 cucharadas más 1 cucharita de maizena
2 cucharadas de mantequilla (opcional)

Coloca 2 tazas de leche, el azúcar, y la sal en una olla pequeña sobre fuego medio-bajo. Si utilizas la vaina de vainilla, partela por la mitad y saca las semillas con un cuchillo. Mete las semillas y la cascara en la leche, y calientala sin que hierva.
Combina la maizena con la media taza de leche que quedó y mezclalas bien, asegurandote que no quedan grumos. Saca la cascara de vainilaa de la olla. Écha la mezcla de maizena y cocina, revolviendo cada tanto, hasta que la mezcla se espece y empiece a hervir. Inmediatamente baja el fuego y seguí cocinando, revolviendo, durante 5 minutos hasta que ya se sienta mas espesa la mezcla. Después de apagar el fuego, écha la mantequilla y el extracto de vainilla (si los estas usando).
Écha la mezcla a 4 pocillos. Coloca papel de cocina transparente directamente encima de la colada si no queres que forme una capa encima (yo no hago esto, me encanta la capa pero cada uno tiene su preferencia, igual pongo el plástico arriba para que no absorba olores de la heladera). Dejalos enfriar.

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