I made a quick batch of sesame brittle today. I love this stuff and it’s so easy to make. Of course it would have been quicker if I’d remembered to oil the wax paper. It comes off unoiled, but it’s a slow process.
Originally from March of 2010:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
saucepan, wax paper and baking sheet
In saucepan over high heat, melt butter and sugar and stir to combine. Without stirring, cook until mixture becomes a light to medium caramel color, about 3-5 minutes, then add sesame seeds and stir in. Pour mixture onto a well oiled wax paper or well oiled parchment paper covered baking sheet and spread into an even, thin layer, about 1/8 to 1 /4-inch thick, with wooden spoon. Shape will be irregular, but don’t worry, you are just going to break it into pieces after it cools anyway. Immediately shake a bit of salt over top of mixture and lightly press into caramel using spoon. I used less than a 1/4 tsp for the entire mixture and that was plenty, though your mileage may vary. Allow to set-up for about 10-15 minutes. When brittle has hardened and cooled, break into pieces and enjoy. Store in an air-tight container.
And stir fried green beans with a side of fried rice. Lazy again, the dumplings were from frozen, bought in a bag at the Asian food store the other day. I’ve had these steamed, but I think deep frying them is the way to go. The dipping sauce was quick but good: regular soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, a spoonful of chili paste, two crushed garlic cloves, a splash of rice vinegar and a little Splenda for sweetener, topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
The green beams were fresh, stir fried in hot chili oil then finished with a sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and peanut butter. Yep-peanut butter, a teaspoon or so. Also has some black sesame seeds, I should have used the regular instead. Mrs J reminds me that I should have used regular oil instead as well, there was a bit of a bite from the hot chili oil.
The fried rice? Just the usual, has some ham, a few peas and shredded carrot, a beaten egg stirred in, a tablespoon of oyster sauce for a bit of flavor. It was good.
I know I’ve asked that question a few times. Nothing answers the question better than making a batch to see and taste. Here’s my first go at it.
First thing was to make some tahini. It’s nothing more than a butter made from toasted sesame seeds and olive oil. I made a small batch before I started on the hummus, just wanted to make sure this important ingredient was going to be good enough to take the experiment farther. It worked well enough that I was happy to continue. I’m told that tahini can be bought ready made but I’ve never seen any around here. The Asian grocer in the next town east may have it but I’ve never looked for it. They did have the toasted sesame seeds I used today but I was thinking of another use for those.
I didn’t have any canned garbanzo beans like all the recipes called for, but I did have a bag of dried garbanzos so I fast soaked those and then simmered them for an hour or so. That seemed to be plenty. I made more beans than I really needed so I took 2 cups of them for the recipe and froze the remainder for later.
OK, here we go: Dump 2 cups of garbanzo beans in a food processor, add up to a half cup of tahini, add the zest of a lemon, then its juice. Toss in some crushed cloves of garlic. Most recipes I looked at said one or two, I used six or seven. Add some sea salt, a half teaspoon or so. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse the mixture to get it all chopped, then process on low for a few minutes until it comes together as a smooth paste. Add some water sparingly if it seems dry, or add more lemon juice. (The recipes I looked at all mentioned reserving some of the brine from the canned beans for adding-but some commenters said don’t add the brine.) Taste and adjust as needed. Maybe more lemon juice, more salt, or more of the tahini.
The classic use for hummus seems to be as a dip for toasted triangles of pita bread. I can attest that it works very well for that!
Mrs J made some more doggie biscuits today. They looked and smelled great. I was a bit jealous of the dogs. That set me to searching about for a cracker recipe. I’ve been wanting to make some crackers for a good while and the luck of the dogs having such a good dog momma rubbed off on me today. Mrs J agreed to make the sesame crackers that I downloaded a recipe for.
As with most new things the first batch was a learning experience. They were just a bit too thick to crisp up nicely, or we didn’t give them long enough in the oven, or both. I gave them 20 minutes at 350+ degrees. They came out more cookie than cracker. A good flavor, though maybe a bit bland, I was sure we were on the right track. The second batch were pretty much the same thickness so I was determined to give them all the time they needed. In the end they were in there for a tad over thirty minutes. We also upped our game on the ingredients–we ground some sea salt over them, and Mrs J found some Mrs Dash herb seasoning that we sprinkled over them, too.
I did some additional recipe searching while the second batch was in the oven, and found a recipe that was nearly the same except they used some sesame oil in the dough instead of butter, and a bit less water. A comment on that post mentioned using a pasta machine to get the dough thinner and more uniform. We might try that next time. I have ordered some new cookie cutters, the plastic cap Mrs J used to cut the crackers out was not the best. A pretty good size, though.
I had another bunch of asparagus that I was wanting to stir fry today so I Googled asparagus recipes. There were plenty, and I was drawn to a few beef and asparagus recipes. I noticed a link to a sesame beef recipe, and following it, came upon a really yummy looking photo of the dish. Made up my mind to try it, thankful that I had bought a fair amount of sesame seeds just a few days ago. My local grocer had red bell peppers on sale last week, and we had ten of those frozen in a big plastic freezer bag. Seems I had everything I needed. Still left me needing a recipe for the asparagus. LOL That is what I started out looking for. No problem finding a recipe.
I was able to deep fry the beef pieces to set aside but the final dinner prep required two pans going at once. Pretty busy at the stove those last few minutes before plating. Served the beef and asparagus with jasmine rice. Mrs J declared the dinner “yummy”-high praise indeed. I beamed.
Here we go:
The sesame sauce really makes these recipes great. Using the recipe linked to in this post again, with some minor tweaks. I added a teaspoon of tamarind paste, and a good healthy squirt of ketchup to the sauce. Used Sriracha sauce rather than chili paste. The rice is jasmine rice with a teaspoon of chili oil. Stirred shiitake mushrooms and red chilies into the rice before plating to add some visual interest. Also garnished the plate with a sprig of sedum in flower. Plucked that from the garden just before dinner.