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Weiners and other bag exploitations

October 10, 2012

I mean exploitations in a good way. Honestly. I use the term because it almost feels naughty using a tool for something other than its original, intended use. I used to see a pastry bad as nothing more than a device to transport icing. Taking the blinders off opens another world of uses I never thought possible.

Did you know that you can make your own sausages at home, without a meat grinder? All you need is a food processor, a hand or stand mixer, and <fanfare> a pastry bag! </fanfare> I’ve made my own hamburger before in a food processor, so seeing this tutorial for homemade sausages was a moment of head slapping proportions. This is a great idea for those who want to make chicken sausages (I can never find the ones I want at the store) or sausages infused with different flavors. Run wild creating new wieners.
Deviled eggs are another great food that can be jazzed up with a pastry bag. I like to add a star tip and fill up my egg yolk mixture in a pastry bag. It makes a great shape that stands out with some paprika on top. Lately, I’ve been using smoked paprika as a replacement and I really like the smokiness it lends to the egg. McCormick sells it, so if you have a supermarket nearby, it should be relatively easy to find. My favorite deviled egg recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen. You have to give them your e-mail address to view their site, but everything is free and they have some wonderful tutorials that have saved my ass in the kitchen many times over. A tip I learned from them: sit your egg carton on its side 24 hours before you boil them. This positions the yolk more in the center of the white. If you have trouble with the green egg tinge after cooking, try this:

  • Place your eggs in a pan and cover them completely with water. Put the pan over med-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil, put the lid on and remove from the heat. Let the pot sit for 10-12 minutes.
  • Dunk eggs in an ice bath to cool, then peel.

Profiteroles are something I have fallen in love with recently. Surprising it took this long, considering they are filled with either cream or ice cream. “Profiteroles” is just a fancy word for cream puff. Be sure to use the fancy word when you make them for your friends. They’ll think you’re a pro. The video above is from Barefoot Contessa, which is about the only show I can watch on Food Network these days (even this one in moderation). Her recipes don’t have crazy ingredients and her directions are easy to follow. I’ve made many of her recipes with fantastic results, so give her a try if you haven’t already. If you don’t have drool on your shirt after watching this video, you don’t have to make them. So, go change clothes and get cooking!


From → Pastry Bag

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