After I made non-bento #40: Twisp and Catsby pizza, I wanted to try more cheese cutting. When is the best time to re-try something you weren’t 100% satisfied with the first time? IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT. Otherwise I’ll probably forget or lose my momentum.
So I decided to continue on celebrating Memorial day weekend with another typical American food, cheeseburgers. With lettuce, tomato, Twisp and Catsby.
Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers
Created an eaten on: 5/30/2011
The second time around is always a lot easier making character food. I know how long it’ll take to prep, what to expect, and I can make changes and adjustments to make things go smoother. As matter of a fact, I did the same thing when I made non-bento #33: Okamiden gomoku-sushi. I got too ambitious the first time, and decided to re-try the same method on a smaller scale right after and made bento #85: Okamiden bento.
This time I used the original painting used for the laser print (the one I posted on Twisp and Catsby pizza post). The only differences are the color and the face of Moon.
First I scaled down the drawings of Twisp and Catsby to fit inside a regular patty. And just like when I made the Twisp and Catsby pizza, I traced it on parchment paper to make templates, cut cheese and red pepper using the templates, put pieces between wax paper, and stored it in the fridge until I used it. Then I cut eggplant skin for Twisp’s whiskers, the string of his monocle, Catsby’s hair and the Moon’s face, and made teacups with broccoli stem.
Then I thought (always a bad thing after you already started…) it’d be a bit too boring to just put the cut out cheese on top of a patty. So I decided to make buns by myself! This was my very first time making buns, so I had no idea how hard the dough had to be. I made 6 buns from a batch but supposedly a 4-inch bun became a 3-inch bun. They looked more like sliders than a diner burger… but I had already cut the cheese, so I resumed.
Derek always makes patties, so I let him work on the beautiful patties while I made some oven baked french fries.
I had tried making baked fries using this recipe and we were really surprised how crispy and crunchy it came out. It was so good that I tweeted a photo of the fries. I even asked Derek to take a “proper” photo to capture the crispiness & crunchiness of them. We just couldn’t stop munching on them.
The only thing was that the first time I made them (seen in the photo above), some potatoes were stuck on the pan when I tossed them around 10 minutes in. They still came out awesome but I wanted to improve them. So for the second time, I lined a pan with parchment paper and oiled it up as suggested in a comment on on the recipe site. But then the ones that were outside parchment paper were crunchy and the ones on the parchment paper were not. So the third time (this time) I baked them a bit longer before tossing them around. They didn’t stick to the pan this time but it took longer for some of them to get crunchy. They were still good though!
I think the key to making crunchy & crispy bakedÂ fries is to cut the potato into even sized pieces and not let the pan get over crowded with fries. Removing starch by soaking the potato in water also might help but I didn’t do it the first time, and it still came out crunchy. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll try it again soon, and I’ll keep making it until I master oven baked fries.
When the patties were done, I put scraps of provolone (from preppingÂ Twisp) onto the patties, let it melt. And I put lettuce, a meat patty and slice of tomato on each bun.
I started with Moon. The buns were a lot smaller than I had planned, but since the Moon was just a big circle, I really didn’t have to worry about it.
But I definitely had to make the surface area bigger for Twisp and Catsby. So I inserted another small slice of tomato underneath their limbs for support and also pieces of cheese under each limb. It was a bit like playing reverse Jenga.
I regret that I decided to try making buns on a whim, but now I know how buns are made! The dough rose beautifully, but it seemed that I kneaded the dough too much after that. Next time I make buns, I’ll use a recipe that uses all-purpose flour instead of bread flour and see how it turns out.
Small mistake aside, overall, I think it turned out pretty good. Unlike the Twisp and Catsby pizza, there’s more contrast between the food and background. Also green on lettuce peeking behind each character adds a nice accent. I’m liking “cutting flat food with templates” a lot and tempted to make a cutter again. Not sure if I can make Twisp and Catsby cutter though. There are so much details on each of them (not to mention I definitely have to buy some metal strips) but if I do make it, I can cut any food in the shape of Twisp and Castby in a flash. Hmm….
For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento and non-bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page. (On the photos in the “Bent and non-bento!” set on my flickr, you can see the notes on the food explaining what they are.)