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Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

June 3, 2011

in bento,non bento

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

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.

Tea with Moon

By Mike Krahulik - Love this illustration

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.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

I used a recipe that uses only bread flour, yeast, sugar and water (No butter or milk or egg!) but because of that, they were a little on the dense side. I'll try a different recipe next time.

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.

Oven baked fries

Oven baked fries

Can you hear the sound of the crunchiness?

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!

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Third try - I'm getting there.

I think the key to making crunchy & crispy baked 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 prepping Twisp) onto the patties, let it melt. And I put lettuce, a meat patty and slice of tomato on each bun.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

It's not a cheeseburger if cheese isn't melting on a patty! Which means these are actually cheeseburger with extra extra cheese.

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.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

This time I made holes on the top layer of cheese to make the crater effect.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Eggplant skin is so easy to cut and very strong, but when it dries it shrinks and gets wrinkled.

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.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Twisp

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Can you see a piece of tomato underneath his head?

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Salami suit

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

The tip of Twisp's tail rests on the slice of tomato underneath Catsby's head.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Love his beady black sesame seed eyes

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

This teacup is about 1/4 inch big.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Catsby

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

The glow around his eyes are thinly sliced carrot.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

You can see all the layers from this angle, kind of like Damien Hirst's piece.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Reverse Jenga being played

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

I only wish peppers were flat...

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

Catsby raising his teacup for a celebration.

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.

Non-bento #41: Twisp and Catsby cheeseburgers

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.)

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gourmet GuerillaNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

Oh Anna, that’s so amazing! I started creating my own bentos a few weeks ago – just cutting Cheese and bread into funny shapes – feeling so happy about this. I have to say that you are really an artist. Looking forward to your next post. Mel.

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lizrdgizrdNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 11:48 am

That is awesome! Great job on all three characters!

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StrangeQuarkNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Trying the fries right now! So, let me get this straight: if they stick to the sheet after 10 mins, I just wait a little longer and they will become unstuck?

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AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I think so. When my potato got stuck, I tried to move them, but their outer layer got stuck and peeled off and became a mess. I think if I had cooked a bit longer, the surface would be dry enough to move. BUT! I’m still trying to figure out the “perfect way”, so if that doesn’t work, try different things!

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AikoVenusNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm

So cute! What are their tea cups made of?

Also, if you want your potatoes to become less sticky, make sure soak them in some /ice/ water for about 30 minutes – overnight after washing and cutting. After you wash them, pat them dry, coat in oil and then place it on a well oiled sheet or whatever cooking device. Heating and oiling the pan (if baking) before adding the potatoes also works well. Russet potatoes work the best overall.

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reeceNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Those are so cute! You are always so detailed with your projects. I was wondering if you could make the omusoba-pan from The Work God Only Knows. Every time I watch that show they’re eating it, and it makes me want one so bad T-T Unfortunately no body has a tutorial or recipe online that I can find (and oh boy have I been searching) I know you don’t normally take requests,but it is just a small hope.

Thank you,
reece

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AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar June 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

I’ve heard of Yakisoba-pan, and Omu-soba, but never “Omusoba-pan.” I guess it’s kind of a made-up food for the show, but there’s an easy way to take some shortcuts. You can get a pack of instant yakisoba online (even Amazon sells it!), put the cooked yakisoba between a hotdog bun, and wrap it with a rectangular shaped egg sheet. (See http://www.annathered.com/2008/11/16/how-to-make-an-egg-sheet/ ) In this case, the egg sheet doesn’t have to be thin. Put some ketchup on it and done! BUT, there’s no way ketchup will stay wrapped in a plastic bag the way it is on the show. And it’ll be very hard to hold it without a plastic bag. Let me know if you have any questions! Hmmm now I want to eat some Omu-soba… :P

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bentoNo Gravatar June 9, 2011 at 4:05 am

so cute & yummy!! well done!!

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JeeJeeNo Gravatar June 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

OMG… That is so amazing. I wish I could be so creative and talented. How long does it take you to make the characters? I think it would take me so long that my family can’t wait, LOL

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CharmyKawaiiNo Gravatar June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

EXCELLENT =^-^=

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