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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Stilly River Sage 29 Jul 19 - 10:54 AM
Charmion 29 Jul 19 - 10:40 AM
Dave Hanson 29 Jul 19 - 07:24 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jul 19 - 06:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jul 19 - 08:52 PM
leeneia 28 Jul 19 - 08:13 PM
Charmion 28 Jul 19 - 07:48 PM
Charmion 28 Jul 19 - 07:44 PM
Mrrzy 28 Jul 19 - 06:48 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Jul 19 - 11:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jul 19 - 09:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Jul 19 - 10:41 PM
leeneia 27 Jul 19 - 09:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jul 19 - 11:26 AM
Charmion 26 Jul 19 - 10:20 AM
Charmion 26 Jul 19 - 10:13 AM
Thompson 26 Jul 19 - 05:04 AM
Charmion 25 Jul 19 - 09:30 AM
BobL 25 Jul 19 - 06:35 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Jul 19 - 04:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jul 19 - 11:47 PM
Mrrzy 24 Jul 19 - 10:24 PM
Thompson 24 Jul 19 - 04:33 PM
punkfolkrocker 24 Jul 19 - 01:10 PM
Charmion 24 Jul 19 - 09:58 AM
BobL 24 Jul 19 - 02:42 AM
Charmion 23 Jul 19 - 10:24 AM
Mrrzy 23 Jul 19 - 10:05 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Jul 19 - 07:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jul 19 - 05:21 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Jul 19 - 04:32 PM
Mrrzy 22 Jul 19 - 01:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jul 19 - 12:47 PM
punkfolkrocker 22 Jul 19 - 12:32 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Jul 19 - 11:59 AM
Thompson 22 Jul 19 - 11:32 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Jul 19 - 10:09 AM
Charmion 22 Jul 19 - 09:43 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Jul 19 - 06:05 AM
BobL 22 Jul 19 - 03:43 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Jul 19 - 05:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Jul 19 - 03:03 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Jul 19 - 02:58 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Jul 19 - 02:25 PM
Thompson 21 Jul 19 - 02:24 PM
Thompson 21 Jul 19 - 02:22 PM
Bonzo3legs 21 Jul 19 - 12:42 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Jul 19 - 12:06 PM
Jon Freeman 21 Jul 19 - 11:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Jul 19 - 11:16 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jul 19 - 10:54 AM

You don't need to cut out the spine and flatten the breast, if you want you can cut down the middle of the breast and flatten it at the spine. The point is to flatten the bird, either way works.

I agree, Steve's pasta dish sounds good. Maybe I should pick up some anchovies, I think I have the rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Jul 19 - 10:40 AM

I learned spatchcocked chicken from a book, and it took me a while (and a few nicked fingers) to perfect the technique. The New York Times article recommends pressing down on the centre of the breast to flatten the bird, but this method is unreliable for two reasons.

First, the flattening manoeuvre is designed to break or dislocate one or both of the clavicles at the sternum, and this always happens at the weakest point -- which may not be at the sternum, where you want the break to be. Second, most fryer chickens (the best size for spatchcocking) are so young that their joints are very flexible, so pressing might not achieve the aim at all.

So the better method is to take your stiff, very sharp knife (the one you used to cut the ribs away from the backbone) and cut the cartilage that covers the point where the clavicles join the sternum. (Note that shears won't do this job.) Then turn the bird over and press it flat, with your knuckles or the heel of your hand on that joint. The result will be a firm snap, at the sternum.

Steve, I would love to try your puttanesca recipe, but I would have to do it with somebody else's husband. Mine won't touch it -- or arrabiata, either. One of his few flaws is a prejudice against hot peppers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Jul 19 - 07:24 AM

It would be better with whole black olives chopped up, pitted olives all seem tasteless to me.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jul 19 - 06:47 AM

Did I ever tell you about my whore's pasta, spaghetti alla puttanesca? Takes as long as it takes the spaghetti (dried, not fresh - this dish is store cupboard only!) to boil.

For two people. Get 250g spaghetti on to boil in salted water. No oil. Get a big, heavy, shallow pan and put two big glugs of extra virgin olive oil in it. Add dried chilli flakes to taste (it's supposed to be pretty spicy), two cloves of garlic finely sliced (not crushed) and three or four anchovy fillets out of a tin. Sauté that lot for a couple of minutes then add about 2/3 of a tin of tomatoes, a tablespoon of capers, about 100g of pitted black olives out of a tin (chop them up a bit), a handful of chopped fresh parsley (optional) and some pepper. When the spag is al dente, drain it and quickly throw it into the sauce (it's always worth keeping a splash of pasta water in reserve). Mix thoroughly. No Parmesan. Get it right and it's a masterpiece. Nigella suggests serving it wearing a tight low-cut dress and garish red lipstick with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth.

We've taken to eating any pasta dish the Italian way. Just a fork, no spoon, no knife, just a lot of slurping keeping over the bowl. Ottimo! We're having gnocchi alla Sorrentina tonight. Lovely long stringy bits of mozzarella, a challenge to the consumer!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jul 19 - 08:52 PM

That flattened chicken is "spatchcocked." Like this.

I felt like something for dinner, but not fancy. There was a cup of buttermilk in the fridge that needed using so I made a batch of pancakes. The leftovers are wrapped and frozen for future meals. It didn't take long to make and hit the spot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 28 Jul 19 - 08:13 PM

You're so perspicacious, Mrrzy, you had me fooled.

Charmion, thanks for the chicken idea.

Now I'm all set up to make Nogales chicken stew, a recipe I got from a Hispanic grandmother at church.

Brown some chicken pieces in a big skillet. (I use thighs)
Remove chicken, saute chopped yellow onion.
Replace chicken.
Add tomatoes, either from the garden or canned, no-salt tomatoes.
Add the juice from a can of high-quality canned corn. The canned corn taste is essential.
Cover and let simmer.
After a while, add chopped zucchini.
Add chopped green pepper.
Let cook till chicken is tender.
Season with chili powder to taste, prob. 1 to 2 tsp.
Just before serving, add the corn kernels and let them warm up.

*The idea is not to cook the zucchini and green pepper to death.

The original recipe called for dredging the chicken in flour, but I don't bother.

Serve with corn bread, avocados, guacamole, watermelon and other summery stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Jul 19 - 07:48 PM

The first peaches of the summer appeared in the Stratford market yesterday, very early cultivar. Freestone varieties usually come in late August, and these are, indeed, a cling-ish peach. But deee-licious!

After eating three over the sink, I put in some quality time with the dental floss. Worth it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Jul 19 - 07:44 PM

Mrrzy — chicken off the barbie. Split up the back and flattened, laid out on the grill over a pan of water set on the tiles (gas barbie, BTW), skin well dressed with the same spice rub as for Memphis-style pork ribs. Smoker. Gas up high until the smoke starts to roll, then whack the chicken down. After about fifteen minutes, turn the gas low. Leave it alone with the lid down for as long as it takes.

Hack the cooked chicken into quarters and serve with crusty bread and good beer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Jul 19 - 06:48 PM

I am not a female. Just fyi. Given the choice I prefer They to He but She does not apply. Luvs. Feed me something yummy now! I've been traveling and nothing was truly delish except one salmon-on-a-salad...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jul 19 - 11:20 AM

White peach juice + prosecco = Bellini. Mmmm!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jul 19 - 09:41 AM

White peaches are in the grocery store now; when they're ripe they have a more intense peach flavor. I tend to look for freestone peaches, whatever variety I buy, just because they're easier to eat or cut up for cooking, though I'll eat the others if that's all that is available.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jul 19 - 10:41 PM

I finally pulled the three large tomato plants when I realized the grower must have started them from seeds harvested from a hybrid. They were sterile, large plants and not a single tomato. Even with blossom set (that forces fruit without pollination.) I'm hoping for a fall garden but I doubt I'll get any tomatoes this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Jul 19 - 09:46 PM

At last I am getting homegrown tomatoes from my garden, so tonight we had a Chinese dish, tomato beef. It has other vegetables as well - green pepper, onion, snow peas. We had it with "rice blend", (a whole grain food similar to rice). Watermelon for dessert.

It's a delicious dish, but it takes a lot of prep. I had help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jul 19 - 11:26 AM

Tilapia is a mild-flavored white fish that is sustainably raised, as is much of the catfish sold in the marketplace these days. I cook it much as I might red snapper, it can be baked, sauteed, fried, etc. I've used it in fish tacos (which are filled with so many other flavors that the fish is essentially like Charmion said, the protein base for the layered meal.)

Catfish is something I've always eated fried, when it was breaded in a seasoned cornmeal. Whole-skinned or filleted. With lots of lemon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Jul 19 - 10:20 AM

Thompson, I just looked at the BBC recipes, and they seem to have drawn the same conclusion I did: tilapia is so bland that it can take literally any combination of flavours, the more assertive the better. In future, I will definitely go the curry route.

You may find tilapia in both fresh and frozen form at your local supermarket. Here in Ontario, frozen tilapia is about as cheap as fish gets, but the fillets run very, very small. The fillets I cooked yesterday were fresh, and ran about half a pound each. I cooked them as I would sole, without flour or bread crumbs and in an open pan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Jul 19 - 10:13 AM

Thompson, I was very interested to read the Wikipedia entry on the species, from which I learned that, as a food fish raised in captivity, tilapia has literally millennia of history. As a cook, I am here to tell you that tilapia has nothing much to offer in the way of flavour, and seems to function best as a proteiny backdrop to whatever seasonings and veg with which one cares to cook and/or serve it.

The lime juice, garlic and cilantro version worked, but only because we were hungry and we like cilantro. I should have used rather more garlic and lime juice, and started with a reduction to intensify the flavours before putting the fish in the pan. It now occurs to me that tilapia would work well in a curry sauce ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 26 Jul 19 - 05:04 AM

Tilapia were a hippie thing - the ideal life included a conservatory with a fish pond in it, in which tilapia would be raised as food, and the water regularly used for enriching the vegetable patch and renewed from a clean water supply.

How to eat them is another question; I've never actually met one. The BBC has a bunch of recipes; the coconutty one sounds nice. I wait in anticipation for news…


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 25 Jul 19 - 09:30 AM

I went shopping yesterday and bought two kinds of fish that are sorta new to me.

The first is tilapia, which Steve Shaw would presumably reject outright because it is widely farmed. I assume these fillets were not from wild-caught fish because I could buy them without feeling a deep pang in the wallet. I have read that tilapia is very popular with people who make (and, presumably, eat) fish tacos, so I plan to cook them à la Méxique (or my idea thereof), with lime juice, garlic and cilantro.

The other is a big packet of frozen fillets -- it was on special, of course -- of a species marketed here as "basa", which Wikipedia tells me is Pangasius bocourti, a catfish native to the delta of the Mekong River. Now, I know that our neighbours to the south consider catfish to be a staple food and, often, a great treat, but I have a hard time overcoming prejudice against the species that thrives in the Ottawa River and its tributaries. I was brought up to consider catfish (called barbotte where I come from) to be dangerously inedible because of its bottom-dwelling, scavanger nature -- but then, when I was young, the Rideau River was but a step up from an open sewer. Thanks to public health efforts and stern regulation, things are better now.

Back to the basa. Anyone out there with a good catfish recipe they'd care to share?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 25 Jul 19 - 06:35 AM

"...visited the Roadkill Thread right before she came here"

Using the other hand I hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jul 19 - 04:35 AM

Gosh, I've assumed for years that Mrrzy was a bloke! Deluded I have been by those first two letters...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jul 19 - 11:47 PM

I note that Mrrzy visited the Roadkill Thread right before she came here - leaving me wondering if she had a flattened squirrel recipe. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Jul 19 - 10:24 PM

Try this? I liked both... https://dinnerthendessert.com/sweet-sour-sauce/


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 24 Jul 19 - 04:33 PM

Request from a friend. Anyone have any recipes for sweet-and-sour that taste all sticky like those in Chinese takeaways?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Jul 19 - 01:10 PM

Several years working in photographic dark rooms
left me with ingrained methodical discipline regarding keeping my bare hands out of bad stuff,
and avoiding cross contamination...

Handy transferrable kitchen skills...

My mrs however, is a food poisoning disaster waiting to happen...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Jul 19 - 09:58 AM

"Clean hand, messy hand" is also the thing to do when wrapping servings of meat -- such as chicken pieces -- for the freezer. Around here, we can get "portion-size" bags (actually the right size for three to four portions); I like to turn the bag inside-out over my clean left hand, stack the contents in the palm, then turn the bag right way round.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 24 Jul 19 - 02:42 AM

The "Clean hand, messy hand" method can come in useful, in my case usually when jointing a chicken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 10:24 AM

I spent a bunch of years working in hospitals, so I developed a bit of a thing about keeping my hands clean. Also, I'm the person who cleans everything in this house, and I'm keenly aware of how often one is interrupted when up to the elbows in something really messy -- Sod's Law is always at work. Consequently, I'm not crazy about hand-mixing wet and/or sticky foods, preferring to use a silicone spatula. For tossing salad, I have a pair of large, long-handled serving spoons. They work just fine.

I'm not shy about kneading bread or cleaning a fish, so it's not a phobia or nothin'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Jul 19 - 10:05 AM

I have salad servers-tossers that work- but most definitely don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 07:36 PM

You are intimately touching the food that you're about to cook and give people. Won't it be so much better for your caresses? What's more erotic than that!

Well, I can think of....


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 05:21 PM

I'm not hands-on quite so much, but a friend taught me that trick for making baking powder biscuits, and I also do that for pie crust. It breaks the butter into the flour perfectly, better than a wire pastry blender.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 04:32 PM

I just love getting my hands into food. Much better than stirring with spoons, etc. I make huge amounts of stuffing for freezing. Get yer hands in there! You can make far better burgers if you do the mix by hand. You get the feel of gently combining and forming by hand without crushing. Tossing a salad? Only hands will do a proper job! If I need to squidge canned plum tomatoes, my hands are by far the best tools. Squeeze a lemon through your fingers to catch the pips. You can even separate egg yolks and whites through your fingers. A fish pie mix is best when you get your hands in there. If I'm doing stuffed jacket potatoes with cheese, only your hands can get the blend right. Enjoy your cooking!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 01:41 PM

I did not see an answer but wet hand dry hand is, use one hand to dip in milk/egg and the other hand for flour etc. Keeps your hand(s) from getting all eggy/floury. I am bad at this technique as I forget in the middle and just use my right hand which ends up looking as if it needs to be fried... Also this is for dipping multiple things; if it's just one thing, who cares.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 12:47 PM

I don't eat bacon often enough to go through the package before it gets old, so I buy it and re-wrap it in plastic wrap, two slices at a time. I suppose I could freeze it on waxed paper first then put it in a single container (for the person bound to protest the use of so much plastic.) I get the thick-sliced variety so that's enough to go with eggs or to break and fit onto a sandwich that benefits from bacon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 12:32 PM

"what are we eating? give peas a chance..."...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 11:59 AM

Buy some salad spuds such as Charlotte or Nicola. Cut them into wedges. Don't peel. Par-boil in well-salted water for seven minutes then drain in a sieve. Let them dry off for a minute then return to the pan and rough them up, as with roasties. Put on an oven tray and coat with groundnut oil. They need about 20 minutes in a very hot oven, around 230C. Turn them around just once. Better by miles than any oven chips you can buy in shops and a healthy way to eat spuds as they don't take up too much oil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 11:32 AM

I've never tried (consciously) oven chips before, but on a lone night last week got oven sweet potato chips in Aldi. They were ace!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 10:09 AM

We eat lots of fish but I won't buy farmed fish of any kind. A couple of weeks ago we had black bream from our local fishmonger. Several times in the spring we had dabs. All lovely. Anything I've never tried before gets fried in butter, as with sockeye salmon fillets, which never fails. A very good fish for the barbie is John Dory. I get the fishmonger to render the beasts into two skin-on fillets which I grill with the two halves put back together. I do like to taste the actual fish so I never overdo the marinade/baste. Maybe a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of a lemon and a whiff of garlic. Only a whiff. Maybe a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves. I season it just before cooking. Delicate fish on the barbie can go on one of those perforated alumin(i)um trays. I think the best way to cook a thick piece of fillet, something like hake, cod, haddock or pollack, skin on, is to open-bake it, well basted, skin side down, on your oven tray just after you've done your oven chips, which you keep warm after decanting on to another tray. Getting the timing right is always fun, but better slightly underdone than overdone. Skinless and boneless fillets can go in the oven wrapped in foil with some butter and salt, or poached on top in milk. The latter is very nice with mashed potato, green beans and parsley sauce, which I make using Delia's all-in-one method. Easy enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 09:43 AM

Funny, as I get older I've rather gone off bacon, at least as a breakfast item. My stomach wants a gentle introduction to the day, and bacon is a bit abrupt. An orange and a bowl of muesli is about my limit, plus coffee.

The other day, I bought a couple of trout fillets at the supermarket, on special. They were a bit on the thin side, and just a shade too long to fit in our larger non-stick skillet, so I put them under the broiler.

Gas-fired cookers sold in Canada traditionally did not have broilers, so I never developed that skill. But then we renovated our kitchen and bought an up-to-the-minute cooker with a broiling burner, and now I'm having regular flashes of the culinary obvious.

So the fish fillets. I laid them skin-side-down on a cookie sheet, sprinkled them with a comparatively subtle barbecue rub (supermarket trout needs all the help it can get, such as a tasty crust), and very gently misted them with olive oil from a spray bottle so they would not dry out. Then I popped them under the broiler for maybe seven minutes. No turning.

Effing delicious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 06:05 AM

If you have any bacon fat! I have bacon butties but for some reason I seldom cook bacon and eggs at the same time. Could be because I have this predilection for the occasional all-day full-works breakfast in The Lounge when I visit my daughter in Truro. Can't have heart-attack-on-a-plate TOO often! But I concur...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 22 Jul 19 - 03:43 AM

Eggs? Bacon fat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 05:44 PM

I think it comes down to flavour. In Italian cookery I want olive oil, or butter if it's a northern Italy recipe. For really hot frying, an oil that doesn't easily smoke. I'm happy with groundnut oil but I'm sure there are others. I've tried the received-wisdom method of frying eggs in an olive oil/butter mixture. But with eggs I want butter, and, once I remove the eggs to a warm plate I can quickly whack up the heat and use the residual butter to fry my bread, on to which I can then dump my eggs. Breakfast in four minutes flat. My God, it's good...

Pancakes, butter. Nothing else will do for me. As for fish, some olive oil is a bit too assertive for delicate fish flavours. I tend to use butter. Jayz, I love butter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 03:03 PM

Steve, I wouldn't use that much olive oil to fry the eggplant, just like I don't use it if I'm breading and frying fish. It uses too much of it. Corn oil is cheaper for that kind of use.

If I'm frying eggs or cooking pancakes or just about anything that just requires a splash of oil, then I do cook in olive oil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 02:58 PM

I'm fruity enough, a little ripe perhaps, but blue? Don't tempt me...!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 02:25 PM

Bought pasta sauces are generally claggy and terrible overcooked mush. Make your own!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 02:24 PM

Oh, and that church gate? Something old will be some aged cheese, something new a fruity little prosecco, something borrowed, perhaps a particularly nice traybake, and something blue…?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 02:22 PM

What is wet hand dry hand?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 12:42 PM

Sainsburys delivered a vegan pasta source last week, not ordered by us I might add, and I have never tasted anything so vile in all my life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 12:06 PM

Funny you should say that about olive oil. In this weekend's Guardian Rachel Roddy, one of my very favourite writers on Italian food, blows the myth that you shouldn't cook with olive oil right out of the water (sorry, Maggie!). For years now I've kept two types of extra virgin olive oil in the house, one of them usually the bog-standard Napolina/Berio type and the other a superior Tuscan oil. The first is used for most of my cooking and the second for salad dressings and sprinkling on pizza or pasta dishes at the end. Only ever extra virgin. I won't use the over-refined non-virgin stuff. The only rule is to avoid letting the oil smoke, so stand with it and go gently. If I need really hot oil, say for frying a steak or for making my oven chips, I use groundnut oil, which has a high smoke point and a neutral flavour. Eggs and salmon are fried only in butter in my house. That's about the extent of my frying armoury. If I'm making a soffritto or if I'm sautéing sliced garlic and dried chilli flakes at the start of making a pasta sauce, for arrabbiata for example, a good trick is to put the garlic and chilli flakes, or the chopped veg, into the pan of cold oil. You can do that hours in advance if you stir it around a bit. We purists who make life tough by refusing to mince garlic save time later by doing that. Usually, you can then make your sauce in the time it takes to get the pasta al dente. An unspoken rule of Italian cooking in any case is to never leave the kitchen while the pasta is boiling. And always save a bit of pasta water when you drain, in case the sauce needs loosening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 11:22 AM

I prefer our home grown aubergines when we have them. I choose a small variety called Hansel. I usually pick them at about 3 – 4 inches long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 19 - 11:16 AM

I know people eat the skin, but I never do, it seems to have a bitter taste. If I'm cooking a homegrown eggplant (none in the yard this year - the garden is a hot mess) I don't bother with the salt and sit and rinse step because I don't let them grow huge, I pick them around 12 to 16 ounces.

If you're making babaghanouj, then roast them in a medium oven (350 - 375) for 45 minutes to an hour until you can see the skin starting to slip. Sometimes they'll burst (warning!) but usually once they've baked enough you can pierce it and start pulling and the skin will slip off. Do your mashing and add ingredients from there.

If you're making eggplant Parmesan, peel it, leave them in a bowl of water, and take them from there to a plate of white flour then a bowl of egg then a plate of seasoned bread crumbs, using the "wet hand, dry hand" approach. I thought I'd invented that myself, but it seems some of those cooks on TV talk about it also. :)

Use shallow corn oil (1/2 inch) and add a generous pat of butter for great flavor. As much as I love olive oil, it isn't for frying.


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