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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Steve Shaw 27 Dec 19 - 08:23 PM
Stanron 27 Dec 19 - 12:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Dec 19 - 03:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Dec 19 - 10:16 AM
Charmion 23 Dec 19 - 07:15 AM
EBarnacle 23 Dec 19 - 01:41 AM
BobL 22 Dec 19 - 02:46 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Dec 19 - 05:50 AM
Raggytash 19 Dec 19 - 05:26 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Dec 19 - 05:14 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Dec 19 - 09:39 PM
Charmion 18 Dec 19 - 09:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Dec 19 - 09:01 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Dec 19 - 08:11 PM
Mrrzy 18 Dec 19 - 01:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Dec 19 - 09:53 AM
leeneia 17 Dec 19 - 04:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Dec 19 - 02:12 PM
Charmion 17 Dec 19 - 01:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Nov 19 - 02:36 PM
Helen 19 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 19 - 12:21 PM
Mrrzy 19 Nov 19 - 10:12 AM
Charmion 19 Nov 19 - 09:34 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Nov 19 - 04:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Nov 19 - 11:15 AM
BobL 16 Nov 19 - 02:40 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Nov 19 - 07:48 PM
Charmion 15 Nov 19 - 06:38 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Nov 19 - 02:21 PM
Charmion 15 Nov 19 - 11:27 AM
Donuel 15 Nov 19 - 10:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Nov 19 - 10:23 AM
Mrrzy 14 Nov 19 - 12:01 PM
Mrrzy 14 Nov 19 - 08:59 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 19 - 06:34 PM
Charmion 13 Nov 19 - 02:20 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 19 - 02:00 PM
Charmion 13 Nov 19 - 11:37 AM
Mrrzy 13 Nov 19 - 10:31 AM
Charmion 13 Nov 19 - 10:24 AM
BobL 13 Nov 19 - 03:16 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 19 - 06:13 AM
BobL 12 Nov 19 - 02:59 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Nov 19 - 02:49 PM
Helen 10 Nov 19 - 06:01 PM
Charmion 10 Nov 19 - 05:51 PM
Donuel 10 Nov 19 - 05:13 PM
Helen 10 Nov 19 - 03:06 PM
Helen 10 Nov 19 - 02:08 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Dec 19 - 08:23 PM

All you need is a bag of salad spuds, some salt and a few glugs of groundnut oil.

Scrub the spuds but don't peel. Cut into chip-sized pieces. Par-boil in salted water for eight minutes.

Meanwhile, turn your oven up to as high as it will go and grab a roasting tin.

Drain the spuds and leave for a couple of minutes to dry out. Put them back in the pan and shake like mad until all the edges are frayed. Put into the baking tray and coat generously with the oil. Put into the hot oven for about twenty minutes. One good turn half way through is good,

Do this and you will never fret over bought chips ever again. And you'll live longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stanron
Date: 27 Dec 19 - 12:19 AM

Earlier tonight I watched a program about Heston Blumenthal and it mentioned his 'triple cooked chips'. The three cooking stages are, simmer, low temperature fry and high temperature fry. After the simmer and the first fry the chips were subjected to desiccation. Has anyone tried this? Most chip shop chips today are kind of soggy. Fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside sounds like Heaven.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Dec 19 - 03:37 PM

The freezer is full so recipes for the next month will be crafted to draw down the chicken and various frozen garden vegetables (lots of sliced and frozen hot peppers, for example). So chicken fajitas, chili, bean recipes, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Dec 19 - 10:16 AM

In the Asian grocery store some time ago I got talking to a guy who said that while the farm-raised tilapia in most grocery stores (including the Asian market) is so mild because of the way it's raised, if you catch it and eat it yourself out of a non-farm pond it tastes much better. Apparently he had access to a body of water with tilapia that was quite tasty.

The WSU Creamery sold out all of it's cheeses earlier this year and won't sell more till it's old enough. (Reminds me of the cartoon of the proselytizing mice going door-to-door announcing "Let us tell you about Cheeses.")

The news this morning warns against eating raw cookie dough. I don't, anyway, but apparently it isn't just because of raw egg hazards, but also because there can be E. coli in the wheat flour if there was anything on the grain before it was ground into flour. Now some companies pasteurize their eggs and pre-heat their flour to about 100oF before it goes into production so to avoid illness. You can eat raw Pillsbury or Nestle cookie dough if you wish, but if you buy pre-made (processed) cookie dough you are dead to me. That is all. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Dec 19 - 07:15 AM

Barnacle, where in the turkey do you plant the thermometer probe? Is it the kind that plugs in to a socket in the oven, so the “thermometer alarm” is on the control panel of the stove?

We have such a stove, and I am contemplating your low-temperature technique.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 23 Dec 19 - 01:41 AM

A few comments:
Tilapia has no inherent taste or texture of its own . . . FEH!
"Rotisserie chicken" tastes as it does because of its high salt content, so if you tend to retain water broil your own.
Many years ago on a sailing trip we trailed lines off the stern of our boat. The only times we caught mackerel was off sewage heads. I have not eaten mackerel since.
A digital thermometer is very handy. We cook our birds, especially turkey, at an oven temperature of 250F. We set the thermometer alarm 5 degrees below the official "done" temperature. No one has ever complained about dry bird when we prepare this way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 22 Dec 19 - 02:46 AM

Not even sage Derby?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Dec 19 - 05:50 AM

I will not eat any "cheese" that contains anything other than rotted milk, starter and salt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 19 Dec 19 - 05:26 AM

Steve, if you went to the Creamery in Hawes you would be sadly disappointed.

Yes they do produce Wensleydale Cheese but then they "bastardise" most of it with ginger, cranberries, gin, rum, caramelised onion, apricots, pineapple, chilli, beer, balsamic onions, orange and garlic!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Dec 19 - 05:14 AM

My most recent cheese discoveries are Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire (I think I've mentioned it before): firm, rich and tangy, not your typical bog-standard crumbly Lancashire (nowt wrong with that, of course), and Kit Calvert's Wensleydale. I like any kind of Wensleydale but this one isn't like the others. It's creamier and more complex. I believe that it was that great dalesman Kit Calvert who rescued the Wensleydale creamery from extinction. What a man! His story is very romantic and well worth a quick google.

The legendary Mary Quicke, who once personally sold me a pound of the superb Quicke's extra mature cheddar in her farm shop in Devon, was awarded the MBE. I think Ruth Kirkham is equally deserving. I think I'll write to the Queen!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 09:39 PM

Well today was our 43rd wedding anniversary, and we were supposed to be having champers with a classy red to follow, but we were both so knackered after visiting me old mum and trying to get ready for two separate Christmases (families? Who needs 'em!) that we decided to put it off until tomorrow. I still managed to cook Mediterranean cod in tomato, caper and thyme sauce. Very nice, but the spuds were too soft. There'll be a next time...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 09:08 PM

No, Steve, I don’t appreciate that fact AT ALL. I suspect that, with the eensy-weensy piece I purchased, I also paid its first-class passage from Heathrow by BOAC or whatever you guys call it now.

Today we’re drinking a delicious Viognier from Narbonne (a gift from Himself’s brother) with salmon from Norway (purchased at Sobey’s). No terroir issues here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 09:01 PM

It apparently can't be purchased anywhere (online) in the U.S.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 08:11 PM

Oh gosh, an aficionado of Wookey Hole in such a far-flung locale! It's great that you tracked it down and found where you could find it in good condition. It's made from pasteurised milk which is supposed to be a downer, but Mrs Steve (Nicky) and I have subjected ourselves to blind tastings (I tried not to cheat) and found Wookey to be better than Keens, Montgomery's, Westcombe and Gould's, all of which are made with unpasteurised milk and which are much-vaunted.

I don't suppose you'd appreciate the fact that I can get a 200g hunk for two quid...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 01:03 PM

I cut out cheese (except for a cheese course), lost 2 stone and brought my cholesterol to where it belongs...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Dec 19 - 09:53 AM

The cholesterol needs to come down a few points so I am going to have to make sure bean dishes and breakfast oatmeal are on the menu regularly. Which is fine with me, I enjoy both.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Dec 19 - 04:34 PM

I don't have a place to store a clay pot. I believe I'll try the chicken and rice recipe in my Dutch oven.

Other news: I have been having fun with the bread-making methods of Steve Gamelan, who has YouTube videos for no-knead bread. Here's the first one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yePMpoyXwys

I've made the round white bread and the olive bread. Next I will try buttermilk bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Dec 19 - 02:12 PM

Thank you for pulling it up and reporting back on that cheese! I was at Costco a few days ago and wondered if Steve had tracked down that particular cheddar I mentioned before.

I made a batch of lefse this weekend and am slowly reheating a couple at a time and buttering and sprinkling with cinnamon sugar. Mmmmm!

Also, when friends came over for lunch on Sunday I made a batch of falafel. My recipe is from a Middle Eastern cookbook, this particular recipe is from Israel, and it uses bulgar wheat and a small amount of flour as binders. I'll probably make some more this week just for myself. I made the tahini sauce ahead and had pita bread in the freezer that I baked slightly and cut in half before letting people put their sandwiches together.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Dec 19 - 01:40 PM

I resurrect this bulky old thread today to sing the praises of Cheddar cheese from Wookey Hole. It is truly delicious, and worth the swingeing price charged by Vincenzo’s delicatessen in Kitchener, which would be more accurately named if the sign said Cheese Heaven.

I bought a tiny piece of the Wookey Hole on Steve Shaw’s recommendation. Just so you know, Steve, if I end up in the poorhouse, you will be to blame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 02:36 PM

I use my Romertopf for roasting chicken with vegetables around it (carrots, potatoes, onions - no matter how many vegetables I add I always run out of veg before I run out of chicken when it comes to eating). I'll have to try the rice, that sounds good. The thing about the chicken in that clay baker is that it's falling off of the bone but still moist, unlike most other forms of cooking to the falling-off-the-bone stage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Helen
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM

Charmion, I think I'll try your Romertopf recipe. I bought one so long ago I can't remember when but it has been in the cupboard unused for quite a while. I used to roast lamb with rosemary and garlic surrounded by veges in it. Yum!

Steve, I don't know the science of it, but years ago I was told to pre slice or mince garlic and leave it for a few minutes before using it. Some strange alchemy to do with the air changing the chemicals in the garlic. When I say that I mince the garlic, I mean by cutting it fairly fine and crushing it with the flat of the knife.

Allright, well that was a test of my Googling skills but here is one article by Tara Parker-Pope about leaving the minced or chopped garlic for a while before using it, however this is to boost the beneficial health effects:

"Many home chefs mistakenly cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it, added Dr. Kraus. To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic."

I also throw the garlic in for the last few minutes only after I have fried the onions to the stage that I want them so that the garlic doesn't burn and get that bitter/acrid flavour.


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

It is far too assertive in any Italian dish I've ever cooked. All the powerful and strident raw garlicky hit is released into the dish at the beginning. Way too harsh for me. Gently squashed or finely sliced garlic releases its lovely aromatic sweetness into the food. Squashed for long cooking and sliced for a 10-minute sauté. You can also bake whole cloves, skin on, for half an hour wrapped in foil with olive oil, then squeeze out the lovely soft middles for mixing into a bruschetta topping. Or you can just throw whole unpeeled cloves into your baking tray with 1/2-inch diced unpeeled potatoes, seasoning, olive oil and rosemary sprigs for Mediterranean-style roast potatoes to go with your grilled burger. You can put two whole heads' worth of cloves in there and just suck out the middles as you eat the spuds. We fight over them. I tend to give the garlic a bit less time than the spuds so as not to burn them. Someone mentioned garlic soup. Delicious.

I do make Delia Smith's seafood sauce with minced garlic, used with caution, but I always make it the day before so that the garlic and other flavours blend. It's an assertive dish with horseradish and cayenne as well as the garlic, so the garlic sits quite well in it. Apart from that my garlic crusher never gets used. A small amount of garlic goes into my mini-blender when I'm making pesto, but I emphasise a small amount!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 10:12 AM

I don't get the issue with minced garlic. Tastes fine to me...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:34 AM

Last night I made our clay-pot version of baked chicken and rice, in which I replace the Arborio called for in the original recipe with brown rice. It took me a while to figure it out, but the brown rice comes out perfect if you parboil it for about ten minutes before putting it in the pot.

This technique involves a cooking vessel made of unglazed terra cotta. Ours is the type called a Romertopf.

Essential ingredients are rice, chicken stock, onion, bone-in chicken parts, salt, pepper and thyme. The advanced class may choose also to add lemon juice or white wine (dry vermouth works well), garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and Old Bay seasoning.

Put the clay pot in the sink to soak for at least 15 minutes, but half an hour is better. While it is soaking, parboil one cup of brown rice in two cups of chicken stock, smash the garlic, and dice the onion, mushrooms and pepper.

When the pot has finished soaking, put the parboiled rice with its stock in the bottom. Add the lemon juice or wine, the thyme, salt and pepper, and all the vegetables, and stir it all up. Lay the chicken pieces skin-side-up on top and sprinkle Old Bay seasoning all over them.

Put the lid on the clay pot and put it in the COLD oven. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, maybe a tick more.

This reliably delicious dish is both cheap and particularly nice in winter. It also reheats well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 04:39 PM

Thick, sloppy, sludgy...My tomato sauces might have garlic but not onions, except for Marcella's onion and butter sauce, but you take out the onion at the end anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 11:15 AM

I looked up "claggy." I don't think American tomato sauce does that, Steve. :-)

I'm preparing to store some fresh mushrooms for myself; I slice them then saute them in butter till wilted and freeze them in the small takeout plastic containers in portions that can go on some of my favorite dishes (topping on pizza, put into soup, etc.).


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 02:40 AM

I'll have to dig out my infamous Garlic Soup recipe sometime - six cloves per person, crushed and lightly sautéed before being simmered in chicken stock. I got it from Car magazine of all places - the author, a car stylist, used it as an unfair way of winning arguments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Nov 19 - 07:48 PM

I tend to avoid onion in most pasta sauces as I feel it makes them a bit claggy. Ragu for Bolognese is different. In that case the cooking is so long and slow that the onions are completely assimilated. I wouldn't put garlic in there but Mrs Steve wants it, and it's caused furious rows. My compromise is to throw in a handful of bashed garlic cloves. That way, we get the sweetness of the garlic without the acrid harshness that the minced thing adds. I think that if garlic is ever the point of the thing, then it has to be the fresh young cloves of spring garlic that haven't even had time to grow a papery skin yet. I adore the whole garlic cloves in olive oil that come Marché style in jars. I can easily eat half a jar of those at a sitting. I say this to emphasise that I'm a garlicophile par excellence. But mincing garlic is akin to drinking dry white wine at room temp or decanting warm champagne until it's as flat as a witch's t*t. Philistinism personified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Nov 19 - 06:38 PM

Yes, our Parm is the real thing, and the mozza comes from an Italian-method cheesery.

Fortunately, I am not at present cooking for any doctrinaire vegetarians, so rennet is not an issue today. But I’m glad to know, as we have veggie friends who I do not wish to offend.

The anchovies are also problematical for those who prefer not to eat anything with a face.

So maybe I should call this dish less-meat-arian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Nov 19 - 02:21 PM

If your Parmesan is genuine Parmigiano Reggiano, I have to tell you that it can't be vegetarian. The law states that it must be made with calf rennet. That's fine for you and me, but if I'm cooking a pasta bake or anything else that is meat-free for vegetarians I ask them in advance without pressure whether Parmesan is acceptable. You may need to check out your mozzarella on this score too. Several other cheeses are, as far as I know, always made with animal rennet, including pecorino romano, emmenthal, Gorgonzola, manchego and gruyere. Of course, what the eye don't see... But I can't work that way!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Nov 19 - 11:27 AM

"Grains de paradis" is how I have it written on the masking tape label in my spice drawer, most likely because I bought this wonderful pepper from a French-speaking Burundian woman selling central African products in the By Ward Market in Ottawa. It is particularly good on pan-fried salmon, and I reserve it for that purpose as I have no idea where to find more here in Perth County, where the people of central Africa do not tend to settle.

Today's supper is a vegetarian lasagne featuring portobello mushrooms and three kinds of cheese (ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan). I doubt that Italians would recognize it as food fit for their families, but it works for us, not least because it goes well with our favourite red plonk and the Le Creuset baker I make it in holds enough for six ample servings. Himself easily vanishes two servings at a sitting, so one batch does two meals.

As Steve Shaw reminds me, dried oregano is a critical staple. Without rather a lot of it, our veggie lasagne would not be worth eating.

The essential ingredients are: olive oil, two bell peppers (I like the red ones), one yellow onion, two or three celery ribs and about a pound of mushrooms, all diced; oregano and thyme ad lib, with salt and freshly ground black pepper; a large (28 fl oz) tin of diced tomatoes; eight raw lasagna noodles; and 500 g of ricotta, 350 g of shredded mozza, and rather a lot of grated Parmesan.

Discerning punters might like to jazz up the sauce with a couple of anchovy fillets mashed into the olive oil at the beginning, a sprinkle of dried chillies, and a small (5 fl oz) tin of tomato paste. I also put garlic in the sauce, and I know Steve would not because of the onion.

Sauté the diced veg in the olive oil, add the herbs and salt and pepper, add the tomatoes, simmer for a few minutes. To assemble, take a large flat baking dish and ladle in enough sauce to cover the bottom, then put down the first layer of lasagne. On top of the raw noodles spread half the ricotta cheese and half the grated mozza, then ladle on another layer of sauce evenly across the cheese. Next, the rest of the noodles, the rest of the ricotta, about half the remaining mozza, and the last of the sauce. Finally, dress the top with the last of the mozza and all the Parmesan, carefully covering the entire top surface with cheese. Sprinkle dried oregano liberally on top of the Parmesan.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes and rest for 15 minutes before serving.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Nov 19 - 10:58 AM

I am currently making soup from the last iteration of left overs.
Chicken cheese and veggies. The cheese is added last before serving on very low heat.
Because much of the added chicken was made with sour cream there was plenty of room for seasoning with sesame oil, celery salt, garlic powder, pepper, carrot threads, old bay and salt to taste.

Its a white soup with lots of color from multi colored peppers, corn, carrots and a few peas. I give it a B.

Anybody heard of grains of paradise? great name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Nov 19 - 10:23 AM

Good one, Mrrzy! (Too bad I'm allergic to coconut)

Last night I made a batch of the chicken and vegetable filling that goes in chicken pot pie (onion, carrot, potato, peas). Alas, I didn't have any frozen peas to add, and to give it more heft I added a single parsnip, not usually featured in my chicken pot pie.

When my children were small and I started making this from scratch instead of buying store-bought highly-processed pot pies, they were at first reluctant to eat the stew. So I made pie crust, rolled it out, and used cookie cutters to create shapes to bake. They sat down to dinner the first time I did this and wanted to dive into the crust characters but were told they had to be placed on top of the bowl of stew. This worked well, and as often happens, was something they insisted upon and participated in for future chicken pot pie meals. There were lots of holiday shapes used over the winter months. Making an entire crust and baking this dish like a pie is just too much work and too many carbs. I didn't make pie crust for myself last night, I used some of my favorite large whole wheat crackers instead.

I don't usually add garlic to this did, but did last night. I grow my own and it saves very well in a paper bag in a dark place in the pantry. It added a nice bright touch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Nov 19 - 12:01 PM

We like drinks too? DC is apparently serving subpoena coladas. I laughed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Nov 19 - 08:59 AM

Baking is chemistry. I don't mess with those recipes.
I like dried marjoram.
I love garlic and often mince it.
I am a heretic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 06:34 PM

I don't really do Indian food from scratch so I'll take your word for it apropos of the garlic, sceptic though I am. Dried oregano is indispensable. We've had a dingdong here about dried thyme. I won't use that. I have several pots of lemon thyme in my garden at all times, and that's the stuff I always use. Mint too, though it needs a bit of management if you want it in winter. I have a pot of sage, though I seldom use it, and there's always a rosemary bush if I need a sprig or two for roast lamb or for Mediterranean roast potatoes with whole garlic cloves. It's fresh or nothing. We appear to agree on other dried stuff. The point is that you can always leave herbs out if you haven't got fresh. Another good thing to do is think ahead and freeze chopped herbs. I always have some frozen parsley. As for basil, you can buy windowsill pots all year found. It's admittedly not quite as good as your own, but it's not bad at all. I've found that most cooked dishes that require basil don't suffer too much if you just leave it out. Basil is indispensable for tearing raw on to tomato and mozzarella salads, on certain pizzas and on bruschetta toppings. The baby leaves are always the best. And pesto of course. Basil cooked for a long time might as well not be there, unless you go for the abominable dried version. Note that Marcella agrees with me on this!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 02:20 PM

I agree with you on dried basil. Also dried chervil, marjoram and parsley.

I smash and dump my garlic, too, mostly on account of laziness. But the over-trained in our midst will often default to the most labour-intensive preparation method available to them, thus qualifying as Stakhanovites. I have moments when I slip in that direction.

Minced garlic does have a true home, however, and that is in Indian food, especially dal. The blandness of boiled peas cries out for the brutality of minced garlic in large quantities, not to speak of vicious little chillies, lots of grated ginger, lashings of lime juice and heaps of chopped coriander leaf. Bring it on!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 02:00 PM

Garlic is very cheap. Any dish that I cook that undergoes longer or slow cooking that has garlic in the recipe will contain far more garlic than you could ever add if you minced it - but it will not have that harsh whiff or acrid garlicky taste. I just peel a small handful of cloves and either bash them with my fist or squash them with the flat of a knife. In they go, more or less whole but busted a bit, and in that state they release their lovely fragrant sweetness slowly and gently into the dish. Finely-sliced garlic is best in pasta sauces that sauté in the same time as the pasta boils. Garlic mincing is just brutal. Almost as brutal as using dried basil. That stuff should be illegal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 11:37 AM

I always do the recipe by the numbers the first time, but I almost always end up changing the order of tasks and the proportion of some ingredients, especially sugar, salt and fat, which can often be cut without harming flavour. Veg content and herbs I usually increase, sometimes by a lot.

The big exception is baking with non-yeast leavens, a chemistry-based process with which I am reluctant to meddle. I understand the workings of baking soda well enough to know how much of what is necessary, and most published recipes get it right.

Baking with yeast is quite another story. Flours can be highly variable, and temperature has a strong effect on yeast performance, so the behaviour of a specific recipe can differ sharply from winter to summer, say. So I add "enough flour to make a firm dough", one of my favourite phrases from Victorian cookery. Yesterday's bread was made with no-name flour from the supermarket, and I must have used a good half-pound more than I did with the last batch I made with the stone-ground stuff from the Arva mill. The weight difference probably comes from water content; the supermarket flour is much drier.

But the real thing is you have to pay attention to what your ingredients are doing. A decent cook can't be asleep at the switch!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 10:31 AM

That lamb with cabbage sounds marvy.

I also try to follow recipes the first time and then add my spin but it doesn't aways work, and there I am, spinning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 10:24 AM

I, too, worship at the shrine of Marcella Hazan. Her big book, "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking", is a revelation, not least because so many of her dishes are not only supremely delicious but also not at all difficult to make. Marcella leads my personal household pantheon along with Mark Bittman, who also came to public attention through the New York Times. Unlike Bittman, who never saw a new food he did not want to wedge into (North) American foodways, Marcella never strayed from her native heath, the cuisine of Italy.

Tonight we are eating lamb, specifically a Norwegian soul-food dish called fårikål -- literally, lamb with cabbage. Mr Wrong, to whom I was married for a few frankly unpleasant years, was Norwegian, and the silver lining of that cloud was that he was nice to cats and a good cook. I owe this recipe to him.

The essential ingredients are lamb, bacon fat, cabbage, peppercorns and salt. Nice-to-have extras are lardons (instead of the bacon fat), minced garlic (which is not canonical but a major umami booster) and celery root. Some people add water to reduce the risk of scorching and flour to thicken the gravy, but I do not.

Take a kilo or more of lamb shoulder and cut it up into hunks a bit bigger than bite-sized. Core and slice a small cabbage into fork-manageable pieces. Crack the peppercorns -- a tablespoon or so.

In a dutch oven or a large skillet with a close-fitting lid, brown the lamb well in the bacon fat, and salt it liberally. Scatter the cracked peppercorns on the lamb, then pile the cabbage on top. Put on the lid, and turn down the heat to minimum or put the pot into a low oven. Leave it alone for at least 45 minutes, then take off the lid and stir up the pot -- juice from the cabbage will have generated a fair amount of gravy by this point. Check the texture of the cabbage (and celery root, if used). If it's tender, the dish is ready to eat; if not, put the pot back on the hob or in the oven until it is.

If you want to use lardons, add them to the pot first and render out as much fat as you can without scorching them, then add the lamb. If you want to add garlic, slice it (if you're Steve Shaw) or mince it finely and add it to the pot while the lamb is browning. If you want to add celery root, peel and dice it into one-inch cubes and mix it into the lamb before piling on the cabbage.

Serve fårikål with boiled potatoes, which you mash into the gravy with the back of your fork, and red wine or any kind of beer you like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 03:16 AM

I always asked myself three questions before buying stuff that had taken my fancy:

1) Do I really need it, or can I get by without it?
2) Can I afford it?
3) Have I got somewhere to keep it?

To go ahead with the purchase three yesses were necessary whilst I was married, thereafter two sufficed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 06:13 AM

Why not? In essence, I was just shoving the bacon into the folds at each end of the roll. Which is sort of what you're suggesting, except that my method is less efficient! I wasn't going to cut all that neatly-tied string... I think Marcella wants the bacon to be in more intimate contact right through the meat. The recurring philosophical kitchen question arises: do I buy a special piece of kit just for one recipe that I might use once or twice a year at most...?


...Unless, of course, I can dig out a few more dishes that call for a larding needle... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 02:59 AM

Steve, could the bacon be laid on the flat brisket and rolled up with it? Easier than using a larding needle, especially if you don't have one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 02:49 PM

Ever since Mrs Steve bought me the book a couple of years ago, I've become a massive fan, a disciple almost, of Marcella Hazan. To be honest, the first time I follow a recipe I'm a slave to it (after that I'm a terrible rebel). So tonight I followed, trepidaciously, her recipe for beef braised with onions. Normally, if I have a hunk of a cheap cut of beef, it gets browned, then put in a pot with carrots, onions and celery, with some stock and/or red wine and a big bunch of herbs, then bunged in the oven for several hours at low temp. Very nice....

Well forget that. This was a revelation, so simple, and so different from those general (very nice) beef casseroles...

You need a heavy pot with a good lid. You need a piece of brisket weighing about two pounds. Don't even think of using a cheap topside roasting joint. It won't work. Get brisket or forget it. I know that yanks can get flat brisket. I much prefer to roll it and tie it with string, but it's up to you.

You need to incorporate about two ounces of pancetta/streaky bacon into the meat. Just shove some bacon pieces into the ends. She suggests using one of those needle jobbies that can thread the bacon deep into the joint. Sod that. She says to shove a few cloves into the meat. I didn't have any and I concluded that it matters not a jot.

Next, you need three or four big onions that you slice very thinly. Put the onions into your casserole. Layer a few rashers of pancetta/streaky bacon on top. Put the piece of beef on top of that then season well. It goes in at 150C for about three and a half hours. It needs turning occasionally. Just mash some spuds and boil up some greens. Voila.

The big thing is the lovely, slushy, brown onion sauce. No other gravy needed. This sets this dish apart from all those lovely pot roasts and casseroles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Helen
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 06:01 PM

Boiling the whole orange makes it nice & mushy to add to the cake mix, but also incorporates the tang of the orange peel without being overpowering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 05:51 PM

There’s a first time for everything, Donuel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 05:13 PM

Orange chocolate is a foundation of my marriage but I've never boiled an orange before.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Helen
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:06 PM

Mrrzy, I meant to say a block of cooking chocolate in Oz is 200 grams or 7 ounces. I usually go for the type which is a high percentage of chocolate, i.e. not as much sugar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Helen
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 02:08 PM

Now you are asking, Mrrzy. I would probably just use one block of dark cooking chocolate for that amount of cake. To ramp up the chocolatey-ness you could also add a couple of heaped teaspoons of cocoa.

I would mix the cake ingredients together and add the melted chocolate at the end.

I usually melt chocolate on half power in the microwave one minute at a time and stir it after each minute. It usually takes about 3 minutes all up.

I'm tempted to try this out, but using the orange as well. I love orange and chocolate flavours together.

Also, when I boil the oranges I keep the water in a bottle in the fridge and add a bit to cold mineral or soda water, usually with a splash of Angostura bitters. Yum in summer. Very refreshing.


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