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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Charmion 10 Sep 20 - 10:27 AM
Jos 10 Sep 20 - 03:30 AM
Mrrzy 09 Sep 20 - 01:16 PM
Jos 09 Sep 20 - 08:06 AM
Mrrzy 08 Sep 20 - 05:40 PM
leeneia 08 Sep 20 - 05:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Sep 20 - 05:33 PM
Mrrzy 08 Sep 20 - 02:17 PM
Thompson 08 Sep 20 - 12:08 PM
Charmion 08 Sep 20 - 10:09 AM
Mrrzy 08 Sep 20 - 09:46 AM
Amergin 08 Sep 20 - 02:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Sep 20 - 11:49 PM
Mrrzy 02 Sep 20 - 06:33 PM
Charmion 02 Sep 20 - 12:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Sep 20 - 12:26 PM
Raggytash 02 Sep 20 - 10:22 AM
Charmion 02 Sep 20 - 10:00 AM
Raggytash 02 Sep 20 - 05:29 AM
Mrrzy 01 Sep 20 - 09:08 PM
Thompson 31 Aug 20 - 04:35 AM
Monique 30 Aug 20 - 05:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Aug 20 - 11:02 AM
Charmion 30 Aug 20 - 08:29 AM
Mrrzy 30 Aug 20 - 07:42 AM
Thompson 30 Aug 20 - 07:34 AM
Thompson 30 Aug 20 - 05:25 AM
Charmion 28 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Aug 20 - 06:22 AM
Monique 27 Aug 20 - 06:20 AM
Donuel 27 Aug 20 - 06:13 AM
Monique 27 Aug 20 - 05:49 AM
Jos 27 Aug 20 - 03:43 AM
Mrrzy 26 Aug 20 - 08:06 PM
leeneia 26 Aug 20 - 07:13 PM
Mrrzy 25 Aug 20 - 02:19 PM
Charmion 25 Aug 20 - 10:11 AM
Mrrzy 25 Aug 20 - 10:00 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Aug 20 - 06:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Aug 20 - 01:29 PM
Charmion 24 Aug 20 - 11:43 AM
Jos 24 Aug 20 - 03:22 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Aug 20 - 06:36 PM
Charmion 23 Aug 20 - 01:46 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Aug 20 - 06:55 AM
Thompson 23 Aug 20 - 05:45 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Aug 20 - 05:03 AM
Thompson 23 Aug 20 - 04:29 AM
Thompson 23 Aug 20 - 03:11 AM
Thompson 23 Aug 20 - 02:47 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Sep 20 - 10:27 AM

"Grok" is a Heinlein word, invented for his 1961 novel "Stranger in a Strange Land" to identify a degree of understanding that surpasses mere understanding, if you get my drift.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 10 Sep 20 - 03:30 AM

Sorry, but what does "grok the fullness" mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Sep 20 - 01:16 PM

Ah but it goes so well with the bacon! But I grok the fullness of no sweet in my savory foods.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 09 Sep 20 - 08:06 AM

I might look for something else to coat the water chestnuts in, such as sesame seeds. I wouldn't want them to taste sweet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 05:40 PM

Better than bacon-wrapped dates are water chestnuts rolled in brown sugar then wrapped in bacon. Crunchier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 05:37 PM

Thanks for the article about dates, SRS. That was interesting.

As a gardener, I noticed the techniques used to coax the ancient seeds into germinating: warming, careful hydration, a plant hormone and enzymatic fertilizer. I wonder if home gardeners can get hold of that plant hormone and enzymatic fertilizer.

And now you've got me thinking that it's time to make a loaf of date bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 05:33 PM

The caterers at the university where I worked used to have a nice array of appetizers to offer when we set up special events in the library. The one that people scooped up fastest was the bacon-wrapped dates.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 02:17 PM

Scroll up for recipe, Thompson.

I now eat crab and asparagus soup alla time. Takes no time, is delish, amazing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 12:08 PM

What is a copper popper?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 10:09 AM

I would probably like those "copper poppers" rather too much, but Himself would take one look at the jalapeno peppers and flee.

Our gas barbecue (all the rage in 2000) had its swan song the other day, with a batch of smoked pork ribs that were really quite boffo. But it is now so wonky that cooking on it is an exercise in compromise, and it's not at all effective in cold weather, of which we have lots.

So, since we're brimming with spare money this year (not!), we have purchased a Kamado Joe, and it's coming tomorrow. Consequently, at my advancing age, I now have a whole new cooking technology to master.

YouTube is full of videos starring solemn men with advanced beards and leather-trimmed aprons demonstrating techniques with large cuts of meat slathered thickly with sauces made with improbable ingredients. (Finely ground coffee? Really?) They use "cook" as a noun to identify, not a person, but the experience of preparing food, as in, "That was a perfect cook" -- i.e., I achieved the result I hoped for. Much of their advice is useful, but their style kinda gets up my nose.

Does Nigella do barbecue?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 09:46 AM

One "thing" - my kind of measurement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Amergin
Date: 08 Sep 20 - 02:16 AM

I call them Copper Poppers.

Copper Poppers

6 jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise
1 thing of softened cream cheese
some chives
some sliced mushrooms
shredded cheese.
12 rashers of bacon

preheat oven to 450 degrees

chop up chives, mix them with the cream cheese.

scoop seeds and core from jalapenos.

put a bunch of the cream cheese mixture in each half.

Lay a couple sliced mushrooms atop the cream cheese mixture.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese

wrap bacon rasher around jalapeno, and set aside, til you have a dozen ready.

Get a cookie sheet, lay it with foil or parchment paper. set a broiler rack atop it. Lay dozen copper poppers on the rack.

Bake for a half hour, then shut off the oven, and let it sit for another five minutes.

Put on a plate, enjoy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Sep 20 - 11:49 PM

Here's something new that's very old:

Aided by Modern Ingenuity, a Taste of Ancient Judean Dates

The harvest of the much-extolled but long-lost Judean dates was something of a scientific miracle. The fruit sprouted from seeds 2,000 years old.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 06:33 PM

I love duck eggs as I am not fond of the albumen, and duck eggs are mostly yolk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 12:54 PM

Next time I make custard (by which I mean the real thing), I'll nick a couple of Himself's stash of ducks' eggs and see what a difference they make.

School cookery class -- what a subject for discussion!

The only really useful thing I learned from cookery class -- that was in Grade 7, when I was 11 years old -- was how to make pancakes and quick-breads raised with baking powder without setting fire to the house. The cookery teacher's method of making cocoa was ridiculous -- it involved a syrup of water, sugar and cocoa powder -- and the unspeakable ado she generated over making soup belonged in a Feydeau farce. I learned more from my Dad, who introduced me to the mysteries of roux and omelette when I was about 12.

Beyond that, it was all cookbooks and taking chances.

Oddly, I have never much liked TV cooking shows or the videos that proliferate on YouTube. I like something I can prop up against the coffee-maker in the kitchen, and the 21st-century version of that is an iPad with the New York Times cooking app.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 12:26 PM

The dishes that let the eggy flavor through would really benefit from duck eggs, it sounds like. One of my favorite cookies is the Snickerdoodle*, and though the flour and sugar ratio would need to be adjusted to the larger volume of egg, I'd love to see how those tasted with duck eggs.


*The recipe was a regular on the bag of General Mills white flour for ages. We made them in Home Economics class in junior high school, the first time I ever had them, and it's about the only useful thing I remember from those classes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 10:22 AM

Duck eggs are much "richer" in flavour which makes for a great sponge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 10:00 AM

Raggy, what makes ducks' eggs better for sponge cake than chickens' eggs?

Cake is not my thing, so this query originates with Himself, who fancies ducks' eggs boiled for his breakfast and is willing to spend serious coin to get them. Himself also loves cake and would like more of it in his life.

I draw my cake line at fruitcake in the fall, and several forms of gingerbread. I admire people who can produce sponge cake at all, let alone on impulse, and achieve the desired result without fuss and fretting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 05:29 AM

I was given half a dozen Duck eggs yesterday, so my good lady with have a sponge cake this evening, probably packed with strawberries and cream.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Sep 20 - 09:08 PM

Ok first ever asparagus crab soup. Yum, yum.

Was going to chop garlic and onion and ginger but lazed and opted for powder. Was out of garlic powder.
Set a kettle to boil, melt some butter in a pot, add hot pepper flakes and powders. Add chopped-on-diagonal aspergrass, cook 3 mn. Add some lemon juice. Add boiling water and chicken bouillon. When returns to boil, add crabmeat and the kernels off a cooked ear of corn. Bring back to boil but not on high flame. Taste, decide whether sour cream in the bowl would be a good idea. Turned off, let sit 5 mn. Serve into bowl with sour cream.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 31 Aug 20 - 04:35 AM

Meanwhile, a few jars of apple-and-ginger jam made and a few pots distributed, some apple-and-rose-hip jelly to be made from crab apples and the eglantine's hips, and a big bag of a neighbour's damsons waiting in the fridge for more Demerara sugar to arrive for jam-making.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Monique
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 05:23 PM

Thompson, I'll answer later, I'm on vacation with a tiny cellphone that wants to write as it sees fit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 11:02 AM

The rice I use here for most of my cooking is a very long grain Basmati, but when we get together at the holidays to make the Puerto Rican dishes learned from my late mother-in-law, someone has to go out and buy a bag of the short grain "American" rice. It makes a difference that is more than aesthetic.

Most American mainstream grocery stores have a "long grain" rice that is a long grain of that American rice cultivar, but it isn't long compared to rice cultivars from other parts of the world. They will also have a few specialty varieties in small expensive packages and who knows how old they are if they don't sell well. If you go to one of the big import grocery stores here (I shop a Halal Middle Eastern market and one that is still locally referred to as "Saigon-Taipei" even through they changed their name and ownership a few years ago. They have an aisle of rice in the way you find snack chips or dog food in an American store. Bags and bags of different brands and varieties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 08:29 AM

Thompson, your recipe writer doesn’t know the difference between “substituted” and “replaced”. I see that error frequently these days.

The “medium-grain” white rice she wants you to use is probably an American cultivar. In my experience, “paella” is dish made with rice, not a type of rice, and it works best with a high-starch cultivar such as Arborio. The other white types she identifies are long-grain cultivars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 07:42 AM

Mongo pork chop tonight. Haven't decided how.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 07:34 AM

By the way, what on earth is this recipe writer talking about with "The medium grain white rice can be substituted with long or short grain white rice. This recipe is not suitable for: brown rice, arborio (risotto) rice, paella, basmati or jasmine rice"?

What is the rice she specifies?

https://www.recipetineats.com/zucchini-gratin-unintentionally-healthy/


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 05:25 AM

Very interesting about the Occitan words ending with S, Monique! What about names - Dumas, Dreyfus, Degas?

Does anyone make a tian? It sounds like something I'd like to add to the weekly round.

I make risotto in a pressure cooker, being terribly lazy and having to drag myself away from writing to cook. The pesto sounds like an interesting addition; best pesto I know is made with seaweed and sold by Blazing Salads in Dublin. I approached it with caution but became a wild-eyed convert after tasting it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM

Smothered chicken. It's a southern American thing that probably started out French.

Spatchcock a smallish chicken -- a bit more than a kilo in weight is best -- and salt and pepper it well. Take a large skillet, oil it lightly, and heat it; when it is hot but not scorching, lay the chicken in it with the skin side down. Choose a plate (not your best Wedgwood) that is a a bit smaller in diameter than the skillet and put it on top of the chicken with enough weight on it to squash the chicken as flat as it will go. (I recommend two large tins of tomatoes or a small kettlebell.) Turn down the heat under the skillet to a bare murmur, leave it be for about half an hour, then turn the chicken (I use two egg-turners, one in each hand), put the weight back, and cook for half an hour more.

Take the chicken out of the skillet and put it on a platter. Reduce the amount of fat in the skillet to about two tablespoons, saute some garlic in it, then make a roux with two tablespoons of flour. Add two ounces of white wine (I use dry vermouth) and let it boil, then 14 ounces of chicken stock and some thyme or tarragon. Bring it up to a boil and put the chicken back in the skillet, cut side down (no need for the weight). Reduce the heat so the sauce just simmers, put the lid on, and cook until the chicken is thoroughly done.

Put the chicken back on the platter and cut it into serving pieces. Raise the heat under the skillet and finish the sauce, reducing it to the correct consistency and adding salt and pepper if necessary. I like to toss in a chopped scallion and maybe some parsley at this point. Pour the sauce into a gravy boat. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and green beans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 06:22 AM

Just call the whole thing off and call it a butty. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Monique
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 06:20 AM

Ah Mrrzy, the plural of words of English origin have been gallicized and we have "des sandwichs", "des matchs", "des coachs"... and the final "s" is silent -like all the final "s" in French except in words of Occitan origin (pastis!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 06:13 AM

You could be an accent coach for Jollywood Monique :^/


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Monique
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 05:49 AM

Jos, we pronounce sandwich as "sahndweech" because there's no such a thing as a "short /i/" (as in "bit") and a "long /i:/" (as in "bee") in French. Some old people might even pronounce it as "sahndweesh" because our written "ch" is pronounced as your "sh". But it's not pronounced "sahndveech" as far as I'm aware. Most people pronounce "sandwich" and "sandwiches" the same way. Those you might pronounce the plural as "sandwiches" are the pretentious ones who want to show they know some English. In French "w" is pronounced "w" in words of English origin except in "wagon" and "w.c". It's indeed pronounced "v" in words of German origin (walkyrie, wisigoth...).


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 03:43 AM

They pronounce "sandwich" something like "sahnveech", don't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 08:06 PM

I know, I love that! It works in French of course, which just goes to show...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 07:13 PM

Your pork loin recipe sounds delicious, Mrzzy.

I'm making something simple today. Beef chuck roast in a slow cooker with Baron's Meat & Fish spice which I bought on the island of Grenada. Grenada is proud of its spices. I bought a bag of bay leaves there which are very different from our bay leaves. I hope I didn't violate an international treaty by bringing them home.

When the meat is tender I will de-fat it, then serve it with pasta or slice it up for sandwiches.

Whenever I type the word sandwiches I remember a cafe in Paris which had a sign offering "sandwichs." I wonder how they supposed we pronounce that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 02:19 PM

Just the ziploc bag in which I'd marinated the meat. Took the meat out, stuck the veg in to pick up the leftover marinade, took veg back out. Rinsed bag for recycle bin after.
Thanks for asking, I hadn't realized I'd been unclear!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 10:11 AM

What's a marinade bag, Mrrzy? Does it go in the oven, on top of the meat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 10:00 AM

I invented something that worked...

Marinated pork loin cut on bias into medallions
Preheated 425°F oven with pan in it
Put medallions flat on bottom of hot pan
Covered with sliced tomatoes, salted, parsley
Put a lot of sliced zucch and yellow squash into marinade bag then on top of dish
Baked for about half an hour.

It made a yummy yummy sauce, the pork was tender, the veg a little crunchy in spots.

Served with multicolored tiny potatoes parboiled then finished in same oven with some snail butter.

Ate all the meat and am planning yummy soup with leftover veg, sauce, and potatoes.

Marinade was a ton of smushed garlic, olive oil, a little salt, and Berbere spice from Penzeys. Meat, veg, parsley and garlic from local farms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Aug 20 - 06:56 PM

Yes, I know what orzo means, Maggie! That's a very interesting idea, though I'm best, with my limited skills, trying to keep things simple...

I thought I'd try the stripped-down traditional version of risotto that the Italians call risotto bianco. Jamie Oliver suggests using pesto added at the end. I made my own pesto but I departed considerably from his risotto recipe. I don't need celery or garlic, thanks. And I don't make risottos with olive oil, just butter, but that's just me. So here's what I did...

For the pesto I picked a great big bunch of basil from my garden. Maybe three big handfuls of leaves, stalks removed. That went into my whizzer with a SMALL clove of garlic and a handful of pine nuts, which I'd toasted gently first. The mix was a bit thick and dry, but I managed it after a couple of scrapings. That went into a bowl, to which I added a handful of freshly-grated Parmesan. I dribbled in my very best extra virgin olive oil a bit at a time, stirring all the time. A bit more cheese, a bit more oil, until I was happy with the slightly sloppy texture. It did need a bit of salt.

For the risotto, I made about a pint and a half of vegetable stock in advance (a mix of carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, thyme and parsley, boiled for two hours). I used my smaller Le Creuset casserole. A big knob of butter went in, followed by two banana shallots, chopped roughly. After about ten minutes on low, I threw in 275g carnaroli rice and turned up the heat. Once the rice was coated and toasted I threw in a small glass of very decent Italian white wine. That was boiled for a couple of minutes in order to get the alcohol out. Then I threw in 600 ml hot stock. You have to stir for a couple of minutes to prevent sticking, but, after that, put the lid on and simmer at a low heat for 15 minutes. No stir! Have faith! I do tend to season in steps as I go along, but do your own thing. It does need salt.

After 15 minutes, turn up the heat slightly then beat the living daylights out of your risotto for about three minutes. Make sure your grains are firm but not chalky, the death of any risotto. You need to take the pan off the heat, then add a big knob of butter and a a handful of freshly-grated Parmesan. Once that's done, ladle the grub into bowls, add a dessert spoon of pesto, scatter a few basil leaves, sprinkle with Parmesan and bob's your uncle. It doesn't hurt to wait for a few minutes...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Aug 20 - 01:29 PM

Steve, you know that the name "orzo" means rice, don't you?

A Lebanese friend showed me how she cooks rice with orzo.

With a little olive oil in a heated pan, she puts the orzo portion of the recipe in and stirs it to brown it. I'd say I use 1/4 cup of orzo with every cup of rice. Brown the orzo and once it is the color you want then pour in the dry rice (or wet if you washed it) and stir it around enough to heat the rice up, then pour in the water, cover, and cook. The orzo is a nice brown accent in the white rice when it's finished.

A variant on that is the Basmati rice I cook with vermicelli, doing the same thing so the pasta is a browned accent in the long-grain rice. This is probably the progenitor of the box mix "Rice-a-roni," that uses rice and vermicelli and a chicken bouillon cube.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Aug 20 - 11:43 AM

Jos, you have my sympathy. Thanks to a childhood spent in the 1950s and '60s, I find mushy food in general, and macaroni and cheese in particular, notably unpleasant. I'm trying to get my head around the notion of a "dessert" featuring overcooked macaroni, and it's not sitting well even mentally.

Last night I left the kitchen when I should not have done, got into a conversation about kittens with Jane Across The Street, and forgot about the brown rice I was parboiling on the stove before assembling a chicken dish to be baked in a Romertopf. It's decades since I last actually forgot something on the stove long enough for it to be completely wrecked. The stench hovered in the house for hours, and I had to make the chicken dish with white rice that came out gluey and bland.

Suitable punishment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 24 Aug 20 - 03:22 AM

I can never bring myself to touch anything labelled 'macaroni' because of the indescribable inedible horror we were served up with school dinners as a dessert.
If in doubt I go for tagliatelle, which seems to go pleasantly with anything even if a real Italian might not approve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 06:36 PM

I've never been much of a fan of normal penne. Maybe it's too many horrid cold pasta salads in the past (a disgusting idea). I recently discovered penne mezze, a much smaller version, very nice too, and I've already mentioned the big pennone that I use in arrabbiata dishes. I tried a spicy, meaty dish with Mrs Steve using paccheri, but she couldn't handle it. Humph. One of our favourites is gigli which looks like little trumpets. It comes from Gragnano and cooks in seven minutes, and it's great with delicate fish dishes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 01:46 PM

Two topics running simultaneously. I feel like a person sitting at the good end of a dinner party.

First, jam -- making of. In Ottawa, where we used to live, I collected jam jars from the church (I usually put a couple of dozen jars of jam in the annual bazaar), and from several friends and relations. Now, far away from those friends and relations and with the church shut down because of COVID-19, I'm cut off from the black market in Mason jars and actually have to buy them. Everyone else is in the same boat, so of course the shops have none.

This year's output of Five-Fruit Chutney will probably have to go into half-litre jars; consequently, I won't give any to people who are not wildly enthusiastic about chutney.

Pasta shapes -- I never gave much to pasta shapes until I acquired a copy of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Traditional Italian Cooking, but even now my first concern is whether the pasta is likely to spray sauce around the dining table on its way from dish to Himself's gaping maw (he's not the neatest eater in the grid square). I like rotini, which holds a handsome quantity of sauce without incident, and penne, ditto. Somehow, I have managed to arrive at the end of my 65th year on Earth without ever having cooked radiatore; I should fix that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 06:55 AM

I get my pasta boiling (salt only, never oil) then set the timer for one minute less than the packets instructions. Thereafter, it's obsessive tasting for al dente-ness at frequent intervals. In traditional Italian cookery it's regarded as sacrilege to leave the kitchen while the pasta is boiling...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 05:45 AM

Yes, too-chewy pasta rather divides you from your flavours.

By the way, I normally thicken my lamb stew with barley, but have discovered that freekeh is even nicer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 05:03 AM

Pasta shapes make for a very interesting topic. Speaking of little beady things, we tried fregula pasta from Sardinia and didn't much care for it: too many little bits and too chewy. On the other hand we love orzo, which looks like rice grains, but we use this as an integral part of the sauce, which it thickens beautifully as it releases its starch. Very nice in a sauce with peas and bacon. I don't like pasta shapes that vary in thickness as I don't like chewy middles. The biggest culprit is trofie, which I don't buy, but there are others. I like big tubes such as pennone rigate, which I use in my arrabbiata dishes. I like orecchiette for a pasta bake and for the traditional Puglian dish with chilli and wilted greens. I don't get on with bucatini, so my Amatriciana is served up with spaghetti. Heresy! We never have fusilli for that thick middle reason. Whatever we have it must be bronze die pasta. I suppose spaghetti is our most-used overall. It's a religion in our house that pasta is always eaten from a bowl, that the sauce is always mixed with the pasta, never just dumped on top, and is eaten with a fork only with much slurping. There's no such thing as spaghetti bolognese in Italy (except on tourist menus) but I've failed miserably to wean my family off it, though I've stopped drowning it with minced garlic and I don't allow dried basil to come within a mile of the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 04:29 AM

I might try that slow tomato dish with the little bead-shaped pasta sold under the name Besvajecne cestoviny - "eggless pasta"; they turn out kind of like pearl couscous but with a more distinct wholemeal taste.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 03:11 AM

I'm thinking of getting a damson tree on dwarf stock this autumn, to be able to make damson jam, and damson tart to which my mother addicted me. She said leaving the stones in while cooking intensified the flavour.
The damson jam I made last year was to a simple French recipe for confiture de quetsch, adding nothing but lemon juice and demerara sugar and macerating the fruit overnight before fast-boiling in the morning. It was paradise.
The house is clanking with saved jam jars - when we run out of homemade jam we buy Folláin jam, which comes in very cute pots (but I think is only available in Ireland) and save the jars and lids.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 02:47 AM

It's jam season, and a friend has delivered me a big bag of applea and
this recipe.

She tells me that when she made it she didn't have cinnamon but put in much more ginger than recommended, to get a real gingery zing, and it was spectacular.


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