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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Steve Shaw 06 Jan 20 - 12:54 PM
Raggytash 06 Jan 20 - 07:36 AM
Charmion 06 Jan 20 - 07:34 AM
Charmion 02 Jan 20 - 09:51 AM
BobL 02 Jan 20 - 02:37 AM
keberoxu 01 Jan 20 - 04:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 19 - 10:30 AM
EBarnacle 31 Dec 19 - 12:06 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Dec 19 - 07:07 PM
EBarnacle 30 Dec 19 - 12:25 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Dec 19 - 06:32 AM
Dave Hanson 28 Dec 19 - 02:52 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Dec 19 - 10:04 PM
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
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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 12:54 PM

We made a huge lasagne two nights ago. It's a collaboration, strictly speaking, as I let Mrs Steve make the béchamel ( we use strong cheddar mixed with parmesan and I don't care what anybody thinks) and assemble the thing. We are somewhat at odds over the ragù. She thinks I should be adding garlic-crusher garlic and I think garlic shouldn't go anywhere near. I compromise by chucking in a few peeled cloves that I've bashed with my fist. Over the years I've secretly removed dried herbs from the mix altogether. I'd rather hack off the family jewels with a rusty machete than add dried basil. As it's Christmas I did add a little sprinkle of dried oregano this time. A sprig of thyme wouldn't hurt. I always start with a soffritto in which I include some chopped unsmoked bacon or pancetta. The soffritto is equal parts chopped celery, carrot and onion in extra virgin olive oil, sautéed until the veg is softened. I brown the meat separately, not too much at once, by dry-frying in a big stainless steel frying pan I've inherited. The meat is half minced steak and half minced pork. Once browned it goes into the soffritto along with a bit of chicken stock, tomatoes (one 400ml tin of plum tomatoes fewer than the number of pounds of meat) and some seasoning. Maybe a splash of wine. That needs a good hour or more at a simmer. Two hours wouldn't hurt. Adjust for correct sloppiness with a bit more stock or tomato. Adding water is far too disappointing. Then it's over to the assembly dept. We cook it for about 40 minutes in a 180C oven. Leftovers are perfect microwaved for breakfast the next day. Either you serve it up with a drizzle of your finest olive oil on top or you're wrong. Some garlic bread and salad goes well. I've seen it on offer in pubs with chips. If you see that, call a constable immediately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 07:36 AM

Another batch of Marmalade has just been bottled.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 07:34 AM

Have you lot quit cooking, or what?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jan 20 - 09:51 AM

BobL, maybe it's the subtlety of my taste buds, but I can tell the difference between boeuf Flamande, a stew of beef and onions made with Belgian-style light ale, and a beef stew made with onions and Guinness. Boeuf Flamande has a sharp, winy flavour, and the Guinness-based dish is sweeter, with a distinctly caramel character. Evidently you are getting different mileage.

For Hogmanay, after I paid the bills and tidied the house, I made faisan à la Normande for the first time. Pheasant is available from our favourite farmer, Mrs McIntosh, and Himself took it into his head that it would be kinda nice. So there I was, looking for crème fraîche in the dairy case at Sobey's -- and I found it, tucked in beside the cottage cheese. I guess the foodies have completed their take-over.

The technique of braising the pheasant was rather messy, as it involved two birds that had to be rolled over every fifteen minutes in a snug-fitting casserole that also contained apple slices and diced shallot simmering in cider. Also, like many French recipes, it preoccupied me to the extent that I barely remembered the other items on the menu, such as veg. Fortunately, Himself's sister had given us a pie, so dessert was taken care of. When all was done and dished up, the pheasant was fine but the sauce was a bit bland; it could have done with a dash of cider vinegar. I'll know better next time.

The fun part was pouring 50 ml of flaming Calvados over the birdies in the casserole, and extinguishing the trussing string when it caught fire. What larks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 02 Jan 20 - 02:37 AM

Adding beer to a beef casserole never fails, but it doesn't seem to make much difference what sort of beer - lager, light ale, bitter or stout, all give similarly excellent results. Does anyone else find this?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jan 20 - 04:42 PM

Time to visit the Irish-American restaurant
and order
some Guinness beef stew.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 19 - 10:30 AM

I live in a state that is smack in the middle of the US, on the southern border, and it has several layers of tradition. I'm in the Northern part of this Southern state that is more anglo than the Southern portion of this Southern state (where it has the huge influence of Mexico.) This time of year, it is typically lumped with the "Deep South" which are states on the SE corner of the US. In that part of the South, there is a tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Years Day, but I grew up in the far upper NW corner of the contiguous US in Washington, so I don't bother with the peas, they have no appeal or tradition for me. I don't put gravy on my baking powder biscuits, either (another rather loathsome practice down here, especially when it is totally bland "milk gravy" with no flavor to speak of.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 31 Dec 19 - 12:06 AM

Steve, I can also cook by smell. It works. A thermometer is more reliable and lets you vary the cooking conditions to meet you needs that day.
Have you ever tried an Empire frozen turkey? It might change your opinion about frozen birds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Dec 19 - 07:07 PM

I have a rusting old oven thermometer for checking the accuracy of the oven. I may have used it five years ago and I haven't a clue where it is. Other than that, I'm not interested in sticking probes in lumps of meat to find out if they're "done." I know when they're done by appearance and by experience. I've never poisoned anybody and I don't serve up underdone or dried-out meat. I've cooked two 5kg turkeys in the last five days. The rules are:

Don't stuff the turkey

It must be fully at room temp before cooking

Don't use one of those throwaway foil cooking tins. Get a proper baking tin with lots of room in it

Cover the breast with lots of streaky bacon

Put foil over the bird

Turn up the oven to 180C (fan). Put in the turkey on a lower shelf

The 5kg bird needs three hours, then 45 minutes to rest. After an hour and a quarter, take off the foil

After another hour, take off the bacon and baste the bird

Keep an eye on it for the remaining 45 minutes. Baste it once or twice and, if the breast is going a bit too brown, put a small piece of foil on just the breast for a few minutes. You might decide that it can come out a few minutes early

Here's what you don't do:

Never compromise on the quality of the turkey. Genuine free-range and a slow-growing breed are the minimum. Most frozen turkeys are very poor

Never turn the turkey

Never fiddle with the oven temperature. Leave it alone

Never try to cook a huge turkey in a normal oven. Attempts to cook a twenty-pounder in a little oven are doomed to failure. You're far better off with two smaller birds (and you get four drumsticks and four wings...mmmm...) 5kg/12lb is tops for me

I had two perfect turkeys this Christmas. I've made all the mistakes I've mentioned above but, after fifty-plus years of turkey cooking, I'm getting there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 30 Dec 19 - 12:25 AM

Sorry to take so long getting back, Charmion. We use an external digital thermometer but I see no reason for the integrated unit in your oven not to work.

We put the probe into the breast in the middle of the meat as it seems to give consistent readings.

By observation, we have figured out why stopping the cooking at a few degrees before it's officially done works well. The temperature in the outer meat is hotter and averages itself with the temperature in the middle of the meat. If you bring the core temperature to the officially declared "done temperature," it is overcooked and dry.

Check the thermometer calibration by using water at several known temperatures. Most likely it's accurate but it's nice to be sure. Trust but verify.

We did a prime rib in the oven this weekend and put several potatoes in the roasting pan, where they could pick up some of the flavor. A few onions went in, too. When the meat was done, we pulled the potatoes and onions. We pulled the skins off and mashed them with chopped up onions, added eggs and made potato pancakes [latkes]. Delicious! The texture is different from latkes made with shredded potatoes but, when fully cooked, is quite acceptable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Dec 19 - 06:32 AM

I agree. Leave that to the chippies. SRS, mine can't be called fries because they are first boiled then baked.

If you can get firm little salad spuds that you know will hold their texture, a very simple way of cooking them is to wash them, cut them in half, coat them in extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt, stand them on their cut ends on a baking tray and put them in a hot oven (200C fan) for half an hour. You can easily make them Mediterranean style if you want to. Just throw in a sprig of rosemary and a handful of unpeeled garlic cloves. I might wait ten minutes before adding the garlic as it's nice to have the cloves soft and sweet for sucking instead of burnt. One toss half way through is good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Dec 19 - 02:52 AM

Life is too short to cook chips 3 times.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Dec 19 - 10:04 PM

I've seen television programs that demonstrated how to make chips (what we call "fries" here) with two cooking steps - fry for a bit in the oil, take it out, then put it back in a few minutes later. That's also the way to make tostones, a related kind of fried food made of plantano or plantain bananas. When they're green you can make them into fries, when they're ripe you can bake them and they're sweet and very good with butter and cinnamon sugar. For tostones you fry them a couple of minutes, then each cross-sectioned piece is flattened a bit, put in salty water for a minute, drained, and then back in the oil till it's finished frying.


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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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