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KevenSeven On November - 12 - 2009

Foodies

Just wondering if I am the only foodie here?   Just love to cook.    Perhaps Sundays could be recipe exchange day?

Categories: Society

169 Responses so far.

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  1. javaz says:

    What culinary delight are “foodies” partaking in on this fine Sunday?

    Since it is much cooler in the Phoenix area today, finally, it was a good day to turn on the oven and whip up spinach and no-fat ricotta cheese rolled in whole wheat lasagna noodles and topped with a zuchinni and yellow squash tomato sauce.
    Topped with low-fat mozzarella, and baking in the oven, the house smells wonderful.
    It’s making the Cardinal’s losing the game much more bearable.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. KevenSeven says:

    Home from work, and about to start in on the cassoulet. I expect it to be ready in about two hours.

    I cooked the beans this morning. Actually, I started them and left for work. My wife supervised them.

  3. BigDogMom says:

    javaz, heres three that I found for you from http://www.justpierecipes.com

    Heart Healthy Pie Crust

    2 c Unbleached flour
    1/3 c Olive oil
    1/4 c Water; ice cold

    oven at 350. Prepare a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray and flour. Place flour in a bowl and drizzle with oil. Use a pastry blender to evenly distribute the oil and produce a mixture the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle on the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing until you can gather the dough into a ball. Roll the dough into a 11″ circle onto a floured surface. Patch any cracks that may form, but otherwise try not to handle the dough more than necessary. Transfer the dough to a pie plate. Trim the dough, leaving a 1″ overhang. Crimp the overhanging dough into a decorative edge. Chill the crust 20 minutes. Fill and bake according to your pie recipe directions.

    Light and Flaky Low Fat Pie Crust

    1 c Unbleached white flour; plus
    2 tb Unbleached white flour
    1 ds Salt
    1/4 c Chilled oil
    1 Egg white; beaten lightly
    1 ts Apple cider vinegar
    Ice water

    In medium bowl, mix together flour and salt. Make small well in center of flour; add oil. Lightly mix with fingertips, fork or food processor until dough is like cornmeal. Do not overmix. Add egg white and vinegar; mix just until incorporated. With fingertips, form dough into ball. If still crumbly, add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is slightly sticky and holds together. Form into flattened circle about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 20 minutes. Working on lightly floured table or countertop, roll dough into 11-inch circle. Fold in half and drape over 9-inch pie pan. Unfold, being careful not to stretch or tear. Trim excess dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Flute edges. Yield: 1 crust.

    Bread Crumb Pie Crust

    1 1/2 c Bread crumbs
    Broth or water
    Salt; pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

    Mix crumbs with seasonings and enough liquid to hold together. Press into pie pan. If desired, prebake at 350F till dried. Fill, bake and serve.

    Just Pie Recipes is located at http://www.justpierecipes.com

  4. javaz says:

    Does anyone have a recipe for healthy pie crust?
    A crust that can be made without shortening?

    • BigDogMom says:

      All the ones that I have either have shortening or butter in them, check FoodNetwork.com or Recipe.com

      • javaz says:

        Hi BDM!

        Thanks for the suggestions.

        I seem to recall long, long ago that my mom made some sort of crust using breadcrumbs and eggs and it tasted like pie crust.

        • BigDogMom says:

          I just google ‘pie crust with out shortening’, several came up, but they seem to use butter. One stated that the use of butter cuts the fat in the crust by 20%.

          The eggs will act a binding agent, like shortening and butter would.

  5. Mogamboguru says:

    Hi, folks!

    God knows, I am a “metric” man -- but for my american friends’ convenience, I have untertaken the bold task, to calculate everything in american measurements, so as to enable you to cook like I suggest.

    (Also, this gives me the ample opportunity to blame everything on a miscalculation, in case you don’t like, what I suggest). 😎

    Yesterday, Nicole, I think, asked for a recipe for german Rouladen (filled beef-rolls).

    Okay, here it comes. It is a very straightforward recipe, which is easy to cook. So we try this out first, before we go deeper into the secrets of german cooking. Okay?

    So here we go -- “Rheinische Rouladen” (aka: “Rhenanian Roulades”):

    For four Roulades, you need:

    Four large swats of beef: 10 inches long, 4 inches wide, 1/5th to 1/4th inch thick

    Four stripes of smoked bacon

    Two pickles, approx. 4 inches long

    Dijon mustard (hot)

    salt, pepper

    frying fat

    strong sewing yearn

    The preparation:

    Lay the swats of beef flat on a plate, salt and pepper only the upper side lightly.

    Take the mustard and grease the whole upper side, like you would grease a toast with peanut-butter.

    Put a slice of smoked bacon on the small edge of each swat of beef, cut pickles in half longitudinally and put each half on the bacon on each Roulade.

    Now wrap up the swats of beef tightly with the bacon and the half pickle in the center and, after that, tie the roll up tightly with the sewing yearn (Some knowledge of BDSM is a plus here, but no must-have…) :-))

    Melt frying fat in a heavy iron pan and fry the Rouladen from all sides over hight heat, until they are brown.

    (Attention -- Alteration! I made a mistake here!) Then pour a mug full of water in the pan, put a lid on it and put it in the oven for about 90 minutes at 150 degrees centigrade (I’m sorry -- but before degrees Fahrenheit I quit… 😉 )

    When the Rouladen are done, take them out of the pan, unwrap the yearn carefully, so as not to destroy the Rouladen, put the Rouladen on a plate and put the plate back in the oven at 110 degrees centigrade, to keep them warm.

    Add a mug of beef stock to the pan, boil and reduce it by half.

    Then add one eating spoon full of mustard to the sauce and stir, until the mustard is dissolved.

    When this is done, salt and pepper the sauce after your liking and then thicken it with starch: Add one eating spoon full of starch to a half full cup of cold water, dissolve it by stirring and then pour it bit by bit into the pan andboil the sauce until it thickens.

    (CAUTION: Starch has great thickening-power. Use only spoon by spoon, until the sauce is as thick as you like it, so as not to jelly up the sauce!)

    That was it: The sauce and the Rouladen are ready.

    The Rouladen are to be served either with boiled potatoes, with dumplings or with Spatzle and are served together with either red cabbage or Brussels sprouts (Do you know, how to prepare these? If not, ask: I’ll gladly tell you, how to do it!).

    A glass of dark beer or red wine fit this meal perfectly.

    Enjoy!

    • nicole473 says:

      Thank you, Mo! I can’t wait to try it out. Will be doing so next weekend when my son is home.

    • BigDogMom says:

      This looks good, made a copy of the recipe. What type of beef or cut of beef do you use. What do you consider breakfast ham, canadian bacon?
      Thanks

      • Mogamboguru says:

        Me German -- me nix inglish… 😎

        Hi, BigDogMom!

        Yes, you are right: I think, smoked bacon is the correct word.

        About the beef: Any beef will do. But please note the change in the recipe I have just added! This is important, to get the beef mellow.

        Enjoy!

        • BigDogMom says:

          Oh and Mo, don’t worry about the metric conversion, I have a cookbook that converts it for me….

          Your English is pretty good, my German Great Grandmother’s english was terrible as I recall, but she got us kids to listen!

        • BigDogMom says:

          Thanx Mo, just looked up the recipe on other food sites, some use flank steak or beef sirloin cut 1/4″ thick…

          Will re-copy the newer version, thanks, my husband is going to like this, loves anything made with smoked bacon!

  6. LITU says:

    The wife’s away for the weekend, so I’m baching (sp) it. Made myself a nice pile of ras el hanout shrimp with angel hair pasta and fresh green beans. Yummy.

    Where’s my beer?

  7. KevenSeven says:

    OK, the duck confit left overs have defrosted since this morning. I am afraid to open the bag. Not that there is too much there, but if it is garbage then I will be disappointed.

    The keilbasa is in the fridge, but has suffered from a raid…..

    The pork is cooked and looks good. I may cook the beans tonight while we are chatting, then my wife can just assemble the whole mess and bung it in the oven for an hour tomorrow.

    In the meantime I am gearing up for tonight’s.

    Simple simple. One or two chicken breasts, chopped up, seasoned and cooked in butter and oil to a nice brown. In the same pot, more olive oil, some sun dried tomatoes, chopped, a few cloves garlic, just get it hot.

    Cook pasta, (bow ties?) toss in pot with chicken, add feta cheese generously, toss, plate, sprinkle with my Italian deli’s House Blend of grated cheeses. Really good and seven dollars per pound, which is a killer price for grated cheeses, if they are good.

    The tip there: a mix of medium grade cheeses will have a richness equal to good cheese at twice the price.

    The same applies to mushrooms. If you are cooking with mushrooms, the more varieties the better, as the depth of woodsy flavor will be accentuated. Three modest priced types of mushrooms will be more flavorful than one expensive type of mushroom.

    So there!

    • LITU says:

      Visited a friend umpteen years ago. He was cooking a roast and suggested we go mushroom picking in his woods. Found a good lot of chanterelles.

      The guy had no class; didn’t even clean the humus from them.

      Best damn roast gravy I’ve ever tasted, dirt and all.

  8. escribacat says:

    I am always happy to eat anything that anyone wants to cook for me.

  9. javaz says:

    What an excellent topic, KevenSeven!

    I would really appreciate it if anyone could please submit recipes for rice -- side dishes and main dishes -- especially brown rice recipes.

    We love Rice-A-Roni, and am ducking from all the real PPOV chefs, but is there a recipe for real rice, specifically brown rice, so that it tastes like Rice-A-Roni?
    I can never flavor rice adequately and could sure use some pointers!

    • AlphaBitch says:

      Javaz: If you want, I have a GREAT recipe for a rice pilau, Afghan style. You need at Sela rice (extra-long basmati -buy at store that sells Middle Eastern food). You have to wash the rice until the water is clear, then soak it in warm water for 20 minutes before draining. The recipe uses orange rinds, toasted almonds, turmeric and golden raisins (which I normally hate). It is a huge hit at every dinner party I have attended. Let me know, and I will send particulars.

      • javaz says:

        Good morning AlphaB!

        Yes, please share the recipe!

        • AlphaBitch says:

          Hey Javaz: Here goes:

          Use only extra-long basmati rice (I use Sela rice, grown in Pakistan and favored by Afghans). Wash the rice well until the water is clear, and then soak for 20 minutes in warm water.

          4 Tbsp. unalted butter
          1 c. grated carrots
          1/3 c. slivered almonds (I fry first in a little oil)
          Grated zest of 2 oranges
          1/3 c. golden raisins
          1/4 tsp. turmeric
          1 1/2 c. long grain rice
          3 c. BOILING chicken stock (or veggie, if you prefer)

          1. Melt the butter in a heavy 2 qt. saucepan over medicum heat. Add carrots; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in orange zest, almonds, raisins and turmeric; continue stirring and cooking for 4 more minutes. Add rice and continue stirring until the rice is well coated with butter and takes on some color (2 minutes)

          2. Pour in the boiling stock in a steady stream; let boil about 2 minutes. Add salt to taste, reduce heat to very low. Cover tightly and simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

          3. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to platter, and stir gently before serving.

          NOTE: This recipe comes from my friend, Tom, who runs the camp for the Afghan students. He is, fortunately, able to translate the recipe into measures and minutes for me, something that the students never quite seem to appreciate the need to do!

    • LITU says:

      Have you ever tried basmati rice? Very tasty stuff.

    • KevenSeven says:

      Don’t knock Rice-a-roni.

      There is nothing wrong with some convenience. I cook the stuff all the time.

      Appreciate that one of the reasons that it tastes do good is that it is loaded with salt. You do not HAVE to put the whole flavor packet in there.

      And I often substitute some stock, low salt of course, for some of the water.

      Shallots are wonderful things. Dice up one or two and saute in butter, then bung in the rice a roni. Add sausage and peas for a complete meal in one pot.

      There is nothing wrong with using the convenience foods, if you use a little flair. Be assured that I do not slave away in the kitchen EVERY night!

    • Grabamop/Obama20082012 says:

      I have one Javaz and it’s easy, brown some curly vermellici in a couple of tablespoons of butter, and one cup of rice brown that a little, and 2.5 cups of chicken broth and cook until rice is done. If you don’t have the vermellici you can try some orzo pasta.

    • kesmarn says:

      Good afternoon, javaz! Rice-A-Roni, a secret vice, a guilty pleasure!
      It can’t be good for us, and yet we love it. Why? I don’t know, but I confess to happily indulging in it as well. I especially love it when the pasta part of this salt-bomb is just a little crunchy.

      • javaz says:

        Afternoon kesmarn!

        I know it.
        We love Rice-A-Roni, too, and even tried the low-sodium version, but it’s just not as good!

        Love Zatarain’s, too, and their low-sodium ones are actually very good, but packed with them healthy preservatives!

        • kesmarn says:

          I hate to admit it, but I suspect that anything that comes in a box is going to be t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And don’t even get me started on doughnuts…

  10. kesmarn says:

    Did anyone have a relative who was a fabulous cook but never, ever used a recipe?
    My Hungarian grandmother was like that. I think she could have opened a restaurant in Paris and made a go of it. She was that good. But totally from her head. And she was not inclined to share her techniques!
    My mom (her daughter in law) had to actually watch her prepare meals to get the basics, although my grandmother would do what my mom called “sleight of hand” moves over the pot with mysterious seasonings, so my mom never did quite get the precise ingredient list. The secrets went to the grave with my grandmother.

    I’ve tried to reverse engineer some of my favorites, like chicken paprikas, stuffed cabbage, and her matchless chicken soup, with only moderate success. Sigh.

    • Mogamboguru says:

      Kesmarn, I forgot:

      Use fresh Lovage for the chicken soup, too.

      A good hand full will do. Add a few minutes before it’s ready.

      Once you’ve tried it, you’ll know, why I recommend lovage for chicken soup.

      • kesmarn says:

        I’m soooo embarrassed to ask, but what is lovage?

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          Kes, why be embarrassed? Mo is relating plant materials not usually found here. We have lots of things just here in America most people haven’t heard of, or are used to a different name for. Example: ask someone for a cup of the oil from a rape plant. Don’t know what that is? Well, it’s related to the mustard plant, grows in immense cultivated fields which bloom yellow, and “tada” the oil is usually refered to as Canola oil. But most people don’t know that.

          If we don’t ask questions of other cultures, we don’t learn. Unfortunately, many of us are afraid of questions any more.

          • Mogamboguru says:

            Nobody needs to be worried to ever ask me anything, FeloniousMonk.

            I am full of answers to the brim. All you need to do, is piercing holes into me and the answers will start squirting out of me like fountains…

            (Smartass me!) 😎

        • Mogamboguru says:

          It’s a herbaceous spice with long, soft, green stems and very soft, deeply frayed, dark green leafs. It grows in big bushes, sometimes tall as a man.

          It’s perennial: Once you plant it in the garden, it will grow forever. You only need to cut the stems down to the hump in the fall. In spring, it will grow again all by itself.

          The leafs are used as herbs. You can pick the leafs easily by hand. They leave a very intensive, harmonic, spicy smell at your fingers, when you rub it, and taste the same, when eaten.

          Lovage leafs can be eaten raw -- like, on a slice of bread with curd cheese, for example -- but are mainly used to spice up soups -- any soup, at that, because loveage is a great, natural amplifyer for taste and flavour of soups -- only, that it’s own taste and flavour evaporates from hot soup very quickly.

          So the lovage-leafs have to picked out (they may get bitter when heated up again) -- but you can still eat the picked leaves -- and have to be replaced with fresh lovage from your garden again -- which will grow in your garden in abundance, anyway.

          But beware dryied lovage: It’s not worth the dough. Almost all taste and flavour of it evaporates during the drying process. All you get for your money is flavourless, bitter, grey-green tea…

          • kesmarn says:

            Thanks so much, Mo. I’m going to try to find a local source of lovage. Maybe I can grow my own next summer. (Find a local source, grow my own? That would have got the mod’s attention at PuffHo! :o))

            • Mogamboguru says:

              HAHAHAHAHA! Hell, yeah! Growing your own weed, man! 😉

              BTW: I have never tried to smoke Lovage. Perhaps… 😎

    • nicole473 says:

      My Mother occasionally used a recipe, but usually tweaked it, making it her own. She wrote very few recipes down, alas. She was a wonderful cook, and like most Europeans, went to market daily for fresh ingredients.

      Alice Waters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Waters once tried to convince my Mother to open a restaurant and offered to help with the financing.

      Mom was a very good cook. :)

      • kesmarn says:

        Whoaah!! That is impressive!! High praise indeed from Alice Waters. Lucky you, to grow up in a household with a real chef!

        • nicole473 says:

          We ate well. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that she was a European, and so everything must be fresh, made from scratch and only the best ingredients.

          I’ll tell ya, though, I wish she had spared the damn butter cause it is my greatest weakness. 😎

        • nellie says:

          That is very high praise. I had a friend who worked for Alice Waters and spent an entire year simply breaking up lettuce as part of her training!

          Your mother’s cooking must have been amazing.

    • bitohistory says:

      Re: Your Mother’s cooking and recipes.I grew up in the Midwest in a German/Swedish family. Potato salad (and casseroles 😉 ) were always present at any gathering. And, of course, my Mother’s potato salad was always the best. I watched and helped her make it hundreds of times. I have never replicated that flavor. When she cooked she rarely used recipes. So, whose Mother makes the best potato salad? Whose Mother was/is the best cook.

      • kesmarn says:

        My mom was not a fabulous cook on the day-in-day-out basis. Mostly because she was extremely neat and fastidious and she hated messing up the kitchen (which all great cookery requires, at least temporarily). So it was often cube steak patties (midwestern thing--dry), fried potatoes and canned green beans. But she also had a strong sense of duty (she was very German, and I mean that in the nicest possible way ;o)), so for special occasions and holidays, she outdid herself. Her potato salad was wonderful. She made a terrific apple pie. Also wonderful oatmeal, raisin, walnut cookies. Great bean soup. And she did a nice turkey at Thanksgiving. This was all a real sacrifice for her, as she couldn’t wait to get her kitchen back into immaculate condition.

        (She would roll over if she saw mine right now.)

        • bitohistory says:

          I learned “clean as you cook” at an early age.
          If they was any mess left after a meal then it was a family affair to clean the kitchen.

          • kesmarn says:

            Yes, I remember standing on a chair at age six to do the dishes, and lord help me if they were not health-department clean!

            • bitohistory says:

              LOL. I believe my parents were German/Swede crossed with “Attila the Hun” when it came to cleanliness.

            • kesmarn says:

              Oh yeah. I’m surprised I never found one of those helmets with the horns coming out of each side among my mom’s family’s belongings.

    • nellie says:

      My grandmother was that kind of cook, and I think I inherited some of her genes in that respect. I rarely use recipes, but I’m very well versed in the basics. I’ve even taken cooking classes just to pound in those fundamentals. That’s the key to cooking w out recipes.

      • Mogamboguru says:

        I profess in an exercise I call “Mental Cooking”:

        While shopping at the groceries, I stroll through the aisles and watch the foodstuff pass by. But, sometimes, something special catches my eye: A piece of meat, a veggie, fish or something -- anything. So I take this specific foodstuff and put in my cart.

        But then, in my imagination, I start cooking this specific foodstuff -- and, while doing so, I continue to go past the shelves and fetch every ingredient I need to cook it while I am imagining to cook it, until I feel, that the meal is complete -- and, in 99 percent of the times, together with the mental cooking, the shopping for cooking this meal is done simultaneously, too.

        This is a “Yummy in Advance!” -- experience, I can only highly recommend to everyone.

        Try it out. It’s great! And it works very well on farmers’ markets, too.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Mo, this is how I design landscapes…I thought I was the only one that did this!

          I walk around the clients property and visualize what would be best…make some notes, take the measurements, sleep on it, tweeking the design in my head as I visualize what it would look like in 3, 5, 10 and 25 years. Get up in the next morning and draw it, it’s amazing how everything falls into place!

          When time comes for installation, I have the whole design memorized that I don’t even work off the plan, that’s for the client and installers.

          • FeloniousMonk says:

            BDM: That sounds reasonable to me, but I controlled my designer because I had much of the concept preconceived. Of course, growing up in a gardening and construction environment, I probably came a little more knowledgeable than many of his clients.

            Beleive it or not, landscaping out here is expensive. Picture $40 per ton for gravel, a commody covering much of many yards (my yard is about 10,000 sq ft after the house is deducted), distribution of the gravel is $10 per ton. A ton covers about 100 sq ft. Then everything is drip irrigation. Not to mention that even though half of the workers are getting minimum wage, or less, the cost for having simple blockwork installed (without permits) is outrageous. A simple desert scape will easily run $15,000 with minimal hardscape.

            People from the midwest just look and shake their heads. Trees, flowers and grass is so much simpler.

            • BigDogMom says:

              Here that’s considered “Hardscaping’ or ‘Xeriscaping’ which is labor intensive, here gravel is $35.00 my cost per ton, billed out as $60.00 per ton.

              Labor rate for installation is usually $35.00 per hr.

              We’re in the NYC/Metro area so our rates are extreamly high for labor…I try to be fair to my customers and not gouge them, and I usually get the job.

              Sometimes the customer who knows just enough is dangerous and a pain in the ass!LOL

            • BigDogMom says:

              That’s too bad, I see that a lot around here. Some of the landscapers here have no idea how to plant, or know what plants to use. So the customer usually has to rip them out in a year or sooner because they are dead.

              My designs and my work is my business card, I have never advertised. I get all my work from word of mouth and only use installers that I know are good and fair.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              BDM: Agreed, but sometimes contractors only know one way and refuse to consider new and innovative ways. Or, if you have a cultural difference with yours (the guy who did the work on my yard was hispanic) and his quality left much to be desired (I tore it out within a year because it was falling apart) as a consumer you become skeptical.

              I’ve seen the same stuff from homebuilders. I grew up in a family who did homebuilding, and when homebuilders try to bullshit me, like the one I had out here, it is really frustrating. They’ve got a thousand excuses for cracked foundations, none of which are that they knew better and were just too cheap to do it right, and the AZ law sides with the contractors.

          • nicole473 says:

            Do you work for yourself, BDM? I am asking because after my divorce last July, I found myself in the position of needing to support myself again after many years of not doing so. I am a dedicated gardener, and was thinking that might be something I could look at.

            • escribacat says:

              I love gardening too but my back limits how much I can do. My bro and I just built my first raised vegetable bed and this spring will be my foray into vegetables (instead of flowers). Can’t wait!! I just hope I can keep the squirrels distracted by all the peanuts I give them.

            • nicole473 says:

              Can’t wait to hear about it….I’ve never done vegies other than tomatoes!!

            • BigDogMom says:

              I’ve built some raised beds for some of my older clients…they are the best way to go for veggies.

              I’m not so sure you should feed the squirrels, it will attract more to your yard.

              You may want to put some netting over you garden when you are not in the yard to scoot them away…they love tomatos!

            • BigDogMom says:

              Yes I started my landscape design co. in 2004 on a whim part time, I’m an accountant in real life to make money…Gardening has always been my love.

              Do you know how to draft? If not take some drafting and or landscape design classes, they may have them at your local college or Botanical Gardens.

              I learned how to draft from my Father who was an engineer and I love to draw, so it came naturally to me, I didn’t take any classes.

              Would rather be designing gardens, but it’s slow due to the economy, have two big design projects for the spring. But in the mean time accounting keeps food in my dogs bellies.

            • LITU says:

              I sold my landscape design company in 1998. I’ve enjoyed reading your experiences.

              BTW, I started building elevated beds specifically for seniors and the infirmed over 25 years ago. The geometry always drove me. the combination of linear and radial is intriguing.

              My moniker is an acronym for my business name if you wanted to try to guess it.

            • nicole473 says:

              I don’t draft, but I can use a grid to plan, and I do draw (am an oil painter).
              I’d love to discuss this further with you if you would have an interest, BDM.
              If so, maybe on Monday, I’ll start a topic on it in the Speaker’s Corner section, and we can talk.
              If you’d rather not, that’s really okay too!!

            • kesmarn says:

              nicole, if you have your mom’s recipes, maybe that restaurant could still be started up!?

              (Although landscaping is probably a bit lower stress…or not, BDM?)

            • nicole473 says:

              Well, Kesmarn, I am not such a great cook, lol. I do love to bake however. :)

              I am completely happy digging in the dirt, planting, moving perennials, pruning my 40+ roses, etc..
              I have to move early in the Spring however, so no more garden for me. :(

            • kesmarn says:

              Sounds heavenly.

            • BigDogMom says:

              Working outdoors and in the dirt is heaven for me and other gardeners!

              There’s nothing creating something, installing it and stepping back to see the plan come to fruition. Then going back after a couple of years growth…love it.

      • kesmarn says:

        nellie, I think you’re right. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, then you can go creative with variations. I would love to learn more about herbs and how to use them.

    • Mogamboguru says:

      Salt and spice up chicken soup as little as possible. Let the chicken and the veggies take care of the taste.

      Letting chicken soup steep overnight before serving, also improves taste substancially.

      But if that should not be enough, try to add two chunks of beef-bone to your chicken soup while cooking. Remove the bones before serving the soup.

      You will be amazed by the difference the beef-bone will make.

      • BigDogMom says:

        I use Kosher Sea Salt, don’t ask how much, never measure when I’m making soup…

      • kesmarn says:

        I’m gonna try that, Mo!
        My grandmother also seemed to have a bouquet garnee (sp?) in her soup. What’s in a bouquet garnee? I think there was dill and parsley in there, but what else?

        • BigDogMom says:

          Bouguet Garni:

          Equal parts:

          Savory
          Rosemary
          Thyme
          Orengano
          Basil
          Dill Weed
          Marjoram
          Sage
          Tarragon

          Wrap in cheesecloth, steep for 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour while soup/sauce simmers, remove.

          Note: A lot of times I don’t have all these in the house, so I use a prepared garni, Penzeys Spices is a good one.

        • Mogamboguru says:

          You can buy Bouquet Garni in well-assorted grocery-stores. It’s kind of several -- mostly southern french -- spices -- bound together.

          A Bouquet Garni adds it’s taste to the soup, but will be removed from the soup after a short cooking time, prior to serving.

          It’s a great way of adding taste to a soup, while avoiding to cook the herbs too long -- because, if you cook the herbs too long, they may become bitter.

  11. PepeLepew says:

    I’m not allowed in the kitchen. :(

    I am allowed to barbecue. :)

    • nicole473 says:

      I love barbecue, Pepe! And it is also an art.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      I used to be a fairly savvy gourmet cook. And then I got married and slowly got pushed out of the kitchen for all the prime events. They became group events for the women in the family. Not to mention that my organization for a kitchen is much different than my wife’s. I finally gave up.

      As for barbeque, I haven’t done that in a long time, and don’t see it in the foreseeable future, either.

      I miss exploratory food prep!

  12. KevenSeven says:

    OK, Friday, Saturday, all good.

    Right now I am working on a cassoulet out of Julia Child.

    This is not a trivial effort. It will take days.

    We are talking baked beans (not from the damned can) with all sorts of meats. I came across a promotion at the grocery featuring a full pork shoulder (12lbs) for 88 cents per pound. I am not going to miss a thing like that! The butcher was willing to cut the bones for me so that I was able to break it into four portions. I defrosted one a few days back and applied a dry rub of salt, pepper and herbs. That has been sitting in the fridge for a few days and I have just browned the meat (in four parts) and am simmering it in chicken stock for several hours. My wife will need to turn it off and bung it into the fridge as I will be at work.

    And I am soaking two pounds of dried white beans. I could cook those tonight or tomorrow morning. One tip. No salt for beans while cooking. There will be plenty of salt on the other ingredients, and if the cassoulet needs more salt at the end, that is the time.

    Otherwise the beans tend to split. Boil them gently and simmer very gently.

    I have some scraps of Duck Confit in the freezer, but it has been in there a long time. I may as well defrost it and if it is OK, it can go in as well. Otherwise, I’ll bung it into the trash.

    And I will include the better part of a pound of Polish Kielbassa. As per Julia.

    More as it develops. This is like ambrosia when it is on your plate.

    • Mogamboguru says:

      One tip:

      If you should ever kook beef for soup, take off the surplus, cold, consolidated fat swimming on top, after the soup has cooled in the fridge -- BTW: This makes for a virtually fat-free soup! -- and store the fat in the fridge -- THE LONGER THE BETTER.

      And here’s why: Once I forgot a cup full of beef-fat in the fridge for over 6 months. It had quite an “Haut Gout” when I finally retrieved it. But being a curious person, i tried it out for cooking, anyway.

      In fact, it smelled AWFULL (almost like decay) while cold -- but once the cooking was finished, the taste of the duck I fried in the beef-fat was nothing short of phenomenal! And one may use this beef-fat for any other cooking-purpose in the kitchen, too.

      I anticipate especially beans to profit MASSIVELY from the intense, beefy taste of this fat.

    • kesmarn says:

      I had cassoulet only once, at a French restaurant, years ago.
      The sweet memory still lingers….
      Enjoy!

      (French bread to go with?)

  13. Grabamop/Obama20082012 says:

    I’m in, I love to cook, and I have some simple but unique recipes that I have never found in a cookbook yet! Maybe we can get a PlanetPov cookbook together!

  14. KevenSeven says:

    Ah! Struck a nerve! Cool!

    I’ll try to have a few recipes to share this evening after work.

    Is this topic strongest on Fridays or Sundays? I thought Sundays because that seems the classic day to cook an extensive meal if one is limited on how often one is cooking.

    • TheLateGrardini says:

      One more thing keven--it is really a nice change of pace talking about something like this. Thank you.

    • TheLateGrardini says:

      Food is a good topic for me anytime, especially if it has to do with eating it! Seriously though, early Friday might not be a bad idea. If you live in the sticks like us, a road trip might be required to buy some of the ingredients for some of the recipes. I can’t speak for everybody, but if I read something good I’m going to want to try it ASAP, and not have to wait a week. Food ain’t politics--instant gratification is a good thing with food!

    • Mogamboguru says:

      While cooking is a very sensual experience -- like is eating, listening to good music and having a good drink (and using some not-so-mainstream, enlightening substance for one’s pleasure, too…) I rather suggest, that we do the cooking spree on Friday or Saturday nights, Keven.

      This may also give our folks the opportunity to enter the kitchen and try any specfic recipe -- which may have struck a nerve -- out right at the same weekend without delay.


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