RECIPES

Foods to make in praise of our Blessed FSM, pasta based and otherwise.

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Re: RECIPES

Postby PKMKII on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:42 pm

That depends, how hot do you want to make it?
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Henri Poincaré
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Re: RECIPES

Postby bacon on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:13 am

Well, I'm going to be using ye ole crock pot, that's for sure.

I want to make something with a zing to it, but that isn't overpoweringly hot.

I can't decide if I should go with ground meat or cubed meat - I know traditionally real chili is made with the cubes, but I'm trying to win a contest here and may go with the ground.

However, if I want to go with originality, I may decide to make it out of buffalo meat.
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Re: RECIPES

Postby PKMKII on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:02 pm

I like to use pickled mild green peppers at least. You can get cans of diced tomatoes with the peppers already in, or just buy a tin of them in the mexican food section. If you want things spicier, you can also throw in one adobo pepper (just make sure to take it out before serving). Hot sauces can work as well.

On meat thing: if your office is full of Texas ex-pats, they would see ground meat as blasphemy. If it's just Jerseyites, then they'd probably be confused by cubes.
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Henri Poincaré
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Re: RECIPES

Postby Arkaeon on Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:38 pm

TwistedSister: (re: Swedish meatballs)
Like kimchee, chili, pecadillo, beef stew, and other cottage foods, the recipes for "traditional" swedish meatballs are incredibly varied. There is no single true version. I've had family recipes with or without tomato, potato, rice, gravy, bread crumbs, sugars, garlic; beef or beef/pork mixes, even with some chicken; some are simmered in a fry pan, some baked, sometimes cooked in their gravy, sometimes the gravy made separately and added afterwards or braised onto the finished meatballs. Honestly, a survey of internet recipes is as good a chance as any for you to find one you like. Since various ingredients made their way into Europe and USA at various times and were integrated with family traditions as they arrived, each cook makes their own signature recipe as they please, and 2 generations later it is a "tradition" even though many of these ingredients originate from far away and recent times.

-----

bacon: (re: chili)
As above, chili is an incredibly variable recipe. I would discourage using only the crock pot if you want to make something really distinctive that will stand out, though. The crock will tend to give you a mushy texture with ubiquitously indistinct flavor, and may come off with a generally "canned food" outcome.

The best chilis I've had involved starting by braising the meat (cubed!) with about 1/2 of the spices and the oil on high heat. This drives extra spice into the meat and tenderizes it, making for extra-zingy meat chunks. By searing the outside of the meat chunks on high heat, you help keep them from dissolving during the simmer stage at the end.
...then adding skillet-toasted cornmeal for thickener and adding/braising the vegetables that are intended to dissolve mostly into the stock, including most of the hotter fresh raw chili peppers (most or all of the onion, garlic, and chili peppers like pasilla, anaheim, jalepeno, bird, serrano, cayenne). You can add some worcestershire sauce or reduced red wine/juice at this point if you want some dark-roasty or fruity undertones. You have to stir/scrape vigorously at high heat to get this stage to work right without burning, until the vegetable juices stabilize the cornmeal. There will be a lot of spicy steam.
...if you are using dried/crumbled chilis or basil, they can go in now to soften a bit in the high heat. You can also add some beef stock base if you want to pump up the meat flavor.
...then adding whatever other raw vegetables (including perhaps some strip-cut onion) and the rest of the spices that are intended to remain as chunks and top-flavor in the final bowl, including the milder bell-, california-, and poblano-type peppers that should make up a large portion of the bulk, and adding some liquid beef stock (or water) for the chili's stock-making.
...then add softened beans and/or diced tomato if you are using them.
...then allowing the whole thing to simmer as low as possible, stirring occasionally, until tender with thick stock, but not mushy. Total cooking time with this method is probably around 2 hours if you're organized about it.
NOTES:
-Toasted cornmeal is an effective thickener when it has time to work, and darker toasting will give a richer coffee-like affect with a slight bitter that sets off the spicy, sweet whole. (You can even throw in a little instant coffee to get some mysterious dark flavor undertones, or brew some coffee grounds in a saucepan with your water/stock and strain it off before adding the stock to the chili.)
-Dry beans that are softened at home will give better texture than canned beans, if you choose to use them at all, but it isn't such a big deal that it's always worth the extra time.
-Whether or not to use tomato is one of those arguments that chili fanatics will never agree upon, so pick your own ground on that one. I am against using much tomato, personally, but that's just my taste. Fresh, thick-diced tomato without seeds is infinitely favorable to canned in any case. Canned tomato is abomination.
-For dried/ground spices, I like stuff like chipotle and ancho powders, paprika for richness, granulated garlic and onion as boosters, basil, coriander, some black pepper -- even a little touch of cinnamon and/or turmeric if I want to get exotic. I add a little sugar and/or honey to most stews like this to bring out the flavors and smooth the texture.
-A variety of bell pepper colors add to both the appearance and flavor of your chili. If you go cheap and just use green bell peppers, you can get a sour overtone. Adding a mix of red, yellow, and orange bells really help.
-Once it has simmered to basic tenderness, the chili should not be brought to boil again, just reheated enough to make a semi-steamy bowl-full. If you boil it again you will get mushiness and more sour flavors as sugars break down.
-A really good chili should have some chew left to it that isn't just meat gristle. No one needs slimy-goo bell peppers.
-Shredded cheese and sour cream at the table can add tasty richness and help cut some of the burn of a really spicy chili.

I know this isn't an exact recipe (I pretty much cook by "throw" at this point), but I hope that helps you in some way :)
In case you didn't realize it, I DO have a sense of humor. How about you?
"I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer... I will face my fear. I will let it pass over and through me, and when it has gone, only I will remain." --The Bene Gesserit
"Time is a spiral. Space is a curve. I know you get dizzy, but try not to lose your nerve." -- Neil Peart
"I'm not in the ship. I am the ship." -- River Tam
"The truth is simple. It's the lies that get complicated." -- me
"No matter where you go, there you are." --Buckaroo Banzai
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Re: RECIPES

Postby PKMKII on Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:37 am

Arkaeon wrote:Fresh, thick-diced tomato without seeds is infinitely favorable to canned in any case. Canned tomato is abomination.


Okay, this is true if you're getting local, farm fresh tomatoes when they're in season. However, most tomatoes in the grocery store (ESPECIALLY this time of year) are hothouse monstrosities that are picked when they're unripe and then artificially ripened with ethylene, have horribly thick skin, and tasteless, pale flesh. They're bred for transit and shelf life, not flavor. Whereas the canned tomatoes, because they're not getting shipped, can be made with better tomatoes.
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Henri Poincaré
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Re: RECIPES

Postby bacon on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:27 am

PKMKII wrote:I like to use pickled mild green peppers at least. You can get cans of diced tomatoes with the peppers already in, or just buy a tin of them in the mexican food section. If you want things spicier, you can also throw in one adobo pepper (just make sure to take it out before serving). Hot sauces can work as well.


Pickled green peppers . . . hmmm . . . I never tried that in my chili before, but I'll give it a shot.

PKMKII wrote:On meat thing: if your office is full of Texas ex-pats, they would see ground meat as blasphemy. If it's just Jerseyites, then they'd probably be confused by cubes.


Yeah, you are probably right about that, so I think I may have to do the ground meat so nobody wonders why I made a "stew." Personally, I prefer the chunks of meat.

Arkaeon wrote:The crock will tend to give you a mushy texture with ubiquitously indistinct flavor, and may come off with a generally "canned food" outcome.


A good point, in the end it will have to be in the crock pot though . . . rules of the contest. We can't bring in anything else to keep our food warm. However, nothing says that I have to make the entire dish in it, but I can use it to reheat.

Arkaeon wrote:The best chilis I've had involved starting by braising the meat (cubed!) with about 1/2 of the spices and the oil on high heat. This drives extra spice into the meat and tenderizes it, making for extra-zingy meat chunks. By searing the outside of the meat chunks on high heat, you help keep them from dissolving during the simmer stage at the end.


Yes, I agree! Cubed meat is so much better, but I'm going to have to defer to PK's advice about Jersey-ites (especially this backwoods part of Jersey that I work in). So we're going to stick with the ground meat - a bummer for the taste buds, but we're looking to win one for the FSM!

Arkaeon wrote:...then adding skillet-toasted cornmeal for thickener and adding/braising the vegetables that are intended to dissolve mostly into the stock, including most of the hotter fresh raw chili peppers (most or all of the onion, garlic, and chili peppers like pasilla, anaheim, jalepeno, bird, serrano, cayenne). You can add some worcestershire sauce or reduced red wine/juice at this point if you want some dark-roasty or fruity undertones. You have to stir/scrape vigorously at high heat to get this stage to work right without burning, until the vegetable juices stabilize the cornmeal. There will be a lot of spicy steam.
...if you are using dried/crumbled chilis or basil, they can go in now to soften a bit in the high heat. You can also add some beef stock base if you want to pump up the meat flavor.
...then adding whatever other raw vegetables (including perhaps some strip-cut onion) and the rest of the spices that are intended to remain as chunks and top-flavor in the final bowl, including the milder bell-, california-, and poblano-type peppers that should make up a large portion of the bulk, and adding some liquid beef stock (or water) for the chili's stock-making.
...then add softened beans and/or diced tomato if you are using them.
...then allowing the whole thing to simmer as low as possible, stirring occasionally, until tender with thick stock, but not mushy. Total cooking time with this method is probably around 2 hours if you're organized about it.


I like a lot of the ideas in here, especially using Worcestershire sauce - my secret hamburger ingredient (shhhh... don't tell anyone, they're still trying to figure that one out). Cornmeal and fresh peppers are definitely in.

Thinking this over, I almost think that I want to caramelize the onions. I've done that for quesadillas in the past and it always tastes awesome with the spiciness.

Arkaeon wrote:NOTES:
-Toasted cornmeal is an effective thickener when it has time to work, and darker toasting will give a richer coffee-like affect with a slight bitter that sets off the spicy, sweet whole. (You can even throw in a little instant coffee to get some mysterious dark flavor undertones, or brew some coffee grounds in a saucepan with your water/stock and strain it off before adding the stock to the chili.)


Hmmm . . . coffee . . . hmmm . . . . I like that.

Arkaeon wrote:-Dry beans that are softened at home will give better texture than canned beans, if you choose to use them at all, but it isn't such a big deal that it's always worth the extra time.


I'll think about it, but I've never had the patience for the dry bean route.

Arkaeon wrote:-Whether or not to use tomato is one of those arguments that chili fanatics will never agree upon, so pick your own ground on that one. I am against using much tomato, personally, but that's just my taste. Fresh, thick-diced tomato without seeds is infinitely favorable to canned in any case. Canned tomato is abomination.


I've always used tomato in my chili, and basing on the people who will be tasting this chili, I think I'll be adding that in.

Arkaeon wrote:-For dried/ground spices, I like stuff like chipotle and ancho powders, paprika for richness, granulated garlic and onion as boosters, basil, coriander, some black pepper -- even a little touch of cinnamon and/or turmeric if I want to get exotic. I add a little sugar and/or honey to most stews like this to bring out the flavors and smooth the texture.


Yes, definitely those spices. What about a little cumin?

Arkaeon wrote:-A variety of bell pepper colors add to both the appearance and flavor of your chili. If you go cheap and just use green bell peppers, you can get a sour overtone. Adding a mix of red, yellow, and orange bells really help.


Yes! Definitely a mix of peppers! I love mixing them up.

Arkaeon wrote:-Shredded cheese and sour cream at the table can add tasty richness and help cut some of the burn of a really spicy chili.


That's being supplied by the company, so we're good there!

Arkaeon wrote:I know this isn't an exact recipe (I pretty much cook by "throw" at this point), but I hope that helps you in some way :)


I hear ya. That's pretty much how I cook too. Usually I start out not having any idea what I'm going to make and next thing you know I've created a something awesome with no clue how it even got started. Chili was never something I made on a regular basis, so a "recipe" has never really formed itself.

Tangent -- The other day I wanted to make a spicy chicken and pepper dish. Although it came out scrumptious (I can list ingredients if you want for this simple one pan meal), I bought the wrong peppers while I was at the store. so my spicy chicken wasn't so spicy. Really it's a crap shoot with me when it comes to making spicy dishes. I either overkill it for most people (because I like my spicy stuff to be really, Really, REALLY spicy) or I under do it because I'm cooking for others.

PKMKII wrote:Okay, this is true if you're getting local, farm fresh tomatoes when they're in season. However, most tomatoes in the grocery store (ESPECIALLY this time of year) are hothouse monstrosities that are picked when they're unripe and then artificially ripened with ethylene, have horribly thick skin, and tasteless, pale flesh. They're bred for transit and shelf life, not flavor. Whereas the canned tomatoes, because they're not getting shipped, can be made with better tomatoes.


I think when it comes to the final chili, I'll head over to the farm for the veggies. They always have an awesome selection of fresh stuff that beats any grocery store, even this time of year. I know that they are importing the off season stuff, but their buyer is really good.


Thanks for your help! Keep the advice coming and as I try out things and the day gets closer, I'll keep everyone up to date on our chili.

Speaking of which, the cook off will be on February 13th.
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Re: RECIPES

Postby Arkaeon on Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:29 pm

Cumin, right! I knew I was leaving off something really obvious from the spice list, lol.

It sounds like you have your preferences and audience well in grasp. I like your idea of making the chili first then using the crock mostly as a final serving/warmer dish. I guess it depends on how much time you have to spend on the whole deal.

If you use a system like I described, you can get the onions to caramelize quite nicely in the hot-braise stage right after the meat. You can even pull out the meat temporarily before braising those first veggies. It's all your call, of course.
In case you didn't realize it, I DO have a sense of humor. How about you?
"I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer... I will face my fear. I will let it pass over and through me, and when it has gone, only I will remain." --The Bene Gesserit
"Time is a spiral. Space is a curve. I know you get dizzy, but try not to lose your nerve." -- Neil Peart
"I'm not in the ship. I am the ship." -- River Tam
"The truth is simple. It's the lies that get complicated." -- me
"No matter where you go, there you are." --Buckaroo Banzai
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Re: RECIPES

Postby bacon on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:25 pm

Well, we didn't win the contest, but we did get a nifty apron that was well worth it!

Here is what the logo looked like:

Image

There are some rumblings that the votes were wrong because all of the food was out of numerical order, but regardless I had a lot of fun whipping together a chili for this event. I did use a special secret ingredient which I highly recommend . . . of course I'm not going to give it away unless you really want to know . . .
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Re: RECIPES

Postby Arkaeon on Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:17 pm

I really want to know! Please please please tell me your secret ingredient! I will treasure the knowlege and hug it and love it and call it George!-

(Pythonesque 2-ton hammer comes from offstage and bonks Arkaeon down.)

Seriously, I would love to hear your inspiration. Traditional jealousies among cooks have almost run down the art among the general population, until most people are content to eat what are essentially leftovers in a cardboard box, and the box probably tastes better. We few who are left must keep the tradition of organic alchemy alive amongst ourselves by sharing creativity-

(Pythonesque 2-ton hammer comes from offstage and bonks Arkaeon down, again.)

Um... and the winner is?
In case you didn't realize it, I DO have a sense of humor. How about you?
"I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer... I will face my fear. I will let it pass over and through me, and when it has gone, only I will remain." --The Bene Gesserit
"Time is a spiral. Space is a curve. I know you get dizzy, but try not to lose your nerve." -- Neil Peart
"I'm not in the ship. I am the ship." -- River Tam
"The truth is simple. It's the lies that get complicated." -- me
"No matter where you go, there you are." --Buckaroo Banzai
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Re: RECIPES

Postby bacon on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:06 pm

:lol:
I don't know why I do it, but I guess I sometimes figure that what I have to say wouldn't be interesting - hence - sometimes I write posts that say - "Let me know if you want to know." Just my own esteem issues.

Anyway, going off of the idea that I wasn't going to use beef cubes but ground beef to appease the office-folk I decided to use --- drum roll please --- ground sausage. Texture and flavor was wonderfully terrific.

I kept the chili somewhat mild by only using a couple of chili peppers and a couple teaspoons of chili powder. In the end, I came up with my Italian-Style Chili which was more heavy on the garlic than the hotness.
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Re: RECIPES

Postby PKMKII on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:58 pm

I recently made Asian-style braised shortribs, and I think that cut might make sense for a chili. Let them simmmer in there for hours, get that marrow flavor in there, then before serving cut the meat off the bone, chop in up, and put it back in the chili. I shall report back if said idea works.
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan

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Re: RECIPES

Postby bacon on Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:02 am

I love short ribs. Now I'm wondering if an Asian style chili would be yummily.

I think I forgot to mention that I someone at the chili cook-off had used ox-tail for their creation. It was pretty good. I had never ox-tail before, and if I wasn't told that I would have sworn that it was pulled-pork.
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Re: RECIPES

Postby widowhelaine on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:06 pm

OK, folks...2nd post from the Widow...hope you like it...

PORCUPINE MEATBALLS

1 pound full-fat ground beef (OR) 50/50 beef/bison
3/4--> 1 cup pre-cooked or instant rice (white or brown)
salt/pepper/garlic to taste
chopped onion to taste (fresh or dried)
1 egg
1 can tomato SOUP (not sauce/paste!)
half can water

And now, for the magic...

Mix all ingredients but soup & water (with hands, of course). Mix soup & water in bottom of appropriate cooking vessel. Form your favorite sized meatballs and drop into soup mixture. Cook until done in the middle. This orgasmically good entree may be done in a crock pot, oven, pressure cooker. Microwaving yields less-than-optimal results. IMHO, the best way to eat this is with potatoes (apologies to our noodly savior...) baked or mashed, pouring the resulting sauce over the spuds. (searching for a better euphemism than "orgasmic"...) To feed the hungry masses, multiply the recipe keeping the ratios.
My mother always preferred to prepare this for my requested birthday dinner because it's cheap and easy...my sibs all wanted steak!
And...regale your dinner companions with tales of your adventure hunting the porcupine meat...

Enjoy, my fellow pastafarians, a brief venture into the worlds of alternate carb deliciousness...

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Re: RECIPES

Postby Almighty Doer of Stuff on Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:26 am

widowhelaine wrote:PORCUPINE MEATBALLS

1 pound full-fat ground beef (OR) 50/50 beef/bison


Here's a recipe from me!

CHOCOLATE CAT MILK

2 cups cow's milk (OR) 50/50 cow's/sheep's milk
NesQuik mix

Pour milk into a glass. Add desired amount of NesQuik. Stir until dissolved.

And...regale your companions with stories of how you drugged your nursing cat and stole her milk, causing her kittens to starve. Then keep all the chocolate milk for yourself!

:nefyoobash:
!!!@#@#@#@#@!!! CAUTION: THIS PERSON DOES NOT KNOW WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT. DISREGARD ANY APPEALS TO AUTHORITY, EXPERIENCE, OR ROMANTIC PROWESS. ANY CORRECT INFORMATION YOU RECEIVE FROM THIS MAN IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. !!!@#@#@#@#@!!!
-------------------------------
The Almighty Website of Stuff
-------------------------------
Download The Loose Canon, a deliciously holy book compiled by members of Our Noodly Lord's congregation!
-------------------------------
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Re: RECIPES

Postby skyweir on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:01 pm

Made a seafood pasta last night- prawn and scallops (with smoked salmon, as the prawns were not top grade). Mrs S, who's not greatly fond of seafood, reckons it is good.


2 onions, chopped fairly small
3 cloves garlic, crushed in garlic press
2 leeks, chopped medium
200gr bacon, chopped small
1 capsicum, chopped small
3 tomatoes, chopped small
200gr scallops, halved (frozen are ok)
200gr prawns, cut into 1/3’s (use the best you can get; if not good & fresh, then also use 100gr smoked salmon torn into small pieces)
300gr cream
salt
pepper
small handful of parsley, small handful of chives, and ½ handful of oregano chopped together
several splashes of white wine
pasta

In olive oil, fry onions & garlic for a minute or two, then add leeks, bacon and capsicum. Cook on medium heat , stirring frequently, adding a splash of white wine to keep moist at any point.
Add tomatoes after about 15 minutes.
Add scallops and prawns after about 25 minutes, then add a pinch of salt, and pepper to preference.
Add cream after about 30 minutes, then reduce a bit on higher heat if needed while stirring often (about 5 to 10 minutes, or until fluids thicken and darken slightly). Add smoked salmon (if needed) while reducing.

Meanwhile, boil pasta.

Add pasta to sauce, stir chopped herbs through, and serve.



I prefer short pasta, especially penne- but it should work with any.
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