Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by TacAir » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:43 pm

I just put on five pounds reading this!

Thanks for the post...
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Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:03 pm

I made Irish Stew yesterday and it was even more delicious today :)
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It's the traditional Irish recipe (there aren't really exact quantities, instead you put in an amount of each ingredient to your taste) which has these following ingredients.
Lamb (either leg steaks which are leaner, or shoulder chops with the bone still intact for extra bone marrow goodness) I used 6 leg steaks but you can add as much lamb as you want.
Water enough to cover the lamb and onions.
Onions sliced not cubed.
Carrots sliced.
Potatoes peeled and cut into quarters.

Method
I put the lamb in a big saucepan and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
Then I put in the onion slices and added enough water to cover them.
I brought this to the boil, reduced it to a slow simmer and simmered them for approx 4 hours, keeping the saucepan lid on to preserve the liquid.
I then added the potatoes and carrots, turned the heat up a little and let them cook till soft. About 20 minutes before the end I took off the lid to reduce the liquid a little and concentrate the flavour.
That's it, to serve ladel the stew into a big bowl and enjoy.
You do not thicken the stew with gravy powder or cornflour and the juices should be clear, but on the second or third day you can add more potatoes.
This is the way Irish Stew is made in Ireland but you can adapt it however you wish if it's too rustic this way :)
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:07 pm

Zucchini pizzas, for when you're too lazy to make real dinner but want to make leftovers more interesting. Adapted from The Best of Bon Appetit (seriously you guys, I love this cookbook).

Take a number of zucchinis. I have four large ones, but that seems like a lot, now that I have them cut up. Cut off the stems and whatnot. Slice each one in half across the shortways the cut ends should be full circles, not half circles. Then cut each half into thirds, longways, so you get flat strips of zucchini. I hope that was clear.

Turn your oven to broil. Put the pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put pizza sauce (or pasta sauce, or whatever else), Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese, and any toppings on each zucchini.

Broil them for like 3-5 minutes (4 works for me, pretty much). The cheese should melt and bubble, but the zucchini should still be fairly crisp.

That's it! I'll post a picture later. :D

NOTES: I should have broiled mine less, because there's like two inches clearance between the flame and the food. Some cheese got a bit burnt. Also I wasn't paying attention and unscrewed the lid to the Italian seasoning and had kind of a seasoning explosion. Otherwise, they're good, and not very calorie-dense. Success!
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:39 pm

Here's a recipe I am currently all about, because it is delicious. As usual, adapted from The Best of Bon Appetit. The original recipe is for 12 people but I don't own any cookware that is even sort of large enough to hold that much food, so I cut it in half and it fills my 6 qt casserole most of the way up. So... this is the halved version. Double it if you're trying to feed a small army of people.

Ratatouille with sausage

1 large eggplant, cut into more or less bite-sized pieces
4 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced. Or quartered lengthwise, if the zucchinis are large.
Flour
Olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
4 minced garlic cloves (less if you aren't a huge fan of garlic, more if you are. I love garlic, so I went with a bunch)
3 bell peppers, whatever color you feel is festive, diced
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips. I can't be bothered to peel them, but the easy way to do it is to boil water, stick the tomato in the boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute, then drop them into cold water. The skin will peel right off when you go to cut them. But I can't be assed, so screw it, there are tomato peels in my ratatouille.
Parsley
Oregano
Rosemary
Thyme
Basil
Salt and pepper
6-8 sweet or mild Italian sausages, but andouille sausage was tasty last time I used it


First off, once you've cut up your eggplant, put it in a strainer and salt it vigorously, making sure the salt gets everywhere. Let it sit for at least half an hour, but up to an hour is fine. Through the magic of osmosis, liquid and also bitterness comes out, so you'll have a pool of water, mildly dessicated eggplants, and life will be grand. Rinse them with water thoroughly once you're done, or you will die of salt poisoning. They'll still be a little salty, but nothing egregious. This is apparently not something you need to do for smaller, younger eggplants, but I've had good luck with using this method for the ones I get at the store.

Dredge your zucchini and eggplant in flour. I sometimes skip this step (because mostly I seem to end up with all the flour in the pan, not stuck to the veggies. It doesn't seem to make a big difference) but sometimes I don't. Anyway, floured or not, put some olive oil in a pan, heat it up, and saute the eggplant and zucchinis in batches over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per batch. I just kind of wait until they look softish but not fully cooked, and call them good from there. You do whatever you're comfortable with. Drain them on paper towels once they're done, to soak up grease and pull what remains of the flour off to stick onto the paper towels (that last bit isn't necessary, it's just what seems to happen).

Saute your onion and bell peppers until they're starting to get soft, then throw your garlic in and keep cooking for a minute or so. You should end up with soft, starting to be translucent onions, and softish but not fully cooked peppers.

Somewhere back there you should have preheated your oven to 350*. Take a 6 quart casserole or dutch oven type dealie (I love my enameled dutch oven for these types of meals, but I have used an oven-safe ceramic Crock Pot insert, and you could probably use some other sort of container, but I don't know what it would do to your cooking times) and layer the sauteed vegetables, tomatoes, and seasonings (to taste, really. I don't measure, I just put in whatever seems like a reasonable amount at the time, and hope. Maybe a tbs at least of each? You could be more sensible about it) in it. Stir it gently to mix up all the layers, then cover and bake for somewhere between 20 and 35 minutes. The recipe says 35, but I halved it, and also the oven heats things weirdly, so I kind of... guess. 20 has worked for me, and this isn't a precision sort of recipe.

MEANWHILE. Get your sausage and brown it deliciously in the pan. Don't worry about cooking it all the way through, you're just browning the outside. Put it on paper towels to drain and cool a bit. Once you are no longer concerned about finger burns, cut the sausages into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Saute the slices in batches in the pan, maybe 2-3 minutes for each side. Ish. They should be pretty much cooked, but they're going in the oven after this so it isn't the worst thing in the world if they aren't perfectly done.

After the vegetables are done baking for however long you decided to bake them for, add the sausage. Stir it into the veggies, being careful not to macerate everything. You can save some of the sausage and make a layer of them on top of the rest of the food, but I don't bother, generally. If you're feeling fancy, go for it. Put the pot back in the oven, uncovered, for about 15 or 20 minutes. I stir it halfway through, because that is the sort of appeasement-based magic I do to make the oven work right, but it probably isn't necessary. Then it's done!




This takes me about 2 hours total to make (I'm very slow at prep work, so if you're better maybe it will take less time), but it's delicious and worth it. Also, serve it with some sort of crusty bread. It's fantastic like that, but just served as is it's still amazing.
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:26 pm

China Honey Pork and Greens

It's a soup, from (everyone with me now) The Best of Bon Appetit. Very tasty.


1 3lb boneless pork butt or shoulder, tied
3 tbs honey
2 tbs peanut oil
6 cups cold water 3 cups water, 3 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
3 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper
3 lbs bok choy (aka Chinese cabbage)
4 cups brown rice (or however much, but this seemed reasonable, and also is how much is in a box of rice)

Place meat in large heavy kettle or Dutch oven and cover with cold water. Heat to boiling, then cover and simmer 1 hour. Drain off water and Screw all that, this all sounds like how you get tasteless meat. Instead, just dry (the raw) meat. Rub roast with honey.

Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add meat and brown well on all sides. Add water/broth, wine, sugar, red pepper, soy sauce, and white pepper. Cover tightly and simmer about 2 hours, or until meat is very tender, turning occasionally.

MEANWHILE, trim off and discard solid ends of bok choy. Cut the remaining pieces crosswise, slicing tender top portions into 1.5 inch pieces and heavy lower portions into 1 inch pieces.

Once cooked, take meat out of pot, place on a plate and remove strings. Keep meat warm.

Heat liquid in pot to boiling. Add greens and cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Slice off portions of meat, and put that, some greens, a spoonful of rice, and a ladle of broth in each bowl. Pass soy sauce and more white pepper, if wanted.


This is pretty damn tasty. The broth is fairly sweet, but not in an overpowering way. I might use a bit less sugar next time, and I definitely want to add some garlic because I think it will make the tastes even better. There was a bit of trouble browning the meat, in that I started to make caramel, which started to burn, but overall it worked out quite well. It's pretty calorific, but that's mostly down to the pork shoulder being a fatty cut. Next time I will probably use a leaner cut of meat, and see how that does. As a bonus, there's very little actively doing anything for this recipe- it took 2.5 hours to make, but over 2 were spent just sitting on the couch ignoring it, so it's nicely low-effort.

A note for people unfamiliar with bok choy- it grows sort of like a lettuce, so do it like you would lettuce. There's a thick stem portion, which you cut off, and then you have a bunch of leaves on white stalks. The stalks are good to eat, you just don't want the actual stem bit in your food.


Edit: I made this again, but put about two tbs of miso paste in the broth, as well as a fair amount of garlic (three spoonfuls of precut garlic from a jar). This was a brilliantly delicious decision. Use less if you've got fresh garlic, since the taste is stronger. I also used a pork loin instead of a shoulder. Apparently that was wrong, because loin isn't fatty enough to stay moist in soups. I ended up putting the pot in the oven to simmer between 275 and 300* for an hour and a half instead of on the stove, because temperature is easier to control that way. It was covered tightly the whole time, because that is what the internet said I had to do. The end result was meat that wasn't dry, but wasn't falling apart moist and tender like last time, either. Still probably worth it for the calorie reduction.

So, miso paste and garlic, wonderful additions. Pork loin instead of shoulder, ehhhh decision but it basically was OK.
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:56 pm

Appropriated from Beowolf, because this looks delicious.
Beowolf wrote:
shrapnel wrote:Got a recipe?
(I'm assuming you were aiming that at me...)

Banana Bread
yields one (1) 9"x5" loaf

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (1/2 white, 1/2 brown)
1 medium to large egg
5 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and margarine. Beat the egg slightly and mix into the creamed mixture with the bananas and one teaspoon vanilla. Mix in sifted ingredients until just combined. Stir in milk and nuts. Spread batter into one greased and floured 9x5" loaf pan.
3. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until top is brown and cracks along top. When I toothpick is inserted into the middle and comes out clean, the loaf is done.
====================
Some notes I'll add:
a) I put ingredients in step 1 into a Tupperware and use a whisk to gently combine (just press in and turn; repeat until you feel it's good enough). This begins the process of mixing, but it will ensure more evenly distributed ingredients.
b) I've found that stirring everything by just using a spatula results in a much fluffier bread than using a mixer (make a big oval shaped stir at a 45 degree angle). If you have a low speed mixer, you'll likely get close to the same result, but a little forearm exercise is always good for a baker.
c) Baking time will vary with elevation and oven temperature consistency. I usually set my timer for 50-55 minutes and do the toothpick check (bamboo skewers work awesome for this), adding five minutes as necessary, until I have a better idea of the time it will take. I've had loaves bake as quickly as 50 and as long as 75. Regular checking will pay off--trust me. Here in Virginia, I set for 60 to start and usually only need to add another 5 minutes.

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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:42 am

Ajiaco. From you know where, The Best of Bon Appetit. It's a Colombian soup, which I love, although it takes a while to make. I have Thoughts on how to make it a bit less work, though, so I will be making it again. Often. Because it is magnificent. Bits I skipped are crossed out, edits are in italics. I would encourage trying it the way it's written, because sometimes I am wrong, but what I did worked for me. I'd never cooked a whole chicken before, so yay for learning experiences. This looks a lot more complicated than it actually is, so read the recipe carefully before you decide to never make it.


5 lb roasting chicken, cut into serving pieces or a fryer, I don't know the difference and I panicked and grabbed whatever. Chicken pieces, I think is the point
Water
Chicken broth or Better than Bouillon, which is objectively better than broth
1 stalk celery with leaves I hate celery, so no celery
1 large onion, peeled and quartered sliced kind of thin, except for two or three tbs minced onion reserved for the Aji sauce
2 bay leaves
1 large sprig of parsley or an indeterminate amount of dried parsley
4 tbs cumin
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered eighthed- quartered seemed too big
6 ears fresh corn
3-6 ripe avocados, scooped into balls or chopped into 1/2 inch pieces because I lack a melon baller and it wasn't working with a spoon
1 cup whipping cream I didn't bother, because it tasted wonderful without it. You could, though. Or use milk, I don't know. A different recipe said half cream, half sour cream. It seems to be fairly variable.
1/2 cup drained capers still didn't bother
4 chopped hardboiled eggs are you sensing a theme? Didn't bother
Aji sauce*


Cover chicken with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Drain liquid and rinse chicken pieces. I don't know what the point of this step was, so I ignored it. First, I sauteed my onions, because I prefer that in soups. Not all the way, just until they were translucent, not transparent. Then I took them out of the pot and browned the chicken pieces in batches, because as far as I know that's how you get a good rich flavor. I might have been supposed to rinse the chicken first, though. It worked out, whatever I did.

Put chicken in the pot with six eleven, because the chicken wasn't covered and the veggies couldn't move around cups cold water and six tsp of Better than Bouillon. Or you could do six cups chicken broth and the rest water, or whatever, celery, onion, bay leaves, parsley, cumin, salt, pepper, and four potatoes worth of your potato pieces. Cover, bring to boil, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 3/4 to 1 hour.

At this point I realized that my potatoes weren't cooked, and this was a problem (I have had issues in the past with my chicken being tough because I overheated it, so I was conservative with the heat, but apparently the potatoes weren't happy). Ever the problem solver, I fished them out and stuck them in a pot of boiling water until they were soft and cooked. No potato is going to get the best of me, damnit. I left the chicken in the main pot at its simmer, because what the hell. It worked out well, but the end result was that it got cooked for maybe 2 hours. It didn't seem to be a problem, at least. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and potatoes from respective pots. Strain broth, removing excess fat from top. Return broth to pot ain't nobody got time for that. It's fine. Mash cooked potatoes and stir into broth. Skin and bone chicken, leaving meat in large pieces again, do they think I'm made out of spare time? People eating the soup can debone their own damn chicken. It's more authentic, or that's what I'm claiming. Add uncooked potatoes to broth. Cover and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. I already had boiling potato water, so I just stuck the uncooked potatoes in that and boiled them heartily until they were cooked. Much faster.

Cut kernels from 3 ears of corn with all the extra broth I added, four or five ears worth of corn would have been better. There wasn't much corn by volume. Slice remaining corn crosswise into pieces 2 inches thick. When potatoes are tender, add chicken and all corn to broth. Cook until corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning with cumin, salt, and pepper. Remove bay leaves, if desired.

Ladle into wide soup plates, placing a piece of corn and a piece of potato into each. Serve avocado balls on the side. Pass a pitcher of cream and bowls of capers, eggs, and aji sauce for people to add however they want. Like I said, I just did avocados and aji sauce, and that was great. You can go fancier. Eat the corn on the cob with your fingers.


*Aji sauce
2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley or 1? tsp of dried parsley
6 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs minced green onion, white part only or the reserved minced onion from the soup. I did that because I forgot to get green onions, and it worked out great
1.5 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or more, if you want the sauce hotter. I would use more, personally)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with a fork.



So. This was really tasty. In the future, I might just use already de-boned chicken, because it seems like less of a hassle. The potatoes worked much better being cooked separately, so that's cool. The first time I try a recipe it's always a bit of a scramble, but I think it will go smoother next time. Everyone had seconds or thirds, so I take that as a Seal of Approval and will be making it more.

PS: the internet says it isn't authentic ajiaco if you don't use papas criollas (which are a potato variety that is apparently really hard to find outside of Colombia) and guasca (which is some sort of herb that resembles oregano), but I have neither of those things, so this is a Frenchified Americanized version.
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shrapnel wrote:Darling, I would never fondle your sphenoid.
Dr. Cox wrote: People aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings.
JamesCannon wrote:Shrapnel, if you were a superhero, you'd be Captain Buzzkill Peener Pain.

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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:32 pm

Thankyou for the recipes, the pig butt sounds particularly tasty :mrgreen:
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Thu May 14, 2015 8:26 pm

New soup, served with a really tasty chicken recipe that I'll post after thus one. The soup... You know where it's from. The Best of Bon Appetit, that's where.

I doubled the recipe, and threw in an extra avocado, because it seemed tasty. Otherwise, mostly I did as it was written.

Avocado Senegalese Soup

1 chopped sliced is fine, you're blending it anyway onion
1 stalk minced just cut into pieces, you're blending it anyway celery
2 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
2 tsp curry powder
1 tart green apple, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken both
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 cup light cream or half and half
Salt, to taste

Sauté onion and celery in butter until limp and translucent.

Stir in flour and curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly blended.

Add chopped apple and 2 cups of chicken broth, stirring to blend. Cook over low heat until apples are soft.

Transfer mixture to blender or food processor. Add chopped avocado and whirl until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, add remaining chicken broth and cream. Stir thoroughly. Add salt to taste. Chill.

Serve garnished with thin slices of avocado and a dusting of toasted coconut. Or don't. I skipped that bit.


Like I said, I added an extra avocado. I also mixed some of the sauce from this next recipe in my soup bowl, and that was a brilliant idea.

Grilled Chicken with Soy-Lime Sauce, from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/ ... sauce-4809

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbs minced garlic, or more because I love garlic
1 tbs minced peeled ginger or zested. I used my microplane zester dealie for that
1.5 tsp curry powder
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 small onion, sliced I skipped it. Whatever, it was still tasty
1 cup chicken broth
Nonstick spray

Whisk first 5 ingredients to blend in 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add chicken and onion. Cover and let marinate at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate up to 3 hours, turning chicken occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Remove chicken from marinade. Strain marinade into medium saucepan; add broth. Boil until sauce coats spoon, about 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, spray chicken with vegetable oil spray. Grill or broil until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to platter.


Absolutely delicious. The two dishes work very well together, and I'll be making this again.
OTTB wrote:"What's that you're wearing?"
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shrapnel wrote:Darling, I would never fondle your sphenoid.
Dr. Cox wrote: People aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings.
JamesCannon wrote:Shrapnel, if you were a superhero, you'd be Captain Buzzkill Peener Pain.

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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:00 pm

Beans and rice, for when you can't be fucked to go to the store for much, but you have preps and a few fresh veggies. It's delicious, filling, and makes a lot of food. I use canned stuff mostly, but you can use dried whatever, if that's how you prefer to roll. Sub out veggie broth and use different rice and you can make it vegan, should you want.


Beans

4 cans of black beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes with chilies
2 cans corn, drained
1 large white onion, sliced
1 can of Busch beer. You could use a different shitty beer, or use a bottle, but I maintain that Busch in a can is the best for this use. The size if the can doesn't seem to matter- large or regular is fine.
Better than bouillon, chicken or vegetable base. You could use broth, but you'll get more of a soup than a beans. Bullion cubes might work also.
Whatever vegetables you have. I like to put in a couple of diced bell peppers, sometimes I put in carrots, sometimes jalapeños, whatever. Sometimes I don't.
Minced garlic to taste. At least two cloves, more if you like garlic.
Cumin
Coriander
2 bay leaves
Chili powder
Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Take a big soup pot. Heat the oil up, and sauté the onion until it is translucent. Throw in the garlic for about 30 seconds, then add the beer, beans, corn, tomatoes, whatever veggies you're using, and however much bullion is appropriate for the volume of beer you used. Add the spices to taste. I like things spicy, so I use at least 1-2 tsp of everything, sometimes more if I'm bored.

Stir everything up, and simmer for half an hour or so. When the veggies are cooked, you're good to go.


Rice
1 8 oz package of Vigo yellow rice. I usually make my own, but for this yellow rice is the way to go. It isn't vegetarian, though, so beware.
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 can corn, drained
1 can of Busch in a can
If you used 12 oz beer, 4 oz water, because you need 16 oz to cook the rice.
However much bouillon you need for two cups of liquid
Minced garlic to taste, at least one clove

Combine the liquids, garlic, and cans. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, continue to boil while stirring a bit for one minute, then cover and bring down to a simmer for 20-25 minutes. Just follow the directions on the rice package, using the cans and beer and whatnot as the boiling water.


Put the rice in a bowl, put beans on top of it, and I like to garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, and vinegar. You figure something out.
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by bacpacjac » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:42 pm

YUM! That sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:50 am

Quesadillas! Adapted from this recipe. http://www.budgetbytes.com/2012/02/hear ... esadillas/ Feeds... Dunno, 8? people.

2 cans black beans, drained
2 cans corn, drained
1 onion, diced
A tbs dried cilantro, or more fresh (chopped finely). Whatever works
A clove of minced garlic, or more if you like garlic
Taco seasoning*
1 lb Monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast or whatever is on sale. Or not, the chicken is optional
Garlic powder
Cumin
Coriander
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
16 or so tortilla shells, not the huge ones but not the tiny ones.


Combine the first seven ingredients in a big bowl. No need to stir yet.

Get a skillet. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and a bit of salt on both sides of the chicken breasts, then cook over medium heat until mostly cooked through. Let them rest for about 5 minutes to cool, then shred them. Put more spices on the shredded chicken, and cook the rest of the way through in the skillet.

Mix the chicken in with your bowl of ingredients. Stir everything thoroughly.

Cover half a tortilla with the filling, fold it over so you have a half circle dealie, and cook in the skillet, flipping over once, until both sides are browned, crispy, and the cheese has melted. Repeat as many times as you have people and/or tortillas. Top with sour cream and/or salsa, if you want.


That's pretty much it. I eat one or maaaayyyybe two, the menfolk each eat three or four, and they're very filling.










*I use Alton Brown's taco potion #19 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alto ... ecipe.html, without the corn starch

Taco Potion #19:
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly. That's it, really.
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by duodecima » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:36 pm

Review of Ajiaco (found here viewtopic.php?f=50&t=81223&start=72#p2582412)

Short Version - that stuff is really, really great! Probably a couple ways to make it less fussy, even, I'm going to work on those. Also Aji Sauce - is a MUST. Takes this from an interesting but rather bland thick chicken soup to WOW! And I have to put in my plug for the capers, they turn out to be WOW in this as well. Cream, avocado, and eggs are all nice but I could take them or leave them as long as I had Aji and capers. Also, it's sweet corn season, and the chunks of fresh sweet corn were much more amazing than the kernels. In winter, I might just dump in a lot of kernels.

Longer version - I started out with Shrap's order of things - sauted onion briefly, browned chicken. I did half boneless skinless breasts and half boneless skinless thighs because lazy. Also I tend to have these in the freezer. Then put all the chicken in, added about 3.5c homemade chicken stock (because that's what I have) followed by enough water to cover chicken &veggies (about 5c.) I goggled a bit at 4TABLESPOONS of cumin, but no, that was very good. I'm tempted to toast the cumin first next time to pop the flavor up a bit. I like celery so I diced and added 3 stalks (1 stalk? Why bother?) Frankly I'm not sure it had much impact. I used fresh parsley, just droped 3-4 stalks with leaves in. (Since you're going to pull them out, could actually just used the stalks no leaves if you needed to conserve parsely for some reason.) I also chopped the potatos smaller - 1/8s or less. They cook faster that way. I have no idea why Shrap's potatoes didn't cook, mine did fine, were actually mashable about 15 min in. So I fished out the potatoes - and the chicken because I was also concerned about over cooking, what with the browning. I had suspected the chicken breasts might get tough and they did. (A couple hours later when they'd sat in the soup again they were actually improved.) The thigh meat did well.

Added the last 2 potatoes at that point so they could start cooking while I was mashing the first potatoes and cutting the chicken into pieces (think double bite sized, we like stew better than soup here). Added corn next (didn't wait til potatoes were entirely tender, they can cook at same time as corn, why not? Also, maybe everybody does this but I like to run the back of the knife down the cob after cutting off the kernels, to squeeze some more of the starch out, so I added that with the kernels. Vigorous simmer for about 5-6 min and corn is done. Re-added chicken pieces.

Then everything sat around for about 10-15 more minutes while I peeled and chopped the eggs, found more capers, got a little pitcher for the cream (we only used a couple tablespoons for 4 people, but that's taste.) and sliced the avocado, and finished the Aji sauce. In retrospect, should have made aji sauce first, then started cooking soup. I'm not sure the onions really have to be sauted. I think the flavor's probably a bit improved by browning the chicken but I bet it's good without that too. But I bet the whole deal doesn't have to cook for more than 45 min if you've got everything pre-chopped and ready to go, and let the second potatoes cook while you mash the first ones.

Oh, and I skimmed the top of the broth for the fat before I added the mashed potato back, and just ran that thru the separator. Didn't strain it, why would you? Did pick out the bay leaves and parsley stems.

Anyway, that's a great recipe, I will be keeping it! Thanks Shrapnel!!!!
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:45 pm

Yay! I'm glad it worked for you! :D
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:28 pm

Ok guys, actual baking of desserts. This is a new thing for me but the thing I tried turned out fantastic, so here you go.

Creme brulee cookies

It's a combination of this recipe for creme brule (sorry, the main site isn't loading for me so here's an alternate version) and this one for the cookies.

You could absolutely use instant creme brulee or pudding or some such, instead of making it from scratch, but I love creme brulee and it's easy if time-intensive to make, so I just went all out. You do you. The cookie recipe has instructions for the shortcut method, if you go to the page.

Creme brulee:
2 cups heavy cream (or whipping cream. I think they're the same thing. If not, they both work)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract Screw that, real creme brulee calls for real vanilla beans. You can get them on Amazon for like 10-15 dollars for 12, and they're 100% worth it. They smell sooooo good. Use one large vanilla bean
8 large egg yolks in a bowl there are all sorts of clever ways to separate eggs online. None of those have worked for me, so I use the old-fashioned pouring from half shell to half shell method. Google is your friend, if you're unsure
1/2 cup sugar
6-8 oven-safe ramekins
Image like that. You can make it in other containers, but this cook time and whatnot is for these. I'm sure there are better directions elsewhere on the internet, if you don't want to buy new cookware but have, like, a pie pan or something.
Turbinado/raw sugar



Before you do anything else, start some water on the stove to boil, enough to fill up a glass baking dish most of the way full. You'll need it to bake the creme brulees. Also preheat the oven to 250*F.

Pour the sugar into the egg yolks, and beat until it's all smooth.

Put the heavy cream in a pot, and bring it to an almost-simmer on the stove. If you're using a vanilla pod, and you should be, slice open the pod and scrape out the seeds. Add those to the cream, and then throw the pod in with it also (if you're using extract, don't put that in until later in the recipe. Solids go in now, is I think the main point). If you want to flavor your creme brulee, now is a good time to add in that flavoring as well- I like to throw in some mashed up raspberries, or finely chopped mint leaves. Next time I'm going to make lemon flavor, and also maybe tea. There are lots of varieties on the internet, so go wild. Or stick with basic vanilla. I might be doing it wrong, but I leave it at the almost-simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, to get whatever flavor I'm using infused into the cream. It has worked thus far. When you're done, remove the vanilla pod from the cream and continue on.

Take the cream and add it to the egg yolks about a tablespoon at a time, while stirring vigorously. This tempers the eggs, and I don't know what that is but why mess with a winning formula? The point is, you don't want scrambled eggs, which is what will happen if you add hot liquid to egg yolks all at once. Once you've added about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the cream, pour the yolks into the heavy cream and stir until smooth. I always, always forget this part and just keep adding cream to the yolks until I'm done. Nothing seems to go bad with this method, so it is what I do.

Use a fine mesh sieve, or cheesecloth, or whatever, to strain the custard mixture and get rid of any flavoring pieces (like mint leaves, or raspberry seeds, or just chunks of curdled eggs). I never do this step because mmm mint leaves and it doesn't seem to be a problem, but especially if you were using, like, tea leaves or lemon peels or some such, you should definitely screen those out. If you're using vanilla extract instead of seeds, you're wrong now is when you should blend the extract into the custard.

This is the tricky part where I always spill something and/or get burned. What you want to end up with is a baking dish, with your ramekins in it, with boiling water to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins, which are full of custard. Like this:

Image

The least painful method for me is to fill the ramekins with custard (stir it well to make sure that the vanilla seeds are distributed evenly, not all sunk to the bottom), then put all but one into the baking dish. I pour water into the dish in the open space, being careful not to get water into the ramekins, then put the last ramekin in and hope that the water levels are right. Then I carefully carry everything to the oven, pray nothing sloshes, and there you go.

Cook for about 1 hour, then check. They should be more or less set on the outside, but a little bit jiggly in the center. The easiest way to check is to take a pair of tongs with rubber bands wrapped around the ends to help grip the ramekins. Pick up a ramekin and shake to see if the center jiggles. If the only the center jiggles a little, it's done. If the whole thing is set, remove immediately - it'll be a little over done, but still delicious. If it's not done, just put it back in the water bath and check again in ten minutes. Once the custards are done, let them cool on a cooling rack to room temperature. This will let the custards finish cooking the centers on their own.

Cover them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours ha! Mine get four hours. Maybe. It works out ok.

If you just wanted creme brulee, hurrah, you have made it, except you need to put a crust of raw sugar on top and heat it with a torch (or in a broiler, if you don't have a torch) until the sugar melts and becomes a delicious caramel crust. Don't set your counters on fire while you do this. If you still want to make cookies, while the custard is chilling, make them as follows.



Cookies!

1½ cups granulated sugar
1⅓ cups butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3½ cups flour

Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer cream butter sugar together for 2 minutes until well combined. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated and smooth.

Add in baking powder and salt, mix well.

Turn mixer to low and add flour, mixing until combined.

Roll dough into 2 inch balls and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are just golden.

Remove from oven and immediately make an indentation with a spoon in the top of the cookie.

At this point, the recipe says to spoon about 1 tsp of creme brulee directly into the hot cookies. This makes the creme brulee start to melt, if you've used the real stuff and not, like, pudding (which is fine, but I'm a snob). So what I did was let the cookies cool, and stored them in the fridge until I was ready to serve some. At that point, I put the creme brulee in, sprinkled the tops with raw sugar, and used a torch to brown the sugar. Or a broiler for about 30 seconds supposedly works as well. Then you have magnificent cookies!




Notes: I only needed about 3 ramekins of creme brulee to do the whole batch of cookies, so that just meant that there were delicious creme brulees as leftovers. You could just make a half serving.

I know the recipe for the creme brulee looks complicated- it's a bit time intensive, but it genuinely isn't complicated or finicky, as far as I can tell, and it's worth it.

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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:08 pm

Potato latkes, for those of you who are Jewish, or who just appreciate a good potato pancake. Adapted from here with a few changes.

2 c grated potato (or shredded? I don't know if there's a functional difference. It also said to peel them but I am lazy as hell so I didn't. I used some Yukon Gold potatoes we got at the farmer's market, but I'm sure most potatoes would probably work...?)
1 tbs grated onion
1 egg, beaten (the reviews said that using 3 like the original recipe made them too eggy. Just the one worked out wonderfully)
2 tbs all purpose flour
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp minced garlic
Oil for frying (peanut, vegetable, canola, something mild with a high smoke point)


Put the grated potatoes in some cheesecloth or something and squeeze as much juice out as possible. I mean, don't necessarily dessicate them, but you want them pretty dry. Put them in a bowl.

Mix together the potatoes, onion, egg, flour, salt, and garlic (I just used my hands, because I am messy).

Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to fry with, and bring it up to temperature. I cannot tell you what that temperature is; I just know that the latkes cooked for about 1.5 minutes per side and were a deep golden brown, so whatever temperature you need to accomplish that is good. Fairly high, I think.

Put a large spoonful of potato mixture in the hot oil, and smoosh it down with a spatula until it's 0.25 to 0.5 inches tall. Repeat until you run out of pan space. Cook the pancakes until they're golden brown on one side, flip them over, and cook until the other side is golden brown.

Take the latkes out of the oil, put them on some folded up paper towels to soak out some of the oil and cool a little bit, and serve hot with sour cream and/or applesauce. Delicious!
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Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:09 pm

Those sound good shrapnel :ooh:
Potato bread is wonderful stuff, we make it here with left over mashed potato. Really nice fried with bacon :v:
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by Shiloh » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:22 pm

So, I guess the oven in my apartment doesn't work, just the burners :gonk: Any recommendations for quick and easy stovetop recipes?

Also, here's my very meager contribution, feel free to laugh and point as much as you like. :lol:

Stupid Easy Chicken

About four hours prior to cooking the chicken I throw a few frozen chicken breasts in a gallon freezer bag and use this mix as a marinade:

-Salt/pepper
-Paprika
-Just a tiny pinch of powdered ginger
-Garlic
-Small squeeze of lemon juice
-Enough olive oil to get everything mixed together in the bag.

I don't really use exact measurements, just enough of the seasonings to get a decent coating on the chicken. Throw that in the fridge 5/6 hours beforehand so it'll be thawed well enough.


The nice thing is you could pretty much just prepare it in the morning and keep it in the fridge all day without worrying about it spoiling.


Before starting the chicken I make this mix:
-1/2 cup chopped onions
-1/2 cup chopped celery
-1 cup white wine
-Butter, just a couple tablespoons
-Salt/pepper
-Crushed red pepper

Put that in a sauce pan and simmer it gently to dissolve the alcohol.

Pan on medium heat, at a little oil and once it's good and hot put the chicken on. Add the rest of the marinade on top while it's cooking and you'll get a nice little crust going.

You can either add the sauce directly into the pan as well early on and cook off the alcohol while at the same time getting a beautiful braze on the chicken. Or you can make it seperately and combine with pasta.
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:36 pm

Pasta, soups, burgers, chicken, tacos... I mean you can do a lot without an oven. Most of my older recipes are non-oven and pretty easy, and here's some links to recipes/recipe collections that I haven't tried but which you might want to look through, at least potentially. As I work through them I'll probably post adaptations in here, so you could just wait. :wink:

http://imgur.com/gallery/vhfrI

http://imgur.com/gallery/OfZSP

http://imgur.com/gallery/SCpiN

http://imgur.com/gallery/XGYZJJV

http://imgur.com/gallery/J9uaI
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by Shiloh » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:59 pm

Thanks Shrap!
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by HMPlatinum » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:05 pm

Thank you!
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by shrapnel » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:28 pm

New recipe! This one is something approximating jambalaya, although this is the only jambalaya I've ever eaten because I'm allergic to shrimp so I can't vouch for its authenticity. It's a kludge of a couple different recipes, mostly from a Food and Wine Easy Weeknight Dinners magazine I impulse bought a month or so ago (good decision, there's a bunch of tasty recipes in it, although a lot of them are a bit expensive to make so I haven't tried them).

Jambalaya

A splash of vegetable oil or whatever
1 lb sausage (the recipe says Andouille, but our local supermarket usually has fresh-ground stuff for like 2 dollars a pound, which is significantly cheaper. You could use cased sausage (in which case slice it into 1/4 inch thick rounds), but the loose stuff is what's usually on sale so that's what I use. Get something spicy, like hot Italian or some such. If you use Andouille, use 3/4 lb of that and 1/4 lb of breakfast/loose sausage)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1.5 inch pieces or so
1 large onion, diced
3 or so poblano peppers, diced
1 celery rib unless you hate celery like me, in which case don't use it
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups white rice
1 bay leaf
1-3 tbs cumin
1-3 tbs coriander
1-3 tbs chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1 quart chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans, drained


Get a Big Pot (shoutout to my 6 qt enameled dutch oven dealie. This recipe fills most of it up, so if you don't have a big pot, maybe halve the recipe). Put on medium-high heat, then add the oil and sausage. Cook, stirring to break up clumps of loose sausage, until the fat renders and the sausages start to brown. Add in the chicken thighs and continue to stir until they're starting to look cooked (not all the way through, they're going to continue cooking so it's not that important).

Add in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the bell peppers, optional celery, and garlic. Cook, continuing to stir, about 5 minutes, until the peppers are starting to get a little tender. Stir in the rice and seasonings (everything but the thyme and bay leaf were things I added. I like spices and I like spicy foods, so this is an approximation of what I use. You can adjust to fit your taste, if you're worried about over-spicing the dish), and cook for another minute or so.

Add the chicken broth and the tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer until the rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). Stir in the canned beans, adjust seasonings if needed, and you're ready to eat!



One pot of this feeds me and Doc for about four days, and that's usually eating it for lunch and dinner.
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by Shiloh » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:10 pm

My mom's bomb-ass chicken fajitas

Ingredients:

-Chicken breasts or thighs
-Cumin
-Coriander powder
-Chili powder
-Garlic
-Paprika
-Lime juice (preferably fresh)
-EVOO
-Red and orange bell peppers
-Onion
-Shredded cheese
-Sour Cream
-Tortillas

Get a large ziploc bag, throw chicken in there whole. I usually use two medium or small chicken breasts, or a couple chicken thighs depending on how many I'm making. Drench with olive oil just enough to cover all of it.

Liberally coat in all the dry ingredients, it's mostly just to taste but I get it to a point where the chicken is thoroughly coated. It should be a nice golden orange color, go as light or as heavy on the chili powder as you like. Mince the garlic and add that too the bag too. Let that marinade for about four to six hours. Dice up however much of the peppers and onion you like, I prefer a 50/50 mix of chicken and veggies.

Cut the chicken into small chunks. Pre-heat a large pan with a liberal coating of EVOO on medium to medium-low heat. Wait for that to get nice and hot then dump the chicken in. Cook until it's mostly done, squeeze half a lime over the top and mix thoroughly. Add the peppers and onions, keep going until the onions are almost translucent and the peppers get some good color.

I like flour tortillas (the larger, burrito-sized ones) but any kind will do. Spread out some sour cream, sprinkle cheese over the top. Once again use whatever kind you like, I enjoy the four-cheese blend. Add chicken/veggie mix on, roll it up, enjoy delicious munchies.

ALSO: You could easily use beef for this recipe as well, maybe even shrimp though I haven't tried that. Feel free to mess with the spices a bit too, I've tossed in a dash of cinnamon and ginger before and the chicken came out with this awesome hint of sweetness.
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Re: Cooking (poorly) with Shrapnel

Post by sheddi » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:20 am

Welcome to cooking equally poorly with Sheddi :)

Sheddi's Pressure Cooker Stew

Serves 4.

Despite the name you don't need a pressure cooker; however cooking times will be significantly longer without one. My pressure cooker runs at 15 psig which is fairly standard in the UK.

Ingredients (all weights are approximate, 1lb = 450g, 8 fl.oz. = 250ml):
1lb beef - a cheap cut is fine; I usually use stewing steak or similar
2lb potatoes
1lb carrots*
1lb swede*
1 medium onion**
1-2 cloves garlic**
8 fl.oz. instant beef gravy or beef stock
2tbsp oil

* - or other root veg, as availability or preference dictates.
** - or more or less as you prefer.
  1. Chop your onion.
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  2. Chop (or crush,or mince, or whatever) your garlic.
  3. Add the oil to the (open) pressure cooker and heat on stovetop.
  4. Add the onion and garlic and fry until the onion is soft.
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  5. Dice the beef (I buy mine already diced) into roughly 1" cubes.
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  6. Add the beef. Fry until browned.
  7. Add 4 fl.oz. of water. Close the pressure cooker and bring to pressure for 5 mins.
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  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool sufficiently to release the pressure.
  9. Peel and chop your potatoes, carrots and swede.
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  10. Prepare beef gravy (or stock).
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  11. Add vegetables and gravy to pressure cooker. Yes it looks full; it will reduce slightly during cooking. So long as the lid goes on you'll be OK!
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  12. Close the pressure cooker and bring to pressure for 10-12 minutes (three tracks on my local rock music station).
  13. Remove from heat and allow to cool etc.
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  14. Serve (in practice servings are roughly twice the pictured size).
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Your diners might appreciate some bread on the side so they can mop up their gravy, decorum permitting.
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
Behave!


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