Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by emason, Oct 12, 2009.
This is brilliant!
I use chicken backs - with kitchen shears cut up both sides of back bones save in freezer until you have enough. Also, buy a packet or two of chicken wings if on sale.
I roast my raw veggies in oven at 425 until a little more than golden brown, keep onion peel on onions and you will have a beautiful color stock instead of a pale colored stock.
Since you are concerned with salt do not salt until your stock is reduced to you liking then salt.
I think it is cheaper to make stock then buying stock, plus you have a much better product.
In most cases, the issue with salt is not what we add ourselves during cooking or at the table - it's what's added to processed foods like chicken stock, canned soup and soup mixes. Even the ones that are "low sodium" or have "less salt" contain far more than most of us would add ourselves.
It's just a trick of food marketers and restaurants - when we take that first taste of something salty, we usually think "yum, this is good" and importantly "I want more." I've noticed that many chef recipes contain *way* more salt and garlic than I would ever use, and I love garlic - but that's another trick to make you go "mmm good."
I think if you make your own stock and leave out the packet seasonings, you can safely add as much salt as you like on your own. Start with a little (or half what the recipe calls for if using), and then you can add more if needed.
After awhile, my bet is that there will be many products you no longer want because they taste too salty. I'm the same way with sugar.
I was wondering if anybody has a butternut squash bisque recipe. Thanks
This is from Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home - we've made it many times, and it's fabulous. No cream, but ends up quite creamy and rich.
Not the papery stuff, although I have thrown that in during moments of extreme laziness I'm talking about the layer right under that - the one that's kind of greenish, kind of tough to chew. I usually peel that off and throw it in the "to be made into stock" tupperware. Carrots and beets I just wash really well and then peel directly into the tupperware - oh, and I throw in the tops as well. Anything that I can get clean enough goes in there.
I saw a recipe of Ina Garten's once for chicken stock that involved three whole chickens and then throwing out all the meat I always thought of stock - meat or vegetable - being one of those things that people made in the old days from leftover scraps, and I kind have fun recreating that in my own kitchen
Note though - if you throw in any amount of beet material, expect your stock to be REALLY pink.
I made chicken noodle soup from scratch today and it was . Perfect for a cold rainy day
Realized I forgot - does anyone add eggshells when making stock? Our discussion upthread got me interested in stock recipes and I saw that a bunch of people swear by eggshells for extra calcium. I might try that next time... not that I'll really be able to tell the difference
That does sound delicious. I have to break down and get an immersion blender, and soon.
I've been meaning to get one - thanks to everyone here raving about them - but in the mean time, my trusty blender works just fine.
I have a stupid baking question. I prepared an apple strudel on Sunday and instead of baking it then I decided to wrap it up and freeze it because I don't need it until Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner. I will take it out of the freezer Wednesday night and let it defrost and bake it off on Thursday before I go to visit my family. Do you think this will work? I prepared it ahead of time because I knew I wouldn't have anytime between now and Thursday to make it. If it sucks, I have some white chocolate pumpkin cookies that I can bring instead (and they still taste fresh and I made them on Saturday).
Can't help you with baking unfortunately - other than a really good pie crust, I don't bake much!
I have a question though: deep fryers. I'd like to get one for hubby for Christmas, but all the ones I've seen seem kinda cheaply made and clunky to use. Anyone have one that they love?
His ambitions are pretty much limited to french fries and maybe onion rings - we've done them in a deep pan with a candy thermometer, but I thought it would be fun to go for the whole thing.
It should be fine.
It's both and that it's in the vegetarian section and then includes, "Its important to use good chicken stock", which means it's not vegetarian
Stefanie, you should be able to bake it straight from the freezer as well.
And can you give the recipe for the white choc pumpkin cookies? Those sound delicious!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, by the way... What's on everyone's menu?
Agree with Ajax. I'd go straight from freezer to oven, but start on a lower temperature for an initial defrost.
I'm going to make a blueberry pie today for tomorrow. Should I get it ready and not bake it, or bake it today then reheat it tomorrow? I've always made it the day of for Thanksgiving.
Just add chicken bones (or beef if it's beef stock).
The eggshells also help to clarify the stock
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I make my own because I already have the spices)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup Pumpkin Puree (I used the stuff in the can)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the dry ingredients (I usually add it in thirds so as not to make a mess). Stir in the white chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes.
You may find the amount of white chocolate chips to make the cookie too rich. I didn't, but I'm a big fan of white chocolate. Enjoy!
Several people in another thread asked for this recipe to be posted here - an easy, delicious pie crust:
Theres a ton of butter in this but its the holidays, no? But almost zero sugar, and if you let your fruits own natural sweetness shine through, you need no more than a teaspoon in the filling.
Flaky Pie Dough makes enough for two open pies, or one double crust
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp salt (seems like a lot to me, so I use half this amount)
½ tsp sugar
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, chilled in the freezer for a few minutes before using
¼ - ¾ cup ice water
Before beginning, place a mixing bowl, plate and box grater in the fridge until they are nice and cold, along with the water.
Add dry ingredients to the cold mixing bowl, and then wash your hands in cold water and bring out the cold ingredients and utensils.
Using the box grater on the cold plate, grate the cold butter and then add to flour mixture. Toss with hands lightly to coat all the pieces of butter, like its a salad.
Gradually add ice water and knead the dough until it comes together. You may not need all the ice water.
Divide the dough in two, and form them into flat discs (easier to roll later). Wrap in plastic or pop into a ziploc, squeezing out the air before sealing, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and as long as a day or two before using.
Then proceed as per recipe.
For apple pie, I assemble the pie with raw dough with slits in the top to let out steam and a brush of cream and very light dusting of sugar. Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes.
(For the apple filling, I use spartans, about 4-5 of them with no skins, with a bit of fresh lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar and about a tablespoon of flour to thicken it. The only spice I use is a Middle Eastern blend called baharat that I order from thespicehouse.com. It smells like Christmas, but is actually quite spicy, made from black pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, paprika and Chinese chile peppers. Sounds odd but I get raves for it every time! You could easily use standard apple pie seasoning of course, or even just cinnamon.)
Jenny - you've mentioned this technique before and I find it quite intriguing, but which side / setting of the box grater do you use? Mine has 4 sides, each leading to different sized shreds. Most recipes usually say "pea-sized" chunks, but the lady on the NY Times just did a video on pie crust and she said "lima bean" sized chunks, so I'm curious what sized butter chunk you target.
I just made a pie crust using vodka/water recipe, it's suppose to make rolling out easier and a more flaky crust.
Dough is in the fridge resting now, so have to let you know the results later.
Anyone make this pie crust recipe?
Does the vodka go in the crust or the chef?
In the crust and since I take medication I don't drink at all.
Reviews say the best crust ever - we shall see.
Here is the recipe:
Pie Crust Vodka
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water
1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
I use the large holed side, so you end up with thick shreds about a half inch long. Sorta like squished out peas
I just find it really easy to do, and you don't need to over work the dough as I always found using forks or a pastry cutter, which tended to blend the butter into the flour too much. It's the pockets of butter that make the crust flaky - and this one is super flaky.
Love the vodka idea though, but am about shortening. Wonder if it would work with the butter version? There's always a bottle of vodka in the freezer any way so I think I might try that next.
The other thing I've done for savoury pies is add some herb or spice like fresh thyme or cayenne pepper to it. Colourful, and tasty
Thanks. Please let us know how it comes out.
Excellent. I am going to try it.
I tried this technique when Jenny mentioned it awhile ago, and it is brilliant.
I made little pie crust squares topped with sugar and cinnamon to use as an example so I could report back to FSU (the sacrifices I make for FSU ).
The pie crust is super yummy - so flaky and short. When some of the sugar caramelized on the squares you have crunchy, flaky and short all at once - what a taste, texture combination. My daughter had stopped in and I ask her to try one, she said forget the pies makes these.
Well, I'm going to make pies, I will have to report on crust in a pie after turkey day since it's hard to explain a slice out of each pie.
As for rolling out the dough - rolled between two sheets of wax paper - no problem. It seemed the dough wanted to stick to the wax paper but it didn't.
Maybe the next time I will try without paper.
The new 1st class petty officer in the galley today made a crab and asparagus bisque that was one of the best soups I've tasted there. Really amazing. He has been thinking outside the box and has brought some really fine recipes to the command.
Would you mind making them for us, too, please? Sounds divine.
I just lifted Jenny's box grater butter method for a crumb topping I'm making. Obviously that's not supposed to be flaky, but I thought it might make it easier to cut in the butter, and indeed it did.
So I tried a totally new recipe for my turkey this year and now I'm having second thoughts about it.
Usually, I make a mix of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, marjoram and sage), garlic, olive oil, and some bread crumbs to bind it and stuff the mix under the turkey skin. The remainder coats the cavity and skin which gets extra olive oil and salt and pepper. It comes out great, because the herbs keep the moisture inside and give the meat great flavor. The downside is that the skin is so heavily flavored, some people find it unpleasant. Also, from a cooking perspective, I find it a chore to strip down all the herbs to make the mixture, and my hands are always itchy after handling the herbs for so long.
This year, my stepmom (who taught me the prior recipe) mentioned that she was putting truffle butter under the skin of her turkey and just putting the herbs in the cavity. I had some truffle butter so I figured I would do the same. I did that, and it seemed like I used a lot of butter, but I'm not sure I spread it around enough and as deeply so that it will reach all the meat. I also put a lot of herbs (the same ones I used in the past) in the cavity with garlic and slices of orange and lemon. That was much easier, because I could just put in the full stalks of the herbs and just break them up a little. And on the skin, I used olive oil, truffle salt, and black pepper.
But now I'm worried. I'm afraid that it's going to not be as moist as the past turkeys and the meat won't have as much flavor because the herbs are not right next to the meat. And I worry alternatively that there is either too much butter, which might make the meat greasy or there is not enough butter in some spots. So does anyone do something similar and get a good result? It would help me sleep tonight.
At least I know the chocolate-caramel fudge I made is really good. So if the turkey sucks, we can just skip to dessert.
Stuffing tends to dry out the bird, especially the white meat, so you can rest easy on that account.
I usually do the following (which is similar to what your stepmother suggested): put slivers of garlic under the skin, roll the bird in seasoned salt, coat the skin with olive oil and paprika, put some celery and fresh herbs in the cavity, and a cup of white wine and a quartered onion in the pan. It comes out just fine.
Sleep well, and post the chocolate-caramel fudge recipe when you have time.
The vodka goes into the chef (that is, if you're watching Semi-Ho-made).
I'm about to start my baking this morning: Famous chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin/chocolate chip bundt cake, which turns out heavenly.
Great idea! I must give credit where it's due though - this is the book I got it from - lovely farm-to-table book with lots of good recipes and essays about breadmaking and such:
Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann
I see you have dined at my inlaws
Good point though, and I never thought of that before. My family makes the stuffing separate in a casserole doused with chicken or other broth, while the turkey is roasted with a few large pieces of root vegetables in it (which we also serve). It's roasted low and slow, then wrapped in a bunch of blankets to make an hour trip, arrives hot and totally moist. Hubby does chicken with fresh herbs and wedges of lemon inside, bit of olive oil on the skin, basting and rotating the chicken during roasting, and it's to-die-for tender every time. We never do anything under the skin for either bird.
re the vodka (can't stop thinking about that one ), I'm wondering what the science is there? Makes me wonder about gin - I'm imagining a leek pie for example, with a bit of gin in the crust and a crushed juniper berry in the filling ... I'm going to dig out this wonderful book for some inspiration for the holiday season:
The Book of Old Tarts by Elizabeth Hodder
I should have explained that what I usually do is not really stuffing. There are some minimal breadcrumbs to bind the herbs together, but it really is just more of an herb paste that goes between the skin and the meat. But this year's turkey looks good. We haven't tasted it yet.
[/quote[Sleep well, and post the chocolate-caramel fudge recipe when you have time. [/quote]
This is pretty much foolproof fudge and, despite being something that sounds like it comes from Sandra Lee, is very good.
18 oz. chocolate chips
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
11/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
8 ounces of melted caramel. (I cheat and get Werther's soft caramels, which I melt with a little bit of milk or cream. Don't use the cheap caramels that have no milk or butter in them.)
In on saucepan, melt the caramel. In another, melt all the other ingredients. You don't need a double-boiler for the chocolate. Just make sure you stir constantly. As soon as everything is melted, pour the chocolate mixture into a 9x9 pan. Then swirl in the melted caramel.
That entire process takes about 10 minutes. Then let it cool and cut. (Don't refrigerate.)
I just tried Jenny's recipe. It was very easy to work, and following JAF's example, I trimmed some extra dough off when I was assembling the pie and just baked it separately to sample. It is astounding - crispy, flaky, buttery, perfect. So thank you, Jenny!
JAF - I know you liked the samples of your vodka crust. How was it in the pie?
So glad it worked BittyBug!
We had the yummiest dinner last night. It's been cold and wet and miserable here, so with visions of the South of France in springtime, we made risotto with asparagus, leeks and peas, plus tomatoes baked in olive oil, herbs and parmesan, and cucumber salad with mint and spring onions. I confess the asparagus was from Mexico, but other than that it was all fresh/frozen or local hothouse grown. I don't eat a lot of meat, so hubby went out in the rain and barbecued himself a small rack of lamb to go with.
Leftover risotto for lunch today
Do you knead the dough with your hands, doesn't it melt the butter, or do you mix with a chilled fork or spoon? This sounds really good and I want to try it!
Quickly, with my hands. Trick is to have everything cold - I put all the utensils in the fridge before using, and the butter in the freezer. Right before I'm going to start, I wash my hands in very cold water. The beauty of this method is that you can just toss the butter salad-style in a matter of seconds rather than melting it as you cut it with knives or a pastry blender, which takes longer and blends more of the butter with the flour rather than leaving it separate to make delicious little flaky pockets. Once it's tossed, I work the dough with my hands, dribbling in the icy cold water, and it really only takes a few moments to do it.
Good luck, and do share your results!
I must caution that this dough is very rich due to all the butter. Some family members have objected, but since it's usually a special occasion when I serve it, they succumb and after a few bites all such nonsense is forgotten.
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