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Cooking/Recipe Thread.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by becca, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    All those rosemary and cabbage recipes are now on my list.
     
  2. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

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    Do you cook the squash in the microwave before peeling and cubing?
     
  3. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    No. Just peel & cube while raw.
     
  4. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    I made a 20-quart pot of tomato sauce last night. Thought I'd share my recipe in case anyone's interested.

    I love this sauce so much. There's nothing particularly distinctive about it, but it's just so good. About every 9 months or so, I make a huge batch and freeze for later use. The recipe is from Nancy Verde Barr's book We Called It Macaroni. It was Nancy's grandmother's recipe; she lived in the Italian-immigrant section of Providence, RI. In the book, Nancy says, "Of all the [the sauces] I've tasted, I like Nonna's best. It is familiar and comforting. No other tastes 'right.'"


    Nonna's Meat Sauce (Ragu alla nonna)

    1/3 pound beef (in one piece)
    1/3 pound pork (in one piece)
    1/3 pound chicken on bone (any cut)
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 small onion, sliced
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional, my own addition)
    105 oz. canned whole or ground tomatoes **
    Salt and pepper

    ** If you use canned whole tomatoes, the sauce will be very light-tasting and almost a bit watery. I don't mind this and like the light texture. But if you want a slightly thicker sauce, use ground tomatoes.

    Prepare tomatoes. If tomatoes are whole, whir in blender or food processor. Then strain the tomatoes to remove seeds. You can use a colander with small holes for this, or a food mill. NOTE: This is the time-consuming and PITA part of the recipe. But the sauce really is better without seeds. I find it worth the effort (some might not).

    Heat oil in 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Pat meats dry. Brown meats in hot oil. Turn to brown evenly and well. Do not rush this; make sure all are a rich brown color. Turn down heat as necessary to avoid scorching and blackening. Remove meats. Add onion. Cook until translucent and soft (not brown). Return meats to pot. Add strained tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil (stirring often), and cook briskly for 15 minutes. Lower heat to simmer, partially cover pot, and cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (Add garlic after an hour or so.) If desired, add meatballs after the first hour. Add a little warm water if sauce becomes too thick. Remove meats from sauce and serve.


    Meatballs

    1 pound ground beef
    2 large eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    1 cup breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup grated pecorino or Parmigiano
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper (or a bit more)
    Pinch nutmeg
    1 tbsp onion, grated
    1-2 cloves garlic, grated
    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

    Mix all ingredients together, blend well. Roll into meatballs. Drop directly into sauce.** Cook 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

    ** Nancy's grandmother cooked the meatballs in the sauce. I prefer them that way too. But you can definitely pan-fry or oven-bake them separately if you like.
     
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  5. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    Buzz and skatesindreams like this.
  6. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

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    That sounds amazing - currants are hard for me to find - would dried cranberries or dried blueberries work?
     
  7. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, what about raisins? If not, I would probably go with cranberries over the blueberries.
     
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  8. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    My tomato soup is even simpler (I proportion intuitively without measuring): sauteed garlic (onion optional), chicken or vegetable stock, fresh or canned tomatoes (fresh preferred, but canned is okay), fresh ground pepper, and oregano/basil as desired. Cook on low, then pulverize in a food processor.

    Add cream or cheese as desired - I find this soup so flavorful on its' own that I rarely add them.

    This is my basic recipe for all vegetable soups and works just fine.

    If I want fancy, I make chestnut and pumpkin. Fresh chestnuts are best, but they are a hassle to peel.
     
  9. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I use a pre-made crust for quiche. Although I appreciate a home-made pie crust, I'm too lazy and don't find the difference between home-made and store bought so considerable that it really makes a difference.

    In my view, it's all about the cheese! I prefer sharp cheddar, but also like the traditional Quiche Lorraine with Swiss cheese, or on occasion, havarti or a havarti mix.

    That's a frittata. :)
     
  10. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    My aerobics class is going to be having a pot luck. I think there are a couple of vegetarians. Does anybody have any suggestions for healthy and relatively easy dish?
     
  11. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    I have had big success at potlucks with pasta salad. I just throw in whatever veggies I have (steamed first since otherwise it is too crunchy, and shooting for a lot of color and variety) and toss with oil and vinegar. You can use whole grain pasta or whatever you like.

    Another popular salad is one found in French delis: grated carrots with dill, oil and vinegar dressing, often poppy seeds as well. It can be varied. It was a surprise hit at my last dinner party. Here is one take on it. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/carottes-rapee/

    Here is a recipe for warm kale-quinoa salad that resembles one I had cold in a restaurant (minus the avocado) but havent tried to make yet. It was super-healthy and great - as long as you "debone" the kale and tear or chop it into small pieces, people won't even know they are eating it (a good thing, as it is not the most popular vegetable) - but they will like it! ETA: The coconut oil is unnecessary, just use whatever oil you have. I think I am going to make this tonight... WITH the avocado.
    http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12536/warm-kale-quinoa-salad.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
    Allskate likes this.
  12. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Technically no. A frittata is traditionally cooked at least part way on the stove top, usually in a cast iron pan, then put under the broiler to finish. Purists also make it more elaborate by gently pulling the egg into the centre of the pan so the uncooked egg runs over the edges to cook evenly, while other like the crust at the bottom. An egg bake is an easier version of a frittata. :)
     
  13. ItalianFan

    ItalianFan Active Member

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    Although I disagree with your statement about home-made pastry being more or less the equivalent of store bought (and it really does only take 5 min to make pie crust if you have a food processor) I have nothing but praise for speedy canned beans. I can't be bothered with soaking overnight and then cooking them for hours. And I can never seem to organize myself 24 hrs in advance in order to soak them anyway! Admittedly though canned beans, at least in CO, cost the earth so it's probably more economical to cook the dry ones. In Sept I paid $3.50 per can of borlotti beans (large 700 gr size). outrageous.

    I really like this Tuscan recipe for white cannellini beans:

    Saute chopped onion with minced garlic, rosemary and sage and diced slab bacon in a few spoonfuls of olive oil until golden. Add a can of tomatoes, some water and the canned beans, salt & pepper. Or hot pepper if you prefer. Or without the bacon if you want vegetarian or even without the tomato in which case this is a Florentine dish. Cook until the liquid is reduced to sauce consistency. Like all bean dishes, even better the day after.
     
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  14. becca

    becca Well-Known Member

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  15. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone else made the three ingredient pancakes? It's one mashed banana, one egg and a pinch of baking powder. It's is nice to have pancakes on the weekend again! I've added walnuts, blueberries, and cinnamon for variations.
     
  16. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    Update: I did make the warm kale salad, and hubby and I both liked it. However I think next time I will make it with a vinaigrette dressing rather than tahini/tamari. I love tahini, just not so much here (but I put too much tamari in it so that could be why). I used at least twice as much of the dressing as the recipe called for, and also watered it down so it ended up being more like 3x as much -- it needed it.

    Another dish I thought of is a carrot and wild rice salad. There is no recipe. The ingredients are diced or grated raw carrots, chopped walnuts, raisins and wild rice, with a vinaigrette dressing (red wine vinegar). I can't remember whether it has chopped celery as well. Super yummy.

    One last one, which I make often -- no one has ever had it before and everyone loves it: a four-ingredient salad of Israeli (aka pearl) couscous, feta cheese (crumbled), radicchio (shredded), and kalamata olives (halved or sliced). The olives are optional. Vinaigrette dressing using white wine vinegar.
     
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  17. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    You're sure there is no flour at all? I've never added baking powder to a flourless recipe.
     
  18. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

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    Nope - no flour! I make them every Sunday. Some recipes call for one banana and two eggs, but I think the 1 to 1 works better. Since I'm making them for 2 people I use two eggs and 2 bananas. One thing is these need to be smaller silver dollar sized, for some reason they flip more easily.
     
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  19. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I've made these, but never with baking powder. I do sometimes add a little bit of almond flour, and I always add cinnamon.
     
  20. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

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    I've done with and without baking powder- it doesn't change the flavor but gives them a little more height.
     
  21. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense.
     
  22. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Right, forgot about the stove-top part.
     
  23. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    My favorite pasta salad is made with orzo. It has orzo, chopped artichoke hearts (I stick to the canned), sun-dried tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts. Toasting the pine nuts in a frying pan (you can use the oven as well) is the trickiest part, as you want them to be browned, but not burned.

    The dressing is made from equal parts olive oil/balsamic vinegar. For the maple syrup, it is one half of the amount used for the other ingredients.

    This recipe has been a hit every time I've made it. Sorry I don't have precise measurements, but they are not really needed for it.

    Next time I made the dish I'll play closer attention to the measurements, so can pass on a better recipe.
     
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  24. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

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  25. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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  26. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    I've taken a liking to Chinese Caribbean food, especially from Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica, and Suriname. I haven't found any Chinese Surinamese recipes (I once tried some dishes years back from a classmate who was from Suriname) but I have found some good ones from Trinidad, Jamaica, and Guyana.

    Guyanese chow mein
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV6jUQDQcTg

    Trini Chinese fried chicken
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFrue5OXM2s

    Jamaican bok choy (pop choy) and chicken
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlsPKL754l8

    What's funny is that I'm not even a fan of Chinese food but some of these dishes are amazing IMO.
     
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  27. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    @clairecloutier, I can't access the Boston Globe's website. Would you be willing to copy and paste the recipe?
     
  28. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I will do it tomorrow! :)
     
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  29. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    This is my favourite banana bread recipe. I make my own butter milk.

    http://www.canadianliving.com/food/recipe/the-ultimate-banana-bread

    I love frittatas, but I don't have a proper pan at the moment, so I make frittatas into crustless quiches. I like this quiche recipe from Kraft, but I use mayo.

    http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/broccoli-cheddar-quiche-98320.aspx

    I have taken this easy salad to a lot of potlucks.

    Broccoli Slaw with Raisins
    1/2 cup (125 mL) low-fat plain yogurt
    1/4 cup (60 mL) light mayonnaise
    1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
    1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
    1/8 tsp (1 mL) salt
    pinch pepper
    4 cups (1 L) broccoli slaw, (julienne broccoli available ready-made in the produce sections of some supermarkets)
    1/4 cup (60 mL) sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup (60 mL) golden raisins

    In bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in broccoli slaw, sunflower seeds and raisins.
     
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  30. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I've made a very similar broccoli slaw for myself. (I use slivered almonds and regular raisins instead). I usually don't think of giving other people broccoli, but it might be okay with this group. And it's really easy!

    I've been thinking of trying a mushroom quinoa salad, so I might make that. We'll see what I'm in the mood to do this weekend.