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What's the one thing you just can't cook/bake...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by nubka, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I'll admit I'm kind of at a loss why hash browns would be considered easier/less messy than latkes. Both seem about the same to me when it comes to difficulty and messiness.

    How about sweet potato latkes? This is a fairly well-known recipe, and while I haven't tried it myself, it doesn't look difficult.

    Just a guess: Member of the Tribe :D
  2. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    "Member of the Tribe" (membership) card. They already confiscated my secret decoder ring.
  3. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

    The sekret is...you need an old-fashioned pressure cooker, like Bubbi had.

    Once you have one, and they're not expensive, put:

    An Empire chicken after you get the damn pinfeathers off it (this is the ONLY recipe for which I use kosher chicken.)
    A medium sized onion, chopped.
    Celery salt, regular salt, pepper and thyme to taste.
    A half bag of those little baby carrots from any store.
    Water JUST to cover...

    In the pressure cooker and turn the heat up high. Once it starts steaming and whistling, turn it down to a simmer and cook at least an hour. Make the matzoh balls separately from a mix, another thing not worth doing from scratch, and combine.

    My MOT card, which is always in danger of being taken away because of being a left-wing critical Zionist professionally, is redeemed by my chicken soup. :D
  4. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    The problem with this recipe is that after it's tender you have to debone the darned thing. My recipe - start with a large can of Swanson Chicken......
  5. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    I'm all for making cooking easier but :eek: to tinned chicken.
  6. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    We don't have a tongue-in-cheek emoticon. I don't actually do that. I buy Campbell's Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup.
  7. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Whew! ;)
  8. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

    I don't know if my recipe is very good or not - my mother always cheated and made the broth from Croydon House chicken soup mix. However, they don't make that any longer (not that I've been able to find anywhere). Anyway. My solution for the broth crisis is any time I make a whole chicken, I save all the bones and skin, put them in a crockpot, throw in enough water to come to the top, and cook it all on low heat for 24 hours. Then, strain it all through a mesh strainer, and freeze all that broth in giant yogurt containers. It's good stock-broth for soup and even chili.

    Then when you're ready to make chicken soup, use 1-2 of those containers, plus chicken (I usually use the leftovers from a cooked chicken - and that way, you've got another set of bones to use for stock), carrots, white or yellow onion, celery, parsley, and salt/pepper to taste. Heat on the stove... and I agree with PRlady. Use matzah ball mix - it's too much of a pain from scratch and the mix tastes just fine.

    I like it better than my mom's soup (and she uses the throw the whole chicken into a pot and let it boil for an hour method - but I really hate fishing the bones out), so it could be something to try. On the other hand, my mom really isn't that much of a cook, so making better soup than my mom's isn't a shining accomplishment either.
  9. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member

    I do this as well - in addition to saving the bones and skin, I'll save vegetable scraps - carrot peelings, onion peels, the tiny, tiny cloves of garlic that I'm too lazy to peel, celery ends, beet peelings (gives your stock a lovely pink color - at least I think it's lovely, Boyfriend thinks it's creepy) and freeze them all in a big ziploc bag. When the bag gets full, I just saute the vegetables in a little vegetable oil, add the chicken bits, and boil it all down for stock. I usually use some of it to make soup on the spot and freeze the rest in an ice cube tray to use for sauces, steaming vegetables, etc.
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Speaking of grandmothers, I've never been able to replicate by dear departed grandmother's porridge. I've tried every kind of oat, messed with the proportions and cooking time, and never even close. I know she put cream of wheat (or maybe semolina?) in along with the oats, but otherwise no clue other than the memory of its lovely, creamy texture. Sigh.
  11. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Thank you everyone! I've always been terrified of pressure cookers, but perhaps it's time for me to get over it.

    Rob ben Israel made Matzoh Ball Soup for a segment of "The Best Thing I Ever Made," and it looked easier to make a souffle in an unreliable oven.
  12. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    I love hot cereals except for Malt-O-Meal. That sounds lovely.
  13. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Weighing in on matzoh balls - from a mix? No way in Hell! But then I fancy that 99.9% of you would hate my matzoh balls. They are of the dense and toothsome variety, and flavored with ground cinnamon and ginger. My grandmother always flavored hers that way, and she was vindicated when someone showed her an old cookbook entitled "Recipes of Hollywood Stars". Eddie Cantor's wife, Ida Cantor, used ground cinnamon and ginger in her matzoh balls too.

    I HATE, and I mean HATE, matzoh balls of the light, fluffy, airy variety. To me they have absolutely no taste or texture. Give me my grandmother's sinkers any time.

    Now on to rice pudding, which I can't make worth a damn. Marge, do you do yours in the oven or on top of the stove? What's your mother's recipe like? Please post so we can analyze.
  14. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Speaking of rice cookers ... has anyone used one for other grains? I'm thinking specifically of quinoa. I don't have problems cooking quinoa the regular stovetop way, except for all the stirring required -- if it could be done in my rice cooker that would be even easier.
  15. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    I use whole chicken breasts (chicken stock for liquid) with skin as the base of my chicken soup - I've used a whole chicken as well, but deboning it for the soup is time-consuming. I don't know the exact proportions, but would guess that two chicken breasts would do for about eight cups of soup. But it's best to start with less liquid to ensure the broth is not too thin.

    To start I brown a lot of garlic in olive oil and add wine - cooking wine is okay but dry white wine is even better. By a lot of garlic I mean about half a bulb or several heaping tablespoons of grated garlic in a jar.

    Then I add the chicken stock and chicken breasts with bone, bring to a boil, then simmer and cover to about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. For spicing I use bay leaves and savory. A bit of celery adds a flavour as well.

    Then the consomme goes into the fridge to cool so I can skim off the fat the next day. I cut the white meat off the breast to put back into the soup and a happy dog gets the chicken skin.

    The final step is adding other ingredients to the consomme. Usually it's tofu, spinach or bok choy, and noodles or matzoh balls. I bring the soup back to a boil for about half a minute to cook the veggies.

    For a variation I'll make egg lemon soup with orzo.

    This is a wonderful and versatile chicken broth.
  16. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    I just royalled effed up some pancakes. Apparently Bulgarian Style buttercream is not just some fancy name. :shuffle: I had no idea. It is about the thickness of yogurt and was all I had so I tried it anyway. The pancakes actually looked really gigantic but they just wouldn't cook. I bet there is a way to tweak it to make it work but I gave up, fast good it is...
  17. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

    Yeah. You THROW OUT the chicken afterwards unless you're one of those strange people who will eat boiled chicken. I guess if I were a casserole type I would put it in a casserole but I'm not.
  18. puglover

    puglover Well-Known Member

    Any helpful suggestions for Yorkshire Pudding?
  19. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    I love Yorkshire pudding, but was failing at it miserably and using packets instead :shuffle: Then I found the tip that turned it around for me - you mix the batter in a jug, and then let it rest in the fridge anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours (which is also a big bonus if you are entertaining. When you've got your pan nice and hot with either drippings or vegetable oil, it's easy to pour into the muffin tin or baking dish.

    Let me know if you need a full recipe - I use one by Jamie Oliver but don't see it on his website - I can copy it out from his book Jamie's Food Revolution.
  20. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    I don't have time for making old fashioned chicken soup so I take a shortcut. I buy a rotisserie chicken and while I remove the meat from the bones and skin, I start sauteing onions, carrots and celery in as little olive oil in a large pot. In another pot I toss in the bones and skin, cover with water and bring to a boil. One the water looks like stock, I drain the bones and skin and cover the veg with the "broth" - I add in seasonings to taste - thyme, a bay leaf, peppercorns and additional broth (usually from a carton). While that simmers I have started a pot of water to boil for the pasta. I start chopping fresh parsley, slice jalapenos, and green onions. I break apart the meat into smaller pieces (not tiny, just not huge). once all the flavors come together I put the chicken and parsley in the soup. I drain the pasta and put it aside. Then when everyone gets their bowl they add in jalapenos if they want it spicy, green onions for a fresh flavor and wedges of lemons to brighten the flavors. The whole think takes about 30 minutes if I put the pasta water o to boil early enough. I don't like to put the past in the soup because it gets soggy the next day.
  21. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Here is my mom's rice pudding recipe. (It always turned out fabulously when she made it)

    1 quart whole milk
    pinch of salt
    1/2 cup rice (as written, regular white rice, my mom used arborio)
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 can evaporated milk
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    cinnamon and nutmeg, for sprinkling on top

    Heat milk and salt in a heavy saucepan, add rice. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add raisins and cook 5 minutes longer. Add 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk and cook for 5 minutes. In a bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and the rest of the evaporated milk. Stir some of the rice mixture (the recipe does not say how much, which may be where my problem comes from) into the egg mixture. Stir the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook slowly until thick. (recipe does not say how long this should be, which may also be my problem) Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and nutmeg.

    If anyone gives this a go, please tell me where I've been going wrong.
  22. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    This sounds delicious and when I have time I will try it out.

    I agree that 'stir some of the rice mixture into the egg mixture' is where the problem most likely starts. You are doing this to temper the eggs, so that when you add the egg mixture to the hot pan on the stove, the eggs don't curdle on you. You need to do it slowly and carefully and use a small amount of the rice mixture, gradually getting the eggs heated up a bit so they can take the heat of being added to the rest of the rice mixture. You are going to need to experiment a bit. After that it is low and slow all the way until you get the rice pudding the way you want it. It is all about not curdling the eggs.

    Hope this helps.
  23. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    For puglover and anyone else who loves Yorkshire pudding and similar popovers, I made these Nutmeg and Black Pepper Popovers last night and they were fabulous.
  24. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Yes, you can use the rice cooker for other grains and even pulses! Millet, oats, lentils, chickpeas, beans...
  25. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    I cannot cook steak to save my life. Whenever I try to pan-sear it, I end up with the outside burnt and the inside raw, or if I lower the heat to avoid the burning, it just releases water and I end up with boiled steak. I've tried putting it into the oven after searing but it always ends up overcooked too. I know you have to sear on medium-high heat or even higher but that just releases tons of smoke, too. One time my fire alarm went off :( I love a good pan-seared steak and really wish I could cook it because restaurant prices for a good steak are so outrageous!
  26. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    My main rice cooker is a Persian one, and is multi-purpose, almost like a crock pot: there are instructions for how to set it up to make khoresh, Persian stews. It does have multiple cook time settings. My Japanese rice cooker is very basic and shuts off when the rice is done, but how it knows, I'm not sure, which would be key to cooking other grains in it. If it shut off prematurely, the only option would be "warm", whereas with the Persian one, I can reset the time, and it's not trying to sense done.
  27. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

    I've found making Yorkshire pudding is easiest in a cupcake tin. (Puddings? Are? Oh, whatever. :lol: )

    My chocolate chip cookies are always cakey, no matter what recipes I use. :(
  28. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    Steak in a pan or oven? I've only cooked them outside on a grill. However if you must cook indoors then George Forman grill is the way to go.
  29. pilgrimsoul

    pilgrimsoul Active Member

    For me, broiling steaks in the oven works better than pan searing - I get a perfectly cooked steak and a yummy seared crust. The pan is not much fun to clean afterward, but a great steak is worth it!
  30. emason

    emason Well-Known Member


    Um, yah, some of us live in apartment buildings where grilling isn't possible. It's perfectly possible to a great steak on top if your stove in a cast iron skillet, but you need to follow instructions and experiment a bit. I'm not that much of a steak eater, so for me, maybe I only do it 2 or 3 times a year.