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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Charmion 22 Sep 19 - 07:28 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Sep 19 - 06:32 AM
Charmion 21 Sep 19 - 10:15 AM
Mrrzy 21 Sep 19 - 09:59 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 19 - 06:32 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 19 - 06:29 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 20 Sep 19 - 03:56 PM
Charmion 20 Sep 19 - 10:12 AM
Mrrzy 20 Sep 19 - 10:11 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 19 Sep 19 - 04:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Sep 19 - 12:41 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 19 - 11:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Sep 19 - 11:11 AM
Jon Freeman 19 Sep 19 - 07:40 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 19 - 07:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Sep 19 - 11:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Sep 19 - 05:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Sep 19 - 11:40 AM
Mrrzy 18 Sep 19 - 09:23 AM
Mrrzy 18 Sep 19 - 09:21 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Sep 19 - 09:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Sep 19 - 07:15 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Sep 19 - 06:41 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 17 Sep 19 - 05:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Sep 19 - 10:37 AM
Charmion 17 Sep 19 - 10:03 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Sep 19 - 04:48 AM
BobL 17 Sep 19 - 03:10 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Sep 19 - 07:51 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Sep 19 - 05:42 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Sep 19 - 04:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Sep 19 - 01:13 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Sep 19 - 12:13 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Sep 19 - 12:09 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Sep 19 - 11:03 AM
Mrrzy 16 Sep 19 - 10:18 AM
Charmion 16 Sep 19 - 08:37 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Sep 19 - 05:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Sep 19 - 10:39 PM
Mrrzy 15 Sep 19 - 09:39 PM
leeneia 15 Sep 19 - 09:28 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Sep 19 - 03:51 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Sep 19 - 03:46 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Sep 19 - 03:16 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Sep 19 - 03:25 AM
Charmion 13 Sep 19 - 08:57 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Sep 19 - 07:34 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Sep 19 - 02:40 PM
Charmion 13 Sep 19 - 12:54 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Sep 19 - 10:37 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Sep 19 - 07:28 AM

Your house should smell wonderful, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Sep 19 - 06:32 AM

I have a flat-cut piece of brisket, about 2.5 pounds. I've rolled and tied it as tightly as I can. I'll melt some fat (dripping or butter - haven't decided yet) in my Le Creuset casserole and sear the meat all round until it's all nice and crusty. I'll put the meat aside and sear some coarsely-sliced celery and onions in the fat. Off the heat I'll put the meat back in with the veg and add about 3/4 pint of stock (I might use a beef cube or some porcini soaking water or a mixture). The liquid needs to come up to about three-quarters the height of the meat. I'll add some seasoning and a few sprigs of thyme (not dried - I'd rather leave it out than use that) and a fresh bayleaf from my bush.

I don't know how long it'll need, but I'll be guessing at about three hours or a bit more in the oven at a cool 130C. I cover the pan with foil before putting the lid tightly on. I'll give it a quick check after a couple of hours to make sure it isn't drying out. If it is, I'll add boiling water. When I reckon it has an hour to go I'll throw in some little carrot batons. You can put these in at the start but they'll be a bit squidgy (or just put very big bits in at the start). At the same time I'm thinking of putting in some roasties. Or I might do mash. I'll see how thick the liquid is at the end. If it's too thin I might thicken it with a bit of flour but it shouldn't need it. Some nice thick slices of meat with greens and spuds and that gravy. Yum. Oh, and a bottle of Negroamaro...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 10:15 AM

Last night we were eating frittata again, the result of turning out the right-hand veg bin in the fridge. (Left-hand veg bin is stuff that keeps -- i.e., roots 'n' tubers.) Eggs are cheap in Perth County, where poultry production runs a close second to hogs. (Yes, the cooked breakfast is a thing here.)

As I shovelled the eggy, cheesy, veggy forkfuls down my neck, I said to Himself, "You know, a lot of great food is downright easy to make." Himself is wary of such pronouncements, as I tend to misoverestimate his familiarity with certain domestic tasks, but for once asked me to elaborate. "Frittata, for example, requires exactly two cooking skills: chopping veg to uniform size, and adding hot food to raw egg without curdling the egg."

"Ah," he said, in his lawyerly way, "but you also have to know when to stop cooking, and that is the hard part."

Come to think of it, knowing when to stop is the secret to many -- dare I say most? -- things in life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 09:59 AM

Fill the hole with a good vinaigrette.

My beef was superb. Never again marinate a whole steak and slice after. All that lost juice (sigh)!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 06:32 PM

Er, the avocados are au naturel, not me. Though I won't guarantee that the two conditions never collide...

Down, girls...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 06:29 PM

If I see avocados on special offer I buy them and, unbeknowns to Mrs Steve, scoff them au naturel with a furtive teaspoon. Our typical avo dish is avos with Delia Smith's seafood sauce and prawns, with a liberal sprinkling of sweet or smoked paprika. The sauce tastes fifty times better if you make it a few hours in advance. Another one is tricolore salad, devastatingly simple yet devastatingly delicious. Take two ripe avocados and slice them thinly. Take two big blobs of mozzarella (maybe 200g) and slice them thinly. Take a big handful or two of the best cherry tomatoes you can lay your hands on and cut them in half. Get a big shallow dish and arrange the slices of avo and cheese artistically. Alternatively, just chuck them into the dish at random. Scatter the chopped tomatoes on top. Grind a few grinds of black pepper on top. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of your finest extra virgin olive oil over the whole thing and finish off with a few torn baby basil leaves. As with everything, the quality of your ingredients here is paramount. No shitty shop tomatoes, no rock-hard or blackened avocados, no bog-standard olive oil, no bloody dried basil (this should not ever infest your kitchen at all, frankly). It's an amazing dish as long as you stick to those rules. And you don't need buffalo mozzarella. You never do. Get this right, which is easy, and you have a healthy summery supper for two. It needs wine..

Actually, Mrs Steve accuses me of always planning meals "that need wine." Don't tell her, but she could be right...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 03:56 PM

Sounds good, Charmion - I'd have those peaches on cereal, with soya and maple syrup.

Another thing I like to do is fill the hole left after removing the large stone from an avocado with maple syrup, then tuck in with a teaspoon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 10:12 AM

Steve, we might have to visit you in Food Smugglers' Gaol. In Canadian airports, the Department of Agriculture deploys beagles in little green jackets to locate luggage packed with bacon and sausages by scoff-law foodies. I hate to think how our fiercer neighbours to the south respond to that problem ... Werewolves. I'll bet that's it. Werewolves with steel teeth.

It is harvest season in southwest Ontario, and the landscape is almost obscenely lush with bounty. The corn is as high as a mastodon's eye, and the peaches ... Oh, the peaches! The muskmelons! Oy! Tomatoes! I have eaten a tomato with every meal since the middle of August. It doesn't get better than this.

But soon enough the frost will hit and soup season will return. A review of the pantry produced several Mason jars with a few ounces of black-eyed peas or half a pound of Great Northern beans. There's a beef rib in the freezer, left over from the tomahawk steak a few weeks ago, and pot barley. Not to speak of the usual litter of carrots and celery. But that can wait till after the first frost.

Until then, peaches!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 10:11 AM

Planning a kind of medley of flank steak and beef Stroganoff, with accents of gulyas. Guess who just learned how to spell StrogAnoff. Mushrooms, sour cream, bacon fat. Who even needs the beef...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 04:06 PM

Into my usual "One-Pot Cooking" (reheated in the office microwave) I added edamame instead of baked/haricot beans today - their nutty flavour makes a nice change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 12:41 PM

Fat back is probably the closest that is easily available, but that's all pork fat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 11:29 AM

Oh dear! I couldn't live without unsmoked streaky bacon. If I ever come to the States, I'll smuggle a few packs over in the hold bag inside my socks...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 11:11 AM

Most of our bacon here is hickory smoked, so I hoped the ham would be a bit less smoky and have the flavor. Every so often I see other types of bacon so I'll have to look carefully for a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 07:40 AM

I had quite a few leftover boiled potatoes yesterday. So it was shallow fried reheats here too. We just had baked beans and veggie burger/bakes with them.

Apple crumble for pudding plus I stewed the remaining cooking apples we’d bought for the freezer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 07:27 AM

Gino's ingredient list:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
250g diced pancetta.
700g white onions, peeled and finely sliced.
1.5 litres chicken stock, made with stock cubes.
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes.
to taste salt and black pepper.
4 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese shavings.
6 fresh basil leaves.

I just googled "Gino D'Acampo tomato and onion soup" for that (I'm out and about today). You can use any onions or shallots but you need that amount. Like you I prefer to use my own stock. Turkey would be fine. Ham doesn't sound right. The best sub for pancetta would be streaky bacon. He says cubes but snipped-up rashers are fine. The basil leaves add a nice herby touch at the end. They're a bit wasted if you just cook them in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 11:30 PM

Steve, I had to substitute for the pancetta, a mix of bacon and diced ham (and it had the smoke you cautioned about) and the bottle of stock I had in the freezer that was close to the correct amount was turkey stock (I have cubes, but preferred to use the real stock). And I ended up with more tomatoes (proportionately) than your recipe calls for, but I get the drift. I'll hunt for the non-smoked greasy pork to try it again later. This was okay, but I can see how it would be much better non-smokey, so I'll work on it. I made a half-size batch because I didn't have enough onion to make full sized. And that is a LOT OF ONION. Did you really mean a pound and a half?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 05:44 PM

This is a food thread, let's keep it that way.

Nice lunch today, I thawed a piece of that Copper River salmon (I smoked about 2/3 of what I bought and froze the rest in portion sizes), some steamed cauliflower, and reheated pan-fried potatoes. The dogs follow closely when I cook and know the smells of the foods they are liable to get trimmings from (salmon skin, edge of steaks, primarily). When I'd eaten the last of the cauliflower I picked up the knife to cut the salmon skin in half and both dogs popped up like magic - I really must be predictable, that they know the motion that leads to their treat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 11:40 AM

While looking for something else I came across a couple of old food threads.

YouTube chefs and, though I didn't link it, my old thread on broccoli cornbread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 09:23 AM

Oh and thanks, Stilly. It was a new article but that did not make it new news.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 09:21 AM

Wait, canola isn't a plant?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 09:43 PM

I know, I know...

Anyway...

Tomorrow evening it's risotto made with leftover chicken. It's adapted from an idea of Nigel Slater's (I don't really do recipes but I often do "adapted-froms"...). I'll let you know...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 07:15 PM

Beyond offering the name of the oil to round out information in a remark, I always ignore WAV. I don't read his poems and I don't bother with his weird philosophy on anything.

I have a chicken breast baking in the toaster oven, that will probably go into something like fajitas or sliced and used on top of a pizza. Cooking a whole chicken when you live alone is rarely practical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 06:41 PM

Not wishing to inject too much controversy into this lovely thread, but I find more than a little hypocrisy in the criticism of the slaughtering methods of other cultures from denizens of those western countries that tolerate industrial-size abattoirs which terrorise soon-to-die animals, battery-egg or barn chickens with hardly enough room to move and which have to endure the stench of their dead compatriots, not to speak of treading over their dead bodies, pigs reared "intensively" in what John Seymour called Belsen-houses, and all manner of animals transported hundreds of miles packed like sardines in huge trucks to slaughterhouses. Speaking of killing animals for food, and John Seymour, I remember reading in one of his books that the kindest way way of killing a pig for food is to have have the animal peacefully rooting around in a field one minute, then dispatched unsuspectingly straight to heaven the next via a shotgun to the head. You're a veggie, grand, so we let you off. But why focus on the one culture whilst ignoring your own?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 05:51 PM

Frankly, I have not looked into how environmentally unfriendly growing rapeseed oil is...I have only thought the opposite because it grows locally.

I have heard that soya has resulted in a lot of slash-and-burn of virgin forest in South America.

Thanks, SRS, but to again be frank, I don't like halal or kosher due to the cruelty involved - even though I majored in anthropology, I think some customs should be outlawed by the UN.

Some anthropologists would rationalise that you have to take a part/whole approach etc. - I hate such unnecessary suffering, as suggested in my poem from WalkaboutsVerse "A Good Life"


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 10:37 AM

I stopped using Canola a dozen years ago when I discovered the Middle Eastern grocery (Halal) where I buy olive oil. I get peanut oil across the street at the large Asian market. In each instance they sell so much that what they have on the shelves is so fresh it will last once I take it home (and I buy the 3-litre bottle of olive oil). I only posted the name in case it was something that WAV was seeing in his store.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 10:03 AM

"Vegan" butter is margarine, renamed by today's cool kids.

Corn-oil margarine was what my Jewish classmates had on their all-beef salami (Shopsy's, with the rabbinical seal of approval on the wrapper) sandwiches back in 1965. Parev, so okay with meat. Roll the calendar forward about half a century and lo! it's being marketed to a new dietary minority.

That's fine, as long as I don't have to eat it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 04:48 AM

I suppose so. Grunt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 03:10 AM

Vegan butter is in good, or at any rate acceptable, non-dairy company: peanut butter, apple butter, shea butter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 07:51 PM

Canola is controversial in the UK. Last time I heard, most canola grown in Canada was GM, enabling farmers to use glyphosate weedkiller on the growing crop. Well we don't allow GM crops here. Oilseed rape is lovely and yellow but it is environmentally unfriendly, requiring lots of pesticide input, and it requires heavy nitrogen fertilising. I haven't researched the other oils as much in these regards, but I won't be buying canola/rapeseed oil any time soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 05:42 PM

The only oils I use these days are groundnut oil for really hot frying, everyday extra virgin olive oil such as Napolina for general cookery and a top-quality extra virgin olive oil for salad dressing and sprinkling on a finished pasta dish or pizza (a bottle lasts for ages). For certain dishes it has to be butter, for example in risottos, and for frying eggs it's butter for me every time. There are some shortcuts I simply don't take. I don't use tomato or garlic purée. The only dried herb I will ever use is oregano. If a recipe calls for lemon juice, it comes out of a real lemon, never a bottle, and cheap watery balsamic vinegar has no place in my house. An expensive bottle of that lovely, thick balsamic lasts for ages, and it's great for mixing with olive oil as a salad dressing or to dip your bread into (which they never do in Italy) or sprinkling on a bowl of strawberries, though round here it has to compete with good old Cornish clotted cream.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 04:21 PM

Never been to Canada, SRS, but I imagine some of the land and climate there would be similar to where it is grown here.

Also, whatever you spread your toast with, next time you make beans on toast, try dabbing in some mint sauce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 01:13 PM

Rape seed oil is labeled "Canola" in the US - an abbreviation for Canadian Oil Association


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 12:13 PM

Well it's not butter, in the same way that a Linda McCartney sausage is not a sausage and a nut cutlet is not a cutlet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 12:09 PM

Thanks Leeneia - when my bottle of rapeseed runs out I will look to give walnut oil a go (a few years ago, I spent quite a while looking for rapeseed oil in a supermarket, before realising it was labelled vegetable oil).

And, sorry Steve, I still can't think of a better term than "vegan butter"...maybe not Full Monty Margarine?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 11:03 AM

Mrrzy, it's probably in this thread somewhere. We covered just about every aspect of the topic in 400+ posts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 10:18 AM

Man I saw an article on whiskey versus whisky and now can't find it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 08:37 AM

Steve, the first carbonara I ever ate, made by my Norwegian first husband (aka Mr Wrong), had streaky bacon, rather a lot of frozen peas, bechamel sauce, and no egg. I liked it then, but have since learned better.

Of course, Norwegians would put bechamel sauce on a peach Melba if you let them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 05:18 AM

There's nothing weird about pancetta. It's the Italian take on streaky bacon, and many an hotel restaurant in Italy will serve it fried for breakfast. Delicious. You can occasionally buy it in the piece, but generally it's sold either as a small dice (cubetti) or as very thin slices, which look just like a fine version of streaky bacon. Pancetta is cured pork belly (as is streaky bacon) with no rind. Drape a slice or two over your baked chicken pieces for the last ten minutes for a lovely salty crunch. I can't imagine a meaty ragu, or a meaty risotto, that doesn't start with some sautéed pancetta that adds flavour depth as well as some lovely rich fat to fry your onions. I generally use the unsmoked version. Like most cured meats, it carries that baggage of nitrites/nitrates that worry some people. Not me. Streaky bacon is a good substitute though it may need a bit more cooking.

For me, pork belly is the tastiest part of the pig with the possible exception of guanciale (cured pig's cheek). You can use pancetta cubes instead of guanciale in carbonara, though the latter is more traditional (and even more delicious). I've even used sliced pancetta when the shops are closed and I've felt the urgent need for carbonara. It works. If you put cream in your carbonara, though, I may never speak to you again...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 10:39 PM

I have also printed up Steve's tomato soup recipe to try soon. I'll work out something to use instead of pancetta (I don't know if I've seen it around here, I'll have to look.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 09:39 PM

Does a flank steak marinade have to have a salt component? I find oil, vinegar or lemon, and spices/herbs to be just ducky. Am I missing something?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 09:28 PM

I looked up what pancetta is. Raw pork belly, salted and hung for at least three weeks in a cool place. That is not going to fly in my house.

Walkie, I have cracked-wheat toast with walnut oil on it for breakfast every weekday morning. That's similar to your toast and rapeseed oil. (Walnut oil is said to be good for the heart.) A friend of mine learned to do it on a trip to France and shared the idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 03:51 PM

What would you call it then, Steve?! Vegan margarine? Vegan spread (but that could other spreads). The brand Vitalite call it Dairy Free Spread.

I drink soya milk...is that okay?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 03:46 PM

"Vegan butter"? Call it sommat else! I can't believe it's not not butter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 03:16 PM

Out of vegan butter today, I drizzled rapeseed oil on toast, topped with mushrooms, beans and rice plus, as ever, plenty of tomato sauce. My poem "My Diet".


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 03:25 AM

You could use streaky bacon, which I suppose is what pancetta is anyway. Go easy on the olive oil at the beginning, as you'll get a fair bit of fat from the bacon/pancetta, and you'll get more still if you use your home-made chicken stock. Chef's instinct!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 08:57 PM

Steve Shaw, I’m a-gonna make that this week.

I have chicken stock in the freezer and a bowlful of tomatoes on the sideboard, but pancetta requires a trip to Kitchener, 40 km away. I also want pignoli, so the trip won’t be wasted.

I’m always in the market for a great soup recipe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 07:34 PM

Here's Gino's amazing soup. Apologies for the fact that it's not exactly a pure tomato soup, but it's so good...

For four people, you need half a pound of pancetta (not smoked, and it can be little cubes or, as I prefer, snipped-up thin slices), a pound and a half of finely-sliced onions (he sez white, but I use banana shallots), peeled weight, two and a half pints of chicken stock (feel free to use organic stock cubes), and a 400g can of good-quality tomatoes (or use your own) and a big glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Gently fry the onions and bacon in the oil for a good fifteen minutes until all is soft and squishy. Throw in the tomatoes and stock. Season, bearing in mind the saltiness of the pancetta. Simmer for a good half-hour. At the end, check the seasoning again.

Serve this with some parmesan shavings on top together with a few torn basil leaves. Keep the EV olive oil bottle to hand. Given a huge hunk of crusty bread with abundant butter and you have a meal, not just a starter. If there's a better soup, I've yet to meet it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 02:40 PM

Admittedly not a pure tomato soup, but Gino D'Acampo's tomato, onion and pancetta soup is as good as soup gets. I could give the recipe but I'm in a bit of a hurry right now. Then, for a different take, there's pappa al pomodoro, a lovely thick Tuscan tomato soup made with stale bread.

Just one thing: if you use good quality canned Italian plum tomatoes, your soup will be as good or better than soup made with fresh. "Good quality" is paramount. Here in the UK I've used Cirio, Napolina and Waitrose own-brand to good advantage. No canned tomatoes should contain salt or herbs or garlic. If you want any of that, use plain canned tomatoes and add the other stuff yourself. A half-teaspoon of sugar added to ANY tomato sauce or soup is a touch of magic. All right, don't believe me...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 12:54 PM

Tomato soup is surprisingly challenging, Jon Freeman, largely because its success depends entirely on the quality of the tomatoes. (Fresh, ripe Romas are the best.) Do too much to a tomato soup, and it fails because it's not actually tomato soup; it's a something-else soup with tomatoes in it. But if you do too little, the taste is off unless you're very lucky. Tomatoes need salt and sometimes a touch of sugar to get the flavour right.

It's cream of tomato soup that I loathe. Even when made lovingly from scratch by a kitchen expert, its flavour often has an undernote of library paste, and the texture is awful unless you purée it perfectly and strain out every seed, which is way more work than it's worth. In restaurants, the "home-made" tomato soup never is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 10:37 AM

Well our plumb tomatoes have gone to tomato soup, some for freezing. Not tasted yet as mum is still working on it but feel confident will come out nice.

I’m not sure what it is with me and tomato soup but I’d go as far as to say that I've had some (including the Heinz tins) that I either don’t think much of or actively dislike. The simple Delia recipe (or the combination of that and the fresh ripe Roma?) she’s using is however one I’ve enjoyed in the past.


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