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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Charmion 06 Feb 19 - 04:35 PM
Mrrzy 06 Feb 19 - 05:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Feb 19 - 06:11 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Feb 19 - 06:33 PM
Mrrzy 07 Feb 19 - 06:43 AM
Mrrzy 07 Feb 19 - 06:44 AM
Thompson 07 Feb 19 - 12:49 PM
Donuel 08 Feb 19 - 09:38 AM
Mrrzy 08 Feb 19 - 11:48 AM
Donuel 08 Feb 19 - 01:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 19 - 11:59 PM
Thompson 09 Feb 19 - 09:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Feb 19 - 02:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 19 - 12:17 PM
Jos 10 Feb 19 - 02:26 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Feb 19 - 02:40 PM
Thompson 11 Feb 19 - 04:38 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Feb 19 - 07:19 AM
Mrrzy 11 Feb 19 - 11:31 AM
leeneia 11 Feb 19 - 01:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 19 - 03:50 PM
Monique 11 Feb 19 - 05:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 19 - 05:12 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 19 - 01:38 AM
Jos 12 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM
BobL 12 Feb 19 - 03:36 AM
Mrrzy 12 Feb 19 - 09:51 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 19 - 10:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Feb 19 - 11:01 PM
Charmion 14 Feb 19 - 03:36 PM
leeneia 14 Feb 19 - 10:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Feb 19 - 11:35 AM
leeneia 16 Feb 19 - 11:09 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Feb 19 - 03:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Feb 19 - 08:27 PM
leeneia 18 Feb 19 - 12:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 19 - 04:44 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Feb 19 - 07:47 PM
Donuel 19 Feb 19 - 08:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 19 - 08:59 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Feb 19 - 09:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 19 - 10:32 PM
Jon Freeman 20 Feb 19 - 06:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 19 - 11:30 AM
Charmion 20 Feb 19 - 06:40 PM
Thompson 21 Feb 19 - 03:17 AM
Mrrzy 22 Feb 19 - 08:53 AM
Thompson 22 Feb 19 - 12:32 PM
Mrrzy 22 Feb 19 - 03:23 PM
Jon Freeman 23 Feb 19 - 09:20 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 04:35 PM

The Instant Pot multi-cooker does boffo beans. I made a beans-and-ham-hock stew for the ages yesterday, and it took only an hour, plus time to bone the hock and cut up the meat. Perfect texture, great flavour.

Further to the discussion of stock, above: I'm with Steve Shaw on bouillon cubes. I read the labels on the packets at the supermarket, including the ones that say Organic and whatever, and always end up putting them back on the shelf in favour of the cut-up veg and chicken wreckage that I have used for some fifty years.

It isn't just that I don't know what the finished article will taste like, it's also that properly made stock behaves in a particular way when you boil it down, and I have no idea whether the bouillon cube will produce a similar result.

I'm not so sure of Steve's analysis of the effect of wine, but then every cook has his/her own special understanding of "harsh". Come to think of it, everything I put wine in gets flambéed or cooked for ages, and sometimes both.

As for okra, I have no idea. The only place to buy okra around here is more than half an hour away in Kitchener, and I don't consider it worth the trip.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 05:01 PM

You guys have Better Than Bouillon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 06:11 PM

This discussion got me thinking about all of the okra I have in the freezer, so I pulled out a gallon ziplock bag (about 5 pounds?) and took it next door. Her husband isn't allowed okra now (he loves it fried) due to kidney stones, but she can eat it. She really likes it boiled and he can easily resist the boiled version—you had to grow up with it fixed that way.

Alcohol in wine used for cooking adds a harsh edge to the dish.

I don't cook often with anything other than regular table wines, but I've had a bottle of Marsala unopened forever because I hadn't thought about how long it would last once opened. There aren't that many things I would make to use the rest of it in a week. But this is what I learned:


What’s the difference and similarities among Marsala, Sherry and Port? They all are fortified wines, but differ in origin, flavor, alcohol by volume levels, and ways of usage.

These are among the best wines to use for cooking. They pack the most intense flavors and—because they’re fortified with a little more alcohol than table wine—have the longest life on the pantry shelf.

  • Marsala has a medium-rich body that is great for sauces, marinades, meats and seafoods
  • Port has a rich sweetness and depth that’s especially good in meat-based casseroles
  • Sherry’s complex roasted nutty flavors can enhance just about any soup, stew, or sautéed dish

  • From here.

    And from another site, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services in New York State, this one with clinical studies into the question:
    Alcohol can be found as an ingredient in many recipes. It can be added as an ingredient to add specific flavors or it can be part of an ingredient, such as extracts. Many cookbooks and cooks tell the consumer that the “alcohol will have burned off," however the process is more complicated than this simple statement implies. Alcohol does boil at a lower temperature than water - 86 degrees centigrade vs. 100 degrees C. for water, though one may have to boil a beer for 30 minutes to get it down to the NA or nonalcoholic category, which by law means it contains less than .5 percent alcohol.

    Nutritionists from Washington State University, the University of Idaho and U.S. Department of Agriculture experimented with cooking with alcohol, though not with beer, but with wine and sherry. They cooked two Burgundy-laden dishes similar to boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin, plus scalloped oysters with sherry. Depending on the method (simmering or baking), the temperature, the time and even on the size of the pan anywhere from 4 percent to 49 percent of the original alcohol remained in the dish. Long simmering in a wide pan was the most effective way to remove alcohol; baking appeared to be the least.

    I am happy with the way food tastes with no extra effort to remove alcohol beyond the natural cooking time and low boiling point of alcohol. I do use it to deglase, so there it has been happening unconsciously. But last night's delicious teriyaki simmered for 30 minutes so no doubt still contained some alcohol. I'll pass on the boiled beer.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Steve Shaw
    Date: 06 Feb 19 - 06:33 PM

    Well you know me - I have nothing whatsoever against booze, and there's nowt nicer than a boozy trifle or a big glug of Baileys poured over ice cream. But I don't want that boozy edge in a slow-cooked dish, for example. All I can say is try it and see. Burn it off!   

    There are some booze additions I dislike. For me, using cider to boil a ham is a no-no. Not keen on beef in beer/Guinness either. In Italian cooking, my speciality, if you're going to use wine, you should use the same wine that you're going to drink with the dish. Using a cheap wine that you wouldn't drink, or worse, "cooking wine," will always give you poor results


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Mrrzy
    Date: 07 Feb 19 - 06:43 AM

    Right, cook with the wine you're drinking, that's what I learned. Also there was a lot of liver damage in my family... Mom could not eat one chocolate with cordial in it... But we were never triggered by food with wine, or flambeeing, so I am pretty sure the alcohol left in, say, mom's coq au vin or beef bourguinion was anything other than negligeable.

    Also my sheperd's pie failed: too much liquid, it got above the mashed and created an awful texture.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Mrrzy
    Date: 07 Feb 19 - 06:44 AM

    Was negligible, sorry.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Thompson
    Date: 07 Feb 19 - 12:49 PM

    The only alcohol I've ever found had a slightly bitter taste was the Guinness in Guinness stew, but I don't mind it there. Maybe my tastebuds are lacking (quite possible as many years of sinus infections have played merry hell with my sense of smell), but I don't get any bitter undertaste from the slosh of red wine I'll put into a stew or the slosh of vermouth I'll often put in when cooking fish.

    Steve, how do you get your sirloin flat? I went to the butcher's today and got him to flatten it, which he did, saying any further flattening would wreck the fibres of the meat. But do you flatten it yourself, for instance by beating the tripes out of it with a rolling pin while invoking the name of your favourite government minister?


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Donuel
    Date: 08 Feb 19 - 09:38 AM

    food is violent

    Vegans won't eat meat
    Living things with eyes
    will not be their treat
    Pigs feet make them cry

    Food is violent
    Organic or not
    Screams are silent
    What ever you got

    I've beaten some eggs
    Not a sound was made
    I've fried chicken legs
    There was no first aid

    I've peeled bananas
    Potatoes I've mashed
    It sounds like torture
    the food that I've thrashed

    Make a melon ball
    slice a tomato
    Your food has been mauled
    As if torpedoed

    I've whipped cream, crushed nuts
    burned red onions
    vegetables cut
    all by the dozen

    Food is violent
    no matter your mood
    After an ambulence
    You'll one day be food


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Mrrzy
    Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:48 AM

    Heh heh you are *already* food, Donuel!


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Donuel
    Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:39 PM

    I never eat tiger
    But I do eat meat
    As a good driver
    the drive throughs are sweet

    Food is violence
    No matter your mood
    You will break silence
    When you are the food

    Tigers get hungry
    In the wild or Zoo
    When not caged but free
    the new food is you


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:59 PM

    This evening I made a batch of my own invention, chunks of zucchini in a casserole with onion, green pepper, Italian sausage, pasta sauce, Parmesan cheese, some wine, egg noodles, and I cleared out some partial things in the fridge and freezer. A couple of peppers I needed to dice and freeze, some went in the skillet, a small container of frozen diced tomato, the rest of a jar of fancy roasted red peppers and feta cheese (by Peloponnese) from lunch a couple of weeks ago. That last ingredient made this dish amazing.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Thompson
    Date: 09 Feb 19 - 09:58 AM

    Ah, that most delicious of all dishes, ad hoc leftovers jazzing up fresh vegetables!


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 09 Feb 19 - 02:30 PM

    Yes! And difficult to repeat completely from one time to the next. In season the zucchini, onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs are all likely to have come out of my garden. It is an "organically" developed dish based upon what was picked in the last couple of days.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 10 Feb 19 - 12:17 PM

    It's another cold humid rainy day, so I'm going to bake a couple of things. Starting with a "Dutch Baby" popover for brunch, and then some baking powder biscuits that are rolled out to about 1/4 inch thin, scored into a dozen squares, and each one filled with a raisin/walnut/brown sugar/butter/cinnamon mix. Pinch four corners together, place corners up in the ungreased muffin tin, bake, and they are so good! (I'll come back with specifics after I make them. I'm just dreaming of them now - and they're called "Raisin Bonanzas." It's a recipe from my childhood, no idea where Mom got it. And my kids also love it.)


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Jos
    Date: 10 Feb 19 - 02:26 PM

    If you were to put the 'Raisin Bonanzas' in the tin the other way up and flatten them a bit, you would have something very similar to Eccles cakes - except Eccles cakes have more currants than raisins.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Jon Freeman
    Date: 10 Feb 19 - 02:40 PM

    Then there's Chorley cakes... I don't know the American version but would happily eat either of the UK different versions.

    And I'm pretty sure that in the past, mum has used up scrap pastry with the dried fruit type fillings.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Thompson
    Date: 11 Feb 19 - 04:38 AM

    Waiting eagerly for recipes for Chorley Cake and Raisin Bonanza.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Jon Freeman
    Date: 11 Feb 19 - 07:19 AM

    Maybe my post was misleading but I'm pretty sure I've never had Eccles or Chorley cakes that were not shop bought, Thompson.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Mrrzy
    Date: 11 Feb 19 - 11:31 AM

    I have never made a Dutch baby, I am afraid of things that are supposed to grow in the oven. Shades of I Love Lucy when I was young and fearful. Are they really good?

    Meanwhile I have some ground bison. Ideas? I usually make spags...


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: leeneia
    Date: 11 Feb 19 - 01:04 PM

    Hi, Mrrzy. I used to be afraid of yeast cookery too. I got started with Rhodes' frozen bread dough from the freezer case at the supermarket. Their directions are very good. Then somebody gave me a bread machine, and I haven't looked back.

    I quit watching Lucy at the age of 9 or 10. Her stupidity was cringe-making.

    How about making meat loaf with the ground bison. Mix in some sausage to add flavor and a little fat. Despite all the old jokes about it, meatloaf is good, and it freezes well.
    ==============
    Question for everybody:
    I investigated a funny-looking box in my fridge. It's Camembert that we got at Christmas-time. Is it safe to eat, do you think?


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:50 PM

    There is no yeast in a Dutch Baby, it's a large popover, a very simple concept that perhaps Alton Brown has described on one of his kitchen chemistry programs. And it doesn't grow so large it's a problem unless perhaps you try to do it in a toaster oven.

    I have no idea where my mother found this Raisin Bonanza recipe, I copied it onto an index card when I was probably 10 or 12 years old, as I created my own little wooden recipe box. That box is still the heart of a lot of things I make (that I loved and that my kids are particularly fond of.) In our family panoply of recipes it's up there with baking powder biscuits, pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken pot pie . . . a classic comfort food that sometimes one is forgiven for making a meal of.

    Raisin Bonanzas
    Preheat oven to 400; baking time 15 to 20 minutes
    Yield 12 to 16, depending on how much you roll out your dough.

    Biscuit Dough:
    2 cups sifted flour
    1 T sugar
    3 ½ tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1/3 cup shortening (or butter)
    ¾ cup milk (or water, for lighter biscuits)

    Optional:
    Melted butter
    Granulated sugar

    Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening. Add milk/water and mix to moderately stiff dough.
    Roll out on lightly floured surface, creating a rectangle so you can cut it into 4" squares. (At this point, if you wish, you can use the melted butter to brush over the flat dough and sprinkle granulated sugar over it. I never bother.) If you roll the dough out thinner and cut the squares slightly smaller you can make 16 biscuits, but you might want to increase the amount of filling for them.)

    Place raisin filling on each square, then when it is divided equally, proceed to lift the corners together and lightly pinch. Place each biscuit in an ungreased muffin pan cup.

    Filling:
    1 cup light or dark raisins
    ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
    1 tsp cinnamon
    2 T melted butter
    Walnuts (I use at least 3/4 cup)
    Mix all ingredients until blended.

    I fed this recipe into My Fitness Pal, yield 12, without the extra butter and granulated sugar, and it comes out at 188 calories per biscuit. Sorry no weights on the ingredients for all of you UK folks.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Monique
    Date: 11 Feb 19 - 05:06 PM

    Ingredient Conversions Page on "Chocolate and Zucchini" blog to convert American measures into metric. My favorite recipe from this blog is "Very Ginger Cookies".


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 11 Feb 19 - 05:12 PM

    Funny - I have that exact same set of measuring spoons, including the scratched up paint showing the amounts.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Jon Freeman
    Date: 12 Feb 19 - 01:38 AM

    I think the only “proper” measuring spoon we have is the one for the breadmaker. Its tsp (graduated to its ½ tsp) works well with the machine.

    Rambling on… One place I’d doubt digital kitchen scales as recommend in the blog is for measurements of only a few grams as can be found in bread recipes. Or at least I don’t think our own Salter set would give repeatable results better than within a couple of grams. In a moment of keenness, I did buy a pocket balance that would be better for that sort of task but in practice, they’ve had very little use.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Jos
    Date: 12 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM

    I use an old set of balance scales - a dish on one side and a set of weights on the other. There is a little movable metal weight on the arm of the balance which can be adjusted for complete accuracy. It never goes wrong.
    My grandmother had her own measure for a teaspoon of sugar or salt when making bread - the hollow of the palm of her hand.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: BobL
    Date: 12 Feb 19 - 03:36 AM

    Postal scales or jewellery scales are the things to use, or so I've heard. Otherwise use volume measurements: some of my breadmaker recipes specify 15g butter, for which I use a 15ml measuring spoon. Butter, like a surprising number of other foods, has a density close to 1gm/ml.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Mrrzy
    Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:51 AM

    I am afraid to try souffles, too, mom made them with a high degree of anxiety.


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

    My grandmother, and my father who learned from her, also measured salt in the palm of her hand or between her fingers and thumb.

    I much prefer to weigh ingredients, especially for bread. I get a much more consistent result, which pleases my neat-seeking soul.

    Today, the plan is to deal with a hunk of lamb neck that looks good for nothing much but stewing, but isn't big enough to make a proper stew. I have never made a ragu, or at least not a proper one, so I think I shall start at the deep end, with this hunk of bony muscles.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 13 Feb 19 - 11:01 PM

    Still clearing leftovers out of my fridge, but today I made a batch of broccoli cornbread to warm up to go with meals. Can't eat much at a time, it's very rich. It's a box of cornbread mix, like Jiffy (this one happens to be a different gluten-free brand), 1 stick of butter (in the US this is a 1/2 cup - I used half butter and half olive oil), half a medium onion chopped and browned in the butter (careful not to burn it). Two eggs, 1 cup of cottage cheese (I used ricotta because that's what I had here), and a small package of frozen broccoli, thawed. Mix everything and put in a greased pan.

    The recipe gave amounts on everything except the package of broccoli - who knows what size they had in mind - so I imagine you'd want to thaw enough that looks good when you submerge it in the mix. I submerged steamed fresh broccoli in the batter.

    This goes in an 8" square pan.

    Bake in 350o oven for 35-40 minutes, though I left it about 45 minutes to get a hint of brown on the top.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Charmion
    Date: 14 Feb 19 - 03:36 PM

    The lamb neck did not end up in a ragu, as even Marcella Hazan says to use mince for that. And I failed to disjoint and cut it up, lacking a meat saw, thus blowing a plan to make a hotpot with it. In the end, I pressure-cooked it in the Instant Pot, shredded the meat and dressed it with vinegar and pepper, and served it on rotini with a robust tomato sauce — olive oil infused with chilies, anchovies, garlic, onion, carrot and celery, glug of red wine, defatted dripping from our latest roast chicken, tin of plum tomatoes.

    It was really good, with a bottle of Pinot Noir and a sleet storm blowing a gale outside.

    I may never buy ready-made tomato sauce again ...


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: leeneia
    Date: 14 Feb 19 - 10:14 PM

    So, Charmion, your ugly duckling neck of lamb turned into a beautiful swan of a pasta dish. A rich, flavorful dish like that is greatly enhanced by a sleet storm.

    My dear husband and I had a new meal the other night - true frankfurters and cabbage steaks. The DH absolutely loved it. You can find out how to bake cabbage steaks on Youtube.

    The frankfurters were shipped in from Milwaukee and were not cheap, everyday hot dogs. They had a mysterious sweet spice to them - not coriander. I couldn't identify it.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 15 Feb 19 - 11:35 AM

    As hot dogs go most of them are the lowest end of the production line, mechanically separated meat parts. If I have a hankering for hot dogs I used to get the Kosher ones, Nathans or Hebrew National. They're probably just as full of nitrates and such, but seem a little healthier. Most recently I bought several packages of an organically produced hot dogs produced by Applegate that were uncured. The grocery had them all in the freezer section (most meats there were bought near the sell-by date so all goes in the freezer to preserve it). They were very good. But probably not as good as the Milwaukee frankfurters. :)


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: leeneia
    Date: 16 Feb 19 - 11:09 AM

    I don't know what your sausage is like, Stilly, [whether it's raw or cooked, vacuum-packed or loose] but when I buy fresh, uncooked sausage, I cook it immediately. Then we either eat it right away or freeze it. I freeze it in Ziploc bags from which I suck out the air with a straw.

    They keep well, but big batches go into the chest freezer, which is colder than a refrigerator freezer. I think it's -30 F.

    A couple years ago I bought raw sausage from the German store in town. It came from their freezer and was professionally wrapped. I put it straight into the fridge freezer. It all spoiled. They refused to reimburse me. I was just supposed to know!


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Steve Shaw
    Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:58 PM

    The cognescenti in the UK seek out and stay loyal to the local butcher's sausage. I will not buy any branded or supermarket sausage, nor do I want a link that has had silly things added such as garlic, apple or leeks. Moore's butchers in Bude have been making sausages from pork shoulder for over a hundred years, and I will countenance no other sausage. I want a coarse, juicy meaty texture, a lovely salty spicy hit and no more than a hint of the rusk that makes supermarket bangers, with whatever meat they have in them minced to a sludge, seem like you're chewing a soggy dishcloth. His skins are just right, strong enough to hold the thing together but not so strong that only a hacksaw could cut through, the latter useless in a sausage casserole. Beautiful on the barbecue or in a bun as a hot dog with buttery fried onion and (if you really insist) ketchup, and peerless as bangers and mash with onion gravy. .


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 17 Feb 19 - 08:27 PM

    Food preparation this evening used as many things as I could manage from the freezer (a mix I can use for nachos/tacos/burritos) and a few gaps will allow the reorganization (so I can see better what all is in there.)

    I baked two large sweet potatoes (large by grocery store standards, not large by what one can actually grow in the garden, which is humongous) to cut into chunks to heat with meals. I bake them to the point of caramelized juices dripping and cooking on the pan to bring out the sweetness. I don't put anything on them, though around the holidays I have a dish that has boiled sweet potatoes mashed with some pie spices, orange juice, and chopped roasted pecans added and small marshmallows on top to add a sweet crust.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: leeneia
    Date: 18 Feb 19 - 12:45 PM

    Sweet potatoes and pecans! Now that's a good idea. I like the idea of orange juice, too.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 19 Feb 19 - 04:44 PM

    It's a recipe from my old Fanny Farmer Cookbook, the eleventh edition published in 1965. Page 268, "Sweet Potatoes de Luxe." As far as I could tell this volume had all of the same recipes that were in my mother's edition of the book (probably purchased in the 1950s). Farmer was at the Boston Cooking School, and one of the earliest "scientific" cooks, testing recipes before she published them in her books.

    A note that I offer to my children when using this kind of book is that current recipes tend to include a lot more information about technique, how to mix, assemble, or cook the recipe in question. Fanny Farmer offered recipes to cooks who knew how to do those things: ingredients, order of assembly if needed, and baking temperature if it went into the oven. There are small drawn illustrations throughout, but not on every page. Pages formatted with two-columns had recipes rarely longer than a single column, and many of the pages will have two, three, or four recipes in a single column.

    Julia Child's collaboration on Mastering the Art of French Cooking targeted American cooks who didn't have the French techniques and needed to see directions and illustrations in order to master those dishes. I suspect she set the standard that has been followed by many published and broadcast chefs ever since. Many modern cooks didn't have the advantage of a good Home Economics course or have parents who taught them to cook. My kids learned a lot of cooking at home, so I can usually just send the recipe they want and they figure out the rest.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Steve Shaw
    Date: 19 Feb 19 - 07:47 PM

    No-one ever taught me to cook anything. My countless mistakes have been visited on my poor family for decades, but by now almost everything I cook goes down well. I've learned a few golden rules:

    Keep it simple. Recipes with twenty ingredients are designed to compensate for shortcomings, not for ingredients to complement each other, and every extra ingredient increases the risk of failure.

    Don't be a slave to a recipe. If it says fennel seeds or coriander, and you don't like them, just leave them out. My guacamole is famous, but it has parsley instead of coriander. My idea!

    Timings in cookery books are generally useless. Boil potatoes for fifteen minutes until soft my arse. I won't mash glue. I never time meat. So many minutes per pound and so many over? Recipe for disaster. A big chicken two hours, slathered in butter, all but the last half-hour under foil. An average turkey, three hours. Shoulder of lamb, whack it in the oven as is after breakfast at 110C and forget it until five o'clock. Pot roasts the same, maybe for not quite as long, though ox cheeks can take way over four hours. Never had ox cheeks? Loser! Braised steaks two and a half hours. Shoulder of pork with crackling, as with lamb but give it a very hot blast at the very start and the very end.
    And never buy little joints. Waste of time and they don't cook nice.

    Use the very best ingredients you can find. Insipid chemical golfball tomatoes do not a decent tomato sauce make. In fact, even Italians use canned tomatoes, even in summer. I once read somewhere that the most expensive rice you can find is still cheap. It's true. And a half-teaspoon of sugar in any tomato dish absolutely transforms it. Cheap chicken is not worth eating and it's cruel.

    A tiny splash of Tabasco improves almost everything.

    Never mince garlic. It turns a lovely, mellow ingredient into a harsh near-poison. I never want to think that if I eat this I'll be breathing out garlic for two days, and I do use a lot of garlic.

    Simple Italian pasta sauces are ruined if onion is incorporated. Meaty ragus are the exception.

    Strong herby flavours in a dish mean that you have failed. I love rosemary and sage (fresh, not dried) but they can be hooligans if overused. I don't understand anyone who puts mint in peas, though fresh baby mint leaves sprinkled on pea purée on crostini (with roasted garlic, butter and Parmesan as well as the peas) are fabulous. Dried oregano in a beefy tomato dish is super, but if I find a pot of dried basil in your cupboard that's the last time I eat at your house.

    I enjoy cooking, especially if have have a large glass of white wine on the go, and as long as I can listen to The Archers and everyone keeps out of the kitchen.

    If you have tuna in spring water, throw it in the bin unopened. Don't serve pink salmon to your guests. Don't buy olive oil that isn't extra virgin. It's bullshit that you can't cook with extra virgin. Buy something bog standard such as Napolina extra virgin for cooking but don't heat it too much. Buy a nice Italian estate oil for sprinkling on your pizza (do that in order to not be wrong), for salad dressing and for drizzling on your pasta dish or tostada. If you need to get oil very hot, for home-made oven chips for example, use groundnut oil.

    And in less than ten minutes you can have a fish finger or bacon butty that, when you feel peckish and a bit miserable, outstrips by way of huge enjoyment any Michelin-starred poncy recipe.

    I'm ducking now...


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Donuel
    Date: 19 Feb 19 - 08:07 PM

    Your last post should be the introduction to every cook book.
    Its all true


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 19 Feb 19 - 08:59 PM

    My olive oil is extra virgin and I buy 3-litre bottles at the Halal Import Market. They get oil by the pallet and I never seem to get the same label twice, but I always read them and select oil that comes from one place, usually a town in Palestine or Jordan or Israel. None of this commingled oil from all around the Mediterranean (and probably isn't all olive oil.)

    The same store gets dates by the pallet, Basmati rice by the pallet, you get the drift - they import food for a large customer base, people who cook from scratch with ingredients from back home.

    I tend to buy produce more at the Asian market across the street from the Halal market. They have a lot more to choose from in a lot better condition.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Steve Shaw
    Date: 19 Feb 19 - 09:10 PM

    You're not wrong. But basmati is just a big a minefield as olive oil.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:32 PM

    There are many basmati brands in this store, and I take time reading labels and comparing claims and pricing. Aged, extra long, fragrant, all things to consider. Never get parboiled. Cook it from the beginning yourself.

    You should see the rice aisle at the Asian market - double the size and quadruple the types and brands (all in large bags.) It's a large grocery store, and this part of Texas has large Asian and Middle Eastern populations. Lucky all of us that their stores do such a great job with the import foods.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Jon Freeman
    Date: 20 Feb 19 - 06:17 AM

    I don't know the reasons but basmati rice can seem to me to vary a bit. We changed from getting "supermarket's own" a few years ago and these days try to stick with the Tilda Pure. It might sound a bit odd but it's one we know where we are with.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Stilly River Sage
    Date: 20 Feb 19 - 11:30 AM

    The rice is usually in 10 and 25 pound cloth bags that zip and have a plastic liner. They're also stitched closed below the zip so you have to pull the string to get into the bag once you have it home. The rice comes from India, Pakistan, and various other nations and principalities in the region.

    The Asian market also has large bags of rice, and while there is *mostly* Basmati at the Halal market, they have a few others such as the fragrant jasmine rice and some yellow rice. I buy a brown Basmati rice to get a bit more fiber from it. The Asian varieties are short, long, round, fragrant, all sorts of types and colors. They have the jasmine rice, pearl type rounder grains, long grains, grains meant for sticky rice, etc. What we see on the shelves in American mainstream grocery stores are maybe three varieties from a crop that has hundreds of varieties from around the world.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Charmion
    Date: 20 Feb 19 - 06:40 PM

    We are having spareribs for supper, with brown rice cooked in roast drippings. I cleaned out the fridge today.

    The only kind of white rice I buy nowadays is Arborio for risotto. I’ll eat plain white rice at Asian restaurants, but at home I like the nubbly kind.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Thompson
    Date: 21 Feb 19 - 03:17 AM

    Any truly delicious vegetarian main courses, not fatty or salty, for someone with high blood pressure?


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Mrrzy
    Date: 22 Feb 19 - 08:53 AM

    Ratatouille? Portabello or cauliflower steaks, roasted? I will keep thinking.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Thompson
    Date: 22 Feb 19 - 12:32 PM

    Good thinking! I do make ratatouille occasionally but will make it a standard. I make a lentil-rich lamb stew; must find a way to use less or no lamb. No knowledge of roast portobello or cauliflower steaks, though.


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Mrrzy
    Date: 22 Feb 19 - 03:23 PM

    Take whole cauliflower and slice into 2-3 cm slices (1 inch-ish). Preheat oven to whatever is convenient for whatever else is cooking. Put some oil and any spices/herbs you like on the cauliflower "steaks" and pop into oven on big flat sheet. The time will depend on the temp but they are good under- and overcooked too...


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    Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
    From: Jon Freeman
    Date: 23 Feb 19 - 09:20 AM

    I’ve yet to try one but the Guardian seems to offer quite a few vegetarian recipes these days. One I’m planning on trying next week is a sag aloo with aubergine


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