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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Stilly River Sage 22 Nov 18 - 10:49 AM
Thompson 22 Nov 18 - 11:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Nov 18 - 12:43 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Nov 18 - 02:15 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 22 Nov 18 - 05:36 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Nov 18 - 06:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Nov 18 - 11:28 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 03:29 AM
BobL 23 Nov 18 - 03:40 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 05:17 AM
Jon Freeman 23 Nov 18 - 08:28 AM
Donuel 23 Nov 18 - 09:24 AM
Charmion 23 Nov 18 - 10:14 AM
Jon Freeman 23 Nov 18 - 10:52 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 11:23 AM
Thompson 23 Nov 18 - 12:02 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 12:57 PM
Donuel 23 Nov 18 - 01:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Nov 18 - 02:03 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 02:41 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 03:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Nov 18 - 03:17 PM
Jon Freeman 23 Nov 18 - 03:34 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 04:07 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 04:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Nov 18 - 05:21 PM
Jon Freeman 23 Nov 18 - 05:31 PM
keberoxu 23 Nov 18 - 06:00 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 06:50 PM
keberoxu 23 Nov 18 - 07:02 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 18 - 07:25 PM
Thompson 24 Nov 18 - 12:43 AM
Jon Freeman 24 Nov 18 - 07:54 AM
Jos 24 Nov 18 - 08:50 AM
Jon Freeman 24 Nov 18 - 09:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Nov 18 - 10:35 AM
Jon Freeman 24 Nov 18 - 10:42 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Nov 18 - 07:19 PM
Jon Freeman 25 Nov 18 - 03:06 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Nov 18 - 04:09 AM
Jos 25 Nov 18 - 05:09 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Nov 18 - 05:26 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Nov 18 - 05:45 AM
Jos 25 Nov 18 - 06:15 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Nov 18 - 06:28 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Nov 18 - 07:51 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Nov 18 - 07:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Nov 18 - 09:54 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Nov 18 - 10:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Nov 18 - 01:02 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Nov 18 - 10:49 AM

It's Thanksgiving day, a holiday in the US on the fourth Thursday of November, so people take the whole week off if they can, or at least take off Friday if it isn't already a part of their holiday. Wednesday is usually a good day to start preparing part of the meal, but this year I was racing to finish putting up a new corner of the fence to keep the dogs in and anything else out. I'm working carefully around the house today because I pulled a muscle yesterday.

The 16 pound (small by most standards) turkey is in the brine as of early this morning. I find it doesn't need to be in the salt and sugar mix for more than 4-6 hours to be very nicely seasoned and salted. I steam-juiced some frozen cranberries this year so instead of our usual sparking apple juice (Martinelli's is the best brand) I'm mixing frozen apple juice half strength, adding a cup or so of my full-strength cranberry juice, then when people want a drink I'll mix it with seltzer to give it a sparkle at the correct dilution.

The rolls will be started soon, the root vegetables that will be roasted will be peeled and cut up. I'm using an extra roasting oven (counter top) for either the rolls or the veg, but since the turkey is really best when it's had an hour to rest, that's plenty of time for other things to go in the oven. (I also have some green peppers that I'll put in with the root vegetables, just because I like roasted peppers.) They'll all get a coating of olive oil, salt, pepper, and anything else that strikes my fancy the roast till as much as possible is caramelized. There will probably be two, possibly three vegetarians here today, so we're going heavy on the side dishes.

Appetizers will be out for when people arrive - this crew always goes for the olives so there will be a can of those out (I didn't get by the fancy grocery store with all of the various olives that are available by the pound), some deviled eggs, cashews, just whatever is around they'll eat. Getting ready for the big meal an hour later, so they don't need to fill up, just graze.

The yeast rolls are homemade, the apple pie is brought by my ex and I have never been able to persuade him to make his own crust so it will be the tough grocery store crust with a pretty good homemade filling.

I'm going to mix up some cranberry sauce here soon and chill it. Make from scratch with cranberries, orange juice, and sugar. Cook it till the pectin is released and it naturally gels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 22 Nov 18 - 11:18 AM

Golly, my pressure cooker wouldn't do a stew in 15 minutes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Nov 18 - 12:43 PM

I love coriander, but there is apparently a gene involved with whether people like that or not. I grow it (comes back voluntarily every fall and winter) and freeze it to use in guacamole, bean dishes, etc. Guacamole is best eaten as fresh as possible. If it has to be stored, I freeze it as soon as possible in ice cube trays to defrost as many as I need later (defrost slowly, microwaves must be used carefully if that is your preferred defrost method. 10-20 seconds at a time.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Nov 18 - 02:15 PM

My chunky guacamole is definitely better for a few hours in the fridge. The lime juice prevents any browning of the avocado. I suppose it could be different if you're making that smooth purée of the type supermarkets sell. I too love coriander, but it's denied to me. I suppose I could always sprinkle a bit in last minute, but it wouldn't be the same somehow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Nov 18 - 05:36 PM

For our Thanksgiving turkey dish, I sliced a raw turkey breast into thin "steaks" and sautéed them in toasted sesame oil. Dee-licious!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Nov 18 - 06:34 PM

I understand that a wild turkey has been terrorising the town of Johnston, Rhode Island, for months. Good for him!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Nov 18 - 11:28 PM

My guacamole is made by squeezing a lemon into a bowl then scooping the avocado out of the skin with a tablespoon and using a couple of forks to mash it up, but it isn't smooth like the grocery store stuff. I grate onion into it because years ago my son wouldn't eat onion if he saw it in things but he liked the flavor if he didn't know it was there. I dice up jalapeno or poblano peppers really small and use the garlic press for the garlic. Chop up the cilantro and stir in. Salt and pepper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 03:29 AM

I saw onion in some recipes and not others and decided against. I'm not a massive fan of raw onion. No garlic in mine either. I don't recall seeing that during my recipe-sweep. My recipe has a small handful of cherry tomatoes, the best I can get, per two avocados, finely diced, which nicely loosens the mix. I found that I need to use a tad more salt than I might have thought I needed. I'm not a salt fanatic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 03:40 AM

Pressure cooker: Beef stew 15-20 mins. Topside pot roast about 30 mins depending on size. Chicken casserole 5 mins. Plus the preliminary browning and bringing up to pressure. But I wouldn't bother to use it for rice, which only takes 10 mins (15 from cold) anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 05:17 AM

I don't have a pressure cooker, or a slow cooker for that matter, but I can't see how a piece of beef suited to long, slow cooking can properly develop a melting texture and depth of flavour in 30 minutes. Naturally, I stand to be corrected, but I won't be investing in such gizmos any time soon. About thirty years ago I did flirt with a slow cooker. I found that it produced a diagreeably dry texture in meat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 08:28 AM

And we have just ordered a pressure/multi cooker. I'm not quite sure where it's going to go yet or whether or not it will get much use but vegetable soups are one thing we have mind for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 09:24 AM

Carmalize, do not carnalize, a chopped white onion per loaded Yam with chopped jalapenos. spice to your own delight and POOF the Yam is no longer sweet but a crinchy savory treat. Pile on top cooked bacon, cheese and some baked yam then bake again until melted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 10:14 AM

I have an Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker (otherwise known as a multi-cooker), and I give it house room because it cooks whole grains (especially brown rice) perfectly and works boffo as a stock pot. Now, I know you're all going to tell me just to put the stock pot on the back burner of the stove and go to bed, and I did just that for most of my increasingly long life, but I never slept soundly knowing that a gas hob was burning in the kitchen. The Instant Pot can be left unattended, and does not occupy a quarter of the high-value real estate of the stove top.

It also steams the Christmas pudding -- again, without supervision -- and does it in a quarter of the time required to do it the old-fashioned way, in the canner.

If your household eats in the vegetarian/vegan style, an electronic multi-cooker could be a game-changer. Here, the devices are marketed as time-savers, which is rather misleading. What they do is safely handle tasks that otherwise require personal attendance, allowing you to do other things. Where they do save time directly is in pre-cooking beans, which takes only about half an hour.

I tried cooking a pot roast in it and was disappointed in the texture of the meat: stringy. The Le Creuset enamelled iron pot remains unsurpassed for that job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 10:52 AM

The Instant Pot Duo V2 7 in 1 is on an Amazon (UK) "Deal of the day" today, apparently £80 compared to an RRP of £170.

It was one of the ones we considered and may be a good buy but we opted for a Tefal that was £30 cheaper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 11:23 AM

I couldn't agree more, Charmion. I have two Le Creuset deep casseroles, a large one (pot roast, bulk ragu production and big stews, etc) and a slightly smaller one (casseroles and stews for two and brilliant for risottos) and a large Le Crueset shallow casserole (best thing for making pasta sauces that need gentle sauteeing of chilli and garlic, etc, as it's big enough to chuck the cooked pasta into and stir in). I've had them for many years and I honestly don't understand all this talk of pressure cookers and electrical gizmos. I feel sorry for whoever has to wash 'em up, and, well, do they REALLY produce good grub...?

I've inherited, at no cost to myself, two glass-lidded pans with vented lids which are perfect for boiling potatoes or veg, and (the coup de grace) a magnificent huge lidded stainless steel frying pan which is brilliant for cooking rare steaks, for starting off pork chops and pot roasts before they go in the oven and for browning minced steak for chilli or ragus.

All these pans need, at most, fifteen or twenty minutes' soaking in hot water with a drop or two of Fairy Liquid to get them clean. I only ever use silicone utensils in them, never metal ones. One thing I've never done is put my Le Cruesets in the dishwasher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 12:02 PM

In our house rice takes around an hour. Perhaps it’s a slow house.

My mother made the best stews I’ve tasted. She started them in the pressure cooker then moved them to a grungy old casserole in the oven for a couple of hours. Beef or mutton, carrots, celery, bay leaf, thyme, water, and a good slosh of red wine, then a squirt of Lea & Perrin’s Worcester sauce (correctly pronounced Wooster, of course) and a dash of Angostura bitters. Sometimes she’d go wild and add a little orange zest. Oh, and spuds went in too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 12:57 PM

It's WorcesterSHIRE sauce!

Orange zest is a constituent of Elizabeth David's boeuf en daube, though she leaves the rind in strips. If you throw red wine into a stew or casserole, it's best to add it early, before the other liquid goes in, and get it to a merry bubble to give the alcohol time to evaporate with the lid off. Or just boil the wine in a small pan separately, set fire to it then pour it in. Burning the booze is good fun and it avoids a degree of harshness getting into the stew. If you have good stock you shouldn't need the Worcestershire sauce, though adding it does no harm, or the bitters. As for herbs, I might make a little bunch of thyme sprigs, parsley stems and a bay leaf, maybe a little sprig of sage, all tied together with string, that I can remove towards the end. I find I can overdo the bay and I'm always careful with rosemary, which can be a bit of a hooligan if too much is added. I've been known to add bacon pieces to a casserole, though I never put in mushrooms, which I think add nothing. However, the inclusion of soaking water from dried porcini is a great addition. Another Elizabeth David trick is to add a few bits of pork rind. She cuts hers into tiny pieces but I wouldn't want to encounter tiny pieces of soft pigskin in my food, so I leave mine in big pieces that I can fish out before serving up. I get the rind by trimming it off pork chops, which I won't buy if they have been trimmed up. They can freeze until you need them. They add a nice degree of richness. If I'm slow cooking, I leave the carrots, celery and onions in much bigger chunks that I otherwise would. That way they add nice texture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 01:38 PM

The instant pot duo is also a great way to sterilize your surgical tools, prepare growth medium for mushroom production, sterilize almost anything except for prions (mad cow protein).


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 02:03 PM

I remembered some of this discussion last night when most of my small family and a couple of friends were at my house for Thanksgiving dinner. "No one, absolutely NO ONE is to give me one of those multi-cooker things." They asked if this was a xmas list tip. "Yes. You won't find one of those things on my list." It was more of a threat than a non-wish.

The pots and pans and few devices I own each have their own characteristics, and I am not interested in discarding the bulk of these so one thing can take over and do a half-assed job on an assortment of dishes.

I had always thought a rice cooker was overkill, then I started reading what the movie critic and cancer survivor Roger Ebert said about them. He had to get his food through a tube for the last several years of his life, but he was always really focussed on real food. https://priceonomics.com/rice-cookers/. This is just one article about his attitudes, so a few years ago I spent about $50 for a Cuisinart rice cooker that is just what he says, cook and warm, and it has a bonus stainless steel basket that fits over the top for steaming while the rice cooks. I like this because the rice doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan (though in some cultures, "pegau" or singed rice, is a delicacy. My Puerto Rican ex taught us all that you NEVER put the pot in the sink to soak when there is rice stuck burned to the bottom. You scrape out that delicacy and put it on the top of the platter of food.)

The iron skillets are precious for sauteed foods, I have a couple of non-stick pans for other specific things that would be hard on the seasoned finish of the skillets. The stainless deep pot "Dutch oven" has as set of uses (pot roasts, boiling potatoes, soups, etc.) and the deep "chicken fryer" cast iron skillet with the well-fitting lid has others. The deep Cuisinart enameled dutch oven is great for stove-top or oven dishes like pot roasts, stew, etc. The graniteware roaster and the Romertopf clay baker are primarily for roasting chickens, etc. The pressure cooker doesn't get used often, it generally speeds of several of those other tasks already mentioned. I am not convinced that one device can replace all of those and certainly the volume it holds doesn't match all of the other devices.

The rice cooker is perfect for rice and other grains; I add things to it and (for example) have a pot of chicken and rice (isn't that the original comfort food for cultures around the world?) and broccoli or cauliflower steamed to go alongside. I'm not finished exploring the rice cooker, I'm not willing to add another universal device to the kitchen.

/rant off

https://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/the-pot-and-how-to-use-it

No, I am not putting you on the Rice Diet. Eat what you like. I am thinking of you, student in your dorm room. You, solitary writer, artist, musician, potter, plumber, builder, hermit. You, parents with kids. You, night watchman. You, obsessed computer programmer or weary web-worker. You, lovers who like to cook together but don't want to put anything in the oven. You, in the witness protection program. You, nutritional wingnut. You, in a wheelchair.

And you, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. You, person on a small budget who wants healthy food. You, shut-in. You, recovering campaign worker. You, movie critic at Sundance. You, sex worker waiting for the phone to ring. You, factory worker sick of frozen meals. You, people in Werner Herzog's documentary about life at the South Pole. You, early riser skipping breakfast. You, teenager home alone. You, rabbi, pastor, priest,, nun, waitress, community organizer, monk, nurse, starving actor, taxi driver, long-haul driver. Yes, you, reader of the second-best best-written blog on the internet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 02:41 PM

I don't even know what a rice cooker is. You guys must have very capacious kitchens in which you have room to store all these things.

I cook rice in a non-stick pan with a vented lid. Basmati is the only rice of choice for me unless I'm doing a paella or risotto. The rice goes in the pan and gets two or three rinses with cold water. Drain (I do it roughly, against the edge of the sink). Turn on the ring and boil lots of water in the kettle. Salt the rice (check again later). Put the pan on the high heat and pour in an excess of boiling water. Stir for a minute, get it back to the boil, turn the heat down to a simmer with the lid on and set the timer for exactly twelve minutes from adding the water. Drain well in a sieve or colander - give it a minute. Fluff the rice up with a fork and serve. I really can't be arsed with all this water-measuring and rice-measuring. When I used to do that, decades ago, I got variable, unreliable results. This works every time, though just half a minute of overcooking and the rice won't forgive you. If you really hit the spot with your careful measuring, yours might turn out better than mine, but only very slightly.

Accidentally on purpose, I always cook too much rice. Next day for lunch I melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. Throw in the cooked rice and break it up a bit. Add two or three beaten eggs and a generous amount of cooked peas (anything else you fancy, bacon, mushrooms, ham...). Let the eggs set lightly, stirring gently all the while. Season lightly, put in a bowl and consume while you're watching the one o'clock news. A bit more butter or a squidge of soy sauce is good. It's so comforting that even the latest brexit gloom on the telly won't seem too bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 03:08 PM

I see I spelled "Creuset" two different ways. I'm working on several other imaginative variants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 03:17 PM

You STIR your rice during the cooking? That is forbidden in rice cooking circles around here. Not until it is completely cooked is it fluffed before serving. ;-)

Fried rice is a wonderful use of lots of leftovers. I add scrambled eggs at the very end so they don't get too broken up. https://youtu.be/2WJSUVMjNVc The thing they don't mention is that it also comes with an instruction manual, a long list of grains, rice, oats, and more that can be cooked and gives you the proportions. If you're curious, this links the a manuals online source for their rice cooker manuals.

My rice cooker sits on a lower shelf in a small bookcase in the kitchen. That bookcase has two complete shelves of cookbooks and the bottom shelf has the rice cooker, a food processor, and my blender with the glass jar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 03:34 PM

And I cook basmati rice in a stainless steel saucepan with a glass lid. The lids got a strainer which I find useful.

I think we've tried a few methods of cooking rice but I just use a simple method found on a packet of Tilda Basmati rice. Add about 70-80g rice per person to pan of boiling water. Boil for 12 minutes, drain the water off, put lid on pan and stand for three minutes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 04:07 PM

No, Maggie, just at the very start to make sure the rice and water get nicely mixed and there's nothing stuck to the bottom. Then it's lid on and leave severely alone!

Well said, Jon, tho' three minutes is uncomfortably long: the rice will cook a bit more and might go a bit cleggy. Can we agree on a minute and a half...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 04:14 PM

And Tilda is a good, reliable brand.

I wouldn't bother scrambling your eggs first, Maggie. Just beat them in a cup and stir into the rice once it's hot in the pan. That way they coat the rice nicely before they set. Mind you, I haven't tried it your way. But you're dirtying another pan, and the worst pans to clean are the ones that eggs have been scrambled in!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 05:21 PM

I don't want the eggs to set in fried rice, I want them to be another loose bit like the pork or chicken and diced vegetables and green onion (scallions) and whatever else happens to appeal to me.

I shop at a Middle Eastern market, where they have massive offerings of rice. I usually buy very long grain Basmati rice and it's nice if I can't read most of the label. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 05:31 PM

Well Steve, 3 minutes (after which I fluff the rice up with a fork) works for me but one should feel free to adapt/adjust as one sees fit...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 06:00 PM

Thank goodness the Bertucci's franchise of Italian family restaurants
has got an entree salad built out of baby arugula greens;
my tummy is now full of fresh crunchy tasty ones.
That way I could get my nutrition and avoid romaine lettuce at the same time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 06:50 PM

Isn't arugula what we call rocket? I like to include a bit of that in any salad. In fact, it grows wild in my garden. Adds a nice bit of spice.

I tend to use home-grown rocket and lettuce in my salads, even at this time of year. I've still got some nice mixed lettuce growing in big pots in a sheltered spot. I'll buy a nice red pepper and some decent cherry tomatoes (mine are finished), cut them up, put them in the bottom of my salad bowl and put in a good tablespoon of my finest Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. I then add a slightly smaller amount of the most expensive, thick, syrupy balsamic vinegar (a bottle lasts me all year). I will not countenance that thin, watery abomination that sells for a couple of quid and totally discredits the name. I then mix that thoroughly with the tomatoes and pepper, and only then put the lettuce and rocket on top. I'll then cover the lot with cling film. I don't mix the lettuce with the dressing until the very last minute as I don't much care for soggy lettuce. There's only one way to toss the salad, and that's to get your two hands in there and enjoy yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 07:02 PM

The Etymology of the Words "Arugula" and "Rocket",
or, why it's called one thing in Northern Europe
and another thing in the Americas


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 07:25 PM

I know the far south of Italy and I've come across "arugula" there. "Eruca" is the botanical Latin name of the genus that includes the plants we call rocket. Unless you're in a posh restaurant that's pretending to appeal to the cognescenti only, it's "rocket" this end. Unfortunately, unless you grow your own (incredibly easy), the rocket we get here in supermarket bags is insipid and just about useless.

I have a couple of lovely recipes that use rocket in a non-salad context. We'll see how it goes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 24 Nov 18 - 12:43 AM

Worcestershire indeed, but still correctly pronounced Wooster (the sauce, that is, not the place).
We use a Japanese fuzzy-logic rice cooker that always cooks rice perfectly, whether it’s brown or white, basmati or jasmine, then keeps it hot till you use it.
I’m not that gone on non-stick otherwise. Watch the Storyville episode called Poisoning America, about the largest ever class action to know why.
Made the Guinness stew, it was hearty and was wolfed down. I wouldn’t use housekeeper’s cut for it again, though, didn’t much like the texture.
The next meal when it’s my turn will involve harissa - ‘rose harissa’, the recipe says. I have yet to find an affordable source.
By the way, a couple of years ago I asked the checkout person in a local Polish or Moldovan shop (and you can feck off, Hillary Clinton, telling Europe to “control immigration”) what the great big bunches of dill sold there in winter were used for. The answer was borscht, with pork ribs, beetroot, onions and dill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Nov 18 - 07:54 AM

Well the "controversial" device came today. With the jiggling around I need to do to find it a permanent home, it's likely to be a few days before I get to trying anything on it though.

Coming back to points raised. Its ability with meat (which seems to be the most questioned) isn't an issue here. On the other hand (as well as veg soup) if I could find a few recipes on the nut/chickpea/lentil stew/casserole lines (all missing from the bits I do here now but sometimes feel I ought...) that suit it, I think from my side of things at home, it will justify its existence. Pip may also have her own ideas...

For really fancy btw, has anyone enountered a thermomix. I believe very expensive (£1000+) things that are supposed to do everything from the measuring to the cooking?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 24 Nov 18 - 08:50 AM

"supposed to do everything from the measuring to the cooking?"

Wouldn't that take all the pleasure out of cooking?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Nov 18 - 09:17 AM

I guess that depends on the cook and time available to fit cooking in life, Jos.

For my personal part, I'm not one who particularly enjoys cooking and does't mind short cuts. I do of course aim, with a very basic repertoire, to produce things that are enjoyed by the family (and, even with my ways, did seem to pass that with visiting family from oz; and brother there can be quite a serious cook when he wants to be)...

Even got praise for my cauliflower cheese from a niece and I do nothing special. Just use a strong cheddar, cut the cauli into larger chunks than say Pip would, leaving more stalk and keep a careful watch on when the veg is cooked (I think it can turn quite quickly from nice and still a bit crisp to soggy, but maybe that's just me...).

So I suppose that all makes me lazy but tries in some ways...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Nov 18 - 10:35 AM

Years ago I found a set of recipes in Martha Stewart Living magazine that I started using regularly. I always baked salmon, but her simple salmon steak sauteed in butter won me over, as did the new potatoes that were simmered in water until tender, slightly cooled, then "smashed" enough to split the skins and lower their profile. Those patties of softened potato are then placed in a skillet with butter and turned once and served with salt and fresh ground pepper. All of those little crispy edges of skin (I like this with red or Yukon potatoes, the ones that are a little more waxy). Sometimes I sprinkle chives over the top. I don't remember what Martha called those potatoes, but my son and his girlfriend make "smashed potatoes" all of the time, and when I asked what it was he told me it was the ones I'd been making and he added the standardized name.

Today on Pati's Mexican Kitchen (a PBS cooking program) she made a very elaborate version and she calls them smashed potatoes - using different colors of new potatoes for the variety, and then she puts them on an olive oiled pan, smashes them slightly with a spoon and spoons olive oil and various seasonings and peppers over the top and bakes it all. My sauteed in butter version is quicker and easier, but the point of describing this is that as a comfort food goes, those little potatoes are a family favorite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Nov 18 - 10:42 AM

Thinking smash, anyone heard of "stwnsh"? It's a Welsh word and can be qualified but from my childhood, I'd eg. be thinking of potatoes and swede mashed together here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Nov 18 - 07:19 PM

I encountered a thermomix which was on display at a food fair about a year ago. Very sophisticated and very expensive. I'll tell you what. I love cooking, though I'm not that good at it. I like to get my hands in there, to do my own chopping, grinding, mixing and timing. I don't need a machine to sort out my cooking. I need a hob, an oven, some good pans and the finest ingredients I can lay my hands on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 03:06 AM

And to clarify, just in case. I think there is room for more than one approach to cooking and do respect the efforts of those, including a brother, who may take a more dedicated approach.

I suppose “wrong” to me is more about total dependency on microwave meals and takeways. I can see that infirmities can make cooking difficult or impossible (and to some degree, even see that with Pip), can see that there can be the odd day where you simply fancy say fish and chips from the local takeaway, but I become more baffled by the not knowing how to do anything angles. (But Peter/dad was a bit like that. His upbringing was such that a kitchen was purely a woman’s place… We on the other hand were expected to help mum out a little which at least left us with some basics to use if needed).

I must admit though that even I am a bit undecided over the Thermomix – can there be a taking automation too far? - I don’t know. That and perhaps even I will find the pressure/multi cooker a bit strange to start with. I’m more of the “take a few veg from what’s around, taste, try a bit of this, etc.” variety than one for precise weights and measures in advance…

...At least mostly. Another gadget we have is a (Panasonic now and the best we’ve had by far) breadmaker and, while you might try, eg. an extra ½ tsp of salt, a few more ml of water, etc. to get to your ideal, I think you do need to be quite accurate with your measurements there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 04:09 AM

Even more OT but for those who might use a breadmaker, the things I like about this Panasonic are:

1. "Repeatability". I don't understand all the wherefores but this one produces the most consistent "same loaf each time" of the ones we've had.

2. Others have needed water first and you sort of "balance" other ingredients, starting with the flour, on top. With this one, the water goes in last and it mixes things up before adding the yeast (which goes in it's own slot) after the other bits have had a stir. Perhaps this helps towards getting more consistent results?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 05:09 AM

The salt in bread making isn't just for flavour. Too much, and the dough won't rise properly and the bread will be very dense. Too little, and the dough will rise too much, be very light and fluffy, and seem to be trying to climb out of the top of the tin.
PS. I have never used a breadmaker so I don't know what the effect would be in one of those.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 05:26 AM

I think the principle is the same there, Jos. As far as I understand it, as well as taste, sugar can increase rising and salt restrict rising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 05:45 AM

Well, Jon, I'll admit to also possessing a Panasonic bread maker. We've had it for around twelve years now and I echo your remarks about repeatability. Actually, all we ever use it for is to make ciabatta loaves (the ones with 500g of strong white flour and extra virgin olive oil) and a 2/3-to-1/3 wholemeal 500g loaf. After many years I discovered that you don't need to add Vitamin C at all. I like the fact that you have control over the quality of the flour (always organic this end) and the amount of salt (I cut it down by about a third). The bread is much better than any shop bread, though I'm the first to admit that using the thing might be regarded as cheating!

I have found that I get a more homogeneous consistency in the finished article if I put the yeast in the pan but mix all the other dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl first. That goes in on top of the yeast, then in go the oil/butter and finally the water.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 06:15 AM

Years ago, probably in the 1970s, I was invited to one of those sales parties where there was a demonstration of a breadmaker and they tried to sign people up for a regular supply of their flour and their 'special secret ingredient' that speeded up the process. The secret ingredient was vitamin C, but they didn't tell you that (or you would have known you didn't need to buy into their regular supply).
I didn't buy it anyway - a long rising improves the flavour of the bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 06:28 AM

Flour, I'm not sure it's all organic but I do like the stuff from the localish Leatheringsett watermill (and their outlets).

Jos, I can't know how the machine compares to traditionally home baked loaves (have tried a couple but not say your regular white or whatever loaf) but do believe that it can be easy to better a shop bought (and I'm not just thinking Mothers Pride or whatever cheap sliced loaf) loaf with one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 07:51 AM

Nowt wrong with Mother's Pride for a chip butty...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 07:54 AM

I agree there...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 09:54 AM

I was given a bread machine years ago and thought it was a silly specialized piece of equipment, but I set out to master it and I use mine regularly still. It's a large-capacity one manufactured by Welbilt, in this case sold by another company that branded it. But it's a round 3-pound loaf and when you bake the loaf in the machine you end up with round or half-circle shaped sandwiches and such and that shape seems to dry out fast.

I started using it on the manual setting all of the time now and when it finishes mixing and kneading I remove the dough, shape it and bake it in a regular loaf pan. I make rolls, pizza dough, and more, letting the machine do the initial mixing and I use it after the first rise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 10:36 AM

That does sound a big loaf, SRS. The most ours will take flour wise (and what I usually use - it will do smaller ones) is 600g/ around 1.3lbs and that seems to me a fairly large loaf.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Nov 18 - 01:02 PM

They take about four cups of flour, sometimes a little more.


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