sylke: (salt)
So, last time I did this I wrote down most everything and I'm glad I did, because I totally had to refer to it several times today. I continue to be a Disciple Of Keller when it comes to cooking fowl. I mean, look at this bird:


My timing was mostly just as I planned, and the husband and inlaws took care of clean up and putting away leftovers. Overall, 10/10, would cook again. Menu was turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, skillet green beans, butternut squash soup, and Parker House rolls. Butter in *everything*. Gratuitous photo of the spread, minus the cranberry sauce which I forgot to put out at first but was remembered before anyone ate more than a couple bites:


Recipes used are replicated here in case they get removed from the sites I got them from. Turkey, cranberry sauce, and rolls were the same as last year, except I added zest from two clementines and some microplaned fresh ginger root (maybe half an inch to an inch of a small root) to the cranberry sauce. I think it helped brighten things up. The rolls I had to let sit an extra 20 minutesokay maybe an extra hour for their second rise because the turkey wasn't out of the oven yet, but they didn't seem negatively affected. The sweet potato casserole was in the toaster oven and got too brown on top but was cooked just fine otherwise. Maybe a tad cool in the middle. Cover with foil for the first 10-15 minutes next time and let it cook a full half hour if doing in the toaster oven.

Turkey )
Butternut Squash Soup )
Sweet Potato Casserole )
Skillet Green Beans )

Timing for everything )
sylke: (salt)
I got overly confident this go-round of nursing. I tried to diet at 6 weeks post partum, and my supply promptly started drying up. I got rather concerned, started eating as much as I wanted again and went through 2-3 batches of these lactation cookies. They worked as claimed, and tasted basically like oatmeal cookies. I can eat an entire batch myself far too easily. I'll even eat the raw dough, but it's a little bitter. Modified from this Australian site.

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup brown sugar + more to taste
2 TB flaxseed meal
1 egg
2 TB water (I should try with 3TB)
1 TB vanilla
2 TB brewers yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 cups oats
1/4 cp mini chocolate chips
1/4 cp shredded coconut (sweetened)

Preheat oven to 325.
In a small separate bowl, combine flaxseed meal with water and let sit a few minutes while you're doing the next step. It'll turn into a gel.
Cream the sugar with the coconut oil. Add egg, vanilla, and flaxseed, and mix well.
Add flour, baking powder, brewer's yeast, and salt. Mix well.
Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and coconut.

Take a tablespoon of dough at a time, roll into a ball and flatten slightly. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until desired doneness.

Optionally, mix with half whole wheat flour to pretend they're a little less unhealthy.
sylke: (salt)
I don't do a ton of cooking through the year. Since Tiffany moved in with us, she loves to cook for people, and she cooks many evenings during the week. When the big holidays come around, though, I like to take over the kitchen and have at. This year came out pretty fantastic. Chopping most of the veggies and doing the cranberry sauce the day before was a brilliant idea, and both the pies were made the day before, not by me. My MIL made a lovely custardy pumpkin pie that's not your typical back-of-the-can recipe, and my husband made a pecan pie from pecans grown on his uncle's farm. This is ridiculously long and doesn't even include recipes for either pie, the gravy, or the potatoes. So, cut tags galore!

*******************

Turkey )

*******************

The family dish: Oyster Dressing )

*******************

In which Carson makes homemade yeast rolls for the first time )

*******************

Other sides )

Overall, total success. Delicious, the toddler ate a bunch, everyone *raved* about the turkey, and we have so, so many leftovers of delicious things. I don't really want to know how many pounds of butter went into that dinner.

Pake!

Nov. 9th, 2014 10:24 am
sylke: (salt)
There is a pie competition today with 3 categories of entry, one of which is "Pie you've never tried before". It's not a very strict competition, and I thought hey, it'd be fun to make a pake! What's a pake? It's a pie baked inside a cake, of course. My friend Paul is the pake-master, so I got some tips before embarking on this adventure. I'm going for "easy", so I bought the Libby's "add eggs and evaporated milk" pumpkin pie mix (basically their usual pumpkin puree but with the sugar and spices already mixed in) and I *thought* I'd bought frozen pie crusts, but then couldn't find them in our freezer or on my grocery receipt so I must've put them back by accident. Being too "lazy" to go to the store, I threw together a pie crust dough Friday night. It was easy, except for how many dishes get dirty when making a pie crust and having to roll it out with all the flour. Also, at 33 weeks pregnant, my belly ended up with a disproportionate amount of flour on it.

Pie crust dough (from allrecipes.com, makes two crusts):
2.5 cp flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cp shortening, chilled and cut into cubes
1/4 cp cold water (more as needed)
1/4 cp cold vodka (more as needed -- for the crust)

• Mix the flour with the salt
• Cut the butter and shortening into the flour with a pastry blender, two knives, or a food processor with the dough blade until it resembles coarse crumbs.
• Sprinkle vodka and water over the mixture and fold gently until the mixture sticks together to form a tacky dough.
• Divide in half, flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate between 1 hour and 2 days.
• When ready to make the pie, roll out one piece (or two for a double crust pie) and bake according to pie directions.

NOTES: I iced the water before adding it to my mixture and ended up adding a full half cup total and 3/8 cp vodka total. I should've put my shortening in the freezer since it was still pretty mushy and almost spreadable, despite having been in the fridge overnight. (The fridge is set to 36 degrees.) I considered using a rum instead for the crust, but my husband was rather adamant that vodka was a better choice for the crust. I suspect having the rum as a shot to go along with making the pie would be nice, but I probably should've put the vodka in the freezer too. It all ended up behaving fine, but I haven't tasted it yet. I put one crust's worth of dough in the freezer to save for a Thanksgiving pie, and the other I rolled out after a few hours in the fridge.

Assembling the Pake
I'm hesitant to say it even is a "recipe" since most of this is pre-packaged stuff. You can even use a frozen pie, but I went with the can of pie-mix and a homemade crust because I was trying to save a buck or two, and it didn't seem that much harder.
• Obtain a 9" pumpkin pie by any (preferably legal) means at your disposal.
• Prepare your favorite cake mix. I used the Duncan Hines Decadent Carrot Cake.
• Grease and flour a 9" springform pan.
• Pour 2/3 of the cake batter into the pan, then place the pie (right side up) on top of the batter and pour the remaining cake batter on top of the pie.
• Bake at 325° for 50 minutes, then cover with tin foil and bake another 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick, if it doesn't come out clean yet, continue baking and test every 5-10 minutes until done.

NOTES: I had baked my pie fresh, so it was still warm, arguably hot in the middle. The cooler your pie is, the longer it'll take to bake your pake. You can even put a pie in still frozen, I think, but it'll take like 2 hours to cook. I ended up breaking the edge bits of crust off the pie and even then, it just baaarely fit in the cake pan, but it did fit, nice and snug. I might have been able to take the whole thing out earlier than 90 minutes, but with the dense carrot cake and the custardy pie inside, a little extra baking is fine and I didn't think to check it earlier than 90 minutes. After examining the differences between the pie-mix and the traditional recipe, I actually suspect the pie-mix may end up working out better. The pie-mix has sugar syrup as a fair amount of its liquid and 5 oz of evaporated milk, whereas the traditional recipe has straight sugar, no added water, and 12 oz of evaporated milk. Our guess is that the traditional recipe ends up more custardy, and a less-custardy pie would be more beneficial to pake-stability. I forgot to cover the pake at 50 minutes and instead covered it at 70 minutes, but it doesn't look scorched or anything on top, and carrot cake is already moist and dense so it shouldn't be too dried out, either. The top is flatter than most cakes I've baked, probably partly due to the non-rising pie in the middle and partly due to carrot cakes being denser than most.

Iced with a cream cheese icing, find any generic recipe on the web. Doing a crumb layer was a wise choice. Pictures to be added after it's been cut open at the potluck.

Crab Quiche

Jul. 8th, 2014 10:11 am
sylke: (mouse)
I always forget to write down the quiche proportions since Nathan's recipe is for one 9" deep dish and I can never find deep dish pie crusts in the freezer section anymore. So, here's what I did last night:

2 cups lump crab meat
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 oz Grueyere, shredded
2 oz Edam, shredded
10 eggs
5 T flour
5 T milk
2 t kosher salt
Pepper
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 1/2 tsp parsley
2 frozen pie crusts

Bake frozen crusts at 325 for 15 minutes. It may bubble, you can use dry beans or uncooked rice to keep it flat but I totally forgot and it ended up fine anyway.

Sautée onion in veg oil over med-high heat until translucent and slightly caramelized. Divide onion into both crusts, put 1 cp crab per crust, and add cheeses. You may want even more cheese than listed.

Blend flour and milk into a liquidy paste. Add eggs and all seasoning. That should be enough to fill both crusts.

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes until firm.
sylke: (hungry)
Oh, Livejournal, how I've neglected you.

I'm pretty happy with the dinner I pulled off tonight. There were a couple logistical hiccups, but my plan was solid and everyone ended up fed in the end.

MENU:
crab dip with crackers
store-bought filo dough appetizers
Ham
Whipped mashed red potatoes
glazed carrots
roasted broccoli and cauliflower
oyster dressing
crescent rolls
pie&ice cream for dessert

CRAB DIP
1 large can shredded crab (16 oz?)
8 oz cream cheese
green onions, chopped (about 4 full)
5+ TB sour cream (just dumped some in)
5+ TB mayo (same)
garlic powder (calls for 1/8 tsp, I just sprinkled some in liberally)
Old Bay (called for 1 tsp, I probably only sprinkled on 1/4 tsp if that much)
grated parm (however much was left in the container. 1/2 cp?)
salt & pepper to taste

Mix and serve hot or cold. Was very tasty, but guests arrived an hour later than expected, so there was a lot left instead of it getting munched on.

HAM GLAZE:
Old and kind of dried out whole grain mustard
Maple Syrup, 1/2 cup ish
Brown sugar, maybe 1/4 cp ish
Dijon-style mustard to make it smoother

GLAZED CARROTS:
4 lbs carrots
2 cp water
1 stick butter
1 1/3 cp brown sugar

Cut carrots into 2" pieces, slicing in half or quarter if thick. Put all ingredients in a pan, cover, bring to a boil, then uncover and stir occasionally until the water is gone and the carrots have a slight browning to them. NOTE: I left it covered too much and the carrots would've been too mushy if I hadn't taken them out of the caramel bath. Also, too much caramel. I can probably cut down on the butter and sugar and don't need to double it when doubling the carrots.

ROASTED BRASSICAS
Cut into small florets. Put in fridge for a couple hours to dry out completely. Toss with some olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Roast at 425 for 25 minutes, stirring/flipping once to make sure they brown on both sides.

OYSTER DRESSING
2 boxes crackers (SPECIFIC crackers from Grandmom)
1 pt oysters (ended up a little more than a pound)
1/2 stick butter
S&P to taste
2 cp concentrated turkey or chicken broth

I took a full box (4 cp) of Kitchen Basics Turkey Broth and reduced it to 2 cp. I poured a small amount (1/4 cp?) of drippings from the ham into the broth because I burned the rest of it and there wasn't enough left for gravy. Having the broth pre-warmed is important. Crumble the crackers (I only used about 3/4 of the second box) to about the size of a quarter, ish. Put crackers in a large saute pan and pour the broth in. Work with the consistency until it's a bit less moist than you want it to ultimately be. Add some pepper, the butter, and salt to taste. (With the ham drippings, it didn't need any salt.) Gently fold in oysters with their liquor. Grease 1.5 qt casserole with butter. Add mixture. Dot with butter. Protect oysters with dressing. Bake at 500 until browned, 10-15 minutes. Yes, bake, not just broil, because you want the oysters to heat up as well.

Pie, ice cream, and crescent rolls were all store-bought.

Also, first meal in my brand-new kitchen. It was a dream to cook in, I gotta admit.
sylke: (Default)
Copy and pasted from Smitten Kitchen's Ratatouille's Ratatouille, posting just so I have a record of what worked and what didn't. I should've taken pictures of the vegetables before slicing and of how much I had left over...




Pretty Fan-shaped Ratatouille

1 onion, finely chopped
4ish garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 cup tomato puree
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 baby eggplants
1 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash (probably just need one, I had leftovers)
1 orange bell pepper
Dried thyme (because I didn't have fresh
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish. I used my big round orange dish. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the orange pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick. For my own future reference, on my mandoline, I used "thin slices" for everything but the eggplant, and went up to "medium slices" for the eggplant. The "Very Thin Slices" were actually a bit *too* thin, almost paper-thin. (If I was smart, I'd have some link to amazon stuff giving me a kickback, but I'm not, and I don't, and that's just a straight-up link to the page.)

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit. Or, if you're like me, you have an entire bowl full of leftovers and are considering making it again tonight.

Drizzle the remaining olive oil (tablespoon and change) over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle liberally with dried thyme.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. It helped to basically trace the bottom of the dish and cut a bit of extra.

Bake for approximately 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain. I used an herbed goat cheese that was faboo and served over couscous. I'd like to try the next batch over quinoa to put some protein into the meal.

Now I just need some sort of meat or cream sauce or a half pound of cheese to go with it so my husband doesn't just think of it as a side dish.
sylke: (salt)
Haven't done a recipe post in a long while. Mostly posting because I was happy with how dinner came out tonight and I want to write it down somewhere I'll remember where to find it later.

My mom has a no-fail chili recipe. It's easy, very mild, very guest-friendly, easy to make ahead and freeze, disappears very quickly. It's not spicy or complex or anything, it's just a really reliable, scalable meal. It's also one of the only ways I'll eat green peppers, largely because the recipe involves cooking the hell out of them and basically leaving none of the "pepper" character to them. The last time I made it, Nathan was a little disappointed that it didn't have more spice to it, so this time I tried to help it out a bit. Conveniently, Nathan had been experimenting with habañero syrups recently, and there were a couple of tiny, neon-orange peppers left in the crisper drawer. I realized what I must do. I'm also not an idiot, so I broke out a new pair of rubber gloves (I try to keep a couple pair around in case I ever have to clean the litter boxes; even though I tested immune to toxoplasmosis, I'm still not supposed to change cat boxes without gloves and copious washing) and washed them thoroughly both before and after mincing the pepper. And what is chili without cornbread, so I was delighted to discover I had all the ingredients on hand and that it would take just the right amount of time to prep and bake while the chili was simmering. Plus, we had a can of creamed corn, and I personally love my corn bread with actual corn-bits in it. Total win on dinner. Nathan said afterward he hadn't thought he was particularly in the mood for chili but ended up really enjoying both it and the cornbread.

The chili recipe is really easy to double, triple, or more, and it freezes spectacularly well. If we get tired of eating it, I'll just freeze it in a few batches and presto, easy meals when we're too zonked out after caring for the new baby.

Mom's Chili:
1 med onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped

Cook onion and pepper in 3 T oil in a large stock pot until lightly browned. Set onion and pepper to the side.

Brown and drain 1 lb. hamburger meat in the pot. Add back in onion and pepper.

Add:
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 buds garlic, pressed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
8 oz tomatoes (diced, or whole ones broken up; can use sauce)
2 cans kidney beans, semi-drained (15 oz)
1/2 habañero pepper, minced (optional, if you want a bit of heat)

Simmer at least an hour. Serve with sour cream, grated cheddar, and sliced green onions as optional toppings.

------------------------------

Corn Bread (from Epicurious, slightly modified)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons light brown sugar (maple syrup would be an awesome substitution here)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 can creamed corn
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
1 large egg, beaten to blend


Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Butter 8-inch square baking pan. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl to blend. Add creamed corn, butter and egg. Stir just until blended. Spoon batter into pan.

Bake until edges begin to pull away from pan sides and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Moist, sweet, a little crumbly if you eat it warm, but as it cooled it got a bit easier to dip into the chili.
sylke: (sushi)
This is probably going to be the third squash-soup recipe in my "Recipes" saved favorites, but it came out well, it was easy, and most of the ingredients are ones I have on hand most of the time.


Curried Squash-Chicken Soup
1 med acorn squash
1-1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lg onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed (because I like pressing garlic)
olive oil
1 Tbs curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
4 cp chicken stock (I used some premade boxed stuff that worked pretty well)


Cut acorn squash in half, place cut side down in a baking dish with about an inch of water in it. Prick the skin. Bake at 400 degrees for half an hour.

While squash is baking, broil the chicken. I cut it into strips so it would cook evenly and seasoned with a little salt and pepper. Let cool enough to break by hand into small pieces, or shred with forks.

While chicken is cooling, sauté onion, garlic, curry powder and ginger in olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the stock and salt, deglazing the pan with it if your curry stuck to the bottom like mine did. Cut the flesh from the now-cooked squash and add to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes, then either blend with an immersion blender or in batches with a regular blender. Add back in the shredded chicken, and simmer until chicken is heated.



I like having excuses to use the immersion blender--it makes for fun with soup. This turned out really tasty, actually. I'm not sure the ginger's noticeable, another tsp probably wouldn't hurt. Right amount of curry, though. Mebbe I try to plate and photograph at some point. [livejournal.com profile] amdiranifani thought fresh rosemary sprigs could work, I don't have any better ideas of how to garnish it, though. I don't have heavy cream to swirl, just some half and half which doesn't seem like it'd quite work the same.

Lamb Roast

Aug. 30th, 2008 01:00 am
sylke: (sushi)
I should find a more generic food icon.

6 lb bone-in lamb leg roast
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Fresh rosemary, guess it was 2 tablespoons chopped.
salt (~1 Tbsp)
fresh ground pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 325F. Mix the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small dish. Rub/coat the roast with olive oil. Massage the seasoning mixture into the roast on all sides. (For this one, I poked a bunch of holes with a paring knife in the fatty side, just to get a bit more of the seasoning to go into the meat.) Place on a roasting pan fat side up. Roast at 325 until the center is up to 145F (for medium to medium rare), approximately 25 minutes per pound. Take out of the oven, let it sit for 10, 15 minutes and the center will go up another 5-7 degrees. Take that into account when timing when to take it out of the oven.

I'm definitely getting a fair bit of use out of those pots of herbs. I think I cut off most of the new growth for tonight's dinner, but there's still plenty of rosemary plant left. I should make something with basil next. While the roast sat, we heated up some of those brown-and-serve yeast rolls and sauteed some green beans in a little olive oil and garlic until crisp-tender.

Too lazy to take pictures before we mauled the roast while carving it. But a little lamb wrapped in a bite or two of roll? Mmm, soooo good.
sylke: (Default)
Went back to my previous recipe last night. This is why I blog my attempts, so I remember what I wanted to try the next time. :)

Changes:
1. Added the onion before the broth. If I'm going to do that, I should have added onion to sautee with the lamb frying -- adding it after the lamb was browned just slowed me down and left the lamb to get perhaps a bit too tough. No noticeable difference in the end, it all melts down anyway.
2. Used 4 cp beef broth so I wouldn't have to put any leftover broth from the Swanson's box back in the fridge.
3. used 4 potatoes, 4 carrots to compensate for having more broth.
4. full tsp of thyme
5. 1/2 tsp garlic powder because I didn't realize we'd run out of garlic until I looked in the drawer.
6. It really looked like it needed something green, so I added some peas.

Notes:
Fry/sautee at 4, simmer at 3. I think the "20 minutes" simmering was from when it comes back up to temp, which, when adding all the broth, took 7-8 minutes. Meat could benefit from more simmering, it was a bit tougher than I'd serve to guests but perfectly edible. Husband said it smelled absolutely incredible when it was just the lamb and onion simmering in beef broth. 1 tsp thyme was a good amount of thyme. Rosemary kinda got lost, not sure it's even necessary. I should be more generous with the salt next time in the flour. I put some, but not a *ton*, and the stew needed more salt. Also, 6 Tb as measured generously with a dinner spoon was way too much flour. Use a real tablespoon next time. And even then, maybe more like a quarter cup of flour instead? Yeah.
sylke: (sushi)
The husband really likes fat in his meals. Enough so that he gets actually grumpy when I make tasty but low fat dinners. He apologizes for it, he feels bad that he can't have the meals I want to cook without feeling satisfied, but the emotional change in him when he just puts a big ol' pat of butter on bread after a lowfat meal is astounding enough that I'm willing to try and find a compromise: healthy ingredients, but with at least some forms of fat for his sake.

Tonight's dinner was Pasta Primavera. Three sources of fat: olive oil, butter, and half-and-half to help form a "light" cream sauce. Relatively speaking, of course. Hey, at least it wasn't like an Alfredo. Despite feeling like I messed a few things up, it came out pretty tasty and satisfying, and I feel like I at least fed the boy his vegetables. This is how I actually made it tonight:

1/2 bunch young/thin asparagus, cut into ~2" pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into slices
1/2 zucchini, cut into spears
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, cut into thin, 2" slices (kind of like julienne but without the last cutting step)
linguine (maybe a half-box equivalent, we used handmade pasta from Rome [NY])
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 cp half-and-half
basil
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, medium-high. Sauté the garlic until it just starts to color, about one minute. Assume the water for the pasta is on the verge of boiling because it looks pretty close. Add all the veggies and the butter, season to taste with S&P and basil, and sauté until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Realize you were way off on the water, and start to accept that dinner's not going as planned. Pull out meat thermometer to test pasta pot, realize water is still 20 degrees shy of boiling. Pout. Add the half and half to the vegetable pan, let simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes. Decide the water's close enough now, and add pasta. Uncover vegetables, simmer sauce for another 3 minutes to reduce. Turn off burner and hope the sauce will thicken a bit as it cools because it's gonna be another 10 minutes at least on the pasta. Tell yourself that the squash doesn't really look that overcooked. Drain pasta when cooked al dente, plate pasta, then spoon veggies and sauce over pasta. Combine remaining pasta and veggies/sauce into one bowl now that it all will fit. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over each dish. Realize that actually, the squash doesn't taste nearly as overcooked as you feared. Post to LJ with the recipe as a personal reminder after husband proclaims, "This is pretty good, we can do this again sometime."

NOTES:
Butter can probably be reduced to 1 Tbsp without a notable loss of flavor. Cook carrots and asparagus for 5 minutes before adding the squash, or cut all the squash into spears because the circles cook very quickly. Try a half cup of half-and-half next time instead, there was a lot of "saucy juice" left over, but the boy really enjoyed having extra sauce on his, so maybe that's not such a bad thing to add for his sake.

And don't start the vegetables until the water is honest-to-God boiling because that big pasta pot full of water takes like 20 minutes to heat up even at high heat. You'd think you'd have learned that by now, sheesh.

Lamb Stew

May. 31st, 2008 07:47 pm
sylke: (sushi)
No pictures because I'm lazy, but writing down what I did tonight because it was pretty tasty :) And I've found I tend to look to LJ first when I want to find a recipe I made up once upon a time. This was based on about 6 online recipes and what ingredients were lying around that I could use. Inspired because I accidentally defrosted a package of stew meat and a package of lamb chops two nights ago instead of two packages of chops...

1 lb lamb stew meat
3 sm carrots, diced
1/2 onion, quartered and sliced
3 red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
flour (~6 Tbs)
salt&pepper to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
3 cp chicken broth

Heat some olive oil in the bottom of a pot. Season the flour with salt and pepper (I was pretty liberal with the salt), dredge lamb pieces through the flour, and fry until the outsides are a little browned. Pour in chicken broth, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add all veggies, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Add seasoning and serve with sourdough.

Serves two with a little left over.

Notes:
It was a little more chickeny than it had to be. I was lacking beef broth which is what I intended to use, so I reconstituted a few bouillon cubes. Next time, use beef broth or fewer chicken cubes.
I'd planned to throw the garlic and onion in before the broth and sautee them a little, but forgot. It turned out fine, it's one less step, but that might be something to try next time.
I really eyeballed the herbs, so 1/2 tsp is a guess. While the stew tasted fine, it wouldn't hurt to add more thyme next time, perhaps a full tsp.

[Edit: Second attempt was here: http://sylke.livejournal.com/202560.html ]

Lamb Curry

Apr. 20th, 2008 07:57 pm
sylke: (Default)
More on the lamb adventures. I'd never made a curry before, and lamb curry seems to be a popular preparation, so I gave it a shot. I haven't taken any pictures, but it looks sorta like a lamb stew. ;) I made it on Friday, so I'm going to write down what I remember before I forget about it completely.

~3 lb lamb leg meat, cut into small chunks (think General Tso's sized chunks)
1 Tbs curry powder, maybe two
4-6 cloves garlic, pressed
1.5 onions, finely diced
salt to taste
1/4 cp olive oil
8-10 small red potatoes, quartered
1 small can tomato paste
1 14oz can chicken broth
sriracha to taste

Heat the oil in a pretty large pan on medium-high. Add the curry powder, sauté for about a minute. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add lamb and brown on the outside. Add a healthy dash of salt, tomato paste and chicken broth, and a drizzle of sriracha, depending on how hot you want it. I probably added around a teaspoon or two and there was enough heat that you could taste it but not so much I finished the meal sweating. Cook/simmer on low for about an hour, add the potatoes, and simmer for another half hour, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if the sauce is thickening up too quickly.

Since we'd just had fried rice the night prior, I served it over couscous instead and it was quite tasty.

Fun fact. A large Dutch oven on the big electric burner set to around 4, 4.5 gets oil hot enough that it melts plastic mixing spoons. And plastic spatulas. The dutch oven has since recovered, but I did have to start completely over with new utensils.
sylke: (Default)
In my random interwebbings yesterday, I had cause to Google-image search for "Rocky Road". (To show the dear husband that it was a candy, not just an ice cream flavor.) Page three surprised me with ... a penis cake. Apparently it was rocky road inside, see. How does one make a penis cake? A penis pan, of course. Second page of an image search for said pan led me of all things to a recipe for muffins, the ingredients for which called for two overripe bananas and a few strawberries, both of which were sitting in my kitchen and needed to be used ASAP. What luck!






2 cp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cp milk
2 very ripe bananas, pureed
sliced strawberries

turbinado sugar for topping (optional)


Mix all dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients except for the strawberries and mix only until moistened. Lightly grease muffin tin. Fill each muffin cup 1/3 full, place a few slices of strawberries in each cup, then fill to 2/3rds full. Sprinkle a little turbinado or other raw sugar of choice on top. (Unless you want to try for penis muffins. [suggestive, not explicit])

I baked them for 30 minutes at 350, could probably get browner tops at 375. Makes about 9 muffins, depending on how full you make each muffin cup.

(Original recipe here.)
(cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] food_porn)
sylke: (Default)
New Year's Eve found me and the husband at home, and me spending most of the day cooking. His aunt raises lambs for the state fair, and this year we purchased one and had them send the butchered cuts to us. 75 pounds of lamb has led to a number of Google searches for lamb recipes! I'd tried Osso Buco with one of our packs of shanks, and it turned out so tasty I had to use our new Dutch oven (thanks, Grandma!) to replicate it for New Year's. Like last time, too, I forgot to bring out the gremolada, despite having the parsley and the lemon in the fridge. Oops.

In the pot before being served:


More pics: Plated shanks and pie! )

New Year's Day found me too lazy to pull back out the camera, but we enjoyed dessert for breakfast: crepes with macerated strawberries, fresh blueberries and blackberries, diced bananas, the rest of the walnuts that didn't go in the pastry last night, homemade chocolate sauce (melted Ghiradelli bittersweet chips, caster sugar, vanilla and cream/milk), and fresh whipped cream with vanilla. Diabetic comas all around. :)

(cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] food_porn)
sylke: (sushi)
Monday morning, I weighed myself to see how I'd done over Pennsic. Often, folks lose weight at Pennsic because it's so freakin' hot, we have no appetite. This year, it was pretty rainy, we had lots of snacks available at camp, and there were a couple evenings of not-usual-Pennsic eating (steak night and a town run). I've been weighing in at 160 in the mornings for quite a while now, probably a year or so. Monday morning said 163. Maybe I ate late. Maybe my body was adjusting to being in air conditioning. Maybe it was water retention. Whatever the reason, 160 is already a little heavier than I'd really like to be, so this was my impetus to start doing something about it.

I joined Weight Watchers online since I had success with it the last time I wanted to lose weight. Flex plan, because I'm much better at eating smaller amounts of whatever I want than I am at eating primarily from a restricted food set. Back to the world of counting points for everything and making tradeoffs and calculations and being a touch obsessive. At least it's something I'm comfortable doing. :) So, tonight I made chicken soup with barley and mushrooms since it's usually filling and healthy, and ended up with a meal that was 7 points per bowl. Real-people bowl, not like "one cup is one serving" style. With that and a slice of sourdough bread, I'm actually pretty full and I still have a couple points left for the day if I want a snack before bed. :)

7-point Chicken-Mushroom-Barley Soup
(serves approximately 6, depending on how much water you use)

1 lb chicken thighs with bone (remove skin)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small stalks celery, sliced
1 cp uncooked pearl barley
8 oz mushrooms (I used the "exotic blend" of oyster, shiitake, and crimini)
salt to taste
garam masala to taste

Boil the chicken thighs until just cooked and you have a light chicken stock. Remove the thighs.
While the chicken is boiling, sautee onions in the olive oil until softened.
Bring stock back to a boil, and add the barley, softened onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms.
Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Break or cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces, and add the pieces back to the pot.
Season to taste.


This ended up being actually pretty darn tasty. Now, I did make the stock with the chicken skin. If you just used boneless, skinless thighs, this would be a 5-point dinner, but you wouldn't get a very good stock. Also, there may be more pointage than 7 per bowl because while I didn't eat the skins, I did boil some of the flavor out of them. I usually sautee the whole mirepoix (onion/carrot/celery), but not bothering with it didn't seem to negatively impact the flavor or texture. Same with mushrooms, I usually sautee them as well, but they had a bit more body just putting them in raw.

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