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    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012 edited
     (10589.1)
    We haven't had one of these in a while.

    * * *
    I'm planning on roasting a chicken for the first time later this week.

    I was astonished to learn that my mother -- whose parents ran a restaurant and cooked from scratch for my family -- hadn't roasted a chicken herself until recently. She'd baked pans of chicken parts, but never a chicken. A trailer-park neighbor talked her through the process a few weeks back. Her enthusiasm spurred me to take action . . . I'd seen a nice demo on Bourdain's "Techniques" special and had been meaning to try it.
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      CommentAuthorbrittanica
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012
     (10589.2)
    I also have a chicken (that I scored at for four bucks at work; fancy veggie-fed one, too) , though it's waiting in my freezer to get off my ass and cook. And that No Res episode is very awesome, makes me want to make hamburgers like a French chef.

    In the recent past, though, I roasted a turkey (another cheap-ass work thing; we all got coupons for Thanksgiving turkeys, so I got a 10 lb one for... I think three dollars. Took it to my parents' to store in their chest freezer til I was no longer afraid to tackle it).

    Despite completely missing the bag of giblets, and possibly under-cooking part of it, it was the best turkey I've ever eaten.

    This thread comes at a really good time, as I've had little desire to get into the kitchen and dig through the mess and start cooking again. And I've been feeling especially unhealthy as of late, just eating whatever crap is easy. I guess I'll throw out a topic idea, hopefully keep this thread going for a while for once... What are your favorite quick-fixes? Easy and good things, dinner, lunch, or breakfast, whatever.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012 edited
     (10589.3)
    Lately I've been really into making pan-broiled blade stakes - really cheap cut, pounded flat and browned on both sides, then finished in the oven @ 450 - 500 for a couple minutes on either side - with some sort of chimichurri sauce, with variations of mustard or horseradish and such added. I'll slice them for fajita or taco type consumption with toasted tortillas. If you get them just medium-rare and pound them out first (I use the flat of a hammer with the steak in a plastic bag) they come out pretty tender.

    I've been practicing risotto a lot, as well, and have it down to just over 20 minutes to turn out right, by using a heavy stainless pan on a really high heat, instead of cooking it at a simmer as I had been. Onions and garlic go in at the start with the rice to toast, then some shrimp, portabellas and peas just long enough to barely cook, right at the end. I take the leftover risotto and bread and fry as risotto balls the next day, and have been really pleased with those.

    I ventured to make quasi-traditional latkes this past weekend, which came out quite well. Grating the potatoes by hand wasn't fun, though - I need a food processor. I did squeeze as much liquid out of the gratings through cheesecloth as I could, before adding the egg to the mix - I feel that definitely helps them come out crispier and fluffier.

    REQUEST: A perfect everyday British-Indian chicken tikka recipe. (#chickentikka?)
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012
     (10589.4)
    I go through long droughts were the most ambitious thing I cook is pasta and sauce, or those "add meat to this box of flavorings and starch" meals. I make big batches and freeze the rest in dinner-sized batches. I'll defrost one of those, and have it with a green salad and a big bowl of steamed spinach, onions, and carrots.

    I did make Irish soda bread for the first time a week or so ago. That was dead easy.

    Oh . . . and a week or two into January I made a couple of fruitcakes. The kind where you wrap them in cloth, soak them in rum, and let them age. They hit ten weeks on Sunday; I unsealed the tin, unwrapped the outer layers, and poured on more rum. Back into the tin until the middle of June!

    The improving weather (I live in Oregon) is also improving my mood and ambition. Hhhmmmmm, risotto sounds like it would be a great thing to make with stock boiled out of the chicken carcass.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012 edited
     (10589.5)
    SO glad this thread is back in business.

    Out of curiosity, has anyone made their own sausage without casing (the saran wrap/partial boil method)? I've really been thinking of making my own sausage blend and would like to try it out.

    Also I'll be chickening it up this weekend. I normally cook a 6-7lb bird for the family and in all honesty, I'm preferring the Julia Child method I learned ages ago (which is to baste the thing with butter every fifteen minutes or so). Part of me misses how my mom used to do it (salt, pepper, white wine and some cloves of garlic stuffed in), but both are amazing.
  1.  (10589.6)
    I've been trying to save money recently by cooking up a big batch of something re-heatable on the weekend and using it for lunches during the work week. It's mostly been stir fries but this week I improvised a beef casserole from carrots, mushrooms, tomato paste and a whole bunch of old ramen noodle flavour satchets I had in the cupboard. It turned out surprisingly well, and I haven't dropped dead yet.

    Might try a chicken one next week. Got a whole load of chicken flavour satchets to use up...
  2.  (10589.7)
    I hope this thread doesn't die the unappreciated death that so many other food and cooking threads have.

    I've been working my way through different beers for that beer pizza dough recipe that oldhat brought to my attention months ago. I'll usually tweet about it under #pizzascience when I'm making them. So far discovered that darker high ABV ales tend to result in a nuttier tasting crust, wheat ales and IPAs tend toward sweeter crusts. Guinness tastes like Guinness, oddly (the Guinness one I also brushed the outer crust with garlic butter, and it was divine). And Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale makes for amazing crust, just a little bit spicy. And whole milk mozzarella is the tits. I'll never be able to go back to the bag of shredded mozzarella from Trader Joe's.

    I've also created a totally kickass chicken salad recipe. Chicken grilled with lemon pepper and rosemary, shredded, plus celery and cashews, mixed with Vegenaise.
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      CommentAuthorDraug
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.8)
    I made Rose hip soup yesterday from scratch and it was glorious, need to get out a bit earlier this year to pick some more rose hips. And to dinner I made potato pancakes for the first time and I can't figure out why I haven't made this before, simple and good served with gratings of carrots, lingonberrys and thick cut unsmoked bacon.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.9)
    Two slices of Warburtons wholemeal with rye, toasted on one side, flipped over, covered with thinly sliced mushrooms and diced green capsicum, topped with Colliers Choice cheddar (because it's Welsh) and stuck under the grill to toast for a while. Oh and there's that bit of posh chorizo left in the fridge, slice that up and bung it on top. Toasty toast toast, allow to cool for a bit, sandwich together and... THIS IS WHY I AM FAT!
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.10)
    Straight to my belly!

    Home made wholemeal bread straight from the oven and into my belly with brown cheese.

    I make it pretty wet so it doesn't require (nor even allow) kneading. This gives it a beautiful, springy texture and lets it rise really well. It has an almost sourdough-like feel to it. I will be making a blog post and video about it at some point soon. There's also brazil nuts and melon seeds in it. Mmmmmm.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.11)
    I think this weekened, I might try making homemade pasta again. My previous attempt was a partial success - surprisingly, I think I nailed the part I was worried about (the cheese and green onions stuffing), but I made it way too thick. Need to invest in a proper bread roller and give it another go.

    A question: does anyone have any good recipes for salads that don't... well, that don't feel like salads an hour after you eat them? Maybe this is just me, but I always feel weirdly tired and edgy when all I have to eat is a salad. It's probably my body being angry about not getting its typical deluge of carbohydrates. However, most of these salads are the typical lettuce and crouton variety, and I'm sure there's a better way to make these things. Not a huge fan of most dressing (a point in my favor, at least as far as healthiness goes) though I'd be willing to try something if one of you fine folks really recommend it!
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      CommentAuthorkahavi
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.12)
    Anchorbread:

    Try adding small amounts of quinoa or pearled barley to a salad. You'll get both protein and carbohydrates from them. Also, using spinach, Swiss chard and rucola instead of lettuce makes a huge difference, in my experience. Or you can use cashew nuts instead of croutons, provided you're not allergic to nuts. Raisins and slices of sour plum also give more carbohydrates, but aren't all that unhealthy. Zucchini instead of cucumber, beefsteak tomatoes, various beans, those also work.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.13)
    Beans are also a wonderful addition to salads, I find.
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      CommentAuthorkahavi
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.14)
    And now I crave for salad.
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.15)
    Medical concerns have required a change in my household's carb intake, cutting it drastically. If anybody has any good desserts (or any foodstuff, prepared or recipe, really) for between 45 and 60 total carbs per serving, I'd be much obliged.

    Related, but not really: some friends and I have started using Slimkicker, which applies RPG elements--XP, leveling, "quests"--to a Lose It-style diet tracking app. It's almost fun.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.16)
    I tend to find that a salad isn't QUITE complete without an avocado in it. Also, I like to add lightly roasted pine nuts to them. And yeah, beans, quinoa, barley, spinach, that sort of thing. And KALE! Kale is lovely.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012 edited
     (10589.17)
    For some really healthy and tasty recipes, I strongly suggest picking up Appetite for Reduction. While I know a lot of people who turn their nose up at anything vegan (as if it automatically is grey and tasteless), it really does contain a lot of amazing recipes for soups, salads, pastas, and some pretty amazing tofu/tempeh recipes.

    The baked onion rings in particular are amazing.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.18)
    I really am not a fan of tofu. Or at least not the kind we get in the shops. I get some really well-textured and firm tofu "chicken replacement" in some chinese takeaways, but anything I get in the shops to make food with at home is just soggy and breaks apart at any interaction.

    I love making this African Stew, and it also introduced me to the wonders of kale. It's completely vegan and completely delicious. I make it with pearl barley rather than millet, which I can never seem to find in the shops and still don't actually know what is.

    I also bought the uncheese cookbook for some reason, though I've yet to try any of the recipes. I would like to, though. I'll get around to it some day.
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012 edited
     (10589.19)
    @Magnulus: I would fight dudes if it meant getting kale. I usually make kale chips with the stuff we get from our farm share. I love greens.

    @oldhat: First off, that's the greatest book title in all the world's history*. I'm not at all averse to vegan dishes that taste good and fill me up.


    *sorry, Veganomicon took the prize as I was typing that

    EDIT: Tonight, it's tuna steaks and...you guessed it...kale! Maybe spinach. Maybe spinach and kale.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
     (10589.20)
    Oh, Veganomicon is a fucking WONDERFUL book, but it's also filled with incredibly fattening recipes. Still highly recommended, though.