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[personal profile] serene2014-11-21 08:11 pm


Been trying to make dinners more homey, interesting, and diverse, so that everyone enjoys them *and* I have lots of veggies to eat. Tonight's was a big hit with everyone: Very juicy roasted pork loin, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, steamed carrots/squash, and a salad. Even better than the food was the feeling I was nurturing my family and having a good time doing it.

The roast was super-easy. Just rubbed it with olive oil and spices, then put it into a pan in a preheated 450F oven until my probe thermometer said 135F. Pulled it and let it rest a few minutes until it reached a safe 140F before slicing. Very good.

The gravy was also very easy:

1) Slice onions and mushrooms (however many you want) and take out a saute pan that will hold them all -- but it doesn't have to be a saute pan; you can use a big stockpot, even, if you have to
2) Put some butter (anywhere from a tablespoon to several) into the saute pan and heat the pan on medium until the butter melts
3) Add the onions and mushrooms to the butter, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top. If you have it, now's the time to add a teaspoon of garlic granules or a chopped garlic clove.
4) Let them cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid cooks away, then add just enough chicken stock or water or heavy cream to barely cover, and let it come back to the simmer. If you used chicken stock or water, you'll have to do step 5. If heavy cream, just continue to heat until it thickens a bit and you're done.
5) In a little bowl, mix a tablespoon or two of cornstarch with a tablespoon or two of cold water. Add to the simmering gravy and stir constantly until it returns to the boil. As thick as it is now is as thick as it will be, so if you need to do it again (to make it thicker) or add water/stock (to make it thinner), do that now.
jjhunter: A sheep with shaded glasses and a straw hat lies on its side; overhead floats the pun 'on the lamb' (as in baby sheep). (on the lamb)
[personal profile] jjhunter2014-10-14 11:16 am

Pizza Dough from Scratch?

I'm cooking with a co-conspirator this evening to whip up dinner for 30+ people (yes, I'm back to affiliating with that previous co-op), and am hitting a brain fizzle on a key element of ze master plan: good pizza dough recipe?

I need one I can make in quantity for 3 large trays of pizza, and obv. one that doesn't require a super-long rise time; 4-5 hours at most would be ideal.

Any suggestions? I've got all the usual kinds of ingredients to work with, plus lovely industrial-size mixer + bowls. Vegan recipe strongly preferred.
Entry tags:


Hi! Last month, we roasted a pumpkin and froze the flesh in 1-cup portions in freezer bags. My partner has made blintzes with it, and I've been making fancy quesadillas (defrost pumpkin, add black beans and grated cheese and salt and mix it all together, cook in a tortilla on a skillet like a quesadilla and add arugula). It got me wondering: what other things work really well to cook in big batches, freeze, and use as ingredients later?

The criteria here:
-Economy of scale to cook lots of at once (only need to spend one night processing things and then get many meals in the future with less prep)
-still tasty and usable as a versatile ingredient after freezing

We just froze some beans cooked from dry in the pressure cooker, and I'm thinking about other squashes to roast. Maybe carmelized onions. Anyone have more ideas or success stories?
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2013-06-09 10:04 pm

Adventures in Homemade Chicken Stock (FOR SCIENCE)

Following up from my post to the comm earlier today; a hearty thank you to everyone who commented with suggestions, i.e. [personal profile] qem_chibati, [personal profile] yarngeek, [personal profile] leanne, [personal profile] katarik, [personal profile] weaverbird, and [personal profile] jenett.

Since it is late, and I should be snoozing shortly, this will be a story almost entirely in pictures. I began with chicken carcass in water with a dash of apple cider vinegar, and let it begin to heat up / boil while I prepared my additives...

Read more... )
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2013-06-09 07:36 am

Chicken Stock from Scratch?

'elp! 'elp! Some assistance much appreciated

I'm setting aside some time today to batch prepare most of my household's meals for the week, and would love to actual use the leftover chicken bones to make stock instead of tossing them out. Does anyone have any experience making stock from such bones? and/or a reliable recipe they might point me to?

ETA: success! Details here: Adventures in homemade chicken stock (FOR SCIENCE)
metawidget: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)
[personal profile] metawidget2013-01-07 09:31 am

Basic Corn Bread

This recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Epicure and is our go-to recipe for bread warm out of the oven. It's also very straightforward and doesn't require any particularly fancy ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

1¼ cups
white flour (unbleached if possible)
¾ cup
2-3 tablespoons
5 teaspoons
baking powder
1 cup
2 tablespoons
melted butter

Sift together the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.

Beat the egg into the milk, add it and the butter to the dry ingredients (separately — you get butter globules floating in your milk if you add the butter to the milk-and-egg mixture).

Spread batter in a buttered 9-inch pie plate or oven-proof frying pan (e.g. a one-piece cast iron one) and bake 30-35 minutes, until the top starts to brown near the edges.

This bread is at its best right out of the oven with butter, but it will still be nice the next day. It is excellent with baked beans and coleslaw, or on its own for breakfast.

I've sprinkled grated cheese on it before sticking it in the oven, mixed garlic, roseamary and/or chopped onions in, and done it up plain; it's a good base for improvisation.

Cross-posts: [community profile] boilingwater, my journal

lyktemenn: (Slytherin | ambition enthusiasm)
[personal profile] lyktemenn2012-11-07 05:11 pm

Proteinrich breakfast ideas?

I've started going to the gym and find I need to upgrade my breakfast habits a bit, specifically add some more protein to it. So I come begging recipes. I'm a zombie in the morning so I need something that keeps me from burning down the kitchen, i.e. no fiddling with the stove. It's gotta be quick and easy to make, even if prepped the day before. Oh, and no dairy... vegetarian is a plus, but not a requirement;)
valancy: "Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket" (Default)
[personal profile] valancy2012-10-02 02:14 pm
Entry tags:

4 dozen eggs

Can anyone recommend a way to use up about 4 dozen eggs? They were given to me, couldn't pass them up. Not farm fresh or organic or anything. My fiance hates hard-boiled eggs so I could do some but that won't do for the lot. Am I just looking at a whole lotta quiches in my future?
steorra: Part of Saturn in the shade of its rings (Default)
[personal profile] steorra2012-09-14 02:26 pm
Entry tags:

Openface sardine sandwich / other uses for sardines?

I have discovered that I like this simple openface sardine sandwich moderately well.

2 slices of bread
1 tin of sardines packed in olive oil
A little lemon juice

Toast two slices of bread.
Open tin of sardines, remove sardines with fork and put them on the toast.
Split sardines down the middle so they're closer to flat, and arrange them on the slices of toast.
Put a little lemon juice in a spoon (so as not to accidentally pour too much onto the food) and drizzle it over the sardines.

I don't love it, but I like it well enough that it's a convenient quick meal, especially when trying to avoid dairy and non-fish meat.

Any other suggestions for quick and simple things that can be done with sardines, or minimal-effort ways this simple sandwich could be varied?
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2012-08-23 09:14 am

What Makes For a Good Tomato Soup vs Tomato Sauce Recipe?

I have a modified tomato basil soup recipe that I use for as a base for tomato sauce as well (whether the end result is for spaghetti or pizza sauce). The only difference is that for the former I also add in bouillon cubes + water + a dash of dairy product (cream or a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt). Naturally I've gotten into the habit of turning my homemade tomato sauce leftovers into homemade tomato soup, with varying degrees of success.

What makes for a really good tomato soup recipe versus a good tomato sauce recipe? And while I'm at it, what are other creative uses for leftover homemade tomato sauce?

ETA: I've written out the modified tomato basil soup/sauce recipe here in the comments.
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2012-08-20 05:27 pm

Recommendations Requested: Entrees/Side Dishes Showcasing Fresh Herbs

I'm trying to figure out my menu for a small dinner party I'm hosting tomorrow (7 people total), where two of the guests will be showing up late. If I'm planning on serving a light appetizer of basil, mozzarella, and tomato on thinly sliced + toasted french bread while we wait, and peach-blueberry crumble for desert, what kinds of dishes would people recommend for the actual dinner? Keep in mind that a.) the weather will be warm, b.) all my guests are omnivores (i.e. eat meat & have no dietary restrictions), and c.) I'd like to showcase the lovely fresh herbs I have growing on the back porch (mint, thyme, basil, rosemary). Also, I have access to good produce & other ingredients at the local grocery store.

(Help me, obi-[community profile] boilingwater-kenobi!)

ETA: Okay, I'm all set for my menu - thank you all for your various suggestions! The ones I'm not using tonight I plan on trying out in the next two weeks or so.
tani: Makino Tsukushi in confusion (Tsukushi confused)
[personal profile] tani2012-07-25 12:10 am

Spaghetti Sauce

So, I dislike tomatoes. However, I still eat ketchup and I'm fine with sauce as long as it doesn't contain chunks of tomatoes. Unfortunately, I've been having a hard time finding any sauces that don't have those huge chunks. Too much picking at my food tends to make me lose my appetite.

Earlier today, my boyfriend suggested that there might be a way to make my own sauce so that it won't be chunky. I know that making sauce from fresh tomatoes is a bit of a process, and I'm not really that interested in a lot of hassle. But is there some way to take things like tomato paste or tomato puree or something that is similar in consistency and make it into a credible sauce? I tried googling some recipes, but everything I saw wanted me to put crushed tomatoes in, and that's really not what I want at all.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. :)
valancy: "Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket" (Default)
[personal profile] valancy2012-07-10 07:50 pm
Entry tags:

how do you solve a problem like carrots?

I hate carrots, but the house is full of them - frozen, fresh, and canned. The only way I've liked them cooked is boiled on the stove with butter, roasted like with pot roast (or in the crock pot), or in carrot cake. :)

I'm no chef - my fiance does most of the cooking - but I'd like to make something that uses the carrots without tasting like carrots (which I think taste like dirt + sugar).

Can anyone recommend good recipies or methods of preparation, keeping in mind that I don't eat spicy food? I can do basic cooking, but I like to make recipies so don't let the recipe "level of complication" stop you from suggesting something, please.
[personal profile] desh2012-05-28 06:01 pm

black beans

So what's your favorite way to cook/spice a can of black beans? For making beans and rice or something? Actually never done this before, and I know that the beans just heated plain from the can are quite bland.

Vegetarian, please. And thanks!
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[personal profile] popelaksmi2012-05-24 01:22 pm
Entry tags:

Pepper Pasta Salad

I don't consider myself to be very accomplished in the kitchen, so here's an easy recipe I feel I can actually do well. The hardest part might be finding some Hing (Asafoetida)and if you want to try this recipe and can't find any - I will send you some. Yes, I really will!

Pepper Pasta Salad

2 cups shell pasta

Prepare pasta using about 2 tsp. to 1 TBsp. oil in the water. This is important because you don't want the shells to stick/ stack together.


1/8 cup veg. oil
slightly less than 1/8 tsp. Hing (Asafoetida)
heaping 1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. chili powder (amount varies because of "hotness" of various powders and your tastebuds. I have a very hot variety so I use slightly less than 1/4 tsp.)
1 TBsp. minced pickled banana pepper (with "juice")
Optional: 1/2 tsp. FRESH lemon juice

Mix dressing ingredients together. When pasta is done slightly al dente, drain and put into big bowl. Add dressing, mix well and then refrigerate. This pasta salad really does taste better chilled.

  • You can probably use slightly less oil in the dressing and it'll still be fine.
  • When using Hing, less is ALWAYS preferable as it is EXTREMELY strong and not everyone likes it. Also, it can be found where Asian spices are sold.
  • You can add a bit (up to 1 TBsp.) of the marinade/ vinegar from the pickled banana pepper jar.
  • This recipe will still work but won't taste as good if: the pasta shells stick together too much, the pasta is warm,or you used too much chili powder (too hot). I know because I have done all these things.
  • Any pasta will likely work but I haven't experimented yet. I like the shells because every once in a while you get a small piece of banana pepper stuck to the inside of the shell and it's almost like a surprise in your mouth. :)

    If anyone reading this has any suggestions on what might improve the dish, please feel free to let me know.

    If anyone wants any Hing, let me know too!
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
[personal profile] jjhunter2012-03-28 02:37 pm

What To Cook For Dinner? Vegetarian Dilema Take Two

Hey all--

I had such good recommendations last time that I thought I'd throw this one open to the audience again for suggestions. In the next hour, I need to figure out my menu for thirty plus vegetarians. My friend D- & I need to do two (2) vegetable dishes, one (1) protein dish, and one (1) starch. At least half should be vegan as a rule of thumb. Available ingredients are as follows:

WALK-IN (Fresh produce):
-lots of parsley (yay!)
-a few oranges
-a few green bell peppers
-eggplant galore
-tofu (could be convinced; not first impulse)
-eggs (precious shared resource)
-baby spinach (also somewhat precious)
-a little miso (we had miso soup Mon.
-gouda (precious shared resource) + cheddar (not quite as precious, also delicious)

available leftovers + misc. ingredients )

Recommendations? We have three to three and a half hours to do the actual cooking.

ETA: forgot to clarify that someone else is making a salad (with parsley!) + a desert (red velvet cake).

ETA2: final menu: pomegranate & walnut stew (fesenjan); roasted beets & onions; baked achari baingan; saffron rice; + cook's assistant's additions (salad + cake). Thank you everyone who contributed suggestions! I'll be cooking again next week & will put some more of them into practice then.
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[personal profile] shanaqui2012-03-26 02:02 pm
Entry tags:

Low-fat foods

I'm having problems with my gall bladder and have been told to cut down the fat in my diet. Any low-fat foods you guys can suggest to me? Possibly bear in mind that I'm prone to anaemia and also need my diet to be low in potassium.

(My cooking skill level: I can boil water! And make omelettes and scrambled eggs! And stir fry! And... that's about it, actually.)
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
[personal profile] jjhunter2012-02-26 12:46 pm

What to Cook For Dinner? The Vegetable Dilemna

Hey all--

I'm signed up to cook with my friend D- at the Co-op tonight, and I'm not sure what I want to do for our two vegetable dishes. (For starch we're doing wheat rolls, for protein some kind of chili.) To give you some context, we're cooking for 25 - 35, and the cook's assistant will be making a basic salad of some kind. We usually start cooking ~3pm EST (i.e. in about 2 hours as of this post) and serve dinner at 6:30pm.

What we currently have ingredients-wise in the walk-in refrigerator:

  • some kind of yellow-hued squash with skin as tough as pumpkin -- maybe spaghetti squash?
  • parsnips
  • beets
  • carrots
  • lemons
  • grapefruit
  • okra - tagged 'use me!'
  • zucchini
  • celery
  • brussels sprouts
  • eggplant [we had this last night, so I'd rather not use this as a primary ingredient]

Assuming as you should that we've got all the usual kitchen basics (e.g. onions + garlic + various oils) and then some, any suggestions? Both D- and I are good cooks; sometimes we do fancy dishes, sometimes simple, but in general we like to bring out what's uniquely delicious about particular ingredients (as opposed to drowning them in batter or otherwise masking the taste.) My default would be grilling the brussels sprouts with a little veggie oil and sautéing the zucchini, but I'm in the mood to do something different - I just don't know what.

ETA: For those interested, I did do the beet burger recipe several nights later. Here's the aftermath report in a comment thread.
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[personal profile] 0jack2012-01-06 06:54 pm

Simple adjustments to ramen.

A square black bowl of fish & noodle stew including two kinds of seaweed and yellow peppers.This is a bowl of spicy seafood ramen (neo guri, actually, a thicker noodle), but it looks pretty substantial when it's ready.

Sort-of instructions here! )

But, basically, this is boiling water plus some bits and pieces and then following the package directions. I mostly use a pair of scissors to chop stuff up (I chop the cooked fish a couple times, but then it falls apart the rest of the way) and to open the packages... and I stir with the scissors.  *cough*  So, there you go. It's just ramen with a little more. I can make this in about 10 minutes from putting the pot on to putting it in the bowl. 
steorra: Part of Saturn in the shade of its rings (Default)
[personal profile] steorra2011-12-12 11:01 pm
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I've recently been rediscovering what a great recipe scones are. (However, they don't keep very well, and are far better fresh, so when I'm on my own I usually only make a half-recipe.) The recipe below is very flexible; practically every ingredient can be substituted with something else, although some of the substitutions affect taste. I'll give the basic recipe, and then substitutions and variations. I almost always make the drop scones variant, because it's easy and I'm lazy; I also usually put in dried fruit as mentioned in the fruit scones variant. (For a really simple version of this recipe, stripped down to the bare minimum, see this post in [community profile] cookability.)

Basic recipe

Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Other ingredients
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit (approximately 215-220 degrees Celsius).

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut or rub butter or margarine into dry ingredients. Add sugar. Add milk, mixing quickly to form a soft dough.

Pat or roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thickness (or as desired). Either cut into 12 squares or 2-3 inch rounds.

Place scones on a baking sheet and bake towards top of a 425 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

Serving suggestions
Serve warm or cold, plain or with butter only, or butter and jam or honey, or with jam and a touch of unsweetened whipped cream.

Flour: can be part or all whole wheat. (Last time I tried all whole wheat, they needed to bake a bit longer than 10 minutes.)

Baking soda and cream of tartar: can be replaced with 1 tablespoon baking powder, to make baking powder biscuits.

Butter/margarine: can be replaced with olive oil. This affects the taste and is probably best in savoury versions of the recipe than sweet ones, but in my experience it works with both.

Sugar: can be omitted, for less sweet scones - good for serving with savoury things, like soup or cheese.

Milk: can be replaced with water. I almost always do this, and I don't think it affects the taste noticeably.

Other variations
Drop scones: Increase liquid to 1 cup and use spoons to drop like cookies onto a baking sheet.

Fruit scones: Add 1/3 cup (50 g. / 2 oz.) dried fruit before adding milk/water.

Herb scones: Omit sugar. Use olive oil instead of butter/margarine. Add some dried herbs before adding liquid. (I think I've used about 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano and thyme, but I'm not certain of quantities, and I'm sure there are other herb combinations that work.)