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Jaimelai

TO SERVE OGIER (it's a cookbook!)

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Mmmmm, it all sounds so good!  I have to stop reading these right before lunch though,  I'm drooling all over my keyboard!  :D

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Ok, I've recently been bitten by the baking bug, and I've found a few recipes that I thought I'd share. :)

 

First up is an old English recipe, and a very simple one.  It's called Poor Knight's Fritters.

 

Ingredients:

 

8 slices of bread

A little margarine/butter

Jam, golden syrup or thick fruit purée

A little oil/fat for frying

 

Method:

 

Make sandwiches of the bread, margarine and jam/golden syrup or fruit.  Cut into fingers and fry in a little hot fat/oil.  You can make nicer fritters if you dip the sandwich fingers into beaten egg (mixed with a little milk) before frying.  Top with sugar.

 

Next is a more recent one, but sounds just as tasty.  I haven't made it yet, although it won't be long now.  They're called Toffee Bars.

 

Ingredients:

 

4oz softened butter

4oz soft brown sugar

1 egg yolk

2oz plain flour

2oz porridge oats

 

Topping:

 

3oz plain cooking chocolate

1oz butter

2oz finely chopped walnuts

 

Method:

 

Preheat oven to 375 F or gas mark 5.  Grease an approximately 7x11 inch shallow tin.  In a bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and egg yolk until smooth.  Mix in the flour and oats, then put the mixture into the tin, spread it out evenly and press down.  Bake for 15 for 20 minutes until golden brown, then leave to cool slightly in the tin.

 

For the topping:  Break up the chocolate into a bowl with the butter and melt over hot water.  Spread the chocolate over the mixture in the tin and cover with chopped walnuts.  Cut into bars with a sharp knife while still warm, but leave in the tin to get completely cold before turning out.

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To see why I am posting this particular recipe, go here!

http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,34897.24.html

 

Duck a l'Orange

 

Recipe courtesy James Peterson, The Duck Cookbook, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2003 

 

Making duck a l'orange is a useful project because once you can understand how it's made, you can improvise virtually any French duck sauce using the same method.

 

2 Pekin (Long Island) duck breasts or 1 mallard breast (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each)

Salt and pepper

1 juicing orange

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup concentrated duck broth or 2 tablespoons homemade duck glaze or 1 tablespoon commercial glaze

1/8 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon orange flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

1 tablespoon balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar, or more to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Orange wedges

 

Use a sharp knife to score the skin side of the duck breasts in 2 directions, about 20 slashes per direction. Season the breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Reserve in the refrigerator.

 

Cut off 1 end so the orange can stand on the cutting board, and slice off 2 (2-inch) strips of zest. Cut the zest into fine julienne, then blanch the zest for 1 minute in the cup of boiling water. Juice the orange, strain the juice into a saucepan, and boil it until it's reduced to about 1 tablespoon.

 

If you're using concentrated duck broth, reduce it in a small saucepan to about 2 tablespoons until it's lightly syrupy.

 

Heat a saute pan over medium to high heat and saute the duck breasts, skin side down, 8 to 10 minutes for the Pekin duck breasts and 12 to 18 minutes for the mallard. Turn the breasts over, adjust the heat to high, and cook for 1 minute for the Pekin duck and 2 minutes for the mallard.

 

Pour the fat out of the pan – if it hasn't burned, save it for omelets – and deglaze the pan with the reduced orange juice. Use a whisk to add the glaze. Add the sugar, Grand Marnier, orange zest, and vinegar, and simmer the sauce for about 30 seconds to cook off the alcohol.

 

At this point, adjust the thickness of the sauce – its consistency is up to you, but many cooks make their sauces too thick; add 1 or 2 teaspoons water to thin it or simmer the sauce for a moment to reduce and thicken it. Whisk in the cold butter, keeping the pan and whisk moving until all the butter melts. (Don't let it sit without whisking or the butter will separate.) Season, to taste, with the pepper, and if necessary, a few more drops of vinegar.

 

Slice the breasts crosswise, arrange the slices on individual heated plates, and spoon the sauce over the breasts. Serve hot, with orange wedges if desired.

 

 

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Here is another from Cherise:

 

This is my favorite recipe. I make it for dinner, and then have the leftovers for breakfast the next day!  I made it up.

 

1 lb sausage, the greasier the better. use the variety you like. I like Farmer John Maple.

3 large onions

20 2" diameter red potatoes, or equivalent in volume of potatoes you like or can get

 

Set enough water to boil so that you can boil all the potatoes, once they are cubed.  Cube the potatoes into bite-sized pieces as the water comes to a boil.  Boil the potatoes for 30 minutes, then test for doneness every 5 minutes.  Once they are done, poor them in a collander and set them aside to cool and dry.

 

As you brown the sausage in a large skillet, chop it up into bite-sized bits. Also while it is browning, slice up the onion.  Remove the sausage, and set it aside, preferably in the refrigerator.  Leave all the grease in the skillet, and turn the heat down really low.  Saute the onion in the grease for at least an hour, until the onion turns brownish (carmelizes).  I like the onions almost burnt, so I saute them three hours.

 

Add the potatoes to the sauteed onion and turn the heat up a bit.  Fry the potatoes for an hour, turning and stirring every 10 minutes to get them fried on all sides. Add the sausage and heat until all is heated through.

 

Never cover the pan or it gets watery = yucky.

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Mmmm that duck recipe looks amazing!  I've always wanted to try duck, but its so expensive I've never had the chance.  Maybe someday.  ;)

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Duck Hunting!  My family were big duck hunters - every weekend during the season and sometimes during the week too. Had duck for nearly every Sunday meal growing up.  My mom would stuff them with sauerkraut and then wrap them with bacon.  Very tasty!

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Really fast to make, yummy crab dip:

 

1 cup mozzarella shredded cheese

1 package cream cheese

2 table spoons mayo

1 table spoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper spice

1 table spoon garlic powder

6 oz. crab meat (or 1 package thawed)

1 table spoon parsley

 

and cook in microwave for 2-3 minutes. and stir well

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easy marinade for grilled london broil:

 

chopped garlic

chopped fresh ginger

soy sauce

london broil

 

1. combine a couple of tablespoons each of the chopped ginger and chopped garlic with the soy sauce and stir the marinade.

2. pour over the london broil and let marinate in the refridgerator for 30 minutes to a couple of hours.

3. prior to grilling, wipe off chopped garlic/ginger from meat and allow to sit for a couple of minutes at room temperature.

4. grill over medium/medium-high heat to desired level of doneness.

5. let the meat rest for a couple of minutes, slice and serve.

 

i'm not a measurer of ingredients, i just eye things up. i'd say i use about 2-3 tablespoons each of the garlic and ginger and about 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of low sodium soy sauce for a normal sized london broil from the store.

 

variations:

 

a) although i generally prefer an oyster-cut london broil with this marinade, i've found it works well with most beef (like skirt steak or any kind of cubed beef if you like to do kabobs).

b) if you like spicy food (like i do), you can add some hot peppers to the marinade...but be careful, a little seems to go a very long way in the marinade

c) a little onion also works well in the marinade (sometimes i'll throw in some fresh scallions from my garden).

d) if you are using a normal soy sauce (instead of low sodium), try addding a tablespoon or two of sugar to the marinade.

 

i stole this recipe from an ex-girfriend's aunt and it quickly became a fan favorite and regular at summer BBQs. i like to grill asparagus, yellow squash or zucchini as a side dish.

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.. well I took this one thing you know, and then this other thing I found in my fridge, not to forget some things I left on the windowsill from last night,.. *closes eyes and rubs his forehead*..and then, well I took all these things and combined them into a breakfast.

From the moment I took a bite I felt life was worth living again,.. That's when I mustered my courage to go wake my girlfriend up.

 

Anyway, this are the things I found that memorable morning:

 

-4 slices white bread (preferably old, at least not fresh)

-two eggs

-milk

-cinnamon

-sugar

-butter

 

beat up the eggs with 20cl of milk. then let the bread slices soak for a moment or two in the mixture. Then let the butter melt in a frying pan and (yes you already feel what's coming) you put the bread in the pan! (see that it's not dripping anymore though). after a while, when a yummy smell is spreading in the room you don't forget to turn the bread around and witness the goldenbaked crust on it. When baking is done all that remains to me is to say: have a nice day... oh yeah Most people like it when you put sugar or cinnamon on the bread, actually now I come to think of it, you can virtually put anything on it. Tried one with banana that morning (not just because it happened to lie on the table next to the furnace I swear)

 

 

.. ah anyway, I supose lot of you guys already know that one, wanted to point it out nonetheless. Tasty in its simplicity. :happy:

Edited by Arc

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fudge brownies... deadly and dead easy.

 

 

melt 1-1/4 cup butter

beat with 4 cups sugar

 

beat in slowly, one at a time, 8 large eggs

 

stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla (fake is fine, don;t believe that nonsense about having to use the real thing, it doesn't hold up to the heat of baking, and most human prefer the fake whether they know it or not)

 

 

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

 

sift or whisk together 2 cups flour, 1-1/2 cups cocoa, and 1 teaspoon salt

 

***********

 

stir the dry into the egg mixture until just combined

 

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

 

optional:

 

stir in 2 cups chopped nuts if desired

 

stir in 2 to 4 cups chocolate chips, or candy pieces (chopped snickers, peppermint patties, milky ways, good chocolate bars, heath bars,, peanut butter chips whit chocolate chips... your funeral, and it'll be yummy one) if desired.

 

go ahead, i dare you.

 

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

 

you can either spread the batter into a  greased 15 x 10 pan, a 13 x 9 pan, or say, twp 13 x 9 pans, depending on ho thick you want the brownies.

 

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

 

bake at 325, about 40 - 35 minutes in a 15 x 10 pan, about an hour or so in one 13 x 9, check it after a half hour in two 13 x 9's...

 

don't overbake, you're going for not quite set in the center.

 

if the brownies crack and rise... it's overbaked.

 

don't panic, they're still good, and you get to slice the crunchy edges off them when they're cooled, and either gobble those up in secrecy and shame, or crumble them between layers of ice cream for ice cream cake... or use them in a trifle, but that is sort of another recipe.

 

if you like you can spread chocolate bars or chocolate chips on them while they're still hot, they'll melt in ten minutes, and you can use a spoon or knife or spatula to spread them smooth for a nice hard chocolate coating.

 

or you can wait till they're cool and frost them with this (and... if you do this, ahve some insulin ready)

 

 

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

 

very optional brownie frosting

 

 

melt 1/2 cup butter with 1-1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate

 

beat into 3 cups confectioner's sugar, with 5 tablespoons milk (or bourbon yum), and 1 teaspoon vanilla,

 

 

spread this over the brownies when they're cool., and it's real purty to put nice whole pieces of walnut or pecans or candy thingies decoratively over the top, and...

 

um, yeah.

 

be careful with this, i've nearly killed a couple diabetics this way...

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horseradish roast beast

 

 

get a fine whole tenderloin or other lovely roast.... if you can't afford at least a decent prime rib or sirloin, get bottom round and age it in the fridge a few days to tenderize and nummify it.

 

 

smear liberally with gooooood mustard.

 

grate fresh horseradish, lots.... go for 2 - 4 cups here... and be careful, grating fresh horseradish can knock you out.

 

 

do not use prepared horseradish.  that would be bad.

 

 

spread the horseradish out on say a cutting board or plate, sprinkle heavily with coarse ground black pepper, and roll the mustardy roast in it till it all sticks.

 

set that in the fridge a couple hours.

 

roast at a good high temp, over 400 up to 550, whatever your over will do...

 

i go for an internal temp 90 - 100 F, and pull it to let it rest up to about 130 - 135, for bloody rare.  about 20 - 30 mns out of the oven will bring it up and if it doesn't break 125, just sear it in a pan in butter for a couple mns, it will be fine. 

 

the horseradish mellows and sweetens and perfumes the meat so nicely... so gently, subtly... really not what you'd expect.

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so you take some shrooms, ya, whatever kind you like, either slice them or use them whole or...

 

slice some garlic razor thin

 

heat butter with olive oil till the foam stops, heat the garlic for 30 seconds, sauté the shrooms till brown, let them lose most of their moisture, salt lightly, fresh pepper, hit it with Worcestershire sauce and a good glug of red wine, and reduce it till it's a sticky sauce.

 

have it with the beef, or any steak.

 

or just like that.

 

or folded in an omelette...

 

and... this is going to be a very bad bad thread for me sorry.

Edited by cindy

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garlic pizza...

 

assuming you know how to make a basic italian dough, and if not...

 

say a cup, cup and half warm water, half tsp yeast, tiny pinch sugar to proof it (if you use rapid yeast you can just mix the dry yeast in the flour and skip the proofing but i like doing it this way) and stir, then knead in enough flour to make a very smooth, elastic dough. good long knead on this one, 15 minutes, and it should be as smooth as a baby's bottom, not sticky at all, but not dry either.

 

you'll know when you get there.

 

raise it and punch it down at least twice (you can also make a sourdough for this, i like the one i made with bashed up red grapes, in cheesecloth, set in a slurry of flour and water, spongy not soupy, with 1/2 tsp yeast, let it go on the warm counter a couple days till it's bubbling well and use it like any sourdough starter, just work in enough flour to make the dough as above).

 

yeah, you read right, i don't put any salt in the italian bread dough. you can if you like, not much though, it'll impede the very small amount of yeast.. and you want the very small amount of yeast to keep the crumb nice and fine.

 

another way to go is to make a rich dough with a normal amount of salt, a pinch of sugar and a couple tbsps of olive oil, but the character of that dough will be lacy and open, uneven and... a bit more focaccia to me than pizza. your call, they both work.

 

anyway, you got your dough, risen and punched twice... you can keep it in the fridge for a few days, soruing does not hurt here, warm it up to room temp before you use it. rest it well after the last punch down in any case.

 

stretch or roll it out thin.

 

you can get fancy with pizza stones, but i do fine on a baking sheet sprinkled with fine cornmeal or flour.

 

drizzle with olive oil, spread heavily with razor thin sliced garlic, give it a good shot of fresh coarse pepper, a touch or oregano and basil, some parsley.... romano and/or parmesan, then mozzarella and/or provalone, a touch of american is actually pretty good here...

 

can add extras like blanched broccoli or cauliflower, marinated grilled chicken, what have you, but... i like it plain garlic personally.

 

hot oven, as hot as you can make it.

 

if you can go wood fired here, bless you, it'll be done in five minutes.

 

otherwise it's done when it looks done to you. ten, fifteen, twenty minutes.

 

if you can't get your oven past 425, prebake the dough after you've oiled and seasoned it and sprinkled it with the Parmesan or Romano, about seven to ten minutes, then put on the rest of the toppings and back in the oven. gives you a nice, crisp bottom crust.

 

you can use the same dough and basic procedure for any pizza. plain tomato sauce from a can works fine, sliced tomatoes, too.

 

best to keep the mozz as the top later to protect the delicate nums underneath.

 

 

oh, that rich dough is real nice rolled thick, a bit of sugar, halved grapes or plums, tiny whisper of cinnamon, pepper, little salt.

 

so good...

Edited by cindy

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vegetable chili 

 

you can make this vegetarian by using water or vegetable stock or base (base is a very thick paste of concentrated stock, and is just a bit less dry than bouillon cubes) instead of beef or chicken.

substitute any veggies, beans, and grains you want.

chop onions, and cook in oil or fat over a low to medium heat until they start to soften.

if you are using carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, beets, or other long cooking veggies, chop them small or grind in a processor or grinder, and cook them in the oil with the onions. add some chopped garlic right before the wetter veggies below. don't burn garlic. add a little water to the pot if its too hot for the garlic.

add a little chopped celery to the pot, and some chopped peppers, hot and sweet (I use a lot of bell peppers in any chili but you don't have to, and if you don't have hot peppers you'll just use more dry, ground hot pepper later).

at this point I usually add a couple handfuls of dry barley, rinsed. it has a good meaty consistency, but you can add any kind of small whole grain you like.

add a liter or so of liquid, all water is fine, but beer and stock or chicken, beef or vegetable base are better. add a pinch of salt, you'll salt it properly at the end.

bring to a simmer and cook till the barley is nearly done (40 minutes to an hour). stir often, barley sticks.

add chopped or canned tomatoes, however much you like.

I like to add about as much dry lentils now as I did barley, but everything is optional. lentils take only 10 or 15 minutes to cook.

add your other veggies, like corn kernels (canned or frozen are fine), chopped mushrooms, lots of canned or cooked beans of any varieties, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

add spices.

chili powder, a few big spoonsful.

or not... it's mostly ground hot peppers, so you can just use cayenne pepper and some black pepper and any kind of hot sauce or crushed or ground pepper you like. to taste.

add a teaspoon of ground cumin, a bare whisper of cinnamon, salt to taste if it needs more, some dried oregano and/ or thyme, a bay leaf is nice... make it as spicy or mild as you want, always remembering as with everything... it's a lot easier to put more in that to take it out once it's there.

I like to add a square of unsweetened chocolate to any chili. some ppl don't like the idea of it, but it is great. melt it in, it adds something undefinable and rich and good.

cook till the lentils are done.

if its not thick enough, you can add a small can of tomato paste, but remember the barley and lentils will continue to soak up liquids for quite a while as it cools.

with any chili, you can serve as is, or over rice, or Cincinnati style, over spaghetti.

or over tortilla chips, for nachos, or with fresh tortillas to make a wrap, or in taco shells.

garnish any of these with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc.

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i'm writing these as if to someone just starting to cook, please bear with me.

 

peanut butter noodles

I adapted this from cold sesame noodles.

prepare rice noodles according to the package directions ( basically, you cover them in boiled water for a few minutes, drain, and rinse in cold water instead of boiling them like regular noodles) or cook some spaghetti the way you normally do, and rinse in cold water.

make the sauce - this is the most basic kind. some people add chopped ginger and garlic but I don't usually bother.

whisk an equal amount of peanut butter and hot water (a couple heaping tablespoons of PB, up to 1/4 cup) until it has the consistency of heavy cream.

add a tablespoon or so of soy sauce ( and/or a couple shots of Worcestershire sauce), and either a few good shots of a vinegary hot sauce (tabasco or louisina style hot wing type sauce), or cayenne pepper to taste ( start with a pinch till you know how hot you like this dish) and a tiny bit of vinegar, about a teaspoon. you can add a pinch of sugar, too. then and a few drops of sesame oil, this is the main flavoring of the dish and can't be substituted (the dish is traditionally made with sesame paste but i don;t like the taste or texture, but go ahead with it if you do).

 

*this sauce or one very like it can also be used in pad Thai, and as a dipping sauce for meat, and as a stir fry sauce for any dish, meat or fish; if you like it, it goes with everything

add to the cooled noodles with about 1/4 cup or less chopped or sliced scallions or any finely chopped onion and sir to coat.

you can garnish with a handful of chopped peanuts or sesame seeds, optional.

you can also serve this hot, just have the sauce made and toss with the hot noodles without cooling them under water.

it's good both ways.

if you store it in the fridge it gets gummy. just stir in a little water and it's good as new.


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

basic stir fry

start by preparing all the ingredients. all the time is in the prep, which can be done the day before. the cooking is very fast.

if you're using meat, raw or cooked, slice it very thin, or julienne it (slice it into matchstick size pieces). if you want, marinate the meat in a little soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and maybe a touch of beer or white wine. 

slice or julienne or cut into bite size pieces any vegetables you like.

things that take longest to cook, like carrots, and things used for flavor, like onions, should be sliced very thin.

if you're using fresh ginger or garlic chop it very small. you can use orange peel, the orange part only, not the white, shredded or chopped tiny, to flavor the dish if you want. and if you like it spicy you can use dried hot pepper or red pepper flakes, but be prepared to have the windows wide open.

prepare the sauce

combine a few tablespoons soy sauce with an equal amount of water (or cold tea, or orange juice, or white wine, or beer, or broth or anything), a pinch of sugar (optional), a shot of Worcestershire sauce (optional), and if you're not using dried hot peppers, or if you want it very hot, any kind of hot sauce or a little crushed red or cayenne pepper. start small with either, a pinch is good. I always like a few drops of sesame oil, but it's very optional. if you have Chinese five spice powder a pinch is good.

to thicken the sauce, prepare a slurry - that's a combination of a couple tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot, with about an equal amount of cold water. stir until there are no lumps. you will add this, a little at a time, after the sauce has been added to the stir fry, and stir constantly till it bubbles. if its not thick enough, you'll add a little more. if it gets too thick you'll add some water or other liquid.

cook rice according to the package directions or however you like. you could also use noodles or skip the starch entirely, it's just filler.


now to cook.

use your biggest frying pan ( woks are nice but not necessary).

heat the pan for a minute over medium high to high heat, add a little oil, heat a moment.

if you are using aromatics,things to flavor the dish, such as ginger, onion, orange peel, dried hot peppers, etc., add them now and heat for a moment. not too long or too hot with hot peppers, the smoke will knock you out. if you're using garlic, toss it in after the other things are heated and then immediately start adding the rest of your ingredients or it will burn.

once that's done, or if you're not using any of those things, add the meat if you're using it and cook,stirring quickly, until it's done, or in the case of already cooked meat, well heated.

you can either take the meat out of the pan now, setting it aside while you cook the veggies, or leave it in. kind of depends on how well done you want the meat and whether you're using veggies that will take a long time to cook, like carrots. doesn't matter very much, your call.

cook the veggies in the same pan either way, don't wash it in between, you want all that flavor and some of the oil.

add the veggies starting with the ones that take longest to cook like carrots (a trick to cook the carrots and celery and such is to add a bit of water or other liquid after you stir them in the hot pan, cover the pan tightly for a minute or two to let them steam and soften, and then uncover the pan and continue stir frying the rest of the dish).

continue adding veggies, ending with ones that only need a brief heating, like pea pods, mushrooms, scallions, etc.

if you've removed the meat, put it back in now, with any juices that drained from it.

add the sauce, and as soon as it bubbles, stir in the starch slurry a little at a time until thickened.

 

you can wait and add a shot of sesame oil here instead of mixing it into the sauce; gives a nice shine at the end.  

serve on rice or noodles or as is.
 

Edited by cindy

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last few recipes got me thinking about how the leftovers can be used. here are some easy ways to use the most common leftovers.


**********
fried rice

you may or may not want to make some fried eggs or this. if you do, just beat an egg or two, and fry it into a plain omelette in a little fat, then cool it and chop it into strips, and stir it into the rice after its all cooked.

for the rice itself, first heat a frying pan over medium high heat for a minute or two, add a little oil and heat for a  moment.

add a little chopped onion, cook for a minute.

if you are using raw veggies, add them now and stir till they're cooked. optional.

then add whatever leftover cold rice you have.

cook it till the rice is hot and the grains are separate and coated with oil.

at this point, you can add any chopped up leftover bits of meat you have (even cold cuts like sliced ham or roast beef work, but literally any cooked meat at all; if you want to use up raw meat here, add it right after the onions and cook it through). optional.

next, as soon as everything in the pan is hot, add whatever leftover cooked veggies you want. it's not uncommon to use frozen peas and carrots here, but anything works, including left over stir fry, meat, veggies, sauce and all. optional.

as soon as everything is hot, add a few shakes of soy sauce, stir to coat, and if you want, a few drops of sesame oil.

stir in the cooked egg if you want.


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

lo mein

use leftover cold noodles or spaghetti

you do this almost exactly the same as the rice, but on a lower heat.

you can use plain soy sauce, or the stir fry sauce, or the peanut sauce.

it is less common to use eggs here, and more common to use bean sprouts, but I use what I have.

 

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Basic stews

 

Stews are all made pretty much the same way.

 

You brown the meat, any meat, cut in chunks any size (anywhere from bite size to whole roasts, you just cook it longer for bigger pieces), in any kind of oil or fat you have.

 

You “sweat,” or cook slowly until soft, some aromatic vegetables –  usually onions, sometimes garlic, etc… with the meat.

 

You add salt and pepper to taste, and some other seasonings.

 

And then you add a small amount of liquid, could be water, broth, beer, wine, tomato sauce, etc, barely enough to cover the meat, cover the pot tightly, bring it all up to a simmer, and cook over a very low heat for as long as it takes for the meat to become tender. Can take anywhere form 15 or 20 minutes for something like boneless chicken, to a few hours for a big piece of beef or pork. You just keep checking, stirring, poking with a fork, and tasting.

 

Once the meat is nearly done you can  add other vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, corn, peas, green beans, canned beans, whatever you like, and cook until they’re all tender.

 

You can either eat the stew as it is, or thicken with any of several methods.

 

So, here’s a few good stews, but  use what you have and what you like.

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

 

Goulash

 

Lightly brown cubes of beef or pork in a little fat.

 

Add a lot of sliced or chopped onions – at least as much onion as meat.

 

Add a pinch of salt, and two to three  tablespoons of good, sweet Hungarian paprika, szeged or szego on the label if you can find it. You can add a bit of hot paprika or hot red pepper if you like, too.  Add a bay leaf if you have one, and a tablespoon of tomato paste or a chopped small tomato if you like.

 

Cook very very slowly until the onions are very very soft.

 

Add enough water, broth, beer, or any combination to barely cover the meat.

 

Cover the pot tightly and let it cook over a very low heat, stirring now and then, until the meat is so tender it starts to fall apart when you poke it.

 

Add one or two sliced peppers, and cook for about ten minutes or until they’re tender.

 

Some people add mushrooms with the green peppers, as many as you like, whole or sliced.

 

Taste it and add more salt and pepper if you want.

 

 

 

Optional – serve with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt, or even stir some into the goulash before serving. Or heavy cream; for sour cream or yogurt, you can’t boil the goulash again or it will curdle. Heavy cream you can reheat all the way.

 

Serve over boiled potatoes, rice, buttered noodles, on bread, or just plain.

 

I like mine over green salad, but I like everything that way.

 

 


 


 

 

 

Beef or Chicken Stew

 

Brown beef or chicken pieces in any fat or oil.

 

Add a small onion, sliced or chopped, cook slowly till soft. Garlic optional, add close to the end of onion cooking time. A pinch of salt now to help the onions cook.

 

Add enough water or chicken or beef broth to barely cover the meat, bring to simmer, cover tightly, simmer until the meat is tender (for boneless chicken could be as little as ten or twenty minutes, on the bone more like 40 minutes to an hour, beef would take an hour and a half to two hours, so would pork or venison).

 

You can also season with a pinch of oregano, thyme, a bay leaf, whatever you like. Parsley at the end is good in everything.

 

If you’re cooking chicken, it’s a good idea to put the carrots and potatoes and celery in at the start of the process, cause the chiken cooks fast.

 

With beef stew, I’d add the vegetables when the beef is already cooked tender.

 

you can optionally add mushrooms, green beans,  canned beans, peas, corn,  anything you have and like, beets, whatever, parsnips, turnips (root veg go in at the same time as the carrots, they take a long time to cook), all good.

 

Cook till the veggies are tender.

 

I sometimes add a chopped tomato or a spoonful of tomato paste to beef stew.

 

I add wine if I have some. White for chicken, red for beef, or what you like.

 

Always with any recipe, correct the seasonings at the end, that means taste it and add salt and pepper if you need to.

 

 

You can thicken the stew or not.

 

Ways to thicken:

 

Cornstarch or potato starch or arrowroot mixed with cold water, then stirred into the simmering stew a little at a time (won’t take more than a few spoons of starch to thicken, so go slow, can always add more), and it’s reached full thickness when it boils.

 

Or a roux, an equal amount of nay kind of fat, usually butter but doesn’t have to be, and flour, cooked together over a low heat in a little pan for a minute until it stops bubbling.

 

Stir this into the boiling stew, and it takes about two minutes to fully thicken so go very slow. May take twice as much of this mixture as of the starch slurry above to work, but… makes a velvety sauce that will stay velvety and not separate when you cool and then reheat it as the above might do.

 

 

Mashed potatoes or even dry potato flakes stirred into a stew will thicken it very nicely.

 

Also, if you have a blender, you can take out some of the vegetables and juice, and put them in a blender, and mush them up, and stir them back into the sew and that thickens very nicely.

 

Personally I don’t bother to thicken stew most of the time.

 

But ooooohhhh… a little heavy cream stirred in is always lovely.

 


 


 

 

 

Curried vegetable stew

 

 

And it doesn’t have to be curried, can just skip the whole curry part, but if you have it and like it it’s good.

 

Slowly cook sliced or chopped onions in a little fat of any kind with a few spoons full of a decent curry powder (one that smells good to you; sometimes I add some fresh or dried ginger, some turmeric, maybe a little extra cayenne pepper, but not necessary) until softened. A little salt and black or white pepper now.

 

Add the vegetables you have that take longest to cook. I start with carrots (parsnips, beets would go in now).

 

Cook a few minutes, add chopped potatoes if desired, sliced celery. (if i wasn't using curry, i would use herbs like thyme and oregano and parsley for flavor)

 

I add chick peas now.  you don't have to.

 

Cook a few minutes, add a little tomato paste or a chopped tomato if desired, then some liquid.

 

I use chicken stock or water, and sometimes I use coconut milk but all that adds is fat and it’s not necessary.

 

Bring to a simmer, simmer till the veg are tender or nearly so (20 – 30 minutes), and add the veg that don’t need much cooking, like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, peas, whatever you like and have on hand.

 

Cook just till those are done, not more than a few minutes.

 

Taste and correct seasonings.

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fettuccine Alfredo

 

(don't do this very often. srsly.)

 

cook a pound of fettuccine or whatever pasta you want. 

 

melt two sticks of butter in a big pan

 

add a pint of heavy cream and heat slowly till almost at a simmer

 

temper two to four egg yolks whisked lightly, with a small amount of the hot liquid  stir that back into the pan and heat very slowly and carefully, stirring, until it coats a spoon.

 

take it off the heat, melt in a cup and a half grated cheese, half romano and half parmesan or all romano.  or whatever you like, you can't make this bad.

 

season with lots of fresh cracked black pepper

 

garnish with a handful of chopped fresh parsley

 

toss with the pasta

 

call your cardiologist.  now. 

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