Good Eats' risotto recipe is very tasty. I added ham but otherwise am faithful. Klae says I should use prosciutto. Perhaps I will next time I make it.

Recipe is,1977,FOOD_9936_30665,00.html
Ok, I have shown that I can now make Dou Miao (lots on that page, do a search for it) in my wok on the grill. Awesome stuff.

I also continue to make a kick ass beef & broccoli, but that's not new. Well, it's new in that I haven't done it since I moved in, as the grill I need for it was broken last summer and it gets dark too early to use the grill for woking outside of daylight savings time. Also, rain is an impediment.

Here's the recipe:

Serves 6
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6-8 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 pound dou miao , preferably large
teaspoon salt
cup water

1/4 cup oil IS quite a bit, but that turns out to be pretty close to what I used. It really soaks it up; I will have to try to use a little less. Definitely use as much garlic as you can stand, and 1 tsp salt may not be quite enough.
merlinofchaos: (Default)
Apr. 3rd, 2005 06:51 pm
Oddly, there's not a great deal to tell about my life right now. Most of it is consumed with weight watchers and trying to slim down. I promised I wouldn't post about that publically (I post plenty behind the lock), so I'll just mention it in passing, oh, and I've lost 15 pounds since I've started it. Which is a drop in the bucket for the amount that I'm overweight.

I made a batch of experimental salsa--roasted tomato, black bean and corn salsa. I'm curious how it'll turn out, but I don't think I'm going to know for at least a day, and from what I've read I get the feeling that the stuff is best 3-4 days after it's made. Er, at least, the stuff that I sort of based my recipe on. Which this kind of isn't very much like, except for having black beans and corn in it. We shall see! I also made my more normal roasted tomato chipotle salsa. That one ought to turn out well, tho I suspect it'll be quite fiery.

On the gaming front, at the end of the last session (oh crap, I never wrote it up), I sent my players off to WAR. Not that they know what the war's even about yet. They have some guesses, but I've set enough different things in motion it's going to be hard for them to really predict a whole lot of this. Some of what's going on has just been in the background and never made it to the players' knowledge. I'm looking forward to the next session, though I'm nervous about the scale of what's going on, and whether or not it'll actually work out in terms of fun play.

KublaCon is coming up around Memorial day. That one's going to be busy for me. I'm running a Feng Shui game there, as well as the bulk of the Shadowfist events. Should be interesting and exciting. And all those other things too.

I learned last night I make a really good margarita, now that I know how. And now I've gotten to put the martini and margarita glasses that Andrew got us for Christmas to use twice. Wish I had a place for them. We have so much stuff!

Also, I'm hungry now.
I found the recipe on the weight watcher's site, so tonight I made Shepherd's Pie.

Naturally, I am basically unable to make any recipe to spec. I always think I know better, and make changes.

Of course, usually I decide I was right.

Like this time... )
2.5 lb lean ground turkey
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Med. Onions, chopped
6 tsp. chili powder
2 cans of Beer -- I switch it up, but i like a beer with a strong flavor. Light beers will add nothing to the chili. GO for bitters.
2 chopped green chilies -- or more if you like it spicay
1 teaspoon oregano -- I've been using mexican oregano for this. There IS a difference.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
5 15 oz. Cans of stewed tomatoes (diced) (Or the larger cans are a better idea. Fewer cans to open. It's what I had)
as much cayenne pepper as you can stand
2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
Salt to taste
2 cups of uncooked black, red, pinto or whatever the heck beans you like. Ok, if you want to use canned beans, suit yourself. It's certainly easier.
Extra hot additions if desired: add 2 chopped red chili pods or 2 Jalapeno peppers

Rinse and pick over the beans. Cook them in 4 cups of water for 1-2 hours until beans are grown to their full size and tender.

Combine the turkey, onions and garlic in a skillet and sear until the meat is lightly browned.

Transfer this mixture to a large pot, add the remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. I'm pretty sure sticking all this in a crockpot and cooking all day will net you a very nice chili.

Put a dallop of sour cream (fat free works just fine here--trust me), and cheese. And if you like 'em, some cut raw onion.

Makes 8 servings, about 2 cups each. 6 weight watchers point per bowl, and the bowl is quite filling.
2 lb butternut squash
8 oz smoked slab bacon
1 tbs oil
1.5 cups roughly chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
2 cups idced potatoes
3.75 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbs sour cream
hot-pepper sauce to taste
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1.5 cups grated gruyere cheese (as a garnish)
crusty bread, to serve

1) Cut the squash into large pieces. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the skin.
2) Scoop out and discard the seeds. CHop the squash into small chunks. Remove all the fat from the bacon and roughly chop it into small pieces.
3) Heat the oil in a large saucepan. add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until they begin to become soft.
4) Add the bacon and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook over low heat for a minute longer.
5) Add the chopped squash, potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes and squash are tender.
6) Blend the cornstarch with 2 tbs water and add to the soup with the sour cream. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and add hot-pepper sauce to taste.
7) ladle the soup into warm bowls and sprinkle the cheese on top. Serve with crusty bread to scooup up the melted cheese!


I think this soup should've been slightly thicker, and definitely don't skip the 'trim fat' step of the bacon. I'd say 3 good pinches of
salt was about right, and pepper can go right on top when serving.
This is a 3 step process. First there is the dry rub, which should ideally be left overnight but somehow i keep only getting about 4 hours in.

The second is a long braise primarily in beer.

Finally there is the bbq sauce. Mark's recipe calls for a final sear on the grill, but I find the mess isn't worth it. Yes, there is a slight improvement of flavor with the grill, but it the stuff falls apart like nothing and you lose a bunch in the grill and it leaves a horrible awful mess. I gave up on that part.

This recipe is for 1 package of Costco Country Style Bonless Pork Shoulder Ribs. I bet that bone-in ribs would be about 5x tastier, and the bones are so big they would not be difficult to remove.

The Rub:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp dry mustard

Mix all of the ingredients in a plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid so that you can give it a really good shake. If hte brown sugar doesn't want to delump, a fork or a potato masher will do the trick just fine.

Cut the pork down into pieces that are 1/3 to 1/2 the size that they come in the package. Mostly you want them to fit easily in the bowl. One at a time, drop a piece in the bowl and cover completely with the rub mix. Take your time with this, because a lot of the flavor will come from this. Make a single layer of pork in a disposable baking tray (easily acquired at costco, safeway, smart & final, etc). Why the disposables? Cause this is a pain in the ass to clean from a regular baking dish, and they have higher sides than a 9x14 casserole dish. 1 package will fill two trays pretty completely.

Cover with foil, refrigerate over night.

The braise:

2 pints stout beer -- heck, any dark beer will do.
5 tbs molasses
1 small head of garlic, peeled and crushed.
3 tbs worcestershire
1 tbs hot sauce (Tabasco is fine, but a hot sauce with character is better)

Mix the ingredients well. If you have trouble getting the molasses to dissolve, give it the microwae treatment. If you prepare the braise and refrigerate it along with the pork rub, it'll mix a little better, I think.

Pour the braise over the pork, and try to make sure that every piece is completely submerged. Be careful because the pork is pretty heavy for the disposable trays. It's good to put them on a baking tray of some sort.

Give them 2.5 hours in a 275 degree oven. When done, discard the braising liquid. Put the pork in a bowl and shred with a fork and a spoon.

Here is some recipe that vaguely approximates my bbq sauce.

2 cups ketchup,
1/4 cup cider vinegar,
3 tbs worcestershire,
1/4 cup molasses,
1 tbs chili powder,
2 tsp garlic powder,
1 tsp onion powder,
1/8 tsp (or more) cayenne pepper,
1 tsp hot sauce (such as tabasco; I have one I particularly like that's good on wings but i forget the
name of it offhand),
1/4 cup prepared mustard
a few drops of liquid smoke.
a generous pinch or two of kosher salt

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer for awhile. Adjust until you like the taste.
This one uses chicken breasts in an overnight brine, and then a generous covering of the spice mix at grill time.

The spicy one was absolutely brilliant, IMO. Not to say that the mild version wasn't awesome, but the balance on the spicy one was perfect. Alas, many people are unable to eat spicy.

The Brine:

2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (about 5 big oranges)
2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice (this was about 15 limes. It really varies, tho)
4 cups cold water
4 teaspoons dried thyme [a bunch of fresh thyme would've been superior here]
a dozen or so all-spice berries, crushed
A completely unnecessary quarter cup or so of sugar [the oj has plenty of sugar for this].
Garlic. However much you like. The more the merrier. =). Crushed.
1 cup kosher salt

Mix well, make sure the salt is dissolved. Put the chicken and put something heavy on the chicken to make sure it stays submerged.
I brined this one overnight--it went in about 10pm and came out of the brine around 5pm. I didn't flatten the chicken first because it was late, but ordinarily it's easier to pound the breasts flat before you brine. Either way, just make sure they're nice and evenly flat before they hit the grill, that's what really matters.

For the spice mix, I made two versions, one mild, one spicy. They're almost the same.

1 1/2 tsp onion powder (I got non-granulated stuff from Whole foods)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (also non-granulated)
2 tsp crushed red pepper Reduce to 1 or even 1/2 tsp for mild
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cayenne pepper Reduce or Omit for mild
1/2 tsp course ground black pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix well and put in a shaker. Since I buy my spices in bulk at whole foods, I have a bunch of empty spice jars sitting around, with shaker tops. There's lots of choices.

Cover one side of the chicken with the spice mix. There's no salt in the mix, so there's very little concern about putting too much on--I heaped it on there and the color is actually very nice for presentation. Place that side down on the grill and repeat with the other side. Grill 3-4 minutes a side on a nice hot grill.

  • 4 cups potatoes, diced into small cubes
  • 3 large carrots, diced into small cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large can of clams (I think it's the 51 oz can? It's a huge can)
  • 10 tablespoons butter (1 and a quarter sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 large pinch marjoram
  • 10-15 drops worcestershire
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (or 1 tablespoon regular salt)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups milk or half-and-half

First: the recipe is supposed to have salt pork. I don't happen to have any salt pork handy, so I used drippings leftover from the last ham I made. This may or may not have actually done anything to the flavor, I couldn't tell you.

Immerse the carrots, potatoes and onion in the juice from the clams--this should come out ot around 4 cups of liquid. If it's less, supplement with a little water. Add a bay leaf and the salt, and gently boil until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Remove the bay leaf when done.

Meanwhile, melt all of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, put in the flour and the pepper. Stir until you have a nice roux, and cook for a minute or two. Add the milk in about a cup at a time; stir and heat until it's boiling, then add the next cup. When you have a nice, hot, thick cream sauce, combine with the vegetables and liquid. (Be sure to remove the bay leaf.) Add all remaining ingredients, and heat through. Serve immediately. Sourdough is nice. I use saltines.
The preparation directions for each of these is simply "combine all ingredients, let sit for at least an hour for the flavors to blend." Serve most of them at room temp. Even the sour cream one.

Dipping sauces

Sour Cream & Horseradish
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tbs prepared horseradish
1 whole scallion
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
SouthWest Chipotle Mayonnaise
1 cup aioli
2 minced chipotle peppers en adobo
1 tsp adobo sauce
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Asian Orange Sauce
2 tbs dry mustard
2 tbs water
1/2 cup hoisin
1/4 cup oj
orange zest
Ginger-Soy Sauce
1/4 cup shredded ginger
1/4 cup soy
1/4 cup sweet sherry
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbs light brown sugar
Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin
1 tbs fish sauce
1/2 tsp chinese chili paste w/ garlic
Hot Sweet Mustard
1/3 cup prepared chinese mustard
1/2 cup honey

For me it began quite early today, as there was a ridiculous amount of prep work to do.

[ profile] senatorhatty decided we should throw a fondue party. But 'we' he meant me, because he was due to arrive at 8:15 this evening returning from his vacation. But it seemed like a really good idea to me, so I volunteered to go through with it. [ profile] esmerel, [ profile] wildpaletz, [ profile] jendavis77, [ profile] redhound, and [ profile] strider attended.

So as I occasionally do, I decided to completely overdo it.

I was a little quiet about it because a fondue party cannot really support a large number of people--we invited a total of 10 and ended up with 7. I had as much as I could prepped ahead of time so I could spend time eating as opposed to cooking and serving, so by the time we got to the party only the fondue needed to be put together in a pot and made ready, and then the same with the chocolate.

Course #1
Each guest got a choice of spinach or spring mix salad. Each salad came equipped with shredded mozarella, shredded carrot, cucumber sticks, half of a hard-boiled egg (sliced), brocolli florets, 2 little chef rolls (roast beef, turkey, ham and swiss rolled together). Several dressings, of course, though I failed to have Italian available.
Course #2
3 different cheese fondues. Basic 3 cheese swiss fondue, black forest mushroom fondue, and french gruyere with onion. Dipping choices: 3 kinds of bread, carrots, brocolli, apples, tomatoes and little dill pickles.
Course #3
The piece d'resistance. An electric griddle (which is cheaper and more effective than a swiss grill) and 4 kinds of meat: alligator tail, ostrich fan, wild boar shoulder and filet mignon. Sauces: K.C. BBQ, pesto mayonnaise, chipotle mayonnaise, asian style orange, spicy peanut, hot sweet mustard, ginger-soy, sour cream-horseradish. All hand-crafted, thankyouverymuch.
Course #4
Chocolate fondue, of course. Semi-sweet and dark. Dippers: apples, strawberries, cream cheese balls (rolled in cinnamon + nutmeg), rice krispie balls, little cookies, ladyfingers, marshmallows and poundcake.
Course #5
Veuve Cliquot Brut Champagne. Because New Year's deserved it.

We got started at 9:15 when the 'host' arrived and even though I had everything as much pre-prepped as possible, we didn't finish the last course until about 1am.

But it was lavish, extravagant and oh-my-god good. I may be willing to do this again next year. As long as I have plenty of kitchen assistance. It's a ton of work.
Cause I said in the last entry I'd post it.

Cut because most people don't want to see this =) )
So at Whole Foods we saw they had Lamb Shoulder chops for $2.99/lb. We don't really eat enough lamb, and at that price I figured it was worth experimenting.

So I picked up 4 chops. Now, I knew next to nothing about lamb of any sort, so I spent some time on the internet. I found that the cut I got is the least desirable cut (this explains the price) and is most often braised. Now, I've had this cut at a restaurant and I knew it could be delicious, but I couldn't really find any recipes that seemed to account for the toughness--a lot of people suggested olive oil marinades, but that, in my experience, doesn't seem to really do very much. I did read that lamb chops and pork chops can, for the most part, be prepared the same way (many recipes said either lamb or pork for various things).

I've made Alton Brown's pork chops recently, and got them spot on--they were delicious. So I decided to go that route.

Here's what I did... )
If you like roasted tomato salsas, this kicks ass. It's almost exactly the same as the stuff I get from Whole Foods for $4.99 for a little 1 pint container; this recipe makes something like 3x I think. Costs about half as much.

Click here to see what I did. )

I will likely serve this at the next party.

Also, [ profile] mkellis I made this one too spicy (It's twice as many chipotles as that recipe calls for because I miscalculated) and I'd love to see what you think. You should come by sometime this week! (I doubt this salsa will survive in the fridge for too long, so Tues or Weds would be good =)
This is not quite the healthiest meal, but it's not awful, either, as it's chock full of yummy veggies. If you want it healthier, you could probably reduce the amount of butter, and/or use canola oil. You'll get a thinner, less flavorful liquid, but that may be ok.

Read more... )
merlinofchaos: (Default)
Apr. 27th, 2003 09:07 pm
What are your favorite toppings?

I'm trying to figure out what sorts of things I want to top my pizzas with. I especially want things that store well, since the pizza works well as a 'Oh crap I need to make something...' and I can just have the stuff around, especially if I've made a batch of the sauce in advance and keep it in the freezer.

The two pizzas I've made have both had italian sausage, mushrooms and black olives.


merlinofchaos: (Default)

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