Hey good lookin', what's cookin'?

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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We didn't do rice in a bag, but we only ever used Minute Rice. I didn't have the slightest notion how to cook regular rice when I left home.

Oh, me too.  Either runny or dry and scorched, for the longest time.

Madhur Jaffrey taught me to make reasonable basmati rice, but the first short grain rice I could expect success from was jasmine, so for a long time jasmine was our go-to rice.

I expect that entire nations could laugh at that, like someone googling the recipe for ice cubes.  But I'd just never seen anyone successfully make cooked rice out of rice! :0

Hehe.  And meanwhile, I probably knew ten different things to do with a potato.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Potatoes were safe - rice was kinda... foreign... 

I still use jasmine rice a lot of the time, but you have to use basmati for pulao and other dishes. Plus texture of basmati and long grain rices are different. I also use brown rice and some interesting rice blends. 

We had potatoes nearly every day when I was a kid, but now it's maybe once or twice a week. 

Edzell Edzell's picture

How to use up too-sweet soup?

This was a recipe for Thai carrot-ginger soup. We've ejoyed it when made by the people who gave us the recipe, but our own effort turned out far too sweet for our taste, and not even the right carrotty colour. It's light green. You'd swear there was a lot of sugar in it. I'm blaming the excess sweetness on the sweet potato. Unlike the orange ones we usually buy its flesh was cream coloured, almost white (purple skin.) Browsing online I gather the terms yam & sweet potato as used in the stores could cover any one of a number of vegetables. We didn't taste this one before it went into the soup. The recipe's a .pdf that I can't copy but basically:
Sweet potato
Onion
Carrot
Ginger
Garlic
Veg broth
Coconut milk
Hot hot spices - we omitted them & used Anaheim peppers.

Anyway, what suggestions would you make for using the rest of the pot ? In my experience adding more ingredients seldom works. I lean towards using it as a not-too-liberlaly-applied sauce for savoury not-sweet dishes; maybe a barbecue baste. Ideas?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

That's a bit of a tough one -- it's a lot easier to fix a dish that's not quite sweet enough.  For what it's worth, though, I'd blame the carrots (or the coconut milk) rather than the sweet potato, unless you've made this before with orange yams and it worked.

I assume you've tried adding a bit of lemon juice and salt?

Other than that, I think I'd be inclined to try cooking up some rice in it -- use it in place of the water, and cook slowly to avoid scorching -- and serving it to balance something that's not at all sweet, like grilled chicken and a small salad of greens with vinegar and oil.  The BBQ baste could work too, but be careful; if it's sweet then it'll burn quickly.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Mr Magoo; the soup is so sweet it's difficult to decide what to blame. Honestly you'd think someone had dumped a load of sugar in it. None of the igredients could have had that much sweetness. We're proposing to have a spicy chicken dish tonight and will probably experiment with your suggestion of cooking a side dish of rice in the soup - diluted and maybe doctored a bit. Will let you know how that goes.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Good suggestion Mr M: Diluted about 1:4 the soup was not bad. We cooked some rice in that. It was still a bit sweet but a small addition of soy sauce tamed it. The result was more than passable - very enjoyable actually.

We HATE throwing stuff out.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Once turkey and spuds are a given, I'm with TB:  you NEED some awesome stuffing.  Personally, I'm partial to a simple sausage stuffing -- squeeze the filling out of a pack of breakfast links (or two, if your bird is huge) and fry up until brown.  Add a diced onion, some diced celery and cook until just soft.  Add a whack of stale bread, cut or torn into small chunks, some salt and pepper, and some sage or savoury (and/or the other herbs of your choice) and stir over heat until the bread has absorbed all the fat/liquid from the pan.  Let it cool, then pack as much of it into the cavity as possible -- really lean into it if you have to -- and then seal the cavity with a skewer or tie the drumsticks across the cavity with some kitchen twine.

If you don't like pork, try one or two lamb merguez sausages.  If you can find it, use dark pumpernickel bread, or a good rye bread.  And of course anything else you want to throw in is just value added.

For the vegetables, consider roasted instead of boiled/steamed/pureed/whatever.  Pick any or all of the following, and toss them into a heavy, oven safe pan or skillet with a goodly glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper and optional herbs:

-  carrots, peeled or not, cut in two inch lengths.

-  beets, peeled and quartered

-  brussels sprouts (you might even like them this way!) cleaned

-  parsnip (cut like the carrot, and maybe split on the really fat end)

-  large button or cremini mushrooms, whole

-  baby sweet peppers, if you can find them, whole, seeded

-  sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut in chunks

-  some cauliflower florets, about the size of a toonie

-  celeriac, fennel bulb, kohlrabi, or any other vegetable that looks like it came from the props closet from Alien

-  any sturdy and tasty vegetable I've forgotten or that you like

Shake the pan to make sure everything gets a bit of oil and seasoning, then cover with foil and roast in the oven with the bird for 30-45 minutes.  Remove foil, give the veg another shake, and roast for another 30 minutes or until cooked through nicely.  Some added butter never hurts right before serving.

It's a nice, and seasonal alternative to some of the other cooking methods.  And I'm not kidding when I say it might make a brussels sprouts believer out of you.

 

Oysters are also good as a base for a turkey/capon stuffing...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So a while back I posted about finding a fancy-pants deep fryer in near-mint shape in my neighbourhood.  It was definitely one of those things that I think a lot of foodies would like to own (if not have to store), along with things like a ceramic tagine, a meat grinder, a couscousiere and suchlike.  Finding it meant I didn't have to pay any money to learn that I don't really want to deep fry as many things as I can imagine I would.  That's pretty much been my experience thus far -- two rounds of french-fries, one round of donuts, I think.  :0

So, today another definite "gadget" to go alongside the fryer (quite likely banished to the same cupboard, in fact):  an electric comal (or electric tortilla maker).

squeeze me!

I plugged it in, just to make sure it wasn't burned out, and the light came on and it started heating, so it's probably good to go.  It doesn't even have a power switch -- you just plug it in and get cooking.  I guess we'll see whether I start eating tons of tortillas and flatbreads or whether it's time for a yard sale.  I've got some masa harina up in the cupboard (and some "taco" beef in the fridge) so I might give it a whirl tomorrow!

WWWTT

Mr. Magoo wrote:

plummy!

A quick repost because I like the picture, and it no longer shows up earlier in this thread where we had nearly the exact same plum discussion a year ago.  :)

i like those prune plums! Green flesh on the inside. My plum tree has 5 varieties on it. But always gets infested with worms or all the fruits fall off before harvesting. I’ll probably cut it down along with the 2 cherry and peach tree because of poor spacing. I screwed up :(

WWWTT

Any body know of good recipes or ways of cooking/serving beans?  I’m cutting out beaf pork chicken and any meat non aquatic. After a recent blood test my doctor tells me I’m low on vitamin B-12 and after some research this is the only vitamin essential for humans that plants do not produce. I’m taking supplements for the B-12, and after some research smoked mussels are a superb source along with other types of fish so I reintroduced those into my diet. But I’m still wanting to do the bean thing. So far I’m make my own humus with dry chick peas, fried fava beans Portuguese style and fried meng beans. Starting to get real boring here. Help me out Mr Magoo!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Beans!  The magical fruit!

My most recent schooling on beans came when my pressure cooker died -- it blew its safety valve and I haven't figured out an easy way to replace it.  But without it, I have to soak beans overnight and then boil them, and I wondered if there were any way to boil lots of them (since soaking and boiling are the same effort no matter how many) and I found that you can't really "can" them in mason jars, but you CAN boil up a ton of them and freeze them, so long as you freeze them in their own liquid (which, of course, you would probably also like to use).

I tried it and it worked like a charm.

As for what to do with them, look to non-European recipes mostly (Lagatta may wish to jump in here and disagree, with recipes!) but other than cassoulet and bean soup and mushy peas and such, don't ignore refritos and bean dip and curried legumes of all sorts (both beans and curries) and terrines and spreads and Boston baked, and a million others.  If you can hit some vegan websites they should be able to help you out.  Most of the world feels lucky if they have some beans, so there's a lot out there.

WWWTT

Yes I’m starting to pick up the habit of having to plan for soaking your beans into the preparation of cooking them. This can take a couple days but is worth saving on the low cost of bulk dry beans. 

This weekend I’m going to make a traditional Portuguese dish of Bacalhau. My mother used to do a delicious way with scalloped potatoes fava beans carrots onions garlic and some Chourico. But I’ll cut out the Chourico because it’s pork. I’ll probably have to buy the cod fish tomorrow to start soaking it. I’ll let you know how it goes

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Yes I’m starting to pick up the habit of having to plan for soaking your beans into the preparation of cooking them. This can take a couple days but is worth saving on the low cost of bulk dry beans.

Absolutely!  I feel a little ashamed if I buy a can of beans, on sale for $0.88.

But try the freezing, if you have room in your freezer.  It couldn't work more perfectly.

Also, a wee pinch of baking soda in the soaking water not only helps the beans soften, it removes some of the ... musicality of them.  Discard the soaking water, keep and use the cooking water.

quizzical

we did our 2nd annual deep fried thanksgiving turkey. i made an enhanced pesto brine for it.

it was so good with the wild cranberries we picked a couple of weeks back.

it was a good day.

lagatta4

Boston baked contain a lot of sugar (whether molasses or maple syrup) which can be a problem for some people, also in terms of digestion.

Diana Kennedy is a British cook of venerable age who has written extensively on Mexican foods, including books on specific regions such as Oaxaca (where there are many Indigenous peoples who have retained their languages and cultures to a great extent). Here is a relatively mild but flavourful Lenten dish: http://spicelines.com/2010/09/28/recipe-diana-kennedys-stewed-white-bean... This is lenten, so it uses oil rather than lard!

Take Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish food out of the library, if you can access it. You'll find a lot of beans, in particular in slow-cooked stews for the Sabbath, when no cooking is allowed. It is work, eh? These are most commonly called cholent in Askenazi cooking and Dafina in Sephardic, but there are many variations on recipes and names. Usually there is at least a bit of meat or bones if the family could afford them, because it is after all the Sabbath meal, but here is a vegetarian one: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/latin-inspired-vegetarian-ch...

Rachel Roddy is my favourite cookery writer at the Guardian; unlike doyennes Kennedy and Roden, she is a relatively young British woman who lives in Testaccio, Rome, with her Sicilian husband and their little boy. But this chickpea recipe hails from Catalonia, quite pointedly:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/03/braised-chickpeas-w... This recipe is vegetarian, with a picada of almonds and garlic (yum).

We haven't even touched South Asia yet! Someone will.

 

 

WWWTT

lagatta4 wrote:

Boston baked contain a lot of sugar (whether molasses or maple syrup) which can be a problem for some people, also in terms of digestion.

Diana Kennedy is a British cook of venerable age who has written extensively on Mexican foods, including books on specific regions such as Oaxaca (where there are many Indigenous peoples who have retained their languages and cultures to a great extent). Here is a relatively mild but flavourful Lenten dish: http://spicelines.com/2010/09/28/recipe-diana-kennedys-stewed-white-bean... This is lenten, so it uses oil rather than lard!

Take Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish food out of the library, if you can access it. You'll find a lot of beans, in particular in slow-cooked stews for the Sabbath, when no cooking is allowed. It is work, eh? These are most commonly called cholent in Askenazi cooking and Dafina in Sephardic, but there are many variations on recipes and names. Usually there is at least a bit of meat or bones if the family could afford them, because it is after all the Sabbath meal, but here is a vegetarian one: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/latin-inspired-vegetarian-ch...

Rachel Roddy is my favourite cookery writer at the Guardian; unlike doyennes Kennedy and Roden, she is a relatively young British woman who lives in Testaccio, Rome, with her Sicilian husband and their little boy. But this chickpea recipe hails from Catalonia, quite pointedly:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/03/braised-chickpeas-w... This recipe is vegetarian, with a picada of almonds and garlic (yum).

We haven't even touched South Asia yet! Someone will.

 

 

Thanks lagatta4!

I cheched out an authentis Jewish/Israeli recipe for humus. My son likes it and I'm now starting to make some delicious dip believe or not!

WWWTT

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Yes I’m starting to pick up the habit of having to plan for soaking your beans into the preparation of cooking them. This can take a couple days but is worth saving on the low cost of bulk dry beans.

Absolutely!  I feel a little ashamed if I buy a can of beans, on sale for $0.88.

But try the freezing, if you have room in your freezer.  It couldn't work more perfectly.

Also, a wee pinch of baking soda in the soaking water not only helps the beans soften, it removes some of the ... musicality of them.  Discard the soaking water, keep and use the cooking water.

When I boil my chick peas for humus I use a half teaspon of baking soda so they soften up for the blender. I've considered preping enough to freeze but room is not available and the arangement now works fine.

Thanks

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I actually found the "freeze beans" tip when I was scouring around for a way to preserve hummus.  Evidently its texture is  too "peanut butter"-like to be properly sterilized, so I guess we can't.  But if you have a pressure cooker, you could be interested in this.  And depending on how quickly you can eat up hummus, you might also be able to get away with just refrigerating it (for a few weeks to months) if you sterilize your mason jars and lids with boiling water, and fill the jars while the chickpeas are still hot.

Have you ever made falafel?  The first time I tried from scratch I followed a free internet recipe that told me to use canned chickpeas.  The mix "felt" great when I was forming the balls, but they all violently exploded when I went to fry them.  Then I got a Lebanese cookbook that told me to soak the chickpeas (and favas) overnight and then drop them in the blender without cooking.  It was kind of like blending pebbles, and once I got them down to a good texture it was like forming wet sand -- I really expected them to explode too, but they didn't and the falafels were great.  No casualties.

If you can make hummus, and you can make falafel, I can toss you a dirt-simple recipe for leavened flatbreads (more like a naan than a pita) and if you have some lettuce and tomato and onion then you're set for life.

WWWTT

Thanks for the link Mr Magoo but making large amounts of hummus for storage is way over the top for me brother. Perhaps a few years down the road when I get the family into a bigger house/kitchen/facilities and my toddlers have bigger mouths.  My wife likes to bake but at this time attempting flat bread is beyond our reach. But falafel with chick peas and favas  sound like something I can start preparing for in the next couple days?

Today I bought some salted cod and an extra kg bag of dried fava beans. First I’ll do the traditional Portuguese Bacalhau dinner, then the falafels. I will check out a Lebanese site because I believe your right they make the best ones that I’m familiar with. Thanks

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
My wife likes to bake but at this time attempting flat bread is beyond our reach.

Well, I'm not trying to push you to make something you don't want to, but just FYI, flatbreads aren't baked -- they cook up in about 60 seconds in a dry skillet.  If you go with the leavened stuff you'd need a bit of yeast, and an hour for the dough to rise.  If you don't want to bother with that then you can also make up flatbreads that are more like a wheat tortilla. 

Quote:
But falafel with chick peas and favas  sound like something I can start preparing for in the next couple days?

Yup.  Assuming you have a blender (which I guess you do, if you're making hummus) and don't mind a bit of deep frying.  Apparently you can also bake falafels, but I haven't personally tried this, and I don't know that my recipe would be appropriate for it, but if you're curious then google "baked falafel recipe".

And if you're getting into Middle Eastern cooking some, the next time you're at a decent market, and have a dollar in loose change, pick up one turnip and one small red beet and make yourself some pickled turnip.  You'll also need some vinegar, some sugar and some salt, and maybe a common spice or two, but it's a classic side in ME cuisine, and it's about as challenging as making oatmeal.

WWWTT

Sounds like flat bread is easy to make! We will try it thanks

WWWTT

Ok everyone I made a traditional Portuguese dish Bacalhau last night. Soaked dry salted cod fish for a day and a half regularly changing the water to desalt the fish. Boiled 4 peeled potato’s for 22 minutes and boiled the cod for 5 in separate pot. Chopped 1 onion and about 6 cloves garlic placed in skillet with olive oil and fried. Pre heated oven to 400F. Cut potatoes quarter inch thick and layered bottom of Pyrex separated the cod fish and deboned until into smaller pieces and layered over with onions and garlic then potatoes again etc etc. Used lots of olive oil over till bottom layer was submerged and in the oven for 40 minuets. Oh ya I forgot to say that I only soaked half the cod I bought out of fear of ruining the dish in my first attempt so my wife grabbed some left over salmon from the fridge to add. Overall it was better than what I first gave myself credit for in creating and it was all eaten by my family for dinner. Next weeken I will use the rest of the cod and add salmon again. However I will add one extra onion. Onions used were red Spanish.  Tomorrow I will try a Lebanese falafel as recommended by Mr Magoo. 

WWWTT

Ok I did the falafel yesterday. And I didn’t like it. I think I used too much cilantro and the beans didn’t chop properly in the blender. I’m thinking maybe I should have boiled the beans first for 10 minutes probably. I used a deep fryer and used extra flour so I didn’t have any issues with the balls exploding. They actually fried pretty good! But the constant adding them and removing got messy and created a small fire half way through. That’s when I said ok I’ve seen enough, this isn’t worth it. I ate all the ones I made but it’s a fuck of a hell of a lot of work!  Perhaps I’ll just learn from the first attempt and put it behind me and when the times right try again. 

WWWTT

If anyone’s interested I made a traditional Portuguese fava beans stew for dinner tonight. Started soaking 1.5 cups of fava beans yesterday morning. Then pealed the skins off each bean and set aside. Chopped up 3 large onions and two garlics heads(ya the recipe I used called for two cloves but got clove and head mixed up but who cares the more garlic the better!) and heated in the pot with some olive oil until translucent. Added two cups of water, half a cup of tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons of parsley, 3 tablespoons paprika, half teaspoon black pepper and some salt.  Oh ya and two 200g cans of deboned sardines. Brought to boil then simmered for 40 minutes. Added the fava beans and some additional water for another 20. Next time I’ll boil the Favas separately for 10 minutes then when I add to the stew I’ll cook for an additional 10. The original recipe calls for 1 pound of Courico but I don’t do meats anymore so I switched with sardines.  It turned out a lot better than I thought it would actually!!!  The more I ate, the more delicious it became. The sardines are somewhat of an acquired taste I have so maybe you guys may not like it?  Next time I’ll use another fish. Perhaps canned salmon?

lagatta4

I like sardines but I'd find them jarring in that dish. I tend to eat them as some Moroccan friends do, with bread (flatbread would be fine; they also make leavened bread), red onions, salads.

I don't really eat mammalian meat any more (though I'll eat pretty much anything if invited to friends'; if I were truly a vegetarian it would be different but don't want to impose "mostly veg, fish, some poultry" on people who invite me).

I have been eating poultry livers from time to time because I've been anaemic (nothing fundamental; I had no appetite whatsoever after an infection and ate practically nothing for at least a couple of weeks) and now have some duck livers (frozen, so I don't have to cook them today). I think I'll just fry them in olive oil with the usual onions and garlic, and a splash of leftover white wine, but I'm open to ideas).

I was happy to find a potimarron squash at the market; most of the stands selling them have closed down with the chilly weather.  They are very tasty and such a vivid colour; an orange verging on reddish.

WWWTT

Ya the sardines isn't for everyone, but I like them in the dish. Also, when I cook around the house I have to cook for all 5 of us so I have to consider my 3 todlers nutritional needs as well. My kids will eat meat and chicken, but not me. I'm actually surprised that they'll eat sardines and smoked mussels/oysters!

Squash is something we started eating more of too! Lots of beta carotines

lagatta4

I've always eaten sardines. My mother mashed them up and served them to us on toast or crackers.

Squash is on of the Three Sisters that were the staples of many Indigenous peoples' diets in northeastern North America; there were even more complex systems of planting these and other staples farther south in what is now Mexico and Central America.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm pretty sure that 80% of all the sardines I've eaten in my life were before I was 15.  We always had some around, and I liked them.  An oily little fish, to which someone added oil!  And a can, with a key (back in the day).

Every spring, in Kensington Market, some fishmonger (I think there are three, and I think they're all Portuguese) will choose a nice Saturday to grill and distribute some fresh sardines (which are only about four times bigger than the canned ones, but no less oily) and it smells horrible, but it's kind of cool anyway.  But the smell!

WWWTT

Ya some people really hate sardines. I guess they’re similar to anchovies (yes I like anchovies on my pizza). I was surprised my fave bean stew was so delicious with a pound of sardines in it.  But my son didn’t have as much as I would prefer so I think next time I make fava bean stew I’ll use deboned chicken instead of Portuguese sausage or sardines.  Sardines are something cooked on their own and served with a side or something like that. I’ll admit they are overpowering. But super healthy!!!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I’ll admit they are overpowering. But super healthy!!!

You just awakened the bugbear! :)

If you wander through the vitamin/supplement aisle of your local drugstore, you might see "Fish Oil" capsules.  Why would people buy fish oil pills, but then obey the recipe when it says "remove the skin from the salmon before cooking"  or "if you don't care for mackerel, substitute sole"?

Canada technically has access to three oceans, and fish oils are good stuff.  No need to buy a pill.

lagatta4

Indeed. My duck liver and red onions dish was very good; as well as the bit of white wine and lemon I had on hand, I also added the juice of a rather wobegone orange, so it was a bit sweet and sour, without adding any white sugar etc.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I did a duck a l'orange for Sunday dinner this past weekend - wasn't sure what to do with the liver, so I poached it and Jack, Penelope and Roxy had a treat. Will have to remember your recipe next time, lagatta!

lagatta4

With only one liver, you are better off slicing the lobes (removing connective tissue) and simply sautéeing them, ideally in duck fat, if not in olive or sunflower oil, depending on your tastes and how you are serving the duck. Important not to overcook them; they cook very quickly and can turn into little hockey pucks.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Good to know. I'm one of the few people I know who keeps a jar of duck fat in the fridge! I sometimes get a deal on a duck at the big Asian grocery or the Superstore, and it's a nice break from the usual Sunday roast - I drain off the fat and save it for frying potatoes!

WWWTT

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I’ll admit they are overpowering. But super healthy!!!

You just awakened the bugbear! :)

If you wander through the vitamin/supplement aisle of your local drugstore, you might see "Fish Oil" capsules.  Why would people buy fish oil pills, but then obey the recipe when it says "remove the skin from the salmon before cooking"  or "if you don't care for mackerel, substitute sole"?

Canada technically has access to three oceans, and fish oils are good stuff.  No need to buy a pill.

Not at my house! Salmon skin is actually the most tasty past. The skin of salmon trout and char have very small tiny scales and is delicious when fried. I guess sardine skin is similar. I find the skin from pickeral bass perch and sunfish has large scales and I don't recall ever wanting to eat that part?

WWWTT

@lagatta4 and Timebandit

Wow you guys sound like you take your cooking real serious! I'm sure there isn't any leftovers around your home!

lagatta4

Unfortunately, unlike Timebandit, I live alone now ... well, except for my small, fussy black cat. Of course I love cooking for friends, but I have to be very careful to avoid discarding food, especially since my appetite has decreased considerably in the last decade.

Yes, I'm making spanikorizo tonight. And poultry stock - probably the thing that keeps me most from being "really" vegetarian.

The spanikorizo is vegetarian though, and vegan if no feta is sprinkled on it;

https://www.olivetomato.com/greek-spinach-and-rice-spanakorizo/

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Not at my house! Salmon skin is actually the most tasty past. The skin of salmon trout and char have very small tiny scales and is delicious when fried. I guess sardine skin is similar. I find the skin from pickeral bass perch and sunfish has large scales and I don't recall ever wanting to eat that part?

Pickerel, bass and sunfish certainly do have scales, though when filleting them you can either scale them or skin them.  I think most of the pickerel I've eaten in my life has been skinned.  Yellow perch can be scaled, and the skin is fine (though not at all the treat that salmon skin is, since they're basically a fresh water whitefish with no oil outside of their liver).  It does have a tendency to make the fillets curl toward the skin side, but perch fillets are so small that I can understand leaving the skin on. 

The skin of oily fish is the best skin -- there's even a "salmon skin" sushi roll.

Speaking of sardines -- the larger, uncanned ones -- every spring, on one nice Saturday, one of the fishmongers in Kensington Market will set up a grill and grill sardines (I think they're Portuguese).  Awesome, but when oily fish meets hot coals, the fishy smell will knock your socks off.

WWWTT

The bass (large and small mouth) pickerel sunfish perch and crappie my wife and I ate were the ones we caught in Pigeon lake when I had a small fishing boat. We would keep our limit for the bass and pickerel and always have an assortment of the others. When we bring them back I literally would have to spend 3if not 4 hours gutting and cleaning so I always leave the skin on to save time. Throw a few in the fridge for the next couple days, a couple in the skillet for that night and the rest in the freezer for winter/spring or until they ran out. Do this a bunch of weekends during the summer and the freezer would get full. I always found the scales and skin would just peel off when frying. And we would only keep the larger perch crappie and sunfish. I tried musky once but I didn’t like it and with the restrictions I won’t keep em.  On our honeymoon in China, at a tourist city called Yangshou in Guangxi province we had carp and catfish. It was real good! Now catfish is a real good fish to eat, but for some reason catfish and carp never really caught on in southern Ontario among white Europeans?

WWWTT

lagatta4 wrote:

Unfortunately, unlike Timebandit, I live alone now ... well, except for my small, fussy black cat. Of course I love cooking for friends, but I have to be very careful to avoid discarding food, especially since my appetite has decreased considerably in the last decade.

Yes, I'm making spanikorizo tonight. And poultry stock - probably the thing that keeps me most from being "really" vegetarian.

The spanikorizo is vegetarian though, and vegan if no feta is sprinkled on it;

https://www.olivetomato.com/greek-spinach-and-rice-spanakorizo/

thanks I will try this latter this week. But I’ll pass on the feta cheese. Perhaps I could get mussels or oysters and add them with the rice?  I’ll have to find dill and mint as well.  I like doing new dishes but I always have to check the ingredients required carefully. And will only try stuff if I only need 3 or 4 new ingredients spices I don’t have tops.  This looks like a real good one to do for the family!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

WWWTT wrote:

@lagatta4 and Timebandit

Wow you guys sound like you take your cooking real serious! I'm sure there isn't any leftovers around your home!

Yes, we do! There are often leftovers, we eat them for lunches most of the time. My younger daughter loves a hot lunch, so leftovers in a thermos is a good solution. 

Lagatta, I was just thinking the other day about how our cooking habits will have to change when the girls leave home in a few years' time. 

lagatta4

When I'm at the IGA supermarket I see SO many people picking up ready meals now. I never did that even when I worked in an office. Home cooking is really important, though I suppose it can be simplified when people are older and probably eating less.

Personally, I wouldn't put seafood in spanakorizo; Greeks would serve those on the side, think mezze, tapas etc. It is immportant not to glop up dishes with too many dissonant ingredients. I've certainly done it.

I didn't have any dill, and might just pick up some dry dill (from a Greek shop, and suprisingly flavourful). But it has quite a bit of citrus as well as onion and garlic, so it really doesn't need anything else.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I keep dried dill in my spice drawer, just in case I can't find it fresh - or forget to look for it.

I expect we'll still be cooking, but scaling back quantities. I've picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store because of a time crunch, but we just eat a lot later than most people. It's rare to sit down before 7pm at our house. Elder daughter's boyfriend is used to our habits now, but was really thrown for a loop at how late we eat when they first started hanging out together!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I wish grocers would sell small sprigs of herbs for a quarter instead of a clump the size of a wedding bouquet for $2.  I'd probably use way more fresh herbs.  As it is, I might buy a hank of cilantro in Chinatown if it's on sale for a buck, but then for the next three days it's "what can we have for dinner that needs cilantro?"

Apropos of nothing, the other day I had a curious impulse to make mustard.  It's pretty easy -- grind up some mustard seed, add some mustard powder if you wish, add some water or other liquid (beer, wine, juice) -- but evidently the secret is to add some vinegar or other acid after about ten minutes.  The water kick-starts the reaction that releases the pungent mustard-y stuff, but then the vinegar stops it and "locks it".  You also need to let the mustard sit for a day, or else it's too pungent and bitter.

Without the vinegar, the mustard will taste great the next day, but a few days later it'll be dull and flat as the reaction sort of reverses.  The first times I ever tried, I didn't read a recipe and just used the vinegar as the liquid from the get-go, which prevents the mustard reaction -- stops it before it starts, basically -- and left me wondering why my mustard didn't really taste like anything.  

Anyway, totally awesome, grainy, hot mustard!  I'll still keep ballpark and dijon around, but I'm never again blowing money on "fancy" or "hot" mustards.  Of course me being me, now I'll blow money on "fancy" mustard seed. 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I hear you about the herbs! Even cooking larger quantities leaves me with extra. I put it in a glass with water, like a vase of flowers, and it lasts a bit longer.

I had leftover sauerkraut after making szegedin goulash (pork goulash with sauerkraut! tasty!), so we went home for lunch one day and I made reuben sandwiches on the griddle. OMG, good! Mustard, corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese. Heavenly.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think a reuben may be my all-time favourite sandwich.

Have you ever made your own corned beef?  From a brisket?

It's pretty easy if you can get your hands on some pink salt (and, I suppose, some brisket)and the results are awesome.

Actually, if you can bake a rye loaf, you could make everything from scratch except the swiss cheese!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I haven't! I consider it now and then, but I've had other things higher on the priority list. And there are a couple of good delis nearby, so that removes some motivation. 

NorthReport

Let’s obliterate the myth that humans have a bad sense of smell

Humans have excellent olfaction and can smell more than a trillion odors.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/5/11/15614748/human-smell-go...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Humans have excellent olfaction and can smell more than a trillion odors.

Well, time to quit relying on other animals to smell a truffle three feet under soil, or a fugitive in the woods, or a small baggie of cocaine in a suitcase.  Thanks for your help, pigs and dogs, but WE GOT THIS!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

My local Metro had pot roasts -- inside blade roasts -- on sale recently, so I got a nice little 2.5 pounder for about eight bucks.  Worked out great!  Nice and fork tender, and the gravy looked like melted chocolate, or brown paint.

But the real fun was my decision, on a lark, to make up a couple of Yorkshire puddings, which I've never tried.  Holy jeez were they easy.

One egg, beaten.  A quarter cup of milk (I used cream) beaten in with the egg.  Let this rest ten minutes.  Beat in a quarter cup of flour and let it all rest for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, add a little blob of lard or meat drippings to the bottom of two wells in a muffin pan, heat until smokingly hot in a 450 oven, pour in the batter and bake for 20 minutes.  Makes two.  If you want four, double it.  If you want eight, quadruple it.

Whatever else we might want to mock about British cuisine, they totally scored with this one.

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