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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. 

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