Hey good lookin', what's cookin'?

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lagatta4

Yorkshire pud is delicious. So are well-made "pies", well, of course standard meat (or meat-substitute) or salmon pies, but also those with a layer of potatoes on top and sometimes a layer of vegetables as well as protein foods.

I'm looking for a good and fairly easy flatbread recipe, to be made in a pan. I want the kind that is a bit risen, like a focaccia or the thicker type of pita, not the matzo type. I'd use just a bit of yeast and let it rise for a good long time, at least overnight, or longer.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

My go-to leavened flatbread is this one.  It's a pretty "chatty" recipe, and I'm always referencing it on my iPod and have to scroll and scroll to get to the ingredients.  But it's simple and it's awesome.  I make it all the time, with all-purpose flour and skipping the optional seeds.  If you don't have plain yogurt, use sour cream.  If you don't have sour cream, substitute some milk or cream. 

I'm at the point now where I can roll one flatbread in the time it takes to cook another (about 80 seconds, maybe) so it's become pretty efficient -- I even made 24 wee ones once and we had bbq hamburgers on them.  My one "trick" is to roll the flatbreads very thin -- thinner than you'd think, thinner than a pie crust -- because they puff up nicely when cooked.  And oil or butter the breads (after cooking) NOT the pan.  You can also prep them ahead of time and either microwave them or pop them in tinfoil into a warm-ish oven.

ed'd to add:  the last time I made them was just a few days ago.  I'd found a can of tomatoes on sale and got the idea to make Shakshouka because I love anything with an egg in it.  I didn't have any decent bread, and didn't feel like going out for some, so I cut the recipe and made four flatbreads, which I figured were probably more authentic with a Middle Eastern/North African dish anyway.  Let me know how the long rise works out for you, but when you don't have time for that, 1-1.5 hours works fine, and you don't need to plan too far ahead.

 

 

lagatta4

I'm far more likely to have plain yogourt (I don't eat sweetened yogourt) than sour cream. I rarely have milk, because for me it has to be goat's.

Thanks!

I use all-purpose, but it is organic and unbleached. I can get it for a good price when PA has it on sale. By the way, I love shakshouka, though often I add other Mediterranean vegetables such as eggplant and zucchini, and it is very nice to add some potato bits, as in a Spanish tortilla. It is especially pretty with peewee eggs.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Do you have a cast iron skillet?  Or even a cast iron Dutch oven?  It's not absolutely crucial, but cast iron makes a great "thermal flywheel" and keeps that heat from dissipating.

I have a few cast iron skillets that we paid real money for, but the one I probably use most -- the one I'm using for some roasted "smashed potatoes" right now -- cost me either $1 or $2 at Goodwill.  And like buying a second-hand baseball glove, I was even spared the need to break it in.

Aside:  I recently found (i.e. someone was throwing out) a cast iron Lodge grill pan.  It's probably 10" by 16" or thereabouts, ribbed on one side and reversible to the other, and being cast iron, suffered only from a bit of scurf and some rust.  Cast iron is forever.

lagatta4

Of course I have a cast-iron skillet. Two as a matter of fact, but the other is tiny and used for making chacshouka for one, for example. I had an even larger one, but gave it to an Argentine friend to use as a "plancha". That one cost 5o cents at a hospice bazaar, I think the smaller ones cost a dollar or two at yard sales. I can't see why on earth people would throw them out unless they have become too frail to pick them up and carry them safely. I assume that the huge one belonged to someone who became a resident in the care centre (and is doubtless dead by now), but don't know why on earth his or her children didn't keep such a treasure. The bazaar was run mostly by volunteers who were children or other younger relatives of residents, all at least well into middle age.

Do they work with induction burners? I think they should, no?

My larger one was from Carlton Place in eastern Ontario, the smaller from somewhere in Québec. Pretty damned local.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Ya, I kind of figured you'd have one or two.

Quote:
That one cost 5o cents at a hospice bazaar, I think the smaller ones cost a dollar or two at yard sales. I can't see why on earth people would throw them out unless they have become too frail to pick them up and carry them safely.

Here's my thinking.  People tout cast iron as a great foodie thing, so people go grab one, but I think they don't realize that cast iron isn't awesome on day one.  You do need to take some time to season cast iron cookware, and I suspect that some people just don't bother.  I re-refer to my baseball glove analogy:  a new mitt is awesome, but not really for the first six months or so.  And we've all had a similar experience with new shoes.

cco
progressive17 progressive17's picture

The La Meute snack: mayonnaise sandwiches with cretons.

lagatta4

Well, that is pretty standard "lumpen" food - I guess there are regional and national variations on it.

I think people gave the HUGE skillet away simply because of its weight. It was well seasoned, as was the tiny one. The middle-sized on needed a bit of work, but not six months.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I think people gave the HUGE skillet away simply because of its weight.

I have a sixteen inch cast iron skillet that, coincidentally, weighs sixteen pounds.

Just braggin'.

lagatta4

My huge one was about that size and weight. But I really didn't need it, and was happy to give it to a friend. After all, I paid a whole fifty cents for it!

lagatta4

Does anyone have any ideas about using a stewing hen? Old fowl? I don't like the frozen ones I could always buy at my Southeast Asian grocery as they are simply too dried out and sad, but sometimes they have "fresh" ones that just look like older chickens that couldn't be eaten fried or broiled. I'm sure they are good for stock, but I would like to recuperate at least some meat.

My local Metro supermarket often has them too, but you have to buy a pair, which comes to about $8.

WWWTT

lagatta4 wrote:

Does anyone have any ideas about using a stewing hen? Old fowl? I don't like the frozen ones I could always buy at my Southeast Asian grocery as they are simply too dried out and sad, but sometimes they have "fresh" ones that just look like older chickens that couldn't be eaten fried or broiled. I'm sure they are good for stock, but I would like to recuperate at least some meat.

My local Metro supermarket often has them too, but you have to buy a pair, which comes to about $8.

I got some good advise. But you're not going to like it. Also depends if you drive? Find someplace on the outskirts of Montreal or Laval (not sure of the local geography in Quebec) that sells chickens goats rabbits etc etc and kill the animal yourself and pluck the feathers. Maybe they will do the dirty deeds for you? Or perhaps there's a market in town where you can pick out a hen and do this?

lagatta4

I don't drive. And I don't feel like butchering animals if someone more competent can do it.  It would also mean a far more cruel demise for the fowl as an anatomically incompetent pencil-pusher stabbed away at the poor thing.

By the way, I really don't eat much meat. The last aspect of that I'd give up is stock.  And what meaty bits go into Livia's food, as she is an obligate carnivore. I'm not, but I have a lot of food allergies.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Lagatta, do you have a crock pot? Of course, even if you don't, you can adapt this on stove at a low simmer - I put chicken parts in the crock with some chicken stock, carrots (and parsnips sometimes!), celery, onion, thyme, pepper and maybe some marjoram and/or parseley and let it simmer all day. I thicken the stock into a gravy (I use a little milk in mine, but it's optional) and top with biscuit dough, which I let steam over the stew - chicken and dumplings!

WWWTT

lagatta4 wrote:

I don't drive. And I don't feel like butchering animals if someone more competent can do it.  It would also mean a far more cruel demise for the fowl as an anatomically incompetent pencil-pusher stabbed away at the poor thing.

By the way, I really don't eat much meat. The last aspect of that I'd give up is stock.  And what meaty bits go into Livia's food, as she is an obligate carnivore. I'm not, but I have a lot of food allergies.

The point I was getting at that I did not mention is that freshly harvested animals for food taste the best. I remember being in Sao Miguel in the early 1990's. My parents when there, would go to a neighboring town (Villa Franka I think) and buy fish from the local fishermen just as they were pulling their boats ashore. Then bring the catch home and cook on an outside BBQ/kitchen setup that many homes there have. One time I thought my mother had cooked up chicken, but in fact it was tuna! I was told by her and other locals this is because in central Canada, we never taste fresh caught tuna. I've heard the same thing about chicken pork and beef. I have heard from other people make suggestions like Time Bandit in the comment above about how to dress up meat/fish/poultry in a way to mask or cover up the lack of freshness.

This goes for fruit and vegetables also. But I'm sure you are fully aware of this.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Does anyone have any ideas about using a stewing hen? Old fowl?

Ya, what TB said.  Just break it into four or eight (i.e. quarter it, or go with breast/wing/drum/thigh) with a cleaver and stew it as the name suggests.  I've bought soup hens, and the meat is actually kind of good, but as you note, it's not for a quick roast.  But it's definitely stew season now.  I wish I knew of any specific Middle Eastern or North African chicken stews -- I'm sure they know how to deal with a hen in its dotage.  Caribbean, too, I would think.  It's probably not one of those things that most cookbooks would feature, as I don't think they're as common as they once surely were, and certainly not as common as the ubiquitous boneless, skinless, joyless chicken breast portion.

Quote:
I remember being in Sao Miguel in the early 1990's. My parents when there, would go to a neighboring town (Villa Franka I think) and buy fish from the local fishermen just as they were pulling their boats ashore.

Well, like Lagatta, I don't see myself slaughtering my own lamb any time soon.  Not to mention that slaughtering it is materially easy enough, but it takes some know-how to hang and break any livestock.  I've actually watched a few fascinating YT videos where a butcher shows you how a side of livestock becomes the cuts and other stuff we're familiar with, and they make it look easy, but I doubt if it really is.  I know that a lot of hunters will, say, shoot a deer, but only field-clean it, and take it to an abbatoir for the rest.

That said, I expect many Canadians are familiar with the super-fresh taste of fish that you refer to, not because they visit the docks at 5 a.m. when the trawlers come in, but because they own a fishing rod.  :)  A pickerel is one animal that I DO know how to slaughter, break and prepare.

ed'd to add:  thanks, though, for giving me a bit of a nostalgia moment!  When I was a kid, growing up in Sarnia, we would often visit Purdy's Fish Market, in Point Edward, to pick up (typically) a bunch of yellow perch, caught in Lake Huron that day.  It was no San Francisco Fish Market -- just a wee storefront with a few varieties of freshwater fish for sale -- but I still loved going, and it always meant an "all you can eat" dinner of skillet-fried perch that night.  Evidently they've got three locations and a restaurant now.  Go Purdy's!

 

lagatta4

I actually caught a doré (think that is a pickerel - I've eaten them only in French) on a river upstream from Lac St-Jean, the first time I went fishing there with my then beau and his brother ... well, one of his brothers, they were 13 kids (I also have aunts who were much better Catholics than my mother, who had 14 and 12). It was delicious.

A friend calls those nameless chicken breast portions "meat tofu". Another acquaintance says her kids won't eat meat with bones in it ("gross").

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I actually caught a doré (think that is a pickerel - I've eaten them only in French)

That genuinely made me laugh out loud.  Eaten them in French!  But it does seem that we're talking about the same fish.  Pickerel in most of Canada, Walleye elsewhere.  First cousin to the pike, second cousin to the muskie.  I guess I'll always have a soft spot for yellow perch, but admittedly, cleaning a dinner's worth of perch is a lot more of a hassle than a dinner's worth of pickerel/doré.  Here in downtown TO, you're looking at about $15/lb for anything you'd trust enough to eat.  Hard to abide when you're used to them being free for the luring.

Quote:
A friend calls those nameless chicken breast portions "meat tofu". Another acquaintance says her kids won't eat meat with bones in it ("gross").

Well, they're "meat tofu" in the sense that they only have whatever flavour they pick up from everything else.

As for meat without bones, here's some octopus then!  Totally boneless!  Bon(e) appetit!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

WWWTT, my suggestion had nothing to do with freshness of the chicken - age at demise is more an issue. The more elderly the hen, the tougher the meat. 

I hunted and fished growing up, so I know how to dress a bird and field dress deer. Not terribly interested in taking that on again. 

  1. Forgot to comment on the yorkies! A little bit of heaven! I use a little cooking oil in muffin tins, heated well. Also, the times I've forgotten to mix the batter early enough to let it rest hasn't made a huge difference in the finished product. I use a recipe my mother and nana used. 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

No idea how that got numbered! Not a mobile friendly site!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Oh, and fricassee is another way to deal with tough old birds. Onion, white wine, herbs and mushrooms is nice, or wine, Rosemary, onion and finished with cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives is amazing. 

lagatta4

Yes, stewing hens refers to the age of the hens when "culled" aka slaughtered.

WWWTT

Timebandit wrote:

WWWTT, my suggestion had nothing to do with freshness of the chicken - age at demise is more an issue. The more elderly the hen, the tougher the meat. 

I hunted and fished growing up, so I know how to dress a bird and field dress deer. Not terribly interested in taking that on again. 

Thanks for clarifying. I personally when fishing will not keep bass(large or small smouth) that are too big because this means they are older and not as delicious. Same goes for musky. With the size restrictions in Ontario if your lucky enough to land one you can keep, it will taste too gamy. I tried it once and I didn't like it. But wow, you use to hunt! Never would have thought you did.

lagatta4

Many young people, both girls and boys, from rural or semi-rural areas learn to hunt and fish. All my long-ago beau's family north of Lac St-Jean did.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I grew up in a small city, but my dad was an avid outdoorsman. I have no brothers, so I got to do a lot of that sort of thing with him. 

lagatta4

I made a really good, jellied stock from turkey bones with a LOT of flesh - and also quite a bit of fat - on them. I removed the flesh from the bones before the meat was overcooked, and of course separated the jellied stock from the fat (easy now that it is cold outside). So I have a fair bit of pretty much rendered turkey fat. Ideas?

I want to make a sort-of tourtière from the meat, with vegetables and seasonings...

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Sounds wonderful. 

The xmas baking is underway at our house. Gingerbread today. Had a moment missing my dear friend and soul-sister, Dee, who always baked with me. A marathon, with wine and witty conversation. Lost her to cancer just over 5 years ago. Even years later and in another city, seems odd she isn't with us. 

lagatta4

Here is an interesting take on tourtière, with some Trini touches: https://spicetrekkers.com/recipes/tourti%C3%A8re-de-la-famille-de-vienne

Sorry about Dee...

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Thanks, lagatta. You get to a certain age and there's none of us haven't lost someone. 

Mans thanks for the link, it looks very tasty. 

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