Hey good lookin', what's cookin'?

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
moose, caribou, grouse, rabbit, turr, trout, squid, salmon, seal, cod, caplin, mussels, herring, beef, chicken, pork, and bologna.

I'm now humming the old Sesame Street song, "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong..."

ed'd to add:

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I don't think we caught anything, just sat out on the lake, drank schnapps and laughed a lot.

I've always said that fishing is one of the very few sports or pastimes that you can fail completely at -- i.e. no fish -- and still say "we had an AWESOME day fishing!"

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

True, that.

We did a lot of foraging, too - saskatoon berries, chokecherries, fiddleheads in the spring. Free food if you know where to look!

So Thing 2 and the blond guy are making stew as we speak. I managed to locate stewing elk and some juniper berries, will pick up some parsnips on the way home. Should be interesting!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So, we're pretty bored of the "late winter/early spring" canon of foods, and tonight we're having some Cantonese chow mein.

I have to confess, I'm about to change >50% of that recipe, so I guess I'm not sure why I'd link to it, but it's always been a good starting point for this.

I love making it when I've made some char siu (BBQ pork), and maybe have a handful of shrimp in the freezer, but tonight I'm skipping all the meat and making it with fried tofu.  My local No Frills always has nice blocks of tofu for $0.98, and I can't resist picking them up on speculation now and again.  I just slice it into batons about the size of half a finger and fry it up in some plain oil until it's golden on the outside and still tender on the inside.  If you can find some vegetarian "oyster" sauce then this is an easy vegetarian meal.

As far as the recipe goes, I skip out on the baby corn and bamboo shoots (I don't keep many canned things around) but sub in some carrots, celery and onions, which to me are more like the Cantonese Chow Mein I've eaten from restaurants anyway.  Button mushrooms in place of the Shiitake are fine.  Plain cabbage in place of the Bok Choi is fine.  It's just a stir-fry, right?

But the cool part is the fried chow mein noodles.  Cooked to tender, then fried until they're kind of crispy but also a bit chewy -- they make a "nest" for the rest of the dish.  Those, and the sauce are what this recipe is good for.  Everything else is a suggestion.

Slumberjack

Made a blueberry/cranberry concoction last night, simmered down to a runny texture on purpose, and used it as an ice cream topping.  With what remained, I added more berries to thicken it up and bottled it as a spread for toast.  It's a little bit tart but that was the initial plan, to go with the sweetness of the French Vanilla Ice Cream.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Sounds delicious, SJ! I like that kind of tartness to balance off the sweet.

The game stew came out well - cream and juniper berries in the sauce, so a little rich, but a good flavour.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So... anyone had any summertime cooking epiphanies, or adventures, or massive failures?

I guess I'm in a wee bit of a food slump these days.  Not that we're not eating well, or that I'm complaining, but I usually count on a handful of "game changers" a year, and I haven't really had any in a while.

I'm hoping to eat well tonight, though.  The various groceries of Chinatown always have beef ribeye for sale for $5-$6/lb.  It's basically just a 2-3lb hunk of ribeye, which you can cut into steaks of your preferred thickness, or slice thin for a stir-fry or a curry, or whatever.  I've got a nice piece of it tied off and sitting with a dry rub right now, and I'm going to barbecue it over charcoal and hardwood, and hope for a poor-man's brisket ("half the taste, one eighth the time!").  So basically, an outdoor roast beef.  Maybe a side of rice or risotto, some green beans, and maybe I'll grill a few mushrooms or whatever.  See what I mean, though?

How's your eatin' been?  Anyone latch onto some fiddleheads while they could?  Or pick asparagus?  Even a local radish would be big news at this point.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

No big epiphanies over here. We had guests for a week, so I've done some tried and true dishes - a crockpot variant of Julia's boeuf bourguinon the last cool day we had, fricassee of chicken with cherry tomatoes and olives (rosemary and garlic, too). The nicest thing about this part of the year is fresh stuff, both veggies and herbs. And we were in France for a couple of weeks before that and ate and drank VERY well. :)

6079_Smith_W

Tonight was collards, kohlrabi greens, carrots, beans and burger in a creamy dill white sauce, with a side of perogies.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I found chanterelles at the Forks Market on Sunday! I did a nice fricassee of chicken, chanterelles, with some onion and thyme.  New potatoes with dill and fresh beans.

I also made a zucchini cake from a recipe alQ shared many moons ago - can't remember if it was here or the other board. It was pretty tasty - endeared me to Thing1's new boyfriend!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If you don't mind me asking, what was the sticker shock on those chanterelles?

I seem to recall buying some at St. Lawrence Market way back in the day, and IIRC they were on the order of $30/lb or something like that.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Oh, definitely expensive - $8 for a pint container probably close to your price, maybe a little less. But I consider them a seasonal treat, so I took the plunge. Local, too.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Nice.  In hindsight, I'm wondering if maybe they were more like $20/lb, and it was puffballs that were $30.

I can't deny, I'm very tempted by some of the offerings here

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So, just cooked up some tofu.  My No Frills still has it for 98 cents, and it's hard to resist buying it on speculation, at that price.  Usually I'm keen on silken/soft tofu so I can make MaPo Tofu, but sometimes I'll grab up firm, or even extra-firm if they have it.  As far as I'm concerned, they're all very different things, but I love them all.

Tonight, just some sliced-off planks, about a half-inch thick, fried in some light oil until just slightly golden on each side.  Drain it on some paper towel to get any excess oil off and let it sit to room temperature (or chill it, if it's really hot out).  To top, some onion greens sliced as finely as your knife will let you, some ginger cut into threadlike matchsticks, and a quick sauce of Japanese soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar (or, I use Thai sweet soy) and some sesame oil in roughly equal proportions.  Mix the sauce, add one very wee clove of sliced garlic, and m-wave (or heat in a pan) briefly to take the garlic edge off.  Slice the cooled tofu into batons for easy eating, toss on the stuff and it'd done.

It's more classic to make this with regular tofu, uncooked, and I like that too, but firm tofu has an even stranger texture raw, IMHO, and likes the quick fry.  Either way it's a nice summer side dish or appetizer, particularly if you're making something Japanese.

ed'd to add:  unassembled, and not a great shot, but you get the idea.

[IMG]http://i66.tinypic.com/16a74nr.jpg[/IMG]

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

That looks very nice!

thanks for the link, looks interesting! I love the idea of growing my own mushrooms. When we were in saskatchewan, there was a guy selling kits where you'd grow your own mushrooms on a sterilized straw bale. We didn't get around to picking one up, and then we moved.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Prune plums are in season!!! I bought 3 baskets and am making plum cake! I've adapted the following Marcella Hazan recipe - instead of orange, I use lemon, reduce the sugar, loosen the batter (which is quite stiff) with more lemon juice, substitute about 20 prune plums (cut into quarters) for the apple, pear and banana. Increase baking time slightly. The tanginess of the plum with the mild lemon cake is lovely and it travels well, too. I'll freeze a few cake to eat over the winter. (I use orange if I make this with peaches, but plum is the favourite. ) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/nadias-morning-coffee-cake-...

lagatta

Prune plums (you mean the little very dark purple ones?) are also great in a clafoutis, instead of cherries.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Yes, the small, oval, dark purple ones. The BC plums are the best, found some in Sobey's on a quick stop for something unrelated. They don't seem as popular here as the are in SK, so I have missed them altogether some years.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Prune plums

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This might just be some in the wild.

[IMG]http://i63.tinypic.com/2ikskqx.jpg[/IMG]

The wilds of downtown Toronto, that is.  From a tree in my neighbourhood.

When my wife and I first moved into our place, we had a plum tree in the back yard, but it wasn't bearing because it was infected with something called Black Knot.  What few fruits ever fell were malformed and hard and sad, and we eventually just took the tree down with a foxtail saw.

Our neighbours had a peach tree, also infected (Black Knot can infect any pome) and for a few years, until they got out the saw, we'd get similarly grim peaches landing in our yard.  My wife didn't like the very idea of diseased peaches, but I tasted one once and they weren't so bad.  But a few years later they too were malformed.

In one of the early years, I gathered up what had fallen on our side and just threw them into a big plastic bucket, where they fermented quite nicely, judging by the fizz, and the happy drunk wasps, but no, I didn't taste that.  :)

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

The apple tree in our yard is loaded with fruit this year, but the apples are small and have a kind pinky texture, so I don't like them. IT's too cold here for proper plums, so I get them where I can. :)

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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pinky texture

Did you mean "pinky colour" or "punky texture"?

Either way, you could always make some cider and let the yeast worry about it.  :)

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Fucking autocorrect. Punky texture. Cider seems like a lot of work, and I'm on the road again - last minute decision to make a research trip. Maybe next year. I'm the only one who'd drink cider - although maybe Thing 1 would now that she's legal drinking age.

lagatta

Those grow here in the Montréal area. They are "susine" in Italian. They are also common in parts of Germany and Central Europe, and yes, you can make brandy and wine with them.

Timebandit, do families actually follow the drinking age now? I guess you can get sued if other teens get a bit tipsy on a couple of glasses of cider...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Ya, if you want to sell your kids on hard cider, the right time isn't "drinking age" it's "drinking age -2".  :)

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do families actually follow the drinking age now?

I could be totally wrong about this -- maybe it was nothing more than a legend -- but I've heard that minors in Ontario (at least) can consume alcohol with the blessing of a parent.  Probably not tequila shooters, but a glass of wine, or a beer after mowing the lawn (which is exactly how I came to appreciate a cold one).

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Oh, we didn't much care - we've been open to the girls having a glass of wine or beer at home if they like. Funnily enough, being "legal" to drink was important to Thing 1, although she did sample a few sips along the way. She doesn't care for beer, rather likes a G&T and is acquiring a taste for wine (rose is her favourite). Thing 2 thinks alcohol is disgusting. They've both been positive-ish on the blond guy's home made mead, but Thing 2 still isn't that fussed about it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So yesterday I popped into one of my favourite produce grocers in Kensington, to buy a few fingerling potatoes, and lo and behold, they had ripe jalapenos for sale for $1.99 a pound.

[IMG]http://i64.tinypic.com/qzlq2f.jpg[/IMG]

They're nothing exotic, really -- just the red, ripened version of the familiar taco and pizza hot pepper -- but they're strangely hard to find, considering how much of them North Americans eat (whether they know it or not).  A ripe jalapeno, dried over a slow mesquite fire is a chipotle.  Or, puree it, mix with vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt and you have sriracha.

Mine ended up smoked, to make jam.  Cleaned, seeded and then smoked for about 90 minutes over maple, mixed with some cider vinegar, brown sugar, white sugar, some fresh garlic and salt, and pectin.  Nice with a cracker and a piece of old cheddar, or mixed with mayo for a sandwich spread, or just used straight up with roast chicken or pork, or on a burger.

As a sidebar, my hands are screaming from cleaning those peppers.  They feel like I've spent the last hour spanking a bowling ball.

lagatta

Just be VERY careful when you pee! This applies to both men and women. Owwwww! Even if you wash your hands first.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Washing them does NOTHING.  :0

In fact, it was only my left hand at first (as my right hand was holding a melon baller to scoop out seeds) but when I had to wash my left hand was when the heat spread to my right, even with plenty of soap.

A smarter man than me might have put a plastic bag over his hand before starting.

The jam turned out good, though!  Smoke and fire.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Round two now.  Same basic idea, except no garlic, and about 3 pounds of sweet shepherd peppers.  Smoked 'em yesterday, jamming them today.  Right now they look like red ink, and smell like yesterday's campfire.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Mindful of the day, I thought this thread deserved a post.

I'm thawing some breakfast links to make some basic stuffing for a basic bird.  I had originally considered stuffing it and smoking it whole, which I've never done before, but when we realized there'd be no gravy, that idea got scuttled.  So, basic roast chicken, 'taters and some kind of vegetable (TBA), and of course stuffing and gravy.

I got the chicken from my local butcher yesterday, and got there just as they were about to close.  There was one other customer in the store, a young-ish woman evidently there for a turkey.  There was only one counter staff working, so I just waited, and watched their exchange as the staff plopped a frozen, 9 pound turkey on the scale.

Customer:  you don't have any that are fresh?

Staff:  this is the last turkey I've got.

Customer:  do you think it will feed fourteen?

At this point the staff's eyes went a tiny bit wide, and she looked over at me and I just very subtly shook my head.  The customer inquired whether there might be anywhere else in the neighbourhood where she could get a fresh turkey.  The staff suggested Metro, but when I went to Metro five minutes later I noticed they didn't even have chickens left, much less any turkeys.

I definitely felt for that customer.  I'm betting she either regretted leaving her turkey-getting to the very last minute, or perhaps regretted ever offering to host the big dinner this year, but either way there was about zero chance of her finding a bird large enough to feed fourteen, or if she was lucky enough to find one, about the same meagre chance of being able to thaw it in time.  Even if she was planning to cook it today rather than yesterday, you don't thaw a 16 pounder that quickly.

If it were me, I'd have asked for fourteen Cornish Game Hens, and then gone to get some baby carrots, baby potatoes and then off home to bake up some wee pumpkin tarts for "Tiny Thanksgiving".

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

We had turkey yesterday - since it was just the four of us, I got a fairly small one (8.5 lbs). I did a stuffing with sausage, bread, onion, celery, Apple, raisins and pecans, fresh savoury, Rosemary and sage. Lots of good, dark gravy courtesy of the convection oven! Oh, and my homemade cranberry sauce. Plenty of leftovers this week for another dinner and some sandwiches.

Today I made two pots of soup for lunch, a corn chowder and a big pot of borscht. We hit the last outdoor farmers market in St Norbert on Saturday, so we had all the fresh veg for them. Packaged up for lunches and in the freezer now!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I might've gone for a pair of good-sized chickens, at least. Poor kid! I remember my first Thanksgiving chef experience was a total disaster - I overcooked the turkey so that it went to mush when we tried carving it, scorched the gravy and mistimed the spuds so they were underdone. So embarrassing!

6079_Smith_W

Thanks Magoo. Good idea.

The turkey orgy was yesterday. Today, leftovers and garden stuff.

Fishcakes, a Macedonian feta, cheese and bean stew, and other stuff.

 

 

lagatta

I'm never happy with my fishcakes. Wonder why. I love fish, and have no aversion to potatoes, breadcrumbs or whatever else one puts in fishcakes.

Timebandit, here, I'd suggest a capon, but you also have to know how to cook it, as they are a lot surface-fattier than a turkey and the cook has to know how to draw off the fat.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

We only do turkey once a year, so I think the wild girls were keen on sticking with it on thanksgiving. I go for goose on Christmas (although I've done lamb or a stuffed salmon as well). I'm not sure if I could find a capon here! I might have to find out.

quizzical

we deep fried our turkey on Sunday. first time ever. had a minor tail gate party out in the yard while cooking.

i did a sage pesto rub on it 24 hrs before.

mom had frozen turkey stock so good to go on gravey and she made wild cranberry sauce.

deep fried turkey is amazing. who knew.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Did you invest in one of those big deep-fryers? I'd give it a shot, but wouldn't want to store another piece of equipment. I do hear it's tasty, though.

quizzical

yup. on sale 100.00. very tasty. very moist.

parents wrapped it all up once oil cooled in cling wrap and are storing it in green house for winter.

eta. look at it as a big pot you can cook in if natural disaster strikes. ;)

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Ha! I just might! Good deal on it, too.

I am still figuring out where the portable fire pit should go - also doubles as a charcoal bbq. Back yard has been a construction zone for 3 summers now, finally done the work on the house and the garage (which is full of bicycles, dirt bikes and firewood) and can start to rehab the yard. Maybe then I'll have some idea of space for new toys!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm pretty jelly.  I've always wanted to deep-fry a bird.  Or at least since the very moment someone else thought of it and proved it could be done.

Sounds to me like it would be a bit frightening at first though.  That's a lot of hot oil.  And a lot of moisture bubbling away in it.

Just out of curiousity, how much oil did it take, and how long was the turkey in for?

ed'd to add:

Quote:
Apple, raisins and pecans

If I can't make it to the store, could I just substitute a cup of trail mix?  ;)

quizzical

16 ltres. but you put your turkey in the pot the day before, and before you brine it with the pesto, and put water in ltre by ltre til it's covered and no more.

then the next day you put in the amount of oil you need from the count of water/ltre the day before.

you make sure your bird is dry as can be.

there was a slight bubble up for us but didn't go over and then it settled to just covering the bird.

55 mins for a 25lb bird. 3 mins per lb.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Okay, well, I'm probably not going to go out and buy the rig tomorrow.  But I'm definitely putting this high on the bucket list.

And I'll note that if you deep-fried a french fry for 55 minutes, you'd find out where pencil lead comes from.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:

Apple, raisins and pecans

If I can't make it to the store, could I just substitute a cup of trail mix?  ;)


Why not? ;)

lagatta

I'm going to make a leek quiche (leeks already seethed). I know that there will be a bit of cheese, but don't know whether it should be only leeks or if it should have a complement. Ideas?

Not my cooking, but there is a new boulangerie nearby that does Nordic-Germanic rye and other wholemeal breads as well as the usual baguettes. I have a lovely bread, 67% whole rye. I bought that one rather than the 100% (which is of course the steamed kind, like pumpernickel) because it looked more attractive to make those lovely open sandwiches.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Sounds lovely! I don't know that the leek needs much help in a quiche, the flavour is so nice and they might be overwhelmed. Maybe some sliced tomato on top? I am doing up a pot of chicken and dumplings for dinner. I put chicken pieces, leeks, carrots, parsnip, celery, some stock, white wine and thyme in the crock pot. It will cook slowly all day and I'll thicken it with some flour and milk before adding dumplings when I get home.

lagatta

Yes, finally I just added some cheese (a Canadian ewe's milk "romano"), some caraway and the remnants of my herbs, which I have to harvest and discard the soil somehow. I'll ask a horticulturist neighbour if it is useful for our collective lawn and plants.

I didn't put in any meat, though I have a smoked turkey thigh that is somewhat like ham. I wanted to keep it simple, and vegetarian. Already plenty of protein (and fat...) in the eggs and cheese.

Often people overcomplicate recipes.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Oh, the caraway will be a nice accent!

I agree, sometimes more is just too much.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm guessing I'm too late, but if it were me I'd go with a handful of fresh (or even frozen) green peas.

So my posts on this thread could take a bit of a strange turn soon.  The other day I was running some errands in the neighbourhood and passed by a pair of houses that, over the years, have discarded a lot of good things.  That day, they were discarding this:

[IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/6g90yt.jpg[/IMG]

I've always kind of wanted one but could never really justify the price.  Plus, I've always managed to deep fry, when I care enough to, in one of the woks.  But the idea of a bit of safety, a proper basket, and a thermostat sounded nice.

Anyway, I checked it out and it seemed complete.  I brought it home, scrubbed it up, and gave it a "dry run" with water in place of oil and everything checked out.  My guess is that the former owners had either bought it on a whim or been given it as a gift, and found they didn't use it.  I'd say it wasn't ever used more than three or four times.

So the other day I took it for a spin and made some french fries.  Not bad, gotta work on it.  And then I made some apple donuts.  Also not bad, but I think the fryer might be running a bit hot.  Further delicious testing required.

lagatta

Yes, that is a nice-looking gizmo. Can one adjust the heat level?

Mmm, imperial rolls. A Vietnamese shop close to me sells them frozen - some days, still fresh - and ready to fry.

Also shrimp, squid and other marine creatures. Smelt.

Timebandit, I really like caraway this time of year - I gave it a quick whir in the coffee mill I keep for spices. (Both of them were cheap yard sale purchases).

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Cool! I haven't looked for a deep fryer because I can't justify the cost or the storage space right now when the wok technique seems to be working just fine. BTW, I have a recipe for southern fried chicken, brined in buttermilk and then deep fried, that makes me exponentially more popular in my household when I make it. :)

The blond guy has been agitating for donuts for a while now, I may have to give 'em a go. But I'm trying to lose about 10 lbs of middle aged spread, so that won't help. (I'm down 4, 6 to go!)

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