Cooking thread

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@Selaphiel
He's got the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap and it apparently messes with how other herbs and spices taste too. It's probably that.

And yes, I was. But unfortunately since seitan is almost pure gluten that's off the table now. Pun intended.
QueenCold
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Been a while since I've actively contributed.




It was around lunch time and I had chickpea flour to use. Turned out pretty good!

I preheated the oven to 500F. I sautéed half a cup of chopped yellow onion until soft and cooked a heaping dinner spoon of minced garlic with it. I then combined 1 1/4 cups chickpea flour, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 tbs nutritional yeast, about 2/3 tbs italian seasoning, about 1/4 tsp of rosemary and tarragon each, copious amounts of freshly ground black pepper, some salt and 1 tbs oil to a bowl, mixed them together and added the onion and garlic to the mixture.
I greased eight out of twelve compartments of my muffin tin and evenly divided the batter. I was worried about how thin it was, but it turned out to be just fine.
Baked this for 12 minutes with the door closed and another 10 with the door open.
yelling_into_the_void

The Hell?


Honey bun cake

Cake
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Filling
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Sugar Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Swirl filling into cake batter, bake 350℉ 38-40 minutes. Glaze and let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
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Can anyone play?

I have a recipe, or maybe it's more of a heuristic that moves in a foodish direction.

I found a recipe for a kind of pasta sauce I've never made before, called Bolognese. It's from northern Italy and it doesn't have the same spices as southern Italian pasta sauces, just salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and a pinch of nutmeg.

4-6 ounces bacon, minced, and it's much easier to chop it up when it's partially frozen. Fry bacon. To bacon add one large yellow onion, peeled and minced, plus one entire bulb of garlic, also peeled and minced, this is usually 10-12 individual cloves. Add a little olive oil if the bacon did not produce enough fat to brown the onion and garlic. When onion begins to caramelize, add about one pound beef liver, minced finely (best done while the liver is partially frozen) and about two pounds ground beef. Break up the ground meat, mix thoroughly, and brown.

While all of that is browning, get two cups of chicken stock, or if you don't have chicken stock, boil two cups of water with two chicken bouillon cubes until they dissolve. Add two cups milk to the stock mixture and heat through. Whisk in one tablespoon each salt, pepper, and garlic powder, a pinch of nutmeg, and a bay leaf, and take off the heat.

To the stock mixture whisk in two 18 ounce cans of tomato paste—or, if you can only get the little cans, around 36 ounces total. Whisk the tomato paste into the stock mixture until until smoothly incorporated. Add tomato mixture to meat and onion mixture. Mix thoroughly and bring to a simmer. Place in oven, covered, at 250 F. for 4-6 hours to simmer it without scorching.

Serve over pappardele pasta if available, for which egg noodles are a good match if you can't find pappardele in your local supermarket. A bit of grated Parmesan or asiago cheese is a good topping. Traditionally this dish is accompanied with a dry red wine, of which Tuscany produces many, many varieties.

Note that there are a vast number of variations and family recipes. Heavy cream instead of milk. Ground pork instead of ground beef, or mixed with it. Chicken liver instead of beef liver. Finely minced beef heart instead of hamburger if you can get it. Keep in mind that it's not real Bolognese without organ meats.

One thing that is common is that, like the man says, Sauce Bolognese is an exercise in restraint. It's Tuscan and influenced by Mediterranean French cuisine. The oregano and basil and mushrooms that mark Sicilian cooking and marinara sauce aren't present. It isn't made with a Sicilian style soffrito that has bell peppers and celery. You can add these in but then it's not Bolognese any more.

Tuscan cuisine is austere and simple. Compare and contrast a Tuscan style dessert food, like bomboloni—simple sweet fried donut holes, basically—to elaborate Sicilian desserts like cannoli, with their rich sweetened ricotta cheese filling and chocolate chips. This is not good or bad, but it is the nature of Tuscan dishes, where simple is beautiful and less is more.
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The End wasn't The End - Found a new home after the great exodus of 2012

[screams in German]
Never use metal utensils on your nonstick pans, and remember to season your cast iron under low heat with salt and oil. You want something less annoying? Use a stainless steel pan. None of that fuss.
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Philomena Contributor
Nonstick pans are not worth the effort in general, and are barely even good enough for their "advertised use" (cooking eggs)
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@yelling_into_the_void
Chilaquiles is a low-income Mexican dish my family used to make a lot when I was younger.

Here is a modern variation of how to make it.

Salsa verde:

Ingredients needed:
- Fresh green tomatillos (5-10, depending on how much you want to make)
- Fresh cilantro (15-30g) (omit only if you are sensitive to the taste of cilantro, it is essential for the flavor)
- Dried cumin powder (1/2 tsp)
- Jarred/pickled hot jalapeno slices (3-10, depending on how spicy you want it; I have a big jar of Vlasic which I like for this)
- Salt (to taste)

Method 1:
Husk the tomatillos. The surfaces of the tomatillos will be sticky and the husks will be difficult to remove when dry. To mitigate this, simply hold each tomatillo upside down under a stream of cold water so that the water gets underneath the husk and washes away the sticky wax. Then, pull the husk away towards the stem and twist to remove it from the tomatillo. Once all the tomatillos are husked, put them in a medium pot, and fill the pot with water to just cover the tomatillos. Bring the water to a boil and blanch the tomatillos. After a few minutes at a boil, they will undergo a noticeable color change from green to very light green or yellow, and they will become very soft and squishy. At this point, take the tomatillos off the heat.

In a blender or food processor, combine the whole cilantro stalks, cumin powder, and jalapeno slices. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatillos individually from the hot water and place them in the blender or food processor's bowl. Make sure you press down tightly on the blender's lid, because if you don't, the lid will come flying off and spray boiling tomatillo everywhere. Pulse the blender until the bodies of the tomatillos are destroyed, then blend it until all the cilantro has been consumed by the blender and you have a smooth mix.

At this point, you can taste the salsa. I generally use tortilla chips for this, but you can use a spoon if you don't mind that it is still nearly boiling at this point. If it is not spicy enough for your liking, add more jalapeno slices. At this stage, you can start adding the salt. I usually go with about 2 tsp (eyeballed), but you should add it in small amounts and blend it to mix it in until you find the amount that you personally like.

Method 2:
Repeat the above process, but instead of using a food processor or blender, completely drain the water out of the pot containing the tomatillos after they are done cooking. Using a fork (or even a slotted spoon, if you want), smash the tomatillos down until they are coarsely crushed. Add the cilantro stalks, cumin powder, and jalapeno slices directly to the pot, and use an immersion blender to puree it. This method has far less risk of spraying boiling liquid everywhere, and it requires less clean-up afterwards, so I personally prefer to make it this way.

Salsa verde can be refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen indefinitely in freezer bags once made.


Chicken chilaquiles:

Ingredients needed:
- Salsa verde
- Chicken breast
- Tortilla chips
- Pre-shredded Mozzarella cheese

Pre-shredded cheese is vital to the formulation of this recipe, as for some reason, shredded fresh Mozzarella does not seem to impart the correct flavor to the chilaquiles. For a more "authentic" Mexican experience, you can use shredded queso fresco or queso blanco, but I personally find these cheeses to be intolerable compared to Mozzarella.

Bring the chicken breast to a boil in a small pot. Once it is cooked through, remove it from heat, drain the water, and shred it coarsely into roughly bite sized pieces on a cutting board. Salt the shredded pieces of chicken to taste.

In a medium (nonstick optional) pan, place a layer of tortilla chips down on the bottom of the pan. In order to maximize the volume of chilaquiles you can make, press down on the tortilla chips as necessary to make the layer sit flat. (Don't crush them into crumbs though, as this will be unpleasant to eat.) Place a layer of the shredded chicken on top of the tortilla chips. Using a spoon, layer enough salsa verde on top of the first two layers to completely cover them, then spread a layer of the shredded cheese on top of the salsa verde. Repeat this process, layering tortilla chips, chicken, salsa verde, and cheese until the pan is essentially overflowing, and be sure to press down with your hands after every layer of chips to ensure you have completely filled the pan.

Fill the bottom of a large pan with water and place the medium pan inside on some supports (metal forks and knives work just fine to elevate the inner pan off the heat source) to create a ghetto bain-marie. Cover the large pan, and place it on high heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the tortilla chips have softened. Remove the chilaquiles from heat, then cut and serve it as if it were a pie.

Chilaquiles can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator, but will mold quickly, and should not be frozen.
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I think I'm going to post more of the modified Mexican recipes I was introduced to in childhood. I don't expect anyone to make them, I'm mostly just documenting them for myself.
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Red salsa:

Ingredients needed:
- Crushed tomatoes (1.75 lb cans / 800g) (Contadina is my preferred brand; avoid Hunt's as they add a lot of sugar)
- Fresh cilantro (15-30g) (omit only if you are sensitive to the taste of cilantro, it is essential for the flavor)
- Jarred/pickled hot jalapeno slices (3-10, depending on how spicy you want it)
- Salt (to taste)

Unlike the green salsa, this one is quite straightforward to make. Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the cilantro stalks are destroyed. Then, as with the green, taste the salsa and add jalapenos and salt until you get it to the desired level of spiciness and saltiness.


Roasted red salsa:

Ingredients needed:
- Fresh roma tomatoes (6-10, depending on how much you want to make)
- Fresh cilantro (15-30g) (omit only if you are sensitive to the taste of cilantro, it is essential for the flavor)
- Either 2-3 whole fresh jalapenos or 1 serrano pepper
- Salt (to taste)

Prepare a griddle on either your range top or on a grill. If your griddle has a ridged side, this will be easier to work with facing up, but a flat griddle will work fine. Remove the stems from the tomatoes if they are not already stemmed, and then place both the toamtoes and the peppers on the griddle. Turn up the temperature as high as you can get it, but do not let flames envelop the food. The roasting process will take a while. After the tomatoes blacken completely on one side, use tongs to turn them over to the other side to blacken the other side. Be careful when turning the roasted tomatoes, as they soften significantly while they are under high heat, and can easily fall apart, making a mess. The peppers will become fully black much more quickly than the tomatoes, but this is not an issue.

Add the whole cilantro stalks to a blender. Once the tomatoes have been mostly blackened (little red color will remain), remove them from the heat and place them directly into the blender bowl. Separately, remove the peppers from heat, and on a cutting board (you may want to wear gloves when working with serrano), use a knife to separate the stems and seeds from the peppers, then add them to the blender. As with the green salsa, make sure you press down tightly on the blender's lid, because if you don't, the lid will come flying off and spray hot tomato everywhere.

Pulse the blender until the bodies of the tomatoes are destroyed, then blend it until all the cilantro has been consumed by the blender and you have a smooth mix. Then, as before, taste the salsa and add salt until you get it to the desired level of saltiness.
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Quesadillas:

Ingredients needed:
- Tortillas (corn is traditional, but I personally prefer flour)
- Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Anything else you want to put in the quesadilla, like pre-cooked shredded chicken or pork, or other vegetables like onions, peppers, or mushrooms

Place a tortilla down in a pan. Cover the center of it with the desired toppings and heat until the cheese melts, then fold the tortilla over along the center line and serve.


Huevos rancheros:

Ingredients needed:
- Salsa (any of the above salsas will work fine)
- Tortillas
- Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Eggs

Variation 1:

Preheat the tortillas in a pan, and then place them in a tortilla warmer. (If you are lazy, just microwave them to warm them up and cover them with foil until it's time to serve. It works more or less the same way.) Coat the pan with a light film of cooking oil to prevent sticking, make two "sunny side" eggs in the pan as you normally would, and then slide them onto a plate with one or two tortillas on it. Then cover the eggs with salsa and cheese, and serve.

Variation 2:

Scramble an egg. Use the scrambled egg as a filling for a quesadilla along with cheese, and make the quesadilla as usual. Cover it with salsa and more cheese and serve.
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Rice and beans:

Ingredients needed:
- Rice (1 cup) (long grain white / Jasmine rice is ideal for this, as it is delivered clean with no noticeable husks or rocks you will have to deal with)
- Prepared black beans (1 can)

This is one of the simplest recipes to make, and takes virtually no effort.

Add the black beans directly from the can to a small pot, and bring it to a boil. After the beans have been boiling for 5 minutes, remove them from the heat. This softens the beans, which both makes them taste better and makes them easier to eat.

Add the rice to a medium pot and cover with a volume of water slightly more than enough to cover the rice. Bring the rice and water mixture to a boil on high heat. Once it reaches a boil, move it to the back burner, cover it, and let it simmer on the lowest possible flame for 20 minutes. If when you taste the rice, it feels as if it is not fully cooked or it still has some crunch to it, add 1/4 cup more water and let it simmer covered for 15 more minutes. Once the rice is done, fluff it in the pot with a fork to prevent it from solidifying into a brick when it cools.

After this, simply combine the rice and black beans in a bowl and eat.

Variation 1:

Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of powdered cumin and 2-3 slices of pickled jalapeno to the pot before adding the beans. (You do not need to stir them in; the mechanical action of the boiling will mix it for you.)

Variation 2:

Cut the stems off of about 10g of cilantro and sprinkle the leaves into the rice while you are fluffing it. Then add lime juice to taste, to produce the classic "cilantro-lime rice" you might see in restaurants.

Variation 3:

Make rice and beans as desired. Before serving, make two eggs to your liking in a pan (I personally like over easy eggs with rice and beans) and serve the eggs overtop the rice and beans on a plate or in a bowl.

Notes on cooking:

The beans can also be cooked in the microwave, if this is more convenient for you. Simply add the beans from the can to a bowl and microwave for about 5 minutes. This produces effectively the same result.

You can cook the rice in a dedicated rice cooker, a steamer, or even in the microwave if you know how to use them and this method is more convenient for you. If you are cooking the rice on the stovetop, then I have found that the best pot to use for the rice is an enameled dutch oven as its thick walls heavily insulate the rice and water while it is inside the pot and serve to steam it more effectively.
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Guacamole:
- 2-3 Hass avocados
- 2-3 small cloves of garlic, or 1 large clove
- Lime juice to taste (fresh preferred, but from concentrate is fine)
- Salt to taste

To prepare the avocados, first use your fingers or a knife to remove the piece of stem sticking out of the avocado. Then, cut the avocados all the way around along the axis from the "north pole" to the "south pole" and back. When you are finished, twist both halves of the avocado to separate them. The pit will end up being stuck in one side of the avocado when it is separated. To remove it, swing the middle (not the tip) of your knife down quickly and sharply onto the pit to spear it, and then twist to dislodge the pit. If the pit cracks when you turn it, then use more force when spearing the pit and try again.

Slice the insides of both halves of the avocado into rectangular segments using the knife. Using a large spoon, hold the avocado in your hand and press the spoon around the skin to dislodge the segments you make into a large bowl, working it around to remove everything. Repeat this process until you have used the desired amount of avocado.

Remove a clove of garlic from the bulb, place it down on the cutting board, place the flat side of the knife on the garlic, and then bring your palm down sharply against the knife. This will smash the garlic slightly and make it easy to peel it. (If the peel does not come off easily, smash it again.) Once the peel is removed, either mince the garlic as finely as you can on the cutting board, and add it to the bowl, or (better) place the bare cloves into a garlic press and squeeze the garlic through it into the bowl.

Finally, cut and juice the fresh limes (or add lime juice) in your desired amount. The more lime juice you add, the more liquid the final guacamole product will become. Smash together the avocados, garlic, and lime until it forms a paste (it's fine and expected if it's a bit chunky). Mix in salt to taste.

Guacamole should be stored in the refrigerator with a plastic film pushed flat against the surface of it to keep oxygen away from it, as avocados, even when treated with salt and acid, will still oxidize and form an off-putting brown color. Guacamole keeps for a few days when refrigerated.


Pico de gallo:
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper
- Cilantro (5g)
- Lime juice to taste
- Salt to taste

Dice the tomatoes and red onion and add them to a bowl. Cut up the cilantro and jalapeno pepper as finely as you can reasonably get them, and mix them in. Add salt and lime juice to your preference. Refrigerate and serve with tortilla chips.


Ceviche (orange roughy):

Same as before with the pico de gallo, but cut up a small filet of orange roughy into roughly bite sized chunks, and add it in. Be sure to cut any dark colored flesh off, as it does not taste good. You can get frozen bags of this fish at places like Costco. Ceviche can be eaten on its own or served with tortilla chips.
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