Another food thread, why not?

Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
Some aspects of what we speak of as "supertasting" are not just the long tail of the distribution - there's a discontinuity in the distribution, a bit more of an "on/off" switch to the phenomenon, as it were.
This reminds me of the little test we did back in highschool biology. Each student put a drop of some substance (probably phenylthiocarbamide, but I don't specifically recall) on the tongue; some could taste the intense bitterness, others couldn't taste it all.

While it's hard for me (who will happily try anything once, and will eat almost anything again) to understand exactly why some people have the "picky" tastes they do, that little lab back in school keeps it in perspective. We've all got different chemical compositions and that can certainly have a huge effect on our individual perceptions.

As for food tips, I don't have any atm, except maybe "Don't use phenylthiocarbamide to flavor your food."
 
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ssampier

First Post
As you might have guessed from my posts in this very forum, I'm not a great cook, but I try.

I admit I am somewhat of a picky eater. However, I quickly grow bored of the same things over-and-over again. I often cook for my mother who tends to have a very simple palette. My mother often combines things together if she has them in her fridge, however (I think I've seen her make ketchup pasta more than once, bleech!).

My Version of Cuban Pork

It's probably nothing like the original, but I have never been anywhere close to Havana or Miami so it works for me.

1 lb or so Pork Loin
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 limes
2 or so garlic cloves
1 cup orange juice

For the Sandwich
Sliced deli ham
Cheese, swiss or provolone
Pickles
Mustard

Place all ingredients into a crockpot or slow cooker for about 3 or 4 hours on high. Pork should fall apart. Serve pork on an hoagie or submarine style sandwich roll. Top with your favorite ingredients. The sourness of pickles goes well with the citrus favor of the cooked pork.

I often eat this without ham and it works quite well. Good ham just gives that extra kick.

(Sorry Danny, I know that was a salty recipe with the pork and pickles)

What I really need are recipes where I can combine vegetables and fruit with meat. I have a hard time with vegetable sides; left to my own devices I make a burger, steak, or chicken with no veggies or fruit. If I combine the fruit or veggies into the dish like stir-fry I usually will eat it.

Tomorrow I am tackling Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice) again. I made it once with a recipe using hotsauce and it tasted awful. I could only eat the leftovers if I added lots more rice. This new Arroz con Pollo recipe has frozen peas in it, but I'll substitute with grilled peppers.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
(Sorry Danny, I know that was a salty recipe with the pork and pickles)

Meh- no biggie! Its not like I live a salt-free life. Today's lunch was a fajita beef chimichanga with queso sauce...and queso flameado, chips & salsa for appetizers.

What I really need are recipes where I can combine vegetables and fruit with meat. I have a hard time with vegetable sides; left to my own devices I make a burger, steak, or chicken with no veggies or fruit. If I combine the fruit or veggies into the dish like stir-fry I usually will eat it.
Try this:

Here's what I do.

I clean my bird, then stuff it with onions (Green, Red, and either Yellows or Whites), carrots, whole garlic cloves, celery stalks, sliced mushrooms, and occasionally some kind of squash- zucchini, yellow, whatever. Make sure you have some left over for the pan as well.

I melt butter, mixing it with a dry white wine. The wine should be one you'd consider drinking- not a "cooking" wine, which is generally wine-flavored salt water. Into that blend, I mix red & black pepper. I pour that over the bird, then powder the turkey with onion powder, garlic powder and a little paprika.

Place bird in the pan- on a roasting rack if you have one- nested in a bed of the veggies you stuffed it with. Hit the veggies with a little of the spices that went on your bird.

Then make sure you have about 3/4-1" of wine in your pan (enough to almost cover your veggies).

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Roast bird uncovered in 425F oven for 30 minutes, then turn the temp down to 350F. DO NOT OPEN OVEN to baste or anything else- this method involves steaming the turkey, and opening the oven will screw this up.

Cook at 350F as per its recommended minutes/weight.

After the bird cooks and everyone's had their fill for the day, debone that bird. It will take up less space in the fridge.

Then, take your turkey carcass and put it in a large stock pot with water and whatever drippings and overcooked veggies (some usually get a little blackened) there may be left.

Bring the water to a simmer (not boil) and let cook at that level for a while. We're talking hours.

Then remove carcass and strain the liquid.

Your reward will be a flavorful and nutritious stock- perfect for soups, stews, gumbos, redbeans and the like.

The veggies that you stuff your bird with will take on the flavor of the seasonings, wine, butter and turkey drippings to a certain extent, and that roasting can bring out some of their more delicate flavors.

Another classic way to mix meat & veggies is in soups or stews. I have one that I'm making tomorrow that I call Stoup- thicker than soup, thinner than stew.

Start with your biggest pot- a dutch oven or soup pot- the kind you'd use to feed an army.

Saute some onions in the pot, then remove them.

Get a big chunk of some kind of cheap beef- the kind of rump/chuck roast or "seven steak" that is tough and requires thorough cooking.

Season it with pepper, garlic and onion, then give it a quick sear in the pot, and return the onions.

Add broth or stock- veggie, chicken or beef, depending on your tastes and supplied- enough to almost cover the meat & onions. In addition, add low-sodium V8 or Tomato Juice.

Add chopped garlic cloves (per your tastes- we like LOTS), chopped celery, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes. Other veggies can be added without changing its nature if you like- mushrooms and squashes are pretty good, and corn would be a winner: I'd add it myself, since its my favorite veggie...but I'm allergic to it so I minimize my intake.

Season with parsley, black & red pepper, at least 3 bay leaves, and top this off with paprika- Hungarian if you've got it.

Bring it to a boil...then turn it down to let simmer (covered), stirring occasionally, for the next few hours. That's right, hours. This lets the flavors marry up, reduces the volume of the liquids (thickening the concoction and concentrating flavors) and tenderizes the meat- you'll know its done when you can break the beef apart with a spoon.

One final trick- towards the end, add a single can of cream of celery soup. It will add to the celery flavor in the Stoup, and will both further thicken it and will give it a creamier texture.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Here's another way to get a dose of fruit.

I make a cherry-mustard sauce that works quite well as a BBQ simulant. Most people don't realize its not a standard tomato-based sauce.

You get your cherries- I suggest you find them frozen & pitted to save yourself some time & effort...and mess- and start to cook them in a big, flat-sided saucepan over low heat with some lemon juice, a little vinegar and a touch of butter or olive oil to prevent sticking.*

Add 1-2 chopped jalapenos and 1-2 serrano peppers, a pinch each of cayenne and black pepper, a little bit of sugar (to take off any bitter edge any under-ripe cherries might add).

Bring the mix to a medium heat, stirring frequently until the cherries are nice and soft, then remove from heat. (This should take about 10 minutes.)

Add a couple of tablespoons of yellow mustard and then puree the mix- I blend it in big bowl with a stick blender, but a regular food processor or such should work just fine.

The end result is a tangy, spicy sauce with a cherry sweetness... (It may take you some time to find the precise ratios of tangy or spicy you like.)

Use on anything you'd use BBQ sauce on.



* EDIT: we later created a zero-fat version in which we simply add the cherries & peppers to water- eschewing butter or oil- and let them come to a boil, before slowly reducing the mix over low heat.
 
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