Cookin again

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
As you can guess, I do not like artichoke hearts. sorry guys. What I DO like is bacon and eggs:

start with thick cut smoked bacon cooking in a pan, then in another pan, cooking in olive oil are white and green onions with a shake or two of salt.
meanwhile I chop in small parts one potato, and put it in the second pan. when mostly cooked, put in same pan with bacon and start with saute' some more green and white onions and a mushroom.

take 4 eggs and a couple of ozs of skim milk and scramble in the bullet mixer .. . pour in pan with veggies and scramble.

While eggs are cooking and when taters and bacon are done, set on a plate, and place Colby and Swiss cheese over the taters. Place the cooked scrabbled eggs over the cheese and taters.

Serve with tea or coffee. Belch often.
 

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Anybody have a clue on D.I.Y. fried artichoke hearts? I have never bought or cleaned an artichoke, and have only purchased pickled hearts for home use.


I would buy the canned or jarred hearts, then dry them out a bit on a paper towel or something. There are a few ways to do it. I liked to put a bit of egg, then some flour, then fry them in a pan of olive oil and garlic and serve them with pasta. Take what I say with a grain of salt as I've been eating gluten free due to celiac for about five years (so its been a while since I've worked with flour).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The canned/jarred ones I have found so far in my local area are all too salty/pickled to really work for my purposes. I'll keep my eyes open, though!
 

The canned/jarred ones I have found so far in my local area are all too salty/pickled to really work for my purposes. I'll keep my eyes open, though!

It depends on what they are preserved in. Some brands are better at not having that salty or pickled flavor (I can't remember the brand but I found one that basically kept them in water and wasn't too bad). You could also try frozen artichoke hearts. You can also soak them in water to get some of the canned flavor out. Your only other option is to buy a bunch of fresh artichokes and use the hearts from those, but that can be a pretty expensive meal (most fried artichoke hearts you find are going to be frozen or canned).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Made a lasagna/pastitsio-inspired casserole last night.

I used thin slices of Yukon Gold potato instead of pasta. The meat was home-made Louisiana hot sausage mixed with diced onion, garlic, white mushroom, portobello mushroom, and tomatoes. The cheese was a mix of cubed butterkäse and shredded aged Parmesan.

The sauce was diced tomatoes & tomato sauce with red & black pepper, oregano, parsley, and chives.

Verdict: tasty as charged.

There's still room for improvement, though. If nothing else, next time I'll use my mandolin to slice the potato more thinly than I can by hand with my knives. And I might use more sausage & sauce. My sauce was also tasty, but it was still a bit too lightly seasoned- a bit more parsley and/or oregano.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It has been apple-time here in the Northeast. Went apple picking a couple of weeks ago, and we have since done...

Home-made applesauce - freezes very well, for later in the year.
Apple butter.
Apple fritters.
Apple-matzah kugel - best use of matzah outside of soup I've ever seen.
Apple crumble cookie bars.
There was one other in there, I cant' recall what.

And there are still more apples in the fridge....
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Our local squirrels have gifted us with pecan trees that are just beginning to produce. One of our dogs found a cluster and bright it into the house, where she proceeded to gnaw it into a brown mush.

...EASILY mistaken for something else...

So it may be that we will have our own pecans in the foreseeable. :)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I love apples, and I'm down in Texas where Honeycrisps, & Ambrosias are as pricey as restaurant appetizers.

We mostly pick Cortlands and Jonagolds, with some Macintoshes and Galas mixed in to round out flavors and textures in cooking. Up here supermarket apples are okay, but nothing beats the ones fresh off the tree. Or even a couple weeks off the tree in your own fridge. They keep really well.

We are trying our hand at grapes - Concords are good for cooking, and, being named after Concord, MA, as you expect they grow really well. Stupendously well, in fact. The problem isn't getting the plant to grow, but in the pruning - don't prune enough, and the darn thing takes over everything in its path. Prune too much, and you lose the buds that become flowers and fruits.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I have witnessed zuchini plants display similarly aggressive tendencies.

When we lived in Aurora, CO, we and many of our circle of friends & associates were growing zuchini. The plants were so bountiful that if you left a basket of them on a doorstep, rang the bell and ran, it would be greeted with the same face as a burning bag of poop.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Today, my wife and I are going to a "soup swap". A bunch of folks get together. Each brings several (in our case, 6) quart-containers of homemade soup. There's a little song and dance of presenting and "selling" your soup, and then there's a round-robin of picking soups - you leave with as many containers as you brought.

We made a corn chowder, the ingredient list for which is deceptively simple. Corn, chicken broth, onions, cream, bacon, scallions, salt and pepper. The secret is in the method - some of the corn is canned, and that's made into a puree to thicken the soup. The rest of the corn is cut from cobs, and you include the cobs in the simmering step, to leech out all the corny goodness.

I have no idea what soups we'll get to leave with.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Sounds like a cool thing to do. FWIW, I LOVE corn- it is among my favorite veggies. But I'm also slightly allergic to it, so I don't eat it often. That chowder sounds like one I'd leave with.

Sometimes, simpler is just better. On one episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsey pitted his version of broccoli soup against that of the struggling restauranteur in a blindfolded taste test, and won in a "FLAWLESS VICTORY!!!". The restauranteur's recipe had 15+ ingredients, Gordon's was broccoli, water, salt and pepper.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Tried a little 'speriment tonight: instead of one of the usual meats- bacon, ham or sausage- for a pot of mustard greens I tried some smoked turkey necks and smoked turkey wings. (I wanted smoked thighs, but none were available.)

The result was perfectly tasty.

However, there were issues. I am not a fan of turkey necks myself, but chose to use them in the experiment because bones can add a lot of flavor and texture to a dish, and they did exactly that. But nibbling the meat off of them is a PITA. What I may do next time is use the smoked turkey necks to make a stock.

The wings, OTOH, were deemed "visually unappetizing" by Mom who is normally a wing fiend. I think that had I cooked them a bit longer before adding the greens themselves, they'd have fallen off the bones, and thus, more appealing.

All in all, though, a success. The overall flavor was reminiscent of ham, actually. So, with some thought and skill, I could use smoked turkey as a substitute for pork in all kinds of southern veggie recipes- greens of all kinds, green beans, red beans, white beans. Perhaps even gumbo.

This means I can open up my recipe playbook a bit more when entertaining my Jewish & Muslim friends.

Now all I need to do is start smoking my own meats so I can control the sodium levels...
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
preparing for three different dishes: Sausages and peppers, roasted chicken and you guessed it: TURKEY!!! Just need to get it cooked. also got the stuff for beef stroganoff too.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Turkey day is probably gonna be big, again. A ham, a fried turkey w/dirty rice, a steamed turkey w/mixed veg, gumbo, garlic slaw, mustard greens, deviled eggs, oyster dressing, a possible beef roast, and goodness knows what else.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Turkey day is probably gonna be big, again. A ham, a fried turkey w/dirty rice, a steamed turkey w/mixed veg, gumbo, garlic slaw, mustard greens, deviled eggs, oyster dressing, a possible beef roast, and goodness knows what else.

We have a conundrum - the range in the number of people possibly attending. I think we are currently looking at... 8 to 15. That's difficult to plan for. 8 can be handled with one moderately sized turkey. For 15 we'd need to do some big-honkin' bird, and big-honkin' birds don't come out as well. And we only have one modest oven making multiple proteins a hassle.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
See if you can get one of those counter top oven like things like the nuwave. We did a turkey in one one. I liked the device, but my quote did not. The only hard part was turning the bird
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
My steaming technique results in tasty, juicy big birds. Barring that, though, using the roasting bags is- from what I have been told- similarly effective.

But yeah: having a minimum guest list of half your presumed max is tough to plan for. A highly variable guest list is our conundrum as well. We're sure to hit a dozen, but there are nearly that many we're trying to sort out...
 

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