Welcome to the Game-Night Kitchen!

Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 13: Coleslaw.

What's better on a hot summer day than fresh coleslaw?

What's easier to make on a hot summer day than fresh coleslaw?

What's cheaper to make on a hot summer day than fresh coleslaw?

Very little, that's what.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • A carrot or two
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Black Pepper

Chop.

Wash your head of cabbage and peel off the outer leaves. This will be easier if you make four shallow cuts in a square around the base of the core. Quarter the cabbage through the core and then cut the core out by cutting into each wedge of cabbage at an angle.

If you have a food processor, you can use it to shred your cabbage and carrots, but, unless you are making a massive amount of coleslaw (certainly more than this recipe assumes), you will probably be able to chop your ingredients quicker than it would take to use the food processor and clean it!

You can also use a grater, but, personally, I prefer a fairly coarsely chopped mix (that's another problem with the food processor, by the way--it has a tendency to turn your cabbage into mulch, which is...not a good texture!).

Chop your cabbage and put it into a large bowl.

Next, peel your carrot(s) and chop them finely (or grate them) into the bowl.

Sauce.

In another bowl, combine some mayonnaise with a small amount of vinegar and some sugar. The type of vinegar you use will lend it's flavor to the slaw, so keep that in mind! While you're making the sauce, make sure to keep tasting it and adding small amounts of vinegar or sugar until you get it where you want it. Personally, I aim for slightly sweet and slightly tangy--subtlety is the goal!

When you've got it tasting right, mix it into the coleslaw a little at a time. Cabbage is mostly water, so it will take less sauce than you think. Basically, coat all of the cabbage and then let it rest for a few minutes. Mix in a little sauce, if needed, then let it rest again. If you just add in the amount of sauce you think is right all at once, you are likely to find that your slaw is soggier than you intended.

Finally, for a little contrast, mix in a little black pepper (the courser the grind, the better, I find).

If you've been reading along, you may remember Dannyalcatraz's Mayonnaise Substitute: using plain yogurt in place of up to half of the mayonnaise in a mayonnaise-based dish. I tried this with some coleslaw for last night's game and it worked very well.

The texture of yogurt is not as thick as the mayonnaise (meaning it will take somewhat less to coat your cabbage), so you'll have to keep that in mind as you're adding in the sauce!​

That's it for this week. Good gaming, y'all!
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Hey, glad that idea worked for you!

Funny thing- I LOVE CABBAGE!

...but I hate most cole slaws. I've only found one that I actually enjoy, the garlic cole slaw at Vincent's in Plano, Tx.

I usually just do a nice big (stinky) pot of cabbage with chicken broth, shredded carrots, onions, and a spicy sausage, cooked low & slow.

And fortunately for me, there's achinese restaurant near me that does fan-damn-tastic vegetarian egg rolls that are essentially just cabbage, carrots & onion.
 
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Rune

Once A Fool
Tried Sialia's grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup tonight. Very tasty! The garlic on the sandwiches complemented the soup very well!

I recommend anyone who wishes to try it to cook at medium--or slightly above medium--heat. Any lower, and you won't toast the bread very well. Any higher, and you're likely to burn it (especially the cheese sprinkled on the outside).
 
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Sialia

First Post
yay! Glad it worked and was tasty.

It is a little tricky doing the cheese layer--you've got to get it just past gooey and sticking to the pan, but pull it up before it scorches. I use a cast iron skillet and set my wretched ceramic top stove on 6, and make sure everything is preheated. (the cast iron compensates for the uneven heat fluctuation of the lousy cooktop) Anyway, with a good medium hot steady setting, the timing is 30 seconds for me--just toasted until it comes loose cleanly. Also, a little loose cheese always falls on the skillet next to the sandwich while I'm doing this, and I use that as the guide for when it's time to check. The little crispy bits of loose cheese on the pan are the tastiest bit--I always scrape them out and snack on them before I start the next sandwich. Also, do not let Xena use your skillet for an improvised weapon before it cools--the handle gets uncomfortably hot, unless you've got one of those little quilted handle sleeves.
 


Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 14: Meatball Sandwiches.

I made these for tonight's game and they were oh so delightful.

This dish is a little more complex than the ones I usually try to post, but it's a real treat. It also is another one of those dishes that is best served during a break, as it can be a bit messy.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Ground beef
  • Crackers, sliced bread, or oatmeal
  • An egg
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Sugar
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Butter or margarine
  • A sturdy bread (Italian is good for this)
  • Sliced provolone cheese

Meatballs are balls made of meat.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While it is preheating, peel your garlic cloves (this is easier if you crack them by pressing down on them with the flat of a blade). This is also a good time to mince your onion. You'll only need about a quarter of a medium-sized onion per two pounds of ground beef, or so.

Put your ground beef in a bowl. Your meatballs will want a bit of a breading filling, for which you can use crushed crackers, crumbled toast, or oatmeal. Add this to the bowl with some salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and thyme. Add an egg and mix well by hand. Then, wash your hands.

Get a baking pan (something with edges) and, if you have one, a rack to fit inside of it. Roll some of the meat mixture into a ball around a garlic clove. Repeat the process until you have used up all of your garlic cloves and meat. You'll probably want to aim for balls about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, as larger meatballs will affect the cook-time.

Place these evenly on the rack and then wash your hands again. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, or so. When they are cooked through (to a temperature of at least 155 degrees, if you are using a thermometer), pull the meatballs from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before removing them from the rack.

Marinara.

While you are baking the meatballs, put your tomato paste and diced tomatoes in a saucepan with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, sugar, and butter or margarine. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer. The exact proportions of these ingredients will be according to your taste, but if you are unsure how much of each you should use, add small amounts of each and taste-test until you get it where you want it.

Sandwiches.

Turn your oven up to 450 degrees or so.

Slice your bread, if it is not already. Put it on cookie sheet, or similar pan and place meatballs on the bottom halves. Don't be afraid to mush the meatballs down some if you don't want them to roll around! Spoon some marinara sauce over each, lay a slice of provolone over that, top them with the rest of the bread, and toast them in the oven, just long enough to melt the cheese.

Remove and serve.

That's it! Good gaming, y'all!
 

Sialia

First Post
This sounds wonderful!

I love anything toasty and gooey and drippy.

(Can I have some mushrooms on mine when i drop by?)
 

Rune

Once A Fool
This sounds wonderful!

I love anything toasty and gooey and drippy.

(Can I have some mushrooms on mine when i drop by?)

Thanks! If you find yourself passing through Central KY, I'll make sure to get some!


On an unrelated note, I'm headed out to a friend's Birthday (Gaming) Party, so no update, tonight.
 
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Gilladian

Adventurer
Hamburger-cabbage soup

Here's a family favorite soup that can be varied in many ways and is easy to make ahead.

Hamburger (1 lb per 4 servings)
Cabbage (1/2 head per 4 servings)
Onion (1 or 2 medium per 4 servings)
Carrots ( 2-3 large per 4 servings)
Garlic (1-2 cloves per 4 servings)
Tomatoes, fresh or canned, (1-2 per 4 servings)
Pasta, whole wheat (I like elbows or shells) or barley
Beef stock, 6-8 cups for 4 servings or 1 bouillon cube per 2 cups water and a cup or so of red wine.
Herbs (I like italian or herbs de provence), to taste.
Salt ONLY if you used real beef stock instead of bouillon, but be sure to taste first!

Brown the hamburger (I drain and rinse it to minimize fat), and then the onions and garlic. Add all the veggies, sliced into bite-sized pieces. Brown lightly until the cabbage wilts. Add the stock and red wine if you're using it. Add the barley. Simmer for an hour or up to 4 hours. Add the pasta near the end if you're using it instead of barley. Simmer until pasta is tender and serve at once. You may need to add more liquid near the end if you used barley - it can soak up a lot of broth!
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 15: Pickled Eggs

Not everybody likes them, but for those who do, pickled eggs make a fine snack. Because not everyone will like them, this is a good snack to make to supplement another. Furthermore, they keep for a while in the fridge, so you can bring a few out each session.

One thing to be aware of, however, is that it will take a few days before this snack is actually ready to eat!

Here's what you'll need:
  • One jar of your favorite pickles.
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Water

Eat the pickles.

Save the jar with the liquid in it.

Hard-boiled eggs are not hard.

Place your eggs into a pot and cover with water. Add some salt (this will make peeling them much easier!). Bring the water to a boil and then cook for a further 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and run cool water over the eggs.

Peel the eggs and then drain them very well. Any excess water will dilute the vinegar-based solution that the pickles came in--and that will also dilute the flavor. If you are worried that you might have diluted it some, or if you just want to give it a little kick, you can always add a bit more vinegar, as well.

Put the eggs in the jar, seal it, and put it in the fridge for a few days.

That's it for this week! Good gaming, y'all!
 
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Sialia

First Post
This one I gotta try-- I love pickles. I was taught that you put the eggs in the cold water in a good heavy pot that retains heat well, bring the heat up until it boils, then shut the heat off and let it sit for ten minutes. You get nice firm eggs with no green ring around the yolks.

But I've never tried them pickled before.
 
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Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 16: Broccoli, Cheese & Rice.

This one is easy, but takes a little time. Fortunately, it'll feed a few hungry gamers!

Here's what you'll need:
  • Rice
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Broccoli
  • Butter or margarine
  • Shredded Cheese

First, make rice.

Lots of a cooks have their own methods of cooking rice that they swear by. If this is you, go with what you know. If you don't know, go with what I know. First, rinse your rice. Very, very well. Measure some rice into a pot and add in 1 1/2 times this amount of water. The actual proportions may vary with the type of rice used, but the instructions on the bag or box of rice (if you've got one) ought to tell you, specifically.

Add some salt and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and do not remove the lid for 20 minutes! If you remove the lid early, steam will escape and your rice will be crunchy!

Next, choppa broccoli

If you have frozen broccoli, follow the instructions on the bag. If you have fresh broccoli, wash it and cut the florets off. If you have the means (that is, a colander, a pot, and a lid) steam the broccoli, by boiling a small amount of water in the pot, with the broccoli above in a colander, covered with the lid. If you cannot do this, you can just boil the broccoli. When the broccoli is cooked through, but still a bit firm, it is done. You can shock it to stop the cooking process if you want (by dunking it in ice-water), but if you plan on eating soon, it probably isn't necessary.

Mix it together. With Cheese!

Once your rice and broccoli are done throw the broccoli into the rice, add a little butter (or margarine), a splash of milk and some shredded cheese. Mix and serve.

Until next week, good gaming, y'all!
 


Sialia

First Post
Chocolate Pudding

Put a little milk in a heavy bottomed pot (say 1/2 cup). Stir in a few tables spoons of flour. Stir like mad until all smooth and gooey. Add another cup of milk and stir that in, no lumps. Then one more cup of milk. And a tablespoon or so of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Then turn on the heat about medium hot. Stir for about 6 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot frequently so it doesn't stick and burn. When it starts to bubble and get thick, turn the heat down very low. Add your favorite chocolate in small pieces--a cup of chocolate chips works great, but a broken up 1 pound hershey's special dark will do fine. Or, you know, valrohna or lindt or ghiradelli or guittard or callebaut . . . when it's all melted smooth, lick the spoon and decide if it's sweet enough. If it's not, add a little more sugar, and (using a clean spoon) stir again over very low heat until smooth again. Repeat as needed until the pudding is perfect or all gone. Take it off the heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir and pour what's left into bowls, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm or you just can't wait any longer. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

(best way to break up a big bar of dark chocolate: put it in two sealed zip top bags (in case one bursts), and then hit it with a mallet until hit points are reduced to 0. Delicious and satisfying.)
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Not so much a recipe as a time saving hint- tonight, among several other things, I made a tomato sauce full of all kinds of gooood stuff: fresh sliced mushrooms, 2 kinds of onions, white wine, lemon juice, home-made vegetable stock, a splash of red wine vinegar, etc...

But there was no pasta in sight. Because the sauce wasn't for tonight.*

The plan is that my sauce is made and ready to use whenever I care to, and since I was already cooking, why the hell not make sauce? It will keep in the freezer for months, and thawing it takes minutes.

When cooking, I often take extra time to chop extra veggies. IOW, once I start cooking and my kitchen is dirty, I just keep going. When you're chopping 1 onion, why not chop the other 6? They'll freeze just fine. Ditto other veggies.

This means that you can actually serve fairly complex dishes if you're so inclined, with only a modicum of effort, if yu'rewikling to time shift your prep/cooking time.








* This particular same will be used later this week, served over some pan sautéed chicken thighs & breasts.
 
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The Red King

First Post
Put a little milk in a heavy bottomed pot (say 1/2 cup). Stir in a few tables spoons of flour. Stir like mad until all smooth and gooey. Add another cup of milk and stir that in, no lumps. Then one more cup of milk. And a tablespoon or so of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Then turn on the heat about medium hot. Stir for about 6 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot frequently so it doesn't stick and burn. When it starts to bubble and get thick, turn the heat down very low. Add your favorite chocolate in small pieces--a cup of chocolate chips works great, but a broken up 1 pound hershey's special dark will do fine. Or, you know, valrohna or lindt or ghiradelli or guittard or callebaut . . . when it's all melted smooth, lick the spoon and decide if it's sweet enough. If it's not, add a little more sugar, and (using a clean spoon) stir again over very low heat until smooth again. Repeat as needed until the pudding is perfect or all gone. Take it off the heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir and pour what's left into bowls, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm or you just can't wait any longer. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

(best way to break up a big bar of dark chocolate: put it in two sealed zip top bags (in case one bursts), and then hit it with a mallet until hit points are reduced to 0. Delicious and satisfying.)

Tonight.

I'm making this tonight.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Also I made the pickled eggs tonight and am impatiently waiting to taste them tomorrow.

Unfortunately, they probably won't have much flavor yet after only one day. I'd try one tomorrow and then let it go a couple of days longer (at least).

Tonight.

I'm making this tonight.

So am I! In fact, I'm starting as soon as I post this (it's actually why I was looking into this thread just now!)
 

Sialia

First Post
Yay! Let me know how it goes. I'm sorry I couldnt be more precise about the measurements--I think it's about 1TBS flour to each cup of milk. And, um, as much chocolate as I happen to think works. You know, until it's chocolate colored and flavored. The better the quality of the chocolate, the better the pudding. If you use too little flour and it doesn't come out thick enough, gently fold in some whipped cream, cool whip, or beaten pasteurized egg whites and make a mousse out of it.

The pickled eggs were only flawed in that I didn't make enough and I couldn't wait to eat them very long and, also, they are all gone. Another batch is on the boil as we speak. Tasted like devilled eggs without the mayo.

Adding a little liquid smoke and some tabasco this time.

Also, I accidentally discovered that if you put them in a baggie with some black olives to carry in your lunch box, the olives make strange and wonderful patterns all over the egg. And it tastes good. I think olive brine might work just as well as pickle juice. SO I'm going to try that, too. I expect they will be a sort of strange color, but . . . well, we'll see.
 
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