Welcome to the Game-Night Kitchen!

Sialia

First Post
Also, in the pudding recipe--not the eggs--if you leave out the sugar and the vanilla, and swap shredded cheese for the chocolate, you'll get a really wonderful cheese sauce that is good on nearly everything, but especially over pasta. You will never want the powdered mac n cheese again. Also suitable for pouring over sliced potatoes to make a fine augratin casserole. Or over chips to make nachos. Or on toast. Or over lima beans or broccoli or cauliflower.

Variations: add a splash of vermouth or marsala or ale. Or some mushed garlic, or thyme, or black pepper. Or a scoop of cream cheese. Or a few drops of Tabasco or liquid smoke. Or any combination of the above.

Colby jack is really good for this. Or gruyere. Or cheddar. Or even plain old american cheese. Or any combination of the above. Enjoy!

For some reason, it is permitted to serve a bowl of chocolate pudding plain, but folks look at you funny if you give them the cheese sauce with only a spoon. At minimum, a few croutons are recommended.
 

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Rune

Once A Fool
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.

I did have to work with the measurements, but the end result went over very well. Next time, we'll try butterscotch.

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.

Sounds great! I do recommend that you get a new jar of pickles (or olives) for the new batch of eggs, though (I may have recommended this in the recipe, come to think of it).

Also, in the pudding recipe--not the eggs--if you leave out the sugar and the vanilla, and swap shredded cheese for the chocolate, you'll get a really wonderful cheese sauce that is good on nearly everything, but especially over pasta. You will never want the powdered mac n cheese again. Also suitable for pouring over sliced potatoes to make a fine augratin casserole. Or over chips to make nachos. Or on toast. Or over lima beans or broccoli or cauliflower.

Variations: add a splash of vermouth or marsala or ale. Or some mushed garlic, or thyme, or black pepper. Or a scoop of cream cheese. Or a few drops of Tabasco or liquid smoke. Or any combination of the above.

Colby jack is really good for this. Or gruyere. Or cheddar. Or even plain old american cheese. Or any combination of the above. Enjoy!

For some reason, it is permitted to serve a bowl of chocolate pudding plain, but folks look at you funny if you give them the cheese sauce with only a spoon. At minimum, a few croutons are recommended.

In the case of the cheese sauce, I would make a blonde roux (possibly with olive oil instead of butter) with the flour before adding it into the milk (and heat the milk before adding the roux), but otherwise, it looks great!

(For those who don't know, a roux is a means of toasting flour in butter, or some other fat, but a blonde roux doesn't actually toast the flour, it merely blends it in with the butter.

In either case, you'll want to gradually add flour to an equal amount of melted butter or other fat and blend thoroughly, preferably with a whisk. In the case of a blonde roux, you would stop here, but for a good, dark, roux for something like, say, gumbo, you'd want to keep the mixture moving over a lowish heat--and keep going until it's sufficiently dark.)​
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 17: Mac n' Cheese

This is one of those dishes that everybody knows and loves, and there are probably as many versions as their are people to eat them.

Here's another one.

What you will need:
  • A box of macaroni noodles
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Cheese (preferably shredded, or soft)
  • Butter or margarine
  • Milk

Macaroni.

Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees. Bring the water to a boil with a little salt and add the noodles. Boil them until they are just the slightest bit firm. Drain well and blend in a bit of the butter or margarine.

& Cheese.

Add enough milk to coat the noodles and gradually mix in cheese until melted. Pour the entire mixture into a greased baking dish and top with more cheese. Put the pan in the oven and cook until the cheese on top becomes golden and a bit crispy (this shouldn't take too long, so keep an eye on it!). Remove the pan from the oven, let it rest for a moment, then serve and enjoy!

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

Sialia

First Post
Yep--mac n cheese casserole is definitely a gamer's friend--make ahead, reheats well, feeds many, is cheap. Gruyere and cheddar, scoop of cream cheese. MMm.

I failed the eggs again today. Can't seem to get past the 12 hour mark, and then, poof! all gone. Mind you, delicious, but . . .I may never find out what they taste like actually marinated ~3 days. But the liquid smoke, garlic and Tabasco were calling . . .calling . . calling out to me . . .
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Yep--mac n cheese casserole is definitely a gamer's friend--make ahead, reheats well, feeds many, is cheap. Gruyere and cheddar, scoop of cream cheese. MMm.

I failed the eggs again today. Can't seem to get past the 12 hour mark, and then, poof! all gone. Mind you, delicious, but . . .I may never find out what they taste like actually marinated ~3 days. But the liquid smoke, garlic and Tabasco were calling . . .calling . . calling out to me . . .

Simple solution: make 3 batches. Or, I dunno, make some right before going on a trip, or something.
 



Sialia

First Post
Enchilada Casserole

Grease a casserole dish.

Mix a 15 oz container of ricotta with 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese.

Pour enchilada sauce on the bottom of the casserole. Cover the sauce with corn tortillas. Pour more sauce on the tortillas, then cover with a layer of the ricotta mixture, and then more sauce and tortillas and sauce and cheese like a lasagne. WHen you get to the top of the casserole or run out of stuff, sprinkle the top with shredded cheese and then put the whole thing into a 350 degree oven for at least 1/2 hour. Longer is often better. An hour is fine.

If you are serving folks who like chilies or beans or sliced black olives, you could add a layer of either. Save the guacamole, fresh salsa, shredded lettuce and sourcream for side dishes however.

Ok, so, you're asking, where do I get decent enchilada sauce? Pace used to make a decent bottle, but the stores here haven't had it for years. So now, I take a jar of Ragu Pizza sauce and add a lot of powdered cumin and garlic to it. Really, that's all there is to it. You could add onion, oregano, paprika and/or chili powder if you like. Or a glug of hot sauce or chipotles. You know your audience. Mine like it kept simple.

The casserole freezes well, reheats well.
 
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Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 18: Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

Need a good, quick, light sandwich for a mid-day gaming session? Chicken salad is the way to go. It does require some pre-cooked chicken, however. This can be done a few ways.

If you've got the time in advance, I recommend boiling some chicken in some water with some butter, salt, and pepper, and then pulling the chicken from the bone after it cools because you can save the stock in the fridge (or freezer) for a future dish.

If you don't have time for that, you can cook up some chicken tenders in a skillet and pull them apart with a couple of forks.

Finally, you can also get canned chicken breast chunks, but these tend to be quite salty, so you will need to adjust your recipe to account for this.

However you get your chicken, once you've got it, the rest is easy.

What you will need:
  • Pulled Chicken
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sugar
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Pickle
  • Boiled Eggs, if desired
  • Grapes or nuts, if desired.
  • Sliced Bread

Chop the veggies.

Chop the celery, onion, and pickles, as well as the eggs or nuts, if you're going to add them. If you're going to add grapes, slice them in half. Put it all into a largish bowl with the chicken.

Mix in stuff.

Put enough mayonnaise in the bowl to coat the other ingredients, without making a gloppy mess. Season with a small amount of salt, pepper, garlic, and a hint of sugar. Mix well. Taste and tweak, mixing well each time you season.

Make sandwiches.

Put your chicken salad on sliced bread and you're good to go.

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

Gilladian

Adventurer
You can also buy a grocery-store roasted chicken. They're yummy! Remove the skin before stripping the meat from the bone. Save the juice/gelatin in the bottom of the container, and then boil the bones for 15-30 minutes in fresh water (with herbs if you like them) and with your saved onion-skins, carrot tops, etc... from other dishes. What, you're not keeping them in a zip-lock in the freezer? Huh!

Edit: when the bones are boiled, add the juice/gelatin, remove all the bones, let the liquid cool, skim off the fat, and keep it for your next pot of soup.
 
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Sialia

First Post
You'll be wanting some matzo balls with that . . .

Ok, first the soup: if you can find 'em buy chicken necks, backs, wings--they're really cheap (even kosher ones) and have loads of gelatin in them. Don't bother boiling anything with a lot of meat on it---it's the bones and skin make the soup. If you can only get a chicken in 8 parts, pull most of the meat off first and fridge it for later, and then boil the carcass.

Anway, start in cold water, add bones and salt. Add onions, carrots, parsnip and celery. Simmer very slowly, a really long time. It's edible in about 1/2 hour, better in a whole hour, heaven after about 6. For me, easiest thing is to stick it in a slow oven abut 275 degrees for about 6 hours. Water should just barely be bubbling--hardly moving even, but warm enough not to be a breeding ground for icky. It's important that everything be submerged--drop a heat proof dish into the broth on top of the veg/bones to keep everything under water. Near the end, taste and adjust the salt, add pepper, sage, rosemary, parsley etc. to taste. Or not.
Also, if you want more meat in your soup, cut up the meat you stripped from the bones in step 1, and then poach it lightly in the broth for about 20 minutes near the end.

MEANWHILE (and this is the important part) make matzo balls: in a small bowl beat 2 eggs with 2 TBS oil until really well blended. Then add 1 tsp salt and 2 TBS water (or some of the cooled stock if you've got it) Beat it all smooth before adding in 1/2 cup matzo meal. Stir really well, cover, put it in the fridge and let it sit AT LEAST 15 minutes. Get a large pot full of salted water boiling and make sure you know where the lid is--you'll need it. When the 15 minutes are done, start rolling the matzo mixture into walnut sized balls. I use a small cookie scoop to measure them out, and then get my hands wet and hand roll them until they are smooth. Then drop them into the boiling water, [note--drop each one in as you roll it and move quickly so they all hit the water within a short time--don't try to roll them all out first and then put them in--the early ones will dry out too much] and reduce heat to very low simmer, and put the lid on tight and don't even think about lifting it to peek for about 20 minutes. The water must be boiling before you put them in, and it must not be allowed to get above a simmer after they go in, so use your ears to keep track of what's going on.
When they are done, serve them floating in your soup. Or on a plate with a lot of gravy, and perhaps a sprinkle of parsley.

If this is your first time doing this, don't be surprised if you get them too heavy or too loose--the only way to learn the exact measurements is to make a few batches, and pretty soon you'll know when the mixture "feels right" during the rolling stage. If it's too dense, it needs a little more water or they come out like lead. If it's too wet (or the water isn't boiling)they will fall apart and you'll get mush. So add some more meal. If you make them too grandiose in size, it's hard to get them to cook all the way through and you get dry bits in the middle. If the water is boiling too hard, the egg cooks hard before the matzo meal can fluff up, and you get golf balls. (Sounds like I've made all of the above mistakes, right?) There is a reason the bragging rights for perfect fluffy matzo balls exclusively belong to experienced cooks (like Grandmas). New cooks can make decent ones, however, especially with all of the above tips--and every reasonably decent matzo ball should be appreciated as a minor miracle. They are heavenly delicious, economical and filling. Serve these as a first course, and the main course will stretch a whole lot farther.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Hint time: chicken & turkey are remarkably similar in taste when in complex recipes, like soups. All tht stuff about chicken bones for soup? You can substitute turkey just as well.


In fact, when I make my turkeys, I put thë wing-tips- the part tht is mostly skin- aside specifically for use in the stock I make with the bones.

In addition, turkey necks are a LOT easier to find. Not only do they come with turkeys, many meat departments will have packs of them available for sale. ESPECIALLY ethnic groceries & butchers.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I tried an experiment tonight.

I laid a bed of onions, potatoes, and mushrooms in a pair of deep ceramic rectangular baking pans, over which were placed wings or thighs.

The veggies had been seasoned with a bit of pepper, parsley, and some other stuff; the chicken with red & black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, etc. The chicken had been pre-brushed with a mix of butter, lemon juice & white wine.

The chicken came out great, the veggies did not. They were OK, but there was a bit too much drippings form the bird bits, so the veggies got a bit...submerged.

That might have worked with rice (which would absorb liquid), but not the potatoes (which have their own internal moisture). The texture was OK, but the amount of liquid washed most of the seasoning off of them.

Next time I do this, I'll use a third pan to spread out the chicken- and liquid- a bit more. I might also use the microwave to zap some moisture out of the 'taters.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 19: Fettuccine Alfredo.

This is a tremendously easy dish that has great potential to be easily impressive, as well.

What you will need:
  • Fettuccine noodles
  • Water
  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Noodles.

Boil your noodles in a pot of water with some salt. When they are cooked through, but still somewhat firm, remove them from the water and drain well.

Sauce.

Heat your olive oil, or melt your oil over medium heat. Gradually blend in the flour until you have something somewhat more fluid than paste. Do not brown this roux!

Reduce your heat to low and add milk and stir until you have a sauce slightly more fluid than what you are looking for in the final dish. The sauce will thicken as it cooks (and also as you add the cheese).

Add your seasoning and the Parmesan cheese, stirring until it is completely worked in. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Then serve over the noodles.

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

Gilladian

Adventurer
Danny, I like to do what you did with fish. Spread your veggies in the casserole, then top with seasoned meaty white fish (I like Basa). Dot with butter or brush with oil or an oil/butter blend. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave 5-7 minutes, or use foil and bake in the oven at 350 for 45mins - 1 hr.

You do have to slice the potatoes fairly thin, or I prefer a mix of mushrooms, onions, yellow squash or zucchini (or both) and diced tomato if you like it. Dill, lemon zest, a smidge of white pepper; yum!
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
For those who've never done white sauces before, alfredo can be tricky. Try 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter, the same amount of flour, and one cup of milk. And anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1 cup cheese, depending on taste and the quality of the cheese. This make sauce for about 4 average servings (8 oz cooked pasta).

You can make white sauce with incredible variety. Add cheese and you have alfredo. Add egg yolks and you have bechamel. Add cream and you have heart-failure. Use bacon fat for the oil, season with salt and pepper and you have classic "white gravy" for biscuits. Add sugar and vanilla and you have a dessert.

However, this sauce is NOT particularly beginner-friendly. It burns easily if you do not keep the heat low enough; it will get lumpy if you add your liquid too fast or if it is too cold. Plan to try this two or three times on yourself before you are ready to whip it up on game-night. Once you know your stove, your pan and the quirks of your preferred ingredients, you will be on the way to being an expert cook.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 20: Frozen Fruit & Cream

This is a simple, yet de-licious dessert to bring out while the party is celebrating it's long-overdue victory over the nefarious villain who has been hounding them lo these many sessions.

What you will need:
  • Freeze-able serving glasses
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Sugar
  • Fruit (Berries, banana slices, or the like)

Whip it good.

First, the whipped cream: If you don't have a mixer (or you just don't want to break it out), you'll be able to make this work with pre-packaged whipped cream, but if you can, you should definitely make your own--it's got a consistency that can't be beat (no pun intended).

Anyway, whip your cream with your sugar at high speed until starts to peak. Taste it and add sugar as necessary. Continue to whip until it is wonderfully whipped.

Wash your fruit, dry it, and gently fold it into the whipped cream. Then portion the mixture into your serving dishes, cover them with plastic wrap, and stick them in your freezer for a couple of hours.

...And that's it! Until next week, good gaming, y'all!
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Episode 21: Quick & Easy French Onion Soup.

Before I begin, let me point you out to a far classier recipe for Bloody Feather's Classic French Onion.

That said, maybe you just want to throw together a quick, easy, and cheap version for game night. I'm here to help with that.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Beef broth
  • Onions
  • Slice bread
  • Softened butter or margarine
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Shredded provolone cheese, or similar

Start with the soup.

Chop the onions and put them in a pot. Add some garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover with broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the onions are soft.

Croutons!

Croutons are easy enough to make on their own, but the version I'm presenting here are kind of a shortcut version. Butter several slices of bread, sprinkle garlic powder over them (and other seasonings, if desired--I recommend basil and oregano). Quarter the slices and toast them in an oven or toaster oven. Let them rest for a few minutes after removing them from the oven.

Serve.

Ladle some soup into bowls, put a handful of croutons over each, and top with cheese. If you have oven-safe bowls, you could put them back in the oven for a moment, but, really, you'll have a fine soup if you just let the cheese melt naturally.

So, that's it. Good gaming, y'all!
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Did a quick veggie dish the other day:

1) cube some golden potatoes (5-6)

2) chop some celery (3-4 stalks)

3) halve some baby carrots (1-2 hands full)

4) dice some green onions (1 bunch)

Mix in bowl with 1 1/2tbs unsalted butter, the juice of a lemon, a spash of white wine and seasonings like parsley, powdered garlic & black pepper. If you have it, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Otherwise, use water.

Then microwave those bad boys in a covered dish until the potatoes are done.
 

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