March 31, 2010

Pulled pork

Melissa Mead, 21 March 2010, PWYF forum

Our local butcher, who is awesome, found us a beautiful 3-4 lb Boston Butt on sale for $5. We took that home. I mixed up 1 cup of cider vinegar, 1 tsp each liquid smoke and garlic powder and ½ tsp Smokehouse pepper and chopped up 2 sweet onions. We put all that in the fridge overnight.

At 6 AM we set up the crock pot. We put 1 onion on the bottom, then the pork, then the other onion, shook the liquid, and poured it on top. We covered the crock pot, set it on High and went back to bed.

By 10 AM the house smelled like meaty, oniony goodness. We tried to make a sauce, but it burned. Oh well. At noon we took out the pork. It split into 2 pieces, and the shoulder blade came out clean.
You know how you should be able to pull apart the pork with 2 forks? I only needed 1. This stuff was so tender I think I could’ve pulled it with a spoon. I was eating it straight out of the pot.


Black Bear, 27 March 2010, recipe thread

4 slices worth of breadcrumbs, preferably from pumpernickel bread.
1/2 c milk
3 eggs
1.5 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 c grated Parmesean cheese
1 TBL dried parsley, rubbed
1.5 tsp dried basil, rubbed

Mix the breadcrumbs and milk together in a good-size bowl. Let the mixture sit for a minute, and if it seems soggy, add more breadcrumbs. If it seems dry, add a splash more milk. The crumbs should just be kind of moist and fluffy.

Add in the eggs and mix thoroughly.

Add the salt, cheese, and herbs (and a bit of black pepper if you like it, which I don’t) and mix well. Then add in the ground beef. I find this mixes best by hand, like kneading dough. If it seems too wet at this point, add in more breadcrumbs.

Now, you can do what I do, which is make it into meatballs, cover them in tomato sauce and bake it, then serve over pasta or in sandwiches the next day; or you can put it in a loaf pan and bake it like a traditional meat loaf, 350°F for an hour. I’d still put a bit of tomato sauce or ketchup over the top before baking, because it keeps it from drying out, but if you’re not a fan of tomato then you might try covering it loosely with foil.

Pad Thai Using Sauce From a Bottle Because There is No Way I Am Making It From Scratch

Black Bear: Recipe Thread: February 9, 2010


You will need:
rice noodles
an egg
shrimp, chicken, or tofu, if you want some protein
bean sprouts
fresh cilantro
lime juice
chopped peanuts
a good pan for stir frying
Pad Thai sauce–I use “Thai Kitchen” brand, which doesn’t contain anything nasty. Well, fish paste sounds kind of nasty, true–but no MSG or weird chemicals.

1. Boil 4 c water
2. Take a handful of rice noodles–I like the flat wide ones that are kind of like linguine–and boil them for 6-8 minutes, or til soft all through. (If the package says you should just soak them in hot water, it’s lying, they don’t cook all the way and then you’ve got crunchy/chewy noodles in your stir fry pan when it’s too late to do anything about it.)
3. Heat up a pan with a little bit of oil. Scramble the egg in the oil, then remove your scrambled egg to a a bowl and keep the pan hot. At this point, if you’re adding meat or tofu, you should fry that in the pan til it’s cooked through.
4. Drain the noodles, then put them in the frying pan. Add a few tablespoons of pad thai sauce, and stir fry, along with your protein. The noodles will absorb the sauce as you cook them; you can always add in more sauce if you think you under-did it.
5. Add the egg back in. If you’re using bean sprouts or thawed pre-cooked shrimp (I sometimes do) then add them at this point. Stir it all together to get it heated through.
6. Dump it out to a bowl, garnish it with a quick squirt of lime juice, a bit of chopped cilantro, and the peanuts. There you have it, a fabulous meal!

Pad thai sauce from store
unexpected treat this eve
Tho alas, no limes.

Zucchini and Sausage Pasta

Erika in Colorado, 1 Sept 09, PWYF Forum

Saute zucchini with olive oil and garlic till tender; add cooked Italian link sausage cut into bite-sized pieces. Serve over spiral noodles.

Chicken and Apples in Cream

Posted by Robin in Hunger

17 June 2009

Chicken and Apples in Cream

2 T lightly salted butter

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 normal sized or 1 monster Bramley sour cooking apple(s), sliced

2-3T flour

few drops tamari (good soy sauce)

1 c chicken stock

½ c heavy cream

1-2 T white wine.  Make this the day after you’ve had a good bottle of white, and save the dregs.

2 c chopped cooked chicken.  I like it in fairly large chunks with lots of sauce.  Adjust to preference.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, till soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, till softened, again about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle on flour and stir.  Cook a few minutes, till brown and gungy, add stock, cream and tamari.  Cook 3-5 minutes, till thick and homogenous;  then add wine.  Start with 1T and see if you like the consistency/texture.  I always want a second T.  I have been known to use 4T flour and ¼ c wine.  In which case you may want to add a little more cream.  The sauce is good over many vegetables too, if you happen to find yourself with an excess.  Add the chicken and heat through.


Susan from Athens, 18 Feb 09, Recipe Thread

Yiouvarlakia (Minced meat and rice balls with an egg and lemon sauce)

My English mother cooks from recipes, while I am inspired by recipes and instructions and cook from inspiration, like my Greek fore-mothers. So this recipe has a little of both: its roots lie in one of the collection of Greek cook books my mother acquired before and after she relocated here in the late sixties, in an attempt to understand her new environment and family, with additions taking into consideration the way my grandmother and aunt cook and what I would now add and change. The original recipe – now very much altered – was in Joyce M. Stubbs’: The Home Book of Greek Cookery – A Selection of Traditional Greek Recipes (Faber and Faber, 1963). [In an aside books are rarely now cookery books, they might be books on cooking or eating, but the homely cookery has faded away, I wonder why?] The quantities are sufficient for four people.

400g finely minced meat (beef)
2 medium onions, grated, with juices collected and used
2 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, mashed
half a cup chopped parsley – flat leafed please: curly leaf doesn’t exist in Greece
3 teaspoons chopped mint (Greeks would use diosmos – the closest equivalent is spearmint)
60 g butter
85 g long grain raw rice
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oregano

For the sauce
2 eggs, separated
juice of one and a half lemons

Place the minced meat, onion, spring onion, garlic, parsley, mint and half the butter into a mixing bowl and knead until well blended. Scald the rice (place a separate bowl and cover with boiling water for five minutes), drain and knead into the mixture. Moisten with vinegar, add the seasoning and oregano and leave in a cool place for thirty minutes or more. Shape into round balls the size of a small egg and arrange in concentric circles in a wide-bottomed saucepan (I use a deep sauté pan). Barely cover with boiling water, pouring it in carefully from the side, so as not to break the meat balls. Add salt and the rest of the butter and press down with a plate, before putting on the pan lid. Simmer for three-quarters of an hour. Whatever happens, don’t stir (you will get a mush) or allow to boil dry. You want enough liquid to make an egg and lemon sauce at the end, i.e. at least half a cup, preferably one cup.

Carefully pressing down on the plate that covers the youvarlakia, so that they can’t move around, and taking care not to burn yourself, drain the juices and keep them simmering in a pan (you can add half a stock cube to this if you want more zing – by all means use an healthy organic one).

Make an avgolemono sauce:
Beat the egg whites to a soft meringue and add the yolks. Add the lemon juice drop by drop (yes, that slowly, otherwise it can curdle and you have to start over). Then slowly add two tablespoons of the broth from the yiouvarlakia. Pour all this into the pan with the remaining juices, stirring slowly. Do this either over a very low heat, or else having the juices very hot. Serve immediately, pouring the sauce over the meat balls, without further cooking. You can sprinkle with additional chopped parsley.

If you have leftovers, store the sauce separately from the yiouvarlakia and reheat gently together.

The recipe is very flexible: you can use olive oil instead of butter, you can increase the lemon juice, or the quantity of herbs used, so long as you can make balls that cohere and a sauce that doesn’t coagulate. I can easily imagine a Thai version of these, with some chile peppers sliced in the meatballs, using coriander instead of parsley and adding coconut milk instead of the avgolemono sauce. In fact, in some ways these are naked dolmades, without any vine leaves. Mum’s book starts with a lovely quote from the Deipnosophists or The Banquet of the Learned, by Athenaeus (ancient forerunner of Julia Child and Delia Smith et al) that is entirely apropos: “For when you write a book on Cookery, it will not do to say: ‘As I was just now saying’; for this Art has no fix’d guide but opportunity, and must itself its only mistress be.”

Swedish Meatballs

Erika in Colorado, 10 Feb 09, Recipe Thread

1 pound ground beef (higher fat content holds together better)
1 small potato (boiled and mashed)
1 egg beaten
1/2 c breadcrumbs (usually two heels from a loaf)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T dried parsley
3-4 green onions chopped (which I, sadly, have to leave out now)
1 T cornstarch
1/4 sour cream (or heavy cream)
Mix all above, roll into balls, and fry in butter. Make a white sauce with the drippings and add a little bit of nutmeg (2 T butter/drippings, 2 T flour, 1.5 cups light cream, dash nutmeg).

Finnish Meatballs

Mori-neko, 10 Feb 09, Recipe Thread

I made Finnish Meatballs (Lihapyöryköltä)) for my boyfriend and myself last night, and they came out wonderfully – they’re an old family recipe (going back several generations at least), and I thought I’d share:

¾ c. soft bread crumbs
1 c. light cream or milk
1 ½ lb. ground lean beef
1 onion, minced
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground allspice
2 T butter (for frying)
2 T flour
1 ½ c. milk
Soak crumbs in ½ cup of the cream. Blend in the beef, onion, egg, salt, and allspice. Shape into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Melt butter in skillet and brown the meatballs a few at a time. Shake pan to roll meatballs around so they brown evenly. After all the meat is browned, remove from pan. Add flour to drippings, stir and brown over medium heat. Slowly add the remaining cream and the milk, stirring to keep mixture smooth. Add water if necessary to thin out the gravy. Strain if necessary. Return meatballs to pan. Cover and simmer 25 minutes over low heat.

Serve with a starch of some sort (I generally use mashed potatoes or pasta, though they make great meatball sandwiches the next day), and a vegetable (my choice was broccoli).

Sausage, Onion and Potato Casserole

AJRL, Recipe thread, 24 December 08

(for 3 – 4 portions)

1 1b of good sausages (pork and herb or pork and leek are good), ie those from a butcher or brand you trust and with at least 80% meat in the filling.

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced (either on a mandolin or with a sharp knife and a keen eye to your fingertips)

1 lb onions, peeled and also sliced very thinly

1 rounded T tomato puree

1 tsp mustard (Dijon is good)

1 pint (US) or 3 / 4 pint (UK) of either milk or good chicken stock, brought to simmering point

2 T butter

Seasoning to taste

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6. Use some of the butter to well-grease a good sized casserole dish. Layer the sliced potatoes and onions thickly in the casserole dish (overall to a depth of around 2 inches), seasoning to taste as you go. Add the tomato puree and mustard to the hot milk/stock and stir to mix well. Pour this mixture over the vegetables in the dish, dot the top with the remaining butter, and put the dish, covered, into the middle of the oven for an hour and a quarter (standing the dish on an oven tray). After the first hour and a quarter, place the sausages, individually, directly on top of the onion/potato and return to oven, uncovered. Cook for about another 30 – 40 minutes, until the sausages are brown and done and the onion/potato layers are nicely soft underneath and crispy on top.

The potato and onion part of this dish is nice with all sorts of other things as well, just remember to give it at least an hour and a half cooking time overall. If making it without the sausages I often add half a tsp of dried sage in with the liquid.

Spell for Banishing colds

NotLonely, 24 October, Recipe Thread

1 chicken
4 carrots, quartered
2 onions, quartered
2 sticks celery, cut in chunks
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped

Put in large pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Cook till dead.

Drink the liquid throughout the day, reheating only as much as you need at a time.
Eat the solids when you feel up to it.

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