January 14, 2010

A dressing

Melissa Mead, 2 Jan 2010, Recipe Thread

I’m not much of a cook, but here’s a dressing I made up with one of Penzey’s blends yesterday. I really like it. Measurements are approximate, because I kept tasting and tinkering.

¾ cup mayonnaise (I’m thinking of using yogurt next time.)
lemon juice to the “lemon juice” line on my dressing maker.
(maybe ½ cup?)
1 tsp. finely minced sweet onion
1 generous tbsp dill weed
2 shakes (1/4 tsp?) Sunny Spain salt-free blend (lemon pepper mix)

Salt-free pickles

Melissa Mead, Recipe Thread, 10 Jan 2010

One of the things I’ve really missed since I put myself on a reduced-sodium diet is pickles. (My mom makes the best sweet-and-sour pickles ever.) The salt-free pickles in stores contain potassium chloride, which isn’t safe for some people. And it has a nasty aftertaste, at least to me.

For Christmas, my husband and parents gave me a cornucopia of salt-free seasonings. One was Sauerbraten spice. I sniffed it and thought “This smells like pickles!” ( http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/sauerbraten-spice-blend- I see they have “real” pickling spices too.)

Yesterday I tried the following experiment:

1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tblsp Sauerbraten spice
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix ingredients together, heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. (Don’t inhale the steam!)

Slice approx 2 cups of cucumbers into a glass bowl. (Our store’s pickling cukes didn’t look so great, so I used a bag of “snacking cucumbers” that looked like baby European ones. A bit pricey, but they had a nice crunch.) Pour the liquid over the cucumbers (is it called a brine if there’s no salt in it?) and refrigerate overnight.

Given my track record with cooking, I expected that today I’d find that I’d ruined some beautiful cukes. Nope. They were tangy, sweet, sour, crunchy… they weren’t as good as my mom’s, and they still had a note of raw cucumber, but they tasted like Real Pickles. And they have no salt at all. Wink

Garlic in Olive Oil

Anette the Great Dane, 22 Feb 09, Recipe Thread

Peel a lot of fresh garlic cloves, cover with water in a pot and bring to the boil, drain off the water, and do it twice more with fresh water. Let the cloves dry a bit before putting them into jars, and cover with olive oil. The result is a mild garlic flavour with no stinking breath.

Lemons in Olive Oil

Anett the Great Dane, 22 Feb 09, Recipe Thread

Wash and slice lemons, place them in a clear, clean jar, cover with extra virgin olive oil, and close the jar. That’s it.
You can add salt, paprika, cloves, all spice berries, or scalded garlic cloves if you want to, but the plain stuff is fine.
The reason I suggest the clear jar, is that half the pleasure is watching the beautiful colours on my window sill. I wouldn’t keep them there during the summer, but the last jar of the batch I made in october is still doing fine.
I use the slices with fish, poultry, lamb and pork, either gently fried on my pan before adding the other ingredients, or place on top of something for roasting in the oven. The last oil in the jar is excellent for salad dressing.

Dances’ All-purpose Dressing

Dances-with-needles, 10 Feb 09, Recipe Thread

Here is my all purpose dressing for most vegetables and some carbs.It goes great on potatoes but might taste really odd on rice. I haven’t tried it on rice because I use my hit and miss pesto on rice.
For enough to coat 2 cups of veg, or potatoes or to brush on broiled chicken or salmon.
For each tbs of lemon juice use 2tbs olive oil (The best you can come up with)1/4 tsp salt and the same of onion powder. put this into something like a custard cup and whip with a fork until it goes thick. pour it over or on your intended victim while it (the victim) is hot.
It is a good basic cover for the taste of vitamins and healthy enough so that my conscience will not screech too much. This subs for lemon butter or hollandaise mostly, giving some of the same lemon/ salt notes.

” sometimes you have to cover the basic taste of the vitamins with calories” Peg Bracken

Cheese pudding

Mrs. Redboots: Recipe Thread: December 13, 2008

Here’s the recipe for the cheese pudding I mentioned in the other thread:

Serves 2
4 slices wholemeal bread, crusts removed, spread thinly with butter.
60 g strong cheese, grated
300 ml milk
2 eggs
Seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic powder…. whatever.

Put 2 slices of the bread butter side up in an oven-proof bowl, sprinkle with half the cheese. Put the other two slices on top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Whisk the eggs, milk and seasoning together and pour over the bread and cheese. Bake in a moderate oven (gas 4-5, 185 C) for 45 minutes.

Gingered Sauce Asparagus

LibraryKat: Thanksgiving Eve: December 1, 2008

Very simple recipe, really. 1 tablespoon each of rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut oil, water, tahini (sesame paste), and sugar; 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Combine everything in a food processor or blender (I have a “baby” processor that’s perfect for this small amount). Take 48 medium asparagus spears, cleaned and trimmed, and cut them on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces and put into a pot. Boil water, pour over the asparagus and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the asparagus to be. Drain, put into a bowl, and pour the sauce over the warm asparagus and toss. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

People who normally don’t like to eat asparagus will eat this. My younger son doesn’t like asparagus, but he decided the sauce improves the taste “about 95%.”

Judy’s chutney

Susan from Athens, comment on “A few words from our sponsor.”

3 October 2008

Susan says:

This is my mother’s general use chutney recipe which we consume with grilled meat, cheese, cold cuts and (my sister Katerina) with lentils. The original recipe, several generations back was from one of Maddhur Jaffrey’s books, and it is long enough ago that which book is a matter of conjecture, but this is after various changes have been made to it.

500 g sour cooking apples (3 medium apples)
220 gr dried apricots
50 g sultanas
2 cloves garlic peeled and mashed
2 one-inch cubes of ginger grated
400ml white wine vinegar
385 g caster sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Peal, core and chop the apples. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan. Bring to a vigorous simmer for 30 minutes until thick and jam-like.
Place into sterile jars and vacuum pack these. We store it in the fridge, but it rarely lasts very long.

I also use this as a basis for mixing with pan juices with a bit of mustard and wine or juice when cooking meat or chichen.

Eryn’s Pico de Gallo for People who Hate Cilantro

afuzzybird, 8 July 08, comment to ‘Alas…’

3 whole tomatoes
1/2 an onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 a lime’s juice (or 2 tsp)
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp white vinegar
fresh chopped parsley
3 serrano peppers

Mix all the stuff together!

The original recipe, which I got from a friend, called for no vinegar, no garlic, and 1/2 Cup of cilantro. I think cilantro tastes like soap, and I didn’t measure the parsley, I just chopped a bunch of it, put a big handful in the salsa, and dried the rest. If you like cilantro, feel free to use that instead.

Obviously, you can use whatever type and number of hot peppers you want. 3 serranos makes for a pretty spicy but not overwhelming taste, if you’re good at spicy foods. If not, you can try jalapenos or try seeding the peppers (or both!). Make sure to insulate your hands with something when cutting the serranos. If you have kitchen gloves, great–I just used the plastic bag that I brought the peppers home in.

My friend says that she often puts it in the food processor to make it smoother, but I don’t have a food processor, so I didn’t.

You could probably use the whole lime’s juice if you don’t mind it being runnier–I used half for the pico and half in the rice for my bean bake.

On a last note, I seeded the tomatoes on a suggestion from my friend. Next time I think I’ll leave the seeds in (it seems like a waste not to eat them, and it’s already pretty runny, so what’s a little more?).

Chickpea Curry

AJLR, 14 May 08, comment to ‘Butter Bombs’

1 large onion
1 x 14 oz can of good chopped tomatoes or same weight fresh
2 T cooking oil
2 x 14 oz cans chickpeas, drained
1 T freshly ground cumin
1 T ditto coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsps garam masala (but see * below, also)
1 thumb’s worth of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped/shredded
juice of a good sized lemon
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
1 small mild green chilli, seeded and finely chopped.

Peel and chop the onion, reserving a good T of it to be chopped more finely and kept aside in a cup or small bowl. In a saucepan, fry the main bulk of the onion gently for 4 – 5 minutes until the pieces start to brown and soften a little then add the can of tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes (no need to skin them). Keep stirring and frying over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the remaining mass starts to look just a bit brownish overall (do not let it burn!). While this is reducing down, peel/chop the ginger and add to the reserved T of finely chopped onion along with the lemon juice, salt, and chopped chili. Stir and set aside for the moment.

Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric to the mixture in the saucepan and stir fry for another minute. Then add the drained chickpeas plus two of the emptied cans’ worth of water (I drain the chickpeas first and use fresh water, rather than using the liquid they were cooked in – cuts down on the, er, windy after-effects that chickpeas and beans generally may give rise to). Give the mixture in the saucepan a good stir and add the garam masala, then bring up to a simmer and cook for 20 – 30 minutes. A couple of minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the lemon/ginger/chilli/salt mixture into the saucepan and stir in. Serve with your choice of rice/nan/ordinary bread. Makes four good portions.

* One time I was making this I found I had used the last of my garam masala and forgotten to make more. Scanning my spice shelves I noticed a pot of sweet mixed spice of the kind one uses in cakes. As there is about a 50% overlap between the ingredients in most garams (including mine) and the aforesaid SMS, I decided to add the SMS rather than just missing out the garam flavours. And it was fine! In fact I now prefer that way and use the sweet spice mixture rather than garam.

This recipe has converted even people who don’t ordinarily like chickpeas to eating and enjoying them. It makes a nice easy supper dish and Ray and I have each at various times discovered the other sneaking spoonfools out of the bowl containing two remaining portions ostensibly reserved for another meal…:)
Comment by Robin, 14 May

Yum. :) . . . Boiling your own beans is I find the BEST way to prevent windiness. You change the water a couple of times early on and you’re home free. And yes, I agree about the sweet spices–I use them all the time in unsuitable dishes! :)

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