The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:12 pm

Chicken Fried Steak is typically made with cube steak so that it's moderately tender. A VERY tasty meal, but VERY VERY bad for you to the point of, in on show, having the Devil enjoying it and commenting off hand "Boy am I glad I don't have arteries."
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:35 am

:rofl: And for the rest of us that do, once in a blue moon or the scale will REALLY yell at us ;)

Leafy (as I gather you are called, Alassea?), where do you hail from? Chicken fried steak is not something we do here in Oz either, although I've heard of it before. So I'm guessing you are one of those who don't live in the US?

I love pavlova. It's so easy to make and so easy to eat (yikes!), and every time I make one I also get to make a mega-custard, which my girls love :D

But for my eggs I'm thinking maybe a lemon curd custard for starters, because I'll use up a few eggs making the lemon curd, and some more making the custard. I also have a few lemons so that's ideal. :thumbsup: Haven't had this particular recipe for a while and I'm thinking it might be time...

Can you tell I've got a sweet tooth? :roll:
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Frelga » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:27 am

The Devil doesn't have arteries but does have a stomach and taste buds? :?

Yeah, never mind me, that's how my mind works.
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Alasséa » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:32 pm

JudyA, you're quite right, I live in London. The 'Leafy' nick is a long story from circa 2003, involving loose Sindarin translation and a fair bit of teasing. Heigh ho, it stuck! :roll:

I have a question for everyone. What are your techniques when it comes to making gravy when you've not got a roast on the go, ie with no meat juices? I've taken to always making more gravy than I need when I am roasting a joint, and freezing it for use later with sausages/pork chops/lamb steaks etc. However, I have been caught short a few times, and considering the quality of my gravy normally, sautéed onions, wine/redcurrant jelly and some gravy granules just ain't cutting it!
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:25 am

Leafy, my basic gravy has come together from a Nigella recipe. I always have some fresh stock in the house as the store-bought stuff doesn't agree with me, but you could certainly do this with bought stock.

So, basic gravy for chicken. Melt some butter and when it's bubbling mix in some plain flour until it comes together into a thick ball. Then you add some chicken stock, bit by bit, making sure there aren't lumps, and until you have your gravy at the thickness you like it. Add some salt (unless it's store-bought stock, in which case it'll be salty enough!), and then when your roast is ready drain off some juices and mix them into the gravy before serving it.

Just change the type of stock to beef if you're making gravy to go with beef (my butcher makes awesome beef stock, yours might too!). I would still use the chicken stock base with lamb. If you want to get extra flavour you can always take your meat off the roasting pan and cover it with foil to rest while you add your gravy to the pan and mix in all the tasty bits that way. With the beef gravy you can always mix in some red wine as well as stock and let that bubble down.

Another gravy option is Nigella's actual recipe, which is a brown onion gravy and calls for the addition of a small finely chopped onion to the butter, cook until soft and then add the flour and mix in. After this, add a teaspoonful of brown sugar and a splash of dry sherry, mix in and then do the stock as normal.

Hope you find one you like. :)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Alasséa » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:44 am

Yes, that is how I do my basic gravy (with a few of my special touches too!) It's more about those dinners where there is NO roast involved, and therefore no juices! I find that that is what really makes gravy taste good, otherwise it's just thick stock.

So what do you do when you want gravy to go with your sausage and mash for example?
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:31 am

Depends on how you want your gravy.

If I were making sausage and mash *drool* I'd start by cooking the sausages in a pan with a bit of oil to keep them from sticking. Then, when they're done, pour in a good bit of canned/boxed broth from the store to deglaze along with some appropriate herbs that I might have on hand. Parsley sounds yummy. Then when that was nice and hot, I'd add a pack of Knorr stock base. It's a thing we have here in the US (relatively new product, actually) that's essentially gelatinized stock in tiny little packets that melt when you get them hot, obviously. Quite a nice little invention. Probably akin to gravy granules in the UK, though I've never tried those and can't speak about them much. Add a slug of good red wine or sherry or whatever good spirit you have on hand and yummy. Not exactly Julia Child, but tasty nonetheless.

If I had my way, which I rarely do when making gravy, I'd have cooked up a big batch of mushrooms in the sautee pan to go in it. Problem is, my father and half my friends all hate them, so I rarely get them myself. Jerks.

Last night, tonight, and probably tomorrow, just making some cold cut sandwiches. Turkey with some cheese and a great heap of baby arugala to go on it. Bit of mustard and tomatoes. Really tasty, but not exactly haute cuisine.

Planning something for the weekend maybe. Gonna see friends on Sunday to go out to local Indian restaurant. Might try to make something nice for the family on Saturday. Roast a small chicken or something. Or throw something on the grill, though we're supposed to see more rain so that might put the kibosh on that.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:26 pm

Alasséa wrote:Yes, that is how I do my basic gravy (with a few of my special touches too!) It's more about those dinners where there is NO roast involved, and therefore no juices! I find that that is what really makes gravy taste good, otherwise it's just thick stock.

So what do you do when you want gravy to go with your sausage and mash for example?


I'd make the same gravy (probably the brown onion one for extra flavour!) and either use my homemade stock with some extra salt and herbs, or the one type of commercial stock that doesn't seem to disagree with me, which is a small, squishy tub of vegetable stock that you make up with water. That's big on flavour, so no hassle about lack of pan juices etc. And you can make it up in advance! :thumbsup:


More rain forecast here too, hamlet - so I'm madly washing clothes and towels this morning to get up to date. Happily, my grill is indoors (although the BBQ is not). For family Sunday food, why not butterfly a leg of lamb? Get the butcher to do it, cover it in olive oil. crushed garlic and rosemary? Cooks in about 40-45 minutes, and heaps of swoony leftovers.

Using up my eggs gradually - almost on to my second dozen now. I made some lemon curd last night (4 eggs), and will put some of that in ramekins and cover it in a custard (another few eggs), bake it and then chill it for dessert tonight or tomorrow. Yum... My eldest daughter couldn't wait and had lemon curd on toast for breakfast :)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Morwenna » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:30 pm

Worcestershire sauce. My mother never made a beef, pork, or lamb gravy without Worcestershire sauce!
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:37 am

Never been overly fond of that stuff. Used it from time to time for certain applications, mostly grilling sauces or marinades, but mostly just do without it. The flavor of the stuff is just too cloying.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Cock-Robin » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:26 pm

Your talk of bangers and mash has got me thinking, and I'm getting together the ingredients to make it for a church supper. Can hardly wait!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina- ... ecipe.html

I couldn't find any creme fraiche, so I'll have to substitute sour cream.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:27 am

Works for me, Robin! Although light sour cream would probably be closest... also better for you ;)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:32 am

Went out with some friends yesterday to an Indian buffett. A bit of truth came out when we all agreed that "an all you can eat buffett is not over when you're full, but when you hate yourself." It was all so good that I had to sample most of it, but I hope that I was able to be at least a little circumspect in what I put in my mouth. :oops:

Tonight, I won't actually get home in time to make anything for supper, so I'm probably just going to eat some grapes and yogurt and count it food.

Tomorrow, I'll be making a nice batch of sweet potato soup. A recipe that I really like, though it's not the best for me.

Wednesday, probably, will be some nice spicy stir fried nappa cabbage with chili sauce and some nice white rice. A very healthy dish, actually, if you go light on the rice.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:31 pm

Hamlet, what is nappa cabbage? I haven't heard of it before.


Tonight I'll be cooking chicken and vegetable korma. Not entirely from scratch... I've bought a very nice package that contains the spices in one envelope, the base sauce in another, and the creamy, coconutty sauce in another. It's rip-snortingly good, and really simple - which is better!!!
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:28 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nappa_cabbage

Nappa Cabbage is otherwise known as Chinese Cabbage. You'll regognize it as soon as you see a picture of it. Very commonly available nowadays. Very nice. Lighter and easier to use at times than standard green cabbage since it's not so tough. You can slice it up raw and rinse it fast and use it as the basis for a very light coleslaw. Or just chuck it into a soup for the last 10 or so minutes of cooking, or even, as I do sometimes, toss it sliced very thin into already cooked rice our cous cous (I know I'm spelling that wrong) as an addition that adds just a bit of crunch and bright flavor contrast, plus added health benefits with very little in the way of added calories.

I like it better than the other Chinese Cabbage most commonly found here in the west, Bok Choi, since it's just a little easier to deal with in liightly cooked or non-cooked applications.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:41 pm

Ah, okay. If you look down the info page you posted it says that in Australia it's known as wombok. So that's what I would call it :)

I've just had a little poke around on the internet, and it would seem that our name for it is derived from a couple of Chinese dialects - which makes sense, given the sizable Chinese population here in Oz. I guess that in the past I just assumed that's where it had come from, but now I know. Have learned something today!
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:51 am

It's almost time for bed, but I'm waiting for the little blueberry pancakes I just made to finish cooling.
Why have I made pancakes so late at night, you ask? Because the Little Fairy has an end-of-term Bible study breakfast at school tomorrow, and they're to bring yummy things. So I had this recipe, and some buttermilk in the fridge...

*is feeling virtuous.... but also tired... *

(and yes I did eat one)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Alasséa » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:24 pm

I think it's always ok to make pancakes late at night!

I'd have made a batch for the study breakfast ... and a batch for me. :D

What's your recipe, JudyA? I've wanted to make proper American style pancakes for a while now. Though, please bear in mind we don't measure stuff in 'cups' in the UK! :)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:45 am

Alassea, I got this recipe from a magazine. It was actually in a section on healthy, low-calorie eating(!). I thought it was pretty delicious and I'll certainly make it again:

Blueberry buttermilk pancakes
150g SR flour (or 1 cup)
1 egg, lightly beaten
500ml buttermilk
125g fresh blueberries (that's the size of one punnet here in Australia)
Melted butter, for greasing
Maple syrup, for eating!

Pour the flour into a large bowl. Add the egg and buttermilk, and mix with a fork until just combined.
Heat a non-stick frypan over a medium heat. You can either use a really small pan and just make one at a time, or use a big one and cook three at a time (depends on your concentration span and what you've got in the cupboard!). Brush the pan with butter and then put two tablespoonfuls of mixture for each pancake into the pan. Sprinkle some blueberries over the top of each.
Cook for about two minutes, until there are lots of bubbles on the top of the pancakes and the edges are a slightly different consistency and colour to the middle (if you turn them too early, stuff will just dribble off onto the pan. No gooood!). Flip them over and cook for another two minutes, or until golden.
Keep pancakes warm under foil while you repeat the process with the rest of the mixture. Serve with maple syrup and any remaining blueberries.
NB. The recipe says this makes 12. I made 14, so I guess it depends on how big your tablespoonfuls are :)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:27 pm

I wish I could eat those. Gotta lose the 20 pounds or so having a gf saddled me with.

No cooking this weekend really.

Last night, some fresh fruit. tonight, probably some pizza or some other takeout at game night, though I only will eat a very tiny amount of it.

Tomorrow, driving to Delaware with family. They'll probably insist I go to lunch with them at some local seafood place with everything fried and loaded with grease.

Sunday, driving back, I think I have some leftover corned beef and cabbage in the freezer that might still be edible from St. Patrick's Day.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:46 am

Hamlet, you can totally eat these pancakes! Three of them in a little stack is only 275-300 calories, which is a little more than I would normally eat for breakfast but not much. The butter is just a little bit in the non-stick pan, and if you don't drown them in syrup it's all good. Use wholemeal or spelt flour as well and it's even better! :)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Alasséa » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:42 pm

If the batter makes 12 I would have serious trouble stopping at 3! :wink:

I start my next project on Monday though, so will be nice to have a regular schedule - makes planning my meals much easier, and stops me snacking between meals!

Speaking of which, it would be nice to make some low-cal salads to pack for lunch. Ideally looking for something a bit different and interesting for 450 cals and under. :)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:54 am

The pancakes aren't that small, truly, and I find them pretty filling. You might surprise yourself :D


Re your salad query, here's my list of useful items - not going to mention the obvious!:

- Roast or grilled vegetables, particularly pumpkin, zucchini and capsicum, plus things like beetroot, eggplant and sweet potato if you like them, as well as asparagus when it's in season. You can roast a whole tray of things and use them over a few days (NB. zucchini and capsicum cook a lot faster than other stuff)
- You could also add things like chick peas, a sprinkle of toasted almonds/cashews, or pumpkin seeds. Maybe some cubes of a lighter cheese such as feta, or goat's cheese or baby mozzarella?
- If you want the salad to be based around a pulse or a grain, you could cook some brown rice or quinoa or couscous and mix in herbs etc with your veg.
- Plain grilled meats are obviously pretty low in calories, so you could belt half a chicken breast until it's flat and then grill it in a little butter, or a little soy and honey, and use that in your salad over a couple of days. Or you could fry an egg and pop that on the top of an Asian-style salad.

Dunno if that helps, but you should be able to put a big lunch together for under 450 calories! I particularly love cubed roasted pumpkin in my salads - yum :thumbsup:


EDIT: Just realised you would call zucchini a courgette and an eggplant an aubergine!! ;)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Alasséa » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:56 pm

Thanks! Capsicums are mostly called peppers, we call arugula rocket, and cilantro is coriander :wink:

Yes, lots of yummy ideas there. I'd forgotten about using rice in a salad, and I have some brown rice and other grains that will do very nicely. I actually found some fresh beets at a market yesterday, and I'm so looking forward to roasting them and making a salad with goat's cheese, leaves, balsamic and maybe a few nuts. num num num. Never roasted a beet before (it's hard to get hold of fresh ones), but I'm assuming low and slow?

I'd be hard pressed to find a pumpkin at this time of year, they only really appear for a couple of weeks around Halloween! Butternut squash is very popular though, if only my other half liked it! It's tricky to eat a whole one by yourself; I usually cube it and freeze what I don't use in me-sized portions, but it's never quite as fabulous when it comes out of the freezer. :( Can you roast it straight from frozen? Perhaps that would make it a bit less soggy.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:21 am

Hummm... I've never roasted butternut pumpkin (which is what I call it!) straight from frozen, but I don't see why not. It'd take a bit longer, but should be okay. Or you could get a half a butternut, cube and cook that, and then use it over a few days. That would save trying the freezer.

I always roast vegetables at about 180C (350F) unless I'm doing potatoes, in which case I crank the heat up a bit more. And I always mix a little olive oil through and/or spray some olive oil over the tray and on the top of the veg. With your beets, if they're babies I'd just clean them and cook them as they are. If they're full-sized beets, I'd probably slice them into quarters and then cook them at 180C for 30-40 minutes.

PS: I call rocket and coriander what you do ;-)
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:04 am

I haven't had pancakes in years. I miss those.

Anyway, on Saturday, I drove down to Delaware to bring furniture down to my parents' retirement home. They treated me to a very nice lunch at a place just by Rehobeth Beach. Some kind of "Ale House" I forget the name of it really, but I managed to get a very VERY nice sandwich there. Grilled tuna steak so rare it was practically sushi topped with cucumber slaw and a very light wasabi dressing all on a brioche roll. It was fantastic. And served with asparagus it felt really healthy. Even mentioning it now makes me want to drive back down there and have another one even if it is 400+ miles round trip.

I also managed to find the hot sauce store along route 1. Got myself a really nice hot wing sauce that we tasted and it was fantastic. Going to take time in the near future and make some grilled chicken wings on the grill with that sauce and really enjoy it.

Tonight, depending on how the weather is, I might grill up some veggies and serve that on a pita as a sandwich with just a bit of greek yogurt mint sauce. Looking forward to it, though there's a chance of rain. So if it does . . . I guess I'll end up going out to supper maybe.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Alasséa » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:07 pm

Hamlet, that sounds AMAZING. Though I'm not sure brioche is in reality the healthiest of vehicles for table to mouth transportation. Having said that I certainly wouldn't have let it put me off! :wink:

Tuna is such a rare treat for me, it costs more than fillet steak here! I have it maybe once every couple of years. Is it easier to get hold of in the States?
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby hamlet » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:26 am

Easy to get hold of? Not especially. At least not good tuna. I have a place near me that has some fairly good tuna time to time, but it's not readily available in many places except in canned/pouched format (i.e., precooked and suitable only for making tuna salad with).

And yes, it's very VERY expensive. It routinely costs at least as much as filet mignon, often twice as much.

But it's so very good when you get it good. And that tuna on Saturday was GOOD. *drool* And the reason I could get it and for relatively less (about $16 for the sandwich and drink) was because I happened to be in Delaware, which is right there on the ocean and has a strong fishing industry.

*grumble drool grumble*

OK, now I'm about half determined to drive back down to Delaware next weekend to get another one.

Drat.

Last night's veggies turned out well. I have leftovers today for lunch. Zuchinni, yellow squash, mushrooms, red onions. Very simple, very tasty, relatively good for you especially since the sauce was very sparing dallop of fat free greek yogurt (yay Chobani for making good fat free plain greek yogurt!!!) with some mint and ground black pepper. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Tonight, dunno. Might be some fresh fruit, or maybe I'll make some scrambled eggs with toast. Or maybe just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Always liked those.
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby JudyA » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:59 am

hamlet wrote:I haven't had pancakes in years. I miss those.
Even mentioning it now makes me want to drive back down there and have another one even if it is 400+ miles round trip.


Now that's what I call a good sandwich! one worth driving hours for :D ...Nice sounding leftovers, too!


Tonight the Little Fairy (aged 11) made dinner: beef bourgignon pies, with baked chips. Took ages, but worth the wait. Probably something in it that my stomach isn't happy about, but geeee it tasted pretty good :thumbsup:
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Re: The 5th Course, The Foodies Thread

Postby Alasséa » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:05 pm

:woah: That's a fair bit of cooking for an 11 year old! I think my specialty at that age was toast... :whistle:

In fact I didn't really learn how to cook properly till I went to university. Neither of my parents are keen every day cooks, though my dad does do a Sunday roast to die for! I learned most of my skills after I left uni and moved in with my boyfriend, who can just about manage pasta or steak, and that's it. Unemployment, a tight budget & a foodie's appetite meant I had a lot of time to make cheap food taste good! Now I get very stressed when I run out of a store cupboard essential like balsamic vinegar or sweet chilli sauce, even if I don't need it that day. :roll:

I'm watching Barefoot Contessa - I find her voice incredibly soothing after a hard day.

'We'll start with 2 sticks of butter...'

:love:
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