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Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:21 pm
by churro
Pnw.hiker wrote:
zelph wrote:I like baked beets, pickled beet and shredded beet soup with duck blood :o ...

Oooh, try coleslaw, the kind without mayo. Substitute some of the shredded cabbage with raw shredded beets, and use red cabbage.
YES! YES! Thanks.

I think my software is updated. I'll try a pic of the pickles. It didn't quite capture the color, but close.

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:37 pm
by zelph
Cabbage......good topic seeing I had coleslaw today that taste grrrre8. Want to know what gives the cabbage a great tasting "twang" that kinda reminds me of horseradish or radish twanginess. I read the contents label and there is vinegar in it. But, when eating the slaw, I isolated the cabbage bits in my mouth and proceeded to chew and it's when the cabbage gives off the twangy burning sensation to my tongue. Is there a cabbage with a radish hotness to it? I was tempted to drive over to the grocery store deli where it was made and ask what ingredient gave it the twang. :D

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:50 pm
by zelph
From the sunoven site I got sent over to another cause I saw the word "beets" :P ... ecipe.html

5 quarts water
1/2 cup sea salt, plus a pinch
1 tablespoon dried dill
6 dried arbol chiles
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons seasoning sauce (recommended: Maggi)
6 to 8 whole beets (depending on size)
Olive oil
Green Goddess Dressing, recipe follows
Sliced red onions, for serving
16 to 18 slider buns, toasted
Green Goddess Dressing:
1 bunch fresh tarragon, stemmed, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, stemmed, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream
2 cups mayonnaise
Salt and pepper


In a large stock pot, combine and the water, 1/2 cup sea salt, dill, chiles, coriander, caraway, carrots, celery, onions, seasoning sauce, and beets and bring to a boil. Boil on medium heat for about 1 hour.

Remove the beets and let cool, discarding the liquid. Once cooled, remove the skin from the beets with a vegetable peeler. (Remember to wear gloves, as the beets will stain your hands as well as other surfaces.) Cut the beets into 1/4 to 3/8-inch slices. Place the beet slices, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt into a skillet over high heat and saute until glossy and tender, about 2 1/2 minutes on each side.

Remove the beets from the skillet and serve with shaved red onion and Green Goddess Dressing on a toasted slider bun.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Green Goddess Dressing:
Combine the herbs, green onions, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Let macerate for 10 minutes. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise, and blend with an immersion blender until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Chuck Caplener and Jared Nuttall, co-owners of Gatsby's Diner, Sacramento, CA

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:46 am
by churro
I got the alpaca shanks in the oven early this morning.

I've always found braised meats to be better the next day. I guess it has something to do with collagen being cooked down into gelatin. That's what makes tough meat tender when cooked long and slow. Once the gelatin cools, it will never be quite as soft as it was when originally cooked, so the sauce takes on a silky richness that it didn't have when first cooked.

Anyway, that was the rationale for making dinner first thing in the morning. I'll cool it, then reheat in time for dinner, probably served over rice or couscous.

I didn't measure anything, but here's what I did:
Browned the shanks in very hot oil until they had some color. Set aside, added a large chopped red onion, half a chopped jalepeno and 5 cloves of garlic, smashed, cooked until it began to brown. Then I added a can of chicken stock, 1 cup red wine and a quart of home-canned tomatoes. I wanted more flavor, so I added some Worcestershire sauce, chipotles in adobo sauce and thai chili paste. I brought this to a boil, tasted, and decided to add a cinnamon stick, several bay leaves, some whole cloves and a pinch of salt.

The shanks went back in, a lid went on and the whole thing went into the oven @ 275 degrees F, probably for 3 hours, we'll see. When it's done I might strain and boil the sauce to reduce and thicken it, if necessary.

EDIT- 2 hours in and it smells great. As expected it's not tender yet, but all seems well. I turned the heat down to 260 because it was boiling a little harder than I like to see for braising. I found a recipe for alpaca shanks. It specifies 5 hours at 260 degrees. Given the progress so far, that seems about right.

It's spicier than I had imagined it would be! I have a strategy to deal with that: I'll boil down the sauce to thicken it, then add a can of coconut milk to tame the heat. Maybe I'll roast, peal and puree those beets I have to use up to further dilute the heat...

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:28 pm
by zelph
then add a can of coconut milk to tame the heat. Maybe I'll roast, peal and puree those beets I have to use up to further dilute the heat...
ahhh, the chefs secret method of reduction/taming of spice heat :mrgreen: What was the major cause of the heat? Would cubed potatoes work for taming heat?

That's quite a process for shanks but worth it. sun baked potatoes as a side dish?

My wife may try to sun bake potatoes in her dutch oven tomorrow. Just let it sit out in the middle of the yard tomorrow in full sun all day. Suppose to be in the 90's

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:40 am
by churro
We just got back from a whirlwind tour of the east coast. Our son got to meet most of his cousins and see the little island in Maine where I met his mother nearly 40 years ago (we played together as children, and I have been in love with her as long as I can remember). We also got our seafood fix- crab caught fresh by my nephew and lobster bought straight from the boat- Yum!

Anyway, since we've been home I have been cooking most of our meals in the back yard in a dutch oven. I am practicing up for a party we're throwing soon. I'll have to feed 20-30 people, so I figured we'd do it cowboy-style. I'll try to share more soon, but now I have to go feed my son before he melts down.

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:58 pm
by zelph
agree, as long as they are fed and dry they are good to go......children that is :mrgreen:

Wow! sounds like you had a good eatin time out east.....good for you :dinner:

40 years of love in your life...don't get any better than that. Still got another 50+ to go :D

Sounds like you got one big cooking experience coming up with 30 mouths to feed :D My brother made a very large BBQ grille once upon a time big enough to cook a whole include head and tail. The tail was for an artistic touch. My brother was colorful :o :lol: He played the banjo..."dueling banjos" tune was his favorite party tune :mrgreen:

It's going to be interesting to hear what cowboy-style meal you prepare. :D

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:26 am
by churro
Thanks, Zelph. I have a funny story about cooking a whole pig in a giant BBQ. When I was in college, I was ten years older than most of my classmates, so they assumed I knew how to cook a whole pig. There was a big celebration coming up, and I was nominated to cook the pig. Given about 7 hours notice, I was presented with a trailer-sized bbq grill, nearly a ton of charcoal and a butchered pig. I had classes to attend, so i got the rig cooking the way I though it might work, then turned it over to a friend to mind for 1 1/2 hors while I went to class.

When I returned, LOTS of smoke was coming out of the grill and my friend looked worried. We opened the lid and narrowly avoided the ball of flame that blew out of it. It came to light after that a drunken passerby had convinced my buddy to add several more bags of charcoal. The resulting inferno had rendered, then vaporized much of the fat in the pig, creating a booby trap for us.

We shoveled out most of the coals, let it cook another 4-5 hours and it actually tasted good!

The plan for our party so far is to serve ribs (steamed ahead of time, then grilled or smoked the day of the party), along with some sort of potato for dinner. It's pot-luck, so I don't have to do everything, just the main dish, maybe a desert: I'm thinkin' cobbler made from the rhubarb and peaches I just baked up and froze (got a deal on several boxes of peaches :D ). It's nearly 6 quarts of fruit , so I figure it will make a big cobbler in a 14" dutch oven. S'mores will be the backup plan.

Folks will be camping out in the yard, so breakfast will be my gig entirely. The expectation is that folks will drift in a few at a time, so I figured coffee and cinnamon rolls are the first priority, followed by a layered casserole of potatoes, peppers, onion, bacon, eggs and cheese. Maybe I'll throw in some corn, squash or wild greens. The 14" dutch oven should work, but I'll do the 10" also, to be sure. Probably need to make 2 batches, as folks drift in.

Should be fun. I've cooked for as many as 50 before, with 2 helpers, so I should be able to navigate this.

I just got done canning a box of peaches, and have several more to do over the next few days, so Goodnight. Work, work ;)

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:51 pm
by zelph
The resulting inferno had rendered, then vaporized much of the fat in the pig, creating a booby trap for us.
I bet that was an eye opener and adrenalin pumper :mrgreen: I think the Cajun folk have a name for a roast covered with charred, black encrusted covering of food...don't remember what it is :? maybe just plain ole "goodness" :lol:

It's no wonder you're a seasoned chef, ya started long ago.

Why is steaming ribs better than boiled?

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:10 pm
by churro
zelph wrote:Why is steaming ribs better than boiled?
I'm not sure that it is. I do it that way because I smear the ribs with mustard, then a dry rub. I let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight so the rub drys to a crust. Boiling would wash it off, while steaming sort of firms it up and leaves it on, so it gets nice and crispy when grilled. When I get it just right the meat is so tender it would fall apart, except that the crust on the outside holds it together and seals in the juices. Also, I use hard cider as the steaming liquid. It would be expensive to use enough to actually boil a big batch. I'm drooling on my keyboard now...

A friend just gave me a really nice Traeger smoker (he bought a new one because he was too lazy to clean it- I'm too poor to be that lazy :D ). I might have to change up my rib recipe to incorporate some smoke...still drooling :lol: