At-home cooking

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:24 pm

apricots baked with rhubarb served with yogurt and granola. More blessings to count :D


You've been living righteously and reaping the benefits :D Apricot salsa....hmmm now that's one to think about. I wonder if the salsa will take on a bit of apricot taste :?:

I picked through the watercress and came up with about 1/3 of what I harvested. Stems, seed pods and what looks like fresh water shrimp went over to the nearby mosquito infested creek and cast in so maybe some of it will find a nice shallow area and take root.
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:58 pm

zelph wrote:You've been living righteously and reaping the benefits :D Apricot salsa....hmmm now that's one to think about. I wonder if the salsa will take on a bit of apricot taste :?:

I picked through the watercress and came up with about 1/3 of what I harvested. Stems, seed pods and what looks like fresh water shrimp went over to the nearby mosquito infested creek and cast in so maybe some of it will find a nice shallow area and take root.


A lb of watercress? that's just about right for a big batch of soup. I hope it's delicious!

Here's the recipe for the salsa:
about 2 lbs apricots, pitted and chopped
3 small onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
several small sweet peppers and about half a bell pepper (what I had left in the fridge)
4 large jalepenos, diced small
1/4 cup cider vinegar (too much- use less, lime juice would be better, I bet)
pinch of salt
palm full of ground cumin
palm full of ground New Mexico red chile

I threw it all in a pot and brought it to a simmer for about 4 minutes, just to soften everything a little. After it had cooled, I added a couple of handfuls of cilantro, chopped roughly. Pretty good, but a little too sour for my taste. A few pinches of sugar balanced that out, though. Fresh basil would be helpful, too. I think this would be great on fish tacos, or to smother rare lamb chops or braised pork chops. It's pretty good on a spoon, too :D If the apricots had been juicier, I wouldn't have bothered cooking it.

Apricot salsa is pretty common in New Mexican home cooking, but hasn't found it's way into most restaurants or cookbooks, for some reason. I learned about it from some friends when I lived in Santa Fe. Really worth trying. The recipes they used usually had some diced cucumber and fresh tarragon, too, but the idea was to use whatever was growing well that year. Apricot trees will produce a bumper crop every few years, then rest for a few years, producing little or no fruit. You can thin the green fruits to get a crop every year, but the flavor is better if you let the trees choose their own cycle. Standard operating procedure was to thin a few trees, so you have fruit to sell, but leave a few wild to get the best fruits every few years for salsas and jams for your own table.

churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:00 am

I made some red onion marmalade the other day, per my mother's request. It's surprisingly good, especially on omelets.

3 large red onions, sliced thin
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey

Mix the wet ingredients well, bring to a boil, then add the onions. Simmer over low heat until it reaches the consistency of jam. This might take a while. The cookbook said 30 minutes, but it took me about 2 hours. Slower is better, because the Maillard reactions get more complex, and wonderful flavors develop. Add 1 tbsp each of orange juice and lemon juice. Stir and cook until juice is absorbed. Makes a nice garnish for meat, pate and egg dishes. Goes well in salads, too.

This could be seasoned any way you like, depending on the use. I'd add red chile, maybe chinese 5 spice or curry powder. It actually tastes pretty rich and fruity, and would make a great addition to any pan-sauce or salsa, especially when fruit is out of season, but you are craving those fresh, fruity flavors.

I'd be tempted to pack equal parts onion marmalade seasoned with 5 spice and thinly sliced beef into a pressure cooker for 15 minutes and see what happens...

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:42 pm

I used a pair of scissors to cut some watercress into a nice big salad for lunch. I had to do it three times before I could taste it. It does add a nice flavor to a salad. Now onto the watercress soup for dinner.

Thanks for the recipes and the info from New Mexico. In April while on vacation out thatta way we stopped in a McDonalds and was surprised to see the entire crew was Native American. It was a pleasant surprise and noteworthy. :D The food was strictly the same ole thing and taste :roll:

I need an apricot/rhubarb pie delivered to Illinois, make it 2 of them :P

Ridgerunner, the skeeters are really bad around here. Haven't seen it this bad in many years. Lots of rain making them multiply daily. I can see the blades of grass grow as I look at it. :mrgreen: Gotta mow again tomorrow. :(
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:54 pm

It's funny you mention McDonald's. I miss a lot of things about living in NM, among them green chile cheeseburgers from McDonalds. They don't put it on the menu, but will add green chile free of charge if you ask. In Maine they will serve you a lobster roll, per request, too. Can't get either one at McDonalds around here.

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:47 pm

I suspect there are more unusual edibles available in certain areas. I think it's great that they have those little extra add-ons.

When I was just a little lad... I had the opportunity to taste dried Gefilte fish patties, they were awful. Recently gave a search to find out if they still make it that way...nope just modern versions. I suspect it is made to tase a whole lot different than way back. I like the idea of using carp in a beneficial way other than chicken feed. :D so here is some info on it:

Gefilte fish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gefilte_fish

Gefilte fish (/ɡəˈfɪltə fɪʃ/; from Yiddish: געפֿילטע פֿיש‎, "stuffed fish", cognate with German Gefüllter Fisch) is an Ashkenazi Jewish dish made from a poached mixture of ground deboned fish, such as carp, whitefish, or pike, which is typically eaten as an appetizer.


Preparation and serving

Traditionally, carp, pike, mullet, or whitefish were used to make gefilte fish, but more recently other fish with white flesh such as Nile perch have been used, and there is a pink variation using salmon. There are even vegetarian variations.[1]

Fish (especially Carp) is ground with eggs, onion, bread crumbs/matza and other spices to produce a paste or dough which is then boiled in fish stock.[2]

The resultant mixture is sliced, and usually served cold or at room temperature. Often, each slice is topped with a slice of carrot, with a horseradish mixture called khreyn on the side.

Due to the previous general poverty of the Jewish population in Europe, the "economic" recipe for the above also may have included extra ground and soaked matza meal or bread crumbs, thus creating extra fish balls. This form of preparation eliminated the need for picking out fish bones at the table, and "stretched" the fish further, so that even poor, large, families could enjoy fish on Shabbat. Not only is picking bones religiously prohibited on the Sabbath, but many of the commonly used fish such as carp are exceptionally bony and difficult to eat easily in whole form.

A little tip about fish, especially if you're going to eat carp, how to remove the blood line:

https://kathleeniscookinginmexico.wordp ... lood-line/


oops, had to visit a relative in the hospital so we had to eat out....watercress soup will have to be on Wednesday.
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Pnw.hiker
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby Pnw.hiker » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:39 am

Just noticed this thread ... My home cooking tends to be simple. My small herb garden makes a huge impact on the final results- wish I would have planted it years ago.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that take the least effort;

Meatloaf
ground beef
salt and pepper
worsteshire, about 1T
1 egg
fresh thyme, just a little

mix

fold in a diced tomato and some onion, roughly chopped
place in loaf pan and coat the top with ketchup

Once it's in the oven the tomato and onion will release a lot of moisture as they cook, and it will steam the grease out. Drain once or twice while cooking. The onion and tomato keep it from getting dry and gives it a silky texture and savory flavor.
Last edited by Pnw.hiker on Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

Pnw.hiker
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby Pnw.hiker » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:52 am

My wife is going through a vegetarian kick, but she still loves her gravy.

Mushroom gravy
Crimini mushrooms, sliced
onion, diced
some fresh thyme
salt and pepper
toss with olive oil

Place in oven-safe saute pan and roast in the oven at 325-250F, stirring once or twice. It will release a lot of moisture at first- roast until this is reduced and the mushrooms and onions start to brown, then it's done. Takes about an hour, depending on temp.

Remove from oven and place on stovetop on med-hi heat. Deglase with a cup of red wine and reduce, be sure to reduce or it will be bitter! You can add a little bundle of fresh thyme here if you want. Finish up with some vegetable stock and some flour for thickening.
Last edited by Pnw.hiker on Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

Pnw.hiker
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby Pnw.hiker » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:01 am

I used to hate brussel sprouts until I tried this recipe.

Brussel sprouts, frozen. Leave bag on counter until half thawed, then slice in half.
Pine nuts, one or two tablespoons
Saute with olive oil, salt pepper and a little water to flash steam

Both the brussel sprouts and pine nuts will start to brown, then it's done. I don't know what it is about pine nuts, but they are just magic in this recipe once they get slightly brown and toasted. Don't bother with fresh brussel sprouts, frozen works better here and costs less. You can add some lemon zest at the end, if you want.

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:32 am

Pnw.hiker wrote:I used to hate brussel sprouts until I tried this recipe.

Brussel sprouts, frozen. Leave bag on counter until half thawed, then slice in half.
Pine nuts, one or two tablespoons
Saute with olive oil, salt pepper and a little water to flash steam

Both the brussel sprouts and pine nuts will start to brown, then it's done. I don't know what it is about pine nuts, but they are just magic in this recipe once they get slightly brown and toasted. Don't bother with fresh brussel sprouts, frozen works better here and costs less. You can add some lemon zest at the end, if you want.


It's early in the morning here in Illinois and I need to get some pine nuts and broccoli to try this. I tasted some fresh pine nuts loooong time ago when I was in Utah and they were the best tasting nuts ever so I can see how they would infuse a great taste to somewhat bitter/strange tasting sprouts.
Thanks for the other tasty recipes also. The meatloaf sounds like a good candidate for my bread making oven :D
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