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Favorite Dishes: The Cooking Thread


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I haven't seen any threads on cooking. I enjoy both cooking and dining out. I'm an omnivore and love to come upon a new restaurant to try. I grew up within driving distance of NOLA so consider great food a given. (Also, I know that recipes usually begin...first you make a roux....lol.)

Tonight's meal was a vegetarian feijoada involving much mincing, sautéing, and dirtying of pans. But the end result, ah! When I spooned the lemon sauce onto the beans and rice, the taste was just what I had hoped for!


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I'll join this chat! Several years ago I started going a lot more cooking - better cooking (not just dumping salsa and peanut butter over spaghetti and calling it 'Thai' food) - and paying better attention to flavors and ingredients. Watching some cooking shows on TV has been helpful, reading cook books not just for the recipes but for the techniques, etc, and also lots of trial and error. (So many errors! So much profanity!) 

Currently, I'm doing 'paleo' cooking and finding that this is pretty fun too. Some cooking guides are better than others. I really like the "Nom Nom Paleo" book (that I've seen in ads on this site, actually) and the America's Test Kitchen has finally come out with a good comprehensive cook book. The paleo cookbooks by Julie Bauer are also good ones with easy, tasty recipes. 

Now that I'm cooking more I find that when I go out to eat I am drawn really specifically to things I can't (or won't bother to) make at home - like fancy sushi rolls or things with hollandaise. 

I'd love to hear about anyone's favorite recipes! 

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Another dish I like is eggplant puttanesca. That's my version of eggplant parmesan, made with a kicked up puttanesca sauce. The original recipe was low-fat, but I use whole-milk ricotta and mozzarella. I like it much better than regular eggplant parm, which always seemed rather blah to me. 

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Um - are you speaking English right now? I'm pretty much inept when it comes to cooking anything that isn't prepackaged and comes with microwave instructions. You would think living alone I would have learned to cook a long time ago but, I just never managed to muster any interest. Lately I've been trying to be healthier in my food choices which is no easy task when you only know how to cook 1 or 2 dishes that anyone would even recognize as food (although I have discovered a love for lots of different raw foods). At 48 years old my metabolism doesn't seem to appreciate the McDonald's. Dorito, Twinkie diet the way my younger self did. So, if you assume I don't even know the basics of cooking and that my tastes run very much in the meat and potatoes vein (plus I've never developed a taste for any kind of fish at all) - what's a good place for a hack like me to start learning?

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Hmmm, okay. I'd start with a good cookbook. Meat and potatoes? Let's see...I did a little research and came up with  Meat and Potatoes:The Essential Cookbook by Maria Luisa Scott, Jack Denton Scott that promises step by step recipes for not only basic recipes but more adventuresome fare when you are ready. Then for  good basic cookbooks, there's Mark Bittmann's How To Cook Everything and Sheila Lukins' The New Basics Cookbook (this one will actually instruct you on how to boil an egg).  I personally couldn't live without Emeril's Louisiana Real And Rustic, but you might want to wait on that until you've mastered some basic cooking skills. It won't take long, though. Cooking is learned, like anything else. Just get the best tools you can and the freshest ingredients. Have time and patience with yourself. You'll be creating tasty meals in no time!

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My latest favorite sandwich: thinly slice a honeycrisp apple,an avocado,  and feta cheese (crumbled will work if you can't get bulk) . Place between good artisan flatbread which has been rubbed with EVO and then sprinkled with fresh lime juice and minced fresh mint leaves (around 1 T or to taste) before closing. NB-the type of bread you choose makes a BIG difference, as this is a very moist sandwich and will cause most American breads to disintegrate.

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Lemons. Brussel spouts. Eggs. This afternoon I tried a new chicken recipe with lemons and sage and wanted to make some Brussel sprouts. Also, I had hard boiled some eggs earlier with the idea of deviling them, so those got added to the queue as well. All possessing elements of orbishness. 

This wasn’t the most challenging of challenges, and I think it all turned out okay. I documented the process in case something exciting happened — 




— But nothing much did. Goodness was achieved, and lots of left-overs. 

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If you are a fan of one-dish meals, here's an simple meal that packs plenty of punch:  Baked chicken thighs with kale and mushrooms, served over basmati rice. (if you make the rice, two dishes, but why quibble?)  I use boneless skinless that I buy locally that I know are raised humanely and the kale and mushrooms are local and organic. I always cook extra chicken for my dog, sans sauce. Chicken is her favorite, though she does like the steak that her admirer, aka my landlord, provides on a regular basis.


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I love sushi and would love to learn to make it but I'm intimidated by the process. Not to mention that in South Africa, the ingredients are helps expensive which makes buying it better. 

It has been a goal of mine to make Chinese food well but I just can't seem to get it right.

Any tips or suggestions would be great.


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Lunch today for those of you who are vegan or who have to follow a gluten-free/dairy free regimen:

stir-fried kale and tofu with coconut and sriracha and basmati rice....long on flavor with none of those troublesome ingredients that will cause you woe!


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Last night I made some beef stew (since autumn is here in the PNW) which I had made before and really liked. But because I fooled with the recipe too much and had the crockpot on the wrong setting it took forever to finish and then I was too tired to have any. I hate when that happens! Beef stew for breakfast! 


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Here is my beef stew. It is the best beef stew I've EVER found, bar none. I will gladly and generously share the recipe, but you must follow the recipe I give you, at least on the first batch. No deviating! After that, if you want to play around, say substitute sriaracha for tabasco, knock yourself out. (I'm aware that I can't follow you home through the keyboard and virtually enforce this request but make it nonetheless.)



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Hey, I would like to get KeltheImpossible's recipe too (messaged!)

This week I made a curried (red, spicy) pumpkin soup. Pretty simple and goes well with a lot of things as the curry and pumpkin blend well and neither overshadows the other. (Also, I finally kept some take-out soup containers to use for storing my own soups in the fridge. These are so much better than have sloshy pots or heavy glass storage. Just don't reheat in the plastic. :)  Next up = cauliflower and leek soup, a new recipe I'm trying. 

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Message received and recipe sent! :)

Here are some of the things I can't live without, food-wise: EVO; dark sesame oil; dried unsweetened coconut flakes; McIlhenny Sriracha Sauce; McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce; Zatarain's Creole Seasoning; Bear-Naked Chocolate Elation Granola (seriously addicted), green niagara grapes (when available), organic Honeycrisp Apples, Jif Natural Creamy Peanutbutter.......ok, that's a long enough list. You get the picture. What about the rest of you? Oh, and, VERY IMPORTANT-TEA TEA TEA (I buy mine from small tea farmers in China-all organic, some wild-sourced.) 

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That recipe was a while ago. I think I used some smoked paprika. I'll try to remember where I got the recipe and look it up. 

Miss P would be included in ALL pics, if she had her way! She has her own FB page, unlike me. You won't EVER see pic one of me on FB, though I'll occasionally post on her page.

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Not your mother's pot roast: this was marinated in wine, 7 cloves of garlic, plus sriracha sauce and some other spices and herbs then cooked with root vegetables and andouille sausage in the marinade in a slow oven for 5 hours. Result-a tender spicy roast with tasty veggies and some andouille for lagniappe!



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I've been visiting a friend in OK, which is the tech zone from hell. So my internet is spotty, which is why no-one's heard from me in ages. Here's what I've been cooking: roasted pork loin with rosemary and lemon; garlic and ginger-glazed sticky pork; my world-famous beef stew w/coffee AND my second version with Guiness, only no Guiness available here so made with Amber Bock (NOT as good!); chicken soup your bubbe wishes she made with Reisen egg noodles (these are seriously good-if you haven't tried them, you should!); picadillo with polenta and frijoles negros; tamal en cazuela. Today is cold, cold, cold, so I'm making a recipe I've been eying for awhile at the NyTimes: kimchijigae, a kimchi soup involving kimchi, pork belly (which was unavailable, natch, so I'm substituting bacon), and tofu, among other things, spiced with gochugaru (also unavailable, so I have to use regular red pepper flakes). I'll let you know how it turns out! Any recipes gladly shared! Happy eating, folks!

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Hi Oublulowng, 

The original can be found by Googling "pcc natural markets curried pumpkin stew recipe". But here is the recipe I've adapted and been using for a while now: 

1/2 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
3-4 cloves roasted garlic (only 2 cloves if raw)
1 T fresh grated ginger
1 T Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste
2 packages or cans of organic pumpkin (not pie mix!)
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium preferred)
1 can (7 oz.) coconut milk

Heat oil over low/medium heat in large soup pot or stock pot. 
Add onion and caramelize them. 
Reset heat to low (I set it at 2 or 2.5 out of 10).
Add carrots and celery.
Add garlic, ginger, curry paste.
Add pumpkin.
Stir all together and leave to warm through a bit in the pot. I think this makes things taste a little “roastier”.
Add stock.
Cover pot and simmer on low until carrot chunks are soft.
Remove from heat.
Add coconut milk.
Blend until smooth (I use hand blender). 
Add salt to taste. 
Garnish with chopped up parsley or carrot greens and or red pepper flakes or pepitas. 
Serve and enjoy! 

I just made some tonight! 


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Soup tonight! Roasted Garlic and Smoky Greens! The "smoke" comes from smoked paprika; the greens are kale and spinach. It also has Yukon golds. Very savory, with thyme and bay leaf adding some savoriness to the leek and vegetable broth-base. (You can use chicken broth also). I'd post a pic but in my cup, it doesn't show up. Tomorrow night, my world-famous beef stew and Monday-Mississippi roast. I want to take a minute to RAVE about Mississippi roast. Now, I grew up in Mississippi (on the coast) and had relatives all over the state. Nary a mention of Mississippi roast and we were a family of foodies. My recipe is better that the NYTimes recipe, cooked in a slow oven (not a crock-pot), and will not damage your cholesterol to extend that most versions will. But this is one friggin delicious roast. I will post a pic when I've cooked it. As always, recipes furnished on request. Just message me!

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I've posted this before, but it's so good it bears repeating: my world-famous beef stew! Just the ticket for a cold winter evening.....


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Soup....again. This time it is my take on potato and leek. I added a few extra vegetables like carrots and shitake mushrooms (why not?), deleted the cream, put in some shredded chicken breast...and seasoned it with fresh garlic and thyme. And a few shakes of Tabasco. Result: a very tasty soup, lighter than the usual potato and leek one finds. I might add some lemon to it next time. For a second course I'm having some Caribbean guacamole. I make mine with mango and add sriracha. (But there is a secret ingredient, too. You wanna know what it, you're gonna have to ask.)


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