Cooking With Metachat!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

jack_mo's Cullen Skink

This is a slightly poncey version of Cullen Skink that I drunkenly
copied from a magazine article on the wall of the bar in the
marvellous Glasgow restaurant The Ubiquitous Chip - - years ago. It makes enough for four as a
starter, or two as a big hearty main course bowl.

1 lb of Finnan Haddies (ie. smoked and salted haddock, the white
stuff, not the horrid bright yellow dyed stuff)
About 3/4 of a pint of milk
About 3/4 of a pint of double cream
A couple of potatoes (Desirée, King Edward, etc. - enough to make
four good-sized spoonfuls of mash)
A knob of butter
2 tbsp. of vegetable oil
1 big onion, finely chopped
Some parsley, very finely chopped.

Take off the skin and remove the bones from the haddies, but don't
throw them away. Trim the edges and tail off the fish, so you've just
got the thick, meaty bit left, and put the trimmings with the skin
and bones.

Cut the main bit of the fish into rough cubes - about a 1/4" thick,
but there's no need to be fussy about it - until you've got, er,
enough of it - about enough to fill a pint glass, loose - chuck any
spare fish in with the skin, bones and trimmings.

Scald (ie. bring it just to the boil for a second) the milk and most
of the cream in a pan then take it off the heat and dump in all the
bones and fishy trimmings and leave it sitting for half an hour or so
until it's cooled down. (You can add other things, too, if you like -
a bay leaf, a few peppercorns, a splosh of Worcestershire sauce.)

Heat up the oil and a bit of butter in a pot over a medium flame,
then chuck in the diced onion, then the cubes of haddock a bit later,
until the onion is soft and transparent, stirring gently from time to
time. Then turn down the heat a bit and pour the fishy-milk potion
through a fine seive into the pot (obviously you don't want any of
the bones and stuff ending up in the soup), and then simmer the soup
for a while - ten minutes tops - and season (probably just with
pepper, since the fish is pretty salty).

While you're doing the above, slice up the potato, boil it, and then
mash it with the knob of butter and the rest of the cream, so it's
ready at the same time as the soup. It should be a really silky
mashed potato, not rough.

When the soup is done, put it in some bowls, dump a nice dollop of
mashed potato in the middle, and sprinkle some of the scallion greens
over the top.


Variations: I've swapped some of the haddie for Arbroath smokie
before, and sometimes I cube some of the boiled potato and put it in
the soup as well as the mash, and you can whisk in the mash as a
thickener rather than leave it as a discrete dollop if you like.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lonefrontranger's peanut butter orgasm cookies

These are the *best* peanut butter cookies I've EVER tasted. EVER. They're better even than stuff that has chocolate in, and I'm a chocoholic.


Preheat oven to 325*F
1 cup smooth / creamy peanut butter.
1 egg
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
~1 teaspoon flour

NOTE: Maranatha's No-Stir Organic creamy peanut butter is the best brand to use, we discovered. If you refrigerate your PB (we don't) it's a *really* good idea to bring it up to room temp before starting so that you can work with it.

Mix together the peanut butter, egg, sugar and vanilla. Stir together until well mixed and creamy. *SLOWLY* add flour until the mixture just begins to tack up enough to form into drop cookies. Depending on relative humidity you may need to add more or less flour, it's really only a binder.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto nonstick or greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 325*F for ~20 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown a bit.

These taste even better after they've cooled. Owing to its simplicity, this is the best 'after-party' recipe ever. Aaron's fond of making them when he's got a case of the munchies.

Lonefrontranger's banana bread

Recipe 1: Banana Bread.
This one's mine and a riff on my grandma's recipe. I
added the spices and nuts in, cos I'm a spicy nut.


Preheat oven to 350*F
3 black bananas (yes, black. they must be just short
of moldy)
1 egg + 1 egg white (the extra eggwhite was added for
the altitude in Denver, so if you're not @ altitude
you should try without)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons *melted* butter
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt (really, it helps it rise)
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mash the bananas in a large-ish bowl with the back of
a silver spoon. Once they've been mashed to a paste,
beat in the egg and melted butter until smooth. The
riper the bananas are, the easier this process is.
Bringing the egg to room temp first also helps.

Sift / stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking
soda, salt and spices together until well mixed in a
separate bowl.

Fold the dry ingredients into the moist and stir
briefly until well integrated. DO NOT over-mix, that
causes the flour to become tough. Add nuts/dates (if
using) and turn the mixture into a nonstick loaf pan
or one lined with parchment paper.

Bake @ 350*F for 45-50 minutes

ROU Xenophobe's Pot Roast

Here is mine, with ingredients as exact as you will need them to be:


(1) Electric skillet w/lid.
(2) A piece of meat. I recommend a rump roast. They're all 3--6 pounds.
(3) A bag o' baby carrots, opened.
(4) A nonion, chopped up.
(5) Some celery. Any amount you buy will be more than you need.
(6) Two 1-quart tetrapaks of good quality beef broth


(1) Turn on the skillet and let it get real fuckin' hot.'
(2) Take the meat out of the container and dump it in the skillet. Brown all sides, well. Really, no shit. Brown them more than you think you need to. Remove to a plate.
(3) Dump carrots, a couple ribs o' celery, onion into the pan. Cook them a bit if it makes you feel better; you're about to cook the living shit out of them. Add some other spices if you like, whatever smells good to you. Sage, maybe. Or some cayenne if you likes your food a bit spicy. Whatever floats your boat. A bit o' salt 'n' pepa is always nice too.
(4) PUT. ZE CANDLE. BECK. Erm. That is, put the meat back.
(5) Pour in some beef broth so it's going partway up the meat.
(6) Turn the heat down to 180--200 or so, put the lid on, and walk away.
(7) Check on the meat every 20 minutes or so and top up the broth when it runs low. When you check on it, you want the broth a little more than simmering but not full-on boiling. Add more broth when what's there has turned into sort of a runny goo. If you get through both quarts, you will have truly badass gravy, which is good.
(8) When it seems done (2 hours or thereabout), take the meat out and put on a plate to rest. Pour the pan drippings through a strainer into a bowl, and then dump the bowl back into the skillet. Add some water, like a couple-three cups, and some spices, again whatever smells good to you, or nothing at all. In a coffee cup, mix a couple-few tablespoons of corn starch with a like amount of water and stir with a fork. When the juicy-water in the skillet is bubblin' pour in a smidge of the cornstarch-water mix and stir in, ideally w/ a nonstick-safe whisk. Repeat until the gravy is almost but not quite as thick as you want it -- it'll continue to thicken a bit.
(9) Eat the used-up carrots. They're better than candy.
(10) Cut the meat against the grain, so that the fibers are short.


Egg noodles are fine, but really dangerous people eat pot roast with mashed po-ta-toes.
posted by ROU Xenophobe 27 November | 22:31

Greek Pot Roast

This is typed in from a weird cookbook my mom got me called Simmering Suppers. I tweak the hell out of it and never follow it exactly, so, you know, YMMV.

4-5 lbs beef pot roast, chuck or round
1/4 lb butter
salt & pepper
2 onions quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed (I use more like 6. Or 8.)
2 stalks celery cut into chunks
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
28 oz. can whole tomatos
8 oz can tomato sauce
1.5 c. red wine
.5 c water
Salt & pepper the roast (actually, I use McCormick's Montreal Steak stuff for this, whenever I'm doing beef)and brown in 2 tbsp. of the butter in a heavy pot. (I use Great Aunt Claire's kickass 1930s heavy thick oval aluminum pot that I love yet which will probably mean that any moment now I will forget what I'm typing) Set meat aside & drain fat. (I usually skip this step too ;-))
In the remaining butter in the same pan saute onions, garlic, celery, & spices until all nice & soft, then put the meat back in, add everything else (the tomatoes & the wine & stuff & this is usually where I also toss in a big old scrumbled chunk of feta cheese) cover the whole thing and simmer for two hours. Results do vary - sometimes this is awesome & sometimes's it's just okay, but whatever, it's not like usual potroast. I serve it with egg noodles so I can ladle the sauce over it.

occhiblu's broccoli arrabiata

Makes 2 main course servings (although occhiblu can eat it all in one sitting!)

Chop up two big stalks of (organic!) broccoli into large bite-sized pieces. (I really like the stalk part, so I cut that up, too.) Mince one clove garlic. Sautee the garlic in several tablespoons of olive oil (you need more than usual, because the broccoli tends to soak it up) with a few tsp. crushed red peppers. When the garlic gets fragrant, add the chopped broccoli. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes (basically until the broccoli gets bright green and starts to look cooked), then add half a large can of crushed tomatoes. Add salt. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until the tomato cooks down and the oil separates, about 15 minutes. Add parmesan cheese if desired.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fuzzbean's Ting Choy

3-4 bunches baby bok choy, washed and sliced, leaves separate from stem
1T olive oil
.5T sesame oil
.5T pumpkin seed oil
.75T whole grain mustard
hearty shake powdered ginger (or grated fresh ginger)

Heat the oils in a large saucepan. Add the mustard and stir rapidly until it sizzles. Sprinkle in the ginger, then add the stems of the bok choy. Stir fry for a few minutes, then add the leaves. Stir until cooked, then serve warm.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Redvixen's Summer Shrimp Quiche

1/4 cup scallions
2 tbspns butter
1/2 pound cooked (peeled) shrimp
pinch of pepper
3 eggs
1 cup half and half
1 10 inch previously frozen pie shell
1 large tomato
1/4 cup shredded white sharp cheese

Saute scallions in butter, add shrimp and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside. Beat together eggs and half and half. Spread shrimp mixture in the bottom of the pie shell. Pour half and half/egg mixture over the shrimp. Top with slices of tomato and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes (for a shallow dish) or 40 minutes for a deep pie dish.

gaspode's tomato and peanut soup

This is the most super easy soup, particularly because it's made with stuff that you normally have in your cupboards.

garlic, 1 to infinity cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or olive oil, or whatever works for you)
42 oz chicken stock (3 cans)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
salt to taste
1 cup rice

Saute garlic in oil (medium heat) for 1-2 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, paste, peanut butter, vinegar, cayenne and salt. Whisk to combine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Serve garnished with chopped scallions and crushed salted peanuts.

Most of my soups are a dumping ground for leftover roast chicken. This is no exception - chicken is delicious in it. It's usually better after it's been refrigerated overnight and reheated.

Monday, July 03, 2006

viachicago's orzo pasta salad

One of my favorite summer dishes is an orzo pasta salad. It may be served warm or cold. Here's a general guideline to the recipe. I usually just eyeball everything.

1-1/2 C uncooked orzo pasta
1 C frozen peas, thawed
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh is best)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Italian dressing to coat
Black pepper and oregano to taste

Boil the pasta for about 9 minutes and then add the frozen peas to thaw out in the pot as well, for 1 additional minute. Drain. Toss orzo and peas with Italian dressing. Stir in cheese, lemon juice, zest, and pepper.

Mmm I need to make some. It's delicious.

viachicago's orzo pasta salad

One of my favorite summer dishes is an orzo pasta salad. It may be served warm or cold. Here's a general guideline to the recipe. I usually just eyeball everything.

1-1/2 C uncooked orzo pasta
1 C frozen peas, thawed
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh is best)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Italian dressing to coat
Black pepper and oregano to taste

Boil the pasta for about 9 minutes and then add the frozen peas to thaw out in the pot as well, for 1 additional minute. Drain. Toss orzo and peas with Italian dressing. Stir in cheese, lemon juice, zest, and pepper.

Mmm I need to make some. It's delicious.

Fuzzbean's Green Bean and Tomato Salad

Green Bean and Tomato Salad
1lb green beans, cut into 1" lengths
1lb cherry or grape tomatoes
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
4 leaves fresh basil, minced
3 leaves fresh mint, minced
2T lemon juice
Sprinkle salt

Microwave steamer

In the base of the steamer, combine the lemon juice and an appropriate amount of water. Layer the beans on the top rack, cover, and microwave for 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Allow to cool slightly.

Combine the green beans, tomatoes, basil, and mint in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and stir/toss to distribute. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top.
I'm also a big fan of packet-fish and chicken, which is great for a single person.

Basically, take a big sheet of aluminum foil and fold it in half to get a square. Put a piece of parchment paper on top. Put a chicken breast or fish filet (sole works really well) in the middle.

Now get creative! I've done roma tomatoes, lemon juice, ginger, and cayenne (mix the wets, pour on top, add diced tomatoes); I've done granny smith apple slices and rosemary; squashes and green beans/snow peas can work well (but not too many as they take a while to cook). Citrus is great. Pop in the oven at 400F for about half an hour (depends how thick it is), let sit for a few minutes, then open (be careful of the steam).

REALLY nice to do is a takeoff on the Panera Fuji Apple Chicken Salad--do a packet chicken with granny smiths and rosemary. Let it cool. Chop up a couple of apples, a red onion, wash some lettuce, combine. Add chicken, a handful of pecans, and some cheese (I don't personally care for gorgonzola that much and would probably go for feta instead.) Try a citrus variation with mandarin oranges and lemon juice/orange juice on the chicken.

Speck’s spicy Thai noodles:

Speck’s spicy Thai noodles:

1 package buckwheat soba noodles
1 large red bell pepper
5-6 green onions (white and green parts)
large handful sugar snap peas
optional: small handful Thai basil leaves
optional: broiled chicken breast or tofu

6 T smooth peanut butter
1 T cider vinegar
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
cayenne to taste (lots)

-Cook noodles, rinse with cold water.
-Chop pepper and onions (I like to leave the pea pods whole), add to noodles.
-Mix all sauce ingredients thoroughly, adding HOT water by the tsp until sauce turns light tan and milky.
-Toss and enjoy! Better the second day, after the garlic mellows

Miko's 'famous' strawberry shortcake

I often prepare something people call my 'famous' strawberry shortcake. What's ridiculous is that it's so super basic that it should not be at all famous -- but most people don't make strawberry shortcake any more, so it seems great to them.

Basically, you make a recipe of bisquick biscuits, but instead of separate biscuits you make one giant biscuit and bake it.

Slice your berries, sprinkle with just a little sugar to macerate, let them have a couple hours to get happy.

Then take your giant biscuit and cut the top off. Pour the berries over the biscuit, top with unsweetened whip cream, and serve in pie slices. Aw yeah babe.

Miko's pickled peppers with limes

More with limes: pickled peppers with limes. Slice up red, green, yellow, and orange peppers, limes, and red onions into thin rings. Put them in a plastic container and squeeze lime juice generously over them. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Add jalepeno slices from a jar. Let all this sit for a day or so and then you'll have the tangiest, most delicious thing ever; it's a good fajita topping, but I can eat it as a sort of cold salad just as happily.

Miko's grilled corn

Many people have heard of my grilled corn with lime and tabasco butter. It's killer. That's pretty much all it is: Grill corn with the husk off, melt some butter, squeeze some lime juice into it, pour some tabasco into it, and brush on the corn as it grills. Serve extra with the finished corn. Do be careful not to over-lime the butter; they need to be in balance.

misteraitch's pseudo-Mediterranean salad

Our pseudo-Mediterranean salad of the moment...

Boil: 400g small new potatoes
Hard-boil 3 eggs
Boil/steam 100g-ish green beans

Halve the potatoes, slice the eggs & put in a bowl with the beans and:

1 red onion, finely sliced.
A half dozen ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
A good handful of pitted black olives
50g-ish feta, cubed.

Then, for the dressing, mix:

1 small clove of fresh garlic, chopped/crushed
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
5 tbsp x. virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Some basil leaves, chopped
1 smidgeon honey
Salt, pepper

Combine Let it stand for a half hour or so & voilà, Bob’s your uncle. Some avocado goes nicely in there too, otherwise customise as predilection dictates.

GeckoDundee's Socca

I'll give metric measures only because it took me ages to get it just right. If I give imperial eqivalents, you'd just have to go through the trial and error yourselves to get it right.

180g Chick Pea Flour*
250ml Water
90ml Good quality olive oil (+ a little more for the tin)
Tsp salt
2-4 sprigs fresh rosemary

Mix the oil and water in a bowl
Sift in the dry ingredients**
Whisk to the consistency of a firm batter
Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C
Let mixture stand for an hour or two

Take two pizza tins (thin, NY style)
Grease pizza tins with olive oil
Pour in batter
Sprinkle rosemary over mixture
Bake until golden brown (about 20-30 mins)

Serve with green salad, Greek salad, or similar. IT wouldn't hurt to drizzle a little more olive oil over it.

* AKA Gram flour, Besan, Garbanzo flour. Try Indian shops if you can't find it

** There are regional variations. Some include ground cumin seeds (a dry ingredient obviously) instead of rosemary. Others use different flours.
A mix (about 50/50) of chick pea flour and buckwheat flour is traditional somewhere (Corsica?). Once you get the hang of it you can experiment.

bmarkey's Insalata Caprese

This is the perfect summer lunch, and also makes a nice first course at dinner.

Insalata Caprese

You will need:

Tomatoes, preferably Romas, but whatever you have that is fresh will do in a pinch.
Fresh mozzarella – not the plastic stuff that’s indistinguishable from its wrapping, but the stuff that comes in little balls that are kept in water. (I have a theory that this recipe would also probably work with goat cheese or feta, but I’ve yet to try it.)
Fresh basil – if you’re not growing you own, you really should. DO NOT USE DRIED BASIL IN THIS RECIPE.
Extra virgin olive oil. Don’t scrimp here – get the best you can afford. Trust me.
Salt – I like kosher salt for the extra crunch it provides, but table salt will work.
Pepper – fresh ground, black.

Here’s the deal:

Slice the tomatoes into little round wheel-like slices. (If you don't have Roma tomatoes, wedges will do nicely.) Slice the mozzarella into similar rounds. On a plate (one for each person being served), alternate a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella, and a basil leaf. I have also seen this served with the basil scattered over the top of the tomato/mozzarella alternation; make your own call here, but I like the idea of a leaf per t/m unit. Now, drizzle the whole thing with the olive oil. Do not drench it – just a nice, light coating is what we’re shooting for here. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Serve with some nice crusty bread, maybe a few kalamata if you have them on hand, and a glass of white wine – nothing says summer like Vinho Verde. I’m partial to Arca Nova, myself. Really, though, any relatively dry white would be good.

overanxious ducksqueezer's Mediterranean White Bean Salad

I like this with a hunk of bread:

Mediterranean White Bean Salad

  • 4 Cups cooked or canned white beans
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup slivered red onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper in 2-inch strips
  • 2 Cups torn up lettuces
Dressing: 1/4 C. olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 large garlic clove, pressed, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper

Combine veggies and beans. Combine dressing ingredients, whisking until blended. Pour dressing on veggie-bean mix, toss, and let sit 4 hours to marinate. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

arse_hat's summer salad (? no name given)

Finely chopped garlic, finely chopped shallots, loosely chopped cucumber, cubed tomatoes, crushed pepper, sea salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Marinate the cucumbers in the balsamic and then salt the tomatoes. Mix pepper with the shallots and toss lightly with some olive oil. Let all sit for an hour.

Drain balsamic from the cucumbers and the excess juice and salt from the tomatoes and mix both with the shallots. Yummy.

For variety use rice, red wine, white wine, or cider vinegar in place of the balsamic. Finely sliced strips of sweet peppers are also a nice addition.

Sasshat's Freezer Cookies

Ok so the major thing to remember is that I never use recipes.
But! here is a reasonable sort of recipe, to taste:
First, mix dry ingredients (1/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp salt) in a big ass bowl.
then, add in 3/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup butter or margarine, a couple splashes of vanilla.

Mix it all together until it's doughy. If it's too wet, add more confectioners sugar. Too dry (crumbly) add more pb.
Then roll into small balls (ping pong sized). Set aside.

Melt in a double boiler 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, splash o vanilla, and a couple of pats of butter. Melt until melty. Add a sprinkle or two of the confectioners sugar.

Dip the dough balls into the chocolate melty stuff and then lay them to rest on some parchment paper. They will look like truffles.

When they cool, toss them in some more confectioners sugar, throw them in some ziplock baggies, and throw them in the freezer for at least an hour.

They are delicious. They are like a cross between a peanut butter cup, a cookie and a truffle. They last in the freezer forever and don't make your kitchen all hot and sweaty.

GeckoDundee's Gazpacho (for one)

  • Gazpacho (for one)250g (8oz) Ripe, good quality tomatoes
  • Half small cucumber
  • One spring onion (em, eshallot? scallion? like a very little leek, you know the things)
  • Half small red capsicum (bell pepper? red pepper?)
  • Clove garlic15ml (tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil
  • 15ml (tablespoon) sherry vinegar (else a good red wine vinegar, probably not balsamic though)
  • Small slice day old bread, chopped and soaked in water
  • 200ml (8 fl oz) Passata Dry sherry (good quality Fino, Manzailla, or Amontillado) to taste

Peel, deseed, and coarsely chop tomatoes

Dice cucumber and pepper

Finely chop spring onion

Crush garlic

Squeeze water out of bread

Reserve some of the veg for garnish

Blend the rest (including the garlic), with some passata, vinegar and sherry(Take care adding liquid as you will want to get the consistency and flavour balance right; you might not use all the liquid listed above, or you might use it all and still need to add a little water)

Chill (have a glass or two of sangria or sherry while you wait) and serve, garnished with the reserved veggies.

Note: you could roast both the garlic and the pepper before using them, but it's not really necessary.

AlexReynolds' Rice paper rolls

Among other stuff, we're getting bok choi, spring onions, snap peas, arugula, lettuce, squash, garlic scapes, and lots of pesto and cinnamon basil.

On the side, we buy some cucumber, cilantro and mint, and lightly wok-fry up slices of tempeh in sesame oil.

Put aside some peanut sauce, chopped ginger and soy sauce.
Wash and chop up the veggies, prepare the herbs.
Put them in separate bowls with the different sauces.

Put a big bowl of water in the middle of the table.
Soak the rice paper in the bowl but running it underneath the water. You just want to get it wet and then take it out, put it on your plate. The water will soak in and make the rice paper soft.
Fill the middle of the roll with your veggies, tempeh (if you like), herbs and sauce.
Fold up the roll on the sides, roll it up like a crepe and fold in the middle to tighten up.

Eat. Repeat. It's very light eating, a bit of prep work, but perfect for the summer. And lots of fun with guests over.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

3 Recipes That Last

I'm cross posting these from my blog if anyone cares. This is food that is cheap to make and will last a good long time. Probably actually longer than you want it to. But it is cheap! And filling! And you know, it's all good.

Hippie Lentils
bag of lentils
small can tomato paste
4 or 5 potatoes
1 onion
4 or so cloves garlic
a couple of carrots
hot peppers
vegetable stock
olive oil

Rinse the lentils & put them in with the stock, bring to a boil, simmer one hour. Let sit one hour (this is only if you have to leave the house and run errands, which I did, otherwise you can skip this step.)
Saute chopped celery, peppers, onions and garlic in olive oil. Add to lentils.
Peel & cut up potatos & carrots, add to lentils.
Add some tamari, maybe some nutritional yeast, and bring back up to a boil. Turn down, let simmer for an hour or so. Add tomato paste for color (this masks the unfortunate gray-ness of the lentils)
Make a bunch of Young Ones jokes as you serve them. They will last far longer than you really want.

Chicken Soup with Noodles
1 whole chicken cut up
garlic - lots and lots of garlic
1 can chicken broth to cheat with
half a bag of egg noodles
bay leaf, dried thyme, oregano, dill
olive oil and butter

Put the chicken in a big pot, cover with water, add salt, pepper, a bay leaf, and about 8 or 10 cloves of peeled garlic. Bring to boil, take down to simmer, leave alone for an hour or so while you either a) play games on the internet or b) watch Six Feet Under. Cool it down & make a half hearted attempt to remove the gross white foam stuff on top. Take the chicken pieces out and bone them - with your hands. Yeah, it's kind of disgusting but also oddly satisfying, don't you find? Remember that you could fucking die if you leave a bone in there. Leave a couple small bones in there anyway because you're so lame. Discard the bones (remember to take the trash out tonight or the dog will have it all over the floor by morning and then you'll have to worry about him fucking dying) and put the chicken meat back in the pot.
Chop up & saute the onion & the celery in a mixture of olive oil & butter, add to the chicken pot along with peeled chopped (largeish chunks, okay? You don't want little creepy measly carrot bits) carrots and some of the chicken broth. Bring it all back up to a boil and then down to a simmer for half an hour. Throw in the noodles and taste it for seasoning. Add hot sauce, maybe, some worcestershire, some pick a peppa, more salt, whatever. It will take about 15 minutes to half an hour for the noodles to cook through and then voila, serve. Very comforting. Refrigerate the leftovers - the noodles will swell up overnight and kind of change the nature of the dish, which is bonus.

Two Vegetarian Quiches (Only make these if you're planning on having a bunch of friends over to eat them that day. Nasty as hell by day three otherwise)
2 Laura Lynn or your supermarkets generic equivalent refrigerated rolled up pie crusts
2 boxes frozen spinach
1 container feta cheese
1 bunch broccoli
1 small bag of walnuts
about half a container of small portobello mushrooms, or regular ones, whatever
1 generic bag of grated mixed cheeses, like cheddar, jack, whatever
parmesan cheese
4 or 5 eggs
1/2 container sour cream
about 1 1/2 cups of milk (get 2% & pretend this is diet food)
1 large onion
6 - 8 cloves garlic
olive oil

Both Quiches
Chop up and saute the onions & garlic. Put half in a bowl for the spinach quiche and leave half in the pan for the broccoli one. Put the pie crusts in pie plates. Preheat the oven to 375. Note: the egg/milk mixture should be kind of a rich eggnoggy looking yellow. If it's too pale, add another egg. If it's too yellow, either add more milk or accept the extremely rich eggy goodness of it all and decide to stop worrying about cholesterol.
Spinach Quiche
Defrost the spinach in the microwave.
Mix the spinach, feta cheese, onion/garlic mixture, some of the grated cheese and some parmesan together and spread this all out in one of the pie plates.
Mix 2 eggs and about a cup of milk together, pour it into the spinach. This is finickier than it sounds, since the spinach wants to reject the milk. Maybe you could mix it all up together in a bowl first; that way you might skip the spilling the milk/egg mixture all over the stove and cursing part.
Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes
Broccoli Quiche
Chop up the broccoli until it's fairly small. Chop the shrooms to the same size. Chop the walnuts up too. Return those onions to the pan & saute the broccoli with them. You'll have to add more oil. Add the mushrooms when the broccoli is beginning to cook nicely. You'll have to add more oil again. Season - whatever you've got on hand will do nicely. Add the walnuts. Now mix the veggies up with the grated cheeses, some parmesan and the sour cream. Put it all in the pie dish, and, as with the spinach one, pour an egg & milk mixture over it. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Chicken and yam (or sweet potato) soup

This is great soup for cold weather, it's nice and spicy and really yummy. It's just a basic recipe, so mess with it a lot, but these are tried and true ingredients. I always make the soup the day after I roast a chicken, so I save about a breast's worth of chicken and make the stock out of the bones.

Serves 4 (big bowls of soup)

1 onion, finely chopped
6 or 7 cloves of garlic (plus or minus to taste), finely chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 medium sized yams or sweet potatoes (or other tubers, carrots, whatever) cut into half inch or so squares
32 oz chicken stock
about a breast worth of chicken chopped
4 or so tablespoons thai-style sweet chili sauce

Saute onion, garlic, ginger until flavor comes out and onion is translucent
Add yams, saute for a few minutes
Add stock, bring to boil then cover and reduce heat
Simmer for 20 -30 minutes, until yams are soft
Cool off a bit if you want to throw it in the blender (depending on how smooth you like your soup, I generally just run a hand masher through it at this stage)
Warm soup again (if needed)
Add chicken and sweet chili sauce, heat through

It's very filling, but is really good with chewy bread.

1. A slug of heavy cream at the end turns it into "cream of.... soup" and is yummy
2. Chopped scallions are nice in it
3. Add chopped lemongrass when you put in the yams. Instead of heavy cream use coconut cream and add cilantro at the end
4. Ramp up the heat with chili peppers at the start.