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.