Intro to the Kitchen

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Fifth
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:39 pm

Mexican Rice

Post by Fifth »

One thing this thread needs: A description of HOW TO MAKE RICE. I regularly manage to screw it up, and consider it an essential kitchen skill that I don't quite have.

This recipe comes from my lady-friend's father. Apparently when she lived with him, he was in the habit of making this, and then eating the leftovers for the next week. It's a neat and easy recipe, but it produces a lot of leftovers. Have large Tupperware (Or any comparable plastic case suitable for leftovers - my mother and I use Rubbermaid brand) on standby. It takes a fair amount of tools, especially pots and pans.

We made this together for Valentine's Day and it came out really well, despite several mishaps.

What you need:

Tools:
Small saucepan (or rice cooker)
Very large skillet (Or a medium-sized skillet and a large pot)
Several big spoons
Big strainer or colander

Ingredients:
2 cups rice
1 pound ground beef
2 onions (If you live in an area like mine where the onions are HUGE, you can use one or less than one - we used about half of a big onion)
1 can of stewed chopped tomatoes (we used a 28-ounce can, but this is a very imprecise and imperfect recipe)
1-2 cans of corn, to taste. Our cans were 11 ounces. Not creamed corn, but intact corn kernels.
About 1.5 cups of Picante sauce, or salsa. This is pretty much ordinary salsa you put n a bowl and dip chips in. We used a mild salsa since my lady-friend and I have little tolerance for capsaicin, but your taste may vary.
Salt and pepper to taste

What To Do:
1. Make some rice
- Put the rice in the small saucepan. Add 4 cups of water, and put it on low heat. Mostly cover the saucepan.
2. Brown some ground beef, I usually use about a pound.
- Basically break up the ground beef with a big spoon, into chunks about the size of the end of your finger. Then dump it in the skillet

3. Drain the fat from the ground beef.
- Put a paper towel in the strainer and then dump the ground beef in. Give it a few minutes to let the fat drain out.

4. Chop and dice the onion(s). Put the ground beef and the onions back in the cooking pot and cook them again together until the onion-bits look clear, not white anymore.


5. Add the two (or more, depending on how watery you like this recipe, and how big your cans are) cans of stewed, chopped tomatoes.


6. Stir in one can of corn. Or more, to taste.


7. Cook softly until the rice is done, you don't have to bring it to a wild boil, just keep it hot.


8. Add about one cup of salsa to the meat/onion/corn/tomatoes skillet.


9. According to your taste, add salt or pepper. You can also add in a diced chili pepper if you want it spicy.


10. When the rice is done, add the rice to the pot and stir very well. Take the heat off. Let the rice soak in the liquid for awhile with no heat - about 5-10 minutes.
Arklytte
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:59 am

Re: Intro to the Kitchen

Post by Arklytte »

Been reading the comic and thought I'd check out the forum, and I found this rather wonderful thread. :) This is some good stuff, and I found myself compelled to register and contribute.

Myself, I'm a former professional chef (10+ years experience as well as a Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management degree) who's moved into the IT world...there ain't much money in the Chef biz, unless you're Emeril or Bobby Flay or Alton Brown.

Anyway, I just wanted to see if I could contribute a bit of what I've found works in the kitchen and help out. Something you might want to consider adding to the intro post is a crockpot, probably at Tier 3 or 4. They are wonderful time savers and very forgiving of newbs. You can find TONS of excellent 'toss stuff in the pot and forget it for 8-10 hours' recipes online as well as dozens of recipe books at your local bookstore.

Probably one of my favorite recipes that I currently cook is a layered beef stew that is done in the crockpot. I know that there is already a beef stew recipe in this thread (and I plan to try it out soon, as well as a couple of the other recipes), but the advantage of this one is that you can just pop the ingredients into the pot, turn it on, go to work, and come home to a heavenly, already ready dinner.

Layered Beef Stew:
Makes 6-8 dinner sized servings
If you are cooking for 1 or 2 and/or dont want leftovers, use a 3 quart crockpot and cut all measurements in half.

Tools you will need:
1 5 quart crockpot
Cutting Board
Chef's knife
Vegetable Peeler
1 Tablespoon sized measuring spoon
Can opener

Ingredients:
2 lbs stew meat
(You can buy already cut up Stew Beef, but I prefer to get a chuck roast. It's cheaper per pound and you can then ask the meat counter person to cube it up for you...most will happily do this for no extra charge.)
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1.5 lbs potatoes
(I prefer russets, or 'Idaho Potatoes', as they tend to break down and thicken the stew more, but if you prefer spuds with more texture use white or yukon gold instead.)
1.5 lbs carrots
1 bunch celery
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground marjoram or 1 tablespoon marjoram leaves (leaves preferred)
1 teaspoon ground thyme or 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (leaves preferred)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
3-4 bay leaves
6 tablespoons tapioca (small pearl)
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
(Splenda Brown Sugar Blend works well for those who want to cut down on the carbs.)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 can (15 oz) low sodium, fat free beef broth
(I recommend College Inn or Swanson)
1 can crushed tomatoes
(If you prefer, you can substitute 2 medium to large tomatoes, cored and chopped.)

Instructions:
1) Cut stew meat into bite sized chunks. Set into bottom of crockpot in an even layer.
(It helps if the meat is partially frozen...either put it into the freezer for an hour or, if previously frozen (I tend to buy large roasts and cut them into two pound pieces, then pop them into the deep freeze...this recipe has become a twice a month staple in my house), just put it into the fridge overnight...it will still be partially frozen and MUCH easier to cut.)
2) WASH CUTTING BOARD AND KNIFE before starting to cut up the veggies!!! Dry thoroughly. This is a VERY IMPORTANT STEP, as if you dont it can cause cross contamination. And that's bad, m'kay. Better yet, buy TWO cutting boards and use one exclusively for meat and the other for veggies.
3) Add crushed garlic and salt and pepper on top of beef.
4) Peel and chop onion. Wash, peel, and cut potatoes and carrots into bite sized pieces. Separate stalks of celery, wash, trim the ends and cut into bite sized pieces. Layer the veggies, in order, onto the beef.
5) Sprinkle the allspice, marjoram, thyme, salt & pepper, and the tapioca onto the veggies. Add the 4 bay leaves. Break up and sprinkle on the brown sugar.
6) Drizzle on the Worcestershire and broth. Try to work it back and forth in a steady drizzle as this will cause the spices to work their way through the veggies evenly.
7) Pour the crushed tomatoes evenly over the top.
8) Pop on the lid, set your crockput on Low, go away for 9-10 hours, and come back to some seriously ass kicking beef stew. Give it a good stir before serving and try to fish out the bay leaves...they'll tend to float. Each serving should be about 2 cups.

Protip: Serve with freshly baked Pillsbury Grands biscuits or Brown & Serve rolls on the side for some serious dinner Nirvana.

NOTE: Now, I know that this might seem a bit intimidating at first. There IS a lot of prep involved. It usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour to do all the prep, even with my level of experience. And we dont always have that much time as we're getting ready in the morning. So let me offer you a couple of time saving tips.

1) As previously mentioned, when you are buying your meat, buy a whole roast and ask the butcher to cut it up for you. Most meat counters will cheerfully do this free of charge, and if you ask nicely they'll even trim the larger pieces of fat away.

2) Chop the onion the night before, toss it in a Ziploc bag and freeze it. In fact, this is a good strategy for onions in general. In my freezer at this moment are red, white, and vidalia onions, some diced and some chopped, all in nicely labeled ziplocs. Comes in super handy when I'm cooking stews and soups or when I just want to add a little chopped onion to an omelet or something. You can also do this will bell peppers. For stir-frys and fajitas I still prefer to slice them fresh but for 90% of cooking at home, chopping them when it's convenient and freezing them works just fine. PS: DO NOT buy the already chopped onions or peppers from the freezer section of your store. They tend to be in rather large chunks and IMO then never taste as good as the ones you do yourself.

2a) You can also do this with garlic, but it's a little more complicated. You will need a good garlic press, a paring knife, and quite a bit of patience. Separate the bulbs of garlic into individual cloves, slice off the root end of each clove (I also peel them, but that is very time consuming and most people prefer not to. It's not like the 'paper' skin is unhealthy or anything, I just happen to think that it takes away from the garlic flavor, but that's just me...anyway), then crush them into a small bowl. Once you've crushed the whole bulb, pour the resultant paste into a small ziploc, zip it almost fully closed and remove all the air. The next bit is crucial: lay the ziploc out flat and gently smooth the garlic out into an even 'sheet'. Keep smoothing until it's about as thick as 2-3 quarters stacked on top of one another. Then be sure to freeze it lying flat. When you want to use some you can just snap off a piece about the size of a quarter and that's about 1-1.5 cloves of garlic. I go to a local garlic & herb festival every fall and buy 20+ lbs of fresh garlic, all different varieties and then spend two days processing them. It's an absolute pain in the ass but having 'fresh' garlic in the middle of winter is sooooooooo worth it. :D

3) You can also chop the carrots and celery the night before. Just put them into an airtight container (tupperware, ziploc bag, whatever) and keep them in the fridge overnight. Dont freeze them though...carrots and celery both have high water content and will become EXTREMELY mushy if you freeze them then cook them. :?

The above steps will greatly reduce your 'day of' prep time. Using the above method I can generally put this whole thing together in about 20 minutes (as the only thing you have to chop fresh are the potatoes...you cant do them the night before, they'll turn brown and get a bitter flavor), which is perfect while you're getting ready for work/school/whatever.

Any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, up to 2 days. I've never tried freezing leftovers of this, since we almost always eat this two nights running, but I would imagine you could freeze individual portions in either tupperware or ziploc bags. If you do freeze it, it should, in theory, last at least three months before freezer burn sets in.
Deepbluediver
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Mini Recipes

Post by Deepbluediver »

I'm glad to see this thread is popular enough to keep going even when I need to take long breaks.
Fifth wrote:One thing this thread needs: A description of HOW TO MAKE RICE. I regularly manage to screw it up, and consider it an essential kitchen skill that I don't quite have.
You're right. I've been focusing on one-pot recipes that allow experimentation, but we should have some basic one-ingredient dishes as well. I'll probably get around to posting how to fry porkchops one of these days.

Rice and Beef is an excellent dish that's easy and quick to make; it's kind of like a variation on pasta. I also think it's a good food to eat if you have an upset stomach, but in that case probably leave out anything too spicy.
I've never tried putting corn in mine, though I frequently add cheese. Canned olives and/or artichoke hearts are also good additions. If you're looking to fancy it up, you can also easily convert this into Stuffed peppers.

1) Prepare the rice and beef mixture as described above, or however you prefer. The only changes would be to cook the beef slightly less so it doesn't get overdone.

2) Cut 3-5 large Bell Peppers in half, removing the stem and cleaning out the seeds and white pieces.

3) Use a spoon to fill the pepper-halves with rice & beef.

4) Place the stuffed peppers in a baking tray, try to keep them level.

5) Pour tomato sauce over the top of everything

6) Bake in the oven at 325 for 20-25 minutes.
Arklytte wrote:Myself, I'm a former professional chef (10+ years experience as well as a Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management degree) who's moved into the IT world...there ain't much money in the Chef biz, unless you're Emeril or Bobby Flay or Alton Brown.
Damn, now I need to stop pretending I know what I'm doing, and slowly slink into the background while hiding my paper chef's hat. :P

I'm gonna have to try that trick with garlic though. As soon as I finish the 1-lb container of pre-diced garlic my roommate bought I've been trying to use up for the better part of a year now.
Anyway, I just wanted to see if I could contribute a bit of what I've found works in the kitchen and help out. Something you might want to consider adding to the intro post is a crockpot, probably at Tier 3 or 4. They are wonderful time savers and very forgiving of newbs. You can find TONS of excellent 'toss stuff in the pot and forget it for 8-10 hours' recipes online as well as dozens of recipe books at your local bookstore.
I've seen them used, but I've never felt compelled to try the crockpot style myself. I love soups and stews, but I like to hang around so I can taste and tweek the recipe while it cooks. And the only things I've ever truly slow-cooked where pork ribs, which I do in the oven. Plus my parents where kind of insistent that you don't walk away from things for to long with the stove on, lest they boil over or burn, but I guess the crockpot would resolve those problems. It's been added to the list, and if I ever have the opportunity again I'll be sure to test it out.
It helps if the meat is partially frozen...either put it into the freezer for an hour or, if previously frozen (I tend to buy large roasts and cut them into two pound pieces, then pop them into the deep freeze...this recipe has become a twice a month staple in my house), just put it into the fridge overnight...it will still be partially frozen and MUCH easier to cut.
This is good advice, though you sometimes need to be careful about what you freeze, as mentioned in the section on veggies. I often put Mozzarella in the freezer for 20 minutes before I need to grate it, just don't leave it there two long or you'll scrape your knuckles to the bone working on it. Fruit doesn't work out so well for keeping it fresh, though frozen fruit can still go into pies of cakes, or used as a topping if you cover it with sauce.

Another little mini-recipe: some fruits, like apples or oranges, will keep for weeks, while other, particularly berries, go off in a few days. Whenever one of my roommates buys berries and doesn't eat them in time, if I catch them before they completely turn into mush but aren't nice enough to eat plain anymore, I save them. Trim or throw out any actual moldy bits, dump the the rest in a container in the freezer. When you accumulate a decent amount, cook them all in pot on the stove until they boil, adding a small scoop of sugar and a few teaspsoons lemon juice. Mash up the mixture with a potato masher or even pop it in the blender for a few seconds, and then either eat it warm or stick it back in the freezer. It forms a kind of berry-compote that goes excellently on pound or short-cake, or can be mixed into cocktails or smoothies (or milk, for the kids).

Edit: You can also do this with fresh berries of course; I'd estimate it about 1/4 of cup of sugar and 1 tsp. lemon juice for every cup of fruit or so.
Arklytte wrote:WASH CUTTING BOARD AND KNIFE[/b] before starting to cut up the veggies!!! Dry thoroughly. This is a VERY IMPORTANT STEP, as if you dont it can cause cross contamination. And that's bad, m'kay. Better yet, buy TWO cutting boards and use one exclusively for meat and the other for veggies.
Also, I know some people may object to what I just described. A lot of chefs (and nurses) are real sticklers for freshness/cleanliness, and for a professional kitchen I'm sure that's a necessity (as evidenced by the quote). But I was taught, growing up, to have an almost pathological aversion to wasting food. It comes from my dad, and the circumstances in which HE was raised, which basically boiled down to- if it doesn't give you food poisoning, it's still good.
And if you get food poising, then lookit here at Mr. Fancy, thinking he's to good to eat with the rest of us.
I'm not quite that extreme, but I still look for ways to use or reuse leftovers, and I feel bad whenever I don't catch something in time and it goes bad.

In my case, there's also all the camping trips I've been on. Spend enough time in the wilderness, and eventually you will either go hungry, or learn to accept dirt as a legitimate seasoning. :lol:


Edit: I want to clarify- I may be a bit more lackadaisical than some people about freshness or germs, but I still believe cleanliness is an important consideration. One of the first things I did when I moved into my new apartment was clean (and reorganize) the kitchen from top to bottom. I also clean WHILE I cook- every time there's 5 minutes for something to simmer or boil or bake, and you have your prep for the next step done, clean the tools and pans and counters from your previous step in the recipe. That way when you're finished, you haven't let everything pile up.
Last edited by Deepbluediver on Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fifth
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:39 pm

Spice Rice

Post by Fifth »

Posting while I can still taste this recipe...

So yes, I just made this for the first time, and came out quite nice. I read, in a reading for my Geography of the Middle East and North Africa class, a description of Mandi, which is a dish popular in the Arabian Peninsula. In an article on Omani cuisine, it was presented as "rice cooked in meat broth, with cinnamon and pepper." Taking that idea, I went through a couple Mandi and similar recipes on the Internet, taking pieces from each and simplifying into this recipe. Works well on its own, or as a side dish.
I made this with a cinnamon stick, but I wasn't happy with how strongly the pepper came out, so I might try it with powdered pepper next. Will edit this post with updates.

Edit to Measuring Units section of the first post: I absolutely love having a few good sets of measuring cups and spoons. As a poor college student, it really really really helps to use my mother's well-equipped kitchen instead of having my own. Generally I'd want 2 each of:

1/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon
1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon
(these will often come as a set on a ring)
1/4 cup
1/3 cup
1/2 cup
1 cup

The reason for having 2 of each, of course, is so that ingredients can wait all measured-out in a staging area before being added to whatever you're cooking, and to avoid cross-contamination.

And having one or two graduated measuring cups doesn't hurt. My favorites are Oxo's with a sloped shelf so you can look down and see how much of Whatever you have. Very handy.

Okay, on to the recipe:
SPICE RICE
Ingredients:
2 cups long-grain rice
2 cans (28 ounces) beef broth
1 (2.5-3 inch) cinnamon stick (or ½-¾ teaspoon powder)
½-1 onion, chopped or diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1-2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper (1 teaspoon was too peppery for me, so adjust to taste)

Makes 4 servings as an entree, or 6-8 as a side dish.

Tools:
1 small (2 quart minimum) saucepan

Put the onion, cinnamon stick (if using a stick), and olive oil in the pot over moderate heat, stirring until the onion begins to soften. This will be about 2-4 minutes depending on your heat source.
If you want, you can put all your spices (sugar, pepper, cinnamon if using powder, salt) in a small bowl. This is especially handy if you only have one or two measuring teaspoons, or you like to have all your components standing by, ready to add.
Add rice, then broth, and stir. Turn up the heat until the surface of the broth begins boiling, then add spices. Stir some more until the spices are dissolved. Reduce the heat until the broth isn't quite boiling, and then cover the pot. Leave it on the heat until the broth is completely evaporated. This will be about 15 minutes.
After the broth is completely evaporated, take the pot off the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Then uncover and serve.

Edit: Any suggestions for vegetable broths to replicate the savory effect of beef broth?
Edit 2: If you've been having problems with powder cinnamon clumping and not being distributed, throw it (not the other spices) in with the olive oil, before you add the onion.
Last edited by Fifth on Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deepbluediver
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Vegertarian Chili

Post by Deepbluediver »

When I was a kid I didn't really like beans of any kind, so a family friend gave us her recipe for beanless-chili. I still use it, but living with vegetarian roommates has encouraged me to branch out from my normal cuisine, so I took the recipe and modified it into a more vegan-friendly version.

Ingredients and tools
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 medium onions, about 2 cups chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 cup of dried lentils, peas or other small beans (like moong-beans or one of those mixed-bean soup mixes you find in the store)
Vegetable Stock (32 oz.)
3 15-oz cans of beans, or the equivalent
2 cups tomato-sauce
Water
2-3 Bell Peppers
3 tbsp. Chili Powder
2 tbsp. ground cumin
1.5 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (yes, I put chocolate in my chili)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
Jalapeños, Hot Sauce [optional]
A large Soup-pot
Mixing Spoon
Measuring Cup
Knife
Cutting Board
Stove

Directions
1) Put the olive oil in the pot and turn on stove to medium, peel and chop the onions and garlic.
2) Cook the garlic and the onions in the pot with the oil until the onions turn translucent, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes)
3) Add vegetable stock, tomato sauce, and dried lentils/peas/beans (LPB). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for ~1 hour, stirring occasionally. The LPB should could down to almost nothing by the time we're done; it's main purpose is to help thicken the chili.
4) Add your canned beans and 2 cups of hot water to the pot. You probably want to rinse the beans off first, which can be done by dumping them in a large bowl, running water over them, then draining, though it's easiest if you use a colander since that handles everything at once.
5) Add in the spices, everything on the list from the Chili powder to the red pepper, and stir so it mixes evenly, then cook at low heat for anther 45 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn't start to stick.
5b) If you like your food hotter, then at this time also add some finely diced jalapeños or hot sauce to taste.
6) Chop your bell peppers into bite-size pieces, add to the pot and cook for another 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7) serving suggestions- top with a dollop of sour cream and/or grated chedder cheese, or server with fresh cornbread.

Notes
Chili, like beef stew, is fairly forgiving when it comes to experimentation. If you prefer using fresh or canned tomatoes instead of sauce, feel free. You can also use the canned tomato paste if want to make this recipe part of your doomsday survival kit.

You can use almost any kind of canned beans. With chili, red kidney beans are traditional, but I tend to use whatever I have lying around. Last time, that was 1 can of red kidney beans, 1 can of black beans, and 1 can of chick-peas.

If you really care about presentation, pick different colored bell peppers that contrast the color of your chili. When I made it, I used tomatoe sauce and a brand of vegetable stock that was darker brown, and my chili was brownish-red, so I put in green, yellow and orange peppers. My roommate chose a lighter colored brand of stock and used fresh tomatoes, so his was more yellow-colored, which made a good base for green and red peppers. It doesn't really change the taste though.

To make traditional chili, leave out the LPB. Instead, brown 2 pounds of ground beef with the onions, and swap the vegetable stock for beef broth. Add the spices at the same time as the broth and tomato-sauce, but leave out the extra salt (or buy low-sodium beef broth). Cook for 2 hours, adding 2-3 cans of red kidney beans halfway through. 5 minutes before the chili is done, stir in 1/3 of a cup of cornmeal.
Last edited by Deepbluediver on Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chaos_Descending
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: Intro to the Kitchen

Post by Chaos_Descending »

I'd be a bad friend, (and apparently a better friend then Tailsteak is brother) if I didn't mention a video series made by one [Name REDACTED for good reason, but it's Tailsteak's Brother].

It's unlisted on youtube, but publicly posted on @hungrypuppets on twitter. I'm going to ask him about that. [EDIT: He's got guys googling him right now so he had to sanitize his facebook and stuff]

Episode 1
..Missing...

Episode 2
http://youtu.be/s-iTjm1R6zs

If you enjoy it, get on him to make more. Someone needs to kick his ass.
Deepbluediver
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Intro to the Kitchen

Post by Deepbluediver »

Update time!

I've tried out both the spice-rice and the onion soup, and they where great!
The only thing that I need to work on is cooking rice without using a rice-cooker; I've kind of gotten out of the habit of cooking without one. The seasonings still tasted great though (would not have thought to include cinnamon, but it works).

I've also obtained both a hunk of beef and a crockpot, so I planning on testing out some of that as well. I may actually try cooking the beef with apples, and making some dumplings or gnocchi to go with it though. I'll give rundown of how it turns out once I've taste-tested.

I've been experimenting with more vegetarian/vegan friendly recipes as well; if this is the kind of thing people want to see let me know.
Fifth wrote:Any suggestions for vegetable broths to replicate the savory effect of beef broth?
I found a brand of concentrated vegetable-base at my local supermarket- here's the link to their webpage: https://www.superiortouch.com/retail/pr ... n-bouillon

It's pretty good stuff, and you can add more (higher concentration) of it than you normally might get with veggie-stock, since you control how much water goes into whatever you are cooking. So far it's been tested in both the spice-rice and a pumpkin-veggie soup and came up as a positive both times.
Fifth
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:39 pm

Re: Intro to the Kitchen

Post by Fifth »

(would not have thought to include cinnamon, but it works).
As I said, I lifted the idea from a Middle Eastern recipe: Mandi Minus the meat topping, of course, and made on the stove instead of in the traditional hole-in-the-ground oven. Oman (and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula) was at the epicenter of the spice trade for a while, and I guess local cooks had a chance to try most anything. I actually ran into an Omani student at school and described my adaptation, and he got very excited, and described it as one of his favorite foods from back home. So... cultural appropriation non-fail?
Though having made it several times, I have to recommend using the stick. When I used powder, and added it with the salt/sugar/pepper, it clumped rather unpleasantly and I couldn't get it to unclump. I'm going to try adding powder to the initial olive oil and see how that works out, since cinnamon is apparently more oil-soluble than water-soluble.
The only thing that I need to work on is cooking rice without using a rice-cooker; I've kind of gotten out of the habit of cooking without one.
You and my lady both... After doing this a few times, I'm not sure what the point of a rice cooker is. Rice seems to work just fine in my 2-quart pasta pot with a 15-minute timer. Now that I've got the hang of it, at least. Though I've only been working with long-grain rice, maybe you need a rice cooker for that short-grain stuff? Maybe it's one of those miracle devices you can't see the point of until you've used it?

Also, I tried a variant on the Gingersnap Brownie Bites above, replacing the spice mix with 2 teaspoons of chili powder, and got very mixed results. The chili powder didn't seem to distribute itself evenly, making some bites much spicier than others, but overall received very nice reactions from people warned about their content. And a melon baller proved very useful in getting batter into the foil cups.
I found a brand of concentrated vegetable-base at my local supermarket-
Thanks, I'll try that! Vegetable broth out of a box was... weak. Quite not right.
Fifth
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:39 pm

Peanut Butter Fudge

Post by Fifth »

DBD, any limit on number of recipes contributed? I am getting kind of enthusiastic about cooking and I like to share!

So here's a recipe I found on Facebook, and I'd leave it there, but there's a step that's tricky, and can make an inexperienced cook think the recipe RUINED FOREVER and NEVER GOING TO COME OUT RIGHT WAUGH, and I think it's worth posting here.

Without further ado, Peanut Butter Fudge.
(Honestly, this is REALLY SIMPLE, and if you cannot do this, you should be banished from the kitchen for all time, set to no culinary task more complicated than a microwave! If you don't want to make the full 64 1-inch squares, you can divide the recipe by 4 easily enough.)
Ingredients
2 sticks butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter - chunky works too!
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar - this will be about 3.5 cups.

Tools
Microwave
Microwave-Safe Bowl - at least 1/2 gallon
Stirring Implement - a spoon or spatula work equally well, I prefer a spoon
8in by 8in square dish, buttered. Run butter along the dish until it's all greasy. Lube it well.

What To Do:

Melt the butter and peanut butter.
This is tricky to give instructions for without knowing the wattage of your microwave, but my 1100-watt usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes on high for this. If you're not sure, go 30 seconds at a time until the butter is a pool of yellow liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Stir it up and the peanut butter will melt into the butter.

Stir in vanilla.


Beat in powdered sugar.
Powdered sugar is tricky stuff, be careful not to get a lungful of it. With some stirring, the fudge-in-progress will look and feel like cold cat puke liberally dusted with cocaine. This is normal, keep beating at it, until the powdered sugar has mostly disappeared into the not-fudge-quite-yet. Proceed to the next step before it cools completely:

Quickly spread into the buttered dish.
Use a spoon or spatula to smooth out the surface. If the dish's sides are transparent, there will probably be caves or rifts of white powdered sugar that didn't get beaten in. This is acceptable.

Chill to set. Cut into 64 squares.
It will probably take 5 hours or so to set. I haven't tested that yet.

I am trying to figure out how to replace the powdered sugar in this recipe with granulated, because I am starting to hate powdered sugar with a burning passion. Any tips?
Last edited by Fifth on Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
crayzz
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:34 am

Re: Intro to the Kitchen

Post by crayzz »

The best I can think of would be quick dissolving sugar; its still quite fine, but not as fine a powder.
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