Friday Fluff: Recipes

We got to talking about food in a comments thread the other day (imagine!), and I promised that I would soon devote a thread entirely to Shapelings’ favorite recipes.

Here is that thread.

As I’ve said many times here, I’m a crappy cook, but I do have two recipes that are always crowd pleasers. One is the oh-so-charmingly named Christmas Morning Wifesaver from the Best of Bridge cookbook*, which actually was our Christmas breakfast most years while I was growing up. If you’re afraid of white food, this one won’t be for you, but it’s damn tasty. (And fwiw, I’ve tried substitutions including brown bread, sausage, and red peppers, but in my experience, nothing’s as good as the original. Though if you’re lacto-ovo vegetarian, you could probably eliminate the meat and have a totally yummy eggy-cheesy thing.)

The second recipe is the kind I love best — only a handful of ingredients, so I can remember them all at the store and make it without having to consult the recipe. And basically foolproof. Of course, the fact that I always do it from memory means I don’t know the exact quantities of ingredients anymore, but there’s a ton of wiggle room here.

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

  • 1 or 2 10-oz. packages of frozen spinach, depending on how much you like, thawed and squeezed out and whatnot — OR one large bag (or equivalent) of fresh spinach, wilted and chopped up in a food processor
  • About 2/3 of an average-sized tub of ricotta
  • 3 cups of other Italian cheeses — I usually get a bag of shredded Italian cheese blend and pour it in, but if you’re a keener, you can grate 1 cup of parmesan, 1 of mozzarella, one of romano or asiago or whatever, yourself
  • 2 eggs, maybe 3 (I can’t remember which the original recipe said, but I usually use 2)
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 10 lasagna noodles (Original recipe called for oven-ready lasagna noodles, which you were supposed to soak in lukewarm water for 10 mins to make them flexible. This never works for me — they go straight from stiff to starchy mess when I have my back turned. So in Toronto, I always bought sheets of fresh lasagna noodles, ’cause they were easy to find. Here, they’re not, so I boil normal ones.)
  • One jar of your favorite tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Mix up everything but the noodles and sauce in a large bowl. Pour half the jar of sauce in the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan. Spread some spinach and cheese goop on each lasagna noodle, roll ‘em up, and place them seam side down in the pan. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Bake covered for about half an hour. (I think the original recipe called for uncovering it and baking for 5 more mins., but I’ve never really seen the point.)

At least the first time you try it, resist the temptation to fancy it up with other ingredients. The best thing about this recipe is its utter simplicity — the flavors all blend perfectly, and adding extra garlic (the sauce should provide plenty) or mushrooms or whatever just messes with that. Don’t forget the nutmeg, though — it’s important.

Oh, and this recipe is awesome for people only cooking for one or two, because the roll-ups make it easy to freeze individual portions for later microwaving (which isn’t ideal, but they’re still pretty yummy that way).

All right, Shapelings, hit it. What’s your favorite recipe?

*I made this for my friend Mean Asian Girl’s baby shower, and she went, “Oh, is this that… Christmas Morning Wifebeater or whatever?” So that’s been the new name for Wifesaver around here since then. You can take your pick.

88 thoughts on “Friday Fluff: Recipes

  1. Banana Tea Cake from my Grandma Roses:

    Cream 1/3 cup butter or margarine and 2/3 cup sugar

    Beat in 2 eggs and 3 mashed bananas.

    Add dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix to combine.

    Pour into buttered and floured pan and bake in preheated 350 oven for about 1 hour.

    Roses died in 1997 at age 90. She quit smoking at 82, but never gave up her nightly bourbon and ice or her fried chicken and mashed potatoes. I miss her like you wouldn’t believe, so this recipe, which she got off a tin of Oleo back in the 1930s somewhere, is very dear to me. I still have the recipe on a card in her handwriting. Make it with love : )

  2. Best Coleslaw Ever:
    1 head cabbage
    1/2-1 cup Mayonnaise, depending on how much dressing you like (I use about 3/4 cup, and it’s not drowing in dressing – and Kraft mayo works best – Best Foods is too sweet for this recipe)
    Sweet Pickle juice
    Celery seeds

    Shred the cabbage
    In a cup or bowl, mix the mayonnaise and sweet pickle juice until it’s about the consistency of ranch dressing.

    Toss cabbage, dressing and celery seeds to taste.

    Fennel salad
    4 fennel bulbs
    juice of 1 large lemon
    salt to taste
    Slice the fennel into rings
    Drench in lemon juice, salt lightly and stir to coat.
    Set aside on the counter for an hour or two, stirring occasionally until the fennel wilts a little.

    Marinara sauce (from the Silver Spoon Italian cookbook):
    28 oz canned tomatoes (whole is best, but chopped will work)
    4 cloves of garlic, minced (don’t worry, the sugar takes the edge off the garlic, and it just ends up tasting deep and rich)
    pinch of sugar
    olive oil – 1-2 Tbs.

    In a saucepan, combine the tomatoes, garlic and sugar. Bring just to boiling, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
    Stir the sauce, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
    Cover and simmer 10 more minutes.
    Just before serving, pour a generous swirl of olive oil into the pan, and stir gently.
    (FWIW, the main flavors in this are so good that I’ve been known to just add some beef or chicken broth and eat it as a soup.)

    God I love cooking. I could go on like this forever!! LOL I can’t wait to see everyone else’s recipes!

  3. Ack! I forgot the basil in the Marinara sauce above!! Add a generous amount of fresh basil (I use about 1/3 cup chopped) either when you stir it the first time or when you add the olive oil. I’ve done it both ways and it’s DELICIOUS either way. :D

    Also in the colseslaw – that should be “not drowNing in dressing.” As opposed to “drowing.” Ahem.

  4. I under no circumstances cook, but I do happen to have Dan’s sesame noodles recipe (slightly altered from The Joy of Cooking):

    Blend in a food processor:
    2 cups smooth peanut butter
    1/2 cup rice vinegar (white vinegar ok)
    1/4 cup light soy sauce
    2 tsp dark soy sauce (Dan says he doubts it would matter if you only used one kind of soy sauce)
    2 tbsp minced garlic
    3 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp salt

    Move to a bowl, add in:
    1/4 to 1/3 cup sesame oil

    Gradually stir in:
    1 cup freshly brewed black tea

    Combine with your favorite noodles — we use whole wheat spaghetti or sometimes whole wheat fusilli, this sauce works really well with whole wheat pasta — and whatever stir-fried veggies you like. Green beans are particularly good, or broccoli, or red peppers. You can also stir-fry some chicken or tofu with the veggies. When we have time Dan grills and shreds the chicken, which I consider to be a million times better than stir-fried.

    Dan also makes a fantastic curry with a Secret Blend of Spices (I can’t deal with premixed curry powder — too freakin’ hot — so he grinds his own). But lately it’s been supplanted with the easy version, which involves green curry paste, coconut milk, carrots, and potatoes.

    OH, and here’s my other favorite recipe, which I can actually make myself:
    Cut up one billion parsnips, brussels sprouts, and carrots, and maybe some potatoes.
    Rub with olive oil and sprinkle salt.
    Put in oven at 400 until awesome.

  5. Incidentally, your lasagna recipe is a differently-shaped version of the lasagna my mom made when I was a kid (Vegetarian Epicure, baby! I need a copy of that book). The first time I encountered meat lasagna was like the first time I encountered whole milk — I felt confused and betrayed. I’ve kind of come around to meat lasagna, and I can put up with regular veggie lasagna, but honestly if it’s not spinach and ricotta I don’t really have time for it.

  6. Those sesame noodles are making me drool. OMG yum.

    My favorite big dish comfort food now is Tofu Scramble. Infinite variety is possible, and I swear that even not veg*ans will love it. Or at least like it.

    from Vegan with a Vengeance

    1T olive oil
    1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 1/2 in chunks
    2 c thinly sliced mushrooms
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained
    1/4 c nutritional yeast flakes (about 2 t granules)
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    1 carrot, peeled (optional, mostly for color)

    Spice Blend:
    2 t ground cumin
    1 t dried thyme
    1 t ground paprika
    1/2 t ground turmeric
    1 t salt

    Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat.
    Saute onions for 3 minutes, until softened
    Add mushrooms, saute for 5 minutes
    Add garlic, saute about 2 minutes
    Add spice blend and mix for 15 seconds or so
    Add 1/4 c water to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to get all the garlic and spices

    Crumble in the tofu and mix well. Don’t cursh the tofu, just kind of lift it and mix it around. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necessary to keep the tofu from sticking. Turn heat down if you notice sticking.

    Add lemon juice and nutritional yeast and mix it up. Add water if needed. The moistness depends on how much water the tof was retaining before you added it.

    Grate the carrot and fold in.

    Serve with guacamole and salsa, if desired.

  7. Grilled seafood kabobs (by way of Stubb’s)

    1 lb sea scallops
    1 lb de-veined shrimp
    1 lb portobello mushrooms (cut into pieces)

    Marinade:

    1 bottle Stubb’s original barbecue sauce
    1/4 cup honey
    4 tablespoons dijon mustard

    Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Reserve about a 1/2 cup for later basting.

    Put the scallops, shrimp, and ‘shrooms on skewers (I prefer metal) in any order you like. Coat it all generously with the marinade and throw into the fridge, and let it marinate overnight (though I’ve marinated in under six hours and it still kicked ass).

    Grill until the shrimp’s pink and the scallops are fairly firmish, basting at various points. Take them off the heat and go to town because YUM.

    Notes:

    *I’ve done these on a charcoal barbecue but have yet to try the indoor grill we have. I suspect it’d work out nicely.

    *The marinade also rules when it comes to grilled salmon.

    *Costco is a great place to find quality seafood without completely passing out at the prices.

  8. My standard explanation for my level of cooking is that “i make a mean bowl of cereal and that’s about it”. It’s not exactly true, but it sounds funny.

    I can make an italian sausage pasta sauce that will knock your socks off. The trick lies in the quality of the sausage. For all you Chicagoans, my dad for YEARS has been getting the sausage for this particular sauce at the Big Apple Finer Foods (i think around the Fullerton/Clark area, not 100% certain).

    Take 4 links of the (raw) sausage of your choice, take it out of the skin. Break it up into chunks, toss into skillet. Add a whole stick of butter (alternative: really good olive oil). Cook until done.

    Once the sausage is cooked, dump the entire contents of the skillet into a crock pot – butter and all. Now, take several large cans of peeled tomato (i like the Progresso brand for this). Open the cans, and one by one, pick up a tomato and squish it up and drop it into the crock pot. Repeat until the can just has juice. Now, pour all the juice from the can into the crock pot. Repeat until all cans are done.

    Stir. Cover. Let simmer for several hours. You can add garlic if you like, but if the sausage is good, it does all the seasoning for you. Check periodically, stir; if it’s getting too thick or boiling down too much, feel free to add some water.

    When serving this particular sauce, i like to use farfalle-shaped pasta. Because i am that much of a pasta snob to think that the shape DOES matter when it comes to the sauce. I’ve tried this sauce with spaghetti, and it just doesn’t do the sauce justice. So get farfalle, trust me on this.

  9. Lindsay reminded me of a friend’s dish called Sausage Dish, which is probably too heavy for me to eat anymore but is surely one of the finer things in life. IIRC it goes something like this:
    Chop sweet Italian sausage and red bell peppers, cook in pan.
    Pour heavy cream over the cooked sausage and peppers. Simmer for a while.
    Add fresh spinach, just long enough for it to wilt.
    Pour over fusilli (MUST be fusilli) and toss.

  10. My friends beg me to make this dessert for just about any occasion that calls for a dessert:

    Rice Chex Ice Cream Dessert
    * 2 1/2 c. crushed Rice Chex cereal (crush in your hand so it doesn’t get too ground up)
    * 1/2 c. butter, melted
    * 1 c. brown sugar
    * 1 c. coconut
    * 1/2 gal. vanilla ice cream, softened to the point where you can smooth and sort of stir it (eg leave it on the counter for an hour before making the rest)

    Combine melted butter, brown sugar, coconut, and cereal. Spread half of mixture on the bottom of a 9×13 in. pan. Spread ice cream on top and smooth out. Top with the rest of the cereal mixture. Freeze. Serve with chocolate syrup!

    AND… I always keep the ingredients for this one on my shelf. When I’ve got ED voices whispering in my ear, this is an easy thing to throw together instead of throwing the towel in. Serve it with the brown rice and you’ve got a complete protein. Plus, everyone I’ve ever served it to has liked it and has liked how easy it is to make. And there are endless variations… at least I think there are. I’m really no kitchen whiz and I don’t much care for cooking. So I’ll leave the “endless variations” to the wise reader. :)

    Easiest Ever Makeshift Chili
    * 1 can black beans (drained)
    * 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes (not drained) — you can use the ones that have chili peppers in them and it adds a little spice
    * 1 can corn (drained)

    Open the cans. Mix it all together in a sauce pan. Add a couple Tbsp chili powder and maybe 1 tsp cumin. Wait till it’s hot. Serve over brown rice or quinoa. It’s especially yummy if you add 1c cheddar cheese to the mix at the end.

  11. NSFV! (Not safe for veg/etari/ans)

    I tend to go to extremes with my cooking: either I keep things to chops-n-veg (technique to follow) or I go native with South Asian cooking. I did already know vegetarian Indian cookery before I met my (Bangladeshi) hubby-to-be, and then went on to learn the meat curries and kormas and kebabs that he likes, some of which are quite simple and others that really can take 10 different spices. (That, by the way, is a common dismissal of learning/eating subcontinental cuisine, and one that I really take umbrage at. I personally enjoy elaborate mise en scene and prep and paying attention during cooking, but not everyone does…. BUT it’s a way of both exoticizing the food and rendering it somehow effete and less worthy of note. Pisses me right off.)

    I may post my coconut chicken curry recipe later, but here is a very common dinner for me, in my currently solo situation. It’s fast, tasty, and I feel well fed afterward.

    – One piece o’ red meat, cut for grilling (pork chop, steak, lamb chop), 8-12 oz (I buy the bulk packs and freeze up individual chops for later)
    – tbsp of oil
    – knob of butter (1 tbsp)
    – salt and pepper to taste
    – 1-2 stalks of broccoli OR a couple of handfuls of baby carrots
    – 1/4 cup water

    Heat skillet (it should be fairly thick, with a close-fitting lid for later) over medium-high heat until a dash of water skitters off. add oil and heat up, then add butter. When butter is thoroughly melted, swirl around until the two oils are mixed together, then slap that chop down. grind pepper across the top, then sprinkle salt (I’ve rediscovered coarse salt, sea or kosher, not important). Cook for 6-7 minutes, then turn. (I like my chops bloody, so I often will turn after 4-5 minutes) Repeat peppering and salting on other side. You may get brown bits forming on the pan, do not worry, this is part of the recipe that doesn’t show up in the ingredient list.

    While the chop is cooking, separate broccoli into florets. Remember to peel the thick stem and slice it on the diagonal (3/4-inch slices) to include. Broccoli stems, yum! After the chop is cooked, remove to your plate and throw the broccoli in the pan (still over med.-high heat). Dry fry it for about 30 seconds, add in a little more salt and pepper, and then pour in the water and quickly cover. Cook for a minute ONLY, then lift the lid and stir up. You now have steamed broccoli AND a bit of juice from the brown bits. Serve the broccoli to the plate, and then pour the juice over.

    This is even better if you melt a little more butter in the pan after the meat is done, and then saute a clove of garlic before adding the broccoli.

  12. I usually get my recipes from All Recipes, and this one is no exception. I made these muffins yesterday with my daughter, and there are only a couple left. Delish!

    Cranberry Apple Muffins

    Yields: 18 servings (I ended up with 30 muffins, so I guess I have a smaller pan)

    INGREDIENTS:
    2 cups shredded peeled apples
    1 1/3 cups sugar
    1 cup chopped fresh or frozen
    cranberries
    1 cup shredded carrots
    1 cup chopped nuts
    2 eggs, lightly beaten

    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    DIRECTIONS:
    1. In a bowl, combine apples and sugar; let stand for 10 minutes. Add cranberries, carrots, nuts, eggs and oil; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, coriander if desired and salt; stir into apple mixture just until moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
    2. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

  13. I adore recipes! (see my blog: http://www.gourmetgoddess.blogspot.com) I have often thought I should quit my job and become a test kitchen chef. But my favorite recipe is also one of the easiest: Take a pound of pasta of your choice (I like penne). Cook until just barely al dente. Drain. Add in one pint of clean cherry or grape tomatoes and one container of fresh marinated mozzarella balls (add everything not just the cheese), spalsh in vinegar or lemon juice to taste, and throw in some torn fresh basil leaves. Salt and pepper to taste. Voila! Caprese pasta salad.

  14. Libbyloo, your makeshift chili is very much like mine, which goes:

    -Brown and drain some ground chicken/turkey/beef/wev
    -Add big jar of salsa and can of black beans (can of corn would be good, too, but I often use salsa with corn in it)
    -simmer for a while

    It ain’t really chili, but I don’t know what else to call it, and it’s tasty and absurdly easy. I serve it either with tortilla chips or wrapped up in soft tortillas, as makeshift burritos. And yes, shredded cheddar — and sour cream, green onions, fresh cilantro, etc. — make it better. But the beauty of it is, you don’t even need any of that, and it’s fine.

  15. I, too, usually have some kind of grilled meat with a side o’ steamed veggies (a current fav is wilted chard with caramelized onions and garlic). But I also make a kick-ass pot roast that is super easy.

    A roast (beef or pork)
    Carrots (sliced thickly)
    Onion (in chunks)
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 packet Lipton onion soup mix

    1. Brown the roast on all sides and place in the bowl of a slow-cooker. Top the roast with the carrots and onions.
    2. Mix the can of soup and the soup packet together. Pour over top of roast and veggies. The mixture will look really thick, but don’t add any water! The juices from the roast will mingle with the soup mixture, forming a great sauce.
    3. Turn slow cooker to ‘low’ and cook for about 8 hours.

    I don’t know how long it really takes to cook. I usually turn the thing on before I head off to school/work and when I return about 8 hours later my house smells like pot roast and I am in heaven.

    For those of you who are more adventurous in the kitchen, my blog has a recipe for stuffed chicken that is to die for.

    jamboree – I love all recipes! I get a lot of my ideas from there.

    Kate – taking the foil off about 5 minutes before they come out of the oven is a step for those of us who like crunchy lasagna roll-ups. Mmmmm… crunchy pasta….

  16. Here are my two favourites. The first is from Eating Well I think, the other is my tweak on an amazing Nigella Lawson recipe.

    Grilled Sirloin Salad – (NSFV, though the dressing is so good I would eat it with anything, anytime)
    It is fast, very healthy, filling and really tasty.

    For the dressing:
    2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
    2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 teaspoons sesame oil
    2 teaspoons brown sugar
    1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
    1 clove garlic pressed

    blend all these together. You can even do it earlier, or the day before,
    and just whisk it before you use it.

    You’ll need about 12 cups washed and torn salad greens (can use a bagged
    salad mix- just no iceberg lettuce)

    Then heat a grill, and press crushed pepper or peppercorns into at 3/4 lb.
    beef sirloin- trimmed of fat.

    Grill the sirloin, 16 scallions (only the thick white part on the bottom
    half, the green part will burn) and a red pepper cut in half.

    Let the beef sit for a few minutes off the grill, then cut in thin slices
    against the grain. Cut the pepper into thin strips as well.
    Toss the salad greens with the dressing, and divide onto four plates.
    Arrange the beef, red pepper, and scallions on top, and serve with bread.

    Guiness Chocolate Cake
    for the cake:
    1 cup Guinness (plus a splash)
    1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (the Tablespoons are to grease the pan)
    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
    2 cups superfine sugar (but you can just use regular white if you have to)
    3/4 cup sour cream
    2 eggs
    1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
    2 cups flour
    2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

    For the frosting:
    8oz. of cream cheese
    1 and 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
    1/2 cup heavy cream.

    preheat the oven to 350, and line and butter a 9 inch springform pan. (This is
    really important, it’s a moist cake, and if you use a regular pan, it will stick to the
    sides).
    pour the Guinness into a pot- add butter and heat until the butter melts-
    then whisk in cocoa and sugar. Take off heat. Beat the sour cream, eggs
    and vanilla together and then add to the cocoa mixture. Whisk in the
    flour and baking soda. Pour into pan, bake for 45 minutes to an hour
    (when a knife comes out pretty clean). Let the cake cool in the pan on a
    cooling rack. (it’s a very moist cake so it will fall apart if you cool it
    outside the pan.)
    whip the cream cheese until it’s smooth, then shift in the confectioner’s
    sugar and beat them both together. Then add the cream and beat until it’s
    the right consistency. Then, you know, frost the top of the cake and lick
    the bowls.

  17. OMG, I’m so excited about some of this stuff! FJ, those noodles sound awesome; I’ve never been able to find a peanut-sauce recipe that looked simple enough to attempt, but I’m SO trying that one!

    And Lindsay, thanks for the recipe! I got a Crock Pot for Christmas and I’ve been hunting down good recipes!

    That sausage recipe made me think of this one, too:
    Sausage and Collard Greens
    1/4-1/2 stick butter for sauteeing
    Handful of crumbled bacon
    1/2 cup onion
    1 cup Chicken broth
    1 14-oz-can chopped tomatoes
    1 package (approx 6 links) sweet Italian sausage (cooked or raw – if you buy raw, you’ll have to pre-cook it)
    Collard Greens – get twice as many as you think you’ll need (I buy 2 of the pre-cut bags at Trader Joe’s)

    If you bought uncooked sausages, boil them according to the package instructions (or about 15 minutes). Allow to cool, and slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces.

    Find a LARGE pan – the greens will cook down, but in the meantime they’ll be a pain (I usually use a soup pot). In the pan combine the butter, onion and bacon crumbles, and sautee until done. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the greens, a handful at a time, stirring to encourage wilting.
    When all the greens are (more or less) in the pot, add the tomatoes and sausages. Stir until it’s all pretty well-mixed.
    Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes, or until done.
    (If it’s really soupy at that point, I drain off some of the chicken broth.)

    This is one of the ugliest things you’ll ever see on a plate – the greens turn a drab olive green color – but it’s SOOOOO good. I just eat it in a bowl by itself, but it’s also good alongside a baked potato.

    *This will allow for 6-8 servings on its own – more if you eat a potato or something with it. I just cook the giant batch because I LOVE this and will eat it 24/7 until it’s gone, but you could also use half the greens and half the sausage – it’ll just be a little more onion-and-tomato-ey.

  18. I make this all the time because I always have some of the ingredients lying around and only have to buy things I have a taste for. There’s no way to do it wrong except leave the lid off and burn it. Also, it’s spicy and vaguely exotic, and I can do grad-studenty things while it cooks.

    “Whatever’s in the fridge” tagine
    You need: a dutch oven (which is basically a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, so any variety of that will do; olive or vegetable oil; meat if you eat it; loads of spices if you have them; whatever veggies you’ve got; a lemon; coconut milk if you want/need it.

    Directions:
    1. Into the skillet, pour a little pool of oil. Go light if you need to… you can always add more.
    2. Chop up a couple cloves of garlic and maybe half a small onion. Or you can use minced garlic from a jar and leave the onion out. Whatever. Turn the heat up high and let those things brown a bit.
    3. While the white rooty things are browning, spice up your meat. (If you don’t use meat, add the spices to your veggies instead and add more water or coconut milk to make up for the missing meat juice). I like to use beef chunks, but you can obviously use chicken or pork chops. Small bits are best. I like to roll mine in the following spices: black pepper, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, cumin, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, garam masala. Obviously you don’t need that much: if you don’t want it spicy, cut back the pepper and the chili. If you don’t have garam masala, throwing in a pinch of cinnamon with your cumin and pepper gives a similar Indian-curry taste. I use paprika and turmeric mostly for coloring. I have no idea how much of anything I use.
    4. When you’re done, throw the meat in (add more oil if you need to, so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan) and let it brown while you squeeze out the juice of one lemon. Then close the lid and lower the heat. Closing the lid will keep moisture in the pan, so when you open it in twenty minutes or so, you should have spicy meat juices in there.
    5. While your meat is cooking, chop up your veggies. I’m usually trying to use up half a zucchini and a couple of carrots, potatoes if I have them. Spinach is delicious in this. I have golden raisins and peanuts, which add delicious tastes and textures.
    6. When you’re done or when the meat’s been cooking for 20-30 minutes, turn the heat back to high and throw the veggies in. Stir it all up so everything gets spiced. If you need to, add half a can of coconut milk, or half a cup of water or stock, or another lemon – you want all the veggies to have some liquid on them. Let the liquid boil, then cover the pan and turn the stove to simmer.
    7. Cook up a cup of rice if you want grains. OTherwise, sit down and do your homework for half an hour while the tagine gets all tender and stewy.

  19. The dish I am required to make for all family occasions:

    Spinach and Artichoke Dip:

    1/2 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out
    1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into little pieces
    1 package of cream cheese (the rectangular package)
    6 oz shredded mozzarella
    6 oz shredded Parmesan
    2 big spoonfuls of mayo
    garlic and crushed red pepper to taste (I use a lot of garlic and a medium amount of crushed red pepper)

    Mix it all together, put it in a casserole dish, and throw it into the oven at 350 until the cheese is all melted and the top is brown. Serve with bread or tortilla chips. Tasty!

  20. Gluten free sugar cookies (from Bette Hagmen’s ‘gluten free gourmet':

    Ingredients:
    -1 cup rice flour
    -3/4 cup tapioca flour
    -3/4 cup cornstarch
    -2 1/2 teaspoons xanthum gum
    -1 teaspoon salt
    -1 cup sugar
    -1 cup shortening (I used butter)
    -1 egg (or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute)
    -2 teaspoons vanilla
    -1/4 cup potato starch (or more) for kneading the dough
    -coloured sugars, sprinkles, or frosting for decoration

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees (about gas mark 5). In a bowl, whisk together the flours, cornstarch, xanthum gum, and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and shortening. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, mixing enough to combine. The dough should form a soft ball. With your hands, knead in enough of the potato flour to make the dough easy to handle and roll out.

    Working with half at a time, place a piece of plastic wrap over the ball and roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased baking sheet (NB. I used a greased baking sheet and that worked just fine; they didn’t stick at all). Decorate with coloured sugars before baking, or use frosting to decorate after baking. All scraps can be used so don’t throw them away! They won’t get tough.

    Bake for about 13 minutes. Cool very slightly before removing from the tray and placing them on a wire rack to fully cool. Makes 3 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies.

    These are SO GOOD. Even my non-GF family members love them. :) They last well if you keep them in an airtight tin.

  21. sunburned: mmm, beer cake. I don’t usually go for cake, but I think the addition of my favorite beverage might help….

    Here is a recipe I have been working on for a while, but I don’t measure, so these are my best guesses…

    Salmon Pesto Pie (doesn’t sound so good, but it really is!)

    You will need:

    2 or 3 tablespoons of pesto (homemade or store bought)
    1 Pie crust (I use pilsbury, but you can make your own!)
    ~1/2 lb salmon filet
    3-4 TBSP flour
    3-4 TBSP butter
    2 or 3 cups of milk
    2-3 medium potatoes
    sundried tomatoes in oil

    steps:

    1. cut potatoes into chunks and boil till tender. Mash lightly with fork, so they are somewhat chunky.

    2. Poach salmon (put in a pan with about 1/2 cup water or white wine, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to finish cooking. Flake salmon into the potatoes and stir lightly.

    3. Chop up the tomatoes and mix in with the potatoes and salmon

    4. Put pie crust into pie pan

    5. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and slowly add flour while whisking; when smooth, slowly add milk. Whisk continously until tihckened (you might need to raise the heat a little, but don’t burn it!) You want it pretty thick, not runny

    6. When sauce is thickened, remove from heat. Whisk in pesto to taste.

    7. Spoon some of the sauce on the bottom of the pie crust and distribute evenly. Top with some of the potato mixture, and spoon some more sauce over it. Repeat this until all the ingredients are gone. the top layer should be the potato mixture.

    8. Bake at 350 until the top layer is golden brown.

    YUM!

  22. OMG – I recognize that Wifebeater recipe. In my family its called “The Egg Thing” and we have it for EVERY family breakfast. (we dont do the onion, gp or worcestershire tho – basically egg, bread,cheese and milk and we always make one with and one without ham)

  23. Fillyjonk, I do that roasted veggies thing all the time. It’s one of my favorite things to cook (though I can only do the Brussels sprouts part when I’m alone because I live with men who fail to understand the delicious of Brussels sprouts, sigh) and there are never any leftovers. Talk about incredibly simple yet ridiculously delicious!

    A while ago I did one of my wacky kitchen experiments that has become a warm-weather staple of the Twistie household. It’s easy, tasty, and vegan – unless you put in something that isn’t.

    Whatever’s In the Fridge Barley Salad

    Take one or two cups of pearl barley. Cook according to package directions. Put in large bowl and allow to cool.

    Take small amounts of several fresh vegetables – pretty much whatever you have on hand, though some of my favorites are broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, green beans, tomatoes, bean sprouts, bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts – cut small, and blanch or add raw, depending on variety and personal taste. Add to barley.

    Add rice (or any light-tasting) vinegar, salt and pepper, garlic, and fresh or dried herbs to taste. Toss thoroughly, refrigerate for at least an hour.

    Serve with baked tofu, tempeh, or your preferred meat choice. Hell, sometimes we just have this salad for dinner. In that case, I usually toss in a can of kidney beans or black beans for protien.

  24. Asparagus Risotto

    2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
    1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
    1 lbs. fresh green asparagus
    extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup freshly ground parmesan
    unsalted butter
    about 6-7 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth

    1. Wash and trim off the tough end of the asparagus, leaving the tips and the tender part of the stalk.
    2. Put the stalks in a pan of water leaving the tips out. When the water starts to boil add salt.
    3. Cook the asparagus until tender. Cook the tips only for the last few minutes since they are more tender and cook quickly.
    4. Remove the asparagus tips and chop the stalks in small pieces and cook them for a few minutes in 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter. Cook the tips apart in 1 Tbsp. butter (don’t brown them!).
    5. Put the asparagus stalks through a vegetable ricer and then blend them in a food processor to make a smooth sauce. Just set the tips aside for now.
    6. In the meantime heat up a pan with 1 1/2 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp. olive oil and add the chopped onions. Cook them until soft and translucent. If they get too dry add few spoons of water or broth.
    7. When the onions are ready add the rice, combine it well with the onions and butter, and toast it for about 2-3 minutes at high heat.
    8. Add the asparagus sauce and a cup of broth to the rice and mix it in well.
    9. Once the rice has absorbed the sauce add about 2 cups hot broth and reduce the heat to medium Stir it frequently.
    10. Continue adding broth a bit at a time, stirring until the broth is absorbed.
    11. When the rice is a few minutes from finished add the asparagus tips and mix well.
    12. After a minute or so add 2 Tbsp. butter and the Parmesan. Remove from the stove, cover the pan with the lid and let it stand for few minutes.

    Serve and drool.

  25. Well I ahve like a million favorite recipes but here’s one for fried chicken that will blow your mind. If you really want to make it amazalicious let the chicken soak in buttermilk for 24 hours before you prep and fry it

    Ricotta Fried Chickies

    Hardware:
    Deep cast iron pot for frying
    Two pie tins for dredging
    A splatter screen
    A meat thermometer
    cooling rack
    baking pan

    The food stuff
    1- Fryer Chicken (not a roaster, they’re too big) cut into pieces
    1 tsp Salt
    1 tsp fresh ground pepper
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1-8 oz tub Ricotta Cheese
    3-eggs
    1 cup flour
    1 cup plain breadcrumbs
    1 cup corn meal/grits
    Enough vegetable oil (canola or peanut work well) to fill three inches of the fry pot.

    Prep:
    -combine eggs and ricotta in a pie tin #1, mix with a fork until smooth
    -combine flour, breadcrumbs, and grits in pie tin #2, mix until well combined
    -heat oil over medium heat until water sprinkled in sizzles.
    -dredge chicken in dry mixture, then wet mixture, then back in dry, shake off excess flour, carefully place in fry pot.
    -fry about 8-10 minutes on each side until chicken reaches 170 degrees, remove from oil to a cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet for drainage and cooling.

    NOTE: My range is very hot, so I usually fry for about five minutes then remove from the heat for a couple minutes to avoid burning, then place back on heat. It’s a bit of a process but it’s so totally worth it.

  26. I love cooking, when I have the time, and enjoy nothing better than the meditative Zen-like calm that comes over me when I’m peeling and chopping veggies. But I can’t be doing with mega-complex recipes involving poncey, rarified ingredients like polenta “in season” (yes, apparently it has one. Who knew?) or fresh nasturtium flowers gathered by moonlight, (okay, I made that bit up – and the leaves do taste quite nice in a salad). Pretty much all the best food I’ve ever eaten has been simple, made with easily obtainable, good quality ingredients. For this reason Nigel Slater is my Kitchen God. Anyway, 2 recipes for your delectation, Shapelings.

    First, my salmon fishcakes. . I can’t remember where I got this recipe but I’ve tinkered with it over the years.

    To feed 8, take…
    Ilb of flaked poached salmon
    Half a pint of full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
    12 oz floury potatoes
    grated rind of one unwaxed lemon
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    Fresh parsley, dill or whatever herb floats your fishy boat
    1 beaten egg
    4 oz soft breadcrumbs

    1) Poach salmon in the milk.
    2) Drain, reserving the milk.
    3) Boil potatoes, mash with some of the milk
    4) Flake fish, add to mash along with the lemon rind, mustard and herbs. Season to taste. If dry, add more milk.
    5) Divide and press into patties. Dip in the egg, coat with breadcrumbs then bake for 25 – 30 minutes on Gas Mark 6

    They’re particularly yummy served with steamed fine green beans and teriyaki vegetables but, frankly, a crisp mixed salad would do just as well.

    To follow I recommend this simple treat of my own invention, known in my social circle as You Do Realise This Is Going To Kill Us?, which is what a friend of mine said when he watched me making it. Interesting how food-angst can even effect skinny young men with no apparent health problems…

    Take…
    1) One tub of mascarpone, (or two, depending on how many people you’re planning to kill – but a little does go a long way).
    2) Crumble into it a good handful of amaretti biscuits, (the non-moist, crunchy kind), and an equally generous handful of fresh raspberries, though frozen ones will do at a pinch.
    3) Add a splash of alcohol of choice, (Southern Comfort’s pretty good but Amaretto or a raspberry liqueur would be pretty tasty).
    4)Squish lightly and briefly with a fork, just enough to break the raspberries up a bit, and serve.

    You can make a healthier variation using fromage frais but it’s very disappointing by comparison.

    FJ, those sesame noodles sound like they’d hit the spot!

  27. Damn! I’ve just eaten tea, or it would be sesame noodles for me tonight. Also spinach and artichoke dip sounds amazing and I’m going to make it next time I make sweet potato wedges.

    Recipes are kind of difficult for me because I learnt in my mother’s school of ‘take whatever looks like the right/a sensible amount and never weigh anything’ cookery, but I’ll try to translate.

    Tartiflette (warning: may induce food coma)

    Boil some potatoes till almost cooked, drain, set to one side to cool.
    Cook sliced up bacon, onions (I prefer red, but up to you) and garlic with a half/half mix of butter and olive oil in a frying pan. And then spread it over the bottom of an oven dish with sides at least an inch high.
    Slice the potatoes so you have flat pieces about 0.5 cm thick and layer them over the bacon mixture.
    Cover with grated cheese (I use medium cheddar) and then pour a tub of double cream over the mixture.
    Put in oven at 200 (centigrade! I don’t know what it is in farenheit, sorry) for 20-30 minutes till it’s nicely browning on top.

    2- Braised red cabbage.
    Chop up red cabbage, 1-2 red onions, 1-2 baking apples.
    In a casserole dish place alternating layers of cabbage and onion and apple, starting and ending with cabbage. On top of each cabbage layer add salt, pepper, and some garlic, on top of each apple layer add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. You want to have added about 3tbsp of sugar by the end. Pour at least 3 tbsp of red wine vinegar over it all and then add a few dots of butter. Place a tightly fitting lid on it and put in the oven at 180 (degrees centigrade, again, I don’t know farenheit) for 2- 2.5 hours, taking it out to stir every 40 minutes or so.

    Those are two of my favourites. I also love making paella, but that just involves all the vegetables I have in the fridge with some garlic, some paprika and some rice.

  28. I found this recipe when I was dieting, but I still make it because it’s SO easy and I love it. I hate to cook, but now and then I get the urge to bake, and these are so quick and easy – I make them when my department has to bring the food for staff meetings and they go over great.

    Pineapple muffins
    1 box angel food cake mix
    1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple in its own juice

    Mix together the cake mix and pineapple in a big bowl until all traces of powder are gone. Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill each liner about 7/8 full with the mixture. Bake on 350 for about 15 minutes.’

    They come out really fluffy and the pineapple rises to the top a bit to create a gooey top. Yum. :)

  29. Chicken & Dumplings. A Few Shortcuts But It Still Takes a While.

    1 pkg boneless chicken thighs (usually about 1.5-2 pounds. I don’t know, it’s the only size they ever have at the store.)

    5 14-oz cans of chicken broth

    2 small cans evaporated milk

    2 sticks of butter

    2 cans Grands biscuits, the plain buttermilk kind (I think the cheap smaller ones would work.)

    Stick the chicken, 4 cans of broth, and one stick of butter in a big pan. (at least 5 quarts. Bigger might be better, because when you get to the dumpling stage it tends to get….large). Add some salt, pepper, maybe a little garlic. Bring to a boil then simmer for an hour or so.

    Take the chicken out and let it cool off.

    Add the other can of chicken broth, the milk, and one more stick of butter. Maybe some more pepper and stuff too. Let that cook. It doesn’t need to be fast, because this next part is gonna take a while.

    Get a little bit of flour, and start cutting the biscuits into pieces. Make the pieces kinda smallish, as they swell up. Dredge the biscuit pieces in flour and then dump em in the pot. (NOTE: It’s going to look like you have way too many fucking dumplings, but I promise you don’t.) Don’t really STIR them, just sort of poke them a little. If you stir, they break, and that’s not any fun.

    Once you finally have all the dumplings in the pot, and you’re thinking that since you cheated and didn’t make real dumplings, why the FUCK was that such a pain in the ass, shred the chicken. Dump that back in the pot. Be careful of the dumplings…try not to break them.

    Simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Maybe throw a little more pepper and garlic salt in it, while you’re at it.

    Stir a couple of times, gently.

    Get yourself a big bowl and eat them.

    Yes, this takes a long time, but it’s worth it. It also makes enough that two people will have at least 2 days worth of tasty leftovers.

    Another Recipe, That is Utterly Easysauce:

    1/2 cup self-rising flour
    12 oz. can of beer, any kind.

    Mix. Pour in loaf pan. Bake at 350-ish until it’s done. (I think about 40 minutes.)

    It makes nice tasty bread. You could probably also use a muffin pan, although I haven’t tried that yet. Good with butter, honey, jelly, any other topping, but probably wouldn’t hold up to sandwiches.

  30. Quick Kedegree

    I live on the West Coast, and around here, after any gift-giving occasion, it is indeed possible to wind up with enough leftover smoked salmon to experiment with.

    Some leftover long-grain rice
    Some leftover smoked salmon
    Lots of butter
    Chopped celery, onion, and apple
    Curry powder, to taste, and maybe turmeric
    Maybe some hardboiled eggs, cut into quarters

    Melt butter in wok or big skillet. Add about a teaspoon or so of curry powder to it, and maybe some turmeric if you like (I do like extra, for the depth of flavor without the extra heat). Toss celery and onion in it. Break leftover rice to loosen it, toss it in and around. Add smoked salmon, and toss some more. When it’s warm through, toss in the apple and toss it a bit more. Then serve, with the hardboiled eggs if you want.

  31. i make this every fall the first really really cold day. i saw a few people post really easy chili (that i will def be trying) but i promise this is great when you FEEL like chili and don’t mind doing the prep. it’s from allrecipes.com and god damned amazing.

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    2 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 tablespoons dried oregano
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    2 green bell peppers, chopped
    2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
    2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
    3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
    1/4 cup chili powder
    1 tablespoon ground black pepper
    1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
    1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
    1 (15 ounce) can black beans
    1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

    saute the onions with the bay leaves, oregano, salt and cumin. mix in celery, peppers and garlic. when they’re all soft, add the crumbles (or, y’know… beef or something. i’m veggie mehself). simmer 5 min. throw in the tomatoes, the chilis, chili pepper, black pepper and stir for a little while. bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for as long as you can. (the longer you wait, the better it is, but i usually do not wait.). add corn and eat. it’s so pretty and very very tasty.

  32. Twistie – I hear ya on the brussel sprout issue. Why do people not appreciate the magically nutty flavor of roasted brussel sprouts?

  33. Whee! I love recipes!

    My favorite at the moment is a soup I kind of made up, but is really easy and tastes yummy.

    Spinach-bean soup

    1/2 box frozen spinach
    1 can white beans
    1/2 small onion
    6 oz chopped mushrooms (optional)

    Put together. Heat. Eat.

    Ok, if you want to make it more complicated, sautee the onion first; I like mine caramelized, so I take a good 20 minutes or so to do it. Add the mushrooms at some point and sautee too. When it looks about right, add the beans and spinach. I love the kind Goya sells as “small white beans”, cannellini work well, great northern are ok. Add about a can of water or broth, some bullion if you want to, heat it for awhile until the spinach thaws and it thickens up a bit. If you like soup to be really thick, add about 2 tsp of cornstarch or a beaten egg (poured in slowly with stirring so you don’t get scrambled egg soup). Salt and pepper liberally. I sometimes feel bad about the amount of salt I use on it, but then I remember Kate’s post awhile back about eating good food and think I can put some salt on it, because that’s getting me to eat a bowlful of fucking spinach.

  34. I see I’m going to be cutting and pasting recipes a lot today! So let me share two of my favorites.

    The first is homemade brownies that are *this* (imagine two fingers with very little gap between them) much more work than a packaged mix and infinitely better tasting. I think I got this recipe from a Betty Crocker cookbook, but I know I’ve changed the sugar amount somewhat because otherwise they were unbalanced.

    1/2 c. butter or margarine (1 stick)
    1 pkg (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/3 c sugar
    1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 eggs
    1 c chopped nuts (optional)

    Heat oven to 350F. Melt butter and chocolate chips together in 3 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth; stir in nuts if you’re using them. Pour mixture into a greased rectangular pan 13″ x 9″ x 2″ and spread evenly to the edges.

    Bake until center is set, about 30 minutes; cool completely. Cut into bars.

    ——————–

    And here is a GREAT bread for those of us who are yeast-impaired:

    3 cups self-rising flour
    3 tsp sugar
    12 oz beer

    Heat oven to 350F. Grease a standard 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan. Mix all ingredients together. Dump into loaf pan and spread to edges. Bake for 45 minutes or until browned and a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on a rack before slicing or it’ll crumble.

    If you want to get fancy, add 1 cup shredded cheese, and 3 tbsp of your favorite dried herbs. Different types of beer make different loaves – a good stout makes a loaf that tastes almost like whole wheat, whereas Corona is a good choice if you’re throwing in the cheese and herbs.

  35. Ack, I see someone else has posted a similar beer bread recipe while I was typing – hey, great minds think alike and it’s a great recipe!

    Re: Brussels Sprouts: I love them. Unfortunately, they don’t love me. Fortunately, they’re the exception among the cruciferous vegetables, but oh, dear, what an exception.

  36. I love cooking, especially Indian and Thai dishes, but I’ve been picking up some local recipes since I moved to New Orleans. Here are a couple local traditions that I love. Red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays (because the cook would make them while doing the laundry), but they’re great any day of the week:

    Red Beans and Rice
    Soak 2 pounds of red beans overnight in a big pot. Remove beans from pot and drain

    In that same pot, brown 1 pound of sliced smoked sausage in about ¼ stick of butter.

    Remove sausage from pot. Add a little more butter and sauté chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.

    When the vegetables are ready, return the beans to the pot and cover with water.

    Add the smoked sausage and about a pound of chopped pickled pork (just about any seasoned pork product will work here – smoked ham, bacon, you name it).

    Season with salt, pepper, red pepper, bay leaf, and with a liberal sprinkling of thyme.

    Simmer on low heat (drop a little butter in there while you’re at it) for hours and hours until creamy. Serve over steamed white rice, with a spoonful of the white rice on top.

    Pascal’s Manale (world-famous) Barbecued Shrimp
    This isn’t a dish for everyday – it makes huge batches, is fairly complicated, and as you’ll see has LOTS of butter, but maaan is it good for a summertime barbecue!

    • 4 pounds butter (Yes, you read right. Four pounds. Eight sticks. DO NOT use margarine! Real butter only.)
    • 4 tablespoons Creole seasoning, to taste; OR
    • 4 – 6 teaspoons cayenne pepper and 6 – 8 teaspoons black pepper, to taste
    • 4 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
    • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 12 ounces good beer (microbrewery is preferable to mainstream swill)
    • 10 – 20 cloves garlic, finely minced (or as much as you like)
    • 2 medium onion, very finely minced
    • 6 ribs celery, very finely minced
    • 6 – 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 4 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    • 10 pounds shrimp, heads and shells on
    [This feeds 16-20 people, BTW ... cut it in half if you need to.]
    Melt a stick of the butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic, onions, celery, parsley, rosemary and seasoning blend for about 4 – 6 minutes.
    Melt the rest of the butter. Add the beer (drink the rest of the bottle). Add the sauteed stuff, Worcestershire and lemon juice.
    Drown the shrimp in the seasoned butter, using as many baking dishes as you need. Make sure the shrimp are more or less submerged. If they’re not … melt more butter and add to the sauce. (why not?). Bake in a 350 degree oven until the shrimp turn pink, about 15 minutes.
    Serve in big bowls. Put in a handful of shrimp and ladle lots of the spicy butter sauce over it. Roll up your sleeves and wear a bib (DO NOT wear nice clothes when eating this!) Serve with plenty of French bread to sop up da sauce!

  37. all time favorite salad for summer or days when I need it to be summer:

    CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

    DRESSING
    ¼ cup olive oil
    Juice of 2 lemons
    1 tsp cumin
    1/3 cup chopped cilantro (I usually put a little extra!)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Whisk above ingredients together. Set aside

    SALAD
    1 19oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
    1 14 oz can kernel corn
    1 red pepper, diced
    1/3 cup chopped red onion
    2 jalapeno peppers chopped finely (I use pickled jalapenos from a jar)
    Place in a bowl and mix together.
    Add dressing and mix.

    and then my all time favorite pizza from Rachel Ray
    MUSHROOM AND GARLIC PIZZA

    Preheat the oven to 400°.

    1 – 14 oz can Pillsbury Pizza Crust
    2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    Spread the pizza dough out to cover a large baking sheet, then brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic. Bake for 8 minutes.

    5 oz shiitake mushrooms (dicard stems)
    8 oz white mushrooms
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    salt

    In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over high heat and sauté the mushrooms until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

    1 – 8 oz bag shredded Swiss cheese (2cups)
    1 – 8 oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)

    Sprinkle the baked dough with the Swiss cheese, then the mushrooms and the mozzarella. Sprinkle a little more salt over the topping and return the pizza to the oven. Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

  38. FJ, I do that “one million parsnips” thing too, except with no brussel sprouts (I prefer brussel sprouts way more doctored up).

    But I also add some freshly ground black pepper to the olive oil/coarse sea salt. And last time? I mixed in a very small amount of maple syrup before roasting and all the vegetables tasted extra delicious and gourmet-like.

    The parsnip really is an underrated item.

  39. That egg-cheese-wife thingy sounds delicious . Next time I make brunch I’m going to give it a try.

    My favorite easy recipe is “Country Sausage Casserole” (not sure why it’s a casserole, since it’s all done in a deep skillet).

    1-1.25 lb Italian sausage cooked and sliced (if you substitute precooked sausages, just slice)
    1 onion, chopped
    1 bell pepper, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 hot pepper, minced (optional)
    15-oz can of diced tomatoes
    1/4 cup raisins
    1 Tbsp curry powder
    1 tsp prepared mustard
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper

    – Combine all ingredients in a deep skillet (with a lid)
    – If it seems too dry, add up to 1/2 cup water
    – Heat to boiling
    – Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes
    – serve with rice

    I especially like it with Aidells chicken and apple sausage, but I haven’t found a sausage it isn’t good with.

  40. Everything sounds yummy!

    I’m semi cooking-impaired but do a few things well. Both of these are off allrecipes.com, slightly modified and ridiculously easy, but alas, NSFV.

    Salsa Chicken
    Coat however many thawed chicken breasts you want in taco seasoning. Put them in a glass baking dish, and spoon salsa of your choice over them. Bake at 375 F for about 25 minutes or so, then top with lots o’ shredded cheese and put back into the oven until melty.

    Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
    2 to 4 thawed chicken breasts
    2 cans cream of chicken soup (I like one can regular, one can seasoned.)
    2 tbsp butter
    1-2 cans refrigerated biscuits
    Spices of choice
    Dump one of the cans of soup into the crockpot, then put the chicken in, with whatever seasonings you like. Dump the other can of soup and the butter on top, and add enough water to cover the whole thing. Yes, it will look wierd. Cook on low for 7 hours or so. Then, cut the biscuit dough into little dumpling-sized pieces, and put them on top of everything; let cook for an additional hour or two. Then pull the chicken apart with a fork and stir everything up; let it cook for a few more minutes before you serve.

  41. Here’s my contribution to world peace… It’s good cold or room temp, so I frequently cook it the night before and take it out to warm up when I get home from work.

    Imam Bayildi
    Take an eggplant, cut off the top, cut it in half the long way, and cover the exposed flesh with a heavy layer of salt.

    Mix the following:
    – three or four cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
    – a medium onion, in half rings
    – lots of parsley & basil, about half as much dill as either of those
    – a standard sized can of diced tomatoes
    – a drizzle of olive oil, salt to taste

    Rinse the eggplant well and put them face up into a casserole dish. With your hands, mound the salad mix on top of the eggplant halves, trying to get it all on top of the eggplant, not around it in the dish.

    Whisk:
    – 1/4 cup olive oil (I eyeball all of these measurements)
    – 1/8 cup water
    – 1 Tb sugar
    Drizzle over the eggplant, cover the dish with foil, and bake at 350 for 2-3 hours. After the first hour or so, baste the eggplant every 30 min or hour and try to press the filling down into the eggplant with the back of a spoon. You’ll know it’s done when you can press the filling almost even with the sides of the eggplant and the olive oil mixture has darkened to a deep amber color.

    Serve hot or cold with lemon wedges and lots of sourdough bread to sop up the juice.

    Oh, and I just tried this recipe for fried chickpeas with gleeful results (and a burnt finger because I was too impatient to try the sage): http://www.chow.com/recipes/11203

  42. The brussel sprout talk reminded me of a thanksgiving favorite (but really, good any time)

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Shallot & Bacon:

    1 lb Brussel Sprouts, rinsed and halved
    8 large shallots, peeled and halved or quartered
    1/2 lb of bacon cut into crosswise strips about 1/2 inch ea. (raw)
    1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp dry)
    1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme (or 1 tsp dry
    1 tsp coarse salt
    1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    2(ish) tbsp Olive Oil

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until veggies are coated with oil and herbs.
    Spread on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven until bacon looks delicious (25 minutes?)

    Eat the entire thing by yourself ’cause its that good.

  43. Nothing Fancy~Super Easy~Hardy and DELISH!

    7Can Soup

    1 pound of ground beef(or turkey/leave out for vegetarian)

    3 cans Progresso Minstrone Soup(9oz)
    1 can Rotel(….I use regular…you can use hot)
    2 cans Texas Style Ranch Beans(10 oz undrained)
    1 can diced tomatoes(10oz)

    Brown meat. Add 7 cans and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

    Serve with corn chips and cheddar cheese.

    Yum Yum

  44. Thai Ground Pork Salad with Mint and Cilantro

    I basically follow this recipe on Epicurious, except I like rolling it in Romaine lettuce instead of cabbage. I also followed one of the suggestions in the comments and subbed toasted, ground rice for the bread crumbs. It requires chopping, boiling, and mixing, all skills that I possess. :-)

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/101785

  45. OK, so here’s one family recipe that will probably kill people, and one recipe of my own mess, and last, one from Allrecipes.com, like everyone else. :)

    Family recipe: potage chinois (which is neither stew nor Chinese, but bear with me, non-Quebecois)

    1 lb (or a bit more) ground beef, browned into crumbles with a bit of garlic and onion
    2 smallish (Freshlike, usually) cans of creamed corn
    A good-sized pot of mashed potatoes (real ones): probably 8-10 potatoes’ worth.

    Put the ground beef on the bottom of a normal casserole dish; top with the creamed corn, and then spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for about 20 minutes, until it gets a crust. Serve with ketchup, or just salt and pepper if you’re boring like my boyfriend. :) It is the best cold-weather comfort-type food I can think of. It’ll probably serve six or eight people, depending on appetite. Or, you know, my little brother.

    Stephanie’s Cheating Chili

    1 lb ground turkey
    Half a green pepper, diced
    Half a cup of diced onion (more if you really like onion, which I don’t)
    2 (or more) cloves minced garlic
    1 can black beans
    1 can kidney beans
    1 can diced tomato, pref. “Ready for chili!”
    1 (5 oz) tomato paste
    1 package taco seasoning

    Put the turkey, the onion, the green pepper, and the garlic in a large frying pan and fry or saute it or whatever until it turns into a pile of ground turkey crumbles with cooked onions and green pepper. Let it sit for a second.

    In a largish pot, combine all the other ingredients. Dump the entire contents (yes, fat and all – trying to drain it kills all the nice flavor) of the frying pan into the pot. Stir well, and then simmer it over the lowest heat you can manage for anywhere between ten and thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s pretty prone to burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot. Makes five or six decent-sized bowls.

    And the Black Bean Hummus, Which is the Single Most Popular Thing I Ever Make:

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Black-Bean-Hummus/Detail.aspx

    I’d recommend doubling the garlic, at least (if not more), and adding extras of the spices if you can stand them. I’ve also never eaten it as anything other than a chip dip, because it’s SO GOOD on corn chips. Oh, and don’t use peanut butter as a substitution for tahini — it gives it a bit of an odd flavor.

  46. I should note that 1.) I use ground turkey because I pretty much only eat beef in the above-mentioned potage chinois recipe; 2.) my boyfriend, a severe carnivore, said that he can’t tell any taste difference between ground turkey in this chili and ground beef 3.) the original recipe called for diced chicken, but it’s too tedious.

  47. Pure Evil Brownies
    (from The Silver Palate Cookbook, as modified by my former apartment-mate Isabel)

    1 stick (4 oz) butter
    1 stick (4 oz) margarine
    (the original has all butter, but it’s just too rich. Trust me.)
    4 oz unsweetened chocolate (Scharffen Berger is the most evil)
    4 eggs
    2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
    ~1/3 cup dried tart cherries

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×12 inch baking pan.
    (What I usually do is completely line the pan with parchment, instead of greasing and flouring it)
    2. Melt butter/margarine and chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over boiling water. When melted, set aside to cool to room temperature.
    3. Meanwhile, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored; add vanilla. Fold chocolate mixture into eggs and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
    4. Sift flour and fold gently into batter, mixing just until blended. Fold in pecans and cherries.
    5. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until center is just set. Do not overbake.
    6. Allow brownies to cool in pan for 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

  48. As long as “Guiness” is one of the themes today, I will note that it makes a grand pot roast in the slow cooker.

    2-3 lb chuck roast (I’ve made this with buffalo, but beef would work fine, as would venison or elk)
    1 largish carrot
    1 onion
    4 smallish waxy potatoes
    couple sprigs of thyme
    one sprig of rosemary, if you like rosemary
    2 bottle Guiness

    Chop the carrot (you want an older one here — the delicate flavor of little fresh carrots will get lost) and quarter the onion and potatoes. Toss them in a slow cooker. Plop your roast on top. Throw in your herbs. Pour in the two bottles of Guiness, turn the temp to low, and walk away for about eight hours. Voila, dinner. Very good, incidentally, with roasted vegs (Fillyjonk, have you tried splashing a little balsamic vinegar on the vegetables when roasting? It caramelizes and is SO good.)

    Another simple recipe is Mexican Meatloaf:
    1 lb ground beef (again, your larger ruminants work here too; the meat being low-fat is not a problem)
    1 egg, beaten
    1 tub fresh salsa, with the extra liquid drained out
    smashed-up tortilla chips — at least 1/2 cup, but you want about as many as ensures that the mixture isn’t too wet, and that varies depending on the consistency of the salsa

    Mix everything together. Drop it in a loaf pan. Cook 1 hour at 350, and you’re done. (Or use the loaf pan to form the mixture into a loafy shape, but turn it out onto a baking sheet, so it gets a nice crust on five sides.)

    Incidentally, Sniper, I’ve made the Jicama Salad of Ultimate Evil about five times since you posted it in the “augh! white foods!” thread. Man, but that’s good stuff. Thank you!

  49. Ok, I like Brussels Sprouts, but DAMN, lexy’s sound like the best ones I’ve never eaten! (I am going to remedy the “never eaten” part very shortly!)

  50. Man, this thread is awesome. It’s reminding me of how closely related Actual Cooking of Real Food is to treating yourself well — I almost never cook, and I think it’s definitely related to my “bad fatty don’t deserve food” neuroses.

    Anyway — I’m contributing my mother’s Oyster Casserole, which is a Thanksgiving staple for us. I don’t even like oysters that much, but this is OMFGSOGOOD.

    Oyster Casserole

    Ingredients:
    2 Tbsp. butter
    1 cup fresh bread crumbs (made from Italian or French bread)
    1 tsp. finely chopped fresh garlic
    2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley, preferably the flat-leafed Italian type
    2 dozen fresh oysters, shucked
    3 Tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese
    2 more Tbsp. butter cut into small pieces

    Prep:

    Preaheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Generously butter an ovenproof platter or serving dish (8 inch x 12 inch Pyrex is good) just large enough to hold the oysters in one layer.

    In a heavy skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the fresh, white bread crumbs and garlic, and toss them in the butter for 2-3 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Stir in the finely chopped parsley. Spread about 2/3 cup of the bread-crumb mixture in the bottom of the buttered baking dish, and arrange the oysters over it in one layer. Mix the rest of the bread-crumb mixture with the grated cheese and spread the combination on the oysters. Dot the top with the tiny bits of butter.

    Bake the oysters in the top third of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the crumbs are golden and the juices in the dish are bubbling. Serve at once, either as a main course or as part of an antipasto. Serves 4-6.

    mmmm. It’s like mainlining garlic butter.

  51. I am a baking fiend. Here are a couple of my absolute favorite recipes, both from the amazing King Arthur Flour Company’s Baker’s Companion cook book, which I highly recommend. You can also get some of their recipes (and video tutorials on how to do things!) free on their website: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/. I’ve never made anything out of it that wasn’t astonishing.

    Christmas Scones
    The are incredibly delicious, and totally satisfying to make because you get to squish your fingers around in wet dough. OK, maybe other people don’t find that satisfying. I LOVE it. I’ve made these for work several times, and I always get tons of email for the recipe afterward.

    2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking (not instant) oats
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup diced pecans
    1 cup buttermilk, sour cream, or plain yogurt

    Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment.

    Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks unevenly crumbly. Mix in the fruit and nuts until they’re evenly distributed. Stir in the buttermilk.

    Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and cut it into two pieces. (Keep sprinkling on flour if you need to.) Form each into a disk, and gently pat each disk into a round about 6″ in diameter. Sprinkle each disk with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired. With a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the round into 8 wedges. Do this by cutting straight down through the dough so you shear the edges. If you saw the dough, you tend to press the edges together, which keeps the scones from rising as they bake. Don’t separate the wedges.

    Transfer the scones, still in their circular shape, the the prepared baking sheet. Separate the scones slightly. Bake the scones for 20 minutes, or until they’re just beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm. Yield: 16 tea scones.

    Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cake

    4 large eggs
    2 cups puréed pumpkin (1-pound can)
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup bran cereal
    2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon EACH ground cloves and cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon EACH allspice and ginger (or substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for the preceding four spices)
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    2 2/3 cups chocolate chips

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan.

    In a large bowl, beat eggs till foamy. Stir in pumpkin, vegetable oil and bran cereal; combine well.

    In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices. Add to wet ingredients and mix gently, till just combined. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

    Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before slicing.

  52. @kira: pssst, four lbs of butter is actually 16 sticks and boy-oh-boy does that sound delicious!

    I’m guessing no one needs a recipe for my favorite meal; I think I copied this recipe off the back of a box somewhere but I’m not sure:
    1 box Frosted Flakes (I prefer Kellogg’s, ymmv)
    1 bowl (size: will hold 3 cups or larger, for proper milk collection)
    1/2 gallon of milk, preferably 2% organic
    1 large soup spoon

    Delish!

  53. This recipe started life at Cooking Light (I don’t know why; it’s not light), but I’ve tweaked it. This was my huge hit last Christmas.

    Chai Shortbread

    Ingredients
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    10 tablespoon butter, softened
    1 tablespoon ice water

    Preparation
    Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and spices with a whisk. In another bowl, beat sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined (mixture will appear crumbly). Sprinkle dough with 1 tablespoon ice water; toss with a fork. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into 2 (6-inch-long) logs – I wrap each log in plastic, then use a bamboo sushi mat. . Chill 1 hour or until very firm.

    Preheat oven to 375°. Unwrap dough logs. Carefully cut each log into 18 slices using a serrated knife. Place dough circles 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

  54. The combination of Guinness, Chocolate, and Cake sounds almost as good as baby donuts. Must. Have. Especially after this week.

    I almost posted an imam bayildi too – it’s so easy and so good! I don’t go to much effort, though. My recipe is something like: chunk up eggplant, slice some onions, sautee in some olive oil. Mix in can of big-chunk tomatoes, sprinkle on some sugar and breadcrumbs, bake for 1/2 hour. Ok, it’s really the midwestern-bastardized-casserole version of imam bayildi. :)

    Not the season for it now, but I realized this summer how awesome a tomato-basil salad can be when the ingredients are all fresh and in peak season. Mozzerella balls, tomatoes, basil, and a little red wine vinaigrette and I’m happy. It only works for a month or so across July and August, though.

  55. guiness chocolate cake is SO GOOD.

    so many recipes, so little time…but i think my favorite has to to braised short ribs with blue cheese mashed potatoes: Check it.

    close second, but i don’t have time to write out the whole recipe right now: lasagna bolognese, with bolognese made with beef, pork and veal. drool.

  56. I’m not sure the imam will faint if you don’t add garlic…

    I’m also a fan of slicing small eggplants into rings, frying those suckers in a drizzle of olive oil, and then serving with garlic yogurt. Or roasted peppers with garlic yogurt. Or lovely little manti with garlic yogurt. Or menemen:
    Fry an onion, a bell pepper, and a bit of hot pepper in some olive oil. Add a can of tomatoes, cook off the liquid. Make holes in the mess and poach/fry some eggs until you’re happy with them. Salt, pepper (or red pepper), and garlic yogurt.

    Oh, here’s my recipe: Use the back of a spoon to crush a few cloves of garlic with salt. Stir in yogurt. Most dishes are improved by either garlic yogurt or chocolate sauce. Trust your instincts.

  57. MMmmmmmfoood….it all looks so good

    Here’s one of my favorite recipes for eggplant parmesan, it takes a while and it’s a bit of work, but it is very, very tasty:

    3 medium italian eggplant
    2-3 big jars of tomato sauce (homemade sauce is better)
    1-2 cups italian style breadcrumbs
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 16 oz container (or a little less) part skim ricotta cheese
    12-16 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
    about a cup of parmesan cheese, grated
    1/2 bunch of curly parsley, chopped fine
    1 tsp dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
    1 tsp dried oregano
    black pepper
    salt

    1) Wash and peel the eggplant, then cut into 1/2 inch rounds. Salt both sides generously and place in a colander in the sink or over a bowl to drain. Place a plate on top, with something heavy on the plate to get even more water out. Let stand for 1/2 to 1 hour. Prepare other ingredients while this is going on.

    2) Preheat oven to 375. Rinse eggplant slices thoroughly in cold water to get all the salt off. This can be done by putting a few at a time in a large bowl of water and swirling vigorously. I find that just running them under the faucet does NOT effectively remove the salt. Dry the slices by patting with a paper towel or clean dish towel.

    3) Dredge slices in the egg mixture, let the excess drip off and transfer to the breadcrumbs. If you run low on egg mix or breadcrumbs, add some more.

    4) Place breaded slices on cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes a side. Try them before you remove all of them from the oven, you want the eggplant to no longer be spongy and tough. A little dry is fine, as it will absorb moisture from the sauce. A lot of people fry the breaded slices, but I can’t manage that without them turning into grease balls (and not in a good way). It’s lighter and a little less heartburn-inducing when they’re baked instead.

    5) Mix the ricotta cheese with the parsley, basil, oregano, and pepper. Add in most of the shredded parmesan and mozzarella, reserving a little of each for on top. The mixture should be pretty crumbly.

    6) Cover the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish with sauce, put down an overlapping layer of the eggplant slices, and then crumble about 1/3 of the cheese mixture over that. Repeat, ending with sauce and then topping with the reserved cheese.

    7) Bake uncovered until the cheese is bubbly and browned, and the whole dish is bubbling and heated through, about 40 minutes (this varies greatly depending on your oven, I’ve noticed).

    It’s even better if you let it sit a day covered in the fridge before baking to let the flavors soak together, it’s also great reheated and/or frozen.

  58. Okay, Lexy, the others didn’t sell me on brussels sprouts, but you just did.

    Well, duh. There’s bacon in it. Speaking of which…

    Colcannon with Bacon

    1 large green cabbage
    1/2 pound thick cut bacon
    1/2 stick butter
    4 large russet potatoes
    1 cup whole milk
    1 tbsp garlic salt
    Pepper to taste
    Love

    (those amounts are all eyeballed, and off the top of my head to boot…adjust as you see fit)

    Wash and cube potatoes and set to boiling (you’ll mash them later, so if you don’t like mashies with skin then peel the taters first). Cut bacon into ~1″ pieces and put into a large skillet–cast iron works really well for this. While the bacon’s frying, shred the cabbage and put it into the skillet. Cook at medium-high for about five minutes or until the cabbage is slightly softened and bright green. Remove from heat and set aside. Mash taters with butter, milk, and garlic salt, then fold cabbage/bacon mixture into mashies. Place on low heat to warm, then serve.

    Also this:

    Chicken and Dumplings

    For the stew–

    One package chicken–I like to use “pick of the chick” because it has legs, thighs, and breasts, but as long as it’s about two pounds of chicken you’re fine. Don’t try to just use breasts because they don’t have enough fat to make a good stock.
    Three chicken bouillon cubes
    Three tablespoons garlic salt
    One tablespoon pepper (or more to taste, but at least this much)
    Four to six celery spines, washed and diced
    Love

    For the dumplings–

    Bisquick
    Milk (2% works best, you can use whole, but don’t use skim)

    Skin chicken pieces and place in the largest pot you have with the bouillon cubes, garlic salt, and pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for about 40 minutes on medium heat. Pull chicken out and put it on a plate, then strain the stock into whatever container can hold all of it. Rinse the pot out and replace the stock, then put it back on low heat. Shred chicken with your hands (yes it’s hot, crazy–if you use boneless thighs and breasts you can just cut it but that’s hella expensive) and replace chicken chunks into the pot. Put celery in after all the chicken is in, then bring stock to a boil again. Make dumplings according to directions on box.

    And finally, if you need/want dessert:

    Generic Cobbler

    One cup flour
    One cup sugar
    One cup milk (again, don’t use skim–on this, I use whole milk)
    One tablespoon baking powder (NOT soda!)
    1/3 cup butter, melted in a 9″ x 9″ glass pan
    Your choice of fruit: frozen black- or blueberries are good, or you can use a can of apple pie filling, or a can of peaches drained. Don’t use pineapple or citrus.
    Love

    Preheat oven to 375F. Mix dry ingredients, then add milk and combine well. Pour right into pan with butter, then spread fruit on top of the batter. Bake for 40 m or until toothpick comes out mostly clean (no batter on it–obviously it might get fruity).

    I am really hungry right now. :)

  59. I have a whole heap of recipes I tend to carry around in my head. Here’s one of them.

    Pasta Putanesca

    Ingredients:
    * Olive oil
    * About a dozen anchovies (or to taste)
    * 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
    * 1 tin tomatoes [1]
    * Basil (fresh or dried)
    * Olives, sliced.
    * Spaghetti to serve.

    Method:
    * Put on the water for the pasta and wait for it to come to the boil. While you’re doing this, soak the anchovies in milk to remove any excess saltiness, and do the prep on the garlic, olives and basil (ie chop it up if it’s fresh).
    * Once the water is boiling for the pasta, add the spaghetti to the water. Now put enough oil into a frypan to grease it, add the anchovies and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the anchovies have broken down and the garlic is browned.
    * Add the tomatoes and any liquid, plus the basil. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the pasta is almost done.
    * At the last minute, add the olives, and stir through.
    * Drain the pasta, and serve with the sauce.

    Notes:
    [1] The standard Australian tin size is 440g. I’ll usually go for diced tomatoes, since it makes things easier for me (don’t have to worry about crushing the tomatoes as well as everything else).
    [2] If you like, you can add capers to the sauce at the same point you’d add the olives.
    [3] This sauce is meant to be very quick to make – you can prepare the sauce in the 8 – 10 minutes it takes for the pasta to boil up.

    Ah, what the heck – have another.

    Meg’s Generic Recipe for Cooking Sauce Casseroles:

    * Take your meat, your veg, and your cooking sauce.
    * Place them in a sufficiently large casserole dish.
    * Cook slowly (approx 100 – 120C) for as long as it takes for the meat to become tender.
    * Serve with rice, pasta or crusty bread.

    “Cooking Sauce” here refers to the genus of things which are called “stir-fry sauces” in Australia. I’ve long since discovered they work just as well on tougher cuts of meat as a casserole base – just give them longer, slower cooking times. My favourite trick is using the “Sweet and Sour” ones as a casserole sauce with pork rashers (cuts of pork from the belly, I think – lots of fat, very little actual lean meat, and tough as all get-out if you don’t cook it slowly). Of course, I do tend to tweak things more toward the “sour” end of the spectrum (add a generous squirt of lime juice and some Vietnamese fish sauce to the original recipe).

  60. One of the most adaptable recipes I have. I never make it the same way twice.

    Santa Fe Casserole

    1 lb. lean ground lamb (beef works too)
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can creamed corn
    garlic
    cumin
    basil
    oregano
    1 can tomatoes, stewed, optional
    1 package corn muffin mix (I only use Jiffy)

    In Saucepan, cook ground lamb until brown, stirring frequently to break up chunks.
    Drain Well.
    Stir in everything except the corn muffin mix.
    Pour into 8x8x2 inch baking dish.
    Prepare Corn Muffin mix according to package directions.
    Pour evenly over meat mixture.
    Bake in preheated 400 degree (f) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until cornbread is done.
    Serve.

    I have added salsa instead of the tomatoes, and left them out completely. I have cooked the meat with the spices, and added them separately. I do not include the spice measurements, because it is honestly to taste, and you can add or subtract at will.

    I have never made a bad batch. :)

  61. I love curries. Asian, Indian, African, whatever.

    Here’s two I make a lot:

    Generic-y Indian lentil and chickpea (garbanzo) curry

    2 x 440g/16oz cans brown lentils, drained and rinsed
    2 x 440g/16oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    2 x 440g/16oz cans finely chopped tomato
    (use the no-added-salt type if available)

    3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
    2-4 tablespoons of high quality curry paste or spice mix, or your own spice mix – korma and tikka marsala are the two blends that work best
    1 medium brown onion, very finely chopped or pureed
    2-4 cloves garlic
    3-6 cardamom pods
    2-3 bay leaves
    salt to taste

    Heat up the ghee/oil in a big wok or stockpot on high heat. Add the curry paste/spice mix and fry for a few seconds to bring out the aromatics. Add in the garlic and onion, fry for a few minutes to soften, turning down the heat to medium near the end. Add the lentils and chickpeas, stirring through the spices and onions for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and two cans of water. Add the cardamom pods, bay leaves, and however much salt you feel is needed. (I like tomatoey stuff salty. YMMV.) Stir, bring to a simmer, and if you think it needs more heat or spices, like some extra chili or coriander, add that now. Turn the heat down to low, and leave it bubbling gently until it’s boiled down to your preferred consistency. 10-20 minutes is usually fine. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

    Alternately you can cook up the spices and onion/garlic as in the begining, then dump that and everything else into a slow cooker.

    Serve with basmati rice or whatever flatbreads you like.

    Ethiopian style red kidney bean stew

    2 440g/16oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can tomatoes
    1 brown onion
    2 cloves garlic

    ghee or vegetable oil
    1/2 teaspoon each of:
    coriander (cilantro) seed powder
    allspice
    cumin seeds
    cayenne pepper

    1/4 teaspoon each:
    nutmeg
    clove

    1 teaspoon each:
    mild paprika
    turmeric

    Put the canned tomato, onion, and garlic in the food processor and whiz to a puree (or use a stick blender, or chop finely by hand, etc).

    Heat the ghee/oil in a wok, add the spices and fry for a few seconds, add the beans and stir through, add the tomato/onion puree and 2 cans of water. Simmer down to a thick consistency.

    Traditionally served with injera (sourdough flatbread) but plain naan or basmati rice is a nice substitute.

    Bonus cooking tip:
    Get a rice cooker. They are brilliant. You don’t even have to get an expensive one, the $20-$30 range is just fine usually. It makes rice a no-brainer.

  62. I have a whole blog! Follow my name link. I’m afraid I haven’t got round to indexing my recipes, but I intend to do it soon.

    I love Nigella Lawson’s book “Feast”. I make a lot of recipes from there repeatedly – especially the Guinness chocolate cake, the granola, the keema curry.

  63. My favorite recipe is from Rachel Ray called “You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta”. Now, I am a pasta connoisseur so trust me on this. It will be one of the best you have ever had. I could probably eat half of the recipe myself, and I probably have in the past. And seriously, don’t feed it to anyone you don’t want to keep around. They’ll keep coming back for more.

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
    1 tablespoon butter
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 shallots, minced
    1 cup vodka
    1 cup chicken stock
    1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
    Coarse salt and pepper
    16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

    Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

    While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

    Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves.

    **Additional notes from making this many times – let the pasta sit for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken fabulously. Also, I like to serve it with extra basil leaves on top, garlic bread and Caesar salad.

    I’ve never contemplated making love to food before I made this recipe…but now, well, you know…

  64. My partner tends to do the fiddly/fancy stuff on the weekends, and during the week I throw something into the crockpot, or we do pasta or toasted sandwiches. I’ve been slowly accumulating simple crockpot meals (then served with a carb (mashed potato, pasta, rice, barley) and salad or steamed veg):

    – chicken drumsticks, pineapple pieces, and mango-chilli sauce
    – chicken pieces and honey-soy marinade
    – minced beef, a large can of four bean mix, and a large jar or two of plain spaghetti sauce (tomato puree, onion, salt: I think you USAns might call it marinara sauce?)
    – minced beef, onion, tomatoes, shredded spinach, sweet-curry-type spices, mixed dried fruit, coconut milk
    – chicken pieces, pack of dried onion soup mix, large can of apricots
    – mixed diced root vegies, whatever meat is handy, half jar of Patak’s curry sauce (Balti or Rogan Josh), homemade yoghurt stirred in at the end
    – one whole pre-stuffed chook, jar of cranberry sauce over
    – sliced sausages with mixed beans, maple syrup, tomato sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar
    – smoked ham hock made into soup with split peas, barley, mixed root veg
    – “orange soup”: soup made with chicken stock (made overnight from the scraps of the above chicken), butternut pumpkin, sweet potato, and potato. Milk or cream or sour cream stirred in at the end, served with grated cheese and lots of cracked pepper. My kid adores this and ate himself into swollen-belly pain last time with three big bowls.
    – soups are served with no-knead bread, New York Times style

  65. Okay, favorite recipes. Now…these are normally pretty guarded recipes for me, so please, it means a lot to share them. One dessert, one savory dish that’s made to share (and by the way they’re both pretty much idiot-proof!)

    Decadent Cream Puffs

    Oven to 400 degrees.

    Shells: Melt 1 stick butter, add 1/4 tsp salt and 1 c water in a saucepan, bring to full boil; turn off heat.

    Immediately add 1 c flour – this must be done directly after the boil or the flour won’t bloom.

    With wooden spoon, stir in 4 eggs, one at a time – get someone to crack in the eggs while you stir so you can stir them quick enough not to get little lumps of cooked egg. Get all 4 eggs mixed in for a thick batter.

    Push off rounded tablespoonfuls with your finger onto nonstick insulated baking sheet (lightly spray with Pam if needed) – makes 20 shells or so. Bake for 35 minutes; they should be golden brown, puffed up and basically hollow inside.

    While they’re baking you can make your filling:

    1 pkg instant vanilla pudding, prepared and chilled to set.
    1 c whipping cream/heavy cream, 3 T sugar and some fresh vanilla bean or 1T extract, whip it good and chill. Use a chilled bowl to whip cream.

    After the shells are thoroughly cooled, mix together the fillings, put in a piping bag with tip (actually I just use a spoon and break off a small part of the top of each shell, but use your judgment), and stuff the tip into each shell, then squeeze. You’ll see the shell puff as it gets full.

    Some people just use powdered sugar to top, but I melt about 1/2 package semi-sweet chocolate chips with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream over gentle heat stirring constantly; it will be smooth and shiny; let it cool a few minutes. Then I spoon some onto the top of each puff.

    They keep ok in the fridge (I use covered Corningware; be sure to let the chocolate cool first, but I like them when they’re just made. Great stuff. EVERYONE loves these.

    ANNETTE’S COCKTAIL MEATBALLS – these are great because they can be brought to parties and kept for hour after hour – and you will be the belle of the ball – requires crockpot.

    Oven to 450

    Loaf of French Batard or other hunky, crusty bread
    2/3 c milk
    2 eggs slightly beaten
    1 T horseradish (a bit more doesn’t hurt)
    1 1/2 lbs meatloaf mix or ground beef if you must
    salt/pepper

    Slice the bread thick – about 5 or 6 slices (approx. equivalent to 4 slices regular bread) and flip it around in the milk until it’s all soaked in. Break up the wet bread into small bits, add everything else, and mash it up together. Roll into small balls, maybe an inch across.

    Put meatballs on a rack, and bake in oven until they are firm enough to hold together – they’re going to be simmering in the sauce for a long time so don’t be afraid to cook them thoroughly – 18-20 minutes, but don’t burn them of course. When they’re firm and cooked, but not burned, take ‘em out. Break one open to check firmness. They need to be pretty firm or they’ll fall apart in the sauce and be useless.

    Sauce:

    1 c ketchup
    1/2 c pure maple syrup (please, no fake syrup, use the real thing)
    1/2 c water
    1/2 c La Choy LITE soy sauce (regular is way too salty for this)
    1-2 tsp. ground allspice
    1 tsp Colman’s dry mustard

    Mix together and bring to a boil on the stove. When it’s boiling and all the stuff is mixed together and dissolved, you’re good.

    Put sauce and meatballs into crockpot. Set crockpot to low and let it cook for 4 – 8 hours. Stir occasionally. Don’t worry about overcooking – it just gets better and better. If after 8 hours you need to put it on hold because you want to bring it to the office, refrigerate for a while. Bring back to a boil, put it back in the crockpot and set it on low. Keeps all day long, except that everyone who walks by it is going to snarf some, so it won’t last that long. You WILL be a hit with that one, I promise you. Nothing went faster at any party I’ve brought them to lol.

  66. @Cath: I can’t view your blog! Help!

    Sarah’s Self-Portrait in Chocolate Cake: Very Intense and Unnecessarily Fussy, But Also Sweet

    For 3 8-inch layers:

    3 oz semisweet choc., chopped
    1 cup cocoa
    1 cup hot coffee
    2 3/4 c cake/pastry flour
    2 cup brown sugar, measured then pulverized in food processor; let all the powder settle before opening) OR 2 cups C&H Baking sugar plus 1 generous glug molasses (“generous glug” is about 1-2 T)
    1 cup butter, room temperature
    1 t baking soda,
    ¾ t powder
    1 cup sour cream
    1/3 cup oil
    1 t salt
    1 ½ t vanilla or almond extract or any combination of extracts totaling 1 ½ teaspoons
    2 large room temperature eggs + 2 egg yolks

    pan: 3 8-inch pans, each lined with 8-inch parchment rounds, sprayed with cooking spray and dusted well with cocoa powder. (It’s worth getting GOOD cake pans for this — straight up-and-down sides, not slanty, and nice and thick to prevent overbrowned edges.)

    preheat oven: 300F

    Combine chocolate and cocoa, then pour hot coffee over to melt. Let sit a bit before stirring. Combine dries (sugar, flour, leaven, salt). Cream butter well, add sugar, cream for 3-5 minutes, add eggs one at a time and gently combine. Slowly add extract, oil, melted chocolate mixture, and sour cream. Then add flour mixtures in small amounts, mixing very gently..

    Pour in equal amounts in 3 pans. Before putting the pans in the oven, pick each one up about two to three inches off the counter and drop it, to knock out air bubbles and prevent tunneling. Do this once or twice per pan.

    Bake until the middle of the cake layers are just set and have some inner structure, meaning, you pinch a bit off the top and see that inside it’s no longer just goo. Don’t bake until you can stick a fork in and have it come out dry; that’s far too overbaked.

    Allow to cool 10-15 min pans, on cooling rack, before turning out. Cake should be completely cool before frosting.

  67. All right, I made Fillyjonk’s friend’s sausage dish last night, and OMFG, NOM NOM NOM.

    Which brings me to a bit of a rant… Can I just tell you how fucking genius heavy cream is? Between my lack of culinary skills and the hottest stove in the world, I’d given up on cooking with dairy, ’cause I curdle everything. Yesterday, I googled “sausage heavy cream” (insert your own fat joke) to see if I could find a recipe similar to sausage dish that would tell me how long to simmer it, etc. Because the internet is miraculous, I found one, which included these words: “Heavy cream will never curdle, so it doesn’t matter if the cream comes to low boil.”

    WHY DID I NOT KNOW THAT? I’ll tell you why — because I learned to cook on goddamned diets, and it still feels like a splurge to cook with 2% milk instead of skim, let alone with cream. My mom used to make this awesome chicken recipe that involved heavy cream (AND mayo — which still triggers kneejerk horror, but OMG, so good), and I tried to make it a couple years ago using buttermilk and low-fat mayo. I don’t even know how much ass that would have tasted like, because the sauce curdled and I dumped it down the toilet.

    And hey, you know what? As it turns out, fat is filling. So one not-so-big bowl of sausage dish was completely satisfying — even though it was delicious, neither Al nor I was even tempted to have seconds. Whereas I probably would have eaten twice as much of a low-fat version of that, if such a thing existed.

    It still feels so odd to me when the logical thing turns out to be true, where food is concerned.

    Also, I’m reading Good Calories, Bad Calories right now, and even though Taubes hasn’t quite sold me on all of it, what he has to say about the pathological fear of dietary fat in this culture — and why that might well be entirely misplaced — does make a lot of sense. So, with that…

    Advice for those making Sausage Dish: 1. If you like big flavors, go for hot Italian sausage, not mild. (I chose mild, and it was way yummy but a little too subtle for me.) 2. Use more spinach than you think you need. 3. Have some parmesan on hand to go with it.

    Also, Mom’s Totally Horrifying to Ex-Dieters Chicken
    8 half skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 cups flour + 2 tbsp Chef Paul’s Poultry Magic (or any other poultry seasoning you dig)
    Some butter

    SAUCE
    1 cup mayo
    1 cup whipping cream
    1 tbsp Poultry Magic
    1 bunch green onions, chopped.

    Chicken part: Dip chicken breasts in egg, then flour/Poultry Magic mixture. Saute in butter about 5 mins. each side. Sauce part: Saute green onions in some butter, then add all other sauce ingredients. Warm slowly until it thickens.

    Combine chicken part and sauce part and serve with starch of your choice. (Some kind of boxed rice pilaf-y thing works nicely.)

  68. OK, here we go.

    World’s Easiest Allpurpose Tomato Sauce Recipe

    Not only don’t you need to cook this stuff, you don’t even need a bowl. Just open a big can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes (you might need to look somewhere like Whole Paycheck for those, or an Italian specialty store, or you can order it by mail here . (These latter are not actual Italian tomatoes, but grown in California with San Marzano seeds. Still mighty tasty.) If you don’t have crushed ones, you can get whole peeled ones and crush them in the blender and then return them to the can. Then throw into the can 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir, let it sit 15 minutes. Use for anything from pizza to pasta.

    And speaking of pizza, if you’re in the mood for pizza and you don’t feel like either waiting for dough to rise or spending $20 to get a pie delivered, here’s a quickie “biscuit style” dough recipe that serves 2 (it’s from Cooks.com, and I cut the ingredients in half — if you’re serving more than 2, increase accordingly).

    1 1/4 c. flour
    A little under 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1-1/2 tsp. olive oil
    1/2 c. water

    Mix dry ingredients first, then wet ones, then knead by hand and form a ball. Dust foil with flour and spread it out nice and thin (doesn’t have to be super-thin, just thin enough that it will bake all the way through), top with your favorites (easy on the sauce, and the thicker the crust the lighter the toppings you should use to ensure that the dough will cook), and bake at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes depending on your oven. (You can also bake in a small cast iron skillet for extra goodness.)

  69. Kate: yes, yes, a thousand times yes on the heavy cream! There is no substitution – it’s the fat that works chemically in the dish. The funny thing is that you often need so much less cream to get the texture and consistency than you would with something low fat you’re not really saving much in the end.

    Same with using real butter to finish sauces, reduction or otherwise. Don’t even bother trying with low fat margarine – it won’t work. And again, it doesn’t take much and tastes SO much better. (And if I start going on about roux made with low fat margarine, I’ll froth at the mouth.)

    Um, and as long as I’m here, I’ll post another recipe, the original was from Food and Wine magazine but I tweaked it a little:

    Indian Inspired Scrambled Eggs

    4 eggs
    1/4 tsp ground cumin
    pinch of turmeric
    1/2 tsp salt

    1 tbsp oil
    1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced fine (1/4″ or smaller)
    1 small chile pepper, red or green, heat to taste (use a jalapeno if you don’t have another favorite), seeded and diced very fine
    1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
    1 1/2 tsp minced or grated fresh ginger
    1 tomato, halved, seeded, and diced fine (1/4″)
    pinch of sugar
    salt to taste
    2 tsp chopped cilantro, optional
    optional: 1 cup precooked chicken or pork (or spam)

    NOTE: This dish comes together VERY quickly, so make sure all the ingredients are prepped as above BEFORE you start cooking.

    Whisk the eggs, cumin, turmeric, and 1/2 tsp salt until well blended and set aside.

    Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil and the onion, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the garlic, ginger, and diced chile pepper, and saute until the onion is starting to brown, about 2 more minutes.

    Add the tomato, sugar, optional cooked meat if using and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the egg mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the eggs are just about set. Stir in the chopped cilantro if using and serve.

    Serves 2, or one if they’re very hungry.

    Like most scrambled egg dishes, ingredient proportions are approximate, and can be fiddled with to meet your specific tastes. But this is remarkably good as is.

  70. This is a recipe from my godmother, who is an absolute cooking goddess.

    Chicken Casserole

    6 cups cubed chicken (that’s about 7 good-sized boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cooked)
    18 oz cream cheese (softened)
    12 tablespoons melted butter
    12 tablespoons milk
    6 tablespoons pimento
    6 tablespoons chives
    8 oz can of Pillsbury Grands (or any other biscuit dough in a tube-type thing)

    Mix the chicken, cream cheese, butter, milk, pimento, and chives all together in a bowl. Put into a 9 X 13 pan (Pyrex, whatev). Top with the biscuits and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-35 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown and the rest of it is bubbling and hot and awesome.

    The following is a recipe I found in some monthly magazine and tweaked…so much so that much of it’s approximate and a bit on the half-assed side. But I’ll try to be as descriptive as I can.

    Chicken-Tater Bake

    2-3 good-sized boneless/skinless chicken breasts
    1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
    approx. half a 16 oz container of sour cream
    about half a goodly-sized bag of tater tots (maybe 16 or 20 oz)
    cheddar cheese

    Marinate the breasts in a barbecue-style marinade (A-1 has a mesquite one that works well) either overnight or use one of those 30-minute marinades. Cut into cube-esque shapes.

    Mix the chicken with the tater tots, mushroom soup, sour cream, and some of the cheddar cheese and place in a casserole dish (I suspect a 9 X 13 Pyrex would work — I use an oval one whose measurements are unknown to me). Top with more cheddar cheese.

    Bake at 375 degrees until the chicken’s cooked — usually about 40-50 minutes. I’m busting this one out on an unsuspecting male in a few days (I’m going out of the country on Thursday) and if you hear a soft “boom” from the Southern Hemisphere, it’s because his head exploded from the goodness contained within this casserole.

  71. How about a simple lemon-lime cake?

    It’s not overly sweet and clumsy-cook-proof ;o)

    400g plain flour, 300g unsalted butter, 500g sugar, 4 eggs
    grated lemon zest, grated lime zest (a full tablespoon of each), lemon juice, lime juice (approx. 70ml of each), pinch of salt.

    Preheat oven to 170 degrees centigrade (it’s pretty obvious I’m writing from Europe, isn’t it?), oil a large tin and evenly sprinkle with either flour or breadcrumbs, mix all the listed ingredients together, transfer batter into the tin and bake for approx. one hour.

    Enjoy!

  72. I was a little skeptical about trying this recipe given to me by my mom (and given to her by a friend at work), but we tried it and now it’s something I crave regularly. The marinade is excellent!

    1-2 pounds of chicken (I use breast tender, but anything would probably work)
    1/3 cup melted butter
    1/3 cup honey
    2 Tbs prepared mustard
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp curry powder

    Arrange chicken breasts in 9×13” pan. Mix butter, honey, mustard, salt, and curry powder together. Pour mixture over the chicken. Back in a 350 degree oven for 1-1 ½ hours (really depends on the cuts of chicken you are using) until chicken is done, basting every half hour or so. Serve with rice or noodles using the marinade as a sauce (I haven’t tried it yet, but could pretty easily make a gravy type thing by adding some flour/cornstarch to the leftover marinade).

  73. Too much!! My brain will asplode. I have already been compelled to make sesame noodles and beer bread. And now I feel guilty for not contributing so here’s one I invented recently:

    Midnight Black Fruit Compote
    2 large fresh black figs
    1/2 punnet blackberries
    6 prunes, pitted
    1/3 cup marsala
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 tablespoon cocoa
    Cut fruit to size of the blackberries. Toss in saucepan with the marsala, and bring to boil. Careful of flames! Add honey and cocoa, and simmer for a few minutes, then tip into a bowl and refrigerate. Leave for an hour before serving to chill, and let prunes swell up. Serve with a scoop of chocolate sorbet!

    And here is the chocolate sorbet:
    Sorbet Chocolat Noir

    275 mL (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) water
    40g (1/3 cup, packed) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    100g (1/2 cup) sugar
    85g (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped as finely as your patience allows
    1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    A pinch of salt

    Makes about 1/2 liter (1/2 quart); the recipe can be doubled.

    Pre-freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker as instructed by your friend the manufacturer.

    In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, cocoa powder, and sugar. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking continually. Remove from heat, and add the chopped chocolate. Let rest for 30 seconds as the chocolate begins to melt, add the vanilla and salt, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Let cool on the counter, then refrigerate until chilled.

    Whisk the mixture again just before using, and freeze using your ice cream maker.

    This is copied from Chocolate & Zucchini, the best food blog ever,. I adore Clothilde, for many reasons, including just for being named Clothilde.

  74. I’m a lazy cook, and an un-adventurous eater. I once
    severely modified a recipe to this version —
    1 cup orange juice *
    1/2 cup brown sugar *
    1 small package dried apricots
    3 – 5 pork chops

    * It’s been a long time since I cooked this, and the memory
    is dim. Don’t worry about adding more orange juice or less
    brown sugar if you think it necessary, or more palatable.

    Slice apricots in halves or quarters, and simmer them in the orange juice mixed with brown sugar for 20 – 30 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the fat off the pork chops, and brown/sear
    the chops in a skillet. (I used bacon grease; olive oil would
    be healthier.)

    Place pork chops in a baking pan, and pour orange juice /
    brown sugar / apricot mixture around them; cover with a lid
    or foil. Place in oven; bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes,
    or until tender.

    These were the juiciest, tenderest, most flavorful pork chops
    I have ever eaten. Yummy!

    But, if you’re interested, here’s the recipe that I modified —

    3.5 pounds lean pork butt, boned
    2 tablespoons salad oil
    1 package (8 oz.) mixed dried fruit
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/2 cup apple juice
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and pepper
    1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 1 tablespoon water

    Trim and discard excess fat from pork; cut meat into 1-inch
    cubes. Add oil to a broiler pan; set in oven while it preheats
    to 450 degrees. Then add meat and bake, uncovered,
    stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes or until meat is browned. Stir in fruit.

    Combine broth, apple juice, lemon juice, honey, soy, garlic powder, ginger, and pepper; pour over meat. Reduce
    temperature to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes
    or until meat is tender when pierced.

    * Source: Sunset Casserole Cook Book

  75. Easy “Enchiladas”

    1 package flour tortillas

    1 lb ground beef (or whatever meat you like)

    1 tomato

    1 block of your favorite grated cheese

    Green chile sauce (about 2 cups) (homemade or canned)

    Grease a baking pan

    Brown meat (season to your liking)

    Layer tortillas, meat, sauce, and cheese until pan is full.

    Bake uncovered at 375 until cheese is melty and delicious.

    Serve hot with a side of sour cream. MMM

    (usually ready from start to finish in an hour)

  76. Sara: I’ll go you one easier on that potroast thing:

    1 brisket or bottom round roast
    1 envelope onion soup mix
    1 bottle decent beer (I use Sam Adams Boston Lager)

    Brown meat on all sides in a little olive oil in hot frypan. Remove and rub with onion soup mix on all sides.

    Put in crockpot. Pour beer around sides to minimize rinsing off the soup mix from the meat.

    Cook on low 8-10 hours or till tender.

    I usually make this the day before because it slices better cold and you can skim the fat off the juices before thickening for gravy. You could also probably dredge the roast with flour before browning to thicken in the crockpot.

  77. Tortellini with fresh tomato and spinach

    – 1 shitload of garlic (I usually use 6-7 cloves), minced
    – 6-8 ripe roma tomatoes, diced
    – olive oil
    – freshly ground sea salt and pepper
    – 1/2 bag frozen spinach
    1 13-oz. bag Barilla spinach and cheese tortellini

    Heat oil in pan at medium heat, add garlic and cook about a minute. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally.

    Put up water to boil for tortellini.

    When the water is boiling, add the frozen spinach to the tomato mix. Break it up and keep stirring occasionally.

    Add tortellini to boiling water and cook per package directions.

    Toss with tomato mixture and serve with freshly-grated parmesan cheese and a salad.

  78. I’m the queen of hot sandwiches… My specialty: fine-herbs havarti and tomato grilled sandwich with mayo and honey mustard, to which I add salt, pepper and fresh cilantro. Only takes a few minutes to warm up on my panini grill…

    Very yummy, and to make it even more filling, add some ham. The great thing with this: there’s a bazillion possible variations… ;)

    I also make a killer omelet.

    Oh, and I got a crock-pot for Christmas, so I’ve been practicing making spaghetti sauce from scratch and beef stew. Mmmmm!

  79. I love that the oh-so-decadent “Wifesaver” has self-proclaimed weight-loss cereal Special K crumbled on top. Rockin’.

    My favourite winter recipe is my killer chili. I won a chili cook-off with this one.

    1/4 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
    1 bottle dark beer
    1 1/2lbs ground bison (ground beef if you don’t have bison handy)
    5 slices bacon, chopped
    1lb yellow onions, diced
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 can chipotles in adobo
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp cinnamon
    2 large cans tomatoes (diced or whole)
    1 can tomato paste

    Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon, and fry. Add onion, garlic and chipotles (de-seeded and chopped) and cook until onions are translucent.

    Add cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Add bison, and brown. Deglaze pan with beer. Stir in tomato ingredients and adobo sauce. Bring to boil, then stir in chocolate until it melts.

    Simmer for 3 hours. Let chili sit overnight to improve flavour.

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