Hugh's further kitchen adventures in 2021/2022/whenever

É uma continuação do tópico Hugh's kitchen adventures in 2020.


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Hugh's further kitchen adventures in 2021/2022/whenever

Jan 14, 2021, 5:13 am

Happy old-style new year, everybody!

Jan 14, 2021, 8:08 am

I had some more piffle ready, but it seems our job is done here. Looking forward to your new adventures in the kitchen this year!

Jan 14, 2021, 9:21 am

Happy new kitchen thread!

Jan 17, 2021, 9:52 am

Thank you, Pete!

The next hot day we have (possibly as early as Tuesday) I have it in mind to combine an elderly milkshake recipe from Best of Fellows (1965) with a throwaway comment on BBC News this morning. Take a can of peaches and some vanilla ice cream and a glug of milk, and process together with a whiff of peppermint essence. The flavour is, of course, called impeach-mint.

Jan 17, 2021, 10:01 am

>4 hfglen: Maybe the news will soon suggest an appropriate day on which to inaugurate this drink? It sounds delicious.

Jan 17, 2021, 11:28 am

>4 hfglen: Peach or Peppermint Schnapps and you have an boozy milkshake!

Jan 17, 2021, 1:00 pm

>4 hfglen: Mrs H looked daggers at me (she is watching TV) when I laughed at this, but then I read it to her and she laughed too.

Jan 17, 2021, 1:58 pm

>6 lesmel: But to describe it as an "impeach-mint" you'd need to use both of those!

>7 haydninvienna: Glad you both like the idea!

Jan 17, 2021, 2:19 pm

>8 hfglen: I'd take a can of peaches + peppermint schnapps over two kinds of schnapps. Peach ice cream instead of vanilla is another way to go.

Jan 17, 2021, 3:39 pm

>4 hfglen: Now! Now!

Sounds delicious!

Jan 21, 2021, 1:46 pm

Damn! lesmel's thread reminds me that I should have photographed tonight's supper before eating it. Paprika pork with fennel and caraway (both seeds). Braise the pork in a sauce made up of onion, tinned tomato, crushed fennel and caraway seeds and a spot of salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in a couple of tablespoons of sour cream. Serve with buttered noodles livened up with poppyseed. Couldn't find the poppy seeds, so toasted some sesame seeds; I think that was an improvement.

Jan 21, 2021, 2:18 pm

>11 hfglen: That sounds delicious!

Jan 21, 2021, 3:29 pm

>11 hfglen: And, of course, quite a lot of paprika in the sauce.

>12 lesmel: Thank you! It was, but very filling.

Jan 29, 2021, 5:18 am

Sosatie chops is an intriguing idea found in The Cape Malay Cookbook. It probably doesn't matter if the sheep giving the chops went around the block a few times first -- you marinate the chops for an hour or so, then simmer in the marinade with (a) sliced onion/s until tender. The marinade is a typical sosatie spice: curry powder, turmeric, cloves, bay leaves, salt and lemon juice (or vinegar). Serve with yellow rice and etceteras. In South African cuisine, a sosatie is meat (usually lamb) on a stick, marinated until required, and in the best case, cooked on an open wood fire. This way round you leave the chops whole until serving.

Jan 29, 2021, 5:23 am

>14 hfglen: That sounds nice. I see you marinate for about an hour. Does leaving it longer improve the dish?

Is the lemon juice or vinegar the only liquid in the marinade?

Jan 30, 2021, 4:14 am

It certainly wouldn't do any harm. I suspect you would not notice the difference unless you left it for several hours. More ordinary sosaties are often marinated at the butcher's for a day or 2, till bought, then vacuum packed (in marinade) and kept for a week or more (should then be frozen) before being wanted on holiday.

Indeed it is, and not very much juice / vinegar, either.

Jan 30, 2021, 4:31 am

>16 hfglen: I am thinking of doing it with pork chops and marinating it overnight. I will let you know how it turns out. I will not have the chops or the turmeric until Monday night.

Jan 30, 2021, 8:28 am

>17 pgmcc: Shock Horror! Using pork in a Muslim (Cape Malays are Muslim, and always have been) recipe! Shame on you!

I'll be curious to know how it goes.

Jan 30, 2021, 10:43 am

>18 hfglen: I had a similar reaction to a friend making a beef korma.

Fev 2, 2021, 11:23 am

DD has found a farm that sells direct-to-consumer, with online orders, just up the road. I'm now within hailing distance of making a Dutch folksong I encountered some years ago real, with menus involving
"Stockvisch-Vrijdag, kalfsvlees-Donderdag, mettwors-Woensdag, frikkadellen-Diensdag, bruine bonen-Maandag, Zondag-drinkdag (booze has been legal again since last night!), geldbeurs-Zaterdag"
(stockfish-Friday, veal-Thursday, Mettwurst-Wednesday, meatball-Tuesday, brown bean-Monday, Sunday-drinking-day, payday-Saturday).

Fev 12, 2021, 3:24 pm

Thursday's supper was a curiosity: meatloaf from a recipe found in, of all places, the Rhodesian Railways staff magazine. Immediate (1954) postwar British, adapted for railway wives stuck out in the bush without electricity. About as desirable as one might expect (i.e. not very). Mind you, the next recipe, for chicken curry, is only one step removed from Nanny Ogg's Discworld version -- which I found duplicated in a book put out by (IIRC) the Scottish Federation of WIs.

Fev 13, 2021, 12:25 pm

>21 hfglen: Now I have to go look in my Nanny Ogg's Cookbook to see if her recipe for chicken curry is there.

I love meatloaf. Haven't met one I didn't like, but they all don't like me. They give me terrible heartburn.

Editado: Fev 13, 2021, 1:23 pm

>22 MrsLee: I'm sure it is, labelled "genu-wine Klatchian". And yields a watery yellow stew with drowned raisins floating around in it, looking like dead flies.

Fev 14, 2021, 8:44 pm

>23 hfglen: :P I will probably stick to my curry recipe!

Abr 23, 2021, 5:59 am

Last night's effort was a version of Georgian (Caucasian, not USAnian) Chakhokhbili. Chicken simmered with tomato and herbs; I used bay leaves, parsley, dill, coriander seeds and tarragon. Family approved.

Abr 23, 2021, 6:33 am

>25 hfglen: One of my favourite dishes - I'm glad your family enjoyed it.

Abr 24, 2021, 10:31 am

>25 hfglen: Sounds delish!

Abr 30, 2021, 7:20 am

We were given a block of "Cape Malay Spice" flavoured paneer the other day, which more-or-less dictated that last night's offering should be a curry of some sort.
I should also explain that "Richard's mate Jess" (the dog -- Haydninvienna will understand precisely) had to go to the vet the other day, and is now on a course of cortisone. So she eats anything even more ravenously than usual.
The curry was Kalya e Khaas of mutton from a Zuleikha Mayat recipe, with yoghurt, tomato, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, a few peppercorns, turmeric and ginger/garlic. Family loved it. I fried about half the paneer and served it on the side. Family sampled it and declined, so after supper the paneer ended up in Jess's bowl. She ate one piece and gave me a dirty look clearly meaning "You expect me to eat this?! Bleurgh!!!". And for the rest of the evening I got a whites-of-the-eyes look every time I passed her.

Abr 30, 2021, 7:24 am

>28 hfglen: They do not say much, but when they do…

I feel your pain.

Editado: Abr 30, 2021, 10:05 am

>28 hfglen: I do indeed understand, and I sympathise with my mate Jess. Cape Malay Spice paneer sounds odd to me. I’ve seen plenty of paneer, and even cooked with it on occasion, but flavoured? No way.

And what’s up with Jess?

Abr 30, 2021, 11:42 am

>30 haydninvienna: She's got some kind of allergy, the vet thinks. Many thanks for the concern.

Abr 30, 2021, 12:15 pm

>31 hfglen: Give her an extra pat for me.

Abr 30, 2021, 3:57 pm

>32 haydninvienna: Jess duly patted and appreciative. And has escaped the rest of the paneer.

Maio 3, 2021, 2:05 pm

>30 haydninvienna: I make paneer flavoured with cumin seeds occasionally, but wouldn't do anything more complex than that - paneer is pretty much the Indian equivalent of tofu in that it provides protein but isn't expected to taste of much in itself. I've never seen a flavoured commercial version over here.

Maio 3, 2021, 2:35 pm

I’m used to paneer in curries, but equating it to tofu is spot on—bland protein for using with something that actually tastes of something.

Maio 13, 2021, 3:39 pm

Yesterday's newspaper devoted the Lifestyle page to Eid recipes, including a rather interesting-looking Lamb and Almond Korma. Which, in a spirit of "satiable curtiosity", I just had to make, especially as we had some lamb in the freezer. Interesting, smelled great, and family heartily enjoyed. Interesting that you fry up the onions, remove them, then fry the meat in the same ghee, add ginger-garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes more, then add the makings of the sauce, then put the onions back and continue. Makings of sauce include yoghurt, almonds, cinnamon, black and green cardamom, cumin, coriander powder, turmeric and salt, all blitzed together to a paste. The recipe then calls for far too much water -- at one point I thought we were going to end up with bits of lamb and more almonds swimming around in a soup, bit I managed to reduce the sauce enough to thicken it up.

Jun 15, 2021, 4:08 am

On Thursday I made a Chinese curry, which sounds like a self-contradictory label. I found the recipe in the Thousand-recipe Chinese Cookbook. Pre-packaged curry-powder, ginger and sherry. Edible, if less than exciting. Still, DD (who is difficult) went back for seconds.

Jul 1, 2021, 3:01 pm

Score a(nother) win for Samuel Chamberlain, Gourmet magazine and Bouquet de France! We were given some chicken breasts, so I attempted the Poulet braisé Provençal in the book. Chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, then browned in oil. Then add a relatively large quantity of white wine, and some onion, garlic and tomato, and simmer ad lib. Family approved. It must ahve smelt unusually good while cooking: two of our four Feline Overlords were utter pests all the while, getting between the cook's feet and voicing their disapproval that THEY WEREN'T GETTING ANY, despite having been fed at the start of the procedure. Mister Mistoffelees, the Maharajah of Muddipore, went so far as to attempt to climb the stove and when that didn't work, climb my leg, to claim what he felt was rightfully his. Needless to say, that got him expelled from the kitchen, and he is now ostentatiously Not Speaking To His Hoomin Slave.

Jul 24, 2021, 6:47 am

The correspondence columns of an old (1967) Gourmet magazine contain a recipe from a 12-year-old Mallorquin lad that looked like it has possibilities, so I tried it. Cubed pork browned in its own fat (I suspect adding a film of oil would make less of a mess of the pot). Then add a tomato, some onion, a clove of garlic (all chopped, the finer the better), an assortment of herbs, a splash of wine, both Worcester and soy sauces. Stir madly, then add stock and rice (2 stock to 1 rice) and let simmer till done. Not exactly pretty but very tasty.

Jul 29, 2021, 4:29 am

>39 hfglen: That does sound like a delicious meal. Sounds like a Risotto with big chunks of port.

The recipe I use for Beef with Ginger and Spring Onions, calls for "Maggi" seasoning. This was something I had never heard of, although some friends have told me they see it in the supermarket all the time.

To make the dish I investigated possible substitutes for Maggi seasoning and found a 50:50 combination of Worcester and soy sauces would fit the bill. I asked a colleague who is a keen maker of Chinese food (he is from Hong Kong) about Maggi seasoning and asked him was he familiar with it. He said yes and that he considered it to be MSG. I do not know if he was pulling my leg or not, but I cannot imagine combining Worcester and Soy sauces and adding only a shine to the dish. They are obviously key flavour drivers.

Jul 30, 2021, 12:02 am

>40 pgmcc: Quantity might determine whether they take over or only perk it up. Both of them are big umami boosters. I have a recipe for a marinade which uses them and wow! It is THE best for a slow cooking grill of a hunk of meat.

Jul 30, 2021, 4:32 am

>41 MrsLee: I have a recipe for Meat Sung, a dish I love when I get it. (Savoury mince wrapped in an iceberg lettuce leaf.) There are several ingredients in with the mince (can use beef, turkey, pork, or, I suppose, whatever) which give it the distinctive flavour that I love. When I first cooked it I found it very flat compared to the versions I had in restaurants. There was one ingredient I did not have when I made it but it only required one teaspoonful so I did not think it would have made the difference as other ingredients required one, or even two, tablespoonfuls. It was fish sauce.

I mentioned this to my colleague who is a keen cook and he said the absence of one teaspoonful of fish sauce would make all the difference. He was right.

As you say, quantity matters; that small amount transformed the dish from a bland mince in lettuce to a wonderful, flavoursome explosion of taste in my mouth. I regard fish sauce as the TNT of Chinese cooking ever since.

Editado: Jul 30, 2021, 1:56 pm

>40 pgmcc: Your friend is right. It's basically a sub for MSG or soy sauce. Maggi is water, salt, wheat gluten, flour and a variety of "other things." There's an interesting article about it on Spruce Eats: I had no idea it was invented in Switzerland.

Jul 30, 2021, 11:59 am

>43 lesmel: Thank you for that information. I thought it was an Asian product. Imagine, Swiss Seasoning.

Jul 31, 2021, 5:04 am

>43 lesmel: Many thanks for the link. I think I might inflict the German Frikkadellen on the family in the coming week.

>44 pgmcc: Back in the Middle Ages when I wur a lad and the world was new-and-all, Maggi used its Swiss origin as a selling point. AFAIK it's still freely available.

Jul 31, 2021, 2:40 pm

>46 haydninvienna: Better Half assures me that it's available in all our local supermarkets.

Ago 1, 2021, 9:58 am

>41 MrsLee: I am not above admitting my ignorance on a subject or of a word. You have introduced me to the word, "umami", that I have not been aware of until reading post #41. Thank you for broadening my vocabulary.

Now, not only did you bring my attention to the word on Friday, but on Saturday, when watching "Satruday Kitchen" on BBC, one of my favourite programmes, One of the guest chefs used "umami" as well. Thanks to you, @MrsLess, I knew what she meant. Had it not been for your post, and my subsequent dictionary search for the word, I would not have known what the word meant.

Ago 1, 2021, 10:00 am

>45 hfglen: , >46 haydninvienna: & >47 hfglen:.

So what you are telling me is that my lack of knowledge on Maggi Seasoning may have more to do with faulty eyesight rathe than absence from the supermarket shelves.

I will have to peruse the shelves more carefully when next in the supermarket.

Ago 1, 2021, 12:26 pm

>49 pgmcc: Just for a laugh I just searched for it on Tesco’s Irish website. It doesn’t seem to be there, although Tesco UK definitely has it. Dunne’s doesn’t seem to list it either. Perhaps Ireland is in a state of Maggi-deprivation.

Ago 1, 2021, 12:31 pm

>50 haydninvienna:
Richard, I appreciate the reassurance.

Ago 1, 2021, 5:14 pm

>42 pgmcc: mmm, fish sauce is magic. One of these days I want to try fermenting my own. Until then, it is a staple in my fridge.

>48 pgmcc: Glad to have been of service! For the record, I have never heard of Maggi, nor have I ever noticed it in our stores.

Ago 1, 2021, 5:58 pm

>52 MrsLee: For the record, I have never heard of Maggi, nor have I ever noticed it in our stores.

MrsLee, you have saved me from being alone. Not only are you educating me, but you are saving me from isolation.

I am forever in your debt.

Ago 1, 2021, 8:54 pm

>53 pgmcc: anything for you, Peter. :)

Ago 26, 2021, 12:18 pm

May I call on the collective expertise of the Cookbookers' Brains Trust?
I have a problem I've never seen discussed in print, but which recurs every time I want to cook.
The Feline Overlord (Mr Inky Mistoffelees, the dreaded Maharajah of Muddipore) sees me working at the stove and not paying adequate homage to His Imperious Lordship, and decides that This Will Not Do. So first he climbs up the stove, using the handles of the warming drawer and the oven as paw-holds. If I continue withholding food, he then tries climbing up my leg, using claws as crampons. In summer when I wear shorts this is decidedly painful. What would you-all do to dissuade him?

Ago 26, 2021, 12:29 pm

>55 hfglen: I have a similar problem when my feline overlord is feline a little ignored when I am working. He comes into my study, jumps up on my desk, walks around the back of my screen, comes out on the other side of the screen, and promptly lies down on my keyboard. Granted he has not climbed up my legs using his claws in a while or during this particular manoeuvre, but I am still presented with and obstruction to my work.

My solution is to walk out the the conservatory and put some dry food in his bowl. He follows me out and is happy to eat the food. I then dash back to my office and close the door so he cannot get back in.

On other occasions, when I am not as patient or am busy with an on-line meeting, I have to pretend I am heading to the conservatory and, when he dashes out the door, I quickly close the door to prevent his re-entering the study. I am afraid this latter approach has the negative trait of building up resentment in the cat and that I will subsequently pay the price of my callous disregard for his demands for attention and or food.

Ago 26, 2021, 6:27 pm

>55 hfglen: I would keep a spray bottle of water by the stove and use it on his holiness when he is climbing up the stove, for his safety, and when he is climbing up your leg, use it for your safety! My overloards seem to have a healthy respect for the spray bottle after one or two applications.

Ago 26, 2021, 7:18 pm

>57 MrsLee: Same. I taught Princess Demon Kitty to not jump up on the counter (and then the fridge) with well aimed shots from a water bottle.

Ago 27, 2021, 7:32 am

>57 MrsLee: >58 lesmel: Mr Mistoffelees is fascinated by water and frequently demands that we open the bath tap so he can watch, and occasionally drink it. I suspect that a water bottle may be counter-productive.

Ago 27, 2021, 9:49 am

>59 hfglen: You could try canned air instead.

Set 2, 2021, 3:32 pm

Tonight Mr Mistoffelees behaved himself, and I could cook relatively undisturbed. Though at one point I did get a strange look from him, as much as to say "why is the stoopid hoomin grating his thumb into the lemon zest?".

The dish was beef trinchado, and the recipe was from Red Hot by Jan Braai. The man has a delicious sense of humour, and I quote one line from the ingredients list "1/2 cup brandy (this is not a misprint)". Also into the pot go an onion, garlic, bay leaves, wine, and later cream, olives and lemon zest (ideally without bits of the cook's thumb!). The way he tells it you put it all in a potjie* and cook over an open fire, but a more normal saucepan and an electric stove works just fine.

*Traditionally they're black cast iron, not like the showy enamel in the picture; but the same shape, with three legs and all.

Set 2, 2021, 4:17 pm

>61 hfglen:
You mean a witch’s cauldron.

That explains a lot.

Editado: Set 3, 2021, 6:54 am

>62 pgmcc: A small one. A standard no. 3 potjie contains 7.8 litres.

ETA: On the other hand, it's possible that Harry Potter's class could have managed with no. 1 (3 litre) cauldrons.

Set 10, 2021, 3:02 pm

This week's special was baked Kassler (smoked pork chops) with a tomato, lemon-juice, mustard, celery and garlic sauce after The Cat Who ... Cookbook, but without the sugar. I have an idea that the book is unenthusiastically rated on LT, but this recipe undoubtedly works. We all considered that any sugar would have spoiled it.

Set 10, 2021, 3:08 pm

Further to #63:

Remembering the scene Percy Weasley makes in one of the Harry Potter books, I can't help thinking that there's space for a mystery in which the murder weapon is a blunt instrument, which turns out to be a standard issue no. 1 or no. 3 (less conspicuous) potjie, swung with only moderate force. The deceased would be found to have died of multiple fractures to the skull.

Set 10, 2021, 4:42 pm

>65 hfglen: It is not unlike a crock used for keeping one’s gold in here; if you happen to be a person of a certain stature.

Set 11, 2021, 11:30 am

>66 pgmcc: Wearing a green jacket and smoking an upside-down pipe, I assume.

Set 11, 2021, 12:14 pm

>67 hfglen: You got it in one.
Seen any rainbows recently?

Out 14, 2021, 5:19 am

Far too hot to cook right now: mid-morning temperature is 35°C!

Out 15, 2021, 3:30 pm

I've just been reading an account of the 1947 Royal Tour of South Africa, that includes a couple of the menus offered to the Royals, and so I'm curious. In Cape Town, the day after the present Queen's 21st birthday, they were offered omelette Rossini as a lunch dish (among other things). The video I found on Youtube showing how to prepare this involved making shavings of a whole truffle and cubes of a hefty chunk of foie gras. Knowing as I do that South African palates have become much less insular in the last ± 40 years than they were when I was a kid, and knowing that these ingredients are now (a) astronomically expensive and (b) essentially unprocurable locally, I can't help wondering what this lot cost the everloving taxpayer back then (relative to the price of, say, a pound of beef or butter), and how on earth they got the fresh raw materials to Cape Town. A flight from London to Johannesburg took between 36 and 60 hours, and from there to Cape Town an additional 4 hours, in 1947.

Out 31, 2021, 1:10 pm

>70 hfglen: And beyond that is the change in sensibility--the feeling that serving something so French in a country with its own cuisine and ingredients was the proper thing to do.

Editado: Dez 12, 2021, 2:29 am

Returning to the Maggi discussion, when I first came to Singapore I learned that 'Maggi Mee' (instant flavoured noodles) was a staple of the student diet here, made up with hot water or eaten dry. But since there were double deckers roaming the city covered entirely in ads for Ajinomoto (aka MSG), it wasn't one I was inclined to try; although students who went the other way (from Singapore to London) bemoaned the lack of Maggie mee in their new overseas homes.

Maggi also make stock cubes; although - following the 'real food' TV chefs - I prefer liquid stock. (I'm not ready to stretch to making my own though.) We did, at one point, have Maggi seasoning in the house when another member of the household made a dish with it. It was rather more flavourful than usual, so I checked the ingredients and discovered MSG at which point, I'm afraid, I banned it :0)

Dez 23, 2021, 3:20 pm

A YouTube video recounts the totally unreliable story of a Scots barbarian who succeeded in crossing Hadrian's Wall and making his way to Rome, where he opened a fast-food shop (one of tens if not hundreds of thousands). He persuaded a local baker to make a line of soft buns, in which he sold isicia omentata. Needless to say the Scot's name was MacDonald.

So we had isicia omentata (Roman hamburger patties) "inna bun", to quote the great C.M.O.T. Dibbler.

Dez 26, 2021, 2:44 pm

Abr 16, 2022, 7:28 am

Seems like ages since I've been here. However.

A few weeks ago the family watched a series on Youtube by an Austrian chef who has a restaurant in (I think) Kuala Lumpur -- found it once and never again. In one episode he cooked for a Maharaja in Gujerat, whose great family recipe was called Rajpipla Chicken, and was noted for having between 30 and 40 ingredients. This, of course, represents a challenge not to be passed up. Google produced a recipe with a mere dozen spices (including Worcestershire sauce, which also needed investigating), to which I added a marinade from Indian Delights, which almost doubled the count. Noting that the picture in the video showed some cashews -- which I didn't have -- swimming around in the sauce, I threw in a handful of pecans, which I had. The most difficult part of the recipe is making sure you have everything. After that it goes together easily, and yes an hour in the marinade does wonders for the chicken. Family definitely approved.

Abr 16, 2022, 9:01 am

>75 hfglen: You did not mention many of the forty ingredients, yet included the cashew nuts which you did not have, and still made my mouth water. You are a great chef.

Abr 16, 2022, 9:35 am

>76 pgmcc: Thank you! It was pretty good, though next to the amazing Irish lady Anna Haugh (also seen on YouTube) I rate somewhere below the proverbial baboon's backside.

chicken, frying fat, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolks, yogurt, (sugar - omitted), garlic, ginger, olive oil, tomato paste, mustard, onion, cumin, salt.
Marinade: yogurt, tomatoes, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, pepper (I used long pepper), cumin, turmeric, ginger-garlic.

Abr 16, 2022, 9:45 am

>77 hfglen:
Now I am drooling.

Abr 16, 2022, 9:59 am

Further to #75: The series is called Cooking for the Crown. The chef is one Christian Bauer. Here is a link to the episode that started this:

Abr 16, 2022, 10:00 am

>78 pgmcc: Come to Durbs and I'll make it for you.

Abr 16, 2022, 2:36 pm

>80 hfglen: Nice idea.

Abr 17, 2022, 5:26 am

Ooh, thanks. I'll hop on the next flight ...

... once I find a VTL flight ...
... and my visa comes through ...

You know what; you guys just go ahead.

Abr 17, 2022, 11:48 am

PS to #75 and #77 for MrsLee: Of course you can add heat. Chili flakes / cayenne and chopped green chilies will give you two more ingredients. But this one truly doesn't need them.

Abr 20, 2022, 10:38 pm

>77 hfglen: Sounds delicious.

Jun 3, 2022, 4:16 am

Inspired by the food offered in the Kruger Park, and informed by Better Half that the raw material yesterday was chicken thighs, I used Jan Braai's recipe for chicken pie filling in Red Hot as a starting point for a chicken stew. On the side I made umngqusho (the word becomes pronounceable when you know that in isiXhosa the Q is a palatal click). Here is Wikipedia's explanation of the ingredient samp. The chicken is very Afrikaans, the umngqusho is common to many African groups, under different names.

Jun 20, 2022, 4:30 am

After watching this video last night I feel confident enough to make a generic korma (with beef) tomorrow for consumption on Thursday. Nisha Katona explains the whys and wherefores with exemplary clarity.

Jun 26, 2022, 12:54 pm

And so I did. On Thursday it had only had 24 hours for the ingredients to get to know one another. The leftovers were much better on Friday after another day's blending. But my version of a "pale yellow Kashmiri curry" came out a rich brown! Must try a Rogan Josh with +- the same ingredients one day.

Jun 27, 2022, 2:32 am

>87 hfglen: Don't think I've ever tried a beef korma - chicken or prawn usually, which have a better chance of coming out pale and interesting. It's one of my favourites curry types though I am sneered at by my colleagues on office curry nights for choosing it - "curry for beginners", they call it, simply because it's not loaded with chilli.

Jun 27, 2022, 4:32 am

>88 Sovay: Maybe your colleagues should take note of the Nisha Katona video I linked to in #86. She can hardly be other than a curry expert, and states clearly in the video that she dislikes over-chillied curries. In fact, we find much the same among the various communities here in Durban: the most overheated curries are made by (ahem) white male amateurs who think they can cook.

Jun 27, 2022, 7:18 am

>89 hfglen: There's definitely a macho element to curry selection in Britain! It always annoys me when people complain that korma is "not spicy enough" - it's full of wonderful spices, just not chilli ..

Jun 27, 2022, 8:59 am

>90 Sovay: Precisely. Here too.

Jul 8, 2022, 3:50 pm

>88 Sovay: So this evening I tried a Chicken Thokku, the recipe for which apparently comes from Tamil Nadu (so the deep south of India rather than the usual North Indian cuisine). For this family that meant omitting the green chillies, curry leaves and cilantro. The result was great, though I says it meself as shouldn't. Why no curry leaves? I appear to be the only person in Durban who can't keep the bush alive -- several have died on me. And we all have the gene that makes us see cilantro as tasting of soap, or worse.

Jul 11, 2022, 11:46 am

>92 hfglen: I've had no success with curry leaf growing either. The other herb that always dies on me is tarragon - I must have killed off at least a dozen plants over the years - really annoying because it's not a herb one needs by the handful so buying it from the supermarket inevitably ends up in waste.

Chicken Thokku looks good - I'd probably keep the fresh chiilies and omit the chilli powder though.

Jul 11, 2022, 9:27 pm

>92 hfglen: I bought some dried curry leaf online. I hadn't heard of it until recently. Even dried it adds a lot to a dish!

My nemesis herb to grow is thyme. I don't use it dried because it always tastes moldy to me, so I really like to have a fresh plant. I have kept it alive as much as one season, but the first wave of heat here usually kills it.

Jul 12, 2022, 12:38 am

Well, I’m in awe of anyone who can grow anything edible though I did look on one holiday while my mum and sons grew a huge tomato bush. I gifted an orchid plant to a friend as a house warming present but was stumped when she asked how to look after it; the only way I’ve got orchids to survive is to put them outside in the garden and let them do their own thing.

As for cilantro (we had this debate on another thread a few months ago), I’m convinced that coriander and cilantro - while they look almost identical - are different herbs. Cilantro tastes like old celery to me and I refuse to use it. We also have another similar-looking herb here that they call Chines parsley which tastes even more soapy. But coriander has a different flavour altogether. At least, to me - although in recent months our supermarket may have begun conflating them 😖

Jul 12, 2022, 7:29 am

>94 MrsLee: Even though we're nearly as hot as you (high 90s F in the heat of summer) thyme grows like a weed here -- I can see ours from where I'm sitting.

>95 humouress: Almost anything else, however, is preyed on by the monkeys, so we can and do grow bay leaves, but fruit and veg are a dead loss.

Jul 12, 2022, 12:34 pm

>96 hfglen: We've discovered that they don't like onions, though.

Jul 12, 2022, 5:00 pm

>95 humouress: I'm one of the person who likes cilantro.

Jul 13, 2022, 2:49 am

>95 humouress: I would associate cilantro with Central and South American cookery and coriander with Indian and South East Asian cookery - could be that they arose from the same ancestor but have diverged in different parts of the world? Not that I have ever (as far as I know) eaten anything labelled cilantro, so can't comment on any difference in flavour.

Jul 13, 2022, 2:49 am

>94 MrsLee: I don't mind dried thyme - dried sage, however, is disgusting to me.

Jul 13, 2022, 3:57 am

>98 thornton37814: Okay *backs away slowly*

>99 Sovay: Possibly. I haven't looked into it and I could even be wrong (of course not, don't be silly) but they taste different to me.

Editado: Jul 13, 2022, 10:57 am

I like coriander (can never get enough of it in the dishes it belongs in) but I had always understood that coriander and cilantro were two names for the same plant.

Jul 14, 2022, 8:55 pm

>102 haydninvienna: That was my understanding as well. The same with cumin and comino.

Editado: Jul 15, 2022, 6:04 pm

>102 haydninvienna: Maybe they're two variations of the same plant?

I did find this: 'Can You Substitute Coriander for Cilantro? Due to their different taste profiles, cilantro and coriander cannot be used interchangeably. In addition, because the word “coriander” can refer to the seeds or the leaves, you may have to do some detective work when you're following a new recipe that calls for it.'

Jul 16, 2022, 7:23 am

Found a recipe for a Sri Lankan chicken curry that looked like an interesting comparison with the Chicken Thokku in #92. Especially seeing Sri Lanka is (at least in global terms) not all that far from Tamil Nadu. Made it last night, and it was indeed interesting. The aroma was possibly even more enticing than last week's, due mainly to the coconut milk. It tasted good, but not as good as last week's chicken thokku.

Jul 16, 2022, 12:52 pm

>104 humouress: Interesting - though I'd say it's usually pretty clear whether coriander seeds or leaves are required in a recipe.

Ago 2, 2022, 9:26 am

I'm mildly amused by an instruction in a recipe I read on the internet. I'm planning to make Stolzer Heinrich for the family supper on Friday, and one instruction in the recipe I intend to use goes "Dredge the brats with flour...". I suspect that speakers of British English will interpret that in a way other than what the writer intended. (Yes, the dish is made with Bratwurst, not naughty boys.)

Cross-posted in The Green Dragon

Ago 2, 2022, 10:09 am

Could make an interesting substitute ...

Ago 4, 2022, 9:02 pm

>107 hfglen: I am tempted to create a recipe using bratwurst for the children's "gross" cookbook I've never finished, just so I could use that instruction in it.

Ago 5, 2022, 3:37 pm

>109 MrsLee: Here's the recipe, which I made up this evening. I liked it. (For the "gross" cookbook you may be amused by the Berliner title -- what was Henry proud of, I wonder?)

Ago 5, 2022, 6:47 pm

>110 hfglen: Huh. The ginger cookie crumbs sound odd, but if you say it's good I believe you.

LOL, proud of his brat, I'm sure!

Ago 6, 2022, 9:40 am

>111I didn't have ginger cookies, so looked at it and decided the ginger added flavour, and the crumbs were thickening. So used ground ginger and flour.

Ago 6, 2022, 1:37 pm

>112 hfglen: That sounds more appealing to me. I suppose a bit of molasses would not be amiss either. My friend and I once did a taste test and found that the flavor of a dark molasses was not that far off of a dark soy sauce, an ingredient which is much harder to find here than dark molasses.

Ago 14, 2022, 7:40 am

Thursday's offering was a Kerala (the part of south-west India where spices are grown and traded) chicken recipe, Irachi Choru. Deeply tasty, with many complex flavours, yet it goes together quite easily. I've not seen separate spice mixtures for the meat and rice in the same recipe before.

Ago 14, 2022, 7:47 am

Found a recipe leaflet glorifying a brand of cornflour from almost a century ago; the back cover has a coat of arms advertising that the makers had a royal warrant from "H.M. King George V" (who died in 1935). The recipes vary between dead boring and revolting (the latter being their very English "curry").

Out 22, 2022, 7:08 am

And talking of curry, I'm planning to make a Xacuti de Galinha (Goanese chicken curry) according to a modified version of a recipe in Cozinha Indo-Portuguesa next time it's my turn to cook. Don't think any of the family would cope with 20 dried red chillies in the spice mix for one smallish (1.5 kg) chicken, nor the 2 or 3 green ones, 10 cloves of garlic and 8 onions in the sauce! However the rest seems quite pleasant.

Out 22, 2022, 9:10 am

>116 hfglen: LOL, after those are removed, is it still curry? Kidding, I well understand the need to tone recipes down for family members. :)

Out 22, 2022, 11:09 am

>116 hfglen: I wonder if they scaled down the recipe but forgot to scale down the sauce as well?

Nov 5, 2022, 7:11 am

Further to #116, I made the Xacuti last night -- with further modification to substitute for ingredients I thought we had but couldn't find. It smells terrific, even the next day, and Family loved it. Especially DD's cat, who insisted on liberating what she considered to be a fair share from her pet hoomin's plate.

Nov 5, 2022, 9:58 am

PS: This is something that Portuguese colonists learned in India. Anyone who has sampled Nando's Chicken Peri-peri -- preferably hot enough even for MrsLee -- knows what the Portuguese learned from Mozambican locals. I gather there's a dish called Guindungo, involving goat and LOTS of chillies, they learned in Angola.

Nov 18, 2022, 6:52 am

Butter and Love. Knowing that several LT friends have enjoyed the recipes in My Cape Malay Kitchen, I cannot wait to suggest that they need the comfort food recipes in this one to go with the previous enthuse. Caro Alberts (touchstone not working) grew up on a farm near Piet Retief in what is now Mpumalanga, near the KZN and eSwatini borders, and so has known good farm food "since always". She now has a TV series called Koskaskenades, where she cooks a special meal for a group of friends / acquaintances in each episode. It's in Afrikaans (though I'd have been slaughtered at school if I'd dared to use her mongrel Afrikaans!) with English subtitles; here is a sample. Her recipes are eminently do-able, and yield great stick-to-the-ribs farm food.

Cross posted in The Green Dragon

Dez 3, 2022, 9:21 am

Why cook in this 21st century? The answer I have always given to those who express surprise that, as a male, I do from time to time, involves a lot of words about tweaking the recipe to the family's taste and wanting to avoid non-food additives, preservatives and E-numbers wherever possible. But in reading In the Forests of Serre, I think I've found a better, shorter and pithier answer that Patricia McKillip gives:
"I like to cook. It is like making magic, and far easier ..."

Dez 3, 2022, 3:45 pm

>122 hfglen: Yes indeed, that is at least half of why I cook.

Dez 3, 2022, 10:44 pm

>122 hfglen: Sadly, the magic is not present a hundred percent of the time when I cook (although that in itself can be interesting). And if you ask my kids, though I beg to differ with them, less often.

Dez 6, 2022, 2:49 pm

>122 hfglen: I agree with the quote! Making magic...........

This is what I found on a cooking site I frequent: Both cilantro and coriander come from the Coriandrum sativum plant. In the US, cilantro is the name for the plant's leaves and stem, while coriander is the name for its dried seeds. Internationally, the leaves and stems are called coriander, while its dried seeds are called coriander seeds. I don't like cilantro and never use it--I usually just substitute parsley.

Dez 6, 2022, 11:34 pm

>124 humouress: It might not always be good magic, but the process feels like creating potions. Good potions, bad potions, no matter. ;)

Dez 7, 2022, 4:53 am

>125 Tess_W: *high five* All of us in this family have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, and so I substitute parsley if there's some around, otherwise omit.

Dez 7, 2022, 6:53 am

I agree with the quotation too, but in my case the magic is often more like Rincewind's.

Dez 24, 2022, 9:06 am

May I put a question to the Brains Trust, specifically our American experts?
I have just read a statement that the name of the well-known African staple "Samp"* is derived from a Native-American word. Can you confirm or deny?

*Samp as used around here is very coarsely ground maize, so coarse that many of the seeds are virtually unscathed. Boiled up with red kidney beans it becomes "samp-and-beans" or umngqusho, which can be both good and filling.

Dez 24, 2022, 1:00 pm

>129 hfglen: I found this link:

"According to the American Heritage Dictionary , Samp is of native American origin. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary indicates its first known use in 1643.
It's credited to the Narragansett word "Nasaump", which means hominy. The Narragansett Indians called dried hulled corn "Corn Samp", which meant "Corn softened by water".
The Shinnecock are descended from the Narragansett and Pequot peoples of Southern New England. The Shinnecock and Wampanoags also had their own versions of samp. I'm pretty sure every Native American tribe that grew and ate corn has their own samp recipe."

Dez 24, 2022, 3:05 pm

>130 MrsLee: We can ask MrsLee anything and get the perfect answer! The first picture in the link looks exactly like the stuff sold here! Ever so many thanks.

Dez 24, 2022, 7:12 pm

>131 hfglen: HaHa! Me and the internet!

Mar 3, 4:41 am

The other evening the family was enjoying watching an elderly episode of University Challenge. One question involved a (chicken) dish named after a Napoleonic victory. The young lady captaining a team from one of the world's top half-dozen universities suggested "Chicken Austerlitz". (The expression on the question-master, Jeremy Paxman's face was a classic!) So next time it's my turn to cook, I shall commemorate this by cooking Chicken Marengo from an elderly, apparently more-or-less original, recipe found on Wikipedia. It's relatively simple -- no tomatoes (not available in 1800), eggs or lobsters.

Mar 3, 6:49 am

>133 hfglen: Now somebody needs to invent Chicken Austerlitz. The all-knowing tells me that the place that was known as Austerlitz in 1805 is now called Slavkov u Brna. We should probably keep going with Austerlitz. Either way, it’s in Moravia, so maybe look to Czech cuisine for inspiration? Should probably involve dumplings and plums.

Mar 3, 9:03 am

>134 haydninvienna: Hmmmz. I'll need to do some homework on that. Dumplings sure, but I can't help thinking the plums would do better as slivovica for afterwards. If Wiener Backhendl is the avian equivalent of Wiener Schnitzel, what about a chicken analogue of one of the many schnitzel recipes? Possibly involving pickled gherkins?

Mar 3, 2:04 pm

>135 hfglen: Pickled plums, maybe? Though I agree that the slivovica would be a good idea—how about a flambé?

But “Chicken in paprika sauce (kuře na paprice) or hen in paprika sauce (slepice na paprice) is chicken or hen stewed with onion, paprika and cream.” The Czechs probably wouldn’t appreciate it being renamed. And “Roast pork with dumplings and cabbage (pečené vepřové s knedlíky a se zelím, colloquially vepřo-knedlo-zelo) is often considered the most typical Czech dish. It consists of cabbage and is either cooked or served pickled. There are different varieties, from sour to sweet.” Anything you can do with pork you can probably do with chicken, so roast chicken with dumplings and cabbage?

Mar 4, 3:40 am

>136 haydninvienna: The Czechs probably wouldn’t appreciate it being renamed. Possibly not :0)

Also, haven't (yet!) come across chicken crackling. But you never know, nowadays.

Mar 4, 5:04 am

>136 haydninvienna: Hmmmz. I think we need one or more French elements to remind diners that the name commemorates Napoleon, who won that round handsomely. Chicken in paprika-and-wine sauce, flamed with French brandy perhaps? (so a sort of a cross between the Czech chicken and coq au vin perhaps?

Mar 4, 7:17 am

>137 humouress: Jamie Oliver (among others) is a big fan of crisped chicken skin. Close enough?

>137 humouress: Nothing specifically French that I can see in the recipe for chicken Marengo, with or without the tomatoes. In fact the original recipe in Wikipedia is not much more than plain braised chicken, and the only connection with France is that the dish may have been created in honour of that particular victory. Incidentally, the version of the creation legend that I first read ages ago involved mushrooms. One of Napoleon’s artillerymen supposedly found some after the battle and presented them to him. Most of the online recipes seem to involve mushrooms. But still nothing specifically French. If we used cognac as a flambé (as you say, this looks like a coq au vin with paprika) and included the dumplings? I still think there should be plums involved though.

A supposedly “authentic” recipe on line ( kind of spoils its own premise by beginning “This famous French meal is sometimes described as more of a concept than a real, fixed recipe”, and then goes on:
Chicken Marengo is a braised meat stew prepared by first browning meat in oil or butter and then slow cooking it in wine and a little broth, usually with mushrooms. The base of the sauce is either sautéed onions, garlic, or both (while some recipes use neither), and it can be thickened either by reduction or by adding a little flour. This is a very versatile recipe — while in some versions the sauce is made using tomatoes, fresh or canned, others omit tomatoes and base the sauce on mushrooms. Chicken Marengo can be served with various sides, depending on the version: crayfish or even prawn or shrimp, fried eggs, toasted bread, or croutons. The wine used for flavoring is most often white, but some recipes also call for fortified wine, which adds a sweeter note and is reportedly more faithful to the traditional recipe. Some recipes also include brandy, which is added towards the end of the cooking process and gives this eclectic dish an invigorating kick.

Mar 4, 9:57 pm

>139 haydninvienna: *sigh* I knew it.

Editado: Mar 17, 11:33 am

Today I am trying to make Dublin Coddle in honour of St. Paddy's Day. This has caused a thought about the difference between recipes written in a test kitchen and the same, made at home. In a test kitchen the procedure is (should be) relatively straightforward. Not in a home dominated by cats.

Recipe: Render the bacon, about five minutes. Cook the onions, then the sausages...
Home: check the kitchen: no sign of any cats anywhere. Put the bacon on. Feed three cats that have materialised between your feet. Stir the bacon. Eventually put the bacon on one side. Start the onions. One cat is now wailing about his poor old Oirish great grandma doid in the pratie famine to be shure; feed him again. Start the sausages. When Better Half returns, ask her to please feed the "starving Irish" cats* and the dog. Eventually layer everything together and put it in the oven. Ten minutes later spend a long time trying to convince Better Half that our dinner is in the oven, which is controlled by the switch that's on, not the warming-drawer switch!

And your experiences?

*The aforementioned suspects, of course.

Editado: Mar 17, 1:36 pm

>141 hfglen:
Interesting recipe. I noticed a few features that would not be common to making coddle in Dublin. Firstly, the sausages and bacon are boiled here, not browned before hand. I can imagine the person designing the recipe did not like the idea of eating what looks like uncooked sausages, but when I have seen coddle the sausages have not been browned. This is what puts some people off coddle.

Also, garlic would not have been freely available to poor families in Ireland.

Apart from that the recipe sounds very tasty. I hope you enjoy it.

E.T.A. We only have one cat but that has given me a sense of what it must be like cooking with three cats around.

Mar 17, 3:50 pm

>141 hfglen: >142 pgmcc: I added Olivia’s recipe to my Paprika archive anyway, authentic or not. I agree that browning the sausages is a better approach. (In view of Mrs H’s various health problems, I have taken over the cooking. I wouldn’t call myself a great cook, but the result is usually edible.)

Editado: Mar 17, 4:22 pm

>142 pgmcc: We did, and I'd certainly make it again (browning the sausages and bacon!).

The one thing I was let off tonight was Mr Mistoffelees (the Maharajah of Muddipore) demanding tribute when I cook mince. He gets his share, but is then inclined to climb up my leg using his claws as crampons, in search of more mince. And burger patties work in summer, and I wear shorts and flip-flops around the house about 7 or 8 months each year.

>143 haydninvienna: "I wouldn’t call myself a great cook, but the result is usually edible." Likewise.
ETA and here we have another extension to the concept of a BB ;-)

Mar 19, 7:23 pm

>143 haydninvienna:, >144 hfglen: & >145 MrsLee:

My husband will have his chance in about two weeks to see what he can do in the kitchen. I know he is able to make spaghetti, macaroni and meat and grilled steak. When we were first married, he cooked a dinner for me by opening a can of tuna, a can of corn, a can of tomatoes and a can of beans then dumping them into a saucepan and heating it. It took a long time for me to let him back in the kitchen.

Mar 20, 5:49 am

>142 pgmcc: continued. We got two full meals out of it (DD didn't partake, as she's in hospital), and I almost finished the leftovers (on toast) for breakfast this morning. Haydninvienna's friend Jess (the dog) got and appeared to enjoy the last few scraps.

>145 MrsLee: Surely your husband would be able, and should be encouraged, to have a go at this one. With or without browning the meat first, and whether or not the kitchen is full of domineering cats.

Mar 20, 6:45 am

>146 hfglen:
It is delicious. I can see how browning the meat first could make it more visually appealing. I have been queueing for lunch with coddle on the menu and people are quite taken aback when they see pale sausages, translucent onion, white potato and only a dash of colour from the ham/bacon. There is a great, tasty reward for the intrepid diners who cross the threshold of their perceived rawness in the dish's components.

Mar 20, 6:57 am

>147 pgmcc: I agree; it is indeed delicious. Just add a certain well-known Dublin nectar and you'll give the coddle great mahogany beauty as well (though I added what I had, which as an IPA).

Abr 8, 7:07 am

Found a copy of Durban Curry: so much of flavour in the library, and brought it home. I was duly intrigued by the thought of a Zulu chicken curry, and so kept reading. It turns out that what they mean is a half-feral free-range chicken, curried. So I tried it. You need chicken pieces (ideally a Zulu chicken), cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, onion, masala, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes, salt and potatoes. Cook for a long time (Zulu chickens are tough; other kinds fall off the bone, which is no loss) and enjoy with rice and a salad. Family liked it well enough that DD went back for seconds, which almost never happens!

Two words of explanation. Durban is known as the largest Indian city outside the Subcontinent, so of course we have a somewhat different curry tradition to anywhere else. And Erica Platter is John Platter's - he of South African Wines fame - missus. The recipes are collected from Indians and Zulus in the Durban area, and so are dead cert delicious.

Maio 1, 5:06 am

Durban Curry wins again! On Friday I tried their beef-and-chickpea curry recipe, which I found delicious. It was billed as a quick cook, simmering the meat for only about half an hour. I let it run for almost an hour using stewing beef, and the result was borderline tough. I think I'd like to try again, but this time let it simmer for two hours or so.

Maio 2, 4:58 pm

>150 hfglen: That does sound good, I agree with you too let it simmer longer. Tough beef is not fun.

Maio 15, 9:37 am

Have just read an alarming gumbo recipe in Now to the Banquet by Isabelle Vischer. It starts by boiling a pound of okra in water. Surely if you tried that you'd drown yourself and half the suburb in mucilage?

Maio 15, 10:50 pm

>152 hfglen: Let us know how it goes ...

Maio 15, 11:02 pm

>152 hfglen: I was just talking to my dad about okra gumbo (for us that is okra, tomatoes, and onions stewed). Direct quote: "the slimier the better" -- and I shudder at the thought. I love fried okra and roasted okra. No slime.

Maio 17, 7:12 pm

>152 hfglen: I have limited experience with okra gumbo, the few times I have used okra in a gumbo it was not the main ingredient, but did add a certain "texture" to the stew. That much sounds a bit gag inducing though. I prefer my okra fried or roasted, as does >154 lesmel:.

Editado: Jul 1, 7:19 am

Something infinitely better than slimy okra today.

Some 25 years ago (eek! I'm getting old!) I had the privilege of spending three weeks at the Smithsonian Institution, and managed to time it (inadvertently) to include July 4th. Which I spent seeing historic Alexandria, VA. Where I bought a souvenir at the Stadler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum; they had a community cookbook (Stadler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum Cookbook: surprise, surprise.) I had long thought the recipes inedible or severely impractical at the other end of the world, but can now admit I was dead wrong. Tonight's supper was "Frankie's Special Chicken with Curried Rice", chicken breasts on a bed of "1 jar sliced dried beef", which I take to be substitutable in this country with biltong, simmered in a mixture of canned mushroom soup and sour cream at 120°C for a total of 5 hours. The ladies were delighted, and so was I! Only now I fear I shall be plaguing the brains trust of this group, especially MrsLee, with requests for explanations of American terms and ingredients I'm not familiar with. If the book is still in print and you're in the DC area, I'd recommend it. For myself, I'm contemplating a modification of this recipe using ostrich steaks (schnitzels) instead of chicken breasts and ostrich instead of beef biltong if we move to Oudtshoorn next year, as we plan to do.

edited to force touchstone

Jun 30, 5:36 pm

>156 hfglen: Is biltong dried beef? I know someone in Florida who is making it commercially.

Jun 30, 6:44 pm

>156 hfglen: You are always welcome to pick anything you like out of my brains, provided you can find anything there after clearing the cobwebs.

Jun 30, 8:09 pm

>156 hfglen: Huh. Johnson and Wales Library has a copy of the cookbook. I'm amused because my mother went to J&W for a two week culinary course. One of the things she learned was how to carve ice with a chainsaw.

Editado: Jul 1, 6:38 am

>157 2wonderY: Originally venison, air-dried under a thorn tree, often hung up on a convenient thorn. Now usually beef, but around Oudtshoorn (where many ostriches are farmed), often ostrich.

>159 lesmel: You may enjoy the result if you borrow that book! (Not sure about the value of carving ice with a chainsaw; here we only see frost once or twice a decade, let alone snow!)

Jul 1, 8:18 am

Further to #156. In the evenings the family has formed the habit of binge-watching Masterchef Australia on YouTube. Last night Better Half actually looked at the book in #156, and said exactly what I thought about more than a few of the recipes: "This would never get past the Masterchef judges: they insist that dishes are made from scratch". Even last night's wouldn't have passed muster, as it involved canned mushroom soup. But the result was among the best I've made.

Jul 15, 5:47 pm

Another winner from Stabler-Leadbeater on Friday night: Chicken Cacciatore on polenta. Masterchef is evidently having an effect: I tried plating it up instead of letting family rummage in the pot for themselves. Also looked up internet recipes for making mushroom soup from scratch, for future reference. In a PM chat, MrsLee said she has a recipe book that, like many of the S-L recipes, uses every shortcut known to humankind. But I suspect that many can be "reverse-engineered" back to scratch ingredients, or, like one we discussed, be changed to match local ingredients (specifically, to avoid using a substance that seems to be first cousin to Vegemite!). If you don't know the substance, read The Last Continent and note the scene where Rincewind tries to make soup out of the dregs in a can of beer and some stray, questionably edible vegetation. That says it all.

Editado: Jul 16, 1:27 pm

>162 hfglen: I do make my mushroom soup from scratch, but it is so yummy, I don't use it in casseroles! For casseroles I make a flour, butter roux, add some milk for the right texture, salt, pepper and Worchtershire (sp?) sauce, to that I add a paste (with small chunks) of minced mushroom stems I have sautéed until they are well browned in olive oil. Of course you can make the paste with the whole mushroom, but I like to do other tasty things with the tender caps.

ETA: You can make a large amount of this paste and freeze it in small portions to add flavor to any gravy.

Jul 16, 3:52 pm

>163 MrsLee: I can see where the casserole mix would work, and be preferable to making full-on soup in this case. Definitely something to be remembered, thank you!

Jul 17, 8:09 am

The recipe I use is delicious too, but adding port to it (as recommended but I never used to because of the kids) takes it up another couple of levels.

Jul 18, 7:55 am

It's not only American community cookbooks that use every known shortcut. In the course of Downsizing (note the initial cap, which just about describes it) Better Half has found a book from a soi disant high-status school in Pretoria, which uses cans and any other shortcut to make pretentious dishes. Our church is having a fete, with a book stall, in September ...