Spring, MO The cooking/recipie thread

Discussion in 'Mid West Regional Discussion' started by VoijaRisa, Feb 19, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    Name: Meatballs
    Difficulty: *
    Cooking time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - 1 lb ground beef
    - 1/4 cup bread crumbs
    - 1 egg
    - 5-6 tbsp diced onion
    - ~1 tsp garlic powder
    - ~2 tbsp salt
    - generic italian seasoning

    Instructions:
    1. Mix all ingredients in bowl.
    2. Fry in oil until brown at center.

    Notes: Meatballs are wonderfully simple and add can add a lot to the right pasta dish. Spaghetti just isn't quite right without them. But those little balls of meat aren't only at home in red sauces and can also be found in other dishes like Swedish meatballs.

    If you're wanting the meatballs to stand out more from the sauce, or want to have them stand alone, then it's entirely possible to get even more creative than I have here. I personally tend to view meatballs as mini meatloafs. Given the number of variations there are on meatloafs, that should tip you off that there's many ways to kick up the flavor of meatballs. Consider adding powdered onion soup mix or shredded dry cheeses like romano.
  2. jedi_runya Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2005
    star 4
    Jon, you really need to make a cookbook. You have great ideas. I love making meatballs with rice and downing them in Mushroom soup. Yum!! :D
  3. twilek69 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 4
    Yum! I love meatballs and meatloaf! Looks like a really simple, yummy recipe too.
  4. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    This thread is kinda a cookbook. ;)

    I can hardly claim all these ideas as mine. It's mostly just an accumulation of suggestions from others, experimentation, and experience over the past decade.

    What you're describing with the rice sounds like a very quick and cheap version of swedish meatballs (which is my signature dish). I've done something similar, but instead of using meatballs, I use pork chops. I don't add any milk to the soup and just use the pasty stock from the can. Occasionally, I'll add ~1/4 cup of white cooking wine for a bit of a different flavor.
  5. jedi_runya Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2005
    star 4
    Yes it is. We also used to use Bison meat. Now, that was good. If you haven't tried Bison, and get the chance, do. It is very good and lean. :D
  6. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    I've been told that I need to learn to make a dessert dish known as Baked Alaska.

    For those that aren't familiar with it, it's cake (generally white or yellow) covered in ice cream, which is in turn, covered in merangue and then baked at high temperatures to cook the merangue quickly, which insulates the ice cream and makes for a hot outside, and cold inside.

    An alternative to the baking is to flambè the merangue using brandy or vodka. This is the alternative I'll be using. After all, fire is fun.

    Typically, flambèing requires alcohols between 70-90 proof. Higher can be used, but such high concentrations of alcohol are typically not considered safe. I'm going to be using vanilla infused vodka at 70 proof (35% alcohol by volume). I think this will go well with the vanilla ice cream and plain merangue (not lemon).

    I wasn't positive if this would burn, so before starting, I decided to do a test in a pyrex baking dish. In a lit room it's hard to tell that the alcohol is actually ignited, but flip off the lights, and it's a beautiful soft blue flame. It's like the aurora in a pan!

    [image=http://s94958815.onlinehome.us/hosting/cooking/blueflame.jpg]

    An additional flourish to flambèing is to sprinkle cinnamon into the flame. Cinnamon is ground bark from a tree and burns as it's sprinkled in making the flame more colorful. I'm not going to be trying that for this recipe, but there's some other dishes I want to try in the future if this works out well.

    Anyway, look forward to the results from my baked alaska test here in the next few days.
  7. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    Warning: This recipe involves large, open flames. If you cannot buy the liquor necessary, do not attempt this without adult supervision. Anyone attempting to follow this recipe does so at their own risk!

    Click on links to see pictures.

    Name: Baked Alaska Flambè
    History: This dish was originally invented in 1804 by the American physicist, Benjamin Thompson, who was studying the thermal conductivity of eggs. He realized that, because beaten eggs (in this case, in the form of a merengue) trap vast amounts of air, they are excellent insulators. This allows you to have a cold inside and hot exterior. The dish was originally called "Omlette Surprise", but the name was changed in 1876, to celebrate the purchase of the Alaska territory.
    Difficulty: *****
    Cooking time: >4 hours

    Ingredients:
    - Cake
    - Ice Cream
    - 3 egg whites
    - 6 tbsp sugar
    - 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    - 1/2 - 1 cup liquor (at least 70 proof)
    - Strawberries (optional)

    Instructions:
    1. Prepare cake according to package directions and refridgerate until cool.
    2. Cover cake in ice cream and freeze.
    3. Blend egg whites, sugar and extract with an electric mixer until you have moderately stiff tips to make merengue. Refridgerate.
    4. When merengue is cold, remove ice cream covered cake from freezer and cover in merengue, making sure not to leave any ice cream exposed.
    5. Set oven to broil and place cake in middle rack, with door slightly ajar. Remove when peaks of merengue become dark brown and the rest is a light brown.

    To Flambè:
    1. In a pan, heat liquor until small bubbles form near edge. Immediately remove from heat.
    2. Using a long stemmed match or other similar device, ignite pan.
    3. Pour carefully over cake while still on fire. Flame will extinguish itself as alcohol burns off.

    Notes: This is most definately the most visually pleasing recipe I've ever done. Wow.... flames are pretty!

    The first attempt I made at this Tuesday night was a monumental failure. I realized that I made two major mistakes that I'll highlight so if you try this, you won't make them.

    The first was that, before you put ice cream on it, the cake should be cold. None of the instructions I found actually said this. I figured you threw the ice cream on, merengue'd it, and baked it before it had time to melt. But ice cream melts fast. That's why there's so many steps in my recipe saying to keep things cool... at least till you're ready to heat it up.

    The second mistake was that I had no idea what a merengue was supposed to look like before you put it on the cake. If you've never made merengue, here's the answer: It's like whippped cream. If you pull the whisk out and it stands up on its own, sagging slightly, then you're good. Mine, on the first attempt, was runny as hell and didn't even come close to being able to stay on top of the ice cream. Knowing what the merengue was supposed to be like I corrected this problem. However, you'll notice that I say to refridgerate the merengue before applying it to the ice cream. In my second attempt, the latent heat from the merengue melted the ice cream enough that a large portion slid off the cake which I had to attempt to reconstruct just prior to broiling it. And for God's sake: When you make the merengue, use an electric mixer! I don't have one so I had to use a whisk and it took nearly a half hour. My arm was about to fall off.

    So there's my two main
  8. twilek69 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 4
    Jon, when are coming to cook for me? LOL! :D
  9. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    Hey spidey: Here's a very easy and very good vegetarian meal I tried tonight!

    [image=http://img.recipezaar.com/img/recipes/20/13/86/small/picMnmFDf.jpg]

    Name: Artichoke Linguine
    Difficulty: **
    Cooking time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - 1 lb linguine
    - 1/4 cup butter
    - 4 cloves garlic (diced)
    - 1 can peeled tomatoes (drained, cut into fourths)
    - 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin preferable)
    - 1 tbsp flour
    - 1 cup chicken broth
    - 1 tbsp lemon juice
    - 1/2 tsp salt
    - 1/4 tsp pepper
    - 1 can artichoke hearts (drained)
    - 3 tbsp parmesan romano
    - 1 tbsp fresh basil

    Instructions:
    1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
    2. In a saucepan, sautee garlic and tomatoes in butter.
    3. Add olive oil and flour, stirring until flour is mixed in evenly.
    4. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, salt, pepper, artichoke hearts, and romano.
    5. Stir and then cover, allowing to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
    6. Serve over noodles.
    7. Garnish with basil.

    Notes: I wasn't expecting much out of this recipe. I was mostly looking for something different to try out, but this was really fantastic. I think it could be improved by adding some cooked broccoli (both taste and health wise). Also, if you want to make it a little more heartier, it would work well with some baked chicken.
  10. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    I've been wanting to learn to flambè something fruity ever since doing the baked Alaska. There's no consistent sets of recipes for anything, and very little of the ones I found even had much in the way of ingredients in common, so I've been experimenting.

    I've tried about 5-6 different things now, and while none of them were bad, some were better than others. From what I've seen it seems there's 2 major components: the fruit and the sauce. These two pieces should compliment each other. For example, bananas and brown sugar go well, but strawberries are better with white sugar. Also, brandy and strawberries are just ick.

    Before I go any further, a few more warnings. As is the whole point of flambè, alcohol is flammable. Don't try this without adult supervision. Additionally, make sure you're not wearing loose fitting clothes, or doing this in a place with hanging drapes or anything else that could catch on fire.

    Also, although you're setting fire to the alcohol, as much as 75% of the alcohol can remain. For these recipies, most of the sauce runs off, so there's not much that would be consumed, but if you have recovering alcoholics, it might not be the best of meals.

    Now that that's out of the way, here's what I was playing with:
    Fruits: Strawberries, grapes, peaches, and bananas.
    Alcohols: Peach Schnapps (use for flavour), vanilla vodka (70 proof), rum (70 proof), brandy (80 proof), Grand Mariner (orange flavoured cognac, 80 proof).
    Other Supplies: Brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract, butter, syrup, lemon juice, ice cream

    And now for the things that worked out well:

    Name: Bananas Foster
    Difficulty: **
    Cooking time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - 2-3 Bananas, sliced lengthwise then halved
    - 1/2 cup brown sugar
    - 1/4 stick butter
    - 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    - 1/4 cup rum (70 proof)
    - 1/8 cup banana liqueur (optional)
    - Ice cream

    Instructions:
    1. Place ice cream on small stoneware plates and place into freezer.
    2. In a skillet, melt butter.
    3. Add brown sugar and stir until it makes a thick paste.
    4. Add cinnamon and mix.
    5. Add bananas and cover with sauce. Remove from heat.
    6. Microwave rum in a seperate container for 10 seconds on high, or until slightly warm to the touch and pour over mixture. Ignite immediately.
    7. When flames extinguish, immediately spoon over ice cream.

    Notes: I was hoping this would make the sugar carmelize a bit more, but alas, it was rather runny. It was still very tasty. I left the banana liqueur out since I didn't have any. Another option is to sprinkle the cinnamon on while the dish is still lit. The cinnamon comes from tree bark so it will burn red as it's sprinkled in which contrasts with the blue flame of the alcohol.

    [image=http://s94958815.onlinehome.us/hosting/cooking/flambe/peaches.jpg]
    Name: Peach Flambe
    Difficulty: **
    Cooking time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - 2-3 peaches, sliced into quarters
    - 3 tbsp sweet butter
    - 1/4 cup brown sugar
    - 3 tbsp orange juice
    - 1/2 tsp lemon juice
    - 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    - 3 tbsp peach flavour (in my case, the peach schnapps)
    - 1/4 cup tbsp Grand Mariner
    - 3 tbsp vanilla vodka
    - Ice cream

    Instructions:
    1. Place ice cream on small stoneware plates and place into freezer.
    2. In a skillet, melt butter.
    3. Add brown sugar and stir until it makes a thick paste.
    4. Add orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and peach flavouring. Mixing well.
    5. Add peaches, spooning sauce over them.
    6. In a seperate cup, mix Grand Mariner and vodka. Microwave on high for 10 seconds or until warm to the touch. Pour into skillet and ignite.
    7. When flames extinguish, spoon over ice cream and serve.

    Notes: I had some difficulty trying to cut this recipe down to one person in that the alcohol spread out so much that it d/>
  11. Jedi_Master_Medic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 3
    THAT looks awsome!
    I have to ask, have you ever tried Fruit Fresh to keep the bannaz fresh looking?
  12. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    Never heard of it. Typically, I don't put enough bananas in for it to matter. Either that or they're gone before they can go bad.
  13. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    [image=http://s94958815.onlinehome.us/hosting/cooking/onigiri/onigiritriangle.png]

    Name: Onigiri
    Region: Japanese
    History: Writings dating back as far as the 17th century tell us that many samurai stored rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaves as a quick lunchtime meal at war, but the origins of onigiri are much earlier. Before the use of chopsticks became widespread in the Nara period, rice was often rolled into a small ball so that it could be easily picked up. In the Heian period, rice was also made into small rectangular shapes called tonjiki, so that they could be piled onto a plate and easily eaten.

    From the Kamakura period to the early Edo period, onigiri was used as a quick meal. This made sense as cooks simply had to think about making enough onigiri and did not have to concern themselves with serving. These onigiri were simply a ball of rice flavored with salt. Nori did not become widely available until the Genroku era during the mid-Edo period, when the farming of nori and fashioning it into sheets became widespread.

    It was believed that onigiri could not be produced with a machine as the hand rolling technique was considered too difficult to replicate. In the 1980s, a machine that made triangular onigiri was built. This was initially met with skepticism because rather than having the filling traditionally rolled inside, the flavoring was simply put into a hole in onigiri and this shortcut was hidden by the nori. Since the onigiri made by this machine came with nori already applied to the rice ball, over time the nori became unpleasantly moist and sticky, clinging to the rice. A packaging improvement allowed the nori to be stored separately from the rice. Before eating, the diner could open the packet of nori and wrap the onigiri. The machines' limitation that an ingredient was filled into a hole instead of rolled together with the rice actually made new flavors of onigiri easier to produce as this cooking process did not require changes from ingredient to ingredient. (via Wikipedia)
    Difficulty: **
    Cooking time: 45 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - Sushi rice
    - Rice vinegar
    - Hon-Dashi (fish flavoured soup stock, can be found at asian markets. Optional.)
    - Sushi nori (sheets of seaweed for wrapping sushi)
    - Fillings

    Instructions:
    1. Cook rice according to package directions. Add 1-2 tbsp rice vinegar when finished.
    2. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap about the size of a dinner plate and spoon cooked rice into a thin circle.
    3. Place 1-2 tbsp of filling in center.
    4. Draw up sides of plastic wrap covering filling with rice.
    5. Unwrap and sprinkle with Hon-Dashi.
    6. Wrap sides with a strip of nori.

    Notes: The way I do this is really cheating, with the plastic wrap and all. I find it much easier due to the fact that the sushi rice is extremely sticky (which is why it's used over normal rice), and will stick to your hands. Plus, I tend to take these as snacks to school, so when I'm done, I just wrap them back up and they're ready to go. While they can be eaten cold, they're also quite good microwaved for a few seconds to warm them up again.

    The hon-dashi is a soup stock that is very potent. Many people don't like it, but it gives it a rather unique taste I feel. So I tend to add it. The nori is intended primarily to allow the eater something to hold it by so the rice doesn't stick to their hands. Filling can be comprised of almost anything. In this, I used a mixture of cream cheese,
  14. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    [image=http://s94958815.onlinehome.us/hosting/cooking/garliclemonchicken/6.jpg]

    Name: Garlic lemon chicken
    Difficulty: **
    Cooking time: 40 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - 4 chicken breasts
    - 1 head of garlic
    - 1/4 cup fresh parsley
    - 2 tbsp butter
    - 1/4 cup lemon juice

    Instructions:
    1. Dice garlic and parsley. Divide in half.
    2. Slice pocket into chicken and stuff half of garlic parsley mix into chicken breasts.
    3. Grill or broil at 350 for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
    4. Sautee remaining garlic and parsley in garlic and butter.
    5. Pour sauce over chicken.

    Notes: This meal is a lot of flavour. Don't try this if you're not a garlic lover.

    When making this, I cut the recipie in ~1/4th and added mushrooms as well as a dash of white wine to the sauce.
  15. Jedi_Master_Medic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 3
    Have you ever thought about going into catering on the side?
  16. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    I've always jokingly said that starting a resturaunt is my back up plan.
  17. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    I've been playing around with some recipes this summer, so here's another version of the portobella mushrooms. My entire family (mother being a notoriously picky eater) loves this one.

    Name: Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms (2)
    Difficulty: *
    Cooking time: 45 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - 4 portobella mushrooms (stems removed)
    - 2 cloves garlic
    - 1/4 cup diced onion
    - 1 diced green bell pepper
    - 1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
    - 1/2 lb italian sausage
    - 4 oz shredded mozerella cheese
    - butter
    - olive oil
    - salt

    Instructions:
    1. Sautee garlic and onion in small skillet.
    2. In seperate skillet, crumble and brown sausage.
    3. When garlic and onion become translucent (~5 minutes) add pepper and tomatoes. Simmer until sausage finishes browning.
    4. Rub mushroom caps with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
    5. Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetable mixture and spoon into mushroom cap. Do same with sausage.
    6. Cover with mozerella cheese and bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

    Notes: My mother and sister like the bland version of this that I've posted. However, I prefer to make mine with grated pepper jack cheese in place of the mozerella. Additionally, crushed red pepper flakes can be added for bit more spice.

    Given that the first several ingredients are the core of making salsa, I've wondered if just tossing in salsa and sausage would taste good. I haven't tried it, but if you're pressed for time, it might be worth considering.
  18. titania7 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    Those sound awesome, Jon. I wonder if you could do a Mexican version with some chorizo...
  19. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    Probably. I hate mexican food (always makes me sick) so I can't really say.
  20. twilek69 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 4
    That does sound yummy and I think it would be good with chorizo too.
  21. Darth Gangrenous Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2005
    star 10
    That sounds really good, Jon. Sounds even better than my stuffed 'shroom recipe. =P~
  22. Jedi_Master_Medic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 3
    Have you posted to the Apple Chicken, Peach Chicken or the artichoke/pasta recipies?
    You were talking of them at the party and they sounded really good.
  23. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    They were posted on 2/10 and 3/19 respectively.
  24. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    Name: Hollandaise Sauce
    Difficulty: **
    Cooking time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients:
    - 3 egg yolks
    - 1/2 lemon
    - 1 tsp salt
    - 1 stick salted butter

    Instructions:
    1. Melt butter until boiling.
    2. Place egg yolks, lemon, and salt in a blender and blend on a high setting.
    3. Slowly add butter to blender as it is blending.

    Notes: Hollandaise isn't really a recipe in and of itself, but is a component of many other meals. It makes an excellent dipping sauce for steamed artichokes (boil covered in water until inner leaves are soft) and is also used in Eggs Benedict (fried egg, ham, and hollandaise on toast). Traditional recipes require the use of a double boiler and are very delicate. But this recipe is extremely fast and easy.

    If you are attempting to reheat this recipe, make sure to do so on low power in the microwave so it doesn't curdle.
  25. VoijaRisa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2002
    star 5
    [image=http://img.recipezaar.com/img/recipes/20/76/88/small/picGiBESR.jpg]

    Name: Pasta with Chicken Bolognese Sauce
    Difficulty: **
    Cooking time: 1 hr

    Ingredients:
    - 2 tbsp olive oil
    - 1 large onion (chopped)
    - 1-2 carrots (chopped)
    - 1 celery (chopped)
    - 2 garlic cloves (minced)
    - 1 - 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (diced)
    - 1/2 cup dry white wine
    - 28 oz can tomatoes (diced)
    - 1 cup chicken broth
    - 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    - 1/4 cup Parmesan Romano (shredded)
    - Pasta (see: Notes)

    Instructions:
    1. Sautee onions, carrots, and celery in oil until soft (~5 min).
    2. Add chicken and garlic.
    3. When chicken is nearly finished cooking, add wine. Boil lightly for ~10 minutes to reduce wine.
    4. Add tomatoes (with juice) and broth. Simmer for ~30 minutes. (The longer the better.)
    5. Cook pasta separately according to package directions.
    6. Add whipping cream and Romano to sauce and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes.
    7. Serve sauce over pasta.

    Notes: This is a very simple, but rather slow meal. Fortunately, a good amount of the time is just spent simmering, so you can run off and do other things. Another nice thing about this is that it requires getting very few pans dirty. For the entirety of the sauce, I used my wonderful wok (if you don't have an electric wok, I highly recommend one. I use mine all the time), but it's also possible to use a crock pot or a large saucepan. If you're wanting to avoid even getting another pan dirty for the noodles, it's possible to substitute microwave rice for the pasta.

    If you do stick with pasta, this recipe works best with tubular pasta which can get the sauce stuck in more crevices. Similarly, the more time the pasta has had to sit in the sauce, the better it gets. Thus, this makes wonderful leftovers.

    If you're looking for a bit more to add to this, it's quite good with mushrooms. I also suspect that artichoke hearts or eggplant would be good if you like those sorts of things.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.