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Los Angeles
08-11-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm inspired by the restaurant review thread here. Because, well, last night I had a fantastic meal ... at my house.

So maybe some of you like to cook or want to learn how to cook. I'm a recent convert. In my former life, working full-time at a law firm, I worked 60 hours a week (minimum) and ate out all the time, I'm talking every day. After only a few short years, I packed on 40 pounds, and eventually freaked out from the stress. I soon wised up, quit my job (and the money that came with it), moved to California with my ex and went freelance.

Here, I was faced with what became a life-altering situation. The restaurants were WAY too expensive (especially on a less-than-steady income). But within walking distance of my house, 4 days a week, there are farmer's markets that feature some of the most exotic produce I've ever seen. (little yellow tomatoes shaped like pears, herbs I had never even heard of, fruits that look like sea creatures).

And there was all this cookware in the kitchen ...

"**** it," I told myself with a quiver of fear in my voice, "how hard can it be?"

Well, turns out it's not that hard. :) What I did not understand before starting out was that a cooking recipe is merely a guideline. It's the preliminary sketch before you paint the painting. As long as you stick with some general do's and dont's you really can't go wrong.

Contrast that with baking cakes and pies and other bread-based goodies: baking is an exact science. One slight deviation, one change in a single variable can dramatically alter the end product. Baking is for the scientists, the "follow the rules" types. It's for the people that aced chemistry in High School, not the artists among us.

Anyway, I've spent the last couple of years figuring out my way around the kitchen. Not too often, mind you, just a couple of nights a week. If you've read this far, you might still be wondering what the hell I had last night to inspire a new thread.

Here's the list, followed by one recipe:

FOR STARTERS:

The World's Greatest Guacamole (my own recipe, to follow in a later post) This stuff makes angels sing and women throw their braziers at you.

ON THE CHARCOAL GRILL:

- 44 ounce London broil prepared with a more than ample coating of rock sea salt and fresh ground white pepper corns, cook 6 minutes a side, remove and rest for 5 minutes, slice on the bias. Feeds 4.
- Summer squash halved into two disks, coat the cut side with olive oil, sprinkle dried basil, dried mint and red pepper flakes, place on the edge of the grill face down and lightly brown, turn half way to cook evenly (turn, don't flip).
- Red corn on the cob, turn regularly. being from Indiana means that I'm a corn snob. You just can't get good Indiana sweet corn here, so I've come to appreciate the more exotic red variety.

IN THE GLASS:

- Don Julio Anejo Tequila - on the rocks with a squeeze of fresh tangerine. This was unbelievably good, and a perfect compliment to the southwest grill thing we had going on.

travmil
08-11-2008, 03:31 PM
My go to meal has always been dolphin on the grill. No not that kind of dolphin, think mahi mahi, not Flipper. It's so simple to make an absolutely outstanding meal with it.

1. spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray
2. lay your filet skin side down on the foil
3. cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice from one half over the filet, cut the other half into rounds and set aside
4. sprinkle some sea salt, a tiny amount of fresh ground black pepper, and some fresh dill over the filet to taste
5. place a small pat of butter on the filet (real stuff, I'll strangle you through the internet if you substitute margarine)
6. put your lemon rounds, peel and all on top of the filet
7. This is optional, but I also like to place 4 or 5 asparagus spears on top of the lemon rounds, make sure you peel the spears at the bottom
8. fold the edges of the foil over and crimp them in the middle so it seals it up.
9. cook on the grill approximately 10 minutes, the fish should flake when gently pushed with a fork

When you take it off the grill, throw out the lemon rounds, and eat everything else. The asparagus takes on a bit of the citrus flavor and pairs very well with any kind of fish. The fish will peel right off of the skin. You shouldn't need sauce but we did put together a dill sauce once that was excellent with it. We usually have a salad to start this meal off and then eat the fish. You can also do this in the oven but you have to increase your cooking time.

Los Angeles
08-11-2008, 04:00 PM
Ah yes, mild white fish, lemon, butter, herbs and asparagus. Try it next time with strips of zuchini and yellow squash - or even strips of red and yellow pepper. Fantastic meal! The only way to mess that up is to seriously overcook it - but that's almost impossible - there's a huge window.

Plus, you'll fill up and lose weight at the same time. Great food for healthy living.

Those that can't do the butter due to cholesterol concerns can sub with olive oil. I agree - never use margarine! Never ever! I mean it!

Spicoli
08-11-2008, 04:11 PM
Fruity Pebbles a la Mode:

You will need 1 box of Fruity Pebbles brand cereal (no generics allowed), a couple of cups of 2% milk, a large bowl, and a spoon.

1. Open box of cereal and pour a considerable amount into a large bowl.

2. Add 2% milk until the Pebbles nearly overfill your bowl. You are not allowed to substitute skim milk which sucks, or whole milk which has the consistency of Elmer's glue.

3. Grab a spoon and enjoy! It's ok and recommended to drink the last portion of your serving directly from the bowl.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y174/happynutz/SP_FruityPebblesHR.jpg



I submit this recipe as I can't cook worth a chit. :cool:

travmil
08-11-2008, 04:16 PM
I do enjoy a good bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

bellisimo
08-11-2008, 05:13 PM
i do love to cook...

http://photos-a.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v288/70/11/631882015/n631882015_890112_739.jpg

idioteque
08-11-2008, 05:14 PM
I love cooking, it's very relaxing. After sitting down all day it's nice to actually do something with your hands, you know, create something.

Unfortunately because my job is too far from my house to go home for a lunchbreak and there isn't even a microwave where I work to heat stuff up I make the night before, I am forced to eat out alot. Eating out is nice but it does fatten you up I believe.

This is all compounded by the fact that I live in a small apartment thus I must rely pretty heavily on a microwave and the George Foreman. But I will definately keep looking at these recipes, this thread is awesome. I love Farmer's Markets as well, there is one probably half a mile from my house and I use it to pick things up and also as some exercise.

Natston
08-11-2008, 05:30 PM
I do enjoy a good bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

Yeah, unfortunately I burn mine every time.

Los Angeles
08-11-2008, 06:00 PM
i do love to cook...

http://photos-a.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v288/70/11/631882015/n631882015_890112_739.jpg

Looks like a meat and tomato sauce of some kind ...

What did you make?

bellisimo
08-11-2008, 06:09 PM
Looks like a meat and tomato sauce of some kind ...

What did you make?

its my so-called "specialty"...its chicken-mushoom saute...atleast that is what i call it :D

mixture of boneless chicken, paprika, tomato, mushroom with cumin, red pepper, basil and oregano...depending on the side dish...the thickness of the sauce varies :)

http://a786.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/25/l_7019039ccf19c8011706a4cc93fc7959.jpg

Natston
08-11-2008, 06:13 PM
the thickness of the sauce varies :)


:thatswhatshesaid:

Looks good though... :hungry:

indygeezer
08-11-2008, 09:50 PM
Gimme a black iron skillet, some flour (or sometimes corn meal), some milk, salt and pepper, Crisco, and butter and I'll teach y'all how to cook like a Hoosier from southern Indiana.

The above works for fish, chickin, squirrel, or rabbit. What more do ya need? Oh yeah. What we used to call squirrel gravy (milk gravy made with meat "drippins"), Mashed potatos, greenbeans, and unsweetened iced tea. :dance::dance::dance: Homemade strawberrie shortcake and ice cream for dessert.







BTW..........I'm serious.

Trader Joe
08-11-2008, 10:28 PM
Ya know what Geezer you might be the only person on the planet that I MIGHT agree to try that meal from with squirrel as the main course.

Los Angeles
08-11-2008, 10:42 PM
I've eaten squirrel, wild rabbit, antelope, venison, wild boar, wild turkey, caribou, ostrich, chocolate covered bee (yes, the insect), rattlesnake, bullfrog, hell, you shoot it and fry it up and and I'll try it at least once.

I was out with a friend west of Bloomington and we creamed a deer with his old Crown Victoria. Next thing you know, a old couple with three teeth between them came down a dirt road and only had one thing to ask: "You-uns aren't for sure gonna take it, are yuh?"

I looked to my friend: "You killed it, so I guess it's yours."

He looked to the couple: "Help yourselves."

Made their week for sure. :)

SoupIsGood
08-11-2008, 11:19 PM
This is a cool thread. I'm a total newb to cooking, so I'll just kind of observe.

Los Angeles
08-12-2008, 12:01 AM
Don't worry, soup, we've got you covered.

Before I get to my guacamole recipe, let's start with three essential know-how-to-use-a-knife tutorials.
1) How to chop an onion:
http://startcooking.com/blog/64/How-to-Mince--Dice-and-Chop-Onions
2) How to chop a pepper (ANY pepper, not just bell peppers):
http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/how-to-cook-vegetables4.htm
3) How to cut an avocado:
http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/001737how_to_cut_and_peel_an_avocado.php


The World's Greatest Guacamole

1 bag - blue corn chips
4 just-ripe avocados
1 handfull of mini heirloom tomatoes, chopped.
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 fresh, large jalapeno pepper, chopped (only include the seeds if you like it REALLY spicy, otherwise remove the seeds before chopping the outer portion)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (MUST be fresh), chopped
Rock sea salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Chipotle flavored tobasco sauce.
And this is the absolute KEY ingredient: fresh squezzed citrus (about the juice of one orange or so) - NOT lime or store bought lemon.

OK, that last one is variable, but essential to turning this from decent guacamole to AMAZING. Probably the best thing to use is tree-ripened fresh-picked lemon, which has an orange-like sweetness and very little of the bitterness you taste with the hard "picked green" lemons you buy at the supermarket. There are several trees in my neighborhood, so that's not that hard for me to get. If you're at the store, however, you need to work with what's in the produce section. I recommend tangerines, tangelos, a fancy orange like valencia oranges, or cumquats. Yes, that's a funny name until you taste one and are instantly transported to paradise.

Steps:

1) chop the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and fresh cilantro and throw together into a large bowl.
2) thinly slice/chop the avocado in the skin and scoop the chunks into the bowl - DO NOT mush the avocado into a paste the way they do elsewhere, keep it sized at about 1/4" chunks.
3) add the salt, black pepper, chipotle sauce
4) cut your chosen citrus in half and squeeze the juice out directly into the bowl (look out for seeds)
5) Stir well without bruising it too badly.
6) Eat!

LoneGranger33
08-12-2008, 12:10 AM
Anyone got any simple and quick vegetarian recipes? I'm looking to cut down on meat consumption and I don't how, other than four nights of pasta...

Los Angeles
08-12-2008, 12:28 AM
Anyone got any simple and quick vegetarian recipes? I'm looking to cut down on meat consumption and I don't how, other than four nights of pasta...

My ex is vegetarian and I would cook for her all the time.

I'll hook you up with some ideas over the next few days.

But for starters, stop eating the pasta or you're going to put on wieght faster than Sally Struthers after All in the Family.

At the very least, replace most of the pasta with french fry cut zucchini and squash. Just rub a little olive oil on them and toast them lightly in the broiler. Use the same sauce and cheese that you would use with pasta and you won't miss a beat. Same meal, better nutrition, fewer empty calories.

LoneGranger33
08-12-2008, 12:32 AM
Don't worry about my weight, it's never been a problem. Wrestled all four years of high school, never missed a weigh-in. Still only about 150, but that's with a lot of exercise - hell, I could use a couple pounds. I look forward to the good stuff you got in the next couple days though, thanks. (I'm not really eating pasta four days a week, it's just that I don't know what else to make yet)

Los Angeles
08-12-2008, 12:44 AM
First of all, buy this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Cooking-Everyone-Deborah-Madison/dp/0767927478/ref=ed_oe_h

It's food like your grandma would make if she were getting paid to make food, and it's all vegetarian. Almost everything I make for thanksgiving comes from there. and at $30, it's a bargain!

N8R
08-13-2008, 01:29 AM
I am no chef due to laziness, but cooking has always intrigued me. I downloaded a bunch of recipes but I have yet to make any. Mostly due to the not wanting to spend a lot of money on all the ingredients.

My go to meal is Mac and Cheese with Hot dogs or a Peanut Butter and honey sandwich.

travmil
08-13-2008, 08:36 AM
Anyone got any simple and quick vegetarian recipes? I'm looking to cut down on meat consumption and I don't how, other than four nights of pasta...

Hard to go wrong with a rattatouille. I have no recipe, I just throw in what I feel like throwing in. To serve one person I'd say something like this:

4 tomatoes, chopped with the stems removed
1 medium squash, halved and sliced, ends and stems removed
1 medium zuchini, halved and sliced, ends and stems removed
1 small eggplant

combine in a pot with desired quantities of dried oregano, basil, tyme, (basically italian seasoning if you have that around), some minced garlic, freshly ground pepper.

Cover, simmer, and stir occasionally until the tomato cooks down and cooks the veggies in the tomato juice. Usually takes 25-30 minutes. You'll have to experiment with your own mix of spices. When it's done, top it with some parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Unclebuck
08-13-2008, 01:48 PM
If I had extra money one of the first things I would do is to hire a full time chef to cook healthy and very tasty meals for me. That is what I think it the most difficult thing is to find good tasting healthy meals. (Or LA if you wanted to move back to Indy, I could just hire you)

Sure I can do a turkey sandwish on whole wheat with a salad/vegatable/fruit thing as well as anyone but that gets boring

The Toxic Avenger
08-13-2008, 02:32 PM
Anyone got any simple and quick vegetarian recipes? I'm looking to cut down on meat consumption and I don't how, other than four nights of pasta...
My Vegetarian Gal-Friend simply, for the most part, replaced chicken and beef with Portabello Mushrooms.

Fajitas? Use Portabellos...
Pasta add-ins? Portabellos...
Pizza Toppings? yup...

Granted she loves them so much she could just eat one as a "Steak" if I cook it on the grill with a little butter, garlic, salt and pepper but I digress... Fungus is not for everyone.

Grilled Veggies are nice all around... Yellow Squash, Zuchinni, Eggplant, Asparagus, Onions, and Peppers.

For the most part, I'd avoid most "Meat Substitutes" like Boca Bugers, Chikken, and the like. Although... there ARE a few good ones when used sparingly. (they are too expensive and they are not that good)

Black Bean Burgers, homemade or storebought, are a nice twist and sometimes even I get an urge for them. Tofu is nice in small amounts (Think hot and sour soup). I'm sure that you will hear alot about replacing your protein/stick to your ribs factor... for that most use beans, nuts, potatos, and mushrooms. When I eat Veggie I usually eat Pasta, Fajitas (Any and All mexican food really) , Pizza, and other types of unhealthy food so I dont' get the benefit. I mean they make Veggie Baked Beans, I can make my own Stuffing/Dressing, Mashed Potatos, rolls, Deviled Eggs (Depending on your Level of Veggie). I can eat like its like Easter every day! BUT...

To be fair I could never give up the sweet, sweet taste of Bacon, Ham, Sausage, or BBQ. I wont even pretend. :drool:

travmil
08-13-2008, 03:51 PM
I forgot one of the most important parts of my ratatouille meal from above. You're supposed to serve it over a bed of cooked rice, but that's optional and it tastes great either way.

kester99
08-13-2008, 06:40 PM
Anyone got any simple and quick vegetarian recipes? I'm looking to cut down on meat consumption and I don't how, other than four nights of pasta...

Real quick? Do you have a rice cooker? Get one. Wash the rice about four good rinses before cooking. Sift the rice in the cooker bowl with your fingers as faucet water pours over it. Dump the water slowly. When it finally runs off kind of clear, instead of milky, you're good. Otherwise you end up with a large lump of starch. The water should cover the rice about a half inch to an inch. To be more accurate, get the rice spread evenly in the cooker bowl. Put your hand flat on top of the rice. The water should come to your knuckle line. Cook. With rice cooker on hand, you have a steady supply.....so:

Bed of rice. Can of red beans or kidney beans, or black beans heated, on top of the rice. Just dump it on (with juice). Chopped onions on top. Bread and butter. We're not talking haute cuisine here. Just good and good fuel.

Fried rice. Can of oriental veggies....comes in various mixes. Throw in frying pan....add sesame oil. Not too much; it's potent. And expensive, for that matter. Buy the big can. Get the vegetables fried a bit. Pour in some soy sauce. Add rice. Stir. Taste. More oil or sauce or rice as needed. I like to crack an egg or two in, stir once or twice, not more, and cover, let it steam a bit...low heat 'til the eggs are cooked. Leftover veggies from the fridge can go in, too...corn, green beans.

Refried bean tostadas are easy to make. Does that even need explaining? If you've seen one at Taco Bell, you pretty much know instinctively how to make one. Crispy flat tortilla. Heated refried spread on top. (Low to med heat for the refrieds; stir often. The ones out of a can, eh?) Cheddar or not. Lettuce. Onion or not. Diced tomatoes. Sour cream. Nummy. The same mix in a microwaved flour tortilla makes a quick burrito.

Emeril has nothing to fear from me. But all 3 above are tasty/filling/quick.

Bball
08-13-2008, 10:53 PM
Heat skillet with margarine or butter. Slice potato and leave the skin on. Put it in the skillet. Add seasoning salt and pepper. Brown, but don't overcook. Add onions if you want.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

That's what I just had.

-Bball

The Toxic Avenger
08-14-2008, 12:18 AM
Refried bean tostadas are easy to make. Does that even need explaining? If you've seen one at Taco Bell, you pretty much know instinctively how to make one. Crispy flat tortilla. Heated refried spread on top. (Low to med heat for the refrieds; stir often. The ones out of a can, eh?) Cheddar or not. Lettuce. Onion or not. Diced tomatoes. Sour cream. Nummy. The same mix in a microwaved flour tortilla makes a quick burrito.

Emeril has nothing to fear from me. But all 3 above are tasty/filling/quick.

Very nice K9... I would also recommend using cabbage drizzled with fresh lemon juice and going with sliced and halved tomatoes. A little sour cream and a little diced green onion is a must. When it comes to flavor Cabbage with a SMALL touch of Lemon trumps Lettuce everytime. IMO.

And Since were on Mexican Food... I'll add Fried Tacos to the mix.

I don't really know what they are called elsewhere but my family has been making them for as long as I can remember. Unhealthy as all getout but wonderful. They work best when you make your own Tortillas and you can fill them while uncooked.. (but any kind with do) Take said tortilla, fill with either Refried beans, Creamy Smashed Potatos, OR a nice mexican chihuahua cheese and seal the edges leaving a pouch of flavorful goodness near the center. Think wonton or ravioli here. NOT taquito!

Fry said Pouch and garnish with above citrus cabbage, tomato slices, green onion sticks, and sour cream. A wonderful, wonderful, wonderful unhealthy vegetarian dish.

Los Angeles
08-14-2008, 12:21 AM
If I had extra money one of the first things I would do is to hire a full time chef to cook healthy and very tasty meals for me. That is what I think it the most difficult thing is to find good tasting healthy meals. (Or LA if you wanted to move back to Indy, I could just hire you)

Sure I can do a turkey sandwish on whole wheat with a salad/vegatable/fruit thing as well as anyone but that gets boring

You better get working ... I'm expensive.

Gyron
08-14-2008, 11:46 AM
Heat skillet with margarine or butter. Slice potato and leave the skin on. Put it in the skillet. Add seasoning salt and pepper. Brown, but don't overcook. Add onions if you want.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

That's what I just had.

-Bball


Does this work with Potatoes with large sprouts on them? I found some potatoes in the bottom of our pantry that I had forgotten were in there the other day. Rather large sprouts....lol

indygeezer
08-14-2008, 12:11 PM
Anyone got any simple and quick vegetarian recipes? I'm looking to cut down on meat consumption and I don't how, other than four nights of pasta...

I've got 3-4 really good veggie chili recipes that Missi from the Star board gave me. I'll look when I get home.

indygeezer
08-14-2008, 12:13 PM
Does this work with Potatoes with large sprouts on them? I found some potatoes in the bottom of our pantry that I had forgotten were in there the other day. Rather large sprouts....lol


cut the sprouts out and let em soak in water for a while to reabsorb lost moisture. Doesn't always work, but sometimes.

Spicoli
08-14-2008, 12:16 PM
When I was 11, I threw a potato at a neighbor's window on Halloween.

It broke.

Gyron
08-14-2008, 12:28 PM
I threw it out Geez, but I'll remember that for next time.....

Los Angeles
08-25-2008, 06:12 PM
On the menu tonight: Greece comes to Venice Beach.

I have a hot date tonight, so I'm pulling out all the stops.

It's a sauté of shallot, dry vermouth, oregano, roma tomatoes (no juice), sea salt, red pepper flakes, greek olive, and lots and lots of feta cheese, shrimp and scallops.

Serve with a greek salad (balsamic dressing of course) and slices of french baguette toasted with olive oil.

Natston
08-25-2008, 06:17 PM
When I was 11, I threw a potato at a neighbor's window on Halloween.

It broke.

That was one strong *** window...

Los Angeles
01-01-2010, 11:06 PM
Too bad the recent posts were lost in this thread.

Here's what I made last night:

Seared Tuna on Mango Salsa with Grilled Yellow Squash, Avocado and Orange

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for searing
• 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (2 onions)
• 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 ripe mangos, peeled, seeded, and small diced
• 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, to taste (1 pepper)
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves
• 2 tuna steaks

Directions

Saute the olive oil, onions, and ginger in a large saute pan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the mangos, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the orange juice, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and jalapeno; cook for 10 more minutes, until orange juice is reduced, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the mint. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Heat a saute pan over high heat for 5 minutes until very hot. Season the tuna liberally with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and then the tuna steaks. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the outside is browned, but the inside is very rare.

Serve the tuna on top of the mango salsa.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2537/4236143478_feb8cba33c_o.jpg

Trader Joe
01-01-2010, 11:18 PM
LA, I don't know if I'd ever make that but just wanted to say really appreciate the effort you put forth when you make a post about something you made! With the picture its basically like having it out of a cookbook you'd have to pay thirty dollars for.

travmil
01-01-2010, 11:49 PM
I made a pork roast and cooked cabbage for New Years.

I actually started this yesterday with a 3 lb pork loin, the kind they make boneless chops
out of. I took the whole loin and made a rub from olive oil, some sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and Italian seasonings going heavy on the rosemary. I rubbed that all around the loin and put it in a gallon zip lock bag and let it marinate in the fridge overnight. Roasting is the easy part. Heat your oven to 325 degrees, place in a roasting pan, and roast for 2.5 hours. Check every 45 or so minutes and use a spoon or baster if you have one to put some liquid on top. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the roast. Once it's in the 160-170 f range your done. Then you can take the lid off of your roasting pan and go for another few minutes to give it a nice crust on top if you desire.

The cabbage is easy. Get the biggest skillet you can find, melt lots of butter in it and cut up a whole head of cabbage and throw in. Stir frequently, salting and peppering to taste. When it's cooked down it's done. Some folks like a bit of sugar mixed in too but I'm not one of them.

There you have it, your completely unhealthy new years day good luck meal.

The Toxic Avenger
01-02-2010, 02:01 AM
My lady friend and I got a Panini grill for Xmas... well, its more than a panini maker its like a george foreman, a panini maker, and griddle combined and its from Cuisinart so it HAS to be good...

Anyway, we live in an apartment so this is a nice addition to our diet as it lets us grill veggies, toast some nice bread for our romantic italian dinners, and make panini's, quesadilla's etc. The things I'm looking forward to the most is just grilling chicken as before I'd always have to fry, bake, or saute it and I REALLY prefer the grill!

Anyway I made some Vegetarian Chicken Fajitas the other day using a Fake Chickn Product and it was quite wonderful.

Super easy: sliced Onions, sliced Bell pepper rings, Mushrooms (BIG Caps in strips or little ones halved), spray with light cooking oil and grill on HIGH until darker grill marks appear. I usually microwave frozen fake chicken in strips and then add onto the grill later to get grill marks. The great thing about fajitas and mexican food in general is that there are SO many flavors competing and working in harmony that its so hard to tell the difference from real meat and a veggie substitute. All that cheese, sour cream, Pico de Gallo, cilantro and spices... Mmmmmm

Homemade Refried beans would be a nice touch but I use whats in the can most of the time.

Trader Joe
01-02-2010, 04:00 AM
I've been making a super n00b, super easy hot cider recipe all winter, takes about ten minutes, and it's a great change up warm drink when you get tired of coffee, tea, or cocoa.
Alls ya need is,

Cider
Cinnamon sticks
Vanilla
Caramel sauce

THat's it, and really the recipe is pretty much all to taste. The one thing I would advise is to add the cinnamon sticks to the cider first as it gives them a chance to really start adding the flavor. If you put them in too late, it comes out too sweet and it just isn't as good. It's ready to serve when you start to get a thin film on top, make sure you stir frequently especially after adding the caramel as it will burn if you let it sit.

You can always add rum too if that's your thing.

indygeezer
01-02-2010, 07:57 AM
Two comment/questions if I may....


What the heck is with Garlic these days? Seems like every restaurat dumps it on so thick you needs a chisel to get to whatever is beneath it. It's getting so bad that I now get sick to my stomach just smelling it. Or am I nuts and you really are supposed to use enough to melt snow off the roads?

Second question, and this is a serious one....

How is Sea Salt any different from regular salt? All salt comes from dried up ocean beds. IOW....sea salt.

indygeezer
01-02-2010, 08:07 AM
New years day...........

Geezer's Vegetarian Vegetable soup and rubins...........cook early and eat allllllllllllllll day long. Have a Manhatten at 5:00. (the wife opts for white wine)


Day after New Years Day..............begin diet.











btw.........why does the wife ALWAYS decide at the start of the Rose Bowl that she has been sitting around too much and needs to clean house. And somehow, she manages to get everyone involved (this seems to be a family tradition)

indygeezer
01-02-2010, 08:11 AM
Too bad the recent posts were lost in this thread.

Here's what I made last night:

Seared Tuna on Mango Salsa with Grilled Yellow Squash, Avocado and Orange

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for searing
• 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (2 onions)
• 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 ripe mangos, peeled, seeded, and small diced
• 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, to taste (1 pepper)
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves
• 2 tuna steaks

Directions

Saute the olive oil, onions, and ginger in a large saute pan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the mangos, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the orange juice, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and jalapeno; cook for 10 more minutes, until orange juice is reduced, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the mint. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Heat a saute pan over high heat for 5 minutes until very hot. Season the tuna liberally with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and then the tuna steaks. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the outside is browned, but the inside is very rare.

Serve the tuna on top of the mango salsa.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2537/4236143478_feb8cba33c_o.jpg

The problem here is getting fresh fish of any kind. I'd love to do this and salmon recipes but am not about to buy fish at the local grocery store.
I once caught a nice salmon out of lake Michigan and have never been able to eat anything but FRESH salmon since.

Gyron
01-02-2010, 10:28 AM
We made a Low Country Boil last night.

1 package of Zattarain's(Spelling?) Crab Boil
4tblspoons of Salt
Cayenne Pepper to Taste
4 lbs of Shrimp(I like to use the medium size)
2 Links of smoked Sausage(2 packages)
1 3lb bag of Red Potatoes
12 small ears of Corn(Fresh is better, but frozen is ok)

We do this outside in our Turkey Fryer connected to a tank of
propane.

Bring Crab Boil, Salt, and Cayenne Pepper to a rolling boil with the pot about 2/3 full of water.

Add Potatoes, boil for 10 minutes then add Corn, Boil for 5 minutes.
Then add Sausage and boil for 5 more minutes.
Then add Shrimp and boil for 3 minutes. Do not boil shrimp any longer than 3 minutes. It will over cook them.

Turn off Flame and let sit for 5 minutes in the water.

Our Cooker has a basket, so we have the basket in the bottom of the pot and bring the basket full of the food out fo the water to drain the water off. Then spread newspaper or wax paper out on a table or counter and dump the basket onto to table.

And enjoy. Everyone picks at it while sitting at the table.

Anthem
01-02-2010, 10:44 AM
How is Sea Salt any different from regular salt?
Chemically? Not much. In practice, though, it's a difference of grain size which means it hits your tongue differently. Also sea salts often have trace elements that can add a distinctive flavor.

Sea salt's relatively pricey... we've moved away from that to kosher salt. Gives you the same big grain size but for a quarter of the price.

Los Angeles
01-02-2010, 11:11 AM
The problem here is getting fresh fish of any kind. I'd love to do this and salmon recipes but am not about to buy fish at the local grocery store.
I once caught a nice salmon out of lake Michigan and have never been able to eat anything but FRESH salmon since.

It is very true that fresh fish is the best fish. There are stories of fishermen who literally eat their catch live, it is that tasty.

BUT - we're not all fishermen.

A very cost effective and quality way to go is to buy the flash frozen fish steaks and seafood at Trader Joe's. The Yellowfin Tuna i made the other day was frozen from trader joes, and it was really good (though I would have preferred sashimi-grade Ahi).

I can personally vouch for the "colossal" sized shrimp, the scallops, the talapia and especially the halibut and swordfish. Halibut is still pretty expensive, but worth it. Swordfish I try to avoid because it has been seriously overfished.

Something happens to salmon when it is frozen - it's not nearly as good.

The other thing to do is to research and find a market that flies in the fish every day. I don't know if Indy has one, but here in LA there is a Japanese market where all of the sushi chefs go.

I fully respect that it can be out of most price ranges except for on special occasions, and it's on special occasions that I prepare it.

Los Angeles
01-02-2010, 11:16 AM
Chemically? Not much. In practice, though, it's a difference of grain size which means it hits your tongue differently. Also sea salts often have trace elements that can add a distinctive flavor.

Sea salt's relatively pricey... we've moved away from that to kosher salt. Gives you the same big grain size but for a quarter of the price.

There is a big taste difference to me. I can even tell different sea salts apart. the absolute best sea salt is celtic gray. It's so fresh from the sea that it's still a little bit wet. You can get it cheap at trader joes.

Also, I found this article to be pretty interesting:



Table salt, sea salt, kosher salt – what's the difference?

February 16, 2005

QUESTION: What is the difference between sea salt, kosher salt and good old sodium chloride? I always thought that NaCl was salt, period.

P.E., San Diego

ANSWER: Chemically speaking, a salt is any combination of an anion of an acid and a cation of a base. This means that not every salt has to contain sodium. Calcium carbonate, the calcium compound in foods and some dietary supplements, can also be considered a salt.

In non-scientific food discussions, however, the term salt or table salt commonly refers to sodium chloride, the familiar white granular seasoning.

Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater. The mineral content of sea salt is not limited to the sodium and chloride that make up the traditional salt molecule. Additional minerals can give the salt subtle flavor characteristics that can enhance foods.

I was initially skeptical that sea salt had special qualities, but I changed my mind when I did a blind tasting of salts while in Italy. The experience was enough to induce me to keep some sea salt on my shelf for cooking.

Depending on the brand, table salt can contains a small amount of an additive to prevent caking and encourage a smooth flow. This is often silicon dioxide, the primary ingredient of sand. It is not absorbed and has GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status as an additive. If the table salt is iodized, a source of iodine also will be added.

Kosher salt is pure sodium chloride, usually without any additives, and it often comes in coarse crystals. It is not necessarily a kosher product, but it can be certified as kosher for Passover use. The real connection is that kosher salt has been used in the process by which foods are made kosher. It is no better or worse than any other form of table salt. I hope this helps clear up the differences.

Salt has played an integral yet largely unappreciated role in history. Those interested in learning more can read "Salt: A World History" by Mark Kurlansky (Penguin).

http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050216/news_lz1f16focus.html

Anthem
01-02-2010, 12:21 PM
There is a big taste difference to me.
Between sea salt and kosher, or between sea salt and table?

Los Angeles
01-02-2010, 01:00 PM
Between sea salt and kosher, or between sea salt and table?

All three. Both kosher and table salt leave a dry burn on the tip and sides of the tongue. Sea salt involves the entire palate and the additional minerals pop right out to me.

I can also taste the difference between different sea salts, and my favorite (head and shoulders above) is Celtic Gray.

I wonder sometimes if it's because I actually spend time in the ocean that I can really taste the difference. There's something unmistakable about the way each kind of ocean water from different places on earth tastes to me. put a cup of sea water from california, hawaii and florida in front of me and I'll be able to name them on smell and taste.

Anthem
01-02-2010, 01:59 PM
All three. Both kosher and table salt leave a dry burn on the tip and sides of the tongue. Sea salt involves the entire palate and the additional minerals pop right out to me.

I can also taste the difference between different sea salts, and my favorite (head and shoulders above) is Celtic Gray.

I wonder sometimes if it's because I actually spend time in the ocean that I can really taste the difference. There's something unmistakable about the way each kind of ocean water from different places on earth tastes to me. put a cup of sea water from california, hawaii and florida in front of me and I'll be able to name them on smell and taste.
Interesting.

I have half a dozen tiny bags of specialty sea salts and it's pretty obvious the differences between them, but when I got a big container of generic sea salt at the grocery store it wasn't very different at all from kosher.

Trader Joe
01-02-2010, 03:48 PM
We made a Low Country Boil last night.

1 package of Zattarain's(Spelling?) Crab Boil
4tblspoons of Salt
Cayenne Pepper to Taste
4 lbs of Shrimp(I like to use the medium size)
2 Links of smoked Sausage(2 packages)
1 3lb bag of Red Potatoes
12 small ears of Corn(Fresh is better, but frozen is ok)

We do this outside in our Turkey Fryer connected to a tank of
propane.

Bring Crab Boil, Salt, and Cayenne Pepper to a rolling boil with the pot about 2/3 full of water.

Add Potatoes, boil for 10 minutes then add Corn, Boil for 5 minutes.
Then add Sausage and boil for 5 more minutes.
Then add Shrimp and boil for 3 minutes. Do not boil shrimp any longer than 3 minutes. It will over cook them.

Turn off Flame and let sit for 5 minutes in the water.

Our Cooker has a basket, so we have the basket in the bottom of the pot and bring the basket full of the food out fo the water to drain the water off. Then spread newspaper or wax paper out on a table or counter and dump the basket onto to table.

And enjoy. Everyone picks at it while sitting at the table.

That sounds delicious.

indygeezer
01-03-2010, 07:01 PM
Chili tonight. Mine...the wife and I like it made dif. She wants it made in a skillet and dry, I llike chili a bit soupy.

looking for good recipe's. Don't let me down. Any style....any way....we love it.

Anthem
01-03-2010, 08:12 PM
Sweet and Spicy Chili

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
1 C chopped onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ C chopped red or green bell pepper
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 4-oz can diced green chilis
2 15-oz cans chili beans
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp cinnamon
½ C honey

Directions:
Brown and drain beef, then add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Transfer to
large pot, then add remaining ingredients except for honey.
Simmer 7-10 min.
Add honey, and stir well.

Spicoli
01-04-2010, 11:31 AM
Anyone have a good home-made salsa recipe?

Los Angeles
01-04-2010, 08:20 PM
Sweet and Spicy Chili

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
1 C chopped onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ C chopped red or green bell pepper
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 4-oz can diced green chilis
2 15-oz cans chili beans
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp cinnamon
½ C honey

Directions:
Brown and drain beef, then add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Transfer to
large pot, then add remaining ingredients except for honey.
Simmer 7-10 min.
Add honey, and stir well.

Solid recipe. Try switching honey with dark chocolate. (yeah, I said it). You'll geek over it!

Anthem
01-07-2010, 08:15 PM
Solid recipe. Try switching honey with dark chocolate. (yeah, I said it). You'll geek over it!
Oh yeah, I've done that. Plus ground-up pecans! Really good.

Tonight we made something that under no circumstances can be considered "fine dining" but they're quite good: Spicy Sausage and Cheese Biscuits. These are a "on the way out the door" food for busy mornings.

Basic biscuit recipe:
2 cups self-rising flour (or all-purpose white + 1T baking powder + 1t salt)
1 cup heavy whipping cream.

That's it. No shortening or anything else. Anyway, I cooked up half a container of spicy ground sausage and chopped in a few forkfuls of jalapeno and banana peppers. Added a cup of shredded chedder, a small handful of frozen corn, and a small bit of Cajun seasoning, mixed it all together and added the whipping cream. Kneaded it in the bowl, broke it off into pieces, and made 1 tray full of biscuits. They're supposed to cook at 450 for 10, but we had something else baking so we did 350 for 30.

They're great. As soon as I submit this reply, I'm going back for fourths.

Anthem
01-07-2010, 08:18 PM
Anyone have a good home-made salsa recipe?

1 mango, diced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice (supposed to be fresh, but I use the green plastic bottle and it works great)
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Anthem
04-26-2010, 07:42 PM
Made yakisoba tonight for the first time... pretty good. I loosely followed Mark Bittman's recipe... he's my favorite foodie.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/dining/03mini.html

<iframe width="480" height="373" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" id="nyt_video_player" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=1247467123167&playerType=embed"></iframe>

I used egg noodles instead of rice noodles, leftover pork loin instead of uncooked pork shoulder, and added some spinach (we sneak spinach into everything to get the kids more greens) and egg (since we didn't have quite as much pork as I wanted).

Despite the fact that mine didn't really look much like his, it really turned out well. Definitely worth experimenting with, if you're into Eastern cuisine.

travmil
04-27-2010, 11:16 AM
We also tried something new on the grill last night. Mango Turkey Pita Sandwiches. We started with 2 turkey tenderloins and sliced them lengthwise marinated in mango chutney. I peeled and diced 2 mangoes and sauteed them with a small chopped red onion, a clove of garlic, a chopped red jalapeño, sugar, and a cup of white wine vinegar to make that. I only used half of the chutney as the marinade. Grilled the turkey on the grill. Then, I took 4 pita rounds, brushed them with olive oil mixed with cayenne pepper and toasted them on the grill too. When all of that was done I broke each pita in half and put a romaine leaf on it, topped that with some of the turkey, some of the remainig chutney, some flaked Parmesan cheese, and put another pita half on top. So basically, I made a fancy turkey sandwich using toasted pitas for the bread. A bit messy but extrememely tasty.

bellisimo
04-27-2010, 11:45 AM
bread pudding
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs191.snc3/19847_104133329611763_100000452897016_114965_58301 10_n.jpg


chicken-n-soy sauce
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs414.snc3/24981_105855896106173_100000452897016_156281_30406 14_n.jpg

Trader Joe
04-30-2010, 12:25 AM
Grilled a pizza yesterday, burned the crust a little but it was delicious. Green and red peppers, vidalia sweet onions, baby portabella mushrooms, kalamata olives (not my favorites, but the girl helping me make it wanted them, they're easy enough to pick off), sundried tomato and roasted garlic pasta sauce, sliced tomatoes, boar's head pepperoni, and of course some cheese, we went with a five cheese shredded italian blend. Sprinkled McCormick's Select Zesty Italian Seasoning or something like that on top of all of this. The crust we used was the refrigerated crust in the can, think in the same vein as what a biscuit or a roll in a can would look like.

I would honestly recommend making the pizza on top of tin foil on the grill, but it's really up to you. It can be difficult to move if you don't have the right utensils. I cooked over med-high, but in the future I might go medium or even med-low and just let it cook longer. The flavor however was delicious and the crust really didn't burn that bad.

travmil
04-30-2010, 02:32 AM
Grilled a pizza yesterday, burned the crust a little but it was delicious. Green and red peppers, vidalia sweet onions, baby portabella mushrooms, kalamata olives (not my favorites, but the girl helping me make it wanted them, they're easy enough to pick off), sundried tomato and roasted garlic pasta sauce, sliced tomatoes, boar's head pepperoni, and of course some cheese, we went with a five cheese shredded italian blend. Sprinkled McCormick's Select Zesty Italian Seasoning or something like that on top of all of this. The crust we used was the refrigerated crust in the can, think in the same vein as what a biscuit or a roll in a can would look like.

I would honestly recommend making the pizza on top of tin foil on the grill, but it's really up to you. It can be difficult to move if you don't have the right utensils. I cooked over med-high, but in the future I might go medium or even med-low and just let it cook longer. The flavor however was delicious and the crust really didn't burn that bad.

A VERY easy variation on this is to use a whole pita bread as the crust and make personal sized pizzas. The pita will grill up very thin and crispy and you can get just the right amount of char on the crust for your preference if you're careful. There's no need for tinfoil or special utensils, it's fast, and it tastes delicious.

The Toxic Avenger
04-30-2010, 10:54 PM
Hey, I know Mark Bittman... not really but I recently bought a book of his...

Anyway I was looking to get into Cooking as a career and I was just wondering if anyone here has had experience working at "Nicer" restaurants or ever managed/owned their own Place?

I've looked into Cooking Schools but they are UBER-Expensive and, since I don't even know if I'd love to be a chef for the rest of my life, I can't really justify spending so much money on school... I mean I could end up working at Applebee's for a year then moving on to something else. Boy would I be embarrassed then.

And as far as cooking goes... try keeping your Soy Sauce on the side and dipping into it or dipping your fork/chopstick into it. Do this and you'll avoid eating so much sodium and still all the flavor since the food has no time to absorb the salt or water down its distinct taste... this is a good tip for those that have high blood pressure.

kester99
05-15-2010, 09:44 PM
I made a first attempt at Indian cookery (not counting some simple curries with the popular curry in a box powder) today...started last night actually.

Turned out a chicken tikka masala, cucumber raita, naan bread....threw in some hummus on the side just because I love hummus. I only got adventurous enough to make the chicken and raita from scratch. The naan bread is storebought. Ditto the hummus (3 varieties).

This is the recipe I used for the chicken tikka masala. It has a nice discussion about this dish having not been born on the Indian subcontinent, but in England. Thanks, RasaMalaysia.com!

http://rasamalaysia.com/chicken-tikka-masala-recipe/

I marinaded the little-bigger-than-bite-sized chicken pieces overnight in plain yogurt, chili powder, cumin, ginger, cinammon, pepper and salt.

Made three varieties of cucumber raita this morning and refrigerated through the afternoon. Used plain yogurt, undrained for a more liquid Indian-style, rather than a thicker Greek, Persian or Turk style (For that, drain through a cheesecloth overnight so it's more like Greek yogurt).

Separated the yougurt into three bowls...with a cup or two in each. To the yogurt I added some cumin, a tbsp lemon juice (lime in one variation), dill weed (tarragon in one variation), and peeled, seeded, thin sliced cucumber shreds. Could have grated the cucumber...didn't think of it. In one variation, I added sour cream and a tsp of vinegar for the Turk / Persian slant..

------------------------------------------------------

This afternoon I made the tomato base for the masala....minced cloves of garlic and sliced chili peppers browned in olive oil; added paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, red pepper flakes. After that all started getting thick, and the peppers softened, I added two cans of diced tomatoes. Simmered 'til the tomatoes were soft.

I began broiling the chicken pieces about 4:30. When they were done, added them to the tomato base, heated and when it began to bubble, added a can of evap milk. The recipe called for fresh cream, but our cow died. I served the mixture over rice. Again the recipe calls for bismathi rice; I used our usually on hand Korean sticky rice (which I prefer to the slick bismathi).

Brushed the naan bread with some olive oil, put in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes. Sliced a bermuda onion for garnish. This is the South, so we, of course, had sweet iced tea to drink...but it was green tea, so we were going exotic.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

The customers were well satisfied. Below you can see the chicken with the tomato base, the completed masala after the milk went in, the table setting with kester102 getting ready to enjoy, and a closer view of the menu items.

I can see this becoming an easy enough routine procedure to add this to my regular menu rotation. Good stuff. I usually only get to eat "indian" when I'm out on the road and happen to find a buffet for lunch.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii50/tomkester/IMAGE_024-1.jpghttp://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii50/tomkester/IMAGE_025-1.jpg

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii50/tomkester/IMAGE_026-1.jpg

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii50/tomkester/IMAGE_027.jpg

sweabs
05-15-2010, 09:56 PM
That looks delicious, Kesty. You had me at naan bread . . . but really, that looks so good.

kester99
05-16-2010, 03:15 AM
That looks delicious, Kesty. You had me at naan bread . . . but really, that looks so good.

I've never had any other chicken like this. Without the tomato base, it's just chicken tikka....supposed to be grilled on skewers, but I punked out and broiled it. That yogurt, cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, cumin marinade did amazing things to the flavor. Good mouth buzz.

Next time I'm just going with the chicken, I think, without the masala (sauce / gravy) bit. I can make some hot indian veggie dish for the side. I know they use potatoes....got to look into that.

N8R
05-16-2010, 11:54 PM
That looked and sounded amazing Kester.

Los Angeles
05-17-2010, 12:56 AM
I'm very happy this thread has found a new life. Keep it going!

Trader Joe
05-27-2010, 10:00 PM
Made some homemade burgers tonight, ground beef, worcestshire sauce, garlic salt, onion powder, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning, ground black pepper, and lawrys seasoning salt. Basically just season to your taste, make em into patties and grill em up. Delicious.

Los Angeles
07-11-2010, 11:39 AM
Had people over last night for what I called "cocktails and shrimp tails."

I'm recycling some previously used images, but took a couple of different turns that I'll describe.

After a quick round of Cornhole, I got everything set up and made the first couple of rounds of Aperol Smashes:

2 parts Vodka,
2 parts Aperol Italian bitters
1 part simple syrup
1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice
Muddled mint and green grapes.
Shake well in a cocktail shaker and serve over ice.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2653/3822742981_4cc6f68d72.jpg

Now, I really regret not getting a photo of what came after that, so I'll just have to describe it.

1) Two packages of Black Forest Bacon from Whole Foods.

At $9 (plus tax) for a single pack of bacon, this is a fairly extravagant purchase, but it is so SO very worth it. I don't know what it is that makes this bacon arguably the best bacon in the world, I really don't. You'll just have to trust me. It has a great smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness. YUM!

While everyone snacked on the strips of bacon, I set aside the bacon grease in a small sauce pan. Get ready for it to come back later.

Prepare the grill. I got a cast iron hibachi style grill as a gift from a client and it is unbelievable. The maker is Lodge. I highly, highly recommend it. Once you get it going, you just feed it additional briquettes and it will maintain a perfect searing heat for hours. the grill top marks your food like nothing else, too.

Here's a picture:
http://menandwomenofindustry.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/51YNM1ENGNL._SS400_.jpg

And here's a link:
http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Manufacturing-410-Hibachi-Sportsmans/dp/B00002N5ZD/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1278861599&sr=1-4

I also use natural mesquite charcoal.
http://www.lazzari.com/about_page_pictures/about_page_pic03.jpg


I made a marinade from:
1/3 cup fresh italian parsley (minced)
1/3 cup fresh mint (minced)
1/3 cup fresh basil (minced)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
Whisk it all together.

I then had everyone help in making skewers. Now a lot of people make kabobs and throw everything (different meats and vegetables) on one kabob. This isn't the best way to do it, in my opinion. I separate the different items onto different squewers so that each thing can be cooked for the appropriate amount of time. There were three types of squewers last night:

Vegetable skewers:
Red and yellow bell peppers, cut into 2"x2" chunks.
Red onion cut into 2"x2" chunks
Yellow squash bias cut into 3/4" slices
Zucchini bias cut into 3/4" slices
Everything thrown into the herb marinade and speared.
These go on the grill first when it is really hot. You want to blacken the edges of the veggies but leave the center crisp (not soggy)

Shrimp skewers:
Soak your shrimps in the same marinade.
Do everyone a courtesy and take that last bit of shell off the tail. Then thread them on by going through the body and then the tail to make kind of a cent sign and line them up flat kind of like this.

http://www.fotosearch.com/bthumb/UNC/UNC344/u14623498.jpg
http://www.fotosearch.com/bthumb/UNC/UNC344/u14623498.jpg
http://www.fotosearch.com/bthumb/UNC/UNC344/u14623498.jpg

I know, maybe I'm being nit-picky and giving too much information here. But when your shrimp cook nice and evenly with beautiful grill marks across the sides, you just might thank me for this tip.

Finally, Scallop skewers:

Same marinade. The problem with these buggers is that they tear easily so they aren't exactly the best thing to do kabobs with. But they really are amazing when they are crisped up on a charcoal grill, so it's worth losing a few in the fire to eat this treat.

So everything's coming off the fire and we've reached the fun part. Remember the bacon grease? When your skewers come of the grill and are zesty and herb coated and ready to go, take a spoon and drizzle some bacon grease on top of the seafood.

Last step: Eat everything before everyone else does!!!


.

Los Angeles
07-11-2010, 02:22 PM
Just found some photos from the last time I made a similar dish. note - this is before I figured out the "cent sign" method. Also, no scallops or bacon/bacon grease in this version either.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/4783888180_ace13d841e_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4076/4783888854_bf10e2d742_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4100/4783255059_a59d15e9f1_b.jpg

Stryder
07-11-2010, 04:22 PM
This thread is pure, unadulterated awesome.

Anthem
07-11-2010, 06:39 PM
We made berry ice cream last night, and it's been pretty good.

1 quart of heavy whipping cream ($2.00 at Sam's)
2 cups whole milk (~$0.25)
1 cup sugar (practically free)
1 T good vanilla (no idea)
1 pack of frozen mixed berries, thawed (~$2.00)

Mix the first 4 ingredients and add to the ice cream maker. Go for 20 minutes, then add the berries. 25 minutes more, then pull it and pop it in the freezer.

I can't stop eating this stuff. It's REALLY good. After much practice, we finally got the consistency right, too. Not too hard, not too soft. Just perfect.

btowncolt
07-11-2010, 08:12 PM
I just had two beers.

Should I tell Robert McDougal too?

cdash
07-12-2010, 08:23 AM
Great thread guys. I love to cook, but find that I am not very good at it. I try, but more often than not, I fail. Every once in awhile things will go just right, and it's really a great feeling. Food tastes better when you have labored for it a little.

I've been trying to eat healthier lately. I have been a huge red meat eater and I'm trying to cut back and incorporate some salmon, shrimp, and other sea urchins into my diet. Anyone have any good (as always, cheap) recipes for fish other than salmon?

bellisimo
07-12-2010, 08:41 AM
tuna salad - its fast, easy and relatively healthy.

btowncolt
07-12-2010, 09:04 AM
Sorry cdash, everything I cook is vegetarian (http://rlv.zcache.com/im_daddys_girl_mousepad-p144025579402454771trak_400.jpg). Made some good ricotta cheese tortellini with vodka sauce and fake meatballs last night.

Trader Joe
07-12-2010, 12:05 PM
That sounds really good btown.

The Toxic Avenger
07-12-2010, 12:42 PM
I thought Btown was a vegetarian! I made my lady friend a sandwich inspired off of the Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food" Fried Seasoned Sweet Potatoes with fake Sausage smothered with Macaroni and Cheese on a Mayo and Mustard Bun. She loved it.
:shrug:
I had a bite and it was okay but she claims it is the best sandwich she has ever had, which I find suspect considering the sandwiches I've made for her in the past, but I made her another one later that night and she downed it in half the time so.... Go figure.

I do a lot of vegetarian stuff like that where I just throw together whatever I have.

btowncolt
07-12-2010, 12:45 PM
I thought Btown was a vegetarian! I made my lady friend a sandwich inspired off of the Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food" Fried Seasoned Sweet Potatoes with fake Sausage smothered with Macaroni and Cheese on a Mayo and Mustard Bun. She loved it.
:shrug:
I had a bite and it was okay but she claims it is the best sandwich she has ever had, which I find suspect considering the sandwiches I've made for her in the past, but I made her another one later that night and she downed it in half the time so.... Go figure.

I do a lot of vegetarian stuff like that where I just throw together whatever I have.

I am.

:yay:

Los Angeles
07-12-2010, 12:51 PM
My favorite cookbook is a vegetarian cookbook. It's called "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". It is massive, with hundreds and hundreds of recipes. It is also very cheap. I recommend it to even the most devoted meat eaters.

The Toxic Avenger
07-12-2010, 12:59 PM
Another big hit with the Vegans, so probably vegetarians as well, is Biscuits and Gravy.

Its such a warm and filling comfort food, its hard to replace. It took a while to perfect on a vegan level since you can't use milk for the gravy or biscuits and you have to use fake butter... anyway.

Brown a little fake sausage, fennel, pepper, red pepper flakes. Mix 1/4 cup of butter and a lot of flour together until it becomes a paste then add THAT into the browned sausage. Add in milk (or unsweetened Soymilk) slowly so that the butter roux mixes up well and eventually, if done right, you will get gravy. If you've never made gravy before definitely look up directions. But anyway, its amazing if you're only eating pastas and vegetables to change it up with this dish.

N8R
07-12-2010, 01:56 PM
GO!!!!! needs to be here for all this vegetarian talk.

Dab
07-16-2010, 11:25 AM
The Breakfast of Champions

Sauteed onions and baby portobello mushrooms, along with leftover grilled curry eggplant, zucchini and tomato, all bundled into a 3 egg omelette topped with hot sauce

kester99
08-22-2010, 04:08 PM
bump