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Lady_Tenar's Profile

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need help making mushroom powder

I use it in any stew or pasta sauce where I am also using whole mushrooms. It just adds another dimension of mushroominess to the liquid. It's also good in beef stew or other dishes that can always have another boost of umami.

Aug 04, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

need help making mushroom powder

I use a coffee grinder also--cheap and works great!

Aug 04, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

ideas for fresh, uncured pork jowl

Hmmm, how did that turn out? Much of the appeal of bacon to me comes from the salty smokiness and this stuff is fresh and uncured. Did you just eat as is, or use in a dish?

Aug 03, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

ideas for fresh, uncured pork jowl

I picked some up at the farmer's market because it's a cut I've never tried before and I like to experiment. I've been perusing the internet, including some old chowhound threads about what to do with it. I love guanciale but since I have no experience with home-curing (and it would be difficult for me to do in my current housing) I think I'm picking from a few ideas that I've seen repeated in various places, but would like some clarification on:

1.) Slow-cooking without liquid in a slow cooker or crock pot and then shredding--apparently this yields a lot of rendered fat and good taco meat. I wonder, could one make carnitas this way? One thing I have noticed is that people who recommend this technique never mention seasoning the meat with anything. Can this be done with seasoning?

2.)Seasoning with various spices and roasting. This intrigues me but I'd like to know about how it turns out. Do you roast until it is fall apart tender (like the above technique?)or until you can slice it? How do you prefer to eat it?

3.) Braising with liquid, generally with Asian seasonings like soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine etc. This got me to wondering if pork jowl couldn't be substituted for the pork belly in a Vietnamese pork belly and egg stew like this one: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/po...

I have never cooked this dish but I've eaten it and it's delicious. I've heard many people say that pork jowl is a lot like pork belly in a lot of ways so I wonder if I couldn't use my jowl in a recipe like this...yum!

Has anybody tried any of these techniques before and have anything to say about them or advice to give? I'm open to some other suggestions too although I do want to stay away from curing. Input greatly appreciated!

Aug 03, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Anyone have a good recipe for Caribbean-style oxtail stew?

This does look really good. When I eat it, usually has carrots and/or potatoes, not beans, although the seasoning here looks about right. (Although possibly sweeter than in my experience.)

Jul 10, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Having problem with lard for pie crust

Mmmm...pasties. The reason I learned to make pastry to begin with (and I also use 50/50 lard/butter.) :-)

Jul 09, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Having problem with lard for pie crust

I often buy leaf fat from the farmer's market and render it myself--it's not difficult but I don't know if this is an option for you. I do know that leaf lard (or leaf fat for rending) can be ordered on line though, if you want to go that far.

I use half lard and half butter when making pie crust, partly to stretch my supply of lard and partly because I think the combinatin gives the best taste and texture for pie crust. I have used butter only for crust before though, when I am cooking for vegetarian or kosher friends and it has also turned out great. I generally use a European butter,since it has a lower water content. And is also delicious. :-)

Jul 09, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking
1

Anyone have a good recipe for Caribbean-style oxtail stew?

I'm not usually much of a recipe person, but if it's a dish I haven't made before, I often peruse different recipes and improvise from there. I'd like to have some tried and true ones to work with to help me turn the beautiful oxtail I just bought at the farmer's market into my all-time favorite dish to get at Jamaican restaurants. (Well, one of my all-time favorites but I can already make the others. This one is the Final Frontier.) Has anyone ever made this dish homemade with good results?

Jul 09, 2014
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

What to do with a package of frozen pork spare ribs...

I'm liking some of these ideas! One thing I am definitely curious about though is how spareribs turn out when braised. They are not super-meaty so they lend themselves very well to barbecue but I have hard time picturing how they would work in a braised dish. Do you pull the meat off the bones (and pitch the bones) before serving or serve them bone-in and cut the meat off the bones at the table with a fork and knife? I would guess that you wouldn't pick them up with your hands like you would when they're barbecued.

Sep 28, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

What to do with a package of frozen pork spare ribs...

I'm pretty sure they are spare ribs. But I like the idea of using some kind of apple product--I like braise bone-in pork chops in hard cider. I don't know if that would work with these though.

Sep 27, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Do you cook arugula?

Yes, that is what I do with arugula and pasta--toss it with the hot, drained pasta so it wilts a bit does not lose it's peppery bite. One of my favorite pasta dishes to to make is pasta with arugula, mashed canned sardines, capers, lemon juice, garlic, fresh ground pepper, sometimes red pepper flakes and a whole lot of really good olive oil. Yum!

What to do with a package of frozen pork spare ribs...

that have been kicking around my freezer for a while. I know these are great on the barbecue but, unfortunately, I don't have the space or equipment to barbecue. So does anyone have a good recipe for spare ribs that can be made in the kitchen? A braised dish perhaps? Would it be a waste to make a good pork stock with them? Any ideas welcome!

Sep 27, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Getting the most out of fresh pastured eggs

There's also the possibility of eggs in the dish itself and not the pasta. Pasta carbonara with pastured eggs would be YUM!

Aug 09, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

What is the absolute worst cookbook you own. And why do you keep it?

I love that site! Mmmm..."jellied beef mold." Doesn't just the name make your tummy rumble? lol

Jul 28, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

What is the absolute worst cookbook you own. And why do you keep it?

OMG, as a huge geek I think I'm going to HAVE to look for that.

Jul 28, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Thickening/improving chicken curry

What kind of coconut milk are you using? I find that Thai brands are much thicker and richer--good for curry--than Latin brands, for example. And I upvote the advice about frying the curry in oil. You can also use more of it--having just what's coating the chicken chunks doesn't sound like much, considering all the other stuff you're using.

Jul 27, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

lots of purslane!

I'll have to try that vase idea, although I've been impressed with how well it holds up in the fridge, even after days.

Could you elaborate more on the roasting idea? Do you just toss it with some olive oil and seasonings and roast it on a sheet like one would kale? How does it turn out? I can't imagine it would crisp up the way kale does. I am intrigued.

Jul 27, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

lots of purslane!

Yeah, I know it's wild and free and grows like, well, a weed but I'm an apartment-dweller in a dense urban area. I have neither access to a good foraging spot that I trust is clean nor a yard or any land at all where I could start my own patch. So this is the best solution for me right now--this guy sells giant clumps of it for very little money so I feel fine about it.

I like the somen idea. I could see it being really good with Japanese condiments and seasonings.

Jul 27, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

lots of purslane!

Recently, I was excited to discover that one of the stalls at my farmer's market is selling giant bales of purslane for cheap. (Apparently, the guy's property is covered with it.) I love finding new greens and vegetables to experiment with and I know purslane is really healthy so I've been trying it out in a few recipes and am looking for more.

My first foray was a purslane and cucumber salad that I threw together based on a few different recipes I found on the internet--chopped purslane, diced cucumber, yogurt, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon, a clove of pressed garlic and a dash of sesame seeds. It was okay but, even with all the fixings, it was a bit bland. (Though I could see it being a great filling in a hummus wrap or something.) More successful was a medieval salad recipe that I made for a theme night with friends that involved thinly sliced fennel, leeks, shallots and chopped purslane in a wine vinegar dressing with lots of fresh herbs (and salt of course.) Yum! That one was a big hit with all of us.

Does anyone have any other tasty suggestions for this new find? I am looking at some pickling recipes now (just the simple refrigerator variety) but they are all quite different. Some call for a mixture of water and vinegar, some just vinegar. Some call for the leaves to be picked from the stems, others for the purslane to simply be chopped. Has anyone tried pickling purslane before and have some insight? (Picking the leaves seems awfully time-consuming and, well...picky, and I have found the stems to tender as long as I cut off the tougher bottoms). Does anyone have any other favorite recipes? I eagerly await your revelations!

Jul 27, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Frugal, Tasty Recipes for Families on Public Assistance

Yes, that's definitely true. Cut off the beet greens from the beets and leave a bit of stem when you get them home. I've said this elsewhere but I think beets with greens are a really great bang for your buck. They generally cost the same, or about the same, as any other bunched green, except you're getting TWO vegetables. Beets are closely related to Swiss chard and that's pretty much what beet greens taste like. The stems are fairly tender too, so you don't have to bother with de-stemming. Just chop 'em up and cook 'em. Very quick and easy!

Jun 07, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Frugal, Tasty Recipes for Families on Public Assistance

Generally speaking, I think bunches of beets with the tops included are a great deal. You get two vegetables for the price of one! The greens are delicious and a lot like Swiss chard and there are a million ways to cook the beets themselves.

Jun 07, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

Frugal, Tasty Recipes for Families on Public Assistance

If you love to bake, look up recipes for Irish soda bread--the tradional kind, which is just a basic, savory brown bread made with nothing but flour, baking soda, buttermilk, sald and sometimes a touch of sugar (though not enough to make it actually taste sweet). It's a quick bread, which is great if you are busy caring for a family, it's hearty and delicious, and it's healthy because it's generally made with mostly whole wheat flour. You can start a batch at 6 o'clock and have fresh bread ready to eat at 7 (most of which is baking time, so you can do other things in the mean time.) It's wonderful with soups and stews.

Cornbread is another favorite of mine that is quick to make and doesn't require planning ahead. And it can be pretty healthy too, if you use whole grain (generally stone ground) cornmeal. Food co-ops and health food stores will often sell it in bulk bins for very little. That's where I get mine. Great accompaniment to those healthy greens!

Jun 07, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

What is the advantage to reconstituting and pureeing dried chiles?

Yeah, I always roast them first so that makes sense.

May 26, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

What is the advantage to reconstituting and pureeing dried chiles?

I can't say I've ever found "shards" in my chili con carne or anything. (Or, for that matter, my chicken paprikash which also has a capsicum-based sauce, except you generally buy the paprika already ground.) If you grind the chiles to a fine powder and cook them in water, isn't that essentially the same thing as a puree, except you're processing the chiles when they're dry instead of wet?

May 25, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

risotto without cheese

For an asparagus risotto without cheese, I'd just make sure to use a good stock, some good olive oil, and maybe some nice fresh herbs and lemon zest/juice. I certainly wouldn't feel sorry for myself eating that and I love asparagus in risotto too!

May 25, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

What is the advantage to reconstituting and pureeing dried chiles?

I notice that most traditional Mexican (or even fancier tex-mex) recipes call for dried chiles to be reconstituted with water and then pureed to make things like moles and braises. What is the advantage of this? I use dried chiles plenty in cooking but I usually just grind them along with the other spices to be used in the dish (in my coffee-turned-spice grinder) and add them to the dish that way, with great results. Is there any real difference between my method and the soak-and-puree method, especially when they're just going to be cooked for a while with liquid anyway? Can someone explain to me what I am--or am not--missing? Next weekend I'm braising a goat shoulder and a pork shoulder for a taco bar at a party I'm hosting. I am planning on using a variety of chiles in the recipes and I am curious.

May 25, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

fermenting other vegetables in leftover sauerkraut juice

Has anyone tried this before? Does anyone have suggestions for vegetables/mixtures that are well-suited for this purpose? How long do you generally leave them in there before eating?

Apr 29, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

roasted beets versus boiled beets

Mmmm, horseradish would be good. I often dress my steamed beets in a mixture of yogurt and dill but I've never tried adding horseradish. I will now though!

Apr 29, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

roasted beets versus boiled beets

Usually, just a mixture of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and a little honey. (I know I said I'm sensitive to sweet but it doesn't so much make the beets taste sweeter as it just balances acidity of the vinegar and adds an extra layer of flavor.) Sometimes I do add a little fresh-squeezed orange juice or zest though, if I have good oranges around.

Apr 29, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking

roasted beets versus boiled beets

A long roast will destroy a lot of nutrition too, though. Not many people realize this.

Apr 27, 2013
Lady_Tenar in Home Cooking