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other 1 pan dinner ideas?

Chicken breasts or thighs (skinless, but bone in is fine), mushrooms, a couple of cans of diced tomatoes, some seasonings, any other vegetables you like. Mix, and bake until the chicken is tender. Stick in some potatoes to bake, and you've got a complete meal.

For a non-casserole but easy oven meal, shove in some not-so-big potatoes to bake. Then take bone in, skin on chicken pieces, and season with cumin, paprika, garlic powder and salt, and put them in on a baking sheet. Finally, cut some tomatoes in half, season with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them in to bake. If you time it right, it's all done at the same time - meat, vegetable and starch. I've also baked the chicken over cut up potatoes tossed in olive oil, and/or whole mushrooms and chunks of onion.

A faster one is fish in papillon - a piece of fish topped with some vegetables (shitake, a bit of green onion, sliced carrots, etc), wrapped in parchment paper or foil and cooked in the oven. Good served over rice.

1 day ago
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

Lay's Potato Chips' New Flavors -- Seen or Tried Them?

I've had wasabi flavoured chips before - seaweed wasabi is a very nice combination. But the versions I've had were generally not at all subtle!

1 day ago
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

I think there are a number of reasons.

One is cultural mingling. In the past, people were more likely to stick to their own group, so a non-Kosher person having a Kosher person over for dinner wouldn't be very likely.

Another is a combination of a genuine rise in allergies and an increase in the diagnoses of allergies and sensitivities. Plus, increased visibility leading some people to self diagnose sensitivities.

A third is the rise of stringent 'personal' diets - ie, dietary choices that are individual rather than cultural, often health or ethically based - vegetarian, organic/free range food only, carb free, low glycemic index, paleo, raw foods, gluten free, and so on.

An finally, I think there is definitely a cultural shift towards the accommodation of personal choice over conforming to cultural norms (or refusing to inconvenience people.) So in the past, where someone would either choke it down or be discreet about avoiding it and eat before or after, now they email the host with a list of requirements.

2 days ago
tastesgoodwhatisit in Not About Food

Dried Mushrooms, OMG!!

Squeeze out the liquid, pan fry in lots of butter until they start to brown, and season with salt. Eat while hot.

I do this with small dried shitakes, and it's wonderful.

Jul 29, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Boyfriends birthday/moving in dinner

I'm a fan of Italy Italian food for a wow factor without being too complex, and if you've just moved in, you probably don't have a kitchen stocked with a ton of ingredients yet.

Something simple like some spiced olives and feta cheese for an appetizer.

First course - a good soup, or homemade gnocci or fresh pasta with Marcella Hazan's simple tomato sauce recipe, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Second course - chicken alla diavolo (basically, bone in skin on chicken marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, salt and tons of freshly ground pepper), with a room temperature asparagus or green bean dish on the side.

Salad course - a simple mixed argrula salad with white wine vinegar and oil.

Dessert - tiramisu, if you're feeling ambitious, or a good vanilla ice cream with fresh fruit.

The tomato sauce, appetizer, asparagus, salad and dessert can be made in advance. If you're making gnocci, they can be made a bit ahead of time, and cook quickly. You can time the chicken so it finishes about the time you finish your first course, and let it stay warm in the oven while you eat.

Another good option is the simple and hearty. My husband always chooses a home cooked steak dinner for his birthday - homemade tomato soup, good steak, pan fried to medium, served with a mushroom and brandy cream sauce, baked potatoes with sour cream and green onions on the side, creamed corn (Mark Bittmant's recipe), romaine salad with blue cheese and walnuts (another Hazan recipe). The salad, corn and soup can be made ahead, the potatoes don't require much attention, and the sauce can be made right before you fry the steaks.

Jul 29, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

cantaloupe puree??

I second this.

I make fresh fruit granita all the time. If the fruit is good, simply puree it and pour it into a container to freeze - you don't need anything else.

You can also pour it into moulds to make popsicles.

Jul 29, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

I can think of three reasons.

One is that both these people have recently *added* new restrictions to the mix. They used to eat non-Halal meat and wheat happily, and have suddenly switched to a much harder to cook for diets.

The second is that I find that the attitude of the person with the restrictions makes a big difference - some people are polite, apologetic, and keep demands to a minimum, while others email you a detailed list of what they consider acceptable. So maybe these two are particularly vocal about their new diets.

Or, it may just be a straw and camel's back thing - it sounds like you've got a lot of dietary restrictions going on in your social group. Your friend loves to host, but has found that over time hosting has gotten less and less enjoyable, as she desperately tries to come up with something that her guests will be willing to eat.

Jul 28, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Not About Food
2

Must I boil split peas/lintels/beans/rice?

Raw/dried beans of the sort mentioned above aren't generally safe to eat without processing. Long soaking can make them more digestible (as in 24 to 48 hours), changing the water every few hours. But at this point they can still be pretty hard to digest. You can sprout them, which takes 1-5 days and regular water changes. Some beans are more toxic than others. If you do a search on beans on a raw food diet, you'll get more tips.

In general, the above tends to be true for grains and beans, including rice. Rolled oats have already been processed, which is why you can eat them as is. Instant rice might be okay, as it's been mostly cooked as well.

But for disaster preparedness, it doesn't sound optimal - a minimum of 24 hours preparation before eating, potential gastric issues, and a lot of water required, which will not be drinkable. And if they're too old, they may not sprout.

Jul 28, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

"dump" recipes??

There's what I call "kitchen sink soup" because you can throw everything but the kitchen sink in it.

Start by sauteeing some combination onions/celery/carrots/mushrooms. Add broth of some sort, some extra water, maybe a can of diced tomatoes. Toss in leftover meat if you've got it handy - roast chicken works well. Add in some vegetables, fresh or frozen - spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, green beans or peas, carrots, whatever seems like a good idea. Canned beans work well in it, or a bit (not too much) of cooked rice or noodles. Simmer until the ingredients are tender, and season to match the ingredients.

The main caveat is to be careful about adding strongly flavoured vegetables, like cabbage, turnips, bitter melon and so on, as they can dominate the flavour.

Jul 26, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Chai, masala chai, chai tea latte

Linguistically, "chai" means tea, and "masala" refers to a mixture of spices. So "chai" = tea, and "masala chai" = spiced tea. "latte" on the other hand, is Italian for milk.

So chai tea latte literally means "tea tea milk". A masala chai latte, though, would be an accurate, if linguistically weird, description - "spiced milk tea"

To my knowledge, masala chai is frequently but not always made with milk. So it's reasonable to assume that when you order it, it will come with milk, but also reasonable to list milk explicitly, if you serve the non-milk variety.

In my experience, though, a "chai tea latte" generally bears only a vague resemblance to actual Indian style masala chai, so I'm quite happy for it to have its own menu description.

Jul 24, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Not About Food

this is a good idea?

The traditional soup dumplings are made by mixing a stiff gelatin broth in with the meat, so the gelatin melts when it steams.

You could make the tomato soup with gelatin added, but I don't think it would mix well with the cheese. For one thing, cheese melts when it's heated, so you'd get melty cheese mixed with tomato soup for a sort of curdled mixture, which is probably not what you're looking for.

If I were going for a tomato and cheese dumpling flavour, I think I'd go for a cheese ravioli filling, with finely chopped sun dried tomatoes mixed in.

You might be able incorporate both cheese and tomato by using the meat as a base - tweak the recipe by adding a small amount of a very strong cheese, finely grated, in with the meat, and then use a thin, gelatin rich tomato broth (not the creamy tomato soup style) instead of plain meat stock.

Jul 24, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

Do you make and drink "potato chip cocktails"?

Is any one else familiar with the "all dressed" potato chip flavour? I think it's just a Canadian thing, but it's basically a mix of the common flavours (BBQ, salt-and-vinegar, sour cream and onion, etc) dumped on the chips.

Sounds gross, but is actually pretty tasty.

Jul 24, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Low-content alcohol for a person with a heart failure

One of my favourite summer drinks is umeshu and soda, mixed as you would a highball, with lots of ice.

Umeshu is Japanese plum liqueur, and is only about 15% alcohol to start with, so you end up with a much lower concentration than a highball made with standard 40% spirits.

Jul 23, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Spirits

Need help with a picky eater

For someone that picky, if I were willing to cook for him, I'd come up with a list of simple but healthy dishes that he'll eat, and make big batches for freezing - poached chicken breasts, steamed vegetables with no seasonings, things like that, and then package them in one meal portions.

Then I'd cook nice tasty food for myself, and leave him to heat up his simple meals if he didn't like what I was eating.

Jul 22, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
2

poached chicken??

Sort of - for stock making, you start with cold ingredients, and very slowly bring them to a simmer - I find it takes at least 45 minutes for a good sized pot of stock. This will extract a lot of the juices, and is therefore a poor choice when you want to actually eat the meat.

But the method above is a fairly quick one, so there isn't time for the juices to get sucked out. If you're poaching a whole chicken though, or bone-in chicken pieces, which will take longer to heat and cook, the boil and rest method wouldn't work very well, and I'd start with boiling water.

I generally poach breasts starting with boiling water, but I find the key is to not overcook. For the original poster, a meat thermometer could help with that.

Jul 22, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

How can I use up massive quantities of alcohol in cooking?

My approach on moving has always been to have a going away party, and announce that I was giving away all my leftover alcohol at the end of the night....

Honestly, I think you'd be really hard pressed to use up 12 litres of flavoured vodka and gin in cooking. Wine would be easy, beer not too hard, you could probably use up a fair amount of brandy, but what you've got is not suited to much but baking, and then only in small quantities.

Jul 22, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

To much pork belly!

Okinawan style pork belly.

Take about 1 pound, cut into strips. Put in a slow cooker with 1 cup cooking sake, 3/4 cup very dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup dashi broth, 2 whole green onions, and about 3 inches of ginger, cut lengthwise into strips. Cook for 8-10 hours on low.

I cook it overnight, and chill. Then I skim off the excess fat, cut the skin off and cut into chopstick sized pieces, and warm up in a pan with a bit of the sauce, to get a nice glaze.

I have to make this in limited quantities, because it's so good I'll eat the whole batch in one sitting...

Jul 21, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Are 9 Classic Candy Bars Better Frozen?

MacIntosh toffee is a totally different food depending on whether it's warm room temperature (very sticky) or chilled (easily broken into pieces).

Jul 21, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Multi Grain Rice

You can find mixes of various grains for adding to making rice in a Chinese grocery, under the name "five treasure oats" "ten treasure oats" etc - the number is the number of different grains.

What we do is sub those grains for some of the rice, then cook as usual in the rice cooker. You need to stir well after cooking, as some of the grains rise to the top.

Jul 19, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Need ideas for cookies for a crowd

Two good recipes. If you use shortening you will get a crisper cookie, butter a softer but better tasting one.

Dad's Oatmeal

cream

1 cup butter or shortening
2 cups brown sugar

beat in 2 eggs, 1 t vanilla

mix in

2 cups flour
1 t baking soca
2 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Roll into a log, wrap with saran wrap and chill well. Cut into slices and bake for ~8 minutes at 180 C / 350 F.

Aunt Lee's Ginger Cookies

Cream

1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup shortening

Beat with
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together and mix in

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chill, roll into a balls and coat the ball in granulated white sugar, squash with a fork, bake at 180 C/350 F.

Jul 17, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Eating right on a budget while training

And if money is an issue (ie, you can't gorge off of meat for all your protein), you've got whole grains and beans - brown rice, oats, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, etc. For maximum cheapness, buy dried beans and cook up a big batch once or twice a week.

Jul 17, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics
1

Extreme Picky Eater/Selective Eating disorder

I think this is a case where you have to accept that this is who he is and he won't ever change, and decide if you can happily accept that.

Food will not be something you share. If you're cooking for him, you will make him corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and chicken, and make yourself something you like. If he's cooking - you'll probably have corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and chicken a lot. Eating out will not be a part of your shared life, except at a very restricted list of restaurants. You will be very limited when it comes to food related socializing - you'll get asked over for dinner once, and never again, when your hosts balk at making custom toddler meals for an adult.

If the guy is worth it in other ways, and you can happily accept the above (not grudgingly, not with increasing frustration), then you may have a chance with him.

Me - I'd dump him and move on.

Jul 16, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
2

Is grinding black pepper part of your mise en place?

If a recipe calls for a lot of freshly ground pepper (like a tablespoon), I'll grind it into a ramekin in advance, because it takes a while to grind that much and if I do it over the pot, my hands get slippery with steam. Smaller amounts I generally grind right into the dish.

I find it loses potency fairly quickly - I'd do it the same day, or you're losing the advantage of fresh ground.

Jul 16, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

Which 4 cheeses do you recommend for a rich, creamy Mac & Cheese?

The blue cheese needs to be a small amount compared to the other cheeses, or it dominates.

Jul 14, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Which 4 cheeses do you recommend for a rich, creamy Mac & Cheese?

My favourite is gouda for texture, cheddar for the base of the flavour, parmesan for umani, and blue cheese for sharpness. Other seasonings - a little bit of dijon mustard, paprika, and garlic powder.

Jul 13, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking

Books for beginning a cookbook collection

Marcella Hazan's Italian cookbooks - "Classic Italian Cookbook", "More Classical Italian Cooking".

Jul 13, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

WHY does vegetarian Hoisin sauce exist?? [Moved from Quebec board]

As the other thread says, no garlic or onions, to make it compliant with strict Buddhist vegetarianism.

I have personally had the conversation "Is that dish vegetarian? No, it has onions in it."

Jul 13, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in General Topics

Serving Temperature odf Cheesecake?

If you use xylitol, warn your guests! Some people are more sensitive to the side effects of sugar alcohols than others - if I ate a slice of cheese cake make with it would mean that your bathroom would be occupied for the next couple of hours.

Jul 12, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

Domestically Disabled

For pasta - pasta continues to cook a bit after you drain it. So you want to stop cooking when it's slightly underdone. That could be why your pasta is mushy.

For rice - rice cooker! Cheap, easy to use, and nearly foolproof (you have to measure correctly and remember to turn it on).

For the gas cooker - a heat diffuser might help, if you have trouble burning stuff. Mine gas stove will not do a low simmer without it.

Jul 12, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking
1

dealing with eggplant for recipes

A method I came up with recently that produces meltingly tender, flavourful, not too oily eggplant.

Take the long skinny Asian eggplants and cut into about 10 cm (4") lengths. Heat a large frying pan over medium hot heat, and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom.

Put the eggplant chunks in a single layer. Cook until the bottoms are browning, and then flip over (I use tongs). Cook until the eggplant is soft and tender (about 10-15 minutes). You can then slice it into smaller segments, or mash it.

Cooking them this way gives them that nice deep flavour that roasting or grilling does, and the fact that you're frying the skin means that it won't absorb a ton of oil the way the flesh does. I find that chunks of this size are the best for arranging in the pan for efficient packing and flipping.

Jul 12, 2014
tastesgoodwhatisit in Home Cooking