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magician in the kitchen's Profile

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campfire ideas please -- foil packets

Hey -- I'm going camping for a couple of nights and I'm delighted to cook on the fire again. It's been a couple of years since I've done this so I would like to check in on cooking times and ideas... or maybe I'm forgetting something that is *especially delicious* when cooked this way?

I am very SIMPLE when cooking on the campfire. I will double-wrap everything in foil, season with olive oil and salt and pepper, and cook on the coals. I don't use a camping stove or a grate -- everything right on the coals.

Here's what I am thinking:
*for protein -- chicken sausage or sweet or hot Italian sausage from a good deli (probably cooked on sticks or maybe sliced in foil? which would be better?)
*baby red potatoes seasoned with rosemary, S and P (with sour cream YUM)
*plum tomatoes (maybe with some fresh basil after they're done)
*red onions
*corn on the cob (shucked first, dotted with butter and salt and pepper)
*some yummy bread, also grilled and then dipped in the grilled tomatoes which get all sauce-y YUM
*Maybe portabella mushrooms? I have not done this before but spotted a recipe that looks great with these -- marinate a little while, grill in foil, melt some cheese in top, maybe spoon on some of the grilled tomatoes
*For dessert: sliced peaches grilled in the foil packets with cinnamon, butter, sugar

Cooking Times: I think the onions go into the fire first (big ones -- into fire for about 50 mins?), then the baby potatoes (35 mins?), then tomatoes and corn take about the same cooking time (25 minutes?) and finally the bread, sausages, and mushrooms for the last 15 minutes or so.

Is it better to spear the sausages on sticks, or to slice and cook them in a packet??

thanks! Can't wait...

The Silver Palate Cookbook: Basics

Chicken Stock, p 342

Silver Palate is rocking my world! The chicken stock came out great -- I actually braved gusts from Hurricane Noel and hit the carnicerĂ­a for the necks. Making my first-ever stock was a perfect way to spend a dark dreary day - the house smelled divine! The process is easy -- brown the necks/backs, sautee the onion and carrot, add some parsley and dried time and bay leaf, cover with water (and canned broth - my only deviation from the recipe was skipping that), boil for 15 mins while skimming, then simmer for a few hours. Push through strainer -- I found that you really have to SQUEEZE all of the solids a lot to get all of the good stuff out! Cover stock and put it in the fridge overnight. Skim off fat. I froze mine in ziplocs - some use ice cube trays for small amounts to add into sauces.

In terms of getting the meat, it is hard to find these parts. Check a carnicerĂ­a. Stop and Shop laughed at me when I called requesting these parts. The kosher butcher wanted to charge me $1.70/lb for these! To my surprise, I found that the butcher at Whole Foods was the most accommodating -- he ordered the backs for me for my second batch today, for less than $1/pound.

I have a new Le Creuset pot (yay! yay!) so I'll break it in with Round Two of the stock today. I've been reading lots of stock threads about various methods -- I know many people use the whole bird or carcasses. But this is perfect for a beginner like me, I think :)

Berta's Chicken Stock, in the SP Good Times, calls for a whole stewing chicken and carrots, parsnips, celery, dill, onion (p 396). I might try those veggies this time for a different spin on it.

My one question: they include 2 cans of broth in their stock. I did not add this, nor do I want seems to defeat the whole purpose. It was exquisitely rich without that, anyway. Any thoughts on this???

My dance teacher and I chatted about homemade stock in class one day, as I was bubbling with excitement about this -- and she said when hers is sitting overnight in the fridge, she adds either a whole raw onion or some saffron. I think I'll try that this time.

Alternative to 1/2 & 1/2

I'm wary of this stuff -- but back in the dieting days, I was known to use fat-free half-and-half in soups and bisques. It works just fine. What about whole milk?

July 2007 Cookbook of the Month: Vote here for the Runoff!

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

fried ice cream? (for 1st timer)

I've gotten it into my head that I *need* to have fried ice cream tonight. I've never made it or attempted it but I do have a LOT of ice cream in my fridge.

How would I do this? I'm a fairly experienced cook so I think I'm up to the challenge and I'm relishing the idea of crunching into a bowl of that under a starry sky tonight. Mmmm.

Can I freeze soup containing coconut milk?

Never done it before but I love the soup and can't possibly eat it all. Hmmmm. (Slow-roasted eggplant-tomato soup with toasted Indian spices -- YUM)

best leek recipes? dinner tonight!

I picked up a bunch of leeks *in Amish country* yesterday and they're gorgeous. I would like to turn them into dinner tonight. Hmmm. I also have some tomatoes, ricotta, mild cheddar, scallios, a little mozzarella, all sorts of dried herbs, phyllo dough, bacon. I've read that the Amish often prepare these with brown butter drizzled over, which sounds great. Other ideas?


sexy sassy first date restaurant ideas please!

Looking for ideas for a double-first-date Saturday night please! Hoping for light-hearted fun ambiance, definitely with a little dash of romance, maybe mood lighting, plus divine food of course. Mid-range prices are okay, maybe Italian? Mediterranean? One of the group cannot eat spicy food. Someplace close to a cool dessert place/coffee shop for later would be ideal. Brookline or JP. Brookline - La Morra maybe? I've never been but I always hear raves or maybe Cafe D in JP.