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Cajun Dirty Rice. Less is More.

Do you have a favorite of the Cajun seasoning blends?

I've had good results w/the quick (15-20 min.) brown rice, but the last time I looked for it I couldn't find any. Have you ever soaked brown rice overnight to cut the cooking time?

Jul 14, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Cajun Dirty Rice. Less is More.

I'll be switched! I never heard that and I will try it! I love brown rice and use it a lot, but that wonderful dirty rice I tasted in LA so long ago was all made with white rice so that's all I've ever done it with.

I made & froze a big big batch of (white) dirty rice one time, which is how I learned to not do that :o(

Does it work as well w/the quick-cooking brown rice?

Jul 14, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Hot Links & Dirty Rice

I missed this, sel, til just now, and I just posted my Dirty Rice recipe on Home Cooking as requested. If it's not clear, ask me to clarify.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/421048

Jul 14, 2007
PhoebeB in Los Angeles Area

Cajun Dirty Rice. Less is More.

I was asked on the LA board to post what I finally came up with in my 35 year effort to make Cajun Dirty Rice as good as that I ate at roadside Po Boy stands in southern Louisiana in the late 50s.

I think I have 2 dozen recipes from various restaurants famous for their dirty rice. Some of them have 2 dozen ingredients--eggplant? mushrooms??--and take all day to make. None of them pleased me, maybe because I KNEW those roadside stands couldn't possibly have gone to all that complicated fuss to come up with that divine stuff. I finally found this recipe:

http://www.gumbopages.com/food/veg/di...

You can't freeze completed dirty rice, obviously (the rice turns to mush), and making the rich meaty chicken stock base takes too much of the day for a single batch of it, so I save (keep in a bag in the freezer) the backs/wings/giblets/necks of the chickens I cut up until I have at least four sets of chicken parts.

I simmer them slowly (a qt. of water for each chicken represented), take the meat off and chop it up, divide the broth and meat equally into 1 qt. bags and freeze that.

When I want a single batch of dirty rice, I thaw one of them, heat it up and follow the recipe from there--adding the good fresh sauteed aromatics and LOTS more cayenne and black pepper.

Sooooo good. I make a meal on just it and a sliced tomato.

Jul 14, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Your one cooking tip ?

This is so weird! I make my chocolate chip cookies with butter because I like them thin and crispy; shortening always made them plump and soft.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Can You "Play Nicely" With Someone Else In Your Kitchen?

Explain "gravy at Thanksgiving". I'm interested because the Thanksgiving giblet gravy is responsible for one of the funniest incidents in our family memoirs.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Not About Food

Can You "Play Nicely" With Someone Else In Your Kitchen?

My SIL is fine if we all stay on the other side of the kitchen island and don't talk to him.
He's a one-man show, which is hard on the rest of us because every adult in the family w/the exception of his wife LOVES to cook and feels left out.

We console ourselves with Mimosas.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Not About Food

meeting the best friends new girl...

Chicken/green chile/sour cream enchiladas served Tex-Mex style. I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't love them, you can make them up ahead of time ready to bake.

Serve already plated up (w/some finishing sauce/grated cheese, sour cream), on the side a heap of undressed shredded crisp iceburg lettuce w/some chopped tomatoes & sliced scallions or chopped red onion mixed in.

Have some extra warm sauce and cold sour cream on the table, and if you want to go all out, some guacamole.

One of my favorite braindead easy summer desserts is individual stemmed glasses of chilled tapioca pudding made with cream of coconut and topped with fresh lime zest and a handful of halved seedless grapes in 2 or 3 colors. (The different colors of grapes look like tourmalines.)

This is adapted from an old Martha recipe and it is almost shockingly good.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Can You "Play Nicely" With Someone Else In Your Kitchen?

Me too. My mother didn't like us kids underfoot when she was cooking and as a result I didn't know how to cook when I got married. (I could make cookies.)

But as I related on another thread, I spent some of every summer on the Oklahoma farms of relatives, and the fun all those women had in the kitchen fixing meals together made me want that kind of kitchen for my own family.

The one thing I've always insisted on in a house is a great big kitchen, and the best times I've ever had with my kids were when we were talking/cooking/talking/ together.

Four of the five children have exactly this kind of kitchen life in their homes; the exception being the son-in-law who's a professional chef and wants no help and no distraction. (We almost never have our family get-togethers there because it's great food but no fun. We just let him bring his finished culinary masterpieces to whichever house we're cavorting in.)

With anyone but the family or very close friends, it's a different matter. The family members know each other's kitchens and how we all operate, and we never get in each other's way. Other people distract me.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Not About Food

fav summer pies?

THIS I'm trying. I love plums and am always trying to find good things to do with them.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa?

Well, thank you! I saw that in the store recently but wasn't in the market for cocoa and forgot about it. After reading your post I googled it. It is Dutch Process.

Until a couple of years ago they marketed a "Hershey's Dutch Process Cocoa" that I loved. Then it disappeared from my grocery shelves and my grocer said he couldn't find it anywhere, so I've been ordering DP cocoa from Penzey's.

Wonder if Hershey's is trying the same thing under a new name. I'll get some and compare it w/my Penzey's and report back. If it's like their old DP it sure makes great chocolate cookies and frosting.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in General Topics

Appetizer ideas needed

Mound of goat cheese heaped with caramelized onions, bagel crisps to pile it on. Oiled/herbed/garlicked & roasted bite-size red potatoes.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

fav summer pies?

I have never had a gooseberry pie!!! What is the taste of gooseberries comparable to?

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

fav summer pies?

You are the go-getter!! Your addition of just vanilla bean and peach champagne sounds perfect. We so often try to gild the lily with too much "stuff"--exotic seasonings, strange combinations that end up a net minus compared to the good simple flavor of the food we're overdressing.

One more tip: pies are one of those foods that it's better to slightly overcook than undercook. Let them get a deep golden brown. Makes the crust taste so much better.

Invest a dollar or so in a couple of aluminum pie crust rings that protect the edges from overbrowning. You can do it with strips of foil, too, but the rings that fit 8-to-10" pies are such a snap.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

fav summer pies?

I think that I shall never spy
A poem lovely as a pie.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

fav summer pies?

In hot weather you might want to freeze the butter. I use two sticks for the 3/4 C. I need, wrap one end in paper towel for a good grip, shave off ~3/4 of each stick, put the leftover ends in the microwave and make clarified butter.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Uncooked Spam?

Didn't anyone ever make fried bologna cups and fill them w/scrambled eggs & grated cheese? My kids' favorite breakfast.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in General Topics

Cooking with Coconut Oil - Best Uses?

I was just adding a personal favorite to sagestrat's list of coconut oil, butter, lard. (Mostly for jfood's benefit.)

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Unusual yet delicious omelette fillings/combos?

Gazpacho has so many zesty flavors that the nuances of the individual ingred. are subsumed. It's in the naked tomato that the loss of flavor is most noticeable.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Salad, Mac and Cheese, or another great side dish for a bbq?

I agree w/cocktail hour. The old standbys became old standbys because they are the perfect compliment to BBQ. You should play off your BBQ sauce: if it's very sweet, keep the beans smoky & not sweet, the coleslaw zesty and not too sweet, the potato salad mild but flavorful. (I like a mustardy/pickle-y potato salad)

If the BBQ sauce is vinegary and not (or barely) sweet, make the beans or slaw sweeter.

(Mac & Cheese, BTW, is great with anything. With BBQ it's a good substitute for potato salad. Just don't leave off the beans and slaw.)

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Unusual yet delicious omelette fillings/combos?

One more smack can't hurt that horse, so I'll take it.

Within seconds of the moment you sprinkle that refrigerated (~40 degree) chopped tomato on your hot enchis or omelette--probably before you can take a bite, it is going to have reached 50 degrees, and that lovely astringent tomato flavor has been compromised-to-destroyed by the refrigeration.

What someone should invent is a tomato-keeper that maintains a constant 51 degree temp. I think that was the idea behind the "vegetable crisper" bin at the bottom of the fridg--to keep delicate lettuce, etc. from getting too cold. Never thought to put a thermometer in it to see how cold it is.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

What do I do with a bag of hot green peppers?

O my stars! My mishap fades into insignificance.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

What do I do with a bag of hot green peppers?

You don't have to be allergic to suffer from handling hot peppers. I once minced a couple of fresh ones for chutney, not wearing gloves (Nothing bothers my hands). I then absentmindedly touched an eyelid and brushed my nose, and was in semi-agony for hours.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

What should I eat to get a "Taste of Dallas"?

The Dallas Farmers' Market is HUGE and wonderful. Don't miss it. The main mkt. on one side of the street and an annex a short distance further on the other side of the street.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Dallas - Fort Worth

Your one cooking tip ?

I appreciate this and can't believe what a dummy I am for not figuring it out on my own!

My mother/grandmother always used to casually taste their raw meat loaf/meat ball mixture for seasoning, but I'm afraid to do that anymore. Never occurred to me to fry up a smidgen and taste that.

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Cooking with Coconut Oil - Best Uses?

Don't forget bacon drippings :o)

Jul 13, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Cooking with Coconut Oil - Best Uses?

I keep wondering how long it's going to take to rehabilitate the word "lard".

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/now/aug24/

www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/ 0538,fsietsema,67988,15.html - 44k

www.foodandwine.com/ invoke.cfm?objectid=1940E8E3-ACE3-4465-B166FDD30245D28A -

And google "coconut oil healthy" and see what you find.

It's high time we re-examined some of the dietary articles of faith of the last ~40 years.

Jul 12, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Unusual yet delicious omelette fillings/combos?

We all have our little weirdnesses. I love cold cake, and put my cakes in the fridge as soon as they're cool and frosted.

My kids always froze their Snickers & Oreos. Don't know why they didn't break a tooth. My sister puts an ice cube in her coffee, likes it barely lukewarm.

Jul 12, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking

Uncooked Spam?

Re: Spam. This is short and interesting. http://www.cusd.claremont.edu/~mrosen...

Jul 12, 2007
PhoebeB in General Topics

Your one cooking tip ?

Yes, and if you melt the butter you get a different cookie than when it's just softened.

Jul 12, 2007
PhoebeB in Home Cooking