Food, Cookery and Recipes

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pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 8th, 2006, 5:14 pm

Oh, wow, Kri. You're assuming we know how to improvise. :D
Paula B
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LibraryLady
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Post by LibraryLady » February 8th, 2006, 5:15 pm

Spaghetti-Os were a staple of my childhood as I was a very picky eater and for some reason loved Spaghetti-Os. Come to think of it, I still love them, although I can't remember the last time I ate them!

I think it could be kinda cool to read a cookbook. It would be interesting to see if people were interested in that. There are knitting podcasts after all!

For any thing that actually involves me cooking, you'll have to count me out! Anything beyond the skills required to heat up a can of Spaghetti-Os is quite beyond my cooking capacities! :D
Annie Coleman Rothenberg
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"I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice." ~Whitman

vee
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Post by vee » February 8th, 2006, 6:26 pm

I remember coming home every day from school and making a can of chef boy r dee. You add 3 tbls of sugar and they got kindof palatable.

Basically Kri, you're suggesting that we do an online iron chef? :) That'd be kindof interesting. Start with one or two main ingredients, make a dish or two and then post the recipes and pictures. Then other libriphiles could try the recipes and give feedback!

Maybe the podchef could be head judge?
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

kri
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Post by kri » February 8th, 2006, 6:28 pm

vee wrote:
Basically Kri, you're suggesting that we do an online iron chef? :) That'd be kindof interesting. Start with one or two main ingredients, make a dish or two and then post the recipes and pictures. Then other libriphiles could try the recipes and give feedback!
That was exactly the idea!

Of course you can improvise :P Your first tries may be a bit...well you can always make a backup meal :) Or you can watch the improvisations of others and steal their recipes. We could even structure it like we do the weekly poetry!

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 9th, 2006, 12:52 am

Gesine,
I'll put that caponata recipe in this thread tonight.

Peter

Izze
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Post by Izze » February 9th, 2006, 9:23 am

kri wrote:My fiance had an idea that we could all do the same ingredients and cook something up. That would be interesting! Then post the recipes of what we made.
Iron Chef: Librivox!!

But the funniest recipe I've ever seen came from my great-grandmother (she gave me her cookbook when I was ten or eleven). It called for lard, butter, shortening, and a bunch of other ingrediants that I couldn't even recognize. All I knew was that all I had was margerine, and no particular wish for a heart attack.

pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 9th, 2006, 9:54 am

If you believe the latest major study of fat and heart disease, which came out yesterday, your grandmother had nothing to worry about. They didn't mention stroke, though.
Paula B
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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 9th, 2006, 10:14 am

So, Iron Chef is something on tv? Sounds like "Ready Steady Cook" in the UK. Two teams bring in a bunch of ingredients (anything, but total under GBP10.00 I think), the chefs in the teams think up delicious recipes in about 20 seconds flat, and then they have 15 minutes to cook it all. There is another part in which there is only one bag of ingredients, and the two chefs each say what they would cook with them.

I like the idea of sharing favourite recipes, and of posting a list of ingredients and then everyone cooks something. The BBC site - http://www.bbc.co.uk/food has a recipe finder - one types in the key ingredients one has lying about, and it spits out recipes. I love that site; good source of inspiration.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein

vee
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Post by vee » February 9th, 2006, 10:57 am

Iron Chef is a japanese show, which was translated and rebroadcast in the US. We now have Iron Chef America host by Alton Brown and all the celebrity chef's (Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay...)

It's similar to Ready Set Cook, but on a very grand scale. There's a secret ingredient revealed right before they start, and you have this huge stadium of cooking equipment and supplies, and the chef's have two sous chef's for help. They create mind boggling stuff. Basically Ready Set Cook without the price limit :)
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 9th, 2006, 1:04 pm

Is there a copyright issue involved in posting recipes?
Paula B
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kri
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Post by kri » February 9th, 2006, 1:15 pm

No, it would be considered fair use as long as you credit the source.

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 9th, 2006, 4:38 pm

So, here's a recipe for caponata from Trattoria, by Patricia Wells, pub Kyle Cathie Ltd., plus my notes about alternatives.


Caponata

A close cousin of the French ratatouille, caponata is generally chunkier, accented with the crunch and flavour of celery and laced with the saltiness supplied by the olives and capers. I've sampled many versions of this Sicilian dish throughout Italy and even tasted one version?north of Venice?that included huge chunks of potatoes. You've succeeded at caponata if each vegetable manages to maintain its own integrity and texture. The vegetables should remain slightly firm, almost crunchy and should in no way turn to mush. This is achieved by carefully cooking the vegetables separately, then folding them together near the end. Note also, it's important to season this dish lightly as you cook, so in the end, no additional seasoning is necessary. The added step of blanching the olives makes the dish more sophisticated, for unblanched olives can add an aggressive edge. Caponata can be served warm or at room temperature, as part of an antipasto assortment, or as an accompaniment to roast meats or poultry.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings as an appetizer; half quantities are easy to do (except that you will only be using half a tin of tomatoes).

2 medium onions
2 red peppers
8 fl oz (250 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt to taste
One 16-oz (500 gm) can imported Italian plum tomatoes in juice or one 16-oz (500gm) can crushed tomatoes in puree
Several parsley stems, celery leaves and sprigs of thyme, tied in a bundle with cotton thread (I've never done this, as I can't see that it's likely to make much difference to the flavour.)
4 plump fresh garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 inner ribs celery with leaves,
diced 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (I've used dried thyme or oregano, about a level tsp, instead.)
1 firm medium aubergine (about 1 lb/500gm). (To be cubed, without being peeled, just before it's to be fried in step 3 below.)
2 tablespoons sugar
4fl oz (125 ml) best-quality red wine vinegar
5oz (150gm) drained pitted green olives (preserved in salt or brine, or see preparation section below)
2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed (if you can't find capers, you can use coarsely diced vinegar-pickled gherkins).
Optional: about a pound or less of potatoes, boiled in their skins, but still firm, and allowed to cool.

Preparation:

Peel the onions, trim the ends, cut horizontally in half and cut into thin vertical slices.
Cut the peppers into thin vertical strips, then halve each strip crosswise.
Slice the celery across into thick slices.

If using potatoes, cut into large cubes (2 cm? perhaps ? inch?).

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and vinegar and stir to dissolve. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1? pints (1 litre) of water to a boil over high heat. Add the olives and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Taste an olive: if it is still very salty, repeat the blanching. (Not being able to find salted olives, I've used olives in oil, instead, which saves blanching.)

Cooking:

1 In a deep 12-inch (30-cm) frying pan, combine the onions, 4 tablespoons of the oil and a pinch of salt and stir to coat the onions with oil. Cook over low heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the peppers and a pinch of salt. Cover and continue cooking for about 5 minutes more.
If using whole canned tomatoes, place a food mill over the pan and puree the tomatoes directly into it. Crushed tomatoes can be added directly from the can. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Add the herb bundle, if used, and garlic and taste for seasoning. Cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Do not overcook: the vegetables should be cooked through but still firm, not mushy. Remove and discard the herb bundle. Remove from the heat and set aside. (If you're only using one saucepan, empty the result into a bowl and wash and dry the pan.)

2 Meanwhile in another (or the same!) 12-inch (30-cm) frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the celery and cook until it is beginning to turn soft and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and season lightly with salt. Add the thyme (or oregano) and set aside.

3 In the pan in which the celery was cooked heat the remaining oil over moderate heat. When hot, add the aubergine and cook until lightly coloured, about 5 minutes. (The aubergine will soak up the oil immediately, but allow it to cook without added oil and keep the pan moving to avoid scorching.) The aubergine should remain firm.

4 Transfer the aubergine and the celery to the tomato mixture (or, if cooking in one pan, add the tomato mixture and celery to the aubergine in the pan). Taste for seasoning. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until the mixture takes on a soft, jam-like consistency, about 20 minutes (possibly less .. if too liquid, take the lid off for a while, stirring gently as you cook).

5 Add the sugar-vinegar mixture, the blanched olives and the capers (and, if using them, the cubed potatoes) to the vegetable mixture and simmer over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, but not chilled.
Last edited by Peter Why on February 10th, 2006, 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

kayray
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Post by kayray » February 9th, 2006, 4:49 pm

Oh my god, Peter, that looks so good! I love eggplant (aubergine) and bell peppers. And olives. And celery. And potatoes... actually, I love every ingredient in this dish.

*drool*
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

vee
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Post by vee » February 9th, 2006, 8:46 pm

now now kara, don't short out your keyboard :D
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 10th, 2006, 12:16 am

It is delicious. And the vinegar and the sharpness of the capers/gherkins nicely counteracts the richness of the rest of the ingredients.

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