Our situation so far: Today our heroine is a) sleep-deprived and b) on deadline. Tomorrow I’m tied up on parental business, starting in early morning — yet another all-day field trip to pad out the last weeks of the school year. I didn’t drive for the last one (to Lansing), so I volunteered for this one, fool that I am. It’s to Greenfield Village, which we visited with the Girl Scouts just last month. Which means I’m at risk for boredom. But. Because driving also involves chaperone duties, I won’t be able to duck out at lunch and find some Arab food. (If Greenfield Village is Dearborn’s No. 1 tourist attraction, Arab food has to be No. 2.) And because driving means packing your car with other people’s children, I won’t be able to stop at an Arab bakery (No. 3) on the way home, either. Even though it would be good and good for you, educational and tasty.
So today it’s one big post that will have to carry you through tomorrow. I know you, my little chiclets, are fully capable of bouncing the ball around for that long, and today/tomorrow you’re going to have help. Our regular reader/commenter Jolene told me to tuck this away for a rainy day (and whaddaya know, it is raining):
What’s your go-to kitchen favorite?
Inspired by this WashPost blog post, which has links to several great recipes within, we’re looking for dishes you can make in your sleep, those things you whip up when you want something simple and good, when takeout won’t satisfy. Nothing too complicated, please; let’s work under the assumption none of us has a lot of time, but still want to eat something good.
I’ll go first:
If Alan and I divorce, it will be over this dish, which we both once loved but Alan has recently declared himself sick to death of. Well, that just moves it onto the lunch menu, which I eat by myself most days. And it is?
Black beans and rice
One medium onion
One colored pepper of the stoplight family (green, red, yellow)
One 14-ounce can black beans
One or two cups of rice, uncooked
Start the rice. Dice the onion and pepper and saute in oil (I prefer olive, but just-plain will do) until tender, then add beans (drained or undrained, depending on whether you like it soupy). Lower the heat and wait for the rice to finish. When it’s done and the beans are warmed through, make a bed of rice and ladle the beans on top. That’s it.
What I like about this dish is its tabula rasa-ness — you can add so much to it or just leave it alone. Tomatoes, hot peppers/sauce, leftover chicken, other vegetables, whatever you like that traditionally marries well with beans — it’s all good. It’s both a protein and a high-fiber gut-scrubber, which means it builds both muscles and farts. While you’re eating it, take note that beans and rice is a staple dish across the globe and has been for as long as both plants have been in cultivation. Four billion souls can’t be wrong.
What’s yours? Anyone who contributes Arab-food recipes gets extra points for making that stupid opening paragraph have a hidden point.
* Inside joke for Fort Wayners: Pat Parsley was the byline on the recipe-exchange column in my old newspaper. The woman who wrote it, most weeks, was named Susan. More MSM lies!
Kevin said on May 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm
Great topic. Here are two of mine. The first one is predicated on liking cilantro and not finding it to taste like soap:
CILANTRO CHICKEN SALAD
– Cooked chicken, shredded or diced
– 1 bunch cilantro
Chop half the head of cilantro. Add to chicken. Add enough mayonnaise to moisten. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Before serving, taste and add salt/pepper as needed.
This is good with chopped red or green onion or a handful of sunflower kernels.
– 1 frozen pie crust
– 1 1/2 cups half and half
– 3 eggs
– 6 oz. shredded cheese
– Whatever else you like
Put cheese into frozen pie crust. Whisk up eggs and half and half. Pour over top. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and 350 for 40 minutes more, until top looks done.
“Mexican” version: use white cheese, cheddar, a can of drained chopped green chilis, and a pinch of cumin. “Summer” version: use thinly sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and fresh basil leaves. Just about anything in your kitchen will work fine if you follow the basic eggs-dairy-crust recipe.
Jason T. said on May 14, 2008 at 12:15 pm
Ah, small town newspapering.
For a brief period of time at a newspaper, I was a dog during the annual Christmas charity fund drive. (I forget why a dog was the mascot.) But the stories had to be written from the dog’s perspective.
I didn’t mind writing the stories, but the guys in the press room got tired of having to put down fresh paper for me every day. (Rimshot)
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 12:15 pm
Shepherds Pie. Any leftover cooked meat – chicken, beef, pork, or browned ground beef – preferably mixed with leftover homemade gravy but store bought gravy or various canned soups work. Stir in the frozen or canned veg of your choice. Top with mashed potatoes. Always made from scratch at my house. Occasionally topped with a box of Stove Top mixed as directed on box then plopped on top. It gets nicely crispy around the edges. Bake until hot and bubbly.
Probably a high sodium option, but oh well, at least it has a veg!!
I will note that my husband browns ground beef in bulk in packs it in one lb lots in a freezer bag. Sometimes with onions, sometimes not.
After many years of scratch cooking, our week night dinners are now quick and easy, and yes, we used processed foods. Our latest fave has been thin sliced polish sausage and cabbage, both sauteed in a frying pan together. Scratch cooking is reserved for the weekends. I am, by the way, famous for my pork loin roast with homemade gravy, cooked the way my Dutch grandma cooked it every Sunday.
ellen said on May 14, 2008 at 12:21 pm
I’ll give you an Arab recipe. This is one of my five easy every-night dishes. Original recipe is from Brit chef Nigel Slater’s 30-Minute Meals, but I have modified because I am even lazier. We eat it so often that it is the main reason I planted mint in my garden.
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-3 T lemon juice
2-3 T olive oil
1 T garlic
1 tsp each cinnamon and red pepper flakes
1/4 cup (or one kid-size/single-serving box) of raisins
mint for garnish
1 single serving container of plain yogurt
1 cup dry couscous
1 cup boiling water
Make the marinade. Cut up the chicken breasts into stir-fry size pieces. Put the chicken in the marinade for anywhere from 10 min to all day, depending on when you remember to do this. Remove chicken from marinade and saute in med-high skillet w/a little oil until cooked through. Add the marinade for the last few minutes of cooking.
Put the dry coucous in a corningware dish. Microwave water in a pyrex measuring cup until it boils. Pour it on the couscous. Let steam for about 5 min. Throw a little butter/marg and salt and pepper on the cous cous and let sit for 2 more min.
Put the chicken (along w/raisiny marinade “sauce”) on top of the couscous. Chop a little of the mint and garnish the chicken. Drizzle w/plain yogurt at the table, if you want to cut the heat a little.
Even my 3 little kids eat this. I serve it w/steamed broccoli on the side.
moe99 said on May 14, 2008 at 12:39 pm
Cathy D. said on May 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm
I tend to go-to somewhere else to eat….
LAMary said on May 14, 2008 at 1:15 pm
Two meals worth of baked ziti (or three if you don’t have teenaged boys)
One of the huge cans of S&W crushed tomatoes from Costco
about a quarter cup of olive oil
one minced onion, about baseball sized
five or six cloves of chopped garlic
teaspoon of fresh or dried rosemary
ground black pepper
one eight ounce container of ricotta
one pound of mozzarella
two pounds of ziti or penne
saute the onion in the olive oil
add the garlic and turn down the heat
dump the whole can of crushed tomatoes in the pot
add the rosemary and as much black pepper as you like
cook the ziti or penne
when done and drained, mix the pasta with all but about two cups of the tomato sauce
spread a thick layer of sauced pasta in a lasagna pan
top with chunks of mozzarella and ricotta
make another layer of the rest of the pasta
top with the rest of the cheeses
spread the rest of the tomato sauce over the top
bake at 375 until everything is melty and hot
Aargh. I forgot to say you will have enough sauce to make this dish TWICE. Freeze half the sauce. You’ll still have enough to cover the two pounds of pasta, and on some day when you don’t feel like doing much, you’ve got a lot more sauce right there in the freezer.
Dexter said on May 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm
Assalamu alaikum! Let’s go find the ha’lal chicken! Lots of curry anything for me, please.
beb said on May 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm
I, uh, don’t cook but one of our favorite dishes (we found it in a magazine) is frightenly easy to prepare. You saute some onions and bacon together, while boiling some diced potatos. When the spuns are cooked to the consistency you like, drain and combine with onion, bacon, plus two cans of whole kernel corn and two large cans of diced tomatoes. Cook under low heat until everythings warm and has had a chance to comingle.
I like Connie’s husband’s idea of browning hamburger then freezing it. We’ve tended to freeze pounds of uncooked meat and thawing them out has noever gone well. Hot water takes a hour or more to penetrate to the center. Boiling it in water makes it leathery. Thawing pre-browned meat sounds like a nifty time and flavor saver.
nancy said on May 14, 2008 at 1:34 pm
LAM, you have 30 minutes to edit a comment once it’s posted. I went ahead an added your postscript to the original recipe.
Which, I might add, I’m printing and saving for the next potluck-for-a-crowd I need to bring a dish to, which should be in about three weeks. I have to say, though, that doesn’t look like enough cheese for that much pasta. One 8-oz carton of ricotta?
LAMary said on May 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm
It’s the smaller size cup of ricotta, not the big honking one. Maybe it’s ten ounces? I’m at work so I can’t check the fridge. It’s not an overly cheesey dish, but the rosemary flavor mixes in with the cheeses which is very nice.
Jolene said on May 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm
These recipes sound great! More please. Am wishing I could invite myself to your respective houses for dinner.
alex said on May 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm
Kevin, if cilantro tastes like soap to you it’s because your body requires a certain enzyme in order for it to taste good. My father lacks that enzyme so I’ve learned not to put cilantro in his food when I’m preparing dinner for company. Glad he didn’t hand that gene down to me.
My fave dish? It’s an Ethiopian recipe. To those unfamiliar with this cuisine, you might assume, as I did many years ago, that Ethiopians aren’t known for eating so how can they be known for their cuisine? Well, a good thing doesn’t remain a secret for long. Fort Wayne even has an Ethiopian restaurant these days.
Anyway, it’s a lentil salad and I promise you lentils have never tasted so wonderful. Just boil a one-pound bag of ’em. In a separate container–I usually use my measuring cup–mix 3 tablespoons vinegar and 3 tablespoons olive oil and stir in one teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Finely chop eight shallots or two onions and mix with the beans. Pour on the dressing and stir the beans around in it. It may not look like much dressing, but you really don’t want to go any stronger than that with the vinegar. Refrigerate and serve cold.
It’s savory. It cleans you out. It gives you so much energy if you eat it for breakfast that you won’t even feel hungry at lunch time. Some of the Ethiopian restaurants I’ve visited add other ingredients like finely chopped carrot. The way it’s served at the Ethiopian Diamond in Chicago is my fave. If I were a death-row inmate, their lentil salad would be my last request. (And the sauteed mussels from my fave tapas place, which I have absolutely no idea how to make.)
Jen said on May 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm
I rarely cook anything other than mac & cheese and spaghetti, but I help my fiance cook, usually by chopping vegetables or something. But, one of my favorite super-easy recipes is my mom’s really cheap casserole. You pour a bunch of raw macaroni into a casserole dish and mix in cream of mushroom soup, hard-boiled egg, little pieces of whatever kind of meat you want (I often use Carl Budding brand beef, but I’ve also used canned chicken) and cheese. Also, you can put salt and paper in it. Then, you pour a bunch of milk on it, mix it up and leave it sit for about 24 hours in the fridge. The milk will get the macaroni soft. Then you bake it in the oven for about an hour at about 350 degrees. It sounds a little weird but actually tastes pretty good, and a dish full can feed a lot of people because it’s a pretty heavy casserole.
My fiance’s favorite thing to make is a skillet breakfast, where he mixes eggs, sausage, and frozen potatoes in a skillet. He usually adds some onion in there, too, and the frozen potatoes have little pieces of red and green pepper in it. We also ate chili quite often this winter, where we mixed a little can of tomato paste, a pound of browned ground beef (usually browned with some chili powder and onions in it), some water, a can of kidney beans, a bunch of chili powder and some various other stuff – usually a little garlic powder and onion salt or whatever.
I can definitely see us getting into a major rut with only about 10 recipes, since we probably ate chili between 5 and 10 times just from January to March.
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm
Easy stuffed shells: Use Mary’s cheese mix or whatever ricotta/parmesan/egg/mozzarella mix you usually use for lasagna. Add to that one box frozen chopped spinach. Cook large size pasta shells as directed, then fill with your cheese/spinach mix. Be brave, get your hands messy. Layer with your favorite marinara sauce, home made or store bought, top with mozzarella and bake. Great for big groups because one shell is an easy single serving. Or for just the two of you: Use half the shells, freeze the other half for your next meal. On a cookie sheet first so they don’t get all frozen together in a lump. Great vegetarian option that the meat eaters will like.
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm
That reminds me. Not so long ago I commented about southern Indiana not having been my favorite place to live. When we first moved there we could not find ricotta in any of the grocery stores. To buy it we had to drive 30 miles to the bigger town up the road. We also drove the hour to Bloomington whenever we needed to eat Chinese.
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm
My only experience with Ethiopian food was several years ago at Daniel’s Cafe in Ligonier, Indiana. Yes, little Ligonier. Daniel, an Ethiopian immigrant took over a Main St restaurant. During the week he served the usual breakfast and lunch menu and served coffee to all the downtowners, but on Saturdays he served Ethiopian food by reservation only. No forks, the almost purple unleavened bread was also your utensil. In general it was too spicy for me, but there was a cold pureed vegetable mix that I loved. The hard boiled egg sitting in the spicy sauce over my chicken seemed extremely odd. I don’t know if it is still open or still serving Ethiopian but did find this info on the web: Daniels Ligonier Cafe. (260) 894-4901. 319 S Cavin St, Ligonier, IN 46767
Dexter said on May 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm
Black beans and rice , I associate with Caribbean dishes, usually flavored with hocks and ground red pepper.
My fave beans and rice recipe uses red beans, like the staple New Orleans food. The most popular New Orleans diner meal is meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and red beans and rice.
In New York, halal vendors now provide for the local workers, and hot dogs are now sold mostly to tourists.
It’s cheap and good, when a falafel just won’t do.
Dorothy said on May 14, 2008 at 2:56 pm
My mom used to make this dish she called Tuna Fish Roll-Up. My husband and I still love to eat it. It’s better in the fall and winter on a chilly day, but when you’re in the mood for it, that’s a good time too.
You’ll need to have a large can of tuna on hand, and a can of cream of mushroom soup (with apologies to those of you who have previously stated your non-use of canned soup!)
1 large can of tuna (albacore is okay, but not necessary)
1 raw egg
1 stalk of celery, chopped finely
1 small onion, grated
1 heaping tablespoon of dry baking mix (like Bisquick, but I use Jiffy mix)
freshly grated black pepper to taste
Mix all of the above and set aside. Then mix up 2 cups of baking mix and 2/3 cup of milk (this is how you make Bisquick biscuits). You might need to add a little more dry mix because you don’t want this dough to be overly wet. Sprinkle some dry mix on the countertop first, and form the dough into a flat circle. Put the dough on the prepared countertop. Use the rolling pin to make a rectangle of sorts, and roll out the dough. In the very center of it place the wet tuna mixture, then flap over first one long side and then the other, finally crimping up the top & bottom. Transfer to a baking sheet which has had a quick spray of non-stick stuff like Pam.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes. While it’s cooking make the cream of mushroom soup with milk in a sauce pot. Don’t use the entire can of milk – you can fill the can about 3/4 of the way. This will make the sauce a little thicker.
Once the loaf is baked, slice it into sections and pour some of the soup mixture over top. Enjoy.
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm
For New Orleans recipes and other food porn check out http://gumbopages.com . I am a big fan of his Looka! blog, and use his red beans and rice recipe when I want to make it real. (If I just want to eat some quick I use a box from the store.) Also note that he blogged on Ashley’s death too.
I don’t miss my Cajun ex-sister-in-law, but I do miss her cooking as well as having relatives to visit in Cajun country.
This one’s hers: Partially cook bacon. Wrap each strip of bacon around one large already cooked and pink shrimp. Stick in a toothpic to hold it together, try do it in such a way that it can lie flat on either side in the pan. Marinate in a mixture of olive oil and Don’s blackened seasoning or whatever cajun seasoning you have around. Cook in a hot cast iron pan until the bacon is done. She alway insisted it had to be a cast iron pan so I get out my cast iron pan.
Kirk said on May 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm
Brown a couple of pork chops. Stir together a can of mushroom soup and a third to a half soup can of cheap white wine and pour it over the chops in the skillet. Stick it all in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or so, then open it up and put a couple or three thin slices of swiss cheese on top of each chop. Cook another 10 minutes or so. Serve with veggy of your choice.
nancy said on May 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm
Connie, the hard-boiled egg in the sauce over the chicken is a little alpha-omega joke, or so I was told by the couple who introduced me to Ethiopian food.
Mindy said on May 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm
Here’s a quick version of the time and labor intensive favorite, stuffed cabbage. Serve over cooked rice or hot egg noodles.
12 ounces lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 medium-size head green cabbage
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Crumble beef into a Dutch oven. Add onions and cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until beef is lightly browned. Quarter and core cabbage. Cut crosswise into inch-wide strips. Add to meat mixture. Cover and cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cabbage wilts. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender.
For dessert –
Mousse in Almost a Minute
1 7-ounce Hershey’s Symphony Creamy milk chocolate candy bar (plain)
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate over low heat. Gradually add melted chocolate to whipped cream. Eat.
nancy said on May 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm
Jen’s first recipe sounds like Amish food. Not that Jen is Amish, but that is Hoosier country cookin’ of the mix-it-up/(some intermediate step)/cook-until-bubbly variety. I know no one here cares, but every so often I see some “Amish” recipe in a food magazine, and the picture features something ridiculous like chopped cilantro sprinkled across the top, and people? I scoff.
We used to run a column in the paper called The Amish Cook, and that’s where I learned about a Plain haute cuisine dish called the Haystack, which is basically a buffet line featuring cooked plain spaghetti, ground beef, tomatoes, various chopped veggies, sometimes melted cheese and sometimes crushed Saltine crackers. You start with the spaghetti, add crackers, then beef, then veggies, and keep piling until you have a giant pile of about two million calories, then you ladle on the cheese or whatever wet stuff is at the end and eat.
I always wanted to see some contestant come up with that on Top Chef, so I could watch Tom Colicchio’s eyes bug right out of his head.
LAMary said on May 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm
There’s usually one contestant on Top Chef who makes “foams” of various flavors. To me they look like cat sick.
whitebeard said on May 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm
All those recipes made me hungry so I went to the icebox for the leftovers from last night’s dinner. My wife layers bits of cooked chicken, canned spinach (inexpensive Popeye brand from Aldi’s) and cream cheese in a baking dish and tosses it in the oven. I love it, even though I was thrown off chicken when my Dad raised chickens (five meals a week) and traded the eggs for sugar coupons so he could make his own beer. He also raised Giant Flemish rabbits who were so big and so mean the foxes didn’t stand a chance.
JGW said on May 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm
Well there’s no way a foodie like me can pass this post without adding something.
Since we’re playing Arabic food, I have to suggest the basics. In a few months when your garden explodes with squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and herbs, this is a veggie dish and a winner.
2 large or four small eggplants
salt for sprinkling on the eggplant
2 large white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced tomato, fresh or canned
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley for garnish
1. Prepare the eggplants: Large eggplants should be stemmed and cut in half lengthwise. Cut slits into the eggplant flesh to allow salt to penetrate into the fruit. Small eggplants should be stemmed and slit lengthwise to create a pocket. (Do not cut all the way through the eggplant.)
2. Salt the eggplants: Sprinkle cut edges of large or small eggplants with salt. Set aside in a colander in a sink to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water. Squeeze and pat dry.
3. Fry the eggplants: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add the eggplant (halves or whole small) and fry over medium high heat until lightly browned and just beginning to soften. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
4. Make the stuffing: Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Fry onion until golden (not brown). Add tomato and garlic. Cook for another five minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool.
5. Have ready a large skillet with a tight fitting lid that is big enough to hold the eggplant in one layer. Stuff the small whole eggplant with the onion-tomato mixture. Place the large eggplant halves in the skillet and top with the stuffing, pushing onion-tomato mixture into the slits. Spoon any leftover stuffing over the eggplants. Add remaining oil and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan by about one inch. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover pan. Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 30-40 minutes, or until eggplant is very tender. Add more water if necessary.
6. Serve hot or at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator overnight to serve cold or room temperature. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Stuffed eggplants may be baked in a covered dish. Garnish with lemon juice, coriander, olives or capers for an extra touch
This next dish is very simple and very good, and usually can be made with stuff on hand:
Penne Alla Silvanna
1 Tbs. salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4 lb. penne pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
1 10-oz. box frozen spinach, thawed, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbs. butter, cut into pieces
6 tbs. freshly grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large covered pot, heat a gallon of water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil. When it boils add the pasta, stir well, and cover until it returns to the boil uncover and boil until just tender to the bite all the way through.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In the skillet with a lid large enough to hold the pasta later on, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and mix well. Add the heavy cream, mix, and simmer until slightly thickened.
3. Reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, drain the pasta in a colander. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and mix well, adding a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water if needed to coat the pasta evenly. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Taste for salt. Mixing with a wooden spoon, add the butter, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 4 appetizer servings.
Also, shameless plug here but I just bought a Cuisinart Stand Mixer. Had wanted the Kitchen Aid for years but lately they have plastic gearboxes, and not much power. My Cuisinart has 500 watts of power and has cool attachments.
I’m presently in the grind your ownn hamburger mode (1/2 untrimmed brisket, 1/2 sirloin), and last week I made way too many homemade brats and maple breakfast sausages.
Finally, I wanted to call everyone’s attention to this post on SeriousEats… Just in case anyone needs Han Solo frozen in Carbonite ice cubes!
KarenNM said on May 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm
I may be adventurous this weekend and try some of these yummy-sounding dishes. I have a four-year-old in my house, so I don’t have anything too creative, but this has become a staple because it’s easy to do after work, everyone will eat it, and it includes veggies. I use regular spaghetti noodles, leftover chicken, and whatever veggies are on hand. We use Newman’s Own Light Asian Dressing, and throw it all in the pan together (no pretty presentation in our house).
1 pound whole-wheat udon noodles (or regular spaghetti)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup cucumbers, julienned
1/4 cup scallions
1/2 cup snow peas, sliced
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
1 deli rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup bottled Asian sesame dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
Prepare the whole-wheat udon noodles—or regular spaghetti, if that’s the way it has to be—according to package directions.
Prepare the toppings and place in small bowls: shredded carrots, julienned cucumbers, chopped scallions, sliced snow peas, chopped peanuts, chopped fresh cilantro, and shredded rotisserie chicken.
For the sauce, blend together the bottled Asian sesame dressing (our favorite is Annie’s Naturals) with the peanut butter.
Serve the toppings, noodles, and peanut sauce (mixed in or on the side—you know your family better than we do).
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm
Churches around here will have haystack dinners instead of the usual spaghetti dinner. Nancy, you forgot the chow mein noodles.
Whoops. I am so used to having my name blank filled in by the cookie, I forgot I totally cleaned my hard drive last night, and wordpress made me start my post over. After two years of trying to figure out how to get rid of what looked to be 200,000 invisible temporary internet files I finally found some software that could see them. Turns out there were only 176,000, and they’re GONE!!
JGW said on May 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm
Not actually food related but I have a parenting question…
Hypothetically speaking, would I be a mean parent if I convinced the ice cream man to park for a few minutes and let me record that cloying “pop goes the weasel” song just so I could play the WAV file in the background on my computer and drive my nine year old nuts? Not that I would do such a thing……
brian stouder said on May 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm
(Last year the young folks nearly drove me insane with the incessant “DEE DEE DEE DOO DAH; DEE DEE DEE DOO DAH” of Webkinz games; worse even than Nintendo’s Mario music loop, years ago)
LAMary said on May 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm
I remember the Mario music loop. Hours of it.
whitebeard said on May 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm
My wife said to add some Feta cheese to the baked chicken/spinach dish to get a little zing.
Julie Robinson said on May 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm
The Amish Cook is still in the N-S on Tuesdays, though written by the daughter of the original author, who has passed on. Yesterdays recipe was Yumasetti, which included noodles, 3 lbs. hamburger, 3 cans of cream soup, along with sour cream, 10 slices of bread, and I think you get the idea.
I don’t use canned cream soup because of all the chemicals but it’s incredibly easy to make your own white sauce: melt 3T butter, add 3T flour and whisk in, then 1c milk and keep going with the whisk until it thickens. Less than 5 minutes and it can be the base for lots of good cookin.
That recipe is from my all time favorite cookbook, More With Less, by Doris Longacre. The author was a Mennonite and the book is full of good and cheap recipes. If you lower the fat and sodium they can also be very healthy.
Jolene said on May 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm
Like some others here, my everyday cooking doesn’t warrant much comment, but here’s a recipe that my mom used to make and that always shows up on the table when I and my grown-up sibs visit. It’s good for lots of people and quick to make for casual meals. I made it for a 4-H demonstration when I was, maybe, 12 and won a blue ribbon.
We called it barbecue, but what did we know? We were in North Dakota. It’s really a sort of meatier (because no tomatoes) version of sloppy joes.
1 lb. hamburger
chopped onions (maybe 1/2 cup?)
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp French’s mustard (at least that’s what we used)
1 can Campbell’s chicken gumbo soup
salt & pepper
Brown hamburger with onions. Toss in everything else and cook for 20-30 minutes. Serve on buns.
With chips, salad, baked beans, or whatever, this is a good alternative to pizza for a TV-watching evening. Good warmed-up too.
OK, now I’m embarrassed.
Dexter said on May 14, 2008 at 6:09 pm
Very nice thread today with many ideas. Now , since many on this blog love words, here is a throw-back to the Grantland Rice style of sports reporting, a hundred years ago. This style was de rigueur then. In THIS INSTALLMENTRobert Weintraub mimics the old style, called purple prose, in describing a recent baseball game.
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 6:28 pm
Jolene, change the soup to Campbell’s tomato, add a quarter cup of brown sugar, and you’ve got the recipe I also grew up calling barbecue. Must be served with chips so you have something with which to scoop up the bits that fall off the bun onto your plate.
Julie just gave us a basic white sauce recipe. I have learned to heat my milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave and it thickens almost instantly.
Then add one jar of dried beef, shredded, and lots of diced hard boiled eggs and serve over toast. As kids we loved this, we called it creamed eggs on toast. I learned many years later that it had other names that weren’t quite so nice.
And JGW, I had my first hearing of the season of the dreaded Pop Goes the Weasel ice cream song just a few minutes ago.
nancy said on May 14, 2008 at 6:34 pm
Shit on a shingle! (Thanks, American GIs.)
Connie said on May 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm
According to the Uncyclopedia the ice cream truck was originally conceived by the US military as an instrument of torture. http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream_truck
alex said on May 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm
Not sure what’s all the mystique surrounding Amish cooking. I’ve been to a few Amish places and the fare’s about the same as the slop you’d find at one of those third-rate strip mall cafeteria/smorgasbord/all-u-can-eateries. Only with flies all over it.
Not long ago went to Middlebury, where the Amish have a conference center and boast great German food. Was hoping for wiener schnitzel. Instead they had the slop. I ordered beef and noodles. Should have been called Sodium with beef and noodles. I’m still trying to rehydrate to this very day.
Here’s another lentil recipe, this one Hungarian-style and handed down by my paternal grandmother. Boil your beans in one pot. In another pan, fry about ten pieces of chopped up bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside the bacon, then sautee a couple of large onions, sliced, until tender and transparent. Add 2-3 heaping tablespoons of flour and continue cooking until it browns. Add water until it thickens to a nice pasty roux. Dump it in the undrained beans and bring to a low boil. Add a shitload of paprika until it’s got a nice red cast to it. Let simmer for a while. When ready to serve, add back the bacon and stir in a splash of vinegar. Top servings with a dollop of sour cream.
whitebeard said on May 14, 2008 at 8:00 pm
Re: Inside joke for Fort Wayners: Pat Parsley was the byline on the recipe-exchange column in my old newspaper. The woman who wrote it, most weeks, was named Susan. More MSM lies!
The nickname Pat Parsley was better than my name “Sew What’s New” for a sewng column in my old newspaper where you could order sew-it-yourself patterns. I also had a pollution gauge each day and if you were downwind from the refineries east of Montreal the sulphur fumes would eat holes in pantyhose, which was somewhat disturbing and scary too.
Colleen said on May 14, 2008 at 8:08 pm
“Fry about ten pieces of bacon”.
Yeah. That’s the Hungarian part all right!
moe99 said on May 14, 2008 at 8:15 pm
Ok, OT for a little politics but did anyone see that the president gave up golf to show solidarity with the families who have lost sons and daughters in the Iraq war? I didn’t think my jaw could drop any lower…..
brian stouder said on May 14, 2008 at 8:22 pm
Dexter, thank you. That link gave me my laugh of the day (twice!)
Two outs later, the Owl licked the lollipop, and the Pelagics took the lead. The District Dandies had a couple of cracks at Sunshine State Pen Men, but neither Renyel “Lemon” Pinto nor Kevin “Mild-Mannered Reporter” Gregg allowed their drinks to be Mickeyed, and the brooming was confirmed when Jesus “Soft J, Easy to K” Flores tapped a bulge back to the astigmatic Gregg. A septenary sweeping. And it is no Deadly Sin to take Pride in the feat, Ye Fans of the Fishes.
Suzi said on May 14, 2008 at 8:38 pm
Easy variation on bracciole:
1 package of 6 or so cube steaks
sm tub of ricotta
box of frozen spinach
a jar of nice red sauce
seasonings – dried basil, salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, grey poupon mustard
some pasta for a side
nuke the spinach to get it thawed or thaw it ahead of time
squish as much water out of it as you can
mix the spinach w/ about half the ricotta and season with s&p, basil, some garlic to taste and nutmeg if you like nutmeg with spinach — just a couple of grates of a nutmeg or a very small pinch
spoon a couple of Ts of the mustard into a small dish so you can spoon it onto each raw cube steak — this is a critical ingredient. I forgot it once and it just didn’t taste as good.
So you spread one side of each steak w/mustard and then spoon the spinach/ricotta mix down the middle of the meat — not too much, because you’re gonna roll each one up and brown them carefully in a large skillet or non-stick pan. You can pin each one with a toothpick after it’s rolled, but sometimes I don’t. If some of the cheese and spinach leaks out, it’s OK. Place them carefully in your warm pan that you’ve poured a couple of Ts of olive oil in and with tongs turn them as they brown so all sides are brown. When the meat is pretty well browned all over, pour your red sauce over and bring to a slow simmer. Serve up with spaghetti or whatever pasta you like. Makes a nice hot, satisfying meal and is easy and quick.
Suzi said on May 14, 2008 at 8:45 pm
the references to the old columns makes me feel nostalgic about the days of the old Roto supplement in the Sat News Sentinel or “News and Sentinel” that oldtimers still refer to.
Jolene said on May 14, 2008 at 9:05 pm
I did see that interview, moe99, and I had the same reaction. It’s unbelievable, really, what’s happened over the past seven+ years. Only 250 more days.
Jolene said on May 14, 2008 at 9:17 pm
Here’s a slightly more sophisticated recipe than the one for barbecue. I can’t claim that I make it any old Tuesday, but one could. Nothing exotic, but really good flavors.
It’s meant to be a recipe for cold chicken served elegantly on a bed of greens for a cold supper. That works, but it also works to serve the chicken as part of a hot meal, and leftovers are good for sandwiches. This recipe is meant to serve eight.
Mustard Chicken with Mixed Greens
For the dressing, assuming you’re taking the bed of greens approach.
1 c. olive oil
6 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small shallots, minced
3/4 tsp. sugar
Combine all ingredients and add salt and pepper as you like.
Marinade for chicken
1/2 c Dijon mustard* (I use the really grainy kind)
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
8 boneless chicken breasts
Combine ingredients in large baking dish and add chicken, turning to coat. Chill overnight or marinate at room temperature for as much time as you have.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake chicken until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool. Thinly slice chicken crosswise.
Toss 12 c. salad greens w/ enough dressing to coat and arrange chicken on top, drizzling a bit of the dressing over the sliced chicken.
*It’s unclear in my hand-written recipe whether this is supposed to be 1/4 or 1/2 c. of mustard, so you’ll have to see how it looks when you’re putting it together. It’s a marinade, not a cake, so it’s easy to adjust.
Deborah said on May 14, 2008 at 9:49 pm
Nancy your phrase, “I know you, my little chiclets”, reminds me of an art story…
Contemporary artist Jeff Koons’ (who is having an upcoming exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Contmporary Art, a few blocks from where I live) former wife is Ilona Staller, Some people know her better as Cicciolina. She was an Italian porn star, who became a TV weather person and later an Italian politician. She got her nickname Cicciolina while she was a weather person. She used to present the late night weather forcast and then lean into the camera with her cleavage and say “goodnight my little sausages”. Little sausages in Italian is “cicciolina” (according to my source, anyway).
Was that your intended reference?
JGW said on May 14, 2008 at 10:21 pm
OK, we have to put the brakes on this thread now before I have to move this from my news links (which is a stretch but maintained mostly due to Nancy’s rep and Tim Goeglein’s twisting in the wind) to my food links, like ahamburgertoday.com or slice.com, or the curious but always interesting offthebroiler which is 75% food and 25% linux and open source software news.
But let me get one or two foodie hints in — we’ve discussed a few Campbells soups for recipe use but the two secret weapons in my culinary closet are also from Campbells. When a recipe calls for beef broth I cheat and use the Campbells beef consume, especially for sauces or gravies. I also swear by their golden mushroom soup for some concoctions.
brian stouder said on May 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm
“I know you, my little chiclets”
Personally, I always liked it when Madam Telling Tales referred to us as her “poppets”
Jolene said on May 14, 2008 at 10:48 pm
Craig Ferguson, of the CBS Late Late Show, refers to his audience as “my cheeky little monkeys” or “my naughty little donkeys” or variations thereof. I like ’em all, but it’s the Scottish accent that does it.
Jolene said on May 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm
I’m just now looking at a piece in which the PBS NewsHour (recorded earlier) is interviewing Burmese people in the US about what they’ve heard from family members about the cyclone. And where in the US are they? Why, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Who’d’a thunk it?
MichaelG said on May 14, 2008 at 11:36 pm
I saw that WAPO weeny’s shrimp recipe. Huh. Here’s a shrimp dish. You eat it with friends and wine and beer and mojitos and a nice green salad. Get some of those frozen shrimp of the large persuasion. They’ve already been slit up the back and the, er, alimentary canal excised. Get your stuff ready. Some chopped garlic, olive oil, some soy, some sherry, red pepper flakes, some fish sauce and if there is anything special in your arsenal add or delete. This is to your taste. Add some salt and pepper.
Get a large frying pan or wok. Get it hot. No. I mean hot! Now splash in the olive oil, add the shrimp and toss. Wait a sec, then start adding the other ingredients starting with the garlic. Toss. Add the rest of the ingredients. Toss. Toss some more. When ready (don’t over cook) turn out into a large bowl and put on the table with an extra bowl for the shells. Yeah, you gotta peel them yourself. Your fingers get all messy. On a warm Sunday afternoon with friends . . . Other than chopping the garlic it takes seconds to prepare.
MichaelG said on May 14, 2008 at 11:48 pm
Oh yeah, and Brian. I noted that “my little chiclets” remark but wasn’t sure what to make of it. Is there something I don’t know about?
velvet goldmine said on May 14, 2008 at 11:54 pm
How about Turkish? This one’s called The Priest Has Fainted. It’s a cool alternative to Ratatouille — good for when all your ‘maters and eggplants and such are coming in.
This is a cut and paste from another Web site, because I’m lazy. It’s close enough to what I have written down, although I took the “optional” out of the seasonings. Do you want that priest to faint or don’t you?!?
1 large eggplant
1 large onion
1 medium tomato
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup currants, golden raisins, or dried fruit of your c
½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
pinch of sugar (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the eggplant and cut into small cubes to promote quick cooking. Chop the onion and tomato. Sauté the eggplant, onion, and tomato in olive oil over medium heat. Cover the pan to speed up the cooking, if desired, reducing heat slightly.
When nearly done (about 6 to 7 minutes), add the currants plus the optional cinnamon and a touch of sugar or sweetener. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. The cooking time will vary, so watch the eggplant, not the clock. The dish will cook in 15 minutes or less.
Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. The dish can be served hot or left to reach room temperature, then refrigerated and served very cold. This dish works very well both ways.
Recipe serves 4.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 15, 2008 at 12:17 am
My only cooking secret is adding celery seed to green bean casserole, otherwise i’m with the whole French’s Original French Fried Onion label recipe.
That, and the breakfast casserole made with White Castles.
My lentil stew is very tomato-based, Alex; is that wrong? I’ve been told that this is the sin against the Holy Spirit, but i do start with much bacon. The tomato paste and crushed tomatoes go in after the carrots are nice and crunchy-soft, by which time the onions should be just a bit brown around the edges.
Dexter said on May 15, 2008 at 12:51 am
Craig Ferguson rules late-night. Funny as hell and the best interviewer of the lot. Ferguson’s Prince Charles kills.
Dorothy said on May 15, 2008 at 6:59 am
to JGW – I have a great broccoli casserole recipe that uses the Campbell’s golden mushroom soup. It’s the bomb. I swear it’s because of the soup.
alex said on May 15, 2008 at 8:28 am
Jeff, I don’t know from sin. Sounds heavenly to me. Bacon redeems just about anything.
brian stouder said on May 15, 2008 at 8:43 am
A real sin – from a (funny) interview with Dontrelle Willis, a Detroit Tiger
Kenny Mayne: You know, Detroit is Motown. Who are your favorite Motown artists?
DW: I don’t have any. I was born in ’82, so I’m a little more new-school.
but then he redeems himself, and his sins are forgiven
KM: What TV show is appointment viewing for you?
DW: The Wire, baby. I stayed home one day because I was sick and watched 12 episodes straight. We actually played in Baltimore two years ago, and I wanted to ride around. People told me not to.
(I’d say the ‘people’ were right! Reading American history, I don’t think Baltimore has EVER been a place where “riding around” was a wise idea!)
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 9:13 am
Keith Olberman did a great rant last night about W giving up golf for the troops.
As to Amish food, it is very bland and plain, I think of it as white food. As in food color, not diner’s color. I have been to Essenhaus and Blue Gate for their Amish family style menus, and to several of the group dining at an Amish home/farm places, and the food is pretty much the same.
Expect chicken and ham, mashed potatoes and noodles, a couple of vegs, and yeast rolls served with that dreadful Amish peanut butter. And pie. Although I did have the best coleslaw at ever at one of those farms, though I think it was the chunks of crispy bacon that make me say that.
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 9:21 am
OK, ancestral ethnic recipes, here’s a Dutch one containing all those classic Dutch ingredients: pork, potatoes, cabbage, barley, drippings. Then there’s also grandma’s disgusting favorite, buttermilk barley soup.
This is called boeskool (boooskole), or farmer cabbage.
First cook enough barley to get about a cup of cooked. Then fill your biggest kettle with potatoes and boil. When the potatoes are almost done slice one head of cabbage over the potatoes. Cover and continue cooking until the cabbage is done. Meanwhile fry up a mess of pork steak. When the cabbage is done, drain, add the barley and the pork drippings and mash. Serve with pork steak and dill pickles. Then call all your sisters to come for dinner. At least that’s the way it worked when I was a kid.
How to eat: Put a piece of pork and a piece of pickle on your fork, then scoop up some boeskool. Leftovers make good fried patties the next day.
As children we hated this. As an adult I make it about once a decade for old times sake.
When it comes to Dutch cooking you are best off sticking with the pastries.
brian stouder said on May 15, 2008 at 9:23 am
“though I think it was the chunks of crispy bacon that make me say that.”
Get thee behind me, Satan
Catherine said on May 15, 2008 at 10:20 am
“Bacon redeems everything.” Preach it, brother.
Easy Asian-ish flank steak (no bacon, though):
In a gallon ziploc, combine 1 T powdered ginger, 2 T olive oil, 1/4 c red wine vinegar, 4 crushed garlic cloves and a bunch of soy sauce. Add the steak and marinate for at least 4 hours (preferably 8). Grill in a closed grill set to MOM for 20 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve with KarenNM’s sesame noodles (or the boxed kind) and cucumber salad splashed with rice wine vinegar.
Can’t wait to try everyone’s recipes. Not this weekend, though: I’ll be camping in 100-degree weather with the Girl Scouts. Prayers/good thoughts are appreciated.
velvet goldmine said on May 15, 2008 at 10:26 am
All this talk reminds me of the Sweet Potato Queen’s cookbooks. Anyone read those?The meals are like like my PMS binges, but with a sense of humor.
And anything that’s not a dessert made from Oreos is some kind of appetizer made from bacon, with instructions that say things like, “Now, this calls for a pound of bacon, so do I even have to tell y’all to get out two pounds so you can munch while you cook?”
There’s even a bacon dessert. My kind of woman.
velvet goldmine said on May 15, 2008 at 10:28 am
All this talk of bacon, I meant to say.
I know Nance says we have 30 minutes to edit our comments, but damned if I can see the link or button to do that.
Jolene said on May 15, 2008 at 10:33 am
Velvet, there’s no button, but there’s a link at the top of the message. That is, submit your message, and you’ll see a link that says “Edit this comment” just under the “velvet goldmine says:” heading. Click that link, and your message will appear in the editing window. You can then fix it and resubmit.
velvet goldmine said on May 15, 2008 at 11:17 am
LAMary said on May 15, 2008 at 11:24 am
Dutch pea soup is good stuff. I have to defend that. The best food in Holland these days is Indonesian food.
Buttermilk Paap. Shudder.
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 11:31 am
Unfortunately my ancestors left Holland without bringing any of those Indonesian rice taffel recipes along.
Another great bacon recipe. One pound of bacon, three cans of whole water chestnuts. Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap a half slice around each water chestnut, secure with tooth pick. Bake on a cookie sheet until bacon is done. You can do this part ahead.
Mix equal parts of catsup and brown sugar. Place in large fat casserole, set water chestnuts into sauce and bake until hot and bubbly. This is my favorite pig out appetizer.
And why is that catsup brown sugar mix spicy in a way that catsup never is? One of those things that has always puzzled me.
LAMary, I wish I had my mother’s dutch pea soup recipe, but I didn’t get it in time.
brian stouder said on May 15, 2008 at 11:36 am
Buttermilk Paap. Shudder.
Biggest shudder-of-sheer-delight that I ever enjoyed (in a restaurant) was thanks to a caramel-drizzled cheese cake creme brulee, at Cork and Cleaver here in Fort Wayne.
It is rare enough that we even order dessert, but that was the only time Pam and I both ordered up SECONDS!
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 11:54 am
I have always said that creme brulee on the dessert menu is the magic word and must be ordered.
It’s too late to edit, but that bacon water chestnut recipe is supposed to go in a flat casserole as opposed to fat.
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 11:55 am
And here I always thought it was buttermilk pop. Thanks, LAMary, from one Dutch girl to another.
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 12:15 pm
I’m supposed to be working on my strategic plan. Instead I am discussing and sharing recipes. Good thing I’m the boss.
Another great hawk pic
I think I’ll head home for lunch.
brian stouder said on May 15, 2008 at 12:26 pm
That IS a great hawk pic; made me wince a little, when it opened! (he sorta has a ‘go to hell’ look on his face)
If I had a website, I’d put up some more Obama pics; I looked at them last night and hadn’t realized I had 48 shots (including a short video and several blurry/useless shots), including one of former Maryor Richard and the Governor of Arizona working the line we stood in before the event)
LAMary said on May 15, 2008 at 12:48 pm
At Nordstroms they have creme brulee cheesecake in the Cafe. Way too good.
Jen said on May 15, 2008 at 1:10 pm
It must just be my solid Midwestern upbringin’, but I like Amish cooking, and so does most everyone ’round these parts. Eating at Das Essenhaus in Middlebury or at Amish Acres in Nappanee is the height of excitement! We do not fear starchy foods! (I tend to like to have a little more culinary excitement – I learned to eat a lot of ethnic foods in college in Bloomington, Ind. – but I have a friend who won’t even touch Chinese food. I think it’s too exotic for him.)
I have a good bacon recipe! They’re called “Bacon Cream Cheese Puffs,” and they’re a HUGE hit at parties. Basically, you take a tube o’ Pillsbury crescent roll dough and roll out a whole sheet (don’t tear apart where they say to tear apart). Slather it with cream cheese, then sprinkle copious amounts of real bacon bits. Roll it up into a big log of biscuity, bacony delight, then cut them into about one-inch little slices. Bake, following the recipe on the tube o’ dough. They usually get eaten in minutes at parties.
LAMary said on May 15, 2008 at 1:12 pm
Dutch recipes… more than you’ve ever wanted.
basset said on May 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm
and to keep track of all the recipes, http://www.plyojump.com/weblog/2003_10_05_archive.html
… look at the 1969 entry about halfway down the page. real “housewives” don’t need no stinkin’ keyboards.
Jenine said on May 15, 2008 at 1:24 pm
Boy there’s no topic as good as food to get everyone talking. I love it. Here’s my highered ramen soup recipe. I could live on this. I buy Thai Spice soups at the grocery store. They have rice noodles, not fried noodles. There are other brands out there with the dried/not fried noodles.
Chop a green onion, half a med. zucchini and three mushrooms in small dice. [Use any veggies that you like. Chop small so they cook quick.] Boil the water for the soup, add veggies. When it comes back to the boil, add noodles and flavor packet as directed on package. Dice some firm tofu into a big glass bowl. When noodles are cooked, pour soup over tofu.
If it needs more zing, season with rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice or sriracha as desired.
Sue said on May 15, 2008 at 1:27 pm
Gourmet magazine had one of those things-wrapped-in-bacon-then-baked appetizers. The thing that was wrapped in bacon was a date stuffed with a nice chunk of parmigiano-reggiano, or whatever the fancy version of parmesan is. I made it and everyone loved it. Too bad I don’t eat meat.
Also, all these cooking directions remind me of last Thanksgiving’s iambossy.com entry. She showed some packaged broccoli and warned her readers about boiling it: “If it’s still box-shaped it’s not done yet.”.
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm
Interesting recipe page Mary, mostly baked goods, and of course at least one with almond paste. The lady who claimed her recipe for pig in the blankets is like the ones at Russ’ is way off. Phyllo? No way, pie crust. We often bring home a couple of packs of frozen pigs when we visit friends in Holland, whose little neighborhood grocery store still makes their own.
So if I can buy good frozen pigs in the blanket Dutch style at the Meijer’s in Holland, why can’t I buy them at the Meijer’s in Goshen which is a ten minute drive from my house?
Home for lunch with a tuna sandwich, a tiny piece of leftover spanakopita, and an orange. No creative cooking here.
brian stouder said on May 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm
“Home for lunch with a…..”
Today’s search and siezure mission in the ‘fridge lead me to lunch on the following:
slice of pork loin left over from Sunday/Mother’s Day dinner; burrito utilizing left over burrito meat* from Tuesday; half a hamburger (no bun) left over from a cookout Monday; surprisingly good (apple slices, plain yogurt, walnuts, and grapes) unopened snack pack left over from a Wednesday stop at McDs that Pam and the girls made, pretzels, icy cold Diet Coke, msnbc news
*ground beef cooked with some concoction of powders and spcies that Pam has
moe99 said on May 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm
My great grandmother, Cara Murbach Fauster, a resident of Archbold and Defiance, OH wrote this out longhand and gave it to each of her 3 living daughters for their kitchen walls. It comes from the 1918 edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook:
“Cookery means the knowledge of Medea and of Circe and of Helen and of the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all herbs and fruits and balms and spices, and all that is healing and sweet in the fields and groves and savory in meats. It means carefulness and inventiveness and willingness and readiness of appliances. It means the economy of your grandmothers and the science of the modern chemist; it means much testing and no wasting; it means English thoroughness and French art and Arabian hospitality; and, in fine, it means that you are to be perfectly and always ladies—loaf givers.”—JOHN RUSKIN.
I have my grandmother’s copy on my kitchen wall just for remembrance. My grandmother’s ham loaf was a wonder and I will post it when I get home from work and can find the recipe. A good Paulding, OH recipe.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 15, 2008 at 4:06 pm
Can you make and/or eat ham loaf if no one has died recently? Ham loaf and green beans immediately puts me in mind of church basements after coming back from the cemetery eighteen miles out in the country.
(Slivered almonds as a sign of respect to the family on the green beans, and big hunks of home-cured bacon as a sign that you’re in hog raisin’ country.)
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 4:07 pm
Oh yes ham loaf please do. When we lived in southern Indiana there was a little restaurant that had ham loaf every Thursday and I loved it. It was soft and slightly sweet and so different from my mother’s ham loaf. I have been searching for ham loaf recipes all over, have tried two. One was so-so and the other was close. I could not find any butcher counters willing to grind ham for me, so my ham loaves were made from finely diced ham, which made the texture off. I will look forward to your post.
John said on May 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm
Only in New York! Please note the quote from the graduate’s dad, that alone makes this a great story.
Connie said on May 15, 2008 at 4:59 pm
Oh Jeff in the Dutch churches it’s ham on buns. At my mom’s funeral one of my sister in laws said, oh these ham sandwiches are so good, what’s the secret? My girlfriend and I laughed so hard we couldn’t get out an answer. (yes it was a happy party, the hospice months were over for her.)
The secret is butter. Butter a bakery hamburger bun, put some ham on it. That’s all.
Jolene said on May 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm
Amen, Connie! Nothing better, especially if the bun is one my mom made!
alex said on May 15, 2008 at 6:03 pm
Shit, how could I have forgotten this one. Another Hungarian recipe. This one with ham. And as simple as a buttered bun.
My paternal grandmother’s ham crepes (also known as polacsinta–won’t swear to the spelling) used to be made in a meat grinder. Just grind up a cured ham and then mix it up with sour cream. Then roll it up inside egg-batter crepes and bake until brown. My modern variation calls for dumping the ham and the sour cream into the Cuisinart and letting it whip everything into a very fine mixture.
The most difficult part is getting crepes the right consistency. In summertime you can always buy them pre-made in the fruit section of the grocery. Anyway, when people ask how I do the filling and I tell them they refuse to believe it’s so simple. It’s a meal fit for the grandest occasions and it’s no trouble at all.
Julie Robinson said on May 15, 2008 at 6:40 pm
Alex, do you refrigerate the crepe batter overnight? For some reason that always worked for us. Yum–haven’t made crepes in years; it’s time.
Butter makes everything better. Amen, the end.
caliban said on May 15, 2008 at 8:38 pm
bEANS AND RICE,
You di jasmine rice about one ride to onae and a half. You never make rice with water, you use stock. You soak one pond of dry beans, and progagly you soak the beans with dried gatlid, frsh parsley etc, because you intend to just pour the rice in. Let it go about 7/6 hour
Catherine said on May 15, 2008 at 9:06 pm
Oh, oh, Fannie Farmer! My grandmother’s cooking bible. She actually went to Fannie’s school in Boston. I inherited my late MIL’s copy (my aunts still have & use my grandmother’s). The Cape Cod Oatmeal Cookies have gotten me out of more than one tight spot.
moe99 said on May 15, 2008 at 10:32 pm
Marianne’s Ham Loaf (Marianne was my grandmother’s friend)
1 lb fresh pork
1 lb ground ham
Grind/mix them together
1 c milk
1 c cracker crumbs
1/2 c ketchup
2T chopped onions
prepared mustard to taste
Mix all ingredients together and bake at 300 for 1 hour
Sauce on top (this is what makes it yummy)
1/2 c brown sugar
mix together and top your hot slice of ham loaf. Or you can put some on the ham loaf before you bake it I suppose. I rarely get to make this as oldest child was a no red meat person….
basset said on May 15, 2008 at 10:41 pm
Caliban, where did you find dried gatlid? Our Wal-Mart only has it frozen… you can get canned at the international grocery on the other side of the tracks, but even fresh gatlid for drying your own is pretty much unheard of here in the Grand Divisions. We used to raise it out back of the cabin when I was little, before the license got so expensive. Storebought ain’t so bad, though, at least they take the spines off for you.
Jolene said on May 15, 2008 at 11:20 pm
Ummmm, butter. As edible things go, it’s definitely among the best. Here are two delicious recipes that owe their wonderfulness, in large part, to butter. Neither of these fits the “things to make for dinner when you don’t want to cook” category, unless you are interested in having a very decadent dinner, that is.
1/4 c. best quality olive oil
2 Tbsp. sweet butter
2 c. yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced very thin
1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 c. finely shredded basil leaves
1. Heat oil and butter together in a heavy skillet or saucepan until butter is melted. Add the onion and peppers; season with herbes de Provence and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes, or until vegetables are limp, tender, and lightly browned. Mixture should have a marmaladelike appearance.
2. Add garlic and basil and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and let cool to room temperature. Drain excess oil.
Can be served in several ways.
– Top a cracker w/ brie and add peppers provencal
– Use as accompaniment for grilled meat or chicken
– Use as filling in appetizer-sized tarts.
This is from The Silver Palate. I’ve generally made it as an appetizer (no tarts, though, just crackers), but it’s great w/ meat. Have this for dinner. Then follow w/ the cookies below. You’ll sleep well.
Powdered Sugar Cookies
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; then stir in sifted dry ingredients. Roll into balls and press down w/ a cookie stamp. Bake until lightly browned.
This is simple family recipe. They melt in your mouth.
caliban said on May 16, 2008 at 2:50 am
Go to the store. Buy a couple of lbs of jasmine rice, costs a little more, tastes better. Use about 5 cups of stock per pound of rice (the package directions will give you mush). Once it’s rice, throw in about half a cup of chopped fresh coriander or cilantro. Same thing, but one’s Spanglish. Just let it wilt into the hot rice.
Boil a lb of Black beans with some roasted garlic cloves for about five minutes and then let them sit for a long time. Several hours is good.
Mix the beans and rice, while roasting all sorts of peppers, including anaheims and other hots to taste, celery, thinly sliced carrots, sweet onions, some sweet peppers Shut it down while the peppers are crisp. The onions will be perfect.
Sizzle some hocks and the meatier the better and toss in whatever greens the market was throwing out. Mix this up with everything else, put in salvaged margarine containers (damn bisphenol) and freeze. Do not measure. Use you head. And your tastebuds. Chicken, barbecud and shredded is good. I’ve been talked into soy chorizo, and it’s OK. I don’t know what Nancy thinks, but beans and rice with little chunks of flesh is just tastier, especially when the flesh is pork variety. Fried rice or pork fried rice, and I’d rest my case.
Toast some bread that you simply dipped in the olive oil on sale (unless Nancy hooked you up with the good stuff, and she’ right, but what;s on sale is still is still tasyty.) but what I’m talking about is throwing slices of day old into a vegeble bag with decent oil, a tad of balsamic and dry spices and herbs of your choice that have been cooking in the oil and vinegar. You slice the bread ang soak the top in a dinner plate of the good stuff and put it under the broiler for a minuteor two.
If you aren’t facing a drug test, sprinklings of poppy seeds made everythting better.
We cook gigantic amounts monthly, at the same time we roast and sauce the tomatoes on sale. Everything freezes quite well, but the rice is less on the tooth.
If American assholes are going to turn corn into fuel for Urban Assault Vehicles, with no green benefit (and corn fo fuel is stupid—try sugar you nitwits) and drive up the cost of basics globally with mindless (well, the cash is lining campaign pockets, even for the holier-than-thou) subsidies, buying the throwaways makes economic and gatronomic good sense.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 16, 2008 at 8:05 am
Girl Scout in Metro Detroit sells 17,328 boxes of GS Cookies!
(No pressure, Nancy.)
She reports on the Today show, selling to Meredith Viera, that the number one seller — Tagalongs.
Not Thin Mints? What is *wrong* with this country . . . Thin Mints, the one true wafer.
Connie said on May 16, 2008 at 9:26 am
Nothing much to say, just wanted to make it a nice round one hundred. Have a nice weekend.
moe99 said on May 16, 2008 at 11:28 am
Here’s an interesting article about a bake-off, taste-off using a dozen different Euro-style butters, with significantly different results:
karen marie said on May 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm
i was in amsterdam for a couple days in september 1977, wandered into a bar looking for a quick, inexpensive meal. they had “hamburger” on the menu, so i ordered it.
it was literally a ham burger. no beef, all ham. it was disgusting to eat but hilarious to remember.