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What's Cookin'?
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:43 pm    Post subject: What's Cookin'? Reply with quote

I started a thread like this at another site and it has been a raging success. That site is NOT known for it's cooks and we've had some pretty interesting recipes; I'd love to know just what type of things an experienced gang like the posters from Chocolate & Zucchini would write.

This threads purpose is a general area to post all the things that you're trying and how they succeeded. Trying out a great new bread recipe and want to share your success? Post it here. Whipped up a souffle that deserved to be photographed? Post about it here. You can also ask if someone's got a recipe for "______". This has led to some great reading and fun times at the other site, so let's see what happens at C & Z.
***********************************************************

Ah, the lowly Turnip. If we know anything about it beside it’s name, it’s the infamous scene of Scarlet O’Hara, raised fist against the sunset, yelling …”I will never go hungry again!”

But humans have been eating turnips since pre-history, where cave men ate them raw and, when fire was discovered, ate them roasted. In France, cave paintings show turnips being boiled in clay pots.

I’m a sucker for maligned vegetables, especially the ‘forgotten’ root vegetables like turnips, parsnips and Jerusalem artichoke. Whenever I encounter a recipe for one of them, I’ll run to the kitchen to give it a try. And I’ve never been disappointed.

Leave it to the Italians to come up with a soup that is simple, easy to prepare, and absolutely extraordinary. Reading the ingredients doesn’t give you a clue as to how good this soup tastes; it’s so good that it can be served to accolades at the most elegant of dinner parties---not just kept for family applause.

TURNIP SOUP MELLOWED WITH RICE

Serves 6

3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Pound of turnips, peeled, and cut into ½ inch diced pieces. (I treated these like apples; I cut them into quarters, used a paring knife to peel them, and then diced them. At the market, 3 large turnips = one pound. Just weigh them at the grocery store to get the right amount.)
6 Cups of Chicken Broth, (NOT the no-fat variety!)
½ Cup of Unconverted Long-Grain Rice
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of minced, fresh Italian Parsley
¾ Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan (I just buy the pre-grated type, though a high-end brand; I just can’t stand to grate cups of parmesan cheese!)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil over high heat. When the foam subsides, sauté the turnips, tossing frequently, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to moderate, and cook, covered for 10 minutes.

After that, stir in the rice and cook the mixture, covered, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, stir in the parsley and the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that you began with Turnips. That's all that's left in my backyard garden at the moment. I planted them in August, and I've been picking them since October. The back yard is also full of wild onions. I think Alabama as a whole is nearly overrun with wild onions. They make good soup and make a nice smell in the summer when you cut the grass.

I don't really have any wonderful recipes. I'm an intuitive cook and an experimentalist. I usually just evolve my dishes. Currently, it is a combination of oats, corn meal, brown rice, pumpkin, cream cheese, banana, cinnamon, salt, Wheatena, all mixed in a big pot and left to simmer on the stove for about 3 hours. It works for me, though others may find it odd. Also, I eat it directly out of the pot -- adding Smuckers rasberry jam when it gets stiff. Now, who's the one who yesterday said I was "Classy" 'cause I didn't like the waitor reaching across my face to serve my colleague?
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah-h-h-h, that would be ME, Sarape.

You can just post exactly how you did, with all your intuitive genius. I'm part C.S.I. Kitchen Unit married to The Mad Scientist in the kitchen. My favourite activity is to experiment, but like C.S.I., every single ingredient that I add, I document. I got burned, recipe-wise, when I'd make stunning recipes by higgle & piggle, and then couldn't duplicate them to save my life. I got pissed at myself for my laziness so now I just have a micro-tape recorder on the counter and talk to it while cooking. Must look strange to anyone peeping in my kitchen , but then I didn't invite them to peep in the first place!

Just keep posting your whimseys, Sarape.

If you post it, they will cook. (apologies to Kevin Costner)
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mangolassi



Joined: 09 Nov 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great topic, and very interesting responses so far!
I like turnips but I'm a bit burnt out on roasted or mashed, so I'm definitely clipping the soup recipe. Dairy Queen, I can totally relate to not wanting to grate lots of Parmesan, but I heartily recommend perservering (a microplane helps speed it up) because eventually you'll be left with a rind, and it's a GREAT addition to soup. Just keep it tightly wrapped in foil in the fridge until you're ready to make soup, throw it in the pot, and fish it out before serving. You'll be amazed at how much flavor it adds!
As for what's cooking at my place, last night it was Mario Batali's monkfish in almond sauce. You can find the recipe here:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_16399,00.html
Really, really good. Food TV reviewers complained that when Mario made the dish on his show he stirred the almond sauce into the pan with the fish and the recipe doesn't say to do so. I spooned the almond sauce on top of the fish and then spooned the (very hot) pan sauce on top of that, and was very happy with the results. A bonus: a bit of leftover almond sauce is fabulous in a grilled cheese sandwich!
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this is where I'm going to show my ignorance, mangolassi...TWICE!

1) If you put the rind of the parmesan in the soup, can you use it again, like a vanilla bean or is it limited to ONE time only? And it's added for flavour, right?

2) Almond sauce IN a grilled cheese sandwich?! Wow! Grilled cheese is my hands down favourite comfort food. Do you use just standard bread and Cheddar/American cheese and dab some almond sauce inside before grilling? This goes beyond my scope of knowledge!

Here's a recipe that I tried two weekends ago, with raging success.
Seriously, Gang, this went wa-a-a-y beyond my expectations. If you want to make something special for someone, whip this up. I would say that it really feeds TWO, with some leftovers.JThe day that I made this, I had 4 hungry friends. The first frittata was gone in 2 minutes and I had to whip up another one or risk a riot. The second one had one piece remaining, which I microwaved two days later and it was still tasty, if not as airy as the first day.

I thought prosciutto was going to kill my pocket book, but it only cost me $4.75 for enough to make three of these frittatas. The original recipe called for oyster mushrooms, which I used and loved, but they were out of them this weekend, so I'm substituting baby portabellos. I'll see if it makes a difference.

I served this up with home fries and baked grapefruit with brown sugar on top; that whole "sweet and savory" vibe. I hope someone makes this as it's really a tasty meal.

************************************************** ******

Prosciutto and Mushroom Frittata

2 Tablespoons of Butter
1/3 Cup of Thinly sliced Shallots
¼ Cup of Tightly Packed Prosciutto, cut into slivers
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 ounces of Oyster Mushrooms, cut into strips (Basically, half of a 4 ounce box of mushrooms)
6 Large Eggs, beaten to lemon yellow color
¼ Cup of Packed Italian Parsley, chopped
Parmesan Cheese, to top off frittata

1)Preheat the broiler.

2)Melt the butter in a 10” skillet that’s oven proof. (I have a heavy cast iron skillet that worked perfectly.) When butter has melted and begins to bubble, stir in the shallots, Prosciutto, and pepper. Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring, until the shallots are golden and the Prosciutto is crisp. Then, stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3)Lightly beat the eggs with the parsley. Lower the heat to medium-low and pour the egg/parsley mixture into the skillet. Stir very quickly, incorporating the mushroom mixture with eggs. Cook, covered, just until the bottom is set and the eggs are not runny, 3-5 minutes.

4)Remove the lid and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the entire top. Place the skillet under the broiler and cook just until the frittata is sizzling, puffed and set, about 1-2 minutes.

Serve immediately. 2 portions, with leftovers...maybe.
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mangolassi



Joined: 09 Nov 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love, love, love frittatas. They're a great way to use up leftover bits of vegetables, etc., but definitely worth planning ahead for sometimes.
I too was not sure whether the Parmesan rind would be re-usable or not, but when I fished it out my question was answered –– it really disintegrated! Definitely good for one time only. It gets very floppy and soggy.
As for the almond sauce in my grilled cheese, I used a creamy-ish white French cheese that I can't remember the name of, sorry. It was quite bland, nothing like brie or camembert, but worked well enough. The almond sauce was really more of a pesto than a sauce, perfect for spreading on sandwiches. (I spread it on the bread before grilling but I wouldn't hesitate to spread it on a plain ol' un-grilled turkey sandwich in place of mayonaisse). Although it's a Batali recipe it's not especially Italian in terms of flavor and I think it would go nicely with just about all types of cheeses. (All the sauce has in it are ground almonds, olive oil, lemon juice + zest, a bit of cayenne and mustard powder, and a tbsp. of grated Parmesan). I think cheddar would be good with it, but then I think cheddar is pretty good with just about anything!
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Lisa



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 20
Location: New York City, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my god, Dairy_Queen! I couldn't wait for the work day to end after reading your recipe. I have a guest in town and, as much as I love to cook, was feeling weary and uninspired. I've never done a frittata before although I know they're easy. That's their real power: very easy, but people are in bliss when they eat them. And you were ever so right about the portions. Two of us didn't finish it off but there's scant leftover.

I sauteed onions and garlic, added some sundried tomatoes (will probably add them a little earlier next time), put a little cream in with the eggs, and added some feta when I mixed everything together.

And the grapefruit was a wonderfully balanced dessert. Tart and sweet and light.

Thank you!
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:50 am    Post subject: Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup Reply with quote

Hooray, Lisa! I'm presenting you with the Tireless Chef Award!
I'm so glad that my recipe inspired you, and that you and your friend had such a yummy night of it! And I'm glad that the grapefruit worked out so well, too.

Today was Soup Day for me. I made three of them for the remainder of the week. The first is a Chicken-Sweet Potato Soup; the second is a Stilton-Apple Bisque and the last is a Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup. I don't know how long your friend is in town, but you might want to try this one. It falls together so fast, it's almost obscene. And the taste: so rich and so good. Very filling. I served it with sauted spinach with garlic oil and an apricot pie.

PUMPKIN-PEANUT BUTTER SOUP

1/2 stick of Unsalted Butter

4 Cups of Pureed Pumpkin (I just used the canned stuff)

2 Cups of Pureed Sweet Potatoes

1 Cup of Smooth Peanut Butter

6 Cups of Chicken Stock

1 teaspoon of Salt and Pepper

Garnish: Snipped chives and sour cream or plain yogurt

1) Melt butter in a medium-soup pan over medium heat. Stir in the pumpkin, sweet potato, and peanut butter.

2) Add chicken stock, pepper and salt and stir will until smooth. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

3) Before serving, garnish soup with chives and sour cream or yogurt.

Serves 6
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a simple peanut-butter recipe that I invented during one summer in college when I needed something cool and refreshing.

Ingredients:

peanut butter
bananans
cottage cheese

Mix all three in a bowl -- it should look like a brown paste. Refrigerate or put in freezer. Serve cold.

I know, not much of a recipe; no skill involved. But, the 3 ingredients do combine to make a very wonderful taste.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooooh, Bee- That pumpkin and peanut butter soup sounds good! I'm printing the recipe out. It sounds very Fall-ish to me so I'll give it a try when it cools off again.

Thanks for posting it!
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, You are going to LOVE this recipe. It falls together in minutes, especially if you keep frozen batches of sweet potatoes on hand. I love to make home-made garlic croutons for it, floating them on top with the sour cream and chives; it makes for a very pretty picture.

Regarding the turnip soup recipe I posted; I sure hope someone tries it. I had a dinner party Monday, where one of the friends has severe food allergies, making it very hard to have her over in a group situation. I made the soup with NO butter or parmesan cheese and it was STILL a hit! I was expecting leftovers but there wasn't a teaspoon's worth of soup left in the pot.

I'll be making loads of things this weekend for a gaggle of friends coming over so I'll post them here.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:
Oooooh, Bee- That pumpkin and peanut butter soup sounds good!


I am also going to try combining pumpkin with peanut butter -- both ingredients I've enjoyed but never combined. Maybe a version of my oatmeal with pumpkin and peanut butter for tonight. Smile
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, Sarape; let us know how it turns out!

Tieing into the Frig/Pantry thread, I love squirreling away sale food for later! Although I adore shopping at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for the cool and exotic, nothing beats our Jewel Food stores for money saving purchasing power.

I haunt the store after each "holiday", because once Easter, Christmas, etc. is over, they reduce all the 'seasonal' things, like pumpking, spices, and other goodies to clear it out. I bought an entire case of Libby's Organic Pumpkin at 50% off; now I have it to use with abandon. Same goes for Sweet Potatoes; I buy about 100 pounds of the little critters after each holiday, do a couple of casual days of rendering them down into pulp, and freeze them into 2 cup lots.

Having recipes like the Pumpkin Peanut Butter Soup is almost too easy when you have things just an arms length away.
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Lisa



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 20
Location: New York City, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup Reply with quote

Mmmmmm. She's here till the end of next weekend so we'll have ample opportunity to fill our bellies. I'll let you know how our epicurean adventures evolve ...

Quote:
Hooray, Lisa! I'm presenting you with the Tireless Chef Award!
I'm so glad that my recipe inspired you, and that you and your friend had such a yummy night of it! And I'm glad that the grapefruit worked out so well, too.

Today was Soup Day for me. I made three of them for the remainder of the week. The first is a Chicken-Sweet Potato Soup; the second is a Stilton-Apple Bisque and the last is a Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup. I don't know how long your friend is in town, but you might want to try this one. It falls together so fast, it's almost obscene. And the taste: so rich and so good. Very filling. I served it with sauted spinach with garlic oil and an apricot pie.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did take Dairy_Queen's suggested pumpkin-peanut-butter soup recipe and modified it to fit my oatmeal recipe. The results were spectacular. The addition of peanut butter to my oatmeal recipe (I had already been using pumpkin) gave it a nice thickness and nutty taste.

So, I'll call it a pumpkin, oatmeal, peanut-butter cereal -- it really is thick like hot cereal and not like a soup.
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