A Cook's Diary

Share recipes and tips, or memorable restaurant experiences here.
brothers
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by brothers »

Oh yes. I've had pretty good luck with the premixed Louisiana brand gumbo base. We add sausage and chicken and serve it over rice. Quick and delicious.
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Gary

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pausted
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by pausted »

Looks good. I’ll look for it at the store.
Best regards,

Basil
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drmoss_ca
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by drmoss_ca »

No new dishes to report here; just more of the same. Lots of curry, okara balls etc. Last night I served up some stir fry - shrimp, onion, courgettes (what do you call them...ah! Zucchini!) and green pepper on rice with home made sweet and sour sauce.

S&S Sauce
In a small saucepan, mix:
3/4 cup white sugar
1/8 - 1/4 cup white vinegar (err towards lower end)
3/4 cup water
1/8 - 1/4 cup soy sauce (again, be circumspect, you can add more, but can't take it away)
2-3 TBSP tomato ketchup (I favour French's, as it contains only Canadian tomatoes)
2 TBSP cornflour

Heat until thickened. As the cornflour cooks you will see the mix turn from red to brown over just a few seconds. Then it's ready. Can be made, cooled and reheated without harm. Experiment with more vinegar for more tanginess, sugar for sweetness or ketchup for more Canadiana. Comes out just like your local Chinese takeaway without any enormous tin cans being harmed.
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Rufus
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by Rufus »

Courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen, this is our favourite recipe for Salmon Cakes:

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 green onion/scallion, sliced thin
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus or minus)
11/4-pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup vegetable oil

METHOD
1. Combine 3 tablespoons panko, parsley, mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onion/shallot, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne in bowl. Pulse salmon in food processor until coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces; may want to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Transfer to bowl with panko mixture and mix gently until uniformly combined.

2. Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in shallow dish. Using 1/3-cup measure, scoop level amount of salmon mixture and transfer to baking sheet; repeat to make 8 cakes. Coat each cake with panko, gently patting into disk measuring 23/4-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick.

3. Heat oil in 12-inch frying/sautee pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place salmon cakes in frying/sautee pan and cook without moving until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until second side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cakes to paper towel-lined plate to drain for 1 minute. Serve.

This recipe is very easy to make and is pretty well foolproof (I can make it). We have these salmon cakes once a week.

Enjoy.
Bryan
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drmoss_ca
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by drmoss_ca »

Another use for okara, and since it involves chocolate, likely to be popular! This is a chocolate cake:

150g okara
150g sugar
60g chocolate
150g milk
90ml vegetable oil
1½ tsp vanilla
½ TBSP white vinegar
150g all-purpose flour
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Butter an 8x4-inch loaf tin and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small pan, combine okara, sugar, chocolate and milk. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in oil, vanilla and vinegar.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour in the wet okara mixture and use a large wooden spoon or spatula and fold gently until just combined - don't overmix but there shouldn't be any streak of dry ingredients either.
Scrape the batter into the loaf tin and spread it evenly with the spatula. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the tin on a wire rack.

Man, this one was weird to cook. Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Victoria sponge territory anymore. Heating milk, sugar, chocolate in a pan, adding oil, vinegar and vanilla, and then mixing into flour, rising agents and cocoa? Where are the eggs? The butter? Oddly, it worked:

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It's pretty chocolatey, but just a tiny bit dry. I'd serve it warm with custard, cold with ice cream, or best of all, bake triple quantities of the mix in a round tin, slice it up, add cherries, cream and chocolate for a Schwarzwälder kirschtorte. If you don't want to go there, some treacle, molasses or Golden Syrup instead of some of the sugar could make it moist and gooey.

Whatever I do next, it has to use more than 3/4 cup okara. I'm ordered to look into carrot cakes. Will report in due course.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by drmoss_ca »

Carrot cake be damned (I made a few, but they weren't as good as the normal kind). So today I took a batch of okara, and made scotch eggs with it. Not quite vegan - notice the egg in the middle? - but who gives a hoot about vegans? These tasted good.
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Basically it goes like this:
- hard boil your eggs
- make soy milk and drain okara
- mix okara with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, finely diced onions, olive oil and oatmeal until consistency looks right.
- take a square of clingfilm and oil it
- place a good dollop (imperial dollop, not metric) of fake-sausage mix on it and pat it into an oblong about 1cm thick
- place an egg on top and fold up the clingfilm, forming the fake sausage meat around the egg
- peel off clingfilm and pat the whole mass into some kind of rounded shape
- roll the result in panko breadcrumbs, then daub with oil or roll in oil in an oven tray
- bake for 20 minutes at 400ºF
- allow to cool before eating
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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fallingwickets
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by fallingwickets »

looks very good....will have to try non vegan version :D
de gustibus non est disputandum
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drmoss_ca
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by drmoss_ca »

I made a couple of these today:
Blueberry Tart.jpg
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But to explain how and why, I must tell you about Dewey and his brother, who are a pair of bachelors who live at the end of the road (an increasingly unrepaired dirt road that gets less and less like a road as you go along) up the local mountain. Almost all their lives they have had no running water and no electricity, although maybe they now have electricity - it's been a couple of years since I last was up there. Probably the happiest and most contented people I know, they seem to come to town (Ahem! 600 souls is certainly a town!) once a week or so by hitching a ride from neighbours they must walk down to. You know when they are coming, much as with a bear or a skunk, and that's all I need say about that. Lovely, kind, generous guys. Each summer, Dewey goes across his lane to the enormous blueberry fields (not his, as he openly admits) and spends a few minutes raking and brings me the results. So I make two pies, or this year, two tarts. One for me, and one for him. One of these days I should go and claim back the nice non-stick pie dishes that he has acquired from me over the years; I've only one left. So these were made in disposable tin trays.

Crust is my standard short crust pastry, with a tablespoon of sugar added since it's not a savoury pie we're making.

1⅓ cups white flour
¼ tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar
4oz shortening (I use Parkay brand veg. shortening, because of SWMBO), COLD, cut into tiny cubes

Place all in a food processor and pulse until the resulting crumb is like breadcrumbs. Maybe 30 seconds in all. Open the lid and start to add ice cold water I TBSP at a time while you pulse. Somewhere between 4 and 6 TBSP the pastry will form into a ball and then you stop. Whether it's 4 or 6 depends on the brand of shortening: Parkay is 4, and Imperial is 6, depends on the water content in the grease. Either way, you add until it goes into a ball. Scoop out your pastry, divide into two equal halves, and wrap each in clingwrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. Wash the food processor and grease a couple of pie dishes. The paper wrapper the shortening came in will do for this.
After 30 minutes or longer, take out the pastry and roll out on a floured surface until it has a diameter of 9-10" (pie dishes are usually 9" diameter). Place pastry on dish, press down into the base, and trim off excess. Prick the pastry in the bottom with a fork in five or six places, as this lets out steam and stops the pastry rising off the bottom. Now we blind bake them, that is to say, we cook the pastry and the filling separately, unlike the way your mom made apple pie.
Cover each dish with aluminum foil, shiny side down, folding the edge down around the edge of the dish and pastry. We have to weight down the foil, and I have a large canister of old pennies for this, but you could use rice or beans. Just keep them for repeat use in the future, as you won't want to make chili with them after they have been baked. My oven will bake these pie crusts at 350ºF in 30 minutes, but you may need to take one out and look under the foil at 20, 25 minutes; ovens are all different. When done, let them cool a bit and then carefully separate the foil and its load of old coins/beans or rice. Leave the crusts to cool down while you make the filling.

Filling is 3 cups of blueberries per crust, 2 TBSP cornflour (or cornstarch depending on where you live) per crust, ¼ cup sugar per crust and 1 tsp lemon juice per crust. So I put twice of all those in a pan since I have just made two piecrusts. Shake or stir it a bit to coat the blueberries in the cornflour and sugar. Put it on medium heat, put a lid on it, and stir gently every few minutes. Once it simmers, the filling will thicken and be ready in 5-8 minutes. Pour into the pie crusts when it has cooled a little, then leave them to cool completely.

I've wrapped one in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for the next time Dewey comes to town. The other will be served tonight after a curry. It will go nicely with cream, ice cream, or custard.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
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drmoss_ca
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by drmoss_ca »

Made a peach pie today, with shortcrust pastry as above. Place pastry in the bottom of a greased pie dish and prick it so it doesn't rise off the bottom. Use 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/4 cup butter to make a crumb, just as when making pastry. Layer sliced peaches and sprinkle with the flour/sugar/butter crumb and repeat layers till the dish is just a bit higher with filling than its edges (will settle on baking). The flour and sugar and butter will combine with released peach juices to make a sweet and clear syrupy sauce the peaches will sit in inside the pie. Place on pastry lid and pierce to let out steam. Bake at 350ºF for 45 -55 minutes, or till browned. Yes, you may brush the top with sugar and water, or an egg wash if you want it pretty, before you bake. Let it cool before cutting.

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"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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fallingwickets
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by fallingwickets »

i sent you a prepaid fedex label :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

clive
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by drmoss_ca »

Maybe some of this too? Hurricane Teddy is coming to visit tomorrow, so today I cooked up a big pan of (vegetarian :( ) chili, which can be easily reheated on the rocket stove if the power goes out.

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"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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fallingwickets
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by fallingwickets »

yes, we rent fussy here! hopefully teddy isnt nasty

clive
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maskaggs
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by maskaggs »

Chili for us tomorrow -- a first day of fall tradition. To be accompanied by an oktoberfest or two/three/....
Regards,
Mike
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drmoss_ca
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Re: A Cook's Diary

Post by drmoss_ca »

Canadian Thanksgiving, so just made some pastry and a pumpkin pie. My shortcrust pastry is described somewhere above in this thread, and the filling is:
15oz canned pumpkin
14oz condensed milk
2 eggs
1tsp cinnamon
½tsp nutmeg
½tsp ginger
½tsp salt

Roll out pastry and line greased pie plate. Prick bottom with fork to prevent lifting. Mix up filling well and pour in.
Bake 15 minutes at 425ºF, then reduce to 350ºF for 35 minutes. A knife will come out dry if cooked properly.
Allow to cool before cutting and serving.
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"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
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