LRRcast - FoodCast

Talk about this week's LRRcast and what you'd like to see in future ones.
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LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby James » 17 Mar 2015, 08:30

Join Kathleen, Alex and Cam this week as they talk food. Yummy, delicious, edible food.
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby Bergie » 17 Mar 2015, 12:24

For reference:

Dashi is made by effectively steeping (like tea) Kombu seaweed (a type of Kelp) and Bonito (which is dried, cured tuna, shaved into very fine flakes). What you do is take a few generous leaves/bits of Kombu (about 2-3 cups if shredded) in 4 cups of water, then bring it just BELOW a boil. Turn the heat down so you have a very low simmer, and let the flavour get extracted for about 5-10 minutes. After that, take the Kombu out and put in 2-4 cups of Bonito (depending on your personal taste) and basically pull the same maneuver of keeping it below a boil for 5-10 minutes. Once all is done, strain through a paper towel or cheesecloth to get out any remaining Bonito or Kombu (this stuff is sometimes kind of gritty I've found), and you have a nice savory broth that you can use in almost any savory dish (a good 20 minute substitute for chicken broth).

(NOTE: Instant Dashi is also very common and is literally 'mix in dried powder in warm water, DONE!')

If you want to make Miso soup, take 3 tablespoons or so of Miso (I usually use Red Miso, but a 2:1 of Red:White Miso is also very good) and whisk it into the Dashi. Add about 1/4-1/2 a cup of chopped Tofu (I prefer firmer tofu, but silken is more traditional) and about 1/3 a cup of chopped up Green onions and/or Nori seaweed, and you have a delicious, nutritious starter soup!
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby Bergie » 17 Mar 2015, 14:14

Also, I respect your statements as far as omelettes go Cam and Kathleen, but I hope you realize that there are millions of French people who will look at you shocked :P

In a proper French Omelette, you NEVER flip it. Not a single time. All you do is--as Cam stated--violently beat your eggs until smooth, add maybe a little bit of water (no more than half a tablespoon to each egg, from my experience), salt, and pepper. Then you get a medium-low hot pan, and coat it with the stick of butter (ie: you hold the stick and apply as you would a glue stick). When the butter foams when touching the pan, it is hot enough. You then pour the egg into the pan, and with your spatula (or a fork if you are not using a non-stick, which you shouldn't) move the egg curd into the middle from the outside while moving the pan around (this keeps 'fresh' egg moving into the outsides where most of the curd-ing happens). Once the whole thing starts to firm up across the board, take a step back and don't touch it for about 30 seconds. By this time, the edges should start moving away from the outside while there is still liquid egg on top. Move your spatula underneath and turn the pan to allow the egg to move into the gap, and do this as evenly as possible around the whole diameter of the pan. It is at this time you consider fillings, which should be cooked before hand (caramelized onions, mushrooms, bacon) or can be added raw (cheese, spinach, etc). Cover only the middle 1/3 of the omelette fairly loosely. When the egg curd has cooked to your desired done-ness (traditionally it is still a bit wet on top, but many people are like Cam and don't like runny eggs so cook to your taste), you then gently flip about the 1/3 furthest from your filling onto the top of the omelette (so 1/3 covering the middle third, with the 1/3 still 'outside'). Then, pick up the whole pan and slide the 1/3 with that is not 'covered' onto the edge of pan (holding it at a 24-45 degree angle) and slide it onto a plate, flipping the 'covered' portion on top of it. Your omelette should be lightly browned, but still retaining mostly a soft yellow 'egg' colour.

That said, almost NOWHERE in North America will you find a good French Omelette. They are very simple, but need good technique so most restaurants which are cranking out food en mass cannot do them close to correctly.

Also, a Frittata is a 'traditional' omelette (Spanish, but not French). They are also delicious!
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby Gravity Pike » 17 Mar 2015, 22:12

"I guess this is my father's frustration" is perhaps the realest sentiment uttered in a LRRcast.

My favorite dead-simple, dirt-cheap recipe is Mujadara, a Lebanese rice-and-lentils dish that got me through college. Take a cup of lentils, put them in a medium-sized pot, cover 'em with about an inch of water, raise the temperature to boiling, then cover and simmer them for about 15 minutes. At the same time, chop a largeish yellow or white onion in half, and then into 1/2" strips, and cook it under medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil until soft and translucent. Come back to your lentils after 15 minutes; add 3/4 cup of rice, cover with another inch of water, and add a tablespoon of cumin, salt/pepper to taste (~1 teaspoon?), and maybe a bit of cinnamon and/or ginger if you're into that kind of thing. Bring it back up to boiling, then back down to a simmer for another 15-20 minutes. It should be a thick, savory porridge consistency. Mix in your caramelized onions. Serve with a dab of greek yogurt or sour cream.

The only ways to really mess up this recipe is to undercook the rice/lentils, or to over-/under-spice it. Both of these are super easy to correct for, which means that you're going to get it right on your second or third try. Plus, rice, lentils, cumin, and onions are all super cheap, so you have room to experiment a bit without feeling bad about ruining ingredients.
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby jkefka » 18 Mar 2015, 04:24

"Things I will not buy from a restaurant because I know how to make it"


Very much along the same line as Kathleen's comments on pancakes, once you know how to make waffles (and have a waffle iron) every other waffle will be a miserable flavorless textureless mess by comparison. The Settlement House Cookbook recipe leaves you enough wiggle room to add whatever you like, chocolate chips, fruit, w/e, and it comes out nearly perfect every time.

Also chili. My mother devised a recipe when she was in medical school that takes about 90-120 minutes to make, total, and will feed a starving graduate student for four days, improving out of the freezer every day. Every other chili I've had seems watery and greasy by comparison.
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby 7SecondsLeft » 18 Mar 2015, 08:56

Listening to this podcast made me very hungry for some reason!

When making a cheese sauce, I usually add a teaspoon of English mustard in with the cheese. As long as you don't use too much (!) it helps season the sauce and really brings out the cheese flavour, especially if you use some decent strong cheddar-style cheeses. It also gives the sauce a nice yellow colour. This does of course assume that English mustard is available in other countries; I have no idea how well this works with American hot dog mustard, for example...

My go-to food is usually a shepherd's pie pretty much exactly like Kathleen's although I mash the potatoes and grated cheese on the top.

I'm also a great fan of frittatas / Spanish omlettes:
Fry bits of chopped bacon + onions until soft. Whisk some eggs together, add grated parmesan, pour into the pan with the bacon. Fry until the base is cooked (unless something has gone wrong, the eggs unstick themselves from the pan), then put under the grill to cook the top. Nice and simple, and is nice both warm with some potato wedges (chop baking potatoes, cover with oil and paprika, roast in a hot oven) and cold the day after with a salad. And it's very easy to customize and put what ever you want in it. For example, leave out the bacon, add mushrooms or peppers, replace the parmesan with different grated cheeses, etc.

And speaking of Worcestershire sauce, it's amazing if you add a few drops on top of cheese that's about to be melted, even something simple like cheese on toast! Yum!

Hmmm, I seem to make a lot of things with cheese in...
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby sylenctone » 21 Mar 2015, 06:59

Cam's avocado soup makes me want to go out and buy a real blender. It sounds amazing!

One of the first things I learned to cook was 'chicken slop'- basically Kathleen's shepherd's pie with shredded chicken instead of ground beef and Bisquick instead of the mashed potatoes. Easy and delicious! :)
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby TMC_SHerpa » 21 Mar 2015, 13:40

These recipes are so complicated (Note, I've only listened to the first half so far)

Make stuffing (from a box, whatever is easiest)
Take sliced roast beef and add a scoop of the stuffing at one end, roll it up and toothpick it.
Line them up in lets say a brownie pan
Add half a can of chicken broth and stuff it in an oven for 10-15 min (350F or your regional equivalent)
Lazy and willing to work very hard to stay that way.

Also dang misplaced caps!
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby Lord Chrusher » 22 Mar 2015, 09:44

Beans and Rice
Makes about four large helpings

Cook a cup of rice

Saute a diced onion and few crushed cloves of garlic. Adjust amount of garlic to suit.

Wait a couple minutes

Add a diced capsicum to the pan

After the onion has started transparent but before it browns, add two cans of drained and washed black beans

Saute for a minute or two long

Add a cup of water and liberal amounts of cajan seasoning (or a similar blend of spices) and of balsamic vinger

Add a diced tomato

Simmer until most but not all of the water has boiled away (or you are hungry enough not to wait)
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Re: LRRcast - FoodCast

Postby Trisha Lynn » 04 Apr 2015, 05:35

Something I love making and which I've also discovered freezes well in portions is Spanish rice. Since I'm on a low carb thing right now, I make it with brown rice and here's my recipe:


1 medium onion or half of a large one, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced (or use two Dorot frozen garlic cubes)
2 rice cooker-measuring cups of brown rice
4 cups chicken broth/stock (I make my own these days)
8 to 14 oz. chopped tomatoes
1 can whole black olives
taco or fajita seasoning to taste

1. Cook the onions in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, perhaps to the point where some of the edges are brown and they go a bit limp and translucent. Toss in your garlic and brown it a bit.

2. Add the liquid and the rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and let it sit for about 25 min.

3. Stir the pot, toss in your tomatoes, olives, and season to your taste. Cook for about 25 more min.

4. At this point, it'll almost be ready. If you want to toss in any cooked meat or other frozen vegetables, toss them in now, and then simmer again for about 10 min.

Makes a lot, which you can then portion out and freeze to bring back whenever you feel like it.

Trisha Lynn jambalaya recipe has the same concept, but with different stuff...
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