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Thread: DIY Dinners

  1. #76
    Prunepicker Guest

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Here's how to create the most illusive meal on the face of the Earth.
    The reason it's illusive is because of the misconception that it's very
    difficult to make this dish.

    Here are the secret instructions.

    2 1/2 cups dried pinto beans (soaking is a myth) Hey, make sure there's
    no clumps of dirt or deformed beans.)
    3/4 cup of chopped onion. 1 medium onion (medium is subjective)
    6 cups cold water, tap is fine
    1 smoked ham hock (size doesn't matter unless you're doing a cooking
    show.)
    1 teaspoon salt Seriously, that's all.
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    From approximately 6 feet throw the beans into a pot. Toss in the
    rest of the ingredients. Sweep the floor and wipe counter top. Put the
    contents, including unrecognizable seasonings, into the pot.

    Toss the water into the pot and add enough to make 6 cups.

    Wipe counter top.

    *Bring to a boil (the ingredients in the pot and not the counter top)

    Reduce to a simmer (just enough to cause the liquid to bubble a little.)

    Cook 3 to 4 hours. Add water as necessary.

    Serve with Cornbread and buttermilk. Pepper sauce is optional.

    Eat. Smile. Fart exuberantly.

    Repeat.

    This is a "no way it can fail" recipe

    *this can be duplicated in a crock pot. Cook all day on low.

  2. #77
    Prunepicker Guest

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Part II of the Illusive Dinner

    INGREDIENTS:
    1/2 cup butter
    2/3 cup white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup cornmeal
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch
    square pan. (pi are round, cornbread are square) A cast iron skillet
    is best but anything will work and the results will be phenomenal.

    2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and spread butter all over
    the inside of the skillet. In a big bowl stir in sugar, add eggs and beat until
    well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda. Stir in cornmeal, flour,
    and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the
    prepared skillet.

    3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick
    inserted in the center comes out clean.

    This is similar to Pioneer Pie's recipe, only better. Very cake like.

    Plating? Only if it makes it to the plate.

    Question... why do I eat out?
    Answer... not no mo'.

  3. #78

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    I take a measure of pride in my “scratch made” Pomodoro Pasta Sauce. Today, however, I was suddenly seized by a craving for spaghetti and didn’t want to invest the time nor the effort involved in doing my “regular” spaghetti dinner (see, “Rustic Spaghetti” above). So, instead of going that route, I made a quick stop by Buy For Less, on the way home from work, and grabbed a jar of Prego plus a jar of mushrooms. The rest of the ingredients were either in the pantry or the ‘fridge. Then I threw this together.

    I hate to admit it, but it was really, really good. And fast.


    An Homage to Italian Fast Food

    Ingredients:
    One jar Italian Sausage and Garlic Pasta Sauce (Prego)
    Spaghetti of choice (Barilla, American Beauty or DaVinci)
    Olive Oil (Colavita or Filipo Barrio)
    Salt (for the pasta water, Kosher of course, Morton Umbrella Girl)
    Mushrooms (Green Giant, drained)
    Artichoke Hearts (Roland, drained)
    Roasted Red Pepper Strips (Marzetti)
    Black Olives, sliced (From one of those red cans of whole black olives, like, from Sam's Club or a normal grocery store)
    Capers (Reece)
    Bread (Sara Lee Hearty Farmhouse White or Thomas English Muffins or whatever)
    Coleslaw Mix (Fresh Express)
    Coleslaw Dressing (Guy Fieri’s Creamy Carolina)
    Red Peppers (the little roundish ones from Homeland Olive Bar)
    Grated Parmesan Cheese (Homeland Cheese Department, house container)

    Method:
    Heat the pasta water to a rolling boil. Add a fair amount of salt and some olive oil. Put an appropriate amount of spaghetti in the water, stir/separate it, cook for about 10 min. test it for al dente doneness. Don’t let it get mushy. Mushy sucks.

    Meanwhile, dump the Pasta sauce into a pot over medium heat. Tip: Pour a little red wine (e.g. Tisdale Pinot Noir, $3.99 =) into the jar and swirl it around to incorporate all of the sauce clinging to the jar and pour it into the pot. Add all of the listed additions. Stir to combine. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is done.

    When the pasta has reached the desired degree of al dente doneness—not mushy—pull it from the boiling water, using tongs, and add it directly to the pot with the sauce. Mix it well into the sauce so it can finish cooking and absorb some of the saucy goodness. [Tip: The “Rao’s Cookbook” says this technique is known as Il Secreto among the ancient Italian grandmothers who used it. That being said, I made a little personal improvement to the technique by putting the noodles into the sauce, in the smaller pan, rather that some sauce into the noodles on account of I don't like having to wash spaghetti sauce out of my large pasta pot. =)]

    Plating:
    Using tongs, pull some pasta from the pot and place on one of those really neat plate/bowls my wife had even before we were married that is labeled “Pasta”. Ladle some of the sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with an appropriate amount of grated Parm. Put a little bit of coleslaw mix on the side and add some Guy’s Coleslaw Dressing. Rip a piece of that Sara Lee White Bread in half and place one half on each side of the plate. Not only is that bread good in its own right, it’s great for soaking up every last drop of the delicious sauce on the Pasta Bowl Plate. =)

    As I said: I love my “scratch-made” sauce . . . yet this was pretty darn good.
    Total time invested? Maybe thirty minutes. Most of that was waiting for the pasta water to come up to a rolling boil.
    What would I be willing to pay for this in a restaurant? I think about $8.99 before the tip. Maybe even $9.99. =)

    I think this came in at maybe $3.50 a serving. Not that I’m counting. =)


    And, best of all, when it gets around to doing the dishes: 1 pot, 1 giant pasta pot, two plate/bowls.

  4. #79

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    So, I had a day off on Sunday and asked my wife if steak sounded good for supper. She thought for a moment and said, "How about pork chops . . . or something with pork . . ?"

    "Sounds good to me," I replied, and headed off to the grocery store. It wasn't a "'Quality' Grocery Store" because they didn't have any pork chops sliced the way I like them. Then I spotted the pork shoulder roasts (like, $5.99 for the one I selected), realized that I had all afternoon to cook this if I wanted, grabbed a few things from the produce aisle and headed back home.

    Essentially, it was planned and executed as a Reformation of Pork Posole, one of our favorites. (You might say it's another form of chili on a chilly day. But then you'd have to endure a lot of impolite groans and jeers. =)


    Here is the pork shoulder roast that I seasoned with Chef Paul's Pork and Veal Magic, some ground cumin and some Worcestershire Sauce. Later, I seared it in skillet, put it back in the baking dish and added half a can of beef broth before covering it with foil and placing it in a 250-deg. oven for an hour. It just came out of the oven for the next layer of ingredients.


    On the cutting board is an onion, two tomatillos, a couple of carrots and a couple of chipotles en adodo. In the background is a can of diced green chiles and some baby gold potatoes.


    Here is the roast, with the potatoes, carrots, some garlic and the tomatillos ready to go back in the oven, covered, for thirty minutes at 300-deg.


    Here are a green bell pepper, a red bell pepper, an Anaheim pepper, a Poblano Pepper and a Serrano pepper after being sear-roasted directly on the ceramic cooktop and transferred to a skillet to steam and cool down prior to removing most of the charred skin.


    The roast is back out of the oven and ready for me to add the last round of ingredients (all of the peppers, some hominy and the Herdez sauce.) Then it's back in, with the temp up to 400-deg. for another 30 min. or so, uncovered.
    (If I didn't know better, I'd say that Soup Can Sally had a hand in creating this. Or perhaps Soup Can Saritia?)


    Here is why the oven temp was adjusted up to 400-deg.
    All ingredients for the starchy accompaniment staged and ready for action.


    The cornbread took about 15 min. Everything is ready to come out, rest and be plated.


    Tell me this doesn't look good. It was a toss-up between this and warmed tortillas.
    I'm glad this one won.


    And here's the rest of the story:


    The roast, resting. Yes. That is steam.
    (Not simply amateur, blurry photography.)
    [Tip: Use tongs. Not fingers. To relocate the roast.]


    Sliced for plating. Nice and tender . . . for a $5.99 pork shoulder.


    One serving, plated up, with some coleslaw for crunch and some Guy Fieri Creamy Carolina Dressing for an extra touch of flavor.


    And the leftover broth/sauce, that wouldn't fit into the freezing containers, made a nice little serving of soup!
    (why . . . it's a friggin' "multitasker" fer cryin' out loud! =)


    Can you imagine how good this might have been if I had opted for a Quality Grocery Store? =)
    Heck . . . This prob'ly wouldn't be half bad--and maybe even a little healthier--with Turkey instead of Pork!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Amigos y Amigas.
    God Bless Us One and All.
    And That Includes ALL Y'all. =)

    {de versa or de versa}

    Sincerely. No kidding, No joke, No snark.

  5. #80

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    RM: Why do you put oil in with your cooking pasta? Habit? or do you think it adds to the flavor? What's your favorite pasta shape for a simple red sauce?

  6. #81

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    I put oil in the pasta water because it seems to help keep the pasta from sticking. This is especially true regarding Angel Hair/Capellini. Any flavor it adds is masked by the sauce. Of course, sometimes pasta with nothing but some olive oil, maybe a little cheese and a few herbs ain't bad. In that case it is a non-stick/flavor combination deal. By the way, from my experience, the best olive oil for the price is Colavita. It's available at both Whole Foods AND Homeland (and Target). Astonishingly, the prices are all within a dollar or so of each other. At Buy For Less the best choice is Filipo Berio. (Only on account of that's what they use at Rao's in NYC.)

    Sorry . . . You just asked what time it was. Not how to build a watch. =)

    Oops: Favorite pasta shape for a simple red sauce? Plain ol' spaghetti. Preferably Barilla, but DaVinci and American Beauty are okay too. Every time we drive by the Barilla plant, outside of Ames, Iowa, on the way to and from Minnesota, I always want to stop, shake somebody's hand and say "Thank You." =) No. I have no plans to buy a pasta rolling/cutting machine.

  7. #82
    Prunepicker Guest

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Turkey Brine

    Ingredients
    1 pot of hot water, hot enough to dissolve salt
    1 cup Kosher salt
    1 cup C&H sugar
    1 TBL thyme
    1 TBL rosemary
    2 TBL sage
    cup Worcestershire sauce

    1 5 gallon Igloo cooler

    Directions
    Stir in salt and sugar until dissolved. Add spices and Worcestershire sauce.
    Allow to cool. I left the pot covered and outside for 2 hours. Put the
    turkey in the cooler with 3 gallons of water. When the brine is cool, pour
    it into the Igloo cooler. Make sure the turkey is covered with brine and
    water. Screw on lid and rock back and forth. This is also called mixing.

    Since the temperature is supposed to be under 40 degrees I'm leaving it
    outside over night and possibly until 3 pm. According to those who don't
    want to be sued you should keep the temperature of the water under 40
    degrees. That may be because someone got sick and needed something
    to blame it on.

    We'll see what happens.

    Tomorrow, the Larch.

  8. #83

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Brining never fails (at least not for poultry nor pork.)
    The Larch is a magnificent creation. Not unlike so-called "Heirloom Turkeys" . . . or tomatoes.
    Don't get me started on Lupines. =)

  9. #84
    Prunepicker Guest

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by RadicalModerate View Post
    Brining never fails (at least not for poultry nor pork.)
    The Larch is a magnificent creation. Not unlike so-called "Heirloom
    Turkeys" . . . or tomatoes.
    Don't get me started on Lupines. =)
    Are you going to brine a Larch?

    A friend of mine, he's 80, likes lupines. He was a drummer and would
    yell at me to me my tomatoes between tunes. I didn't like eating
    between tunes because it got in the way of drinking.

  10. #85
    Prunepicker Guest

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by RadicalModerate View Post
    ... Don't get me started on Lupines. =)
    Long i or short? Angiosperms? Eudicots? Asterids?
    Fruit or vegetable?
    Oops, looks like I did just that.

  11. #86

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by RadicalModerate View Post
    I put oil in the pasta water because it seems to help keep the pasta from sticking. This is especially true regarding Angel Hair/Capellini.
    I hope it works for you but most sources disagree with that.

    Should You Put Oil in Pasta Water? - Nagging Question - Food News

    Cooking Pasta Properly

    Video: Oil in Pasta Water?

    I used to think that too but quit doing it.

  12. #87
    Prunepicker Guest

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Obviously you're asleep. We can talk tomorrow.

  13. Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    I hope it works for you but most sources disagree with that.

    Should You Put Oil in Pasta Water? - Nagging Question - Food News

    Cooking Pasta Properly

    Video: Oil in Pasta Water?

    I used to think that too but quit doing it.

    We add oil to keep the pot from boiling over. I know you can add more water but I'm cooking for family of 6 with teenagers so the big pot is already full.

  14. #89

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by radicalmoderate
    Don't get me started on Lupines. =)
    did somebody say lupines?!? -M


  15. #90

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    I see that you got my obscure reference. =)

    "Hmmm . . . This redistribution of wealth is more complicated than it might first appear." ~Dennis Moore

  16. #91

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepnokc View Post
    We add oil to keep the pot from boiling over. I know you can add more water but I'm cooking for family of 6 with teenagers so the big pot is already full.
    I learned to cook from Mama, who learned from Mama Rose. Mama Rose and Lester raised 5 wee ones, Mama raised 4 who didn't stay wee ones for long and my lovely and I raised 3 of our own. All had many friends over the years who liked to hang out. Bottom line, we don't know what small pots look like.

  17. Default Re: DIY Dinners

    RM,
    I don't do turkey, so this would be a good alternative. Too bad I live alone, it's a little too much for one person. I suppose I could freeze portions. It looks really good would make a nice addition to my meal rotation. I would have to have the flour tortillas though, I don't care for cornbread. Thanks for the visual recipe!
    C. T.

  18. #93

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by ctchandler View Post
    RM,
    I don't do turkey, so this would be a good alternative. Too bad I live alone, it's a little too much for one person. I suppose I could freeze portions. It looks really good would make a nice addition to my meal rotation. I would have to have the flour tortillas though, I don't care for cornbread. Thanks for the visual recipe!
    C. T.
    Do you not do turkey because it seems like too big of a hassle and too much meat? Or is it because you don't like turkey?
    If it's the first reason, then I would suggest one of those straight from the freezer to the oven to the plate cook-in-the bag turkey breasts from Archer Farms (Target) or Jennie-O (Target and elsewhere). Other than some smoked turkey and some fried turkey it was the best turkey I ever had. We are doing two of those and two pork tenderloins for tomorrow. Along with some "Fast Delmonico Potatoes" some Creamed Cipollini Onions and Mushrooms, some Carrot Mash with Orange and Mint (looks a lot better than it sounds, hopefully also true of the taste), some Stovetop Stuffing and Gravy, and Sister Schubert Rolls. Since I'm still trying to lose some weight, I'll probably mostly be enjoying the aromas (and the sight of others enjoying the actual food). To be completely honest, I will probably try a little taste of everything. =)

  19. #94

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by mmm View Post
    cooking at home is not the same thing as the slow food movement, metro. -M
    Would eating Escargot Sashimi-Style qualify?
    Especially if you used only one chopstick?

    ("ahh . . . Grasshoppah . . . What is sound of one chopstick eating . . ?
    "I don't know, Master, but I'll take a stab at it . . . before it gets away.")

  20. Default Re: DIY Dinners

    RM,
    I don't like turkey, there's a reason they call it foul (Ok, fowl). I don't eat turkey at all and only a little chicken. Your pork meal looks particularly good and I do enjoy pork.
    C. T.
    Quote Originally Posted by RadicalModerate View Post
    Do you not do turkey because it seems like too big of a hassle and too much meat? Or is it because you don't like turkey?

  21. #96
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,647

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Dennis More will live forever in our hearts! I am not allowed to touch any part of the Thanksgiving Meal. My wife and whoever is the co-female cook due it all. My involvement is usually limited to fetching what ever last minute items are needed.

  22. #97

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quick Update: The carrots were peeled, chopped and boiled. The Cipollini onions were boiled, peeled, "buttonectomized" and are now in the third stage of caramelization in the oven. Gotta make a quick run to the local grocery store to pick up the ice cream my wife forgot to get to make some sort of frozen dessert.

    Thank goodness the authors of the original recipes for two of the sides said they would hold easily for a day or two in the 'fridge.
    Still . . . I have to wonder if there is room in the freezer for the ice cream . . . (dang)

    If I had some Lupines (alt. spelling "Lupins") they would sure make a nice serving platter garnish . . .

  23. #98
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,647

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Galloping through the sward
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    And his horse Concorde
    He steals from the rich
    And gives to the poor
    Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Riding through the night
    Soon every lupin in the land
    Will be in his mighty hand
    He steals them from the rich
    And gives them to the poor
    Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Dum dum dum the night
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Dum de dum dum plight
    He steals dum dum dum
    And dum dum dum dee
    Dennis dum, Dennis dee, dum dum dum
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Riding through the woods
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    With his bag of things
    He gives to the poor
    And he takes from the rich
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Riding through the land
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Without a merry band
    He steals from the poor
    And gives to the rich
    Stupid bi**h!

  24. #99

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Radical,

    If ever there is any suggestion of too little room in the freezer for ice cream, there's clearly something misplaced in the freezer that can survive just fine in the fridge, or an ice chest, or in the dog's bowl.

  25. #100

    Default Re: DIY Dinners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepnokc View Post
    We add oil to keep the pot from boiling over. I know you can add more water but I'm cooking for family of 6 with teenagers so the big pot is already full.
    Get a bigger pot?

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