mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
My parents live... a ways out in the country. They actually live outside the same town where I was raised and lived for about 18 years. They have a vegetable garden and that means wildlife comes to eat things in their garden. Including rabbits... If you are a softhearted person who gets weepy over the thought of poor innocent bunnies, look away from this post.

Read more... )
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I have just just started testing Experiment 241. I had allowed the yellow summer squash in my garden to get too old to simply stir-fry and eat so I conceived that I would try making a soup out of two of them.

500 g (1 pound-ish) of onions
vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 over the hill yellow summer squash
2 tablespoons more of butter, oil, or lard
3 cloves of garlic
1 liter (4 cups) vegetable broth

First I started as nearly every soup should start: by frying onions. I cut up the equivalent of about four medium onions into nice strips and put them into my cast iron dutch oven greased and then a tablespoon of butter scattered over them. Then into a 200°C (400°F) oven with the lid on. 20 minutes later I stirred the onion and cracked the lid. Repeated stirring every 20 minutes for another hour until a nice fond was starting to develop. Then onto a medium-medium high burner to finish making it the brown of a beer bottle in sunlight. Removed the onion after deglazing with a little left over mead and yeast left at the bottom of a bottle.

While the onion was still cooking in the oven I peeled off the hard skin and then I cut each fruit in half. A nice sharp spoon (I keep one sharpened for just this sort of thing) made short work of seeding each one and I reserved the seeds later experimentation. Then I chopped the thin bit of flesh into 2 cm squares (not terribly precisely). Once the pot was free I put in about a tablespoon of oil and browned one of the squashes in it without crowding the bottom of the dutch oven. Deglazed with water and then repeated with the second half, throwing the minced garlic in for the last 30 seconds. Then everything including the broth went in my blender. Blended on high until smooth. It tastes pretty good already, but it needs spices of some sort... Thyme? Cumin? Parsley?
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
2 large onions, diced
1 pound ground turkey
2 cloves minced garlic or equivalent
4 cans (about 14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes
1 small can (8 oz.) tomato paste
2 pounds (about 15 oz.) red kidney beans, cooked
2 tablespoons molasses
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce or equivalent
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ cup paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano and dry basil

Brown onion and deglaze multiple times, three batches, set aside. Drain diced tomatoes, retaining liquid. Cook ground turkey, set aside. Cook down tomato liquid. Add kidney beans, continue cooking, add tomato paste. When thickness looks good add all other ingredients. Black pepper to taste. Cook beans to slightly softer stage next time.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Today I took my usual two-thirds cup (2/3) of thick rolled oatmeal (From Vitamin Cottage, they are a great bargain if you live in Denver, and no they did pay me to say that.) and I put it in a small cast iron pan over a medium flame without any water. I did not stir quite fast enough or else the pan I selected was too small so there was a bit more browning than I planned upon. None the less, when I put it in the usual quart bowl and microwaved it with one cup (1) of water the result was very nice. Two-minutes and forty-four seconds (2:44) of cooking and then another thirty seconds (0:30) somewhat later when it looked a little undercooked and it was wonderful. It had a flavor that I associate with baked bread or the smell of my mash when I am making beer. I think I should do this again with more careful experimentation.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
One large onion, chopped
One large clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
2 pieces of white fish, such as frozen & defrosted cod
Left Over cooked brown rice
Black Eyed Peas, cooked
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons yogurt
Chipotle Tabasco

Brown onions in large stainless steel skillet. Deglaze. Peal and mince the garlic while the onion is browning again. Deglaze. Get out your brown rice and black eyed peas then shred cabbage. Deglaze just once more. Add a nice big slug of olive oil to the pan and then add in the fish. Cook the fish until it falls apart then add a little water if needed to release any of the browned bits from the pan. Add in the brown rice and then the black eyed peas and get them warming up. Meanwhile beat up the yogurt and Tabasco in a bowl and add a handful of the cabbage, coat. Turn off the heat and add half the brown onion and fish to the cabbage. Adjust.

Fairly good, but the taste of the black eyed peas is fairly strong. Possibly more yogurt is needed. I am going to see how well the mix stores overnight in the fridge. Lunch tomorrow since I made too much. More cabbage less beans?
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Six carrots sauteed in goose fat with a clove of garlic is heavenly when paired with a wheat beer. This was also the maiden voyage of my new cast iron skillet and it works wonderfully on high heat. It was ever so slightly crowded in the pan, but it still browned fairly well and only needed the smallest dash of salt to be a perfect after work dish along with some pistachios and a square of chocolate.

Also I now record my quick and dirty salad dressing of three spoonfuls of mayonnaise with half or less of horseradish, about one of mustard, a little honey, a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, and some poppy seed is pretty darn good. I ate it some days ago, but my memory is still accurate.

I believe in good food and I think I shall take salad as a large portion of my food for the trip down to Albuquerque.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
This experiment needs a name. I think Pâté would be incorrect as it involves very little fat and has quite a bit of fruit.

One half pound of streaky bacon, about seven or eight slices
One onion, chopped
One half cup prunes, about twelve
Three dried apricots
Quarter cup honey
Half cup brandy
Plain gelatin packet
About three quarters of a pound chicken liver
One large egg

Three bay leaves
Nine cloves
Two generous pinches of cumin
A teaspoon of nutmeg
All ground up very fine.

Fry bacon, put into food processor and mince. While bacon is processing fry the onion in the bacon fat. When the bottom of the skillet is getting too brown deglaze with half the brandy and continue cooking. Deglaze the pan again with about a quarter cup of water and keep browning the onion. Repeat deglazing once more with water if the onion is not thoroughly cooked. Finally deglaze one last time with the remaining brandy and turn off the heat, scrape up all the good brown bits. Meanwhile mince up the prunes and apricots with honey in your food processor making sure that it is very finely chopped along with the bacon. Add in the onion and do the same. Melt the gelatin in a little water and add to the mixture then add your chicken livers and process to a fine paste. Finally add the egg and spices. Transfer to an oven safe bowl inside a larger bowl filled with hot water. Put into a 350 degree oven and cook.

Results: Good, but I think more onion and fruit might not be amiss. Especially more onion even though it would be more work. Was it sweet enough? Yes and no. The sacred three in other things should have more bay and less clove. I think.

And I need an icon to go with cooking.
mishalak: Mishalak with short hair wearing a blue shirt and looking upwards. (Blue)
Okay, this was actually just one fish, but the wonderful incorrectness of 'fishes' just begged me to use it.

1 medium onion, diced
1 apple, diced
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried spearmint (approximate)
1 very clean and scaled fresh trout
Olive Oil
Vegetable Oil

First fry the onion in the olive oil until nicely browned. Then combine with the diced apple, the honey, crushed spearmint, and salt to taste. Take your perfectly scaled trout and dry it. Then give a nice liberal coating of flour to its skin and stuff it with your apple and everything else mixture. You'll have a lot left over, don't worry you'll put it over the trout later. Have your skillet heating up with a good layer of vegetable oil over a nice medium high heat. Put in the tout and cook until nicely brown and crispy on both sides. Starting from the tail separate one side from the other and serve immediately with the rest of the mixture on top. Serves 2 or one very hungry person. I like this experiment and think it is well on its way to being a full fledged recipe.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
Perhaps it is only hunger, but I made what may be a perfect summer squash dish tonight for dinner. I'll have to try repeating the success at a later date.

One Large Non-stick Skillet (I used my big stainless steel one)
Olive Oil
One Large Yellow Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
3 Small Yellow Summer Squash
Belgian Style Beer
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Ounce Cheese

Chop up the onion and mince the garlic. Heat up the pan until a drop of water dances and evaporates in about a second or two. Put in olive oil until the surface is well coated and then put in the onion. Sauté the onion as you cut up the squash into pieces no bigger than a US Quarter and only a little thicker. Put in the garlic when the onion is getting pretty brown, but not yet completely done. Add the squash when the onion and garlic are getting quite brown. Deglaze with some good ale when the brown bits stuck to the pan start to verge on too brown. Add your cumin and salt and cook until all the liquid is evaporated and bits are starting to stick again. Then add cut up cheese and turn off the heat after about half a minute or so. Move everything around so the cheese melts, scraping up any bits that start to get stuck. Serve more or less immediately.
mishalak: Mishalak with short hair wearing a blue shirt and looking upwards. (Blue)
One Pyrex (or other borosilicate glass) Loaf Pan
One pound very good quality Wild Salmon.
Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon of Butter
1 Tablespoon of Marmalade
2 Teaspoons of Honey

I scaled the fish and then put it in the loaf pan while heating the oven to 350 degrees. I put a little olive oil on the fish and then proceeded to mince the garlic very finely and mix it up with the butter, marmalade, and honey. I had trouble getting the butter to combine with the other ingredients so I heated everything up in the microwave for ten seconds before pouring it over the thickest part of the salmon fillet. It cooked for between 15 and 20 minutes and was perfect.

It was a very, very good fish as it was one of the Alaskan Cooper River salmon run and pretty fresh. Delicious. I've already adjusted the amounts as needed from what I prepared given that I felt it had too much butter and garlic, but only a little too much. I served it with stir fry vegetables from Costco done in my nonstick pan with olive oil and a little toasted sesame seed oil. V. good.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
1 tablespoon large grind cinnamon (bastard/cassia)
1 tablespoon large grind star anise
remainder of cup filled with English breakfast tea
sprinkled with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and mixed

Background: Richard made a recipe that called for condensed milk. There is quite a bit left over. Therefore I am going to make Thai iced tea. Not having Thai tea mix I'm making my own by guessing what is in it. There may be too much cinnamon, but we'll see. I may also add a little dried orange peel, 1/2 teaspoon.

Results 17:00hrs: A half cup of the mixture brewed with three cups of fresh water results in a bit more than two and a half cups of mixture. This was combined with a scant half cup of sugar then cooled to room temperature. It was very good with ice and regular condensed milk, but the amount of cinnamon should be reduced by half in the test of this experiment. No orange peel was added this time, but it may be a good addition. 2 cloves were added to the mix as well, I do not know if this resulted in a detectable change. I like it, Richie does not.

Additional note a tablespoon of star anise is made with six of the stars ground up.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Experiment #229: Ongoing

Every morning is a new opportunity for experimentation. I am slowly closing in on the best method of cooking oatmeal in a microwave. Particularly the thicker oatmeal that I prefer. The ultimate goal is easy steel cut oats with lots of texture done easily for breakfast. I am not bothering with instructions from the packager (oats cannot be said to be manufactured) as they are useless. Right now I'm tending towards using much less water than recommended as it seems genuinely unnecessary in a microwave. Though a ratio of 2-1 or even 3-1 is traditional for cooking grains on a stove top my results have been perfectly tender using as little as 1½-1 water to oatmeal in the microwave. Less chance of boil over and less time as well.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Big slug of olive oil
One can rinsed kidney beans
One medium or 1/2 large onion, chopped
Tablespoon garlic, minced
4 anchovy filets, minced
Big slug of vegetable juice (V8 or equivalent)
Basil to taste

Fry onions and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Add minced anchovies, stir 'round until they are well dissolved and distributed. Add rinsed kidney beans. Wait until they warm up a bit and add vegetable juice and basil. Cook down a bit turn off heat and serve.

I really need an insane icon for when I'm experimenting like this. Tastes pretty good, though not perfect.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
The experiment, to see if I could combine two flavors which I am lovink into a cookie: olive oil and honey. Initial results were soft and fluffy, but not sweet enough. So I increased the amount of honey slightly. The results are good, but not yet perfect.

¼ Cup Olive Oil
⅓ Cup Honey, scant. (halfway betwen the ⅓ and the ¼ mark)
½ Cup and 1 Tablespoon Unbleached White Flour plus
⅛ teaspoon baking soda.

Bake 20 minutes in a glass pan at 175°C (350°F). This produces a fairly flat cookie like a snikerdoodle. My next attempt will be using a tablespoon more flour to see if it firms the cookie up without making it too floury. If too floury I shall increase the amount of honey to a full ⅓ cup as it clearly has enough oil from the way the dough leaks. Experiment results so far have been tasty, though not perfect.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
One can kidney beans, rinsed. About an equal amount of left over rice. Small amount of water in the sauce pan. Aprox. 1tsp. salt. Two pinches sage. A goodly amount of toasted sesame seed oil. A spoonful of garlic. Two pinches of basil. Some olive oil. Cooked until the flavors have melded nicely and there isn't any water left in the pan. Not too bad for randomly throwing in ingredients for a very late snack.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
I have added 250 ml of plain white sugar to my very red half liter of vodka from which I removed the half pound of chopped up cranberries. Very tasty and still tart enough.

My new experiment that I plan on running for a few weeks is a small one. 150 ml of toasted buckwheat soaking in an equal amount of vodka. I think it will give a nice toasty rich flavor that I plan on complementing with just a touch of honey. We'll see if it is any good in, say, two weeks.


Jan. 3rd, 2005 07:34 pm
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Colorado Peach)
I used up my last package of cranberries today. Some of it went into making relish to go with the last of my left over turkey from my family's Yule dinner. I deiced to put two thirds of them towards an experiment. I finely minced them in my food processor then put them in a jar with half a liter of vodka. I'm going to let it sit for a week or two and then decant into another bottle. No sugar because I want to see what the drink is like plain. Maybe it will be too strong and need diluting down with more vodka (funny, diluting with vodka). If it needs sugar I'll add a bit at a time until it is just right.

The next time I get to the store I'll see if there might be any fresh packages left, though I doubt there will be. I also think I'll get some ham and some bread because eventually I've a mind to make some Scotch Eggs. They'd make a nice lunch with some greens.

Until then I'm working on what I have here. Tonight I think some rice and some mung beans mashed with some milk or something.

Today I got registered for unemployment and to start searching for a new job. Offically unemployeed last Friday and all. I'll have to document where I'm applying now so that I can get the benifit, such as it is. I also got more cleaned up today. A third of the floor is scrubed and now I'm working on a sink full of dishes.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Well I decided to try something new when making lox last weekend. I used fresh ground allspice, nutmeg, and some orange peel. The result isn't bad, but it isn't great either. I think I'll try a recipe using more orange, lemon, and grapefruit zest. Though I am rather unsure about the instructions off the food network recipe so I'm going to go searching when I'm ready to make another batch. Or else I'll just make traditional style.

Tonight for dinner will be lox, some camembert cheese, some hazelnuts, and a few other snack type things.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Very inexpensive supper. Take one can of chicken stock (purchased at Costco a long time ago for about 65¢) and add to it 3/4 that amount of water. Heat on the stove as you cut up one bunch of green onion (Sunflower Marker, 50¢) and one package silken tofu (Sunflower Market, 99¢). Finally add two or three allspice and some nori. Total cost just over $2.00, not bad. Any suggestions on a name? I was thinking Cazamir's Tofu Soup or else Polish Tofu Soup.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Colorado Peach)
I think there is a core of a good dish in what I threw together tonight. However it went a bit wrong in the amount of soy sauce and dill I used. There was too much of both of them and next time I shall use more honey and allspice. The basic idea is to make a stir-fry, but with a Russian spirit. So I cooked chicken chunks, two new potatoes, half an onion, and broccoli including the stem. Spiced with allspice, dill, honey, and soy sauce. This first attempt was too salty and the dill overwhelmed the allspice most of the time. But the favors were working right together, I just need to adjust the amounts.

For dessert I am having Fromager d'Affinois. The store label said Brie, but it tastes different than any Brie I've had. And it is a lot runnier too. It is lovely.


mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)

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