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how many of you guys cook??? - Page 12

post #166 of 2812
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
Old Pa: I'd eat at your place anytime
post #167 of 2812
trying my hand at chicken & dumplings for the gf tonite, before i unleash it on the guys at the firehouse next week. (she's my guinea pig lol) We quite the "amateur foodies" as we call ourselves. In the past I've tried to make or made:

udon noodles w/ thai peanut sauce & grilled chicken
BBQ chopped pork
mac & cheese (breadcrumb topping = win)
vodka cream sauce
post #168 of 2812
It was actually last Sunday afternoon, the second day of the 2009 Spaniel’s Fall Vacation, that I gave my new Lodge eight quart twelve inch cast iron dutch oven its maiden flight in the coals beside Moose Lake. I just haven’t been to town since then. Most days, don’t even move the car; that’s how the Spaniels’ Fall Vacation goes. We had arrived the afternoon before in occasional rain that stopped in the early evening just long enough for me to grill a little marinated sirloin steak to have alongside steamed dressed green beans and a loaded baked potato with the requisite glass of plonk:



Yes, that is a forty year old Gerber Pixie from my cabin box; after serving as the paring knife no rental cabin ever comes with, it moved on as it has for years to being the perfect steak knife. The cabin box has most of what most northwoods rental cabins need to be comfortably serviceable (like the OXO tongs in the next picture). I did take the time Saturday afternoon to wash and set the black, red, and pinto beans to soak for Sunday’s feast. I also brought in some tinder from the wet and split some birch and oak logs to small and intermediate size to facilitate establishing a cooking fire in the stone ring by the lake. Also dug out the fire ring which had already contained a season’s worth of evening fires’ ash. If the weather should clear up, we were ready.



Twelve nice looking large chicken thighs seasoned with sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and ground cumin await the pot. The Russian Cold War entrenching tool may well be the most useful fire maintenance instrument I have ever owned. Thin sliced white onion, a pound and a half of sliced mushrooms, EVOO, seasonings, organic chicken broth, and a cup of bacon are arrayed here on some freshly cut and stacked maple. This maple was cut within days of our arrival and is way too green for fire use. It was, however, prime for some carving and whittling I was to do later on in the week while waiting out the rain.



With the pervasive damp and wet, it took almost two hours to get a fire going and down to the required quantity of coals to begin cooking. Here one of two batches of seasoned chicken thighs take their turn browning up in some EVOO before being reserved.



The Cook’s view of the lake after a large thinly sliced white onion had joined the sliced mushrooms getting all soft, carmelized and happy in the EVOO. This was about as bright as Sunday got. Note the remaining fire on the other side of the pit as a supply of fresh red hot coals were needed for the three and a half hours of cooking. The lid lifter allows the lid to be lifted when loaded with coals while not spilling any in the pot or burning the cook. The lid sits off the ground on its own little metal rack which doubles as a support for using the inverted lid in the fire as a frying surface. One secret to avoiding adding ash to the pot is to blow off the lid coals carefully before lifting the lid. Not shown are the heavy gauntleted fire gloves which make fine fire maintenance a breeze. Wood fire and cast iron go together in a way that must be experienced to be believed.



And here is the dutch oven with flanged lid loaded with cooking coals after the sautéed mushrooms, crumbled bacon and onion were deglazed with a liter of chicken broth and the sautéed chicken thighs were returned to braise for an hour. Then the mix of soaked beans was added, the pot stirred and allowed to cook for another hour. Finally, a cup and a half of rinsed and soaked basmati rice was added with some more chicken broth, stirred and allowed to cook for a final hour. At each addition, the coals below the pot and on the lid were refreshed and tended to from the fire on the other side of the pit.



It was after dark when the cooking was done. As it was also beginning to rain again, this picture of the final stew was taken inside after the fire area was policed and secured. The smells throughout the cooking process were heavenly and drew considerable polite attention.



And the served plate. I was not in the mood to put together a salad or steam any green vegetable. That is a Guinness and Sam Adams Black & Tan, possibly the perfect accompanying beverage for this hearty and delicious fare. I may have had a better meal cooked in a campfire, but I’m having a hard time remembering it. With the low fire cooking temperatures involved, the dutch oven and lid rinsed clean quickly, ready for a quick coat of beargrease-in-a-can (Crisco) before being put away. The leftover chicken with rice and beans are even better and nuke up effortlessly after a long day with the spaniels in the bushes. And yes, the girls did score some of the Pa’s dinner, too.
post #169 of 2812
sounds delightful!


on my end: I LOVE this country. since people lack both experienced palates and the desire to experiment, organ meat is DIRT CHEAP I bought an entire calf heart last Friday for $2
post #170 of 2812
With the onset of colder weather, yesterday was declared meatloaf day. Meatloaf is another big batch preparation for me, as it's actually better after the first time (which in the case of this meatloaf recipe is really saying something). Here, in my big mixing bowl, over twelve pounds of ground round, ground pork, ground turkey, ground lamb, bread crumbs, chopped white onion, minced garlic, lightly beaten egg, seasoning salt, fresh cracked black pepper, worchestershire sauce, lemon juice, sweet paprika, ground smoked chipotle pepper, oregano, rosemary, and Herbes de Provence get aquainted and await being well mixed by hand (literally; the only way).



After being weighed into equal four pound portions, the meatloaf mix got shaped into three "young footballs" and put into a 350F oven for their two hour bake with tonights russet potatoes. The house smelled wonderfully.



Glazed with barbeque sauce for the last twenty minutes, here are two of the finished meatloafs. I generally freeze them in individual halves, each half providing two future meals for SWMBO and I.



The finished plate. Served with steamed dressed green beans with toasted almonds and a loaded baked potato with a glass of cab. Very well received. IMHO, other dinners may be as good, but none are better. Yes, the spaniels scored.

post #171 of 2812
Four hours to lunch and I have to wander into this thread. Just damn.
post #172 of 2812
I used to work as a cook and quite liked it except the pay was not so good and it's a high pressure job during the busy meal hours. I'm a lazy cook though and only like doing one pot type meals mostly. Tonight I will make a nice hot curry. I live alone so it will be curry for the next 3 - 4 nights.
post #173 of 2812
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnielee54 View Post
Four hours to lunch and I have to wander into this thread. Just damn.
post #174 of 2812
Old pa doesnt ***** around
post #175 of 2812
Old Pa... all of your meals look excellent. One day I'll be cooking food like that but for right now I'm slowly picking up new recipes and whatnot; it's hard to cook when you only have 3'x2' for counter space.

I've got a few good dishes under my belt like my grandma's home-made manicotti. I actually think I'm able to make the crepes thinner than hers... but I'll never tell her that.

My pumpkin pie from scratch is out of this world, if you're into pumpkin pie. I found a recipe online for it so I can't take much credit I don't take pictures when I cook but I'll try to remember next time..
post #176 of 2812
You are too kind. I got into cooking from my mom and her mom, then things took on a life of their own.

SWMBO makes the pumpkin pie and hers got better when I got her to double the spice. I can't eat that, however; too fat.
post #177 of 2812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Pa View Post
You are too kind. I got into cooking from my mom and her mom, then things took on a life of their own.

SWMBO makes the pumpkin pie and hers got better when I got her to double the spice. I can't eat that, however; too fat.
Ahh, the pumpkin pie is the other way around for me. The recipe I found (How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie - from a Real Pumpkin, Not a Can! - Easily! With Step-by-step Directions, Photos, Ingredients, Recipe and Costs) needed an extra cup of pumpkin to really taste like pumpkin pie. The spices were masking the pumpkin flavor. The crust on that website is really great too.

I found cooking by living on my own after college and also by wanting to save as much money as possible for my electronics needs/a townhouse. Like I said, the only thing holding me back is my kitchen, but hopefully in less than a year I'll find a much nicer place.
post #178 of 2812
Tater Tot Hotdish! This is, of course, a variety of shepard's pie, and in my latest iteration has browned ground chuck and lamb together with sauteed sliced mushroums, minced garlic, chopped onion, minced carrots, chopped tomatoes and Herbes de Provence, covered with a layer of healthy recipe cream of mushroom soup, and onion tater tots. For the last twenty minutes of bake time, shredded New York sharp cheddar and a dusting of smoked Spanish paprika were added.



The served plated with steamed dressed broccoli and a glass of cab:



A self-posed SWMBO demoes her favorite TTHD accompaniment:



And the spaniels' (after a rugged afternoon of sniffing around the kitchen and floor-patroling) scored too.
post #179 of 2812
Good looking fare there Pa! I may have to snag some o' them recipes.
post #180 of 2812
Had this idea for a fritata a couple of days ago. Finely divide some Tater Tot Hot Dish casserole and use it to substantiate an eggbeaters seasoned fritata. The fritata on stovetop before going into the oven to finish:



The served plate with steamed dressed seasoned brocolli:



It was a hit.
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