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Yes, this is the repository for all things culinary. We've fired off recipes, we've traded family secrets (well, not all of them) and mentioned our favorite cooking shows. So here it is, fire them keyboards up and  give us all things food-related!

 

--lstormhammer, summoning up the Iron Chefs!

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Here is a quick and easy recipe for those not "cooking inclined" A fast way to make a London Broil Flank Steak. You want to score your meat on one side making a "checker baord like pattern. Let marinate for half an hour, (but longer is better!) in a Italian dressing/white wine combination. This should be the equivalent of 1/4 white wine to a cp of Italian dressing, but I prefer to go closer to a 50-50 mix. Set oven to broil and adjust your rack accordingly and cook. Watch closely to prevent over cooking. This is a quick way to make this dish, that taste good and will make people think you spent all day fixing it!

Lady Tam

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We all love chile con queso, right? Wanna know how to make it spicy, good, and without processed cheese food?

 

Fresh tomato, however much you want. For a pound of cheese I typically use about 2-3 Romaine tomatos. They're smaller, but tend to be a little better than your standard ones.

 

Cilantro. about 1/4 cup of the leaves seperated from the stems. This is a staple for a lot of Mexican salsas and dips.

 

Peppers. I use Jalapenos and Serranos. The smaller the pepper, generally, the hotter and better it will be. I'll use about 3-4 Jalapenos and about the same amount of Serranos.

 

Green Chiles. These aren't real spicy, but have a good flavor to add to queso.

 

Onion. White or Yellow is fine. About 1/4 to 1/2 cup per pound, dependant upon taste.

 

Cheddar Cheese. I generally will make it all by the pound.

 

Trim the stems from the peppers (jalapeno, serrano and green chile) and chop them up. Dice the tomatos and the onion. Mince the cilantro.

 

Grate the cheese (or by the pre-shredded kind). This will melt smoother than buying it in blocks and dicing it. Mix the veggies and cilantro in with the cheese and dump it all in the top of a double-boiler. Pour water into the bottom part of the boiler and bring to a boil. Place the top part containing the cheese and veggies on the boiler and cover. Cook over meduim-high heat until cheese is melted, stirring occassionally and making sure the water in the bottom doesn't dry out.

 

Serve with tortilla chips.

 

You can also make it spicier by adding some cayenne pepper to the mix (not too much, that stuff can get really spicy quick!). Make it creamer by adding a couple of tablespoons of sourcream.

 

Now you're going... "Uhh.. that's an awful lot to do..." Okay, here's the quick and dirty processed cheese type queso with a kick.

 

1 pound Velveeta processed cheese food (of you go for that kind of stuff)

 

2 small cans of Rotel brand DICED green chiles and tomatos (found with the rest of the canned tomatos)

 

1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

 

3 tablespoons of sour cream.

 

Dice the velveeta, put in a bowl. Drain about 75% of the liquid from the Rotel and dump in bowl. Toss in the cayenne pepper and sour cream. Heat in the microwave until melted, stopping occassionally to stir. Stir throroughly before serving with chips.

 

This makes it a lot spicier and some people who don't like Velveeta have tried this Quick and Dirty version and have really liked it. I prefer the first version. Good stuff there.

 

FYI : the "chile" in Chile con Queso does not mean chili... as in the spicy meat dish. It refers to the green chile pepper that helps spice up the queso. Literally it means "Cheese with chile peppers."

 

:laugh:

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Diana's all-purpose baking substitute:

 

okay, now you learn the bitter truth. Diana aka Cripdyke is an environmental left-wing commie-pinko radical who distrusts factory farming. I know that you couldn't have guessed any of that from my previous posts. Anyway, in an effort to make even my _cookies_ healthier, i hit upon a flour mix that makes almost any baked good _truly nummy_.

 

Anytime you see 4units All-purpose flour, replace that with:

 

2 units Whole wheat flour (pastry or bread as appropriate)

1 unit buckwheat (or other heavy, highly flavored flour)

1 unit rice flour (brown or white).

 

Rice flour is very light & bakes up crisp & strong. So you can use heavier flours (whole wheat instead of white + a little extra of some heavy nutty flour) without collapsing your baked goods into a dense gooey mass.

 

This works great in bread, waffles, pancakes, chocolate-chip cookies (mmmmm cookies), you name it. I used to be so sad that you can't swap whole wheat for white flour (because of the weight & aforementioned gooey consequences), so I just kept experimenting til I got it right.

 

You can also premesure a bag full of this stuff so when you need 1/3 cup of flour you don't have to start measuring out flours in the 1/12ths of a cup.

 

Diana's ricotta substitute:

 

 

1 package tofu (usually 1lb, but occasionally it's a little less)

4-6oz fake cheese

herbs to taste

black pepper

 

find a fake cheese that melts (I use almond cheese). Grate the (fake) cheese fine. Crumble the tofu in a big bowl. Mix in grated cheese. Add black pepper and herbs to taste (I use fresh basil, but then, i'm addicted)

 

then, of course, you layer it into your lasagna as you would ricotta so that your non-cheese eating friends can partake of the wonderful gooey casserole of life.

 

 

What else? I'll have to think about other recipes i should post...

 

:cool:

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There is an _intensity_ to the flavor of most natural cheeses that the fake stuff will never match, so your lasagna comes out a little more bland than you would expect. You can anticipate & compensate, but if you're not ready for it, it can be a little disappointing. On the other hand, the texture is nearly perfect! People eating your lasagna will maybe notice that it's mild but they won't quite be able to figure out why...

 

The (fake) cheese i use melts very well, but only a few of them do. If you get a cheese that doesn't melt well (the rice cheeses are your best bet actually, but if you find an almond cheese that melts well the flavor will be better - avoid the soy cheese, they're all disgusting as far as I can tell) it will be a little more crumbly than usual, won't hang together quite as well, but really, the texture is almost the same & the flavor is great from all the other stuff in the lasagna. It just comes out a little mild, without the distinctive sour cheese tang.

 

 

 

As far as the baking substitute:

 

I would never cook with white flower again. In this case the taste is _far superior_ to the taste of cookies/ breads/ etc baked with the bland stuff. It truly does make it healthier _and_more delicious without sacrificing anything in terms of texture, rise, etc. There is no reason to go back to white. I swear by it!

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CD:

 

Where do you get your flours? Unfortunatly, I'm stuck with 'Conglomo Warehouses' and 'Conglomo Supermarts'. I'm intrigued by the flour idea. I think I know a few places I can try, but no promises.

 

Also: How's the absorbancy of the flour mix? About the same as regular flour? More like cornstarch? Potato starch? Basically, do I need to add more liquid if I'm working with this amalgamation?

 

 

--lstormhammer

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Here is a quick and easy recipe for those not "cooking inclined"

Quick, easy and cheap. †Probably not good for you, but here is:

Scavenger Hunt Lo Mein

 

1 package Top Ramen (beef or pork works best),

1/2 to 1 cup frozen Peas and Carrots

two table spoons of cooking oil (olive preferable)

one slice of lunchmeat (ham preferable)

(optional) 1 egg

 

In a small pot heat up the peas and carrots, when they are basically thawed put them in a bowl. †Dice up the meat into little pieces and toss it in with the veggies.

 

Boil the ramen and drain off the water. †After draining the water add the soup spice package and stir up the noodles. †(For maximum efficiency use the same pot you heated the veggies in)

 

In a sauce pan of sufficient size heat the oil for three minutes or so, no more than five. †The heat setting should be between low and medium heat and mix the stuff in the bowl with the noodles. †Put the noodles and stuff in the oil and mix gently for three to five minutes and it will be Lo Mein.

 

You can add other stuff, if you whip the egg and cook it up omelette style, then dice it you can add it with the stuff in the bowl to the noodles. †I like to throw in some finely diced bell peppers. †The more stuff you add the less Peas and Carrots you need.

 

You get about two adult servings. †Helps if you have something to go with it. †Eggrolls in the oven is a favorite of mine. †But, in keeping with the scavenger hunt whatever you find is fair game. †This has worked well for me on the no one wants to cook and no one wants to go out nights where we fend for ourselves. †Usually takes less than thirty minutes to make. It's not pretty, but it usually tastes good.

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † :O

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quick crappy and indestructable: can o tomatos. can o tomato paste. can o mushrooms. combine, add garlic and 1 or maybe 2 stock cubes of choice, simmer, serve over pasta. every single ingredient is imperishable, so you can have this gear hiding at the back of your cupboard for emergencies. tastes better than you think. promise.

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Simple Pasta dish.

 

Mince garlic clove.  Heat extra virgin olive oil in pan, add garlic and brown slightly.  While heating the oil boil pasta.  Just before pasta is done, take a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water and add it to the oil/garlic.  Drain pasta, add a few dashes of salt to the oil/garlic.  Add some sliced black olives to the oil,  cook for about 3 more minutes then toss the pasta in the oil and olives.

 

Simple tasty pasta dish in no time.  Instead of olives you can always use sliced mushrooms, scallops, chicken, shrimp, fresh basil leaves, oregano, broccoli, or whatever, though you may have to vary to cooking time for some items.

 

You could always just throw a bunch of things in this, but the guy who taught me this said that with this type of pasta dish, it's best to just have 1 thing other than the olive oil, garlic, and salt.  Just have 1 flavor to focus on.

 

Serve with french or italian bread or breadsticks.  A very simple and filling pasta dish, good for a late dinner when you don't want to take too long to cook.

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Upon second thought: I should've named this thread 'Good Eats'. Oh well, life is an XP gaining event...

 

Anywho, here's a great tip about steak: Buy it fresh, use salt and pepper only, use a high heat grill, turn it once, remove from heat and let it rest. And you cannot go wrong.

 

You can also roast up some potatoes at the same time, but they take at least 90 minutes, wrapped in foil, and turned once every 15 minutes, on low heat.

 

Break out a yummy salad, and you're good to go.

 

--lstormhammer

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Anywho, here's a great tip about steak: Buy it fresh, use salt and pepper only, use a high heat grill, turn it once, remove from heat and let it rest. And you cannot go wrong.

 

You can also roast up some potatoes at the same time, but they take at least 90 minutes, wrapped in foil, and turned once every 15 minutes, on low heat.

 

Break out a yummy salad, and you're good to go.

 

--lstormhammer

Something else that goes good with that...

 

Texas Style  :cool:

 

Trim off ends and cut 4-6 Jalapenos in Half

Fill inside with Cream Cheese

Wrap with bacon, use a toothpick to hold bacon in place.

Place on grill and cook until bacon is done.

 

It's really good. Will yield about 8-12 stuffed jalapenos.

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CD:

 

Where do you get your flours? Unfortunatly, I'm stuck with 'Conglomo Warehouses' and 'Conglomo Supermarts'. I'm intrigued by the flour idea. I think I know a few places I can try, but no promises.

 

Also: How's the absorbancy of the flour mix? About the same as regular flour? More like cornstarch? Potato starch? Basically, do I need to add more liquid if I'm working with this amalgamation?

 

 

--lstormhammer

No extra liquid needed: absorbancy is just about the same as far as I can tell. I've never had a recipe call for all-purpose flour that I couldn't do better by using my flour mix with no other changes. That really is the beauty of it.

 

As far as buying the flours...

Well, I shop at natural food stores & buy organic & all that. I NEVER have a problem finding organic brown rice flour where I shop, so why should you??

 

Seriously though, I find good flours in smaller packages (and higher prices) than the generic "gold medal" stuff even in big stores. Whole wheat, buckwheat, don't seem to be too much of a problem.

 

But RICE flour. That is something that i've noticed the big commercial markets sometimes don't carry. Again, the recipe doesn't care if the rice flour is brown or white, so grab the first package you can find. If you don't have a hippie store near you, an Asian grocery might be more likely to have rice flours.

 

But hey, try the big market. Just ask for help - tell 'em you're looking for the "specialty" flours. I've noticed that when i've asked for rice flours they sometimes direct me to the florist! They just don't get that rice flour is an actual food! (and, yes, sometimes i've found rice flour in the same stores where the employees didn't know it existed! be smarter than the system!)

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