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jasonr
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I figured I'd start off the baking / cooking thread that was suggested by others.

Why not start with something that everyone can appreciate, a basic pizza from scratch?

The dough recipe is taken from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice, which FYI is the finest home bread baking book on the market.

The Dough

10 1/4 OZ (roughly 2 1/4 cups) all purpose, bread, or high gluten flour

1 tsp. instant dry yeast (a.k.a bread machine yeast)

3/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt

7 OZ (3/4 Cup plus 2 TBSP) Ice Water

1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.

2. Pour the ice water into the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon to mix the dough together vigorously. You should have a scrappy moist dough at this point that should form a rough ball.

3. At this point you can knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes by hand (adding flour where necessary to keep it from sticking) or in your stand mixer for about 7 minutes on low speed. In the end, you'll want a smooth, satiny soft dough ball that should still have enough moisture in it to stick to the bottom of your bowl, but should be dry enough so that it's still coherent and not just mush. Add flour or water to reach the desired effect.

4. Once the dough is properly kneaded, it should pass a windowpane test, which is to say that when a small piece is gently stretched by hand, it should become translucent, without tearing.

5. Spray a small metal or glass bowl with spray oil and place the dough ball in the bowl. Mist the dough lightly and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the fridge for overnight, or up to three days. This is called retarding. The dough will rise slowly in the refrigerator over a long period of time. This is to build flavour.

The Pizza

Remove the dough ball from the fridge two hours before service. Generously flour the counter and place the dough ball on the counter. Mist the top of the ball with spray oil and then dust with flour. Cover with plastic wrap.

Over the next two hours, prepare your topping, including tomato sauce if you are using it. Also insure that you have a baking stone preheated in your oven at the hottest temperature your oven will run for at least 1 hour before baking. The hotter the better. (unfortunately, home ovens typically only go to 500, whereas an optimal temperature would be in the 700+ range) If you want to make decent pizza at home, a baking stone is a must. To make a truly outstanding pizza, you need a wood burning brick oven, which unfortunately most of us do not have at home [Frown]

After the two hours has passed, you will want to prepare your pizza peel. Dust it lightly with semolina flour or corn meal.

Stretch the dough out on the counter (NOT on the pizza peel). This should be done by stretching it gently with your fingertips, outward from the center. The dough should be very pliable and should not resist you. If it is elastic and resists, then stop, let it rest for five minutes, and continue. Do NOT force the dough. Do NOT ever use a rolling pin to stretch pizza dough. You are striving to get a round circle of even thickness.

Once the dough is the desires size (10 to 14 inches, typically) very gently lift it from the counter and place it on the dusted pizza peel. The dough will warp somewhat in the process, so you will have to even it out gently on the peel, and push it back into a perfectly round shape, using your hands to round the edges. You may lose some surface area in the rounding process, but this is unavoidable, and necessary to get a perfectly round pie.

The next step is to top the pizza. A typical pizza marguerita will consist of either fresh diced tomatoes (seeded) or a tomato sauce spread onto the dough. You will then top it with fresh basil and shredded mozarella cheese, either fresh or vacuum packed. If you choose to use fresh cheese such as buffalo milk mozzarella or boccicini, be sure to drain the cheese on paper towels first, otherwise your pizza will be a soggy mess. My preference is to use vacuum packed cheese, as I find the fresh cheese impractical, and much of the flavour and appeal is lost in the baking process (In my opinion).

My personal preference is a home made tomato sauce topped generously with finely chopped fresh basil, 6 OZ of shredded mozzarella (vacuum packed, either 18% skim or full fat), and 2 OZ of the finest farmhouse cheddar I can find, such as Montgommery. I finish the pizza with a pinch of fleur de sel and a little freshly ground black pepper, and then a TBSP of extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top.

Once the pizza is topped, you need to transfer it from the peel onto the hot stone. To do this, you will need a long icing spatula or a non-stick cookie spatual. Run the spatula under the dough, sliding it between the dough and the peel, being careful not to distort the dough. When the peel is slid along the radius of the dough, rotate the peel in a clockwise direction, ensuring that the spatula runs the entire circumferance of the dough circle. Again, be careful not to distort the shape of the dough circle in this process. If it gets distorted slightly, then simply round it out again with your hands, very gently.

At this point, immediately transfer the dough to the hot stone in your oven, being as quick as possible so that the oven does not loose too much heat. The dough should be baked between 8 and 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pie. Switch on the broiler for the last minute or so to brown the cheese.

Remove the dough from the oven using your peel. If you like, you can grate some good quality parmegiano regiano onto the pie, which will melt immediately.

Let the pizza rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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cperry
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Okay, so what I want are great ideas for home made tomato sauces. To me, the most important part of a pizza is the sauce. if it's fake, the whole pizza, no matter how fine the dough, is at risk. A good sauce makes the biggest difference...

from a FL gal who knows nothing about sauces....

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jasonr
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One of the few recipes I developed myself is for tomato sauce. It's what I use for my pizza. I make no warranties re: quality, since it's just my personal concoction.

I put a TBSP or two of extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan, and heating the oil over medium high heat. When it's hot enough so that a drop of water jumps from the surface, I throw in about two cloves of minced garlic, which I saute for about 30 seconds. Then I mix in about 14 OZ pureed tomatoes (fresh or canned). Then I reduce the heat to medium, and mix in about a TBSP of sugar.

At this point I add a cup of red wine if I have some, but this is optional. I gently simmer the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency, which takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the moisture level of the tomato I used and whether or not wine was added.

Once the sauce reaches the right consistency, I turn off the heat and mix in about 2 TBSP of finely chopped fresh basil, and then salt and pepper to taste.

That's it. Pretty simple.

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Paladine
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Thanks for the thread, Jason. [Smile]

Know anything about making a good steak? I always really enjoy what I have at a good steakhouse, but can't really seem to replicate it at home. Recipes for any particular cuts along with general advice would be very much appreciated.

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jasonr
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Sadly, I don't know much about steak, beyond very simple salt, pepper, and a few minutes on each side under the broiler. Always remember to rest your steak 10 minutes before serving, to give juices enough time to go back to the center of the steak, since they will tend to migrate to the surface during cooking, and if you cut into it immediately, they will run all over the place, giving you a bloody plate and a dry steak.

I can tell you how to make homemade demiglace, which is the base for all rich brown sauces, including steak sauce, but be warned, it's alot of work.

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cperry
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Nice and simple recipe for sauce, jr. thanks. steak -- the cut is critical. my fave is a ribeye. i find it very forgiving to a careless cook (hey, I've got a 4 year old running around the house).

i have a nonstick grill pan that allows me to "grill" even in winter. it's great. (we used to have a cast iron grill pan, but we can't use cast iron any more with the new cooktop. bummed.)

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kenmeer livermaile
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Synchrony: on another forum, the following was posted as a punchline in a series thereof about how weird Cindy McCain looks. Other than the iguana, it sound really tasty:

One medium iguana
One large red onion
Two cloves garlic, crushed or minced fine
One half cup reptile dry rub (see notes)
Six Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and Julianned.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 500F.

Skin and butterfly the iguana, discarding the head or reserving for stock.

Rub iguana generously with salt and pepper and the reptile dry rub.

Place the potatoes, onions and garlic on the bottom of a large pan fitted with a V rack (the fat from the iguana will cover them and bake them and the potatoes in turn will prevent excess smoke).

Place butterflied iguana breast side up on the (pre-oiled) V rack. Cover with tin foil and roast for 45 minutes. Uncover and roast for 10 minutes. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with pan fried okra and buttermilk biscuits.

*Reptile Dry Rub
Two Tbs paprika
One Tbs chili powder
One Tbs oregano
One half Tbs red pepper flakes
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch cloves

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by cperry:
Okay, so what I want are great ideas for home made tomato sauces. To me, the most important part of a pizza is the sauce. if it's fake, the whole pizza, no matter how fine the dough, is at risk. A good sauce makes the biggest difference...

from a FL gal who knows nothing about sauces....

My preferred tomato sauce is similar jason's but takes longer. Basically, take two cans of chopped tomatoes in a saucepan, and put it over a low heat. For about 1-1.5 hours. You want to very slowly turn the consistency into a nice paste. Add a bit of sugar at the start (I'd prefer brown sugar, but I don't know that it makes much difference). Add in a little red wine and olive oil as you go along - I don't have any quantities to hand and always do it by eye and taste anyway to keep the consistency right. (Olive oil and tomatoes go together fantastically, BTW. If you ever get a chance to have Imam Bayeldi, which is a Turkish dish, but there is an almost identical Greek version, then you'll see what I mean.)

Tomato sauce recipe #2 that I've never actually tried but been told is good. Also very simple and slow: take a pile of cherry tomatoes (preferably nice, organic, very flavoursome ones). Take half of them, and slice them in half. Put all the tomatoes on a baking tray and whack it in the oven on a low heat. And leave until it has all mulched down into a nice paste. Then you can add a little salt, pepper, olive oil, herbs, sugar to get the right taste.

Most tomato sauces are basically the same, and are all about getting most of the water out of the mixture leaving you with a nice sauce consistency, whilst not overheating.

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
Thanks for the thread, Jason. [Smile]

Know anything about making a good steak? I always really enjoy what I have at a good steakhouse, but can't really seem to replicate it at home. Recipes for any particular cuts along with general advice would be very much appreciated.

Good quality meat is essential. Get the most expensive cuts you can live with. Sirloin and fillet make the beast steaks (I can't stand T-Bone or ribeye personally, but I gather that that's more of the US taste from what I've seen) If you have a butcher, go to them and ask for good cuts for a steak - most local butchers know their stuff.

I use a ridged frying pan. Rub it over with a little oil or butter, just enough to lightly grease it. Then get it hot enough to start smoking. For a rare or bleu steak, just do it for a minute or two each side. For better done steaks, do that and then cook it a little longer on a lower heat - another few minutes.

Then let it rest for 5-10 minutes before eating.

A good sauce also helps - even garlic butter is nice, or a good bearnaise or red wine / mushroom sauce.

I'd recommending eating it as rare as you can face - it really is nicer.

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jasonr
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quote:
My preferred tomato sauce is similar jason's but takes longer. Basically, take two cans of chopped tomatoes in a saucepan, and put it over a low heat. For about 1-1.5 hours. You want to very slowly turn the consistency into a nice paste. Add a bit of sugar at the start (I'd prefer brown sugar, but I don't know that it makes much difference). Add in a little red wine and olive oil as you go along - I don't have any quantities to hand and always do it by eye and taste anyway to keep the consistency right. (Olive oil and tomatoes go together fantastically, BTW. If you ever get a chance to have Imam Bayeldi, which is a Turkish dish, but there is an almost identical Greek version, then you'll see what I mean.)
Tonight is my pizza night, so I'm going to give your tomato sauce a try and let you know how it goes. But I see you don't use basil. Is that an omission, or do you prefer it without? I thought all tomato sauce always had basil.

quote:
Good quality meat is essential. Get the most expensive cuts you can live with. Sirloin and fillet make the beast steaks (I can't stand T-Bone or ribeye personally, but I gather that that's more of the US taste from what I've seen) If you have a butcher, go to them and ask for good cuts for a steak - most local butchers know their stuff.
In terms of getting organic grain-fed, I agree that quality is very important. But I don't totally agree that price is the best indicator or should be an indicator. Don't get me wrong, I love a good filet mignon, but I think some of the cheaper cuts have alot of flavour.

Lately, I've discovered the joy of braising. You can take something totally cheap like a lamb shank or a chuck roast and turn it into the tenderest melt-in-your-mouth treat you ever tasted. And all that flavourful fat... awesome.

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Tonight is my pizza night, so I'm going to give your tomato sauce a try and let you know how it goes. But I see you don't use basil. Is that an omission, or do you prefer it without? I thought all tomato sauce always had basil.

I just missed it out. I tend to use oregano as well as basil, but the mix of herbs and seasoning is very much a personal preference thing I think. If you want to get some garlic in there, just fry the crushed or chopped garlic on its own very briefly in the olive oil before adding it - always a good way of infusing spices flavours etc. into the oil.

quote:
In terms of getting organic grain-fed, I agree that quality is very important. But I don't totally agree that price is the best indicator or should be an indicator. Don't get me wrong, I love a good filet mignon, but I think some of the cheaper cuts have alot of flavour.
Plenty of flavour yes. It is a question of how tender it is as well, at least if you are talking about very rare steak. The cheaper cuts tend to be a little tougher and less melt-in-the-mouth. But as always, it is a question of finding what you like.

quote:

Lately, I've discovered the joy of braising. You can take something totally cheap like a lamb shank or a chuck roast and turn it into the tenderest melt-in-your-mouth treat you ever tasted. And all that flavourful fat... awesome.

Agree entirely. I love my slow cooker (I believe they get called "crock pots" in the US) - where you pretty much just brown the meat in a pan to seal it, and throw it in the pot with some big chunks of veg and some stock / other liquid (beef braised in beer is great if you can get the right sort of beer - avoid lager types at all costs [Big Grin] ). And leave in the slow cooker for 6-12 hours. As you say, it turns even the toughest meat into a gorgeous stew. Very good to prepare the veg of an evening, and then in the morning before work quickly fry the meat and onions, chuck it all in the pot, and hey presto it is ready to eat when you get home.


My rugby club, which had more Kiwis than strictly necessary, once did a great maori recipe at a summer party. It is basically a suckling pig, covered with all kinds of herbs and leaves and so on (I don't know the details). Then you make a nice fire, and throw some big stones in it. While they are heating, dig a hole in the ground. Line the hole with the red-hot stones from the fire, chuck in the suckling pig and leaves, and bury the whole lot. Some hours later it is ready to dig up and eat...

[ October 19, 2008, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: vulture ]

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jasonr
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quote:
Plenty of flavour yes. It is a question of how tender it is as well, at least if you are talking about very rare steak. The cheaper cuts tend to be a little tougher and less melt-in-the-mouth. But as always, it is a question of finding what you like.
Totally agreed. For many years, I was a texture guy, and would always order a filet mignon if it was on the menu. By the way, as a side note, I think it should be illegal to order a filet mignon cooked anything more than medium rare, and even that is borderline. A well-done or even medium filet mignon is a culinary crime.

I'm a big fan of rare, particularly for the texture issue (I'm also a big fan of red meet being red!)

But that said, in the past year or two, I've started to appreciate the flavour that a more fatty cut has to offer. I'm a big fan of a nicely done rib steak, for example. And even with those cuts, I still like to go rare, to get the perfect mix of flavour and texture.

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Paladine
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Thanks guys [Smile] Any suggestions as far as the red wine/mushroom sauce goes?

Edited to Add: When you say "grain-fed", this is opposed to what (dare I ask)?

[ October 19, 2008, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
Thanks guys [Smile] Any suggestions as far as the red wine/mushroom sauce goes?

Thinly sliced button mushrooms (and/or shallots - with shallots blanch them first in boiling water for 30 seconds before peeling). When you take the steak out to rest, add a little butter to the pan, wait for it to start bubbling, then saute the mushrooms and onions for about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup red wine, use a spatula to scrape off the bits of steak etc. stuck to the pan, and let it simmer for a few minutes until it is of a sauce-like consistency (it will generally thicken a little as it cools, so it should be a bit too liquid to be a sauce while in the pan). Then just pour it over the steak when you serve it.

(EDIT to add, you can season to your own preference. I always forget to add that bit to recipes, since I rarely use salt when cooking, and tend to regard seasoning with herbs and spices as a dark art which is very much a matter of personal style and taste).

quote:

Edited to Add: When you say "grain-fed", this is opposed to what (dare I ask)?

Well, remember that the big mad-cow scare not so very long ago? The root cause of that came from doing things like feed cows the ground-up brains of sheep that had died from scrapie (an ovine (it's a word, really) disease of the nervous system). While diseased sheep-brains are now off the menu for cows, it gives you some idea of what they are fed on when they aren't being fed corn or grass.

[ October 19, 2008, 03:11 PM: Message edited by: vulture ]

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scifibum
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Also opposed to free range (grass fed) beef, which is much less marbled with fat, from what I hear. The grain feed has a lot more digestible energy than grass and the cows fatten up considerably when they are eating it. My understanding is this is done only for a couple of months before slaughter when the beeves have been moved to a feedlot. (Psst. Don't get Daruma started on this.)

Paladine, depending on the type of steakhouse you visit, you might have a little difficulty replicating the quality. High end steakhouses age their beef - some have developed their own aging protocol - and they serve prime grade beef which you can't find in most grocery stores. If you go to a butcher you'll probably have an easier time getting your hands on prime or aged beef.

Alton Brown (Food Network) recommends dry aging your own beef in the fridge - just unwrap it, put it on a plate and cover with something that will allow a little airflow and leave it there for a while. Never tried that myself...a choice grade ribeye grilled as soon as possible is good enough to make any waiting difficult. I imagine it would funk up the fridge a bit, so I'd cover the butter and wrap the greens if I did try it. [Smile]

One other tip: if you're going to broil, grill, or fry your steak, let it rest at room temperature before you start cooking, so it's not so cold to start with. You'll have an easier time cooking it evenly to the desired doneness without overcooking the outside. (This goes for poultry too - it'll be a bit easier to get it to the "safe" doneness without drying it out. Of course if you let it sit too long at room temperature you'll just have to cook it even longer. [Wink] )

Judging meat's doneness by feel is the hardest part of cooking steak, IMO. Experienced cooks can poke it and tell whether it's rare, medium or well done. The meat gets firmer as it cooks. I think it varies by cut though - a ribeye is naturally softer than a NY strip, so they'll have different poke response dynamics. It's one of the reasons I like ribeye - it's got enough fat that if I accidentally cook past medium, it's still pretty good.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
The grain feed has a lot more digestible energy than grass and the cows fatten up considerably when they are eating it. My understanding is this is done only for a couple of months before slaughter when the beeves have been moved to a feedlot. (Psst. Don't get Daruma started on this.)

Other people not to get started on this include:
yours truly!

I will just say: yes, the grain has a lot more easily-accessible energy than grass, which has the end result of bigger, fattier cattle in a shorter time. However, feeding the cattle lots of grain (rather than the small amount naturally ingested as part of a grass diet) changes the chemistry and biota in the ruminant stomach system. This leads to different absorption and processing of nutrients from plant tissue into bovine tissue (which accounts for the many, many nutritional differences OTHER than fat content between grass- and grain-fed beef, and of course accounts for the difference in taste as well) as well as a decrease in overall health of the cattle.
The decrease in overall health of the cattle has an effect on the quality of the meat, of course, but it is also what requires that the feed of grain-fed cattle be constantly supplemented with antibiotics (which is problematical for a variety of reasons).
I believe that there is also a certain amount of change (and not change for the better) in the composition of the waste output of grain-fed cattle, but don't quote me on that; I would have to look into it.

There is also the consideration that the nutritional intake of grain-fed cattle is much less varied than is that of grass-fed cattle, who browse on a variety of plants. This of course has a direct effect on the nutritional composition of the cattle themselves.

(I actually think I might be Way More Boring than Daruma on this subject. Sorry.)

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Paladine
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I'm very interested, Ops. I think I remember Daruma saying that there was a problem with grain-fed cattle in that we don't get as much Omega-3 from eating them, and that the only good sources available were grass-fed and fish. Is that right or is my memory hazy? And please feel free to be as boring as you please. [Wink]
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OpsanusTau
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That is right enough for general use, certainly.

The short version is that both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary nutrients; however, the ratio in which we eat them is important, because having too much of the Omega-6 around inhibits our bodies doing the things it needs to do with Omega-3.

The ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 in grass-fed meat is generally much lower than in grain-fed meat*.

Concern about fatty acids is quite trendy in certain circles right now, and some really interesting research is going on. However, it is important to remember that there are millions of other biochemical things going on in the food chain, few if any of which are actually understood.

*"meat" is here used in a manner exclusionary to pork and other omnivore meat, about which I currently do not have much information but will endeavor to find out. One cannot actually have "grass-fed" pork because the little piggies would die.

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Mynnion
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Back to cooking (although I always enjoy a good science lesson).

A couple of take offs from earlier posts.

Good basic cookbook. "More with Less Cookbook" (a Mennonite cookbook with many great family friendly recipes).

Family favorites (this should be included in this thread).

Crock Pot Roast-
2-3 pound chuck roast
Carrots
Potatoes
Onion
2 cans of diced tomatoes (we like the herbed

Put it on in the morning eat it for dinner. Salt and pepper to taste.

This is basic but my kids love it and it is an easy meal.
-------

London Broil strips-

Take a low fat London broil. Sear both side (two-three minutes a side) on the grill.

Remove and slice in long 1/4 inch strips. Dip in thick teriyaki sauce (we also sometimes use other thick Asian sauces)and grill medium rare.

Side note about eating cheap - My daughter and her husband started dumpster diving during college. Mostly at grocery stores and Panera. The food is always double wrapped and perfectly edible. My wife is horrified but we are after all descendants of hunter/gathers.

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cperry
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Yeah, that crock meal is very popular with my kids as well. Sometimes I put in green beans or peas. It's very flexible.
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Funean
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Actually, Ops, I would love it if you would start a thread about agrarian issues like the science of sustainable farming. I notice that an awful lot of people seem to equate those kinds of efforts with vegetarianism, hippies, the extreme left, and unpatriotic people too good eat a Gosh-Darned American Big Mac, when nothing could be further from the truth of the matter.

Another good cookbook for food geeks is Cookwise, by Shirley Corriher (who is I believe a former chemist). Lots of good recipes, all accompanied by marvelously nerdy explanations of why they work (what gluten does, ways of denaturing proteins, what sorts of bubbles to leaven your baked product with, etc.)

And anything by America's Test Kitchen is chock full of geeky goodness (good recipes, too, although they are a bit more in love with fresh thyme -- it doesn't go with *everything*, guys -- and sauces than I am--I always reduced the amount about about a third, lest my food be drowned, albeit yummily).

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OpsanusTau
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Well, you all know already that I am, in fact, a vegetarian hippie from the unpatriotic far left.

So I am not sure what I could contribute.

[Wink]

Would the thread be in Ornery U? I'm willing to give it a try, with the caveat that my available time for internet use is unpredictably variable.

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Funean
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Yes, please. [Smile]
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Mynnion
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Why stop at food science. As a biochemist that hasn't used any biochem in 20 years I would love to see a thread on scientific advances. After all most of us joined Ornery because of our love for SciFi.

Ops (in all your spare time) could hit bio.

Doesn't Munga work in energy?

I am not sure that anyone is interested in Laboratory medicine, robotics, or information systems but I would be happy to answer any questions in these fields.

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tonylovern
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ok, just found this thread. thought i should add the meatloaf recipe i came up with screwing around one day. one of my pet peeves is people who only put hamburger in thier meatloaf. its meatloaf damnit, not hamburger loaf.

1.5 lbs. hamburger
1 lb. breakfast sausage
1 lb. chorizo
3-4 strips of bacon cut in half
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 small can tomato sauce (not ketchup, eww)
a little black pepper
a little italian spices
3 eggs
1.5 cups of oatmeal (not crackers, thats a redneck substitute that does an inferior job.)
1/2 cup diced green peppers
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 small can of mushrooms, also diced

combine the hamburger, sausage, chorizo, onions, garlic powder, green pepper's, mushrooms, eggs and oatmeal in a large mixing bowl. mash it all together till its a fairly even consitency.

shape it into a loaf in a casserole dish. (i really hope you know what a meatloaf shape is)

sprinkle the top with black pepper and pour the tomato sauce as evenly over the top as you can.

sprinkle the italian seasoning over the tomato sauce, then lay the stips of bacon crosswise down the length of the whole thing.

bake at 350 for 75-90 minutes. if you have a meat thermometer make sure the internal temp is a minimum of 160. if not, cut it in the thickest part to make sure its done. between slamonella and trichonosis, its very important that its done all the way.

meatloaf is just fun to make. the recipes can vary depending on what flavor your going for. i like the chorizo and bacon in mine, i think it gives it a more bold flavor. to be honest though the most important parts of a meatloaf arent the meats. the eggs are necessary to hold it together, and the oatmeal is necessary to absorb the grease. as i said, you can substitute crushed saltines, but i wouldnt.

i also like to sprinkle some carne guisada on with the black pepper, but thats not necessary.

also, if you have a foreman grill, use that to reheat slices for sammiches. the slight charring tends to compliment the flavors excellently.

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OpsanusTau
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O no. I just noticed that I totally forgot I was supposed to start a thread about Agriculture.

All right, I'll get to work. Sometime soon, I promise.

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LetterRip
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I've become fascinated with cooking and salads lately. Amazon is wonderful at feeding my obsessive interests - it is amazing how quickly one can spend a couple hundred dollars feeding ones curiosity.

I'm particularly interested in books that focus on ideas and science of cooking.

I've recently read Harold Mcgee's "On Food and Cooking" (interesting but a bit dry writing), Shirley O. Corriher "Cookwise" (brilliant for what it covers, but sadly a complete lack of discussion on spices), and a number of good books on salads and grilling.

Currently ordering 'the flavor bible'.

LetterRip

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
Thanks for the thread, Jason. [Smile]

Know anything about making a good steak? I always really enjoy what I have at a good steakhouse, but can't really seem to replicate it at home. Recipes for any particular cuts along with general advice would be very much appreciated.

Steak is really one of the areas where you get what you pay for I find. So first I would agree locate a good butcher. Personally I would eat grass fed exclusiviely given the option, it's getting easier to find.

Beef needs to age a little. A butcher I worked with pointed out a ribeye which was turning green and said "that would be a good cut, I'd like to eat that myself."I though he was messing with me until I asked another butcher and he confirmed it.

Steak is fairly dense naturally so a lot of what goes into preparing a good one invoves breaking down the tissue. Marinades that are somewhat acid (any number of prepared marinades usually use some form of citrus or vinega"r, tomatoe juice works) A meat tenderizer is nice to have, aging breaks down the tissue naturally.

Chili pwoder is a good simple dry rub, personally I wouldn't make a steak without minced garlic. I always grill steak over flame given the opportunity (kind of in love with the grill myself though. I'd grill a pop-tart if I could. [Smile] )

So there's a start.

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