Page 3 of 13 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 37 to 54 of 217

Thread: Cooking Fresh Food - breaking the jar/can/bottle habit...

  1. #37

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Forestville NSW
    Posts
    8,944

    Default

    Pasta bake: Pre-milk allergy in my house was:

    250gm ricotta cheese
    1 cup grated tasty cheese
    1/2 cup cream
    1 packet frozen spinach
    1 clove garlic minced
    salt & pepper
    If you want more tomato taste with it as in creamy tomato flavour I would add 2 tbsp tomato paste. Mix it all together & toss through some par cooked pasta.


    Scalloped Potatoes (basic version)



    6 potatoes cut thinly
    250gm double cream
    1 onion chopped & floured... (put onion in a glad bag with 1 tbsl flour in it & toss around)
    4 slices short cut bacon chopped
    tasty cheese grated
    chopped parsley

    I would put this into a baking container and layer it, onion, potato, bacon and then pour on some cream.... etc etc until the top layer of bacon. Top with chopped parsley and grated cheese.

  2. #38

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Insular Peninsula - Sydney
    Posts
    312

    Default

    Ren - a few quick thoughts for you

    A roux is a mixture of equal parts of butter and flour - you can make it up in large batches to keep in the fridge, or make it as you need it.

    Just melt the butter over a low heat, then stir in the flour until you have a paste then keep cooking and stirring until the floury taste goes away, but before it starts to develop a darker colour. If you keep cooking beyond this point then you will get a brown roux which has a nutty flavour to it.

    A progression of creamy sauces using a roux:-

    Bechamel Sauce (Basic creamy sauce) - add milk to the roux and cook until you have a smooth, thickened sauce - if it get too thick then add a little more milk - grate in a little whole nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. The nutmeg is really worth doing properly - don't use powdered nutmeg, it really helps with digestion of the fat in the sauce and adds a great aroma. Bechamel keeps very well in the fridge.

    LMS - if you have a craving for ham and cheese toasties, then the addition of bechamel sauce to the sandwich will provide you with a classic french croque monsieur. I usually have a little pot of left over bechamel in the fridge, and this is a favourite way of using it up.

    Basic cheese sauce - just add grated cheddar/tasty cheese to the bechamel until you reach the desired taste/consistency - pour the sauce over cauliflower or other vegetables and pop in the oven for great cauliflower cheese.

    A more sophisticated cheese sauce - use a mixture of different types of cheese with the bechamel - the first one to go in is a soft cheese for richness - mascarpone or ricotta, next add a sharp, salty hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino to give the sauce a little bit, after that add a good melting cheese for texture - mozzeralla or fontina is good and finally if you like blue cheese then you can add some of that for the smokey aromatic finish. Mix this sauce with pasta shells or gnocchi for a really spectacular dish - careful with the portion size, this is very rich - so eat a little for the taste and accompany it with hunk of decent bread and a good salad - you can lighten it up a little by stirring in a handful of fresh spinach until it has wilted down into the sauce.

  3. #39

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    294

    Default

    Gravy! Is easy to make, and also cheaper!!

    I make it whenever we have a roast (about 3 times a year LOL)...

    I don't bother transferring the meat juice to a saucepan, just take the pan that the roast was cooking in and add some flour. How much flour you add depends on how much juice is in the pan, but I'd start with 2-3 tbsp and add more if needed, I like it to be the consistency of playdough.

    Heat over a low flame (use an oven mitt to hold the pan) and stir until the flour has gone golden brown, or had a chance to fry off a bit.

    Add a little water, then stir until it thickens again. Do this over and over (adding a bit more water each time) until the gravy is about the consistency that you like. Season with salt and bamix/blend to get rid of any lumpy bits.

    It's so easy!

    Something we eat loads of is chicken curry. I make it in big, school camp sized batches which cost about $25 to make, and I'll usually get 20 serves to freeze. I don't use a recipe (which annoys my husband no end, since it is different each time ) but this is approximately how I do it.....

    Cheap and reasonably low fat chicken curry

    1 Very big pot
    2-3 Onions, chopped
    2-3 Chicken breasts, cubed
    1/2 packet chickpeas soaked, or 2 cans chickpeas/lentils
    2-3 Carrots
    2-3 Potatoes cubed
    Half a cauli
    Any other veggies you want
    1/2 - 1 can light coconut milk

    Spice mix
    Some garlic
    Some corriander
    Some cumin
    A little turmeric
    A little chili powder
    Some salt
    Last time I put mustard seeds in it too, and that was yum!
    2-3 tbsp tomato paste

    In a bowl mix the spices and tom paste together to taste. Add a little water to help the ingredients bind until it's a paste. We like spicy so use quite a lot of each of these ingredients, e.g. 2-3 tbsp of corriander and cumin, 1-2 tsp of turmeric - but half the fun is figuring out what you find yum. We add chili for heat (I kid you not, half a teaspon of my dad's killer chilli powder does a massive MASSIVE pot, it's lethal).

    Fry the onions in a little olive oil until soft, then add the spice mix. Fry off for 1-2 minutes.

    Add the chicken and brown off for 1-2 minutes then add chickpeas and a little water. Combine well, and gradually add your vegies stirring each time. Almost cover to the top with water or stock, stick a lid on it and simmer on a low heat until vegies soft (usually 1-2 hours at our house due to the size of the pot LOL).

    Before serving stir in the coconut milk.

    That's my curry! Not bad for $1.50 a serve (and they're big serves too!).

    Roux
    Is actually pretty similar to making gravy. This is the way I do it, the same 3 times a year we have roast

    Take equal parts butter and flour (e.g. 3tbsp flour = 3 tbsp butter), and over a medium heat cook together stirring all the time until golden NOT brown. Add a little milk and stir constantly until all absorbed. Do this again and again until it's the consistency you like.

    The key is not to add any more liquid until the last lot you put in has been all absorbed, and not to add too much at a time.

    At this point you can stir in either cheese and nutmeg for cheese sauce, or brandy and a little sugar for brandy sauce!! mmmmm Christmas food...

    HTH - I feel very martha stewart LOL. We make this stuff cos we're too tight to buy it!!!!

  4. #40

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    11,462

    Default

    ren i love making roux's!!!
    i dont use a recipe but i think its meant to be equal parts butter and flour.
    melt butter add flour and cook for 1 minute, add milk tiny amounts at a time (off heat) nix thoroughly keep going to all milk added, put bak on heat and heat til it thickens!
    try 1tbs butter
    1tbs flour
    1 cup milk

    i also cheat and make one in the microwave

  5. #41

    Default

    This thread is making me so hungry!

    Just thought I would add my two cents in on pasta forno (pasta bakes) and pasta sauces.
    Being Italian I can't go more than a couple days without pasta.
    There are heaps of quick sauces out there that you can make but I love the long slow cooked ones.

    Bolognese Sauce

    Olive oil, enough to cover at least 1cm of the pot, 2cm even, heaps.
    Half quantities of beef and pork mince about 500g
    Onion, diced
    Garlic, if you like it, I add about 6 odd cloves, I like it
    salt, pepper
    Passata, couple bottles
    Water if needed

    Just warm the oil in the pot, add the onion and garlic, cook them really slowly, don't let them brown, keep them transparent. I cook them for about 20 mins sometimes less if I am pressed for time.
    Add the minces, fry til brown, but not over too high a heat.
    Add your passata and salt. pepper to taste.
    Simmer for at least a couple hours, the longer you cook the, the better it tastes. If it's getting to thick and dry just top up with water.
    Serve with parmasen and as Bear said not the pre grated crap. I won't tell you what I call it as it's crass and I'll probably offend someone.
    Growing up we used grana padana on pastas, we would have been shot if we put the good parmasen on it, That was strictly after the meal, mind you it was the awesome Reggiano.
    If you haven't tried it BUY IT, expensive but you will never go back to pre grated!

    As for pasta bake
    I use that sauce, with some cooked pasta, al dente, a couple eggs and some pecorino, or mozarella or parmasen, or all three.
    Bake it for about half an hour on 200. It's awesome and lasts for ages.

    if you make a heap of the sauce you can freeze it and use it to make a quick pasta bake, I do that sometimes.

    ETA If you are PG be careful with the Italian cheeses as most of them use unpasturised milk. I'm dying for some good parmasen right now!!
    Last edited by ll80; August 13th, 2008 at 01:46 PM.

  6. #42

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Insular Peninsula - Sydney
    Posts
    312

    Default

    A couple of comments on LL80's great looking bolognese recipe:-
    - Don't go nuts looking for Passata (for some reason supermarkets think it is a premium product), you can use canned, chopped tomato along with tomato puree to get the same result.
    - If you really want a smooth sauce then push the chopped tomatos through a blender then a sieve to remove all the pips and lumps first...I can't be bothered I like it chunky.

    A few variations:-
    - For a deeper range of flavours, start the sauce with chopped onions, celery, carrot and garlic - let these cook down in the oil stirring occasionally to ensure that they are well coated. Make sure everything is finely chopped - the veggies should almost dissolve into the sauce as it cooks. Throw in a couple of bay leaves whilst it is simmering.
    - Add some chopped chilli with the passata for a spicier finish.
    - Give it a Greek feel by adding a stick of cinnamon, some powder cloves and fresh or dried oregano.
    - Add chopped chilli, saffron and chopped chorizo for a more spanish taste
    - Add a couple of squares of dark, unsweetened chocolate for a richer, darker sauce


    Tali - this is a nice simple recipe for a good bolognese sauce that you should try, if you don't want to tend a pot on the stove for a few hours then use a slow cooker or move the covered pan into a low oven for a few hours. The sauce will store well in the fridge or freezer very well.

    Briggsy's Girl - Passata is one of the traditional Italian ways of preserving the tomato crop for use over the winter, so if you are getting a bumper crop from your veggie patch then it's worth thinking about. Simply put the fresh tomatoes through a blender and sieve, or use a food mill (these aren't expensive and are very useful) then boil the result down to your preferred consistency and store in sterilised jars - it will keep for months and months without refridgeration and forms the basis of lots of good italian dishes.
    Last edited by TheBear; August 13th, 2008 at 02:52 PM.

  7. #43

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In my own private paradise
    Posts
    15,272

    Default

    last year we gave away about 30kg of tomatos from half dozen plants - they went nuts!! hadn't considered blending them down first before cooking.. might have to give it a go.

    any suggestions for flavoursome dishes with large zucchini's (like HUGE - i think they're called marrows when they go past a certain point) - we throw them threw almost everything we cook, and still have heaps left over. i love putting them through other dishes, but i'm not a fan of the texture or lack of flavour on their own...

    and fruit - last year i know we gave away about 25k of peaches and apples - i'm not a fan of peaches that have been cooked down, so would love to know how to poach them so they're like the ones you get in the shops. and suggestions on what to use them with... we've just gone and planted HEAPS more fruit trees so that, in a couple of years time, we'll be pretty much self sufficient fruit and veg wise...

    one thing we do is, when we're "over" a particular vegie, we'll make a soup that is full of vegies. have made some awesome soups lately - just throwing everything in the slow cooker and let it cook over night... most have a pumpkin base (our qld blue went insane last year, and we harvested pumpkins weighing at least 5-8kg each, so when we cut into them, we inevitable end up making a pumpkin based soup as we just can't eat enough any other way!) - thankfully we have more than one freezer - and uncut pumpkin lasts for ages so we're not having to do it all that often

  8. #44

    Default

    mmmm marrows,
    my dad grows these, what we always did was cut them in half, scoop out the middles fill it with bolognese sauce and bake it in the oven until the marrow is tender.
    YUM!

  9. #45

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,798

    Default

    BG I have a zucchini soup recipe with noodles that we like - it is quite mild in flavour but yummy with some chili and parmeson on top! I can post the recipe tomorrow if you like (I'm at work!). Also with zucchini you can thinly slice, dip in egg and coat in seasoned breadcrumbs or polenta. Then lightly fry in some olive oil. It is really nice in sandwiches, focaccias or as a side dish! We have it cold in summer with cold meats, salads etc.

    Wow sounds like you have a massive green thumb! Have you thought about selling some of your fruit/veg? I'd buy it in a flash lol!

  10. #46

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    Thank you all for some great recipes. I will try them soon!

  11. #47

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, ready to meet peeps IRL
    Posts
    2,221

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBear View Post


    Tali - this is a nice simple recipe for a good bolognese sauce that you should try, if you don't want to tend a pot on the stove for a few hours then use a slow cooker or move the covered pan into a low oven for a few hours. The sauce will store well in the fridge or freezer very well.

    Thank you once again.... I dont mind so much having to hang around to stir a pot if I can cook it in the daytime when I would only have 1 at home, it just gets hard when it 5pm ( witching hour ) and I trying to cook but dont have anyone to play with the winkies to get them from under my feet....

    * As I duck for cover I say* what is a slow cooker I dont have one and have no idea What you are all talking about.... See now you all are begining to understand what I mean when I say I DONT cook unless its in a jar LOL

    keep them comming I am busy saving them all so I can print them out latter....

    BTW no one has yet to tell me how to make Gravy like nanna lol

  12. #48

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Forestville NSW
    Posts
    8,944

    Default

    slow cooker...**insert Homer drool**

    Its a appliance that will cook things over 8 hours or so.... Like cooking on the stove top on a low heat without the need to stir as much. I stir, but its mostly out of habit...

  13. #49

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In my own private paradise
    Posts
    15,272

    Default

    haven't sold any yet, and don't think i would (we've fed half the town though i'm sure) - i'm too much of a perfectionist and would feel bad selling something with a marked skin - i'll eat it myself, but won't sell it (iykwim!)

    not keen on the idea of zucchini soup - mum makes one and i find it very bland - but i'm happy to give anything a go once! if i don't enjoy it, DH can take it to work with him (or we'll feed the dogs - they cos a fortune to feed, so i don't mind sharing our cheaper meals!)

    tali, i make a mean gravy - take the meat out of the pan, get the drippings bubbling nicely - add some gravy flour (it's just a type of flour that doesnt go lumpy) - add enough to absorb all the dripping so it's like you're mixing playdough in the pan, then slowly add water while keeping it hot (and not burning) - if i find it's a bit light in color, i'll add maybe a tblsp of gravox for color. keep stirring ( i use a whisk) until it's the volume and consistency you want. the more dripping, the more gravy. i tend to also pour some of the dripping off if it's too much, and if it looks fatty, will let it sit first. add salt and pepper to taste. my gravy is always a hit (but so hard to explain in writing!)

  14. #50

    Default

    I make gravey like your nana.
    It's easy. Take your roast out of the pan and put it on a warmed dish to rest.
    Tip most of the oil/fat off the top of the pan juices (it settles into layers so you just have to pour the top off). Add some flour to the left over pan juices and mix it all together, then add water (stirring so that it doesn't go lumpy) and bring it to a boil and let it thicken. If you have boiled any veges use that water because it is tastier than plain water. If it is too thick you can add boiling water to thin it (not cold). I season my roasts so the pan juices don't need any extra flavours but you could add seasonings. My brother chucks a couple of cloves of garlic in his roasts then pops them out of the skin and mushes them into the pan juices with the flour.
    You could use corn flour but I just use plain old wheat flour. It's important to heat it with the pan juices before adding the water because if you add water before cooking the flour it tastes...... floury lol.
    If I've done a roast in the slow cooker I just use a soup ladle to get the juices and make it the same way in a saucepan.

    My DH always told me he hated gravy but once he tried the old fashioned stuff instead of MIL's gravox he changed his mind.

  15. #51

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Insular Peninsula - Sydney
    Posts
    312

    Default

    I'm not sure I've met your nanna..... :-)

    A couple of different approaches

    1. The Traditional Way

    Lift the meat out of the roasting pan to rest and place the pan on the stove top over a low heat.
    Add a tablespoon or so of flour to roasting pan and use a spoon or whisk to use the flour to mop up the fat and other meat juices that are in the pan.
    Once all the flour is incorporated you should have a paste, or lumps of paste floating about in the meat juices depending on how much liquid was in the pan - try to break up the lumps with a whisk.
    There should also be crusty bits of stuff cooked onto the pan...that stuff tastes great so we need to get it off and into the gravy - add a glass of wine (white for chicken, red for lamb or beef) and turn up the heat so that it starts to boil and bubble away, whilst it is doing that scrape all the stuck on bits off the bottom of the pan into the bubbling liquid.
    Use a whisk to break up any lumps of flour, or lumps of sticky stuff....your nanna had strong wrists!
    When the wine is nearly gone, add some stock to the pan and whisk it all together to make your gravy - taste it and see if it needs a little salt and pepper, then pour it through a sieve into whatever you are using to serve the gravy.

    2. The Easy Way

    Put the roasting pan on the stove over a low heat as before
    Either use a pre-made roux (see the posts about cheese sauces) or just put a tablespoon of cornflour in the mug with some *cold* water and stir it together - if the water is warm then the flour will start to cook and go lumpy...if it is cold then it won't.
    Add the glass of wine to the pan as before (you could go straight to the stock, but this gives it another level of flavour)
    Scrape all the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan and boil the wine as before, then add the stock and throw in the mixture from the mug. Keep stirring as the stock comes to the boil and the gravy should thicken up nicely as the cornflour solution goes hunting for fat molecules to stick to.

    Tali - a slow cooker is just a self-heating electric pot that doesn't need to be watched as carefully as one sitting on the hob. You can't do the frying parts of these recipes in them as they can't get that hot, but for the sections that need long slow cooking then they are great - just throw everything in, close the lid and get on with the rest of your day.

  16. #52

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In my own private paradise
    Posts
    15,272

    Default

    i find cooking the roast vegies in the pan drippings from the roast makes the gravy super tasty too. we always add garlic to our roast lamb (or onion and garlic rub with a bit of everything to beef), cook carrot onion, sweet potato, pumpkin and spud in the drippings, and then make gravy with what is left - divine!

    i've never been able to stomach gravy from a packet - a little bit of gravox to add color yep, but not as the whole of the gravy! yukko!!

  17. #53

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Insular Peninsula - Sydney
    Posts
    312

    Default

    Useless trivia addendum - the fat reclaimed from the roasting pan or from stocks was traditionally used to make roux and pastry. When you add a roux to sauces, gravies, stews, etc the fat in the roux usually rises to the surface and can be used again.

    I occasionally make a traditional beef stock that cooks for 48 hours and yields nearly two kg of beef dripping as a by-product - I start with nearly 30kg of bones and other bits and end up with 8-10 liters of beef stock and 2liters of dripping. This is usually the point where the pixie decides that she is over my love of cooking and has a sense of humour failure!

  18. #54

    Default

    Yeah, I can understand the pixie's POV. I make a killer pho but not too often because the dripping grosses me out.
    My mother used to use the reclaimed drippings but I just can't stomach handling the stuff or the thought of putting pure animal fat into my food - I'm more an olive oil girl myself. I buy and use it in bulk. I have more varieties of olive oil than salt in my cupboards lol.

Page 3 of 13 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •