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 Post subject: the Old Granny thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:07 am 
Smeric
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Cooking With Radius!
(and anyone else who cares to share personal or family recipes)

This last year or so I've learned to cook - pretty much on my own, but starting with some principles picked up long ago in childhood (helping my mother out in the kitchen). There's a great deal more I could really stand to learn, but experimental cooking is fun, and some of the things I've worked out largely for myself I consider good enough to call original recipes.

I'll start with a couple, and gradually/eventually add more as I get around to typing them up. Feel free to post your own - if they sound like something I might like, I'll probably try them.



Theme One: Things You Can Do With Grated Cheddar


Chicken Cheddar Dumplings

1 cup flour (either use "self-rising" flour, or else stir in a teaspoon of baking powder)
about 1/3 cup milk
1 - 1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup

In a medium saucepan stir together Campbell's soup and half a can-full of water or milk. Bring to a slow boil. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, stir flour and milk together to make a loose dough. Stir grated cheese into dough until thoroughly mixed. Drop the cheesy-dough into the soup in large spoonfuls. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes. If desired, chicken and/or your choice of vegetables can be added to the soup before the dough (either pre-cook chicken or else cut it into very small pieces). Makes a big meal for one or a side dish for two or three.

Vegetarian option: use Cream of Mushroom soup instead.



Homestyle Mac & Cheese

10 oz. or 2/3 lb of pasta (rotini/fusili holds the sauce best, but macaroni will do)
1/2 lb Italian or generic pork sausagemeat (for example, Jimmy Dean)
6 to 8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
milk

Boil pasta in a large pot or suacepan. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a small or medium skillet, keeping it well separated and/or cut into lots of small pieces. When pasta is cooked (al dente is best), pour it into a strainer to drain, and leave it there while you return the pot to the stovetop. Add sausage and Cream of Mushroom Soup to the pot, plus about half a can of milk. Stir in cheese until it has fully melted into the soup mixture. Remove from heat and thoroughly mix the pasta in. Makes a full meal for two hungry people or three polite people.

Vegetarian option: omit sausage.



Super-Simple Taco Salad

1/2 to 1 head of lettuce (any kind will do, but personally I use Boston lettuce)
1 15 oz. can chili. Get the sort that does not have beans (yes, it exists)
grated cheddar cheese, to taste
salsa, to taste

Heat chili according to can instructions. Meanwhile shred lettuce or cut it finely. When chili is hot, spread it onto plates. Sprinkle a goodly layer of lettuce on top. Use a spoon to sprinkle salsa onto the lettuce - I find a little goes a long way, but it's good even if there's too much. Finally, sprinkle cheese over the lot; I tend to use so much that everything's covered in an orange blanket, but suit yourself. Serve with tortilla chips or tamales or anything else you like. Feeds two.

Vegetarian option: none. Sorry. Taco salad without the meat wouldn't be remotely the same thing.




These three recipes can easily be scaled up if you want to feed more people - just use more of the ingredients to your best judgement. The exact proportion of them isn't critical.

I probably have ten or a dozen more recipes I could share, but well do I know that the longer the post, the less likely anyone is to read it. So I'll hold off on others until the next time I feel motivated to try typing them up.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:30 am 
Avisaru
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:05 am
Posts: 275
Location: Nottingham, England
Funnily enough, I was just thinking about learning to cook more recently. I've grown a bit tired of preprocessed food, and over the last few weeks I've gone through my limited number of from-scratch recipes enough times to be sick of them.
I've been thinking of buying a "Cooking for Retards" book or something.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:44 am 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:04 am 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:42 am 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:53 am 
Lebom
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2003 4:37 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Scotland
I enjoy cooking. Well, when I'm not tired or rushed, I enjoy cooking.

Things that I find invaluable when cooking:

Cheese - it is the ultimate topping. It goes with anything, just sprinkle some grated cheese on. Or put it in halfway through. Instant protein.

Vinegar - I find vinegar useful in so many ways just around the house, not just cooking. You can use vinegar to moisten cakes, eliminate grease, remove stains, kill weeks, clean pots and pans, soften laundry, unclog drains, control dandruff, season salads, make pies, and so much more.

Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce - these two buddies don't go well together, but you have to have one of them in a meal. Not only do they add their own flavour, they also bring out the flavour in everything else. Meals would be boring without them. (Note: Worcestershire is pronounced /wustEr/.)

Anyway, I would post some recipes, but I'm quite terrible with measures (I'm of the "however much feels right" school of cooking), which isn't very useful for you guys. Soups are very easy to make and keep for a long time, take advantage of that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:43 am 
Smeric
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:57 am 
Smeric
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:32 pm 
Boardlord
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I put a delicious Virginia Fudge recipe on the Almeopedia, for those who know Verdurian.

Every Sunday I make Dutch Baby pancakes; it's been years, and we haven't got tired of the recipe yet.

Whisk together in a bowl:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
A dash of salt (1/8 tsp if you need to measure)

Add 4 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute, and whisk till smooth. (Or just 6 eggs, if you're not worried about cholesterol.) (For beginning cooks: Remove the eggshells.)

Pour into a pie pan or something and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. (I use two nested pie pans and cover the inner one with aluminum foil-- Brits can use aluminium foil-- since this keeps it from burning in our toaster oven. Probably unnecessary in a regular oven.)

Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup. And coffee.

When we're feeling energetic, my wife cuts up apples and fries them in sugar for a bit, creating a caramel sauce; then we put the apples in the bottom of the pan before pouring in the pancake batter.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:15 pm 
Sanno
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I've been cooking for myself since I was around thirteen or so (I came from a semi-broken home). I learnt first from my mother and then later I expanded my repertoire somewhat while I was in Italy. So I basically cook either good Welsh stodge or good Italian food (which some claim is pretentious food :evil:).

This is one of my favourite recipes, the ragù alla bolognese I learnt to make. It looks quite complex, but is actually dead easy and it's cheap to make, too.

You will need:

1 large carrot, grated
about 8 closed-cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
half a kilo of beef mince
handful of diced pancetta
half a litre of beef stock (you can get away with chicken, really)
one 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (don't bother skinning and chopping your own, really. It may be more "authentic", but it's a hassle)
about 250g passata
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 glass of a decent red wine
oregano, cinnamon, fennel and rosemary.

Fry the garlic and shallots in olive oil over a medium heat for about five minutes or so, until they go soft and a bit brown. If they go black, start over. Add the minced beef and pancetta and fry unil browned. Turn the heat up high and add the wine- cook quickly until the liquid is absorbed. Then stir in a teaspoon of dried oregano, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of dried rosemary and about a quarter of a teaspoon of fennel. Then chuck in the rest of the ingredients, turn down the heat to low and cook slowly for an hour. Stir it occassionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and top up with a little water if it gets too dry.

The end result should be relatively dry and sticky. Serve it with tagliatelle and with grated parmesan on top. If you have a lot left over, use it for lasagne or something. It's not bad in jacket potatoes, either.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:45 pm 
Lebom
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Location: Oxford
I generally cook without a recipe - and I've found it quite a nice conlanging exercise - Writing down what I'm doing in the current conlang, increasing the vocab and saving the recipe for another time if it turns out to be any good. Being vege also means you have to cook moderately creatively, or you end up going mad at the monotony of carbohydrate...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:43 pm 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:55 pm 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:56 pm 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:00 pm 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:23 pm 
Sanno
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But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
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I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:01 pm 
Sanci
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:53 pm 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:55 pm 
Niš
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Salmon (can also be used for any other fish, with varying results)
Take some tinfoil and grease with butter.
ake some salt, pepper and garlic and dust onto the fish to taste (Old Bay/Chef Paul’s Seafood Magic work great, but can be hard to find in some parts of the country).
Place thin pats of butter on top of the fish and wrap in tinfoil.
Bake at 450F until done (test periodically).
Serve with lemon juice and butter.

Serves as many as you make pieces for.

Miso soup (this one's watertoiceXI's)
Take 2 ½ tbs. miso, one tsp. dashi stock (these ingredients take a lot of looking, but you can eventually find them anywhere.), and three cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil and add the dashi—it should dissolve instantly. Take the water down from a boil and add miso.
Serve.
You can also add vegetables, tofu, etc. to taste.

Serves three-six comfortably, depending on bowl size and how hungry they are...

That one's a big favorite for us--both miso and dashi are very cheap for the amount of soup you can get out of them.

Rice & Chicken (also my lovely boyfriend's... and another easy, healthy, yummy dorm favorite)
Prepare rice (any kind works. Use a rice cooker, boil-in-bag... whatever. They all have pretty simple instructions).
Shred some cooked chicken.
Mix together.
Douse liberally in soy sauce.

(You can also soak the chicken shreds in anything lemon-flavored... some people like that, some people don't. We've tried adding soybeans, but that usually doesn't turn out well.)

(More to be added as I think of them.)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:35 pm 
Avisaru
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Posts: 357
Location: San Francisco
My mom's macaroni and cheese is a bit different from Radius's version. It's slightly time-consuming but not difficult, and the basic technique is used in a lot of European-style sauces.

~1 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 cups milk
~8 oz or 2 cups cheddar cheese (preferably sharp), grated or cut into small pieces

Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package, then drain and set aside.

In a largeish saucepan (I use the same pan I cooked the macaroni in), melt the butter. Stir in the flour & seasonings-- it should form a kind of paste with the butter. (This is what's called a roux, and is the basis of lots of sauces.)

Then pour in the milk, stirring constantly so the butter-flour clumps get broken up and completely dissolved (I really mean constantly: if you stop it'll clump up again). Continue to cook and stir until it gets all thick and bubbly (this is "white sauce" or béchamel); then dump in the cheese and stir until it's melted and blended in.

Add the macaroni and stir it around so it's all coated in the sauce; then pour everything into a baking pan and bake until it starts to brown on top. I usually bake it at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, then turn up the heat for another 5-10 minutes because it isn't browned yet and I'm impatient. Next time I think I'll try a higher temperature from the start.

Let it cool and congeal a little before serving. It should feed 4-6 people, depending on how hungry they are and what else you have with it (it goes nicely with pork chops or smoked sausage).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:22 pm 
Sanci
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I've been cooking for myself (and friends when I have them round) quite a lot recently; it's a big confidence boost as well as fun. Maybe I'll try some of the ideas in this thread out some time....


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:57 pm 
Niš
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:05 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:30 pm 
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