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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Soups/Stews! on: October 23, 2011 09:29:33 AM
Well you're only limited by your imagination; I've heard of blue cheese pear soup and I've not come up with any feasible way to approach this, alas.

Good soup always starts with a good base, the base being the liquid. Now, I try to avoid using just plain old water as much as humanly possible. This may lead to more time consuming recipes but the ends, in my opinion, justify the means.
This brings you into the realm of 'stocks'. Personally, I don't like the store-bought stuff because I find that it's ridiculously salty (just as well, they need to preserve it). By all means, it's usable. If you feel daring, look up a stock recipe (that's chicken, beef or vegetable) on the interwebs, mind you it is time consuming to make (approximately 2.5 hours).

So now we have a base, we need to pick flavors. Pick any flavor under the sun, think of the way to make it taste best in a soup (keeping in mind that water will dilute the flavor), and think of a way to add it in.

Example:
I want a sundried tomato soup.
Thought process:
Vegetable base will work best. The sundried tomatoes in olive oil will just be weird and oily in the soup so I'll use the dried ones. The dried ones have a chewy texture so I'll simmer them in the base so they leech out their flavor. I'll add some tomato puree to enforce the tomato flavor, but not too much that I'd overwhelm the sundried-ness. I'll puree the soup with some dried sundried tomatoes for texture so I dont need to add noodles. Maybe I'll use some of the oil from the oiled sundried tomatoes to make little croutons to decorate my soup. Salt+Pepper and we have sundried tomato soup.


Clear as mud?
2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Granola Yumminess w/pics on: October 15, 2011 01:56:40 PM
"The Nutter"
3  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Canned Pumpkin Puree on: September 28, 2011 04:46:40 AM
  You could line a strainer with cheesecloth or coffee filters over a big bowl and let it strain overnight in the fridge to remove some of the excess liquid. 

Then take the liquid and do something with that! That's flavor-town! Make a pumpkin martini, pumpkin iced-tea, pumpkin syrup for ice cream... That is one idea, MissingWillow
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Canned Pumpkin Puree on: September 26, 2011 04:25:50 AM
Roast the pumpkin. It'll also bring out the natural sweetness of the pumpkin to add depth to your pies.
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Tasty ways to jazz up popcorn? on: September 15, 2011 01:45:31 PM
Two words: Spice Cabinet.

It's not the pre-bought flavoring junk, it's actual flavors. My favorite is spicy honey curry popcorn.


Failing that, eat popcorn with a blindfold because you'll taste it differently.
6  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Canned tuna/salmon help on: September 10, 2011 10:06:10 AM
I actually use canned fish a lot, because (tuna especially) works pretty well instead of chicken and it's cheaper.  So, quesodillas are good with canned fish, and pasta bakes, and rice balls. You could probably use salmon in omlettes, too.

But that's just my philosophy on cooking; I don't use anything canned lest it's necessary. I agree though, protein is expensive.
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Your favorite tip/trick/ingredient? on: September 09, 2011 09:08:05 PM
Favorite tip:
If a dish doesn't taste right, add salt (before the point where you taste "salt" and after the point where the flavors brighten up. NEVER put salt in soup until you're just about to serve it!), lemon juice (not a lot, just a touch of acidity will add incredible depth to a dish sometimes. No lemon? Add a touch of vinegar and just heat whatever you put it in until you can't smell the vinegar anymore), and failing those two things: a touch of cayenne (will chemically stimulate your tastebuds making one taste the food better).


Ingredient:
Garlic.
Add garlic to anything and it'll instantly taste better.
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Fried Rice w/ Peanut Butter Sauce (Super cheap meal) on: September 09, 2011 08:55:57 PM
Wow...


Kudos on the creativity! I just can't see PB pairing with tomato, let alone mushroom and peas. lol happy cooking!
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Canned tuna/salmon help on: September 09, 2011 08:51:01 PM
Hey peeps! Does anybody have any healthy canned tuna/salmon recipes to share? I've been eating it a lot more often lately and need to change it up so it doesn't get boring. I usually put it on top of green salad (sometimes with lemon juice), or just mix it up with light mayo, mustard, and relish, sometimes adding carrots, onions, and celery.

The first and only thing I use canned tuna for (I don't like it at all, but I make exceptions sometimes) is sushi. Tuna salad sushi, that is. Slightly more labor-intensive, however the results are worth it.

I guarantee you can find sushi tutorials on youtube and whatnot (thought crossed my mind to post something here, perhaps next sushi night). My standard recipe for the tuna salad:
Tuna (believe it or not!)
Mayo (I use the real stuff, no low fat here. I almost dare you to make your own!)
Pickles (sliced into long matchsticks)
Dill (Picks up the pickle flavor, mellows out the tuna flavor)
Pickle Juice (to water down a bit and add a touch of acidity to the mayo)

Mix the tuna, mayo, dill, and pickle juice together, blend it well and whatnot. Lay that down on the sushi rice (assuming you have the seaweed and rice all layed out ready to go), put the pickle strips on top and roll.

Otherwise, I'd only have to warn you about the excessive consumption of canned tuna and the mercury risk.
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Looking for Brown butter cookie recipe on: September 06, 2011 08:08:40 PM
Thanks for the advice. I was wondering do you think subbing brown butter for regular would change the recipe too much because of the lack of water in brown butter? 

Butter's water content is low to begin with, I really don't think it'd make much of a difference. Just don't quote me on that.

Quote
That's the reason I decided to search the internet for a recipe in the first place. That in turn led me to make little roux ball cookies.  The brown butter flavor was awesome it was the texture that was really bad.

Initially, I was going to ask what the issue was with the recipe but, that recipe is just bad.

Quote
I think I will try the recipe you suggested but leave out the vanilla. I just want brown butter to be the main flavor.  Maybe I could add a little milk back to the butter once its cooled down some? If my next atttempt is a fail I will just make these financiers. Originally I was looking to make brown butter ice cream but all of the recipes I found were too involved or needed a ton of butter.

Thanks again.

I would HIGHLY discourage adding milk back into butter because milk and the 'milk' in butter are highly different. I would also discourage not adding vanilla. I understand that you want the delicious brown butter to be dominant but as I've experienced, "Salt is to cooking as vanilla is to baking." Just use less, 1/2tsp would be suffice. As to the labor intensiveness, that's what makes the difference from a good dish to a great dish, but that's just my philosophy. Brown butter ice cream sounds insanely good.

Best of luck all the same.
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