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Bluescat

What are you cooking tonight?

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Tequila lime marinated chicken drumsticks from Whole Paycheck Foods

 

Soooooooooo tasty.

 

Last night was an all-you-can-eat Lebanese/Greek buffet. Lamb shank till ya puke...mmmmmmm

Sadly, no dolmas.

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Chris and I finished our two week fast. Today we ate a sandwhich made out of some yummy raw Onion bread, zucchini hummus, advocado, tomatoe and sprouts. The onion bread took 36 hours in the dehydrator to make, but well worth it! It was so nice to eat!

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Congratulations, AD!

I think you guys are crazy but your determination is completely admirable. My parents got me hooked on food at an early age and I've never been able to break the habit.

Kudos to you and welcome back to the dinner table. :cheers:

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Ribeye's on the barbeque

Asparagus

Brussel sprouts- I know, but I like 'em!

Baby purple potatoes in butter and tarragon

I'm full!

 

Alyssa, I like food way too much to try that. Congratulations, I would have never made it.

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About 18 years ago when my kids were around 8 and 5, I grew Brussel Sprouts in my garden. Owing to the fact that iI really prefer not to use pesticides, I ended up with a bit of an aphid problem.

 

When I prepared the Brussel Sprouts, the aphids ended up floating in the liquid. I told the kids they were spices.

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For lunch I am eating some hummus I made with Zucchini instead of Garbanzo beans (and raw tahini, instead of toasted - of course). It is insanely delicious. Veggie slices to dip with. Yum.

 

Oh - and last night I figured out how to make raw chocolate bars. It was so easy - and so devilshly good.

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I always make 7 or 8 of them. I end up eating 2 the first day i make them. then 2 the next day, and usually 1 or 2 are left over, so I just give them to whoever wants them around the neighborhood or at work.

 

They are quite heavenly.

 

 

I ordered some mexican food to go tonight. I got a chicken breast smothered with a wine and cream sauce, as well as fresh baby spinach and shrimp.

Edited by Wamplet

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Hey, Amber, is your latest avatar related to Erin, the Esurance hottie? ;)

 

Nopers - I hadn't even thought of that though I suppose I can see why you'd think that!

 

Red hair is so much cooler than pink, though. :pirate:

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They don't make chili rellenos like that around here. They look fantastic. Any chance of sharing your recipe?

 

Yeah it's pretty easy to make, but it just takes about 4 hours in total. :o

 

I will type something up over the weekend and post it later in the weekend. May take me just as long to remember it all and write it down. :D

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Bluescat,

 

I didn't get the chance to work on typing the recipe this weekend, because I made the horrible mistake of digging up about 6 bushes/weeds that were growing in the yard.

 

I had to dig about 2-3 feet deep, all around them and i'm pretty sore from the 2 or 3 hours of work it took.

 

In any case, I will try to write the recipe up at work during my downtime this week (hopefully tomorrow) and post it in here.

 

In any case, I managed to whip up a salad and eggplant parmigiana.

 

The salad has cherry tomatoes, sliced carrot, texas orange, red onion, pepperocini, red tipped lettuce, endive lettuce, and black olives. I made way too much, so i am going to have to eat it for lunch tomorrow and then make some more eggplant for tomorrow.

 

Eggplant is just sliced, salted, coated with flour, eggs, and then Italian bread crumbs, and fried till brown on both sides. Then, i use 1.5 bottles of Classico sauce (4-cheese, but they make several wonderful flavours) to coat a 3-inch deep glass baking dish/tray. Then, i lay down the eggplant slices in the glass tray and then pour the rest of the sauce until they are basically covered. Then, I spinkle plenty of oregano over the sauce. Then, I dump on a bag of motzerella cheese (2 cups) and then sprinkle about 2/3 cup of parmesan on top of that. Finally, I sprinkle some chopped parsely on top and then bake for 10 mins at 425.

 

I know this goes against the spirit of making the dish, but I have traditionally just used all motzerella, as i prefer the flavour of it, since it's a bit more mild than parmesan to me, but I decided to make it with parmesan as well today. I usually just use 1.5 to 2 bags of motzerella cheese. (3 to 4 cups)

 

 

 

Eggplant.JPG

 

 

 

Salad.JPG

Edited by Wamplet

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Wamplet!

I love that meal. The eggplant sounds a lot easier than I usually make. I usually make a Greek style salad with it. :thumbup:

I know what I'm having this week!

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The recipe i used is from "The Joy of Cooking" cookbook. I use about twice as much flour, eggs, and bread crumbs than what's listed in the book, just because it's much easier to coat the eggplant, having more stuff to work with.

 

Also, you can save yourself some time by leaving the skin on the eggplant. The original recipe has you peel it i think, but I have found that if you peel the skin off, it makes the coating harder to stick to the sides for some reason.

 

As long as you cook the eggplant until it's golden brown, the skin will pretty much melt in your mouth so to speak and won't really be chewy. That's what all the motzerella is for. :D

 

Also, I probably should mention that when i said I use 1.5 bottles of sauce, I just liberally coat the bottom, which is about half a bottle. I use the extra .5 bottle remaining as well as .5 of another bottle (or an entire bottle if you want more sauce) to put on top of the eggplant.

Edited by Wamplet

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Thank you!

 

I made that 2 days in a row and ate left overs for lunch the next day both times. I normally I don't eat left overs much, but it's kind of hard to pass the eggplant up.

 

I just had a Popeye's seafood combination today, as well as a piece of mint dark chocolate.

 

I found my favoured Endangered Species chocolate at Target (Black Panther 88%), so I bought about 3 bars of it. I also decided to buy all of the other "weird" flavours:

 

Blueberry

Mint

Cranberry and Almond

 

I must say that all of them are quite enjoyable, except the mint. the mint is very strong, but maybe after a square or two, i might warm up to it. I think there are about 16 or 20 squares per bar, so i try to eat just one square a night. Sometimes I eat 2. :)

 

 

Also, I was writing up the recipe on chile rellenos today and am nearing completion.

I just need to spend about another hour on it; proofreading and finishing up the mashed potatoes part.

 

I will try to post what i have in a little bit.

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Bluescat and anyone else interested,

 

I finally finished the recipe.

 

Let me know if it needs clarification.

 

Also, I apologize in advance about it being so long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe for Chili Rellenos

 

 

We usually make Spanish rice and guacamole to go along with this. I will include how to make the guacamole at the end. My wife always makes the Spanish rice and I don't really know how to make it by myself yet. :o

 

 

I would recommend cooking everything in the following order and give yourself about 4 hours to make everything.

 

 

=======================================================================

Mashed Potatoes

=======================================================================

4 large brown potatoes

Optional - 1 to 2 Garlic cloves (chopped/minced)

salt to taste

 

Wash the potatoes under running water.

I normally make mine with skins on, but if you don't like skins, feel free to peel them after this point.

Slice each potato into 1 inch thick slices and then each slice into quarters.

Put them into a pot and cover them with water.

(Optional) Add the chopped garlic into the water.

Set the heat to medium and cook them until the potatoes are soft. (fork-tender; where a fork or knife will easily slide in and out of it, when poked)

This can vary on the potatoes you use and how much are in the pot, but it's usually about 20-30 minutes at the most.

 

Drain them and then mash them.

Add salt, half a teaspoon at first.

Add half a stick of butter

Add 1/4 cup milk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

=======================================================================

Meat

=======================================================================

2 pounds of ground beef

3 or 4 Garlic Cloves (chopped/minced)

1 Yellow onion chopped

1 Red bell pepper chopped

1 can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 teaspoon of cumin (add more to taste)

1 teaspoon of salt (add more to taste) (1-2 teaspoons total)

8 to 10 pieces of chopped cilantro

 

First, wash and cut all of your vegetables, except the canned tomatoes. I mince or chop the veggies into tiny tooth-sized pieces.

For the tomatoes, don't put the liquid in, from the can.

Just take each tomato out of the can and hand separate them into smaller bite-sized pieces. It's ok to put the seeds and juices from with them into the meat.

 

Brown the meat on medium or medium low in a large deep sauce pan, until it's no longer pink or red (about 10 mins).

(I generally use a large sauce pan the size of a large plate and it's about 3 inches deep)

Put in all of the vegetables, cumin, salt, and mix.

Cover and add more salt to taste if necessary and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.

Drain the liquid and then put the pot back on the stove.

Prop the lid just open to where it's allowing a little bit of air out so the meat can cool, while you work on the chilies next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

=======================================================================

Poblano Peppers and Egg Batter

=======================================================================

8 large poblano peppers

At least 8 eggs (whites only and only 1 yolk)

At least 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar

Flour (about 1 cup)

 

 

***NOTE************************************

The most important thing to note is that you want to handle the poblanos with as much care as possible.

Treat them like glass or an egg. You don't want to puncture them or rip them, except from the very top when removing the stem as listed below.

You will be using these as a vessel to hold the meat and potatoes, so if you can handle them with care and keep them in one piece, it will make your job much easier.

When carving them, be careful not to rip them. Use short sawing motions and when stuffing them, with a spoon, carefully pack the meat down.

Try not to press down for an extended period of time, as this will make it a lot easier to rip the chili.

If you rip or tear one while cutting them or if the boiling process breaks one or two, don't worry.

It's not the end of the world. As long as the cut just looks like a paper cut and the chili isn't completely flattened from the cut, it will be fine.

*******************************************

 

 

Boil well over a gallon of water in a large stewing pot.

(I actually use 2 pots for this, so if you have 2 large pots that can do this and the stove to do it, I strongly suggest just boiling 4 chilies per pot)

Clean the chili peppers under running water from the faucet. Half of the time, there is going to be dirt around the stem and the top of the chilies.

Clean what you can by rinsing them under the faucet. The rest will come off during the boiling process.

Once the water is boiling, put the poblano peppers in it and reduce the heat to medium or medium low.

I would normally recommend no more than 4 or 5 chilies at a time, per pot.

If you put in too many or have them stacked to where one is completely submerged, I can virtually guarantee you that the one on the bottom will rupture.

Flip them over after about 5-10 minutes. They should be a little soft and no longer firm/raw on the boiled side.

(15-20 mins total at most, but they cook faster once you turn them over)

If the peppers start to crack, lower the heat to medium low.

Transfer them to a plate with a napkin underneath them and let them cool for at least 5-10 mins.

A good way to tell they are cooked is when you take them out of the pot; the skin will wrinkle up all over it after resting for about 10-15 seconds out of water.

If any of them are still hard on one side, you can just leave them in the pot after you have turned off the flame.

They will continue to cook and even when they are just resting in the plate they will continue to cook a little as well.

 

 

The next process will involve getting the chili oils on your hands, so be careful about what you touch for a few hours (eyes, face, going to the bathroom, etc.)

Take a very thin, small, and curved filet knife and carve out the area around the stem on the top of the chili pepper.

Try to cut as close as you can around the stem area (usually about half an inch), but if it feels like you have a lot of resistance from the center piece below the stem, go outwards a bit more.

You don't want to cut the complete top end of the top part of the pepper off. You want it to be recessed at the top part from the cutting.

This will make it easier to hold the meat and potatoes in, if you leave the top part on.

 

Discard the stem, white membranes, and seeds that you pull out from the cutting process.

 

Do this for the rest of the chilies.

 

Poblanos will naturally be hot. I generally go through an additional processing step to make them milder.

They will still be a little spicy, but they won't numb your mouth.

 

If you want them to be milder or if you want to be able to eat one or 2 at one sitting without possibly numbing your mouth, I recommend the following:

After removing the stem and membrane, run each chili under the tap water faucet with LIGHT pressure (quarter to 1/3 pressure at most)

Fill the chili up with water and then just let it continue filling and any remaining seeds will float and then overflow out with the water.

Try to tilt the chili away from you just slightly as you do this, as the oils can easily get into you by breathing or into your eyes if the water splashes.

(You will know if this happens, if you suddenly start choking a little or have trouble breathing.)

After most or all of the seeds have flowed out, carefully pull or cut any remaining membranes out of the chili.

(The membrane is the white or very light green to white tissue in the chili that contains the highest concentration of heat.

It's normally going to come mostly out with the center piece and stem, so I would say that if you carve the chili stem out properly, you may only have to pull 1 membrane out if none at all.

After you clean the membranes out, wash them under the sink again.

 

If you would like a good idea of what the membrane looks like and have never really worked with hot peppers or poblanos before, it's basically the same as slicing a bell pepper or jalapeno in half.

The white middle part is the membrane. Obviously, on a bell pepper, there is basically no heat in the membrane, but on a jalapeno, there will be. The same will go for the poblano.

The only difference is that the membrane removal for a poblano is a little tricky as you want to remove as much as you can without ripping the pepper open.

 

 

After the chilies are washed out and drained, get a teaspoon and start filling them up with the meat.

 

 

This is a good time to have a helper make the egg white mixture. If you don't have anyone available to do this for you, just go ahead and finish filling the

chilies and do the egg whites last. Generally, it takes about 10 minutes to separate the eggs and shells and whip everything up into the batter.

By this time, you should be able to fill each poblano with meat and mashed potatoes and coat them with flour, if a helper is available.

 

 

I normally put in about 3 or 4 spoonfuls of meat and then hold the chili up and shake it a little to let the ground meat settle down in it.

Continue to put a spoonful of meat in and in between each spoonful, lightly pack the meat down as if the meat was dirt and the spoon was a shovel going straight down onto/into it.

Don't press down too hard, because the chili can bust from the pressure.

Leave about an inch to half an inch of the top of the chili cavity open. You will later "cap" the end with mashed potatoes.

For now, just pack each chili with meat and then once they are all filled, go ahead and cap them with mashed potatoes.

I normally use a large oval platter to rest them on, but if you don't have one, you can use 2 plates or a long baking dish.

You can lean them, but I wouldn't recommend stacking them directly on top of each other, as it may add extra weight and cause the bottom chilies to burst.

Plus, I normally recommend just leaning them against the edge of a plate or platter, that way the taco juice doesn't leak out from the capped end.

If this happens, the mashed potatoes become loose and it will be harder to keep them sealed.

I generally spoon in about 3 spoons worth of mashed potatoes and round the top out and gently scrape the potatoes to form a round end that slightly protrudes from the top of the chili.

 

 

 

 

 

You will now make an egg frying batter that will coat the Chili and become nice and spongy when fried, or if fried too long, crispy.

 

 

 

First off, put in at least 8 egg whites into a very large plastic mixing bowl.

If you need advise on separating the egg white from the yolk, one way is to try and crack the egg in half and then basically see-saw the yolk in between both sides and let the egg white spill out.

Use your fingers and expect to get a little messy. You can also just dump the egg in and spoon the yolk out, but you want to do your best to keep out as much egg yolk from the batter as possible.

Put in 8 egg whites and then 1 egg yolk as well as 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar. The cream of tartar will smell a little like lemon and is available in the spice rack aisle.

It's usually available in the very small spice containers.

 

Mix the mixture with an electric mixer until it becomes thick and fluffy, about 2 or 3 minutes.

 

Depending on the amount and size of your chilies or how long it takes you to coat and fry all of the chilies, you may need to add more egg whites into the bowl.

The batter will slowly liquefy and after about 10-15 minutes, it will probably need more eggs and cream of tartar to be of any use.

If you need to add more, use the following ratios:

2 eggs + 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar

 

 

Before you coat the chilies, go ahead and heat up a standard non-stick frying skillet with at least 1-1.5 inches of oil.

I normally put in about half of a bottle of Canola oil, but this will depend on your skillet size as well as to how deep the oil will be.

The idea is to at least have enough where about 1/3 of the chili will be cooking below it.

Heat the oil to medium or if the oil is too hot, medium low. My recommendation is medium at first and then just turn it down a tad later, once you finish the first batch, if needed.

 

 

Pour a mound of flour into a plate and coat your first chili. I usually put about 1-2 cups on the plate. 1 to 1.5 should be enough, though.

You will just lightly coat them and the flour is used primarily to help the egg batter adhere to the chili.

When coating the chili, carefully roll the chili and press down lightly on each turn, including to press down the chili vertically, so that then "capped" end gets flour.

This also helps press the mashed potatoes in one last time before cooking.

 

 

Gently put the flour-coated chili into the mixing bowl with the batter.

Coat 2 more chilies and put them in the bowl. Now, carefully turn them over in the bowl to coat them with the batter.

Carefully place each chili into the hot oil.

Let them LIGHTLY brown, to where the mixture appears light golden brown and puffy. You do not want them dark brown.

Turn each chili over on the other side with a spatula and a fork. You have to be very careful doing this, because the batter will stick to anything when it's raw.

I normally will get the spatula under a chili and then gently push it to the side wall of the skillet and then try to lift it up a little and then use a fork to help turn it over and gently lay it down on the raw side.

Don't lift it up, just gently roll it over if you can, using the 2 utensils.

If you can't do this, you should at least be able to get it about 1/3 turn over at this point with the spatula.

Prop the chili up and then use the fork or spatula in it's stead to hold it up and then gently press down on it so that the chili weigh shifts around and it should stay in the new position.

Once that "side" lightly browns, you can then flip it over safely to the last "side" needs cooking.

If you can easily do one half of the chili at a time, do it. If not don't worry. Just do one "side" at a time.

You may need to turn the chili around or lean it against the wall of the skillet to stay propped, in order to cook on the raw side, or both.

If one side is cooked, you can lean the cooked sides against each other chili at this point.

If you need to do this, just line them up closer together towards the middle.

 

Unless the chilies are small (very small fist-sized), I would only fry 3 at a time. Otherwise, the batter will cling to each other and it will get messy.

If that happens, you can immediately use the spatula to slice and separate the batter between two chilies.

However, if you let the batter cook for about 5-10 secs or more, there is a good chance the batter will be cooked enough that it will be easier to separate if you just let it cook and then separate right before you flip them.

Otherwise, if you try to separate at this point, the cooked batter from the edges, will tear from the raw parts on the chili.

 

When the first batch is done, transfer them into a deep dish pot that is covered with 2 napkins at the bottom.

I normally use a square one with a glass lid and it's about 8 inches deep. It can hold about 9-10 chili rellenos, but you can really just use anything with a lid.

I like using this large deep glass container, because it helps keep them nice and warm.

Put 2 more napkins on top of them.

The napkins are for soaking up the oil.

Keep frying the batches 3 or 4 at a time, whatever the size of the chilies will allow.

Again, unless the chilies are really small, I'd recommend frying no more than 3 at a time.

Be sure to keep putting 2 paper towels in between each set and put 2 more paper towels at the very top as well and then close the lid, until you are ready to serve them.

 

I usually make guacamole after I put the last cooked batch in the pot.

This gives the chilies about 10 minutes to cool off a little.

 

 

 

Here is how I make mine:

 

8-10 avocados

1 lemon

2 spoons of olive oil

Salt - usually about 1 teaspoon, but I always add it in quarter teaspoon measurements. I'd recommend starting with half a teaspoon and then working up from there in smaller additions, until you get the preferred taste.

 

Wash the lemon and then cut it in half. Squeeze half of the lemon into a metal mixing bowl. It's easier to get the seeds out if you add the lemon first.

Depending on the lemon's amount of juice and your taste, you may want to add a bit more or the entire other half later. I'd recommend just using half first and then adding any extra later, once it's all whipped.

 

 

Wash the avocados and then dry them.

Get a non-serrated paring knife and slice them in half.

I normally slice vertically and just hold the knife in one hand and then move the avocado against the knife.

To remove the pit, rest the avocado with the pit on a plate or cutting surface. Carefully hold the avocado in one hand and gently, but with enough force to penetrate the pit, bring the knife down on the pit.

I would describe it as tapping it with a pen or pencil. If you put enough force into it, the blade will go into the pit a little and you can simply turn the blade and twist the avocado out.

I remove the pit from the knife by just tapping the edge of the knife down on a plate or cutting surface and the pit will loosen from the knife.

 

Dump the avocado halves in the metal mixing bowl.

 

Once all of the avocados are in the bowl, pour in the olive oil.

 

Now, gently slice the avocados with the paring knife in the bowl.

Once they are mostly sliced, start turning the bowl and make rougher and quicker slices crosswise or diagonally against the original slices if you can.

Eventually, the pieces will become smaller and once they are more or less small cubes or pieces, you can start swinging the knife back and forth across one edge to the other in order to slice them further.

You can leave it chunky if you like, or "blend" it into whatever consistency you like.

I normally "blend" it by quickly turning the bowl and slicing back and forth until there are pretty much no large chunks, but to where the consistency is still lumpy.

 

Go ahead and add half a teaspoon of salt. I would recommend sprinkling it and separating the salt as evenly as possible. You don't want one section that is too salty.

Mix the guacamole around several times and test it for taste. Add a little more salt, making sure to spread it evenly. Mix it again and if you need to add more salt or lemon, feel free to.

 

Also, note that the lemon will help preserve the guacamole from turning dark and black. It will hold up for at least a day in the fridge, if you cover it.

The top part will be dark, but if you scrape the very top layer off or mix it in with the rest underneath, it will nice and green.

 

 

=================================

Cleaning up

=================================

You can wrap the chilies in foil or just put them in the fridge in the covered dish, but I would recommend removing each left over chili from the dish and onto a plate first, so that you can replace the soaked paper towels.

If you wrap them in foil individually or together, I would recommend wrapping them in paper towels first.

Edited by Wamplet

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:twitchsmile: Wow.....I didn't mean to make you work so hard! But......thanks! Up here they are just cheese filled and in a sort of egg concoction. Not fried or crispy. Now to find some good chilis........

 

Thanks again!

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Wife is down with the flu, so I'm home making 'Jewish Penicillin' for her.

 

I figured I'd try a Sun-Dried Tomato/Asiago/Basil no kneed bread.

 

Sliced.JPG

 

The bread is great :yahoo: !

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