Do you have any cooking tips or tricks?
I just have the usual home cook stuff. Let’s see. Um. Giving cooking advice is always slightly controversial. For example, I do not cook our pan-seared steaks in a bath of butter. One, we don’t need the extra calories and saturated fats and especially lactose; two, steak is delicious on its own and all the aromatics in the world stuffed into that butter do not significantly alter the taste; and three, it requires two different pans because cast iron is way too hot after searing and would burn the butter and I’m too lazy to wash two pans.
::pauses for a chorus of “How dare you!” from the comments::
I stand by my statement. Don’t link videos to me about bathing steak in a pound of butter with crushed garlic and rosemary. I have tried it, and I won’t be doing it. If I want a flavored steak, I’ll either marinade it or mix my homemade teriyaki sauce and pour it on in the last 30 seconds of cooking.
Homemade teriyaki sauce:
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup mirin
- 1/3 cup brown sugar or honey
Heat everything, reduce to desired consistency. Can be cooked in advance. Just before cooking with it, I like to add crushed garlic and powdered ginger and heat it up for a few minutes to let the flavors blend.
You can also buy the Sweet Soy Sauce by Kikkoman. It does the job.
In the last 30 seconds of cooking, pour some over the steak. Flip the steak a couple of times to get the sauce to caramelize.
So, tips and tricks. Right.
Salt your steak.
Always salt your steak prior to searing. Salt both sides and let the salt sit on there for about 30-40 minutes. Salt will draw out the juices in the meat, dissolve into it, and form a brine. The brine will tenderize the meat and flavor it once reabsorbed. It will also give the steak a better sear. The sear is the result of a Maillard reaction, which requires high heat and dry surfaces. Kosher salt is best for this. On the geeky side, what we perceive as browning actually rearranges amino acids and some simple sugars into circular formations. You can find a cool chart about it at Food Chemistry.
Brine your chicken.
The other day Gordon wanted roasted chicken and potatoes. My go-to for roasted chicken is skin on chicken thighs and drumsticks. However, due to a shopping oversight, I only had boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Boneless chicken can go dry during roasting. I defrosted them in the microwave and stuck them into brine for a couple of hours. It made all the difference. The chicken thighs were moist, flavorful, and tender, and I even nuked them with the broiler toward the end because even if I cook the meat to the perfect temperature, my husband will maintain that it is undercooked unless there is a brown crust on top of it.
Basic brine recipe:
- 8 cups of water
- 8 pieces of chicken (about 3 lbs with bone in) or a single chicken cut up
- 1/4 cup of salt
- ¼ cup of sugar
- Aromatics and herbs that float your boat: bay leaf, rosemary, tarragon, fennel for basic European-savory taste, or you can mess with it and add cloves, chili, cinnamon, and nutmeg for a different take, or chili, cumin, cilantro for a South-Western spin, etc. It depends on what kind of chicken you are aiming for. I usually stick to bay leaf, coriander, and then go with whatever smells good.
Mix everything together, making sure the salt and sugar are dissolved, add chicken, refrigerate for 2 hours. Afterward, bake like normal. The chicken will release a lot of liquid during baking.
For potatoes, I cut them into pieces, tossed them with sunflower oil, salt, paprika, and some fresh dill and stuck them in the oven. Also broiled them a tiny bit before the end, so they would look brown enough.
Kale is good for you. Kale also has a tendency to taste like weeds. Not like soft weeds either. However, if you ever bought a prepared kale salad at store, it actually tastes decent. Kale also has the fun quality of keeping well. You can make a salad base with kale ahead of time and it will happily sit in your fridge for 3 days or so. You can take it out as needed and add perishables like tomatoes.
Get a bag of washed kale. Dump it into a large bowl. Add a splash of olive oil, preferably light-tasting, unless you really love the olive oil and want it in your salad for three days straight. I prefer sunflower oil, actually. I was raised with sunflower oil, it has a very high smoking point, and I love it, but not everyone does. Once you splashed the olive oil in, get in there with your hands, and really rub the oil into the kale. Squish it. It’s almost a kneading motion. The kale will wilt a little bit and decrease in size, but it will remain green and pretty.
I’ve looked it up and apparently the technical term is “massaging.” Massage your kale, heh.
Throw some sun-dried tomatoes in there, some slivered or sliced almonds, and other fun stuff like golden raisins or cranberries. Mix everything. Separate into containers, if you are me, or just cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge.
If you want to save time or plan on eating this as a meal, I also cook a small bag of tortellini – al dente – drain, wash to cool, allow to dry a bit, and I add that to the base.
I know most of us are conditioned to add acid to salad, but unless you are planning on eating it immediately, I would resist the urge to reach for vinegar. Acid will start breaking things down and you will get mush over time. So no vinegar at this stage, but you can add it before serving.
This salad base is edible by itself. However, it’s boring to just eat it nonstop, so that’s when we can get creative. Take out a portion of salad. Add tomatoes, shredded Parmesan, a bit of basil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Mix. You have an Italian-inspired salad. Or add boiled egg, onion, tomatoes, and a bit of bacon. A Cobb-inspired salad. You get my drift. You can flavor it with a little bit of store-made dressing like Ranch – and you only need a small amount because the oil is already in there flavoring things. That steak we cooked earlier – if there is any of it left, you could slice that in there. Hehe.
And now it’s your turn to share cooking tips. I have to go and keep company with Curran and Kate.
Moderator R says
I have maintained for many years that kale is not comestible and this incessant social media push by Big Kale will not sway me!
Maybe the massage trick will bring us closer together! I’m willing to try.
Wonder if you’d like another type of green? Do you like any of the not-lettuce stuff that shows up in salad mixes? My favorite cooked greens are turnips and for raw, I think arugula is better than kale, though when massaged, kale is pretty tasty.
Moderator R says
I love salad greens! Cabbage is big for us, I love thinly sliced Brussel sprouts, spinach, Chinese cabbage (the stuff that makes kimchi, I know it comes under different names), bok choi, arugula ofc, Radicchio (Italian chickory).
I have that genetic quirk (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50387126 ) which means that I don’t taste bitterness in greens. Mr Mod R has to let me know when I went over board in a salad, because to me they just taste fresh and crunchy.
So kale is just bland, woody, chewy stuff and literal punishment.
Right there with you on cabbage. Accidentally discovered something weird about it, though. If you’ve been eating raw cabbage and then you drink rootbeer, it causes a fiery burning on your tongue. Sort of like the feeling from horse radish. No idea why. I’m sure it’s fine…
Moderator R says
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen root beer here in the UK, and the Jamaican ginger beer I like (which I imagine is its closest kin?) already takes care of the dragon fire on its own 😀
It’s been a brain frazzling morning at work. Found my zen during lunch break and happy dances at the new post.
Then you make my head go *SPLAT* Never seen root beer, never had it?!?
Here in the US, it’s a non-alcoholic (usually) soda beverage originally made from sassafras.
I personally associate drinking root beer (A&W the best!) at family cookouts (BBQs).
Now I must go back to accounting statements for monthly reconciliations. Oy!
Moderator R says
Nope, never had it! Or sassafras- I only know it from Silvester the cartoon cat ????. Or does he say Succotash? I get them mixed up.
Something else I want to try if I’m ever on the other side of the pond is Sarsaparilla!
That’s made from sassafras, or used to be.
Sylvester’s saying was “Thuffering Thuccotash!”
Regarding kale, my daughter used to make a kale salad with mint leaves and cacao nibs. Yes, that would be mint chocolate kale salad. We used olive oil and the really good balsamic vinegar that pours like syrup – you can put it on ice cream, seriously. She put blueberries in it too I think. Anyway, it was scrumptious, although it probably sounds weird if you’re not that way inclined.
For steak, I always pan seared them in dark sesame oil. Nothing like it.
The marinade for poultry was equal parts olive or sesame oil, white wine, and soy sauce, usually adding garlic and ginger. Nowadays I use mirin in place of white wine, and olive is the only kind of oil my system will tolerate anymore. Getting old is not for the faint of heart.
Silvester says – sufferin’ succotash!
Closest we’ve got to root beer in the UK I think is Dandelion and Burdock (though root beer tastes a lot more like medicine!).
I don’t think of root beer as a medicinal flavor at all… A bit botanical, if you’ve got good stuff. Sweet. Maybe a bit like midway between ginger beer and cream soda?
In my country we have neither root beer nor cream soda. 🙁
Ms. Kim says
No cream soda?!!! You poor poor thing. My sympathies.
Michelle D says
I’ve found Root Beer at Tesco and Sainsburys here in London. either in the American import or Kosher sections. extortionate usually £1.50 per bottle. Also sometimes at the dreadful import Candy stores on Oxford Street or near Covent Garden
Moderator R says
Oh I never go into those import candy stores, they give me really bad vibes.
I knew there must be root beer around, I’ll inspect the World Food aisles closer next time!
I have some expat friends from assorted places in the UK who we introduced to root beer. They all said that there’s no real analog back home, although birch beer can come close. Root beer is more complex, and can vary a lot by brand. I like the ones with more wintergreen, like A&W brand, or Mug. Hires is kind of bitter to me.
Ms. Kim says
Birch beer, yes. Haven’t had, or seen, in decades.
seems like you might be allergic to something…
firey burning or “spicy” foods that are not actually spicy= food allergy. minor allergy, but fyi
Diane A Bloechl says
My genetic quirk is just the opposite. I am very sensitive to bitter–in most greens, in coffee, tea, beer, and some red wines. I have to roast (almost char) greens and apply seasoning or a sauce to make them palatable. I just don’t drink coffee or tea because they taste too bitter to me, even with sweeteners. So I agree, kale is woody, chewy, bitter and punishment.
Moderator R says
That must be much harder to navigate!
I’m the same. It ist quite interesting, because a persons’s sensitivity to ‘bitter’ is the only genetic test that can be performed by tasting. With standardized amounts of a bitter-tasting chemical (I forgot which one it was) you can tell what gene variation is in your genetic makeup. I am definitely a super taster. I taste even the smallest amount of poison (aka bitterness) in cucumbers. My coffee needs to be drowned in sugar…black tea the same – please don’t tar and feather me. I quite enjoy brussel sprouts and broccoli, though. Unfortunately, all kinds of bitter salads make me gag.
Moderator R says
My parents put quinine on my thumb when I was a toddler to dissuade me from sucking and I proceed it to pronounce it delicious and ask for more!
To this day, I am most curious about how tonic water tastes to people. I think I was in my 30s before I even heard that cucumber rind or spinach taste bitter!
Well at one point I was quite glad for being one of the bitter-super-tasters. When my twins just started eating regular food I made a really huge batch of baby food for freezing. Just some veggies lightly cooked and pureed. Unfortunately, I added zucchini without trying the zucchini first. I had to throw out the whole batch because the whole pot tasted bitter and was therefore poisonous. 2 Hours of work ended up in the trashcan. I’ve since learned to taste every zucchini before adding it to any kind of dish. My husband pronounced the puree fine, but he is also of the non existent bitter receptors variety.
Moderator R says
Toddlers have very highly tuned bitter receptors anyway, to ensure they don’t poison themselves when they’re at the age when everything goes in their mouths!
I’m with you, Diane. ???? Any amount of “char” on any food is ???? to me.
I was just teaching about this in my class. You have two of the dominant alleles for PTC. It’s a genetic mutation. https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/ptc
Great article. Thanks for the link!
Yep, my entire family has the same reaction. People often look at us as if we are mad when excuse ourselves from coffee ….
Rip of the central stem. If you save your veggie scraps for soup throw it in with them cuz it adds good depth.
For raw kale in salads, chop it up into thin ribbons, like less than a pinky in width. You can then pair it with strong flavors. it does well with vinaigrette, blue cheese, walnuts, apples, cinnamon poached pears, dried fruit, etc. anything bright. if you keep the dressing off has an excellent shelf life. this is a northern Midwest US thing I think.
For cooked kale, cut up bacon really tiny and cook it in a big pot. cut up a bunch of tomatoes, put in a tiny bit of liquid, and throw the full rough chopped kale into the pot. you can use the stems here. they’ll mush to submission. if you like spicy put a jalapeño pepper in as well. salt to taste.
cover and stew until the tomatoes disappear and the kale is completely floppy. if you want to cut the acidity, add the teensiest dab of sugar. it’s my husband’s recipe, but it’s a southern barbecue derivative.
My husband is English and when we spend time in England we often get crispy duck. We also get crispy seaweed. After trying more kinds and preparations of seaweed than I like to admit, we asked our favorite English Chinese place and they said “that’s because it is kale, not seaweed!” Turns out is really easy to make crispy seaweed (kale). Clean and break up kale into manageable bites, coat with a small amount of olive oil and then sprinkle in sugar and salt. (also pepper if you are my husband) Bake at a relatively high temp, tossing occasionally until it is crispy.
Best kale preparation I know besides this is a kale au gratin recipe that has a generous of amount of Gruyère sauce and is covered with thyme-seasoned bread crumbs mixed with bacon. I think it is this recipe except we use bacon instead of prosciutto and kale instead of collard greens, mostly because we have another great collard green recipe and try to vary the greens. And we use Gruyère instead of Parmesan because that’s what I had the first time I made it. It isn’t good for you, but it tastes lovely. Even the most picky anti-vegetable eaters eat it. It also takes me a couple hours to prepare. It isn’t as fast as it seems. I’d go check the actual recipes but am quarantining in the guest room because I’m sick with something non-covid.
I’m an Asian American who loves kale, seaweed, and kelp (enough so that I use Chinese, Japanese, and Korean names for different types of “seaweed”). I’m wondering how one might assume kale to be seaweed but it really is named crispy seaweed so why would one think it wasn’t seaweed. “Crispy Seaweed” seems to be a UK and HK thing? https://www.honestfoodtalks.com/crispy-seaweed-recipe-chinese/
There’s oddly named foods in Chinese, too, like field chicken. Field chicken isn’t poultry. It is frog. Sea cucumber is not vegetarian.
I am also Asian American. Had a good laugh at your mention of field chicken (= frog) and sea cucumbers (=not vegetarian). My parents totally tricked me into eating frog legs for the first time. But to be fair, it really does taste kind of like chicken.
You need to boil (or steam) the Kale and mash it with potatoes. Add mustard, butter pepper to taste and eat it with sausages. Really I have never understood people who made smoothies with kale.
If you fry a few rashers of bacon for bits and make a vinaigrette with a couple tablespoons of the bacon fat, a little mustard and some red wine vinegar, it works well with finely chopped kale. Also with dandelion greens.
I grew up in the country (a wee Scottish island called Orkney) and the farmers grew kale to feed the cattle overwinter…… I’ve always felt it and pearl barley are food for animals not humans!
Yeah, I’ve never found a kale that I like, either. I get it sometimes in HelloFresh boxes and use it after carefully removing those stinking woody stems, but if I come across it in a recipe in the wild, I’ll sub in spinach.
Patricia Schlorke says
I’m with you Mod R about kale. I like romaine and iceberg lettuce. If I get raw spinach, that’s fine too.
I don’t care if you have to do chiropractics on the kale, just no for me.
Moderator R says
Of the lettuces, I’m OBSESSED with lamb’s lettuce. Can’t tear me away from it in springtime. With big slices of radish and some feta, I don’t even need dressing sometimes, just let me at it!
same here, just love it ( and I am not a salad-person) – it’s also very nice with fruit like pears or apples
It’s called valerianella (<-see? even the name is delicious!) in Italian and it's fantastic in the garden too: you just have to give some care when the plants are babies and then they become as resistant as weeds.
I just add house olive oil and vinegar (and salt) when the salad in the plate, no other flavours needed.
Ok valarianella *is* delicious to say!
I also don’t care for Kale. It annoys me no end that my (small) grocery store decided to carry Kale instead of spinach. Fresh or frozen. Grrrrrr….. At least give me one of them as spinach!
Liz Mansfield says
Kale is for the animals down the field!! I hate it! Love all other green veggies but definitely ‘took agin’ kale. Not surprising as it was literally grown for our cows to strip graze when I was young, couldn’t believe when it started appearing on plates! Shock horror!!????
Jocelyn Malone says
Well, they tell us couple massages are good for a relationship, so I guess you could try the whole kale-massage-to-rebuild-your-relationship angle ;-). (Admittedly, we’re not couple massage people over here, so what do I know)
I highly recommend Chinese kale, it’s the much more palatable, texturally pleasing alternative to the Big Kale. I accidentally bought kale when I first moved to the US, nothing I did made it. I think we put it into fruit smoothies to make them go away quicker.
Chinese kale tips are fantastic, takes no time to cook, but regular Chinese kale is fantastic cut the stem diagonally to make it cook faster, stir fry, deglaze with cooking wine, salt, pepper, whatever, ::chef kiss::
I also cannot stand kale, although I love spinach, chard, mustard greens, a variety of lettuces, beet greens, etc. There are just options that are SO much tastier.
I agree, and saying after all the manipulation/massaging, etc. that it “tastes decent” is damning by faint praise.
Donna A says
I enjoy kale, it does not enjoy me. It’s exodus is often abrupt and unpleasant. To be fair it’s a common theme with dark green veg and I, but kale seems to be the most angry of them.
Does this stop me eating their deliciousness? No, but only at home with a suitable evacuation point ????
Bill from NJ says
if you can find them, try mustard greens. a lot of people cook them,but they taste better eaten in a salad, they have a natural zip to them, like watercress does, another favorite of mine ( and if you ever get lucky and are able to eat wild cress, well, it is heaven).
What about puréeing your kale in a blender or grinding it in a mortar and pestle? You can make kale pesto, for instance, and if you keep the oil to a minimum you can even count it as healthy. Or chop it up and sautée it with whatever seasonings you like.
kale is great as long as it’s spelled, b.r.o.w.n.i.e.s. truly a revolting green if ever there was one.
You are so right about that and I won’t be massaging no kale. However, it is a favored food of all the monkeys at the Bronx Zoo (I was the senior keeper there for a few years so I know this to be true).
Sarah Richardson says
I’ve heard that if you cook kale with coconut butter it makes it much easier to slide out of the pan and into the garbage.
Donna A says
My personal view is that kale needs to be cooked to be edible. Kale salads – despair, sadness, green woe. Kale sautéed with bacon and seasoning or mixed into mashed potatoes (colcannon remix) – comfort, happiness, green happiness.
The only place I really eat kale is in homemade soup. It has an impressive resilience so it doesn’t turn to mush by the third day in the fridge in soup form. I’ve also tried it in this “honey spiced lichen” recipe from a WOW cookbook, which was tasty enough, but not worth the effort.
Christine B. says
Crockpot chicken and dumplings: use torn up refrigerated biscuit dough in the last 30 minutes of cooking to make the dumplings.
Moderator R says
American biscuits here folks, don’t try it with the shortbread!
Christine B. says
I didn’t even think of that possible misinterpretation! That would definitely be a different take lol
Might be delicious?? Weird, for sure!
Patricia Schlorke says
Sara B. says
Ah yes — I always have to take a moment to readjust when watching British cooking shows … “Biscuit week? … where’s the gravy?”
Patricia Schlorke says
Or the butter and preserves? ????
Ooh, yes!! A big plate with Mom’s homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, and a biscuit or two with butter and homemade strawberry jam. One of the suppers we begged for frequently as kids. (And got, most of the time!)
Courtney Mincy says
Or fresh, hot buttered biscuits with apple butter! Sooo yummy! ????
Or spicy fried chicken and pepper honey on a fresh hot biscuit. Had one for lunch yesterday, sooooo good
Christine B. says
Oh, and to mix up the spices, try it with curry powder or whatever else you want to throw in for flavor. I’m partial to vadouvan. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vadouvan
Cook? People actually cook?
I am.not one of them. I am a huge slow cooker fan. Lol. I make great grilled cheese sandwiches.
Now baking is my thing.
I have had issues with getting a good crust on my steak when grilling it without overlooking the steak. From a cooking show, I got 2 ideas. First, a small amount of baking soda mixed with the rub, will change the ph and the steak will brown faster, but I prefer the 2nd method, which is to add sugar to the rub. Not a lot, but the sugar will caramelize and help brown the steak.
As far as Kale salad goes, I have a great recipe. Take the kale out of the fridge and put it in the trash. Then eat some ice cream.
Moderator R says
I have used that kale trick for years! It really works 😉
Battle of the kale! I like it in veggie soup. Never uncooked in a salad.
For my tip I like to make a big batch of oatmeal and put in every spice I can think of: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cardamom. A lot. Makes the house smell great and keeps in the refrigerator.
It’s just too much work to make kale even remotely palatable. Especially just for one person. A local grocery store makes a salad with kale, scallions, sunflower seeds, chunks of orange, dried cranberries, etc. I buy it whenever they make it.
Hahahahahaha, I think I’ll try that kale recipe… thanks!
I make the best chicken noodle soup you’ll ever taste, and that’s a promise. My clutch ingredient? Turmeric. Sure, I throw in sage, thyme, and parsley, as well as black pepper and maybe a few red pepper flakes if I’m feeling spicy, but turmeric is what really gives good chicken noodle soup depth and warmth. Don’t overdo it – a large pot needs only half a teaspoon or so – but add it next time you make chicken soup. There’s a reason most chicken bouillon includes turmeric. A teaspoon of curry powder will do if you don’t have plain turmeric.
That sounds delicious! We’ve also found a dash (just a dash, mind you) of fish sauce and lime juice does wonders to bring chicken soup alive. If we go that route, we usually add lighter veggies like sweet bell peppers.
Thanks! I’m fighting a cold today and was just thinking of some chicken soup. Turmeric will be perfect!
And the first time someone told me to massage my kale I thought they’d lost it. But it really works! I add a little sea salt too.
Can confirm, everyone is on the money with these chicken soup tips (turmeric, lime juice, and/or dash of fish sauce).
All 3 of those are ingredients that I use depending on which type of chicken soup I am making. My favorite is probably the lime juice, probably because Mexican chicken soup is my absolute favorite and it goes GREAT in that 🙂
I’m usually good with splashing some dry vermouth in my chicken soup or a really dry chardonnay – that is depth of flavor!
Ann C says
Turmeric is the best in Chicken Soup bases! I’ve been adding it for years. It gives the soup flavor depth and adds color.
Kale is not bad when roasted into kale chips. Otherwise, give me spinach, since I like it any way it comes except creamed.
If you are feeling lazy, spice your pot roast with curry powder and red wine. (I usually braise mine rather than roast it properly. The broth makes the best soup when you’ve eaten all the solids.)
Second the dumplings suggestion. Again, lazy here. Dumplings from scratch are a *lot* of work!
3 cups of flour. 3 eggs. a few spoons of water- enough to make a slightly only slightly sticky dough. once mixed drop by spoonfuls into boiling water. dipping spoon in water first makes them easy to slide off. cook until floating them give them another minute or two. scoop out of water. add to whatever. these have some chewyness to them but are good with butter.
Add a pinch of salt and a spaetzle machine and you have the recipe for homemade spaetzle too! That’s exactly how I make my dough!
if you don’t have a spaetzle machine you can press the dough through a strainer if it is the type with larger holes
A ricer works well too. My brother got me one for a Christmas present one year with his favorite spaetzle recipe. My son uses it for mashed potatoes, no lumps.
massaging kale! I’m going to try it. thanks so much! spinach gives me kidney stones so I really do need to step up my kale game.
please give my best to Curran and Kate.
Massaging kale, eh? I tend to shred or chop it into submission/easier eating. I will have to try the oil prep.
I avoid recipes that call for a cavalcade of ingredients that I will never use again or finish before their expiration date. I find recipes that avoid this are more flexible with items I typically buy, so I can substitute and use 1 ingredient for several recipes.
Seasonings/spices not typically called for can perk up many recipes: paprika, tumeric, and cinnamon. I actually add all three to many casseroles and they work well together. I also like to add a squeeze of fresh lemon to cooked veggies or poultry. For savory cooking, add thinly sliced celery and/or parsnips.
Favorite shortcuts: use frozen cubes of garlic or ginger – better than powdered and close to fresh. I buy them at the store. I understand that lemon juice can be made at home using an old ice tray, so will be trying that this year. I will use onion salt, if I don’t have onions and want some flavoring. Instead of a food processor to slice and dice, I use a curved wooden bowl and mezzaluna (chopper) – much easier to use and clean than a Cuisinart.
Moderator R says
Love a mezzaluna!
Lynn L says
I buy the bag of Organic Sweet Kale salad( Whole Foods or HEB) where everything is already nicely chopped up. It comes with a poppy seed dressings and a cranberry pumpkin seed mix. I make an oil and vinegar dressings since the poppy seed one had a lot of sugar.
1 16 ounce can of cream cheese frosting. (betty crocker)
1 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips. (any brand)
nuke em, mix em, nuke em, mix em, pour in pan, chill for two hours, break into serving portions, place in bags, do not share.
Patricia Schlorke says
When I want steak, I’ll take out the defrosted steak, lay it on paper towels in the sink, blot dry, and season both sides with kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper. If I want an onion taste, I’ll put onion powder on with the salt and pepper. I let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
To cook the steak, I use my All Clad stainless steel fry pan and use medium heat. I put the steak in the pan before it heats up. That way the pan and the steak heat up together. Cook time varies due to how thick the steak is. I flip my steak one time. I like mine medium rare.
I did an experiment with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I used Heinz 57 sauce and honey to make a glaze. I put some of the sauce to the side. I salted and peppered the chicken and dunked each piece of chicken into the glaze. I put the dunked chicken on a quarter sheet tray with nonstick aluminum foil. I let the chicken sit for 30 minutes before baking. I baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. After it was out of the oven, let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes. I cut a little piece to try. It was so juicy and delicious!
I grew up on cattle ranch and never understood the butter and garlic bath thing. Good meat doesn’t need all those extras to overwhelm the flavor. Just salt and pepper to enhance. Sometimes I splash a little tequila and lime on there before I cook it. sometimes soy/mirin like you said.
I find I enjoy kale more in soup than salads. There is like one place where I like the kale salad and it is pretty clear the message similar to your suggestion. Baby kale though I can eat like other lettuce since it is way more tender.
+1 to the good meat not needing all that butter and stuff ????
Robyn A. says
I learned a hack for steak from Jaimie’s 15 minutes meals. You flip the steak every minute to sear it on all sides (so your pan needs to be hot already when you start), including holding it up with tongs long enough to sear the sides as well. You keep flipping it every minute till you reach your desired temp. This really works well! Juices keep mostly inside, steak stays juicy and I find it easier to keep it from getting too brown on the outside.
I’m in agreement, no cooking steak in butter!
My husband and I are into arugula as salad these days. I’m trying to get into kale, but having trouble with that! I’ll try the massage hack with olive oil!
I add whatever veggies I have around to salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots, red cabbage, peppers, raw sunflower seeds. Other times, when time is tight or I am tired, we just go with straight romaine or arugula with a bit of dressing.
Happy cooking ????
Favourite Sunday dinner, Spiced Shoulder of Lamb – you just prepare it (which takes about 10 minutes), put it in the oven, then take it out about 5 hours later, no basting/turning/anything. Take 2 Star Anise, smash them into small pieces any way you like (I normally put them in a plastic bag and bash when with a rolling pin. Put this in a dish, add 2 tbsps of oil and 1 tsp salt and mix together – you can use any type of oil and any type of salt. Put the should joint in a tray, take the oil mixture and rub it into the meat all over. Put the meat into the oven at Gas Mark 2/160C/320F, at least three hours, preferably five hours (don’t do anything to the lamb or even open the oven door). Take it out, shred the meat and serve it with creamy mashed potatoes.
Well, steak never appealed to me that much, but I do love my greens, especially mustard, collard, and turnip greens. You can find them frozen or fresh and they keep their body when cooked (I’m side-eyeing you, spinach). But keep the bacon away, please. Instead, cook them with a bit of vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, etc.) and a smidge of sweetness for a more refreshing dish. You can add garlic or red pepper flakes or what have you. Not that this is new, but I find many people have never tried them any other way than boiled with bacon. I also add them to my savory oatmeal in the morning. Always happy to squeeze another vegetable in where I can.
Savory oatmeal? Is that a thing? I’m interested in knowing how this works. Is there a certain way to prep it and serve it?
I believe it’s become popular recently on social media, but I found years ago that it’s the only way I like oatmeal. Basically, you just use flavorings that are on the savory side rather than the sweet. my favorite version is with Sriracha sauce, hummus, greens, and sesame oil. I put an egg on the top. But I’ve also flavored it with peanut butter topped with bananas, mixed it with leftover chicken curry, or added sauteed mushrooms, garlic, and green onion. Think of oatmeal as rice or pasta (with a different texture) and top it with whatever pleases you. Delicious! ????
Savory oatmeal is essentially porridge or gruel. Not new. Just gruel gets a bad rap so re-branding.
Well, yes. It’s certainly not reinventing the wheel (although, as I understand it, gruel is supposed to be a very thin version of porridge). It’s just that most Americans have only ever heard of sweet variations on oatmeal, so savory versions are something of a revelation. Personally, I have trouble stomaching the texture of oatmeal when it’s sweet (don’t know why) but want it’s many health benefits, so it was nice to find a way to like it.
Add pesto and heavy cream to canned condensed tomato soup.
I forgot about an easy to make and use sauce I learned about years ago – mix soy sauce together with a little sugar and powdered ginger (adjust the amounts to your taste) for cooking or a dipping sauce. Used it with rice, chicken, hot dogs, and green beans. Would probably be good with steak too.
Patricia Davis says
My cooking tools of choice are a grill or a crock pot.
When you look at the amount of effort involved and the ability to have food ready anytime during a 2-hour window without being overcooked a crock pot is amazing.
If I’m cooking a piece of meat, especially a high-end steak, I still maintain nothing. if not, overcooked tastes better than something cooked on open flame.
Easy fall off the bone ribs!
chop 1 med sized onion rough cut not small
I prefer mixing a ratio of two parts sweet tomato-based barbecue sauce to one part. Carolina type barbecue sauce
leaving fat on the ribs chop into three to four rib sections (i.e small enough to fit flat in your crock pot)
With crock pot on low place, approximately one tablespoon of lemon juice and two or three tablespoons of your barbecue sauce mixture with some black pepper and steak seasoning in bottom of crock pot. place one layer of ribs, add some rough cut onions, pour some barbecue mixture on top, repeat until crock pot full or you run out of ribs.
place remaining barbecue mixture on top. liberally with remaining onion.
leave it alone for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours. most crock pots can cook 8 hours without an issue.
beware, you will probably need to use a large spatula to take the ribs out because if you grab them by the bone the meat will fall off.
if you prefer a little char on your ribs. sear on very hot grill.
makes absolutely divine and tender barbecue rib meat for a chopped salad!
I’ve grown kale. Some varieties are nicer than others. I prefer the dwarf varieties. It will grow and can be cut over and over. ALWAYS wash the kale carefully as cabbage butterflies lay eggs on it and the little green caterpillars are gross. I turn my kale into soup. I tear or cut it into little pieces, toss it with some kind of oil and saute it until limp. I add broth and some kind of shredded meat like cooked chicken or leftover ribs. Season to taste with onion powder and salt and pepper. I don’t like raw kale . I can eat it if I can change the taste enough. It has a lot of lutein in it and I eat it for my eyes. I’ve also frozen the soup for winter. It goes well with the American Test Kitchen recipe Dream biscuits or other cream biscuits. Thank-You for the brine and other recipes!
I am learning kale -slowly-
My -this-is-not-expensive-compost-moment came with the marvelous book by Samin Nosrat: Salt, fat, acid, heat.
A kind of systematic cooking tricks and some very versatile recipes
One of them is roast butternutsquash, fried sage, hazelnut and kale panzanella with browned butter vinaigrette, totally awsome but takes some work, typically for a sunday.
With kale its my experience that dressing it before eating is a way to make it eadible, it doesnt really wilt just becomes less woody
And for ModR:
Do you now that lambs lettuce grows very happily in winter/spring in your garden ? If you leave some plants flowering in the summer you get lambs lettuce all over -and pretty itty bitty pale blue flowers and happy bees -that is if you have acces to a patch of dirt.
Moderator R says
I adore Samin Nosrat! Have you seen her Tv show based on the book? It was such a revelation, she taught me that 90% of my favourite foods and diet is Acid.
As for lamb’s lettuce, if I ever do have a garden, I will definitely try it! 😀
My tips: Use cool (slightly) running water to thaw chicken or fish (most seafood really). Thaws fairly quickly without the rubbery-ness that a microwave can give.
Greek seasoning is a great all-purpose seasoning to add a little extra something more than just salt and pepper (it contains salt though, so be careful if you’re watching your sodium).
A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime does wonders for most savory things! Chicken, fish, and especially veggies are great!
A really tasty Balsamic vinegar is delicious. I keep a good one for drizzling on top of things and a cheaper (but still decent) one for cooking. As a side note to this, don’t use “cooking” wine. It doesn’t have to be an expensive wine, but it should be drinkable (even if you don’t want to drink it).
Moderator R says
I’ve replaced cooking wine almost entirely for vermouth, either bianco or rosso, as the recipe calls for. It gives that “slow cooked” indefinable taste to dishes and we’re never tempted to drink it (the MOST horrible hangovers).
I don’t think I’ve cooked with vermouth before, but I’ll definitely try it next time! Thanks Mod R! ????
also vermouth lasts months in the fridge while regular wine goes bad in 3-2-1… So white vermouth is my go to cooking wine.
I forgot my biggest tip! A digital instant read thermometer (cooking kind, not medical kind). You can find them for fairly cheap (Walmart, Amazon, others) and it can mean the difference between perfectly cooked meat, shoe leather, or sickness. I can’t stress the importance enough. It can be used for meat, sauces, proofing, and lots of other things.
I haven’t seen the TV show
But i am sold to a woman who can make a kale dish mouthwatering.
Have you tried her homemade oliveoil granola ? Very addictive
I use a mix og rolled oates and barley for the base, its only the price on maplesyrup that limits its production????
Moderator R says
Highly recommend the show, she’s so genuine and passionate and the places she visits are gorgeous!
I love the olive oil granola- I just munch on it as a snack, skip the milk alltogether.
I like sautéing Kale – pop it in a hot pan with some oil and garlic, and add a bit of water to make it wilt. It gets nice and crispy along the edges.
Tasha A says
Have you tried a Sous Vide?? We cook our steak to medium rare in the Sous vide then stick in the cast iron to sear and then serve. It’s the most perfect steak i have ever eaten.
I LOVE Sous Vide cooking!
Try Duck breast that way, and then pan fry on initially cold cast iron to render the fat down to a crust and brown the oyhet side. Sooooooo good!
We tried it with a London Broil. Marinated it then, sous vide, then reverse sear. It was pretty tender for tough cut of meat.
Mary Beth says
Not even our chickens will eat kale. To me that’s a sign I shouldn’t eat it either.
Butter lettuce makes great taco bites (wrap the taco meat in it w/toppings). Basic romaine with bitter greens, spinach, slivered carrot, cucumber, and fresh dressing are favorites. We generally get different kinds of prepared salad greens, wash them up, and share them with the chickens. (We always rewash produce.)
Hubby is the grill master. He uses a sous vide for steaks. He salts the meat and vac bags it with garlic powder. In good weather he’ll finish them off on a charcoal grill. In bad he uses the broiler.
Maria R. says
Hmm, so many things I could say about kale. It’s good baked into kale chips/crisps but from pan to mouth means zero left for anyone else, besides it’s time consuming.
– Tarka or Tadka was a method of Indian cooking that a delightful East Indian temporary hygienist recommended I try. I now use it often, even in non Indian recipes. Spices are tempered in oil and can then be used over an existing dish or as start of a recipe.
Collard greens, now that’s something that baffles me, mind you only tried in slow cooker once, and it took so long to soften I thought we’d go hungry for supper.
Slow cooker is the way to go with collards, but I put them in at the beginning as the top layer over everything else (meat, other veg, potatoes etc.). By the time the rest is done, so are the collards. I’m all about one-pot meals.
The only thing I really love about Olive Garden is their sausage-kale-potato soup. Pure comfort.
Maria R. says
That is a good collard greens tip, thank you. The only time I tried, I had it wrong way in layering.
Maria Schneider says
I do not like kale. Do not send me videos! I will not eat it. I grew it and supposedly the small leaves are tender. Well, they weren’t. We are talking tastes like a dry paper bag. I’ll eat spinach!
We grill our steaks, but we do salt them beforehand. I prefer a marinate that includes crushed celery seeds, soy, sometimes oyster sauce (I get mine at a place called The Mala Market. It is NOT cheap. But it is the best stuff going). Also some hoison sauce in the marinade.
I sometimes sprinkle some thyme on there too.
If you’re hosting a party or taking something for a party, cut up some fruit and serve it with this dip. Are you ready? It’s a long recipe.
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
16 oz. marshmallow creme
I’ll wait while you write it down. -) It’s a very addictive dip. I also recommend washing out the marshmallow creme jar and then putting the dip into the jar for transport or storage in the fridge. It won’t all fit in that one jar, obviously, but might as well get some extra use of the jar.
Yogurt and brown sugar also makes a great dip for fruit.
You can mix honey or maple syrup into plain yogurt for a fruit salad dressing. Just enough sweetener that the dressing is slightly less sweet than the fruit; otherwise it will make the fruit taste bitter. A little cinnamon or ginger is a nice addition. I like to use the maple syrup for berries and peaches (basically summer fruits). Honey for pretty much everything else.
That sounds similar to the “dressing” my mom used in her version of a Waldorf salad, except it was mayonnaise and maple syrup.
Kale is delicious in salads. I make one with garbanzo beans, radish, green bell peppers, kale, and orange slices. Just sauté the kale in good quality olive oil, salt, freshly cracked white+red+black pepper blend, and generous squeeze of lemon to taste. Season the salad similarly.
Delicious for a summer lunch on a hot day and goes really well with an ice cold glass of tea. Jane’s Garden tea from H&S is a favorite
Just to add, I always use a fresh kale bunch for this & cut it down manually, not sure of the quality with bagged kale.
My cooking advice is mostly about baking cookies. The biggest one being don’t over bake your cookies! Most people will leave the cookies in the oven until they look done. This is too long. Cookies need to be pulled out just before you think they are done because they will continue to cook as they cool. You want the edges to be crisp but the centers to still be soft. I will not use the semi sweet chocolate chips that most people seem to think of as chocolate chip cookie chips unless the cookie has a really sweet base. I use them in my raspberry or Nutella cookies but in oatmeal or regular chocolate chip I use milk chocolate. Parchment paper is great for making sure your cookies don’t stick to the pan and a cookie scoop is a must for uniform cookies.
Moderator R says
Also in Cookie land: if you like crunchy crispy cookies- use mostly white sugar. If you want soft and chewy- trust brown/Muscovado sugar to do the job!
Katie R says
This link is to a spinach salad that has become a staple for all of our holidays and gatherings. Potluck? This the dish we’re bringing. It also tastes great with a spring mix,.
The thing that’s crazy is that even the next day, when the leftovers are wilted, it’s delicious and everyone loves it. I call it a “wilted spinach salad” then, as if that’s a posh thing you’d find in a restaurant somewhere.
Zaena B says
I live in Santa Maria, CA, original home of the Tri- tip. Some call it a roast, but it’s best cooked over red oak on an open grill. there’s only 5 ingedients that go on a tri-tip:
1 cube of butter
1/2 to 3/4 can of beer ( here, it’s either Bud or Coors)
2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste.
Melt butter, pour into beer,add crushed garlic. Cook on low heat for approx. 2-3 minutes ( or microwave on high for 45 secs)
Place Tri-Tip on a low, oak flame grill- brush with butter marinate, flip and repeat. Brush as often as you like, usually when the top gets a bit dry. Average 3 to 4 lb Tri- Tip will cook to Rare in about 1/2 hour, Medium Rare in 45 minutes. After that- well done,etc, is about an hour…(but to me that is ruined, so…LOLOL) Cook to desired taste.
Zaena B says
addendum: yeah, you’ll want to melt that butter and ingedients in a saucepan….lol
I lived in Lompoc and went to school in Santa Maria. We had never heard of tri tip until we moved there. It’s soo good. Luckily we have a local butcher shop here in MO who carries it.
I cook two tri tip roasts in my slow cooker with French dip and jar of peppercinie banana sliced mild peppers. I use it to make sliders for a crowd. Not spicy. Cook until pull apart with fork. I have used cheapest roast I could find and turned out great.
Not sure how this ended up as a reply to a different person’s tips. Sorry but I’ll repost in the main body
Reposting because my original post somewhow ended up replying to someone else’s post…
Bring the water to a boil (with a halved lemon, a handful of whole peppercorns and one big white onion cut into 4, if you want a bit of extra flavour).
Once it boils, turn off the heat and THEN add your shrimp. You will avoid the stringy shrimp bit effect this way.
Rice that will never burn:
Rinse your rice sevetal times if you want it non-sticky. I rinse it once and then end up with the sort of result that you get from steamed rice in a Chinese restaurant.
1 quantity of rice + 1 and 1/3 quantity of water. Add salt if you want.
Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and remove from heat.
Let sit for at least 30 minutes, longer is ok too.
Mashed potatoes: heat the milk and butter that you intend to add before adding to the cooked potatoes. And if you can get Boursin “Garlic and Fine Herbs” spreadable cheese where you are, add a container of that too while mashing. It’s a bit of a roasted garlic mashed potatoes cheat.
Tip #1) You can roast about anything in the oven. Toss with a little oil & seasoning, single layer in pan and into a 425 oven till done. Veggies, meat, whatever. Check at 10 min for small\thin veggies (green beans/asparagus), 15 for other veggies (broccoli, brussels sprouts), 30 for diced potatoes.
Tip #2) Start steak, chops or chicken (seasoned with only salt and pepper), use a nonstick pan with very little oil. Lay out single layer in a COLD pan, turn it on high and turn over every 2 min (3rd or 4th flip – depending on gas or slow electric stove) turn down heat to medium. Use an instant thermometer and pull the meat once it’s at the correct doneness. Cover to rest. Add some a tsp of oil and chopped garlic to pan, deglaze with about 1/3 c. stock, reduce, turn off and add a tablespoon of jam (cherry, fig, blackberry) and pour over meat. DELISH!
Tip #3) Reverse Sear your steak or roast. GREAT for Chuck Roast. Salt liberally a few hours before and pop in fridge. Insert temp probe and roast in slow (300F) oven until about 5 deg below desired doneness. Remove from oven and rest for 10 min then sear in a hot pan. Great with or without a sauce.
Tip #4) Spend a little $$ and sign up for America’s Test Kitchen for access to a WEALTH of recipe’s – many of which have how to videos.
Tip #5) Know your substitutions. I don’t keep plain yogurt in the house, but you can swap in sour cream (or vice versa) in any recipe. If a recipe doesn’t seem to brown enough, add a touch of baking soda to promote browning.
Tip #6) Slow Cookers are your friend for busy life. I prefer the new metal ones (like a Ninja Multi-Cooker or even Instant Pot) over the old ceramic ones. Being able to sear then add liquids and bring to a simmer before swapping to slow cooker can be a life saver!
Tip #7) Don’t even know where to start? Use a kit. I use Every Plate and get 3 meals a week I don’t have to think about and darn if I haven’t learned a ton of new, easy cooking methods (especially around sauces and some new to me seasoning blends) – and I was already a damn good cook I was just getting into a rut and wanted to not think about meal planning 🙂
Jessie J says
My easiest dinner trick is a chicken in the crock pot:
Buy a whole chicken (remove the gizzards, etc., out of the cavity)
Rub lightly with oil and whatever seasonings you want
Cut the ends off an onion, then slice it in half
Place the onion rounds on the bottom of a crockpot. Place the chicken on top. Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours or low for 8
You can put the chicken under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp the skin, but I usually don’t because I just pick it off and don’t eat it.
Use the drippings from the crockpot to make gravy
After dinner, pick all the meat off the chicken and throw the bones back in the dirty crock pot. Add additional onion, celery, carrots, or any other leftover vegetables you might want to add, along with any garlic or herbs you want. Fill with water to about 1 inch below the top.
Cover and let cook on low overnight, 10-12 hours
Strain out the bones and veggies, and you have chicken stock.
Laura Register says
No kale for me, thanks. I do like a spring mix of greens for my salad base, though.
For steak I bake mine. I season both sides, insert a thermometer and have the alarm set for 145°F. The oven temperature is set at 400° to 425°, depending on how thick the meat is. This allows for browning, but less smoke in the air.
My pork chops/fried chicken tip is in the breading: season your flour of choice with salt, ground black pepper, and either a mix of chicken and beef bouillon for chops or chicken bouillon and poultry seasoning for the chicken. Salt and pepper your meat before coating in the flour mixture, and fry until done.
Be sure to use plenty of olive oil on the kale. Makes it easier to slide into the garbage ????
Elizabeth W says
Ok does this mean that we are finally going to get the cookbook- Eat Like a Consort, tips on how to feed your werelion family, special werewolf, werebear, were mongoose, and were Buffalo friends, and still have time to kick ass! with a special section on Martha’s famous honey muffins and other honey dripping delights? Lol
Although I realized after clicking post, that I should’ve added that I would like recipes from all the series, not just KD and also from Ilona personally too. So together, separately, whatever works best for IA! ????
Maria R. says
Oh heck fun & yummy
The only *real* salad green worth eating is purple cabbage. The rest is rabbit food – signed me, a vegetarian since birth.
I’m with you on the steak, though sometimes I will add a tsp of butter instead of oil to the pan. There’s just a slightly different flavour from the butter.
For kale, I either do kale chips, just bake kale in the oven, or put it in an apple-chicken sausage sausage soup with white beans. Salad is a hard sell at my house.
Let’s get fishy!
One pound wild salmon filet + squeeze of lemon + sprinkle of garlic and onion powder, then, using a butter knife or offset spatula, spread a thin (1/8”) layer of good mayo over the seasoned salmon + grab about a tablespoon of brown sugar from the bin and sprinkle/crumble over the mayo. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. SO GOOD. The mayo seals in the moisture of the salmon and it comes out tender every time.
My #1 cooking tip is this: Make bacon in the oven. It comes out so much better baked than fried on the stove. You can make more at the same time, it cooks more evenly, the fat renders much better. It’s just superior in every way to fried.
Cover a baking sheet with either aluminum foil or parchment paper. Lay out your bacon strips so that they are not touching each other. Put the baking sheet in a *cold* oven. (Staring in a cold oven prevents the bacon strips from curling up.) Set the oven to 400 F. You’ll want to flip the strips over somewhere around the 12-15 minute mark. After you flip the bacon, you have to babysit it a little bit. It will need another 5-10 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Use your nose and your eyes to gauge if it’s done enough.
The bacon grease you get when you make bacon this way is so clear and perfect. Liquid gold.
And then if you want to get fancy, you can try things like brushing the bacon with maple syrup or sprinkling on some brown sugar halfway through the baking process.
The big thing is to keep your bacon drippings in the fridge. We find the fat is good for a long time and makes a wonderful addition to many dishes. For example, roasted potatoes in the oven are heavenly if you use bacon fat instead of oil.
When I was at college and living in an apartment I developed a quick substitute for Spaghetti Amatriciana which continues to be a family and friend favorite. For 4 servings: Cook about 10 strips of bacon. Leave half the bacon fat in the pan. Cook a chopped onion in the fat and then dump in about 28 oz of canned diced tomatoes. Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes. Cook down until the mixture seems fairly dry. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the bacon (crumbled). Add more fat if you need more taste. Serve on pasta. It sounds like a lot of fat but it isn’t really different from what most pasta recipes require. It’s just bacon fat instead of oil. You can add another can of diced tomato if you need to extend the recipe.
3 other quick favorites that we cook when low on time
Yum Yum Chicken: Cook a couple slices of bacon. In some of the fat, cook onions and many mushrooms. Add rotisserie chicken and bacon. Eat. If you want to be fancy, make a quick Gruyère sauce to serve on top. To extend, serve on pasta.
Chorizo and Beans
Cook diced onion in minimum oil until done. Add a link of Spanish chorizo, diced. Cook a bit. Add a can of diced tomatoes and 2-3 cans of your favorite kinds of white beans. Cook. Add salt and pepper. Possibly mixed herbs.
Cook bacon. Cook onions in a little of the fat until mostly done and then add chopped red pepper and cook a bit. Add leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken. Dump in a container of refrigerated Alfredo sauce (we use buitoni). Make into a sandwich using sections of baguette and melt your favorite cheese over the top. Add some diced tomatoes if you like at the end.
Oh wait, must add my daughters&s favorite
Faux Crispy Duck
Has neither duck nor crispiness but is a reasonably close match to the taste of English crispy duck
Put chicken or turkey breast in crock pot. Sprinkle with Chinese 5 spice and cook until tender. Serve in tortillas with julianned green onions, julianned cucumbers and hoisin sauce.
Rebecca Dauphinee says
Slow cooker/Instant Pot crack chicken. This is perfect for potluck dinners and can be adapted to casserole for neighbors in need.
For 8-10 servings 4-5 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 can (approx. 16 ounces) drained black beans
1 can (approx. 16 ounces) drained corn
1 jar salsa (approx. 16 ounces)
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cover and cook 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Shred the chicken. Just before serving stir in until melted:
1 8-ounce block cream cheese
You can start with frozen chicken breasts and pull them apart with forks before serving. Serve with rice.
I also have mixed the finished dish with cooked egg noodles or pasta, put a crumb topping on it, and run it under the broiler to brown/crisp it.
Pamela F. says
I always have vegetarian baked beans (2 cans) on hand just in case you have someone that does not eat meat.
You can saute green, yellow or red bell pepper in a small amount of butter (or lighter oil that will not change flavor to much or get too oily) to soften slightly (or not if diced) and onions softened (sweet onions are my go to and add good flavor or green onions)
See you added three more vegetables. You can also add carrots (must soften) if you like the taste.
If you know in advance you can buy veggie crumbles/from your stash to add more protein. If you are adding crumbles add some more flavor. Heat crumbles as directed before adding to beans.
Sweeter – add some brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger
Savory – up the tomato flavor by adding diced tomatoes, a little nutmeg and some cumin (a pinch)
It is all about the flavor so taste as you add so you hit the right note and feel free to try your go to spices. If not sure add in pinches in a separate bowl with a little of the bean mixture.
Heat it up at 350 degrees in a casserole dish for 30 minutes or put in crock pot on low for 1-2 hours to heat up and let the flavors combine.
If you don’t like peppers or onions, you can chop into bigger pieces so you can remove them before serving. It just helps with the flavor.
This is way more information that I have ever even wondered about cooking. I’m sure I would love it. I’m simply don’t have the desire to put that much effort into cooking. I’m having hamburger helper left overs. I like it and that’s all that matters.
Another good thing to do with kale is make coleslaw. If you don’t want to massage your kale you can shred it up and add “coleslaw dressing” or make your own and it will also last for several days and not get too mushy.
For coleslaw dressing I use 1/4 cup mayo, 3-4 Tbs red wine vinegar, and stevia or honey to taste and then whatever herbs you like. I almost always go for tarragon, dill, pepper, and paprika.
Anchovies or anchovy paste. The best one is called gentleman’s relish. I rub a generous amount when I cook lamb and it tastes amazing. O you can add a teaspoon in your steak sauce. Might actually try rubbing it on steak instead of salt..
I read somewhere recently and wish someone had told me this years ago…
When boiling veggies on the stovetop, if it grows under the dirt start it in cold water; over the dirt start it in boiling water.
Makes a huge difference in textures and keeps you from mushing out your veg.
Bill from NJ says
yep with the steak, the steak au poivre way of cooking it always bothered me. using kosher salt and a hot fry pan is the way to go, and if you have good quality meat ,( we eat very little meat here at castle chaos, so when we eat it we prefer grass fed beef), why bury it in sauce? To make less expensive cuts taste better, marinading is the way to go.
We just discovered a great recipe for Welsh Rabbit ( or rarebit),which of course is not rabbit ( melted cheddar cheese,).
Really simple, you melt 2oz of butter ,then mix in 2 oz of flour and make a roux in a saucepan over low heat. grate 9 oz of cheddar, melt it with the roux, stirring. add 2 tsp Coleman dry mustard, then slowly mix in 9 oz of a good bodied beer ( Fat Tire works great). finally add 2 Tbsp of worcesthire sauce. pour over 4 slices of good toasted bread. That and salad is a good,quick meal ( each serving is 2 slices).
Ha! My mom grew up on a farm in Iowa. There the everyday beef was grass-fed. What everyone wanted to eat was corn-fed beef. Corn-fed beef is much better (to me) but exceedingly hard to find these days except in small towns in Iowa. I find the change in standards to be interesting.
Michelle Downing says
Kale is ok. Hubs loves it. I grow some in the summer for salads.
Now the best thing imo is slow roasted prime rib. Rub an herb butter all over the prime rib and cook at 500 for 20 min then drop temp to 200 for 3 hours. And don’t peek.
my friend would marinade his chicken breasts in cheap beer for an hour or two. I like butter for steaks in a cast iron pan, but you only need a tablespoon or so. Bacon grease is also good. Dad would cook a huge amount of bacon every sunday and the grease was saved in grammas 1940s aluminium grease keeper with a built in strainer. Potatoes fried in bacon grease. My parents would be 98 this year, they were not into modern healthy cooking. I see people mentioning cabbage so here is mom’s cabbage soup: In your soup pot, lightly brown some bacon bits, add onions, saute untli translucent, add a whole or half chopped cabbage, depending on how much you want to make, and put in just enough water or stock to barely cover the cabbage. Cook until cabbage is just done, add 3 or 4 cups of half and half or whole milk, as much as you need to make the quantity you want, heat til hot but not boiling. Top off with pats of butter. Salt to taste, add a few drops of tobasco.
I think we all want to go keep company with Kate and Curran.
worlds best roast chicken. coat chicken in mayo. stuff with lemon. roast.
the best cooking idea I’ve ever had is creaming all the butter to make biscuits, cookies all together then weight out the batches. then it’s ready to go as you bake. and for icings to.
that is in a mixer like 1kg of butter.
“Refried” beans for burritos: use a double boiler; mash the drained beans in the top pan of the double boiler and stir well. Put on top of the bottom pan and bring the water to a medium boil. You will have to watch the beans and keep stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Use your favorite taco toppings – lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped ripe olives, sour cream, diced sweet peppers (green, red, yellow, orange), salsa, taco sauce. To add variety to the lettuce, use a bagged salad mix with red and purple cabbage, carrots, and radishes.
(Prep the veggies before heating the beans.)
(Buy the pre-packaged shredded cheese unless you have a really good cheese shredder.)
It can be vegan if you omit the cheese and the sour cream.
Debbie B says
When I Brine: Organic=O. Apple Juice, O. Garlic, granules & crushed/minced fresh, relatively small amount of Himalayan Salt(seems more ‘salty’ than others, so less goes further) and which ever other spices is called(feel) for, sometimes vinegar is added for a slight tang-no water. I saw the American Test Kitchen’s prep of kale and almost everyone I’ve made it for, says it tastes sweeter(cut, hot water soak,drain & dry). I’m looking forward to making Bacon Fried Rice, though want to prep the rice to reduce the arsenic, via boil for 10 min., drain?rinse and boil again with fresh water; might add a little bit of chopped White onion, to a portion, to see which we like better.
I’m not a devotee of butter on my steak either. But occasionally I put a slice of Boursin garlic and herb on the hot steak right after removing it from the grill. it gets all melty and flavorful as the steak rests for 5 minutes or so. We use Monterrey steak seasoning and a splash of red wine and occasionally Worcestershire sauce to marinade the steaks on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes before grilling. That’s pretty much it. Have never tried pan searing to be honest but it sounds like something I’ll try come next winter. Grilling season is already here heh.
I’ll have to try brining the skinless chicken breasts before grilling them. That sounds like they’d stay moister. Thanks!
In the teriyaki sauce, instead of brown sugar or honey, you can use maple syrup… mmmmmm… (yes, I’m Canadian 😀 ).
I think this kale popularity is so funny. Where I am from, in Northern Germany, we have been eating it for a long time. But cooked and with rallye fatty meat and potatoes 😀 my grandmother would be astonished that people eat it raw : D
Kale – bleaaach! I think it’s a marketing ploy. Who wants to eat that instead of, say, baby bok choy? I’ll stick to tasty greens.
I’m in Oregon, and there is a brand here called Sun Luck. They have a number of sauces that not only are delicious but half the price of everyone else. Restaurant style Sweet & sour & Hot & Spicy Stir Fry sauces to name 2.
I can’t use brines d/t salt but cooking sherry tenderizes meat nicely!
I’m a purist for steaks, don’t add anything & bar b q to RARE, I want it to moo when I poke it! My dad taught me to cook, his philosophy was to taste the food, not the additives.
Happy cooking! I am really enjoying your posts.
Mmm. Baby bok choi lightly sautéed with minimum butter. Mmm. Craved it all through my pregnancy. Still love it and it is so fast.
Instant honey and mustard sauce to add to chicken (makes enough for 1 small chicken breast or thigh): 1 tsp mustard, 3 tsp honey, dash of Worcestershire sauce*, dash of soy sauce. Sometimes I also add a couple of teaspoons of teriyaki sauce. And just pour it over a cooked chicken breast and serve. It seems really sophisticated so you can serve it at a dinner party even though it takes a few seconds to throw together.
When making coleslaw/Russian salad: half finely shredded cabbage, half grated carrot, add enough mayo JUST to coat all the cabbage/carrot shreds, and then add a tablespoon of salad cream*.
Egg mayonnaise: mash boiled eggs until they are really finely mixed and the pieces of egg white are very small, then add a small amount of equal parts mayonnaise and salad cream until it makes a paste (not too much as you don’t want it too wet and sloppy, it needs to be a stiff paste).
Perfect poached eggs: you need your eggs to be really fresh. Eggs have two different kinds of white, a thick inner portion that makes up most of the white, and a thinner outer bit. The thick inner bit needs to be really thick for good poached eggs, so the egg needs to be very fresh, only a few days old. If it’s a week or more old then it won’t work as well. Just simmer the water, crack the egg into a cup or soup ladle, and VERY carefully and slowly slide it into the water. You don’t need to stir the water or put vinegar in it or anything. When the egg is cooked remove it with a slotted spoon.
Scrambled eggs: don’t add milk to the egg mixture. I have no idea why people do this. It dilutes the eggs and makes them less fluffy than if you just mix up eggs by themselves. Maybe it’s a holdover from war rationing when people didn’t have enough eggs to go round.
Instead of bread or rolls with soup, make British scones. (Look up the Delia Smith recipe online). The secret is to make them very short – when you have the crumble mixture dribble in the milk in little bits until it goes into bigger clumps, then compress the dough with your hand and it will suddenly become a thick dough. Make sure you roll it out, then cut the scones out very thick (an inch high) with a proper round cutter. Delicious with butter and honey, or jam and whipped or clotted cream, but you can also serve them with butter and cheese or ham. In the UK, old fashioned country people sometimes used to make scones instead of bread.
*Worcestershire sauce is a fermented sauce that adds depth and flavour in the same way that e.g. tobasco does (although it’s not spicy). Salad cream is a more piquant and tangy version of mayonnaise. They’re British, but I’ve seen them both in American supermarkets.
Oh, I forgot instant mousse.
150g thick yoghurt
150ml double cream (or heavy cream I think, in the US)
Some jam/lemon curd/dark brown sugar
Whip the double cream to soft peaks, then fold in the yoghurt and enough jam/lemon curd/sugar until it turns slightly pink/yellow/golden and tastes sweet, creamy and fruity/caramelly.
Serve by itself, or with oaty biscuits and bananas.
I think UK double cream is considerably thicker and richer than US heavy whipping cream.
But while on great UK dishes, Eton Mess is luscious. Mix crumbled cooked meringues, whipped cream and sliced strawberries. What could be yummier? In the UK you can buy decent cooked meringues. In the US you will have to make them. The hard-as-rocks meringue cookies won’t work. Not even Trader Joe’s
Moderator R says
You can poach slightly older eggs too, by first breaking it in a little tea strainer sieve and letting the liquidy white go through. After a few seconds you’re left with the yolk and the thicker albumen ????.
Or if you want less wastage, squeeze a little lemon juice over the raw egg when you have it in your teapot or ladle- it will instantly make the egg white recover its youth hehe.
Ah, good tips if you can’t get hold of fresh eggs!
When sautéing mushrooms, start in a dry pan to get all the moisture out first. Then add the fats and seasonings.
Save/freeze your [washed] vegetable scraps for easy veggie broth. It’s so much more flavorful than store bought. (I live on it when I’m sick and have trouble swallowing.)
When making soup, chop the potatoes first. Let them soak in cool/cold water while you chop the rest of the veggies. This will remove some of the starch. The potato water can be thicken the soup later or used on your plants.
I can get lovely bunches of fresh parsley fairly cheap at one of the grocery stores near me, and I’ve started considering it a vegetable.
This is my go-to thing to do with parsley. Throw in a blender: fresh parsley, including stems (helps if you chop it up some); avocado; olive oil; lime juice; salt; and, if desired, a little pasta water. I try to use the smallest amount of oil that will allow the sauce to blend. I think I usually end up using 1-2 avocados per bunch of parsley. I use plenty of lime both for flavor and to keep the sauce from going brown. Pasta water will help the sauce stick to pasta. The parsley stems have lots of flavor, so don’t leave them out! This freezes and thaws well — I like to make a big batch and freeze the extra in small containers or an ice cube tray.
Parsley in skillet
One time my parsley was wilting and I didn’t feel like using the blender, so I chopped it up and threw it into a frying pan on some beans. It came out quite well, with less bite to the greens than I expected. The beans were kidney beans; I forget what seasonings I used. Throw the parsley in once the beans are cooked, mix it around, and let it get thoroughly wilted.
Susan D says
There are several brands of Root Beer available in our area. I like A & W Root Beer best and the best way to consume it is in a tall glass with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream.
We are having friends for steak. We are cooking it on a charcoal grill. I will remember your salting advice!
This might be too basic for most, but it took me over 50 years to figure out that you have to cook meat using a thermometer instead of trying to rely on time in recipes. No more complaints about dry meat, no more stress about under cooked meat. Also slow roasting a bottom round roast after searing. (https://daysofjay.com/2020/11/28/perfect-slow-roast-beef/
And on the kale theme if anyone goes to First Watch restaurant, they will recognize this as a juice. I make a smoothie in my ninja blender instead. one fuji apple, 1\2 to one lemon, quarter cucumber and as much kale as I can fit in there with room for ice.
I didn’t say, but I dislike kale intensely, so this is the only way I have found to consume it. perfect blend of sweet sour bitter smooth. it has to be a Fuji apple and you have to play a little with proportions and really this is best for those addicted to the First Watch juice as I was.
Mix equally parts heavy cream and shredded parmesan cheese. Warm on low heat stirring constantly until the cheese melts and makes Alfredo sauce. Add sautéed garlic for garlic Alfredo. Add nutmeg or other aromatic herbs to taste. Serve over pasta, chicken, and/or veggies like broccoli or kale. I suspect many people have never had good kale. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. It’s delicious, especially fresh from the cold frame in the middle of winter. The cold makes all of the leafy greens slightly sweet.
When I’m not lazy, I use clarified butter to sear steaks since it has a higher smoke point, then pop them in the oven. Don’t know if the lactose is still there, though. Otherwise, I just use avocado oil.
when cooking steaks on a gas grill. Pre heat very hot.
Sear each side for 30 sec or so, then turn down burners and grill
searing this way gives a juicier steak
Pulled pork in a crock pot is ridiculously easy. big chunk of cheap pork, cup of water or vinegar. skin if necessary. heat 6-10 hours (if from frozen, heat for awhile, then skin) remove bones. pull. Buy high quality barbeque sauce not designed for ribs.
Place chicken breasts (thighs, whatever chicken you prefer) in Lemon juice and sunflower oil for an hour (ish-cause sometimes i forget or run late…..yep) before baking, especially if you are going to herb and panko crust the chicken. What ever herbs you want.
The lemon juice and oil is key to keeping the chicken from drying out, maybe. At least I think so, I could be wrong and there is some actual reason that this works but that’s what I’m going with.
The prettiest salad you can ever make and it makes that Kale taste amazing: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/massaged-kale-salad-recipe-1952450
I get rave reviews whenever I take it to get-togethers.
Simple French farmers Boeuf Bourgignon. Fry some small bacon cubes. Cut carots very small. Peel shallots and perhaps cut in half. Clean smaller champignons and cut in half. Take big cubes of beef like shoulder or high rib. Now take a big pot. Layering two times as following. Fried bacon, carots, beef cubes, salt and pepper, shallots and champignons. Add crushed garlic. Repeat. Beef to vegetables ratio 1:1. Add rich and heavy red wine preferably burgundy like Pinot Noir. A spanish wine will do as well. Approximately 250 to 300 milliliter for 750 to 1000 grams of beef. Put lid on pot. Lid should close well. Put in the oven by week temperature. Let cook for some hours.
Sounds very much like how I do my chicken soup. I salt and steam my chicken thighs, shred them and set them aside, cook down a bunch of onions and mushrooms and then add them to chicken stock and the steamer water. That is my base for a weeks worth of soup for lunch.
Then every day I add different things to make that days soup. Might be vegetables, greens, noodles, salsa, cheese sauce, pesto, or nothing at all except the chicken. (I add some of the shredded chicken back in after I reheat the soup to maintain the texture). Every day a different bowl of soup.
Maria Aida Contreras says
I have made your Bulgogi recipe numerous times – absolutely love it!!
It is wonderful. Except in our house it now goes by the name of “Beefy Beef”
Camille Marshall says
We use the same filling as golumkie:
Package of meatloaf mix
Cooked rice (or cooked cauliflower rice to remove excess water for keto)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 bell peppers – red or yellow
Big can of tomato sauce
Tip: prepare peppers: cut top off and remove the seeds and veins then parboil the peppers to soften (about 7 – 10 mins)
Fill peppers with meat mixture, put in a deep pan, add tomato sauce and bake at 350 F for 1 hour.
Camille Marshall says
Should say cook the cauliflower rice on stovetop in a skillet to remove excess water.
R Coots says
Pan searing steak is too much work and too likely to ruin it for me. I season ours with with Bull Shit (yes, it’s an actual seasoning mix) or salt, pepper, powdered garlic and onion, let it sit for an hour, the shove it under the broiler.
My current favorite easy chicken recipe involves marinating it in a bottle of dry white with a good two tablespoons of curry powder/paste, and about a cup of honey. This can be baked, grilled, what have you. Baste with more honey mixed with curry, and it’s amazing.
I like my steak with just salt and garlic, rare to medium rare. My husband likes his with bbq sauce and cooked extremely well done. If we can’t grill them (Canadian winters lol) I put them under the broiler in the oven. My go-to for pork chops is a mix of soya sauce and a touch of worchester sauce. It makes the cheapest cut of pork tender.
Kat in NJ says
Thank you for this post: I just love getting new cooking tips and recipes! My tip to new home cooks is don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients. You never know until you try!
My current favorite ingredient is smoked paprika. I’ve been cooking for 50+ years: how did I not know about this until a year ago?? This stuff is great! I add it to so many things (rubs for meat, seasonings for roasted veggies, sprinkle on popcorn, steamed veggies, scrambled eggs, etc.) It adds a lovely smoky flavor without being overwhelming. Yummy!
Fun tip— thanks!
My secret ingredient that I add to everything is Cholula.
I’m sure there’s someone who said these things already, but.
American chickens, most especially the Perdue oven-stuffer roasters, are what I grew up on. It wasn’t until I moved to Europe that I learned that un-warped-chickens run around 3lbs and not 8lbs.
And that just like Butterball turkeys, Perdue 8lb monsters come already brined. I had fortunately switched to TJ’s unbrined turkeys already. So I knew what the problem suddenly was with my chickens. But I also wasn’t willing to put that much time into it.
That’s when I invented steam-brining. Don’t tell me someone else invented it. They probably did. But I don’t know anyone else who did it, so it counts for me.
Butterfly your roast chicken and put it on the rack in the roasting pan. Put whatever aromatics you want in the pan and pour in a pint of totally-sodiumed chicken broth (low and no sodium chicken broths don’t exist in Austria, but I wouldn’t use them for this anyway. The entire point of brining is to get salt into the meat. Use boiling water and salt, if that’s what you want instead).
The chicken on the rack doesn’t touch the liquid, the steam gets into the meat while cooking, total prep time for a 3lb chicken is about 10 minutes, and butterflied means it cooks in half the time.
Done. Also, we have an electric oven, so I heat it to highest heat and turn on the lowest broiler setting (our oven has 3 broiler settings, and anything over the First just burns things in minutes), ten minutes, then turn to fan cooking (more even heat) and down to about 375°. Your meat thermometer in the deepest part of the breast will hit 160° in about half an hour (total — this includes the ten minute broiling) and is fully brined with luscious skin. Since I am a junkie for any combination of salt/fat/rosemary, I slather the skin with butter, sprinkle both kosher salt and powdered rosemary, and have sprigs in the chicken broth as well as celery/carrot/onion.
A total of 40 minutes from raw whole unbrined chicken to dinner table.
Sorry, I forgot. The same meat thermometer will take it to 170° easily with carry-over heat. You’re not undercooking your chicken.
I don’t ever eat Kale unless I make Kale chips. I never grew up eating it, and I haven’t taken a liking for it. I do like Trader Joe’s Kale, chicken, broccoli slaw salad though. I have a “Sour cream and onion” Kale chip recipe that uses cashews. I use our dehydrator for it.
As for cooking tips, most of the time I’m trying to get dinner on the table quick and use a wok every day. Meat – sliced against the grain thinly, marinated, and then put some cornstarch on it to seal in the juices. That way the juices don’t ooze out and your meat stays tender. Do the veggies first, remove them from the wok, rinse out the wok, heat it up, add oil, stir fry the meat until done, add in the veggies to the meat. If you want some sauce, add in a cornstarch slurry with oyster sauce or soy sauce or some seasoning. Don’t make it so thick that the cornstarch gets gloopy.
We eat broccoli and cabbage the most. I start the broccoli with a little oil, then add in some water, cover to steam for 3-5 minutes, take out the broccoli, dump any remaining water, put in some oil, add garlic until it gets fragrant but not burned, and then add in the broccoli again. Season with salt or oyster sauce. Cabbage I just slice and straight up stir fry with garlic and salt.
Dinner on the table in 30 minutes.
I’m lazy. I brine my meat in salad dressing. Tuscan italian is really good for chicken, sesame ginger is great for pork or chicken and goddess dressing works wonders on turkey legs. Nice thing about salad dressing is it usually has vinegar, tomato, buttermilk or some other acid in it that breaks down the meat and makes it tender.
Thanks, Ilona, for the kale softening tip. We use it in our blended nutritional drink all the time, but my DH finds it a bit chewy for a whole salad. I love dinosaur kale salad with fresh lemon, garlic, and olive oil, but, again, too chewy. So I’ll try your trick next time and add the lemon when I’m plating. I’m excited to try it!
We get 4 or 5 rotisserie chickens at Costco every month & a half or 2 (because it’s about an 80 mile round trip). We can have sliced chicken breast for dinner and then I debone the rest and chop it into large chunks, portion it into sandwich bags,
put 8 bags each into a zippered freezer bag, and pop them into the freezer.
then I can thaw them a bag at a time and turn them into soup, chicken salad, Kale or any green salad, stir-fry, “spaghetti a-la- scholar”, chicken tacos, chicken chili, stuffed acorn squash, fried rice-like quinoa ( just to name a few) and all in a half hour before dinner.
The chicken tastes no different than the first fresh delicious bite when they get home. I save the jelly in ice cube trays to add extra flavor.
These chickens give a HUGE amount of meat!
Moderator R says
What’s spaghetti a la scholar? I need to know, please!
Remember the Scholar from the “Sweep Of The Heart”?
He was a big chicken!????????????
Someone on another thread asked for a tuna casserole recipe. I will give my family’s, which I have been nostalgically craving. My dad only had a couple of ideas for Lenten Fridays, mostly because we just wouldn’t eat most fish and also because fresh fish was expensive. Mostly because we couldn’t afford it. So.
2 cans tuna fish, drained
2 cans Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup — straight from the can, no “uncondensing”
8oz (maybe? Maybe a pound? I’m experimenting soon based on my memory, but soon is not yet) macaroni noodles, cooked and drained (weight is for uncooked pasta)
Combine everything except the breadcrumbs in a casserole dish. I can’t tell you how much mustard powder to use, because so much depends on the kind. A lot of mild mustard powder, a smaller amount of strong.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Cook on 375°. Again, cooking time depends on the depth of the dish. If you’re using a large shallow dish, it’ll take about 30 minutes. A smaller and deeper dish might take an hour. The breadcrumbs should be golden brown and the mushroom soup should be heated through and bubbling.
At some point, my dad got creative* and switched from breadcrumbs to corn flakes. I never liked the cornflakes.
This was way better than fish sticks were 35 years ago.
*my dad was actually an amazing cook and I wish I could go back in time and eat fresh fish with him. He cooked by instinct I am the only one of eight children able to reproduce his gravy, and I had to bring science into it.
Melissa B says
I massage the kale as well, and that is what the instructions said from a Vegetarian cookbook I got at Christmas (can’t recall the name as at work). Anway, it said to cut up kale, shave Brussell sprouts, shave purple cabbage, shave carrots. Add sea salt, and then throw 1/2 cup of grated fresh parmesan and roast on 425 for 15 minutes. It is a beautiful display of veggies on your plate. HOWEVER, I would take out the kale like within 10 minutes. My word the kale was light and airy. I like to vary it up with mushrooms, and broccoli and sometimes less cheese too. I also love to sprinkle on ALL THE VEGETABLES at any time of with Ms. Dash Table Blend seasoning blend. LOVE IT!
1. Always add chopped anchovies to tomato based sauces or soups to enhance the flavor with umami salty hit.
2. In cakes and desserts I always reduce the recommended sugar by at least one third and add a generous pinch of salt. This reduces the calories but makes little difference to the taste other than allowing the flavoring ingredients to hold their own against the sugar.
3. Parmesan crisis – mix two thirds to half volume of p
Grated Parmesan with one third to half almond meal. Spoon onto prepared baking tray in pile and bake till golden and bubbly with slightly brown edges. The almond meal take the edge off the pure Parmesan bite.
4. Airfryer steaks – this type of cooking isonly success full with really thick cut steak eg 3-4cms thick sirloin.
Pre heat fryer to 200 degree centigrade of the highestsetting, answer salt the meat on all sides to the point of overgenerosity.
Cook in airfryer for about twelve minutes for medium rare, with a good crust, turning 2 or 3 times during cooking. Rest for the same amount of time you cooked it.
Voila perfect steak.
Melissa B says
Lets talk more food 🙂 Found a really cool roasted Brussel Sprout dip on Food and Wine site that I am going to make this weekened. I want to see if its a neat twist for an upcoming graduation party. Along with this dip recipe we are going to cook the Food and Wine Three ingredient Coffee Rub recipe for Prime Rib. That is delicious and we are just spoiling ourselves this weekend.
EASY PEASY STEAK Marinade: I got this from a friend whose dad used to run a steak restaurant in Boston. His dad would take any cut of meat, place it down on a bed of rock salt for 10 minutes. Flip it to the other side and let that side rest on the rock salt, then throw the steak on the grill or into the cast iron skillet. ITS WONDERFUL!
Lastly- we have a grilling cookbook that talks about taking a porterhouse steak, grilling it with just salt and pepper. AFTER its cooked and done- place it on a platter that has whatever type of olive oil you want covering the bottom of the platter. In the Olivie oil there is also two sage leaves, and sprigs of Rosmary (keep off if not like) and fresh minced garlic if you like. Thus, place the steak on the platter for about 30 seconds and flip it over and do the same thing on the other side. Then remove it from the platter and serve.
Back to work-Cheers!
Melissa B says
About the bed of rock salt marinade, when you flip the first side over brush any rock salt on that side off.
This is one everyone probably knows. I use a big jar of dill pickles to make barbeque. Buy a good 3-4 pound chuck roast and put it in the slow cooker with an entire jar of dill pickles on top (I use whole pickles to make clean-up easier) and cook for 8 hours. I cook it in the garage because the smell is difficult to live with. After cooking, remove the pickle remnants and drain the liquid. The meat will fall apart. Use your own sauce. We used to live in North Carolina so our favorite is vinegar based.
I don’t drown my steak in butter either, when I have it. Just season it. They have all those fancy seasoning packets you can get now. Mostly, if it can go into a Dutch oven, that’s what we cook in the winter: whole chicken, pork tenderloin, pot roast or tri tip. Doesn’t dry out, doesn’t take long, even at lower temperatures. Sometimes smoked pork chops in the sous vide my mom got me for Christmas one year. Summer, it gets cooked outside on the grill. The less cleanup required, the more I like the recipe. If I wasn’t married I’d live off of sandwiches, fajitas, and salads.
Listen, I put heavy cream in my tea, believe pork fat is a condiment, and have been known to roast a chicken just to eat the crispy skin — I’m not afraid of animal fat, is what I’m saying. (My cholesterol is fine, thanks. Good genes.) That said, I would never cook steak in butter! Steak is perfect with just a bit of salt.
Amateur Hermit says
My garden exploded with kale last fall, so lots of kale with smashed potatoes and gruyere cheese.
Sorry, no steak here. Only steelhead trout cooked 5 minutes on each side in a hot pan. Then I saute greens in the oil left from the fish. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to the greens. I tried it as an experiment & now I’m obsessed.
Thumbs up on the savory oatmeal too. Add cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and greens.
I saw where you can’t do lactose, but soaking just about anything in buttermilk will help to tenderize it. Dump in some hot sauce to really spice up your meat.
As for grilling steaks, my husband does then wonderfully on a grill (move over steakhouses). He has all types of rubs he uses on them, but salt is there in the mix and he lets it set (as mentioned above). I have a recipe where I pan-sear the steaks in an cast iron skillet & then move them to an oven for the last bit of cooking (dear hubby places it in the oven & takes it out for me). Yes, I do make a butter herb sauce using the juices and some beef broth afterward, but it’s not necessary. No, we don’t use steak sauce (heavens no!).
Try butterflying your chicken drumsticks before frying. I did that this past weekend and OH BOY, they we awesome. Of course, I did marinate in them in the refrigerator for HOURS in buttermilk and hot sauce, then breaded them in Louisiana seasoned crispy chicken fry (the SPICY one), and fried them up in a dutch oven.
I could go on and on, but I don’t want anyone falling asleep.
Leah C says
I agree about butter-drowned steak. Not necessary.
Plus save the calories for dessert 😉
Baking is a stress relief but cooking is evil. I’m in grad school so my cooking is mostly getting seasoned chicken and frozen veggies then putting it in the oven or doing soup in the crock pot 🙂 on the other hand I’m excited Pi day is next week and I can use my Pi symbol shaped cookie pan
I’m going to say it. I’m going to be the dissenter: I prefer kale over spinach. I like the crunch. Spinach goes bad too quickly and I don’t have the patience to look at every leaf to see whether it’s gone gross and translucent! Kale is simple. It doesn’t wilt in soup and I think it tastes better after cooking. I would also like to include that my mom would nuke those boxes of frozen spinach and just put butter, salt, and pepper on it and the one time I tried to eat it, I gagged and it almost came out my nose so NO I will not willingly eat spinach. My nose burns thinking about it…
Hollie Muraco says
I like to grind dried porcini mushrooms or use some Trader Joe’s Umami seasoning (dried mushrooms) and season the steaks with a good amount. Add black pepper and salt. Grill sear or whatever, it will be Umami yummyness!!
Salad is always better if someone else makes it. ????
Lynn R Butler says
We tried an air fryer just to be adventurous. Does a great job on poultry, crispy but still moist, even a 6lb turkey breast for Christmas!
Ruby's Mom says
Tip from my MIL: Save the wrappers from the sticks of butter and then use them when you need to grease a pan.
Tip from life experience: elevation matters when making candies like caramel (I knew it affected cakes and cookies, didn’t think about the caramel).
High altitude makes everything a challenge. We are on our 3rd generation of trying to get our family favorite coffee cake recipe to work. We have tried everyone’s hacks. Not looking for help because in fact we all now prefer the slightly reverse coffee cake (topping tends to sink to the bottom). We are only trying to perfect it for guests. Just agreeing that high altitude cooking is an everlasting challenge. You don’t want to know how long it takes to cook a baked potato in the oven in Denver.
Chewing kale reminds me of a cow chewing cud. I’m with you on steak. I don’t marinde, but do let it stand at room temperature for an hour. My hamburgers – I fashion ground beef, not lean, into patties – I do not mix anything into them, but do season outsides. They taste like wonderful, wonderful beef. People always ask me for my recipe – hah! If you have a chuck roast you are cutting up for stew, brown it before you cut it up. It is way easier, and you do not need to brown all the sides of each cube to get the flavor boost browning provides. Two sides is plenty. But don’t forget to scrape up the fond with some wine or broth to add to the stew. If you are converting a recipe to slow cooker, remember to reduce liquids by half. SLow cookers conserve moisture, so you don’t need as much. And if you are using wine in your slow cooker, reduce it by half – it won’t reduce in the slow cooker, will not taste right.
Microwave your bacon. It’s a gamechanger! Put a good quality paper towel (like Bounty brand) on a plate, singer layer of bacon, another paper towel on top (don’t press down) and microwave on high for 5-7 min depending on your microwave and how crispy you want it. The original instructions I read said to flip the bacon halfway but I don’t bother and it works fine. No more splattering, smoke or pan to clean.
Bob M says
Microwaving bacon is like boiling beef. Yes it is cooked but it loses a lot of flavor. I find microwaved bacon similar in taste to the pre-cooked bacon you can find in the supermarket. You just can’t beat pan frying bacon.
Microwaved bacon made with a covered bacon rack (not paper towels) has a 3rd of the fat of bacon cooked in oven or pan. It isn’t as yummy, no, although I think the difference is more texture than taste, but it is quick, you don’t have to monitor it and it is easy to clean up . And again, much lower in fat and calories. If you ever have your gallbladder removed, you will bless microwaved bacon.
Note: calorie info is from university hospital systems dietitians- ie this is actually reputable info.
Bob M says
You haven’t had an amazing steak until you’ve had one Sous Vide. Season your steak. Vacuum seal it. Get a large pot of water and put an Immersion circulator in it and set it to 130F. When it comes to temp, put your steak in there and let it cook for 90-120 min or so. Your steak is now perfectly cooked at medium rare. Heat up your cast iron pan and sear all four sides until brown. You’ve never had a more tender steak. This also works amazingly for thick cut boneless pork chops.
Victoria Gill says
Im Australian, so our hot tip down here is: fusion food. Be it; italian, greek, middle east or asian, everything has a fresh Australian produce swing added to it.
Plus everything needs that sweet sour balance to get a great flavour balance (eg wine/onions, fish sauce/palm sugar etc)
A ‘Whatever I Have In The Fridge’ European Fusion Stew
(in my Dutch Cast Iron Oven):
Sauted til almost overcooked brown onions.
Diced veg mix of your choice
(My current fridge options): Broccci stalks, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, pumpkin, turnip.
Red kidney beans
(all the above are the tinned pre-soaked version, because Im lazy)
Red wine (and a little extra for me, lol)
Meat of choice (i have boned chicken thighs in the fridge today)
Stock (i have chicken), enough to cover it all
Bring to the boil on the stove top, then chuck in a 170 degree celsius oven for 1 hr or when the veg is cooked but it is still runny.
Then add a grain of choice over the top: pearl barly, brown rice, pearl couscous, quinoa etc into the pot and chuck it back in the oven until it has soaked up the excess stock and become a yummo base and has a crispy top but isn’t a dry husk…and obviously cooked through. lol
Serve bed of fresh baby spinach leaves (Yes, that is right America, we eat our salad WITH our food)
Vic (Melbourne Australia)
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post.
I agree with you on steak. Butter is for mashed potatoes not for steak. Although I no longer eat white potatoes but sweet potatoes so no butter. Sigh. Makes my GP doctor happy. However my sugar loving nephew (I tease him about tea flavoring in his sugar water) loves butter with liberal amounts of fake maple syrup on waffles which is a no no for me too. Sigh.
Re kale. I like it but then I also like brussel sprouts. ????. And green tea. ????
Game changer for cilantro and parsley: use a fork to remove the leaves. This works best when the herbs are in a bunch. Place the herbs on a cutting board. Hold the ends in a bunch with one hand. With the other hand, use the tines of a fork to scrape the leaves away from ends. Spaghetti squash—to avoid the hard task of slicing the raw squash in half, poke a few holes in a raw squash (I use a metal skewer) and microwave it on high until soft, which can take 8-15 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Then cut in half and remove the seeds before using a fork to separate the strands.
When you said massage kale I thought massage Kale. I wonder who would name A kid Kale.
Hi, late to the party but couldn’t resist because I have to disagree! Steak cooked with butter is perfect. BUT, you only need a tablespoon in the pan to sear in the yumminess. I also want to agree about salting your meat but my (not so) secret trick is GARLIC salt! It really adds to the flavor. It goes great on all meat, and veggies too.
I’ll share one of my family’s favorite of my own recipes for salmon filet. I get a salmon filet (my kids love this so I get the biggest one that still fits on my broiler pan) with the skin. On the skin side rub with olive oil. Flip it over and rub in a layer of olive oil, then lemon juice, then cream sherry (I know, trust me). You want all the liquids to sort of smoosh together, hence the rubbing, otherwise they just run off the fish. Don’t be afraid to add more lemon juice and sherry, don’t go lite. Then sprinkle with a little kosher salt and a lot of dry dill, rub it in. Let that sit while you heat your broiler to high, prep your sides, etc. You’ll want the fish close to the flame when its cooking so adjust the rack accordingly. To cook, flip the filet skin side up and broil til the skin gets crispy and bubbles (the fish oils soak down into the meat and keeps it moist). Now, flip the filet carefully and stick back under the broiler until the top is browned/caramelized. You’re done, enjoy. Best Salmon Ever, I promise.
Addendum: you can use any oil you like, we just like olive oil a lot here. 🙂
Air fry your steak. Yes, air fry! If you have an air fryer it is a must. You get the most delicious crispy crust I can never go back to pan fry. You don’t even need any oil or butter only salt and pop her in on the highest setting for however long you like your steak done!
Cathy R says
Baking powder and salt rub for super crispy roast chicken or chicken wings.
Resting Time:8 hrs
Total:8 hrs 50 mins
• 2 pounds (900g) chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
• 2 teaspoons (10g) baking powder
• 2 teaspoons (10g) kosher salt; for table salt use half as much by volume or the same weight
• 4 tablespoons (50g) unsalted butter
1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack inside. Carefully dry chicken wings with paper towels. In a large bowl, combine wings with baking powder and salt and toss until thoroughly and evenly coated. Place on rack, leaving a slight space between each wing. Repeat with remaining 2 batches of wings.
2. Place baking sheet with wings in refrigerator and allow to rest, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
3. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Add chicken wings and cook for 20 minutes. Flip wings and continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 30 minutes longer, flipping a few more times towards the end.
4. Transfer wings to a large bowl, add butter, and toss to thoroughly coat.
Cathy R says
BTW, Ilona’s Mississippi Roast is my family’s new favorite.
You go with your controversial self! You are correct on all counts!!!
my favorite cooking tip – you can use a rice cooker for full meals.
My current favorite is to blitz baby carrots (or full size, I just only keep baby carrots in the house), onion, garlic, and ginger in the food processor, then saute in a neutral oil + toasted sesame oil. At the last second I stir in a spoonful of chicken base. Load in the rice bowl with 2 cups rinsed rice, the correct amount of water, the aromatics you just sauteed, and then top with 5-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into quarters. This is a meal for 4, cut it down to appropriate amounts for your family unit. Works wonderfully for just one person too. If you have a fancy machine, set it to “mixed” and if you have a plain jane just set it to cook.
My other tip – if you like potato soup, try adding capers and avocado to your bowl of soup.
My new potato salad recipe (still a work in progress):
I cut down on the work of making potato salad by boiling chunked up potatoes and eggs together from cold. When the potato is tender the eggs are cooked, they need to drain and cool for a while
I also make mayonnaise (standard egg yolk, dijon, lemon juice and neutral oil and lost of pepper) in a big bowl and then drain and chill in the fridge
I cut up dill pickled gherkins and then fish out a lot of the pickling detritus (dill, garlic etc) and chop that extra fine.
I peel and and slice the hard boiled eggs
I add everything to the bowl of mayonnaise with a healthy dollop of whole grain mustard, mix and then I have a really nice potato salad
Korean Gochujang can literally go into anything. I have had to start making vegetarian and vegan family style meals and gojuchang and miso have made my life so much easier.
Steak: highly recommend reverse searing. If only once. HEAVILY salt and pepper (more than you think. Thick meat = less surface area to carry necessary salt), get it up to the right internal temperature for your preferred doneness in a slow oven, then do a very quick sear in a hot pan or grill to get the caramelization. It seems backwards but I have yet to have a better and juicier steak.
Ona Jo-Ellan Bass says
I once had a roommate who cooked his hamburger in butter! I threw a polite fit because a.) butter = expensive. b.) a decent hamburger should have enough fat to fry itself. (No, I don’t buy extra lean. Why spend the extra money, then add fat for frying?) Just incidentally, that person later had liposuction surgery as life-saving emergency medicine for his bones and blood pressure. What I might do is fry a nice piece of fatty bacon first. It adds flavor, and you have the bacon grease and bit of bacon for flavoring cooked beans. Don’t add until the beans are cooked to tenderness. Never add anything salty to beans until they are properly done. I’m not much of a cook…but there’s my cooking advice for the day.
Ona Jo-Ellan Bass says
Hmmm. Kale. I love the stuff, especially the curly, gray kind. But I currently have red-veined Russian kale coming up in the garden. Baby kale is so sweet and tender! Grow your own if you can. You’ll never go back to eating the store-bought kale.
Meanwhile, I’m over here eating meat drenched in BUTTER and losing weight….
Brine! Is also really good for those thick pork chops. I brine them then dry them, season and my husband puts them on the grill. Usually doing a pork brine I use half apple juice for the liquid. I can’t remember the last time we cooked a steak in the house usually it goes on the grill too.
Living in the Bay Area we can almost grill year round and ever since my husband got his smoker we sometimes use it in bad weather.
A couple things I have been trying to do more is to write on my recipes any changes that I make. Plus I started a recipe album on my phone for when my family have asked me to send them a copy. I now can find them when they ask for them again.
Steak: Inch-thick. Make sure it’s sat out, don’t cook straight from fridge. Heat grapeseed oil in cast iron pan until it starts to shimmer (I actually use a comal, don’t have a skillet). Salt the steak and drop it in. Slightly reduce heat, don’t touch for 6 minutes. Remove with tongs – no fork! – and raise temp to heat the oil again. Drop steak in on other side for 3 minutes. Medium-rare.
“Kale has a tendency to taste like weeds.” Omg I hated that kale became such a huge superfood around 2013-2015. I feel like a few years you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about stupid kale, a leafy green I had never even heard of until my early twenties. I don’t care if it’s the healthiest thing since sliced bread, it tastes awful and is VERY overrated. I only eat it if it’s mixed in soups or mixed in risottos or other dishes where it isn’t the main ingredient. You can’t trick me into eating it in a salad, it’s not going to happen.
Fun article! I don’t cook steaks so I have no opinion on the right way to cook one but I’m sure people have Many Opinions.
Amazingly enough pintrest has some very tastey recipes.
one I think is Honey bourbon steak
only butter is in the pan .
sounds similar to your recipe.
yours sounds delicious too. What type of meat (steak) do u use thou?
I also live in Texas. With summer approaching, I am glad I found the no-churn ice cream recipes from Cooks Country. You make it in a blender, then freeze it. Easy Peasy. They are so good. You can check out the Cooks Country cookbook from the library to get the recipe. Or if you want I can send a .pdf of the page.
When cooking rice add dried tangerine peels cut into slices, ginger pieces, and use chicken broth instead of water. This will go well with most dishes.
Kim M says
By accident, I found that marinating meat for longer a period of time is good (2 to 3 days). I have a wonderful Greek Chicken marinade:
9 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
9 tablespoons which equals 1/2 cup of lemon juice 3 tablespoons Olive oil 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
4 and 1/2 tablespoons dried a oregano
3 tsp salt black pepper to taste
Why not? It’s my blog, so I post whatever I want.