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What'cha Cookin' Tonight II

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by onejayhawk, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    This is Carl's original thread, which is now over 1000 posts. https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/whacha-cookin-tonight.304941/page-62

    In weather like this I like to do chili and Judith does cornbread. To those unfamiliar with USA's favorite native dish, it's basically a curry and most curry methods work quite well. That said, historically chili and curry are completely separate. It's a case of the same necessities producing similar results in multiple locations.

    These notes may be posted elsewhere, but are worth repeating.

    1) Brown the meat in small batches. The point is to brown and not braise. Meat contains water, which will boil given half a chance. Spread the meat to to avoid this.​

    2) Toast your seasonings, especially if using whole dried peppers. Toast whole peppers til crunchy, pour out the seeds, and then crush in a blender or coffee grinder. Cumin should also be toasted a shade darker

    3) Put your dried peppers, cumin, herbs and other dry seasonings in a Pyrex bowl or measuring cup, and pour over a cup of boiling water. This is a technique common in making curry. The resulting slurry will release the flavors into the chili more quickly.

    4) Water works as well as anything for liquid. Adding beer just before serving is nice, but using it for the long cooking is unnecessary.

    5) Consider baking in a covered dish, such as a dutch oven. Brown meat and cook with water and peppers for a while. Add the rest of the seasonings and bake at 300° (150° C) for 2-3 hours. A paste of equal parts boiling water and cornmeal can be added to thicken the batch. Add just before baking.

    6) Tomatoes are permitted. A spoon of paste gives a nice body. Add midway.

    7) Onions and garlic should also be added midway. Dry peppers and cumin early on. Green peppers late. Beer and beans just before serving.

    8) Chili that is not spicy enough to require a fire extinguisher is spaghetti sauce. All right in its place, but not the genuine article.

    9) Do not discount using chili as pasta sauce. It works well. Also served over steamed rice. ​

    A purist requires only three things in chili--water, beef, and dried chiles, but salt and cumin are close to essential. The other side is that a purist thinks the term vegetarian chili is self contradictory. Beef is a necessary component. The big arguments are over beans and tomatoes. Many traditionalists think beans are on the side, to be added at the table if at all. A shrinking number think that tomatoes, either fresh or prepared, are not cooked in, but served at the table.

    Here are some other threads:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/lets-talk-about-chili.526247/
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/any-true-chili-heads-here.332336/
    Note: Chile is the fruit of the capsicum plant. Chili is the dish described above

    From Humor and Jokes:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/texas-chili-cookoff.170590/

    J
     
  2. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    For me, the essential ingredients in chili are beef, chiles and beans. Yes, you could have the beans on the side, but then the starch isn't released into the chili and it doesn't get the desired thickness. I've had very good vegetarian chilis, just recently our restaurant did one with Tempeh and it was superb.

    Tonight I'll be cooking boring, just shallow fried trout filets dipped in breadcrumbs, potatoes, creamed spinach and that's it. I've been very adventurous the past few days and will share one by one~

    Chinese steamed buns, cucumber pickled in rice vinegar topped with roasted sesame seeds, vietnamese-style caramel marinated roasted pork belly. Feeling generous so have another one:



    in the background: buns that haven't been steamed yet. they blow up like crazy and were super fluffy. gorgeous texture all around.



    Glazed pork belly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  3. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    I love steamed bread. Steamed fish for that matter.

    Do you happen to know the proper name for one of these steamers?

     
  4. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    sadly not, I'm vaguely familiar with chinese clayware for tea, but that's how far my range of expertise go. is it brass?
     
  5. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    It's very like this on in a different color. The lid has a vent hole near the rim. I never tried bread in it, but it does fish and reheats rice very well.

    I also have the same concept in cast iron, with a dome top. You can impale a 10 kilo turkey on it and cook it in about two hours.

    J
     
  6. Cassius Critzer

    Cassius Critzer Chieftain

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    As a somewhat authentic cook and able to cook for 125 people as an occupation and praised for it,then I think you should try to cook as authentic a recipe as possible, and not stray too far from what adds the blend of delicious flavors and textures and transforms it into "comfort food". It also enhances the meal if there is just enough to satisfy,with nothing left over, so people are murmuring how satisfying it was, with wonderful aromas, but are left wishing they had a second spoonful to be full. Since it takes time for the brain to register fullness in your belly, then when not fully sated, then the repast is more appreciated.

    If making chili then you should pay attention to its Mexican roots, add the wonderful thickener of masa flour as it imparts a unique flavor, use pinto beans not kidney, never add macaroni though a tiny portion of rice is delicious, and use beef tongue when possible.

    Just as there are lots and lots of carbonara recipes,when you don't use an authentic Italian cheese and use bacon instead of panchetta, well...it is no longer carbonara. Romano should be used and when ever possible fresh pasta as it is heavenly. You shoudn't use milk but cream if going that route but that isn't true carbonara. You should use olive oil as that blend of oil and the drippings of the panchetta combine to add a signature to the meal.

    A lentil curry and some authentic Indian bread and mango lassees are appreciated by the mst finicky eaters who claim to dislike vegetarian food. And it is inexpensive. And yeah it breaks up the monotony of being in a rut and making the same meal every two weeks.

    Keep a file of great recipes and toss bad ones, and if it was almost good, try to figure out where you made the mistake. Just as there isn't enough time to read good books, only great ones, your meal time is sacred, thirty minutes of hopefully adding pleasure for your family after a rough or dull day, and thus builds community.

    Seldom is a great meal just whipped up, but was sincerely planned for by judicious inspection of local produce, seasonal variability, and attempting to acquire these so your spouse and children are surprised that you took the time to make them content by making their favorite meal and often making a small separate meal for picky eaters so they are also pleased.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  7. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Mexico does not make chili. It's a Texas cattle drive invention. The heavy spicing was to conceal nearly rancid meat. Carbonara is a result of WW II shortages in Rome. They used available ingredients to create something new. These are not such towers of tradition that we should bow to them.

    J
     
  8. Cassius Critzer

    Cassius Critzer Chieftain

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    Having eaten mexican chili made by a sweet mom and pop running a tiny restaurant whose clientele were all speaking Spanish, and being the only anglo in the joint, I take issue with your post. You are aware that Mexicans were living in Texas before the pioneers, right?

    The first mention of chili con carne is of Spanish origin and produced in Mexico in 1731. That is far earlier than Texans arriving in Mexican held mestizo lands that became Texas.

    It doesn't matter one whit that carbonara was made during shortages. And that post sounded snobby. Many African American dishes had a start with bacon or renderings since it was the meat they were offered as slaves but makes it no less delicious.

    A braciole is a delicious Italian dish and Italian cows were known to be inferior and why veal was so important. Yet an inexpensive cut of beef can be transformed into something nearly all will crave.

    Clay pot cooking probably evolved everywhere as it imparts a flavor and is fire hardened and produces a moist meal but the Chinese make one in the Yunnan style and possibly they got it from India originally and called a chatti.

    A style of Native American cooking is smearing on clay to fish and this is baked on embers and results in taking away the scales and cooking moist fish. So that idea is even earlier and might have plausibly influenced the first pottery on its own.
    https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/the-good-earth/


    The French and the Chileans poach their fish in parchment paper ( en papilotte) to achieve the same effect.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  9. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    I do a lot of Indian food, this one I think is a Mumbai speciality - Vegetarian curry of peas, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and a Masallah with about 8 different roasted spices cooked for a long time, then mashed together. I don't think being "authentic" is inherently good however, which is where I disagree with your post. For example, this dish is just a mush when you get it in India, it has zero texture. Like a paste. I made the paste, then added additional cubed potatoes, tomatoes and peas so you can have the wonderful texture of the vegetables while the sauce still maintains the exact same taste. On the side is not a Naan bread, but rather a flatbread shallow fried in Ghee.



    You bet. For years now I have been chasing *the* perfect Ragout Bolognese. A lot of traditional recipes call for oddball ingredients - veal mince and chicken livers. I've actually used liver in one of my sauces (pureed) and it imparted a fantastic taste without changing the texture or having chunks of liver. Will try veal at some point aswell.

    I think ideal would be a mince mixture of 60% beef, 30% pork, 10% veal and then also some rendered Pancetta, because frying something in olive oil makes the entire dish taste like smoke.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  10. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    It makes no difference who was first when the innovation comes later. Chili, as the term is commonly used, is Tejano, not Mexican. If you want as close to authentic original as possible, you go to Texas. Similarly, carbonara is an egg and pasta dish. The choice of meat and cheese is secondary.

    I am glad you understand that you were being snobby. I accept the apology with no hard feelings.

    I am partial to using banana leaves for roasting fish on coals.

    J
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  11. Cassius Critzer

    Cassius Critzer Chieftain

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    I was not the one being snobby. And your post is still sneering at actual history versus your ideas of history. Some Mexicans are irritated at the invasion of Anglos into their territory which is now Texas and so they might claim that chili con carne is not Mexican. This is not technically true as the first mention is likely an adaptation of a Mexican practice of spicing game meat with cumin and chilies with a Spanish stew made by immigrants from the Canary Islands in 1731. The technical cooking term is fusion.

    My post specifically describes this in detail by mentioning the Native Americans, the people of India, the Chinese, all using a method of steaming fish using clay but all having a unique method, but sometimes using each others' technique....because it is a dynamic process, not static.

    Next you will claim that since noodles were introduced from Asia that pasta is not Italian, therefore spaghetti bolognese is actually Chinese. Oh brother.

    You are misusing the word "corn" as that word means any cereal crop in England and only far later upon encountering maize in the New World did corn and maize become associated as one. The original word is a loan word from diverse Germanic people or even Viking people who raided and controlled England.

    Consider the recipe of tempura which is fish fried in panko(bread crumbs) but later shrimp and vegetables. It didn't start in Japan but got brought there by the Portuguese and likely by way of Macao. Yet tempura is considered a Japanese food and not Portuguese.

    I answered your question, but you ignored that. The pot is Yunnan and Chinese.

    When cooking liver from cows, I prefer using veal liver (calves) as it tastes quite different. The metalic taste can be significantly removed by soaking it in milk and fully draining it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  12. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    It is entirely useless to argue the proper origin of a dish, because there are no landmarks so to speak, there is a constant evolution of culinary refinement, technique and ingredients used. There is no original Carbonara, no original Chili. Every recipe has a predecessor. It is as futile as saying that Pizza is something inherently Italian, when flatbread with wild yeasts has existed for more than 10.000 years. No dish can be truly authentic, because you can always trace its roots further back. Culture is never fixated, it flows.

    One can argue that with widespread literacy in the western world that cookbooks or restaurant specialties serve as culinary landmarks, but if you dig deeper and deeper you realize that somewhere, at some point, you are drawing an arbitrary line when the first flatbread with tomate sauce was served by some Nonna to her grandchildren in some house in godforsaken-nowhere in Sicily.

    But it is not important anyway. It doesn't matter who the first human being was that combined flatbread and tomato sauce. What constitutes a Pizza is entirely subjective, there is not nor will there ever be an absolute authority on what is Pizza. For some people it needs cheese. For some people it needs to be specifically Mozarella. For some, NY style isn't Pizza. For some, Chicago style IS Pizza.

    Love y'all.
     
  13. Cassius Critzer

    Cassius Critzer Chieftain

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    I quite disagree but threw y'all a bone by mentioning "fusion"...which you also are discussing.

    By not understanding the history of a recipe then some silly obtuse American will think spaghetti is American and is not but imported and so maladapted that spaghetti bolognose becomes some insipid awful mess and nearly unpalatable. Like the other day when I caught someone adding A1 steak sauce to the recipe to give it a kick. Yuck.


    Radically overcook the noodles, use a jar of some wretched sauce, apply some so calked Parmesan which contains wood pulp as filler(I am serious) and that is not spaghetti anymore and brings no one any pleasure whatsoever...just calories to sustain life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  14. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    @yung.carl.jung The pictures or videos you are posting do not show up for me. Can anyone else see them?


    Last night I made cheese sticks with what I had on hand and they turned out pretty well for what they were. I had a ton of provel and homemade pizza sauce left over so I made a go of it. Provel isn't stringy like mozzerrella so it was tricky to get the crust to cook before all the cheese oozed out of them. The biggest problem I have now is that my fry basket is absolutely disgusting. It's filled with melted cheese and crust crumbles and I'm not sure how I'll be able to clean it because I don't think a good soak will do anything to remove the cheese.
     
  15. Cassius Critzer

    Cassius Critzer Chieftain

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    The ultimate degraded conclusion of cutting corners and ruining recipes is what passes for bread in American supermarkets. They are typically overpriced garbage and yet anyone can make delicious yeast bread at home and do it based upon nearly no skill and do it inexpensively. And applying this consistently enriches your life and is not being a snooty Epicurean but a pragmatic and considerate cook.
     
  16. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    No what makes you a snooty Epicurean is looking down on people who either like the bread that is sold or don't want to bother making their own.
     
  17. Cassius Critzer

    Cassius Critzer Chieftain

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    Cooking is an art and skill used by practically all human beings in recorded history. Specialization and urbanization fundamentally altered this such that supermarkets were invented to provide inferior products that cannot possibly equate to baked bread...only approximate it so that it maintains "freshness" by adulterating it with amino acids from hair from butchering facilities. See L-cysteine which is why stale bread persists in being soft and considered "fresh" when in reality it is not. It also can be made from feathers.
    http://bakerpedia.com/ingredients/l-cysteine/

    As George Carlin famously remarked, "No thanks, I don't want to be a part of your experiment."

    Cooking shows found their early niche with "gourmets" yet in reality these shows are aimed at demystifying basic practical skills and doing so frugally. So the term Epicurean is nearly detached from cooking shows today but trying in vain to get people to enhance their lives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  18. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    Thanks for telling me that. It's going to be a lot of editing I guess.

    Can you see this one?

     
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  19. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    Yes I can!
     
  20. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    Thanks, Hobbs! You're the man as always. I'll edit the other ones.. Seems like all I have to do is put them in a shared album to work. Good to know that google is protecting my private pictures I guess :D

    Edit: Updated all my posts!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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