Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


Since the collective cooking knowledge of QT3 never fails to amaze, I thought I’d kick off another thread for posting random recipes and sharing culinary experiences. I’ll go first!

Last night I cut up a very large pork shoulder roast I’d purchased into sections appropriate for the various recipes I’d purchased it for. After ziplocking and freezing the big chunks I was left with one smallish piece and no idea what to do with it. Taking a quick stock of the ingredients I had on hand, I decided I could improvise up something akin to red beans and rice. Only with black beans because that’s what I had on hand. Oh, and with a lot of pork of course.

I pulled out my pressure cooker and put it over med-high heat, started quick soaking a cup of dried black beans, and tossed some butter into the cooker. Then I minced a clove of garlic and tossed it into the pot along with the pork. While the pork browned up I roughly chopped half an onion and tossed it into the pot as well. Then I waited a bit to let the onion soften and the pork brown further. Once that was done, I added 3 cups of water and fiddled with the heat to get a steady simmer. The whole thing simmered for about 30 minutes while the beans finished soaking.

Once the beans were finished soaking, I drained them and added them into the pot along with a generous handful of creole seasoning. I slapped the lid on the pressure cooker and brought it up to pressure. I let the whole thing cook for 45 minutes. While it was cooking, I made up a little basmati rice. I don’t think this dish really needed basmati, but it was what I had on hand and I was improvising. I used one cup dry rice, so I think that equates to 2+ish cups cooked.

Once the pressure cooking was done and the pressure had dropped, I popped the lid off the pressure cooker, shredded the pork up, and stirred the rice in. The result was a nice goopy beany/rice mixture that was very flavorful. I think I overkilled on the creole seasoning a little, since the result was a bit too salty but still good. I had seconds and even a small amount of thirds, so I consider that a rousing success for a complete improv meal. I’ll probably re-use this recipe or some variation thereof again, for sure.

So I guess 2016 claimed its biggest victim yet - America

Four cans of black beans. A tablespoon of cumin. A tablespoon of red pepper. A can of diced green chiles. Two bay leaves. Four crushed cloves of garlic. A spritz of liquid aminos. A pound of chicken breasts. Tobasco to flavor over the breasts. All in a slow cooker. Cook for eight hours. Shred the chicken. Leave uncovered on ‘low’ for a while. The chicken will soak up whatever excess liquids don’t evaporate.

Make up two cups of basmati rice. Chop up some cilantro to mix in. Squeeze a half-lime over it. Mix it up well.

Butter a skillet and crisp up four tortillas.

Put some cheese and sour cream on each tortilla, then a decent helping of rice and the chicken and beans. Boom, awesome burritos.


Last night we had some friends over for the Oscars and I made Gyro, Tabouli salad, Baba Ganoush, felafel and a tomato onion green pepper salad.

Gyro was 2lbs ground lamb, Tb garlic, Tb marjoram, Tb rosemary, 2tsp salt, tsp black pepper. Ran it all in the food processor and baked it for about an hour in a loaf pan. Man was is tasty. I also made some Tzatziki sauce.

Eggplants were on sale at the market so I roasted a large one, then put it in the food processor with garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and some fresh flat parsley. It was the first time I made it and it was super yummy.


Tzatziki is awesome. I make some that’s delicious, but I wish I could figure out how to give it that really spicy kick they get at cafes in Greece.

What’s your recipe, Maje?


I’ve been really craving hot wings lately, but my sauce of butter and Frank’s Red Hot kept me from having them very often, so last night I experimented with chicken broth instead of butter for the sauce. If you let the sauce simmer for a bit, it thickens up and becomes nearly as good as the sauce with butter included.


Why avoiding the butter, health reasons?

If I wanted a thick sticky sauce without going too crazy on the fats, I’d attempt something based on stock, like you did, and add some cornstarch to the mix.


Yea, I’m trying to lose some weight, and eating chicken wings in liquid butter didn’t strike me as the best way to achieve that.


Ooh, I love it too. I made a batch of it a few weekends ago and ate it over the course of the week. It was heavenly. I riffed on Ina Garten’s recipe.

Let’s see, the things I have cooked recently (that are interesting):

A refreshing, lemony winter salad of shredded cabbage. Shred and salt the cabbage (I used savoy, but white would work) for a while (they say two hours but I’m never that patient), rinse and squeeze water out. Dress with olive oil, champagne vinegar and/or lemon juice, add some capers and fresh ground pepper. Lemony, crunchy and refreshing. Good on burgers or in pitas with chicken. You could also dress it with some blue cheese, some mayo or yogurt, and some walnuts for a richer version. I heart cabbage.

Challah french toast. Nothing fancy, but it’s the best bread for it and I’ve learned as an adult to add vanilla and sugar and a little flour to the eggs and milk.

Curried waldorf salad, heavy on the celery. It was feckin’ phenomenal. I used Penzey’s sweet curry powder. Penzey’s ROCKS by the way. I was almost a little excited when I realized I had run out of vanilla and therefore had an excuse to go there next paycheck. Bwahahaha!

I really need to cook some broccoli that’s been in the fridge and want to use a chickpea/broccoli salad recipe I’ve had floating around. Chickpeas treated like chicken salad are my favorite thing in the world, maybe?


Were this me, I would use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, and dried beans instead of cans of them. Chicken breasts get thoroughly dried out in a slow cooker - they don’t “soak up” excess liquids. There’s not enough fat in them to really weather a long, low cooktime. I don’t know why you would put canned beans in a slow cooker. The things are made for dried beans, which cost a fraction of the price.

In fact, chicken thighs in a slow cooker cooked in chipotle salsa was a Martha Stewart slow cooker recipe I tried. It was popular as a taco fillin’ at a potluck I went to.


The last two intersting things I made were a cucumber salad dressing from (google sent there, honest!) and a Forbidden Rice with Veggies and Kimchi dish from Vegetarian Times.

Upcoming interesting things include an Indian Kootu dish for which I am currently collecting ingredients for.


I made some tapas on saturday night.

Manchego cheese slices fried in breadcrumbs.

Some potato and Chorizo fritters (and some plain ones for the GF who is veggie, they need something else in them without the chorizo to give them a bit more flavour and texture, need to play with this recipe a bit but the base mix is really good)

Sea Bass with lemon and olives topped with a garlic and paprika breadcrumb. Tried this before with Cod and it was so-so, it needs a stronger flavoured fish and it was perfect with sea bass.

Scallops with a tomato, onion and paprika sauce. Didn’t turn out as well as I’d have liked, again I think I need to tweak the recipe a bit.


I got The Ultimate Soup Bible for Christmas and last night tried a new soup out of it.

Yellow Broth

1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 tbsp. butter

melt the butter in your pot and throw all the other stuff in. I added 1 lb. cubed chicken tenders just because I like chicken, but it’s not in the recipe. When the onion is translucent add:

1/4 cup flour

stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until your flour coats everything and starts to turn brown. Add:

4 cups chicken stock (a box)

Slowly, loosening up the flower along the way. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and then lower heat. I added another 2 cups of water because of the extra mass of the chicken. Simmer for about a half an hour until the veggies are cooked. Then add:

1/4 cup oatmeal
1 bag of fresh spinach, chopped

I used baby leaf spinach, but the recipe doesn’t care. Simmer another 10-15 minutes. The oatmeal will thicken the broth. When you’re about ready to serve add:

2 tbsp. cream

And the whole thing turns golden. I actually used about 1/4 cup 1% lactaid milk because we’re trying to lose weight and I didn’t have any cream in the house.

This isn’t quite stick-to-your-ribs stew kind of stuff, but it’s a very good (and good for you!) soup. Serve with a nice piece of crusty bread and you’re in business.


I had canned beans and I had frozen breasts and I’m moving.


I’ve been working on my pancake-fu lately and recently tried a sourdough-based recipe. The results were surprisingly good, much closer to the awesome Original Pancake House pancakes I so dearly miss than any previous attempts.


I made lasagna the other day with spicy chicken sausage (just cut the casings off and browned it like ground beef), mushrooms, and vodka sauce. Not wildly creative, but it sure was good. And hey, if anyone here happens to have a really good yellow cake recipe, I would be in your debt. I can make other types of cakes with no problem, but for some reason every yellow cake recipe I’ve tried has turned out terribly. I don’t know what my major malfunction is.


I roasted a chicken for the first time yesterday. Nothing terribly fancy involved. It turned out well I just wish I would have gone after the wings sooner since the skin doesn’t stay crisp that long.

I am branching out into more Indian cooking. I was able to get some of the spices at Central Market, but wound up ordering lots online. I bought the 660 Curries book to help me get started on ideas and techniques.


Yum. Food.

I’ve been the designated chef for the past week, as my wife and I are getting back on the healthy-eating wagon… and considering I work from home, I “have the time” (RIGHT!) to cook three meals a day.

So far it’s basically been “chicken and rice” (that’s our theme for the next few months)…

  1. Chicken enchiladas
    Soften half of an onion (diced) in a couple of teaspoons of veg/canola oil. Add some flour, a can of tomato sauce, three chipotles in adobo and some other spices (I added ancho chili powder, chili powder, onion powder, garlic and cumin).

Meanwhile, shred a rotisserie chicken, add some more garlic and spices, as well as some cheese. The original recipe called for a pound of cheese, but with the healthy theme I cut that back to about a half-cup of shredded cheddar.

Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with sauce. Dip flour or corn tortilla in the sauce, put on a plate and then fill with the chicken mix. Roll up and place seam-side down in the dish. Repeat 8-10 times. Pour the rest of the sauce over it and then add some cheese. Broil for ~5-7 minutes. Yum.

To that I just added a bit of basmati rice cooked with some minced garlic, cilantro and a bit of tomato juice.

  1. Chicken scallopini (or something)
    Pound out chicken breasts, dredge lightly in flour. I made them really thin, but you could probably just keep them about 3/8" or so. Pan-fry in a bit of canola/veg oil. Remove from pan.

Toss in crimini mushrooms (using really small whole ones are awesome, or slice bigger ones) with a bit of oil and some minced garlic and fresh thyme, saute until they start to release the juices and brown up a bit. Then add some (1/2 cup?.. a few glugs) red wine (original recipe called for white, but red gives it a deeper flavor) and let it reduce to about half. Add some chicken stock, butter and salt and let it cook a bit until it’s the desired consistency. Spoon over chicken. Yum.

For this one I went with Catelli Smart pasta (it’s white pasta but with fibre) and a fairly simple pesto. Basil, garlic, pine nuts, mint and olive oil. I didn’t have any parm or I would have added that… it was really good without, though.


I nicked it from Alton Brown. I think the kick is in the garlic.

Tzatziki Sauce:

16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint


Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

I’ve found you can get around this step by using greek style yogurt.



You should also try making it with finely chopped dill instead of mint some time. They’re both good, it’s a different flavor. Well worth giving it a shot.