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


#4122

That and you boiled then simmered it for more than an hour I am guessing.


#4123

How long do you keep spices? Do you through them out after a year once they’re opened? Also is a spice a spice? as in all cumin is the same regardless of brand?


#4124

That’s funny.

It can vary, I suppose, on the actual spice. Something like paprika, for example, can vary a lot between brands based on origin and preparation method. Others, like cloves or mustard powder I don’t fret about too much. And something like dried parsley which has no flavor anyhow? Yeah, no worrying about that for sure.


#4125

Any spice is gonna lose potency over time. Keeping 'em sealed, more or less airtight, is gonna help, but not completely fix it. Realistically, just taste it, see how it works in recipes. If it’s still potent enough for your needs, keep using it. Maybe use more if it’s starting to weaken a little. If it’s just not doing it anymore, and your recipes keep coming out bland and lifeless, then yeah, it’s probably best to toss the Smoked Paprika that says it was bottled in “Czechoslovakia.”

There’s some regional and brand variability, both in terms of quality and even taste. Mexican oregano is a pretty different herb than traditional European oregano! And a lot of cheapo brands of, say, garlic powder are gonna let a lot of substandard garlic and garlic skins into the mix before it’s dried and ground up.

For whole spices, I wouldn’t worry as much, but even there. . .

(like, none of this is gonna make or break a recipe, tbh. But if you want the best possible flavor, buying high-quality, fresh spices from reputable dealers is gonna be one component of that process. If you’re slapping together some man-chow to pour down your gullet between rounds of LOL, the Wally World cumin’s gonna work just fine. I say, with a bottle of Wally World cumin in my spice cabinet right now. . . about six inches under the nice Indian brand of whole cumin seeds :-D )


#4126

Pure poetry.


#4127

I mean there is a reason I singled out paprika. Several really. One is that I use a lot of it, it ranks behind basil, and oregano in my spice cabinet but ahead of almost anything else (rosemary may have something to say here as well). the other is that the flavor will vary more than most depending on origin. @ArmandoPenblade is right that oregano can have drastic differences in style, but the reality is that dried oregano doesn’t showcase that as much as fresh. Same for basil. That’s why I grow my own of those two, fresh oregano and basil are so far superior to dried, and different types actually matter here.

Which is why I have two types of paprika. One the can of Hungarian bought at an ethnic grocer, which has a smokier flavor with a little extra heat, and a bottle of Aldi paprika which is a brighter red. That is for when the paprika is as much for color as it is flavor (such as soups).


#4128

I think I might have as many as three paprikas in my spice cabinet right now. It’s such a glorious, glorious spice.


#4129

Why I bought the sour cream to make a paprikash this week.


#4130

I’d try to stay away from spices grown in China, India, or Vietnam unless you like heavy metals and copious pesticide residue in your food. My friends that live in China, they say it’s like playing Russian roulette with their food supply (unless it’s a government area where they get most of their food from outside sources or otherwise tested). Same goes for Seafood from those countries and Thailand where they use insane amounts (even by U.S. standards of antibiotics and detergents with their farmed shrimp - and most likely their fish too).


#4131

The big split I have seen paprika-wise is between standard paprika (which you’ll find anywhere), smoked paprika, and sweet paprika (which is the kind used in things like goulash and paprikash traditionally, as I understand it, and which I have been unable to find outside specialty vendors like Penzeys).


#4132

I cover them initially. My oven has a built in thermometer, so when it’s close to done, i remove the top so the skin can tighten and brown. I forgot about the lemons though so those blackened but they served their purpose earlier in the cooking. I stuffed the birds with cornbread and apple sausage stuffing (sausage is already cooking). Under it i had yukon potatoes, more onions and carrots. The top herb is rosemary, the rest was mostly salt and pepper and poultry seasoning and some butter or olive oil.

I personally don’t like gravy on most things, so I did not pursue gravy but it wouldn’t be too hard to do once you the birds out. There were some juices on the bottom.

I didn’t use a “real” recipe for this. I just sort browsed around for a seasoning profile that sounded good. I’d never made cornbread stuffing before, but it was a request so I tried it. It turned out pretty good.

You can use a Cleaver for the bone rather than a garage tool mentioned above. I never buy bones I need to cleave so… i chuckled a bit at the hacksaw workaround.


#4133

I don’t like paprika at all…

Bonus Jet for size reference.

I was introduced to smoked paprika a couple of years ago and it changed my life. I use this stuff in almost everything. This smoked bittersweet, btw.


#4134

I got a pressure cooker for christmas and I must say it is awesome. Even something simple like boneless chicken breast is improved by pressure cooking. The pressure infuses the meat with all of the flavor, without drying out the meat. I did an italian chicken recipe that came out fantastic and followed it up with a chicken parm recipe. It definitely doesn’t have the appearance of oven baked ( although I did finish off the chicken parm in the oven ) but it more than makes up for that in flavor. I did an excellent beef stew and I will try chili next. Also, if you want quick mashed potatoes, just throw the taters in the pressure cooker for about 8 minutes and youre ready. I believe this is going to be a much used addition to my kitchen.


#4135

Eastern style yin/yang pep. pizza.


#4136

What kind of pressure cooker did you get?


#4137

So on Saturday the kid wanted a grilled cheese for lunch. What goes good with grilled cheese? Tomato soup to dip it in. I’d never made one myself, but love a well made soup. So I made one.

This was a bit heartier than the normal tomato soup. It had onions, celery, and carrots in the soup base, on top of the normal stock and tomatoes. I also added my home grown basil, plant is still producing well after we moved it inside. Finish off with some milk to cream it up and run the whole thing through the food processor. To give it a little extra fun for my son I sliced up mozzarella cheese and arranged it in a smiley face for him (not pictured).


As it turns out he ignored the sandwich entirely, and ate the whole bowl of soup.


#4138

That’s really awesome, @CraigM! And also kind of adorable. But mostly just awesome. Soup sounds tasty as hell, too.

For whatever reason, I also wound up making soup last night (which I mention almost entirely because I more or less hate soup and never cook it). I went with a pretty basic creamy broccoli (onion/celery base, roux, vegetable stock, broccoli, salt & pepper, and a bit of cream to finish after blending).

Had it, topped with a bit of cheddar and a drizzle of olive oil, as an accompaniment to the leftover “blackened” shrimp alfredo (PS, it is very difficult to blacken frozen shrimp due to the sheer water runoff when cooking them) last night, and it was a pretty satisfying meal!


#4139

I wouldn’t even know what to do in the winter without soup! I probably make soup at least once a week. Which is great because it is: cheap, has lots of veggies, is filling, and tastes amazing when curled up under a blanket on the couch.


#4140

My main issue is that by the time a soup feels filling/substantial enough to satisfy me (I am a fatass, please remember), I’ve gone and made stew or curry, instead.


#4141

So you made spaghetti without the noodles? :)[quote=“CraigM, post:4137, topic:50840, full:true”]
So on Saturday the kid wanted a grilled cheese for lunch. What goes good with grilled cheese? Tomato soup to dip it in. I’d never made one myself, but love a well made soup. So I made one.

This was a bit heartier than the normal tomato soup. It had onions, celery, and carrots in the soup base, on top of the normal stock and tomatoes. I also added my home grown basil, plant is still producing well after we moved it inside. Finish off with some milk to cream it up and run the whole thing through the food processor. To give it a little extra fun for my son I sliced up mozzarella cheese and arranged it in a smiley face for him (not pictured).


As it turns out he ignored the sandwich entirely, and ate the whole bowl of soup.
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