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


Tamales is the more traditional Mexican family meal at Christmas. For years these friends of ours would host a tamale making party right around this time of year. About a dozen people getting together about 9AM on a Saturday morning to make tamales from scratch. Of course, it wouldn’t be long before the tequila came out, but we always took home about half a dozen. Unfortunately it came to an end when they divorced.

In other news, no picture, but turkey meatballs tonight, on a bed of zucchini noodles sauteed in butter, garlic, and lemon juice.


People not from e.g. Texas are often really confused when you talk about tamales as a Christmas meal. Even if people are aware of them as a food, that’s a bit or cultural context people generally aren’t aware of unless they’ve observed it directly.


I think we ended up with enchiladas instead of tamales because my dad didn’t like tamales.

I don’t either, actually, but I do love me some enchiladas.


I’m kind of in the same boat. They highlight the vehicle more than the filling or topping. And as a vehicle, masa is … well it’s bland.

Enchiladas are fantastic, however.

Tamales remind me of grit cakes.


I don’t either, but I enjoy the process of making them. Plus the drinking.


I am faced with a problem. My family is tasked with the preparation of the meat dish for a Christmas day dinner. However, this same family must attend a Christmas day lunch (with more family), roughly 1.5 hours drive away. The end result is that we will be out of the house from 10:00 - 16:00, with dinner scheduled to start at 18:00, 20 minutes away from the house giving roughly 1:40 possible supervised cooking time if all traffic resolves in our favor, which it won’t. The oven at the house is an old one, and does not have timer control and it’s imprudent to leave it running while no-one is at home.

I’m thinking of solving this problem with a slow-cooker braised lamb shoulder, which looks like it’s normally done in a roast-pan based on online recipes. I do have the time this weekend to do the dry run at smaller scale, so here’s what we’re trying:

1 lamb shoulder (~5 lbs or so)
1 cup red wine
1 cup (chicken/vegetable/beef) stock
3 large onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic
4 sprigs rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 lbs cherry tomatoes
olive oil

Prep plan is:
Marinade the lamb shoulder in the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cumin, olive oil and some lemon juice and stash in the fridge overnight.

Cook plan is:
Day of cooking, salt and pepper the lamb, sear on the sides that can be gotten to, transfer to slow cooker. Put the onions and tomatoes (sliced) into the pan where I did the searing to get all the nice brown bits and then dump them in the slow cooker as well. Add the red wine, stock, and marinade and then cook on low for 8+ hours and see what I get.

This recipe and prep plan is all theorycrafting at this point, any thoughts on balance/cook plan? I’ll do the test-cook Friday.


Slow cooking solves this problem REALLY well. Especially the ones that will hold at warm temp after cooking. As an addition, I can suggest pre-cooking some of your sides or par cooking so that they don’t end up taking a long time once you’re back in the house.

My go-to for just such an issue is and has always been a long and slow cooked pot roast. As an example, this was from this weekend. (Slow cooked pot roast, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted pepperoncinis, gravy partially made with the pot roast runnings. Not pictured, roasted carrots.) It is an absolute cinch to return and warm up mashed potatoes and two sides, make a stovetop gravy and then dig in to everything being ready and already warm. Total prep time after walking back into the house was maybe 20 minutes.


I did a very similar thing with a pork shoulder not too long ago. The main difference, aside from the meat, was I portioned it out into about 1.5 lb hunks and sprinkled with salt and pepper before doing a short high temp browning on both sides, then stuck in the oven for slow cooking.

But the basic was the same. Wine, chicken broth, marjoram, rosemary, garlic and it was amazing. I had tossed in onions, carrots, celery, and potato to cook as well.

So juicy. I found the wine did a lot to help the tenderness and flavor. However if you want to use tomato, that plus the darker meat of the lamb would tilt me towards the beef broth I’d think. No real solid reasoning, just a general hunch it would pair better. Tomato is a strong flavor, that I’d say tends to merge better with beef broth. I find it tends to overpower chicken, unless you use extra which can make it too salty.

Is also reccomend a rich red wine, like a Pinot noir. That and merlot are my go to wines for this application.


Allow me to actually tell you :P


Last time I had similar time constraints on a holiday meal, I punted a did a bone-in spiral sliced ham in the crock pot. Well technically I just warmed it up in the crock pot by throwing it in on low prior to going out and doing the holiday rounds, then returned home and did final glazing in the oven. It was a total cinch. Not really as impressive as cooking a nice lamb shoulder but a hard-to-beat solution for being easy in a day that’s already challenging schedule wise.


Shrimp creole :)


Hell yeah. On my way over, Eric.


Omfg yes please that is gorgeous.

An aunt in Louisiana sent us some real Louisiana French bread this week and all I want is to eat it with that.


That was some freshly baked, still warm baguette in my pic but I think you still got me beat there :)


As mentioned in the I’m Drunk Thread, chicken fried rice.


Molto bene, signore.

That looks fantastic.


Grazie amico mio.

Ya know the secret? Teriyaki sauce as well as soy. And unsalted butter. And having a few vodka and club sodas.


So, I have a serious question. When I make a sandwich, I never cut it. Diagonal, side to side, (god forbid) quarters. Why would you do that? And while we’re on the subject, do you cut off the crust? The part with the flavor?

Answer this before I make it a poll. :)


Diagonal. It’s easier to hold and fits my mouth better. It also gives visual appeal; every time I pick it up I get to see what my sandwich is made of. There is a reason why most people “sell” sandwiches by showing more than just the outside of the bread.


Horizontal. Diagonal just gives it more area to mess up when cutting. Perhaps I make messy sandwiches.

I occasionally do a fold-over though, which can be good if the bread is soft enough.

Quartered = hors d’oeuvres (spell that while drinking, I dare you.)
Triple cut = club.

No other real reason to cut more than once, IMHO.