View Full Version : Macs and Recipes
May 23, 2002, 02:07 PM
So after a huge amount of discussion on my popcorn recipe, I decided to create the next installment of the 'Macs and ....' threads. This isn't a Macs and Food discussion, we've done that, its to share with the other gourmands your special kitchen feats that you might have mastered latlely.
My simple pasta sauce:
3 cans diced tomatoes
pound or maybe a little less of Penne Pasta
12 cloves of garlic (you cook it up and its not that bad, I've actually used a whole head of garlic before)
1/2 an onion, or more depending on the size
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Capers or Kalamata Olives
2 Chicken Breasts - sliced thin, making about 8 or more pieces from each breast
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a frying pan take the finely chopped garlic and chopped up onion and saute at med high to high heat in the olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper. A few table spoons are good. Once they're lightly browned, throw them into another larger pot and add the cans of diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add the chicken (raw, it will cook up in no time because its thin slices). Add about a table spoon of capers or chopped olives with the vinegar (this is important because it changes the acidity level of the sauce and you'll love it). This will cook for about 20 minutes Mix occassionally. Start the water under the pasta when you put the chicken in the sauce and it all should finish at about the same time.
Extras: fresh herbs make a huge difference, so finely chop up some rosemary, oregano and/or thyme, about a table spoon will do. Put half of in with the chicken and put the other half in when you just about to serve.
May 23, 2002, 02:28 PM
Hey, that sounds pretty good! Darn you, now I'm hungry. :D Lunch... must...have...lunch.....
I'll post my recipe for Orange Julius for those of us not fortunate enough to live near one! It'll have to wait until I get home though. (Yes, the recipe even includes the infamous raw egg! :D )
May 23, 2002, 02:32 PM
It is really good and really easy, that's why I like it so much. And you can make easy substitutions, shrimp, veggies, etc.
But I also forgot, get some good Parmesian Regiano, the big chunks and grate it youself over the pasta when you serve it and a nice chianti always make it go down easier.
I usually make a simple salad to go with it, I use a modified oil and vinegar mix (homemade, none of that out of the bottle/packet stuff).
May 23, 2002, 03:03 PM
Alright duke... since you asked for it... here is MY Godly sauce list... I don't measure much of any of it, as you shall see...
Take the largest pot you have, preferably stainless steel, with either an aluminum or copper clad bottom (for better heat dispation).
2-3 bulbs of garlic (yes bulbs :D) chopped up
2 onions, depending on size, if small, more if large, a little less.
1 whole green pepper
1/2 red pepper
mushrooms... I typically use 1/2 to 1 package of large white mushrooms, 1 package of baby portabella's and one package of large portabella's. Slice the large portabella's thick, and the smaller baby bella's should be just cut into a few pieces.
fresh or dried oraganoe and basil to taste
fresh ground pepper (black and white mix)
bay leaves (at least a few)
meat... I use one package ground turkey (dark meat), 1 package turkey sausages, pork chops (cut off the bone, and then chopped up) toss the bones in too, beef (I used some stew beef last time) any meat bones you have been saving in the freezer for the past few months too.
Extra virgin olive oil (absolute must)
Crushed tomatoes (about 4-6 large cans).
Heat your pot, toss in about 1/3-1/2 of the onions and about 1/2 the garlic. Get it to sautee nicely and toss in some of the mushrooms. Keep stiring until it looks good and start tossing in the meats. I start with the ground turkey and sausage first then start adding the port and beef. Put the bones in about the same time too. Once the turkey has broken up and everything is starting to really cook well, toss in about 1/2 the peppers. Keep stiring the mix. Sprinkle in the oraganoe, basil, and about 1/2 to 3/4 of the parsley. A few dashes of the worchestershire sauce would be good (your choice) and a splash of wine to start. Keep it all cooking. After about 30-60 minutes, start adding in the tomatoe product. I typically use a 16 quart pot, so there is room for all of this. Blend it all well, and add the rest of the veggies and herbs. Sprinkle a little more spike over the top and add about a glass of red wine. Also put in the rest of the garlic and let simmer the rest of the day.
My normal cook time is 8 hours (anything less is a quick-sauce to me). I have been known to start it at 8am and let it cook until midnight. Keep the lid cocked to allow the moisture to escape, and the sauce to reduce. Expect it to reduce at least an inch or two. If you are feeling nice, pull the bones out before serving, or putting into containers. I don't since the bones will add to the flavor each time the sauce is cooked/heated.
This makes for a very thick, but balanced sauce (at least when I do it). The long cook time allows all the flavors to meld, and mellow where they need to. Just be careful to not burn it.
May 23, 2002, 03:12 PM
Looks good. I'm not much of a long sauce person myself, but I do appreciate it when its done right, the flavor is quite good. My wife's mom has been up for a visit and she made lasagna for dinner last night (invited guests cause you have way too much food for just 3). But she made the sauce a couple of days ago, mmmm, good stuff.
I stick with the emergency sauces (under an hour cook time) because they are so easy. Once we redo the kitchen in a year or two, that might change. You cooking on elelctric or gas. Personally I much prefer gas, but our current setup is electric. You just don't get the same level of heat control with electric. I'm thinking a nice Viking Cooktop (6 burner) for the new kitchen. Can't wait!
May 23, 2002, 03:15 PM
Speaking of lasagna, I just found out the DOE here at school is leaving so we're having a big party for her! I helped bring up all the catering food, and lasagna is amongst the goods. God I love being staff. :D See you guys later! Time to EAT.
May 23, 2002, 03:21 PM
I love cooking with gas... I lucked out when I got my new apartment it came with a gas range/oven. It's easier to control gas then electric, and there is something rather primal about cooking with fire. :D
Must be the residual pyro in me...
Oh yeah, don't forget the garlic bread...
As much fresh garlic as you think you need, then add a clove or three.
Extra virgin olive oil (how do you get an extra-virgin???).
Dash of basil and oraganoe
Heat the pan, put in enough oil, then sautee the garlic. Towards the end, toss in the herbs. Slice the good bread and spoon the garlic/oil mix onto the bread. Sprinkle paprika over the bread and toast in the oven... mmmm mmmm good... also keeps away the vampires, biting bugs, and unwanted guests. :D
May 23, 2002, 03:27 PM
Hey duke, I never let my sauce boil. Simmer is good, but boiling, especially once the tomatoes are added can nuke the sauce.
I use the same sauce I listed above in my lazagna. I make up a ricotta mix that has some other cheeses in it as well as a few eggs. I cook the noodles ahead of time and layer it all in there. I also (sometimes) put some cooked sausage in the layers. I usually end up making two trays (9x13 pans) out of one package of noodles, considering how much stuff goes between the layers.
I brought a batch (both trays) with me to a family gathering one time, and I didn't have any to take home. There was only about 8-10 people there at the time, and one of them doesn't eat sause (the kid IS a freak). Between the rest of us, and what people wanted to take home/keep, I didn't get any. That ended up being ok though, since I made a small batch later.
May 23, 2002, 04:01 PM
My wife's mom left a large container in the freezer for us to use later, got to love that. I mentioned bring it to a boil, but then lower the heat, sorry, should have mentioned that. You need to get the heat up fast to cook the chicken. It works well enough.
May 23, 2002, 04:04 PM
I'm boycotting this thread for the time being. I'm so hungry at the moment I could eat my shoe. Anyway, after dinner I'll post my very favorite recipe in the whole world, for yummy black beans and rice. :D
PS - kudos on all the garlic aforementioned... I am a huuuuuge garlic nut. About to have garlic pizza, in fact. :D
May 23, 2002, 04:13 PM
Most Bad A$$ steak on the planet. Even Cleo would like it if she tried it.
Ribeye steak, nothing else will do for this.
Soak the Ribeyes in Dales steak maninade for at least 4 hours. After that take a fork and tender the meat up a bit. Now, season with Tony's, Garlic powder, a dash of Tobasco, and a lot of sweet Basil.
Cook to medium, and there you have it. The best damn steak on the planet. Don't believe me. Come to Tuscaloosa, and I will make it for you myself. :D
Then we can go to Dreamland Ribs for the almighty ribs there.
May 23, 2002, 04:20 PM
i too am hungry.... so i think i'll hit up some taco bell on the way to star wars.... mmm
duke, post the popcorn thing here just so it can all be easily within reach.... i may just have to try it...... booyah
May 23, 2002, 04:38 PM
A kickin Steak/beef marinade is smashed garlic cloves and good bourbon. Put all that into a ziplock bag and flip over every hour or so. Soak over night for even better flavor. You can use that with any cut of beef. I do prefer either tenderloin of the rib-eye (boneless, semi-boneless or bone in are all good). Tenderloin still kicks ass though, since you can almost cut it with a fork (you could doing the bourbon treatment :D).
Serve up with either some parsley potatoes, pilaf or your veggie of choice... Toss some small onions in the bag a few hours before you are ready to cook and then you really got some good stuff... Cook the onions as long (or longer) then the beef (so that they get nice and sweet).
May 23, 2002, 05:17 PM
The best marinade in the world for grilled chicken (or steak, bit I never had steak-eating days :)) is quite simple: equal parts Sprite and low-sodium soy sauce, and a generous amount of crushed garlic. The sugar in the Sprite carmelizes, and you wind up with meat that is black as night on the outside and super juicy on the inside.
Mmmm... wonder how it'd go with tofu... :D
May 23, 2002, 05:22 PM
Saute up about half a white onion and two or three cloves of chopped garlic in some olive oil. When they've started to get soft, add two cans of black beans that have been drained and rinsed (the sauce has sugar in it... ew). Continue to stir/saute. After a few minutes, mash about 1/3 of the beans with the back of a spoon. Add back into the pan about 1/2 cup of the liquid from the beans mixed with water, and let the whole thing simmer. Add a hearty dose of cumin and lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. It should be fairly thick when you take it off the heat. Mix with brown rice; garnish with cheese, more onions, tortilla strips, tomatoes, or sour cream.
May 23, 2002, 05:37 PM
Here's something fast, and damned good...
Start up some pilaf cooking and then get out your skillet. Slice an onion (a small to medium works, or some of a larger one) some mushrooms, green and red peppers. Also chop up some garlic (to your taste) and some fresh parsley. Start the onions cooking, when they start to soften, add the mushrooms. Pull the steak tips out of the package, cover with ground pepper, spike and some flour (not too much), some granulated garlic is good too. Put the tips into the same skillet and let them cook. A few minutes later, toss in the peppers and parsley. Let it all cook until the tips are done the way you like. By then, the pilaf should be fully cooked. You will want to cook with the lid off for at least part of the time (towards the end) so that you get a suace to form in the pan.
Serve the tips either on, or beside the pilaf (either is just as good) with healthy scoopings of the onions and such. Goes good with both beer and red wine. :D
May 23, 2002, 05:41 PM
I've got an amazing recipe for spare ribs that's boxed up at home somewhere.
It requires that your braize the ribs in a sauce, then bake them for a while with a different bit of seasoning, and then finally, you gril them with a different barBQ sauce you make.
The meat falls off the bones. I'll have to dig it out once I'm a Taxen.
May 23, 2002, 05:45 PM
The secret to truely excellent ribs is to cook them slow... Keep an eye out for flames and you will get 'fall-off-the-bones' ribs just about every time. The easiest way to avoid the flames is to us indirect heat (cook on the side without the heat). That is very easy to do with a gas grille, but forgedabout it on charcoal (eeeew). Of course you do want to cook them over the heat in the beginning, but then turn it down and move them over to the other side (or move the flame to the other side). Again, a snap when you are talking about a gas grille. Once you do it a few times, you can do it without really thinking about it too much. :D
May 23, 2002, 06:38 PM
Any type of potato will do, but baking is the best. Slice them in half arond the center (narrow width, not length). Then slice each of those in half again (length) and slice each of the quarters into 4-6 length wise slices depending on the size. You end up with something that looks similar to a steak fry.
Preheat the oven to 450, place the potato slices on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil, and sprikle crushes black pepper. Put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, take out and flip/move the slices around and put back in for another 30 or until brown at the edges.
Place these into a bowl and sprinker with the large grain koser salt. Serve. No catchup needed, they are better than fries.
Alternatives, add some fresh rosemary/thyme/oregano with the salt.
After the first 30 minutes when you take them out to flip them, add cloves of garlic drissled with olive oil. When you eat them, you just crack open the skin/cover and pop them into your mouth. They're great, not too garlicy and sweet.
I'll repost the popcorn next.
May 23, 2002, 07:18 PM
Unfortunately, i'm not much of a cook. My best recipe tends to involve a phone and a 30-min wait :)
What i do know now though (after my fianceť tried cooking for me last week), is that you do not put sour cream in chicken korma sauce! That was a sure-fire way to kill off my appetite :mad:
Alpha~ bulbs? That's going to be rather strong i should think.
Thanks for the ideas. I'll give some of them a try tomorrow, when no-one's around to laugh :D
May 23, 2002, 08:16 PM
Yes, britboy, bulbs... That is one of the reasons for the long cook time. It allows everything to meld and mellow out. Try it, you might be surprised. It took me years to perfect the sauce, and there are things in there that cannot be writen that you have to learn through experience. If you are not one who can cook (someone that can burn water shouldn't even think about making my sauce) then you need to learn. I have been cooking over 20 years (since before I was 12 actually. Experience does make all the difference in the world.