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Thread: A couple hours of fun and screw-ups

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean

    A couple hours of fun and screw-ups

    I sent this message to Glenn and Deb. Then I got to thinking, "Why should they be the only people to suffer" and I put it here.
    Oh yes, this is about my third attempt at cooking so I assume that Myrna is up there somewhere laughing so hard that tears are streaming down her face.


    I made soup today 2-17-14.docx

    I made soup today. I sincerely wish I had a recorder so I could have given a blow by blow description of the procedure (screw-ups). I was too darn busy to make notes. The following is a summary.

    First I got out the new cauldron I purchased, or whatever you call those things… 7 1/2” high and 9 1/2” diameter.*
    I tossed in two 32oz containers of chicken broth. See, so far I am cooking like a pro.

    Then I washed and cut up some vegies. I bought the vegies and turkey a little over a week ago.
    ...11oz What was left of a bunch of slightly limp celery, complete with tops
    ...1 fairly large potato, with slightly sagging skin, complete with skin and some baby eyes
    ...14oz slightly tired raw carrots
    ...2 (sorry, really only one---I forgot to put one in) zucchini of the same vintage as the other vegies.
    ...12oz (what was left over from Deb’s pasta lesson a couple weeks ago) brown rice spiral pasta
    ...1 tbs (notice how I used the real cooks abbreviation) Onion powder
    ...1 tbs (ditto) Garlic powder
    ...2 tbs (ditto again) margarine in bottom of skillet to heat the heck out of one pound (minus a couple slices I recooked and had with a meal a few days ago) deli, already cooked and sliced turkey (that does not sound very “pro” to me)

    I took the rolled up wad of turkey from the deli and sliced it into sections length wise then I cross cut those into half-inch sections and put them into the skillet.

    If it had been beef, I would have known when it was cooked enough. The darn turkey acted like a turkey and just laid there all white and naked. After a few minutes of stirring, the turkey finally began to change color a bit. I declared it done for this part of the operation and tossed it into the pot which had been boiling for a few minutes.

    I stirred the pot every few minutes so the pot would not turn black on the bottom from neglect. I really did not want to have to scour the pot bottom.

    When the solution turned from thin like water to the consistency of liquid in soup (not thin soup and not thick soup), I continued for five minutes and turned off the gas. At this point the vegies were al dentie (well that is kind’a like cooks talk) (how do you look up the spelling in a dictionary?) so that really convinced me that the whole mess was done.

    It tastes pretty good. We will see what cooling and recooking does for it. It will probably need some salt.

    It sure as heck smells good!!! It has turned on my salivating glands and tummy.

    * It is smaller than Mom’s Lo Heat that she purchased before we were married. My guess is three-gallons.

    Now, if I die of the purple epizutik you will know why.
    Love Both of You,

    ps I started to put this in the cooking section, however I thought they might pull my Family WW membership.
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 02-18-2014 at 12:41 AM.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    i hope you have a freezer to store the left overs 3gals of soup probably weighs more that you do jim so save some for another day
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Apart from the deli turkey slices it sounds pretty good

    Next time buy one of those rotisserie roasted chickens and cut that up and put it in.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Sounds pretty good to me!

    Browning the meat is always a good call, you could say I'm fond of it.. (fond is what the tasty little brown bits left behind in the fry pan are called - a spash of broth on them saves the flavor and lets you put it back into the soup where it belongs).

    If you want to bump it up to the next level next time throw the carrots into the frying pan for a couple minutes until they start to get a little color around the edges. Adding some onions you've fried a bit also adds some flavor (I day fry but basically cook them until they're getting a bit clear and maybe just starting to brown around the edges). Also I'd put the zuch in later rather than earlier if you wanted it to have any texture left.

    Stuff like that freezes pretty well to, so you can put away a pint or so per tupperware and freeze them and then into the microwave and voila instant lunch!

    Those chickens Bob talks about are a pretty handy deal, sort of a bachelors best friend (and realistically the price is usually not to bad either). Here's how I'd dispose of one of those:

    Meal 1 Straight up Chicken
    Roast Chicken (usually the breast or maybe a bit of the thigh)
    Some french bread
    Some cheese
    A bit of fruit for desert
    No cooking involved and pretty tasty, you'll have a fair bit of leftover chicken

    Meal 2(a) Chicken Stir Fry
    Throw some rice in the rice cooker[1] (rice cookers are another no fuss, no figuring way to get some grub going)
    Slice an onion
    slice a bell pepper
    If you have zuchs or carrots or other stuff chop them up as well
    Figure on around 1.5 to 2C of veggies for this batch
    Shred off 1/2C or so of the chicken

    Heat the frying pan
    add a tbsp oil
    throw in the onion and cook them until their looking a bit see through around the edges.
    Add the rest of the veggies in order of "hard to cookedness (yep that's now a word)" - roughly carrots, peppers, zuch, etc.. and cook for a couple minutes between additions
    Finally add the chicken (last cause its already cooked and we're just heating it - otherwise you'd add it first and mostly cook it before
    Don't forget to stir (put the stir into stir fry)

    Finally lets make a sauce! (no stress this ones easy)
    Take 2 tbsp corn starch
    Add 2 tbsp sugar (brown is nice, white works)
    Add 2 tbsp soy sauce (I like low salt but that's just me)
    Add 1/2C water a bit at a time and stir like the dickens between additions until its all mixed.
    Add a splash of vinegar (maybe a tsp)
    You can add garlic powder, hot pepper flakes, ginger powder to taste
    Spread the sauce over the chick and veggies mix and cook for a couple minutes while stirring. It should thicken up and start looking tasty.
    Hopefully the rice is done by now.. otherwise put the stir fry on low and wait a few minutes until it is.
    Scoop of rice, two scoops of stir fry and delicious.

    Meal 2(b) Chicken Salad
    Lettuce (5 or so decent sized leaves)
    Carrots (1 medium, quartered lengthwise and then chopped)
    Radishes (3 or so sliced)
    Green Onions (3 or so chopped)
    Maybe a few cherry tomatoes or tomato slices
    1/2C shredded chicken
    I like to just build it up on the plate. Lettuce first, other stuff on top chicken last. A little italian or ranch dressing and its good to go.
    Add some of that french bread from Meal #1

    Meal 3 - Soup
    Looks like you have the basics pretty much down pat, so I'll just throw in a few ideas on how to make the chicken yield up the last of its deliciousness.
    First shred the remaining meat you can get at off of the bones. Toss the skin, but keep the bones!

    Throw the bones on a piece of tin foil on a cookie sheet pan (the tinfoil keeps the dishes situation under control) and into the oven at about 400F for maybe 20m or so until they start getting a little brown. Don't do like I do and wander out the the shop for a while or you end up with a house full of smoke!

    Take the bones and throw them into your cauldron and add two quarts of water.
    Add in some extra soggy celery and carrots and maybe a couple of onion quarters (this is a good way to use carrots and celery past where you'd regularly eat them - if they start looking to peaked freeze them and save for this later).

    Cook at a low simmer (some bubbles but they ain't coming up real often) for an hour or so, add more water if the bones peak out

    Strain through a colander into a bowl (the liquid is what we're after here - the carrots, celery, onion and chicken have done given up what they got so we'll feed them to the chickens/trash).

    Add the stock you just made into your soup recipe above and it pretty much don't matter what you add to it at that point cause it'll be just plain delicious.

    [1] Even the cheap rice cookers from say longs drugs make better rice than I can most regular ways. If you go a step up from there they have ones that also do oatmeal and know how to do different kinds of rice (like having a brown rice, basmati rice, etc.. setting) but the price goes up a fair bit as well. A cheap one can be had for maybe $15 (we started with one pretty much like this: as with most things the slope is steep and 5-6 years later when that busted we upgraded to which is what we've had for pushing 10 years now).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Larry, anything weighs more than I do.

    Bob, I know how to cut up deli slices. I do not yet know how to cut up a chicken.

    …What does frying the carrots achieve?

    …My whole plan for making a large amount of soup was so I could freeze containers of it for snacks and meals. By the way, I measured the “cauldron” it is two gallons…HOWEVER, don’t tell Larry.

    …When my body tells me I am hungry, it means, “Get on the stick Bradley,” otherwise, in about 15 minutes you are going to start shaking like a nude at the South Pole in winter. I can heat a bowl of soup quickly. I know I can eat my homemade soup. Commercial soups don’t necessarily list all ingredients so trying a new one is always a bit of a gamble.

    …I am a Celiac (Moderators do not delete this post. Celiac is not a religion.)---that just means really gluten intolerant. I cannot eat any grain except corn or rice so that eliminates any bread that tastes like bread. Gluten free bread made with rice flour is edible, but that is all I will give it. Most corn breads contain wheat also. Myrna made good, gluten free cornbread. However, I have not found a good commercial product yet.

    …I like and, in the past ate soy sauce. However, when I eat it now my stomach thinks it is a fighter jet in a Navy Air Show.

    …I agree. The zucchini was a bit on the pasty side. What really took a walloping was the spiral shaped pasta. It became thickener for the soup---like “Cream Of Whatever. I had to add water. In my vast experience of cooking (made soup twice) the pasta did well. However, it was Lasagna ribbon. The label said that it tolerated overcooking very well. The spiral pasta didn’t.

    Is Myrna’s Rival “Crock Pot” similar to a rice cooker?

    Next time I start a thread like this I will put it in the cooking department.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2753.jpg   IMG_2754.jpg  
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
    Cooking with your rice cooker

    Crock-pot 101

    Jim, just keep the fire extinguisher close you say...Enjoy .....and if all else fails, you can have food delivered right to your door
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    Bob, I know how to cut up deli slices. I do not yet know how to cut up a chicken.

    …What does frying the carrots achieve?

    Gluten free bread made with rice flour is edible, but that is all I will give it. Most corn breads contain wheat also. Myrna made good, gluten free cornbread. However, I have not found a good commercial product yet.

    …I like and, in the past ate soy sauce. However, when I eat it now my stomach thinks it is a fighter jet in a Navy Air Show.

    Is Myrna’s Rival “Crock Pot” similar to a rice cooker?

    The great thing about the pre-cooked chickens is no carving involved, you can just pick the meat off with a fork.

    On the carrots pre-frying them does two things. First it pushes some of the moisture out so they hold texture better and end up more as individual chunks and less "contributing to the formless paste". Secondly frying makes the flavors come out so they're more delicious.

    I'd seemed to have recalled you saying something about no wheat before now that you mention it, but saw "pasta" and got confused. That does limit some of these things a bit. As a side FYI Trader Joes has a fair bit of no wheat pastas at reasonable prices. For the sauce above, yeah pretty much all soy sauces have some wheat (you can make it without but I won't go there ) but look at the grocery store and see if you can find either some "Hoisin" or "Plum" sauce (and check the ingredients! some are rice or other flours and some have wheat, there is usually one without wheat though if you check them closely enough). I've got a few wheat free recipes kicking around here somewhere (I have a few relatives that are off of the stuff) that I'll poke y'all with once I find them (I have one for some easy rice crackers that are pretty good that I figured out and some cornbread recipes - cornbread ain't hard to make I know you can do it!! )

    The crock pot isn't a rice cooker. The rice cooker is a specially designed rig that is pretty specifically designed to .. well. cook rice. The better ones (like the zojirushi I linked above) make pretty much perfect rice every time (assuming you put in the right amount of rice and water) and have all sorts of technological wizardry in them to do it. The cheaper ones still do a good job but aren't as consistent and will often end up with a bit of "crispy" rice on the bottom.

    Having said that there is a lot you can do with a crock pot. When I moved away to college I ended up with 1 pot to boil water in, 1 frying pan, 1 cookie sheet pan, 1 dutch oven and a crock pot. Used the crock pot a lot because I could throw food in it and not worry about dealing with it in the meantime. Check out Kens link, its a good start. The gotcha with the one you have is that it only has a High and a Low temperature, the "better" (in my opinion, some of the food safety people disagree.) ones have an "auto" feature. So the trick with a crock pot is you need to get the stuff hot and then let it stew for a while, so you'd want to put it on high for 30-40m and then turn it to low to finish that. A crock pot with "auto" does that temperature change automatically.

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