Author Topic: Sagely, culinary advice.  (Read 14893 times)

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Offline smokester

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Sagely, culinary advice.
« on: January 15, 2011, 07:39:40 AM »
No, nothing to do with sage, just a thread for food ideas or help you may need in the kitchen.

Here's my problem:

I have a duck in the freezer that I intend to roast next weekend for dinner, to feed my and my partner's folks.  I will probably just do an orangy-honey glaze and roast it in a bag, but what on earth should I serve with it? I thought just a roast dinner type thing but the usual veg seems too boring to accompany it.  I may roll the potatoes in a herby type thing and roast them but I don't want them to clash with the duck.

What other veg could I use and what technique should I use to cook them?
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 01:21:53 PM »
I like boring accompaniments.. that way they don't compete with the stronger flavored dishes. 

I'd stick to potatoes, and maybe roast them with other winter available root vegetables like carrots... or maybe fennel or parsnips. I don't like either of those so much.. so, I'd stick to potatoes and carrots... maybe throw in some some thin haricot vert type green beans. To roast the vegetables I'd stick to pepper, olive oil, and a good quality coarse salt. That way the duck can be rich, you could serve an overly rich dessert.. but the side wouldn't be so over the top that it would balance out the rest of the meal. A really good bread would be good also. I tend to like peasant food style cooking, so I usually cook with less ingredients than more.

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2011, 02:26:12 PM »
Those a really good ideas Skadi and I think I'll take that advice and do a mediterranean roasted  root veg thing, with some fairly neutral potatoes.  Maybe some roasted shallots too.

Nearly there then and just have to decide on dessert...
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Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2011, 02:28:48 PM »
gooey chocolate :P like a Chocolate Gateau

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 04:47:21 AM »
Well the folks couldn't make it due to a my mum being a tad under the weather so there's a raincheck in place for now.  I'm kind of lucky/unlucky I didn't buy that gateau, as I would have to have eaten the majority of it myself :) :'(
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline xtopave

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 10:18:32 AM »
Those are really good ideas aelthric. It looks like you have accepted the necessary changes you needed in your diet and that you're becoming an expert in these matters.

Talking about artificial sweeteners stability under heat here's what I know that might help someone (I've never used sucralose or neotame so I won't talk about them):

Cyclamate: Stable

Saccharin: Not stable (but since almost always is sold as a mixture of saccharin-cyclamate this mixture is stable)

Acesulfame K: Stable

Aspartame: Unstable

Stevia: Stable

The last one is the best sweetener I've tried for many reasons.

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 11:36:58 AM »


Stevia: Stable

The last one is the best sweetener I've tried for many reasons.

Wow, just read up on it and it seems almost magical.  As always though, it's banned in the European union as a food additive as Harry Potter has the monopoly on magic.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline xtopave

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 11:53:41 AM »
Maybe when some big guy decide to grow this in Europe they'll accept it.  ;)

It's 300 times sweeter than sugar when aspartame is 200. The first time I tried it someone put a few leaves in a mate and it was almost like sugar. The only person I know that tried stevia and didn't think it was good is my father.  :-\

Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 04:48:07 PM »
^ definitely smart ;) My dad would never stop smoking even though he finally quit drinking, and my mom is a sugar junkie.. those habits ruined both their health, and they refused to listen to doctors. I admire your approach more then you can imagine.

Wow, just read up on it and it seems almost magical.  As always though, it's banned in the European union as a food additive as Harry Potter has the monopoly on magic.

the site that follows is a site in the UK that says you can buy the seeds in the UK. I don't use sugar alternatives, but I'd planned to grow it anyway to mess around with it. That way if the world falls to zombies, and I can't get sugar.. I'll have stevia in my garden :D Mostly I've read to mix it in drinks.. I haven't figured out yet if there's a way to store, and or process it long term.



http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/garden-shop/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=stevia&section=Seeds&cPath=5_72_189&go.x=5&go.y=11

Offline xtopave

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 05:28:41 PM »
I haven't figured out yet if there's a way to store, and or process it long term.

In my country I can buy the dry leaves in plastic bags (which I imagine can last long), powder, tablets and solution. This is what I gave my father who's reluctantly using it.  ::)

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 05:41:17 PM »

You can buy the powder here easily enough but it works out around a ?1 and ounce.  That's ok if you only have to put a sprinkle in your tea I guess, so I'll give it a go as it the diet season eh :).
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 05:14:15 PM »
Would love a link because it doesn't seem to be available in my area, but it does look like a viable alternative. ;D

You can get it on Ebay for the price I suggested and although I get a few culinary products from Ebay (like dehydrated onion), the quality can be hit and miss.

This is nearly double the price but looks more kosher:

http://www.healthmonthly.co.uk/swanson_stevia_extract
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline subvinorosa

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2011, 07:33:22 PM »
I'll pop in here once in a while to ask for advice.  As for me giving advice, uh...no.  Can cook passably but no real love for it.  I prefer to do the dishes.

The sugar alternatives are interesting.  Luckily though, no one in my immediate family is diabetic or at currently seems at risk.  Genetics excluded.

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2011, 02:40:06 AM »


the site that follows is a site in the UK that says you can buy the seeds in the UK. I don't use sugar alternatives, but I'd planned to grow it anyway to mess around with it. That way if the world falls to zombies, and I can't get sugar.. I'll have stevia in my garden :D Mostly I've read to mix it in drinks.. I haven't figured out yet if there's a way to store, and or process it long term.

can this be grown in a pot i wonder. has beautiful foliage.

Offline xtopave

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2011, 05:25:56 AM »
Stevia comes from Guaran? territory (Paraguay, North East Argentina, Southern Brazil) which is quite warm (subtropical weather) but apparently it can be grown in pots. I've never done it though.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2011, 07:39:04 AM »
And it can be grown in the garden.. or, at least some varieties can. I was more concerned with how to use it to make it a worthwhile substitute.. besides just dropping leaves in tea. Plus I don't like sweet tea anyway :P I'm not sure if it would be best to dry it, and grind it. Or, to boil it in water and make something similar to a simple syrup... or, both for different uses.

Offline subvinorosa

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2011, 11:41:58 AM »
I'm going to look into stevia.  My grandma needs to watch her blood sugar.

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2011, 10:17:17 AM »
well at the weekend i made some fresh
white bread made of Spelt flour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelt
flour / water/ salt / sugar / fast yeast/olive oil(optional).

besides putting too much salt in , it turned out fantastic  ;D
tasted fantastic.
A slightly heavier dough ,but lovely taste.

would recommend to any one who fancies making some bread / rolls.
also as stated on the link
Many people with an allergy or intolerance to common wheat can tolerate spelt

Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2011, 12:57:22 PM »
I'm trying to replicate a quiche from a place in my town.. but I can't figure out how. I's cheesier, richer, more buttery, and less eggy then other quiches. Should I just add more cheese (change the egg to cheese ratio), and slap in some butter to a regular quiche recipe?

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2011, 02:21:04 PM »
Cream tends to make Quiche richer and less eggy.  Perhaps using cream and a stronger cheese will give you a starting point to then perfect.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline xtopave

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2011, 02:32:21 PM »
I always add cream and/or cream cheese to quiche. If you want it more "fluffy" you can add a coffee spoon of baking powder dissolved in a little amount of milk.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2011, 04:24:51 PM »
It's not fluffy.. it's more dense? But for regular other kinds of quiche I'll try the baking powder idea. I should proably do that for strata also?

I can?t talk about it or it?s going to make me hungry >_< The came from Switzerland, and it?s a confiserie so their quiche would be made with the same quality cream as their deserts and candy. And they do use lots of butter in their chocolate and pastries.. so I thought maybe they added to the quiche also.. but maybe the cheese just and cream make it seem buttery? I'm clueless as to how to even describe it.. it's richer then other quiche? And I assume they use grayere cheese. I love quiche.. and theirs isn?t even like quiche.. it?s like food of the Gods. Everything they make is superior to any other place. Everything they do is perfect. Their tea is better.. their truffles are perfect... their napoleons are the perfect balance of crisp and creamy layers.. but their quiche especially is one of my top 5 favorite foods.

I?ll have to mess around with the things you both suggested and see if I can come close.


Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2011, 02:43:03 AM »


I?ll have to mess around with the things you both suggested and see if I can come close.

And I'll send you my address.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2011, 08:38:18 AM »
^ If I have a small windfall and have a few extra dollars some week, I'll send you some of their chocolate. I'm not sure how well quiche would travel internationally :P

Offline mishca09

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2011, 10:15:07 PM »
I fingerling potatoes , what should I make with them?

Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2011, 12:57:38 PM »
^I like a really plain meat with a good potato.. something like a roast pork tenderloin with fingerlings.

Draining pasta is always difficult. When I'm in a rush, I leave too much water on it. I wish pasta had an equivilant of a salad spinner. I wish I also had a salad spinner :P

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2011, 08:00:10 AM »


Draining pasta is always difficult. When I'm in a rush, I leave too much water on it. I wish pasta had an equivilant of a salad spinner. I wish I also had a salad spinner :P

Jamie Oliver loves using a bit of the starchy water in the accompanying sauce, which is perfectly acceptable. So maybe you're just being authentic.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2011, 08:37:36 AM »
Jamie Oliver loves using a bit of the starchy water in the accompanying sauce, which is perfectly acceptable. So maybe you're just being authentic.

LOL .. I'll use that excuse next time my sauce is watery :D

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2012, 08:34:29 AM »
anyone ever used curry plant and what do you use it for. I have a large plant in  a pot.

ref Helichrysum italicum  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helichrysum_italicum

Offline xtopave

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2012, 08:45:47 AM »
I've never used that, goldshirt.

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2012, 02:45:18 PM »
anyone ever used curry plant and what do you use it for. I have a large plant in  a pot.

ref Helichrysum italicum  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helichrysum_italicum

Not exactly sure what it could be used for? 
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2015, 05:06:38 AM »
I can't believe I've never encountered these before, but today I saw some macrobrachium rosenbergii in a freezer food shop I use.

Does anyone have any experience of these?  I'm a massive prawn fan but I think I'd have to split these beauties into bit size pieces and cook them, and that would defeat the purpose of something so large.

My instinct is just to cook them like I would a lobster - just scaled down.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2015, 05:18:13 AM »
I've used multiple Indian recipes that called for curry leaves.  The plant is useful and I've always wanted to have one so I'd have them fresh and available.  I make a Malabar Chicken Curry that calls for a couple of them.  They're really nice.

Sorry for the late response, goldy, but I just saw the question.

Offline xtopave

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2015, 07:32:13 AM »
...macrobrachium rosenbergii...

I googled that and found this pic in Wikipedia and they're grilled. WOW, those babies look awesome! You could try boiling them too.
I cooked lobster only once many years ago. When my sister's boyfriend caught it with a speargun and I was about to cook it and noticed there was ice inside. But I think I already mentioned this and I'm repeating myself.

Offline smokester

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2015, 10:16:24 AM »
I googled that and found this pic....

I like this pic:

Spoiler (hover to show)

....and I'm repeating myself.

I can't remember what I said half an hour ago so whatever you say, it's always fresh to me.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Sagely, culinary advice.
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2015, 10:59:35 AM »
They're good, but I usually eat them boiled.  It's cruel but delicious.