The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nath » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:55 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:It's used a lot in Nepali food, where they call it Timur. My friend's family swears it's different from the szechuan pepper they sell at the asian grocery, so they bring it back from Nepal when anyone goes for a visit, but I can't really tell the difference.

Interesting. I've spent a fair bit of time just a few hundred km from the Nepali border, and I wasn't familiar with this spice until I discovered a good Szechuan place.

poxic wrote:All "curry powder" and garam masala come with some form of peppers or chilies mixed in, unfortunately.

I don't know about supermarket brands of garam masala, and I'm not even going to get into my 'curry powder' rant, but most garam masala used at home (and that you'd find at an Indian grocery) contains no chillies. Sometimes it contains pepper. You can always make your own if you have a grinder, with whatever spices work for you. It should have a certain pungency, but it needn't be from chillies or pepper.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby poxic » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:00 am UTC

Yeah, I'm thinking of garam masala available in grocery stores around here. The ingredients pretty much always list chilies of some sort.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Zohar » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:21 am UTC

I second Nath - it's not too difficult to make your own mixture. You could also buy pre-ground spices and just mix them when you want to.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby dubsola » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:45 am UTC

poxic wrote:dubsola, do you mean Red Wahani? I've made it before. It cooks like brown rice, and will stain anything it's cooked with the way beets will. It will also stain a plastic rice cooker. :evil: I didn't find the flavour to be very good, though.

Well, I'm not sure what it's called. The only time I've seen it was in America, and I didn't ask what it was. A google image search tells me it's also spelled wehani, and it does look familiar.

PictureSarah wrote:My mom makes "Mexican rice" by cooking the rice with tomato juice instead of water, along with various spices. I'm not really fond of it that way, but it's definitely reddish orange rice.

That sounds damn good to me, I might try that.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:23 pm UTC

Isn't garam masala basically just cinnamon, cardamom and cloves?
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Telchar » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:46 pm UTC

Any advice on freshwater mussels? Plan is to cook in butter/garlic/shallots and then serve with red sauce w/ cilantro over spaghetti.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby pooteeweet » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:18 pm UTC

Red Beans and Rice, (barely) adapted from Cynthia MacGregor's Cook-Ahead Cookbook

This makes an enormous quantity, as you are meant to be able to freeze a bunch of portions to re-heat another day for a quick dinner. Either make sure you use a large skillet with high edges, or halve the recipe to make a more reasonable amount of food. I recommend the former, because it is a very delicious and comforting thing to have on hand when you don't feel like cooking.

Remember to cook up your big pot of rice ahead of time (if you're like me and sometimes miss these details when you read through a recipe)!

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 med. onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, small dice
1 lb kielbasa or other cooked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 15-oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 C. red wine
1 or 2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4-5 C. cooked white rice

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and green pepper. When those have wilted (onion is clear, pepper no longer looks crisp), add sausage slices. Make sure you have the slices touching the pan, not just sitting on top of the veggies, so that the sausage gets browned. If you're really diligent about this sort of thing you can flip each slice over to ensure browning on both sides. If not, not.

Add beans, wine, bay leaf, tomato paste, salt, pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce. Mix. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer one to two hours (preferably 2). Stir occasionally, add water if needed. Sauce should be reasonably thick. Remove bay leaf, add rice.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nath » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:02 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Isn't garam masala basically just cinnamon, cardamom and cloves?

Those are three of the most common ingredients, but there are many other things that people commonly use as well. Some people go so far as to make separate garam masalas for different dishes. But yeah, you could just mix those three things together for a simple garam masala.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:23 am UTC

I need a recipe. Or, actually - I need a group of recipes. Basically I just want to know: What the heck do I do with fenugreek? I've tried adding it here and there to other recipes that are at least moderately spiced, and I can't really taste it. I don't know what its purpose is.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Zith » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:19 am UTC

Fenugreek seeds? Their flavor isn't terrifically pronounced, so usually it's just a mild note in a curry or something. It's best to lightly roast them, or soak them in cold water overnight (seeds in a bowl, water to cover, then drain and rinse) and form a paste - Spice Bible does a light roast of other seeds, then throws those in with the soaked fenugreek to form a paste (something like a 10:1 ratio of fenugreek to other stuff) to marinate some roast chicken, seems like a good plan. Other than that, though, it's ground on otherwise plain lentils (with rice flour) and then as a minor note in a few things like tamarind beef.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nath » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:25 pm UTC

I disagree; it's a major flavor in certain dishes, such as fish pulusu (tangy Andhra fish curry). Fenugreek leaves are also widely used, e.g. in aloo methi (potatoes with fenugreek).
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:57 pm UTC

Around here, Fenugreek is called 'Hilbe', and most of the time is made into a paste called by the same name. Basic recipe:

Soak 3 tbsp. ground Fenugreek seeds overnight, change water once or twice. Sift, move to blender pot and add 1 tsp. salt, a pinch of cumin, 1/2 cup chopped coriander and 4 pressed garlic cloves. Blend until foamy, drizzle in some water if needed. Mix in 1 grated tomato and some lemon juice and serve with pita bread.

Can also go well with cardamom and/or chili.

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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby dubsola » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:40 pm UTC

pooteeweet wrote:Red Beans and Rice, (barely) adapted from Cynthia MacGregor's Cook-Ahead Cookbook

Sounds good, thankyou.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby voidPtr » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:I need a recipe. Or, actually - I need a group of recipes. Basically I just want to know: What the heck do I do with fenugreek? I've tried adding it here and there to other recipes that are at least moderately spiced, and I can't really taste it. I don't know what its purpose is.


I've used fenugreek in a curry before. I don't remember what kind, a korma maybe? I find the taste is quite bitter and licorice-y.

Nath wrote:
Mr. Bakerstein wrote:Isn't garam masala basically just cinnamon, cardamom and cloves?

Those are three of the most common ingredients, but there are many other things that people commonly use as well. Some people go so far as to make separate garam masalas for different dishes. But yeah, you could just mix those three things together for a simple garam masala.


The garam masala I buy from an Indian shop near me has a distinctive curry smell to it. I knew that garam masala is a spice mixture and everyone has their own, but I assumed a mild curry powder was a default ingredient. Apparently not.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nath » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:18 pm UTC

In Indian cuisine, curry is not an ingredient, and there's no such thing as curry powder. There is such a thing as 'curry leaves', but they are not where curries get most of their flavor. 'Curry' is an umbrella term for a large variety of dishes, some of which contain curry leaves and some of which do not.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:52 pm UTC

Garam masalas are the spice mixtures used to flavor the dishes called curries. That's why they smell like curry powder, which is a westernized version of garam masala.
And they can differ greatly, as greatly as chili from Texas and Cincinnati. Or crab spices from Rhode Island and Maryland.
If you find a pre-mixed one you like, use it. Otherwise develop the one you want to cook with through trial and error.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby pooteeweet » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:34 pm UTC

My boyfriend spent some time in India and likes to make curry. He usually uses pre-mixed spices (the kinds that come in little colored boxes at Indian grocers) in combination with other, whole spices-- cumin seeds, star anise, cardamom pods, etc. He claims that everyone over there uses pre-mixed spice blends most of the time because it's easier.

Experimentation is definitely key. He does it a little differently every time and his chana masala just gets better and better. Oh, god DAMN I've got a mean craving for curry now.

Hmm. Has anybody ever tried making pakoras? Do they have to be deep-fried? I don't think I want to try a random recipe for that unless someone assures me it's tried and true. It seems like the type of thing that could be really mediocre if done wrong.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:42 am UTC

Yes! I have made pakoras at home, in a saucepan with a few inches of oil. It's ridiculously easy, and even though you can't get the oil "properly" hot in a saucepan rather than a deep fryer, it did the job just fine in my opinion. The key is simply to not cook too many at a time -- definitely no more than three in a large saucepan -- because they cool down the oil.

As far as the recipe, you basically just combine water and besan (chickpea starch) to make a paste that will coat your mixture of veggies. For flavor, add spices to the besan before you make it into a paste. Just about any credible recipe will give you a good starting point for which spices and in what proportions, but you can experiment with whatever flavors and strengths you like. Serve with chutney!

They really are super easy.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby dubsola » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:59 pm UTC

Nath wrote:In Indian cuisine, curry is not an ingredient, and there's no such thing as curry powder. There is such a thing as 'curry leaves', but they are not where curries get most of their flavor. 'Curry' is an umbrella term for a large variety of dishes, some of which contain curry leaves and some of which do not.

I wonder if there's a cultural equivalent in south-east Asia. 'Europe sauce', perhaps.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Zohar » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:16 pm UTC

I made the puff pastry dough! I have no pictures to show you since my camera is busted, but it turned out pretty well! Not very pretty, but certainly puffy and tasty. I made some apple turnovers and froze the rest.

Now if only my fridge would remain cool enough until we fix it on Sunday... :(
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nath » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

dubsola wrote:
Nath wrote:In Indian cuisine, curry is not an ingredient, and there's no such thing as curry powder. There is such a thing as 'curry leaves', but they are not where curries get most of their flavor. 'Curry' is an umbrella term for a large variety of dishes, some of which contain curry leaves and some of which do not.

I wonder if there's a cultural equivalent in south-east Asia. 'Europe sauce', perhaps.

South-east Asia has its own set of curries. Some are related to Indian curries, but are clearly from a different cuisine.

As for the European cuisine in India (I can't speak for SE Asia; how did that come up, anyway? :)), I haven't really seen anything I'd think of as a counterpart to 'curry powder'. You get random well-known dishes (fish and chips, spaghetti Bolognese etc.), but I don't think there's any distinctive ingredient that makes a dish seem European to Indians. This sort of food is eaten by a pretty small section of the Indian population, unlike curries in the UK.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:46 pm UTC

Tomato ketchup would be the closest thing I can think of, but that was in South America.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby cerbie » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:49 am UTC

Fat+dairy[+flour], maybe? There's a lot in common with most fat/dairy based sauces and gravies, and little of it was mirrored by cultures in the rest of the world, until the West made slaves of them.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nath » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

Lots of Indian sauces are finished with dairy. Wheat flour is less frequent in sauces (I'm thinking of roux-based sauces), but some dishes are thickened with chickpea flour.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:08 pm UTC

Nath--that's precisely why I love Indian food...there's seldom gluten in curries, Bhaji is usually fine--long live chick pea flour.

(I'm allergic to wheat..) :S
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:15 pm UTC

The chickpea flour is besan; when you make a paste, coat veggies and fry it, then it's bhaji.

(I'm guessing you know that and just mixed up the words, though.)
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:07 pm UTC

Yeah...I'm a bit squidgy on specific names sometimes. I just like that chickpea flour tends to be the default--and it's also very tasty with lots of spices in it.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nlelith » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:11 am UTC

Anyone know of any good peanut butter cookie recipes? :o
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Zith » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:39 am UTC

Here's two of mine from school. Can convert to metric if asked.
Option1, more regular
Spoiler:
0.5 c butter, room temp (unsalted)
0.75 c peanut butter
0.5 c sugar
0.5 c brown sugar
0.5 tsp vanilla
5 Tblsp milk
1 egg
1.25 c flour (all-purpose)
0.75 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp baking powder
0.25 tsp salt
1 c chocolate chips
0.5 c chopped peanuts


Option2, high yield, all in weights
Spoiler:
1 lb, 12 oz sugar
1 lb, 12 oz brown sugar
1 lb, 8 oz butter
1 lb, 4 oz peanut butter
12 oz eggs
3 lb cake flour
1 oz dry milk
1 Tbsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda

I think these are the assumptions: 5 oz flour to a cup, 7 oz sugar to a cup, and I think 4 or 6 oz to an egg? unless it's meant to be 12 eggs

Either way, you beat the butter and sugar, then beat in the peanut butter, mix in eggs, then everything but choc chips or peanuts if you're using them which are added last. Bake at 350F until done, which varies by how big you make them.
The more you beat the butter and sugar, the more light and airy, the better the texture of the final cookie - but be careful to mix very lightly after the flour.


Edit - Found another one:
Spoiler:
0.5 c bran, lightly toasted
4 oz butter (room temp)
0.5 c brown sugar
0.25 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
0.5 c peanut butter, chunky
0.75 c flour (all-purpose)
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.25 tsp salt
This one's at 375F, but otherwise made the same way.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Zohar » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:17 am UTC

Sister has a birthday. Asked her what cake she wants, she said maybe something with dulce de leche. I don't know any recipes for stuff with it, but I can look. On the other hand, I saw a recipe for canneles and it looks delicious. So I might just fall back on that, unless I find something particularly interesting with dulce de leche (it's so much easier to write in Hebrew, since it's simply called "milk jam").
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:33 am UTC

My first thought was a Tres Leches cake, but that doesn't use dulce de leche.
It makes a good filling for a torte type cake, sliced into thin layers and sprinkled with booze first. A genoise layer does this best. You can also use it make buttercream icing-mixing the caramel into the butter then folding in some whipped egg whites.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Amarantha » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:01 am UTC

Zohar wrote:On the other hand, I saw a recipe for canneles and it looks delicious.
Hells ya, those are fucking awesome :)
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby pooteeweet » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:33 pm UTC

Yeah, I would just go the route of using the dulce between cake layers. Seems like it would be a little tricky to spread without crumbling the cake-- maybe pipe it on instead.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:40 pm UTC

I use dulce de leche in crepes sometimes but I haven't really baked with it very much. Though dulce de leche is essentially what is used to make banoffee pie...which is really tasty.

(Well, you take a can of condensed milk (leave it in the can) and boil it in a pot for ages till it carmelizes. nom.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Zohar » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:46 pm UTC

I ended up making a yeast cake. Look in "today I made" if you're interested.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Shro » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:53 pm UTC

I have some goat cheese that I want to use and don't just want to eat it with crackers. It's a semi-soft goat cheese.
Any ideas? I made a gravy with it awhile ago for my pork chops, and it was absolutely delish. I have also used it with bacon on sauteed spinach. The thing is, a little bit goes a long way, and I still have a bunch left!

Re: Besan/chickpea flour/gram flour. Another yummy thing made with this is batata vada, which is like a potato cake dipped in a besan batter.
Another ingredient in Indian food I could never get the hang of was asafoetida. Fenugreek is also something I've never used in my own cooking, although I've had a few things prepared with it. Methi paratha comes to mind as something using fenugreek.
(I really have to hit up my mom for her recipes. I'm pretty sure she'll enjoy teaching me how to cook)
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Telchar » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:11 pm UTC

Pasta sauce? I don't know how your cheese tastes, but a simple Mac and Cheese could be an option with a complimentary hard cheese, or a cream based sauce melting the cheese in once the sauce is set.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Nath » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:19 pm UTC

Shro wrote:I have some goat cheese that I want to use and don't just want to eat it with crackers. It's a semi-soft goat cheese.
Any ideas? I made a gravy with it awhile ago for my pork chops, and it was absolutely delish. I have also used it with bacon on sauteed spinach. The thing is, a little bit goes a long way, and I still have a bunch left!

With sliced tomatoes, olive oil and coarsely ground black pepper.

How does it stand up to heat? You might be able to grill or fry it, like halloumi.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:34 pm UTC

Shro wrote:I have some goat cheese that I want to use and don't just want to eat it with crackers. It's a semi-soft goat cheese.
Any ideas? I made a gravy with it awhile ago for my pork chops, and it was absolutely delish. I have also used it with bacon on sauteed spinach. The thing is, a little bit goes a long way, and I still have a bunch left!

Add bits of it to grilled vegetables (cold) and use either as an entree salad topper or a sandwich main ingredient. Good combo of veggies to use is yellow squash, zucchini, carrot, eggplant and onion.
Shro wrote:Another ingredient in Indian food I could never get the hang of was asafoetida.

I've read that it was used mainly as some sort of preservative, to make poor-quality meats safer for consumption, or to help keep leftovers from spoiling. Not for any specific culinary purpose.
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Re: The 'I Need a Recipe' Thread

Postby poxic » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:31 pm UTC

Vegans sometimes use it to add a meat-ish flavour (umami) to veggie dishes, including curries. That's about all I know about it.
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