Food For Thought [Recipe Discussion]

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Food For Thought [Recipe Discussion]

Post by Zeth Höglund on Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:42 pm

Howdy.

On another forum I'm a member of we have a thread that has been around for a few months labeled "Food For Thought (Literally)" where we share quite a few recipes; as a majority of us are located on nearly all of the continents. Seeing as no such thread is present here, that the search function would bring up with recipe, I thought I'd make one; especially considering some interesting foods are already shown in a few other threads.

To begin I'll go with an all time favorite of mine: Homemade zesty reubens.

What you'll need:
Tools:
I. Skillet.
Personally I prefer a cast iron skillet that is geared towards grillings as it levels the heat out well enough to not quickly melt the cheese, and it leaves a nice grilled look to the bread of your choice that mixes the flavors a bit.

II. Spatula.
Any will do but as a general rule I'll be supporting the use of metal products and not plastic products. One thing chemistry teaches is how even minute traces of plastic can transfer to well-off anything. Silicon is useful though due to its high melting temperature.

III. Medium or large bowl.
If you are serving oneself a small bowl will work; as all it will do is serve as a mixing station.

IV. Cutting board and knife.
Personally I prefer freshly planned wood as a cutting station as you can easily clean it at any time when the wood comes ill-looking. Any board will do; even plastic. Using the proper knife, one for peeling or a small knife with a semi-thick core will suffice as well. It'll mainly serve to cut the meat and peal a fruit or two.

Produce n' Products:
I. Bread.
Your choice on this one as any will do. Some folk prefer rye, white, whole wheat, or or custom choices. I myself, and preferably as the base bread choice, prefer marble rye as I'm a tad-bit traditional.

II. Meat.
Once again your choice. You can use ham, turkey, chicken, or other meats. Though above all else I'll recommend corned-beef as it brings out the flavor or the marble rye and sauerkraut quite well. This and the sauerkraut will be the base filling of the sandwich and most of the flavor in general.

III. Sauerkraut.
No exceptions on this one. Though if you can make your own, and your own corned beef, it opens your possibilities to a many different flavors. However it is time conserving. It can't be a reuben without the sauerkraut!

IV. Cheese.
If you are going with corned-beef and marble rye I'd suggest above all else to use swiss-cheese as it blends the flavor quite well. Though if you like to spice it up you can use any other cheese as well. Peperjack-cheese, cheddar-cheese, and my all time favorite mozzarella-cheese are quite good when you want to either add in another flavor and bring it out quite well.

V. Fruit peel.
This is were the homemade touch comes in. Me personally I enjoying using lemon peels as it bring out a nice zesty flavor to the sauerkraut. Orange and lime peels also work quite well; oranges work well to mellow it out and add a tangy flavor to the sandwich.

VI. Sauce.
This is optional. You can use ranch and any other homemade sauce to add in any flavor of your choice. I personally prefer to add a little olive oil to help the bread have more flavor and blend with the cheese quite well when it sticks.

VII. Spice n' Herbs.
Traditionally all you will need is caraway seeds. Personally I also like to add garlic and onion powder as well; though this is optional.

VIII. Butter.
Relatively simple. Any butter alternative may be used as it simply is acting as a lubricant and slight grease.

Preparation:
I. Filler.
A. Take your bowl and fill it with about one cup of sauerkraut.
B. Add a teaspoon of caraway seeds.
C. Optional: Add a pinch of garlic and onion powder.
D. Peel lemon (Or your peel of choice.) and chop the peel into small bits; add to bowl.
E. Add lemon juice (Or your fruit of choice.) to bowl. You can choose to either add a pinch or the entire fruit's juice. I tend to add half of the juice.
F. Mix contents of bowl well.

II. Meat.
A. Clean your cutting board and prepare your cutting station.
B. Take your meat and cut five slices of meat. Thickness should be as thin as you can cut.
C. Take your cheese and cut two slices of close to thin cheese. A little thickness is required to allow the cheese to even itself out when melting.
D. Take your bread and cut two slices a quarter of an inch thick.

III. Bread.
A. Take your bread and butter the outer side of both pieces.
B. Optional: Apply your sauce to the inner side of each slice.
C. Apply cheese slices to the inner side of both bread slices.
D. Apply sauerkraut filler to your bottom most piece.
E. Apply meat slicer to bottom most piece.
F. Make sandwich whole for grilling.

IV. Grilling.
A. Prepare pan to a moderate/medium heat.
B. Grill both sides of your reuben for two minutes each. (This is to bake in both sides.)
C. Grill both sides five minutes each. Alternatively grill both sides three minutes each to make the cheese wrap the filling and meat.
D. Remove sandwich from pan when the bread is golden and the cheese melted over the filler and meat.

If the core of the sandwich is warm or not as hot as the rest of the sandwich then to much filler and meat was added and should be toned down a bit. The recipe usually takes around fifteen minutes to prepare, five if you are quick, and makes a great main dish for lunch, late lunches, and as a campfire meal. Overall it is easy and quick to make when you do not want to cook for thirty minutes to an hour, and clean up is quick and easy even when using cast-iron pans. Remember to keep your knife sharp for future cooking though! A dull knife makes for dull work and a sharp knife makes for quick work with little effort.

Now for everyone else to share their recipes with their own twist. : )
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Re: Food For Thought [Recipe Discussion]

Post by Ciabatta on Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:52 am

Ah, now THAT is a proper use of over-verbosity; although granted that the placing of such delectable ingredients in between two nasty pieces of pulverized grass babies (aka, bread) strikes me as a health and culinary war crime to me personally.  I'll just be taking my fresh corned beef and homemade sauerkraut (and minor fixings) with me, thank you very much! XD

[kudos on the plastic warning, though]

Now as for recipes... most people may not realize that I generally memorize my recipes and don't actually make it a point to write them down.  I have been trying to change that [intermittently], and I have developed a nice, small, pragmatic way to display them.  

================================


Homemade Ghee

Description: Ghee, or clarified butter, is a highly refined form of butter, yogurt or cream separated of all its milk solids, where most of the lactose and casein resides in. Being a pure fat and possessing a much higher smoke point than butter, ghee is often used for sautéing or frying, as a garnish or accompaniment to various Indian dishes, and as a base for any variety of dishes and desserts that can make use of its buttery taste and superb fat composition. While recently admonished by low-fat diets due to its high saturated fat content, ghee remains one of the highest-quality sources of fat available to vegetarians, a superb fat choice for people adhering to high-fat diet doctrines, and an invaluable traditional food for many families in India and abroad.

Note that this recipe will not go over how to make traditional-style ghee as it is not always easy to get raw unpasteurized cow or buffalo milk to make proper dahi yogurt.  This ghee recipe will be specifically for what westerners know as “clarified butter”.  

Meal Course: sauce, base

Diet Considerations: low-carb, ketogenic, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free

Precautions: Once separated from its milk solids, ghee is largely free of its lactose, so this should not be problematic for anyone with a lactose intolerance.  On the other hand, while in principle it should be free of all casein as well, this may not be easy to accomplish using home-based filtering. Individuals suffering from a milk allergy should either purchase ghee that is guaranteed to be casein-free, or should consider another alternative high-saturated fat such as coconut oil.  




Ingredients:


  • 1 cup grass-fed unsalted butter (I recommend Kerrygold; use conventional butter only if you want to make ghee for your worst enemy or an annoying neighbor) Wink
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves, 1 sprig of methi leaves or 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds (optional)



Instructions:

Dice the butter into small cubes to ensure they melt faster. Place a large sauce pan on your stove, and heat it to low-medium heat before adding the butter.  Let the butter melt slowly over medium heat until it s completely melted -- this is where you can add additional ingredients for flavor if you prefer a flavored ghee.  

Keep simmering over medium heat until the fat and milk solids begin to separate, and you’ll begin to see a lot of foaming and bubbling, at which point lower the heat.  As water begins to cook off you’ll start seeing less bubbling and more foaming; in addition, the milk solids will begin to grow brown.  

Once the brown milk solids have fallen to the bottom of the pan and the ghee has acquired a rich golden color, it is ready. Remove the ghee from the heat source and let cool for a few minutes until it is easier to handle (but still liquid). Over a clean glass mason jar, use a multi-layered cheese or muslin cloth to filter the ghee as you pour it over the jar. Close the jar and store in a cool dry place until it solidifies into a light yellow paste.

And enjoy!



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Re: Food For Thought [Recipe Discussion]

Post by Zeth Höglund on Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:02 am

Interesting. I've never heard of such a material to use as a base instead of butter. I'll have to give it a try in place of egg when deep-frying some time soon. (I've never been fond of using egg in any form of a sticky lubricant as it can alter flavor slightly in my opinion.) It should be interesting if it acts as a plain base to add extracts or other altered flavors to though! I can see it now. Slightly flavored strawberry or blueberry jalapeno poppers. (I like odd subtle flavors as they compliment spicy-ness in my opinion.)

Though speaking of storage; how long does it usually last if preserved in a mason jar via pressure cooking? I don't use butter often so it tends to be stored often for months at a time.
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Re: Food For Thought [Recipe Discussion]

Post by Ciabatta on Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:59 am

Oh yeah, egg is more of a delicious thing and binding agent than a lubricant, so this will definitely be superior in that respect. It does yield a slight buttery flavor to food, although it isn't that strong when compared to cooking with full blown butter (and in that respect, ghee's much higher smoke point makes it better for cooking than butter).

Properly processed, ghee can have a 2 year shelf life unrefrigerated, and you can reckon it's longer if its refrigerated. Mileage may vary using a pressure cooker, however, since ive never used one to make it. It's generally important to monitor this as it's cooking to avoid making brown butter (which is still delicious, but not as nutritious), so until you get good at it I'd shelve the pressure cooker for the time being.

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