"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Enchiladas and Meat Sauce

    In keeping with my un-thanksgiving bed of mind, and as a way to use some of the leftover cheese from the Big Bird Event, plus as the heavy projects keep rolling, I find my self pressed for time to cook.

    Most folks would have an attitude of “Can you say Take-Out?”, but that is just not my way. Plus I have my brand new casserole dish to use. Looking back at my recent posts I’ve not done anything Mex-Tex lately, now add that to casserole, and to prior posts about ground beef, and we come up with either tacos or enchiladas.

    Since I’ve done tacos, and it’s going to be one of those blah days where it’s 50 when the sun is out, which is just about 15 minutes of the day, and the rest of the time is just cold, I think I’ll do enchiladas.

    Background
    An enchilada is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combinations.

    Enchiladas are “Tex-Mex” a term used to describe a regional American cuisine that blends food products available in the United States and the culinary creations of Mexican-Americans influenced by the cuisines of Mexico.

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  • Meatless Monday – Vanilla Pudding

    One of my favorite things growing up was various pies and puddings. They all seem to emanate from one central item, Vanilla Pudding.

    My mother taught me to make this simple, basic, yet elegant pudding, and even I’ve had little or no reason to meddle with it.

    I’ve had those phases where buying pre-made or beat and chill packages was attractive, but when it comes down to it, they lose every time, beaten by the taste of fresh made pudding.

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  • “Amerasian” Cuisine – Stir Fry Pepper Shrimp

    So Thanksgiving is done, and I am ready for my annual un-thanksgiving… Several days that do NOT include any form of poultry, or stuffing, or cranberries, or cakes or pies, or any of the usual after Turkey Day trappings.

    Ah, well, here is a tried and true Asian specialty that even my fan club can make and enjoy. And just to make sure I don’t stretch any brain cells amongst my readers, I’ll use a recipe that is truly an American’s vision of Chinese food… (Also StopLight peppers are Red, Yellow and Green bell peppers

    Wikipedia says:

    Stir frying is an umbrella term used to describe two techniques for cooking food in a wok while stirring it: chǎo (炒) and bào (爆). The term stir-fry was introduced into the English language by Buwei Yang Chao, in her book How to Cook and Eat in Chinese, to describe the chǎo technique. The two techniques differ in their speed of execution, the amount of heat used, and the amount of tossing done to cook the food in the wok. Cantonese restaurant patrons judge a chef’s ability to perform stir frying by the “wok hei” produced in the food. This in turn is believed to display their ability to bring out the qi of the wok.

    Notes on “Amerasian’ Cuisine

    As usual, American Chinese food typically treats vegetables as garnish while cuisines of China emphasize vegetables. Native Chinese cuisine makes frequent use of Asian leafy vegetables and puts a greater emphasis on fresh meat. As a result, American Chinese food is usually less pungent than authentic cuisine.

    American Chinese food tends to be cooked very quickly with a great deal of oil and salt. Many dishes are quickly and easily prepared, and require inexpensive ingredients. Stir-frying, pan-frying, and deep-frying tend to be the most common cooking techniques which are all easily done using a wok.

    One supposes, I will need to play the part of the unwashed American barbarian, It matters not as I am sure the food will be good…

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  • SteakHouse Style Creamed Spinach

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    One thing I love about going to a good SteakHouse, is creamed spinach. Not the miserable gluey, slimey boiled crap with milk that some people try to pass off as creamed spinach, but the real thing… The rich and creamy melt in your mouth, not glue your tongue to the roof of your mouth, style of creamed spinach. But again with the rogue chef twist for an extra burst of flavor.
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  • Pot Stickers (Dumplings)

    A favorite around the mountain lair, but we’ve always bought them from the local Chinese food shop. While in NYC at a dumpling shop, I saw exactly how easy it was to produce these tasty morsels. Of course, I needed to do this for the Lady of Bad Wolf Manor..

    How did they turn out? Madam did not throw them and me to the beasts of the mountain..

    Jiǎozi or pot sticker is a Chinese dumpling widely spread to Japan, Eastern and Western Asia.

    Jiaozi typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. Jiaozi should not be confused with wonton: jiaozi have a thicker, chewier skin and a flatter, more oblate, double-saucer like shape (similar in shape to ravioli), and are usually eaten with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce (and/or hot chili sauce); while wontons have thinner skin, are sphere-shaped, and are usually served in broth. The dough for the jiaozi and wonton wrapper also consist of different ingredients.

    Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) may be divided into various types depending on how they are cooked:

    • Boiled dumplings; (shuijiao) literally “water dumplings”
    • Steamed dumplings; (zhengjiao) literally “steam-dumpling”
    • Shallow fried dumplings (guotie) lit. “pan stick”, known as “potstickers”, also referred to as “dry-fried dumplings”

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  • Late Night Snack

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    I held the annual thanksgiving event earlier this evening, the company was grand, the food quite good. Now it is time to clean up. As with most events, the dishes pile up, (even with going into food service with all the pots clean and the dish washer empty), so it is close to 1 A.M. and I am hungry.

    A sandwich, but not just any sandwich, one that will capture the essence of the meal. I once had this in a nice little pub in the square mile..

    I’ll start with fresh home baked bread, two slices, 3/8″ thick, and pat of dressing, moisturize the dressing with a bit of gravy, and make a patty, season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle / skillet on over medium high heat, and brown the dressing patty, them add two or three slices of turkey and warm them. Toast the two slices of bread next to this.

    After a suitable level of toasting has been achieved, assemble the sandwich with cranberry sauce as a spread.