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soup sunday

Written: 17:14 on February 04, 2007  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Afternoon, people. This is becoming quite a pattern, but hey, cooking and eating are fun. I promised Liam ages ago that I'd write this down. He had a hand in creating the recipe the first time I made it, and this is basically the same.

  • 1.5 Pounds Mushrooms (I use three kinds: white button, crimini aka baby portobello, and shiitake)
  • 4 Cups, about a litre, of broth (I used half chicken and half beef, because it's what I had)
  • 1-2 Cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 Pinches of thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A pinch of parsley

Do this:
  • Make sure your shrooms are clean, but don't wash them in too much water. They soak up a lot. Chop them roughly into bite-sized piecez.
  • Mince up that garlic, and throw it in a large saucepan with the butter on mediumish heat. Don't let it burn, or it'll get bitter and gross, and you'll have to chuck it.
  • After the garlic is smelling nicely, add the mushrooms — as much as will fit — to the pan. If they don't all fit, just let the others cook down a little, and then add them. My experience is that the mushrooms will shrink about 50%, so don't worry. They'll fit.
  • Add a wee splash of broth as this is all cooking, to keep things moist. This will also nicely meld the shroom and broth flavours, to create a SUPERMORPHORATED SHROOMBROTHY flavour.
  • At this point, do your seasoning. You should be able to pick a mushroom out and have it be perfectly tasty. If it isn't, add what you think it needs. I like mine very peppery, and with a pinch of thyme. Feel free to add other savory herbs.
  • Optionally, right here, you can add a wee bit of flour or corn starch to thicken things up, so you will have just a bit less of a brothyness to the final product.
  • When things are sufficiently tasty, add that broth, brotha. Oh, and the parsley.
  • Allow to yum for 45 minutes over low heat.
  • Eat.

I like mine with crackers, of course, who doesn't? Also, I think a dollop of sour cream and some fresh chives cut on top would be SEX. Too bad I don't have any sour cream.

I also made leek and potato soup yesterday, but I wasn't too happy with it. OH, that reminds me. A nice addition to this soup: a handful of onions or leeks, thrown in with the garlic to soften up and just add extra yum. I had leftover leeks, so I did.

I am out of ideas for things I want to cook! I think I will have to consult a cookbook or something for ideas. I don't even know what I want, really. Maybe Mexican?
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recipethan strikes again

Written: 22:35 on January 27, 2007  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Tonight we're making meatloaf. I generically stereotypically call this "Meatloaf Italia!" because it has Italian-esque flavours in it.

You'll need:
  • Two pounds of ground meat, your choice. I used turkey and buffalo, because I'm a weirdo, and they liked me at the time. Some meats need more mixing together than others, in order to make them a nice homogenous mix.
  • An egg
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves. Homegrown are much better, btw, because they have a nice sweetness that commercial varieties typically don't.
  • A couple of cloves of garlic. I used one monstrous deformed elephantitus clove, which was seriously huge, and two really tiny ones. A mutant bulb, it was.
  • 1/4 cup or 60ml (a measurement that Liam hates) or maybe half a handful of roasted red peppers. I took mine from a jar.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread crumbs. I used the Jap ones - panko.
  • Parmesan cheese for topping.

Okay, here's what you do.
  • Dump everything in a bowl except the parmesan, although you could certainly do that if you liked, and mix it up. If you are using two or more types of meat, make CERTAIN that are mixed well. This means your whole mix should be one colour, and you shouldn't be able to pick out what meat is where. If you don't do this, since different meats cook for different times, it could help the loaf fall apart.
  • Oh before you do that, you should probably mince the garlic, and chop up the basil and red peppers. Yeah go! Wooo!
  • Form all that into a loaf. You want it to be as moist as possible while still retaining its shape. Make it too dry and it'll fall apart. Make it too moist and it will just flatten and then fall apart. At this point you can do one of two things.
  • A: Put it on a flat tray or plate and put it in the icebox. This will allow the flavours to meld a bit more, or so I'm told. Some call this "yumming." Some meaning Liam and I.
  • B: Put it on a tray, or a foil-covered rack, and bake for an hour or until the juices are clear at 350 F, or 175 C, or gas mark 4.
  • Allow it to cool a little bit after you take it out, slice it up and eat.
I served mine (to myself :(((( ) with mashed potato and swede with parmesan. It was quite the filling meal. OH, this reminds me. If you really want to get fancy, make a mixture of bread crumbs and parmesan, about a 1:1 ratio, and sprinkle it on the top of the loaf when it is nearly done. Then turn the heat up real high until they start to brown and bubble, and it will be yum.

Next weekend, I may actually get unlazy and make mushroom soup again, only this time remember to write down the recipe.

Cheers, all.
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what i ate for dinner tonight

Written: 00:08 on January 14, 2007  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Ethan's Tomato-Bean Tortellini Especial

This was created after I said "I need to see what's in the freezer and pantry needing some using-up!" So I did, and after digging down to the bottom of our big chest freezer, past the MEAT, and frozen dinners, lo and behold, there it was: a one-pound bag of tortellini. It looked like it had been forgotten about, and made me sad, just looking at it, but I knew I had found my meal. In the pantry, I found a can of diced tomatoes, and poked around until I found a can of cut green beans, which seemed like a decent combo. It wouldn't be the first time I've had something like that. So, without further ado, here is what I did, to make a meal out of a whole bunch of THERE IS NOTHING TO EAT HERE BOOHOO.

You'll need:
  • 1 - One pound of tortellini, fresh, frozen, dry, whatever
  • 1 - Can of diced tomatoes — crushed would also work, if you want more chunks. My can had diced peppers and celery in with the maters.
  • 1 - Can green beans, string beans, whatever you call them. Mine were the normal cut, not French cut. Though, that would probably be nice, too.
  • Basil, to taste. I like a lot, and the sweeter the better. Fresh is always better, too.
  • Thyme, to taste. Again, I like a lot. It's not traditionally "Italian" I suppose, but neither am I, and I'm the one cooking this. Generally, if I'm cooking a savory dish, and it is more or less Western, I add thyme. It's my favourite aroma.
  • A splash of oil.
  • A medium saucepan.
  • Though, I didn't use them, a small onion and a couple of cloves of garlic would be nice. I am out of garlic, and my onions have ummmm, sprouted. Not that that is a problem, I could just cut it off, but I couldn't be arsed.

Now that that's out of the way, here's how you make it. It's reeeeeeeeeal easy.
  1. Boil water. Add a splash of oil and a bit of salt. Cook pasta in it until it's just done. Al dente, as it were.
  2. Drain pasta and set aside for a moment. Remember to fluff it around a bit, so it doesn't all just congeal together.
  3. If you're going to use garlic and onion, drop them in the pan with a little oil at this point. Soften them up a bit, and then reduce heat to low or simmer, if there's a difference for you. (Also referred to as the "yum" setting.)
  4. Drain the tomatoes and beans, and dump them into the pot.
  5. Add the herbs.
  6. Allow the mix to cook for just a few brief minutes. Salt and pepper it to taste at this point.
  7. Drop the drained pasta in there, and toss it all about. Then allow to yum (that means simmer, if you didn't remember) for a couple of minutes, so the flavours of all of that leeches into your pasta. Add a splash more liquid if it becomes too dry. (Mine did, don't feel bad.)
  8. Eat.
  9. Wash your dishes, Mr. Dirt.

Serve it up with garlic bread or something. I would, if I had anyone to impress. A few other options I think would be a nice touch: some crushed red pepper to add a little !ZING to your pot; cauliflower would soak up some of that flavour nicely, and add good white colour; parmesan, as always, will be a nice finish (but I'm a fatty, so I don't add it where I don't need it); pork or chicken would be a nice adder if you want some meatyness.

If anyone actually cooks this up (come on, it ain't hard), please leave me a comment. This is only the first in what will hopefully be a long line of recipes from at least Liam and I, the resident chefs. It was his suggestion to put it here, after all.

With that, I bid you adieu, and I will return to watching Clerks.
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