Archive for Bullion

Rice and Lentils, a simple if slow cooking dish.

Posted in Caooking, Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2015 by urbannight

I have this super simple dish I make sometimes.  It always  tastes great but it takes a long time to make.

I start with a few cups of water and set it to boil with a bullion cube in it.  Any type, sometimes chicken, sometimes beef, sometimes veggie.

Once the lentils are nearly done I add rice and whatever seasoning trips my trigger at that moment in time.

You have to watch to check the water, add more as needed.   I’ve found it always takes more than the amount of lentils and rice recommend.  I’m not sure why.

Now I just as water as needed until both the rice and lentils are soft.

I’ve never had it turn out bad.

That being said, I’ve had trouble using some of the so-called instant rice.  Regular instant rice cooks up fine.  But there is an ‘instant’ boil in bag Jasmine rice that doesn’t seem to work.  I, of course, cut the bag and pour it in.  The problem is that the box says this ‘instant’ jasmine rice cooks up in 8 to 10 minutes.  This is not true.  I’ve never had it cook in under about half an hour.  Even when cooking it on its own according to the cooking instructions on the box.  If you want to use Jasmine rice, it will turn out better if you just buy a normal bag of the stuff and cook it per those instructions.

Spicy Beef Soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by urbannight

Spicy Beef Soup

Brown up ground beef in a pot.
Cut half an onion in slightly thick slices, then 1/4 the stack.
Mince one garlic clove.
Peal the rest of the garlic but leave whole or cut big ones in half.
Sprinkle browning beef with Cayenne. Stir well.
When beef is nearly done, add the onions and garlic.
Sprinkle with more Cayenne. Stir well.
Cook until beef is done and veggies are softened.
Add 1 cup water and beef bullion.
Once bullion is completely dissolved, add another cup water and half a cup of small elbow pasta or other pasta.
Cook until softened.
Add more water if needed.
Add more Cayenne to taste.

Good for when you are coming down with a nasty head cold.

So you think you can’t cook…..

Posted in Food, Gaming, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by urbannight

Here is another fast and easy recipe for those who think they are kitchen challenged or those who just don’t feel like cooking from scratch. Like when you decided to play Star Wars The Old Republic for May Fourth and you end up playing for three days straight.

1 pound

Start with a lb of ground beef. Brown up in a large sauce pan. Season with black pepper or cayenne (if you are like me) or both (something I also do). If you use beef with a high fat content (70/30), make sure to drain it. If you use beef that is too lean you sacrifice some of the flavor. Even thought I use seasoning I can still tell flavorless beef from flavorful beef. I use 80/20 most of the time because 85/15 has gotten really hard to find. I used to use it all the time.

Black Beans

Lets talk about black beans. These are my favorite. Even thought I’ve not gotten the knack of cooking with them from scratch. Canned black beans will save a ton of time and are great for fast, easy dishes.

Take one can and drain well. If you add water to the can, shake well, and drain again, repeating for a total of 5 times to get the water to run clear. Or put in a colander with small holes and rinse out the black stuff it is packaged in. They will cook up clearer (won’t turn your dish black) and it gets rid of a lot of the sodium it is packed in. Don’t worry, I will be putting sodium back in elsewhere. I use the rinse and repeat method to cut down on dirty dishes. I’ve been known to dirty a lot of dishes when cooking so I like to cut back on that when I can. Toss in on top of cooked beef.

Normally, I have a horribly low opinion of canned potatoes. Sliced and whole ones cook up horribly. I don’t have that problem with diced canned potatoes. Use one can and rinse but don’t worry about doing it 5 times. Just a couple of times to clear out the sodium. Toss on top of the beef and beans.

Now I add three cups of water and two beef bullion cubes. These are high in sodium which is why I try to get rid of it from the cans. I know there are other forms of bullion that are not so high in salt but I don’t know the amounts to get the results I want as I do for the cubes. Let simmer a while to heat beans and potatoes all the way through and to mingle the flavor of the cooked beef with the bullion with the beans.

Northwoods Fire

You can season this simply with black pepper. It will taste a bit like beef stew. Or you can use chili powder to have a chili like flavor. In that case, you may want to add a can or two of tomato sauce instead of water. I kept it soup like and used Northwoods Fire from Penszeys to season.

I would show you the end result but I ate it while I was typing this.   I just can’t keep it in the pan long enough to photograph.  It is too yummy.  There is more at home tucked up in containers for other lunches.  Yummy lunch.  I can’t wait until lunch tomorrow to eat the other bowl.    If you make proper servings with a salad and veggie side, you get 5 servings out of it.  I tend to put more in my containers and only get three servings.  It’s easier to do lunches that way and have a veggie heavy dinner.

Chicken and Rice Noodles and the danger of cooking with a migraine.

Posted in Food, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by urbannight

There are all these ways to cook with less oil to make things healthier.  But I’ve discovered a secret.  And I will share it with you.

 

If you want to properly sauté up onions and garlic, and get the onions close to caramelizing without them starting to char up, you really need to use more oil and not less.  For a veggie that is very strong and bitter, it amazes me that it has enough sugar in it to caramelize when cooking.  I’ve found that I like mine best if I stop just as it is hitting that stage.

 

SO . . . I started by mincing up three slices of onion and adding a heaping spoon of minced garlic from the jar.  I dumped it into the heating oil and sprinkled with cayenne.  Yes, I use a lot of cayenne.  I love it.  Like I may have mentioned before, it has a lovely sweet mild flavor with heat that comes through otherwise mildly flavored dishes.  And it adds a lovely heat to strongly flavored dishes without altering the flavor.   

 

The smell of onions and garlic sautéing in olive oil is one of my favorite smells.  Unfortunately, migraines screw with your sense of smell.  Not for everyone, but definitely for me.  You probably don’t really want to know that it smelled like cat piss to me.  I was very unhappy about that. 

 

While I kept an eye on the minced herbs (because, really, an onion is more of a very large herb than a veggie) I diced up a chicken breast.  It was a lovely chicken breast.  If I had been thinking, I would have taken pictures of my lovely sautéing onions and garlic as well as the chicken breast.  I have, in the past, tried using precooked chicken.  It ends up tasting rather horrible with a terrible texture.  No matter how horrible I feel, if I don’t start from raw chicken breast from the meat counter, it doesn’t turn out right.

 

Now this is the trick, to not only cook the chicken, but to get it to start to brown up without the onions starting to fry themselves.  I stirred often and let it sit for short bursts and for once managed this trick perfectly.  At this point, I had used no salt at all.  I used a salt-free chicken and poultry seasoning my parents sent me from their last trip to Hawaii.  I added several cups of water and two chicken-flavored bullion cubes.  And the salt goes through the roof.  If I had been thinking, I would have picked up low sodium chicken broth.

 

I opened a package of rice noodles.  It was in 3 ‘sheets’ for lack of a better description.  I took out two and put the last back in the bag for another time.  Gripping a sheet firmly in each hand, I twist it in the middle to break it in half, slowly and carefully, so not to send bits of rice noodle in every direction.  I have tried cutting it with kitchen sheers but that just made a huge mess.  I stirred the noodles in, covered it, and let it cook until the noodles were done.

 

By this point, it lost it’s distressingly unpleasant aroma.  It smelled quite good.  It tasted even better.  I could have had two bowls of leftovers.  But I decided to have a second bowl instead.  I would have taken a picture of it today but it just doesn’t look as pretty in a Ziploc bowl as it does in a proper bowl at home.  So no pretty pictures for you.  I really have to do better to remember the camera when I cook up delicious things.