The Cooking Thread

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You can't win an argument just by being right!
I've been into cooking for the past two months. Last thing I made? Sautťed carrots from the

WORLD OF WARCRAFT COOKBOOK

You heard me!
I was given a beautiful Le Creuset casserole dish s a wedding present. For some stupid reason I decided to use it to make honey glazed carrots. Burnt the bum out of it - 800 bucks down the drain. My worst kitchen disaster ever.



I've been into cooking for the past two months. Last thing I made? Sautťed carrots from the

WORLD OF WARCRAFT COOKBOOK

You heard me!
Cool. I love those kinds of recipes. Last time i made a rabbit stew from Master Samwise Gamgee's family recipe (The Lord of the Rings). But i didn't have any Golum to spit into it, so the flavor was a bit lacking.



@Dani8 : Ouch,that hurts. I have a Le Creuset pot which cost "only" 100 bucks, and i keep it more carefully than i do my face.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Well, last night I did something new. I tried my hand a eggplant pizza. A friend mentioned wanting to try it recently, so I became curious and decided to give it a go.

I've never cooked or even eaten eggplant, so I had to google how to just determine what makes an eggplant ripe. Seems that you want to find one with a green(ish) leaf hat and a bit of green still in the stem. Check! It also needs to be springy to the touch without leaving indentations from your grip. CHECK!!! Finally, I suppose it needs to be large enough to slice reasonable platforms for the toppings as the eggplant acts as the doughy pizza crust. (check?)

I found a simple pizza sauce recipe online and followed maybe 80% of it, straying where I thought there was too much of a particular spice. I also 86'ed the sugar and, instead, added more black pepper and just a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. I think that was a good trade. I slices the eggplant lengthwise thinking it would provide more surface for toppings, but I think I will cut more circular slices next time. That just seems easier to manage on the baking pan. Too, you can only fit maybe three pepperonis when the cut is long and narrow. Additional toppings mound up and got ...awkward.

I sliced maybe one-quarter of a red onion, half of a small green bell pepper, one small vine tomato, a handful of baby spinach, and mozzarella cheese. The cheese I found was actually pre-sliced, so that helped. So was the pepperoni.

First, the eggplant slices were salted and placed between sheets of paper towels. The salt was to pull moisture from the slices while the towel absorbed it. Otherwise, the eggplant likely would have turned soup. As it was, it was still quite soft so maybe next time I let this sit for at least an hour. Maybe two.

Once I gave up on waiting, I then coated each slice with olive oil. Not virgin olive oil, mind you. That has a much lower burn temperature---something I accidentally discovered when cooking fish in my old apartment. Not pretty. Once coated front and back, black pepper was added. Then, I tossed the tray into the oven at 450 for about 15-20 minutes. The top somewhat browned, but the side laying directly against the pan was cooking well. It actually started to smell like bread, at a point. I then pulled the pan, flipped the eggplant and loaded up the toppings. Some with tomato and some without, as I did not know how that would play given the already high moisture content of the eggplant. They played well, in the end.

Back to the oven for another 10 minutes or so. Once the mozzarella started to melt and spread, I turned on the broiler to low for an additional 5 minutes. Once I could smell the pepperoni, I checked one last time to confirm that nothing was burning, and that the cheese had begun to singe a bit, I pulled the tray and plated.

Forgive the cruddy mobile pics, but my kitchen space is small. I could not taste "eggplant" over the other ingredients. The only weird thing that might throw some people off was just the texture. It was still soft and wet. Perhaps a different cut angle, a longer drying period, and a bit more practice might fix that.








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^ Looks fab.

I've tried quite a few things with aubergine(what it's called here in the UK) but just can not stand the taste and texture, wish I could like it because they are very good for you.




You ready? You look ready
Do overnight oats count as cooking?
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"This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined." -Baruch Spinoza



^ Looks fab.

I've tried quite a few things with aubergine(what it's called here in the UK) but just can not stand the taste and texture, wish I could like it because they are very good for you.

Same. Eggplant is one of the few things I will not eat.
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Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Same. Eggplant is one of the few things I will not eat.
I have NEVER had eggplant before this. I was a bit scared of it, but it really was not bad at all. There was no taste that I could pick up on. At least not one that made it past the seasoning, sauce and toppings.

It's a pretty easy cook and a VERY nice introduction to eggplant, IMO. Texture was the only thing that got my attention, but even that was minimal. I think a longer drying time might resolve that.

Tag me if anyone wants the sauce recipe!



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Doing my home made spaghetti sauce today. I just browned the ground beef, red onion, bell pepper, and a few other odds and ends. The sauce is simmering now. Will add pinot noir in a bit and let it sit for the afternoon. Tonight, will try to bake a spaghetti squash instead of pasta. We'll see it that goes.



Doing my home made spaghetti sauce today. I just browned the ground beef, red onion, bell pepper, and a few other odds and ends. The sauce is simmering now. Will add pinot noir in a bit and let it sit for the afternoon. Tonight, will try to bake a spaghetti squash instead of pasta. We'll see it that goes.
I'll be over at 6 o'clock...



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
I'm not sharing my spaghetti sauce recipe, but I will say that spaghetti squash is pretty cool. Cutting the thing in half was the most difficult bit, so be careful there. Once halved, spooning out the seeds was mostly straight forward. The only issue there was knowing when to stop raking the interior as it strings up very quickly and easily. Having one behind me now, I think next time I will be more deliberate in what I remove. I left much of the stringy gooey bits out of fear of clearing out too much and having nothing left to eat. Instead, just gut out any thick, yellow jelly pulp and be done with it. There will be so many "dry" strands in the end that this little bit will only server to gum up your servings.

I brushed olive oil over both sides of the squash, then salted and peppered. Next time I will only oil the cuts as there was so much pulled from each half that the little seasoning I applied was completely lost. Next time, I will oil, bake, then strand the squash. Once I've raked out what I want, I will then season the strands making sure that everything gets covered evenly. The flavor did try to overwhelm my sauce as it was. A bit more consistency with the salt over the squash should fix that.

I baked at 350 for 45 minutes. This returned a very al dente type of texture. Probably too much. I'll go at least an hour next time. Even that may not be enough of a cook time, and I prefer al dente.

I will definitely do this again. Half a spaghetti squash produced 4 servings, give or take. I do not know how this handles with reheating, but will find out tonight probably.

If you have a good sauce, this should be an excellent and healthier option to enriched pasta.



Doing my home made spaghetti sauce today. I just browned the ground beef, red onion, bell pepper, and a few other odds and ends. The sauce is simmering now. Will add pinot noir in a bit and let it sit for the afternoon. Tonight, will try to bake a spaghetti squash instead of pasta. We'll see it that goes.
Hmmmm, bit worried about ďodds and endsĒ.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Hmmmm, bit worried about ďodds and endsĒ.
just muh spice measurements
no LCD LSD was used in the making of my spaghetti. not this spaghetti, at least.




dangit! where is @Chypmunk to call me out on those things!!!



ďSugar is the most important thing in my lifeÖĒ
I love how the table is setup with all the labels, except Carolinaís own cola. No free ads!



ďSugar is the most important thing in my lifeÖĒ
And it looks like a little Westie! I think Jaydee(babygroot avatar) is another MoFo with Westies in their life.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
And it looks like a little Westie! I think Jaydee(babygroot avatar) is another MoFo with Westies in their life.
that would be the CEO of the office! Not my dog.