Cooking (not the Gift)

General discussions, named after our Out of Character gathering point in our game.

Re: Cooking (not the Gift)

Postby Tim » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:13 am

This is one I like to use during the week when I don't want to spend more than about 30m cooking.

Quick and Easy Sausage-Tomato-Pasta Thing

~ 12-16oz sausage, cooked as you prefer, cut into 1/2" chunks
~ 6 oz. pasta of your preference (I use spaghetti)
cheese for topping: I find dry, hard cheeses (grated) work best, like romano or parmesan, but you could do slices of fresh mozzarella to good effect too

1 can (~14-16oz) of fire roasted tomatoes (or roast your own)
3-4 cloves of garlic (minced, sliced or crushed as you prefer)
1/4-1/3 cp. chopped red or white onion
2-3 Tbspns. olive oil
Dried basil, salt, and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper to your heat preference
2-3 sliced roasted piquillo peppers (these are usually packed in an oil and available at most stores with other canned peppers and olives, etc.)

1. Heat the olive oil in a small (1-1.5qt.) saucepan. Add in garlic, onions, and crushed red pepper, and cook until the garlic is browned and the onion is translucent and/or beginning to brown.
2. Add in the can of fire roasted tomatoes (and piquillos if you're using them). Stir until well combined, and be sure to get any garlic that's stuck to the bottom of the saucepan loose.
3. After the sauce is heated through, add the basil, salt, and pepper to taste.
4. Simmer for ~ 10m.

Cook the sausage however you like to. If you're going for barbeque, cook it whole and cut it up once it's done. If your barbeque will cook it while the sauce simmers, do that, otherwise I'd suggest doing it first and then storing it in foil while you do the rest.
If you need a quick method for stovetop sausage cooking:
1. If you bought a freshly made sausage, slit the casings and remove it, and break it up into ~1/2" chunks. If it's a precooked type, leave the casing on and cut it into pieces.
2. Fill a skillet with ~1/2" of water. Heat the water on medium-high heat until it's close to boiling (small bubbles forming).
3. Put in the sausage. Cook it in the water, turning frequently, until the water is completely evaporated and the meat is heated through (~10-15m, depending on the amount of sausage).

Boil the pasta as you would normally.

Plate the pasta, put the sausage over it, then top with sauce, and if you're using it, sprinkle with cheese.
For mozzarella I suggest very thin slices and assemble the whole thing in an overproof dish so you can broil the cheese until it's bubbly (or brown if you like it crispy).
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Re: Cooking (not the Gift)

Postby Nargalsius » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:45 am

Banana Pudding (the real way)

2 cups scalded milk (right before it boils)

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
¼ tsp salt
Mix the above together in a heavy pan. Slowly add hot milk to dry ingredients, stirring the whole time so it doesn’t get lumpy. Back on stove, stirring the whole time, until it boils (thickens). Remove from heat, leave stove on.

3 egg yolks (seperated and beaten). Add about a cup of hot mix, stirring real fast the entire time. Add this to rest of pot, stirring the whole time. Back onto heat and boil again, remove once it boils again.

½ stick of margarine and 1.5 tsp vanilla. Mix, set aside until butter melts and let cool (can set pot in sink full of cool water for this to speed it up). Dish out with layers of 'Nilla wafers and sliced bananas.

At end, make sure to cover bananas real good.

Double or triple as req’d.
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Re: Cooking (not the Gift)

Postby Skoll » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:51 am

Praline Bacon

Only because I made this a little while ago and it was AWESOME!

Thick cut bacon
Brown Sugar
Walnuts or Pecans

You'll need the nuts very finely pulverized, so you'll need a food processor. Or, if you don't have one, like I do, put them in a bag and beat the crap out of them with a hammer. Then mix it with the brown sugar (in the processor or otherwise) until you have a fine grain.
Next take a baking sheet (with some sort of lip around it) and set a baking rack atop it (or metal cooling rack. Anything that will keep the bacon off the sheet)
Set the over to 400 degrees, and bake the bacon until they are ALMOST done. You'll probably have to babysit them to do this. They should still look kind of pink, but much more shriveled than originally. I suggest just taking the cooling rack out and setting it on paper towel, since depending on how fatty the bacon was the baking sheet may be full of melted bacon grease. Before the bacon cools, sprinkle a healthy amount of the sugar/nut mixture onto it, patting it down lightly to create a coating. Pop it all back into the oven for another few minutes, until, when you check again, the sugar has melted to form a sort of crust.
Remove, let cool, and enjoy. It tastes like heaven, or more accurately, lean bacon pieces covered in maple syrup. Mmm Mmm.
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Frankenstein Bread

Postby Shell » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:02 pm

Have leftover mashed potatoes? How about some cheese that's beginning to think for itself? Make bread! I call this Frankenstein Bread because I ended up combining two recipes to make this one.

This is (obviously) a bread-machine recipe, so if you want to create it by hand you'll need to tweak the directions. It also ended up being VERY BIG AMOUNT OF DOUGH, so either cut the amount of starter or potato, or do what I do, and mix the dough in the robot and finish baking in the oven. This is nominally for a 2 lb loaf.

1/2 c milk
1 Tbsp butter
1 1/4 c sourdough starter
2/3 c cooked potato, mashed (I probably ended up using more like 1 1/3 c)
3 oz cheese (I used cream cheese & cheddar)
2 1/2 c bread flour
1 1/2 c rye flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp gluten
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Add the ingredients to your bread robot in the order suggested by your manual (usually all the wet, then all the dry, and the yeast at the very end). If creating in the robot, turn it on and walk away. Yay, you're done!

If you are creating a "real" loaf, at the end of the dough cycle dump the dough out onto a clean flexible cutting mat and work out some of the bubbles and the robot's blade's cavern. Place into a loaf pan (or two, if you have that much dough), seam-side down. Proof for 20-30 minutes, or until not quite doubled.

Preheat oven to 450. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, or until you think it's done, or until a thermometer promises the bread's insides are between 205-210.
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