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View Diary: What's for Dinner? v.5.37 - Spring has Sprung! (233 comments)

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  •  No apology necessary;) (11+ / 0-)

    I love meat too! It's just been a focus of mine lately to reduce the amount of "meat-centric" meals and since I had some good recipes & pics handy from my efforts it made it very easy to throw together a diary on short notice.

    I wish the weather here would warm up more 'cause I've been craving grilled burgers!

    For small web design needs try Golden Mean

    by ninkasi23 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:09:21 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  mmmmmmmm, burgers (9+ / 0-)

      I have some burgers wrapped and frozen, ready for their turn on the grill. I buy a big piece of chuck, and grind it myself (using the grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer, which works quite well). Formed into patties, individually wrapped, and flash frozen. Yeah, it's labor-intensive, but well worth it for the results. No additives, extenders, etc. Just pure beef, grilled quickly on the highest heat I can crank up. Buns (often but not always home-made), toppings (last summer we had home-made pickles, looking forward to making some more of those!).

      Resident Palin - even if she did take up residency in the White House in 2012, it's too painful to use the "P" word combined with her name

      by lotac on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:20:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm so jealous (6+ / 0-)

        If I had the means I would totally grind my own!

        What recipe do you use for home-made buns? That's something I would also love to do!

        Oh, and speaking of homemade toppings I was reading a great article just recently on making homemade sauerkraut and there were some great variations on flavors. It was in the March issue of Food & Wine. I'll have to see if they have the recipes online;)

        For small web design needs try Golden Mean

        by ninkasi23 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:35:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Buns (8+ / 0-)

          For my home-made buns, I generally use a standard recipe for a whole-wheat sandwich loaf. It just comes down to a matter of shaping into rolls rather than a loaf. And forcing them down to a flatter shape rather than rounded rolls (flatten then without losing all the air that makes the nice crumb texture).

          Resident Palin - even if she did take up residency in the White House in 2012, it's too painful to use the "P" word combined with her name

          by lotac on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:40:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here is a way to cheat to make them. (7+ / 0-)

            Rhodes white dinner rolls are actually quite good, but NOT whole wheat.  To make hamburger buns from them, let them thaw in a greased pan until they are soft.  Then flatten each one until it is about the size of a bun, and grease another one on the mating surfaces.  Press them together until each looks like a partially risen bun, then let them rise until you think that they are ready.

            Put them into a pan (I prefer a glass one)  a 325 degree F oven until they are golden brown, then take them out and allow them to cool.  Since the two surfaces were greased, they will separate into top and bottom buns easily.

            Warmest regards,

            Doc

            Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

            by Translator on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:56:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I never considered baking home made buns (9+ / 0-)

        and I'm pretty much clueless on such things, but after making my first pie crust earlier this week I might consider it. I made the pie crust in my Cuisinart and I made some mistakes, but it was still flaky and delicious.

        A recipe for making homemade buns would be nice if you have time time to provide yours.

        After the pie crust, I'm up for a new challenge.

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:59:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not at my regular place right now (7+ / 0-)

          I don`t have access to my cookbooks and stuff at the moment so I can`t post a recipe right away.

          I bake bread pretty much constantly, and though it does require some time, I just like doing it. There`s nothing quite like the feeling of a fresh dough that you just know is going to end up being good bread. I do everything from buns, little bite-size things, bagels, ciabatta, Brioche, etc.

          And for pie dough, I`ve mentioned this in WFD a few weeks ago...I used to make the Julia Child pie dough from The Way to Cook for many years. Then Cook`s Illustrate (America`s Test Kitchen) came out with their so-called Foolproof pie dough that substitutes vodka for about half the water (actually end up using more liquid) and I`ve been using that ever since. The vodka reduces the formation of gluten (alcohol does not contribute to gluten, but evaporates during baking). I`ve been getting rave reviews for pie crust ever since.

          Resident Palin - even if she did take up residency in the White House in 2012, it's too painful to use the "P" word combined with her name

          by lotac on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:08:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sweetie, my SO and I have been doing the (8+ / 0-)

      same thing. It just seems everywhere we look, all the meal plans contain meat. I love making most meals without meat. Especially without fake meat.
      I love your diaries and also crave stoking up the grill...how about grilled portabellos?

      She who knows she has enough is rich My recipes @ Politicook

      by TX Scotia on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:38:00 PM PDT

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      •  I looooove portabellos! (7+ / 0-)

        I made some super tasty grilled 'bella "burgers" last time they had a good sale on at the grocery store. I made a pesto mayo and slathered both sides of the bun, topped with the grilled 'bellas then a nice slice of havarti and some leaf lettuce. Soooo good.

        For small web design needs try Golden Mean

        by ninkasi23 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:49:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I found some HUGE 'bellas a few days ago (6+ / 0-)

          I stuffed them with a spinach and cream cheese mixture, topped them with breadcrumbs and Mozzarella cheese.

          I used the Cuisinart to blend the cream cheese and spinach and I think I added some fresh Parmesan cheese.

          Anyway, they were delicious. And, they were also good when I reheated them in the microwave.

          The only thing I would do differently is to use the pastry blade in the Cuisinart to blend the ingredients.

          Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

          by Mr Robert on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:09:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Next time you find large bellas (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ninkasi23, Mr Robert, Cordelia Lear

            try making Portobella Parmigiano (sp?).  Same concept as chicken or egglplant parm, but using big bellas instead.  To prep the bellas, remove the stem and remove the gills (or not, whatever your preference).  Place the bellas cap side down on a baking sheet, drizzle generously with olive oil and top with minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Roast at 375 just until they start to soften, approx. 15 minutes (YMMV).  Remove from oven and top with your favorite tomato/marinara sauce and FRESH mozzerella, return to oven and continue roasting until the mushrooms are cooked through and the cheese is melted.

            Unbelievably delicious.

            I am the real TigerMom. My UID proves it! That poser is sullying my good name!

            by TigerMom on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:56:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've bookmarked this and will try it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TigerMom, Cordelia Lear, ninkasi23

              the next time I find the really big ones.

              I was actually thinking about serving the stuffed mushrooms on a layer of marinara sauce the last time.

              For some reason the things just seem to cry out for marinara sauce. So I'll be sure not to leave it out next time.

              Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

              by Mr Robert on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 12:08:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I bought a new Weber Kettle Grill last Fall (10+ / 0-)

      and it's still sitting in the box waiting for me to assemble it.

      The weather here in the Central Sierra Foothills of Northern California is very mixed so I'm going to hold off for two or three weeks before I assemble it.

      I also purchased a Weber smoker to replace a Brinkman smoker that I've owned for several years. It's been sitting, unassembled of course, at my mothers since it arrived last Fall.

      Basically, Winter set in before I was able to use either of these new purchases. Or, perhaps it was just an excuse to put off assembling them.

      At any rate, I will soon run out of excuses and while I'm not particularly keen on doing the assembly I'll manage.

      One the other hand, once they are assembled and ready to fire up I'll be raring to go and I'll have a lot to learn with the kettle grill. I've used my Brinkman smoker many times, but the Weber is more or less new to me.

      The only thing I regret is buying the larger Weber. I think the smaller one would be closer to meeting my needs, but I guess it's too late to change my mind now.

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:43:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enjoy your Weber this summer (8+ / 0-)

        I know what it`s like to stare out the window in winter and wish I was grilling. I`m sure you will be out there cooking up a storm in no time.

        For my Weber kettle grill, I bought the extender ring that raises the lid up several inches, and also supports a rotisserie spit and motor. I don`t often use the rotisseris on this grill (I do that on a big gas Weber grill though). But the extender ring is really good when doing something like a beer can chicken, or several racks of ribs sitting upright in a ribs holder...just to keep the lid higher and not touching the food.

        Resident Palin - even if she did take up residency in the White House in 2012, it's too painful to use the "P" word combined with her name

        by lotac on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:00:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know about the extender in my case (5+ / 0-)

          I have the brand new Weber smoker and I think that's my best bet when it comes to doing my ribs. I liked my Brinkman smoker a lot, but it was getting pretty old and the pans were a mess. So I bought the Weber smoker to replace it.

          Generally, I do 1/2 chickens and ribs in the smoker and have also done a duck or two as I recall.

          My mother's neighbor has a big Weber kettle and sometimes uses it to smoke a turkey, but I think I'll stick with the new Weber smoker. Besides, I have no intention of trying to smoke a darn turkey.

          Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

          by Mr Robert on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:16:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You sound like my mother's next door neighbor (4+ / 0-)

          He has two smokers--one is gas the other is charcoal fired--and in addition he has a big Weber kettle and a gas fired grill. And, believe it or not he's just cooking for himself and a girlfriend and holds the occasional party.

          I only cook for myself and my mother so I just can't justify investing in all that equipment. And if I did, I wouldn't have any place to keep it.

          Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to firing up the Weber kettle for the first time.

          Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

          by Mr Robert on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:25:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do love my toys (5+ / 0-)

            Inside and out, kitchen toys, grilling toys, toys, toys toys!!!

            But seriously though. I have the Weber kettle grill, a big honkin`Weber gas grill with the most BTU power they make for home use, and a high-BTU standalone propane burner with a huge wok.

            There have been (just a few) times when I`ve had them all going at once for group eating, but usually one of the toys gets used for one purpose in a single meal.

            I did have a smoker at one point, but don`t have one now. Last summer I started doing Montreal style smoked brisket in the Weber kettle. Oh damn, I`m hungry again!

            Resident Palin - even if she did take up residency in the White House in 2012, it's too painful to use the "P" word combined with her name

            by lotac on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:41:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You can use your Weber kettle as a smoker (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ninkasi23, Cordelia Lear

            I've done this, it works, and you don't have to buy extra equipment.

            Here's what to do:

            Place a single layer of charcoal in the bottom of the kettle and fire it up.  When the coals are hot, divide them in half and push each half to opposites sides of the kettle.  Take a disposable aluminum pan that is large enough to fit in between the separated charcoal, and place it in the center between the hot coals.  Whatever you're smoking should be placed directly over the aluminum pan.  Put a small amount of water in the pan (this helps prevent flare ups and "greasy" smoke from any drippings.)  Put your preferred smoking wood over the hot coals, put the lid on, vent ever so slightly and smoke your food until the desired doneness is reached, adding more hot coals as necessary to maintain smoke and temperature.

            Give it a try.

            I am the real TigerMom. My UID proves it! That poser is sullying my good name!

            by TigerMom on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 10:07:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I LOVE my Weber Kettle Grill! (7+ / 0-)

        Just do a dry run before you cook.  I mean, start the charcoal in the bottom, let it get ready, and put on the lid with all vents (bottom and top) open.  That will cook off all of the factory residues that are not good to eat, and are also actually sort of smelly.  The second time that you crank it up, it will be perfect!

        I recommend using "lump" charcoal, not briquettes for several reasons. I shall go into that with my May installment here.  I also have found that a propane torch is the very best instrument to light the charcoal.  Ask me if you need more information.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

        by Translator on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:01:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's very interesting considering that (4+ / 0-)

          Weber recommends that you use briquettes and avoid "lump" charcoal.

          I always used lump mesquite charcoal in the Brinkman smoker and loved it. I used the Lazarus lump charcoal and got great results. Once I got it started, which was the hardest part, it worked great and imparted a good flavor to my chicken and ribs.

          As far as the first firing business is concerned, that sounds like excellent advice. I remember the first time I fired up my self-cleaning gas oven and the fumes nearly drove me out of the house.

          Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

          by Mr Robert on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:31:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Regardless of what Weber says, (5+ / 0-)

            I prefer lump charcoal.  Now, the mesquite kind is very "hot", so that may be what they meant.  In my experience, lump oak and hickory is wonderful for cooking fast cuts with the lid off, and fine for cooking chicken halves with the lid on it.

            There is little waste with lump charcoal.  When I used briquettes, I would have to take out the ashes twice a month.  Since I switched to lump, is has been two years and only now do I need to dispose of them.  Try it and tell us what you think.

            Warmest regards,

            Doc

            Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

            by Translator on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:37:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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