Monday, July 28, 2008
While reading the hazards, yet again, of drinking Diet Sodas I decided to research brewing up some homemade fresh iced tea.
This recipe turned out with a good tea flavor but without the bitterness that I normally find in tea.
I have made this recipe a few times now as well as I have halved the recipe with good results.
For 2 quarts:
2 1/4 cups water
6 regular sized tea bags
6 cups cold water
Bring the 2 1/4 cups water to a low boil. Add your tea bags, remove from the heat and cover. Steep for 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bags without squeezing them. (Recipe stated this would add bitterness). Pour into a 2 1/2 quart heatproof container, add the 6 cups of cold water and mix. Cool at room temperature and then refrigerate.
For sweetened tea, add 1 1/2 cups sugar.
Recipe: The Best of Fine Cooking, Weekend Cooking, page 49
I did not add the sugar.
Oh and please be careful with the tea bags as I had a brief moment with the tea bags being involved in a "thermal event". After I dropped them in the pan, the gas stove caught the stringy tags on fire and there was what a small panic. What fun would cooking be without flames? Toasty iced tea anyone?
Posted by Melissa Clifford at 5:59 PM
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Rich, golden, fabulous, dish-perfecting stock. This is the stock ingredients just before I covered with water. I wanted to be able to give you a birds-eye view (haa, no pun intended) of the mixture.
One 4 pound chicken, roasted, cleaned and meat removed
-I roasted the chicken in the morning, picked the meat off and saved for other meals. It was too sad to just toss that good pile of chicken bones, so I made a stock. It's so easy, it gets you another couple of meals out of that one chicken and the stock enhances your dishes nicely.
- Those 3 ingredients are called "Mirepoix" in French cooking. The holy trinity. In fact, many cuisines/cultures have a trinity. Like Greeks use olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. Chinese use scallions, ginger and garlic. There's too many to list! Don't be afraid to use celery leaves too, they are very flavorful.
Flat-leaf parsley, fat chopped or torn
Garlic, fat chopped
Black Peppercorns, whole
Cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, scrape any scum that comes to the top and then drop to a simmer. I let this one simmer about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Turned off the heat and let it cool off somewhat. Poured the stock through a strainer catching the juices beneath. I let cool, refrigerated it for about 2 hours and removed the fat on top. I then froze in smaller containers. This made about 8 cups of stock.
I've made my own stock before but have always simmered much longer. This version came out a rich golden color and has a nice mild flavor. I think it will be queen in a few recipes!
Posted by Melissa Clifford at 7:15 AM
Monday, July 14, 2008
Do you ever go to your favorite grocery or gourmet store and just find EVERYTHING you want? The local one here is so good, so fresh and has all of my favorite foods. Wait, aren't all foods my favorite?
This was one of those visits where you grab this, that, and, "Oooo that will be great to eat!". This can be both good and bad. Good because you are buying fresh foods and have a wonderful time in the kitchen, but bad because there are only 24 hours in a day to cook. Even if I think I can cook 24 hours a day, I should save some of the produce for the other customers. Sad.
On this excusion I bought some fresh corn which I decided to shuck and roast directly on the grill.
I melted butter with a touch of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and chili powder. I chose the chili powder over the cayenne because I wanted smokey heat instead of spicy heat. I grilled this over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Rolled them around a bit and basted them with the butter mixture.
As I cut the corn off the cobs there were a couple of escaped kernels that needed to be snacked on. Sampling is a big part of cooking around here. EE-YEAH! The corn was great! I want to do this more often. Also having the ease of fresh grilled corn for recipes during the next couple of days was a big bonus.
Posted by Melissa Clifford at 7:10 PM