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Original Message
"OTCC: tribe's whims"

Posted by tribephyl on 12-02-11 at 07:12 AM
LAST EDITED ON 12-02-11 AT 07:15 AM (EST)

Holey Cheese Crisp! Whence signing up for this I had NO IDEA how many talented, creative and amazing (and funny) (and resourceful) "chefs" we have here at RTVW.
And more and more of them, MOST importantly, doing it with Passion.
Which is why I call you chefs.
Anyone can cook, those that do it with passion are chefs.

I must state that I have spent over 20+, passion-filled, years in the "hospitality industry" (sorry, not revealing age at this time); seen, created, managed and engaged in countless "special moments" and "one-of-a-kind events"; Cooked or Served for Family (and friend) holiday dinners for 30, weddings for 400, Revowals for 2, Business luncheons for 1000, 100th birthdays for hundreds of foodies and just me and my tribemate (including tribepups) campfire goodies.
Strangely, I am more nervous now then I have ever been in my life.
I have had roughly 8 months to plan a menu for this occasion and I have had the roughest time.
In between my desire to stray away from what has already been presented by other OTCCchefs and deciding if I should flex some kitchen-muscle or go with what I know (Which includes tons of experimenting)...
I decided to go with...


Just kidding.

Truthfully, I've decided to focus on what it is I do for my nearest and dearest, with splashes and dashes of the degree that I go to to impress those who have opinions.
Admittedly, my percentage of raves is remarkably higher than are my detractors, however any alterations (outside of those noted) are encouraged. And of course, your opinions count too.
You have to make it worth your while, your time and your palates.

Special Thanks, Favorite Things and Recipes

Special Thanks:
My mother: has never been a good cook but her baking? OMG!
My father: was a hunter, a farmer and a man not afraid of trying new things. (Or making his son try new things either.)
Armandino Batali: funny, endearing, amazing salumier, familyman, personality and unknowing inspiration. May you reach 192 years old. (6 years longer than he predicts himself)... Please check out his Salumi Shop. Located in Seattle, WA; His cured meats are AMAZING. A lunch line 3 blocks long EVERY day.
Tom Douglas, Traci Des Jardins, Gary Danko, Marc Cohen, Craig Hetherington, Robert Price: 6 influential chefs whom have made their impression whether through mission, personality, worksmanship, creativity and/or passion. For me, it's all tied up in these folks.
If you ever find yourself in their hood (admittedly all west coast locations) please check out their homes (aka restaurants).
tribemate: admittedly not always on target but always willing (and passionate) about trying to flex his culinary muscles. However, this guy has the palate of a wizard. When I am stumped, he somehow comes up with the answer.
tribe: Garlic, shallot, basil, thyme, carrot, onion and... possibly lemon?
tribemate: Nope. Sorrel.

Favorite Things:
Okay, I must preface the first Favorite Thing with an unsubstantiated rumor. It has been stated (even by multiple witnesses) that I have said that "If I could, I would replace my blood with this..."
1. Cheese~ Delice de Pommard: It is a cheese ball. A fresh, triple cream, cow's milk cheese; buttery and creamy in both flavor and texture. "Rinded" with mustard seed husks, adding just the right "pang" into each and every bite.
2. Salami ~ Finocchiona From Aramandino Batali's 'Salumi' shop it is a pork salami cured with peppercorns, fennel seeds and a hint of curry. (Just the addictive qualities of curry not really a lot of the flavor. Go figure.)
amazing with the delice from above and between some toasted bread.
3. Salami ~ Mole: Another salami from Salumi, incorporating pork, chocolate, cinnamon and chili into the mix. Making the most mouth watering experience in recent memory.
To preface the next few Favorite Things; I am a practicer of "everything in moderation" except when it come to these things...
4. Vinegar ~ Perel Late Harvest Reisling Vinegar: Every vinegar is made with grape juice. This is just from a much "sweeter" grape to start with. I use dashes and splashes of this on nearly everything... Salads, Grilled Veggies, Drunken Mushrooms, IceCream... I've even made a chocolate vinegar cake with this vinegar and ...oh my googlies... it. was. amazing.
5. Olive Oil ~ Coming from the California Olive Ranch in Oroville, CA., I have fallen hard for the single varietal, Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Much like the vinegar above, I use it often. I marinade in it, I fry in it and I confit with it. I even sip it and drizzle it on desserts. The flavor is amazing with a definite touch of sweet.

Recipes: A total of 4. Nibble, Nosh, Bite and Bit.
Bon Apetit!

Nibble: Kale Chips
Traditionally I am a salt versus sweet guy. I love my sweets mind you, but I usually head back for and crave the salty snacks.
I present the following recipe because they're a LOT better than they sound. As in; You'll have to call them something else for the kids and anti-greens husbands. But they'll like 'em.

Kale, for those unfamiliar, is a large 'bitter' green, like chard, mustard and collard.
High in all sorts of mins and vits, usually the bane of any family to integrate into the family diet.
However, with the prep and additions added below, they ended up being the surprise hit at a 4th of July party with family, friends and neighbors.
Granted, it is California that I reside, so it's not uncommon for the locals to enjoy such "snacks". But it must be mentioned that even the out of towners asked for the recipe.

Turn oven to 350degreesF.
Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

1 bunch Kale, Remove the thick ribs by cutting down each side of the leaf.
Pile the leaves and chop into 2inch-ish square-ish shapes.
Toss in large bowl with 1+ tablespoons olive oil. (Perfect time to grab the "Arbequina". )
Adding more oil as needed. Keeping in mind we don't want saturation we want lighty oiled leaves. If it's too oily it will wilt, we want crispy.

In a seperate small bowl mix roughly;
1/2 teaspoon paprika, (I used a smoked paprika)
1/4 teaspoon salt, (SeaSalt)
1/4 teaspoon pepper, (You can play with the "spicness" by adding red pepper, chilli, cayenne or chipotle. I actually used 'grains of paradise' but I was being froofy. White pepper could be good too.)
1/2 teaspoon Herbs de Provence (A mix of Basil, Thyme, Savory, Rosemary, Sage and Lavender.)
1/4 cup (scant) grated parmesan cheese, (I grated my own, I encourage you to do the same. Flavor is everything and the flour usually hidden in prepackaged grates prevents the 'real' browning effect we'll be seeking.)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, (If you only have garlic salt then don't use the salt from above.)

Sprinkle this mixture in batches over the 'lightly' oiled kale and toss, sprinkle and toss, sprinkle and toss.
Once all the kale has bits of the spice/cheese mixture clinging to them, arranged on the large cookie sheet.
Spacing them out so there is a bit of airflow between the kale pieces.
Place in the oven and bake until the the edges have browned. Mind you it will be a dark brown, which is very close to black.
Small bits of black here and there are great, too black and they start to resemble eating ashes.
Somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes.
Great when hot, but after a couple of minutes they get crispier.
I've even premade some and stored them in a ziploc for a day. (They were supposed to last two days, but they were gone before the full experiment on freshness longevity could be done.)

Nosh: Hot Pink Beets
Always a conversation starter upon reveal and frankly, I'm told to make it every time any of my friends have get togethers.
So one-night I taught them all how. Now they don't bug me to make it for them any more.

Start with...
2 cloves garlic (or 1 shallot) fine diced.
4 large beets, chopped into 1/2in squares.

Over medium-high stove heat, drizzle olive oil (yes, the arbequina) into a pan, roughly two tablespoons.
Toss in garlic and sweat.
Once translucent add the diced beets.
try to get a good "sear" on each of the pieces.
7 or so minutes later, once the sear is done, turn the heat to Medium and add...

2 tablespoons of a light vinegar or wine. (White, Rice, Champagne or the preferred Late Harvest Reisling.)
Then cover.
Let "steam" for 7 or so minutes. Fork tender is the goal. Not falling apart.
If the vinegar has boiled off just add wine or water, more vinegar will "pickle" them more than is desired.
Once tender, add...
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 cup of sour cream.
Upon stirring you'll see the white mix with the dark purple and create a bright pink. And they'll be spicy. Hence the Hot Pink Beets name.

Bite: Homemade Ricotta Gnudi
Gnudi always brings a smile to my face. The word is funny and is blush-inducing, the "pasta" is exactly what gnocci wants to be; light, fluffy, packed with flavor.
This recipe is also great for vegetarians. NOT VEGANS. 6 to 8 Gnudi is a good-sized meal. But even better as a side dish for us Carnivores.
To begin with, you'll notice I did say homemade. That includes the ricotta and the gnudi
The basics for this recipe are below but I encourage exploring alternate flavor mixes.

For Ricotta:
Needs; 1 large sieve, a fine-meshed cloth (read low thread count cotton napkin or multiple layers of storebought "cheesecloth"), a large bowl.
Place cloth in sieve and place sieve in bowl. Or create your own curd-catching | whey-removal system. (I believe I used an antique potato ricer and a series of papertowels my first time.)
1 large pot. On the stove at medium heat.
Add into the pot...
2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (Fresh is always better, not to mention those little squeezy plastic lemons contain approximately 5% juice in what's actually in there. It's amazing what chemistry can create.)

Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Add the lemon juice, reduce heat to low and while stirring constantly, simmer until the mixture 'curdles', roughly 3 or so minutes.
Pour the curds into the cloth lined sieve and let it drain into the large bowl. Let sit for an hour and then start the Gnudi.

As a side note. I have added some orange juice to the ricotta and it's an amazing salad accompaniment. I've added nutmeg, cinnamon and clove and spooned it into some baked apples. I've mixed it into pancakes.
I eat it with fruit. It's delicious homemade. And pretty darned easy.

For Gnudi:
Needs, 1 large pot, 2 quarts water, on the stove heating to a boil.
Slotted spoon for gnudi retrieval. *giggle*

1 cup homemade ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup fresh chopped basil leaves
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks (I often freeze the whites for use in cakes, waffles and omelets)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup flour, (plus more for later coating)

Grab a large bowl and mix together the ricotta, basil, parmesan, salt, pepper, eggs, yolks and flour.
Form the mixture into egg-shaped ovoids, drop into flour and roll to coat.
Dust off excess flour and set aside, continue until all dough is gone.

Now, before we get to actually cooking I would like mention that I learned how to make gnudi differently than I just taught you.
So additions/substitutions can be made. remove basil and add 1lb chopped spinach or chopped arugula. I've added blue cheese and served them with filets.
Cardamom, Cinnamon and Anise Gnudi in a scallion/onion brodo with purple basil pesto. The point being, add your flavors and match your sauce.

To finish gnudi... In batches, toss floured gnudi into boiling water.
And as with all fresh pastas once they float they are done.

For Sauce: Ultimately it's up to you. But for this recipe I chose a simple caprese styled dish and all thats missing is the tomatoes.
Diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Saute til tomatoes start to fall apart.
Place Gnudi on dish, spoon on tomato sauce. Shake on some parm.
And drizzle with a bit of late-harvest reisling vinegar reduction (with a pinch of sugar) cooked until syrupy. Or Balsamic syrup is good too. Ooo and some toasted pinenuts. Yeah, that's it.

Bit: Passionfruit Tart
And don't I feel foolish choosing this sweet to end with. Though I'm pretty sure mine and nutzs taste nothing alike.
I chose Passionfruit because I actually have three prolific passionfruit vines bordering my garden and they have started dropping their fruit.
Passionfruit, for those unfamiliar, is a red to purple colored, hard but giving rind with thick pith surrounding a mass of seeds in juice pockets.
Sliced open the fruits seeds are dark green surrounded by the bright orange juice pocket.
The seeds need to be strained to scar the pockets and release the juice.
All in all 1 passionfruit does not carry a lot of juice. (The juice however has tons of flavor.)
I recently harvested nearly 100 passionfruit and ended up with nearly 3 cups of juice.
1 cup of which will be used for the following recipe.
The tart itself is a variation on a lemon 'curd' tart. But with the overall tartness of passionfruit I figured it would be a great substitute. (My only worry was what effect the citric acid had on the whole thing. Come to find out, the filling can be made with any juice.)

I'm starting with the filling because the timing of the whole tart.
Oh and preheat your oven to 350 degreesF.

For the Passionfruit filling:
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup passionfruit juice

Blend ingredients together and set aside.

Now, with my starting flavor being passionfruit I wanted a shortbread crust that complemented the flavor.
This is where I write the basic recipe for shortbread...
3 parts flour, 2 parts butter, 1 part sugar.
Here is where I list the ingredients I ended up using...

For Shortbread Crust:
1/4 cup macadamia nut butter
1 1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Orange zest
Chopped Cashews

Mix flours, sugars, cardamom and orange zest together.
Microwave butter until melted, stir in macadamia nut butter, coconut oil until well blended. (and has cooled down quite a bit.)
Add together with flour mixture and chopped cashews until all wet ingredients are absorbed and dough starts falling off the sides of the bowl.
Press dough into 2 8/9in baking pans, making sure to leave a lip around the edge to help contain the filling.

Put shortbread pans into oven and "par-bake", approximately 10 minutes, till dry but not browned at all.
Give a quick mix to the filling and then pour into warm shortbreads. Place back in the oven and bake for 20ish minutes.
Til the center loses it jellyness.
Let cool for at least 1/2 an hour. Tribemate usually cant wait that long. So I usually have to dust it with powdered sugar with a large slice missing.

Well, that's it.
So, now it's time for the Apologies, Product Bashing and Thanks.

My Apologies:
Sorry, for making it so long. (Although those that know know I am wordy)
Sorry, for not including pictures. (My talents lie elsewhere?)
Sorry, no meat dishes. (Coming from a carnivore it surprises me too.)
Sorry, for pounding the Last-Harvest Reisling Vinegar and Arbequina Olive Oil down your throats. (Although I can think of many worse poundings.)

Product Bashing:
I hate to say it but the following products are no longer on my Favorite Things list.
IZZE fruit sodas. Used to be Sparkling water with the actual juice from the label inside each and every bottle. Now on the ingredients the actual flavor on the front of the bottle is listed 4th.
Scharffenberger chocolate. Hershey's has definitely put their company spin on what USED to be a fine chocolatiers small clatch of artesian candies. No longer worthy. Thanks for ruining it Hershey.
sliders. Mini-burgers are for children, and it doesn't help to further the case that they are also for adults when you take a single burger patty and cut it in four pieces. Don't get me wrong, I've had good one's but I've had better bigger burgers.

To all of those whom see fit to try one of these recipes and get a great result from it.
To all of those whom take the basics and run their own flavor takes on it. I did it, you should too.
For listening and including me in the OTCC with open arms (and hopefully open mouths.)
For reading this far. (Really, I'm done now.)

From Gnudi to Nudie! WooHoo!

Table of contents

Messages in this discussion
"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by thndrkttn on 12-02-11 at 10:58 AM
Well, that was an INTRESTING read! I had no idea you were such an accomplished chef! You put a lot of effort into that post and while your recipes are definitely out of the norm for the OTCC (never a bad thing!!!), you brought them back to center with very detailed instructions and substitutions so as not to be intimidating.

I will be making at least two of these and I will be posting pictures. The gnudi sounds perfect for an afternoon of cooking with DH.

Thanks tribe!

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by Puffy on 12-02-11 at 01:48 PM
TKit, you posted,"The gnudi sounds perfect for an afternoon of cooking with DH." I don't cook much, so gnudi sounds like a perfect afternoon, to me. I like saying that.

gnudi gnudi gnudi


Agman spins my dreidel

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 04:08 AM
perfect afternoon cooking sounds with The gnudi DH.

There, fixed that for ya'!

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by Tummy on 12-02-11 at 11:00 AM

I will be making the Hot Pink Beets to take to my first Bunco get together this weekend.

I make the kale chips on a regular basis and love them.

The Gnudi and probably the tart will have to wait until I get home after Christmas.

I like sliders - not a burger patty cut into fourths. But I love the little bitty patties on little bitty buns with a plethora of toppings to pick from. Especially if there's spicy fry sauce to put on them!

And welcome to OTCC - you've started with a bang!

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 04:18 AM
Don't get me wrong. I know good sliders can be found. Certainly not everywhere that sliders are served.
In fact the percentages of good to bad burgers versus good to bad sliders proves that the probability of getting a good burger anywhere is much easier than getting a good slider anywhere.

This of course is all personal taste and location. It would be a lucky thing to have a great slider restaurant in the hood alas it is not for my present residence. Good Burgers? At least 7 super yummy places close by.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-02-11 at 11:21 AM
You sure will class up the Qwerty household with these recipes.

And I can't wait to see Mr. Qwerty's face when I give him the shopping list.

But most importantly, I am looking forward to stetching my palate and culinary skills whatever the results may be.

On side note: Could you adopt me? I don't take up much room, honest.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by Tummy on 12-02-11 at 12:41 PM
On side note: Could you adopt me? I don't take up much room, honest.

That might not be the case if Tribe adopted you and fed you. *ducks

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-02-11 at 01:13 PM
So true.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by Puffy on 12-02-11 at 01:45 PM
Oops, I read your post as "looking forward to stretching my pants." I guess you'll be doing that, too, with these recipes.


Agman spins my dreidel

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 04:47 AM
You sure will class up the Qwerty household with these recipes.
Well, it certainly wouldn't be through my crass usage of the engrish ranguage.
Not to mention my sporadic spasms of turrets &^$&^$! *&%$&$(!.
Oops, my pants fell down.
Oh look, I have knees.

And I can't wait to see Mr. Qwerty's face when I give him the shopping list.
Hot Pink Beets? Is that a vegetable or a music CD?
Kale? That's gotta be like underwear or something. Oo maybe an olive oil?
Gnudi? This has to be a joke. Is there a camera around?
Passionfruit? What? This is not a shopping list. This is a very very strange love letter.

I am looking forward to stretching my palate and culinary skills whatever the results may be.
Mr.Q will be pleasantly surprised by your new found flexibility as well.

Could you adopt me? I don't take up much room, honest.
Yes, but...you gotta bring your own pillow, not be allergic to dogs and be able to tolerate a fair amount of fabulosity.

Posted by Snidget on 12-02-11 at 11:53 AM
I posted about the first time I made them, but I did use store bought ricotta.

So much fun to eat and to say.

"RE: Gnudi!!!"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 04:55 AM
ack, recipe #3 that has been posted before.
Jeez, it's like I wasn't paying attention at all.
Sorry 'bout that.

I'm now officially pushing the Hot Pink Beets only.

I love the Gnudi too. It's fun to sneak into conversations.
And the best thing is that it's basic recipe can be easily altered with spices, flavorings, veggies, greens, more cheese, salami, whatever. Then you get to make your matching/complementing sauce.
Gnudi is a primed canvas. Paint within and upon.

"RE: Gnudi!!!"
Posted by Snidget on 12-03-11 at 02:35 PM
Gnudi weren't an OTCC recipe, just showed up randomly one day on the local 24 hour news cooking spot (has some interesting bits as one of the culinary schools does some of the segments).

I was intrigued and asked if anyone knew about these things before making them.


If you want to check them out, there are some rather interesting recipes from time to time. The roasted eggplant rollups seem to be calling my name at this time.

"RE: Gnudi!!!"
Posted by thndrkttn on 12-03-11 at 04:15 PM
LAST EDITED ON 12-03-11 AT 04:19 PM (EST)

I didn't even have to click on the second link to know that it referenced Dan Eaton. News14 just showed the eggplant rollups Thursday or Friday. I cannot stand they way he talks. Creeps me out. HOWEVER, his idea of making raviolis with potsicker wraps was pretty darn cool.

"Holy Canoli CaGnudi!"
Posted by samboohoo on 12-02-11 at 12:05 PM
Very excited about this. I am thinking about making my braciole again for a get-together, and this would make an excellent side!

Samboobree, brought to life by Arkie

"RE: Holy Canoli CaGnudi!"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 05:08 AM
You will knock it out of the park.
The shapes will be similar which will give you lots of room to play off the flavors of each other. How fun. Can I come?

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by weltek on 12-02-11 at 12:06 PM

I made Kale chips earlier this year...interesting. Better than I'd thought.

I'm skipping the beets, as I'm not a beet person. If I have them, I'll just wait for someone else to make them for me. I'll be over this weekend for dinner.

I'm SO looking forward to the Gnudi! I remember Snidget posting about this and have always wanted to try it. We've made homemade mozzerella a few times, and used the leftover whey for ricotta. Sounds like a good holiday weekend plan.

The tart sounds amazing. I had my heart set on Boston Cream Pie for the holidays, but I think this tart might earn a spot somewhere, too.

-Handcrafted by RollDdice

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 05:23 AM
Not a beet person?
Then I will have to make them for you.
I'm kinda beholden to the kale chips and the hot-pink beets because they are foods that actually illicit powerful responses from people who "hate kale" or "loathe beets" but end up saying stuff like, if I knew this was how beets were supposed to taste I would eat them every day. Or Wow, Kale, I'm actually eating and enjoying Kale.
These dishes are 'converter's, in that minds will change after eating their preparations.
Try it, it won't kill ya. In fact, I can promise, you won't die after eating Hot Pink Beets.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-03-11 at 01:33 PM
And remember, if your pee is a strange colour, you are not dying, blame the beets

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by kingfish on 12-03-11 at 06:03 PM
Beets? I thought it was...well, nevermind. I am a bit deflated, though.

"Perfect Timing"
Posted by frodis on 12-02-11 at 12:16 PM
LAST EDITED ON 12-02-11 AT 04:16 PM (EST)

Game on, Tribe! These are going to be fun.

We have a weekly standing milk home delivery order. (Yes, I have a milkman who leaves glass bottles of milk on my doorstep.)

Last week, because of Thanksgiving, we were not home much and thus, the Little Fros did not consume the normal amount of milk that they usually would (which is A LOT because they only drink that and water.)

So when this week's milk bottles showed up there were already a few from last week in the fridge, and I had decided that I was finally going to make ricotta with the surplus. I hadn't gotten as far as what to do with the ricotta after I'd made it, yet.

So! I am happy to report that the ricotta is already in the cheesecloth, draining away. It was super super simple to make, obviously, since I managed to do it in about 20 minutes while on a work conference call and having both kids orbiting around me in the kitchen.

Yes, I already tweaked the recipe. (game ON!) I used skim milk because that's what I have. I did use heavy cream. I had to supplement the fresh lemon juice with some bottled because the two little wimpy lemons that I had in the fridge were not terribly juicy.

Also, after pouring the cheese into the cheesecloth/strainer, I tied the cheesecloth into a little bag and hung it from a spoon over the original pot to catch the drips. I had read (when researching ricotta-making previously) that the weight of the cheese unto itself promotes better draining.

Fair warning, I have no basil, so the gnudi are going to be made with something else. Not sure what, yet. Here's the cheese, in a bowl, resting in the fridge until I put together dinner this evening. It's about a cup of cheese. I assume that had I used whole milk, I may have gotten a greater amount of cheese, but I'm not sure.

I also saved the liquid drained off of the ricotta and am trying to determine whether I can do anything with it. (It's a little over 1.5 quarts of whey leftover.) Waffles?

(ETA: I used a cup of whey to make a loaf of bread. I poured the rest of it into jars and stashed them in the fridge and will figure out what to do with them later.)

Pictures to come soon. Have to find the camera cable. Found the cable.

Bobblefred by Tribe. Fred's snowed in by Agman

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by woeisme1 on 12-02-11 at 11:44 PM
I am so jealous of you having milk home delivered. Not terribly feasable in the islands though. But I do miss the home delivery.

Also I am jealous of your skills with said milk in such a short time. I will have to try the ricotta recipe to make my enchiladalasagna recipe in a couple weeks.

Nice pics, too, Frodis! Great job. And thanks Tribe for setting the bar so high that I am pondering my ability to contribute to OTCC

Agman made me pretty 2011

I agree in that I also consider the peeps here Chefs and am humbled by each new recipe and to some degree ashamed of my own skills. I really only create things that go in the oven mostly. I. am. a. baker.

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-03-11 at 01:52 PM
DUDETTE! I enjoy all the recipes even though the tough ones send me into panic attacks -- I think this one will rate up with the jaegarsnitzel (sp?) with spaetzle (again, sp?) and the homemade icecream (Mkitty's) that had swirling egg drops of doom for anxiety provoking.

I make all the recipes for the whole family at least once. The more complex ones will be made again for special occasions (ie when Mr. Qwerty and I actually get some time sans kids) and the easier ones get put into the rotation.

Whatever you want to throw on OTCC, it will be great and my family will be grateful.

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by woeisme1 on 12-04-11 at 02:42 AM
Thank you and frodis for the encouragement. I really was pondering whether or not to post anything when I have read all the OTCC recipes and how amazing all of you Chefs are and now Tribe with these recipes, I felt inadequate. I am a simple country girl and all my recipes are from generations of non-experimenters But every one of them is tastey.

So frodis, I will not be at all offended if you tweak them to fit you. I love that you use what you have and do the recipes anyway. I wait and go to the store as I am a dork like that, thinking I have to follow the recipes to the letter. And my presentation is never as pretty as all of yours (everyones) so I usually don't report back or take pictures. But I really had fun with the shortbread cookie bars and I will try to be a better participant in the future.

Agman made me pretty 2011

I am really curious, though, how long the homemade ricotta will last before I have to use it? Tribe?? I was thinking of making it next weekend to use the following weekend. And how long does the whey last in the fridge?

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-04-11 at 01:56 PM
Make room for me on the dork train! (I drive Mr. Qwerty nuts because I send him on scavenger hunts to find the ingredients exactly as posted.)
My reasoning (other than fear the recipe won't turn out) is that I want to experience the food exactly as the recipe poster does at least once

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by frodis on 12-03-11 at 03:27 PM
Oh, Woe, truly, anything goes for OTCC. Baking recipes are very welcome! All recipes are welcome! The only rule is to have fun!

Really, we've done great, simple weeknight quick meals and meals that have forced us into new techniques or new ingredients. (for me? Fish sauce was something I'd never bought or used before.) Personally I like them all because I need a variety of recipes in my pocket to cook dinner for the family every. single. day.

You'll be great when you're up. Just please don't be offended if when I change up your recipe. It's a sickness. I can't not do it.

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-03-11 at 03:53 PM
My favourite change up was how the veal parmesan turned into chocolate chip-blueberry muffins with cointreau reduction. Not an easy thing to do.
Yes, I am envious. I am not confident enough to do recipe substitutions. Yet

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 05:49 PM
I suffer the same sickness.
As is most evidenced by my Passionfruit tart recipe.
Starting with the basics I ended up substituting different fats for butter, different grains for texture and multiple ingredients for flavor. It is a sickness. I can't just leave something alone.
I love experimenting and working without recipes and measuring cups/spoons. I am totally a pinch of that, a little of this for that effect, kind of guy. I encourage it in others. You hath not offended by making alterations or updates. I swear.

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 05:34 AM
You rock! Thanks for the pics.
And the bagging of the curd is absolutely a useful (and predominately used) technique.
Please amend my original entry with the tricks Frodis is showing.

As far as additions for the gnudi. Spinach, Sausage, carmelized onions, mushrooms, ... Think of Ravioli interiors and expound from there. What type of ravioli is your favorite?

I've even reduced the size of the gnudi, then fried them (after the boil) to encourage a crusty exterior. Serving them with a couple of dipping sauces. Little Gnudi Bites.

"RE: Perfect Timing"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-03-11 at 06:37 PM
"little gnudi bites" *SNICKER!*

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by kingfish on 12-02-11 at 12:41 PM
The camera cable is always the weak link.

Pretty impressive, Tribe. And I think you hit on an idea for the future...and OTCC Game. Which, of course, would be right up your alley. Me? I'm the recogniser of good ideas that other people have guy.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by agman on 12-02-11 at 01:23 PM
I'm the recogniser of good
ideas that other people have
coat tail rider!. There, fixed that for you.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 05:50 AM
I know what's up my alley. And while I'm willing to game, I only play with losers.
Yes, did you hear the news?
oh wait.
that's right.
Okay, due to the fact that they just removed you from the LoserLodge 5 location, it's been stated that I should not hype a new season coming soon. Something about squatters rights?

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by kingfish on 12-03-11 at 06:06 PM
When they removed me, they couldn't break my death grip on my lizard lounge chair, so I have that as a memento.

Happy to hear the rumor that I think you just made up. I'm as squat as they come.

Posted by foonermints on 12-03-11 at 01:22 AM
Always Helpful!

No, I will not be making this. I copy it and encourage "someone else" to make it. Unfortunately *kicks Tribe* I am a far better cook than "she". *toots horn*

OK, I guess I'lll make it. Cooking may give me some relaxation.
Did I ever mention how much I like you?

"RE: Tribe.."
Posted by tribephyl on 12-03-11 at 05:51 AM
I have the bruises to prove it.

"What is Life?"
Posted by foonermints on 12-03-11 at 07:02 AM
Without a foonerkick?

You are the best.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-03-11 at 06:41 PM
Mr. Qwerty says to me "You know, we have a very nice Italian centre that sells ricotta cheese." I shot him a dirty look.

"Isn't He"
Posted by foonermints on 12-03-11 at 08:27 PM
Immune by now? Most men develop immunities to that after a few years.

Gone Viral with Moonbaby

"RE: Isn't He"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-03-11 at 11:53 PM
At least I only shot him a dirty look.

You know how hard it is to get blood stains out of carpet?

Posted by foonermints on 12-04-11 at 12:19 PM
Floors. Yep, that's the answer.*

*Possibly not for Mr. Qwerty

"Gnudi pic!"
Posted by thndrkttn on 12-05-11 at 10:51 AM
Gnudi pic!! Get it?? Ha!
Okay, the homemade ricotta was a complete fail on my part. Frody is going to come along and give you a few pointers on what she did. All I can say is DO NOT leave the stove while you are making this. I stepped away for about 30 seconds and I missed the crucial point to add the lemon juice resulting in not much curdling. I added it but not at the right temp. Also, do yourselves a favor. Just use a cheesecloth and the hanging method in Frody’s pics. It will save you hours of headache. Plus, since my ricotta was somewhat soupy (FAIL! It should be firm), we had to add quite a bit of semolina flour to get the gnudis to firm up enough to take shape.

As far as sauce, my delightful and helpful husband made a simple sauce made of chopped tomatoes, green onions and chopped shallot sautéed in olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Perfect!

Gnudi pic! I didn’t take pics of all the way through as the ricotta fiasco really did a number on my mood.

We will be making this again to perfect ricotta/gnudi making skills. Next up is the Kale chips!

P.S. For what it’s worth, even the soupy ricotta was DE.licious and easily could be made into a dessert. Yum!!

"RE: Gnudi pic!"
Posted by tribephyl on 12-05-11 at 06:22 PM
Thanks TK.
Wow, your gnudi pics are mouthwatering!
Watch out MrKitten.

"RE: Gnudi pic!"
Posted by woeisme1 on 12-05-11 at 11:40 PM
Great pic!! It almost looked like potstickers when I first saw it

Agman made me pretty 2011

"RE: Gnudi pic!"
Posted by agman on 12-08-11 at 01:54 PM
That looks good

"RE: Gnudi pic!"
Posted by Tummy on 12-08-11 at 04:40 PM
Best gnudi pics I've ever seen!

"Long-winded Ricotta Notes"
Posted by frodis on 12-06-11 at 04:53 PM
I thought I'd share some detail notes with others who may try making the ricotta. While it's extremely simple to make (very few ingredients, very few steps) it seems that this recipe can come out vastly different depending on the technique, and things like timing, temperature and technique play a big role in results.

Don't get scared. It's still easy. But it's also easy to avoid some pitfalls, so here we go.

I have made it twice now. I used the exact same ingredients both times. Both cheeses tasted good and were used in recipes! So it's a matter of preference and what you're going to use it for that will determine how you cook it.

First time: added lemon at 212 degrees (boiling) kept the heat on (but turned down) and stirred and stirred and stirred after adding the lemon juice. Result: a very firm, dry, crumbly ball of cheese. Drained very quickly and easily. Not at all spreadable. Cheese needed to be broken up with a spoon to use in recipe.

Second time: added lemon at 185 degrees (simmering) turned the heat off and left it off, added the lemon juice and did not stir AT ALL after adding the lemon juice (not one bit.) Just let it sit off-heat for 5 minutes and do its coagulation thing. Result: Very soft, light curds. Very wet, took much longer to drain. Soft and spreadable like a slightly lumpy cream cheese. After hanging to drain, it was similar to what I'm used to getting out of the tubs of ricotta from the store.

There was more leftover whey with the first batch than with the 2nd, because more water was squeezed out of the cheese by the heat and stirring and hanging. By the whey (ha!) you're starting with about 9 cups of milk/cream and will be left with around 7.5 - 8 cups of whey. It's proportionally a lot of whey leftover. Don't be surprised by all of the leftover whey.


Important tips:

DO NOT be tempted to crank the heat of the stove up too high to get the milk to heat up faster. Medium is good; if you're concerned, go between med and med-low. It will just take a little longer.

DO NOT leave the stove while you are heating the milk/cream. Not for an instant.

STIR while the milk is heating. Especially near the end of the heating, do not stop stirring!

DO NOT get scared and decide not to make it. (Really. It IS easy.)

Here's why:

Once the milk/cream begins to heat up it builds up heat fast, and as the heat gets up higher (above 150 degrees) it gains heat much faster than you'd think it would. I used a candy thermometer in my 2nd batch, and was amazed that the mixture heated slowly and evenly until about the 150 degree point, then shot up really fast.

So, in an instant, you can go from gently simmering cream (about 180 degrees) to a boiling milk volcano all over your stove. Milk volcanoes smell terrible and are a huge pain to clean up. AVOID the VOLCANO!

Use a heat-proof spatula and stir and stir, and keep scraping the bottom of the pot. The milk at the bottom of the pot will be hotter than that at the top, and the milk volcano happens when the stuff at the bottom starts to boil and the stuff at the top isn't yet and the boiling stuff expands and blows the top off of the thing. WOOSH. Plus, the stuff at the bottom will scorch if you do not vigilantly stir it.

I scorched my first batch a bit, and had some little brown flecks in my finished cheese. It was not ruined, but the little brown flecks just aren't so pretty in the snow-white cheese.

So, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, especially near the end, to keep the milk heated evenly throughout the pot and to avoid scorching.

So after all that...

My recommendation is as follows: Avoid the possibility of the milk volcano entirely and don't boil the mixture. It does need to be hot, but does not need to be boiling for this to work. My first batch I boiled (barely, not rolling) My second batch I killed the heat when it reached 185. You will know that you are getting close to "hot enough" when the surface of the milk gets and keeps a thick frothy layer, like the top of an espresso. You'll see the ring around the edges of the pot. It really only needs to get "hot enough" to deactivate the anti-curdling enzymes. So you don't have to boil.

Turn off the heat when you hit "hot enough." You can always turn it back on again.

After you add your lemon juice, you can choose to stir or not. Stirring will give you firmer curds. Whatever you do, give your curds some time to form. A good 3-5 minutes.

Rather than pouring the whole pot into your cheesecloth-lined strainer, try scooping the ladling them in instead. It will give them a better chance to drain than just pouring it all in at once. Give it some time and patience to drain.

Do use cheesecloth (or thin dishtowel, or chinois or butter muslin.) Paper towel works, kinda, but it's iffy if you buy el-cheapo paper towel (I do) and you don't want to be picking Brawny Bits out of your cheese. Ew. Plus, paper towel just isn't strong enough to make the little hanging bag for further draining. Paper towel wicks up all of the moisture and then it rips when you pick it up. Too frustrating.

Hope this helps anyone who might want to try it. HAVE FUN!

Bobblefred by Tribe. Fred's snowed in by Agman

"RE: Long-winded Ricotta Notes"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-06-11 at 05:46 PM
Thanks! You answered all the questions I was about to ask.

"RE: Long-winded Ricotta Notes"
Posted by frodis on 12-06-11 at 06:30 PM
If you have any other questions, let me know. Having only made it twice, I am no expert, but I can at least tell you what I did and why, and what happened.

I have some pictures from batch2, too. Coming soon...

Bobblefred by Tribe. Fred's snowed in by Agman

"RE: Long-winded Ricotta Notes"
Posted by qwertypie on 01-07-12 at 12:22 PM
thanks for the tips!

"ohhhh, the G is silent"
Posted by suzzee on 12-06-11 at 05:02 PM
well, now all the gnudi jokes make sense.

I'm working gnudi into tomorrows S23 summary, just you watch.


A Tribe masterpiece

"Fushia Nuclear Beets"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-15-11 at 08:00 PM
Is simmering on the stove as we speak. Soon it will be time to add the hot paprika and sour cream.
I'll take a picture of the finished product.

"Fushia Magenta Nuclear Beets"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-15-11 at 08:34 PM
So yummy! I used white wine instead of vinegar, so the beets were a little more magenta-y rather than fushia. I substituted 1:1 cayenne pepper/sweet paprika for the hot paprika. The dish has some heat, I loved it, but had to add some more sour cream for the rest of the family (the kiddies are not beet fans to begin with, but to each his/her own).

Now here is where it's going to get interesting. My in-laws are very Ukrainian (well, only half, but the Ukrainian side kind of took over and obliterated the British/Welsh influence) and we have rented a hall and doing potluck for Christmas. I am going to bring this dish and sit back and watch the fallout. The older ones will probably think I am being sacrilegeous (ha ha ha!). The great-aunts and uncles take their beets very seriously

(These are the same ones who complain bitterly when there are no cabbage rolls present, are too arthritic to make the dish themselves, yet won't accept restaurant made or store bought. )

I might relent and make two batches of beets and cut back on the kick for one of them.

Thanks Tribe for a great recipe that is pretty easy to do. I didn't really get the hang of sweating the garlic, it browned on me pretty quickly, but it still turned out great.

I'll post the pictures as soon as I get the camera cable.

"RE: Fushia Magenta Nuclear Beets"
Posted by frodis on 12-16-11 at 02:09 AM
I hope you post pictures of the serious in-laws and their reaction to Hot Pink Beets.

Bobblefred by Tribe. Fred's snowed in by Agman

"Big Hit"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-30-11 at 02:16 PM
With the out-laws! (even the persnickity ones). I had tripled the original recipe and didn't quite double the paprika/cayenne. 3 families insisted on the recipe (including the foodies). Yeah you! Yeah me!

"RE: Big Hit"
Posted by tribephyl on 01-08-12 at 11:27 PM
So proud of you. Qwerty, the Envy of the Out-Laws.

"You say "kale chips", I say "party in my mouth!""
Posted by qwertypie on 12-15-11 at 10:50 PM
Fun, fun, fun!
I was worried about under/over baking these suckers, but I think I got them just right. I had used parchment paper on baking stones, and it took 14 minutes.

The texture and taste remind me a bit of dried seaweed, but without the fishwater taste. The curly, parchmenty crumbliness of the kale is unlike anything I have tried before. Eldest DD tried some, made a whole bunch of strange facial contortions and 5 minutes later came back for more.

I think I'll cut back on the salt (I rarely use it), because the cheese (pecarino romano) was salty enough.

Oddly addictive, I will be making these again (and a much bigger batch because there are hardly any left)

"Kale Chips with pics!"
Posted by thndrkttn on 12-16-11 at 10:17 AM
Everything qwerty said. Less salt. Nothing like I've EVER had before and oddly addictive. I would have eaten the whole thing had I not wanted DH to try some. The flavor of the spices added are great and the texture is just really oddly pleasing. If I were taking these to a party, I would make a double batch as the kale loses at least 50% of it's size when cooking.

Ready for the oven:

Ready to eat:

Thanks Tribe! Totally out of my comfort zone and yummy!

"RE: Kale Chips with pics!"
Posted by qwertypie on 12-16-11 at 12:02 PM
Nice pics!

"Ricotta "
Posted by woeisme1 on 12-15-11 at 11:25 PM
I forgot to post over the weekend that I made the Ricotta cheese to use in my enchiladalasagna. It turned out very nice. I usually use cottage cheese because the ricotta I buy at the store is difficult to work with. This was perfect.

I did take pictures of the enchiladalasagna as I prepared it and will post it, but not until the end of next week when I actually have some time. Also my camera on my cell phone started going kapui so I was taking them with my work phone, sending to my cell and then forwarding to my email so it took a long time to get everything done but the neighbors raved about it. Again.

That is one of the recipes I took pics of as I try to prepare for the OTCC schedule for next year. I am actually quite excited about being involved in the coming year

Thanks for the recipe Tribe!

Agman made me pretty 2011

"RE: Ricotta "
Posted by qwertypie on 12-16-11 at 01:12 AM
The whole family is looking forward to your recipe

"RE: Ricotta "
Posted by woeisme1 on 12-16-11 at 01:57 AM
LAST EDITED ON 12-16-11 AT 02:01 AM (EST)

This weekend is very packed, starting tomorrow after work with the office Christmas party. Then Saturday I am working during the day and taking the trolley to see the Honolulu city lights ( I want to post those pics, too!) and then Sunday working all day again, followed by more of the same on Monday. But we do have 4 days off for Christmas starting NEXT Friday so I may work part of it but will definitely post it for you.

Debating on where to post it as well. I hate to come into an OTCC thresd and take peeps off in the wrong direction so should I just post it as recipe for qwerty? Some advice would be helpful here.

Agman made me pretty 2011
Darn PC posted while I was trying to preview..

"RE: Ricotta "
Posted by qwertypie on 12-16-11 at 04:16 AM
Forgive me, I am tired (DS woke up at 4:30 this morning, it is past 1 AM and he is finally settling down for the night), so I have given up on this post making sense. Are you part of the schedule for this year? Several of us have often started a new thread called OTCC Extra Credit Recipe if we had a recipe that we absolutely had to share. I didn't mean to pressure you to share a recipe before you were ready. You're awesome, you rock! Whatever you decide to do and when is fine by me.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by Tummy on 12-21-11 at 09:57 AM
We're having a Pokeno party here tonight. The guys from Mike's command - which each squadron is called by a different color - are coming along with their better halves which they call "pink squadron" so I figure the Hot Pink Beets will be appropriate.

"RE: OTCC: tribe's whims"
Posted by qwertypie on 01-07-12 at 01:11 AM
LAST EDITED ON 01-07-12 AT 12:17 PM (EST)

Ricotta cheese is hanging and draining.
ETA: C'est Manifique! Beautiful, tender, spreadable, snow white curds. Mr. Qwerty (the "What do you mean you're making ricotta cheese from scratch --I'll just buy you a tub at the store!") was really impressed with the texture and how good it tastes. I've had to hide it in the fridge so I will have enough to make the gnudi.

I heated the cream/milk mixutre very slowly on med-low heat and stirred constantly. I think it's time to invest in a thermometer because I am pretty sure I could have cut the heating time by half.

Posted by qwertypie on 01-09-12 at 00:38 AM
LAST EDITED ON 01-09-12 AT 01:53 AM (EST)

I'm making the gnudis tomorrow while the kids are at school, but don't plan to cook them until later that night (about 9 or 10) when Mr. Qwerty gets home. What is the best way to store them until they're ready to be cooked? How long can they be stored in the fridge (I am assuming it would be better to serve them fresh rather than reheated)?

"RE: question(s)"
Posted by tribephyl on 01-09-12 at 01:11 AM
already pm in return (and deleted, sorry qwerty. I've saved a different message of yours.) but I'll post here too.
Just dust with flour and either place on cookie sheet in rows/grid, (or I've often just kinda lumped 'em all in a bowl), covered with plastic and put in the fridge. The ratio of dryness/wetness being the key. Just add more flour til they can keep their gnudi selves to themselves.

Posted by weltek on 01-07-12 at 05:54 PM
I've been hearing everyone rave about kale chips, so was excited to try them. They ARE tasty! However, my gosh I cannot get the underlying bitterness out of my mouth and am finding the aftertaste off-putting. But it's not the recipe's fault. I have never liked bitter greens, even if there's a lot of bacon involved.

-Handcrafted by RollDdice

"RE: Burp!"
Posted by tribephyl on 01-07-12 at 07:00 PM
Kudos to you for even trying.
I too am not a huge fan of the lingering bitterness.
as we should be...As taste senses both harmful and beneficial things, all basic tastes are classified as either appetitive or aversive, depending upon the effect the things they sense have on our bodies. Sweetness helps to identify energy-rich foods, while bitterness serves as a warning sign of poisons.
I try to combat/compliment the bitterness by boosting the other flavors; sweet, salty, sour or umami.
Bacon is great umami.
I wouldn't necessarily add any more salt but perhaps a sprinkle of sugar might help?
Of course, I know for a fact that Moscato D'Asti helps. The sweetness and effervescence both serve to wash the bitterness away.

"RE: Burp!"
Posted by qwertypie on 01-07-12 at 08:02 PM
Youngest DD is a BIG fan of umami.

Posted by foonermints on 01-08-12 at 03:25 PM
I think this happens on Grits' deck.

Handcrafted by RollDdice

"RE: GnudiBoinK!"
Posted by Tummy on 01-09-12 at 11:28 AM
*fond memories

Posted by jbug on 01-08-12 at 07:27 PM

Agman has my heart 2012

"More gnudi pics!"
Posted by qwertypie on 01-10-12 at 06:18 PM

These were deceptively easy to do (thanks for the challenge, Tribe -- you made me go out of my comfort zone, but in a very gentle way). I had to add a bit more flour to the cheesy mix so I could get it to 'glob'. The gnudi were very fresh tasting and fun. I though they could have used some pepper which I realized I forgot to add *head smack*. I also did not add salt, but I don't think it was missed.

The sauce I made was a big hit too and used up a lot of the tomatoes I had hanging around. Olive oil, onions, garlic, lots and lots of tomatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms, basil, oregano, a little salt and a little sugar. And I let it simmer for a very long time. This was the first time I made sauce without resorting to canned tomatoes and I don't think I'll ever go back.

question: My gnudis seem to float immediately (like less than a minute). I let them bob around between 2 and 3 minutes. Are they really done so quickly? Or is it the mini worm hole that is messing with gravity in my house?