What's Cooking Winter 2015!!! Cozy comfort food time!!

Here's where you'll find all the "What's Cooking" threads from previous months. No doubt full of fabulous recipes, tips and awesome food porn!
byrdie
Joined: 02 Jul 2012, 14:44

22 Dec 2015, 13:11 #1

Ah.....Winter! 


  ImageFor some that means snow and ice and massive blasts of icy cold air!!
And for others, a roller coaster ride Image of warm to cool to cold and then back to warm......you don't know from day to day!!
 But it doesn't really matter what kind of weather there is.  It's Winter!!  Time to break out the comfort food recipes and start Image your favorites!  Soup, stew, braise!! 
It's all good!!
 It's also the perfect time of year to hone your baking skills  Image while the oven does double duty, adding a bit of extra warmth to your work space. 
Whatever your favorite fare might be....or perhaps you might need a little inspiration....this is the place to be!!
What's Cooking in your part of the world!?
Image
Last edited by byrdie on 23 Nov 2016, 20:35, edited 3 times in total.
Image  “This is my invariable advice to people:  Learn how to cook- try new
recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”  -
Ms. Julia   Image
Reply

Guest

22 Dec 2015, 17:38 #2

I'm venturing out into the mayhem at 3 today, just for a hair cut, but it seems the salon I chose is between a Target, an HEB and a Whole Foods. I suspect some grocery shopping will occur.

I have lots of ideas that involve the oven for long periods of time, so I'm hoping the weather takes a turn for the cooler, but what I do will depend on what I find today. I'm contemplating a pork shoulder for pulled pork, or something I found today, a NY Strip roast recipe (what $$ would that run per pound?!?) that just looks amazing. Or if the crowds look too obnoxious I can just come home and live off what's already in the fridge and freezer.

Xmas day, whatever I cook, will have scalloped potatoes, slow cooker style, and some roasted brussel sprouts, one of my fav veggie sides.
Reply

byrdie
Joined: 02 Jul 2012, 14:44

22 Dec 2015, 18:50 #3

As it stands right now, Beebs, no cool weather until maybe Sunday or Monday.  Until then we're heading into the low 80's.  Image  So much for winter in east Texas...
I ventured out today to HEB and it wasn't too bad.  Yet.  But I went before nine and was home in about half an hour so the crowds were just starting to build.  Would I try it at 3?  Ah...hell no!  Image  Good luck with all that! 
Now tell me.....NY Strip roast? 
Image  “This is my invariable advice to people:  Learn how to cook- try new
recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”  -
Ms. Julia   Image
Reply

Guest

22 Dec 2015, 19:16 #4

Does that not sound decadent, or what? Big, fat, fatty, NY Steaks, not in individual cuts, but in one nice, long, succulent roast. I'll probably never find one in this lifetime, but if this isn't the season when is? And if they are to be available, where else than Sugarland, TX, a mecca of the rich and affluent?  At a Whole Paycheck, no less.  I give even on my odds for finding this.
Last edited by Guest on 22 Dec 2015, 19:20, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

byrdie
Joined: 02 Jul 2012, 14:44

22 Dec 2015, 20:43 #5

I give 3 to 1 odds that you might have to get Image financing too!!
 I'll give ya that it does sound rich and meaty but the price might clog your arteries quicker than the   Image !!

Image
Last edited by byrdie on 23 Dec 2015, 17:33, edited 1 time in total.
Image  “This is my invariable advice to people:  Learn how to cook- try new
recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”  -
Ms. Julia   Image
Reply

byrdie
Joined: 02 Jul 2012, 14:44

22 Dec 2015, 21:50 #6

I've been working on an apple pie this afternoon.  Actually, I began yesterday by making a double recipe of the pâte brisée using ChefSteps as my guide.  I weighed out the bread flour (500 grams) and then started weighing out the butter (410 grams).  I put a couple sticks of butter on the scale...nope...not enough.  So a third stick...still not enough...wha??....then a fourth stick before it tipped the scales to something around 450 grams.  Holy Pie Crust Batman!  Nearly a pound of butter!  LOL!  I started it yesterday morning so that everything that would be involved in the crust, from the bowl to the mixing paddle, the flour, salt and butter cubes could have a good few hours in the fridge.  A short time before it was time to blend everything, I iced down water so it would be chilly too.  It took about four or five minutes to blend the butter into the flour using the KA then when I added the water, the dough came together lickety split!  Out of the bowl and onto the scale so I could portion two rounds, shaped then wrapped in plastic wrap and fridged overnight. 
This afternoon I peeled and sliced about 2.5 pounds of a mixture of granny smith, empires and one lonely Macintosh.   Juice from one of the Meyer lemons, to keep the apples from browning.  Next up was how to make sure the apple filling wouldn't be a runny mess after it was baked.  I hate that!  So I read and I read and I read some more.  After all my research I decided to use instant Tapioca.  Seems like that's the preferred thickener for fruit pies.  But so that there weren't those 'fish eye' beads floating around with the apples, I gave it a nice ride in the spice grinder to break it down to a more fine grind.  Vanilla sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and finally a generous pouring of the apple molasses....oh and a bit of vanilla extract as well.  As the apples began to macerate, I turned to rolling out the bottom of the crust for the pie.  Not too easy a task as it's cold with butter but it didn't take too long before I had it ready to plate up in the pie dish.  What a lovely lovely dough!  Back into the fridge for about an hour to harden again then wrapped in plastic to chill overnight.  The apples will sit out and get happy overnight as well.  Tomorrow will be the final episode....loading up the apples and rolling out the top dough...then baking it off to a golden brown.
Now you might wonder why I'm writing about baking an apple pie.  I'll tell you why.  Because to me pies are a daunting task and hard to guage.  I've made a few in my life time with varying degrees of success (and failures...plenty of those).  But I wanted this one to be perfect and special as it's a gift for a friend.  The last thing I want to give someone is a runny apple pie.  I think the crust is right and I know the flavor of the apples is spot on.  It's the liquidity of the apples that has me a little on edge.  As they macerate away in the bowl, getting stirred around from time to time, the liquid is coming out of the fruit but it seems to be staying nice and gooey thick. 
Fingers crossed!!
Image  “This is my invariable advice to people:  Learn how to cook- try new
recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”  -
Ms. Julia   Image
Reply

Guest

22 Dec 2015, 23:40 #7

apple pie is a cinch. you've got it nailed so far
Reply

Guest

22 Dec 2015, 23:43 #8

I can already tell it's not going to be a perfect pie. Yes, you did your homework, you did your best with both the crust and the filling--but you forgot the cheddar cheese! No apple pie is right without a cheddar infused crust! Just sayin'.
Reply

Guest

23 Dec 2015, 01:50 #9

a nice slice of chedda melted atop the slice is perfect. apple pie without the cheese is like a hug without the squeeze
Reply

byrdie
Joined: 02 Jul 2012, 14:44

23 Dec 2015, 17:18 #10

After three days of prep, the pie is FINALLY ready to bake!  Now I wait as the kitchen is filling with the aroma of buttery, cinnamon-y goodness! 
Image
Image  “This is my invariable advice to people:  Learn how to cook- try new
recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”  -
Ms. Julia   Image
Reply