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Cooking, brewing and other means to enjoy life...

Jul 04, 2009 - 32 comments




















Hey all;

Pip here:

Due to popular demand I will start a series of journal entries about things I like to cook.

All of us are here at MedHelp because we have concerns.  Much of what I will show you will set off alarm bells for a few, or many, of you.  I am a firm believer that vices in moderation are what keep us mentally and emotionally healthy, and interfere little with physical health.

I'll start with four simple side dishes, which can be used as the main dish.  All of these are pasta based, simple, filling and three are pretty darn healthy.  Normally, after draining, I will add in a little butter or olive oil to the pasta,and toss it.  This helps keep it from sticking.  One can also commit sacrilege and rinse the pasta after cooking.

The artery clogger first ,-)

Chronne (sha-doan) - baked pasta casserole.

Ingredients; 1 pound each dry capellini, thick spaghetti and perciatelli - cook al dente per package and drain well - keep in pasta pot, 18 lg eggs - beaten, 1 c each Asiago, Romano and Parmesan cheese - finely grated, 1 1/2# pepperoni - diced (abt 1/4" pcs), 1/2 c Mozzarella - medium shred, 1/2 t black pepper - freshly cracked, Olive oil - quant suff

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a baking pan of sufficient size (mine is 18" x 14" x 3"). Mix the grated cheeses into the beaten eggs and then add in the pepperoni; do this while the pasta is cooking. In the large boiling pot, mix the egg-cheese-pepperoni into the cooked pasta and then pour the whole mess into the baking pan. Mix the Mozzarella and black pepper ; spread this evenly over the pasta mix. Bake the pasta mix covered for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 10 - 20 minutes (until the top is fully melty and lightly browned).

I like to serve this with a steamed mix of escarole, endive, spinach and leeks - dressed with crushed garlic, olive oil and lemon juice -- lightly boiled mix of onion, turnip and carrot dressed with butter and parsley -- beef meatballs in a light marinara sauce

Pasta e Ceci - Ditalini and Chickpeas

Foodstuffs: 1# Farfalle - cook al dente per package and drain well, 2 c ea cooked chickpeas and stewed Plum tomatoes - diced with juice, 2 T garlic - finely minced, 1 t ea dried basil and oregano, grated Parmesan for topping

Method: combine all while warm and serve in bowls topped by cheese to taste.  This is a nonsoup variant of Pasta e fagiola

Pasta e Broccoli

Foodstuffs: 1# medium pasta shells - cook al dente per package, 1# broccoli - coarsely chopped and lightly steamed until slightly wilted, 1 c sweet butter - melted, 4 T garlic - finely minced, 1 c red onion - finely diced - for topping

Method: combine all while the pasta and broccoli are warm and serve in bowls; top with onion to taste.  A quick twist or two on the pepper grinder is a nice touch.

Spaghetti aglia olio - pasta with oil and garlic

Foodstuffs: 1# capellini - cook al dente per package, drain well, reserve 3 c of the starchy boil water, 1/2 c plus 3 T olive oil, 6 T garlic - finely diced, 1 T anchovy paste (optional ,-)

Method: In a small saucepan heat 3 T olive oil and sweat the garlic until lightly golden, mash in the anchovy paste and then stir in the pasta water, simmering on low to reduce by 1/3.  Coat the pasta with the remaining oil and use the sauce to taste.   A dash or two of red pepper flakes perks this up.

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927213 tn?1270011366
by ElyseThinks, Jul 04, 2009
The recipes sound wonderful. Thank you.

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Jul 04, 2009
Hey Elyse;

You are quite welcome.

Here's the second in what will become a series.

The One-Gallon Winemaker

This is a very basic set of instructions for the beginning home winemaker, using 11.5 oz cans of liquid or frozen juice concentrates.

Make sure that the juice you wish to use does not contain any preservatives, such as sorbates or benzoates; the yeast won't be able to reproduce and then do its work. Nutritive additives, such as ascorbic or citric acid; will help the fermentation and the flavor.

Anything that contains sugars can be fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Some raw materials work better than others for making a nicely flavored drink: grapes, apples, honey, malted barley, and the like. (My motto: If it has sugar, it ferments!) We'll concentrate on grapes and other fruits herein.

We’re not looking at fine vintage wines as an end result. But, these juices will make nice, drinkable table wines.

You have the necessary gear if you’ve been making mead or beer. If not, very little equipment is actually needed.

Basic Equipment List: 6-quart stainless or enameled pot, plastic stirring spoon, 1 qt capacity measuring cup, set of kitchen measuring spoons, 2-gal food grade plastic tub with snap lid drilled for a rubber stopper/airlock (primary fermenter), clear plastic sheet large enough to cover the tub, 2 1-gal glass jugs (secondary fermenter) with 1 drilled rubber stopper to fit, airlock, 3” x 3/8” inside diameter clear aquarium water line, 2 cleaned/sanitized screw top plastic soda bottles with caps (2 L size).

We will be using dried all-purpose wine yeast for all of the following.  (Your local home brew shop is a source of supplies, AND knowledge.)

Unscented household bleach can be used as a sanitizer; be sure and rinse thoroughly.

Basic Process:  Gather all equipment and ingredients per recipe. Sanitize the equipment and working area. Bring 1 qt of water to a boil, and then turn off the heat. Dissolve in the concentrate and any extra sugar. Dissolve in any additives, including 1 crushed Campden tablet. Pour into the primary fermenter with 1 qt very cold water. Top off to 1 gallon, cover with the plastic sheet and let rest at least 24 hours. (DON'T ADD THE YEAST UNTIL THE REST PERIOD IS OVER!) Rehydrate the yeast in 1 cup of warm water for 15 minutes and stir it into the must (readied wine base). Cover with the plastic sheet; gently stir the yeasty foam cap down twice a day for three days. On day 4 snap on the cover and insert the airlock. Siphon the working wine off the debris after 1 more week to the glass secondary. Top off to 1-gallon with cool, boiled tap water. Let the wine ferment until all activity ceases. Siphon to the second glass jug and then top off with sufficient cool, boiled water in which 1/2 Campden tablet has been dissolved. Airlock and let rest 3 weeks to clear. IF ALL activity really has ceased, go to the next step. Siphon into the two soda bottles and cap. Let age 2 to 3 months.

If the wine is still throwing sediment in the pre-bottling jug, let it go another 2 - 3 weeks and then siphon off into another jug with the Campden water as before.  If it has ceased after this, it is safe to bottle.

Warning:  Campden tablets are a source of higher than natural levels of sulfites.  If you are sensitive, let the wine work its way to completion by itself.  Just remember to keep the airlock properly full.  I like to use inexpensive vodka.  It's sterile and will not ruin the wine if it is drawn into the jug.  All wine has some level of sulfites, it is a by-product of fermentation.

Basic Red or White Grape: 3 cans concentrate, 1 c table sugar, 1/2 t acid blend, 1 t nutrient, 1 pkg wine yeast

Basic Apple: 2 cans concentrate, 2 c sugar, 1 t acid blend, 1/2 t pectic, 1/4 t tannin, 1 t nutrient, 1 pkg wine yeast

Basic Cherry: 4 cans concentrate, 1 t acid, 1/2 t pectic, 1 t nutrient, 1 pkg wine yeast

Honey can be substituted at a rate of 1 1/4 c per 1 c sugar.  2 T lemon juice and 1/2 t lemon zest can be substituted for each teaspoon of acid blend.  1 oz of strongly brewed black tea can be substituted for each teaspoon of tannin.  1 ea crushed 100 mg B-1 and B-6 tabs can be substituted for each teaspoon of nutrient.  There is no substitute for the pectic enzyme, but not using it will just leave the wine a little cloudy due to unbroken proteins.

Making wine from fresh fruit need not be thought of as difficult either. The main difference is the bulk of the ingredients. But, that is a discussion for another series of articles, as is more technically involved vinting.

And there you have it, wine made simple.

Eat hearty, drink deep, enjoy life - Pip

535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Jul 04, 2009
Oh boy I have just told my husband about this and we have to get it down, he used to make his own hasnt done for years...This is the first time I have seen anything like this on anyones journal, we are in for a feast I can see from you Pip. You have made our Day, could do with writing a cook book , cook books sell well I know I sell em...

535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Jul 05, 2009
My Mom used to pick tons of balckberries, in England she made wonderful blackbery Jam, and wine one day a bottle popped ane blackberry wine shot up all over the ceiling ..oh boy what a mess. my husband is seriously wanting to do home brew beer, he used to when we lived in England.

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Jul 05, 2009
Back in the Fall of 1996 I was trying a new recipe for Oatmeal Stout, with a brewing yeast I had never used before.  The fermentation took off in a huge way.

That evening Anita and I heard a muffled thud (our brew room is in the cellar).

The yeast cap had blocked the airlock, pressure built up and the lid of the fermenter had blown off.

There is still a ring shaped stain on the joists and underside of the floor. ,-)

927213 tn?1270011366
by ElyseThinks, Jul 06, 2009
Hi Pip,

I have a feeling I will park my car here often.  ;)

Thank's so much.

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Jul 08, 2009
A slow cooker, aka crock pot, can be your best friend; we have 3 of them. =) a large rice cooker/steamer, electric wok and bread machine.

I cooked this for New Year's Day dinner, party of 8; it took about 4 1/2 hours on the "high setting."

Food stuffs: 4# pork tenderloin, 4 large tart apples - peel, core and cut into walnut size chunks, 1/3 c melted sweet butter, 1 1/2 c hot water, 1/2 c honey, apple pie spice mix* to taste

(*In a jar place and shake to mix the following ground spices: 4 t cinnamon, 2 t nutmeg, 1 t each cardamom and allspice, 1/2 t clove)

Method:  Pre-warm the cooker for about ten minutes with 4 cups of boiling hot water (which is poured into the steamer) and then put in the melted butter and "grease" the bottom and sides of the cooker. Place the pork (fat side up) and apples in the cooker, dust with apple-pie spice mix and pour in 1 c hot water; cover and turn the heat to high setting. Let cook for about 2 hours and then mix the honey, 1/2 c hot water and another teaspoon of the spice mix, pour this over the pork and apples. Let finish cooking until the internal temperature of the pork is 170F.

Once the pork is done, remove the meat to a serving platter and the apples to a bowl, mash with 1 T ea sweet butter and dark brown sugar.  Pour out the pan drippings into a small saucepan.  Bring to a low boil and whisk in enough corn starch to get a gravy of medium consistency (think room temp maple syrup).

I also steamed a mix of Portobella mushrooms, onions, spinach, endive, escarole and leeks, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and fresh cracked black pepper.

Anita made sourdough bread.

We drank semi-sweet mead that I brewed with blueberry honey, dried blueberries and blueberry juice.

Before dinner we shared an appetizer plate of black olives, stuffed grape leaves and Feta cheese, accompanied by Retsina.

After dinner we had figs, dates, almonds and sharp Cheddar, accompanied by semi-sweet mead, which I brewed from wild flower honey plus 7 fruit juices: apple, cherry, blackberry, raspberry, plum, red grape and cranberry.

927213 tn?1270011366
by ElyseThinks, Jul 08, 2009
This sounds wonderful.

Like you, I use slow cookers. I have three of various sizes and I find them to be a true life saver as well.

Someday when you have time will you share the recipe for the stuffed grape leaves? My deceased aunt loved them. Unfortunately, I didn't get her recipe.

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Jul 20, 2009
As you all likely have figured out by now, I am an obligate omnivore ,-)

Here's a nice little dinner I cooked last night for my wife and me.

Food stuffs: 1# thinly sliced top round steak ([8] 2 oz cutlets), 1 med yellow onion - peel and Julienne, 4 Roma tomatoes - seeded and coarse chopped, 4 cloves garlic - peel and mince, 1/4 t ea white, black and Cayenne  pepper - coarse ground, 1/4 t Cumin powder, 6 T olive oil, 1/2 c dry red wine

Method: In a large saute pan, heat 3 T oil and then sweat the tomatoes, onions and garlic on med-high flame.  Remove the veggies to a warm bowl, add in the remaining oil , turn to high and sear the beef for about 10 seconds each side, placing the semi-cooked meat on a warm plate. Deglaze the pan with the wine, season the veggies, add them in.  Place the beef back, with any juice, on the veggies as a steaming bed.  Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

Serve with long grain and wild rice (cooked in chicken stock with some raisins added) and green beans sauteed in butter with slivered almonds.  We like to eat rice with plain yogurt mixed in to taste at the table.

I do not usually cook with extra salt, but do put a little on at the table.

We had a glass of Cabernet-Sauvignon with the meal; espresso and biscotti afterward (1 each, lemon and chocolate).

You do not need to eat a lot to eat well; I made enough so there is lunch tomorrow at work ,-)

599170 tn?1300973893
by Cherie762, Jul 23, 2009
Love the pasta and chick pea idea, and many of your dishes dont call for meat yeah !!!  I  am a veggie and love pasta w olive oil always looking for new add on ideas, love brown rice w veggies too.

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Jul 23, 2009
Heya Cherie;

I have cooked for a wide variety of family, friends and others over the years; everything from one-man meals for myself to full 7-course feasts for 300 (medieval recreation gathering).

When starting out a cooking correspondence, I try and remember that not everyone is an obligate omnivore as am I ,-)

In example, this article I wrote for a Roman recreation group to which I belong...

Braciola (pronounced in our family as breh' zjole) is one of my favorite things to make and eat.

I've included a variation for the vegetarians in the audience, who do eat eggs and cheese.

The stuffing ingredients can be varied as the list of foods which compliment the flavor of beef.

Some stuffings I have used: Italian sausage (hot and sweet) with mushrooms - Mozzarella cheese and mushroom - Popcorn shrimp and smoked ham - Mixed Italian cheeses and hard-boiled egg - Mixed Italian cheeses, egg and pepperoni - Celery, carrots, mushroom and onion

The variety of tastes in the Braciola can be as simple or complex as the cook likes.

In this article I shall describe a Braciola filled with mushrooms, cheeses, onion and peppers.

Instructions and Ingredients:
   1. Take a large flank steak (as close to 2# as possible) and butterfly it (cut it through the thickness, across the grain so it lays flat like the leaves of a book).
   2. Pound the steak with a coarse meat mallet to help tenderize and stretch it out.
   3. Season the meat on both sides with a light sprinkling of salt, ground pepper (black, white, cayenne and sweet paprika), oregano, sweet basil and powdered, dried onion & garlic.
   4. Roll up the meat in plastic wrap and let it "marinate" in the refrigerator while the stuffing is prepared.
   5. Mix together: 1 c chopped white mushrooms (flavored with 2 T of rehydrated, chopped Porcinis), 3/4 c shredded, low moisture Mozzarella, 1/4 c each, freshly grated Asiago, Romano and Parmesan, 1 ea sm yellow and red onion - diced, 1/2 ea green, yellow and red Bell peppers - diced. Don't worry if this seems too much, the excess is spread over the outside of the Braciola when it is placed in the baking dish.
   6. Lay out the meat, place 2/3 of the stuffing alongside the center line of the steak. Fold this side of the meat over and roll the rest of the steak around this pocket. Tuck the ends in and secure the roll with cotton butcher's cord.
   7. Preheat the oven to 350F.
   8. In a hot pan, pour in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Sear the meat all around.
   9. Place the browned meat roll into a lightly oiled baking pan. Spread the rest of the stuffing over it. Drizzle on a little olive oil and red wine. Bake covered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done to taste (I like mine medium rare).
  10. Slice into 1" (approx.) portions.

Serve over fresh-baked flat bread with steamed spinach and black olives (dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic).

If one likes sauce, cover the meat with 1# each of diced and crushed tomatoes (Roma or Plum), and then the rest of the fill-mix before baking, also sprinkle with some fresh, minced basil and oregano. Serve over macaroni or spaghetti.

A further variation is to use the stuffing mix (seasoned with the spices normally used on the meat) as the filling in a pair of single-crust pies and use a little extra grated cheese as a topper. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, and then at 350F 30 - 45 minutes, until golden brown. (Wrap the crust rim in aluminum foil to prevent overcooking.) The finished pie is wonderfully complimented by spinach and olives (as above), almonds and figs.

As for a beverage? "Drink what you like." - Justinian Wilsonius Acadianus

535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Jul 23, 2009
Could you use a pounded sliced trukey piece instaed of the flank I imagine you could,the stuffings sound great, I will also use turmeric as I like that ,hey wait till Christmas and New Year we'll keep you busy

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Jul 23, 2009
Heya Margy;

I do make another variation using thin slices of eye of the round roast instead of flank steak; mini Bracciola ;-)

Again, create a stuffing mix that appeals to you, use a couple of tablespoons per cutlet...would work with turkey, chicken, pork, veal, even fish fillets like sole or halibut.

For the lighter textured meat, poultry or fish, baking will be sufficient for cooking, or pan frying.

The stuffed beef cutlets, after browning them a little in the fry pan, I drop them into a pan of home made tomato sauce as a meatball substitute.

I'm thinking, off the top o' my head: 8 turkey cutlets, about 3 - 4 oz each (stuffing: 2/3 c dried apricots and 1/3 c walnuts - chopped, season with 4 T honey and 1/2 t ea cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice), poach them in 4 c chicken stock for about 10 minutes or so, add-in 1/2 c ea raisins, diced Portobella mushrooms and Julienned leeks plus 1 cup of semi-sweet white wine.  Simmer on low for 20 minutes or so, until the turkey is fully cooked.  Remove the meat and thicken the liquid with arrowroot.  Serve over long grain and wild rice.  I think a suitable side dish, to offset the sweetness, would be something with a little flavor bite like steamed rutabaga (seasoned with black pepper and butter) or escarole and endive (with lemon juice and olive oil).

Howz dat?

228686 tn?1211554707
by Savas, Jul 31, 2009
You're an obligate omnivore? Funny, I'm an obligate omni-bore.

Generally I eat what's placed in front of me. I learned to turn off the taste buds when I was younger because of my mother's lack of cooking ability. Which is handy at family functions, but makes for boring meals.

Pip, this reminds me of when I was a teen and I learned how to make apple wine and moonshine from that "Firefox" series...and got into a lot of trouble because of it, while at summer camp.

I'm gonig to have the Mrs. take a look at your recepies, as my cooking skills are limited todetermining if it needs to be charred on a fire or it can be eaten raw. Or both.
Fshe's very good at cooking and introduced me to good food.

535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Jul 31, 2009
Thats great Pip I am goin to do this at the weekend and I have guests coming so will use them as 'guinea pigs 'only with turkey scollops ,pounded thin..I hope it works .

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Jul 31, 2009
As I said in the main Bracciola recipe, look at the base meat you are using, think of flavors that will compliment it and go from there.

Good cooking is not of necessity tied to the recipe as if it were etched in stone.

Always look at the recipe as a checklist of ingredients, which are a starting point for addition, subtraction or substitution.

One hard and fast rule I found out through sorry experience; cinnamon and oregano are NOT complimentary flavors ,-(

Okay, next post will be on basic equipment needed to begin brewing ale.

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Aug 02, 2009
Basic Ale Brewing Equipment for extract brewing, an essay...with a basic recipe at the end:

Nota bene:  this is being written off the top of my head.  I welcome questions, comments and critiques.

Brewing ale is a process where malted grains, hops and water are cooked up to create a sugar/flavored solution (wort) to which we add yeast in hopes of creating something good to drink.  This list will be tailored to brewing from powdered or liquid malt extracts, which are in my opinion, an easier place for the beginning brewer to start than with whole malted grains.

The first consideration is a good source of the heat necessary for the process.  One can achieve a boil on the average kitchen or camp stove, but it takes a long time to bring the amount of water needed (usually 3 - 5 gallons) up to a boil.  This can be mitigated by doing a partial volume boil, say 2 gallons of water.

But, a better solution is to get a turkey fryer setup with a 30 - 36 quart pot with cover.  Stainless is best, but aluminum will work just fine.  The BTU output will cut way down on the time to boil, plus getting you out of the kitchen and away from a possible sticky mess if you get a boil over.  Also, the long probe thermometer that these come with is likewise handy.

Okay, we have fire, pot and temperature reading set.

Not too much more for the basic setup.

A long handled, heavy duty, plastic spoon for stirring.  NEVER use metal, as it will scratch the pot, allowing spots for "ick" to take hold and be difficult to clean out.  NEVER use wood, as it is next to impossible to sanitize.

Sanitation: a clean brewing process is a GOOD brewing process.  Most faults in ale are due to contamination.  Household, unscented bleach can be used with thorough rinsing.  Do not use soap, it doesn't completely rinse out.  Powdered dish washer detergent is fine, also, with proper rinsing.  Iodophor (basically a form of Betadine) is a sanitizer, which can be diluted and sprayed on, letting things just air dry without rinsing.

A fine mesh, nylon bag for plug or leaf hops.  No bag is necessary if pelletized hops are used.  The bag is used to hold the hops, so they can be extricated once the boil is over.

Another note: a full length boil is usually 1 hour, plus a few minutes.  This length of time is needed to help break down proteins in the wort, which will contribute to cloudy ale and to best utilize the flavoring and preserving qualities of the hops.

A spray bottle of cold water.  I use this during the boil to break down the foam cap to halt boil overs.  It works much of the time.

After the boil is complete, one will want to cool down the wort as quickly as possible.  The easiest is an ice bath.  Use one of those rope handled tubs, one large enough to hold both the stockpot and a 3 - 4 large bags of ice.

Once the wort is cool...

6' X 3/8" ID food grade flexible tubing, for siphoning the wort into the fermenter, and later, into the serving packages.  Let the cool wort splash as you siphon, reintroducing oxygen into the mix.  Leave behind as much of the boiling sediment as possible.

The fermenting tun: a 6 - 7 gallon food grade polythene tub or bucket with tight fitting lid, marked in 1/2 gallon increments.  The lid must be drilled for a water-filled airlock, which will let the ale exhale as the yeast releases CO2 during the process and keep the regular atmosphere out.

5 gallons is approximately 19 liters.  The easiest way to bottle the ale is to reuse (20) 1 liter, screw top soda pop bottles, which have been cleaned and sanitized.

Recap: high output propane burner, 30 - 36 qt stock pot with lid, long shank thermometer, plastic stirring spoon, hop bag, siphon hose, fermenter with airlock, bottles with caps, sanitizer - no so very big a deal.

There is a HUGE amount of information out on the weird wide web about brewing.  When I started in 1974, we had a few books from the British amateur brewers' press.

A basic, get 'em to the bar, Mild Brown Ale.

Ingredients: 2# amber dried malt extract (DME), 2# DME, 2 oz Kent Golding hop pellets, (5) 100 mg B-1 tablets - crushed ( a nutrient), 1 pkg unflavored gelatin (clarifying), 3/4 c light DME (bottle conditioning/carbonation), 1 pkt Nottingham dried ale yeast

This will yield a dark amber, light bodied ale with nice hop flavor and abt 3 1/2 percent alcohol by volume.

Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil, using the cover will help cut the time a little.  Turn off the heat and dissolve in the amber and dark DME; be careful, as it loves to suck up moisture and clump.  Once it is thoroughly dissolved, turn the heat back on under the uncovered pot.  When a rolling boil is achieved, toss in 1/2 oz hop pellets.  Boil for 30 minutes, add in 1/2 oz hops, boil 20 minutes, add in 1/2 oz hops. Boil for the last 10 minutes, turn off the heat and add in the last 1/2 oz hops, plus the B-1 powder.

The wort will foam up during the boil, this is where the spray bottle comes in handy.  Also, stir during the boil to minimize sugars settling out and sticking to the bottom of the pot.  There will be a loss of volume during the boil.  You can either add water from a second pot, which is being kept hot, or just wait until topping off in the fermenter.

Place the pot into the ice bath with its cover on.  Once the wort is down to 75 - 80 F, siphon it into the fermenter and add-in cooled, previously boiled water to the 5 gallon mark.  Sprinkle in the granulated yeast. Cover with the air locked lid and the ale should be completely fermented out in 1 - 2 weeks.

Bring 1 1/2 c water to a boil and dissolve in the gelatin and light DME.  Carefully portion this out into the bottles.  Siphon the ale evenly into the bottles leaving as much sediment in the fermenter as possible.  Let this rest in a dark, cool spot for 3 - 4 weeks.  The bottles will be ready when they are as taut as they were when filled with the original soda.

Carefully done, this should result in a nice ale.

be well - Pip

228686 tn?1211554707
by Savas, Aug 03, 2009
Pip- have you tried the ale making? how was it?

(I have to stop thinking of you as Pip. It evokes images of Dickens. Pip is a man of Great Expectations!!! :->)

I had her (my wife) take a look at some of your recepies. She found them interesting, but told me she prefers to cook in a lighter style. Perhaps she fears for my health!

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Aug 03, 2009
Good day Savas;

I've been brewing since 1974 and usually make porter or stout, which is to my taste.  I taught Anita to brew after we got married, her preference is for English style Bitters and Pale Ales (especially India Pale ale).  We do like to make Milds and Pilsener styles, also; so, mainly English or German sorts of ale and beer in the brew room.  I also brew mead.

I have brewed the above in the past.  If you like a lighter colored ale, use all amber DME or substitute light DME for the Dark.  It's a little more "hoppy" than the style guidelines call for, but that can be refreshing.  You can also increase the "mouth feel" by adding malto-dextrine sugar along with the bottling sugar.  The MD is not fermentable and so adds back some sweetness and body.

This will make a good session ale, one you have 3 or 4 of over the course of an afternoon and evening and not get a buzz-on.  The alcohol yield is slightly higher than the old, commercial 3.2 beers.

As for the recipes, one can make substitution, such as a vegetable oil you like in place of butter, most of the time.  Leaner, thinner cuts of meat, a lighter hand of thickening the gravy or sauce.  I think that most any recipe can be taken and modified for the taste and needs of the diners.

As for the nickname, it's short for Piparskeggr, which is Icelandic for Pepper-beard.  It was given to me when mine was the color of coarse-ground black pepper.  I guess I could be called Salt and Pepper-beard now ,-)  But that would be real ponderous.

I'm also aware of the Pip character in "Great Expectations,"  haven't read any Dickens in years, though.  I think I'll see if I have a copy, or get one.

Be well - Pip (aka Steven, "As You Like It" ,-)

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Aug 16, 2009
Here's a recipe for corned beef, which uses Juniper Berries as one of the spices:

Foodstuffs: 5# corned beef brisket, 1 c ea red wine vinegar, water and dry red wine, 1 1/2 c lightly packed brown sugar, 4 shallots - peeled and quartered, 1 sm bunch dill - lightly bruised, 2 T dried juniper berries - lightly crushed, 2 T butter or corn oil

Method: Rinse the brisket, trim excess fat and place in a crockpot, "skin side" up. Melt the butter over med-hot flame in a heavy saucepan and sweat the shallots until just barely golden. Pour in the water and vinegar, bring to a boil. Dissolve in the sugar and toss in the dill and Juniper berries, simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the wine. Pour this over the beef and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

You can strain the pot drippings back into the saucepan, retrieve the shallots, mash them, add to the liquid and whisk in flour or cornstarch for gravy.

389974 tn?1331015242
by swampcritter, Aug 16, 2009
Swampy doesn't usually boil more than 2-3 gallons of water. He'll typically use 3lb of malt syrup and 4lb DME. Any good stove will work but overboils are a MESS so watch carefully. Use the coldest water you can up to 5 gallons, put that into your fermenter first and pour in the boiled liquid.

Dry Canadian Ale yeast works great.

Boil with hops pellets, but finish with fresh hops. Put 1oz Cascade hops in a strainer and pour your liquid through it.

Beer should not be splashed or poured once in the fermenter, you have to syphon.

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by margypops, Aug 16, 2009
Hey Pip My Mom used to make knocked your socks off, its a very old English drink, I believe,.Tell you a little story ...before we left for the US 20 years ago the DH used to brew his beer and would use the upstairs bedrooms to make it, of course stunk the house out, we had a 3 story 200 year old street house and it was next door to a Pub, no one ever realised the beer smell was coming from our bedrooms they thought it was the son refused to bring any girl friend home as he was so embaressed his Dad brewed up beer in the bedroom.. hey my mom made some hefty rice whiskey, aswell after she passed we were drinking a toast to her in the wines she had made .....

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by Piparskeggr, Aug 22, 2009
I think that, contrary to some medical advice, the food we eat can be of a wide variety including "red flag" items, taste good and be healthy.  This is especially true when so-called "unhealthy foods" are eaten in moderation and with an eye towards balance.

The human alimentary system has developed over a long time and wide area to consume most anything that flies, walks, swims or grows...some food are more suited to some folk; lactose and gluten intolerance being two prime examples.  But, from looking at recipes containing "no-go" items, it can spark some ideas for adapting...BTW, I am neither a trained medician, nor do I portray one on the internet ,-)

I'm just a guy with close to a half century's cooking experience and a good idea of what works and what doesn't.  Foods, which taste better will be more satisfying in smaller portions.

...and, as always, if you see where I can improve my technique, give me pointers!

Scallop Chowder (serves 4)
(pronounced back home in New England: skal-lup chow-dah)

Foodstuffs: 1# small scallops - rinse, drain and pat dry, 2 oz pancetta - slice and dice, 6 T butter, 2 small leeks - trim, wash and coarsely chop, 1 large white potato - peel and cube cut, steam for 10 minutes, 1/4 c all-purpose flour, 1 c whole milk, 1/2 c dry white wine, 1 t smoked salt, 1/4 t ea ground black and white pepper, 1/2 t sweet paprika, 2 T fresh parsley -  chopped, Worcestershire sauce

Method: In a heavy bottomed stock pot, melt 2 T butter over medium-low heat. Saute the pancetta for a few minutes until it "droops" and sweats off some fat, add in the leeks and potatoes, stir-fry until tender and the pancetta is very lightly golden add in the scallops and stir for 3 minutes to warm them.  Remove the solids to a warm bowl, leaving behind the drippings.  Melt the remaining butter and slowly stir in the flour until it is a smooth, light roux and then whisk in the milk until the mix is even.  Add in the wine and pepper, bring to a low boil, add in the rest; cook over medium heat until the chowder has thickened to desired consistency, then simmer on low for an additional 5 minutes, add in a little hot skim milk if it thickens too much. Top with a small dash of Worcestershire, mix the paprika and parsley, use to garnish the chowder.

Serve with buttered dark rye bread, 4 bean salad (cooked green and yellow string beans, dark kidney beans, chickpeas and raw chopped red onion, with balsamic vinegar dressing), steamed carrot slices (dress with honey and freshly grated ginger).

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by margypops, Aug 22, 2009
Wow thats a tummy one, it sounds much better than scallops and bacon which is the only one I know..without a sauce just bacon...your recipe is simple aswell, have to check out the scollops in the local store tomorow .

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by margypops, Aug 22, 2009
He He Froidian slip I meant yummy yummy tummy

535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Sep 06, 2009
How you doing Pip any more delicious recipes I did your scallop one when family came last week it  was a hit...I told them I got it from an internet friend that intrigued them!  I must tell you a silly but funny story one time about the first time I saw a scallop .....

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by Piparskeggr, Sep 06, 2009
Heya Margy;

Glad the recipe worked out to the pleasure of your family.

Here's a simple one I like to do from time to time, pork cooked with its side dish:

2# boneless pork chops (4 oz. ea), 2 c julienne cut green beans - lightly steamed, 2 c chopped Roma tomatoes with juice, 1 c white onion - diced, 4 T garlic - diced, fresh cracked black pepper as needed, olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F.  In an oiled baking pan place the chops.  Mix the beans, tomatoes, onion and garlic; spoon it evenly over the pork. Season to taste with black pepper.  Cook covered for 30 minutes, finish uncovered for additional 10 -20 minutes until pork juices run clear.

I check for doneness by cutting into a chop at the center of the pan and making sure it is cooked all through.

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by rahim28, Sep 25, 2009
Dear Piparskeggr
I would like to share one of the simple and common Persian food ( national food ) called Abgoosht
for 4 people
materials :
bony lamb meat with a little fat .5 kg  
pea & bean  one cup
one egg plant
one medium size of onion
Dried Armani's lemon 3
one pealed potato
one tomato
first we soak pea & bean for over night, then we cut all the items( except meet and lemon ) into small pieces and put them in a pot then we add water, spices and tomato juice
then we let it boil in a low flame for a few hours and that is it.
How to eat:
The juice comes in a bowl first pieces of bread ( sangak ) joins the juice so bread is completely soaked with the juice
now it is ready to serve. the solid part is usually smashed before serving. enjoy it

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by Piparskeggr, Sep 25, 2009
Good evening Rahim;

That looks good!

My wife and I were classmates of several Iranian students back in the late 1970's, good men and women.  One woman was a room mate of hers; we often wonder how Parmis is these days.

be well - Pip

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by Piparskeggr, Sep 25, 2009
Rahim (and all)

Here's a forum I started for MedHelp members to share cookign tips...

be well - Pip

1028452 tn?1537448484
by rahim28, Sep 27, 2009
Thanks to you dear pip

506791 tn?1439842983
by Piparskeggr, Sep 27, 2009
You are welcome Rahim.

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