'tis I, Otter!
Starting a new journal! You can read my old one detailing daily minutiae. Anyway:
Me: Otter, middle aged female. I like to cook, I like the gadgets, I like the science. Eating is ok. I have an unfortunate tendency to not read recipes all the way through or "wing it" midstream.
Victims: the long-suffering El Hubbo. Motto: "Did you follow a recipe?" Motto 2: "does this have bones in it?"
Challenges: Otterkit (born this summer) has an uncanny sense of timing. No matter how well I plan his naps, feedings, entertainment, he will pick the most crucial minutes of cooking to have some kind of crisis. Also, huuuge grocery store that is out of random things or needs to be restocked when I shop on Sundays. This week's special: No pastured butter or mushrooms and only "thin-sliced chicken breast".
I thought it would be entertaining to try out recipes and review my results here. I rarely cook the same thing twice so I'm always on the look out for something for dinner. I'll attempt to cook every Saturday Primal Blueprint recipe.
For today, a retrospective review:
Filipino Beef Kalderata
"Kaldereta is a Filipino stew with flavors influenced by three centuries of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Tomato-based and traditionally made with goat or beef, potatoes, green olives and peppers, it’s a filling, comforting dish."
1. green olives served on the side bc El Hubbo calls anything that's not a canned black olive a "cocktail olive" and speculates sadly on why they are in his food.
2. maybe a little less than a half pound of chicken livers. I was very excited to find a big frozen pack of organic ones hiding in the freezer and come across this recipe at the same time. I may have eaten a lot of them before they made it into the dish.
I got spaghetti sauce. I'm not sure why I expected to throw a bunch of spaghetti sauce ingredients into a pot and come up with an exotic Filipino dish.
Otter gives this a thumbs down.
Last edited by ottercat; 01-18-2014 at 06:58 PM.
I need some inspiration, I'm getting bored with my own cooking, so I will be happily following your experiments.
Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.
Am I the only one who read the title of this journal and thought that I'd find recipes made with otter meat?
*is not a cannibal*
Hey Y'alls! Thanks for visiting! GP, I'm bored too and I figure I should just barely be able to keep up with the Saturdays recipes. Urban Forager: Oh, look, you're bored too! Let's all be bored together and laugh at Otter's cooking foibles. Goldie: mmmmm, furry creatures, mmmmmmmm. El Hubbo won't eat lamb because he says it's baby animals. Otter won't eat veal because she doesn't see what the big deal is.
MOROCCAN MEATBALL AND EGG TAGINE
i.e. Shakusha with Balls!
Yum, this looks very tasty and has a fun variety of spices! Otter doesn't like to buy spices because they're freakin' expensive and come in huge jars and how long is it going to take me to use up THAT MUCH CORIANDER??!? So I used to just buy about a tablespoon's worth in the bulk section, use the quarter teaspoon for the dish, wrap it up and toss the little plastic baggie into the odoriferous pile of other bagged spices that I occasionally look at and scratch my head over and eventually toss en masse. Also, I do not own saffron. I bought some once and it turned food yellow and didn't taste like anything. Turns out there are various lesser forms of saffron such as the yellow dyed hamster bedding that I had apparently purchased.
MODIFICATIONS: no saffron water, see above. Also, BAKED the meatballs to a tasty broiled brown before putting them into the sauce because boiled gray lamb-balls, yum! Ended up only adding half the tomatoes because it seemed like it was turning into spaghetti with meatballs.
AFTERMATH: Tasty! a fun blend of spices, and who doesn't like lamb (El Hubbo)? But even he ate it because he didn't know it was lamb until after he was scooping up seconds. However, I found the whole thing blindingly salty! I mean, 1tsp salt in a pound of meat? Blargh! I would leave the salt out of the tomatoes altogether and reduce it to 1/2 t in the meat. Yummy over cauli-rice.
Otter recommends this dish.
Hi there! Your journal looks very yummy and fun so I will be following along. I love food!
HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).
My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links
Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes
" The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel
Good morning, my darlings. Actually, it is probably lunchtime for Otter since Otterkit decided he needed to eat at 4:30AM and being the insomniac that I am, I am still awake. Of course, Otterkit is squeaking and rubbing his eyes so it may be 4AM again by the time I finish this post.
Anyway, what we need is a good breakfast! A fearsome treat, not only protein-packed and filled with Vitamin K, but also home-made and fermented and ethnic. Truly, it will establish you as a BADASS and win you the awe of everyone. Of course I'm talking about the most dreaded of Japanese dishes: natto. I know hardcore Japanophiles who've lived there for years who won't touch the stuff, hell, I know Japanese people who won't eat it. And yet, when the Otter-nephews were little, their parents couldn't bring it out until the end of the meal, lest they shun everything else they were served and hold their arms out weeping for natto. Anyway, this is how you take poisonous soybeans and convert them into something delicious.
First we need the culture (which I got from Cultures for Health, who also have English instructions). It is shown here with a 1/4 teaspoon for scale, kawaii!
Next, we take 2c of dried soybeans and soake them for 24 hours, changing the water a few times. I found a good handful that had refused to take on any water over this period so I picked them out. Now, I've seen instructions that say to boil them for 9 hours. Pffft. Git out yer pressure cooker and the steamer bucket, put in the minimum amount of water. Cook on high for 45 minutes.
Natto has to be incubated at 100 degrees for 24 hours in a special natto incubator, your ginormous food dehydrator, or.... your sous vide! I filled it up to the minimum volume and built a platform from the plate, the rack, and a plastic thingy made for cutting sandwiches into brontosaurs. This will keep your incubation chamber just out of the water. Turn on the sous vide, etc. etc.
I don't know why this stupid picture comes out like this, I edited it to be much smaller and this original doesn't even exist anymore...
Incubation chamber: 9x9 glass baking dish, which will be covered by a paper towel and a piece of aluminum foil with holes poked in it. Efff your sterilized cheesecloth.
Whilst the beans are cooking, put some water in the baking dish and a little glass bowl and microwave for 5 minutes to sterilize. Make sure there is nothing scary on the ceiling of the micro that is going to dissolve and drip down. Leave it there til you're ready to use.
In a pint-sized measuring cup, put your heat-proof spatula and a metal teaspoon and pour boiling water over them and let set until ready to use.
When the beans are done, remove the steamer basket, dump out the water and put the beans back in. In the little glass bowl add a teaspoon of hot water and a wee spoonful of culture and swirl to dissolve. Dump this over the beans and mix them gently with the spatula. Pour the water out of the sterilized 9x9 glass dish and add the beans in a smooth layer.
Cover with a paper towel larger than the dish and cover securely with aluminum foil. Poke several holes in the foil. everyone says to use sterilized cheesecloth. You could put the cheesecloth in the microwave with the baking dish, but then you have to squeeze it out. How ya gonna do that? eh? Then the cheesecloth is going to sag and touch the beans. I just use the papertowel which is more effective at soaking up water and keeping drops off the beans. Put the whole thing into the sous vide and leave 24 hours. I occasionally open it up and use a towel to soak up any water puddles on top of the foil.
24 hours later: voila!
I actually find homemade natto to be a little less stinky than I would like. On the plus side, this does not make your whole house smell like fermenting soybeans as I imagine a dehydrator would. It did smell slightly funky when I took it out, covered it with saran wrap and moved it to the fridge to mature for a few days. El Hubbo came in and started going through the blankets in Otterkit's rock'n'play that was parked in the kitchen saying, "Something smells weird", but he was not inspired to empty the trash or anything.
Natto are much milder tasting than you might imagine. They are pure umami, but need a lot of salt (usually in the form of soy sauce). To eat, take out a portion, add a fair amount of tamari, and stir as hard as you can for about 30 seconds. The slime will get all stringy, this is a good thing. They're good with a dab of Chinese mustard and some green onions.