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December 17, 2017

Food Thread: Popcorn Here! Get Your Hot Popcorn!

popcorn-gsm.jpg

A note before we begin. 1589 copies sold! And...there is another Moron cookbook giveaway! Weasel claims that there are random numbers preselected by the vast criminal conspiracy headed by Bluebell, and the Morons whose comments correspond to those numbers get a free cookbook. Of course the usual rules apply: nobody who has won a cookbook in one of the previous giveaways is eligible, the winners must provide a mailing address and the email address used in their comment to moroncookbook at gmail dot com by midnight tonight, and the winners must also submit a video of them imitating a bonobo flinging its poo.

I saw a movie -- in a theater -- yesterday, and of course I got popcorn. Why is popcorn the go-to snack when watching a movie? I get the financial advantage of selling it; it's about as cheap a food by volume as anything on the planet. My guess is that the packaging is more expensive than the popcorn. But what is so attractive about it to the movie-goer?

If any of you young punks who grew up on microwave popcorn haven't made fresh popcorn on the stove, then you are missing out on a wonderful culinary experience. It simply tastes better. None of that artificial butter flavor (which I actually like...a little) or overly-salted crap from the bag. Just pure, hot, clean simple popcorn popped in a good, neutral-flavored oil, a bit of Kosher salt, and the biggest bowl you have in the house. I use a huge aluminum food prep bowl I bought at a commercial kitchen supply house about 100 years ago, and it's perfect!

Use a big, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. Pour a couple of big glugs of oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pot) into the pot along with three or four kernels. Put it on medium heat, and when the kernels pop, pour in the rest of the popcorn. Shake the pot, and leave the cover ajar to allow the steam to escape, otherwise your popcorn will not be quite as crunchy and delicious. As soon as it as mostly stopped popping, take it off the heat, salt it, toss it into the bowl, and chow down. Oh, if you have any extra bacon fat, try using that instead of oil. Yes, it's marvelous.


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This video is from Thermoworks, a company that sells excellent temperature probes and thermometers and such. They often include recipes in their promotional e-mails, and this one is a doozy. They make it seem so easy! But I have made chocolate-covered caramels before, and cleaning the spattered chocolate off the ceiling and out of my hair is a bit tedious. Coating the caramels is a hugely messy project!

Candy Temperatures: Chocolate-Dipped Caramels

And look at how perfect the squares of caramel are. This is a nightmare for the obsessive-compulsive cook. Luckily I am not one of those....


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I mentioned Chicken Baked With Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and Herbs a few weeks ago as my planned meal for that evening. It was a resounding success, and has entered the "Oh shit! What should I cook tonight?" rotation here at Chez Dildo. I used fresh herbs, which I think is the key to this dish's success. I was also struck by how well the rosemary and the basil complimented each other. It was odd, because I could taste them separately, but they also blended wonderfully. It's a simple dish to make, and well worth a try.
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From commenter MNJester; a fine looking chili recipe that is also damned spicy!
Full disclosure - I'm not from Texas (was in the Army there a few times). I'm from Minnesota. My advice to anyone about chili is never ever try to make it without a good old fashioned cast iron Dutch Oven. I've made chili thousands of times but the best results only come using cast iron. Crock pots and stove top stew pots are fine, but cast iron has never failed me. The colors and textures it produces are something you can't get using any other method.

Below isn't my best effort - but I've always liked this recipe.

Texas Red: no beans, no tomatoes

Ingredients
Caveat: I've never made chili the exact same way twice, I use any chili recipe as a starting guide and season as I go, according to my own tastes (Use caution if adding the optional peppers)


  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped (easier to use minced garlic from the grocery store, 1 tbsp).
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (a little less if using fresh)
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (use more if you like spicy)
  • 1-3 Habanero peppers (optional) seeded and minced (use a food processor or just cook in pan with onions/garlic until soft, then chop; wash hands thoroughly)
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck or rump, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4-5 cups water (1 12oz beer - optional; but reduce amount of water to compensate)
  • 4 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, (optional - seeded) and minced
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal or corn flour

Directions :

In a Dutch oven, brown cubed beef - best results put 1 tbsp vegetable oil in the dutch oven on the stove top, heat to high temp and brown off meat (meat should sizzle and brown quickly) - repeat until it's all browned off. Remove and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Drain off excess grease, leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir until the onions are tender. Season with oregano, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Cook and stir for about 30 seconds to toast the spices.

Stir in all remaining ingredients.

Cover with cast iron lid and bake in 350 degree oven 60-90 mins. (the longer time is for more tender beef, but don't overcook or the sauce will taste odd)

Serve with hot cornbread, and/or your choice of fixin's (onions, cheese, sour cream, etc)


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Here's a pretty good recipe for Potato Latkes, fried potato pancakes traditionally served during Hanukkah.

I'll be honest; While I like eating them I am not a big fan of making them. It's a lot of work and cleanup that I much prefer other people do. But here is a good start if you feel like going for it.

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Food and cooking tips, real Maraschino cherries, Perfectly marbled prime NY strips, good biscuits (not the crap I made for Thanksgiving) and other goodies with impressive girth: cbd dot aoshq at gmail dot com

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posted by CBD at 04:00 PM

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