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Weekly Cooking Thread - April 2, 2011
FreeRepublicCooks | April 2, 2011 | libertarian27

Posted on 04/02/2011 6:57:56 AM PDT by libertarian27

Welcome to the 17th installment of the FR Weekly Cooking Thread.

Looking for something new to make or made something new that came out great? Please share a 'tried-and-true' recipe or two - or six for fellow FReepers to add to their 'go-to' recipe stack of Family favorites?

Here's the place to share and explore your next favorite recipe.

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Food; Hobbies; Reference
KEYWORDS: cooking; food; recipes; weeklycookingthread
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To: Netizen

My years of experience have, somehow, left me ignorant of the recipe you have provided. Those of us who are non-cooks, but have a specialty, are sometime not so well versed in, well, anything related to cooking in the broader sense.

61 posted on 04/02/2011 5:13:25 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Flamenco Lady

“Easy Chocolate Mousse”

Over 30 years ago I use to make that when I was a nanny for a family. I lost the recipe when I left the job. It’s a great recipe- quick, easy and good. Thanks for posting.

62 posted on 04/02/2011 5:22:52 PM PDT by pops88 (geek chick over 40)
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To: gorush

I don’t mind the air bubble. That was one of things that was so good about the Little Caesar’s of the 1980’s. Now their crust is styrofoam.

I figure at best that crazy crust one is going to be a thin crust, which is probably why I haven’t tried it.

63 posted on 04/02/2011 5:24:55 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: Netizen

:{) Good eats.

64 posted on 04/02/2011 5:26:11 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: illiac

The 40 clove chicken was great! It’s always good to find a new way to fix chicken or hamburger. Wife cooked a rice recipe that she had and the garlic, celery, and onions, and juices from the chicken were great spooned over her rice recipe.

65 posted on 04/02/2011 5:37:36 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15, 1-4)
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To: libertarian27

BUMP! :)

66 posted on 04/02/2011 6:08:21 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: Netizen

I am laughing because my husband won’t eat tuna either, unless it is really hidden. We are making a big batch of arroz con pollo tonight and there will be leftovers for the next couple of days, so I will probably make a tuna casserole tomorrow or on Monday night for my stepson and whoever else wants to try it.

I was sort of hoping that someone out there had a recipe that was a cut above the old can of soup, milk or cream, tuna, egg noodles and green veggie of your choice and topped with bread, cracker, potato chip crumb version that are found all over the internet and are more or less just like the one I grew up eating so often. It wasn’t exactly my favorite dish as a child.

As I was typing just now I actually found myself formulating a recipe in my head. Let me run this past all of you good cooks and see what you think.

I am thinking about making my own bechamel sauce seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, a dash of cayene sauce, parsley, chives, and perhaps even a dash of nutmeg. I thought I would saute some onions and mushrooms and celery and add them to the sauce and fold in cooked egg noodles, the veggies and the tuna. My stepson won’t eat peas, but I do have some fresh broccoli which he does like, so I could use that instead of the peas. For a change of pace I think I will top it with crushed Ritz crackers and a drizzle of butter and bake it.

How does that sound to everyone for an upgrade to an old canned soup classic?

67 posted on 04/02/2011 6:10:40 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: pops88

Glad to have helped you find a recipe you had lost. I have been making that recipe for well over 30 years now. (Wow does that make me feel old, even though I just turned 54 years young!) It is still my favorite quick and easy dessert to make because I have yet to find anyone who didn’t like it.

68 posted on 04/02/2011 6:18:42 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Netizen; All

That sounds a lot like what my wife makes. Many years ago, in my youth, my girlfriend then would make a tuna casserole that was a layered dish. I don’t remember just what all was in it, but tuna straight from the can was in it, and it had a layer of potato chips in it or on top. I don’t think that it was baked at all, but Cheese Whiz and Velvetta were big thing back then, maybe it had a layer of that and a quick trip to the over to melt it down through the layers. I sure wish I had that recipe now. Anybody have anything like that?

69 posted on 04/02/2011 6:23:05 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15, 1-4)
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To: Flamenco Lady

Gets my vote, course anything with cayenne is a plus. :) It sounds really good though.

Yeah, peas are not my husband’s favorite. He won’t even eat split pea soup. :( He doesn’t care for lentils either. :(

We had tuna casserole often enough growing up. To appease my husband I replace the tuna with ground beef and use cream of mushroom.

I think tuna noodle was one of my step dad’s favorites along with goulash and chipped beef on toast.

You’ll have to keep track of what all you use and let us know, but it sure sounds like a winner.

70 posted on 04/02/2011 6:55:10 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: rightly_dividing

From my research today on tuna casserole recipes they are almost all pretty much the same, although it looks like each cook has added their own variation to the basic recipe.

The basic recipe includes:

1 package of egg noodles cooked
1 can of creamed soup (celery, mushroom, or chicken)
1-3 cans of tuna depending on how much you want mixed in the casserole.

Some cooks thin the soup with a little cream or milk while others don’t dilute it at all.

Some add two cups of shredded cheddar or other cheese, or chunks of velveeta, and I did even find one recipe that used cheese whiz and some don’t use any cheese at all.

Some add a couple of handfulls of vegetables(usually peas) and some don’t.

Toppings used vary from person to person so you can take your pick: more shredded cheese and/or, bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, potato chips, and one even had toasted nuts on top.

Most cooks bake it in an oven anywhere from 300-350 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour. Some cover it with foil until the last 10-15 minutes of the cooking time.

Some recipes make layers of noodles, tuna, and cheese (if used) and vegetables (if used), while others just mix everything together except for the topping.

I did find that some recipes leave off the topping and just mix everything together except for the pasta and heat it on the stove top and then fold in the cooked pasta and serve it without any topping or any baking in the oven.

Most chefs will tell you that you shouldn’t ever put cheese of any kind with fish, although they do this in the south all the time. I just go with what I like. One of my favorite sandwiches is shrimp, crab, or salmon salad on top of a toasted english muffin and topped with a slice of cheddar cheese that is melted under the broiler. So if you like cheese and tuna together add the cheese to your recipe and if you don’t leave out the cheese.

I would just use the basic recipe using canned soup or make your own cream sauce or bechamel sauce and add what you like to it.

For those who don’t know how to make a bechamel sauce it is really easy. Melt butter in a pan and add about an equal amount of flour to the pan once it is melted and stir together for about a minute to get the flour taste out of the roux. Add milk (or cream for a richer sauce) and continue stirring until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper and what ever seasonings you like. Most of the time I add salt, pepper, paprika, and a dash of nutmeg.

My family likes it best with a few dashes of hot pepper sauce as well. Sometimes I use this same sauce and leave out the paprika and hot pepper sauce, and add garlic and several kinds of grated cheese to it to it to make an easy alfredo sauce.

The later is also good by leaving out the cheese and adding cream cheese or sour cream to the basic sauce and stirring in some cooked pasta. For a main dish throw in some chicken or shrimp and perhaps a few veggies and you have a main dish.

71 posted on 04/02/2011 7:41:16 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Netizen

Now you are really bringing back memories for me. We also had goulash often (which my family won’t touch) and creamed chipped beef on toast (the Friday version of which became creamed tuna on toast). If prices keep going up at the grocery store a lot more people may be making these budget friendly classics once again.

Tuna casserole can be made pretty cheaply if you watch the ads. I picked up 5 oz. cans of tuna again yesterday for 3/$1. There was a limit of 9 cans per coupon and only one coupon per transaction, but my local store seems to run that price about once a month or so, so I have been stocking up whenever they have it on sale. While canned soups have gone up considerably, I still find cream of mushroom, celery, and chicken on sale in discount and overstock stores for 79 - 89 cents a can, and a bag of pasta can usually be found on sale for $1 or less. At that rate you can feed a family of 5 or 6 for under $5 even at today’s prices if you watch for sales and stock up when it is cheap like our parents did.

I will keep you posted as to how the tuna casserole made from scratch turns out.

72 posted on 04/02/2011 8:08:07 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

Yeah, I had thought about that after I posted it, that these were inexpensive meals and we probably had them often because our parents grew up on them because they had them a lot and probably during the depression. I know my step dad liked goulash, but it had to be with tomato juice because that was how his mom made it. I like it better with tomato sauce, its just a little thicker. He like the chipped beef on toast from his days in the Navy, but we couldn’t even mention beets around him for the same reason! lol

73 posted on 04/02/2011 8:20:22 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: Flamenco Lady

Ah, go for it....make a white sauce - and what is ‘cream of whatever’ soup but white sauce in a can with stuff in it?lol

A dash of nutmeg in a white sauce is mandatory! My motto is - anything white, put a dash of nutmeg in it....awe heck, anything that needs it - put a dash of nutmeg in it- even if you don’t think it needs it - put a dash of nutmeg in it! I don’t know what it is about nutmeg but it just......makes everything meld together - like you cooked it the day before and all the flavors got all happy and all.....Not too much-you don’t want to taste it in most things....

I say, if you have them or are going to the store - maybe put some Durkee fried onion on the top if you like them.
If you are using cracker crumbs, etc.(including the Durkees) -pre butter them up in a heated pan before putting them on top.

74 posted on 04/02/2011 9:52:07 PM PDT by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: Netizen

We made our goulash with canned tomatoes and several dashes of tobasco sauce, but no tomato juice, or tomato sauce. I think just about every family had their own version of the same dish.

With so many people unemployed at the moment, and so many others struggling to make ends meet, I think a lot more families are returning to budget friendly meals.

My family is no exception, we had the death of one working family member about 7 months ago and two other adults are are currently looking for work. They were both self employed previously, so they didn’t have the luxury of collecting unemployment when their business revenue fell off to virtually nothing with the economy in a slump. Our combined net income since August has been only about $1,300 per month to support a family of 5, so savings is eroding fast despite cutting virtually every discrecionary expense, except for minimum cable TV and Internet service.

I have challenged myself to try to make the average dinner run about $5 for a family of 5 people. It can be done, even in this economy, but it isn’t easy doing it.

75 posted on 04/02/2011 10:15:31 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

Sorry to hear of your family being raveged by the Obama economic recovery. We are currently a single paycheck family ourselves. It’s a good thing that we love rice, beans and potatos. Coupons and BOGOs are big with us this year, too. And we have the luxury of being able to shop several grocery stores, so that we can compare prices to our advantage.

76 posted on 04/03/2011 8:09:44 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15, 1-4)
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To: Flamenco Lady
Obama economic recovery

Sorry, that should have been Obama's economic lack of recovery

77 posted on 04/03/2011 8:13:16 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15, 1-4)
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To: rightly_dividing

THANKS! Hope it becomes a mainstay for you....

78 posted on 04/03/2011 8:26:32 AM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: libertarian27

MMMM! BBQ thread.

I have a few tried and true recipes, as well as some untried ones.

79 posted on 04/03/2011 12:24:12 PM PDT by Sparky21555
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To: rightly_dividing

Thanks! You’re right about rice, beans, and potatoes. They are great budget stretchers that you can use hand in hand with store loss leader items, sales, coupons, etc. I have also found eggs to be a great budget stretcher since they often go on sale here for 99 cents a dozen. I stock up when they do and then can use them for breakfast for dinner nights, extra baking, etc.

I am still not as good at using coupons as those on the extreme coupon show, but I manage to get on average about 30% off of each grocery purchase due to coupons and store discounts.

Overall, I have managed to cut our grocery bill by 57% from our prior level buy sticking to basics, cooking most things from scratch, preparing budget conscious meals using lower cost items, and the use of discounts and coupons, etc. I was already a budget conscious shopper before all of this happened and used most of these techniques before I started, but not to the same extent that I am today.

Even with the reduction in our monthly grocery expense I have managed to increase our stores of canned goods, frozen items, and foods that keep long term like rice, dry beans, sugar, honey, salt, etc.

80 posted on 04/03/2011 12:32:39 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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