INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Food and drink

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
Message
Author
User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Food and drink

#1 Post by Dave B » April 19th, 2012, 7:53 pm

Looked for a thread on two of my favourite subjects in life with no success, so decided to launch one and see how it floats.

Stimulus for this was a mistaken purchase of a 250cc carton of Spanish rose plonk. I often buy the red ones, even though they are variable in quality they still go down well with food. None of them is above 11% so they are a "light" version of wine.

Trouble is rose is a bit dry for my taste unless it is with food that compliments it. I had, before xmas, experimented with mucking about with vodka. After making a batch of cherry vodka I had some straight stuff left over. I infused some of this with spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves etc. A teaspoonful goes quite nicely in black coffee or green or black tea.

So I added some to the rose. Mmmm, nothing to write home about. Then I added some molasses sugar. An improvement. Try just a dash of orange juice . . .

Like a cold version of mulled wine - quite tasty!

Might try that hot one day.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Val
Posts: 749
Joined: October 6th, 2007, 10:56 pm

Re: Food and drink

#2 Post by Val » April 19th, 2012, 9:05 pm

It sounds revolting to me. I will stick to Scotch when I am not on the wagon, which I am at present having been allowed to drink whilst on holiday on Skye. I do not like the West coast malts though and prefer The MacAllan above all others. Nor do I go with the premise that red meats means red wine etc. I swap and change as I fancy or more realistically what my girlfriend or family fancy at the time.

I can chat far longer about food , which perhaps explains my size and my diabetes :laughter:

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#3 Post by Dave B » April 19th, 2012, 9:18 pm

With you on not bothering with the red wine-red meat, white wine-white meat or fish etc. Val. Its more of a mood or weather thing - I will admit to liking fruity German wines, even Blue Nun, really cold on hot sunny days.

I have had to reduce my intake of the strong spiritous stuff since my ticker got dickey, though I will treat myself on the very rare occasion, like birthdays. Though that is usually Metaxa brandy in my favourite Greek restaurant.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6520
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: Food and drink

#4 Post by animist » April 20th, 2012, 7:28 pm

Dave, I am with you to the extent that I like mixing up alcoholic stuff to my (deplorable, no doubt) taste. What I think is funny is that foodwise, cooking is very much mixing and mi/angling, but on booze one is supposedly supposed to trust to the choice of taste of the vintner, brewer or whatever. You might or might not guess that I have recently imbibed a satisfactory quantity and quality of "stuff" :laughter:

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#5 Post by Dave B » April 20th, 2012, 7:42 pm

Yeah, if it goes it goes! Just fuse it all together.

Last week we had paninis filled with sundried tomatoes, olives and locally made pork and black pudding sausages! Along with a bottle of Hardy's Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot (at half price) went down right well.

I get the deli to slice my bacon really thin and it cooks very crispy in the press. It also quickly cooks and flattens sausages so they fit in sarnies without the need to slice them!

I like my new panini press, best appliance of its kind I have bought - and 33% off as well. :D
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Tetenterre
Posts: 3244
Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: Food and drink

#6 Post by Tetenterre » April 20th, 2012, 8:00 pm

I probably drink far too much (despite usually "waggoning" between Sunday lunchtime and Thursday evening). Made 10 litres of sloe gin this year, then half that amount of sloe cider (of which we have only one bottle left -- slips down far too easily). Also exceptionally partial to Islay malts, especially Ardbeg and Laphroaig Quarter Cask. Louise is partial to Mint Juleps if the weather gets hot.

I like to cook us a "special"meal on Saturdays, and find it depressingly easy to see off a bottle of red just while cooking. Louise bought me a tagine for my birthday 3 years ago -- she reckons it was the best present she ever gave me, because I will do her a tagine at least half the Saturdays in the winter 3/4 of the year. In summer (and on special occasions throughout the year) I prefer to cook outside; I have an array of braais (BBQs), from a cheapo "portable jobbie", through a cast-iron "doubles as a pizza oven", to a Weber. Beer-can chicken or a leg of lamb, slow-cooked and smoked on the Weber, are rather favourite.

L got a dehydrator for her birthday; she dehydrates strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, etc (really concentrates the flavour); I use it to make chilli bites (it's too small for "proper" biltong).

Oh, and bacon -- we just get smoked "mis-shapes" from Salisbury market for £2/kg. Usually some thick chunks good for stews, etc., and lots of thin-sliced stuff that's good for the Sunday am fry-up, BLTs, and crispy with salads. Market is also good for coffee beans (which we don't skimp on): Indian Monsooned Malabar for everyday use and Costa Rica Dark for special occasions.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#7 Post by Dave B » April 20th, 2012, 8:58 pm

Steve, apart from it looking a rather "ethnic" looking thing what is the advantage of a tagine over more common cooking containers? I suppose using the base of the tagine to serve does save a little on washing up - always in favour of that.

Hmm, slow cooked lamb shank with roast veg . . . . . . . Oh, sorry, got into a reverie there. :smile:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Tetenterre
Posts: 3244
Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: Food and drink

#8 Post by Tetenterre » April 20th, 2012, 10:47 pm

Dave B wrote:Steve, apart from it looking a rather "ethnic" looking thing what is the advantage of a tagine over more common cooking containers?
The high conical lid allows steam to condense and fall back onto the food (cf: normal pan or casserole, where more steam escapes). The upshot is that far less liquid is needed in cooking , and hence flavours seem to be more intense.
I suppose using the base of the tagine to serve does save a little on washing up - always in favour of that.
Except that, being terracotta, it has to be done by hand, not in the (less energy-hungry) dishwasher.
Hmm, slow cooked lamb shank with roast veg . . . . . . . Oh, sorry, got into a reverie there. :smile:
lamb shank tagine (cooked for about 5 hours) is divine. Oops, I'm an atheist: I'm not allowed to say divine... :wink:
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#9 Post by Dave B » April 21st, 2012, 8:32 am

The high conical lid allows steam to condense and fall back onto the food (cf: normal pan or casserole, where more steam escapes). The upshot is that far less liquid is needed in cooking , and hence flavours seem to be more intense.
Steve, surely that only counts if the tagine is used on the top burners, not in the oven? In the oven (especially my fan oven) the whole thing will be at a uniform temp, no heat sink for condensation to occur.

Unless perfectly sealed volatiles will get lost in any system, and therefore odour and flavour. Otherwise the evaporation of the liquid in a Pyrex casserole dish, say, will concentrate the flavours into less liquid at the end. Ultimately you end up with a glaze with intense flavour. Too little water or too long a cooking and you end up with a burnt mess! :sad2:

Hmm, experiment coming up, slow cooking in a pressure cooker: put the cooker on a low temp and leave for a long time rather than a rapid rise to steam and a short cook. Hmmm. Or does that make it a pot roast?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Tetenterre
Posts: 3244
Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: Food and drink

#10 Post by Tetenterre » April 21st, 2012, 8:51 am

Dave B wrote:Steve, surely that only counts if the tagine is used on the top burners, not in the oven?
Exactly. I use it on the smallest gas ring, set to minimum flame, with a heat-diffuser. A tagine should not be put in an oven; originally it was used to cook on a bed of charcoal/embers.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#11 Post by Dave B » April 21st, 2012, 5:19 pm

Tetenterre wrote:
Dave B wrote:Steve, surely that only counts if the tagine is used on the top burners, not in the oven?
Exactly. I use it on the smallest gas ring, set to minimum flame, with a heat-diffuser. A tagine should not be put in an oven; originally it was used to cook on a bed of charcoal/embers.
Ah, it all makes sense now. Something in the ads for them gave me the impression it was oven ware, perhaps the phrase "flame proof" or "flame resistant" or something. But naked gas flames would be rather different from a charcoal bed.

Now, I have a so-called "ceramic" hob, glass really, wonder if it would work OK on that?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Tetenterre
Posts: 3244
Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: Food and drink

#12 Post by Tetenterre » April 21st, 2012, 6:27 pm

Dave B wrote: But naked gas flames would be rather different from a charcoal bed.
Hence the heat diffuser.
Now, I have a so-called "ceramic" hob, glass really, wonder if it would work OK on that?
I would imagine so. There is a ridge on the circumference of the base, so only that would be in contact with the hob, but that is all that's in contact with the heat diffuser anyway.


A slightly adjacent thought, but vaguely on topic for this thread: do you think we could do with a recipe thread on here...?
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#13 Post by Dave B » April 21st, 2012, 6:31 pm

There is one but it didn't get much traffic.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Tetenterre
Posts: 3244
Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: Food and drink

#14 Post by Tetenterre » April 22nd, 2012, 9:13 am

Dave B wrote:There is one
Ah. I must learn to use the "Search" facility that was so thoughtfully provided by the developer of this forum software.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Food and drink

#15 Post by Gottard » September 8th, 2012, 7:26 am

Food for thought
Food is no joke in most of Europe. France and Switzerland once spent years fighting to claim special protected status from Brussels for their respective Gruyère cheeses. (The French have holes, the Swiss do not.) But whether Scotland needs to take up arms to protect the deep-fried Mars bar - a dish that has become synonymous with all that is wrong with the country's diet - is highly questionable.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/66886170-f8e5-1 ... abdc0.html
Can anyone explain to an alien what a "deep-fried Mars bar" is? Thank you :wink:
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

lewist
Posts: 4402
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 8:53 pm

Re: Food and drink

#16 Post by lewist » September 8th, 2012, 8:58 am

Gottard wrote:Can anyone explain to an alien what a "deep-fried Mars bar" is? Thank you :wink:
First, Elio, you are anything but an alien.

You doubtless know what a Mars Bar is. The deep fried variety is coated in batter, fried in the vat of oil in a chip shop till the batter is golden and served with chips. Chips are not the same as what Americans call french fries, because the potatoes are cut thicker and the result is less crisp and has more potato inside.

I have to say that the deep fried Mars Bar is not part of my diet. In fact I have never had one and wouldn't want to. Fish and chips yes; when you visit we might eat in one of our excellent fish and chip shops. However, the Mars Bar is ok in its fun size incarnation but not deep fried. They do exist. I have seen them on the menu in chip shops along with deep fried Maltesers and deep fried Snickers. On the other hand, I have never seen one ordered.

We have many excellent foods in Scotland, for example Mull Cheddar cheese, Arbroath Smokies, smoked salmon, Cullen Skink (a wonderful soup made with smoked fish, diced potato and cream), Crowdie, porridge, I could go on all day. When Fia visits, she sometimes brings cheeses from her area and they are outstanding. On the other hand, the deep fried Mars Bar belongs in the hall of Scottish cuisine infamy. To some extent, of course, it's also a joke.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#17 Post by Dave B » September 8th, 2012, 9:27 am

Lewis!! You left out the Haggis!!


I love haggis
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Food and drink

#18 Post by Gottard » September 8th, 2012, 2:51 pm

Lewist: thank you, in fact I know what a Mars bar is but I would never guess there was a deep-fried variety; if I tell someone in my area they would never believe. Indeed, the antithesis of the Mediterranean diet!
I like fish & chips (never tried the Scottish variety), I had a lot when young studying at Reading. I also like cheddar that I find at a Lugano supermarket (Luca is mad for it) and sometimes I have smoked salmon (very expensive here). I have to visit you to try the other dishes.

Dave B: Haggis, the veggie one? I have to try this too.

Cheers :smile:
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Food and drink

#19 Post by Dave B » September 8th, 2012, 3:29 pm

Dave B: Haggis, the veggie one? I have to try this too.
No. Gottard, I fear that I go for the traditional version (or as near that as the supermarkets sell.) I do not study the recipe too deeply in case it might put me off! But I do like the taste and texture. See this if you want more details.

The nearest English version is the faggot - which Americans always like to joke about of course. I like that cooked dry in the oven with a selection of roast veg. The traditional London combination is faggots, mushy peas and mashed potato with a gravy (usually onion gravy).

I once made up a story about how the haggis was hunted, this explains why the Scots wear kilts and why the sporran was once worn under the kilt. If I can find it, or rewrite it, I will put it in the joke thread. Then duck!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Food and drink

#20 Post by Gottard » September 8th, 2012, 4:39 pm

Dave B, having read about the haggis, this dish reminds me (faintly) about a similar (in components) dish from Sicily; at least I think from Sicily. I remember its funny name "stigliolata"; Same ingredients, with the exception that the stuff is not minced but kept together in quasi-strips and laced together with parsley-twigs. These are cooked in a casserole.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

Post Reply