Cooking Ruminations on Oyster Stew, Adjusting the Chili, the Joys of Coriander and Home-made Cole Slaw

I am a newly widowed woman who never cooked all that well. I am learning to cook meals that meet my standard, which is a)must taste good, b)must be easy to prepare and c)must not need any sort of blender or food processor, the mixture of any items that will cause dust, flour and frou-frou into the air, or have a mango of any sort in the ingredients.

It’s like I’m learning all about it all over again. It’s kind of fun. I begin to learn how to make good stuff.

Be a shame not to share my culinary wisdom.

So I Blog about it.

Doesn’t everybody?
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The picture above isn’t of my very own oyster stew but it’s a close match.

For when the months get an “R” in them one must eat oyster stew, it’s a rule.

So I search the internet in search of a good oyster stew recipe because the one I’ve eaten all my life….well there’s got to be better, right?

I can’t find any recipe much different than my recipe so maybe I’m not such a heathen.

Take fresh oysters, the kind in the see-through plastic containers are fine….8 ounces.

Get a sauce pan and put in enough milk to make two good and large bowls of oyster stew. Get one stick of butter…no margarine please.

Throw in the oysters…juice and all and cook on low heat until the butter melts, the milk froths up slightly and the oysters are done but still tender…..oh about ten minutes. I stand around and adjust the heat to keep the milk un-curdled.

Add a generous dash of hot sauce to the bowl you are about to eat and fill another tupperware bowl with the rest of the stew (don’t gobble up all the oysters in one bowl now) to eat a couple days later. The second bowl is better than the first cause by then the milk taste like oysters and yum.

Now about the chili. It’s no matter the recipe cause my culinary thoughts are more about the concept of “adjusting” the recipe.

Sad to say that my culinary history never had me adjusting a recipe mostly because….well I just didn’t know that much about the physics of cooking.

I now understand how to thin things down or thicken up, how to spice a dish properly, the fine art of handling the heat. I found the best spaghetti sauce ever, a dish that differed every single time I ever made it cause it’s only tomato sauce and a pack of seasoning, right? My favorite spaghetti sauce now includes a big can of tomato juice so I must abandon preconceived notions.

I now too have a dependable chili recipe that meats my standards and am now, gasp, ready to adjust to better suit my tastes.

I like a brothy chili and so I shall thin it down a bit. Recently I used 1/2 pound of ground pork sausage to replace 1/2 pound of ground beef. That was great.

The recipe I had included two cans of chopped tomatoes with green chilies, usually brand name Ro-Tel or something. I got real cheap and bought the store brand and yecccch, in the finished chili the green chilies in the cheap brand were still crunchy. I really didn’t like that. So I learned how ingredients can make a dish or break it.

Now to thin it down I am going to add some beef broth.

We shall see.

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A quick cole slaw recipe I discovered….one bag of cole slaw ingredients. You know, a BAG that would make a nice size container of cole slaw. Pour one entire jar of Marie’s Cole Slaw dressing over it, salt pepper…..not the best cole slaw in the world but it’s promising.

Next time I am going to add some pineapple chunks and some coriander to the mix.

Oh, speaking of….I bought some coriander! I am so proud of myself.

Cause Chef Ramsay says I must have Coriander and so does Emeril. I don’t know what Coriander does but it’s five freaking bucks a little jar.

We shall see.

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