Nac Mac FeegleNac Mac Feegle's Journal
The end-game of the attacks in Paris seems to be to provoke anti-Muslim backlash as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda.
Let's deny them of that.
Instead of letting the fear mongers go all 'Medieval' on Islam, how about we support them?
Show one group of people that have a problem with a bunch of assholes co-opting their religion for power games that everyone isn't a bunch if frightened fools.
It's not going to be difficult. It might even be educational.
Go by that grocery store with the weird fluid script on the window, or into that restaurant that has the reference to Ali Baba or Desert Sands or Persia, and try something new. Do some internet research for recipes, dishes, and Halal rules, so you can make an intelligent choice.
A few basic tips:
Halal is the just same as Kosher.
Hummus is awesome: Chickpeas, sesame paste, garlic, olive oil, and lemon blended into a paste and served as a dip with a flat bread.
Dolmas; the same as Greek Dolmades. Rice ans spices wrapped in grape leaves.
Falafel (Bill O'riley's nemesis): A small ball of chickpea and spices, fried and served with a yogurt - cucumber sauce.
Kebabs: Various types of meat pieces and spices on a stick and cooked over a flame.
Shawarma: An Egyptian origin meat dish over a wonderful rice.
Gyros: A staple Middle Eastern / Mediterranean thin sliced meat combination.
Baklavah: A little bite of Heaven. Layers of paper-thin dough with nuts and honey. Not to be missed.
There are innumerable others, but these are just a few 'off the top of my head' that can be an introduction. The spices are wonderfully different, the preparations and combinations are exotic, and the people are just people, the same as you and me.
Try something different; you might like it, and learn something.
Prove that not everyone is an idiot.
Tell the terrorists to go F*%K themselves.
DO NOT BE AFRAID.
That's what they want.
Frightened people can be stampeded into very poor decisions.
I came across this article that started me thinking.
It talks about how the 'traditional' method of treating veggies has been the wet cooking methods; boiling or steaming. With few exceptions, that is how we all grew up eating them, except for the occasional baked potatoes.
A few years ago, I read a Celebrity Chef Thanksgiving article where the Chef recommended that the turkey be roasted on a bed of vegetables, rather than a rack. The veggies would flavor the drippings for the gravy. I tried it. And liked it. The drippings were flavored , the vegetables were flavored, and surprisingly tasty. I repeated the 'trick' with other meats and veggies with great success. From a start of the classic 'mirepoix' ingredients, I added potatoes, turnips, and sweet potatoes until the pile of veggies is larger than some of the roasts.
Then one evening, I decided to play with some baby red potatoes that needed to be used up. I cut them up into small bite size pieces, quarter or thirds, coated them in olive oil, and just rummaged through the spice rack before tossing them in the oven. There were some left from the meal, but they disappeared mysteriously over the next couple hours. A few by my own hand admittedly, but these were good.
The article got me to thinking over the last few weeks: What's wrong with roasting the vegetables? They taste wonderful, you only need a sheet pan and some oil, you have a hot oven. Why not intensify the flavors instead of diluting them? We still get them hot enough to break down the fibers for easy chewing, so where's the downside? It could even be done on a grill.
Here are a couple of simple things that I've done, you are free to adapt as you see fit.
Slice a sweet onion (Vidalia, Arizona Sweet, etc...) into thick rounds, about 3/8 to 1/2 inch.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on the 'cool' side of the coal bed until done, flipping halfway through. Serve as a side.
Slice zucchini (or other squash) lengthwise, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and grill until cooked. Turn if you want grill marks.
Heat a regular oven to 350 or convection oven to 325.
Baby Red potatoes, cut into small bite size pieces; 2, 3, or 4 per spud depending on size.
Put into large bowl, sprinkle with olive oil and toss until all are thinly coated.
Spread out on a sheet pan or cookie sheet in a single layer.
Rummage through your spice collection for whatever seems like it might work, and sprinkle over the potato bits. I settled on a Greek Seasoning that had somehow gotten into mine, plus garlic powder, sweet basil, a lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper.
The lemon in the Greek and lemon pepper seasoning mixes seems to work really well with the potatoes. Maybe I'll try some grated lemon zest when the lemon tree comes on next fall.
Bake for 20 - 25 min convection or 30 - 35 min conventional oven, stirring about halfway through. Check about 5 to 10 minutes before end time in case they're already doe.
This is a "wing it" recipe, that can be adjusted for circumstances, such as number of potatoes, their size, and oven conditions. One suggestion that I want to try is to sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on them for the last few minutes.
Let's start giving the veggies a little love and respect instead of boiling them into soggy mush.
Add your ideas and recipes, we're all in this together.
Profile InformationName: Rob Anybody
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Home country: U.S.
Member since: Sun May 19, 2013, 07:24 PM
Number of posts: 964