Posts Tagged ‘dregs’

Oatmeal Chili — 3

June 22, 2017

Two and a half years ago, I made oatmeal with some ground beef chili that MJ had made. Half a year ago, I made oatmeal with the liquid from a beef strip chili that MJ had made. Half an hour ago, I made oatmeal with a quarter cup of commercial canned chili.

MJ was off doing all the busy things she does, and we were flat out of dinner fixings. I mean fresh, meat-and-veg style fixings. Fortunately, we have a fairly extensive pantry, so when I got hungry I just opened the pantry drawer and had a look around. First thing in front was a can of Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans. I can tell you that it tastes just like … canned chili. Overcooked, with unbalanced seasoning that tastes like it’s based not so much on flavor as it is on what the linear programming algorithm cranks out as the most profitable mixture of spices. However, if you dump it on top of enough lettuce, and then dump enough cheese on top of that, it will keep body and soul together — and as for your taste buds, two out of three isn’t bad. I mean, it’s 98% fat free, and where’s the fun in that? Needless to say there were leftovers, or as I call them, dregs.

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of clove-heavy broth*, quarter cup of HTCB, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Meh. The ground turkey was detectable only in a granular change to the mouthfeel. Every now and then there was a bean. The overwhelming impression was … the seasonings were unbalanced, and not because of the cloves. Cheese helped a lot, but then, it always does.

Rating: **

*Every now and then I think to add cloves to the pressure cooker when making broth. Unfortunately, those times are far enough apart that I forget how much cloves can dominate. By clove-heavy, I mean six cloves in a quart. You don’t have to follow my recipes slavishly. Two cloves will do, and they won’t turn your broth an evil swamp-water black.

I couldn’t think of what to do with all this stuff so I stuck it in my oatmeal

June 8, 2017

Sounds like the title of a Light Novel. The other day I made broth with just a slab of cube steak. Tasted OK, but a little thin. So I added an onion and carrot and cooked it again. Now it was mostly carrot and onion-flavored. For breakfast today I took about 40g of marrow (from the broth-before-last), sliced it and fried it down into a puddle. Then I added a quarter teaspoon of garlic. As a side experiment, I had chopped up the cube steak into little, well, cubes — they tasted like crumbly, overdone hamburger, with most of the flavor boiled out of them. I added two heaping dinner tablespoons of the cubicles. And since it was hamburgerlich, I tried a bit with ketchup.

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two dinner tablespoons of cubed cubed steak, 40g of beef bone marrow, garlic to flavor, salt. Fry the marrow, garlic, and cublics until brown. Add the oatmeal. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.

Results: Pretty good, but not as good as the plain marrow-oats. It had a distinct, beefy, hamburger flavor. Ketchup didn’t help, but Worcestershire might. I’m still playing with the cube steak idea, since it’s a lot cheaper than prime rib for making broth. Maybe next time I’ll make it a cheeseburger.

Rating: ***

Granola Dregs

May 19, 2017

MJ had a bag of Nature Valley Granola Crunch — animal cracker-sized granola tidbits. Thing about granola bars is, they crumble, and the tidbitty things crumble faster. So when she was done with the 21 bars equivalent, she still had a good cup of granola…dregs…in the bag. Of course, granola is mostly oats, the bits that aren’t soy or honey, so it should work well with oats.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth, quarter cup of granola dregs, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the granola towards the end — early enough to heat, late enough that it doesn’t mush.

Results: Yay! New breakfast treat. Nutty-oaty flavor. Maybe I’ll go buy a whole bag, and a hammer.

Rating: ****

Squashed Oatmeal

September 8, 2016

Summer is coming to an end and the great green and yellow tide of squash is rolling over us. MJ made a nice stir-fry with onion, garden tomatoes, and garden squash, seasoned with ponzu, Worcestershire, and salt-free all purpose seasoning. Very good, and there were some leftovers.

Meanwhile, we had some heavily gnawed pork ribs, left over from when I was away on a trip, and a couple of chunks of unidentifiable fast food chicken parts, covered in special fast food batter, that I combined in the pressure cooker to make broth with. Not bad, but it still had a hint of stale batter.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of fast food broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, a quarter cup of squash-based stir-fry. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the squash a minute before you are done, and the potatoes at the very end.

Results: Very good. Onions always work well in oatmeal, the squash still had some crunch, and there were not enough tomatoes to clash with the flavor — in general, tomatoes don’t work in oatmeal, it’s not spaghetti.

Rating: *****

Squash VelcrOats

August 18, 2016

Some dishes, a generic stew for example, are called refrigerator velcro — pretty much anything in the fridge sticks to them. We had half an onion, a couple of Zucchinis (one quite elderly), a summer squash, and about a third of a butternut squash that needed using up. What better way to do that than by munging them all together with some chicken broth and sour cream to make squash soup. So we did. And there were leftovers.

The basic soup was very bland and needed salt. We tried spicing it up with salt, a little too much sugar, ponzu sauce, and way too much Lonnies Wholly Huli Hawaiian BBQ sauce, which is like ponzu, with added pineapple and garlic. It was much better, but it was not what you’d recognize as squash soup.

As presented, the soup was very thick, like a thin applesauce. It was likely that there wasn’t enough plain liquid in it for oatmeal, so I tried 2/3 of a cup of chicken broth and 1/2 a cup of soup. That worked out just right.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 2/3 cup of chicken broth, 1/2 cup of squashlike soup. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.

Results: Acceptable. Still too heavy on the Huli, but otherwise quite tasty. I’ll continue the experiment, later.

Rating: *****

Black Chicken Oatmeal

June 2, 2016

MJ went out to lunch with friends yesterday, and came home with a doggie bag for me — she’s a light eater, and I don’t mind dog food. It was a strangely jarring meal of adventuresome ideas that didn’t quite work. First was the blackened chicken. Blackened, to me, means heavily black peppered, which makes it taste a little hot, but not capsaicined. This time, the chef decided that if spicy was good, then spicy would be even better, and added a generous amount of red pepper. Too, too spicy. Then there were the french-fries, made from sweet potatoes. Normally I like them, but here, the chef remained adventuresome and seasoned them with what I think was cinnamon. Didn’t work. Finally, there were noodles with an unidentified herb, that also didn’t go. It was like this guy was the first one to get dropped on the cooking show Chopped.

Nonetheless, I stood by my motto: If it’s leftover, it’s breakfast. Chopped up the chicken and the potatoes (I’d finished the noodles the night before) and mixed them in with the oatmeal. Kept a handful of shredded cheese and a tablespoon of sour cream on standby for if the heat remained too hot.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, about half a cup of the chicken and sweet potato mix, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Marginal. Still too spicy. Shredded cheese helped, as did the sour cream. Not inedible, but not something I’d serve company. Or the dogs.

Rating: *****

Olive Oats

February 4, 2016

Two years ago, I had a a horrible, terrible, no good at all, experience trying Kalimata olives in my oatmeal. This time I’m trying sliced black olives, the kind you find on a certain style of tacos, or salad, or celery with cream cheese. We had opened a can and had used most of them on tacos, and salad, and celery with cream cheese, but there was about a quarter cup of olive dregs left, along with a half cup of the olive water. It had been long enough ago that the trauma had faded, so I tried again.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, quarter cup of sliced black olives and half a cup of water from the can (probably should use a third of a cup and adjust the broth), half a cup of broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, no salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end. Fat pinch of shredded cheese.

Results: Pretty good. A little salty. Olive flavor came thrugh nicely. Were I to do it again I think I’d put the olives in at the last moment. Cheese helped.

Rating: *****

Fake ShalyapinOat Dregs

May 21, 2015

So, a couple of times now, I’ve talked about an anime called Food Wars (AKA Shokugeki no Souma). It’s about a cooking wizard whose dishes make people’s clothes explode off of them. Last time was about my unsuccessful attempt to recreate a fake version of his Steak Shalyapin (fake, because it used pork instead of beef). Unfortunately, no-one’s clothes exploded, although I did have to let my belt out a notch. Fortunately, there was a lot of rice left. OK, sticky, pasty rice, with lots of fried onions and rather too much post-maillard wine and shoyu sauce, with zero ume paste. A perfect description of dregs if I ever heard one.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 1/4 cup of the leftover rice  and onions from a Steak Shalyapin, one cup of broth, salt. Add the rice before you add the oatmeal. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.

Results: Very Good. The overdone flavor of the sauce was cut nicely by the broth, the rice added a nice texture to the boiled-plant-seed oats, and fried onions are always welcome in oatmeal. I’ll have it again, next time I ruin a Steak Shalyapin. Maybe by that time I’ll have some ume paste.

Rating: *****

Oatmeal Dregs

April 28, 2015

Last time I talked of using brothdregs as an oatmeal extender, I was all about hand-chopping a small amount of the carrots and onions that were strained out of the original liquid. This time we made our broth from two small beef shortribs (it’s amazing how little meat is needed for a quart of broth). Afterwards, MJ ran everything through the food processor — meat scrapings, carrots, onions, the lot (well, not the bones). Came up with something that’s best described as a thick, granular puree.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of broth, two fat dinner tablespoons of pureed broth dregs, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove.

Results: Edible. The flavor balance was off a little, and the meat and gristly bits made it feel like you were eating a low quality hamburger. Still, it has potential.

Rating: *****

False Pho Oatmeal

March 26, 2015

We had three raw chicken legs left over, and don’t you just hate it when that happens?

I didn’t want to make up another batch of chicken broth, because that’s what the rest of the legs had gone for, and we didn’t have that much room in the fridge. Fortunately, I found a Pho recipe online — or it found me, it just popped up that morning in my RSS feed. Trouble is, MJ and I, we’re not big fans of anise nor fennel, nor even cilantro. I know, that closes off whole civilizations-worth of cuisine. So we decided we’d make do with substitutions. And then she went off to a meeting and I got hungry and I decided I’d make do with substitute substitutions. So I made a small batch of pholich broth, using ginger and chopped up onion and chopped up remnant celery, including the leaves. We did have fish sauce, so that was authentic. Slow-cooked it for four hours, and strained off the solids. Left with an unclear broth that tasted vaguely Asiatic, and a cup of boiled celery and onion for dregs.

Next morning I made my oatmeal with the original chicken stock (saving the pho for pho), and added a couple of dinner teaspoons of onion/celery dregs, about a quarter cup.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 1/4 cup of leftover chopped onion/celery mix, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of broth, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove.

Results: Fair. The celery wanted to dominate. In another recipe I had tried chopped cabbage, to the same effect. The difference being, the dominant cabbage flavor was better than this dominant celery flavor. I guess celery really should be a background ingredient. Soy sauce helped.

Rating: *****

Oats de la Mer 3

February 26, 2015

This is different from our previous oceanic oatmeal. This one involves fish. You see, MJ recently brought home a package of pre-breaded fish fillets. Some sort of whitefish. Sweet-potato-based breadcrumbs. There was one fillet left over.

I decided to go minimalist on this one, since the fish had lots of seasoning. I also decided that our decidedly beefy beef broth was too turf for this surf, so I went with plain water, and a scant quarter teaspoon of dashi granules. That’s still twice what they recommend.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one quarter cup of chopped up breaded fish fillet, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of water, one quarter teaspoon of dashi grains, no salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove.

Results: Very good. Very aquatic. I’ve got half a fillet left. I might try it again, with seaweed and shoyu.

Rating: *****

Oatmeal Dregs

April 24, 2014

Last week we talked about Broth Dregs as an oatmeal extender. But maybe you’re looking for something more conventional? Maybe sweeter? What about Trail Dregs?

I make my own trail mix. Alton Brown has a trail mix recipe that includes dried fruit, nuts, and granola, and of course, Alton Brown’s granola is nothing but oats, another kind of nuts, and shredded coconut. Mine is something like that, minus the oats and the cooking. I use roughly equal parts dried fruit chunks (cherries, raisins, blueberries), roasted almonds, and dried banana slices, plus one of those super-expensive metallic packets of roasted coconut flakes called Dang, and small amounts of chocolate chips. I’m currently on a coconut binge, and MJ picks up bags of Philippine coconut chunks from CostCo. The big chunks go in me, and the flakier chunks go in the trail mix.

After I’ve finished off a butter tubsworth of the mix, there’s about a quarter cup or so of the dust and small flakelets and things at the bottom, much like the broken bits and dust you find at the bottom of a bag of potato chips (!….hold that thought!). Just the right amount to extend an oatmeal breakfast. Of course, you wouldn’t use broth in something like this, but milk would work, or maybe some half and half and half — that’s half half and half, and half water. No potatoes.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, a quarter cup of trail mix remnants (take out any whole almonds you find in it, otherwise people will think you’re weird), one half cup of half and half and one half cup of water, salt (yes, it needs salt — it’s oatmeal). Heat the milk to the steaming point and dump in the dregs and the oatmeal. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Stir often.

Results: Delicious! The milk and the coconut work well together, and the other bits add little explosions of flavor which are quite good, but hard to clean off the wall.

Rating: *****

Oatmeal Dregs

April 17, 2014

Today’s oatmeal extender is Dregs. Not the North African tribe, but things at the bottom of things that you’d normally throw away that could be used to add a little non-oatmeal bulk to your oatmeal.

First off is Broth Dregs. Those are the vegetables you cooked in with the beef and bones to make broth, the ones that come out all mushy, and flat tasting. Fear not. The flattest-tasting dregs are still less bland than oatmeal.

Now, when MJ makes broth in our pressure cooker, she normally throws in a couple each of chunked-up carrots, onions, and celery stalks, plus various herbs and spices. These cook down nicely, and end up as a grey goo with chunks of orange. Probably a cup or so. After they’ve cooled down, I chop them up with a big ol’ chopping knife and put them in the fridge. Next morning, I’ll take a couple of fat dinner soupspoons worth — scant quarter-cup, maybe scant(-) — mash it with a fork, and drop it into the broth. You could also just beat it to death with a stir-stick.*

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of broth, not-quite-a-quarter-cup of mashed up dregs, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the dregs at the beginning and the potato when you take it off the stove..

Results: Delicious! The onion is the most notable flavorant, but the carrot and celery are detectable. If you were making a dinner that involved brothy-stuff, this would be an excellent savoury side dish.

Rating: *****

Next week, maybe something sweeter.

*OK, I tried the stir stick. It works. Wear eye protection. Be prepared to spend the morning unwinding celery threads from the blades