The Joy of Spam Folder Cooking

Category: Main dish (page 1 of 2)

Ground Lamb Meatballs with a Saffron Sauce

This week my spam folder brought me a recipe, but didn’t even tell me what the recipe was called.  I think that’s rude of it, don’t you?  Spammers, if you’re going to send me recipes, make sure you include the title.  This one is Ground Lamb Meatballs with a Saffron Sauce.  I found that out by asking Mr. Google which led me here.

I also found it in a book entitled 660 Curries and at this Edamam website.  Popular recipe, it seems.

Except it isn’t popular in my house.  I mentioned lamb, Fred made a face and when I added that it had chillies, he suggested we go out for a burger and skip the whole cooking thing entirely.

Anyway, the recipe!

Ground Lamb Meatballs with a Saffron Sauce

  • 8 ounces lean ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
  • ½ teaspoon black cumin seeds, ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri chiles; or ¼ teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper) mixed with
  • ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 4 or 5 black cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil or canola oil

Mix the lamb, salt, fennel, cumin, ginger, onion, and garlic together in a medium-size bowl. (I like to use my clean hands to do this, as I can knead and massage the ingredients thoroughly into the meat.) Divide the spiced meat into 10 equal portions, and shape each portion into a tight round. (I usually compress it in one hand, to shape and press it into a taut ball.) As you form them, place the meatballs on a plate.

Pour 2 cups water into a small saucepan, and add the Kashmiri chiles, saffron, cardamom pods, and cloves. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the spices infuse the water and turn it into an aromatic, reddish-orange broth, about 5 minutes. Set it aside.

Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs, arranging them in a single layer, and cook, gently moving them around every few seconds to ensure even browning, until they are seared all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off the excess fat into a small bowl (you can use it in another recipe, as long as its not for vegetarians).

Pour the spiced broth over the meatballs. Raise the heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer the thin curry, uncovered, basting the meatballs every minute or two, until the lamb is barely pink inside, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the meatballs from the broth and transfer them to a serving bowl.

Continue to simmer the broth until it reduces to about ½ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour this bright red, potent broth over the meatballs, and serve.

Sour Rabbit

This week, my spam folder brought me a recipe for rabbit.  This is this third one.  I think I’ve made it rather clear that I will not be making rabbit.  No matter what the recipe is, I will not be making it.  Rabbits are cute and cuddly and I just can’t do it.

The recipe:

Sour Rabbit

  • Cut the rabbit and then place in a china bowl and add
  • One cupful of chopped onions,
  • One bunch of potherbs,
  • One teaspoonful of sweet marjoram,
  • Six cloves,
  • Five allspice,
  • Two bay leaves.

Now cover, using a mixture of two parts vinegar and one part water. Set in a cool place for three days, turning the rabbit over every day, then put in a casserole dish or stewing pan and cook until tender. Thicken the gravy. Serve potato dumplings with this dish, or it may be eaten cold.

Aside from the fact that they want me to cook a rabbit, let’s start with the fact that I put the rabbit in a bowl and leave it there for three days.  Of course, I turn it every day, but still, I put meat in a bowl and leave it for three days.  For some reason, that just screams to me ‘you’re going to get food poisoning!’.

This recipe came from Mrs. Wilson’s Cook Book, of course.  That does date from 1920, so I guess the idea of germs and don’t leave your rabbit in a pot for 3 day didn’t apply at the time.

I did some more reading on Mr Google and discovered that Rabbit Stew is also known as Hasenfeffer or Hasenpfeffer, depending on who you ask.  I guess it originally was a German recipe.

Anyway, until next time, toodles!

Clam Pie

This week my spam folder brought me something that just sounds wrong.  Clam Pie.  I’m sorry, but those two words just don’t belong together.  Clams are best shucked raw and slurped down or in chowder, I do love a good clam chowder. I just can’t see baking them into a pie.  Pie is apples and chocolate and other really good sweets.  I even love Key Lime Pie.

That may be my problem.  My ears hear pie and my brain thinks ‘yay desert!’ but this recipe just … isn’t right.  It’s all kinds of wrong, to quote my mother.

The recipe!

???Clam Pie
No. 1. (An old New England seashore dish.) Chop the clams if large, saving the
liquor that runs from them. Heat, strain, and sea[Pg 35]son this and cook the
chopped clams for 10 minutes in it. Have a thick top crust of good pastry, but
none at the bottom of the bake dish. Fill with alternate layers of the minced
clams, season with salt, pepper, a few drops of onion juice, some bits of butter
and a few teaspoonfuls of strained tomato sauce, and thin slices of boiled
potatoes. Dredge each layer of clams with flour. Lastly, pour in a cupful of
clam juice, put on the crust and bake half an hour in a quick oven.

So it’s clear that my spammers were rude to me and copying and pasting from something again.  They did a really poor job of it too, look at those things they left in. The page number?  That doesn’t help.

I did check with Mr. Google and found that the recipe is from their favorite 365 Luncheon Dishes.  They really do love this cookbook.  I’m not sure I do, with recipes like this one,  Lobster Creams, German Prune Cake and Curried Fowl there isn’t much to recommend it.

Until next time, toodles!

Keema with Peas

This week, the spam folder left off the name of the recipe and I had to go ask Mr. Google what it was.  It’s called Keema with Peas.  That’s something I’d never heard of, but I think it’s an Indian dish.   It has lamb in it, and I knew without asking Fred wouldn’t touch it.  He’ll eat beef, chicken, fish, duck, and deer, but he’ll only eat deer if he’s the one that went hunting.  Lamb he won’t touch.  I think his Mom convinced him that eating lamb was bad for him and what mother says, goes.

Anyway, the recipe!

Keema with Peas

  • 500.0g pack lean minced lamb
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 carrots , diced
  • 2.0 tbsp garam masala
  • 200.0ml hot stock (lamb, beef or chicken)
  • 200.0g frozen peas
  • 800.0g potatoes , diced
  • 1.0 tsp turmeric
  • small bunch coriander , roughly chopped
  • juice half lemon , plus wedges to serve

Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a large pan of salted water until just tender, about 8 mins. Drain well, return to the pan and gently stir in turmeric and coriander - try not to break up the potatoes too much.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Transfer the mince to a baking dish and top with the turmeric potatoes. Squeeze over the lemon juice, then bake for 30-35 mins until potatoes are golden. Serve immediately with extra lemon wedges on the side.

This recipe is a weird combination of metric and not, so I double checked where I found the name.  It came from BBC Good Food, which makes sense I guess.    Then I went looking to find out what Garam Masala is.  I think it’s really neat how the recipe varies across regions, kind of like Ras el Hanout.  I like using that in a few recipes, it adds an interesting tang to it, but it isn’t so SPICY that it makes Fred notice.  (Hi dear, if you’re reading this, you do like this spice.)

Until next time, toodles!

Hungarian Chicken

I had another busy week this week.  It happens, usually when you least expect it.  So busy that I actually ate out four times in one week.  That hasn’t happened since college!  Needless to say, that means that I didn’t make this week’s recipe from the spam folder.  This one is for Hungarian Chicken.

My mother used to make what she called Hungarian goulash.  I don’t know the recipe, but it was good.  It wasn’t really spicy, it was differently spicy.  I always liked it.  This recipe looks kind of bland (even if Fred calls paprika spicy!).  Nothing but paprika for spices just doesn’t sound spicy or even differently spicy (I must get my mother’s recipe!).

The other problem with this recipe is it uses an entire chicken.  It’s just Fred and I at the home these days, that’s way too much food for just the two of us.  We’d be eating leftovers for the week and I’d be listening to Fred whine about the paprika.  For a week.

Anyway, the recipe!

Hungarian Chicken

Joint a fowl as for fricassee; put it on the firein enough cold water to cover it; bring it to a boil slowly, and cook until

tender.

Unless the chicken is quite young this should require from 2 to 3 hours.

When it has been simmering about an hour put in a sliced onion, 2 stalks of

celery, 3 sprigs of parsley, and a teaspoonful of paprika.

When the chicken is done, arrange it in a dish, add to the gravy salt to taste and the juice of ?? a

lemon and pour it over the chicken.???

Those question marks in the recipe were in the spam messages, I guess they copied and pasted poorly.

The end of the recipe even says where the recipe came from.  It says ‘From “The National Cook Book,” by Marion Harland and Christine Terhune Herrick’.  I found a free version of this book on line.  I’ve got to download it and check it out.  According to that link, it’s Americanized versions of international recipes.  That could be interesting, on the other hand, it could be toned down versions.

Until next time, toodles!

Vegetable and Goat Cheese “Lasagna”

This week my spam folder brought me yet another recipe with no title.  I had to ask Mr. Google what on earth I was making.  According to him, it’s Vegetable and Goat Cheese “Lasagna”.  

I have a hard enough time getting Fred to eat simple vegetables, I knew there was no way he was going to eat this.  Vegetables were cooked to mush by his mother, it has taken me ages to convince him that a good vegetable isn’t a tasteless lump.  He does like broccoli (in lots of cheese) but convincing him to eat this would be a challenge.  Especially if he found out about the goat cheese.

There’s another selfish reason why I won’t make this Vegetable and Goat Cheese Lasagna.  I’m not that good of a cook.  I mean, I am, Fred likes my cooking, but I’m much better at simpler things.  Like throwing the ingredients of a lasagna in a crock pot and letting it go.

Anyway, the recipe as it appeared in my spam folder:

Vegetable and Goat Cheese “Lasagna”

  • Two ¼-pound baby eggplants (about 4½ inches long), ends trimmed, skin partially removed, and cut
  • lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ARUGULA AND WATERCRESS PURÉE
  • 1 bunch (about 4 ounces) arugula, stems trimmed
  • 1 bunch (about 6 ounces) watercress, stems trimmed
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Two ¼-pound zucchinis, ends trimmed (about 4½ inches long), cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices
  • About 3 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut from a 1½-inch-wide log, in 1/8-inch crosswise slices
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked
  • ¼ pound cherry tomatoes, in ½-inch slices, ends discarded
  • 2 teaspoons nonpareil capers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • About 3 ounces mushrooms, preferably oyster mushrooms, separated into ears, or other mushrooms like shiitake, in ¼-inch lengthwise slices
  • 4 piquillo peppers, or 2 pimientos, preferably home prepared, cut in long 1/8-inch-wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons grated well-cured Manchego or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle well with salt. Let sit 1 hour. Toast the pine nuts in the oven for 34 minutes, or until lightly golden. Reserve. Raise the oven temperature to 375°F. Place the arugula, watercress, and salt in a food processor and purée, adding a little water if necessary. Beat in the 6 tablespoons oil, the vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Taste for salt.

In a greased baking dish, about 8 × 11 inches, preferably Pyrex, place 8 of the zucchini slices in a single layer. Cover each with cheese, and sprinkle with the paprika. Cover with a single row of tomatoes, then dot with a few capers. Pat the eggplants dry and continue layering with an eggplant slice, garlic, mushrooms, and piquillos.

Sprinkle the layered vegetables with the pine nuts and basil, add another layer of eggplant, and end with a second layer of zucchini. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the grated cheese and parsley [May be made ahead]. Bake about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

To serve, spoon a tablespoon or so of the purée onto 8 individual plates and top each with a

lasagna.

Until next time, toodles!

Sardine Sandwiches

This week the spam folder brought me one of the silliest recipes I’ve ever seen.  I guess it would be sillier if it was a recipe for a Peanut Butter sandwich, instead, it brought me one for Sardine Sandwiches.  Sardine Sandwiches need a recipe?  I mean, they’re not on the list of things I want to eat, but seriously, someone had to write a recipe for Sardine Sandwiches?  I guess a bachelor could use that if he never learned basic cooking.

Anyway, the recipe!

Sardine Sandwiches

  • Open a box of sardines and then drain free from oil. Remove the skin and bone and then mash very fine. Add
  • Two hard-boiled eggs,
  • One green pepper,
  • One-quarter onion.

Chop all fine and mix to a paste with six tablespoons of salad dressing, one-half teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of paprika.

Spread between the prepared bread and then cut into two pieces. Wrap in wax-paper until needed

That’s an awful lot of salt in one sandwich, I mean, a half a teaspoon of salt in one sandwich is a little overboard.  Plus, the whole thing makes just one sandwich.  That’s a lot of work for just one sandwich, you’d think you’d get a least two or three.  Then again, I’ve been known to complain about the amount of work in making a pair of peanut butter sandwiches.  Admittedly, sometimes I’m lazy.

Out of curiosity, I did go back to the spam folder to find the message that sent me this lovely recipe.  The subject of the message is  ‘Home Depot Rewards’.  Now honestly, I’d never considered Home Depot and sardines in the same thought.  They just don’t go together.

Until next time, toodles!

Cold Duck and Chestnut Border

This week the spam folder didn’t bring me chocolate (which I really REALLY wanted this week) instead, we got Cold Duck and Chestnut Border.   Now our local grocery store is kind of small, and we have chicken, fish, beef and pork.  No duck.  Fred did offer to go hunting and get me one, but I pointed out that it isn’t hunting season yet and on top of that, who was going to prepare the duck?  I certainly wasn’t going to do that and last time I checked, Fred didn’t do it either.  He also hadn’t been hunting in about fifteen years.

In other words, duck was right out.

The recipe!

Cold Duck and Chestnut Border

  • Arrange slices of cold duck on a platter.
  • Shell and blanch 1 qt. of chestnuts, then boil until soft, drain and put them
  • through a colander. Add a tablespoonful of butter, salt and pepper to taste,
  • arrange around the cold duck. Garnish with olives or bits of red currant jelly.

So that’s kind of a boring recipe, but I guess the title didn’t oversell it.  It’s cold duck and chestnuts around the border.  It’s also from one of the spammers favorite cookbooks, 365 Luncheon Dishes.  They do love that cookbook.  I just wish that this week it had been something chocolate.  Did I mention how much I want chocolate this week?  I’m not sure I did.

I went back to my spam folder and found the message that had this recipe.  It had the interesting subject of ‘New Fat-Burner– Takes–GNC- by–Storm–‘.  I found that funny because I always thought that duck was a fatty meat.  According to the NPR it is.  So according to that spam message I should both eat the meat and burn fat.  I’m pretty sure that they’re doing what Fred said they do, fill the message with junk so it hopefully gets past the spam filter.  Well, my spam filter caught this recipe, so it didn’t work for them this time.

Maybe if I had a spam filter that wasn’t as smart, it might work.  On the other hand, they might give me chocolate recipes that way.  Hear that spammers?  Next time throw a chocolate recipe my way!

Until next time, toodles!

Oeufs en meurette

This week my spam folder brought me an incomplete recipe.  While not unusual, it was even missing the title.  I had to go searching for it and it turns out it is Oeufs en meurette.  My high school french was useful enough so that I know that oeufs is eggs, but it was lacking meurette.  Google translate wasn’t any help either.  Google told me it’s eggs in a red wine sauce.  The spam folder didn’t tell me how to put it all together.

The ingredients!

Oeufs en meurette

  • about 350ml fruity red wine
  • 225ml chicken or veal stock
  • 1 small onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot , thinly sliced
  • 1 stick of celery , thinly sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove , crushed
  • bouquet garni (see below)
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 25g butter
  • 85g unsmoked lardons
  • 85g button mushrooms , quartered
  • 8-10 small (sometimes called pickling) onions , peeled
  • 4 slices white bread , cut 5mm/quarter inch thick
  • thick oil for frying
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • thumb sized piece of dark chocolate optional
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 fresh eggs

I went back to my spam folder because there had to be something after that list of ingredients, right?  At least, that’s what I thought.  This is what I got:

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I don’t know about you, but that has nothing about putting oeufs en meurette together.  Instead it looks like the cut and pasted from some news article.  Come on, spam guys, give me the whole recipe next time!

Minced Collops

I have learned so much about food writing this blog, all these new recipes and ingredients have been educational.  Which brings us to this week’s recipe.  Minced Collops.  This is definitely a new one on me.

Minced Collops

  • Mince very fine 1 lb. of beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ozs. suet
  • a little flour
  • pepper
  • salt.

Stew half an hour, stirring frequently

I was planning on making this recipe, but you know, sometimes life gets in the way.  I just couldn’t find the time.  Fred and I ate out 4 nights in a row!  That’s a new record for us, but when you get busy, you get busy.  The fifth night I was so tired I just didn’t want to bother with the kitchen so I pulled out a frozen dinner for two.

Anyway, I had to know where this recipe came from.  Wikipedia told me that a collop is a slice of meat.  Considering this is minced collops, I guess it’s the silce of meat that you  mince.  A collop is also a measurement.  It’s the amount of land you need for one cow to graze.  Isn’t that something?  I have to wonder if the two are related.  You use a collop to raze a cow then a collop of cow is used for dinner.

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