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UNBELIEVABLE LASAGNA

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UNBELIEVABLE LASAGNA

(SERVES 10)

½ CUP BASIL PESTO

1 1/3 CUP MEAT-BASED TOMATO SAUCE (BOLOGNESE)

1 CUP AND 3 TBS ALFREDO SAUCE

2 LBS LASAGNA NOODLES COOKED AL DENTE IN SALTED WATER, DRAINED

¼ LB SOPRESATA SALAMI, THINLY SLICED AND CHOPPED

8 OZ FRESH MOZZARELLA, CHOPPED INTO SMALL CHUNKS

½ CUP SHREDDED PARMESAN CHEESE

8 OZ PROVOLONE CHEESE, SHREDDED

15 OZ RICOTTA CHEESE

Click here to read more…

Philosophy, et cetera: The Analytic Knife

Earlier this year, I read Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (available online here). Thankfully, the subject matter is neither of the title’s conjuncts. It’s actually a really good read. I particularly like the passage where he describes philosophical analysis through the metaphor of a ‘knife': (The following is quoted from Part I, chapter 7, pp. 69-71.)

The application of this knife, the division of the world into parts and the building of this structure, is something everybody does. All the time we are aware of millions of things around us – these changing shapes, these burning hills, the sound of the engine, the feel of the throttle, each rock and weed and fence post and piece of debris beside the road – aware of these things but not really conscious of them unless there is something unusual or unless they reflect something we are predisposed to see. We could not possibly be conscious of these things and remember all of them because our mind would be so full of useless details we would be unable to think. From all this awareness we must select, and what we select and call consciousness is never the same as the awareness because the process of selection mutates it. We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.

Once we have the handful of sand, the world of which we are conscious, a process of discrimination goes to work on it. This is the knife. We divide the sand into parts. This and that. Here and there. Black and white. Now and then. The discrimination is the division of the conscious universe into parts.

The handful of sand looks uniform at first, but the longer we look at it the more diverse we find it to be. Each grain of sand is different. No two are alike. Some are similar in one way, some are similar in another way, and we can form the sand into separate piles on the basis of this similarity and dissimilarity. Shades of color in different piles – sizes in different piles – grain shapes in different piles – subtypes of grain shapes in different piles – grades of opacity in different piles – and so on, and on, and on. You’d think the process of subdivision and classification would come to an end somewhere, but it doesn’t. It just goes on and on.

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Beef Stroganov

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BEEF STROGANOV (STROGANOFF)

(ADAPTED FROM “THE OLD RUSSIAN TEA ROOM” IN NYC RECIPE)

BEEF FILLET, SLICED INTO STRIPS
BUTTER
SOUR CREAM (MIXED WITH SOME FLOUR)
FLOUR
SALT AND PEPPER
DASH OFWHITE WINE
SLICED MUSHROOMS
DASH OF DIJON MUSTARD
DASH OF TOMATO PASTE
DASH OF PAPRIKA
SLICED ONIONS
PARSLEY FLAKES (OR CHOPPED FRESH ITALIAN PARSLEY)
(OPTIONAL -1 PACKET BEEF “FLAVOR BOOST” OR SOME BEEF GRANULES)
COOKED AND DRAINED MEDIUM EGG NOODLES (MANISCHEWITZ PREFERRED)

SEASON AND FLOUR THE BEEF STRIPS. SAUTE IN BUTTER; SET ASIDE.
SAUTE MUSHROOMS AND ONIONS IN BUTTER.
COMBINE MEAT, MUSHROOMS AND ONIONS WITH SOME DIJON MUSTARD, TOMATO PASTE , PAPRIKA , WHITE WINE, PARSLEY, (FLAVOR BOOST) AND THE SOUR CREAM MIXED WITH SOME FLOUR. COOK JUST TO THICKEN AND ACHIEVE DESIRED “DONENESS”.

SERVE WITH COOKED EGG NOODLES.

LINDY’S CHEESECAKE

LINDY'S CHEESE CAKE photo.docx

LINDY’S CHEESECAKE

CRUST:
1 CUP FLOUR
8 TBS BUTTER, CUBED
1 TSP LEMON ZEST
¼ TSP SALT
1 EGG YOLK
½ TSP VANILLA EXTRACT

FILLING:
2 ½ LBS CREAM CHEESE, SOFTENED
1 1/4 CUP SUGAR
2 TBS FLOUR
1 ½ TSP ORANGE ZEST
1 ½ TSP LEMON ZEST
½ TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
5 WHOLE EGGS PLUS 2 EGG YOLKS
¼ CUP HEAVY CREAM

FOR CRUST: COMBINE ALL UNTIL DOUGH FORMS. DIVIDE DOUGH INTO 2 ROUNDS. WRAP EACH PIECE IN PLASTIC WRAP AND CHILL ONE HOUR.
THEN PLACE ONE DOUGH ROUND INTO BOTTOM OF 9 INCH SPRINGFORM PAN. PULL OFF PIECES OF SECOND DOUGH ROUND AND PRESS AROUND SIDES OF PAN.

FOR FILLING: BEAT CHEESE, SUGAR, FLOUR, ZESTS AND VANILLA. ADD EGG AND YOLKS ONE AT A TIME (BEATING AFTER EACH ADDITION) UNTIL SMOOTH. STIR IN CREAM.

POUR FILLING INTO THE PAN AND BAKE UNTIL TOP BEGINS TO BROWN (@ 500) ABOUT 15 MINUTES. REDUCE HEAT TO 200 AND COOK UNTIL SET (ABOUT 1 HOUR). TRANSFER PAN TO RACK AND COOL. COVER AND REFRIGERATE AT LEAST 8 HOURS, AND THEN REMOVE CAKE FROM PAN.

Chicken, Pork or Veal Paprikash

chickenpaprikash

Chicken Paprikash

½ LB OF BONELESS/SKINLESS CHICKEN THIGHS, CUT INTO CHUNKS OR ½ LB OF PORK SHOULDER, CUT INTO CHUNKS [OR YOU CAN USE VEAL STEW CHUNKS]

4 OZ SLICED FRESH MUSHROOMS

½ CUP DICED ONION

½ CUP DICED CELERY

¼ CUP CHOPPED FRESH ITALIAN PARSLEY

SEVERAL GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED

1/2 GREEN OR RED PEPPER, CUT INTO CHUNKS

BUTTER

SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

½ PLUS CUP SOUR CREAM

FLOUR

½ CUP CHICKEN BROTH

1 TBS PLUS HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA (NOT SMOKED)

DASH OF TOMATO PASTE

DASH OF DIJON MUSTARD

¼ – ½ TSP POULTRY SEASONING (IF USING CHICKEN) OR DRIED THYME OR DRIED MARJORAM OTHERWISE

 

FLOUR THE MEAT PIECES AND SEASON WITH S & P. HEAVILY SPRINKLE WITH PAPRIKA.

SAUTE THE MEAT IN BUTTER UNTIL BEGINNING TO BROWN; REMOVE AND SET ASIDE.

SAUTE THE ONIONS, MUSHROOMS, GARLIC, CELERY, PARSLEY AND GREEN PEPPER IN THE BUTTER TO SOFTEN SOMEWHAT.

PLACE THE MEAT PIECES BACK WITH THE VEGGIE MIX AND ADD THE BROTH; COVER AND SIMMER 20 PLUS MINUTES, ADDING MORE PAPRIKA TO TASTE.

MIX THE SOUR CREAM WITH SOME FLOUR (HEAPING 1TBS) AND THEN COMBINE WITH THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS. CONTINUE TO SIMMER COVERED (COVER SLIGHTLY AJAR) 10 MINUTES UNTIL SOMEWHAT THICKENED.

 

SERVE OVER COOKED EGG NOODLES, SPAETZLE (PREFERRED) OR RICE.

 

We have defeated the Robots

Just an update.  Lots of attacks on our server since the site went up, but we have finally shut everything down. The caching seems to be kicking in nicely too. On another note, we’re working on an application that is going to let our members share all the great blogs that they find with all of our members.  You can see some of the handiwork showing up in the blogroll on the home page.

What we are hoping to achieve is a system that will aggregate all the content nominated by our member community, and then put that content to our members for a vote, with the goal of coming to a consensus on what the Best Blog Ever, actually is! More on that later, but it’s pretty exciting from this side of the firewall.

Cheers!