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Recipes for Disaster:The Cooking Sub-Forum


#1

Inspired by The Opener, and the need for Matt Lee’s hair to continue to have a healthy meal in order to not weaken.

We need food. It’s a proven fact, probably.

But when you’re playing games, who has time to eat?
Well, all of us.
But who has time to cook?
Again, all of us.

Fine!

This is a place for us to share food. Not literally, the internet isn’t that good yet.

But we can share food-things that allow us to continue to not die whilst still playing games, and also not be miserable about the quality of the hard-tack of our game overlords.

Preferably you should share simple gamer-food here, which would be the most useful to us, and should be the majority of posts, but more elaborate recipes are fine. But quick, easy, and happy is the best.

What you feel about making it is the money-melon, though. Don’t think you have to add this quality to this sub-forum, good snacks for gamers is the focus. But it’s certainly allowed. Love makes good food.


#2

To start this off, I’ll share a simple Gazpacho recipe I sent to my aunt in '09. I made it overly elaborate, and I made a few digressions, but the basic recipe in bold is foolproof. I’m just doing this to show everyone that whatever you post here, it’s not going to be worse than this:

OK, going to give you the text, with a few comments in italics. Anything in italics are my personal notes. What I actually do is added after the recipe. You could do the original recipe with great results, btw, it’s kind of an idiot-proof dish (that’s why so many people puree it: they’re lazy and want to have an easy, tasty side course. Drop the ingredients into a blender, and you’re done! I personally hate “blender salad.”)
Katie’s Gazpacho
Get this stuff!
3 tomatoes
1 cucumber (I sometimes add or substitute a little high-quality deli or kosher pickle, about 1/4 or 1/8 cucumber’s worth)
1 red onion (I use sweet onion, but red does look good and adds zip. If your onions are small, you may need 2 or 3)
1 clove fresh garlic (I sometimes use 2 if small, more on garlic later)
1/4 cup oil (extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup vinegar (I use balsamic vinegar, and add somewhere from a tea- to a table-spoon apple cider vinegar to compensate for the lack of acidity)
3/4 pint tomato juice (= 1 1/2 cups, = 12 oz, = one soda-sized can of V8. V8 adds more flavor, smoother texture, and more salt than tomato juice.)
1 yellow pepper (green peppers aren’t ripe and taste unripe. They should never be used for gazpacho. Orange or red are ok, but yellow is best for color)
salt and pepper to taste (get to salt in a moment, but always use fresh ground pepper. A fun substitute for pepper: grains of paradise (aka alligator pepper)!
optional: fresh cilantro, maybe fresh basil or other fresh herb to taste
optional? not really: 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, preferably red-ripe, but green is ok
Tabasco sauce. Also not really optional

Chop all the vegetables into small pieces. Mix tomato juice, oil, and vinegar with a spoon. Add the chopped vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve to your buds!

That’s a fine recipe. Make it, ignore my italics, and you’ll be happy. But here’s what I do:

Examine all veggies when you buy them. Only get the ones that make you happy. Do organic when you can, especially for the cucumber and tomatoes, but only if they’re good quality.

Chop veggies in order on the same board: in order of most-flavorful to most flavor-retaining: garlic, then onion, then peppers, then tomato, then cucumber. If you use a little bit of a deli pickle, I’ve no idea when you should chop it, that’s a work in progress.

On a sturdy chopping board, with a solid and sharp chef’s knife, smack a clove or two of garlic (depending on how big they are) with the flat of the blade to peel it. Walk the knife over the garlic a bit. Throw a couple of large pinches of coarse salt (kosher or sea) on the garlic (combined with the salt from the V8 later on, this is where all your salt for the dish is coming from). With the flat of the blade, smoosh and grind the salt into the garlic. Think about scraping on wallpaper paste, or mortaring bricks, that should give some idea about how to smoosh the garlic. You could use a mortar and pestle (it’s more traditional), but you retain a lot of flavor by using one cutting board.

The point is to have a runny wet garlicky liquid paste, with no chunks, that will dissolve into the soup. If it seems like you can’t get rid of the chunks, add a little more salt. If you started with too much salt, adding more garlic isn’t necessarily a good idea, but it is an exciting one!

Scrape that mess into the oil and vinegar, and mix it up a little. This will retain some of the volatile (and tasty) oils, and un-harsh the “gaaalic” a little.

Chop the onion. Try to get any garlic/salt mess to rub off of the knife and cutting board onto the onion.

Do 1/4 to 1/2 the onion at a time, it makes it a little easier, and this is the reason why: You want to chop most of it into tiny, itty-bitty pieces, so after the main chop, walk the knife over it until you really get sick of doing it (this will be the technique for most of the veggies). It’s becomes the body of the soup, and the flavors will marry well. But, you want to have some of it, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the onion, in pieces no larger than 1/2 your pinkie nail. This will add texture and crunch to the final soup. I call this our chopping algorithm.

Scrape it off into the bowl, add the can of V8, and stir. Start tasting every so often.

Seed and de-vein the jalapeno. If you are sensitive, wear gloves for this, but when finished, a de-veined jalapeno isn’t very hot. Chop it until your arm is tired: because the jalapeno is much smaller than any other veggie we’re using, you want it in tiny pieces to get the flavor throughout the soup, and so there are no surprise bites of jalapeno. Scrape Into Bowl And Stir (hereafter referred as SIBAS).

Tear the stem and seeds out of the yellow pepper. The veins can stay, unless you have something against them, just be sure the veins are chopped real tiny, they have flavor, but no crunch. About 1/4 of the crunchy part should be in pieces no larger than pinkie nail, most should be itty-bitty, some should be in-between (the chopping algorithm). SIBAS.

Slice tomatoes in half through their waist. Over a sink or garbage bowl, stick your fingers into where all the seeds are, and poke those seeds out. They’ll squirt everywhere. Don’t stress it too much, a few seeds won’t kill you. Chop those suckers up using the same algorithm: about 1/3 no bigger than pinkie,etc. You’ll find this will turn the smaller chop into mush, and will have a hard time dealing with chopping the skin. I personally don’t do it, but the use of a food processor or something for some of the tomatoes is forgivable. SIBAS.

Partially peel the cucumber, so you have broad strips of peel/unpeel running up and down the 'cumber (if you can only go organic with one veggie, do it with the cucumber. Conventional cuckes have waxy, tough, bitter peels. You don’t have to peel most organic cuckes at all). Follow the chopping algorithm. SIBAS.

Grind pepper into it, until it no longer needs pepper. If you use grains of paradise, make sure it is ground fine: it’s corns are a bit hard. Take a bottle of Tabasco and fire it into the bowl a few times. This will not make it hot.

Keep tasting it. It may need more salt, pepper, or acid (in the form of vinegars, Tabasco, or even citrus). It may even need more garlic! :wink:

Keep it in the fridge for 1-3 days. Aww, go ahead, have a bowl now!

Just before serving, take your cilantro (and possibly basil or other fresh herbs, don’t use more than 2-3 different kinds), and pull off & wash what you need (guestimate 1/2 tablespoon-ish of each? Aw hell, make it more than you need, you just wont use it all). Chiffonade the herbs (stack herbs up, smaller leaves on top of bigger leaves, roll them up, and slice that roll into ribbons. Walk the knife over the ribbons a few times). Add to taste.

Totally optional: lemon/lime zest (just before serving); lemon/lime juice to substitute some of the vinegar; fresh grated hard cheese; croutons on the side or just before serving; a nice crusty bread (traditionally stale bread, but really…); chopped olives; diced mushrooms; (just before serving) sliced hard-boiled egg and/or shaved ham on top; and diced all-the-veggies-that-are-already-in-the-soup on the side, to be used as toppings (usually done with “blender-salad,” seems ridiculous to me why it’s pureed if you serve with chopped veggies as a topping).


Meals for the Merely Misfortunate Game Night (Or, One-Pot-Wonders-that-may-not-need-a-pot)
#3

Here’s my veganized version of my favourite cookie recipe. :slight_smile:

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 heaping Tbsp. ground flax seed
1/3 cup water
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. (300 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (12 Tbsp., 1 ½ sticks) Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks, melted and cooled until just warm
1 cup packed (200 g) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or grease them with vegetable oil.
  2. Mix the flax seed and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Add the flax mixture, oil, and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture, and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts if using).
  5. Roll the dough into large balls, just under ¼ cup each. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake until the outer edges of the cookies just start to harden and the centres are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a wide metal spatula.

#4

Walt, I’m a bit confused - in what system is 1/4 pint = 1 1/2 cups? As far as I know, American pints are 16 oz (2 cups) and Imperial pints are 20 oz (2 1/2 cups), and a quarter of either of those is much less than 1 1/2 cups. I live in Canada, though, where no one really understands pints, so maybe I’m missing something.


#5

Easy one from me:

1 Tin of Tuna
1 Spring Onion
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Tea Spoon of Toasted Sesame oil

chop the spring onion, mix it together with everything else… eat it with rice.
Job done!


#6

@mnefstead I should have said 3/4 pints. I have no idea what a pint is outside of a pub, honestly. Oh my poor Aunt Susie, maybe that’s what was confusing her!

Anyway, fixed it above. Thanks! And my teenager likes your recipe and wants to try it out.

@macnme Super easy, I’m giving that one to my mom!


#7

The Best Goddamn Pizza Base!

(makes 3 pizzas)
640g strong white bread flour
425ml lukewarm water
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
7g sachet dried yeast

Combine everything in a bowl and knead until doughy. Or, as I do, chuck everything in a breadmaker on the dough setting and let the machine do its thing. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knock some of the air out of the dough. I’m serious about the well-floured thing, it will be sticky as balls.

Here’s the secret ingredient - divide the dough into three, put each into a freezer bag, chuck it in the fridge and leave it for 1-5 days. The longer you leave it, the more sourdough-y and awesome the end result will be (but often the longer the rise will be once you get it out). If you’re not going to eat all three at once, put whatever you’re not going to eat in the freezer not the fridge, it’s still good if you defrost it like the day before you want it.

2 hours before go time, remove from the fridge, flour, form into a ball and place into a deepish bowl. Cover with film and leave in a warm place until (ideally) doubled in size. Turn out onto a floured surface, gently ease it into about an 8-inch circle, then form a fist and drape the dough over it to gently stretch it out to about 10-11 inches. The dough is really elastic so as long as you’re using plenty of flour to stop it actually sticking to you this is way easier and less scary than it sounds. Try to touch the edges of the pizza as little as possible as you’re stretching it out, you want to leave as much air in the outer crust as you can so it puffs up nicely with lovely crisp irregular airholes.

Transfer to a pizza tray, throw on 3 tbsp of your pizza sauce of choice (starting in the middle of the base and swirling it outward) and whatever toppings float your boat. Cook at BASTARD HOT until it’s done. The base should come out nice and crisp underneath but really tasty and soft in the middle. It makes a really nice garlic bread, too - instead of the marinara, top with a bunch of garlic butter plus mozzarella, dried oregano and a little fresh parmesan.

And now I really want to make a batch of this stuff tonight.


#8

@Rodafowa This sounds suspiciously like my Gram’s pizza dough, but we only did it same-day, not letting it ripen. The “suspicious” parts (that made me think you were in my house when we were kids making this with her) were the individual ingredients, the kneading, and the “sticky as balls” property of the dough (not the proportions, though. As noted earlier, I suck at simple fractions. American/Imperial/Metric conversions may be entirely out of my wheelhouse). But a similar crunch outside & chew inside result.

When we did it, though, sometimes the center would be a little soaked from the sauce and toppings. My Gram started scattering corn meal on the pan (which helped keep it from sticking and provided little air pockets to help it form a crust on the bottom), and pre-baking it for some minutes before topping.

We got it pretty good, and the corn-meal trick worked awesome, but as much as I want to honor my Gram’s memory, I want to ripen the dough as you describe and see if I can make it better.

That’s also a great dough to enclose meat and veggies in steamed Asian dumplings. Add a little sweetness (honey or refined sugar) after ripening/kneading for half a day. Wrap it around tablespoons of whatever meat/ginger/green onion/soy sauce etc. combo, and steam each until firm… The dough is almost the same recipe, just used in a different way.


#9

This is cribbed from a mini recipe book our house did for Christmas presents. I may post a link to a PDF here later. I’m vegan, and so is our house, so this is too. It’s also a totally stolen recipe, just rewritten in my style. You should be able to find a more sensible recipe online somewhere. But basically, I want to encourage this thread, whilst being too lazy to actually write up a new recipe).

You can ignore the fact that it’s got a lot of names in the intro. The key one is that I’m Alex, and I used to have a housemate called David (who is still alive).


Black pepper tofu

This recipe is pretty wholesale stolen from Yotam Ottolenghi, after Alex got shown it by Rufus and Sandhu, long time friends of the maison. The recipe as written appears to call for enough black pepper to kill anyone that will eat it. The first time we made it, we used half the amount Yotam suggests, and it almost blinded David.

It’s supposed to be strong though, the power of the sauce contrasting with the light fluffiness of the tofu. It should hurt, but not destroy. Serve it with some white rice and an aubergine dengaku for a lovely cocktail of strong but different flavours.

Two packets of firm tofu
Sunflower oil
Cornflour
Enormous dollop of margarine.
12 shallots really, really, thinly sliced
8 mild red chillis thinly sliced
12 garlic cloves, crushed
Big old lump of grated ginger
Three different soy sauces, sweet, light and dark. Three spoons of each, and then an extra one of dark.
A spoonful of sugar
2 big spoons of black peppercorns, pounded halfway to oblivion in a mortar and pestle
A few spring onions, chopped small, and thrown on at the end.

So first you prepare the tofu. You chop it into quite big cubes, cover it in cornflour, and deepish fry it (we tend to put in enough oil to get halfway up each bit of tofu, and then turn them halfway). Pop them on some kitchen towel or in a colander to drain. They can sit at the side for now.

Get a big stiry fry pan, and melt down the margarine in it, once it’s sizzling, chuck in the shallots, chillis and ginger, and put the hob on a low heat. Cook it all under a lid for about fifteen minutes (just enough time to soak in ‘My First Homage’ by Gavin Bryars, a lovely piece of piano if ever there was one). Once that’s done, pour in all those soy sauces, and the sugar. Stir it all through, and let it bubble and fill the room with intensely strong flavours. Then you chuck in the peppercorns, and hope that nobody is going to die tonight.

Once it’s all in there together, it should look bloody incredible. Chuck in the tofu, and stir it around to make sure it’s totally covered in the hot lumpy goo. Let it sit in the pan to warm through, then turn the pan off, and chuck in the spring onions. More stirring, and you’re ready to serve.

Be strong.


#10

8 chili peppers… 12 garlic cloves… And this recipe is for how many persons exactly? :smiley:


#11

I’ve made a very similar recipe for black pepper tofu - it is indeed intense! This is the recipe to give to people who think tofu is always bland and boring. :wink:


#12

It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone use a whole “hand” of garlic in a dish. I’m excited.

@Olero Alabaster did say mild chillis? No, I suppose that doesn’t help much. That’s still a lot of chillis and garlic. Which is awesome.

Honestly I’d like to try it with less-than-mild chillis. Like, pushy, angsty chillis, who had a disruptive childhood, and are now angry young peppers who want to take it out on your tongue. But who don’t want to seriously hurt somebody. Like red ripe jalapenos (They’re pretty rare in the shops but easy to grow yourself, btw.)

Red ripe jalapenos, are inflammatory yet sweet. They won’t start a riot, but they’d be fine with Occupying Wall Street, and now I realize my analogy is stupid and outdated and I need to stop typing and just go to bed. It’s late, and I’ll be hungry when I wake up, probably craving extreme tofu.


#13

I think, surprisingly, the heat comes from the peppercorns rather than the chilis. It’s a terrifying amount. I am a bit of a heat fiend, and I would advise being careful about pushing it much further than recommended.

I think the recipe serves about 2-4, depending on what you serve it with.

Tofu is only boring if you do boring things with it. Here it’s a lovely light fluffy relief. I love the stuff, and it kind of amazes me how many different things you can do with it.


#14

Good shout for a thread!

@AlabasterC - be interested to try that! I do love the heat, but really despise tofu! (it’s the texture, wurgh) but hey, willing to keep trying. @Rodafowa - I was planning to chime in with pizza, but you look like you’ve got that covered well and good (and goddamn, now I want pizza).

So, instead of a full on recipe I’ll give you the adjustments I make for game-time pizza.

Cold Calzone:

Some additional things you need:
a can of tinned tomatoes
a ball or two of mozzarella
anything else you want as a filling!

  1. Follow Rodafowa’s recipe right up to the dough being in a deep bowl.
  2. While that’s going on, grate up your mozzarella, slice up your other fillings to the desired chunkiness, and slap’em in a bowl with the tinned tomatoes.
  3. Mix it all up.
  4. Back to Rodafowa’s recipe, stretch the dough out to about 8 inch bases.
  5. Whack a spoonful or two of filling-gloop into the middle of the base (don’t overload it).
  6. Fold it in half, and pinch the edges together in a rough seal (for added security, you can bend the edges up a little).
  7. Cook, as the man says, bastard hot for about 10-15 mins.
  8. Let cool for a couple of hours.
  9. Stick in fridge until you need them.
  10. Take out of fridge.
  11. Eat.

So the reasoning behind all this is centered around a couple of things. For one, using tinned tomatoes makes the filling a little chunkier and (importantly) means the filling-mixture won’t be as sloppy, which we’re trying to avoid here. For two, grating up the mozzarella means it disperses through the mix, which thickens the mix a touch and makes the whole mix cheesy as opposed to getting cheese-lumps. Making them a bit smaller than normal pizzas mean they’ll fit well in the hand, without spilling over. The last part is letting it cool and sticking them in the fridge - this lets all the fillings firm up a touch. You’re probably spotting a theme here - and yup, the point of all of this is that when you serve them up, they’re a hell of a lot less messy, which means people can safely chomp away on the tasty buggers while you game, and your board/cards/etc will probably remain unsullied by flying food. It also makes them much more portable - so people can wander around with them, or you can take them to someone elses house without trouble. I tend to do this kind of thing particularly for bigger/longer games (TI3, looking at you) as it means the game can tick along at a good pace without anyone starving, and people can eat as and when they like.

Of course, feel free to deviate from the above wherever you like - one the the best things about cooking (and especially mucking around with various dough-based things) is you can make it up as you go along, and once you’ve got a general feel for it, it’s rare you’ll go wrong, you’ll just go different! A personal favourite of mine is flinging chili flakes into the dough right at the start when you’re mixing it :slight_smile:


#15

Oh man. I do love a calzone. /BenWyatt

I totally want to give your method a try now. Although if you’re looking for an 8-inch base, I reckon you’d probably get away with cutting my recipe in half. My calzones tend toward the INTIMIDATINGLY GARGANTUAN.


#16

I don’t have a recipe to share, but I just wanted to applaud your title for this thread - bravo!


#17

Aha, that just means you make twice as many! Or, yes, you could make a protocalzone.


#18
I don't have a recipe to share, but I just wanted to applaud your title for this thread - bravo!
That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me! (Minutewalt runs away to hide, and weeps in tears of joy)

#20

@AlabasterC i flipping love tofu, so will surely have a bash at this at some point.
your references to fluffiness suggest you wat a not-very-pressed tofu, right?


#21

oh, and if we’re allowed to copypasta wholesale from things we’ve written elsewhere


the most underrated delicacy

when you stumble home feeling snowman-ish
with two ingredients (and maybe some garnish)
you can make a meal which will banish
all traces of hanger from your belly
and clear fear from your mind as well (e-
ven if you cant afford to shop at the organic deli)

opening up your refrigerator
you will find a bowl or plate or
tupperware of food you left for later
last night or perhaps the night before
when you discovered you had prepared more
food than could be crammed into your maw
be grateful to yourself of yesterday
as his propensity for overca-
tering has given you “ingredient a”

depending on the nature of your saved
comestibles it may take too much brave-
ery to eat cold so a microwave
or saucepan may be used to warm it through
the method selected is up to you
(who am i to tell you what to do?)

the second step is also none-too-hard
it simply requires you to maillard
some bread (stopping before it’s charred)
once happy with the browning of your bread
all that’s really left to do is spread
ingredient a all across its head

it’s nothing of which you will want to boast
but the delicious dish i make the most
brings simple joys - leftovers on toast