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What are you making for dinner tonite?

What are you making for dinner tonite?
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  • Post #1831 - April 17th, 2022, 7:45 am
    Post #1831 - April 17th, 2022, 7:45 am Post #1831 - April 17th, 2022, 7:45 am
    Sorry I quoted rather than edited.
  • Post #1832 - April 17th, 2022, 8:33 am
    Post #1832 - April 17th, 2022, 8:33 am Post #1832 - April 17th, 2022, 8:33 am
    lougord99 wrote:Slice everything up and serve.

    I'll take 3, cilantro, onions and lime. Couple of grilled jalapenos w/salt on the side.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1833 - April 17th, 2022, 8:36 am
    Post #1833 - April 17th, 2022, 8:36 am Post #1833 - April 17th, 2022, 8:36 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Smoked chicken (leg quarter and a portion of breast), leftover/reheated potato kugel & lentils, mache/arugula salad with homemade buttermilk/chive/shallot dressing.

    Chicken looks great! But, please stop torturing us with the kugel.

    I'm going to have to bust out "Granny's" kugel recipe for next week. (see what you have driven me to)
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1834 - April 17th, 2022, 9:49 am
    Post #1834 - April 17th, 2022, 9:49 am Post #1834 - April 17th, 2022, 9:49 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Smoked chicken (leg quarter and a portion of breast), leftover/reheated potato kugel & lentils, mache/arugula salad with homemade buttermilk/chive/shallot dressing.

    Chicken looks great! But, please stop torturing us with the kugel.

    I'm going to have to bust out "Granny's" kugel recipe for next week. (see what you have driven me to)

    Hehe. Looking forward to it.

    Maybe I should replace the weekly slaw with the weekly kugel! :D

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1835 - April 18th, 2022, 10:27 am
    Post #1835 - April 18th, 2022, 10:27 am Post #1835 - April 18th, 2022, 10:27 am
    My contribution to easter supper was a salad with bleu cheese and avocado and a lemon-based vinaigrette (the little bit of passover horseradish I microplaned into it didn't really make itself known, but the garden chives did), and glazed carrots with mushrooms, which came out great.

    2lb carrots peeled and sliced 1/2" on the bias
    1/2 lb white mushrooms, quartered or sixthed (sliced shiitake caps would be better)
    4 Tbs butter, melted (more if you've used it to coat the inside of your microwave)
    1 Tbs white miso (might have been a little more)
    about 1tsp thyme leaves (a mix of fresh and dried)
    3-4 Tbs honey
    2 large cloves garlic, grated on microplane
    about 2 Tbs mirin

    Place the carrots in a pot with water to cover, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes
    While that happens, place the mushrooms in a dry cast-iron pan on high. When they are well-browned on one side, add about 1Tbs of the butter. Stir the mushrooms periodically to avoid burning while the carrots simmer.
    Stir together the remaining butter, miso, honey, garlic and thyme. Add the mirin to get a saucy consistency, you may not need it all. Taste and adjust miso and honey, it should be salty and sweet.
    Drain the carrots well and add to the pan with the mushrooms. Add the glaze and toss for about a minute. Serve.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1836 - April 18th, 2022, 6:46 pm
    Post #1836 - April 18th, 2022, 6:46 pm Post #1836 - April 18th, 2022, 6:46 pm
    A meaty Monday with some NY strips but first, side-dishery . . .

    Image
    Mushroom Mise En Place & Konosuke Fujiyama FM Blue #2 gyuto, 240mm
    4x gelatinous beef stock, minced garlic, creminis, salt, black pepper and evoo (there was also some red wine but I forgot to get it out before the pic). A saute into a slow simmer until the mushrooms lost their moisture and absorbed the pot liquor.

    Image
    Seasoned
    A couple of choice NY Strips from Costco, oiled and heavily seasoned with salt, black pepper and dashes of a couple of different homemade rubs. As it turned out, these were some of the better steaks I've had from Costco in a long time. Given that they were choice, that was especially surprising. They were delicious and may not have needed such an aggressive approach.

    Image
    Grilling
    Just a few moments directly over the lump charcoal to mark them, then indirect/covered the rest of the way. I was back on the Napoleon again tonight and have devised a work-around for its hinged lid and illogical damper placement. I close the top damper entirely and use a grate lifter to keep the lid slightly ajar (opposite the coals) during the indirect portion of the cook. This drafts the heat across the entirety of the cooking surface and -- more importantly -- the food. 8-)

    Image
    Plated Up
    Charcoal-grilled NY strip, simmered mushrooms and a blob of the weekly slaw.

    Happy Monday! :)

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1837 - April 19th, 2022, 6:16 pm
    Post #1837 - April 19th, 2022, 6:16 pm Post #1837 - April 19th, 2022, 6:16 pm
    Wanted a quickie side to go with leftover/reheated smoked chicken. Sadly, the bok choy I bought was pretty gritty and I had to disassemble the heads to get them clean. From there, I separated the leaves from the stems and chopped the stems into smaller pieces for quicker cooking . . .

    Image
    Bok Choy Mise En Place & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
    Red hot finger chiles, minced garlic, bok choy stems, boy choy leaves, shoyu and untoasted sesame oil.

    Fought against my default inclination and did my best to keep it as minimalist as possible. Really wanted to showcase the bok choy, shoyu and sesame oil.

    Image
    Stir-Fried Bok Choy
    Garnished with toasted sesame seeds. Textures and flavors were great. I ended up adding some homemade chile oil to my serving, just to give it some extra oomph.

    Image
    Plated Up
    In the end, it was a really bizarre but tasty dinner: reheated low & slow bbq chicken, stir-fried bok choy and the last of the potato kugel (leftover and reheated). I'm really going to miss that kugel . . . :(

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1838 - April 19th, 2022, 6:41 pm
    Post #1838 - April 19th, 2022, 6:41 pm Post #1838 - April 19th, 2022, 6:41 pm
    A dish that is in our regular rotation, stir fried chicken inspired by Ming Tsai.
    ImageBoneless thighs, cayenne, chicken stock, onion, jalapeno, agave syrup, cashews, oyster sauce and red pepper.
    Imageheat a Tbsp of oil in a wok until hot and cook the cashews, moving constantly, until brown but not burnt - about 45 seconds. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with cayenne and drizzle with agave. Add a little more oil and get very hot. Salt and pepper the chicken and cook until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from pan.
    ImageThin slice the jalapeno and thick slice the onion and red pepper. Stir fry until slightly soft, but still a little crunchy. Add back in chicken and cashews and add in stock and oyster sauce. Cook until chicken is hot.
    ImageServe over rice.
  • Post #1839 - April 21st, 2022, 6:15 pm
    Post #1839 - April 21st, 2022, 6:15 pm Post #1839 - April 21st, 2022, 6:15 pm
    lougord99 wrote:A dish that is in our regular rotation, stir fried chicken inspired by Ming Tsai . . .

    Looks great. Lou.

    Wanted lamb chops but they were 86'd at the store (and I didn't want to run around to another store), so opted for pork tenderloin on the grill. But first, a condiment . . .

    Image
    Ramp 'Chimichurri' Mise En Place & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
    Gochugaru, minced ramp leaves, minced garlic, black pepper, evoo, minced ramp stalks and salt. Really just a flat-out bastardization but I wanted to put the ramps to use. I actually heated the oil and did a sizzling pour-over on top of all the other ingredients. It turned out pretty good.

    Image
    Grilling
    Trimmed, trussed, oiled, seasoned and grilled direct to mark them. After that, indirect the rest of the way, until they reached about 125F internal. They carried over quite a bit from there.

    Image
    Plated Up
    Charcoal-grilled pork tenderloin, ramp 'chimichurri' and leftover/reheated bok choy.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1840 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:13 pm
    Post #1840 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:13 pm Post #1840 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:13 pm
    Last night was a sushi night, but I sometimes get tired of the usual nigiri and maki. (And, sorry, I forgot to take photos at many of the steps.) I hope my descriptions of what I made aren’t too basic for true sushi aficionados.

    Rice was cooked, then went into the hangiri for seasoning. Image

    First version was pressed sushi — oshizushi. Lining the bottom of the oshizushihako (oshizushi mold) with salmon. Image
    It gets turned upside down after cutting down the slots in the mold, so the salmon will be on top. After the layer of salmon is finished, a little rice is added, then another layer of something, then more rice. In this case, the middle layer was egg, cooked with a little potato starch and cut into thin slices. Another version was made with shrimp on top and gari in the middle.

    For the other style, I made temari sushi — named after decorative Japanese toy balls. Again, no pix of the making, but a pattern of green onion or other stuff went down on a piece of plastic wrap, then the protein (again, salmon or shrimp), topped with a round, large-marble-or-small-golf-ball-sized serving of rice, then rolled up into a sphere by gathering up the plastic and twisting.

    Both styles are known for decorative toppings. I used various toppings: slivers of egg, red tobiko, domestic caviar, basil flowers, mustard flower, turnip greens, green onion, and edible gold flakes — one or two (rarely three) for each piece. Arranged for dinner: Image

    I’m not sure my Japanese ancestors would approve of my ingredients or technique. Luckily, I don’t have any Japanese ancestors.
    Last edited by nr706 on April 22nd, 2022, 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #1841 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:49 pm
    Post #1841 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:49 pm Post #1841 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:49 pm
    nr706 wrote:Last night was a sushi night, but I sometimes get tired of the usual nigiri and maki. (And, sorry, I forgot to take photos at many of the steps.) I hope my descriptions of what I made aren’t too basic for true sushi aficionados.

    Rice was cooked, then went into the hangiri for seasoning. Image

    First version was pressed sushi — oshizushi. Lining the bottom of the oshizushihako (oshizushi mold) with salmon. Image
    It gets turned upside down after cutting down the slots in the mold, so the salmon will be on top. After the layer of salmon is finished, a little rice is added, then another layer of something, then more rice. In this case, the middle layer was egg, cooked with a little potato starch and cut into thin slices. Another version was made with shrimp on top and gari in the middle.

    For the other style, I made temari sushi — named after decorative Japanese toy balls. Again, no pix of the making, but a pattern of green onion or other stuff went down on a piece of plastic wrap, then the protein (again, salmon or spinach), topped with a round, large-marble-or-small-golf-ball-sized serving of rice, then rolled up into a sphere by gathering up the plastic and twisting.

    Both styles are known for decorative toppings. I used various toppings: slivers of egg, red tobiku, domestic caviar, basil flowers, mustard flower, turnip greens, green onion, and edible gold flakes — one or two (rarely three) for each piece. Arranged for dinner: Image

    I’m not sure my Japanese ancestors would approve of my ingredients or technique. Luckily, I don’t have any Japanese ancestors.


    Gorgeous! And looks like it was fun to put together :)
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #1842 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:52 pm
    Post #1842 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:52 pm Post #1842 - April 22nd, 2022, 3:52 pm
    This is amazing. I'm not sure where to begin even asking questions.

    What is difference between domestic caviar and red Tobiku which I have never heard of, but google tells me is caviar.

    Mustard flowers, basil flowers - Matsuwa market ?

    Edible gold flakes : I know what those are - where do you get them ?

    Gari - Google tells me that is processed cassava. Where did you get this ?

    Everything looks amazing - I just don't understand how to duplicate - can you help ?
  • Post #1843 - April 22nd, 2022, 4:34 pm
    Post #1843 - April 22nd, 2022, 4:34 pm Post #1843 - April 22nd, 2022, 4:34 pm
    nr706 wrote:I’m not sure my Japanese ancestors would approve of my ingredients or technique. Luckily, I don’t have any Japanese ancestors.

    Lol! Everything looks amazing. If they did exist, I'm sure they'd be pleased. :D

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1844 - April 22nd, 2022, 5:56 pm
    Post #1844 - April 22nd, 2022, 5:56 pm Post #1844 - April 22nd, 2022, 5:56 pm
    Gari is pickled ginger
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1845 - April 22nd, 2022, 10:35 pm
    Post #1845 - April 22nd, 2022, 10:35 pm Post #1845 - April 22nd, 2022, 10:35 pm
    lougord99 wrote:What is difference between domestic caviar and red Tobiku which I have never heard of, but google tells me is caviar.
    My bad — I mis-spelled it, it's tobiko, or flying fish roe. It comes dyed in a number of colors. And the "domestic caviar, " — I just double checked — is actually a lumpfish roe caviar from Iceland. So, two mistakes. Sorry.

    lougord99 wrote:Mustard flowers, basil flowers - Matsuwa market ?
    From the grow lights in the basement. I probably started on seeds for the garden a bit early; some of the plants started to blossom.

    lougord99 wrote:Edible gold flakes : I know what those are - where do you get them ?
    A remnant of the brief, unlamented fad for glitter beers of a few years ago. It's originally from Amazon, and usually used for cake decorating.

    lougord99 wrote:Gari - Google tells me that is processed cassava. Where did you get this ?
    As Joel F noted, gari is is also a term for pickled ginger. Just about any well-stocked grocery should have it.

    lougord99 wrote:Everything looks amazing - I just don't understand how to duplicate - can you help ?
    Thanks. There are plenty of YouTube videos on both Oshizushi and Temari Sushi.
  • Post #1846 - April 23rd, 2022, 8:31 am
    Post #1846 - April 23rd, 2022, 8:31 am Post #1846 - April 23rd, 2022, 8:31 am
    Andouille hash with home made Andouille.
    ImageAndouille, potatoes, carrot, scallions and onion. Seasoned with cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, salt and mustard.
    Image Cube the potatoes, boil and then brown in a little oil and remove. Brown the sliced andouille and remove.
    Image Soften all the other vegetables and add back potatoes and andouille and add seasonings.
  • Post #1847 - April 24th, 2022, 6:42 pm
    Post #1847 - April 24th, 2022, 6:42 pm Post #1847 - April 24th, 2022, 6:42 pm
    Tonight's dinner prep was something new for me. A recent video -- posted by Mandy at Souped Up Recipes' youtube channel -- demoing Teochew Five Spices Meat Rolls caught my eye and I thought I'd give it a try. I've had them a few times at restaurants and have always enjoyed them but you don't see them very often, so I figured it'd be a good use of my time learning how to make them . . .

    Image
    Mise En Place & Yahiko Ginsan Nashiji Hand Engraved Gyuto, 210mm
    Jicama, salt, scallion bottoms, soy sauce, fish sauce, minced ginger, minced garlic, fish powder, five spice powder, Chinese-inspired spice mix, tofu wrappers/skins, eggs, coarsely ground pork and sweet potato starch.

    Tried my best to follow Mandy's steps but the only fish powder I could locate was a Thai version that also contains chiles (no worries there, I like heat). Also, I decided to add some of my homemade, Chinese-inspired spice mix because it contains some homemade 5-Spice powder but also some other seasonings I thought would do well here (e.g. black pepper, cumin, coriander, etc.).

    Image
    Filling Mixture
    Method is pretty basic: excluding the wrappers, make a filling with everything but the jicama and scallions. Using your hand, mix it in one direction until the mixture become emulsified and you can see the meat fibers. After that, mix in the jicama and the scallions. Next, roll the filling into the tofu wrappers and fry them in veg oil at about 325F. You don't want go much hotter than that or you risk overcooking the exteriors before the filling is cooked.

    Before I rolled and fried them, I also stir-fried a quick lita squash side dish and made a dipping sauce . . .

    Image
    Stir-Fried Lita Squash
    Cooked in veg oil with red hot finger chiles, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Garnished with toasted sesame seeds.

    Had to fry them in 3 shifts because I could only fit 4 across in the wok but we eventually arrived here . . .

    Image
    On The Platter
    Five Spice+ Pork Rolls.

    Image
    Plated Up
    With stir-fried lita squash and a quick, sizzling-oil dipping sauce (hot veg oil over garlic, ginger sesame seeds, gochugaru, granulated sugar and scallion greens, then once cooled, add soy sauce, black vinegar and toasted sesame oil. These turned out great. Other than the 3 shifts at the wok, not too much work. I wouldn't hesitate to make them again. And, yet another great recipe from Mandy. To my memory, she's never steered me wrong.

    Happy Sunday! :)

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1848 - April 24th, 2022, 11:24 pm
    Post #1848 - April 24th, 2022, 11:24 pm Post #1848 - April 24th, 2022, 11:24 pm
    Last night was pizza night.
    Image
    A mise en place pic to chuckle at compared with Ron's exquisite ingredients and superb cutlery: Toppings for 3 individual pizzas - pepperoni, artichoke/tomato/black olive, double (or triple?) mushroom/pepper, along with my trusty red Mundial parer and homemade pizza pin. Altho I have tons of other knives, including better Victorinox paring knives (and a "For Men Only" ham slicer and one of those county fair cuts-through-a-beer can knife/saw things), this red one and its green twin are the ones I grab most often. Even though I know that the correct way to chop is using a chef's knife or Chinese cleaver, I've never been able to shake the habit I learned from my mom of chopping small things with a paring knife.
    ImageImage
    Two shots of the pizzas. The pepperoni one went fast.
    Tonight was pork loin. The last three Sundays have featured pork: Pork chops, ham, loin. Image
    Grilled on the Akorn kamado over indirect heat from Carbon San Miguel mesquite lump charcoal and a small oak log. It got done far quicker than I anticipated. This is just before it got wrapped in foil and set on the damped-down grill to coast until the taters were done.
  • Post #1849 - April 25th, 2022, 3:35 pm
    Post #1849 - April 25th, 2022, 3:35 pm Post #1849 - April 25th, 2022, 3:35 pm
    The only inspiration shopping at Jewel gave me, meal-planning wise, was their very cheap pub burgers at $1.50 for the 8-oz-ish ones (I asked them to be weighed, as last time a pair came out to 14oz, this time, 1.16 lbs).

    I used one of those to make picadillo for an enchilada filling: in some lard from the freezer I cooked down about 2/3 each of an onion and poblano, diced fine, plus a minced big garlic clove. Browned the meat while breaking it up well, then added oregano, my favorite Potrero Trading Post powdered chile, salt, a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, a dash of soy, and simmered with about a 1/2C water.

    I remembered I had part of a container of good mole paste in the freezer (I forget whose), thinned it out with chicken broth.

    My corn tortillas were a little old: I tried refreshing a bit in the microwave, but then passing them through some hot lard turned them to mush. Luckily I had more, and only used the oil to soften, roll around the meat plus some shredded chihuahua, making six chubby enchiladas. Sauce above and below, top with more shredded cheese, bake 20 minutes at 350. Served with chopped onions and cilantro, guacamole and sour cream.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1850 - April 25th, 2022, 4:09 pm
    Post #1850 - April 25th, 2022, 4:09 pm Post #1850 - April 25th, 2022, 4:09 pm
    tjr wrote:Last night was pizza night.
    Image
    A mise en place pic to chuckle at compared with Ron's exquisite ingredients and superb cutlery: Toppings for 3 individual pizzas - pepperoni, artichoke/tomato/black olive, double (or triple?) mushroom/pepper, along with my trusty red Mundial parer and homemade pizza pin. Altho I have tons of other knives, including better Victorinox paring knives (and a "For Men Only" ham slicer and one of those county fair cuts-through-a-beer can knife/saw things), this red one and its green twin are the ones I grab most often. Even though I know that the correct way to chop is using a chef's knife or Chinese cleaver, I've never been able to shake the habit I learned from my mom of chopping small things with a paring knife.
    ImageImage
    Two shots of the pizzas. The pepperoni one went fast.
    Tonight was pork loin. The last three Sundays have featured pork: Pork chops, ham, loin. Image
    Grilled on the Akorn kamado over indirect heat from Carbon San Miguel mesquite lump charcoal and a small oak log. It got done far quicker than I anticipated. This is just before it got wrapped in foil and set on the damped-down grill to coast until the taters were done.

    I do everything on the board but I really believe more skilled cooks do plenty in hand with paring knives. I wish I had that level of competence and confidence.

    The pizzas look great. Pork looks tasty too but that albumin on top does probably indicate that it cooked a little too fast/hot. Happens all the time, especially when I try to cook salmon.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1851 - April 25th, 2022, 8:14 pm
    Post #1851 - April 25th, 2022, 8:14 pm Post #1851 - April 25th, 2022, 8:14 pm
    JoelF wrote:very cheap pub burgers at $1.50 for the 8-oz-ish ones (I asked them to be weighed, as last time a pair came out to 14oz, this time, 1.16 lbs).

    Jewel has become much more accurate/stingy at making the pub burgers. Last year I easily found 10oz burgers in the packaged meat case, this year they're all a lot closer to 8oz. Still a reasonably good deal and fairly tasty.

    ronnie_suburban wrote:albumin on top does probably indicate that it cooked a little too fast/hot.

    Yeah, that was a little unsightly. I had moved it into the foil with a fork then decided to get a picture on the grate and the juices came geysering out. Dome thermometer read a rock solid 390, so the grate temp was probably around 360. Next time a little cooler and a little longer. I was just happy the temperature held steady with no overshoot or pooping out midway. Benefit of using lump + real wood vs briquets, I guess.
  • Post #1852 - April 26th, 2022, 10:35 am
    Post #1852 - April 26th, 2022, 10:35 am Post #1852 - April 26th, 2022, 10:35 am
    tjr wrote:...A mise en place pic to chuckle at compared with Ron's exquisite ingredients and superb cutlery: ... Altho I have tons of other knives, including better Victorinox paring knives (and a "For Men Only" ham slicer and one of those county fair cuts-through-a-beer can knife/saw things), this red one and its green twin are the ones I grab most often. Even though I know that the correct way to chop is using a chef's knife or Chinese cleaver, I've never been able to shake the habit I learned from my mom of chopping small things with a paring knife.
    ...


    Use whatever is comfortable, there is no one "correct" knife to use. I watch Jacques Pepin's channel on Youtube / Facebook. He uses different knifes all the time, sometimes its a chefs knife, sometimes its a petty or utility knife, sometimes a pairing knife, etc., some cheap, some expensive. One clip showed he had around 50 different knives around, and he made a comment about how he just loves to collect and use them. Even in his mid 80's, it is still a pleasure to watch the ease at which he cuts, chops and uses his knives.
  • Post #1853 - April 26th, 2022, 6:49 pm
    Post #1853 - April 26th, 2022, 6:49 pm Post #1853 - April 26th, 2022, 6:49 pm
    thetrob wrote:
    tjr wrote:...A mise en place pic to chuckle at compared with Ron's exquisite ingredients and superb cutlery: ... Altho I have tons of other knives, including better Victorinox paring knives (and a "For Men Only" ham slicer and one of those county fair cuts-through-a-beer can knife/saw things), this red one and its green twin are the ones I grab most often. Even though I know that the correct way to chop is using a chef's knife or Chinese cleaver, I've never been able to shake the habit I learned from my mom of chopping small things with a paring knife.
    ...


    Use whatever is comfortable, there is no one "correct" knife to use. I watch Jacques Pepin's channel on Youtube / Facebook. He uses different knifes all the time, sometimes its a chefs knife, sometimes its a petty or utility knife, sometimes a pairing knife, etc., some cheap, some expensive. One clip showed he had around 50 different knives around, and he made a comment about how he just loves to collect and use them. Even in his mid 80's, it is still a pleasure to watch the ease at which he cuts, chops and uses his knives.

    Yep. Knives are fun(ctional) tools. I enjoy collecting and using them. I find some more suitable for certain tasks than others but a variety of knives is hardly a necessity for a home cook.

    Tonight, charcoal-grilled NY Strip and Korean-inspired glazed/broiled eggplant . . .

    Image
    Mise En Place & Harukaze VG10 Tsuchime Gyuto, 180mm
    Everything but the eggplant, which I cut in half, split lengthwise, oiled lightly and broiled for about 12 minutes before glazing the broiled planks and returning them to the oven for a few minutes to sizzle . . . gochujang, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, gochugaru, honey, rice vinegar, red pepper sauce and minced garlic.

    Image
    On The Platter
    Charcoal-grilled NY Strips with a fairly average, commercially-made Montreal steak seasoning. I've made this rub from scratch in the past and not surprisingly, that version was better. Went with the Napoleon charcoal grill again tonight. Can't say I'm enjoying using it very much but I cannot entirely dismiss it after only a few dozen cooks. So I continue to use it, gain experience with it, do my best to find its strengths (relative to the Weber). My plan is to maybe start up a local pass-around with it and eventually give it away.

    Image
    Plated Up
    With broiled, sweet & spicy eggplant (garnished with chives and toasted sesame seeds) and a blob of the weekly slaw.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1854 - April 26th, 2022, 10:12 pm
    Post #1854 - April 26th, 2022, 10:12 pm Post #1854 - April 26th, 2022, 10:12 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Went with the Napoleon charcoal grill again tonight. Can't say I'm enjoying using it very much but I cannot entirely dismiss it after only a few dozen cooks.

    Pardon me if I missed it the first time, but this is a Napoleon kettle grill? I saw one pic in April with a cast iron grate with a logo and another that looked like a Weber grate. What are the advantages of the Napoleon? Drawbacks?
  • Post #1855 - April 26th, 2022, 11:35 pm
    Post #1855 - April 26th, 2022, 11:35 pm Post #1855 - April 26th, 2022, 11:35 pm
    tjr wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Went with the Napoleon charcoal grill again tonight. Can't say I'm enjoying using it very much but I cannot entirely dismiss it after only a few dozen cooks.

    Pardon me if I missed it the first time, but this is a Napoleon kettle grill? I saw one pic in April with a cast iron grate with a logo and another that looked like a Weber grate. What are the advantages of the Napoleon? Drawbacks?

    Yes, a Weber-style, Napoleon charcoal-burning kettle. I first wrote about it earlier on this thread and posted some additional observations here on the solid fuel cooker thread.

    Honestly, I've only found one meaningful advantage with the Napoleon. It's that the cooking grate can be positioned at 3 different distances from the charcoal. That can be useful during a multi-shift, direct cook when it's nice to move the grate closer to the fire as it dies down. Say you're cooking 4-5 pounds of skirt steak or cross-cut short ribs and you have to cook them just a few at a time. This feature comes in handy then. Other than that, the Weber beats the Napoleon on just about every other level . . . ease of operation, build quality, temperature/fire control, etc.

    I do like the Napoleon's cast iron cooking grate but it's very heavy and similar ones can easily be had for the Weber, so no innate advantage there. The hinged lid is logistically convenient but not really practical when cooking. If you ever want to cook with the lid slightly ajar, the hinged lid effectively requires you to use some sort of object to prevent the lid from closing all the way (I use a cast iron grate lifter from another cooker I own, which I wedge between the lid and the kettle). With the Weber lids, you can place them atop the kettle in a multitude of unfixed positions, leaving small spacing for additional draft and air flow beyond what the damper provides. Additionally, if you really wanted a hinged lid on your Weber, you could add one on an aftermarket basis. So, no Napoleon advantage there, either.

    There's only a single bottom damper on the Napoleon (as opposed to a 3-hole damper on the Weber) and it actually doubles as the ash catcher, so you have a lot less control over bottom-up airflow with Napoleon. And with the top damper on the Napoleon being positioned in the center of the lid, as opposed to being offset to one side as it is on the Weber, indirect cooking becomes very difficult because warm air is not pulled all the way across the cooking surface when the lid is closed. This is a big flaw IMO.

    There are aspects of the Napoleon that feel like they're unconventional merely for the sake of being different. These features don't seem practical or well-thought out. They don't improve or simplify the cooking process and they seem more about style than substance. It's a lesser grill at a higher price. I'm really glad I tried it but wish that it were more up to the task. It's not ready for prime time and feels like a prototype because of how glaring some of its flaws are.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1856 - April 29th, 2022, 12:44 pm
    Post #1856 - April 29th, 2022, 12:44 pm Post #1856 - April 29th, 2022, 12:44 pm
    Going through a busy period away from the kitchen lately but there's always time -- and a need -- for weekly slaw . . .

    Image
    Green Cabbage, Carrot & Saji G3 Ginsan Gyuto, 240mm

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1857 - April 30th, 2022, 9:59 pm
    Post #1857 - April 30th, 2022, 9:59 pm Post #1857 - April 30th, 2022, 9:59 pm
    Thanks for the info about the Napoleon, Ron.
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I use a cast iron grate lifter from another cooker I own
    Not from an Akorn kamado, is it?
  • Post #1858 - May 1st, 2022, 12:25 am
    Post #1858 - May 1st, 2022, 12:25 am Post #1858 - May 1st, 2022, 12:25 am
    tjr wrote:Thanks for the info about the Napoleon, Ron.
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I use a cast iron grate lifter from another cooker I own
    Not from an Akorn kamado, is it?

    No, I don't own one of those. I *think* it's from my Horizon Ranger offset cooker but I'm not 100% sure. It's been hanging around on my deck so long, it feels like it's always been there. I see that many type/styles are available online. Mine kind of looks like an arched railroad spike.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1859 - May 1st, 2022, 6:48 pm
    Post #1859 - May 1st, 2022, 6:48 pm Post #1859 - May 1st, 2022, 6:48 pm
    Was in that (Sunday) Springtime sweet spot today, between winter cold and summer scorch. It feels like fall but with hope around the corner rather than gloom. So, perfect weather and timing for, once again, firing up the offset . . .

    Image
    Horizon Offset Cooker
    Firebox loaded.

    Image
    Starting The Fire
    Lump charcoal, extruded coconut husk charcoal, a smattering of natural foodservice briquettes, a few chunks of apple wood and some tumbleweeds. Got this going and let it burn for a while, then added some logs . . .

    Image
    Firebox
    With apple wood logs added and heading toward embers, this fire was just about ready to go.

    It's not my favorite for smoking but it was up in the rotation, so I slathered and seasoned a shoulder . . .

    Image
    Seasoning
    Yellow mustard, bone-in pork shoulder and homemade =R= brand bbq rub. :D

    Image
    Rubbed & Ready
    Fully slathered and rubbed, this went into the cooker . . .

    Image
    75 Minutes In
    Recently spritzed with apple juice/cranberry juice/apple cider vinegar. Was burning at about 275F at this point.

    And with the haunch on the cooker, it was time for a little side-dishery . . .

    Image
    Cauliflower Gratin Mise En Place & Matsubara Blue #2 Nashiji Funayuki, 180mm
    Half & Half (would have preferred milk but the carton was puffy), dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, minced garlic & ginger, leftover carrot, unsalted butter, and fioretto. Normally, I like to save the fioretto for stir-fries but a gratin felt right and this was all I had on hand.

    Sauteed the garlic and ginger in butter for about 30 seconds. Once they were aromatic, I added the carrot and cauliflower. Once slightly soft, I added the half & half and dijon. I also added some white wine and a blob of 4x gelatinous pork stock (neither pictured above). Let that all simmer for a short time, then transferred it to a ceramic baker and baked it at 350F for about an hour. After about 45 minutes, I topped it with a mixture of grated cheeses, butter and panko -- to form a crust -- then let it finish baking . . .

    Image
    Cauliflower Gratin
    Veggies are healthy, right? :lol:

    It was getting late, so after about 5 hours on the smoker, I decided to wrap the shoulder in butcher paper (aka crutched it) and return it to the smoker for a couple of hours. The final result was pretty good . . .

    Image
    Pulled Bone
    After ~7 hours of combined cooking, the bone slid right out.

    Unless we're planning sandwiches for a larger group, I usually don't do a full pull/saucing. There's no reason because leaving bigger pieces keeps it all moister and allows everyone to apply sauce as they like. The leftovers also keep better in bigger pieces. But dinner was well received . . .

    Image
    Plated Up
    'Tugged' pork with NC-style vinegar sauce, cauliflower gratin and a blob of the weekly slaw.

    Happy Sunday! :)

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #1860 - May 1st, 2022, 6:55 pm
    Post #1860 - May 1st, 2022, 6:55 pm Post #1860 - May 1st, 2022, 6:55 pm
    He said "tugged pork".
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata

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