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Corona cuisine / Social distancing cooking

Corona cuisine / Social distancing cooking
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  • Post #1351 - October 4th, 2020, 6:55 pm
    Post #1351 - October 4th, 2020, 6:55 pm Post #1351 - October 4th, 2020, 6:55 pm
    Because it's so fatty, it's difficult to find good uses for leftover rib roast. I think we managed it okay via a decent hash. But the yield was a bit depressing. I think I carved away about 50% in weight of what was left . . .

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    Potatoes & Takeda Classic Sasanoha, 210mm Medium
    When it comes to food release, especially with potatoes, I don't think the Takeda has any equal. But it's so thin and so accurate that it really exposes my limited knife skills. There's just no correcting a cut started at the wrong angle -- or in the wrong spot -- without completely removing the knife from the food and starting over. Still, it's a pleasure to use and my family doesn't yell at me about my lacking knife skills. :lol:

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    Mise En Place (most of it)
    Leftover rib roast, scallion tops, German Butterball Potatoes (soaking), white onions and scallion bottoms. Not shown here are some sweet Hungarian paprika and a splash of heavy cream, an essential "secret" ingredient in hash, taught to me way back by a friend.

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    Rib Roast Hash
    Ready to serve.

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    Plated Up
    With the requisite fried egg and a nice green salad.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1352 - October 5th, 2020, 7:53 pm
    Post #1352 - October 5th, 2020, 7:53 pm Post #1352 - October 5th, 2020, 7:53 pm
    Tonight it was comfort food from way outside our comfort zone. Baked ziti . . .

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    Onions & Konosuke YS Gyuto, 240mm
    Prepping for the ziti, which was primarily a pantry affair. The onions and sausage in this shot were really the only non-pantry items in it.

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    Radishes & Konosuke HD Petty,120mm
    I'm not much a fan of radishes but we got some in our CSA box, so I was determined to use them. I usually give them away to a friend who really likes them.

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    Ziti, Unbaked
    After I sauteed the sausage and onions, I added a few dried herbs. After that Rao's Arrabbiata sauce went into the pot and it all simmered for about an hour. After that, the cooked ziti get mixed in and it all goes into a casserole with a layer of mixed cheeses (dollops of ricotta, cubed mozzarella, grated parmesan) in the middle and second one on top. Just a super easy prep, though there were quite a few large pieces to wash.

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    Baked Ziti
    ~35 minutes @375F. I convected it for the last few minutes to put a little color on it.

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    Plated Up
    With radish remoulade and a nice green salad.

    Happy Monday! :)

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1353 - October 6th, 2020, 11:03 pm
    Post #1353 - October 6th, 2020, 11:03 pm Post #1353 - October 6th, 2020, 11:03 pm
    I'm not sure why exactly I've become obsessed with Refika's pepper paste. Maybe it's because most renditions of pepper paste-based condiments I've had -- including the initial batch I made last week -- are too sweet for me. So, even though I can already sense purists clenching on both sides of this transaction, I decided to try to 'correct' that by using a portion of my hatch chile stash to make a version that was more hot than sweet . . .

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    Hatch Chiles (Sandia)
    Started with 5 pounds. Here they're split, stemmed and (mostly) seeded. I did this work outside, which was a very nice respite for my kitchen. Unlike last time, these definitely had some heat. An also unlike last time, I used my thumbs instead of a teaspoon to dig out the debris, which was much more efficient.

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    Into The Pot
    Just water. Bring to a boil.

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    Boiling Chiles
    Once boiling, let them continue for 20-25 minutes.

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    Draining & Cooling
    Unlike last time, they didn't take on too much additional moisture.

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    Nut Milk Bag
    I can't help but giggle every time I say its name out loud. But the fact is, this is a really useful item. It holds quite a bit. It's porous and strong enough to withstand some forceful wringing. It can be machine washed and reused, which is a nice advantage over cheese cloth.

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    Pressing
    The old, overnight brick treatment.

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    Pressed
    They didn't give up much moisture this time around.

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    Grinder
    Medium dye, more skin passed through this time than last time but it wasn't excessive.

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    Jarred Up
    After a quick pass in the oven until they got to 161F, I added some evoo and put it into a 1-quart Ball jar. I ended up with 837g or about a 37% yield. The basic paste is now in the fridge awaiting incorporation into some more elaborate condiments. Obsessed or not, this will probably be my last attempt for the season. Peppers and chiles are pretty much done and I'm saving the few hatches I have left for roasting.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1354 - October 7th, 2020, 7:07 pm
    Post #1354 - October 7th, 2020, 7:07 pm Post #1354 - October 7th, 2020, 7:07 pm
    Had other intentions but the condition of the inventory dictated, so it was burger night once again . . .

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    Onions & Newly Re-handled Masamoto KS, 240mm
    I just got this knife back from it being rehandled. The original D-shaped handle was not lefty-friendly. I thought I'd get used to that but I never did, so I decided to have a new handled built and installed. With the original D handle now removed -- and this glorious new handle installed -- I'm excited to get this terrific knife into my regular rotation. It's amboyna wood in two shades, surrounding nickle and musk ox spacers. The onions eventually cooked in the rendered fat and made their way onto our burgers.

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    Plated Up
    Griddled cheeseburger with esquites (almost certainly the last of the local corn) and mixed-cabbage house slaw.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1355 - October 8th, 2020, 7:51 am
    Post #1355 - October 8th, 2020, 7:51 am Post #1355 - October 8th, 2020, 7:51 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Had other intentions but the condition of the inventory dictated, so it was burger night once again . . .

    Gorgeous knife and beautiful burger (and yes that means your pics are working for me again).

    Funny thing is two nights ago we had a nearly identical meal: equites (made from off-the cob corn we froze after making too much on labor day), and piled-too-high burgers with caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar blue, fried pickle chips (Costco labels them cucumber), and a 'burger sauce' made from kewpie mayo, a healthy shot of Cholula, and big pinches of smoked paprika and garlic powder.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1356 - October 8th, 2020, 9:09 am
    Post #1356 - October 8th, 2020, 9:09 am Post #1356 - October 8th, 2020, 9:09 am
    JoelF wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Had other intentions but the condition of the inventory dictated, so it was burger night once again . . .

    Gorgeous knife and beautiful burger (and yes that means your pics are working for me again).

    Funny thing is two nights ago we had a nearly identical meal: equites (made from off-the cob corn we froze after making too much on labor day), and piled-too-high burgers with caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar blue, fried pickle chips (Costco labels them cucumber), and a 'burger sauce' made from kewpie mayo, a healthy shot of Cholula, and big pinches of smoked paprika and garlic powder.

    Thanks, Joel. I was hoping that by the time corn season ended, I was going to be sick of it but that never happened this year. Can't say I'm craving it but it was a relatively good run this year in that I had a lot but apparently, not too much.

    I almost forgot about the ground beef but found it in the back of the fridge when I was looking for something else. Our burgers were simply griddled in cast iron, after which we cooked the onions in the rendered drippings. Other condiments were mayo, ketchup, mustard, shredded lettuce and homemade dill pickles, sliced thin.

    The knife handle was built by a gentleman named Joe Morrone, who's based in NC. As you can see, he does some really nice work. Mainly, I'm just glad to have an octagonal handle on it, so I can use it comfortably. The original "D-shaped" handle is intended for righties and I just couldn't work around it.

    =R=

    p.s. Glad you can see the images. I 'upgraded' my image server with an SSL certificate, which seems to have had the intended effect. Content hosted there is no longer deemed non-secure and as such is no longer block by some browsers.
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1357 - October 8th, 2020, 7:29 pm
    Post #1357 - October 8th, 2020, 7:29 pm Post #1357 - October 8th, 2020, 7:29 pm
    End of the week fridge clean-out spawned Chicken a la fill in the blank. Basically, seared and simmered chicken thighs with onions and peppers . . .

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    Eggplant & Konsuke HD Western Gyuto, 210mm
    A friend asked me about this knife, which reminded me of how much I like it and how long it had been since I'd used it. Here, I chunked up the eggplant in a side dish prep. This was sprinkled with kosher salt and dumped into bowl -- for about an hour -- where it gave up some bitterness and excess moisture.

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    Red and White Onions & Konsuke HD Western Gyuto, 210mm
    No real plan other than to use stuff up, this seemed like about the right amount for 10 thighs.

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    Nardello Sweet Peppers & Konsuke HD Western Gyuto, 210mm
    From our CSA box, these were cute, with a bittersweetness that was typical of bell peppers.

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    Nardello Sweet Peppers
    No need for a knife here, these were stemmed and seeded 'by thumb.'

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    Chicken Thighs
    Seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Gave them a quick, hard sear in a hot pan with a touch of evoo.

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    Onions
    Thighs temporarily removed, onions went into the pan, where they cooked down and caramelized just a bit.

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    Nardello Sweet Peppers
    After the onions had cooked a bit, I added the nardello halves, along with some white wine and a touch of white vinegar.

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    All In
    Once the white and vinegar had reduced a bit -- and the peppers had softened -- I added the chicken back, covered the pan and let it all simmer for about an hour. After that, I removed the thighs and cooked everything else until it had reduced to achieve the desired viscosity.

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    Plated Up
    Chicken thighs with onions and peppers over rice. Side dish of stewed eggplant, the last of the cherry tomatoes from our garden and garlic -- more or less a lazy man's stove-top ratatouille (minus the zucchini).

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1358 - October 9th, 2020, 12:56 am
    Post #1358 - October 9th, 2020, 12:56 am Post #1358 - October 9th, 2020, 12:56 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Plated Up
    Chicken thighs

    Ronnie, there is a distinct possibility you are going to turn into a chicken thigh. Worse things can happen, I imagine, but still . . .

    Simple dinner, pan cooked steel head trout, short grain rice, tomatoes, stir-fry peeled, blanched celery/cucumber with oyster sauce/fish sauce/rice wine.

    click on image to enlarge
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    Stir-fry celery, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1359 - October 9th, 2020, 9:28 am
    Post #1359 - October 9th, 2020, 9:28 am Post #1359 - October 9th, 2020, 9:28 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Plated Up
    Chicken thighs

    Ronnie, there is a distinct possibility you are going to turn into a chicken thigh. Worse things can happen, I imagine, but still . . .

    Simple dinner, pan cooked steel head trout, short grain rice, tomatoes, stir-fry peeled, blanched celery/cucumber with oyster sauce/fish sauce/rice wine.

    click on image to enlarge
    Image

    Stir-fry celery, count me a Fan!

    As long as no one tries to eat me, I'll be okay! :P

    Steelhead looks great. Looking forward to getting our Sitka box next week and cooking some fish.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1360 - October 9th, 2020, 8:33 pm
    Post #1360 - October 9th, 2020, 8:33 pm Post #1360 - October 9th, 2020, 8:33 pm
    Food snob that I am, I put my aversion for fast casual chains to the test once again this wk. In an effort to eat something I didn't cook I played (and won) @ Burger King last month. Cheese whopper was surprisingly good, as were the jalapeño-cheese bites washed down w/a serviceable chocolate shake. I'd give it a C+/B- which was better than expected.

    This time it was not to be and was as insipid a meal I can remember eating. Walking home from the park (and starving) we were overpowered by the smell of chicken frying. Having passed and ignored KFC since puberty, we were drawn like Bugs to a fresh baked pie on a window sill. First the good. The slaw. Always liked it and still do. It would prove to be the only redeeming feature. Whatever chicken was wafting across Irving was not to be had. Dry as cardboard, it was actually scorched under the skin w/dark grainy striations on the meat itself. Taken from a hot box, no doubt it had been there since lunch. Along w/a gloppy side of mac and cheese reminiscent of spackle and the color of urine (1st piss of the day) both were disgusting. Rounding it out w/diamond hard biscuits and fake mashed pots w/institutional brown gravy, all deserve a hard F.

    Nasty and a salt assault. I'd get the slaw again though.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #1361 - October 9th, 2020, 11:12 pm
    Post #1361 - October 9th, 2020, 11:12 pm Post #1361 - October 9th, 2020, 11:12 pm
    As much Indian food as I've eaten over the years, I just very recently came to know of Tadka Dal (sometimes referred to as Dal Tadka) in the prepared foods case at a local 'gourmet' grocery store, where they make a tasty version that's only available every once in a while. It's basically toor dal (aka split pigeon peas) and a masala of vegetables and spices. A friend who grew up in Mumbai explained to me that "tadka" refers to the infused ghee that garnishes the dish or gets mixed into it at the end of the cooking.

    Anyway, between the intermittent availability and high cost, I figured I might as well try to make it myself. Like a lot of Indian dishes I've made in the past, it starts with a fairly robust array of ingredients. Most of these I had on hand but a couple I picked up just to give this a whirl . . .

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    Mise En Place & Yu Kurosaki VG10 Fujin Gyuto, 210mm
    Turmeric & kosher salt, plate of seasonings (garam masala powder, coriander powder, fenugreek leaves, cayenne pepper, kashmiri red chili powder), cilantro, toor dal, mortar of fresh aromatics (garlic, ginger, jalapeno pepper), red onion, bowl of dried aromatics (crushed coriander seeds, whole cumin seeds, whole cloves), tadka ingredients (asafoetida, dried red chiles, garlic), kashmiri red chili powder (also for the tadka) and tomatoes in the center.

    Not shown here is the ghee/clarified butter that's used in a couple of different phases of the cooking. And it's probably worth noting that while I had no trouble crushing the coriander seeds in the mortar, I failed miserably with the ginger/garlic/jalapeno mixture and resorted to pulsing it in my mini food processor which, I think, turned out fine.

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    Instant Pot
    Dal, turmeric, salt and water. These would cook for 8 minutes on high pressure with natural release. They ended up very soft but still fine. I might opt to go only 6 or 7 minutes next time.

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    Tadka Prep
    Ultimately, these ingredients -- and a bit more kashmiri red chile powder -- get swished around in some hot ghee for about a minute before being added to the finished dish.

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    Blooming The Seasonings
    Crushed coriander seed, whole cumin seed and whole cloves are bloomed for a moment in hot ghee.

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    Onions
    One the seasonings are bloomed, the chopped red onions are added.

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    Garlic, Ginger & Jalapeno
    Once the onions have softened and begin to change color, this mixture is added.

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    Tomatoes
    Once the ginger, garlic and jalapeno no longer smell raw, the tomatoes are added and the pot is covered to cook at low heat until they're soft.

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    Additional Spices
    Once the tomatoes have softened, the garam masala powder, coriander powder, fenugreek leaves, cayenne pepper, kashmiri red chili powder and fresh cilantro are added and stirred in.

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    Adding The Cooked Dal
    Once all the seasoning are mixed together, the cooked dal is added and stirred in.

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    All In
    Once the dal is fully incorporated, the mixture is allowed to simmer for a moment or two. I decided to wait until I plated it to add the tadka.

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    Plated Up
    Tadka Dal over rice, garnished with chopped cilantro and 'officially' drizzled with the tadka.

    While the kashmiri chile powder is relatively mild, the cayenne added its anticipated kick and as luck would have it, those were 2 of the hottest jalapenos I've had in a long time. The heat was probably one of the reasons I enjoyed this version way more than the one I've been buying. It was quite a bit of prep but now that I've done it once, I'm sure it'll go much easier next time. And I was glad that I made a double batch, so I'll have a bit leftover for the next day or two.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1362 - October 10th, 2020, 4:33 am
    Post #1362 - October 10th, 2020, 4:33 am Post #1362 - October 10th, 2020, 4:33 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:And it's probably worth noting that while I had no trouble crushing the coriander seeds in the mortar, I failed miserably with the ginger/garlic/jalapeno mixture and resorted to pulsing it in my mini food processor which, I think, turned out fine.

    =R=

    Impressive Ronnie. As much as I like Indian food in restaurants, I have never made an Indian dish that I liked as much as I liked it in the restaurant. I have pretty much given up cooking Indian at home.

    Your mortar and pestle experience would have been better if you had added some kosher salt to act as an abrasive ( of course you need to reduce the salt down recipe ). Also, even if you finish the work in a food processor, starting in the mortar adds flavor by breaking the cell walls down in a way that food processors can't. Also, an unpolished granite mortar and pestle will give you a better shot than a marble one.
  • Post #1363 - October 10th, 2020, 10:03 am
    Post #1363 - October 10th, 2020, 10:03 am Post #1363 - October 10th, 2020, 10:03 am
    lougord99 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:And it's probably worth noting that while I had no trouble crushing the coriander seeds in the mortar, I failed miserably with the ginger/garlic/jalapeno mixture and resorted to pulsing it in my mini food processor which, I think, turned out fine.

    =R=

    Impressive Ronnie. As much as I like Indian food in restaurants, I have never made an Indian dish that I liked as much as I liked it in the restaurant. I have pretty much given up cooking Indian at home.

    Your mortar and pestle experience would have been better if you had added some kosher salt to act as an abrasive ( of course you need to reduce the salt down recipe ). Also, even if you finish the work in a food processor, starting in the mortar adds flavor by breaking the cell walls down in a way that food processors can't. Also, an unpolished granite mortar and pestle will give you a better shot than a marble one.

    Thanks, Lou. In the end, this is really simple, mostly-pantry food but since it's not something I commonly prepare, there was a lot of stopping and starting along the way. To the inexperienced (like myself) the steps feel esoteric at first but they're completely logical. Having done it now, I'm fairly confident, I can make it less of an "epic" event next time.

    It's hard to see it in the pics but the mortar and pestle both have a coarse finish. No doubt some kosher salt may have helped but I think the issue was that I just had too much material in there. So, when I pounded, food kept flying out of the mortar. I probably should have divided it into a few batches or used my molcajete, which is a lot larger. Either way, I was happy with the results but I'll definitely take a different approach next time.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1364 - October 10th, 2020, 1:55 pm
    Post #1364 - October 10th, 2020, 1:55 pm Post #1364 - October 10th, 2020, 1:55 pm
    made a big pot of turkey chili with valrhona cocoa powder, cumin, cinnamon, and more, plus black + pinto beans. baked some very corny corn muffins for the side along with pickled radishes, and guac, with a crunchy cabbage apple slaw for balance.
  • Post #1365 - October 10th, 2020, 7:19 pm
    Post #1365 - October 10th, 2020, 7:19 pm Post #1365 - October 10th, 2020, 7:19 pm
    annak wrote:made a big pot of turkey chili with valrhona cocoa powder, cumin, cinnamon, and more, plus black + pinto beans. baked some very corny corn muffins for the side along with pickled radishes, and guac, with a crunchy cabbage apple slaw for balance.

    Sounds like a really nice fall meal.

    After some extended, socially-distanced deck time around the fire pit with some friends this afternoon, we managed to throw together an odd but effective dinner tonight . . .

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    NY Strip
    Had one orphaned steak from last week in the freezer, so pan-cooking seemed like a better approach than firing up the grill. Cooked it in a butter bath with garlic, sage and thyme, basting it along the way.

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    Plated Up
    NY strip and shallot-red wine pan sauce with homemade coleslaw and leftover reheated ziti. It was definitely odd having a meaty side dish with a meaty entree but after socializing for a few hours, it was really all we had time to prepare.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1366 - October 11th, 2020, 6:51 am
    Post #1366 - October 11th, 2020, 6:51 am Post #1366 - October 11th, 2020, 6:51 am
    Kindly gifted two huge bags of peppers, ripe and green tomatoes we gave about half away. BLT with a side of fried green tomatoes, plus potato pancakes, used up a portion. Tomato pie is in the offing today.

    While dinner was tasty, bacon, fried green tomatoes and potato pancakes wreak havoc with the stove. Grease splatter everywhere.

    Click on image to enlarge.
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    Fried Green Tomatoes, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1367 - October 11th, 2020, 7:04 pm
    Post #1367 - October 11th, 2020, 7:04 pm Post #1367 - October 11th, 2020, 7:04 pm
    had some lovely smoked trout from Wabash Seafood Co in the freezer so made a version of the April Bloomfield smoked haddock chowder tonight. simmer milk, cream (and I added stock), infuse with the fish for a long while - then sautée carrots, celery, onion for a full 45 minutes, strain stock mixture into veggies, flake fish fillets, top with chives and lemon.

    (bloomfield uses potatoes too but we didn't have any around)

    came out tasty!
  • Post #1368 - October 11th, 2020, 8:55 pm
    Post #1368 - October 11th, 2020, 8:55 pm Post #1368 - October 11th, 2020, 8:55 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Fried Green Tomatoes, count me a Fan!

    Still have a few green tomatoes out in the garden and was thinking this very thing. Looks great.

    annak wrote:. . . chowder tonight.

    Sounds good. We're long on fish and potatoes, so maybe chowder will be a go for us soon.

    Speaking of being long on fish, we did a decent job of moving some inventory in tonight's dinner. This was some wild, line-caught, Bristol Bay Sockeye salmon from last month's Sitka box . . .

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    German Butterball Potatoes & Celeriac
    Both from our CSA box. Decided to use this combination that we learned to love from our Czech friends, in a version of Robuchon's pommes puree.

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    Potatoes & Takeda, Celeriac and Kurosaki
    I guess I'm always going to default to Takeda with potatoes from now on because they just don't stick to the blade. But, the celeriac was way to tough for such a thin and flexible blade, so the Kurosaki made sense. Cutting the celeriac into smaller pieces and giving it a 2-minute head start in the boiling water worked out well. It and the potatoes were both done at the same time. After that, it all went through the food mill and was mixed with a combination of butter that had been melted in a 50/50 mixture of warm milk and buttermilk.

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    Hen Of The Woods
    Got a nice drop-off from one of our local foragers. These were a bit too woody for my favorite 'sear & press whole' cooking method but cutting them into smaller pieces and going saute (evoo/garlic/wee splash of red wine) > simmer did the trick.

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    Plated Up
    Pan-seared sockeye salmon on a bed of pureed potatoes & celeriac with sauteed hen of the woods and garlicky, tender-crisp green beans.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1369 - October 12th, 2020, 9:12 am
    Post #1369 - October 12th, 2020, 9:12 am Post #1369 - October 12th, 2020, 9:12 am
    Costco had pork belly on sale, so we bought an 7.5-pounder and divided it up for several meals with leftovers (hey, it's just the two of us at home these days).
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    I looked at a few recipes for pork belly buns. Momofuku required a day's cure, a spattery roasting, then still grilled or broiled. Serious Eats had a sous-vide then broil process, so I decided to fire up the homebrewed sous-vide rig that previously broke my countertop (this time on a thick cutting board as insulation). I may have to upgrade at some point, the heating elements are just too shallow.

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    The sous-vide is done with a cooking liquid that's equal volumes of soy, mirin, and sugar, with three big garlic cloves and 2" of ginger, pureed with the boat motor seen in the background.

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    Signed, sealed and delivered. Note that I'm having problems with my FoodSaver sealing, ended up with some air here, and later some infiltration into the water bath.

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    Around 7PM I pulled it out of the water bath and put it in the fridge. So that was Saturday. Sunday, I sliced it up for broiling.

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    Meanwhile, SueF had been making the Momofuku version of the steamed buns. I'd forgotten to photograph the process, but it involved rolling lots of little balls of dough, waiting, rolling and folding, and waiting, then steaming. Here's the final product:

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    We timed it well that the steaming finished up around the same time as the pork got Golden Brown and Delicious (TM). It took longer than the 3 minutes Serious Eats said, I probably needed the pan a little closer to the broiler.

    Image

    Condiments: Sliced pickles, some Sichuan pickled vegetable, scallions, lettuce, and kewpie mayo mixed with some of the cooking liquid that had been reduced:

    Image

    Final assembly:
    Image
    Image

    Absolutely delicious: we ate about 1/2 the pork belly, 3/8ths of the half-batch of buns, with a nice half cup each of rendered lard and soy syrup for other projects.

    Recipes:
    Serious Eats Sous-Vide Pork Belly
    Momofuku Pork Buns (buns only)
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1370 - October 12th, 2020, 9:39 am
    Post #1370 - October 12th, 2020, 9:39 am Post #1370 - October 12th, 2020, 9:39 am
    JoelF wrote:Absolutely delicious: we ate about 1/2 the pork belly, 3/8ths of the half-batch of buns, with a nice half cup each of rendered lard and soy syrup for other projects.

    Epic, Joel. It looks like quite an effort but clearly, totally worth it. I'm sure those buns were a ton of work. As for the color on the pork, I'm wondering if you could have achieved more with a light baste of your marinade before you broiled it. Either way, that really looks great.

    Fwiw the Anova AN500-US00 sous vide cooker is currently on sale at Amazon for the lowest price I've ever seen it, $139. I love mine. It's compact, so it operates with very little displacement. It's super easy to use and the wifi is extraordinarily useful.

    I've been thinking about pork shoulder lately, too. I have two dishes already in mind but unless I'm smoking it whole, it seems like three is the magic number. As soon as a third inspiration pops up, I'll probably grab one.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1371 - October 12th, 2020, 7:18 pm
    Post #1371 - October 12th, 2020, 7:18 pm Post #1371 - October 12th, 2020, 7:18 pm
    Got some kalettes -- said to be a cross between kale and brussels sprouts -- in our CSA box and decided to build a dinner around them . . .

    Image
    Kalettes
    I believe the technical term for this quantity is a sh*tload. 8). After digging around on the internet, we decided to treat them like brussels sprouts; advice that came up pretty often. We did that but we probably should have taken more care in the prep. Oiled and salted, then roasted in a 475F oven, the flavor was good but the stems were really woody and should have been removed before cooking. That would have left us with a bunch of tiny, easily-burnable leaves, so I'm not sure it would have been an overall net improvement. Maybe some sort of sausage and kalettes in the pot would have been a better approach.

    Image
    Plated Up
    Broiled, store-bought Italian sausage, leftover peppers & onions, the aforementioned kalettes and some rice cooker basmati with sauteed onions and garlic.

    Where dinner failed to please, dessert more than made up for it . . .

    Image
    Homemade Apple Fritters
    A solid effort, especially for a first try. They were crispy on the outside; tender and moist on the inside. And I managed to use up two entire honeycrisp apples in the process! But in all seriousness, they were really good. I'll definitely make them again.

    Happy Monday! :)

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1372 - October 12th, 2020, 7:26 pm
    Post #1372 - October 12th, 2020, 7:26 pm Post #1372 - October 12th, 2020, 7:26 pm
    Joel,

    Just wow.

    I hope those buns were worth the effort. Even David Chang says you should probably go out and buy the buns from a pro. I would try this if there were someplace closer than China Town to get the buns.
  • Post #1373 - October 12th, 2020, 9:54 pm
    Post #1373 - October 12th, 2020, 9:54 pm Post #1373 - October 12th, 2020, 9:54 pm
    lougord99 wrote:Joel,

    Just wow.

    I hope those buns were worth the effort. Even David Chang says you should probably go out and buy the buns from a pro. I would try this if there were someplace closer than China Town to get the buns.


    I know Joong Boo has the buns—I’m sure HMart and any other Asian market with a decent freezer section has them as well.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #1374 - October 13th, 2020, 6:54 am
    Post #1374 - October 13th, 2020, 6:54 am Post #1374 - October 13th, 2020, 6:54 am
    lougord99 wrote:Joel,

    Just wow.

    I hope those buns were worth the effort. Even David Chang says you should probably go out and buy the buns from a pro. I would try this if there were someplace closer than China Town to get the buns.

    A full batch of 50 would have seemed like building the pyramids; a half-batch (using the food processor because it's too small for the stand mixer) was fine. Mix, wait. Make balls, wait. Roll & fold, wait. Steam. The balls and roll/fold are labor but not hard labor. The two of us cranked them out pretty quickly. They came out very nice, a little creamier in color than snow-white commercial ones (bleached flour, perhaps?).

    And now we've got at least another meal's worth of buns in the freezer.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1375 - October 13th, 2020, 8:17 am
    Post #1375 - October 13th, 2020, 8:17 am Post #1375 - October 13th, 2020, 8:17 am
    I also received the kalettes. They are the only thing so far is my csa that I hadnt even heard of. Unlike Ronnie, I thought they were great. I pretty much did the same thing. I did trim the cut ends but only removed the minimum. Tossed in olive oil and salt and put them on a sheet pan in 400 degree convect bake oven for about 15 minutes. I have always liked kale chips and brussels sprouts, and I thought that these were a great combination of the 2. Crispy leaves with a good crunchy sprout center. I did not find them woody at all. One of my favorite things from the csa. My only concern is that I will not be able to find them anywhere else!

    -Will
  • Post #1376 - October 13th, 2020, 8:24 am
    Post #1376 - October 13th, 2020, 8:24 am Post #1376 - October 13th, 2020, 8:24 am
    JoelF wrote:Final assembly:

    Absolutely delicious: we ate about 1/2 the pork belly, 3/8ths of the half-batch of buns, with a nice half cup each of rendered lard and soy syrup for other projects.

    Joel, you over the top crazy! Looks delicious but you cray cray . . .
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1377 - October 13th, 2020, 8:34 am
    Post #1377 - October 13th, 2020, 8:34 am Post #1377 - October 13th, 2020, 8:34 am
    WillG wrote:I also received the kalettes. They are the only thing so far is my csa that I hadnt even heard of. Unlike Ronnie, I thought they were great. I pretty much did the same thing. I did trim the cut ends but only removed the minimum. Tossed in olive oil and salt and put them on a sheet pan in 400 degree convect bake oven for about 15 minutes. I have always liked kale chips and brussels sprouts, and I thought that these were a great combination of the 2. Crispy leaves with a good crunchy sprout center. I did not find them woody at all. One of my favorite things from the csa. My only concern is that I will not be able to find them anywhere else!

    Oh, don't get me wrong. They were fine. It was user error that made them less than what they could have been.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1378 - October 14th, 2020, 7:24 am
    Post #1378 - October 14th, 2020, 7:24 am Post #1378 - October 14th, 2020, 7:24 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    JoelF wrote:Final assembly:

    Absolutely delicious: we ate about 1/2 the pork belly, 3/8ths of the half-batch of buns, with a nice half cup each of rendered lard and soy syrup for other projects.

    Joel, you over the top crazy! Looks delicious but you cray cray . . .

    The rendered fat was used the following day on a steak dinner, to sauté mushrooms (shallots, fresh thyme, red wine) and oven-fry potato slices (tossed in melted lard and smoked paprika before convec baking to a crisp). A dollop of the soy syrup/jelly, mixed with some kewpie mayo, made a dip for the last shishitos of the season from the garden (darn it, there were still blossoms! Next year a shishito goes in a pot) , blistered while grilling a big ol' prime strip steak from Costco.

    Leftover belly is probably going into some enchiladas tonight. I'm going to see if I can coax a tomatillo-like sauce out of the green tomatoes from the garden.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1379 - October 14th, 2020, 11:49 am
    Post #1379 - October 14th, 2020, 11:49 am Post #1379 - October 14th, 2020, 11:49 am
    Does anyone have a Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe they're really in to? I am thinking: roasting cubes of squash, pureeing, browning ground pork, folding in to puree, layering with noodles and ricotta-egg-mozz mixture, but would take input otherwise if people had béchamel ideas etc. October dinners, incoming!
  • Post #1380 - October 14th, 2020, 6:54 pm
    Post #1380 - October 14th, 2020, 6:54 pm Post #1380 - October 14th, 2020, 6:54 pm
    'Twas a day of leftovers, combinations of both homemade and purchased . . .

    Image
    Tadka Dal & Eggs
    No breakfast today but lunch was a really delicious bowl of the tadka dal that I made last week, topped with two over-easy eggs and a sprinkling of cotija.

    For dinner, I really wanted to re-create a dish I haven't had in at least 25 years. It's essentially nachos but a version called kamoosh that they used to serve at La Choza in Rogers Park (Howard & Paulina) way back in the day. I had some leftover frijoles from Carniceria Guanajuato and my homemade jalapenos en escabeche, so I figured that would give me a nice head start . . .

    Image
    Frijoles
    First step was schmearing the beans on the tortilla chips.

    Image
    Al Pastor
    I don't think the original kamoosh contained any meat but since I had this leftover al pastor, also from Carniceria Guanajuato, I figured I'd throw a bit of it on there.

    Image
    Kamoosh, Assembled
    Topped with a bit of grated chihuahua, Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar and some of the escabeche. In trying to re-create the original, I was pretty sure the jalapenos went on before the cooking, so that's what I did here. Once prepped, it went into a 400F oven for about 15 minutes.

    Image
    Kamoosh, Baked & Broiled
    After they baked long enough for the cheese to melt, I took them out, cranked up the broiler and put them back in for another minute. Next, I garnished them with cilantro and cotija.

    Image
    Plated Up
    Kamoosh and leftover sauteed greens & broccoli with chili pepper flakes from Prairie Grass Cafe. All in all, it really scratched the itch. :)

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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