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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Sat Dec 02, 2023 2:15 pm

My mother also made chicken cacciatore in an electric skillet. But she used the electric skillet quite frequently. She found the "set it and forget it" heat control convenient. I sometimes use an electric wok for deep-frying for that reason. Another electric skillet dish she made that I was really fond of as a child was porcupine meatballs--Italian-type meatballs with raw rice mixed in and served in a tomato sauce. They were all the rage in the late 1960s.

-Paul W.
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Jenise

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Dec 02, 2023 8:03 pm

We've talked about the porcupine meatballs before, Paul; it was interesting to me to learn of the tomato sauce. Never have I ever seen that--my experience on the left coast with porcupine meatballs was a mixture made using rice-a-roni or something like that. Rice in the meat, and the seasoning packet to make a light brown sauce, just add thickening. It actually sounds pretty good to me right now!!!

On my pork chops for tonight, I gave Bob the choice of Mexican, Spanish, French or Italian. He chose Spanish, so those lovely thick chops are marinating in a mixture of whole small head of chopped garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, tarragon, salt, sugar and pepper. We've been eating so poorly, in gourmet terms, because of my very restrictive diet that this feels like a return to real food. I have not been excited about dinner much these days (it probably shows) but this one? Can't wait.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Dec 03, 2023 6:09 am

Karen/NoCA wrote:A side dish of baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes, mashed with pure maple syrup, a wee bit of butter, and fresh thyme.

Oh! Now I have to go find some Japanese sweet potatoes to make!
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:35 am

I found Japanese sweet potatoes a few years ago at a quirky local grocery store not far from me. They are unique in that they are minimal but carry the largest gourmet foods in the area. One can buy a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, all sorts of elegant cheeses, and they smoke many sausages, pepperoni sticks, and meats, and even carry a line of fresh dog meats. The owner's wife has the deli, her sandwiches are great and she makes tamale pie, just like my mom used to, and many other one-person small casseroles for lunch or dinner.
Getting back to the Japanese sweet potatoes, this is their season and I anxiously await their arrival. However, I could not find them this week, all I saw was one called, "special sweet potato" and then the usual pickings of them. I asked about it and they said the special was the Japanese?? I asked nothing further but can only imagine someone taking offense to using the word Japanese in this nutty world. They are the best, so savory, a bit sweet, and just the best darn flavor of any potato!

Oh, and by the way, I changed my mind about the seasoning of the mashed potatoes and went with Vietnamese cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg, a little pure maple syrup, and a small amount of butter. Blew me away!
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Larry Greenly

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Larry Greenly » Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:48 am

Tired today, and we were at Costco ($2.49 gas), so I got a rotisserie chicken there. They're dang good.
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Jenise

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:21 am

I've been on a very, very strict diet this year necessitated by some bad news I got early last summer. I mean bad, BAD, really really might-die BAD. Fortunately, I'd already begun the process of change but I had to really clamp down hard in light of the bad news and I did that without medical supervision because I had to wait almost six months to get into the specialist I needed to see. Yes, the medical community up here is THAT f---ed up. Between the ravages of Covid and the swarms of Californians moving in, there simply aren't enough doctors to go around.

Anyway, I've been living on a low-everything diet. You name it, I can't have it. And in the meantime, Bob needs high-everything. So on Monday, just for instance, I made a batch of potato salad just for him to have with some cold pork roast, while all I ate the entire day was a small avocado and a handful of raw celery.

I never told Bob about my bad news; he couldn't have handled it. In fact, I didn't tell anyone. Too scared to talk about it and didn't want people checking in on me, so I kept it all to myself. Public-me would occasionally dine out with friends and eat somewhat normally, but in private? Lots of raw celery.

Last week they ran every blood test known to man and yesterday I saw the specialist. His first words, waving his hand excitedly at his computer screen, were, "Did you see these amazing results?? You don't need me! You fixed yourself!"

I cried happy tears all the way home. I did not know I could be fixed. That's because while yes I had very serious issues they were never quite at the dire stage as what I was told initially. That was a place you don't come back from, you merely figure out how to live with it and then you die.

So I picked up two nice steaks on my way home. Dinner was caesar salad followed by pan-seared filets with a mushroom-olive glaze, brussels sprouts, and a bottle of cabernet. Not an over-the-top, throw-caution-to-the-wind celebration--notice there were no carbs involved--but it was the first meal I've eaten without fear in six months.

And that, all by itself, was a celebration.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Larry Greenly

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Larry Greenly » Wed Dec 06, 2023 1:03 pm

Yay! Good for you. But I'm facing a somewhat similar issue.

Only six months to see a specialist? I had to wait close to two years to see a dermatologist for a recurring problem that no one to date has been able to ID. After the dermatologist gave up (at least she ruled out a couple of life-threatening possibilities), it took another 4 or 5 months to see a blood specialist with results due early next year. And then an appointment with an immunologist in April of next year. Healthcare does move slowly.

Don't you just love those TV ads that tell you to ask your doctor? As if it were only that easy.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Dec 06, 2023 1:23 pm

Jenise wrote:So I picked up two nice steaks on my way home. Dinner was caesar salad followed by pan-seared filets with a mushroom-olive glaze, brussels sprouts, and a bottle of cabernet. Not an over-the-top, throw-caution-to-the-wind celebration--notice there were no carbs involved--but it was the first meal I've eaten without fear in six months.

And that, all by itself, was a celebration.

Good choices - I'd celebrate that way, too!

And glad to hear you've turned that diagnosis away. :D
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Jenise

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:44 pm

Larry, so sorry to hear about your issues. But hey guess what, just now the phone rang. You know how you can ask to be put on a cancellation list for an earlier appointment? Well I do all the time--did for the gastro, to no avail. In fact, it's always to no avail. I have never once been called to fill in a cancellation--until today, as in just now. Bob's two ER visits in November have resulted in a need for cardiological services, including an echocardiogram which was scheduled for next week (at 6:40 a.m.!!!). Well, they had a cancellation today. He sees the cardiologist at 1:00 and goes across the street for the echo at 2:40. You can guess how happy we are about that!

I can't believe two years to see a dermotologist. Hope you get the help you need soon.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Thu Dec 07, 2023 4:00 pm

I'll be spending Friday afternoon folding and frying wontons for the New Hampshire Astronomical Society's pot-luck Christmas celebration.

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Jenise

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Dec 08, 2023 12:53 pm

Yesterday I picked up fresh steelhead trout and a quartet of red Argentinian shrimp which I then packaged en papillote with lemon slices, tarragon and a splash of Noilly Prat for a perfect little 12 minute bake. I just love this method: healthy prep, concentrated flavors, dramatic presentation. How could this not be amazing? I don't know why I don't do it more often.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Dec 08, 2023 1:18 pm

That does sounds good. Do you just use parchment paper?
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Dec 08, 2023 2:55 pm

Yes, parchment. And I see my note made it sound like one big parcel but in fact I made two individual packets of one filet and two shrimp apiece. Loved it.

We're going out for lunch today, to a restaurant on the Canuck side of the border that's a fusion of Indian and Chinese. The chef/owner(s, possibly) are Chinese who grew up in India, or something like that, and their cuisine blends the flavors and techniques of both. Should be pretty exciting! Dinner at home later will likely just be some sliced apples.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Larry Greenly

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Larry Greenly » Fri Dec 08, 2023 8:57 pm

Made some pork fried rice tonight with a bit of leftover pork tenderloin. Yum! I'll probably use some more in posole (it's that time of the year).
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Dec 09, 2023 1:49 pm

Jenise, Geat diagnosis, keep up the healthy way.

Sometimes I wonder why I post my Saturday cooking here as I'm certain it is boring to most. It is my way of life now. I started cooking when I was 11 and my style has taken me everywhere. Learning, venturing out into ethnic flavors, keeping kids on track with their needs, and keeping weight on hubby who was a hard worker and seemed to use up more calories than anyone I know. Then to now, I do NOT want to cook every day, I have other things to pursue like keeping me on the Mediterranean way of eating I love, but having the time to do nothing or everything for any day. Plus, taking my wonderful fur friend on adventures is a must for both of us. She eats healthy, as well!

Yesterday, I cleaned the fat from skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, and threw them into a large dish with party wings. They have been absorbing the flavors of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, honey, garlic, fresh thyme, dried oregano, and sweet paprika. They will cook in a 425° oven until beautifully browned and cooked. I have a sheet pan full of baby multi-colored potatoes, mini peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and fresh lemon wedges, drizzled with good Mediterranean olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
I will also stir-fry, broccolini, and brown mushrooms, onion. Yep, I eat a lot of veggies, and this will last me all week. I can eat as is or make other simple ways to eat the food. I have it down to a science to last me until Friday.
Back to the kitchen to finish off a few things, and to cook ground chicken for the pup. She decided she wanted a change to the toppings I put on her kibble, and after a few tries, we finally agreed.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Dec 09, 2023 2:26 pm

Karen, never boring. In fact, yesterday I went to lunch with my brother. He bought some fish to cook for his dinner; his partner is out of town. He mentioned that he doesn't really enjoy cooking for just himself and I concurred, "I'd live on frozen peas." Then I bragged about my friend Karen who is ___-___ years old (being discreet here) and the complex meals you prepare for just yourself. Respect!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Barb Downunder

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Sun Dec 10, 2023 5:34 am

Karen, not boring at all. I totally agree with Jenise. I know all too well how difficult it can be to eat properly when on your own. I struggle to get motivated to cook and stand in awe of your work. Keep up the good work, and thank you for sharing..
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Dec 10, 2023 11:34 am

Thanks, I love to cook and do not mind it at all for one person because I cook for the week. I talk and see so many elders who do not cook and eat so unhealthy. I cannot do that. I feel for those who say they NEVER eat leftovers. Especially those who say they toss out the food. Yikes! I look forward to my Saturday mornings of cooking and when Tuesday comes, I am already thinking of what I want to cook. I have large binders of family faves and recipes marked excellent or very good. Plus I follow a couple of excellent chefs for inspiration. Nothing fancy for me these days, just good old fashioned foods, easy and the less time to prepare the better.
Last week I made a Manhatten Clam Chowder (for a few lunches) that turned out awesome. I had whole canned clams that I bought for a recipe I never made and I wanted to use them up along with a bottle of Clamato juice. I put my spin on it and it came out fabulous. I wanted to make the creamy, white chowder but when I saw the calorie count on some of the recipes, and the fact that I needed to use up some of my pantry product, I chose the red chowder.
Like Jenise I have been losing weight and have reached my goal. Back to my pre-marriage size although sad to say the muscle tone is not there! I despise exercise, but thankfully get enough taking my dog on walks, and a bit of yard work.

I am always inspired reading what is posted here, as well. As usual, I tweak a lot depending on what I have here and needs to be used up. I have not had pasta, in a very long time, and am looking forward to a pasta dish and making a great hamburger with homemade fries.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Dec 10, 2023 5:05 pm

Karen- I am delighted to read your posts about cooking. It is inspiring, as I get older, to stay the course.

And you made Manhattan Clam Chowder... love it! (But Pumpkin is a Yankee and I can never, ever make it.)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Dec 10, 2023 5:07 pm

Tonight: mashed potatoes, for use under the last of the T'Giving gravy, and a pot of Coq au Vin. (I also cook for the week... 12 pc of chicken => 6 dinners.)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Dec 11, 2023 12:56 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:Karen- I am delighted to read your posts about cooking. It is inspiring, as I get older, to stay the course.

And you made Manhattan Clam Chowder... love it! (But Pumpkin is a Yankee and I can never, ever make it.)


Sure you can Jeff... scale the recipe down to make enough for you for lunch or dinner. I made enough for 4 to 5 lunches for me. Usually, I have a salad for lunch but in winter there are some days I want a nice bowl of warm soup. My freezer is stocked with chicken tortilla, tomato with Farro, chicken, and vegetables, and now Manhatten Clam Chowder.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Dec 11, 2023 7:20 pm

Tonight is atonement for what I ate (and drank) over the weekend. So dinner will be an vegan Chinese stir fry: bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, and snow peas, because I went to the Asian store on Sunday where I can buy fresh bean sprouts. I love this item a lot, but I won't settle for the pre-packaged grocery store product that are sour and off-tasting from all the citric acid preservative they're treated with, so when I find them fresh in an Asian store it's a treat.

Meanwhile on the stove is a pot of pork broth seasoned with cognac, granny smith apples and green peppercorns that is going to be the sauce for the black truffle stuffed pork roulades I'm make tomorrow night (practice for me and my assistant Al), the demo dinner for 17 on Friday night wherein my cooking team creates the dinner for 72 we're doing a week from Friday night. It's a working dinner where we figure out the orchestration of plating, etc. It's going to be my life for the next two weeks.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Larry Greenly

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Larry Greenly » Mon Dec 11, 2023 10:26 pm

Overall, a good day. My annual wellness exam was good (which pleasantly surprised me) and my meeting with our financial planners went well (we won't wind up living under a bridge). Then I visited a friend for coffee and got a bit blitzed. And then we wound up at Burger King for a couple of burgers and fries (I've been craving fries and I didn't want to cook). I'll face reality tomorrow where I'm still working on a new book--what a slog.

Speaking of fries: I don't very often cook potatoes, but what bugs me is that one potato can cost over a dollar--about the same as a 5-lb bag of spuds on sale, which is far more than I want or need.

Disclaimer: Any misspellings or other inaccuracies in my post are due to wine or various IPAs.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Tue Dec 12, 2023 2:01 pm

I have a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, half of which will become a Thai red curry and the other half of which will become stir-fried chicken with chiles and holy basil (pad prik gai bai krapow).

I also have some wonton filling left over from last Fridays "big fold". I'll be buying more wrappers and make up a set of "leaf" wontons for boiling. So wonton soup will be on the menu this week, too.

-Paul W.
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