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What's cooking?

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Jenise

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What's cooking?

by Jenise » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:11 pm

We ask this question often around here, sharing our meal plans and sometimes, a day later, sharing about the meal that we had. Both provide some entertaining and informative insights into what other people cook and how they cook it. We're often inspired, we often ask for recipes. Well, the last such thread has scrolled off to page 5 or something so I'm starting a new one. But this time: it's going to be a sticky. Add to it anytime you like, it will always be at the top of the page.

So about tonight: dinner at Chez J is going to be a roasted pork loin on the bone, frenched and brined with a ton of mixed herbs from my garden. I'm going to serve that over a mix of blanched green beans and spaetzle with a butter-bacon sauce and fried shallots, though I feel a bit guilty having spaetzle for dinner when we had pasta for lunch. Wine? Pinot Noir.

About that lunch, we had the garlic-walnut pasta Christina mentioned in another thread. I don't make a paste--just toast bread crumbs and separately simmer the garlic in olive oil then toss both with the pasta, raw chopped walnuts and a handful of parsley. A bit of shaved parm for garnish, and I'm a happy happy girl. That has to be one of the best lunch pastas ever--so light and full of good fresh things, and so well suited to light wines like the Campuget rose we each had a glass of.

What's cooking at your house?
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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Robin Garr

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Re: What's cooking?

by Robin Garr » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:44 pm

Jenise wrote:What's cooking at your house?

We were going to make a nice locavore steak dinner tonight with wine, but this morning we worked at our monthly food pantry and distributed groceries to 308 (!) hungry people, and then decompressed with pizza and beer with our buddies at 3 p.m. :D

So, tonight's going to be green beans and potatoes out of our garden and no steak until another time. You've got to draw the calorie line somewhere! Still green beans out of our garden and new potatoes from the farmers' market ain't bad.

LATER EDIT: Slight change in plans made it a simple, all-veggie, all-garden dinner: We lost the potatoes and replaced them with fresh, thick-sliced, warm-from-the-garden Mortgage Lifter (heirloom beefsteak) tomatoes and the previously planned garden Roma beans. Nothing more needed, not even wine <gasp> since we had already had midafternoon pints of local craft beer in midafternoon with lunch. :)
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Ron C

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Re: What's cooking?

by Ron C » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:36 pm

Grilled salmon and gruyere quiche.
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Christina Georgina

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Re: What's cooking?

by Christina Georgina » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:56 pm

Veggie dinner also : fiori fritti - zucchini blossoms stuffed with a bit of heavily herbed ricotta; zucchini Amalfitano -mandolin sliced zucchini fried in olive oil till carmelized and dressed with mint and red wine vinegar [ great as crostini topping but many other uses as well ]; homemade pasta squares that had been rolled with flat parsley leaves into the dough dressed with a marjoram cream sauce; the first tomatoes of the year - Black Crim, Black Prince, white cherry and red cherry dressed with oil, tiny basil leaves and a touch of vinegar. Oh my, I live to eat out of the garden
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Re: What's cooking?

by Robin Garr » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:46 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:Oh my, I live to eat out of the garden

Isn't it GREAT!? We're just getting our first tomatoes too ... a couple of "outliers" earlier, but it's just this week that they've started coming on strong. Mortgage Lifters, Italian Oxhearts and Romas, mostly.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What's cooking?

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:36 am

Tonight, it was roast chicken with corn on the cob and boiled fingerlings as per Ted's post on the seared tenderloin with boiled fingerlings in olive oil.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Celia » Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:40 am

I have corn muffins in the oven - new recipe - and have just taken out a batch of chocolate meringues, made at the request of our youngest son. This weekend I've been baking (such a surprise) - maize loaf, semolina loaf and lots of savoury muffins (don't like sweet ones much). Plus lots of brownies for the neighbours! :)

Jenise, hope this isn't presumptuous of me, but I was thinking you might like these savoury muffins - they're very easy, and a great use of leftover baked vegetables. It's based on an original recipe I read here.

Image

Here’s my version:

* 265g (1¾ cups) self-raising flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
* ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
* 140g (1 cup) fresh corn kernels (approximately 1 ear of corn)
* 225g (1 cup) roasted vegetables (I used peeled and roasted butternut pumpkin and beetroot), diced
* 60g (2 oz) grated cheese (I used a sheep’s milk cheese)
* 1 large (59g) egg
* 190g (¾ cup) milk
* 60ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F) or 180C (350F) with fan. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cups.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add the vegetables and grated cheese and stir to combine.

3. In a separate bowl or jug, beat together the egg, milk and olive oil. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir very gently until just moistened – do not overmix.

4. Spoon the ingredients evenly into the muffin cups, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown, and a skewer inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
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Re: What's cooking?

by ChefJCarey » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:22 pm

to be a roasted pork loin on the bone, frenched


I'd be careful about licking that raw pork, Jenise.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:58 pm

ChefJCarey wrote:
to be a roasted pork loin on the bone, frenched


I'd be careful about licking that raw pork, Jenise.


Oh dear, there went my tea! ROFL.
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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Carl Eppig

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Re: What's cooking?

by Carl Eppig » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:17 pm

Last night we had rib eye steak, corn-on-the-cob, and sliced greenhouse tomatoes with a nice Zin. Today we had a late breakfast of pancakes and bacon, so tonight we just had sandwiches. Sorry it wasn't more exciting!
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Matilda L

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Re: What's cooking?

by Matilda L » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:10 am

I spotted some lamb backstrap fillets in the butcher's window this afternoon. We had them grilled, with plain steamed vegetables ... followed by Greek yoghurt with ground hazelnuts stirred through it.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: What's cooking?

by David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:14 am

Continuing to find ways to utilize the CSA veggies, yesterday I made up an "Asian slaw" with cabbage, carrot, green onion, chile pepper and mint that was dressed with a concoction that resembled a brighter, more acidic satay peanut sauce. Turned out delicious
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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:42 am

A simple dinner we love during the hot summer months. A taco bowl with a large whole wheat tortilla, toasted until it begins to puff , layered with home made refried beans, shredded lettuce, seasoned and grilled chicken breast, garden tomatoes, avocado, taco sauce, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.
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Jenise

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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:06 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:A simple dinner we love during the hot summer months. A taco bowl with a large whole wheat tortilla, toasted until it begins to puff , layered with home made refried beans, shredded lettuce, seasoned and grilled chicken breast, garden tomatoes, avocado, taco sauce, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.


Karen, that looks like it's straight out of a magazine. Great pic.
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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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:49 pm

Thanks Jenise, I'm having fun with my new camera, learning, learning. Plus, Linda Stradley has asked that I sent photos with the recipes I send her now, so I get lots of practice. Since we are only two people eating here, I've had trouble with the size of plates in relation to the amount of food put on them, the balance was all off, but close-ups and cropping have become my best friends. Gene bought me a macro lens recently, which I have not started playing with, that will be the next step.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Sherry J » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:58 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:A simple dinner we love during the hot summer months. A taco bowl with a large whole wheat tortilla, toasted until it begins to puff , layered with home made refried beans, shredded lettuce, seasoned and grilled chicken breast, garden tomatoes, avocado, taco sauce, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.


What a gorgeous taco bowl, wow! I had forgotten all about tacos and taco salads, which are fantastic for summer meals. We're having a tasty chicken stew made in a crock pot: chicken, new potatoes, sweet corn, onions, leeks, carrots and celery.
Sherr
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Carl Eppig

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Re: What's cooking?

by Carl Eppig » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:52 pm

We had two inch boneless porkchops rubbed with Penseys' Pork Chop seasoning, and very slowly grilled over charcoal and hichory chips; along with fabulous corn-on-the-cob, and sliced tomatoes with a lemon/OO dressing on them. Mmmm good!!
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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:02 pm

Sherry J wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:A simple dinner we love during the hot summer months. A taco bowl with a large whole wheat tortilla, toasted until it begins to puff , layered with home made refried beans, shredded lettuce, seasoned and grilled chicken breast, garden tomatoes, avocado, taco sauce, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.


What a gorgeous taco bowl, wow! I had forgotten all about tacos and taco salads, which are fantastic for summer meals. We're having a tasty chicken stew made in a crock pot: chicken, new potatoes, sweet corn, onions, leeks, carrots and celery.
Sherr

Welcome Sherry. The crock-pot meal looks so tasty..might you post a recipe? I love using crock-pots in the summer months and this sounds like a dish we'd love.
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Robin Garr

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Re: What's cooking?

by Robin Garr » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:13 pm

We shared a local "pastured" pork chop tonight, an inch-thick loin chop lightly dusted with S&P, pan-seared with fresh sage and garlic, then oven-finished at 350 (convection) until just showing a blush of pink at the center. Served it with freshly picked Roma beans from the garden, and our full season's potato harvest :D , a single potato plant that apparently established itself in the compost from tater peelins, and Mary transplanted it earlier in the season. The descendant of an Idaho russet, it was pretty good - but then, the Louisville area used to house commercial potato farms until postwar subdivisions made real estate more profitable.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:26 am

One of our favorite pasta dishes, with thin spaghetti, shrimp, scallops, lemon zest , lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and clam juice.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Robin Garr » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:17 pm

I'm thinking about a fresh, light and local variation on Italian-American "gravy" tonight with a quick saute of San Marzanos from our garden (Mary brought in the first haul today) with ground Kentucky bison, onions and garden green peppers. The spaghetti is not local. ;)
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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's cooking?

by Paul Winalski » Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:53 pm

Tonight I will be making vegetarian dhansak (an Indian dal and vegetable stew from the Parsi community).

-Paul W.
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Jenise

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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:24 pm

Paul, I so admire your knowledge of Indian food. I have to admit, I have no idea who/where the Parsi community is. Particulars?
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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's cooking?

by Paul Winalski » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:24 am

The Parsis are Zoroastrians by religion. They originally resided in Iran ("Parsi" is the same as "Persian" in English). They fled to India following the Muslim conquest of Iran. They brought their distinctive cuisine with them. It has, of course, been modified under the influence of the regions in India where they settled (e.g., Gujarat).

Dhansak is one of the classic Parsi dishes in the Indian cuisine. It's a long-boil (or pressure cooker) stew of mixed lentils (toor dal, masoor dal, moong dal, urad dal, chana dal) along with chopped eggplant, potato, tomato, onion, and whatever other vegetables you might wish to add (in my case--zucchini), with mint leaves, cilantro, and fenugreek leaves, and five finely chopped green chiles and a pinch of turmeric. I don't have a pressure cooker, so I did the long (45-minute) covered-pan boil (increasing the water added from 3 cups for the pressure-cooked version, to 5 cups that I used when boiling). You want to keep the heat as high as possible without forming a crust on the bottom of the pan. When the vegetables and dal are soft, you puree them (I use an immersion blender; you could whip it all with a wire whisk or a potato masher, I'm sure). Or, as I've seen in photos on the internet, you could skip the puree and leave things mostly intact--whichever you prefer; I like the pureed version.

Then you prepare a chaunk (fried herb/spice mixture) of finely-sliced onions, browned (over medium heat) in 3 TBS oil until brown (takes 5-7 minutes), then with 1 1/2 TBS ground coriander, 2 TBS dhansak masala, 2 TBS garam masala, and a puree of ginger and garlic added, and fried for a couple of minutes more. This, along with a couple of tablespoons of tamarind paste, are then added to the dal/vegetable mixture and the result is cooked over low heat for 5 minutes or so to marry all the flavors.

You can add chunks of lamb to this dish, but I prefer the vegetarian version.

The recipe is very unfussy. You can use any mixture of dals--from just a cup of toor dal to the five-dal mixture that Neelam Batra (and I) recommend. The veggies are likewise versatile. Neelam's recipe in the cookbook calls for pumpkin, and I've seen recipes on the internet that have broccoli and carrots. Use what you have to hand (which was zucchini/courgette in my case). And you can puree very smooth (per Neelam Batra), or just whip it a bit with a wire whisk, or leave it chunky. What makes it a dhansak, as opposed to a generic dal/vegetable stew, is the chaunk (in particular, the dhansak masala) and the tamarind added towards the end of the cooking.

-Paul W.
Last edited by Paul Winalski on Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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