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What's Cooking (Take Two!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Thu May 14, 2015 12:56 pm

No. It was an entertaining evening working in a large industrial kitchen with cool equipment, but only just that. Other than making a gummy which I'd never done before, we sadly didn't do anything that advanced my skillset. To be fair, the instructor wasn't prepared for any of the students to have any skills at all let alone be advanced cooks like myself and Vic (a friend who also went), but still. It mostly reinforced why I don't sign up for things like this.

And then, he made a ginger 'mousse' wherein he had way to much egg stuff for the whipped cream and it came out like a soup. He actually considers himself more a pastry chef than line chef, and has worked that gig in several restaurants including NYC's Daniel. He couldn't see that coming? And too, re the salmon, I asked about the fact that he had not removed the bloodline. Oh no, no need to, because although it looked ugly to us like that when it was cut into squares and had little brioche crusts glued to each side you'd never see it. The look of it had not been my concern at all, but the fishy-strong taste--I always cut out the bloodline. When I tried to address that in a followup question, he interrupted me and said "Yes, it adds flavor." :roll:
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 (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu May 14, 2015 11:51 pm

Too bad the instructor didn't make it clear that he was doing molecular gastronomy for beginners. That must have been disappointing, Jenise. (Jamison gummies sound pretty good, though!)

For supper tonight, I made a tortilla espanola with chorizo. I've made these before and they've come out a bit bland. This one had enough onion, garlic, parmigiano, chorizo, and herbs to make it flavorful and the potatoes came out really nicely. It's not like these are hard to make but it's nice to have made one that really worked well.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Fri May 15, 2015 9:30 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:For supper tonight, I made a tortilla espanola with chorizo. I've made these before and they've come out a bit bland. This one had enough onion, garlic, parmigiano, chorizo, and herbs to make it flavorful and the potatoes came out really nicely. It's not like these are hard to make but it's nice to have made one that really worked well.


Sounds like some excellent upgrades. They're fun and rewarding to make, aren't they? Great thing to take to wine tastings, too. They look impressive, they slice well and hold their shape, they eat well at room temp, and what wine wouldn't they go with?
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 (Take Two!)

by Paul Winalski » Fri May 15, 2015 10:21 am

Thai grilling again tonight: sai grok - Esan-style sausage.

-Paul W.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Fri May 15, 2015 10:24 am

Neighborhood wine tasting tonight featuring British Columbian wine. I'm making three different kinds of English Tea Sandwiches--like 200 pieces. Dinner will be a fresh Trader Joe's tamale on the fly to ensure I don't arrive at the tasting hungry.
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 (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed May 20, 2015 12:37 am

Got home on the late side tonight and didn't want to go to the store. My first thought was tuna melts, but we're out of pickle relish. Next thought was pasta with a tuna sauce. Then I remembered that we had picked up a jar of "tonno di maiale" from a charcuterie place in San Francisco. This is pork that gets cooked and canned in the same manner you'd do canned tuna. It has a deep and slightly funky flavor and I figured we needed to use it up. So I sauteed some onion and garlic in some of the oil from the pork and then added the chopped up pork, some chopped green olives, capers, and lemon juice. That was tossed with linguine. Came out well.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman » Wed May 20, 2015 1:15 am

Sounds good, Mike. And quick, which is always a plus in my house.

Tonight was pan-seared salmon night but I had room for a little creativity: I threw together a quick spanakopita. I did a quick sautee of a pound of spinach, small amounts of chopped broccoli, red pepper, and mushrooms, then stirred in some grated parm, pulverized feta, and one egg. Rolled it up in these weird (but good) rectangular whole-wheat wraps and gently sizzled them in a pan until the fish was ready. The wraps were a bit firm but the filling was perfect.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Wed May 20, 2015 10:35 am

Last night we had broiled lobster tails on stir-fried broccolini, after a salad of green oak leaf lettuce chives and chive blossoms tossed in a Dijon vinaigrette. Seemed pretty tame and boring after spending the day reading Thomas Keller's 'Under Pressure'. Can't wait to get my hands on transglutimase now.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman » Wed May 20, 2015 10:10 pm

Jenise wrote:Can't wait to get my hands on transglutimase now.

I'm not that flexible anymore. It's been years since I can reach around and get my hands on my own transglutimase.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Thu May 21, 2015 10:38 am

Lol, Jeff.

How's your dad, any change?
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Thu May 21, 2015 4:40 pm

Today's cooking: more asparagus vichysoisse (as delicious as the classic but with a lot less carbs than the all-potato version), and a boulliabaise terrine. This is going to be hunks of cold lobster and shrimp entombed in a saffron-laced gelee featuring the usual flavors of Provence--fennel, pepper, bay leaf, garlic, etc. I'll serve slices paired with a salad of microgreens, icicle radishes and sous-vided diamonds of purple daikon radish. A paprika vinaigrette will finish the dish.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman » Thu May 21, 2015 9:44 pm

Jenise wrote:How's your dad, any change?

We are sending him to hospice now.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Robin Garr » Thu May 21, 2015 10:06 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jenise wrote:How's your dad, any change?

We are sending him to hospice now.

Sorry to hear this, Jeff. Sending warm wishes toward you and yours.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman » Thu May 21, 2015 11:51 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jenise wrote:How's your dad, any change?

We are sending him to hospice now.

Sorry to hear this, Jeff. Sending warm wishes toward you and yours.

Thank you, Robin. It is not unexpected; somehow, I've known this is "it" from the beginning.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Fri May 22, 2015 1:24 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Thank you, Robin. It is not unexpected; somehow, I've known this is "it" from the beginning.


Yes, I'm familiar with the circumstance--but you never give up hope until you have to. I know you and your dad were pretty close from the proud pix you've posted over the years. I'm so sorry.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman » Fri May 22, 2015 9:27 am

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Thank you, Robin. It is not unexpected; somehow, I've known this is "it" from the beginning.


Yes, I'm familiar with the circumstance--but you never give up hope until you have to. I know you and your dad were pretty close from the proud pix you've posted over the years. I'm so sorry.

Thank you, Jenise.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri May 22, 2015 10:47 pm

Jeff - I'm also very sorry to hear about this. My mom's has been in hospice care for a while now. The people who have been caring for her are absolutely wonderful. Their sense of mission and their dedication to what they do is inspiring and their presence has greatly helped my mom and dad in dealing with her situation. I hope your family finds similar comfort from the hospice folks who care for your dad.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sat May 23, 2015 12:20 am

Thank you, Mike. We have used hospice services for some other family members so we know what to expect (and, yes, the hospice folks have been wonderful).
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Sat May 23, 2015 4:03 pm

So for last night's dinner party I sous-vided a 3 lb pork loin, and it was the first large piece of meat I've done. This was the third course after the asparagus vichysoisse and boulliabaise terring I described above. I was kind of out there on my own as to exactly how long to cook it, especially since it was a bit frozen in the middle at the start (I didn't start it thawing in time--oops) but decided that if Thomas Keller would do a much smaller baby pork loin in six hours then eight hours would hopefully be about right. I salt and peppered it then added sprigs of fresh thyme and three big pats of butter for some basting fat.

The set-up made quite a conversation piece, as all ten of my guests never left the kitchen after arrival and there that big missionary pot was on the counter bubbling away the whole time. One of the guests is just about the best home cook I know--she dines in the world's best restaurants and cooks like a chef, and she can afford anything--so I was surprised that she had never made the step up to sous vide. The reason, it turns out, is that she was unaware that you could now buy a compact stand-alone immersion circulator to attach to a pot you already have vs. having to buy a whole kiddie-pool sized appliance.

Such were the results of my pork roast I am sure that before today is over, she'll have ordered one. I playfully called the dish "Pork n' Beans". In the center of the plate I scooped white beans (pressure cooked perfectly, not one skin floated away from it's flesh) that had been finished with dry white vermouth, tiny diced carrots and celery, herbs d'Provence and onion salt. I topped that with a slice of the pork roast (a perfect 140 F), a chunk of seared pork belly, and a tuft of raw Brussels sprout slaw. For a finishing sauce, I used a drizzle of home-made demi-glace. I sprinkled fava beans* around the perimeter of each plate.

It was the best roast pork I've ever eaten, and everyone seemed to agree. Can't wait to do a prime rib.

*Doesn't every dinner party include a 'lesson learned'? Friday night's involved fava beans. I can now tell you, do NOT cook and peel the day before! Or if you do, vacuum pack the beans. Otherwise, the brilliant green that is so desirable fades/oxidizes/grays overnight . :(
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun May 24, 2015 2:16 am

Sounds delicious. I have to ask Santa for one of those immersion heater-bubbler thingies.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Tom NJ » Sun May 24, 2015 7:38 am

Jenise wrote:One of the guests is just about the best home cook I know--she dines in the world's best restaurants and cooks like a chef, and she can afford anything...(


Sure. "One of the guests." Sure.

:lol:
"He ordered as one to the Menu born...."
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Frank Deis » Sun May 24, 2015 12:15 pm

Jenise -- I ordered a copy of Under Pressure after reading what you've said about it. It wasn't hard to push me over the brink since I have all of Thomas Keller's OTHER cookbooks. The comments on Amazon gave me a hint that "regular" cooks could do at least some of the recipes (especially the meat based stuff). I'd like to ask if you would set up separate topic and let us know what specifically you have bought and found useful and what recipes you used with those things? It would help a lot if I didn't have to experiment with buying this and that.

I have tried, several years ago, to do a kind of sous vide with no equipment whatever. I bought poulets (which as you know are small chickens but bigger than Cornish Game Hens) and put them in plastic bags and tried to watch the temperature of a simmering pot. The results were not spectacular.

At any rate this looks like it will be fun -- but messages get lost in this huge topic and it would work better outside. FWIW I have also bought some of the chemicals for molecular cuisine after buying a cookbook "North" by the chef of a restaurant in Reykjavik. Once again he convinced me that these things were both doable and interesting. But I haven't really done any of it yet.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Sun May 24, 2015 12:46 pm

Tom NJ wrote:
Sure. "One of the guests." Sure.

:lol:


Ha ha! No, really. They just spent six weeks in Europe (picking up her new BMW convertible), dined at Le Taillevant while there, among other places. She's a very very talented cook in her own right. Seriously daunting to cook for because one can't hide any mistakes, her palate will catch what others won't.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Paul Winalski » Tue May 26, 2015 11:53 am

Yesterday I cooked my first dish using a recipe from the Mala Project. It was chao larou, which is very much like the famous Sichuan twice-cooked pork except that it uses bacon instead of fresh pork belly. It is a thoroughly authentic dish--yes, they have bacon in Sichuan. This was also my first experience using Pixian douban jiang (chile paste with fermented broad beans) and Sichuan sweet wheat paste, both imported from Sichuan. The Sichuan version of douban jiang is quite different from the Lee Kum Kee brand that I have been using, which is from East China. The Sichuan version is less processed and much more aromatic.

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