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What's Cooking (Take Two!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Just now am making a quart of watermelon pickles. First time making those. Fun!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Frank Deis » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:41 pm

I've done some heavy duty genealogy research, off and on, since about 1985, and I often do favors for people. I loaned a lady a book she could not possibly find and she read it and sent it back -- and then sent me a package of jars of stuff from a food company. Which included a jar of watermelon pickle. I grew up eating that, it's something my grandmother made regularly. But I realized that since she passed away (when I was in college in the sixties) I have hardly ever tasted it. It really brought back memories. It's delicious and the sweetness makes a great counterpoint to a salty Virginia ham.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:43 pm

Frank, I didn't grow up with watermelon pickle so it's rather a new thing to me, and attractive to me mostly because of the unusual texture. Slick+crunchy isn't something I'm used to! I went for a much milder sweetness than usual, halfway between a bread and butter pickle and the Indian flavors I've been enjoying this week: juniper berries, black mustard seed, whole chili, cloves, turmeric. Was surprised how little actual rind I got from a whole watermelon--the refuse pile was a whole light higher than the usable pile, though in part because I wasted a lot the way I sliced the rind off. I had not at the outset planned to make pickles, I was just taking a whole watermelon off the rind so that we'd have a large vat of it for snacks. Great watermelon btw, a basketball sized black "Sugar Baby" variety, that I bought right out of the field in eastern Washington.
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 Redwinger » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:58 pm

Meatless Monday.
Simple eggplant rollatini, homemade pasta and crusty sourdough bread.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Rahsaan » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:44 pm

Jenise wrote:Was surprised how little actual rind I got from a whole watermelon...


I forget the name of the variety but I bought one this past weekend at the farmers market that has an unusually large and sweet rind, a natural fit for pickling. It was very interesting and unlike anything I'd ever had. Of course even if I did remember the name it wouldn't matter, as the farmer told me it is an obscure variety dating back to Cherokee days that hasn't been commercialized for over 80 years and was only being grown by a small farm in Missouri for personal use and that farmer stored the seeds in a seed bank where my guy found them. Still, interesting to see the different kinds of watermelon.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Paul Winalski » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:05 pm

Last night's dinner was a variation on Thai chicken satay. I pounded some boneless, skinless chicken thighs flat, but instead of cutting them into slices I left them whole. They sat overnight in the traditional curry and coconut marinade and then were grilled and served whole, along with a salad and jasmine rice. Excellent hot-weather fare.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Christina Georgina » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:23 pm

Paul,
I've done exactly the same thing recently. Thinking that grilling the cubes of boneless chicken thighs too tedious I decided to grill them whole after an overnight marinade in a Harissa, yogurt, preserved lemon mix. Served with a farro, feta, tomato salad ...so much easier to cook and eat. Agreed great summer fare.
Mamma Mia !
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Paul Winalski » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:46 am

I hadn't thought of a harissa/yogurt marinade. I'll have to try that out.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Carl Eppig » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:21 pm

Tonight we enjoyed beef loin ends Teriyaki grilled over charcoal and wild cherry chips, yellow zucchini straight from garden nuked with sliced onion, and Frenchette green beans also straight from garden boiled two minutes and rolled in melted butter. Doesn't get much better this time of year!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:14 am

Nice dinner, Carl; I'm so envious of your garden.

Tonight we had tacos. Nothing fancy, just three tacos apiece--a filling of beef and rice with a tablespoon or so of coarse polenta thrown in at the very end to soak up whatever liquid was surplus, pico de gallo and romaine chiffonade in thick microwave warmed Trader Joe's corn tortillas. Hadn't had a taco night in quite awhile, and it's one of our mutual cravings--we were overdue.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:50 am

We had our first day of crabbing yesterday. Caught 12. Ate six of those for dinner and will end the remainder home with our guests, who stayed overnight. Out to check the traps again early this morning. Tonight, a new guest. Might shy away from another pile of all-you-can-eat crab and go with a Rib Eye Oscar--crab, béarnaise sauce. Tomorrow, crab enchiladas, I think.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Redwinger » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:26 pm

Making another batch of "sun-dried" tomatoes (Prinicpe Borghese) in the dehydrator.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Rahsaan » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:44 pm

Jenise wrote:We had our first day of crabbing yesterday.


Nice!

We've been having a couple of days of good crab eating as well.

Yesterday we had a backfin crab noodle soup, with delicious Chinese carrot noodles (mainly wheat, with carrot mixed in), oyster mushrooms, miso and thai basil.

Today for lunch was crab cakes with the rest of the crab, mixed with mustard and thai basil and dipped into the latest iteration of my homemade plum sauce. Also for lunch was plantains, red pepper/corn saute, and a lovely melon (cantaloupe) soup made with yogurt, lime, grated ginger and cinnamon, and topped with pumpkin seed oil and thai basil. All great. I love this time of year!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:43 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Jenise wrote:We had our first day of crabbing yesterday.


Nice!

We've been having a couple of days of good crab eating as well.

Yesterday we had a backfin crab noodle soup, with delicious Chinese carrot noodles (mainly wheat, with carrot mixed in), oyster mushrooms, miso and thai basil.

Today for lunch was crab cakes with the rest of the crab, mixed with mustard and thai basil and dipped into the latest iteration of my homemade plum sauce. Also for lunch was plantains, red pepper/corn saute, and a lovely melon (cantaloupe) soup made with yogurt, lime, grated ginger and cinnamon, and topped with pumpkin seed oil and thai basil. All great. I love this time of year!


Me, too! Is backfin the type of crab you're getting? It's new to me. But love the crab-noodle combo. We'll have several crab ramens during the season--often, it's for breakfast. But speaking of crab and melons, I'll have to post a cold crab and honeydew melon/cucumber soup recipe for you.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Rahsaan » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:16 pm

Jenise wrote:Is backfin the type of crab you're getting?


It's a grade of crab. Basically smaller broken pieces of the white meat from the body. The crabs are from NC waters, although I don't know the type.

I have a good source for steamed and shelled meat, the backfin is $26 for a lb and good for crab cakes and soups. Sometimes when I'm feeling spendy I'll go for what they call 'jumbo lump' around here, which is $35 lb (again, all meat, no shells) and bigger sweeter pieces of white meat. They say it's a 'waste' to make crab cakes with jumbo lump, but the cakes are always delicious and I have no regrets!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:39 pm

Rahsaan wrote:...and a lovely melon (cantaloupe) soup made with yogurt, lime, grated ginger and cinnamon, and topped with pumpkin seed oil and thai basil.

That sounds wonderful.

They say it's a 'waste' to make crab cakes with jumbo lump, but the cakes are always delicious and I have no regrets!

When I plunk for jumbo lump I just pull out lemon wedges and a few condiments. Although I have a nice dish that is basically a galette with crab, creme fraiche and herbes de provence.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:13 pm

Made tacos al pastor yesterday for our Friday night neighborhood get-together. The recipe was from Mark Miller, so I was expecting something good. It was pretty good, but the recipe was messed up. I got it from Epicurious, where it was listed as coming from Miller's book, "Tacos". It called for rehydrating 40 guajillo, 20 pasilla negra, and 20 ancho chiles, pureeing them, and then adding reduced orange juice, brown sugar, spices, vinegar, lime juice, cola, and beer to make a marinade. 4 lbs of cubed pork shoulder went into that overnight and was then supposed to be quickly sauteed and served. Problem was that there appeared to be way too many chilies called for. Once the chili paste was mixed with everything else, it made for a very thick marinade. I ended up saving the chili soaking water and used it to thin out the marinade enough that I could get the paste off of the meat before cooking it. It ended up all right, but there wasn't as much citrusy-chile flavor in the meat as I had hoped for. I served it with a purchased "tropical salsa" that consisted of diced mango, jicama, and tomato in a little spiced vinegar. (That was to make up for the fact that I didn't serve the caramelized pineapple that was called for as a topping.) Like I said, not as good as I had hoped but not bad. There were no leftovers.
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More summer goodness

by Rahsaan » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:54 pm

Last night was more summer glory. A quiche with sauteed red peppers, lemon basil and fontina. Side dish of sauteed corn and cherry tomatoes again with lemon basil and lime.

It all went with 2012 Huet Le Haut Lieu Sec and 2011 Boillot Volnay Les Grands Poisots. Versatile/flexible/delicious.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:02 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote: Problem was that there appeared to be way too many chilies called for. Once the chili paste was mixed with everything else, it made for a very thick marinade.


Wow, what timing. Just this week I re-read the entire Coyote Cafe cookbook to get my head in the zone for cooking tonight's Santa Fe style dinner. And I can tell you how surprised I was to not that in Mark Millerworld, 'marinade' can be something as thin as orange juice, as pasty as what you describe, or completely non-liquid and identical to what most of us now call a dry rub. Still, what you describe does sound like one heck of a lot of chiles--like a restaurant recipe that didn't get scaled down properly.

Here's my menu for tonight:

Mussels in White wine, herb and Mexican chorizo broth (self-serve appie)
Amuse bouche: Duck rillette and black bean tostadas
Cold soup: melon, cucumber, and habanero puree pured around a stack of fresh crab and avocado (the John Ash recipe I posted earlier this week, with some liberties taken)
Main course: mushroom, spinach, sage and beet green stuffed saddle of lamb in ancho chile rub with ancho chile sauce, green beans in lime butter and black truffle tamale
Dessert: chocolate/orange/ground almond torte covered with a bitterswseet ganache and garnished with "pottery shards" of bittersweet chocolate and "Mexican jewelry" of tiny sterling silver coated chocolate hearts
Bread: braided buckwheat/cinnamon bread with corn crust
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 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:48 pm

That sounds wonderful, Jenise - particularly the tostadas!

I kept the leftover marinade and will throw a flank steak into it. That will have to sit for at least a couple of days as we have supper plans for tonight and tomorrow. Should be good whenever we get to it.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:41 am

Made Caramel Chicken last night (and posted the recipe).
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:25 am

Mike, can't wait to check that out. Tonigbht our main course was roast Pheasant, a wild Scottish pheasant no less that I bought from D'Artagnan. And...back to the domestic farm birds for me! A bit tough, gamier, and it didn't absorb the tarragon butter I copiously loaded under the skin. Couldn't even taste it. :(
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:56 am

Wow - D'Artagnan usually doesn't disappoint like that. I'll remember to go elsewhere if I want pheasant.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Carl Eppig » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:58 pm

We had an interesting dinner tonight. We had brought back some sausages from the Belfast Coop in Belfast, ME from a weekend trip. We broiled two one of kinds (all they had) one called "Guinness & Garlic" and the other called "Pork & Peppers." They were lean but very tasty. We also had Italian flat green beans and sliced tomatoes from the garden with the sausages. Yum!
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