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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:03 pm

Thank you, Barb and Jenise.

Today was, of course, the churning of the ice cream, and I made a tray of lobster lasagna.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:01 am

Today was the big dinner: a roast vegetable tart to start (broccoli, mushroom, zucchini heaped on a sheet of puff pastry and bound with creme fraiche, egg, and parmesan), then two roasted ducklings served with a sausage-based stuffing (and the cranberry relish), followed by lots of desserts: English Christmas pudding with whipped cream, bonbon chocolates from Jacques Torres, and the aforementioned chocolate-orange ice cream, peanut butter Hershey's Kiss cookies, and aged egg nog.

We drank the ends of the cooking white (Frascati) and cooking red (Bordeaux), a bottle of FRV100 and a bottle of Ch. Montus 1995 Madiran "Cuvee Prestige". The egg nog, of course, was made with rum and brandy but we each flavored our own cups with Grand Marnier, Kahlua, and Roots' "Tentura".

And, with that, I am officially out of the kitchen until New Year's Eve!

Whew.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:15 am

Christmas Eve was just my wife, one of the daughters, and me, so I just did sous vide chicken breasts, roasted brussels sprouts, and couscous. The chicken breasts were good, but I don't think the sous vide version will replace the roasted ones in our rotation.

For Christmas, we had both daughters, the boyfriend of one of them, and one of our neighbors over. For dinner, we started with a little cheese and charcuterie and then went on to sous vide filets, sous vide carrots (yeah, there's a theme here), potato gratin, and lentils with wine braised vegetables. Everything was good although I didn't get the sear/crust I wanted on the steaks due to crowding the skillet too much. The carrots were tossed in a hot skillet with some maple syrup after going through the sous vide thing in butter. Threw some mint on just before serving and they were delicious.

The one daughter's boyfriend threw my wife a real curve for dessert: he's allergic to nuts. She's done well with gluten free desserts and vegan desserts but coming up with a nut-free dessert that was special enough for a Christmas dinner was a tough one. All of her tart crusts include nut flours and she doesn't do pie crusts. She ended up settling on some rich chocolate brownies with caramel sauce. We topped them with some purchased ice cream and they were very good.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:22 pm

Jenise wrote:Paul, thought of you yesterday when we had lunch. I can't remember the name of the dish, it's Chinese, stickyish rice with stuff in it rolled in some kind of leaf (lotus?) and steamed. Delish, especially with a spoonful of Lan Chi on top. Still able to find it back there?


You're thinking of zongzi--seasoned glutinous rice wrapped in a large leaf (bamboo, lotus, banana, etc.), then steamed. It's traditional fare during the Dragon Boat Festival. It's also a popular dim sum item.

Yes, I can still get Lan Chi here, bot the Chili Paste with Garlic and the Black Bean Sauce with Chili.

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

by Paul Winalski » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:27 pm

Christmas dinner was coq au vin, Julia Child's recipe.

-Paul W.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:26 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:And, with that, I am officially out of the kitchen until New Year's Eve!

Sigh. One more thing today... after zesting a half dozen lemons and a half dozen limes, I couldn't think of anything else to do with the bald, hardening-fast citrus but make lemonade. :lol:
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Barb Downunder

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:31 am

Jeff, I have been known, in desperate times to chuck whole citrus in the freezer, works well, for juice and/or zest. I have also recently frozen sliced limes in winter and the slices are now appearing in summer gins and tonic. But I do admire your commitment. Have a nice rest now.
BTW somewhere you fleetingly mentioned lobster lasagne? Please explain, I have a pending visit from non meat eaters who love fishy things , and curiously there are some lobster tails........
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:05 am

Barb Downunder wrote:Jeff, I have been known, in desperate times to chuck whole citrus in the freezer, works well, for juice and/or zest. I have also recently frozen sliced limes in winter and the slices are now appearing in summer gins and tonic. But I do admire your commitment. Have a nice rest now.

I like the idea of frozen slices!

BTW somewhere you fleetingly mentioned lobster lasagne? Please explain, I have a pending visit from non meat eaters who love fishy things , and curiously there are some lobster tails........

Yes. I started with internet recipes like these two:
http://www.thebrewerandthebaker.com/archives/1142
http://www.closetcooking.com/2009/05/se ... sagna.html
...and then started to mingle and improve them. With these two recipes there are two gotchas: they don't say what size pan to use and the whole result is not moist enough.
-- I eventually figured out that they must be using a very deep but kinda small square pan. I made mine in a tray so I knew to boil extra noodles but I was also running out of filling.
-- And the whole thing wasn't as slippy-slidey ooey-gooey as I wanted. It was rather restrained in texture, although the lobster filling was vivid. I will make the bechamel looser next time and possibly add more ricotta, too.

It is, of course, yummy anyway. And not hard to make... rather like a very large spanokopita that happens to have a layer of fish in the middle of it!
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Jason Hagen

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jason Hagen » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:51 pm

As has become tradition, we make a post Christmas hash with the leftover prime rib. Normally potato, onion, celery and generally a small amount of garlic but this year I left out the onion and added a yellow bell pepper. Topped it with a slowly EVOO poached egg. cooked until the whites were barely set and the yolk warm but not set. Served with raw serranos.

Jason
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:31 pm

We spent Christmas out of town at the home of friends. We had two plans: a Feast of Seven Fishes on the Eve, and prime rib on Christmas day. She and her husband are both excellent cooks, and she's particularly ambitious. The menu we worked out was a combination of both our efforts though mostly hers, and several things we were to make together, like lobster ravioli. She obsessively photographs every single thing she makes and posts pictures daily on Facebook.

These days Susan is apparently in great pain due to hip issues her docs can't seem to repair, and apparently only Vicodin makes life bearable. Unfortunately, it also makes her hard to get along with. Or maybe it's the combination with her delicious, complex cocktails. Anyway, she has giant mood swings that veer from mildly irritable to slamming doors and ordering everyone out of the kitchen. For instance, she told me I had to make the pink sauce for the lobster because she was too woozy and then castigated me for taking the job away from her. And her poor husband--he's a great guy but just gets an endless stream of abuse. No pleases or thank you's for anything, ever, just one order after another barbed with insults of the "you never get it right" kind. In fact nobody does anything right. The next morning she remembered none of it. Christmas Day wasn't any better. On the morning of the 26th, (they sleep late), we slipped out early and just left a note. The goodbye after all that would have been quite awkward--hate to lie, but couldn't tell the truth: it was the worst holiday weekend of our life.

I'm deliriously happy to be home.
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 Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:42 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:
Jenise wrote:Paul, thought of you yesterday when we had lunch. I can't remember the name of the dish, it's Chinese, stickyish rice with stuff in it rolled in some kind of leaf (lotus?) and steamed. Delish, especially with a spoonful of Lan Chi on top. Still able to find it back there?


You're thinking of zongzi--seasoned glutinous rice wrapped in a large leaf (bamboo, lotus, banana, etc.), then steamed. It's traditional fare during the Dragon Boat Festival. It's also a popular dim sum item.

Yes, I can still get Lan Chi here, bot the Chili Paste with Garlic and the Black Bean Sauce with Chili.

-Paul W.


I wrote Annabelle about it. She says zongzi has hard cooked egg in it and is boiled, where lo mai, or no mai as she called it, would involve pork and dried shrimp, and be steamed. You're probably both right--it just depends on what part of China you're from that it's one way or the other. For Annabelle, it's whatever her grandmother said it was. :)
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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Jason Hagen

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jason Hagen » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:51 am

Grabbed a recipe from https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pork-ragu-over-creamy-polenta-51264620

Probably made a few tweaks along the way. This was tasty.

Jason
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:25 am

That looks great, Jason - and perfect for a cold winter's evening.

I received an Instant Pot for Christmas, so I put it through some of its paces this evening, making a corn-chicken chowder from this recipe. It went pretty much as advertised - quick and easy, and the results were delicious.

For our annual New Year's Eve get-together this year, the theme is "Polynesian". This is a fat pitch across the middle of the plate when it comes to cocktails but less so for food. I found a recipe for a "Polynesian" pork salad that includes shredded pork, grilled pineapple, toasted instant ramen noodles, macadamias, cilantro, romaine, and a bunch of other stuff. Since it's a salad, I'm sure I'll adjust some aspects of the recipe as it goes together if necessary. My wife is making a coconut creme pie with a crust based on ground roasted jasmine rice. I'll add Thai basil ice cream to go with. Our cocktail contribution will be Jungle Birds.

It's going to be interesting to see what everyone else comes up with for this theme....
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:09 pm

How fun, Mike. I love themes, and your salad sounds delish. Uncooked ramen noodles are a great ingredient.
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 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:28 pm

NYE dinner kept it simple: mushroom soup, porterhouse, rosti.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:49 am

Sounds like there was lots of good stuff happening.
We also had a quiet, simple night at home together,with a bit of style!
A taste test Osietra and beluga with blinis and sour cream. Like MFK Fisher it was the first time we had very nearly enough caviar! 50 g of each.
Chicken liver parfait with toast.
Fabulous artisan cheddar.
Dom Perignon 2005.
The bread and blinis made with flours I purchased from a working 19th century windmill in Tasmania.


Because life is too short to not do it if you can.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:48 am

Barb Downunder wrote:Because life is too short to not do it if you can.

Amen and Happy New Year!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:06 pm

Tonight, roast chicken with rosemary on the Pit Boss, miscellaneous accoutrements.
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 Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:26 pm

I tried the Instant Pot thing again, this time with a Chicken Paprikash recipe I found on the web. It was definitely quick and easy to put together and the chicken thighs were fall-off-the-bone tender in short order. On the downside, the recipe relied pretty much completely on sweet Hungarian paprika for spicing and that wasn't near enough. I kinda knew this going in and should have thrown in some cumin or coriander or whatever to add some complexity. I'll definitely make it again, with additions to address the spice issue,

It's funny - we've had a pressure cooker in the house for years and I've never taken the time to work with it. I don't know why I am finding the Instant Pot more attractive to use. Maybe the gadget aspect, maybe the ease of programming in times and temps, maybe the fact that my wife got it for me as a gift; all probably play into it, I suppose.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:23 pm

Mike, one good addition to a paprikash is a whole single fresh jalapeno. It gives the paprika a more pronounced capsicum flavor, kind of a yin and yang thing.

Maybe the programming part is what particularly appeals to your scientist nature? Not that it's easy so much as THERE, and precise.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:36 pm

Barb Downunder wrote:Sounds like there was lots of good stuff happening.
We also had a quiet, simple night at home together,with a bit of style!
A taste test Osietra and beluga with blinis and sour cream. Like MFK Fisher it was the first time we had very nearly enough caviar! 50 g of each.
Chicken liver parfait with toast.
Fabulous artisan cheddar.
Dom Perignon 2005.
The bread and blinis made with flours I purchased from a working 19th century windmill in Tasmania.

Because life is too short to not do it if you can.


Excellent choices all. What did you think of the Dom? I'm not a particular fan of Dom but I loved loved LOVED the '05.
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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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:59 pm

Jenise wrote:Mike, one good addition to a paprikash is a whole single fresh jalapeno. It gives the paprika a more pronounced capsicum flavor, kind of a yin and yang thing.

Maybe the programming part is what particularly appeals to your scientist nature? Not that it's easy so much as THERE, and precise.


I was thinking of a couple of possibilities for adding a little heat - a jalapeno would work well.

On the Instant Pot, the programming aspect is definitely handy but I typically really like to make things that require a feel for their cooking, whether it's the amount of heat and time to get a good sear on something or the time it takes to roast something perfectly or whatever. The easy programming takes that part out of it.

The big test will be whether I'm still using it in six months.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:36 am

ll.
“What did you think of the Dom? I'm not a particular fan of Dom but I loved loved LOVED the '05.”

I haven’t many others to compare, but it went very nicely with the meal standing up well with quite distinct flavours. Another little luxury to savour.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:19 pm

Roast chicken tonight. It's marinating in a tea made from leftover riesling, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, garlic and peppercorns and will get spatchcocked and roasted with potatoes, fennel and carrots.
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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