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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:18 pm

Today I am starting the first step in my idea for the upcoming annual Terrine dinner, a heavy cream shellfish essence using lobster tails that will become part of the mousseline that's going to envelop crawfish tails in a terrine that I hope will be good enough to help me put New Orleans on a plate.
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 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:05 pm

And then I suddenly had a hankering for red meat. I mean a deep craving. And I had an 8 inch long boneless rib roast in the freezer that was meant for last Christmas but didn't happen. So at 2 p.m., straight out of the freezer, I rubbed it with Vignalta salt and threw it in a 300 F oven. Had no certainty about how long it would take but whenever it was done, we had dinner.

The image in my mind as I prepped this was my first dinner in Paris. We'd been walking around and came across this nondescript looking restaurant with amazing smells and a line out the front door. It was a bit early for dinner, but we got in line with no idea what we were in for. Turned out it was a prix fix meal that started with the best salad I'd ever had up to that point--truly fresh flavorful strong mixed greens of which I only recognized romaine (I was 22 and only knew from So Cal food)--a cold glass bowl for both of us unceremoniously dumped on our table. That was followed by rare roast beef--cut uncertain--with my first ever potato gratin, and dessert was a cold bowl of fresh cherries. I couldn't have been happier, and it's why though I understand, love and value haut techniques, that meal remains my ideal of French cooking. Simple foods made profound by the quality of the ingredients and perfection of preparation.

And that's what I made last night right down to the glass bowl for the salad served straight to the table (we invited another couple) instead of plated in the kitchen as is my normal mode.

Oh, so how did the beef work out? My guests said it was the best prime rib they'd ever had, and I agree. When it reached 100F I lowered the oven to 250, then pulled it half an hour later at 120 F. From there it went into hold mode in the warming oven for an hour while we sipped a cold white outside and had the salad course. Something about the combination of thawing and cooking simultaneously resulted in the tenderest rib roast imaginable. A rich, viscuous jus added the perfect finish.

And now I have cold prime rib for the hot days coming. Which is like my 2nd favorite thing.
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 Jeff Grossman » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:58 pm

Jenise wrote:...though I understand, love and value haut techniques, that meal remains my ideal of French cooking. Simple foods made profound by the quality of the ingredients and perfection of preparation.

That is my description of an Italian kitchen, not a French kitchen.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:52 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Jenise wrote:...though I understand, love and value haut techniques, that meal remains my ideal of French cooking. Simple foods made profound by the quality of the ingredients and perfection of preparation.

That is my description of an Italian kitchen, not a French kitchen.


We can probably just settle with 'old world European'. It's pretty true of most places not infected by giant agribusiness and fast food. :)
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 Paul Winalski » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:53 am

Dinner tonight will be za'atar grilled chicken wings.

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

by Jenise » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:34 pm

I'll be right over, Paul!

No idea yet here. And this is perilous, because it's 5:33 and time's running out. Clearly this isn't going to be one of those amazing nights, but I'm still full from lunch....

Maybe cheese and olives will do.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:10 pm

Having neighbors over for dinner tonight. Serving Chinese:

Smoked Five Spice Ducks (4)
Fried rice with sweet corn, bok choy and Chinese sausage
Shitake mushrooms in oyster sauce with bamboo, purple scallions and shaved macadamia nuts
Kung Pao eggplant
Homemade Chinese mustard pickles
Pork Belly, cucumber and wok-fried radishes

And there's a sixth dish I can't think of right now.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:30 am

Jenise wrote:Kung Pao eggplant

Say more, please.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:58 am

For ten or so years we ordered our annual black truffle and I decided to continue the tradition this year as I have guests coming for Christmas in July so it can be shared.
So tonight I treated myself. An omelette made with eggs which had been in bed with the truffle for 2 days, filled with shaved truffle and the last spoonful of one of my favourite cheeses Brillat Savarin.
Grilled cos heart and tomato and a flour tortilla crisped in butter.
A glass of Chateau Tahbilk Marsanne for mise, and a glass of Vasse Felix Classic dry red with the omelet. It was delicious.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:08 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Jenise wrote:Kung Pao eggplant

Say more, please.


This is my own creation. I buy the long, slender Chinese eggplant and cut them in 1" thick slices, marinate them to infuse them with flavored moisture and then microwave them (about 8 minutes) to cook them thru. All of this can be done earlier in the day. From there they go into a skillet to await the final step, which is browning, then layering in a serving dish over which add fresh basil leaves and the kung pao treatment over the top: chile crisps, chile oil, peanuts etc. It's delicious, pretty and has only a smidge the oil that would usually be soaked up by this diaper of the vegetable world.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:32 am

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman wrote:
Jenise wrote:Kung Pao eggplant

Say more, please.


This is my own creation. I buy the long, slender Chinese eggplant and cut them in 1" thick slices, marinate them to infuse them with flavored moisture and then microwave them (about 8 minutes) to cook them thru. All of this can be done earlier in the day. From there they go into a skillet to await the final step, which is browning, then layering in a serving dish over which add fresh basil leaves and the kung pao treatment over the top: chile crisps, chile oil, peanuts etc. It's delicious, pretty and has only a smidge the oil that would usually be soaked up by this diaper of the vegetable world.

Thanks, Jenise. I like the idea of using the microwave to cook the eggplant first: you'll still have nice-looking pieces afterward.

The name reminded me of a dish made at a local tapas place: Berenjena con miel: they start with fairy eggplants cut in half, coat them irregularly with sugar crystals, splash honey and melted cheese over them, and lastly a dash of nigella seeds. Love it.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:33 am

Barb Downunder wrote:For ten or so years we ordered our annual black truffle and I decided to continue the tradition this year as I have guests coming for Christmas in July so it can be shared.
So tonight I treated myself. An omelette made with eggs which had been in bed with the truffle for 2 days, filled with shaved truffle and the last spoonful of one of my favourite cheeses Brillat Savarin.
Grilled cos heart and tomato and a flour tortilla crisped in butter.
A glass of Chateau Tahbilk Marsanne for mise, and a glass of Vasse Felix Classic dry red with the omelet. It was delicious.

Brava! Eggs and truffles are wonderful together. I try to get a white truffle in the fall just to make eggs and buttery pasta.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:01 am

[quote="Jeff Grossman"
Brava! Eggs and truffles are wonderful together. I try to get a white truffle in the fall just to make eggs and buttery pasta.[/quote]

I love my annual truffle and generally do the eggs, pasta dishes. And I have never regretted the choice and I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to do this. And when o say life is too short to not have ........I am so glad that I made choices which we were able to share and enjoy.
So now I’m preparing left over roast goose and gravy, with truffled goose fat potatoes for my evening meal.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:01 am

We're having leftovers tonight, too. Last Saturday night my wine club joined the neighborhood beer club to throw the largest party ever thrown in "the Village", which is what we call where I live. Beer, wine, ribs, sausages, and smoked brisket for almost 200 people in an event featuring, as I advertised it, "big trucks, loud music and cranky hosts". We actually served all the meats from the tailgates of pickup trucks parked on the grass behind the Clubhouse. Very successful night, including where we passed the hat and collected $900 to give to a gal who works in our Association office whose home burned down last week.

I got some of the leftover ribs and I'll barbecue them for dinner tonight in a tasty homemade sauce.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:46 pm

Tonight's dinner will be Cajun chicken jambalaya.

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

by Jenise » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:57 pm

Paul, speaking of Cajun, my entry for the 16th Annual All-Terrine Dinner is going to be Cajun! It's all my own invention and features tasso ham and crawfish suspended in a spicy chicken mousseline. I baked a version yesterday that I'm very happy with; today I'll be working on the accoutrements.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:27 am

So, the excitement of the weekend has settled and I’m checking the fridge.
Oops seriously I lost the opportunity to serve something truffled, so I need to eat it all by myself.
Well I will make some truffle butter for my niece.
Soooo tonight I made a pizza Bianca. Base, sauce of bechamel seasoned with grated truffle and Parmesan, toppings sliced mushrooms, sliced potatoes par cooked in goose fat. When it came out of the oven I shaved over more black truffle and finished with baby spinach leaves. Pretty good. Peter would have loved it.
Gotta love a good pizza, just keep it simple withe quality ingredients, whatever they may be, nothing beats a good Margherita!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:33 am

That sounds wonderful, Barb: a perfect combination of ingredients and I'll bet it was just as gorgeous to look at.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:41 am

Jenise wrote:That sounds wonderful, Barb: a perfect combination of ingredients and I'll bet it was just as gorgeous to look at.

Jenise, it looked great, I was so pleased I actually posted a pic on Facebook, a rare event from this little black duck.
Might reprise it tomorrow as there is still some of the bechamel and the truffle.. the rest is easily available.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:52 am

Not cooking at home tonight. Vancouver hosts a summer Shakespeare festival where they have several plays going under several tents concurrently, some are straight Royal Shakespeare Company stuff and others are irreverent re-imaginings. Tonight we're seeing the latter, a rollicking spaghetti western version of Taming of the Shrew, with dinner afterward at the venue, live music and lastly, a huge fireworks show. There are several fireworks shows this time of year with various countries sponsoring--tonight might be India or Croatia. Hardly matters--just fun!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:22 pm

Yesterday we had a great lunch in Vancouver and weren't so hungry for dinner, so just sat on the patio and watched the Whale Watching boats come into our Bay (have never seen this before) with a few glasses of rose and some thin tomato slices marinated briefly with EVOO and garlic on toast. Humble as that sounds, I could eat that every night.

Today I'm working on my terrine for tomorrow's 16th annual All Terrine Dinner!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 pm

Jenise wrote:Yesterday we had a great lunch in Vancouver and weren't so hungry for dinner, so just sat on the patio and watched the Whale Watching boats come into our Bay (have never seen this before) with a few glasses of rose and some thin tomato slices marinated briefly with EVOO and garlic on toast. Humble as that sounds, I could eat that every night.

Hm. On Thursday I also made toasted bread with olive paste, thinly-sliced tomato, EVOO and grated parm. But I drank sagrantino, not rose.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:03 am

Cool. Meals don't have to be complicated; sometimes the simplest things are worthy of celebration.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Rahsaan » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:48 pm

Jenise wrote:...sometimes the simplest things are worthy of celebration.


Indeed. I am constantly amazed by the glory of roasting and then pureeing. Roasted red onions pureed into a sauce were one of my initial revelations in this area. And this time of year, if I get too aggressive about buying fruit, roasting and pureeing is a great way to capture the sweet glory.

Yesterday I roasted a batch of peaches and pureed with a touch of honey. Perfect. I also roasted a batch of plums and pureed with some roasted ginger and a touch of soy sauce. Perfect and can move to main course sauce duty as well.
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