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What's Cooking (Take Three!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:36 pm

We are 'snowed in'. Not actually that much snow in inches, but after a goodly dump last Friday temps have been hovering 28-35 since so we've been cycling through snow/melt/freeze/snow/melt/rain/freeze since making road conditions quite treacherous. Wise not to go out if you don't have to. Having inadvertently shopped well last Thursday, I've had enough milk and produce to get by on along with a well-stocked freezer. But after seven days of it, things are getting tighter which means I have to do more with less and that's actually making me more creative than cranky. I do some of my best work when I can't fall back on habits.

So yesterday I took a container out of the freezer. As I told Bob, "I don't know what that is, but we're having it for dinner." When it finally thawed enough to scrape off a taste, I found the contents to be chanterelle mushrooms in a creamy curry sauce. It was slightly sour, so sour cream had been the creamy agent, and there was dill. WTF? When did I do THAT? Clearly some kind of one-off. I decided I'd put it over pasta. But much later Bob opened a dry reisling for sipping, and when I tasted that, I wanted Thai food.

So back to the freezer: did I still have that little baggie of frozen kaffir lime leaves? YES! They'd been there for about two years, but they were double-bagged and would still have flavor. In the fridge, fresh snow peas. In the pantry, a can of water chestnuts also purchased for general stand-by purposes last week along with an unopened and recently purchased bag of shaved unsweetened coconut. So into the chanterelle curry went fish sauce, the lime leaves, sliced water chestnuts and some red chile flakes, and onto the stove went two cups of rice--ensuring leftovers that will become a today's fried rice lunch. I blanched the peas for last minute addition to the curry and in a separate pan toasted the coconut. Voila, super tasty, a dish that never existed before and will never occur again, but as good as anything I could have set out to do from scratch. And a perfect match with that reisling.
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 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:22 pm

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

by Jenise » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:25 pm

Thanks Jeff. But compare that with today: it's 6:24 p.m. and I haven't a clue what I'm making for dinner. Had my head in the sand all day!
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 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:00 pm

Tonight: roast chicken with roasted root vegetables, green salad to start.
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 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 pm

Jenise wrote:Had my head in the sand all day!

There's a luau recipe that works like that, right? :lol:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:31 pm

I'm in the midst of making a chicken dish from Serious Eats. You parboil some carrots and small potatoes and then toss them in a roaster with oil and halved brussels sprouts. You then brown chicken pieces (I'm using thighs), put the browned thighs on top of the veggies, and roast it all until the chicken is cooked and the sprouts get browned. Meanwhile, deglaze the pan the chicken was browned in with white wine and add that to chicken stock and some more veggies. Simmer that for a while, then defat and mix with butter, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and fish sauce. That can be poured over the roasted chicken, sprouts, etc. (This is how I'm doing it, which is a little different from the recipe, found at Serious Eats.)

I made this a couple of weeks ago and really liked it. The juices from the roasting chicken drip down over the vegetables, adding a lot of flavor. The sauce is simple, but very tasty.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:14 pm

Sounds great, Mike. Interesting addition with the fish sauce.

Last night I made what we loosely call 'wokness'. Pretty much a stir fry of chicken with black bean sauce, but in this case less chicken and more vegetables than would be typical. Bob and I actually agreed afterward that the chicken was superfluous, among all the things in the mixture it was the least favorite item for both of us. Might have been slightly different if I'd used thigh meat instead of breast, but maybe not.

Tonight we're having scallops. I'm conflicted about whether I'm going to do my favorite Marcella Hazan prep with a garlic/tomato/rosemary sauce on noodles, or make some wonton 'ravioli' stuffed with crushed peas and dress the whole with a lemon-ginger-butter sauce. I'd prefer the latter, but time might decide it in the other direction.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:04 pm

Indian last night: pappadums, a South Indian-style moong and toovar dal, and kesari pulao (basmati rice spiced with saffron, black cumin, and cardamom).

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

by Jenise » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:59 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:Indian last night: pappadums, a South Indian-style moong and toovar dal, and kesari pulao (basmati rice spiced with saffron, black cumin, and cardamom).

-Paul W.


Nice! I love pappadums. Did you make your own dough or did you them ready-to-fry?
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 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:16 am

Valentine's Day Menu

Cocktail: Admiral Vernon (rum, Grand Marnier, lime juice, orgeat; named for the man who replaced the British Navy's rum tot with grog)

Wine: Brun's FRV100 (...it is Pumpkin's very favorite)

First Course: Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (boiled with black peppercorns, fennel seed, bay leaf, and thyme; 4 each)

Second Course: pate layered with chicken, duck liver, and armagnac prunes; served with a buckwheat baguette (OK, I made neither one of these...)

Third Course: Lobster Wellington (lobster poached in thyme and cream, Hen-of-the-Woods sauteed in bacon, mounded inside puff pastry; served with a lobster-tarragon cream sauce and a side of sauteed julienned mixed squash and carrots)

Dessert: Black Sesame Ice Cream with Almond-Pistachio Cookies

----

The Admiral Vernon was a little out-of-balance as printed; adding a bit more Grand Marnier brought enough complexity to counter the lime juice.

The Wellingtons were unlovely to look at because I overstuffed them. I should have brought out the second sheet of pastry and made four parcels. Live and learn. Worked gloriously otherwise - no juices ran enough to spoil the pastry, the two fillings both stood forward but were harmoniously rich together, the sauce tasted of lobster (I used the poaching cream so it had better!) and the tarragon complemented the thyme in every other food.

The ice cream is sweet enough to be a treat but sesame is a funny, nutty, smoky flavor. Great change-of-pace recipe but not sure it needs to go into regular rotation in my ice cream churn.

----

Did you make something special for V-Day?
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Rahsaan » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:11 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Did you make something special for V-Day?


Roasted chestnut quiche. Quiche is usually more of a weekend thing because of the slight time involved getting the dough prepared. But I figured I could at least nod towards the holiday. After dinner I went out for my usual Tuesday evening tennis session, and my wife did work. Nothing like your menu!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:30 pm

Jenise wrote:Nice! I love pappadums. Did you make your own dough or did you them ready-to-fry?


I bought them ready-to-fry.

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

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:10 pm

We had a friends over for supper Thursday night and I wanted to make something with chicken as she doesn't do red meat. I found a recipe for a Peruvian style chicken on a blog called "Once Upon a Chef". Turned out that it was slightly adapted from a Serious Eats recipe. (Lately, it seems that all internet recipe roads lead to Serious Eats.) You marinate the chicken in a mixture of olive oil, lime juice, cumin, paprika, garlic, oregano, and sugar. Serious Eats has you butterfly and grill while the blog went with roasting. Both called for whole chickens. As the chicken is cooking, you make a sauce by blending jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, and pepper and then adding olive oil.

I ended up going the roasting route due to the persistent and very heavy rain we've been having. I also went with big, meaty thighs rather than the whole chicken. It all went reasonably well except for my forgetting to dry the chicken off in between taking it out of the marinade and putting it in the roasting pan - the skin was pretty well charred when I pulled it all out of the oven. That didn't really hurt anything, though. The chicken was quite good and the sauce was excellent both with the chicken and with the roasted potatoes we served alongside. My wife made a beet-hazelnut salad and our friends brought some peas cooked with shallots and red bell peppers. We also had a really good flourless chocolate cake for dessert. I'm normally not a big fan of these but this one was fairly light and had good dark chocolate flavor.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:00 pm

French chicken-in-a-pot. Served with broccoli rabe (sauteed in bacon fat) and mixed wild/brown rices.
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Barb Downunder

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:29 am

[quote][/quote]
Interesting I have just been trolling for pappadum recipes.
Does anyone have a great recipe? Cue Jenise.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:22 pm

According to Yamuna Devi in her vegetarian Indian cookbook "Lord Krishna's Cuisine", pappadums are sort of like potato crisps--just about everyone buys them ready-made, and finishes them off by either deep-frying or toasting them.

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

by Paul Winalski » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:24 pm

Chinese noodle week. Two nights ago I made dan dan mian. Yesterday was zhajiang mian (Beijing meat sauce noodles). Tonight will be beef chow fun.

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

by Jenise » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:22 pm

Paul, will they toast up in a hot iron skillet? (They don't look like they would). That would turn me into a buyer; I don't deep fry.

Last night's dinner was Utica Greens--aka garlicky Tuscan white beans and escarole on toast, with a side dish of marinated yellow bell pepper strips.

The night before was a lamb shank roasted with onions and Riesling, served over roasted cauliflower and topped with shaved raw brussels sprouts. A salad of green olives, slivered kohlrabi and green bell pepper was our starter. And the night before we had a tomato and basil salad with focaccia as we'd had a big burger lunch.

In describing that it occurs to me that these meals are emblematic of how we eat these days. Vegetarian meals are frequent, and food from raw plants is elemental. Meat plays a lesser part or is often part of the dish but no longer routinely the leading man on the plate as it used to be. Feels good.

No plans for today's meals yet but for grilling some chard. New to me but I saw this done on Top Chef and want to experiment with the method. Might serve it with a tomato couscous.
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 Barb Downunder » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:31 am

Jenise, haven.t tried papadums in a hot skillet, but thinking about it that should work, you can puff them in the microwave, and as Paul notes they are often deep fried.
I have found a recipe to make them from scratch and when I have the time and the correct ingredient I will have a go. Just to give it a go. I seem to have a mild streak of madness which compels me to make things from scratch at least once just to see if I can.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:09 am

We have just spent a few days up in Melbourne and it being autumn I was able to connect with my dealer and came home with supplies for a year or more. MY tomato dealer that is, been buying from him for years and whilst living in a farming area it is not a vegetable region (yet, this is about to change) and I haven't yet networked any Italian locals who may have local dealers.
So today I dealt with half of my bounty and now have 8 quart jars and8 pint jars of whole peeled tomatoes, two litres of tomato juice and about a kilo of pieces to add to tomorrow's project which will be (probably) turning the remaining 20 kilograms into Passat a.
And of course we came home on the rout that takes us past my favourite dairy farm shop so Monday I will start work on turning 8 litres of milk into cheese.

I am feeling Very happy about the whole process.

I know the provenance of the tomatoes and am supporting Victorian farmers
No large corporations are involved (maybe the Ma... don't ask, don't know LOL
The jars are used over and over
The leftover skins etc go in the compost
Water used in the production goes on the garden
Nothing goes in the end product unless I put it there
I can allow myself 5 minutes of smug self-satisfaction
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Robin Garr » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:04 am

Barb Downunder wrote:I can allow myself 5 minutes of smug self-satisfaction

I'd say you have earned a full day, Barb! :lol:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Christina Georgina » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:39 pm

"I seem to have a mild streak of madness which compels me to make things from scratch at least once just to see if I can."
Not mad at all Barb.... Always curious and never shrinking from challenge I do the same from scratch trials and likewise try as much as possible to use/preserve every last bit of local bounty.
Mamma Mia !
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:10 pm

Barb, Christina's right. Not mad at all and I too applaud that way of thinking. Great productivity. Is the cheese you're making also a try-it-once project or do you normally do your own?

And Jeff: love your Valentines Menu. Do you have a recipe for that lobster wellington?
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:45 pm

Jenise wrote:Paul, will they toast up in a hot iron skillet? (They don't look like they would). That would turn me into a buyer; I don't deep fry.


By usual standards, frying pappadums is more of a shallow-fry: you heat up 1/4" of oil in a skillet, then drop in the pappadum. The pappadum takes a couple of seconds to puff out, and then you remove it (I use tongs). The other traditional Indian way to cook them is to put them on an open grid (you can make one from a coathanger) and to hold them over an open flame. I've never tried that, myself. I never thought of microwaving them, but it ought to work for the same reason that microwaving popcorn works.

Barb--let us know how the homemade pappadums from scratch turn out.

-Paul W.
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