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Tom NJ

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Tom NJ » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:15 am

Niiiice.

Did "cleaning him out" yield so many tomatoes that you'll be busy canning for a while now?
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Jenise

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:02 am

Oh no. Maybe 10. If there had been a bushel I might only have taken 8 or 9 but it seemed unkind to leave any--these people who grow things and go sit in the cold to sell them are so much braver than I.
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 Tom NJ » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:11 am

Haha! You are indeed a selfless individual. Saintly, even :D
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:30 am

Tom NJ wrote:Haha! You are indeed a selfless individual. Saintly, even :D


Not at all. But I do have a heart. :)
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Rahsaan

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Rahsaan » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:28 am

Our standard dinner party dessert is (purchased) sorbet with a homemade fruit sauce. The fruit sauce obviously varies with the season but recently I've been doing a lovely roasted fig sauce that speaks so much of September.

I roast fresh figs and ginger, then puree them with a bit of liquid to loosen (the figs get denser with roasting, sometimes I've used yogurt but last night's diluted simple syrup with vanilla was great). I love figs, and the ginger adds a nice 'adult' component.

Highly recommended!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:50 am

Rahsaan, that sounds wonderful. I too use purchased sorbets for dinner parties but I'd not considered making a sauce and next time I will. My fall-back (because I don't eat sweets personally and resent having to spend time making them for others), is to mix it with other components. Peach sorbet with blueberries and fresh basil, for instance.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Rahsaan » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:47 pm

Fresh fruit is certainly a good balancer as well.

I like the sauces because it shows a bit of effort on my part, allows me to be creative, allows me to use less-than-perfect fruit that I might not enjoy as much eating by itself, and is usually a much bigger hit with the kids we always have at the dinner parties than plain fruit would be.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:05 pm

Rahsaan wrote:Fresh fruit is certainly a good balancer as well.

I like the sauces because it shows a bit of effort on my part, allows me to be creative, allows me to use less-than-perfect fruit that I might not enjoy as much eating by itself, and is usually a much bigger hit with the kids we always have at the dinner parties than plain fruit would be.


It DOES show more effort, and that's why it's so smart. Plain fruit isn't bad--I usually soften the sorbet, stir the fruit through and then refreeze it, so it's integral, not just sitting on top. But still, it's not as homemade or as attractive as your fruit sauce.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:32 pm

So last night I got to 5:00 with no meal plan. Admittedly, I was dragging my feet, and there were several reasons for that all of which dissolved by the time it was almost too late. SOOO, I pulled two pork schnitzels out of the freezer--pounded, seasoned, crusted. I'd made and frozen these myself sometime back when I had a boneless pork loin that didn't get roasted. (After last night, Bob and I agreed that I need to do those on purpose for the future--what a great thing to have on hand, and it's not packaged food.)

And to go with those, why not a ratatouille? I had this really interesting squash I'd bought at the Farmer's Market on Thursday. It was a long, approximately 1.5" in diameter light green tube in a semi-circle shape with a knob at one end; straightened out, it would have been about 15-16". It had a name something like Thumbellina. I am also momentarily rich in thin-walled, strong-flavored Italian peppers, and last-of-the-season beefsteak tomatoes. So, peppers, carrots, and squash went into the oven to roast with EVOO and some herbs d'Provence. Four thin slices were harvested from a big tomato, dressed with a mustard vinaigrette and layered with watercress, almost-shaved torpedo onions and topped with some quickly seared diced bacon (a BLT salad!). The rest was chopped and added to the ratatouille at the last minute for a fresh, juicy pop. And the schnitzels were cooked until golden, then sliced into half inch wide batonnets and clustered for service on top of the vegetables and sprinkled with parsley, lemon juice and a drizzle of truffle oil. With dinner, a Cote Rotie.

Pretty fantastic, and Bob had no idea I hadn't been planning that all day.

Tonight: stewed chicken and noodles. We watched the 'Noodles' segment of David Chang's Mind of a Chef run, and today that's all I can think about. Not quite a ramen, but damn, gotta have it.
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 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:30 am

For reasons yet unclear, I've had an urge to learn more about Korean cooking lately. Accordingly, I made Dak Dori Tang tonight. This is a spicy stew that includes chicken, onions, carrots, and potatoes in a broth spiced with gochujang and gochugaru (chili powder). I checked out a number of different recipes before deciding on one that had enough ingredients to provide a reasonably complex dish. The only real modification I made was to back way off on the amount of the gochugaru because our dinner guests don't like overly spicy food. Overall, it was very tasty, but it would have been better had I not reduced the spice level.

Served it with a salad of arugula and pickled beets with a preserved lemon vinaigrette. Our friends brought a delicious cauliflower quiche. For dessert, my wife whipped up cream cheese, lemon juice and cream (the recipe billed it as an "instant cheesecake") that she served with some excellent strawberries that she found at an Asian market.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Sounds wonderful, Mike. Do you have a lot of Korean restaurants around Sac? I regret that I didn't go, not even once, when in So Cal--mygod, there's a whole neighborhood in L.A. about Korean food and even Orange County had it's own little K-ghetto. And how many times did I try it? Once. And once in London, and that's about it. I truthfully know very little about it, outside of bimbinmap, or however you spell it, Bo Ssam and those ribs. I know so little that at Morimoto in Honolulu, I ordered said bimbimap unaware that it would come with an undercooked egg--and I couldn't eat that. About the only difference between then and now is that I know it comes with an egg, and I own gochugang. :oops:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:17 pm

On Monday night we smoked a nine bone pork prime rib. Things did not go well.

Plan A: Brine it, dry it off, put it in the smoker. We had three couples coming about 5:30, and a plan to seat around 6:30. Wanted the meat out at 140F and resting by 6:00, but it was really a matter of it will be done when it's done. Meat went into the smoker on time. An hour later Bob rushes in and tells me that the smoker (electric) only went to 90 degrees then turned itself off. He tried again, same problem. A mechanical engineer, he's good at solving problems but this eluded his ability to solve, at least it would for that day. Panic set in.

Emergency Plan B: so what if we just light one burner on the BBQ, put the chips on the other side, and see if we can't smoke it that way. Bob goes into action, and has a thermometer in the meat. Smokey aromas fill the house. An hour later I came along and read the thermometer. F word! 97 degrees already! It's half cooked! This is too soon! My stomach hurt, like an ulcer. Dinner was still four hours away!

Emergency Plan C: pull the meat and conventionally roast it later. I didn't want it to keep cooking but I didn't want it to cool down either. Hello, warming drawer! We left the thermometer (one of those digital guys with a cable attached to the probe) in the meat and set the drawer to the proof setting (like for bread), I had no idea what temp that would be. My warming drawer has an analog dial that goes from Proof to Hi, but I almost never move it from just above Proof. An hour later, it was at 104F which including carry-over cooking. An hour after that, just 105F. So effectively: a warm state of suspended animation.

So at 5:30 it went into the big oven at 350F, and by 6:15 it was at 140 and removed to rest.

The first course were iceberg wedges topped with a spicy Dorothy Lynch dressing, grated blue cheese, parsley and freshly cooked bacon bits. With those, hot biscuits with a garlic butter/parmesan crust. The pork, which came out perfectly, was served on mashed potatoes with gravy, steamed broccoli and a drizzle of mustard green pesto. The slices were pretty hefty (each on the bone) and I thought for sure I'd be making doggy bags, but in fact I was the only one who didn't finish my meat.

Whew. To be continued.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Tom NJ » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:29 pm

That's the difference being able to follow recipes and knowing how to cook. Great job ad libbing and saving the day, Jenise!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:43 pm

True enough. But I did learn two important things, which I actually meant to get to when in the middle of typing the first post I had to kill my computer screen and go take care of a credit emergency.

1) Just one hour of smoke creates a lot more flavor than I would have guessed on a big piece of meat like that. And 2) I can use my warming oven to hold meat at any stage of doneness indefinitely. I'd not tested that, so for all the stomach churning involved it was actually the best possible result in that I had more control of meal timing than I did under Plan A, which was, loosely: we'll serve the main course whenever the meat's done.

I would not now hesitate to deliberately choose Plan C over Plan A, or at least some variable of that. I can smoke the meat or in fact do any initial preparation earlier in the day and hold it almost indefinitely for a conventional timed finish. I'm bulletproof!
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 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:14 pm

Bravo on the hot, one-handed catch, Jenise.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:44 pm

Dinner last night was: guacamole salad, BBQ'd leg-thigh chicken quarters, corn on the cob.

Tonight: the rest of the chicken. Pan-fried breast paillards (with the cute little pinkie wing sticking up) with mashed potatoes and gravy, a drizzle of Monday's leftover mustard green pesto, after a starter course of green bean salad.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:59 pm

Lunch today: the last hurray of summer... three kinds of heirloom tomatoes, a few slices of good salume, and a burratta. The tomatoes got a shake of truffle salt and a drizzle of EVOO.

2017-10-01 13.15.59 sm.jpg
...even though the temperature dropped 30 degrees yesterday!
2017-10-01 13.15.59 sm.jpg (46.66 KiB) Viewed 7792 times
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:37 pm

Beautiful! So sad to see the last summer tomatoes go, isn't it? I pulled out my vines today. Includes the Indigos that never ripened--I got just two ripe ones, and the last one was over three weeks ago. They'll get crotch rot or whatever you call it before they ever get that orange bottom.

Bob's sick with a bad cold/cough this weekend, so we haven't been dining in the usual sense. Last night all he wanted was homemade vegetarian pea soup. Tonight--most likely, more pea soup.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:01 pm

Chicken soup! Who raised you?
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:28 am

Jenise wrote:Sounds wonderful, Mike. Do you have a lot of Korean restaurants around Sac? I regret that I didn't go, not even once, when in So Cal--mygod, there's a whole neighborhood in L.A. about Korean food and even Orange County had it's own little K-ghetto. And how many times did I try it? Once. And once in London, and that's about it. I truthfully know very little about it, outside of bimbinmap, or however you spell it, Bo Ssam and those ribs. I know so little that at Morimoto in Honolulu, I ordered said bimbimap unaware that it would come with an undercooked egg--and I couldn't eat that. About the only difference between then and now is that I know it comes with an egg, and I own gochugang. :oops:


There are quite a few Korean restaurants in the area and we went to one of them tonight - YD Tofu House. I don't have enough experience with the cuisine to know how this restaurant would stack up against other Korean places, but the bibimbop was tasty and the banchan were excellent.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:52 pm

For dinner tonight: a whole roasted turkey breast. It's in a brine now. I have no idea what else I'm going to do.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:22 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:Chicken soup! Who raised you?


Hey, chicken soup is what I'd have wanted, but it's not me who's in sick bay. I'm just the cook, and he wanted pea soup!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:31 pm

No idea what's for dinner tonight. Last night I made chicken kebabs. They were vegetable intense, just the way I like them: two smallish chicken breasts, four bell peppers, one large onion. The marinade was very Asian and I served them on brown rice pressure cooked (1:1 rice to water, 15 minutes) with kaffir lime leaves and a handful of unsweetened coconut.
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Barb Downunder

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:55 am

Just home from three weeks in Tasmania, we took ourselves and our car on the ferry so came home home with some goodies. And being disinclined to go shopping I look d over it and I have a 9+ wagyu steak in the sous vide, to be flashed to colour up with a pinch of Bush Dust,some lovely pink eye potatoes, waxy chats. Beloved by Tasmanians and eschespwed by mainstream suppliers (a bit knobbly, short shelf life) I have steamed tham and finishing on duck fat.
A cos lettuce and some tomatoes will make a simple salad.
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