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What's cooking?

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Re: What's cooking?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:59 am

Practicing for a dinner next month: duck & olive pastilla, and lentil salad.

The lentil salad is a typical thing: boil 'em up with some aromatic herb/veg, then dress with crumbled bacon and a vinaigrette. Need to dial back the vinegar a little but basically good.

The pastilla is a little too briny or olive-y. Perhaps switch from green to black and do a pre-soak? Seems like a decent enough recipe but not in balance yet. The ingredients in the pie are 1 lb duck breast (seared and diced), 1 fennel bulb (diced and sauteed), 6 oz stuffed green olives (diced), 1 oz almonds (toasted and crushed), 2 eggs, honey, cinnamon, saffron, quatre epices, s+p.

Meanwhile, checking in on the watermelon balls soaking in simple syrup, lime juice and Cointreau... yum.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:14 am

Jeff, there is such a thing as a canned green olive that's packed in salt water, not a vinegary brine. Maybe those are what you need here; even without tasting what you've made I'd sure think so. They taste quite buttery, and in fact I'm quite addicted to them--there are always several cans in my pantry, and I not only snack on them but put them in things like paella and albondigas soup. Trader Joe's carries a store brand of them and at $2 they're about half the price they'd be anywhere else.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Carrie L. » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:22 am

Karen/NoCA wrote:
Serving over mashed Yukon Golds and carrots and parsnips that will cook with the meat. Salad will be baby greens, apples, walnuts and Champagne vinaigrette.


Sounds great Carrie. How did the lamb leg compare to the shank....any difference?

I did not realize until this week how much more flavorful Yukon Golds are than Russets. I have been using Yukons for years now and this week the store I was in only had little ones. I bought Russets (for the first time in years) to make mashed potatoes, they were blah!


Hi Karen, the leg was wonderful. I was wondering how it would work...if the shanks would get done much sooner than the leg, but maybe because the leg was boneless, it all cooked up the same. So tender you could eat it with a spoon. :) Dad loved it and that's what's important.
I always use Yukon Golds for mashed potatoes. They are just so much richer somehow. I will say the ones I used last night took forever to get tender though!
PS. I also usually add some whipped cream cheese to my potatoes in place of some of the milk. I love them that way.
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I...I....still like oaked Chardonnay. (I feel so much better now.)
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:44 am

Jenise wrote:Jeff, there is such a thing as a canned green olive that's packed in salt water, not a vinegary brine. Maybe those are what you need here; even without tasting what you've made I'd sure think so. They taste quite buttery, and in fact I'm quite addicted to them--there are always several cans in my pantry, and I not only snack on them but put them in things like paella and albondigas soup. Trader Joe's carries a store brand of them and at $2 they're about half the price they'd be anywhere else.

Interesting; I did not know this. It is very possible that that will do the trick. (I translated the recipe from French so the food store in the author's mind was not anything near me!)
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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:23 pm

Tonight it is fresh Tilapia Po'Boys with home made tarter sauce on Bolillo rolls. A salad of mixed greens with Hearts of Palm, avocado with almond oil, champagne vinegar vinaigrette.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:28 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jenise wrote:Jeff, there is such a thing as a canned green olive that's packed in salt water, not a vinegary brine. Maybe those are what you need here; even without tasting what you've made I'd sure think so. They taste quite buttery, and in fact I'm quite addicted to them--there are always several cans in my pantry, and I not only snack on them but put them in things like paella and albondigas soup. Trader Joe's carries a store brand of them and at $2 they're about half the price they'd be anywhere else.

Interesting; I did not know this. It is very possible that that will do the trick. (I translated the recipe from French so the food store in the author's mind was not anything near me!)


The California brand Lindsay also cans green olives in the style I mention, but they're harder to find. At least out here. They'll usually cost twice what TJ's has, though, so I do reccomend the latter. I really think it will solve the problem in your dish.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:24 pm

A rather ridiculous menu tonight: foie gras on toasted baguette, because we have it leftover from last night, which we'll nibble on in a few minutes with a good CdP out by the firepit--it's a gorgeous but cool night here--followed by our last "corn stand dinner". A favorite since childhood, it's corn on the cob with pan cooked summer squash and a salad of sliced tomatoes with O+V+garlic, exactly the meal we would have when Grammy came over many a Friday night, having stopped at the corn stand on her way and brought all those fresh ingredients.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Carrie L. » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:18 am

Jenise wrote:A rather ridiculous menu tonight: foie gras on toasted baguette, because we have it leftover from last night, which we'll nibble on in a few minutes with a good CdP out by the firepit--it's a gorgeous but cool night here--followed by our last "corn stand dinner". A favorite since childhood, it's corn on the cob with pan cooked summer squash and a salad of sliced tomatoes with O+V+garlic, exactly the meal we would have when Grammy came over many a Friday night, having stopped at the corn stand on her way and brought all those fresh ingredients.


Sounds like a perfect end to summer. Those farm-stand dinners were our favorites this summer in New England.
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I...I....still like oaked Chardonnay. (I feel so much better now.)
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:53 pm

Carrie L. wrote:Sounds like a perfect end to summer. Those farm-stand dinners were our favorites this summer in New England.


It was, but turned out rather amusing. Friends had called earlier in the day and said they would probably drop by while here to check on a rental property they owned--she'd drop off fresh tomatoes, apples and pears, so I volunteered to give her some of the salmon we'd smoked the day before. Then around 3:00 I got an email from her Blackberry saying they were currently dead on I-5, waiting for a tow truck, and would be returning home to the Eastern end of the County so don't expect to see them. However, big surprise, around 5:30 the doorbell rang and it was them. And though we'd had no prior plan but for exchanging some stuff, she set down a loaf of cranberry-orange bread "for dessert" and some tomatoes from which she would "make a salad": what did I have for a main course? Thankfully I had more than enough for four and no other guests coming, so this was all going to work out fine. But I, who have a certain reputation anyway, will probably never hear the end of the day they dropped in, invited themselves for dinner and were served foie gras.
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?

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:10 pm

But I, who have a certain reputation anyway, will probably never hear the end of the day they dropped in, invited themselves for dinner and were served foie gras.


Sounds like the perfect way to kick your reputation up a notch, Jenise....just think, when they come by again, they will expect the same royal treatment. It is a great feeling though and while having a reputation as a good cook can be a curse sometimes, I love it when someone drops by and you can fully accommodate them without embarrassment. On a few occasions under similar circumstances I was asked, "do you eat like this every night?" Of course we do, I happily responded! :twisted: Heaven forbid I should get caught on one of those blasted hot days, when we are eating a cold artichoke I cooked in the morning and a simple tomato and cucumber salad! Plus my friendliness might not be as friendly!
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Re: What's cooking?

by Shaji M » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:03 pm

Jenise wrote:It was, but turned out rather amusing. Friends had called earlier in the day and said they would probably drop by while here to check on a rental property they owned--she'd drop off fresh tomatoes, apples and pears, so I volunteered to give her some of the salmon we'd smoked the day before. Then around 3:00 I got an email from her Blackberry saying they were currently dead on I-5 waiting for a tow truck, and would be returning home to the Eastern end of the County so don't expect to see them. However, big surprise, around 5:30 the doorbell rang and it was them. And though we'd had no prior plan but for exchanging some stuff, she set down a loaf of cranberry-orange bread "for dessert" and some tomatoes from which she would "make a salad": what did I have for a main course? Thankfully I had more than enough for four and no other guests coming, so this was all going to work out fine. But I, who have a certain reputation anyway, will probably never hear the end of the day they dropped in, invited themselves for dinner and were served foie gras.


Jenise,
I am stranded on I-5. Can I please come to your place to use the telephone to call AAA? Say around 5 ish this evening? :D
-Shaji
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:12 pm

Shaji M wrote:Jenise,
I am stranded on I-5. Can I please come to your place to use the telephone to call AAA? Say around 5 ish this evening? :D
-Shaji


Oh that made me laugh out loud! Thanks for the laugh, I really needed that.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:40 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:
But I, who have a certain reputation anyway, will probably never hear the end of the day they dropped in, invited themselves for dinner and were served foie gras.


Sounds like the perfect way to kick your reputation up a notch, Jenise....just think, when they come by again, they will expect the same royal treatment. It is a great feeling though and while having a reputation as a good cook can be a curse sometimes, I love it when someone drops by and you can fully accommodate them without embarrassment. On a few occasions under similar circumstances I was asked, "do you eat like this every night?" Of course we do, I happily responded! :twisted: Heaven forbid I should get caught on one of those blasted hot days, when we are eating a cold artichoke I cooked in the morning and a simple tomato and cucumber salad! Plus my friendliness might not be as friendly!


I wouldn't think a drop-in could ever cause you to feel embarrassment since, after all, you weren't planning on feeding guests in the first place--could it? It wouldn't me.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:52 pm

Jenise,
I am stranded on I-5. Can I please come to your place to use the telephone to call AAA? Say around 5 ish this evening?
-Shaji


Had to chime in here and say that living near 1-5 can be a curse or even a blessing. We live about 5 minutes from an off ramp to the 5 and yet, we have a nice country feel to our area and it is quiet out here. However, we get everything from someone calling to say that his next door neighbor is purchasing a motorcycle in L. A. and would like to drop in and see us in the late afternoon to take a break from the long trip back up to their home, or others traveling the 5 to tell us they have not seen us in a long while and since it will be 110° or maybe they got caught in a snow storm just 20 minutes from here and they need to cool off or warm up! Over the years, we've learned to pick and choose who really wants to see us or if they are inviting themselves into our comfortable home with two guest rooms and a pool.

After my folks moved to Cambria, a coastal village on the central coast of CA, they started having a slew of sudden friends who need a break between No. CA and So. CA. They would actually just pop in, usually around lunch or dinner time. My dad, being the same, rather feisty person as I, came up with the idea of having two suitcases in the hall closet. After observing who was at the door, he would put the suitcases in the hall. After he determined "who, what and why" he either said, we are leaving on a trip or we just got back and I haven't put the suitcases in the closet yet. This always cracked me up and I just had to ask, "well dad, were you coming or going?
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:20 pm

Funny stories--love your dad and the suitcase trick! Fortunately or unfortunately, we're not really on anyone's road to anywhere here as basically no one gets this far north by car, though we've had a few guests because they happened to be visiting Vancouver (and that's always been good). Yesterday's drop-ins are delightful people who live about 25 miles away in the far eastern end of our county where we're in the far west, which I-5 bisects. They own a home in our neighborhood which they plan to move into but can't just yet because they have considerable property where they are that at present needs more attention than they could give it from here. It was just bad luck that their car crapped out where it did.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:32 pm

Tonight is a wild caught salmon, Asian style marinade, then grilled. Served with coconut rice and a stir-fry of broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms and garlic.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:36 pm

Yesterday, another practice dish: brasato al barolo. This is basically pot roast made with a lot of wine and a bit of Christmas seasoning. And yet, something so simple is so hard: I followed a recipe drawn from Art of Eating. I like how the meat came out but not the sauce. After a bunch of reading online and among my cookbooks, I have discovered that there are three aspects on which brasata recipes diverge significantly (...I'm not draying your kup over 5 juniper berries or 7 juniper berries):

1. Which cut of meat? I chose a rump roast but that appears to be way down the list of traditional choices and does not even appear on the list of non-traditional choices. (The trad choices that are available outside Piedmont are shoulder chuck, chuck eye, top blade and seven-bone. The non-trads are doing brisket or short ribs.)

2. Marinate or not? I got a late start and skipped this step. I think it would have improved the flavor. I was amazed to see one recipe recommend browning the roast first and then marinating it overnight!? And then I encountered a rather erudite cook who suggests that marinade will never penetrate a big roast, even in 24 hours, so what it really accomplishes is to give you uneven texture (the outside softer, the inside firmer). Hm.

3. Puree the cooked vegetables into the sauce or not? At the end of 5 hours of simmering, my recipe says to remove the roast, reduce the liquid a bit, degrease, and then run the solids/liquids through the blender to make the sauce. I did this and I am not pleased. About half the recipes I found suggest discarding the solids and simply reducing the cooking liquid for sauce. I think I am going to try that next time. But, even then, I think I want a more winey sauce -- it isn't very winey anymore after so much cooking. Perhaps just discard the cooking liquid altogether and make a wine sauce separately?

What would you do?
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Re: What's cooking?

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:24 pm

I make the Beef Braised in Barolo from America's Test Kitchen. They suggest that the Chuck-eye roast is the best cut to use. Have you seen that recipe? They also suggest separating the roast into two pieces, trimming the connecting fat and tying the two pieces results in nicer presentation, easier carving and reduced cooking time. If you cannot get the recipe, I can type it out for you if you wish. It is lenghty and rather work intensive, but I think it is excellent.

I actually found it online: Here it is - you can take a look and see what you think:

http://leitesculinaria.com/5817/recipes-beef-braised-in-barolo.html
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:19 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:I make the Beef Braised in Barolo from America's Test Kitchen. They suggest that the Chuck-eye roast is the best cut to use. Have you seen that recipe? They also suggest separating the roast into two pieces, trimming the connecting fat and tying the two pieces results in nicer presentation, easier carving and reduced cooking time. If you cannot get the recipe, I can type it out for you if you wish. It is lenghty and rather work intensive, but I think it is excellent.

I actually found it online: Here it is - you can take a look and see what you think:

http://leitesculinaria.com/5817/recipes-beef-braised-in-barolo.html

Thanks, Karen. That is a very typical-looking recipe. I see they do not call for marinade and they discard the solids before making the sauce. That is the general direction I think I am leaning now. I still wonder if I might like a fresher sauce than the one that has cooked for so long?
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jenise » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:50 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:I make the Beef Braised in Barolo from America's Test Kitchen. They suggest that the Chuck-eye roast is the best cut to use. Have you seen that recipe? They also suggest separating the roast into two pieces, trimming the connecting fat and tying the two pieces results in nicer presentation, easier carving and reduced cooking time. If you cannot get the recipe, I can type it out for you if you wish. It is lenghty and rather work intensive, but I think it is excellent.

I actually found it online: Here it is - you can take a look and see what you think:

http://leitesculinaria.com/5817/recipes-beef-braised-in-barolo.html

Thanks, Karen. That is a very typical-looking recipe. I see they do not call for marinade and they discard the solids before making the sauce. That is the general direction I think I am leaning now. I still wonder if I might like a fresher sauce than the one that has cooked for so long?


Several things: first, I think you're leaning in the right direction. Discard the solids. Re cut? I would so go with tri-tip. It has more fat than rump for great flavor but it holds together in a braise without the big clods of fat like you'll have in any of the pot roast cuts. It's my favorite braising beef. Re the wine sauce: Do the long cooking, you want that complexity, but freshen it toward the end of cooking with a splash more wine (to taste) to get that fresh winey flavor. Use the same technique when you make beef bourgogne, coq au vin or any other braised meat/wine combination.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:16 am

Jenise wrote:Several things: first, I think you're leaning in the right direction. Discard the solids. Re cut? I would so go with tri-tip. It has more fat than rump for great flavor but it holds together in a braise without the big clods of fat like you'll have in any of the pot roast cuts. It's my favorite braising beef. Re the wine sauce: Do the long cooking, you want that complexity, but freshen it toward the end of cooking with a splash more wine (to taste) to get that fresh winey flavor. Use the same technique when you make beef bourgogne, coq au vin or any other braised meat/wine combination.

Thanks, Jenise.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Carrie L. » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:35 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jenise wrote:Several things: first, I think you're leaning in the right direction. Discard the solids. Re cut? I would so go with tri-tip. It has more fat than rump for great flavor but it holds together in a braise without the big clods of fat like you'll have in any of the pot roast cuts. It's my favorite braising beef. Re the wine sauce: Do the long cooking, you want that complexity, but freshen it toward the end of cooking with a splash more wine (to taste) to get that fresh winey flavor. Use the same technique when you make beef bourgogne, coq au vin or any other braised meat/wine combination.

Thanks, Jenise.


Agree. Tossing out braising juices would be criminal. Or, Jeff, pour them in a zip lock next time and send them to me. :)
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Re: What's cooking?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:37 pm

Carrie L. wrote:Agree. Tossing out braising juices would be criminal. Or, Jeff, pour them in a zip lock next time and send them to me. :)

Actually, given that I have so much and that it is so thick I am going to treat it as a vegetable soup and see about tweaking it a bit and serving it hot with some crusty bread.
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Re: What's cooking?

by Heinz Bobek » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:42 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote: brasato al barolo.
1. Which cut of meat?
2. Marinate or not?
3. Puree the cooked vegetables into the sauce or not?
What would you do?


1. I prefer the whole top blade because of the connective tissue down the middle which becomes tasty, soft and tender at the end of the cooking time at 150 °C of about 3 to 4 hours in the oven.
2. I don't marinate the meat for brasato, but I marinate the same piece of meat for "Sauerbraten" using red wine vinegar.
3. I don't puree the vegetables into the sauce. I discard the solids, degrease the liquid and reduce it. At the end I whisk some cold butter into the sauce to thicken. I think it's more worthwhile to drink a good wine with the dish than adding some wine again into the sauce.
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