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Robin Garr

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What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Robin Garr » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:03 pm

The old thread was getting huge and, reportedly, buggy on some people's browsers, so here's the new thread, just like the old thread! Put your meal reports and (optional) photos here now, please!
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Carl Eppig

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Carl Eppig » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:26 pm

Last night we had the Nasi Goreng (recipe below) with our own egg rolls. We washed it down with the '08 Tobin James, French Camp, Zinfandel. All great.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:39 pm

Just finished up a Thai green curry that was spicier than expected.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:53 pm

After a very late start, when I considered not cooking today at all, I've put lemongrass spareribs in the oven which I will serve with sticky rice and an Asian cabbage slaw.
"...To undersalt deliberately in the name of dietary chic is to omit from the music of cookery the indispensable bass line over which all tastes and smells form their harmonies." -- Robert Farrar Capon
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Frank Deis

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Frank Deis » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:10 am

I made Hünkar Begendi, a classic Ottoman Turkish dish -- it looked just like the picture in the "tell me about lamb" thread, and everyone really liked it. The smokey eggplant puree is evidently kind of like the Turkish version of mashed potatoes, a great foil for any meat dish. And of course tender braised chunks of lamb in a spicy sauce of tomatoes and red peppers would be good by itself or with anything...

I did take a couple of pictures of the eggplant processing but I'm slow about putting them up. These were large and luckily young eggplants and I was really able to remove the seeds almost completely. It was like boning a fish, a little delicate but not hard after you started noticing the patterns. I wanted this puree to be perfect -- and it was, pretty much. But I couldn't bring myself to throw out the seedy stuff and will probably make a little babaganouj with it later.

The eggplant puree is based on a basic bechamel, with the addition of lemon juice, grated cheese, and of course the eggplant. It actually seemed to bring out the flavor of the smokey eggplant rather than covering it up, especially as the salt and pepper approached the correct levels.
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Tom NJ

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Tom NJ » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:39 am

I made a nice loaf of bread yesterday, which my wife and I had for dinner just with olive oil, tomatoes and salt while it was still warm. The star of the show, though, was dessert: a clementine-fennel sorbet. I simmered the peel of 2 clementines and a fistfull of pestle'd fennel seeds in simple syrup, then chilled it down and added it to the ice cream maker with the juice of a number of the other fruit. At the end I mixed in the chopped peel that had simmered in the syrup, as it had become candied. It was very intense, and the fennel gave it a Mediterranean lilt.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Paul Winalski » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:22 am

I made Thai red curry with broccoli, cauliflower, and green peppercorns.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:57 pm

Tom NJ wrote:I made a nice loaf of bread yesterday, which my wife and I had for dinner just with olive oil, tomatoes and salt while it was still warm. The star of the show, though, was dessert: a clementine-fennel sorbet. I simmered the peel of 2 clementines and a fistfull of pestle'd fennel seeds in simple syrup, then chilled it down and added it to the ice cream maker with the juice of a number of the other fruit. At the end I mixed in the chopped peel that had simmered in the syrup, as it had become candied. It was very intense, and the fennel gave it a Mediterranean lilt.


I have no sweet tooth at all, but I do love refreshing fruit-based desserts like sorbet. Yours sounds terrific--I love the unexpected use of savory herbs and spices.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:03 pm

Last night's dinner was the pork roast with rosemary and figs recipe I posted separately (and subbed raisins in place of figs, which are momentarily unobtainable). I served it with chopped baby broccoli, and as a second course following golden beets with feta cheese served on a fresh herb salad (red mustard, chervil, par-sel and chives).

And a note to Paul: your description inspired me to throw a spoonful of Lan Chi into a pureed cauliflower soup that I served for lunch today: terrific!
Beet salad.JPG
Golden beets, chervil, red mustard, par-sel, chives and blood orange-horseradish vinaigrette
(42.59 KiB) Downloaded 9651 times

PorkRosemaryRaisin.JPG
Braised roast pork with rosemary and golden raisin sauce
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:14 pm

Things are unseasonably warm here in Sacto - up into the 90's. Didn't want anything too heavy, so I made a quick pasta dish with lemon zest, tuna, basil, and capers. It was a hit.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Christina Georgina » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:15 am

Mike, is that a recipe ? I thought I made that one up myself because that is exactly what I do with tuna when I want a very quick Friday fish dish . I agree, very good.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:21 am

Christina Georgina wrote:Mike, is that a recipe ? I thought I made that one up myself because that is exactly what I do with tuna when I want a very quick Friday fish dish . I agree, very good.


Kinda sorta a recipe. I took it from a 1999 Gourmet magazine recipe via Epicurious. That one had the tuna, basil, lemon, and raw garlic. I sweated the garlic a little in some oil and added the capers.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:10 am

Christina Georgina wrote:Mike, is that a recipe ? I thought I made that one up myself because that is exactly what I do with tuna when I want a very quick Friday fish dish . I agree, very good.


Ditto!--especially since the discovery of Trader Joe's excellent canned tuna in olive oil. The olive oil's too good to just drain off, makes a perfect sauce base.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Carl Eppig » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:11 pm

Tonight we grilled pork chop rubbed with Penseys' pork chop seasoning; over charcoal and hickory chips. We served them with generous portions of our succotash, and washed all down with Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA (yeah that sounds like an oxymoron).
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:47 pm

Smuttynose? Carl, what a great name. Sounds like a great dinner.

We're going simple tonight, grilled chile-lime corn on the cob with a guacamole salad (iceberg with an avocado-garlic-oregano dressing). It's yesterday's Meatless Monday meal that got delayed when friends invited us to dine on their boat.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:59 pm

Crispy pan-fried tofu on a Thai-style red curry with green peppers, onions, garlic and ginger and just enough heat to get the endorphins working.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:00 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Crispy pan-fried tofu ...

Mary said the tofu with its glass-crisp skin and steaming creamy insides reminded her of French toast. I offered her some maple syrup, but she declined. Hmm.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Carl Eppig » Wed May 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Jenise wrote:Smuttynose? Carl, what a great name. Sounds like a great dinner.


Smuttynose is the name of an island offshore of Portsmouth in a group called the Isles of Shoals. The name goes back to colonial times, and I'm not sure where it comes from; maybe historian Paul knows. The brewery in Portsmouth takes its name from it.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Paul Winalski » Wed May 01, 2013 12:42 pm

Jenise wrote:Smuttynose? Carl, what a great name.


It's a small brewery in Portsmouth NH, named after nearby Smuttynose Island. Very highly recommended. I prefer their Shoals Ale to their IPA, but everything I've tried from them has been top-notch.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jenise » Wed May 01, 2013 2:54 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:Crispy pan-fried tofu ...

Mary said the tofu with its glass-crisp skin and steaming creamy insides reminded her of French toast. I offered her some maple syrup, but she declined. Hmm.


What kind of tofu is that? They look like little pita sandwiches.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Robin Garr » Wed May 01, 2013 5:06 pm

Jenise wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:Crispy pan-fried tofu ...

Mary said the tofu with its glass-crisp skin and steaming creamy insides reminded her of French toast. I offered her some maple syrup, but she declined. Hmm.


What kind of tofu is that? They look like little pita sandwiches.

Nuthin' special. Just half a block of firm or extra firm cut into fairly thin slices (3/8 to 1/2 inch, I guess), then seared on both sides on a griddle in a little oil until they're really crispy on the edges and still pure white (but steamy-creamy) in the middle.
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Frank Deis

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Frank Deis » Wed May 01, 2013 5:23 pm

The tofu I cooked for the Chinese stir fry last night was almost exactly that shape. And I got it nice and crisply brown on one side but after pressing it I had marinated the other side with a little BBQ sauce to add flavor. I am doing bias cut scallions every time I cook Chinese now, they turn into such juicy little lumps, nice texture in the mouth. And last night I bought baby corn, baby zucchini, mushrooms, a poblano pepper, and added it to the sweet red pepper and celery stalks we already had. A spoonful of Lan Chi, and finish with corn starch and a splash of dark soy (and other stuff). My son had FOUR servings. Some of them small, but 4...
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Robert Reynolds » Wed May 01, 2013 10:31 pm

Sauteed in sunflower oil some chopped swiss chard, baby bok choy, asparagus (all from the farmer's market yesterday), onion scapes (from my garden), then added some beaten eggs (laid today, can't get much fresher) and shredded parmesan, scrambled until done.
Seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and paprika.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu May 02, 2013 12:28 am

Two plates tonight:
- whole wheat spiral pasta with seared chicken, snow peas, and pine nuts tossed in pesto
- variant ratatouille... made with gorgeous long red frying peppers, zucchini and yellow squash (cut into coins and slightly dehydrated in a low oven before cooking), whole peeled Italian tomatoes (with juice), a package of restored dried porcini, and a lot of garlic, thyme, and basil
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