What's Cooking (Take Two!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:58 am

The vegan-leaning, spinach-hating kid was out for dinner with a friend tonight, so I picked up a dry-aged porterhouse. Cooked it up, sliced it, and drizzled the slices with some good balsamic. Baked up a couple of potatoes and served them with sour cream and homemade bacon bits. Spinach was sauteed with green garlic in the bacon drippings.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:01 pm

Vegan-leaning AND spinach-hating? Sounds like a recipe for folic acid deficiency disease to me.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:13 pm

She's fine with other greens - chard, kale, collards, etc. It's that somewhat tannic bitterness in spinach that she doesn't like. That's still frustrating, though, as my wife and I both really like the stuff.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:10 am

I wanted to make something vegan that we could eat over the next several days, so I tried out a vegetarian "gumbo" recipe from Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". The recipe calls for red beans, but I found some Good Mother Stallard beans in the pantry. (They were a bit of a gamble as I had no idea of how long they'd been in there.) I soaked them overnight and then boiled them up. Then made a (very) dark roux, added spices, onion, garlic, and celery, cooked that a bit, and then added the bean cooking liquid. Simmered that a while and then added the beans and some boiled mustard greens and kale. It's a pretty good dish, rich and reasonably flavorful. I don't think it quite qualifies as a gumbo, though. Even if you give it a pass for its meatlessness, it doesn't have the depth of spiciness that a good gumbo has. I think it could be tweaked a bit to get there, though.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:35 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:I think it could be tweaked a bit to get there, though.

Easy! Add some shrimp and a nice chunk of tasso ham.... :wink:

Actually, you could try adding more of the iconic ingredients, like okra and file powder.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:40 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:I wanted to make something vegan that we could eat over the next several days, so I tried out a vegetarian "gumbo" recipe from Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". The recipe calls for red beans, but I found some Good Mother Stallard beans in the pantry. (They were a bit of a gamble as I had no idea of how long they'd been in there.) I soaked them overnight and then boiled them up. Then made a (very) dark roux, added spices, onion, garlic, and celery, cooked that a bit, and then added the bean cooking liquid. Simmered that a while and then added the beans and some boiled mustard greens and kale. It's a pretty good dish, rich and reasonably flavorful. I don't think it quite qualifies as a gumbo, though. Even if you give it a pass for its meatlessness, it doesn't have the depth of spiciness that a good gumbo has. I think it could be tweaked a bit to get there, though.


In general, isn't it kind of hard to accept a completely meatless rendition of a dish that's familiar to you with richer meat components? Even if it's just chicken broth with hardly any solid chicken in sight, a meat-based foundation gives body that vegetables alone just can't duplicate.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Paul Winalski » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:49 pm

Regarding vegan gumbo, it already exists--it's called gumbo z'herbes and is a traditional meatless gumbo served on Fridays. It's dairy- and egg-free as well, so it qualifies as vegan.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:13 pm

Tonight for dinner: bangers and mash that will attempt to produce the equivalent of what a Mexican chef would make if asked to do "bangers and mash" without ever having eaten the dish. Fried "Mexican Chorizo" (raw and in casing like a traditional sausage, from Rain City Meats in Seattle) served on mashed potatoes and doused with a pico de gallo of yellow chiles, white onion and cilantro with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:57 pm

A Tex-Mex chili tonight that has a bunch of ingredients. I used browned top round cut into chunks, plus Bison burger, red bell pepper, jalapeño, Serrano pepper, chipotle in adobo, onion, garlic, dark brown sugar, white vinegar, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, and beef stock. I wanted a bean that would stand up to this complex flavored chili, so checked my dried bean stash and decided on Eye of Goat dried beans. It has a wonderful flavor, is sturdy and plump, and was perfect for the dish. It turned out very delicious and I have been having a hard time keeping a spoon out of the pot all day. Even cold in the refer it is great! We'll garnish chili with a little raw red onion, maybe a few tortilla chips, and fresh cilantro, A simple green salad on the side dressed with a cumin vinaigrette.

Quesadillas are made and ready for frying with sharp cheddar, green jalapeño, a little, garlic and cilantro salsa, fresh cilantro. The good thing is, the chili will be better tomorrow night! :wink:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:30 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:I think it could be tweaked a bit to get there, though.

Easy! Add some shrimp and a nice chunk of tasso ham.... :wink:

Actually, you could try adding more of the iconic ingredients, like okra and file powder.


I thought of that but those are more thickeners than flavor additives, and this one has the right texture to it. I think what it's missing is the big dose of red, black, and white pepper that's used in other gumbo recipes I've made. This one uses thyme, oregano, paprika, and crushed red pepper and they make for a nice stew but not gumbo. Probably needs more oil in it, too.

Of course, that chunk of tasso would work wonders.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:30 am

Jenise wrote:Tonight for dinner: bangers and mash...
A local Irish pub serves Bangers and Mash. The Bangers are made by a small, local sausage company. I also have a recipe for them. They are actually similar to Brats, but ground finer and the same seasonings, but less of them.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:01 pm

Howie Hart wrote:
Jenise wrote:Tonight for dinner: bangers and mash...
A local Irish pub serves Bangers and Mash. The Bangers are made by a small, local sausage company. I also have a recipe for them. They are actually similar to Brats, but ground finer and the same seasonings, but less of them.


Yup--very British. And very interesting twist with the Mexican-flavored sausage. We loved that dinner!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:04 pm

On the stove right now, the big 7-bone out of the pork shoulder I prepared David Chang's Bo Ssam with last weekend, simmering away in a pot with canned Italian tomatoes, fennel seed, fennel frond, red chiles, chopped onions and celery, garlic, dry vermouth and some chicken broth. I'll add the chopped pork near the end, there's just enough left to make a chunky meaty presence in the sauce--will serve with orrechiette.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:43 pm

I made Jenise' Merguez last night and will be grilling them either tonight or tomorrow (still recovering from a cold). Think I will hold them until this weekend and do an all out Middle Eastern dinner. Will update later if that is what happens.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:16 pm

Lots of rainy, sometimes windy weather here today, and I craved an easy, but comforting dinner, after a busy morning. I made a tomato soup, laced with Madeira wine, parsley and fresh sweet basil. To go with will be grilled sharp cheddar sandwiches, with the addition of blackened, and skinned Anaheim peppers, pickled thin red onion slices, with a secret sauce of mayo, Dijon and a little horseradish on rye bread.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:09 am

Karen, great combinations there. Tell me more about putting madeira into your tomato soup, though. Would never have thought of that.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:38 pm

Jenise wrote:Karen, great combinations there. Tell me more about putting Madeira into your tomato soup, though. Would never have thought of that.

Many times I put sherry into my tomato soup, but I was out. I had three bottles of Madeira, so used that. I actually like it better. This was a very simple tomato soup, which started with sautéed onions, then a bottle of a good, organic tomato juice, diced San Marzano canned tomatoes, a little chicken base, sugar, s & p, heavy cream (I used an organic half and half) , garnished with fresh parsley and fresh sweet basil. Adding the Madeira just takes it over the top. It is even better the second day. Very different from a fresh tomato bisque I make in the summer, when the heirloom tomatoes are ready.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:52 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:
Jenise wrote:Karen, great combinations there. Tell me more about putting Madeira into your tomato soup, though. Would never have thought of that.

Many times I put sherry into my tomato soup, but I was out. I had three bottles of Madeira, so used that. I actually like it better. This was a very simple tomato soup, which started with sautéed onions, then a bottle of a good, organic tomato juice, diced San Marzano canned tomatoes, a little chicken base, sugar, s & p, heavy cream (I used an organic half and half) , garnished with fresh parsley and fresh sweet basil. Adding the Madeira just takes it over the top. It is even better the second day. Very different from a fresh tomato bisque I make in the summer, when the heirloom tomatoes are ready.


Heck of an upgrade over what Campbell's puts in their cans.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:22 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:
Jenise wrote:Karen, great combinations there. Tell me more about putting Madeira into your tomato soup, though. Would never have thought of that.

Many times I put sherry into my tomato soup, but I was out. I had three bottles of Madeira, so used that. I actually like it better. This was a very simple tomato soup, which started with sautéed onions, then a bottle of a good, organic tomato juice, diced San Marzano canned tomatoes, a little chicken base, sugar, s & p, heavy cream (I used an organic half and half) , garnished with fresh parsley and fresh sweet basil. Adding the Madeira just takes it over the top. It is even better the second day. Very different from a fresh tomato bisque I make in the summer, when the heirloom tomatoes are ready.


Heck of an upgrade over what Campbell's puts in their cans.

Actually that stuff is not all that bad, if you add some Sherry or Madeira wine, and fresh herbs....it does in a pinch. :wink:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:20 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:Actually that stuff is not all that bad, if you add some Sherry or Madeira wine, and fresh herbs....it does in a pinch. :wink:


I will admit that I still love a mug of Campbells Cream of Celery soup--not thinned out too much, and doctored with black AND white pepper.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:06 pm

I'm playing with food tonight. I bought a thick New York steak from which I can cut square blocks of meat for grilling to serve with a perfect rectangles of Hasselbeck potatoes (about the size of a cube of butter) and circles of pressed creamed white chard. Small dice of roasted Jerusalem artichokes and carrots will also be on the plate, along with a few springs of microgreens. The platings should end up looking like Adult Fisher-Price toys, the ones where the kids try to match the shapes to the empty holes. :)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Frank Deis » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:10 pm

Jenise wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:Actually that stuff is not all that bad, if you add some Sherry or Madeira wine, and fresh herbs....it does in a pinch. :wink:


I will admit that I still love a mug of Campbells Cream of Celery soup--not thinned out too much, and doctored with black AND white pepper.


There are several Campbell's soups that have good flavor -- and several that were comfort foods for me when I was a kid. Recently our grocery has put them on sale for $1 per can. I stocked up -- and when Louise made the clam chowder I was surprised that it wasn't one of the fancy brands I usually buy.

While I know it's best to make one's own chicken broth -- if I don't have the time or inclination, Campbell's is my choice.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:08 pm

Frank Deis wrote:
While I know it's best to make one's own chicken broth -- if I don't have the time or inclination, Campbell's is my choice.


Interesting! We always go with Swanson's, based on an old Cook's Illustrated taste-off of canned broth. I'll check the Campbell's out.

Like you, I recall a lot of childhood meals of Campbell's soup. There's a distinctive flavor to the tomato soup that has that "Proust's madeleine" effect on me.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:19 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:Interesting! We always go with Swanson's, based on an old Cook's Illustrated taste-off of canned broth. I'll check the Campbell's out.

I discovered recently that Rachel Ray's broth tastes very good. I would not have expected any good food product from her.
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