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Jenise

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:35 pm

Made two fillings for stuffed grape leaves, one vegan with pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes, and one with ground lamb. While rasping some lemon peel into the former, I grated off the tip of my right hand's index finger and stopped there, lest the vegan dish not be vegan anymore. :)

Will finish tomorrow.
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 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:42 pm

My wife took off on a business trip Saturday morning, and last night I had my daughter and her boyfriend over for supper. Made a classic Bolognese which I put over penne and served with (yes, Jenise!) a green salad. (Even I feel like you need something a light and green to balance out a very rich pasta dish.) Dessert was storebought ice cream.

It was just me for supper tonight so I thought I'd experiment with the sous vide thing. I wanted to try shrimp, so I headed for the local fish market where I bought some nice gulf shrimp. They also had skate wings, which sounded like something that ought to work well by sous vide, so I picked up one of those as well. The shrimp were dusted with a blend of cumin, ancho powder, and chipotle powder and vacuum packed (using the vacuum sealer that I got at a thrift store a week or two ago). I laid the skate wing out flat and scattered some chopped tarragon on it along with some slices of butter. I rolled that up, put it in a vacuum bag, and sealed it. The skate wing went into the sous vide bath first, at 133 degrees. The shrimp followed 15 minutes later and I took both out a half hour after that. While that was going on, I cooked up some couscous with peas. Results were good. The skate wing was excellent, with a texture rather like that of sole and lovely flavor from the tarragon and butter. The shrimp were good, with excellent texture. but obviously a much more potent dish than the very delicate skate. Since I put the skate in a shallow bowl, it was easy to add the couscous to the tarragon butter sauce. I ended up eating all of the skate and saving most of the shrimp for later. I happened to have an open bottle of Matahiwi pinot gris sitting in the fridge, and its combination of pear-peach fruit with a bone dry finish was wonderful with the skate.

I'll definitely make the skate again for company, although that might not happen for a while as we don't get it often around here.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:42 am

Tonight we are having Tuscan Rabbit with bacon tomatoes and onions, rosemary, garlic and fennel seed. It’s looking good,
just has to cook in the oven for an hour or so whilst I think about a side, polenta, spuds or rice??
Also thinking some black olives might go in the dish at the end.
When I joint a bunny I set aside the rib cage, the thin flappy bits from the saddle and any bits of bone that I can easily trim off and make some stock from the bits. So that will ba good base for another dish/soup/sauce.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:49 am

Mike, your sous vide experiments sound great. Did you put the skate in a bowl and then vacuum seal it?! Simple, practical, outside the square, I salute you maestro. On a plate..doh wish my brain had gone there, thanks. :D
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:09 am

Tonight's dinner: truffle marinated green asparagus with tarragon for a cold salad followed by shredded braised duck I'd roasted last week pan crisped heavily with garlic and tossed with fideos, slivered green onions and a bit of the duck broth. Delish with a very old world South African pinot.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:06 am

Barb Downunder wrote:Mike, your sous vide experiments sound great. Did you put the skate in a bowl and then vacuum seal it?! Simple, practical, outside the square, I salute you maestro. On a plate..doh wish my brain had gone there, thanks. :D


Thanks, Barb! I didn't really phrase that well. I bagged the skate with the butter and tarragon, cooked it, and then dumped the contents of the bag into a shallow bowl to serve. The tarragon, butter, and liquid that cooked out of the skate made for a delicious sauce.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:31 am

Mike, still Ll sounds good. I am thinking that one could put something difficult to handle on a plate before vacuuming and cooking. There would still be the same heat transfer after the dish warmed up which will happen ginpven the long cooking times. When I get time I must give it a try.
Anyone tried it?
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:27 pm

Just got back from L.A. where I helped host one of those wine dinners. Wine theme was New Zealand pinot noir, and the host couple literally just returned from a three week trip there so she had very set ideas about we should serve, but each item was more a broad concept and not a specific recipe or dish. In NZ she had (and loved) venison sliders, so those were on the menu. She also brought back some NZ ingredients, like a blue cheese and a cheddar heavy with crystals--both stellar--feijoa jam and apple syrup.

My job was to help with refinements. My friend wanted to do a lobster salad starter course wherein the salad would be lettuce, tomatoes topped with chopped lobster, for instance. She has no malicious intent to be ordinary, it's just that salads don't exist in her culture and she neither prepares them at home nor dines out often to experience possibilities so she just falls back on an outsider's idea of what American salad is. We had no recipes for anything we made--we just created great flavors that spoke to our tweener season and NZ's Brit heritage, so lots of root vegetables and early spring things--and went with it.

What we served:

The two cheeses mentioned with crackers
Curried lamb pasties
The cauliflower/cheese stuff I posted a recipe for a few weeks ago, as a spread, with the inner leaves of soft lettuce as a healthy alternative to carbs

Salad course: lobster chunks (3 lbs of broiled lobster tail), pea shoots, pea leaves & tendrils, peas, enoki mushrooms, radish sprouts and soft lettuce tossed in a lemon-vinaigrette emboldened with worcestershire sauce, ginger and white pepper

Second course: venison sliders with homemade tomato ketchup, homemade black currant mustard*, brussels sprout slaw on ciabatta rolls with sweet potato fries (called Kumara in NZ, apparently sweet potatoes are as popular there as here)

Third course: individual duck shepherds pies. We roasted a duck, diced the meat and combined it with chopped oyster mushrooms, diced and roasted parsnips, peas and a rich gravy, then topped it with piped-on celery root mashed potatoes, and on the side baby Japanese cucumbers pickled overnight with apple syrup.

Dessert: Feijoa jam tarts and Whittaker's chocolates

Lots of fun!

*We lined up three jars of jam to test in combination with Maille mustard. Chose the black currant first in homage to Ribena and the whole British empire's affection for black currant flavor, and BINGO, a winner. Didn't test anything else. It was so good I'd make this at home.
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 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:10 pm

Sounds great. Love the idea of those duck shepherd's pies.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:17 pm

Having the picky eater couple over for dinner tonight, it's her birthday. I'm serving the following, which I believe will punch all the right buttons and none of the wrong ones, while still presenting her with food that's new and original.

Seared scallops on pea ravioli with ginger-lime-butter sauce
Smashed sesame cucumber salad
Star-anise simmered pot roast on pan-crisped noodle pillows with broiled lobster in miso butter
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Robin Garr » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:21 pm

Sounds delicious, Jenise! The only question I'd have is whether she's good with licorice/anise flavors. A lot of picky people hate them, and star anise could be an issue. I'm guessing you already know here no-gos, though.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:52 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Sounds delicious, Jenise! The only question I'd have is whether she's good with licorice/anise flavors. A lot of picky people hate them, and star anise could be an issue. I'm guessing you already know here no-gos, though.


I hear you. But a few weeks ago, I took her a jar of home-pickled beets. She loves beets, these had been in my fridge for months, and she was going in for surgery while I was leaving town so it seemed like a great idea to pickle them and take the jar to her for snacking on while she was laid up. I seasoned them with what I had on hand--fresh ginger, and so I added some star anise. She said they were the best she's ever had. So while, yeah, star anise isn't usually part of her world and licorice may not be something she doesn't like on it's own, integrated with something she loves like beef (and beets) it will probably fly.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:09 am

Jenise wrote:Seared scallops on pea ravioli with ginger-lime-butter sauce

Tell me more about these. Pumpkin just loves dumplings of all sorts. (Me, too!)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:17 am

Yes, I’m with Jeefwoukd love to hear more about that dish Jenise.
Would also like to know more about the pickled beets, sounds like something my partner and my s-I-l would love.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:07 pm

Jeff and Barb--no recipe, just one of my creations that is absolutely the bomb with gruner veltliner (or sauvignon blanc). I served both a Brundlmayer '13 GV and a '16 Sancerre.

But here's how it goes: frozen peas (no further cooking required) are mashed into a thick paste with a very thick bechamel sauce. One cup of peas and two-three tablespoons of sauce max is all you need. Season with salt, white pepper, and a tiny bit of lime or lemon zest. Lay out about 20 round Chinese dumpling skins in two rows of ten. Swab the edges of the top row with water, scoop in a teaspoon of pea filling, then top with the dry skin. Use a fork to crimp the edges. In a wide pan (because the dumplings/ravioli are wide too and they need room) of boiling water with a liberal tablespoon or two of oil to prevent sticking, carefully add the dumplings one at a time. They're done almost instantly, about three minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon one at a time--you can lay the finished ravioli on a single plate, they won't stick together now.

You can sear the scallops in the same time the ravioli cook.

Prepare your sauce in advance: butter, juice of half a lime or lemon, and grated ginger stretched with a bit of water or fish stock and lightly thickened with a corn starch slurry.

To serve, put a puddle of sauce on the plate, add two overlapping ravioli, more sauce, then scallops. A great appetizer serving is two ravioli and two scallops per person, four for a main course.

I've never served this to anyone who didn't go WOW. Even, last night, by far the pickier eater of this couple, Dave, picked up his clean plate to inform me, "You're ruining me! I'm a committed meat and potatoes man. I don't like strange food. And to me everything that's not meat and potatoes is strange. But you've got me not just eating but loving all this fussy stuff I'd never in a million years otherwise agree to eat. Will you make this for me again tomorrow???"
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:56 pm

ScallopPeaRavioli.jpg
ScallopPeaRavioli.jpg (12.97 KiB) Viewed 3094 times


Margot posted the pics of last night's dinner on Facebook, so I copied them. Here's the pea ravioli:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:06 pm

That is just great, Jenise. I love the straightforward prep. I have to try this, or some riff on it.

As Mr. Picky Pants indicated, you've really shown how to grant a sophisticated air to the most ordinary ingredients.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:That is just great, Jenise. I love the straightforward prep. I have to try this, or some riff on it.

As Mr. Picky Pants indicated, you've really shown how to grant a sophisticated air to the most ordinary ingredients.


Cool thing is he's starting to trust me. Trust, anyway, that I understand and respect his limitations and won't push him too far, and on the otherhand, that everything I make tastes good.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:15 am

Last night I made Ma Po Tofu. Earlier in the week we'd gone out for Chinese with a friend, but this was in Canada. The restaurant was supposedly Szechuan but even the dishes marked 'hot' were exceptionally mild--to my palate, no heat whatsoever. But I loved the silky texture of the super soft tofu, where I've in the past used and been given, if in a restaurant, firmer. So I made my own version last night using soft, but amped up with Chinese preserved vegetable, fermented black beans, Lan Chi chili sauce, sliced green onions and a small bok choy slivered to add pretty green threads. Just delicious.

And it was kind of weird, but I added a watercress and avocado salad to start. I know that doesn't resemble Chinese as anyone knows it, but I just can't do without my salad first course.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by wnissen » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:09 pm

Funny, I just made ma po with Sichuan peppercorn, from this recipe:

https://www.chinasichuanfood.com/mapo-tofu-recipe/

I was super excited because I had just found some beautiful Sichuan pepper at Ranch 99. I didn't realize I also needed Doubanjiang, so I left that out and used some more soy sauce. It called for a half tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn, toasted. I put that much in. A few bites in, my mouth started to really turn numb. The whole left side of my bottom lip felt like I was at the dentist. And the piney, resinous aroma of the peppercorn was overwhelming. One of the worst things I have ever put in my mouth. I'm going to try again, but maybe a less authentic recipe.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:33 pm

Walt, you made me laugh! I love heat, but numbness? NO! Long ago in my single days, I was at a party where a good friend's brother, newly met and trusted blindly because of my trust in his sister, suggested I put some powder he had on my gums. This wasn't a druggy group and I wasn't a druggy girl, so naively I didn't even suspect it would be something like cocaine, but it was. He told me this only when it was too late. Only reaction I had (thank god), was numb lips. I never want to feel that again--sounds like you did!

I don't have a recipe to share. I just put together in the pot the flavors I knew would build what I wanted.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:34 pm

I believe numbness is a characteristic of Sichuan peppercorns. The dulling of the senses is appreciated when your fish, say, is swimming in chili oil.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:32 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:I believe numbness is a characteristic of Sichuan peppercorns. The dulling of the senses is appreciated when your fish, say, is swimming in chili oil.


I use them but apparently have never used so many I got a Novacain kind of numbness. Either that or the Sichuan peppercorns were so outnumbered by by the chiles (in Chongching, China), who would notice?
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:42 am

After a very busy day it’s grilled steak, baked potato and green peas tonight.
Tomorrow the paleo man comes for the weekend, still thinking about the food for his visit.
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