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Bachelor Chow - Honors Class

Bachelor Chow - Honors Class
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  • Bachelor Chow - Honors Class

    Post #1 - August 1st, 2009, 6:03 pm
    Post #1 - August 1st, 2009, 6:03 pm Post #1 - August 1st, 2009, 6:03 pm
    MrsF's been in Switzerland for a week, the boys are out with friends, so I'm dining alone.
    I was alone last night too, and went out (craving Pita Inn falafel, what can I say), so I think I'll eat in tonight.

    So on the way back from dropping Thing2 and his friends at the train, I stopped in Shop & Save in downtown Des Plaines, trying to think, "What do I want to make for dinner, that the others wouldn't eat?"

    One idea that came to mind was a poached scallop mouselline, such recipes as I've seen Alton Brown make and detailed in Ruhlmann's "Ratio." Perfect. So I pick up an orange pepper, some fresh spinach, cream, I know I have shrimp stock, button mushrooms, the middle part of a leek, smoked paprika and dijon mustard at home... but no scallops. In fact, their fish counter has no shellfish at all except for some shriveled-looking cooked shrimp. No frozen scallops either. I was really hoping to just buy a single-serving portion, otherwise it'll probably sit in the freezer until the next such bachelor night. The mouselline will have to wait, because I'm just not in the mood for finfish.

    So, with what's at home and in my basket already, and the flavor profile I'm already on, here's what I made. As it is I only ate about 2/3

    1/2 C shredded leek
    1/3 C julienned bell pepper
    1/3 C sliced mushrooms
    1 fist full of fresh spinach
    1 loin pork chop, about 1/2 lb, butterflied out to be schnitzelly, no more than 1/4" thick.
    flour
    smoked paprika
    salt
    pepper
    2 Tbs butter, 2 Tbs vegetable oil, separated
    1/4 C heavy cream
    1/4 C sherry
    1 tsp dijon mustard
    mashed potatoes from potato buds, prepared as directed -- OK, more milk to water than they say.

    Add some salt, pepper and smoked paprika to some flour, mix with fingers, then dredge the chop in the flour mixture and set aside while the veggies cook.

    Heat a heavy stainless pan medium-high, put 1 Tbs each butter and oil in and wait until it shimmers. Add the leek, bell pepper and mushrooms with a pinch of salt, and try to spread out so they cook well (in retrospect, the leek should have gone in later). Stir after 2 minutes, and after another two, add the spinach and cover for 2 more minutes. Remove to serving plate.

    Add the rest of the butter and oil to the pan, then add the chop. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side, 2 on the second. Remove to the plate. Deglaze with the sherry, stir in dijon, cream and about a third-teaspoon of the smoked paprika. Add the vegetables back to the pan to reheat, let it reduce a bit.

    Plate the mashed potatoes and sauce/veggies, put the chop on top. Serve with ginger sun tea.

    Mmm. Sorry, no pix -- MrsF took the good cam with her.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #2 - August 1st, 2009, 6:34 pm
    Post #2 - August 1st, 2009, 6:34 pm Post #2 - August 1st, 2009, 6:34 pm
    Funny you should post this today (sounds yummy, btw) I was casually thinking about my dinner tonight (I bach it one night out of every three, and had an extra night last night) Of course, it's me and Sparky, so I'm not completely on my own, but I do tend to eat things the spouse doesn't like; experimenting with Asian foods (and sometimes food desert foods) often happens when he's not home.

    Today, as I often do, I made rice and blackeye peas in the microwave...but then I had a sudden craving for fried rice. I got my cast iron skillet onto some high heat, and quickly toasted up the whites of some green onion. I then added diced country ham (still working on the ham from Derby Day) and quickly scrambled in some egg. I removed all of this, let the pan get screaming hot, added some oil and tossed in my rice and beans, along with a bit of ginger, a bit of garlic, a little chiffonade of lemon basil, and the green part of the onion. I tossed the ham, eggs, and onions back in along with a little soy, and pouf! Country-fried rice.

    It was tasty, if not healthy.
  • Post #3 - August 1st, 2009, 8:40 pm
    Post #3 - August 1st, 2009, 8:40 pm Post #3 - August 1st, 2009, 8:40 pm
    Mhays wrote:...Country-fried rice.

    It was tasty, if not healthy.

    Doesn't sound that unhealthy -- now if you'd smothered it in drippings-based gravy, I'd make sure there's a cardiologist on call.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - August 21st, 2009, 6:12 pm
    Post #4 - August 21st, 2009, 6:12 pm Post #4 - August 21st, 2009, 6:12 pm
    Another weekend alone: Both boys are off to school, and MrsF is out training Boy Scout Leaders on a rainy weekend.

    I'd picked up some frozen scallops from Whole Foods (frozen bagged -- the fresh ones were out of my budget, and wouldn't be fresh if I'd bought them on Tuesday), and thought about the mousseline... and Sue kept making choking noises every time I described it. I gotta admit, I'm not sure about the texture, and it sounds like it'd be best if I had another not-pulverized seafood to mix with, and then put in sausage casings. More work than it's worth I figured.

    So I went to look for glazed scallop recipes. I remember an awesome scallop appetizer at my cousin's wedding -- lime glazed and amazing texture. A few internet recipes later, I'm ready to improvise.

    And then I open the scallop bag. What felt like a small number of large scallops turns out to be a large number of small scallops, none bigger than the last joint of my thumb. By the time I got a nice sear crust on one of those (as if I could stand them on end), they'd be Leather McNuggets. Still, they smelled very fresh after thawing, and a nice saute should work... and it did.

    Margarita Scallops with Chard and Mashed Potatoes
    Serves 1 hungry person, total prep and cooking time about 40 minutes, it would have been a lot less had the scallops already been thawed.

    Ingredients for the whole meal:
    5.3 oz scallops (1/3 of a 1 lb bag), thawed in running cold water, patted dry
    2 cloves garlic, minced, separated
    3 scallions, green parts only, minced
    finely grated zest of one lime
    juice of two limes
    1 tsp sugar
    one habanero chile, cut in half, seeds and pith removed (probably over-cautious, there was little heat)
    1/4 C Tequila
    3 tbs butter, separated
    1 tbs vegetable oil
    1 bunch rainbow chard, leaves cut from stems and washed
    2/3 C potato buds (my bachelor chow secret weapon)
    1/2 C skim milk mixed with 1/6 C water to make 2/3 C
    salt and pepper

    1) Combine zest, juice, 1/4 C water, sugar, chile and scallions in a bowl, then rinse and dry the scallops and rinse the chard
    2) Mix the potato buds, milk, water, 1 Tbs butter, 1/4 tsp salt and a nice grinding of pepper in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in microwave
    3) In a small, heavy-bottomed sautee pan, heat 1 Tbs each butter and vegetable oil on medium-high, in a second larger pan heat the other Tbs of butter on medium.
    4) Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper, and add to small pan, and put 1 clove garlic in the other, sautee each for a minute.
    5) Add wet chard to the large pan and cover for 3 minutes, and stir the scallops to get a little browning on all sides. Toward the end of the three minutes, remove scallop pan from heat, place scallops on a plate and pour off remaining fat. There should be a fairly large amount of brown fond in the pan.
    6) The chard should be well wilted at this point. Uncover it, add a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper and watch it for water evaporation -- a couple more minutes cooking are probably necessary, but don't let them dry out while you finish the sauce. Either get it off the stove or add some more water. I did the latter.
    7) Heat scallop pan on medium and add juice mixture. Use wooden spoon to scrape up fond and make a nice sauce
    8) Hit the "1" button on the micro (in other words, cook potatoes for one minute -- as much as two may be needed depending on the microwave power)
    9) Continue stirring the sauce until it reduces a bit, then add the tequila. Tilt the pan to flame off the alcohol if desired. Stir util reduced another minute or so... it's probably time to get the chard off the stove.
    10) Toss the scallops and accumulated juices in the sauce, off the fire.
    11) Plate the mashed potatoes on one side of the plate, the scallops on the other, the chard between -- the lime juice works very nicely with the chard too.
    12) Throw away the chile, and the other clove of garlic you forgot to sautee before deglazing the scallop pan -- you didn't need it anyway.

    The sauce came out a deep mahogany brown -- not what you expect from a lime and scallion, but more from the scallop fond and browning butter. Very tart and fresh-tasting meal for a rainy cool summer night.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #5 - September 20th, 2009, 6:21 pm
    Post #5 - September 20th, 2009, 6:21 pm Post #5 - September 20th, 2009, 6:21 pm
    Yet another BSA leader training weekend for MrsF, another scallop dish (last third, the middle part went into some Kung Pao from Fuschia Dunlop's book)

    Scallops with Angel Hair, Eggplant and Mushroom
    adapted liberally from Hazan and Battali

    6oz scallops
    4 qts salted water
    2 tbs bread crumbs (shoulda made my own, the ones from Garden Fresh are too fine, great for meatballs, lousy for a pasta topping)
    2 indian eggplants, peeled, cut into 1/4x1/4x2" batons (about 3/4 cup total)
    4 button mushrooms, sliced
    1 large clove garlic
    2tbs sherry
    1/4 lb angel hair pasta
    generous pinch crushed red pepper
    pinch of salt
    basil flowers for garnish (I happened to have a couple of basil stems I'd picked for the panzanella I made last night. Not so much flavor as adding a little color to this overwhelmingly beige dish, and I didn't have any parsley)

    Part 1: Prep
    Put water and salt into large pot, boil on high heat
    Defrost 6 oz scallops in cold running water (really thin stream will do)
    Slice vegetables as described above, slice garlic very thin
    Put eggplant in your serving bowl, microwave on high for 2 minutes
    Heat a 12" nonstick skillet on medium, put the bread crumbs in. Stir frequently until they start turning color, careful not to burn. Scoop into a small bowl, and wipe out the pan.

    Part 2: Cook
    Heat 2 tbs oil in the same skillet, saute the garlic briefly, then add the eggplant (from the microwave) mushrooms, salt and crushed pepper, allow to cook for a couple minutes.
    By this time, the water should be boiling (if not, turn off the heat on the veggies until it is), drop the pasta in the water, and add the scallops to the pan
    Sautee for another minute or so until they start to lose their translucency, then add the sherry and turn the heat to low (it should keep simmering).
    Odds are, the pasta is ready (if not, turn off the sauce pan again). Reserve about a cup of the pasta water (I used the serving bowl), drain pasta in a collander, then add to the sauce and toss.
    Add about half the reserved water and stir for a minute. Add a little more water if it looks dry, there should be a little liquid in the bottom.
    Pour into a wide shallow bowl, sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and garnish with the basil leaves.

    Part 3: Eat
    Goes great with ice water. Trying to cut down on pop, no open white wines in the house or I'd have used that in the sauce.

    Part 4: Write about the food
    you're soaking in it
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - October 6th, 2009, 11:49 am
    Post #6 - October 6th, 2009, 11:49 am Post #6 - October 6th, 2009, 11:49 am
    So, I'm stuck home alone - the spouse is working, and Sparky left me for a viewing of Herbie - Fully Loaded, and I have an intense craving for Khan's Dal Palak - but I wasn't sure until just now whether Sparky would be joining me for dinner, or if I'd really be batching it - meaning, just picking up an order at Khan's risks there being the dreaded chili burn, which is the one food Sparky absolutely avoids.

    Besides, there's no reason why I can't make dal palak- how hard can it be? Turns out, not very hard - though I decided that the recipe on manjulaskitchen wasn't enough like Khan's, so I did an image search for the one that looked most like it and came up with this recipe, which conveniently contained ingredients I've been trying to use up (I have a hyuuge bag of moong dal in the pantry, and all kinds of Greek yogurt in the fridge.) It's whistling away in the pressure cooker right now, a convenient Indian dump-and-boil recipe. Stealing from Manjula, I added a bit of Garam Masala to the spice mixture with good result.

    I did have to do some quick googling, though: I was able to translate "about 4 whistles" into 12 minutes - apparently it's about 3 minutes per whistle after you reach pressure. The internets - don't cook without them!

    Image

    (Well, it's hard to make green slimy stuff look pretty, but you have to believe me, it was good! - I made it chile-free, and tried it on Sparky the next day. No dice. Even though I told him it was "pond scum" I love the look on his face when I say stuff like that - he well knows that with me, there's always the glimmer of a possibility that I'm telling the truth.)
  • Post #7 - February 20th, 2010, 9:38 pm
    Post #7 - February 20th, 2010, 9:38 pm Post #7 - February 20th, 2010, 9:38 pm
    So, the day I get back from a business trip, MrsF leaves (a half-hour after I get back, and even that only because I went standby on an earlier flight with less legroom) for a Boy Scout outing.

    So Saturday night is Bachelor Chow again. I picked up two small sole filets from Jewel, thinking I'd easily find something that works in "Land of Plenty" by Fuschia Dunlop. As it is, most of the fish there is for whole carp, so it took some adaptation:

    Sichuan Braised Sole and Asparagus
    Serve over brown rice

    7oz Sole Filets
    1 tbs shaoxing rice wine
    1/4 tsp salt
    marinate the fish in the salt and wine while prepping everything else

    6 thick stalks asparagus, sliced on the bias into 1.5" pieces
    vegetable oil
    2 Tbs Szechuan Chile Bean Sauce
    1.5 tsp minced ginger
    1.5 tsp minced garlic (about two small cloves)
    5 oz chicken broth
    1 tsp soy sauce
    1/2 tsp cornstarch stirred into 2 tsp water
    1.5 scallions, cut into thin slices, green parts only
    1/2 tsp Chinese black vinegar

    Heat 2 Tbs oil to smoking in the wok.
    Sautee the fish briefly on each side, about 2 minutes total, remove to the bowl you're going to eat it in.
    Stir-fry the asparagus for two minutes with a pinch of the garlic and ginger, place in same bowl.
    You may need to add a little more oil at this point, allow it to heat up.
    Add chile bean sauce, stir fry for a half-minute. Add garlic and ginger for another half minute.
    Add broth and bring to a boil. Put the fish and asparagus back in the wok, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 7-8 minutes.
    Put some brown rice in the bowl.
    Scoop the fish and veg into the bowl -- the fish may start falling apart here, that's OK, nobody else is there to watch.
    Add the cornstarch slurry (remember to stir it before adding, it's probably settled out), turn the heat up a bit to bring back to boil to thicken.
    Add vinegar and scallions and stir, then pour the sauce into the bowl.
    Eat.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - February 21st, 2010, 11:01 am
    Post #8 - February 21st, 2010, 11:01 am Post #8 - February 21st, 2010, 11:01 am
    I am adding all of these to my bachelorette's night rotation.
  • Post #9 - December 27th, 2012, 7:22 pm
    Post #9 - December 27th, 2012, 7:22 pm Post #9 - December 27th, 2012, 7:22 pm
    I haven't posted a bachelor chow for a while, although SueF has been busy with church and other things a lot lately. But today I spent most of the day in the kitchen preparing for dinner, and the results are definitely worth a post.

    Tonight was the annual theater girls night out for SueF with her sisters and mother, so yesterday after I did some boxing day exchanges, I picked up some salad fixings, and a cleaned squid for dinner at Assi Plaza (yay Niles).

    I was originally thinking a risotto with cauliflower, so first thing, I made some shrimp stock with the shells from 3 lbs of shrimp from last weekend's butter-poached shrimp and grits (consigned to the freezer in between), carrot, onion, bay, dried celery leaves (no fresh celery in the house), ended up with about five and a half cups, all but 1.5 went in the freezer in 1-cup containers.

    But then I decided this cold I've been fighting needs some stronger medicine, and hot soup sounded like a good idea. I realized I had galangal, a few fallen kafir lime leaves in the shipping container from my xmas present tree, and the other ingredients (only needed some fresh cilantro), and tom yam would be outstanding.

    The only major thing I'd need is nam prik pao, and that's something that's been on my cooking bucket list anyway, so that was the next step and thankfully didn't destroy the pan like I'd thought it had.

    Making the soup is a breeze (courtesy of shesimmers.com): simmer stock; steep galangal, lime leaves, lemongrass; season with nam prik pao, dried chile and fish sauce; simmer straw mushrooms and squid (instead of shrimp); finish with lime juice and cilantro. (I realize now I'd meant to add some halved cherry tomatoes, I've had it served that way, but it wasn't in the recipe, and it never got there -- good thing it's not in the Chopped basket).

    The soup came out spicy, aromatic and filling. If I have a gripe with this soup, it's the 1/4 cup of inedibles. The recipe said to shred the lime leaves, and that left a lot of leathery bits on top of the lemongrass, chiles and galangal. If I were serving this to guests, I'd put all those items in cheesecloth and pull them out again -- you lose some visual appeal, but it can be replaced with those tomatoes and perhaps some fresh chile slices.
    Results:
    Image
    Squid_Tom_Yam.jpg by joelfinkle, on Flickr

    And now I have nam prik pao in the fridge, and sliced galangal and lemongrass in the freezer -- I can make this almost at a whim, with chicken stock and a chicken breast, as I've almost always got cilantro and lime and some sort of mushroom around.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - April 20th, 2013, 6:24 pm
    Post #10 - April 20th, 2013, 6:24 pm Post #10 - April 20th, 2013, 6:24 pm
    I did a Boston Seafood Market two-fer today: fried perch for lunch (if only they'd double-fry their potatoes!), and I bought a black bass filet for dinner. I went with David Thompson's "Green Curry of Trout Dumplings with Apple Eggplants" as a base -- he does say you can use sliced fish if you're in a hurry, and it seemed a shame to grind up a filet with that beautiful bass skin -- so I sauteed it crisp, served on top.

    Ill Tempered Sea Bass (green curry with sea bass, eggplant, asparagus)
    Curry Paste:
    About 8 green thai chiles (sadly not as spicy as I'd hoped: Thompson uses half scuds, half long green, I'd expected this would end up really spicy)
    Large pinch of salt
    4 slices galangal (DT days 1 Tbs)
    2 4" trimmed stalks lemongrass (DT says 3 Tbs)
    zest from 1 lime (DT says 1 tsp kaffir -- I've got a tree but no fruit for a few years)
    1 Tbs cilantro stems (DT says roots)
    1 tsp ginger (DT says grachai)
    3 Tbs shallot
    3 Tbs garlic (DT says 2)
    1 tsp Chinese shrimp paste, toasted on foil in a pan (DT says gapi)
    1 tsp white pepper (DT says white peppercorns)
    1 tsp ground, toasted coriander seeds
    Grind in food processor.

    Curry:
    2 Tbs oil (DT uses 2C coco cream, broken)
    1 can coconut milk (DT uses 2C)
    1 cup shrimp stock from the freezer (DT doesn't have any)
    about 6 Tbs paste (DT uses 3)
    3 Tbs fish sauce
    1 small eggplant, cubed (DT uses apple eggplants)
    5 stalks asparagus, 2" pieces (not in DT)
    2 cremini mushrooms, sliced (not in DT)
    4 kaffir lime leaves (from my tree!), sliced thin (need to remember to remove the rib)
    1/2 large jalapeno, sliced (the other half went into some cucumber salad)
    a bunch of basil leaves, torn (DT uses Thai basil)
    1 Tbs slivered ginger (DT uses grachai again)
    Heat oil, sizzle curry, add fish sauce, stock and coconut milk. When it simmers, add eggplant, then mushrooms, then asparagus so that they're all done at about the same time. Add lime and basil leaves and ginger just before serving.

    Meanwhile, heat two more Tbs oil in a pan, add a 1/2 lbs fish filet skin side down, flip after 3 minutes, flip again after 3 minutes for one more minute (the fish sort of seized up on first contact, it relaxed after the flip, the extra on the skin side crisped it up nicely).

    Put basmati rice in the middle of the bowl, spoon curry around it, put fish on top and garnish with reserved leaves and ginger.

    Came out delicious, but I was hoping for spicier. It was very thick and rich, I can't imagine what it would be like with less liquid and more coconut cream. I have half the fish and curry left, I may add some more chiles when I reheat, especially as the jalapenos are supermarket jala-yo's (no pain).
    Image
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #11 - July 4th, 2013, 8:33 pm
    Post #11 - July 4th, 2013, 8:33 pm Post #11 - July 4th, 2013, 8:33 pm
    SueF is gone all weekend, and while son #2 is in residence, he's having most of his meals with his SO.
    Here's night 1's meal:
    I used Fuschia Dunlop's Fish-Fragrant Eggplant, and since I was frying eggplant, I fried the shrimp I got at Boston Fish Market (marinated in Chinese rice wine and coated in flour), and slices of a jalapeno. With the addition of the shrimp, and a big eggplant to start with, I doubled the sauce, using a dash of Sichuan peppercorn oil, and homemade shrimp stock. Overall, a bit on the sharp side -- perhaps a bit salty, perhaps a bit too much pixian doban jan.

    Served with the shrimp and chile placed delicately atop the saucy eggplant and brown rice. I've got about half the shrimp and about 60% of the eggplant and sauce left, good for two lunches.
    Image
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #12 - July 5th, 2013, 9:31 am
    Post #12 - July 5th, 2013, 9:31 am Post #12 - July 5th, 2013, 9:31 am
    JoelF wrote: I doubled the sauce, using a dash of Sichuan peppercorn oil, and homemade shrimp stock.



    Do you have a recipe for Sichuan peppercorn oil? It sounds like something I could dive into>
  • Post #13 - July 5th, 2013, 1:13 pm
    Post #13 - July 5th, 2013, 1:13 pm Post #13 - July 5th, 2013, 1:13 pm
    bean wrote:Do you have a recipe for Sichuan peppercorn oil? It sounds like something I could dive into>

    Sorry, it was a gift from my son who spent a semester in Beijing. I'm about half done with the bottle, and wondering what I'm going to do when I run out. It's got a strong ma-la flavor (which means avoid cold drinks -- it gives them a nasty aftertaste), but none of the grittiness of ground Sichuan peppercorn.

    I would imagine that a long slow simmer in (untoasted) sesame or peanut oil would probably work. You wouldn't want high temps. I'd use Gary's process but strain at the end.

    Image
    Sichuan peppercorn oil
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #14 - July 5th, 2013, 2:01 pm
    Post #14 - July 5th, 2013, 2:01 pm Post #14 - July 5th, 2013, 2:01 pm
    JoelF wrote:And now I have nam prik pao in the fridge, and sliced galangal and lemongrass in the freezer....


    Do you find that the nuance of galangal (or lemongrass for that matter) survives if it's sliced and frozen? I've got a bunch sitting around and have been pondering that very question. Thanks.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #15 - July 5th, 2013, 2:51 pm
    Post #15 - July 5th, 2013, 2:51 pm Post #15 - July 5th, 2013, 2:51 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:
    JoelF wrote:And now I have nam prik pao in the fridge, and sliced galangal and lemongrass in the freezer....


    Do you find that the nuance of galangal (or lemongrass for that matter) survives if it's sliced and frozen? I've got a bunch sitting around and have been pondering that very question. Thanks.

    It's probably a bit weaker, I'll use a bit more, but they both keep their essential aromas of lemon pledge and cedar.
    The best benefit I've had of freezing the galangal is that it softens up when thawed, enough that I can mince it -- most of the time I can only find older roots that are extremely hard and woody.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #16 - July 5th, 2013, 5:41 pm
    Post #16 - July 5th, 2013, 5:41 pm Post #16 - July 5th, 2013, 5:41 pm
    Continuing while SueF's out of town:
    Exploring the fridge and freezer for SueF's not-favorite things, I find a bulb of fennel, and a quarter pound of bulk Italian sausage (for lazy pizza days -- pre-made crust and sauce, everyone uses their own toppings and I'm the only one in the house that likes sausage). A quick googling finds an orecchiete recipe. None of that in the pantry but an open box of farfalle's reasonably similar in shape. A can of san marzano cherry tomatoes, a couple mushrooms to bulk out the sausage (it was either make more than I can eat, a minor Bachelor Chow demerit, or waste a half a can of tomatoes and half the fennel which is a full grade letter penalty). Basil from the garden along with what's probably the last of the snow peas if the weather stays warm (lots of flowers though), and a few pine nuts elevate the dish a bit.

    Image
    bachelor chow farfalle with fennel

    All in all, I like last night's dish more -- succulent eggplant and firm shrimp win out over sausage bits, and the fennel was a little flat -- it may have been sitting around too long (the fronds were definitely too far past prime to use, only the bulb was any good). The recipe I linked to above is a little salt crazy: salt the pasta water -- of course. Salt the fennel while you cook it initially, sure. Salt again when you add the tomatoes? Didn't think it would need it, and tasting the sauce at the end it was already salty, no need to season more there.

    The side dish is the aforementioned snow peas, nuked for two minutes with a pat of butter and a squeeze of wasabi paste.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #17 - August 28th, 2013, 12:38 pm
    Post #17 - August 28th, 2013, 12:38 pm Post #17 - August 28th, 2013, 12:38 pm
    Sue's working late this week, watch this space.
    I'm prepping for dinner at lunch time: burnt eggplants as per "Jerusalem" to be served with fish (not grinding for kebabs/fish cakes, but using the same flavors):
    Image
    burnt eggplant

    Wow, no easier or tastier way to extract gooey eggplant puree. Why didn't anyone tell me about this before?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #18 - August 28th, 2013, 5:40 pm
    Post #18 - August 28th, 2013, 5:40 pm Post #18 - August 28th, 2013, 5:40 pm
    And here's dinner that includes those eggplants:
    Image
    bachelor chow fish with eggplant

    The recipe started as "Fish & caper kebabs with burnt eggplant & lemon pickle" in Ottolenghi and Tamimi's Jerusalem, page 221.
    But I didn't want to chop up the ocean perch filets I'd bought, I don't have any parsley or dill, and I didn't want to wait even the one day to make quick preserved lemons. Plus, I'm trying to eat lighter, so frying bready fishcakes didn't sound right.

    So here's what I did:

    The eggplant is nearly identical to the book: two medium eggplants roasted over high heat on my gas grill for close to 1/2 hour (I didn't let the grill warm up, so it could be less time next time), skins removed, flesh chopped and left in a colander in the sink for four hours. Then, blend with 2 tbs greek yogurt (Jewel's Essential Everyday, which turns out to be pretty darn good, no fillers and quite tasty and smooth), 2 small cloves garlic, 2 tbs chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste (less than the 1 tsp called for, but I think I had less eggplant too).

    Two small ocean perch filets (about 3.5oz each) were salted, white peppered peppered and lightly sprinkled with flour. Sautee in a non-stick pan on medium with 1 tbs olive oil. I definitely need more practice cooking fish: The fish seized and curled, avoiding skin contact with the pan. Is there a trick to getting it to stay down? I pushed hard with a spatula, causing the fish break at the edges. About 3-4 minutes, flipped, then a couple minutes more. Remove to a platter.

    Added another tbs of oil, to which I added 2 finely chopped green onions, about 1 tbs tarragon leaves, chopped (from garden), 1 tbs capers (less than the recipe, but I've got less fish too), zest of 1 lemon, 3/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, sautéed for a half a minute, then added juice of a half a lemon and a splash of dry sherry. Let it reduce another minute, then scooped the caper relish onto the plate, the fish on top of that and (heavy-handedly) drizzled pomegranate molasses over the top (to replace the preserved lemon). Alongside the eggplant (of which I ate half, saving the other half for a lunch), I cut up a half a cucumber, an orange tomato from my garden which was tossed with a tbs each of tahini and lemon juice, some salt and pepper.

    Great dinner. The lemon, tarragon, caper, turmeric and cumin were fantastic with the fish, I'd definitely do this again.
    The eggplant is silky and rich... but I don't know that it meshes well with the fish -- perhaps better with the cakes in the original recipe.
    Last edited by JoelF on July 4th, 2018, 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #19 - August 29th, 2013, 9:37 am
    Post #19 - August 29th, 2013, 9:37 am Post #19 - August 29th, 2013, 9:37 am
    Make a few knife slits around the circumference of the fillet (6-8 depending on the size). As w/meat, do not press to keep it flat.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #20 - June 22nd, 2018, 7:31 pm
    Post #20 - June 22nd, 2018, 7:31 pm Post #20 - June 22nd, 2018, 7:31 pm
    It's that time of year again, when SueF goes off on a church mission trip and I eat the things she isn't as fond of. A trip to JB Market (i.e. the Glenview Joong Boo) and I came back with fresh noodles (smallest package was a kilogram), eggplant, squid tubes, Chinese broccoli (gai lan, my favorite of the cruciferous vegetables) and a few other odds and ends.

    I'm planning on making Gary's Dan Dan Noodles recipe, but tonight I googled "squid curry noodles" and one of the first things that came up had Chinese broccoli, so it was fate.

    A quarter pound noodles, blanched, a half pound squid, blanched. Garlic, ginger and chiles in the wok, onion, broccoli, a bit of soy, sugar and white pepper; add the noodles and squid along with curry powder, then scramble an egg and garnish with scallions and lime juice.
    ImageBachelor Chow: curried noodles with squid and Chinese broccoli
    Last edited by JoelF on July 4th, 2018, 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #21 - June 23rd, 2018, 6:50 am
    Post #21 - June 23rd, 2018, 6:50 am Post #21 - June 23rd, 2018, 6:50 am
    Hi,

    How long do you blanch the noodles? I know someone who blanches fresh noodles, too, but I think they still need a little more time in the water. This person's noodles always strike me as still a bit raw. The additional cooking via stir frying does not quite cut it.

    What do you suppose your wife cooks when you are not around?

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #22 - June 23rd, 2018, 7:30 pm
    Post #22 - June 23rd, 2018, 7:30 pm Post #22 - June 23rd, 2018, 7:30 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:How long do you blanch the noodles?

    Just a couple minutes, mainly until they float. I'm not thrilled with the ones I bought - they're not egg noodles, and a little gummy... Pretty much like what you get as jjajjang noodles.

    What do you suppose your wife cooks when you are not around?

    Cream of wheat, French toast, grilled cheese
    Last edited by JoelF on June 23rd, 2018, 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #23 - June 23rd, 2018, 7:41 pm
    Post #23 - June 23rd, 2018, 7:41 pm Post #23 - June 23rd, 2018, 7:41 pm
    Day 2: there's going to be a lot of meals with these noodles.
    Today was a clean out the fridge day. Olive oil, garlic, crushed red peppers; add the last of some oyster mushrooms, part of a bell pepper, gai lan instead of broccoli raab; leftover pizza sauce, dregs of a bottle of wine, leftover cooked crumbled Italian sausage, a little pasta water and the cooked noodles; garnish with pre-shredded parm... Dinner.
    ImageBachelor Chow: Pasta with Leftovers

    Oh, and a free Jarritos Limon being given away outside the Randolph St. Market this afternoon (12 bucks to get into a farmers' etc. market? Nu uh.)
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #24 - June 24th, 2018, 4:15 pm
    Post #24 - June 24th, 2018, 4:15 pm Post #24 - June 24th, 2018, 4:15 pm
    JoelF wrote:Oh, and a free Jarritos Limon being given away outside the Randolph St. Market this afternoon (12 bucks to get into a farmers' etc. market? Nu uh.)

    Really? Is this a new practice at Farmers Markets in Chicago?

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - June 24th, 2018, 4:54 pm
    Post #25 - June 24th, 2018, 4:54 pm Post #25 - June 24th, 2018, 4:54 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    JoelF wrote:Oh, and a free Jarritos Limon being given away outside the Randolph St. Market this afternoon (12 bucks to get into a farmers' etc. market? Nu uh.)

    Really? Is this a new practice at Farmers Markets in Chicago?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    https://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/ev ... rket-july/

    It’s not really a farmers market per se.
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #26 - June 24th, 2018, 6:03 pm
    Post #26 - June 24th, 2018, 6:03 pm Post #26 - June 24th, 2018, 6:03 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    JoelF wrote:Oh, and a free Jarritos Limon being given away outside the Randolph St. Market this afternoon (12 bucks to get into a farmers' etc. market? Nu uh.)

    Really? Is this a new practice at Farmers Markets in Chicago?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    https://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/ev ... rket-july/

    It’s not really a farmers market per se.

    LMAO! After looking at their website, I'd say that's the understatement of the year!

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #27 - June 24th, 2018, 7:19 pm
    Post #27 - June 24th, 2018, 7:19 pm Post #27 - June 24th, 2018, 7:19 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    JoelF wrote:Oh, and a free Jarritos Limon being given away outside the Randolph St. Market this afternoon (12 bucks to get into a farmers' etc. market? Nu uh.)

    Really? Is this a new practice at Farmers Markets in Chicago?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    https://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/ev ... rket-july/

    It’s not really a farmers market per se.

    I could see produce.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #28 - June 26th, 2018, 7:33 am
    Post #28 - June 26th, 2018, 7:33 am Post #28 - June 26th, 2018, 7:33 am
    Days 3 and 4 didn't involve cooking for dinner:
    Sunday was the Montrose BBQ, to which I brought extreme cornbread (with sour cream, bacon, cheddar and scallions), and ate enough that by 9PM I said, "maybe a little piece of cornbread," and that was it for dinner.

    Monday, Thing1 came by to help move some furniture, so I took him out to Bonchon, mainly as a way to get to spend more time with my 4-month-old granddaughter.

    But I will get to Gary's Dan Dan Noodle recipe... just maybe not tonight.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #29 - June 26th, 2018, 7:02 pm
    Post #29 - June 26th, 2018, 7:02 pm Post #29 - June 26th, 2018, 7:02 pm
    Day 5. Big lunch, lighter dinner. Leftover cornbread heated in the toaster oven, half an avocado, grape tomatoes and a crisp fried egg (yolk still custardy)

    ImageBachelor Chow fried egg on cornbread
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #30 - June 27th, 2018, 5:24 pm
    Post #30 - June 27th, 2018, 5:24 pm Post #30 - June 27th, 2018, 5:24 pm
    Day 6: GWiv's Dan Dan Noodles
    As I said over there, this is a perfect weeknight dinner recipe: sautee some ground beef with oil, garlic, ginger, a prepared ma-la mix, and some pickled chinese vegetable (everybody's got that in their fridge, right? You could use a bit of anything with a little crunch: celery, shredded carrot, some sauerkraut -- but it's available in little packets in the Asian markets), noodles, and a sauce made with the noodle cooking water and a bunch of Chinese pantry staples (black vinegar, dark sesame oil, tahini, chile oil, soy), and scallions.

    I had a little more beef than 1 serving, his recipe has a little more noodles -- I've got enough left over for a light lunch if I mix up some more sauce.

    Imagemise en place

    ImageFinished dish
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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