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What are you making for dinner tonite?

What are you making for dinner tonite?
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  • Post #1201 - May 28th, 2021, 7:03 pm
    Post #1201 - May 28th, 2021, 7:03 pm Post #1201 - May 28th, 2021, 7:03 pm
    Started the day's cooking by prepping some ingredients for a side dish I'm taking to a friend's house tomorrow night. Eventually, this will be a spinach and parmesan casserole which, I hope, will pair up nicely with the main course they're making . . .

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    Mise En Place & Kohetsu Blue #2 Addict, 240mm
    Creminis, evoo, dried basil, dried oregano, red wine, 4x gelatinous beef stock, black pepper, salt, onions and crushed garlic. You might think such a beefy blade would be overkill on the mushrooms but it was a joy to use on them. It was fast, accurate and very easy to control.

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    Sauteed
    Mushrooms got the bulk of the mise shown above. Onions were sauteed only in the evoo, salt and pepper. Tomorrow I'll mix most of this with some wilted and squeezed-dry spinach, some parmesan and a few other cheeses, and bake it for about an hour.

    Dinner tonight was a much simpler affair. Charcoal-grilled flank steak with a few leftovers as side dishes . . .

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    On The Platter
    This oiled and seasoned slab spent about 10 minutes total over the coals. All direct, no covering, flipped and rotated about once per minute.

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    Plated Up
    With some of Wednesday's leftover bok choy and a small dish of leftover briami and okra from last night's dinner at Psistaria.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1202 - May 30th, 2021, 7:01 pm
    Post #1202 - May 30th, 2021, 7:01 pm Post #1202 - May 30th, 2021, 7:01 pm
    More Thai flavors. Recently got a new mortar & pestle, so I was inspired to wing it on a marinade for a chicken . . .

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    Mise En Place & Kohetsu Blue #2 Addict, 240mm
    In the mortar: Thai birds eye chiles, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots and palm sugar in the center. Around the outside: fish sauce, oyster sauce, vegetable oil, salt, turmeric, soy sauce and a lime (later juiced).

    Mashed everything in the mortar into a paste, then combined that paste with the other ingredients to create the marinade.

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    Mortar
    This banging new Thai mortar (and pestle, not pictured) are just what I needed. I was really happy with how much easier it was to paste everything together in this unit, compared to my older one(s). This one holds 3+ cups and is deep enough to bang away without having stuff spray out all over the place.

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    Spatchcocked Chicken, Marinade & Tojiro Kitchen Shears
    I love these shears but they're pretty new and this is the first time I can remember using them on poultry. They made quick work of spatchcocking this bird. The finished marinade (top left) awaits deployment. And I immediately made a mini batch of stock with the backbone (ended up with about a pint).

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    Marinating
    I let this marinate for about 6 hours, flipping the bird at the halfway point.

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    Grilling
    Figured a 3-zone fire was the way to go -- a small pile of lump charcoal on each side of the kettle and plenty of negative space at 12 and 6, so that the bird would cook evenly. It ended up taking about 30 minutes, covered, in the indirect space.

    And of course, there was also side dishery . . .

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    Baby Eggplants & Kohetsu Blue #2 Addict, 240mm
    Sliced this into discs, then salted them (for about an hour) and patted them dry with a paper towel. After that, I roasted them in the oven, basting with the leftover sauce from last week's bok choy (reduced to a glaze, then fortified with fresh garlic and gochujang).

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    Salad
    A large assortment of all kinds of greens from Three Sisters Garden, campari tomatoes and some homemade 1002 Island dressing (standard, homemade thousand with some other business added).

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    Plated Up
    Charcoal-grilled chicken and roasted eggplant, garnished with -- what else? -- a confetti of chive blossoms! :D

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1203 - May 31st, 2021, 6:03 pm
    Post #1203 - May 31st, 2021, 6:03 pm Post #1203 - May 31st, 2021, 6:03 pm
    Was thinking back to a recent video at Chinese Cooking Demystified's youtube channel when I decided I wanted to take another stab at smashed cucumber. I'd made it once last fall but seeing the video reminded me of how much I love the dish. This video actually focuses on Chinese drinking food, and in it, Steph suggests that it's a good accompaniment for beer. No doubt that's true but it was also just fine with my beverage of choice today: bubbly water.

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    Mise En Place & Kohetsu Blue #2 Addict, 240mm
    Cilantro, crushed garlic, cucumbers (ended up using 3), salt, msg, spicy chili crisp, soy sauce, mature black vinegar and toasted sesame oil.

    Peel, split lengthwise and smash the cucumbers with a cleaver or heavy knife (the Addict worked just fine :wink:). I seeded most of the cukes but left a couple of portions with the seeds intact. After that, cut them into ~1" pieces and mix them up with everything else.

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    Plated Up
    I really do love this dish and it turned out great but I'm guessing it can be improved even further by letting the cucumbers sit in the salt for an hour or so, then draining them and proceeding with assembly. I'll give it a shot that way next time.

    As for the rest of dinner, after not having it for a year and a half, somehow it was Part Two of our recent flank steak acquisition. Twice in four days. One might say that our weekend was flanked by flank steak (yeah, sorry about that) . . .

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    Hot Off The Grill
    Oiled, seasoned and grilled direct for about 10 minutes.

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    Plated Up
    Charcoal-grilled flank steak, smashed cucumber and leftover/reheated roasted eggplant from Sunday night's dinner.

    Happy Monday! :)

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1204 - May 31st, 2021, 6:19 pm
    Post #1204 - May 31st, 2021, 6:19 pm Post #1204 - May 31st, 2021, 6:19 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I decided I wanted to take another stab at smashed cucumber.

    Ha, GMTA. I made a Fuchsia Dunlop version to bring to a BBQ yesterday. I make Smashed Cucumber fairly regularly, sometimes I fancy it up with toasted sesame seeds and chive or cilantro, sometimes peanuts, which go wonderfully.

    I find the cucumber salting resting draining step helpful in flavor and texture. I used a mix of English and Persian cucumber. Left the seeds, which are smaller fewer than 'regular' cucumber. Took off about half the skin in stripes. Smacked the heck of out them and did a fairly chunky roll cut.

    Click to enlarge
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    Smashed Cucumber, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1205 - May 31st, 2021, 6:37 pm
    Post #1205 - May 31st, 2021, 6:37 pm Post #1205 - May 31st, 2021, 6:37 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I decided I wanted to take another stab at smashed cucumber.

    Ha, GMTA. I made a Fuchsia Dunlop version to bring to a BBQ yesterday. I make Smashed Cucumber fairly regularly, sometimes I fancy it up with toasted sesame seeds and chive or cilantro, sometimes peanuts, which go wonderfully.

    I find the cucumber salting resting draining step helpful in flavor and texture. I used a mix of English and Persian cucumber. Left the seeds, which are smaller fewer than 'regular' cucumber. Took off about half the skin in stripes. Smacked the heck of out them and did a fairly chunky roll cut.

    Yeah, peanuts, maybe even some thinly sliced celery, seem like a natural fit. And thanks, for confirming my suspicion about the method. I guess I've done enough pickling now that pre-salting seemed like the thing to do. But having never made CCD's version before, I figured I'd play it by the book. Next time, I'll improvise.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1206 - June 1st, 2021, 11:09 am
    Post #1206 - June 1st, 2021, 11:09 am Post #1206 - June 1st, 2021, 11:09 am
    A cool weekend plus an aching tooth had me searching for soup ideas to use up the last butternut squash from our CSA along with a celery root that has been buried in the fridge. I've done curried squash soups before but wanted to try something different. I roasted the vegetables with a hunks of onion then put them to simmer on the stove with stock and a splash of dry white wine. I sprinkled in some dried thyme because, well, just because.
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    Whirled it with the immersion blender with this result.
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    A couple of things I learned: 1) go with the curried soup that I know I like; and, 2) I don't really like celery root. The soup isn't bad -- it's just uninspiring to me.

    I may try to rework the leftovers to make it more palatable. Suggestions are welcome.
    -Mary
  • Post #1207 - June 1st, 2021, 11:15 am
    Post #1207 - June 1st, 2021, 11:15 am Post #1207 - June 1st, 2021, 11:15 am
    The GP wrote:A couple of things I learned: 1) go with the curried soup that I know I like; and, 2) I don't really like celery root. The soup isn't bad -- it's just uninspiring to me.

    Re: celery root. I really like it but a little goes a loooong way. When I include it in a braise, I typically use just a few little cubes. There's a classic Czech potato salad that incorporates celeriac -- the base of many small, ornate sandwiches known as klebicke -- and even then, it's probably 90% potato and 10% celery root. It's like the fernet of vegetables -- nearly impossible to mask it! :lol:

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1208 - June 1st, 2021, 3:12 pm
    Post #1208 - June 1st, 2021, 3:12 pm Post #1208 - June 1st, 2021, 3:12 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote: Re: celery root. I really like it but a little goes a loooong way. When I include it in a braise, I typically use just a few little cubes. There's a classic Czech potato salad that incorporates celeriac -- the base of many small, ornate sandwiches known as klebicke -- and even then, it's probably 90% potato and 10% celery root. It's like the fernet of vegetables -- nearly impossible to mask it! :lol:

    Perfect description. I'll probably power through the soup as I'm on soft foods for at least the next day. I'll also amend my preferences with the CSA to reduce the chance of getting celeriac.
    -Mary
  • Post #1209 - June 1st, 2021, 6:25 pm
    Post #1209 - June 1st, 2021, 6:25 pm Post #1209 - June 1st, 2021, 6:25 pm
    The GP wrote: I'll also amend my preferences with the CSA to reduce the chance of getting celeriac.

    Still, a bit of celeriac roulette. I like it! :D

    Quickie, after-work dinner tonight. My main goal was using up some really great fresh ricotta before it lost its magic . . .

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    Assorted Grilled Sausages
    Hot Italian sausage in the middle. The other two are different types of chicken sausages from Costco, neither of which really wowed me. But now, at least they're made and the family can lunch them up over the rest of the week.

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    Caprese Salad
    Normally I wouldn't bother with this with such average tomatoes but as I mentioned up top, this Calabro fresh ricotta is out of this world. I was too embarrassed to eat it directly out of the container with a spoon, so I decided this would be a good use for it. Garnished it with evoo, balsamic, flake salt and black pepper.

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    Plated Up
    Snausages, caprese salad and Mrs. Suburban's world-renowned roasted cauliflower.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1210 - June 2nd, 2021, 7:27 pm
    Post #1210 - June 2nd, 2021, 7:27 pm Post #1210 - June 2nd, 2021, 7:27 pm
    More quick and simple after-work fare. I've been leaning heavily on the grill lately but I guess that's been true for pretty much the last 30 years or so. However, right now, with longer work days and beautiful weather, grilling assures that the cooking is quick, the clean-up is a breeze, and after a day in front of my screen, it's an absolute pleasure to sit outside from the beginning of the cook to the end . . .

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    Ribeyes
    Righteous steaks from Zier's. Seasoned, oiled and ready for the grill. Really cannot get enough of the Manale spice rub, which has become my go-to over the past few months. I initially made it as part of a copycat recipe for BBQ shrimp from Pascal's Manale but it's found a permanent home in our kitchen.

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    Grilling
    These were some big steaks. I made two to feed three of us. After the initial, direct marking over the coals, these took about 12 minutes, covered, on the indirect side to finish. That's quite a bit longer than usual but again, these were massive cuts.

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    Plated Up
    With sauteed broccolini (evoo, garlic, red chile flakes, salt, black pepper and fresh lemon juice). The boyo and I finished off the end of the leftover smashed cucumber, too.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1211 - June 3rd, 2021, 6:26 pm
    Post #1211 - June 3rd, 2021, 6:26 pm Post #1211 - June 3rd, 2021, 6:26 pm
    Still very much in the honeymoon stage with my new mortar & pestle, so more Thai tonight . . .

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    Som Tum
    Garlic, salt-dried shrimp, Thai birds eye chiles, palm sugar, lime wedges and roasted peanuts.

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    Paste
    Yes, I know it's a poor workman who blames his tools but I can honestly say my previous difficulties with this age-old device seem to have had more to do with the small size and too-smooth surface texture of the unit I recently retired.

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    Pad Ka-Prao Mise En Place & Kurosaki HAP40 Gyuto, 210mm
    In the mortar: garlic, Thai birds eye chiles and shallots. Around the exterior: Thai basil, coarsely ground pork, soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, Golden Mountain, fish sauce and green beans.

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    More Mortarings
    This round: garlic, shallots and Thai birds eye chiles.

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    Hot, Aromatic Paste
    This took about 5 minutes and it was a fine way to blow off some workday steam! :lol:

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    Plated Up
    With some brown jasmine rice from the rice cooker.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1212 - June 5th, 2021, 6:52 pm
    Post #1212 - June 5th, 2021, 6:52 pm Post #1212 - June 5th, 2021, 6:52 pm
    Received some beautiful chicken of the woods mushrooms, had a ribeye in the freezer and had some green beans that were only about half-green (but still firm), so decided on a stir fry . . .

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    Chicken Of The Woods
    Very meaty and firm specimens. Was happy to have them but knew I'd have to beat them down a bit to get them to a palatable state (for me).

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    Mise En Place & Kurosaki HAP40 Gyuto, 210mm
    Brownish green beans, sliced garlic, ground Sichuan peppercorns, white pepper, purple spring onions, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, peanut oil and ribeye steak.

    I pre-cooked the mushrooms in a little peanut oil, some Shaoxing wine and a bit of the sliced garlic to soften them up and bring out their meatiness. From there, I built the rest of the stir fry, starting by searing the meat, then removing it until the very end. That approach worked out well.

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    Platter
    As you can probably see from texture, I ended up adding a small, 1T cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.

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    Plated Up
    In addition to garnishing with chives and chive blossoms, I also added a few blobs of spicy chili crisp to my servings (yes, I had seconds!). Was really pleased using the chicken of the woods in this application. After I pre-cooked, them, they were delicious on their own but this ended up being a fun and delicious way to use them. To the bite, they were nearly as meaty as the ribeye, which was very satisfying. Next time, I'll probably omit the meat entirely (and maybe sub in some tofu).

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1213 - June 6th, 2021, 6:50 pm
    Post #1213 - June 6th, 2021, 6:50 pm Post #1213 - June 6th, 2021, 6:50 pm
    All-grilled dinner* tonight . . .

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    Spatchcocked Chicken
    This worked out so well last week, I thought I'd give it another shot. This time, I marinated in a 5:1 mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce for about 6 hours, then dried it and seasoned it with Manale spice powder. Used a 3-zone fire again.

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    Grilled Group
    Chicken, asparagus (evoo, salt & black pepper) and zucchini (evoo, dijon mustard, vinegar & fresh oregano from our garden).

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    Plated Up
    Running low on chive blossoms but still had few left for garnishing tonight! :P

    *Bonus item:
    I received some English cucumbers in my CSA box this week, so I was eager to take another shot at Smacked Cucumbers, since I really love that dish and it gets better for a few day as it ages . . .

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    Smacked Cucumbers & Dexter Cleaver
    Needless to say, the 8-pound Dexter had no issues smacking the cukes! :P

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    Smacked, Chopped Cukes & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
    As lovely a job as the Dexter did smashing, cutting is definitely not its strength. So, I brought the Nigara in from the bullpen. It was definitely overkill but so much fun.

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    Smacked Cucumber
    Unlike last time, this time I pre-salted and drained the prepped cucumber, which improved the final product noticeably.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1214 - June 6th, 2021, 7:29 pm
    Post #1214 - June 6th, 2021, 7:29 pm Post #1214 - June 6th, 2021, 7:29 pm
    Smack dat Cucumber. Smack it . . .

    Veg for dinner tonight, sauteed mushrooms with rosemary and red wine, stewed okra and rice. I have translucent single sling thong just waiting for the beach.

    click to enlarge
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    Veg, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1215 - June 7th, 2021, 6:21 pm
    Post #1215 - June 7th, 2021, 6:21 pm Post #1215 - June 7th, 2021, 6:21 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Veg for dinner tonight, sauteed mushrooms with rosemary and red wine, stewed okra and rice. I have translucent single sling thong just waiting for the beach.

    LOL - tough to say which sounds better, the dinner or your shoreside ensemble! :lol:

    A year ago, I never would have expected that an after-work, Monday night, back-to-basics dinner meant Thai-style red curry and yet, here we are . . .

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    Mise En Place & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
    Fresh bamboo shoots, Thai birds eye chilis & kaffir lime leaves, extra firm tofu, Bangkok spice blend (for the chicken), peanut oil, gelatinous chicken stock, curry paste, coconut milk, gapi, purple spring onions, basil leaves, zucchini, fish sauce, Thai eggplant, kale, chicken thigh meat and shimeji mushrooms.

    Yes, way too much going on here but I used the Big Daddy 18" wok, as one goal was to just get RID of a bunch of items in the fridge. It was nice to have fresh bamboo shoots and Thai eggplant in the same batch of curry and while I do have some leads, I still haven't happened upon a store that's had both at the same time.

    Though I am a huge fan of Maesri curry pastes, I really wanted to try the Aroy-D because their coconut milk is my favorite. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about their red curry paste. It was very good but not great and definitely not in the same league as the Maesri. The Aroy-D was saltier, more one-dimensional and lacking in funkiness. I'm glad I tried it but I'll stick with the Maesri going forward.

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    Plated Up
    Garnished with the soon-to-be-gone chive blossoms and some Zojirushi'd brown jasmine rice.

    Happy Monday! :)

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1216 - June 7th, 2021, 9:03 pm
    Post #1216 - June 7th, 2021, 9:03 pm Post #1216 - June 7th, 2021, 9:03 pm
    Low effort dinner. Grilled cheese (Emmentaler)

    click to enlarge
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    Grilled cheese, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1217 - June 8th, 2021, 6:21 am
    Post #1217 - June 8th, 2021, 6:21 am Post #1217 - June 8th, 2021, 6:21 am
    Went kinda complex for a monday night:
    * kefta (ground lamb, grated onion, lots of cilantro and garden oregano, spices strong on cumin) stuffed into pita bread with diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes and sliced onion, tahina sauce (tahina, water and salt)
    * grilled (after par-cooking) quartered artichokes, served with a lemoned- and garlicked-up mayo (which went well on the kefta too)

    I like the kefta recipe I've been using for many years (from a Time Life cookbook of all things), but I can never get those suckers to stay together: the onion and herbs just make them awfully fragile when turned on the grill.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1218 - June 8th, 2021, 7:00 pm
    Post #1218 - June 8th, 2021, 7:00 pm Post #1218 - June 8th, 2021, 7:00 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Grilled cheese, count me a Fan!

    Me too! That looks great.

    JoelF wrote:I like the kefta recipe I've been using for many years (from a Time Life cookbook of all things), but I can never get those suckers to stay together: the onion and herbs just make them awfully fragile when turned on the grill.

    I wonder if you mixed them a little longer and more vigorously -- and in only one direction -- if you'd get better results. You know, get those strands forming. I know that technique works quite effectively with dumpling filling.

    Charcoal-grilled tri-tip on the menu at Chez Suburban tonight. But first, as is so often the case, side-dishery . . .

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    Mise En Place & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
    Locally foraged wine caps, salt, black pepper, gelatinous chicken stock, miso/sake blend, red wine, spring onion tops, spring onion bottoms, evoo and parted out/minced green garlic.

    Normally, I'd take a simpler, less adorned approach with wine caps but it took me a few days to get to them and they were a bit beat up.

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    Sauteed Wine Caps
    In spite of it all, still quite delicious.

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    Raw Tri-Tip
    A very nicely marbled cut from Zier's in Wilmette. When I saw it in the case, I knew it was coming home with me. :)

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    Grilled Veg
    More asparagus and more spring onions. We are (well, were) really long on spring onions, so I decided to grill some in addition to including them with the mushrooms. As for my seasonal asparagus fatigue, well, I'm finally beginning to get there. :wink:

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    Grilled Tri-Tip
    A few minutes directly over the coals and about 15 minutes indirect and covered.

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    Plated Up
    Still working those chive blossoms! :P

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1219 - June 8th, 2021, 8:03 pm
    Post #1219 - June 8th, 2021, 8:03 pm Post #1219 - June 8th, 2021, 8:03 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Still working those chive blossoms! :P

    And that ain't no chive . . .
    Nice, no, check that, Great, looking tri-tip!

    Shrimp toast. Went a little heavy on the sesame seeds. Tasty though. #homecooking #lowslowbbq #countmeafan

    click to enlarge
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    Shrimp Toast, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1220 - June 9th, 2021, 6:46 pm
    Post #1220 - June 9th, 2021, 6:46 pm Post #1220 - June 9th, 2021, 6:46 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Shrimp toast. Went a little heavy on the sesame seeds. Tasty though.

    No such thing. Those look great! :)

    Thursday is CSA day which, I guess, means that Wednesday is going to be 'get RID of as much as we can' night . . .

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    Mise En Place & Kanjo ZDP189 Gyuto, 210mm
    Bulb onions, slivered garlic, bok choy, evoo, white wine, tomato paste, spinach and from our garden, fresh oregano.

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    Sauteed Vegetable Mish Mosh
    I guess this is proof that if you start with decent ingredients, you're probably going to end up with something tasty. I never would have planned on combining bok choy and spinach but it worked out well. I did wilt/drain/squeeze/chop the spinach before I combined it with everything else. I figured that adding it directly would just make everything watery. As for the tomato paste, I used a wee small amount, about 1 tablespoon.

    Not from our CSA, but also expiring, were some eggplants. So, I decided to glaze and oven-roast them . . .

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    Eggplant Glaze Mise En Place
    Slivered garlic (later minced), sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, peanut oil, salted/drained eggplant, gochugaru, gochujang, chili sauce (I think this has been in our fridge for over 10 years! :lol:) and apple cider vinegar.

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    Prepped Eggplant
    Ready for about an hour at 350F. I drizzled a little water in the pan, just to avoid any burning/scorching and replenished it at the halfway mark.

    It had been a while but after a couple of whole, spatchcocked birds, we were back to chicken thighs . . .

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    Grilling
    Had gone with a dry rub and cooked the thighs most of the way, when I figured that applying some of the eggplant glaze might be a nice way to finish the chicken. Turns out, it was.

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    Plated Up
    Garnished with the ever-dwindling chive blossoms.

    Tomorrow, another big-ass box of produce will be here! :shock:

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1221 - June 10th, 2021, 10:05 am
    Post #1221 - June 10th, 2021, 10:05 am Post #1221 - June 10th, 2021, 10:05 am
    Asparagus has been taking up room in the fridge and it was time to use it. Our freezer is also getting overstocked with fish from our Sitka Salmon subscription so out came the last bag of spot prawns. Risotto seemed to be the natural response to these ingredients. Another plus is that it used a container of seafood stock from the freezer.

    Mise in place (stock not pictured)
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    Resulting dish
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    -Mary
  • Post #1222 - June 10th, 2021, 10:13 am
    Post #1222 - June 10th, 2021, 10:13 am Post #1222 - June 10th, 2021, 10:13 am
    The GP wrote:Risotto seemed to be the natural response to these ingredients. Another plus is that it used a container of seafood stock from the freezer.

    Wow, does that look great. Nice call!

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1223 - June 10th, 2021, 7:07 pm
    Post #1223 - June 10th, 2021, 7:07 pm Post #1223 - June 10th, 2021, 7:07 pm
    Pretty quick and simple dinner . . .

    Image
    Tropea Onions & Kanjo ZDP189 Gyuto, 210mm
    These lovlies were part of today's CSA delivery. The Kanjo went through them like they weren't even there.

    Image
    Sauteed Onions
    Wanted a condiment for our beef, so I sauteed the tropeas hot and fast in a bit of veg oil with salt and black pepper.

    Image
    Charcoal-Grilled Ribeyes
    Standard prep: light oil, seasoned, grilled direct and then covered/indirect until they reached about 115F internal.

    Image
    Plated Up
    Mrs. Suburban and I split one of the steaks, so there are slices of the cap (left) and the eye here. Enjoyed the sauteed tropeas, as well as some leftover smacked cucumber and some leftover roasted eggplant. Still more chive blossoms on the garnish but they're just about 86'd now.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1224 - June 10th, 2021, 9:28 pm
    Post #1224 - June 10th, 2021, 9:28 pm Post #1224 - June 10th, 2021, 9:28 pm
    Capped dinner with watermelon, mint, feta. Drizzle of evo, dusting of Maldon and pepper. Tasty

    click to enlarge
    Image

    Watermelon, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1225 - June 13th, 2021, 7:01 pm
    Post #1225 - June 13th, 2021, 7:01 pm Post #1225 - June 13th, 2021, 7:01 pm
    Had a few nights off recently but cooked dinner tonight . . .

    Sunday dinner actually started on Saturday with an overnight marinade . . .

    Image
    Hatcho Miso, Sake and Red Miso
    One part of each, mixed well and thinned, if needed, with a few extra splashes of sake.

    Image
    Marinated
    Cross-cut short ribs after an overnight marination. Back to these later.

    Next up, side-dishery . . .

    Image
    Dashi Mise En Place
    10g each of bonito flakes and kombu, plus a quart of water.

    Image
    Broccoli Mise En Place & Kanjo ZDP189 Gyuto, 210mm
    Trimmed broccoli stems and florets, fresh ginger (later microplaned), shoyu, mirin and dashi. I wanted to create a donburi-style broth for the broccoli.

    Image
    Donburi-Simmered Broccoli
    Garnished with togarashi. This actually turned out great. 5 parts dashi and 1 part each of soy and mirin. Then simmered it all until the broccoli was just tender. That's when I grated in the ginger. I'd definitely make this again.

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    Shelling Peas
    Two pounds of peas doesn't yield much and it was a ton of work but it's a rite of Spring! :) Was thinking of something very simple for the peas . . .

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    Miso-Butter Peas Mise En Place
    White miso, shelled peas and unsalted butter.
    Just warmed some of the butter, whisked in some miso and poured it directly over the peas.

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    Charcoal-Grilled Miso-Sake Short Ribs
    These just take a few minutes directly over the coals, flipping them once or twice along the way.

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    Plated Up
    With Zojirushi'd jasmine rice, miso-butter peas and donburi-simmered broccoli.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1226 - June 14th, 2021, 8:25 am
    Post #1226 - June 14th, 2021, 8:25 am Post #1226 - June 14th, 2021, 8:25 am
    Image Our standard summer Sunday fare. Since I am gone most of the day we do a good but easy dinner. Johnsonville brats or homemade brats and onions boiled in beer and oil until the beer boils away and then browned in the remaining oil.
  • Post #1227 - June 14th, 2021, 6:53 pm
    Post #1227 - June 14th, 2021, 6:53 pm Post #1227 - June 14th, 2021, 6:53 pm
    lougord99 wrote:Image Our standard summer Sunday fare. Since I am gone most of the day we do a good but easy dinner. Johnsonville brats or homemade brats and onions boiled in beer and oil until the beer boils away and then browned in the remaining oil.

    Looks good, Lou but let's face it, isn't it really Mondays that are the wurst? :P

    Image
    Charcoal-Grilled Sausages
    Smoked Polish kielbasa, double smoked Polish wedding kielbasa, Ukrainian kielbasy (ring) and Romanian mititei.

    Image
    Charcoal-Grilled Asparagus
    Needed a little something green with all that meat. :wink:

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    Plated Up
    With sauteed onions, yellow mustard and Dusseldorf mustard.

    Happy Monday! :)

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1228 - Yesterday, 7:15 pm
    Post #1228 - Yesterday, 7:15 pm Post #1228 - Yesterday, 7:15 pm
    Not exactly a failed experiment but not something I'd rush to make again, either. Watched a video recently at Souped Up Recipes' youtube channel for Beef Stir Fry in Black Bean Sauce that stuck with me as I was perusing the produce aisle. When I saw bitter melon there, I figured I'd give this dish a whirl. Cooking it, I learned a lot of useful moves that I'll be able to apply to future cooks but more than anything else, I learned that I really don't like bitter melon (at least not in the hands of a rookie) . . .

    Image
    Beef Mise En Place
    "Tenders" (guessing they were hanging tenders), baking soda, veg oil, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and corn starch.

    Image
    Marinating
    Mixed it all together, sliced the beef and got it all evenly coated. It only needed about 15 minutes to do its thing.

    Next up, the sauce . . .

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    Sauce Mise En Place
    Corn starch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, black bean sauce and beef broth. Since the recipe calls for black bean & garlic sauce and I didn't have that, I crushed a couple of fresh cloves of garlic into the sauce.

    Image
    Bitter Melon & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
    Recipe calls for quartering the melons, removing the pith and seeds, cutting them on the bias into half-inch pieces, salting them for 15 minutes and then rinsing them a few times in cold water. That's supposed to mitigate the bitterness but in my case, it definitely didn't. I've had bitter melon dishes in restaurants before -- and enjoyed them -- so I'm guessing this came down to user error.

    The marinated beef goes into the smoking hot wok with some veg oil for a quick sear and then, it's removed. Next in is the melon, along with some thinly sliced garlic and ginger. Once the melon softens, the sauce is added. When it starts to thicken, the beef is added back and everything cooks together for a couple more minutes.

    Image
    Plated Up
    Over jasmine rice. I really did love everything about this dish -- the tender, flavorful beef, the tasty, sticky sauce, the fluffy, aromatic rice -- except for the melon. Next time out, I'll do everything exactly the same, except I'll swap in some long beans or mushrooms -- or anything for that matter -- for the melon.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #1229 - Yesterday, 8:26 pm
    Post #1229 - Yesterday, 8:26 pm Post #1229 - Yesterday, 8:26 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Recipe calls for quartering the melons, removing the pith and seeds, cutting them on the bias into half-inch pieces, salting them for 15 minutes and then rinsing them a few times in cold water. That's supposed to mitigate the bitterness but in my case, it definitely didn't.

    On the very few instances I've used bitter melon I've twice blanched the cut seeded pieces in salted water. There was still slightly more residual bitterness than I would have preferred.

    I know its called bitter melon, I know there will be some bitterness no matter the prep. I side with Ronnie, just not a fan. Not wild about the bitter from bile in some Thai or Laotian dishes either.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow

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