What's cooking?

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Bob Henrick » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:09 pm

Jenise, losing friends and loved ones is as depressing as life can get. I know that you and Bob will rebound, but I also know that things will never be quite the same without your friend.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:39 pm

A quick, light dinner tonight after a meeting ran late: simple omelet made with fresh local free-range eggs and filled with sauteed onions and garlic. 

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:58 am

For the first night back after the Christmas vacation in Tucson, I made a Moroccan chicken dish. Browned some chicken breasts in a skillet, took them out, added onions, garlic, carrots, and ras-el-hanout. Let that soften, then threw in preserved lemon, kalamatas, chicken broth, white wine, and then put the chicken back in. That braised for a half hour or so until done. It was served with steamed rice and a fennel-celery-pomegranate salad. The comments were all good.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:58 am

Robin Garr wrote:A quick, light dinner tonight after a meeting ran late: simple omelet made with fresh local free-range eggs and filled with sauteed onions and garlic. 



That's a beauty of an omelet!

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:40 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:A quick, light dinner tonight after a meeting ran late: simple omelet made with fresh local free-range eggs and filled with sauteed onions and garlic. 

That's a beauty of an omelet!

Thanks, Mike. I love to make omelets and consider them suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I ate a lot of omelets on my first trip to France as a young adult on the Fodor's $5-a-Day/Eurailpass plan, when that was about the most affordable option at most restaurants. I paid attention, and set about teaching myself to master the French style as soon as I got home, and I've been doing it ever since. I will admit to cheating with a nonstick pan, though. :lol:
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:49 am

Last night's dinner: Sichuan green beans with ginger and garlic, soy and sesame and a shot of Sriracha. Went great with the remains of the Ruffino Prosecco that I had opened with cauliflower soup at lunch.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Drew Hall » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:08 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Drew Hall wrote:Wow...I could eat that. Robin, what is the difference between a Battuto and a Soffritto?

Drew

That's a truly great question, Drew! I had to stop and think. The short answer is that battuto, soffritto or mirepoix all mean about the same thing: A mix of chopped veggies that's sautéed and used as a flavor base to start many Italian and French dishes. Then, once you got me thinking about it, I'm pretty sure I'm remembering correctly that battuto literally means the raw chopped veggies, while soffritto is the sautéed result. But they're pretty much used interchangeably.


Well, I did my research and am now making a soffritto to add to a sauce that'll be part of lasagna that I'm constructing later today.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Tim McG » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:15 pm

Jenise wrote:A dear friend of ours passed away this weekend and we're going to be unable to attend the celebration of his life tomorrow in Alaska, so last night we held our own Celebration for Steve right here. It was through Steve that we gained familiarity with some of Italy's greatest wines, including many a Gaja, so an all-Italian dinner was called for. We started with a couple antipasti with a pretty-darned-decent-for-$7-at-Trader-Joe's Soave. They were proscuitto-stuffed pickled green peppers that we picked up at De Laurenti's market in Seattle last week followed by a salad of butter lettuce and fresh basil tossed with a red wine vinaigrette served on a cold plate tiled with capicolla. After that we opened a good 2005 Tuscan rosso to go with beef bolognese sauce on homemade spaghetti.

Tonight we're hoping to have the baked ham dinner that didn't happen on Christmas day. This is especially exciting because it means that the big oven will be working again!!


Jenise,

I, too, lost a colleague and friend on Christmas Day...her favorite day.

It goes without saying but, I am very sorry for your loss and can completely empathize.

Hope the dinner went well!
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:02 pm

Tim McG wrote:Jenise,

I, too, lost a colleague and friend on Christmas Day...her favorite day.



You have my condolences, too, Tim. It's tough to say goodbye at the holidays. Our friend's wife was very smart, though, they could tell the end was close so for Steve's sake as well as that of his twin 12 year olds, they held "Fake Christmas" a few days before so that Steve could enjoy that last holiday, and the kids have some chance of not forever thinking Christmas the saddest day of the year.

And now it's New Years, so let's talk about food again. Tonight I'm hosting a midnight sandwich party. Lots of bubbly, hot and crispy sourdough roast beef sliders, and two kinds of ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:24 pm

For tonight's "Your Last Meal" theme, I'm making meat loaf with some incredibly decadent potatoes au gratin. My wife is contributing whoopie pies in a couple of different flavors. Rumor has it that mac and cheese (not the box type) and cassoulet are also on the menu.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:33 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:For tonight's "Your Last Meal" theme, I'm making meat loaf with some incredibly decadent potatoes au gratin. My wife is contributing whoopie pies in a couple of different flavors. Rumor has it that mac and cheese (not the box type) and cassoulet are also on the menu.


Pot roast cooked in my large dutch oven here....it's smelling great right now!
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:39 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:For tonight's "Your Last Meal" theme, I'm making meat loaf with some incredibly decadent potatoes au gratin. My wife is contributing whoopie pies in a couple of different flavors. Rumor has it that mac and cheese (not the box type) and cassoulet are also on the menu.


Is this a pot luck or a progressive dinner? I love the theme!
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?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:16 pm

Jenise wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:For tonight's "Your Last Meal" theme, I'm making meat loaf with some incredibly decadent potatoes au gratin. My wife is contributing whoopie pies in a couple of different flavors. Rumor has it that mac and cheese (not the box type) and cassoulet are also on the menu.


Is this a pot luck or a progressive dinner? I love the theme!


This is for our annual New Year's Eve potluck. The whole thing came about because of that Mayan Calendar business. I think their calendar ends in December of 2012, so there was some tongue-in-cheek discussion of that being the date of the end of the world. We decided if that was so, then we'd do the current NYE with "Your Last Meal", meet again on the day the calendar ends for the "End of the World" dinner, and then do "Rebirth" on NYE 2012 (assuming we all get that far).

It really is a good theme as it there are a couple of directions you can go. One would be to pull out all the stops and do dishes full of truffles, Kobe beef, and caviar while drinking well-aged first growths, 30 year old single malts, and a vertical of Yquem. The other direction involves the kind of meal you'd want to keep you going when you cross over to whatever other side there is. Something rich and sustaining from both nutritional and spiritual considerations. That takes you back to the comfort food thing, which is the direction we went. There's also a third take on this that would involve re-creating someone else's last meal prior to their death. I did do some research on last meals ordered by death row inmates, but these weren't terribly inspiring. Most of them were either fairly simple (fried chicken and a Coke) or overtly quirky (two pints of Ben and Jerry's Mint Chip or even quirkier, a single unpitted olive).

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:29 pm

A simple curry of root vegetables - carrots, turnips and parsnips - cooked with onions, celery, ginger and garlic and light Indian spice. Served with mixed white and brown basmati rice. 

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Paul Winalski » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:38 pm

Dinner tonight was Hyderabadi chicken with fresh fenugreek leaves, seasoned with garlic, ginger, browned onions, green chile, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Accompanied with basmati rice, pappadums, and a Boston lettuce salad.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:49 am

Well, it *is* Pizza Night after all.

Started with mixed baby greens salad, with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on homemade ciabatta. Broke out the Laudemio olive oil for this.

Moved on to roasted asparagus.

First pizza had fennel, onions, and 4 cheeses, with a Navarro 2010 Chard that was a recent gift from a winemaker friend.

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Second was roasted tomatoes from the garden, roasted garlic, thyme, olive oil, gruyere, and mozzarella with a 1991 Les Grandes Places Cote Rotie.

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Nothing sucked. :D

Midnight will bring Mt Tam, more homemade ciabatta, and a 2003 Cedric Bouchard InFlorescence (La Parcelle).
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:41 pm

Eggplant baingan bharata with chickpeas. Went great with rice, a Bell's Two Hearted Ale, and ragas on a Pandora Indian Classical Music station. 

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:42 pm

Paul, how exciting to get fresh fenugreek leaves. Is that something you're able to get often? I've never seen any, but just love the flavor of dried.

Cynthia, the pizza's look terrific. The rest of the food didn't suck, either, of course.

Hungry for fish (haven't seen any fresh fish in weeks), today we made three stops trying to find something and the only viable non-tilapia option was the fresh catfish I found at my last stop. I know I know it's farmed, but I actually like farmed catfish for being better/cleaner tasting than wild and don't recall ever having the fresh option before. On a whim, I also picked up a handfull of small shrimp thinking I'd do a creole or etouffe styled sauce to go with it.

And that's as far as I got. Note I said "styled". What I end up with can't be heavy with fat or calories, can't be full of butter or fried. (Oh wait, I have a new language, here's how to say it!): it needs to be gay, not straight. :) Fresh, light and modern. Wonder how catfish takes to being broiled? I honestly have no idea, have only done it pan-fried. Hmmmmmm....
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:28 am

I was just thinking the same thing about that Two-Hearted Ale... made me think of Two-Spirited people.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Paul Winalski » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:55 pm

Jenise,

There's a local Indian grocery store that sells fresh Indian produce, including tinda and opo squash, bitter melons, curry leaves, and fenugreek leaves. Ask around at your local Indian, Pakistani, or Middle Eastern markets. Fresh fenugreek leaves remind me of clover. Dried fenugreek leaves are OK, but it's like using dried mint instead of fresh mint.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:00 pm

Paul, the big Indian population of British Columbia is right over the border from me, I should have some luck there. Is fenugreek seasonal, or something like cilantro, say, that's available year round? I appreciate the difference you speak of re mint, and that's almost hard for me to imagine. I do find dried fenugreek quite magical (unlike dried mint)--love the caramel after-taste. And it stays with you, it's something that if you put it in a dish the next morning you wake up tasting it. And handling it will leave the scent on your hands after several washings.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:33 pm

Limas braised in olive oil and butter with turnip dice, onions and garlic and a shot o' Dijon. 

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Paul Winalski » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:58 pm

Jenise,

I haven't noticed anything seasonal about the availability of fresh fenugreek.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Christina Georgina » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:19 am

A quasi tapas birthday dinner for my husband : jamon Serrano, manchego cheese with quince paste and Marcona olives; small baked potatoes stuffed with brandada topped with garlic allioli, bread crumbs and parm then rewarmed; small lamb chops with piquillo pepper marmalade; grilled asparagus with honey and sherry vinegar. Birthday cake was a very dense almond cake with an apricot-rum glaze served with a dollop of mascarpone cream [ this was from a recent Washington Post article ]. Most recipes came from The NEw Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen and was inspired by an assortment of Spanish wines.
My husband does not know birth DAY...he likes birth WEEK and birth MONTH celebrations so I'll be doing celebratory offerings for the rest of the month !
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