What's cooking?

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:03 pm

This past week I saw a difference in the tomatoes at the Farmer's Market....more spots, more slits, softer, not as many heirlooms but a ton of cherry toms. It dawned on me that we hadn't enjoyed a bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich all summer...how could that be? So tonight is the night. Nice thick bacon, made locally, without all the chemicals, a large Cherokee Purple, with a few Russian tomatoes inside of fresh baked ciabatta, square sandwich bread, which I will lightly toast. Fresh lettuce leaves plucked from my garden just one hour ago, have been cleaned and are crisping in the fridge. I picked enough to make a simple salad of mixed greens, with avocado tossed with a lemon vinaigrette made with hazelnut oil. While out in the garden, Gene noticed the lemons are beginning to turn yellow. Last year we had a crop of 175 and it looks like this year is going to be good too. It put a smile on my face! :)
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:05 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Round 2 of the duck and olive pastilla (this time with non-vinegared olives from TJ)

Better. Still an 'under-performing' recipe... just doesn't give a strong impression of anything, it's not ducky enough, the seasoning is muddled, so, unless the rest of it hits me better than the first serving, I think this recipe goes in the round file. Live and learn.


Is there perhaps TOO much seasoning? Would there be adjustments you could make that would amp up the things you most want to taste and relegate the rest to supporting roles?
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:54 am

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Round 2 of the duck and olive pastilla (this time with non-vinegared olives from TJ)

Better. Still an 'under-performing' recipe... just doesn't give a strong impression of anything, it's not ducky enough, the seasoning is muddled, so, unless the rest of it hits me better than the first serving, I think this recipe goes in the round file. Live and learn.


Is there perhaps TOO much seasoning? Would there be adjustments you could make that would amp up the things you most want to taste and relegate the rest to supporting roles?


Here's the recipe:

Pastilla of Duck and Olives

2 oz butter
1# duck breast
2 onions, chopped fine
6 oz stuffed green olives
1 oz almonds, toasted and finely crushed
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp "Quatre Epices" (white pepper, clove, nutmeg, ginger)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 pinches saffron
8 sheets of brick (...16 sheets of phyllo?)
2 tbsp powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Melt half the butter in a pan. Brown the duck breasts and remove. Brown the onions in the same pan.

3. Chop fine the duck and the olives. In a bowl, mix well with onions, almonds, eggs, honey, and all spices.

4. Melt the remaining butter. Lay 4 overlapping sheets of pastry in a rectangular pan, brushing each layer with butter. Spread the stuffing in the pan, then cover with 4 more buttered overlapping sheets. Tuck the ends of the sheets to enclose the filling.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using a small sieve. Serve very hot.


If I were to make it again, I might try using duck confit instead of breast meat.

Note that this is a very French version of the dish. The Moroccan versions use dried fruit instead of olives and, of course, ras el-hanout instead of quatre epices.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Redwinger » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:00 pm

In honor of Gary B., I'll name this WHY I'M FAT.
Fresh baked apple pie and a couple of loaves of sourdough bread.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:10 pm

Eating solo tonight, so it is a broiled, then finished by roasting, Cornish Game Hen half. It has been marinating in soy, fresh lemon juice, garlic ,and a little coconut oil. Broccoli, picked yesterday, steamed and served with a mustard/mayo blend. That's all folks!
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:43 pm

Tonight's supper: Mac'n'cheese'n'sausage'n'peas.

That blue box thread got me going.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Heinz Bobek » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:56 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Round 2 of the duck and olive pastilla (this time with non-vinegared olives from TJ)

Better. Still an 'under-performing' recipe... just doesn't give a strong impression of anything, it's not ducky enough, the seasoning is muddled, so, unless the rest of it hits me better than the first serving, I think this recipe goes in the round file. Live and learn.


Hello Jeff, may I make a few comments on your recipe.
First: The temperature (400°F) in the oven is in my opinion way too high for 20 to 30 minutes baking time when you are frying the meat at the beginning. 320-340 ° F might be sufficient.
Second: 6 Oz green olives with filling (which?) might kill any spice that you'll give to the filling. I think to use a fruity and a hot ingredient with the olives like (apple, apricot, peach, red pepper flakes, chili) or just all the the spices with some diced brandied cumquats may end in a better result.
Third: I would add the honey to the frying onions into the pan to caramelize slightly and deglaze with a little splash of lemon juice.
4th: I'd skip the icing sugar at the end to brown the pack and would spread on a lightly beaten egg yolk with a little cream instead.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:58 pm

Heinz Bobek wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Round 2 of the duck and olive pastilla (this time with non-vinegared olives from TJ)

Better. Still an 'under-performing' recipe... just doesn't give a strong impression of anything, it's not ducky enough, the seasoning is muddled, so, unless the rest of it hits me better than the first serving, I think this recipe goes in the round file. Live and learn.


Hello Jeff, may I make a few comments on your recipe.
First: The temperature (400°F) in the oven is in my opinion way too high for 20 to 30 minutes baking time when you are frying the meat at the beginning. 320-340 ° F might be sufficient.
Second: 6 Oz green olives with filling (which?) might kill any spice that you'll give to the filling. I think to use a fruity and a hot ingredient with the olives like (apple, apricot, peach, red pepper flakes, chili) or just all the the spices with some diced brandied cumquats may end in a better result.
Third: I would add the honey to the frying onions into the pan to caramelize slightly and deglaze with a little splash of lemon juice.
4th: I'd skip the icing sugar at the end to brown the pack and would spread on a lightly beaten egg yolk with a little cream instead.

Thank you, Heinz.

I am surprised that you think the temperature is too high: the filling is protected by the pastry, after all. Noted.

I agree with you wholeheartedly about swapping out the olives in favor of something fruity or sharper; makes me think more along the lines of duck a l'orange - in a pie - than the rich/smooth effect that the olives were supposed to give.

If I caramelize the honey then I won't get the sweetness throughout the pie.

I will admit that I never did the sugaring at the end for this recipe; seems wrong here. It does seem right for a more traditional pie, which has sweet and savory layers. For example, I've made this one several times successfully: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Individual-Bstillas-Moroccan-Chicken-and-Almond-Pies-12483

Again, thanks for thinking about me.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Frank Deis » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:02 am

First -- in re Heinz and Jeff -- there IS no filling in the canned green olives from TJ. I tasted them for the first time tonight and they are good, very much like canned black olives but with a recognizable green taste. Sort of buttery tasting.

After work I stopped at the local H Mart, which has amazing seafood, and got some red snapper -- planning to make Snapper Veracruz with my new TJ olives. I altered the recipe a little, doing a "clean the fridge" thing -- I added green and red bell pepper as well as a Korean pepper (looks like a Jalapeño but about twice as big and not very hot). Also, I had a leek so I added that. Onions, garlic, parsley, oregano, capers, raisins...

After getting the sauce ingredients to meld (also a 28 oz can of tomatoes) I nestled in the fish filets and simmered for a few minutes.

We really enjoyed it. In a sense it is all about the sauce, and a little about the fish. But the fish is a catalytic ingredient, it would hardly be as interesting to eat that delicious sauce without the fish. I'm not sure that briny olives (which I have always used until now) do any harm in this dish. After all we get a little of a briny pickled flavor with the capers, and the pickled Jalapeño slices (which I haven't mentioned until now).

But I do think the TJ olives are a discovery for us and I'm glad to have them in the kitchen. Thanks for the rec, Jenise!
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:32 pm

We have guests this weekend so we are taking them to Anselmo's Winery for dinner. They have never been there, so it will be a real treat. An it will be a fun for us to see all the new things they have done since we were there.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:07 pm

We're going to a Bellingham Supper Club get-together. Tonight's topic: Street Food. We weren't planning to be in town but when the hostess found out we were here, she graciously insisted we come anyway, even dish-less. Well, I wasn't really comfortable doing that, but I didn't have anything ready to go in the idea department either since I was so sure I wouldn't be here. So I sat down to think about street foods I've had, from Damascus to Ensenada to Bangkok, and street foods I've lusted after in pictures, and the latter brought to mind the deep-fried artichokes and tennis-ball sized arancini I saw in a picture of Sicily (or was it Sardinia?). Anyway, one of those, which brought to mind the fact that I had four nice artichokes and was rather long on parmesan cheese because I made fricos for another event last night. And suddenly I could picture it: deep-fried artichoke fricos! Not street food nor anything I'd ever had before, but certainly inspired by street food and very drool-worthy just to contemplate. The result? FAB! A real keeper.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:42 pm

Last night we grilled lamb steaks that had been marinated in mint, lemon, and OO mayonaise, pilaf, and green beans almandine. Washed it down with an '07 Tobin James, James Gang Reserve, Primitivo .
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Redwinger » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:05 pm

OK, not exactly home cooked, but a friend gave us a batch of persimmon pudding since neither Norma nor I had ever had it. I liked it a lot.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:24 pm

Tonight it is chunks of marinated lamb cooked on the grill in a perforated grill pan. I've pulled Swiss Chard from my garden and will do a saute of those beauties. I made a cold salad this mornig with rainbow macaroni shells, marinated red onion, yellow bell pepper, celery heart stalks and leaves, artichoke hearts, all dressed with a aged sherry balsamic vinaigrette.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:10 pm

Last night's Supper Club topic, Street Food, netted a bunch of Asian food and that left me craving it today. So tonight I'm making a Barbara Tropp recipe for a chicken stir fry involving orange zest, red fresno chiles, hoisin sauce and cashews, among other things.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:24 pm

Last night we ate with our neighbors -- I made Marcus Samuelson's Cornbread with Aleppo Pepper, and Louise made a cranberry apple crumble. And I took a really good Syrah from Clarendon Hills (AUS). Susan made ricotta ravioli flavored with confit duck leg, and Turkish okra chicken. The ravioli was pretty spectacular with my Syrah. The cornbread I thought was nice but a little "meh" -- if I make it again, twice the Aleppo pepper and maybe a little more sugar. Of course butter and honey covers a multitude of sins. Evidently the cornbread is a big favorite at Red Rooster in Harlem, Samuelson's trendy restaurant.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:57 am

I put together and old-time Sunday dinner yesterday. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, glazed carrots, peas w/mushrooms and cherry pie from the Amish baker at the local farmers market. I served both Pinot Noir and Riesling.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:36 pm

I kicked a fennel risotto up several notches by roasting fresh fennel bulb with onions before using it as an ingredient. There is no meat in this risotto; the rich brown color comes entirely from roasted veggies and browned onions. The caramelized flavor of fennel, onions and garlic with creamy risotto is over the top.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:07 pm

That look so yummy Robin, did you make the risotto separately, then add the browned veggies? Ooops, I reread your post and I see that you roasted them first.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:13 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:That look so yummy Robin, did you make the risotto separately, then add the browned veggies? Ooops, I reread your post and I see that you roasted them first.

Karen, a subtlety that I did not mention: I roasted the fennel and onion (both cut into chunks) first until they were nice and brown. But as I made the risotto, I introduced the roasted veggies a little at a time so some simmered throughout, losing structural integrity but giving themselves up to the sauce; more, little by little, with each scoop of simmering vegetable broth; and about half of it only at the very end, just long enough to warm through, so they retained all their texture. I hope I expressed this clearly ... basically, I put them in a little at a time, with about half saved until the end.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Frank Deis » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:25 pm

Robin, I'm stealing that, sooner or later. Sounds wonderful. LOOKS wonderful. I'm a fan of fennel and a fan of risotto...
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:29 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:That look so yummy Robin, did you make the risotto separately, then add the browned veggies? Ooops, I reread your post and I see that you roasted them first.

Karen, a subtlety that I did not mention: I roasted the fennel and onion (both cut into chunks) first until they were nice and brown. But as I made the risotto, I introduced the roasted veggies a little at a time so some simmered throughout, losing structural integrity but giving themselves up to the sauce; more, little by little, with each scoop of simmering vegetable broth; and about half of it only at the very end, just long enough to warm through, so they retained all their texture. I hope I expressed this clearly ... basically, I put them in a little at a time, with about half saved until the end.

Yes, I got it...basically that is what I do when I make my butternut squash risotto. I love the fennel and onion idea, thanks!
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:17 pm

Had a pretty good pizza this weekend as we transition away from tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes. A 'pesto' made of parsley, walnuts and a Sardinian sheep's milk cheese (Fiore di Sardegna) with maitake mushrooms sprinked on top. I'll still be happy to eek out another few weeks of fresh tomato sauce, but this was a nice rich earthy vegetal change.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Daisy D » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:17 pm

Tonight's dinner was inspired from Jenise's post a few days ago where she mentioned she had made French onion soup. It was/is one of my favorite soups, but I haven't had it in several years. When trying to think of something to have for dinner tonight, I came across a picture of a French onion grilled cheese. I was enticed.

Braised onions in evoo & butter with salt, pepper, thyme & bay leaf. Added a little red wine (2010 Casillero del Diablo Carmenere - inspired from the 'intro to this hobby' thread) and allowed the liquid to cook off. We used a domestic swiss cheese - instead of Gruyere - and a French baguette. Covering both sides of the bread with shredded cheese, we layered the braised onions in the middle. It was more of a panino than the traditional grilled cheese sandwich, but tasty nonetheless.

We each enjoyed a glass of the Carmenere with our sandwich.
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