What's Cooking (Take Two!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:17 am

Gosh that sounds good, Doug. I love Carnitas and haven't done that in awhile. Hmmm...need to make breakfast for guests on Saturday morning. Breakfast carnitas? (Just add scrambled eggs....)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Paul Winalski » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:27 pm

Last night's dinner was Chinese stir-fried ginger beef. This is a recipe from The Chinese Cookbook by Virginia Lee and Craig Claiborne--the second cookbook I ever bought back in the 1970s. It's thinly-sliced flank steak marinated with soy sauce and cornstarch, stir-fried. What's unusual about it is the very large quantity of shredded fresh ginger (1-1/2 cups for 3/4 pound of steak) and cilantro leaves (3 cups loosely packed)*, which are the only other ingredients, other than a tablespoon of rice wine at the very end to form a sauce from the cornstarch clinging to the beef. So it comes out rather more strongly flavored than your usual Cantonese beef stir-fry.

-Paul W.

* Cynthia, you could try substituting a more conventional vegetable such as pea pods for the soap weed. :D
Last edited by Paul Winalski on Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:55 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:Last night's dinner was Chinese stir-fried ginger beef. This is a recipe from The Chinese Cookbook by Virginia Lee and Craig Claiborne--the second cookbook I ever bought back in the 1970s. It's thinly-sliced flank steak marinated with soy sauce and cornstarch, stir-fried. What's unusual about it is the very large quantity of shredded fresh ginger (1-1/2 cups for 3/4 pound of steak) and cilantro leaves (3 cups loosely packed)*, which are the only other ingredients, other than a tablespoon of rice wine at the very end to form a sauce from the cornstarch clinging to the beef. So it comes out rather more strongly flavored than your usual Cantonese beef stir-fry.

-Paul W.

* Jenise, you could try substituting a more conventional vegetable such as pea pods for the soap weed. :D


Paul, you've got me confused with Cynthia--I *LOVE* cilantro! Would love this dish. But Bob would love it even more. He too adores cilantro and there's no such thing as ginger too heavy, so the concentration of those flavors would work magically well.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Izzy B » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:08 am

Paul Winalski wrote:Last night's dinner was Chinese stir-fried ginger beef. This is a recipe from The Chinese Cookbook by Virginia Lee and Craig Claiborne--the second cookbook I ever bought back in the 1970s. It's thinly-sliced flank steak marinated with soy sauce and cornstarch, stir-fried. What's unusual about it is the very large quantity of shredded fresh ginger (1-1/2 cups for 3/4 pound of steak) and cilantro leaves (3 cups loosely packed)*, which are the only other ingredients, other than a tablespoon of rice wine at the very end to form a sauce from the cornstarch clinging to the beef. So it comes out rather more strongly flavored than your usual Cantonese beef stir-fry.

-Paul W.

* Jenise, you could try substituting a more conventional vegetable such as pea pods for the soap weed. :D


Love the combination of cilantro and ginger. I'm going to revisit my copy of The Chinese Cookbook sooner than later.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:15 pm

Grilled lamb patties seasoned with vaudovon, sautéed purple asparagus and ranier cherries later.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:18 pm

Funny that my last post above is about the lamb patties. They never happened; can't recall why, but I tossed the seasoned meat in the freezer and pulled it out again this morning with no new plan but new options because I have leftovers I'd like to use up, if possible, to ensure that some vegetable didn't die in vain! Alas, the grilled red onions, partial bottle of chardonnay, partial can of chicken broth and a few tomatoes that are getting on a bit suggested a Moussaka-flavored pasta sauce, and so those ingredients are burbling away on the stove as I type. Papparadelle will go underneath.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:17 pm

Mary cooked tonight and made a simple garden/farmers' market dinner of tiny white creamer potatoes and pencil-thin green beans, simmered together and tossed with a little local organic butter. Sometimes it is a gift to be simple.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:51 pm

Last night I had the most fun making our dinner: in the morning, I'd just pulled a packet of meat out of the freezer. It seemed to be a pale red meat--pork probably--and I hadn't written on the freezer bag so I had no idea what it was. It was about the size of a grilled cheese sandwich. But whatever it was, I was going to turn it into dinner.

Many hours later I worked out that the mystery meat was actually beef, thinly shaved beef that I bought a large package of at a Japanese market (it's prepped for sukiyaki type dishes), then cut in half for using half then/freezing the rest. Hence its square shape. I use it in Chinese-style stir fries like a chow mein, loving the way the thin bits take on flavor and distribute themselves thoroughly within the dish--but I had, yesterday, no Chinese vegetables on hand.

But thinking Chinese had me hungry for rice--cooked anyway you name except badly, which would include any time a water to rice ratio of 2:1 is employed, rice is a favorite food--and thoughts earlier in the day had me kind of wanting TexMex flavors, so as I stood there holding that package of meat I had an idea. In one pan I sautéed some finely diced onions, then added garlic and finally some Japanese shortgrain rice. Once the rice was slightly toasted, I started building an intense TexMex scented broth with beef broth, a little homemade BBQ sauce, extra cumin and cayenne, and in a skillet I added some oil for sauteeing the beef in order to render the fat away. I then combined the two and set the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes.

To serve, several scoops went on each plate accompanied by a chopped salad of frisee and Campari tomatoes in a basil vinaigrette. Oooh la la. Spanish rice and ground beef is the ranking favorite of the meat-rice combo genre here, but this went that direction and upped the ante, WAY up, with the texture of the meat (which I cut the 'patty' of into one inch dice to ensure I didn't have large wads) and the barbecue-sauce enriched broth.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:13 am

Jenise wrote:Once the rice was slightly toasted, I started building an intense TexMex scented broth...

It flashed through my mind that you were about to make a Tex-Mex risotto... but no. :lol:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:34 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jenise wrote:Once the rice was slightly toasted, I started building an intense TexMex scented broth...

It flashed through my mind that you were about to make a Tex-Mex risotto... but no. :lol:


Nope, sorry. And I know it's heresy to say so, but much as I enjoy risotto, I like this kind of rice dish even better. Off with my head!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:37 pm

Tonight we're celebrating Bastille Day with 58 of our closest friends here in the hood, and for that I'm making a platter of cold roast pork (brined overnight with rosemary, roasted with an herb d'Provence coating and served with a saus persille et capers), and a big cucumber-dill salad.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Redwinger » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:18 pm

Dinner consisted of eggplant (garden fresh) parma, home made semolina fetticini with some previously frozen marinara from last year's tomato crop, and some of NJ's fresh baked, non-gluten free Italian bread. A piece of zucchini/chocolate cake topped it off. NJ also enjoyed a few glasses of 1999 Vieux Telegraph.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:42 am

Jenise wrote:Tonight we're celebrating Bastille Day with 58 of our closest friends here in the hood...


You seem to have so many community events in your neighborhood. Which sounds very nice. What we social scientists would call lots of 'social capital'. Do you also get the sense that you have a lot of community spirit in your area?
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:47 am

One of the great things about Germany in the summer is the proliferation of high-quality and affordable chanterelles. (Here in Berlin, even when I go for the 'higher-end' chanterelles they are less than $15 per pound, at least in the markets I visit).

So last night we had a lovely dinner of char (saibling) sauteed in butter with lots and lots of chanterelles. Also some lovely and flavorful little boiled potatoes (local name is Astoria, and this is the year I finally understand my wife's love of simple boiled potatoes), and sauteed chard. All went very well with 2012 Rebholz Ganz Horn-im Sonnenschein Riesling. No complaints!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:18 pm

Rasam and iddlis for dinner last night.

-Paul W.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:47 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Jenise wrote:Tonight we're celebrating Bastille Day with 58 of our closest friends here in the hood...


You seem to have so many community events in your neighborhood. Which sounds very nice. What we social scientists would call lots of 'social capital'. Do you also get the sense that you have a lot of community spirit in your area?


The community spirit in this neighborhood is off-scale. It's a guard-gated neighborhood of approximately 1100 residences that also has its own 9 hole golf course, it's own marina, public pool, tennis courts and clubhouse. When we bought here, I had zero interest in any of that--in fact, I considered every part of that a negative--it just came with the modern ocean-front home I wanted. But as I've learned here, give people a clubhouse and they will make clubs through which they make great friends. The only real negative for me now is a personal one in that the guard gate tends to attract people who have safety concerns, and that demographic skews politically conservative. So where the close-by large town of Bellingham is mostly liberal and that's one of the reasons I chose this area, I unwittingly ended up in a conservative neighborhood.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Well, I can see how a gated community wouldn't be a first-choice living environment. But you seem to be managing the trade-off well, with a bit of conservatism and a lot of dinners and wine drinking!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:31 pm

Yes, we're doing fine here in spite of our disappointment at finding ourselves in a political minority, albeit a very social one. Lovely thing about being on a beach--we're on the edge of the neighborhood in every way that can mean, and when we face the water we're in our own little world.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:40 pm

Made Chinese stir-fry last night. Used the trimmings that resulted from turning a pork loin roast into a stuffed pork loin roast a month or so ago to provide the protein in a combination of bamboo, white onion, scallions, celery and fermented black beans and served that over steamed rice. Major yum, and lots of leftovers. Double major yum.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:49 am

There are lots of squash blossoms in the market here now. I picked up a bag of the yesterday and made them into quesadillas for dinner tonight. I cleaned up the blossoms, removing stems and stamens, and roughly shredded them. I sauteed a bit of minced onion in butter and then added about 2/3 of the blossoms and let them cook for a minute or two. I then took a couple of big flour tortillas, covered half of each with shredded queso fresco, and split both the onion/blossom mix and the uncooked blossoms between the two of them. Folded them over and fried them in butter. First time I've made these and they were very tasty.

Interestingly, squash blossoms vary tremendously in price at our farmers' market. Some people try to sell them for as much as $0.25 each while others sell bags containing a couple dozen or more for $1.00 per bag.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Christina Georgina » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:34 am

Re squash blossoms.....I've wondered why many recipes indicate "remove the stamen". I stopped doing that whenever I cook blossoms, no matter method, ever since once in a rush to get the fritti to the table I left them in. They can be surprisingly sweet and do add a different taste to the flower. I even leave them in now when I stuff the blossom. They mostly break off when you push the stuffing in anyway.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:54 pm

s-Jambo7114.jpg
Okra and tomato jambalaya + lentils
s-Jambo7114.jpg (286.04 KiB) Viewed 193 times

A quick invention on a jambalaya theme, garden okra and tomatoes with browned onions and garlic, rice and red lentils and Cajun spice.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:42 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:Re squash blossoms.....I've wondered why many recipes indicate "remove the stamen". I stopped doing that whenever I cook blossoms, no matter method, ever since once in a rush to get the fritti to the table I left them in. They can be surprisingly sweet and do add a different taste to the flower. I even leave them in now when I stuff the blossom. They mostly break off when you push the stuffing in anyway.


I've done them both ways and have a slight preference for removing the stamen. Either way is good, though.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:12 pm

Last night, I made a spanakopita pie.
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