What's cooking?

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:24 am

Drew Hall wrote:
Jenise wrote:We're having lamb osso buco with a 98 Ogier Cote Rotie. I'm so excited about the wine that I haven't really figured out the rest of the meal yet.


I'm salivating at the thought of lamb osso buco....tell us how it turned out, Jenise.


Drew, it's one of Bob's favorite things. Lamb shanks are exceptional in the dish, in fact Bob prefers lamb to veal now. Have you never made that substitution?
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:26 am

Karen/NoCA wrote:I found this recipe on-line Mike, very interesting dish. We actually have several of the barberry plants on our property. Fabulous shrub that is dark burgundy and the berries are said to be edible but very sour. It is curious that a currant would be a substitute. I have never harvested any of the berries (the birds do) because of the large thorns. Anyway, I have printed this recipe and will try soon.


Wow, I have barberries too. Had no idea the berries were edible! Tell me more.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:37 am

Mike Bowlin wrote:Tonights dinner.
Olive bread, white cheese with black truffles, sweet grapes and Rosenblum Carla's Reserve 2006 Zinfandel.
photo.JPG


A great simple meal that's not nearly so simple when homemade bread is the star ingredient. Bravo! Thanks for recipe for the muffalata bread, sounds amazing. I've never had anything like it. I'm very impressed that you do all your own baking.


Been a strange week here. Had our first halibut of the season a few nights ago. Last night, a half duck (from your Food Coop in Mt. Vernon) soaked in a good Chateneuf blanc with a bit of honey and then roasted with fennel, carrot and parsnip. But that was dinner, where lunch had been an Italian pasta and bean soup made with some tarbais beans that had been in the pantry for about a year. And I don't know if things change while beans sit around, but I can tell you that we each had a big bowl of soup and have been unfit for the companionship of other humans since. :oops:
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:57 pm

And I don't know if things change while beans sit around, but I can tell you that we each had a big bowl of soup and have been unfit for the companionship of other humans since.


I'm not an expert on this subject....however, I buy my beans when they available from Rancho Gordo or Purcell Mountain Farms. They are very fresh, according to what I have read on the sites. When I get them, I store them in the fridge. I rarely soak them, but if I have had them for several months, I do a quick soak for a couple of hours. We never have an issue with them.
Now, as to when the beans are in season is questionable. I've asked both places about it and they tell me each bean has it's own season. Plus it depends on what they plant and when. Both said, they sell out fast with most varieties, so the beans are always very fresh. They cannot offer a schedule of when they harvest. Since I usually buy several varieties, I know that some are over a year old when I finally finish the 1# bag. I've noticed that many times Rancho Gordo will have "very fresh" in the description section, so I assume they were recently harvested. Then there is a process they go through before they are ready to ship, and that time varies.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:06 pm

Sure would be interesting to know if time = potency, wouldn't it, Karen? Will have to check around; somebody, somewhere knows.

Dinner tonight: spaghetti and meatballs, a classic that I did not grow up on. My dad had it in his head that meat sauce was excellent but meatballs were for kids, so we didn't have them. Fie on him! I'm making my own pasta, too.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Drew Hall » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:13 am

We finally had a spring day yesterday and Eileen said,"I feel like pizza!". So later in the day I made a fresh, thin crust pizza with mushroom red sauce, wilted garlicky spinich, sliced chicken and fresh mozzerella baked to perfection...we both were truly pigs :D . All washed down with a very nice Barbera d'Alba.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:52 am

Jenise wrote:Sure would be interesting to know if time = potency, wouldn't it, Karen? Will have to check around; somebody, somewhere knows.


I don't "know" the answer but I understand the chemistry involved -- and I can't see how the "potency" would increase with time. Just as in lactose intolerance -- the problem is cutting sugars apart. Lactose is a two part sugar or disaccharide, and some people lack the enzyme to cut it into monosaccharides, glucose and galactose, and this causes digestive issues. Beans and onions contain Raffinose, a 3 part sugar, a trisaccharide, which people have trouble cutting up. Beano and other products provide the enzyme that hydrolyze the sugar (parallel with Lact-aid for lactose).

Some beans are naturally higher or lower in raffinose than others. I can imagine that, say, dried beans might have more raffinose than fresh "green" beans. But I can't see raffinose levels changing with the age of dried beans, unless perhaps it broke down = less of a problem over time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raffinose
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:44 pm

I've never had a problem with cooking/eating beans. However, I do notice that there is a difference in the result with how they are digested depending on how they are cooked. I never soak my beans before cooking. But, I also never bring beans to a hard boil. Whenever I cook beans I start them in a pot of cold water and begin cooking them over a medium flame, covered. It takes about 10-15 minutes for them to get hot enough to begin to simmer. I continue to simmer them until they are tender, which takes about 1.5hr. At that point I will season them with salt, pepper, vinegars, fats etc. and continue cooking them to that creamy stage. People who generally have a problem with beans producing gas have often told me that they have no problem with my beans and want to know how I cook them. I'm no scientist, but personally I believe it has something to do with the gasses released during that initial boiling phase, which I never produce. Just a thought.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:20 pm

Jo Ann, your long cooking time is probably helping. Beans and other vegetables get "tender" because of things that are breaking down, hydrolyzing. That trisaccharide, raffinose, should also be hydrolyzed and broken down by long heating. Gasses shouldn't have anything to do with it...
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:10 pm

Frank Deis wrote:Jo Ann, your long cooking time is probably helping. Beans and other vegetables get "tender" because of things that are breaking down, hydrolyzing. That trisaccharide, raffinose, should also be hydrolyzed and broken down by long heating. Gasses shouldn't have anything to do with it...


My bean method is very similar to Jo Ann's. I always want the beans treated gently so am careful to bring them to higher heat slowly and not let them boil. And these tarbais beans needed longer cooking time than most soup beans, they needed almost three hours. Unfortuantely, I don't think cooking method had anything to do with the issue in this case.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:13 pm

IMG_5611.JPG
IMG_5611.JPG (43.83 KiB) Viewed 3356 times


Gratuitous photo of the deadly bean soup (with arugula pistou).
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:20 pm

FWIW if there are "good" and "bad" beans -- Tarbais are bad. When we've made cassoulet with real Tarbais beans -- well, you could call it "Gas - oulet"
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:25 pm

Risotto con finocchio e piselli ... With roasted fennel and onions and fresh green peas.

risot0407.jpg
Fennel and peas risotto
risot0407.jpg (92.31 KiB) Viewed 3328 times

(By the way, iOS autocorrect wanted to change "fennel" to "fallen." I don't get this. It's good, but not sinful. :mrgreen:
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Christina Georgina » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:42 pm

Check out what McGee has to say about the "the Problem with Legumes". All has to do with the the humans limited ability to metabolize bean cell walls and some carbohydrates while the gut bacteria go to town on them and produce the objectionable products.... cook them a long time or germinate them. Soaking them a long time and throwing out the water will work but you throw out all the nutrients as well.
I think there is probably a genetic factor regarding how well you can metabolize these things. I'm a fagioli eater from way back and have never had a problem after eating beans.....at least not that I'm aware of :wink:
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:13 am

Had a couple of friends over for supper tonight. We started with a beet tart that my wife made. I did the panfried sea bass with harissa and rose from the Jerusalem cookbook along with a dish of roasted garbanzos with Swiss chard from a Bon Appetit recipe. We finished with Nigella's light version of flourless chocolate cake from her Feast cookbook. Our friends contributed some stellar homemade salami along with a bottle of "The Napa Valley Reserve" cabernet, which I understand is something made by the Harlan folks for people who join up to do so.

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Frank Deis » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:31 pm

I don't believe I posted anything about this -- but for Easter we had a first course that had the theme "eggs in baskets" or something like that, just something I thought up. I boiled quail eggs, and I remembered what Jo Ann said about just serving them in the lovely speckled shells. I have always peeled them before. People thought they were beautiful and said it was no trouble to peel them. I made a shaved asparagus salad (with a veg peeler) and sort of tried to make that look like a nest or basket. Did not try very hard but the "eggs" were served on top of the asparagus. I got tiny flavorful grape tomatoes to represent my red "eggs." And the real reason I want to mention all of this is that I found multicolored marble-sized potatoes -- yellow, red, blue -- and roasted them until soft with olive oil, salt, and garlic. People raved about those and everyone wanted to know where to buy them.

My theory is that the best tasting part of a baked potato is the skin and just under the skin -- the center of a baked potato can be boring -- so well roasted and well salted "baby" potatoes are the concentrated best flavor part of the dish. I happened to get mine at H Mart but I understand they sell 'em at Whole Foods (multicolored) and Trader Joes -- yellow only, and called "Teeny Weeny Potatoes." I found a similar product (yellow only) at the A&P the other day so they are worth looking for wherever you shop.

Just for completeness -- the dish also had "fish eggs" -- shad roe poached in butter.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:04 pm

Fresh salmon, brushed with evoo, lemon juice and French Thyme, grilled, then a sprinkle of chives prior to serving. A stir fry of zucchini, celery, red onion, red, yellow and orange mini peppers, with fresh herbs. Plus, a salad of cherry tomatoes, grilled corn kernels, avocado, red onion and a champagne vinaigrette. The red onion is my second one from the garden. They are delicious. Sweet and a little hot.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Christina Georgina » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:38 pm

Testing out some items for an upcoming annual meeting for which I do all the cooking for 40. Of the items I made today, the chicken braciole is a keeper. Boneless hind quarter that is stuffed with a savory mix of provolone, parm, rosemary, basil, parsley and little chopped guanciale, egg and bread crumbs. Rolled, tied and roasted in a hot oven. can be served at room temp and sliced into thin lovely rounds. Very savory. Also settled on the seafood dish- a platter of classic Italian octopus salad with basil pesto shrimp on one side and harissa shrimp on the other. The chic pea flour crepes filled with porcinis in cream and sauced with a quick tomato sauce and the fried fennel got thumbs down from the tasting crew.
I will make the fennel for some other occasion though. After blanching till tender it is browned in olive oil then finished off with red onions, garlic, anchovies and deglazed with pastis. Excellent.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:46 pm

Jenise wrote:
IMG_5611.JPG


Gratuitous photo of the deadly bean soup (with arugula pistou).



The, um, silent-but-deadly bean soup?

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

I made Lamb Tagine Soup tonight. It's almost like making two soups: first, you make a lamb, garlic, rosemary and barley soup and set it in the fridge so the fat can be removed; then you make a vegetable soup with leeks, fennel, parsnips, carrots, red pepper, celery, rosemary and red wine soup; then mix them together and season with ras el hanout, cinnamon and caraway.

It's yummy stuff but I have to say it lacks something. I threw some chunks of grilled merguez into my bowl and that helped but it wasn't a real fix. Pumpkin suggests going heavier on the anise-scented ingredients, even adding fennel seed and tarragon. Not sure of that, either. Maybe it just needs a big shot of lemon juice or vinegar to shape it up?

A real tagine would have other interesting ingredients in it -- preserved lemon, prunes or apricots, raisins restored in wine, slivered almonds -- but I think those won't fly in a soup. Any ideas?
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:00 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:I made Lamb Tagine Soup tonight. It's almost like making two soups: first, you make a lamb, garlic, rosemary and barley soup and set it in the fridge so the fat can be removed; then you make a vegetable soup with leeks, fennel, parsnips, carrots, red pepper, celery, rosemary and red wine soup; then mix them together and season with ras el hanout, cinnamon and caraway.

It's yummy stuff but I have to say it lacks something. I threw some chunks of grilled merguez into my bowl and that helped but it wasn't a real fix. Pumpkin suggests going heavier on the anise-scented ingredients, even adding fennel seed and tarragon. Not sure of that, either. Maybe it just needs a big shot of lemon juice or vinegar to shape it up?

A real tagine would have other interesting ingredients in it -- preserved lemon, prunes or apricots, raisins restored in wine, slivered almonds -- but I think those won't fly in a soup. Any ideas?


Hard to think of what to add - that soup already has quite an array of ingredients. Maybe a good dose of cilantro (assuming you and yours aren't cilantro-phobes)? Or maybe some sweet marsala to add a little depth??

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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:01 am

Frank Deis wrote:FWIW if there are "good" and "bad" beans -- Tarbais are bad. When we've made cassoulet with real Tarbais beans -- well, you could call it "Gas - oulet"


Come to think of it, yes it was a problem last year when the beans were fresher. Also, that time I soaked them where this time I did not--hard to compare events so far apart but I'm thinking it didn't make much difference.

Btw, I googled beans+gas to see what I could find out there (the concensus seems to be that pre-soaking helps), and I had to laugh at what I found under a chapter heading something like "The Difference Between Kinds of Beans" on the Livestrong site. Know what it said? Canned beans cause less gas than fresh/dry beans. WOW. :roll:
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jenise » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:07 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:I made Lamb Tagine Soup tonight. It's almost like making two soups: first, you make a lamb, garlic, rosemary and barley soup and set it in the fridge so the fat can be removed; then you make a vegetable soup with leeks, fennel, parsnips, carrots, red pepper, celery, rosemary and red wine soup; then mix them together and season with ras el hanout, cinnamon and caraway.

It's yummy stuff but I have to say it lacks something. I threw some chunks of grilled merguez into my bowl and that helped but it wasn't a real fix. Pumpkin suggests going heavier on the anise-scented ingredients, even adding fennel seed and tarragon. Not sure of that, either. Maybe it just needs a big shot of lemon juice or vinegar to shape it up?

A real tagine would have other interesting ingredients in it -- preserved lemon, prunes or apricots, raisins restored in wine, slivered almonds -- but I think those won't fly in a soup. Any ideas?


It sounds like it just needs brightening up. Two thoughts occurred to me: lemon peel (and possibly a squeeze of juice) to give the essence of preserved lemon without having hunks of lemon in the soup--it should pop the spices--and more chopped fresh rosemary to pull that flavor out of the background. It's kind of like you have a great chorus there but you need a few stronger voices.
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Re: What's cooking?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:09 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:Hard to think of what to add - that soup already has quite an array of ingredients. Maybe a good dose of cilantro (assuming you and yours aren't cilantro-phobes)? Or maybe some sweet marsala to add a little depth??

HWMBO doesn't eat cilantro. A little wine is a good idea; I keep a bottle of madeira in the kitchen for just this kind of thing.

The recipe calls for serving with garlicky croutons... maybe just a stinking, hot loaf of garlic bread would turn the trick?
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