What's Cooking (Take Two!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:54 pm

Pasta Primavera, served cold, made with whole-wheat spaghetti, pesto, sauteed shrimp, blanched snap peas, chopped sweet red pepper, dry-sauteed mushrooms with minced garlic, toasted pine nuts, black olives, lemon zest, and quite a bit of grated parmigiano. Yum! (...though I will admit the zest was a little too strong so I'll use only half a lemon next time and throw in a bit more pesto)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:08 am

Ma Po Tofu with fresh farmers' market tomatoes, green peppers and onions, garlic and ginger and plenty of Sichuan spice.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:09 pm

Robin, you should contact those folks who buy food photos to use as stock pictures online. That is stunning.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:23 pm

Company coming tonight and one of them is having surgery on Monday, so I wanted a comforting dinner. I'm roasting a chicken sitting on a bed of leeks and sweet onions. Chicken is infused with lots of fresh thyme, garlic and butter inside and out. It sat in the fridge for two days to dry out the skin, so I should get a beautiful crispy skin. A side of brand new Yukon Gold, and Red Bliss baby spuds, tossed with fresh grilled corn cut from the cob, Sungold Cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, sweet basil from my garden, with a fresh lemon vinaigrette. This is served at room temp. Cold marinated asparagus, and a salad of butter lettuce cups with roasted baby stripped, and golden beets, Israeli feta, red onion, cinnamon glazed walnuts with a light drizzle of Orange Muscat Champagne vinaigrette.
Dessert is fresh strawberries, and nectarines mixed with a little dark brown sugar, layered with vanilla bean ice cream, with a small but delicious cookie on the side.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Christina Georgina » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:34 pm

Peaches, grilled after topping with a rosemary infused honey butter. Served with fresh black berries and/or ice cream. It was a revelation to some of the guests and an excellent thing to do with perfect peaches.
Mamma Mia !
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:07 am

We had some good friends over tonight. We started with a salad of halved cherry tomatoes and melon balls in tomato water topped with basil leaves. Main was a pork loin stuffed with salami and sauteed kale served with porcini farro "risotto" and another salad of favas, peas, mint, roasted onions, and basil oil. Dessert was a tart with pastry cream and an assortment of berries, with homemade marshmallows on the side. (The marshmallows were supposed to go on top of it but my wife couldn't bring herself to do that. She did the right thing.)

Everything was great with the exception of the pork loin. I was busy when I put it in and didn't think about pulling it out until it was overcooked. Flavor was good but it was way too dry for my taste. Oughta know better by now.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:34 pm

Flavor was good but it was way too dry for my taste. Oughta know better by now.


Mike, I finally had to resort to a Polder Thermometer that you hang around your neck. Gene uses it when he is filling the pool so it won't overfill. I use it for many things, especially when cooking. A wonderful tool! Now the trick is to remember to use it. :wink:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:33 pm

A friend of mine had surgery today, so I made her husband soup he can eat from the next two days, as he comes and goes from the hospital. I had two very meaty ham shanks in the freezer so I started out browning those in a little olive oil until nice and browned. Then I added chicken stock, bay leaf, and simmered away until the meat was ready to fall off the bones. I removed them from the stock to cool and put the stock in the freezer. Then the meat was removed from the bones, all fat and gristle cut away.
I sautéed onions, garlic, in a Dutch oven then added carrots, a multi colored round squash cut in quarters, celery stalk, and leaves, curly kale, tomato paste, fresh thyme, and a concentrated ham stock I had in the freezer from cooking the ham. When the fat began to solidify on the stock in the freezer, I removed it, put the stock in with the veggies, added yellow eye beans I had cooked yesterday to almost done. The kale turned a very pretty dark green. I let this all cook until it was right, added Acini di pepe, which took nine minutes, then threw in about 2 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes at the end. Very pretty soup, lots of layers of flavors going on and extremely tasty. I think our friends will love it. I know we will.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Frank Deis » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:32 pm

Karen, that's so kind!

Tonight -- I had run out of orecchiette a while back and found some last week. And a day or 2 back I bought some broccoli (which I like better than broccoli rabe). So tonight I decided to make my version of the southern Italian dish with pasta, broccoli, sausage, and hot pepper flakes. But when I looked I didn't have any Kielbasa which is what I normally use with the dish. BUT I had some really good Spanish chorizo, so I cut up half of a chorizo (peeling it) and fried it with a couple of strips of bacon while I was blanching the broccoli florets and peeled stems for a couple of minutes and then slightly longer with a cut up red bell pepper.

Long story short, we both decided that the Spanish chorizo was even better than kielbasa in this dish. It's hard but cooking the cut up sausage with the bacon and a touch of olive oil colored and flavored the bacon (smoked paprika is an integral part of chorizo). And the cooking that way made the chorizo taste even more interesting. Of course I sprinkled salt, pepper, and garlic powder. At any rate it made for good peasant food and was a satisfying supper.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:43 pm

A nice cross rib roast has been marinating for two days in a good balsamic paste with a mix of fresh rosemary, French thyme, garlic, coarse sea salt and pepper. It will be roasted in the oven. Also, baby potatoes that I have not heard of before, a mix of red and yellow, heirloom I suspect, in fresh lemon juice, garlic, water, Turkish Oregano, S & p. They roast until the water evaporates, then more water is added. This method produces a wonderful golden brown crust and buttery interior, with a definite lemon taste. A potful of Swiss Chard harvested from our garden yesterday, with (again) garlic, and a bit of chicken broth after a quick sauté.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:36 pm

We're going over to have supper with friends tonight. We're bringing crab cakes with two sauces, one a tomato mayonnaise and the other a wasabi mayonnaise. I made the tomato one and am not thrilled with it. It strikes me as having a bit of a nasty bitter edge but my wife and daughter like it, so we're bringing it. The wasabi mayonnaise is from a jar and was meant to be "Plan B", but it's so good that we're bringing it as well.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Redwinger » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:39 am

Trying to make a dent in our bumper crop of 'maters. Big pot of sauce is simmering away and also trying our hand at oven-sun dried tomatoes for the first time. I may post a pic of the dried tomatoes if they turn out OK...or not.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:40 am

Two dinners tonight. I'm making a gazpacho with shrimp for my friend who had hip replacement. Then I am making a orzo and roasted shrimp dish for us. It is served at room temp, so I can make everything this morning. Gazpacho needs to park in fridge overnight to allow flavors to develop. I also want a cheezy quesidilla to go with the orzo dish. Filled with a cheese that will go with a very red jalepeno from our garden. Not sure which one yet.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:45 am

Redwinger wrote:Trying to make a dent in our bumper crop of 'maters. Big pot of sauce is simmering away and also trying our hand at oven-sun dried tomatoes for the first time. I may post a pic of the dried tomatoes if they turn out OK...or not.

I just did roasted tomatoes on our gas grill, used the indirect method. Along with the tomatoes, I roasted two heads of garlic, an Italian roasting pepper, a jalapeno. Threw this all into the food processor, along with a handfull of chives, a couple of green onions I had to use up and whizzed away. Yummy. Also, last week I cooked 15 pounds of tomatoes into a marinara. It gave me 3 quarts of sauce. The marinara freezes well. Some ideas :idea:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:14 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:We had some good friends over tonight. We started with a salad of halved cherry tomatoes and melon balls in tomato water topped with basil leaves. Main was a pork loin...Oughta know better by now.


I hear you. But things happen when you have company over that probably wouldn't happen when you weren't trying to make other people feel at home. Had similar situation over hte weekend--a guest had to warn me that the porchetta was sizzling (at 400 F!!!). And then I left the basil out of the peach caprese. FAIL!

But hey, you gave me a great idea of something to do with tomato water, so thank you for that. I've got a cup standing by I hadn't decided what to do with.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:18 pm

Redwinger wrote:Trying to make a dent in our bumper crop of 'maters. Big pot of sauce is simmering away and also trying our hand at oven-sun dried tomatoes for the first time. I may post a pic of the dried tomatoes if they turn out OK...or not.


What kind of tomatoes are you roasting?

I just roasted up a batch myself. About three hours at 300 got me the most perfect tender-chewy result. I'm having friends over tonight for a green enchilada pie and thought the roasted (roma) tomatoes with a fresh oregano vinaigrette and toasted pepitos (pumpkin seeds) would make a very companionable salad.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Redwinger » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:59 pm

Jenise-

We dried two batches of an Italian heirloom called Principe Borghese. The seeds were sown indoors. They are a very small roma-esque type. We did one batch mostly seeded (shown in these before and after pics) along with a pan of them unseeded, which is still drying. The seeded tray was dried at 180 for approx. 7 hours with the oven door cracked....it's indeed great to be retired and have time to do this kind of stuff.

The total yield of this tray was 1 oz. post drying.

I've been advised by NJ that I better stop snacking on them or face the consequences. I think she's serious this time. :wink:

Before:
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After:
Sun Dried Tomato Caper 004.JPG
Sun Dried Tomato Caper 004.JPG (120.69 KiB) Viewed 2836 times
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Redwinger wrote:
The total yield of this tray was 1 oz. post drying.


That could be discouraging. :) You took yours a whole lot further than I did mine. Your are truly, and wonderfully, dried. Mine are about half dried--sweet, concentrated and chewy but still moist and tender enough for a salad. Something meant to be eaten today, not preserved. I'll take a picture of the platter, which is already made up. Stand by!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Christina Georgina » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:27 am

You all are killing me.....no tomatoes in my garden yet. We had a very late, cold spring and only now blossoming.
On the other hand, the berries are terrific...gooseberries, black, red, white and pink currants, red and black raspberries all very plentiful and surprisingly no bird snackers.
Mamma Mia !
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:06 am

Christina Georgina wrote:You all are killing me.....no tomatoes in my garden yet. We had a very late, cold spring and only now blossoming.
On the other hand, the berries are terrific...gooseberries, black, red, white and pink currants, red and black raspberries all very plentiful and surprisingly no bird snackers.


I forgot to take a picture of my roasted tomatoes. :oops: But they were great. I drizzled them with a vinaigrette full of fresh oregano and seasoned with a little cumin (the meal was southwest themed). My guest, who had never experienced the concentrated flavor of a roasted tomato before, said they were the best tomatoes he'd ever eaten.

Christina, I have a few tomatoes ripening right now but have yet to harvest myself. And my plants aren't doing well. Weather wise this should be the best tomato season in all the years I've lived here, but maybe I didn't prep my garden right (though I did the usual amendments), as neither of the two types (two each) I planted in that box are as vigorous as usual. They're smaller overall, spindlier, and the leaves aren't very large. I'll pick my first ripe tomato next week, but I won't be getting many tomatoes this year.

My blueberries are also off. Plants looked good and budded out beautifully, but as the fruit came on it started shrivelling and falling off instead of filling out and ripening.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:38 am

I haven't actually used/pakaged for storage, my roasted tomatoes as dried, although some of the batches over the years were dried beautifully and eaten up very fast, as they were smaller batches. I do them on the outdoor gas grill as roasting in the oven makes such a mess of the oven grills. Gene is the one who cleans them so the grill is my option, and it saves on so much heat in the kitchen. I saw some Romas at the Farmer's Market last week that were very large, hopefully they will be there this week, and I will pick them up and give the slow drying method a whirl.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:46 am

Karen/NoCA wrote:I haven't actually used/pakaged for storage, my roasted tomatoes as dried, although some of the batches over the years were dried beautifully and eaten up very fast, as they were smaller batches. I do them on the outdoor gas grill as roasting in the oven makes such a mess of the oven grills. Gene is the one who cleans them so the grill is my option, and it saves on so much heat in the kitchen. I saw some Romas at the Farmer's Market last week that were very large, hopefully they will be there this week, and I will pick them up and give the slow drying method a whirl.


You don't have to mess up the oven grills, just put them on a rack on a cookie sheet as shown in Bill's picture. That's the way I do it. Of course, heat in the kitchen is another matter.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:54 am

Jenise wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:I haven't actually used/pakaged for storage, my roasted tomatoes as dried, although some of the batches over the years were dried beautifully and eaten up very fast, as they were smaller batches. I do them on the outdoor gas grill as roasting in the oven makes such a mess of the oven grills. Gene is the one who cleans them so the grill is my option, and it saves on so much heat in the kitchen. I saw some Romas at the Farmer's Market last week that were very large, hopefully they will be there this week, and I will pick them up and give the slow drying method a whirl.


You don't have to mess up the oven grills, just put them on a rack on a cookie sheet as shown in Bill's picture. That's the way I do it. Of course, heat in the kitchen is another matter.

I roast my tomatoes on a sheet pan always, the resulting tomato juices that splatter about make a real mess and have actually damaged my Dacor oven inside. The black porcelain has turned a gray/white in areas. It happened the first time I used the oven.....I had tons of tomatoes to do as soon as the kitchen was finished. I called Dacor immediatley about it, but they did nothing. So actually now, it is the oven racks that Gene has a hard time with if they get really dirty...he does them "his" way and I have told him different....but, if he wants to do them for me that is OK. The grill works great anyway.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:01 pm

I have tomatoes that are just beginning to ripen. Unlike Jenise, my tomatoes are thrilled with the weather and have jumped to almost 6 ft tall fines full of leaves and fruit. So much so that one of them broke the stake and spilled over yesterday morning. Took quite a few minutes to pull it all back together. I'll be working on thinning this weekend, with an eye toward saving as much as the fruit as possible. I managed to get two off the Flamé vine yesterday that I ate right in the garden. Delicious! The one I'm looking forward to tasting is a new cultivar called indigo rose. This is a picture of the early fruit, which should be turning almost burgundy red with a black crown in a couple weeks.
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