What's Cooking (Take Two!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:36 pm

This is our second night for Portuguese Braised short ribs with lots of warm spices and red wine. Served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, roasted acorn squash wedges and baby carrots, drizzled with maple syrup, a little brown sugar and roasted to a caramelized glaze, then sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon. I usually use beef shanks for this,however my meat guy did not have any so I ordered thick short ribs, and they worked beautifully.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Christina Georgina » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:10 pm

Vegetable posole. Rancho Gordo hominy and beans. Very filling and satisfying Should be great for breakfast tomorrow.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:25 pm

Tonight is an all vegetable Italian soup that is so rich and healthy. Made with everything organic, lots of tomato juice, diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, plus home made chicken stock, and a touch of balsamic. Baby carrots, zucchini, onion, garlic, spinach, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, peas, fresh sweet basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, sweet smoked paprika. Such a flavorful and colorful soup. Serving with a hearty salad of romaine, arugula, frisee, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, kumatos, with a Golden Balsamic, and whole grain mustard vinaigrette, with a bit of garlic. A small sourdough slathered with butter, green onions, chives, and Parmesan will soak up some good juices. A good healthy dinner to fortify two tired people who have been prepping our raised beds for planting.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:57 pm

Last night was baci: I melted dark chocolate and popped a Piemonte hazelnut into each chocolate mold as I filled it. Yum.

Next up, I think, is toasted slivered almonds.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:38 am

Did my first attempt at shrimp and grits tonight. The grits were cooked up in milk and had roasted pasilla peppers, red onion, cheddar, and horseradish stirred in at the end. The shrimp were sauteed with oil and garlic. Served this with collards that were cut up in a chiffonade, sauteed quickly in EVOO, and tossed with a little balsamic. It all came out very nicely.

I had already decided to do the shrimp and grits when I remembered that it was President's Day. I figured I'd add the collards and consider it a nod to Jimmy Carter.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:57 pm

A few days ago, I pulled a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs out of the freezer. Dinner, I thought, might be chicken and dumplings with rich, sagey flavors. By the time the meat thawed, however, I had noted that three slices of bacon and a half bottle of drinkable but un-special chardonnay were available, so I switched over to a white coq au vin to be served on buttered fettucine, to which I would also add a fair amount of tarragon. At first I put three of the thighs in my pan--enough meat for the two of us--but when I saw how lonely those three looked in the pan I'd chosen for cooking, I sheepishly pulled the three I'd just rewrapped and returned to the freezer back out of that appliance and added them to the pan where they would braise for the next hour and a half.

Downside: now I would have twice as much food as we needed. Upside: I would have leftover chicken and sauce. Now understand, the upside and downsides are not equal in my book. That is, I love to cook and am never looking for leftovers to make life easier. But sometimes leftovers do provide a new blank canvas for creativity, and that's fun.

And they can come in real handy when you're working on some project all day the next day, in a part of the house that doesn't have a clock and not wearing a watch, that it's a good two-three hours past where you should start thinking about what to make for dinner, which is where I ended up last night.

Thank god for the leftovers. Cool thing was, I had just the right things on hand to turn it into an entirely different meal. A handful of fresh basil, a handful of chopped green onions, some red chili flakes and a spoonful of Lan Chi chili sauce gave the chicken mixture (which I'd shredded with two forks) the attitude of a spicy pho, perfect for scooping over hot steamed rice. I liked this even better than the original!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:58 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Last night was baci: I melted dark chocolate and popped a Piemonte hazelnut into each chocolate mold as I filled it. Yum.

Next up, I think, is toasted slivered almonds.


I can't tell if you're being snarky or telling truth. If the latter, what's a Piemonte hazelnut?
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 (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:00 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:Did my first attempt at shrimp and grits tonight. The grits were cooked up in milk and had roasted pasilla peppers, red onion, cheddar, and horseradish stirred in at the end. The shrimp were sauteed with oil and garlic. Served this with collards that were cut up in a chiffonade, sauteed quickly in EVOO, and tossed with a little balsamic. It all came out very nicely.

I had already decided to do the shrimp and grits when I remembered that it was President's Day. I figured I'd add the collards and consider it a nod to Jimmy Carter.


What an interesting inverse of what I expect when I think "shrimp and grits". I sauté Andouille sausage to make a very spicy shrimp mixture to go over a plain sort of grits. You did the reverse, something that never occurred to me which is almost odd in that I'm always trying to turn the tables. Sounds brilliant.
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 (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:24 pm

Jenise wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:Did my first attempt at shrimp and grits tonight. The grits were cooked up in milk and had roasted pasilla peppers, red onion, cheddar, and horseradish stirred in at the end. The shrimp were sauteed with oil and garlic. Served this with collards that were cut up in a chiffonade, sauteed quickly in EVOO, and tossed with a little balsamic. It all came out very nicely.

I had already decided to do the shrimp and grits when I remembered that it was President's Day. I figured I'd add the collards and consider it a nod to Jimmy Carter.


What an interesting inverse of what I expect when I think "shrimp and grits". I sauté Andouille sausage to make a very spicy shrimp mixture to go over a plain sort of grits. You did the reverse, something that never occurred to me which is almost odd in that I'm always trying to turn the tables. Sounds brilliant.


It came out really nicely. I would have included bacon or sausage with the shrimp, but one of the people we had over for supper tries to avoid red meat as much as possible, so I left it out. In the end, I think it worked well as it was. The grits were very tasty (and quite rich). The shrimp were garlicy enough to provide a little extra oomph but still maintained their clean "shrimpy" flavor and they were good with the grits. The only hitch in the gitalong occurred due to the horseradish. The recipe called for 2 tablespoon but I knew I had some pretty potent stuff, so I knocked that down to a little over 1. That turned out to be too much - it dominated the dish when what I wanted was a little complementary zing. I ended up making some more of the grits and mixing them in just to dilute out some of the horseradish.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Christina Georgina » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:34 pm

Interesting comment and observation. I almost always now cook my starches/grains/rice with flavors unless whatever else it is being served with would overwhelm the flavors. For example, quinoa, farro, bulghur, grits, polenta.... especially when used in salads are always "brothed up" rather than cooked in water alone. Seasoning the broth with whatever might complement the rest of the dish makes for interesting consideration not to mention the ability to "get rid of" various freezer and fridge leftovers.
I more often regret NOT tweaking the cooking liquid than regretting the muddying of flavors that can happen when there are too many competing flavors
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:40 am

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Last night was baci: I melted dark chocolate and popped a Piemonte hazelnut into each chocolate mold as I filled it. Yum.

Next up, I think, is toasted slivered almonds.


I can't tell if you're being snarky or telling truth. If the latter, what's a Piemonte hazelnut?


Completely serious. The Italian region famous for big red wines and white truffles also has an IGP for the tonda gentile species of hazelnut:
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonda_Gentile_del_Piemonte

They are very nearly spherical and they toast beautifully. And the fragrance and flavor are potent and lovely!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:39 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:
Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Last night was baci: I melted dark chocolate and popped a Piemonte hazelnut into each chocolate mold as I filled it. Yum.

Next up, I think, is toasted slivered almonds.


I can't tell if you're being snarky or telling truth. If the latter, what's a Piemonte hazelnut?


Completely serious. The Italian region famous for big red wines and white truffles also has an IGP for the tonda gentile species of hazelnut:
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonda_Gentile_del_Piemonte

They are very nearly spherical and they toast beautifully. And the fragrance and flavor are potent and lovely!


Cool--thanks for the nut lesson. Neat that you live in a place where you can get just about every kind of cool foodstuff in the world, too.
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 (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:25 pm

Tonight it is a grilled rack of lamb with Herbs de Provence, balsamic, Dijon Mustard and coarse sea salt. Asian sweet potatoes baked and served with truffle butter. Beautiful, organic Brussels sprout halves roasted with olive oil, sea salt, and a drizzle of maple syrup at the end, tossed to coat and roasted until a nice caramelization happens.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:48 pm

Jenise wrote:Neat that you live in a place where you can get just about every kind of cool foodstuff in the world, too.

That is one of NYC's plusses. :)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Paul Winalski » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:13 pm

Thai night: tom kha gai (galangal and coconut milk soup) and pad prik gai bai krapow (stir-fried chicken with chiles and holy basil).

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:57 pm

Last night we had a butter lettuce salad with crumbled gorgonzola, walnuts, and green onions dressed with lemon-juice, roasted nut oil (can't remember if I have hazelnut or walnut at the moment, but they're virtually interchangeable--it will tastel like whatever nut you think it is. Followed that my new favorite cauliflower prep (roasted, then napped in a low fat béchamel (half 2% milk, half water) seasoned with lemon juice and rosemary. The purpose of the water substitution is actually not to take fat out, but it's because one gets a more pleasantly transparent sauce that emphasizes, rather than competes with, the lemon juice.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:44 pm

It is Patty Melt sandwiches for us tonight, a favorite of Gene's, which I have never made at home. A good organic local beef hamburger, on Jewish rye bread, with emmentaler cheese and lots of golden brown sweet onions. A side will be my tweak on a Costa Rican coleslaw, with red and green cabbage, fresh orange segments, hearts of palm, avocado, with an orange juice, cumin, and red wine vinegar vinaigrette. A recipe I saw in the New York Times which also used tomato....which I will not be using today.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:12 am

Making a pretty basic chickpea/potato/tomato stew based on a Deborah Madison recipe. It's a veggie recipe but there's optional bacon for the carnivore in the family (who is quite concerned about our daughter going vegan for Lent).

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:35 am

My wife and I ended up taking separate trips to the farmers' market today. I picked up stuff for potato soup and she bought a couple of bunches of beets with the greens on them. Supper was potato soup with green garlic and Portuguese sausage. We had sauteed beet greens dressed with a little balsamic on the side.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:44 pm

We are finally getting more rain for the next few days, and I have nothing on the schedule today, so decided to spend some time in the kitchen. Something in the slow cooker came to mind, and I had a chicken in the fridge thawing. I first made a complex-flavored roasted tomato sauce, similar to mole, which enhances the mild flavor of the chicken and smells so good during the long cooking. The sauce is puréed in the food processor and has sautéed white onion, garlic, re-hydrated dried ancho pepper, ground whole peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon stick, cloves, roasted tomatoes, dry roasted peanuts (which thickens the sauce) a slice of a firm texture bread, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, and a little Mexican Oregano. All the chicken pieces were skinned except for the wings. Sauce is poured over the chicken and cooked slowly for 6 to 7 hours. I will serve over brown Basmati rice cooked in chicken stock and infused with a few roasted tomato pieces and fresh cilantro.

A spicy Mexican slaw with lime, cilantro, a bit of mayo, green onions, and a hot sauce, maybe sriracha...not sure yet. I'm using red and green cabbage, with julienned jicama for more crunch and a bit of fresh oregano just popping up in the herb garden. The cilantro was planted in the fall and surprisingly survived the cold, and a few days of snow...amazing herb.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:47 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:My wife and I ended up taking separate trips to the farmers' market today. I picked up stuff for potato soup and she bought a couple of bunches of beets with the greens on them. Supper was potato soup with green garlic and Portuguese sausage. We had sauteed beet greens dressed with a little balsamic on the side.

Mike, are you seeing green garlic at the Farmer Markets? I'm suspecting with the warm weather we had this winter that some produce is very early. I'm afraid I will miss so much of the early crops since our market does not start until April. May have to make a run to Chico to check out what is available.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:51 pm

My initial dinner plan was burritos, but somehow I've soured on that over the course of the day (I literally NEVER make burritos, but not because I don't like them but because I generally like everything else better). So I deglazed the pan I cooked the breakfast sausage in this morning and used that as the base for a red lentil soup which is simmering away as I type. That plus a salad will end up being dinner, unless I get inspired by something else and times pretty much running out for that. Not like me to be so listless.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:56 am

Karen/NoCA wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:My wife and I ended up taking separate trips to the farmers' market today. I picked up stuff for potato soup and she bought a couple of bunches of beets with the greens on them. Supper was potato soup with green garlic and Portuguese sausage. We had sauteed beet greens dressed with a little balsamic on the side.

Mike, are you seeing green garlic at the Farmer Markets? I'm suspecting with the warm weather we had this winter that some produce is very early. I'm afraid I will miss so much of the early crops since our market does not start until April. May have to make a run to Chico to check out what is available.


Saw the first young garlic this past Sunday. It wasn't at our regular market but at the alternative, mostly-Asian market a couple of blocks away. Spring onions were starting to show up as well.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:19 pm

Tonight: Momofuku Bo Ssam--cured, then long-roasted for incredible tenderness and finally blasted at super high heat for an hour in order to get an ungodly exterior crust, or so I'm told. With that, lotus root pickles, garlic snow peas, king oyster mushrooms in oyster sauce, bean sprout and scallion fried rice, daikon radish sprout and enoki mushroom salad, and smoked salmon wrapped in shiso leaf.
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