What's Cooking (Take Two!)

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:28 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:I picked up some very nice swordfish yesterday. Going to marinate it for about an hour in pineapple juice and Ponzu Soy Sauce. Serving with a salad of fresh pineapple, red grapes, banana, coconut flakes, Cara Cara orange segments, and a little fat free sour cream infused with lime and orange zest.


Um, I'd eat the fish!

Realy, sounds like a great treatment for swordfish.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:41 pm

I'm doing lamb shanks. Have these really incredible, fat little shanks with tons of meat, each one's like a little roast by itself. So I'm going to roast a pair and have invited another couple over--I'll serve each little mini-roast for two on hot metal steak plates with roasted herb potato stacks and some kind of vegetable. The dinner's to say goodbye since they're leaving for a couple months, and as well I'll turn it into a wine glass tasting. Yes, not just the wine, but wine glasses as I plan to corrupt them with the knowledge of how much difference good glassware can make. In the past year, they've gone from buying only $10 wines to drink this week to spending up to $30 and putting wines away to drink down the road. It's time for the next step. :)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:06 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:I'm going to see what inventiveness I can bring to twice-baked potatoes tonight.

Made a white sauce of sour cream and broth, mixed in some minced garlic, the last diced bits of my tasso, a handful of mushrooms and sweet red pepper pieces, and a big handful of chopped basil. Simmer briefly, then mix with the potato and a shredded cooked chicken breast. Heap into the skins, cover with shredded parmesan, and bake again. Good, fragrant, but I want more oomph. I think next time I swap out the parmesan in favor of gorgonzola.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:25 pm

Going all out Latin tonight. Cuban black beans, chili verde, Spanish rice, Mexican cornbread and a Mexican inspired salad with ancho Creama dressing. Flan for dessert.
"...To undersalt deliberately in the name of dietary chic is to omit from the music of cookery the indispensable bass line over which all tastes and smells form their harmonies." -- Robert Farrar Capon
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:47 pm

It is corned beef dinner at our casa tonight. A beautiful flat cut sitting on a bed of onions, rubbed with spices and drizzled with apple juice is cooking nice and slow. Fried green cabbage and apple wedges,, cooked in butter and evoo, fresh thyme leaves, with a sprinkle of brown sugar until nicely browned on all sides.
New Red Potatoes, boiled, then browned in olive oil with shallots, English Prime Rib Rub, dill weed, and wine vinegar. I'll put long, thin, young carrots in with the corned beef near the end of cooking time, to cook and soak up those nice flavors from the spices and apple juice. We love our corned beef with a mix of brown mustard, brown sugar and horseradish. Cabbage with a drizzle of champagne vinegar at serving. Corned beef in made in-house at our local old-fashioned meat shop.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:15 pm

Karen, that sounds utterly fabulous. Some great wine-pairing opportunities there.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:34 pm

Last night I made kind of a tamale pie sort of thing using some tamales a friend brought us from Texas. Made a chile con carne base, layered three steamed tamales on top, then topped those with diced onions, hot sauce and grated cheese with an iceberg salad on the side. Hot and cool at the same time.

Tonight: steak salad for a small group of six or eight. Am heading off to Seattle in a few minutes to see a friend who was hit by a truck while bicycling to work and got medivac-ed to more expert medical care down south. Have to be able to put on a quick meal when I get back, hence grilled tri-tip served on a platter Florentine style with arugula, parmesan and lemon, grilled asparagus with beets, hot crusty bread, and god knows what else depending on how much time I have when I get home.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:02 pm

Tonight: wild rice casserole. Lots of wild rice with chicken thighs, peas, fennel, carrot, mushrooms all held together with a cream-cinnamon-Swiss cheese sauce. Topped with a rosemary-cranberry spread. Baked in the Staub cocotte.

Good flavors and texture but I will tweak it next time: I will make an extra cup of sauce and bump up the cheese / cinnamon, and I will do the cranberry topping in a more chunky pralineed style (think 'Thanksgiving coffee cake').
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Paul Winalski » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:42 pm

Thai massaman curry with broccoli, pea eggplants, and green peppercorns tonight.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:04 pm

Still craving comfort foods here...so tonight is a classic sloppy Joe made with ground turkey. Since this meat can get dried out fast, I do this method. Sauté onions in butter, until starting to brown, add coarse sea salt and freshly gr. black pepper, add fresh garlic. Break apart the ground turkey with your hands and add it to the onions and mix well, breaking up the meat a bit more. Add 1/2 cup of cold water, mix the turkey with the water and continue to cook on a low heat. Add 1/2 cup Chile sauce (Heinz) Worcestershire, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, and a little beef broth, if desired until the chicken cooks and thickens. Continue to cook until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Prior to serving add 3 to 4 green onions, and sharp white cheddar cheese. Serve on Telero rolls that have been buttered and browned on the cut side in a pan. Serving with a salad of carrot, red bell, and cucumber batons, dressed in a dressing using, fresh ginger, garlic, rice vinegar,Lan chi, sesame oil, touch of sugar, and fresh lime juice.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:46 pm

It wasn't intentional, but tonight's red (orange) lentils and green lima beans kind of made an Irish flag sort of thing for St Paddy's, if you count the white napkin. :mrgreen:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:20 pm

This week's big pot o' Vegan goodness was an adaptation of a recipe from the cookbook Ottolenghi. The recipe calls for frying dry, broken pasta in butter and then adding rice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After frying that for a bit, you put in chicken broth and simmer it until the rice is done. Then you mix in cooked beans. My adaptations involved leaving out the pasta, subbing in EVOO for the butter and veggie broth for the chicken broth, adding a little cumin, coriander, and fresh thyme to the spice mix, and using canned borlotti beans. The recipe then has you saute onions in olive oil until they get nice and brown and then adding them to the cooked rice. I threw in carrots, celery, and chard (both leaves and stems) as well as onions.

I've thrown spices into rice prior to cooking it before, but never as much as I did for this dish. It came out very well, with tons of flavor. The sauteed vegetables help balance out that heavy load of spice in the rice.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:47 pm

I spied some lovely clusters of maitake mushrooms in Seattle last weekend and immediately thought of Rahsaan mentioning them as a great pizza ingredient, so I bought them and last night was the night. AWESOME; I shall never want any other mushroom on my pizza again. Mind you, I think they'd be wasted on a typical meat-eater style where the mushroom is a sidecar to pepperoni and red-meat based sausage--if that's your thing, stick with the common domestic mushroom. Maitakes are strong and therefore deserve to be the flavor to which all else bows, and that's how I approached assembling the rest of the cast: shaved fennel, sweet onion, crumbles of mild chicken Italian sausage as a seasoning not a star, fresh mozzarella and parmesan. The tomato sauce base was a strong fennel-laced pasta sauce from the day before. Don't know if Rahsaan would approach it this way, but I chopped and sautéed the mushroom pieces quickly before putting them on the pizza because I don't care for the way raw mushrooms tend to dry out on top of a pizza (especially since I'm sparing in my use of cheese). Anyway, AWESOME. Thanks, Rahsaan!

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:09 pm

Great!

They are so fragrant and flavorful, they're also my favorite pizza mushroom (of the mushrooms I can reliably get on a regular basis). And I always saute the mushrooms first. In fact, I saute pretty much all the vegetables I use on pizza, except arugula.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:53 am

Rahsaan wrote:Great!

They are so fragrant and flavorful, they're also my favorite pizza mushroom (of the mushrooms I can reliably get on a regular basis). And I always saute the mushrooms first. In fact, I saute pretty much all the vegetables I use on pizza, except arugula.


Really, all? How quick do you cook yours? I like a slightly crispy thin crust, and have found that 22-25 minutes at 425 gets me an ideal result--the cheese just starts to brown, but the crust doesn't burn and it's uniformly crisp all the way to the middle. That's enough time for the veggies to settle in--shaved fennel practically melts.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Rahsaan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:51 am

Jenise wrote:...22-25 minutes at 425 gets me an ideal result...


I do as hot and as fast as possible. In Nyc our oven went to 550 and I could do it in 3 minutes. Here the oven only goes to 500 and it's more like 5-6. But I like to do fairly thin pizzas, can't tell how thick yours is from the photo.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:24 pm

Hot and fast is the rule, but it works especially well with pizza doughs that are yeasty enough to get a lot of rise. If you're not expecting that, as I wasn't with the Trader Joe's dough I bought (don't take many shortcuts but this is one I like a lot!), then the relative low and slow of 425 for even cooking and built-in crispness works great. My crust was 1/4" at the thickest point.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:41 pm

So today I'm finishing up the food for a wedding. One of the couples in our little supper club is finally tying the knot and I'm doing a major part of the cooking for the buffet dinner for 50. These are the dishes I'm doing:

Fresh steelhead carpaccio, Chez Panisse style (two 2-lb whole sides, salt cured, then marinated overnight in sauvignon blanc, olive oil, fennel seeds, coriander, green peppercorns etc)
Two roast pork loins stuffed with a porcini-shallot bread stuffing that will be chilled, sliced thinly and paved over a bed of arugula dressed with a porcini vinaigrette
A salad terrine: cauliflower and chive mousse with shaved fennel salad, microgreens and finely diced watermelon radish and chive-tarragon sauce
Haricot verts tossed with pesto and snowed with pecorcino cheese and black pepper
Shrimp gardineria (sp?): four pounds of shrimp tossed with a day pickle of carrots, celery, fresh nicioise olives, pepperoncini, basil
Italian cheese platter
Ravioli bites: the ones I posted a pic of a few days ago, a cheese and spinach ravioli on a toothpick with a ribbon of zucchini and a spicy pepper sauce

Wanted to do baby marinated whole fresh artichokes, but they never came in to our local Trader Joe's

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Ready for the oven
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:42 pm

Tonight is a very different beef stew, lots of complex flavors, work intensive with extra steps I have not done before with a stew.

dried porcini mushrooms are soaked in hot coffee, drained, and soaking liquid reserved.
beef chuck roast is cut into good sized, thick squares, dust with coarse sea salt and freshly gr. black pepper, and brown well in olive oil, set into a bowl.
Add a good Merlot to pan, and Madeira wine, reduce by a third, pour wine over meat, mix well, set aside

Sauté 2 cups large dice onions, for about 40 minutes until very golden and soft, add lots of celery chunks, cremini, and fresh shitake mushrooms, season with s & p and cook about 10 minutes. Spices added now are sweet paprika, smoked paprika, dried thyme, cloves, canned plum tomatoes (broken up with your hand) porcini and the soaking liquid, cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 to 3 fresh bay leaves, beef stock, the beef and all the juices. Bring to simmer. Bake 1 hour at 325°, lower heat to 300° and cook 2 hours longer or until meat is very tender. Serve with horseradish cream.

Horseradish cream consists of:
1/2 cup cold heavy cream to soft peak. add 1/4 cup freshly grated or prepared horseradish
1/4 cup sour cream
salt
sugar
cayenne

dribble of apple cider vinegar, mix well

Serving over noodles, and there will be a nice chunk of an herbed focaccia bread for soaking up more juices.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:45 pm

Jenise wrote:So today I'm finishing up the food for a wedding. One of the couples in our little supper club is finally tying the knot and I'm doing a major part of the cooking for the buffet dinner for 50. These are the dishes I'm doing:

Fresh steelhead carpaccio, Chez Panisse style (two 2-lb whole sides, salt cured, then marinated overnight in sauvignon blanc, olive oil, fennel seeds, coriander, green peppercorns etc)
Two roast pork loins stuffed with a porcini-shallot bread stuffing that will be chilled, sliced thinly and paved over a bed of arugula dressed with a porcini vinaigrette
A salad terrine: cauliflower and chive mousse with shaved fennel salad, microgreens and finely diced watermelon radish and chive-tarragon sauce
Haricot verts tossed with pesto and snowed with pecorcino cheese and black pepper
Shrimp gardineria (sp?): four pounds of shrimp tossed with a day pickle of carrots, celery, fresh nicioise olives, pepperoncini, basil
Italian cheese platter
Ravioli bites: the ones I posted a pic of a few days ago, a cheese and spinach ravioli on a toothpick with a ribbon of zucchini and a spicy pepper sauce

Wanted to do baby marinated whole fresh artichokes, but they never came in to our local Trader Joe's

IMG_1154.JPG



I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this menu...sounds divine.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:43 pm

Oh the menu's even bigger than that. The bride and groom are superb cooks in their own right and are doing some dishes, they just couldn't do it all--and we didn't want them to have to. I do more big events than most people and have unintentionally become kind of expert in pulling off large quantities. It's really cool--this couple is in our Supper Club. Two years ago we were all strangers, but we've grown so close that four out of the five couples were among the 15 people at the so-called rehearsal dinner last night because we're all heavily involved. Me on food, one couple is providing live music, Bob's the doorman, Rich is in charge of wine service, and Georgiann to keep the bride calm.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jenise » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:22 pm

Today's lunch: a soup version of Cacio de Pepe, the minimalist Italian pasta dish that is nothing more than pasta tossed with olive oil, pecorino cheese and lots of black pepper. In this case, spaghetti noodles were cooked in chicken broth and topped with the pecorino, black pepper, and some thin slivers of green onion.

Tonight: lobster newburg.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Christina Georgina » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:41 pm

Jenise's post about Cacio et Pepe reminded me that I recently have been substituting Greek Manouri for Ricotta Salata and pecorino. I frequently use Ricotta Salata on spicy, Southern Italian sauces but have been unable to get the right tang from all recently tried imports. They often have a sour, sharpness that dominates. A recent pound of imported Manouri went in a flash. Much more moist than a classic pecorino or ricotta salata it had the desired flavor with a smooth creamy texture that softened perfectly on the hot orrichietti with cauliflower and garlic and hot pepper. Worth trying for a definite tang without the acrid finish in place of ricotta salata which seems to have lost its way in mass production for export
Mamma Mia !
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Two!)

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:21 am

While we're discussing pasta... Pumpkin asked for meat lasagna so I put together a tray. I used three layers of noodles, 1.5# beef, 5 cups of sauce, a pound of ricotta, a pound of mozz, a 1/2 pound shredded parm, and a hefty bunch of basil.

Not tall enough or juicy enough. (Yes, he also said thank you and yum. But.)

My plan for next time is to go to four layers, double the sauce and 1.5x everything else.

Anyone have any secrets about how to make lasagne stand tall and wet? Maybe more stuff between the layers, too?
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