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David Ross

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Everything posted by David Ross

  1. The summer salad is often regarded as summer food's unpopular kid. Sure, potato, pasta and egg salads are the standard bearers of summer salads, yet they seem stuck in a time warp in terms of creativity. When I was growing up in the 1960's, the only "exotic" summer salad Mother served was a gelatin mold studded with shredded carrots and surrounded by heaps of Miracle Whip dotted with green olives. We dreaded seeing Mother parade that salad out of the kitchen and put it on the picnic table yet we grudgingly ate it lest we disappoint her. Yet we should not ignore the basic elements of the summer salads of yesteryear. One can easily use the concept of gelatin, fruits, vegetables and seafood into a contemporary and delicious salad that is perfect for the hot days of summer. Summer salads are well-adapted to a variety of cooking and preparation techniques, from poaching, grilling and roasting, to chilling, preserving and deep-frying. And a summer salad benefits from a bevy of garnishes, cheese, spices and fresh herbs from the garden. Let's join in the fun and present our summer salad bowls in eG Cook-Off #79: Resurrecting and Rethinking Summer Salads, Summer Food's Unpopular Kid. (See the complete Cook-Off Index here, https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/)
  2. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Looks like the perfect batter coating, nice and crisp and not too heavy.
  3. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Thanks. These happen to be the "extra-small" Yaquina Bay Oysters from the Oregon Coast. I prefer the "petites" but they are hard to come by. I also like the little Kumamoto's from Puget Sound. I only fry them for maybe 2 minutes, just long enough to turn golden and set the crispy crust. The interior is still moist and juicy.
  4. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    I've had a craving for some fried oysters for a few weeks, so last night I tried a new recipe for the coating. I never batter oysters before frying, but sometimes a dip in egg wash and then a dry coating. It's the dry coating I usually change up. This time the wet mix was evaporated milk, egg and salt, pepper and tabasco. The evaporated milk helps thin the egg and I think added a little flavor. Then the dry mix was cake flour and yellow cornmeal. I've never used cake flour but it gave a delicate yet crispy texture to the fried oysters. I had some Roasted Potato Caesar Salad left over so that's the side dish, and at the base of the oysters homemade mayonnaise. We've been making some delicious summer salads at our Cook-Off here: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/157028-eg-cook-off-79-resurrecting-and-rethinking-summer-salads-summer-food’s-unpopular-kid/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-2166578
  5. Well yesterday the plan was to make my summer version of a potato salad. I've been making this potato salad for about 15 years. I created it by accident really when some some friends were planning a big summer outdoor party. I remember thinking potato salad but how could I do it different? It's just small potatoes, red, fingerling or baby Yukon golds that I boil until tender and chill. Then I make homemade mayonnaise using a Greek olive oil because it has a peppery flavor and is more fragrant than other olive oils and the mayonnaise has this vibrant yellow color. Then in goes some diced red pepper, Kalamata or other good olive, (sometimes I use little French nicoise olives or dry-cured black olives), chives or green onions, capers and little haricot vert green beans. We don't usually see fresh haricot vert in the markets so the frozen ones work pretty well. But then I started thinking, what about using those little baby Yukon Golds that I roasted under a chicken the night before? I know, it doesn't sound right to roast a chicken in the oven when it's 103 outside, but I was craving roast chicken and potatoes. I had a lot of roasted potatoes left over and they had roasted in all those delicious chicken juices and fat. And instead of making homemade mayonnaise, (or using bottled mayonnaise), I thought I might try the leftover Caesar Salad dressing from the Grilled Caesar I did a few days back. Oh and some of the oregano I have growing out of control in a planter on the back porch. So to be trendy I'll call it a Roast Potato Summer Salad. Much different from the traditional potato salad but a delicious alternative.
  6. David Ross

    Hatch Chili Peppers (Merged Topic)

    I get mine from our local DeLeon foods, a combination grocery and café. And by the way the most authentic Mexican food in our region. These are photos from last year's chile roast
  7. David Ross

    Hatch Chili Peppers (Merged Topic)

    The annual Hatch chile roast up here is next weekend. I go every year, but last year bought a bag of the "mild" roasted chilies and they were anything but. I better taste them first this year. It's quite the scene seeing them hoist up box after box and dump them into the rotating fryer. It sort of looks like a big round bingo ball drum. The aroma is fantastic.
  8. It's hard to say which Robuchon you've tasted in one of his restaurants is your favorite. Yes, the potato dish is every bit as sumptuous as you would imagine, but the one that first came to mind when I heard of his passing is this langoustine dish served at L'Atelier at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I've had it a few times on different occasions with different chefs in the kitchen just a few feet from the counter and it's always been consistently excellent. It's fried with basil and a small swish of pesto.
  9. I have a classic edition dated 1984 that's tattered and the cover and dust jacket are long gone. But I refer to it often as I love not only the feel of a hard cover book and looking at the photos, but I don't find the same reference in online sources. For example, a specific classic ingredient or technique. It was a gift from some folks I worked with many years ago in a business unrelated to food and cooking but they new it was my passion.
  10. So sad but he leaves a legacy that will last forever. I'm fortunate to have met Chef Robuchon twice while attending food events in Las Vegas and I was able to personally have him sign two of his cookbooks for me. I've posted the photos here before. He was very gracious and quite pleased that I would actually travel so far to have him sign these cookbooks, especially "Simply French" with Patricia Wells. It was really the first cookbook that introduced American Chefs and home cooks to his legendary potato dish.
  11. David Ross

    Breakfast! 2018

    This one had 3 slices and I used butter lettuce and roma tomatoes. I break the bacon slices in half to fit them into the sandwich. I used bottled mayonnaise but if I have homemade on hand it's far better.
  12. David Ross

    Breakfast! 2018

    Thanks. I slice the tomato really thin and I've found a good 12-grain bread that I prefer. Any bacon will do, but I have a brand that does Applewood smoked so that's my preference on this sandwich.
  13. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    We've been creating some delicious summer salads in our Cook-Off, https://forums.egullet.org/topic/157028-eg-cook-off-79-resurrecting-and-rethinking-summer-salads-summer-food’s-unpopular-kid/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-2165615. On Friday I did a Grilled Caesar Salad, but had plenty of dressing left over so on Saturday I made my Classic Caesar. But due to my horrible laziness, I didn't want to spend time cutting the bread into cubes to make homemade croutons. So I just tore into the bread and voila, a new type of crouton, (at least for me), and one that has a much better texture. Grilled Caesar- Classic Caesar-
  14. David Ross

    Breakfast! 2018

    I never liked a BLT sandwich when I was a kid. I think I could take each element separately, but for some reason I didn't like mayo, tomato and lettuce on the same sandwich. But with many foods I refused as a kid, my palate has either paled or is more enhanced with age. In any case, now I make a BLT for breakfast about once a week.
  15. David Ross

    Farmers Markets 2018

    I've been going to the same family farm stand at our local Farmer's Market for years to buy my wild huckleberries. This is the first of the seasons harvest. They ripened early due to our hot weather the past two weeks, but the family tells me they hope we'll see huckleberries into the first week of September. The 83 year-old Grandfather of the family picks them in the mountains around Priest Lake in Northern Idaho, about a 90 minute drive from Spokane. They are average size right now but possess they unmistakable tart yet sweet flavor and a perfume that I've never been able to describe very well. $48 per gallon bag is a good price right now. They typically sell for at least $50 per gallon and in the past 10 years I've seen them as high as $65 per gallon. I've got some professional Chef friends in other states who would gladly pay well over $100 per gallon if they could find someone to ship them fresh huckleberries. These were picked yesterday and only hold up in the fridge for about 3 days so they don't travel far distances very well. But they do freeze well and hold their flavor. Just not the flavor of a fresh wild huckleberry pie.....
  16. I've been making my version of Caesar salad for years, but it was only yesterday that I decided to grill the romaine and make it a true "summer" salad. I've grilled lettuce before, just never dressed with my traditional take on Caesar salad. I make homemade croutons starting with whatever loaf of bread looks good in the bakery. I try a softer loaf like French or Italian and cut big size croutons. The ones in a bag are too puny. After I cut the croutons I put them in the oven to dry out and start to crisp. I like a softer bread for croutons because they soak up the copious amounts of melted butter and garlic olive oil that I drench them with before baking them a second time in the oven to crisp them. The dressing is: 1 1/2 cups garlic olive oil, (just olive oil to which I add many cloves of grated garlic) 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1 2oz. can flat anchovies, chopped, (and add the oil in the can to the dressing) 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, (I used to use dry mustard, but the Dijon has much more flavor) 2 tbsp. Worcestershire (a LOT of Worcestershire) 2 tsp. chopped capers 1 coddled egg (I take risks with eggs, coddling it just barely sets the white) Fresh oregano Fresh chives Salt and plenty of cracked black pepper When I make a regular Caesar I use both romaine and butter lettuce. This time just romaine, cut in half, brushed with olive oil and grilled about 3 minutes to get a bit of char and smokey flavor. I've started to thinly shave the cheese because I think it's a more delicate texture than grated cheese and blends better into the dressing. I used parmesan this time, but prefer the stronger tang of Asiago.
  17. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Here is the recipe. I apologize in advance for the lengthy instructions, I'm finally cataloging, editing and revising a couple of decades of dishes and photos to put everything into a consistent and contemporary format. For passionate cooks like us, while the recipe takes some steps, it's all really easy and perfect for this time of year. Roasted Poblano Chicken Stew Serves 4 This creamy, fragrant stew is a blend of mild poblano chilies, charred onions, garlic and herbs and combined with poached chicken breast. Roasting poblanos and charring onions and garlic brings out their flavor and sweetness while adding a bit of smoky flavor. We add some minced jalapeno for a little heat, then top the stew with crisp radishes and cilantro. Serve the stew with corn tortillas or chips for a unique dish that is delicious any time of year. Ingredients- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 cups chicken stock 2 bay leaves 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano 1 tsp. dried chili powder 1 tsp. black pepper 2 large fresh poblano chilies 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half, skin left on 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled 1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup pepitas 1 tbsp. dried Mexican oregano Reserved chicken poaching liquid ½ cup reserved chicken meat 2 tbsp. Mexican crema ½ cup cilantro leaves 1/3 cup diced tomato 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese 1/3 cup toasted pepitas 1/c cup thinly sliced red radish Preparation- 1). Prepare the chicken. Place the chicken breasts in the multi-pot, then add the chicken stock, bay leaves, oregano, chili powder and black pepper. Pressure cook the chicken for 8 minutes. Carefully release the pressure and remove the chicken breasts. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Drain the chicken stock and reserve for the stew. ! Recipe Note: We used the multi-pot cooker to poach the chicken breasts under pressure in just 8 minutes, but poaching the chicken breasts in liquid in a stockpot for 20 minutes works just as good. Make sure to cool the chicken breasts in the refrigerator and then pull the meat off in chunks before finishing the stew 2). Heat the oven on high broil. Cut the poblano peppers in half, then scoop out the seeds and stems. Flatten the peppers with you hand and place them on a rack over a cookie sheet. Broil the peppers until charred, about 3 minutes. Removed the peppers from the oven and place in a brown paper bag (or plastic bag), to cool. Peel off the blackened skin from the peppers. 3). Reduce the oven to 350 , and spread the pepitas on a cookie sheet. Toast the pepitas just until they start to brown, about 8 minutes. Reserve 2/3 cup of the toasted pepitas for the stew and 1/3 cup for garnish. 4). Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion halves and garlic cloves. Roast until charred, about 5 minutes. Remove the onions and garlic cloves and let cool, then remove the skins and roughly chop. (insert photo of roasted poblano and charred garlic and onions) 5). In a food processor, add the poblanos, onion, garlic. jalapeno and cilantro puree. With the processor running add the cream, pepitas and oregano and enough of the reserved chicken stock to make a stew consistency. Pour the stew into a stockpot over medium heat. 6). Pull the chilled chicken breast into small chunks, (you should have 2 cups of chicken meat). Add 1 ½ cups of the chicken meat to the stew in the stockpot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the stew is hot. 7). Ladle the stew into serving bowls, then garnish each bowl with some of the reserved chicken meat, a drizzle of Mexican crema, cilantro, tomato, feta, toasted pepitas and radish. I've added a few photos of the ingredients--I dry-roast the onions and garlic in a cast iron pan to get some char. A photo of the Mexican oregano which is dried whole leaves and dried flowers, the poblanos after they are roasted under the broiler and toasted pepitas.
  18. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Today I thought I'd try the roasted poblano chicken stew in a sandwich. Chilled, the texture was similar to a typical chicken salad sandwich but next time I think I'd add a bit of cream cheese to give some more flavor and body. Found a good 12-grain bread in the supermarket. While I suppose this is more "lunch" than "dinner," it's an easy thing to make during hot summer evenings. I'm in the process of typing my scribbles into recipe form.
  19. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    I agree. I buy the Mexican oregano at a local Mexican market and it has the dried oregano flower buds along with the whole little dried leaves. Very fragrant and I happen to also use it in my Italian tomato sauce!
  20. David Ross

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    This is version two of a dish that is still in progress, but I think it's close. Roasted Poblano Stew with Chicken. I'll put together the recipe once I have it completed. I braised chicken breasts under pressure in the multi-pot with chicken stock, bay leaf, chili powder and Mexican oregano. Then chilled and shredded the meat in chunks. The poblanos were broiled then skins removed. I charred some yellow onions and garlic cloves in a hot, and dry, cast iron skillet then added those to the food processor along with the poblanos. Also added a little minced jalapeno for heat, cilantro, Mexican oregano, chili powder, toasted pepitas, salt, pepper and probably a few other spices I'm forgetting right now. Then that went into a heavy pot along with cream and the chicken braising liquid to get to a creamy yet not too thick consistency. Most of the chicken was stirred into the stew and I reserved some for the garnish. Along with the chicken for garnish I added thinly sliced red radish, cilantro, toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), diced tomato and feta. I'm starting to use feta in my Mexican dishes because it has a lot of flavor over traditional cheeses. Then a little drizzle of Mexican crema. It was delicious and just the right kind of dish for a hot summer evening. Not shown are the homemade corn tortilla chips I make. Just cut tortillas in quarters, deep-fry til crisp and golden, then salt, pepper and chili powder.
  21. Those sound really intriguing. I do a bloody mary aspic served alongside grilled chicken that is chilled. But I'm thinking of changing it up somehow to do a terrine of grilled summer vegetables and use the aspic to bind it together in a mold of some sort. I think I'll have to do a lot of experimenting.
  22. I went back to refer to my 1913 edition of the Boston Cooking -School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer and was surprised that many of the salad recipes were similar to what we would prepare and eat this summer. There are 11 seafood salad recipes, including a sardine salad, 3 different lobster salads and an interesting oyster and grapefruit salad that I think could be quite refreshing on a hot day. It's very similar to a tomato aspic I make that has the flavors of a bloody mary cocktail. "parboil one and one-half pints oysters, drain, cool and remove tough muscles. Cut three grape fruits in halves, crosswise, remove pulp and drain. Mix oysters with pulp, and season with six tablespoons tomato catsup, four tablespoons grape fruit juice, one tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, eight drops Tabasco sauce and one-half teaspoon salt. Refill grape fruits skins with mixture and garnish with curled celery."
  23. I've been looking through some of my summer salad photos for some ideas on putting together a new recipe for our Cook-Off and I came across one of my favorites that I came up with last year, green beans with egg salad. My Mother was always a stickler for bringing any mayonnaise based summer salad along on a picnic, but if it came right out of the kitchen onto the table on the deck, well then that was ok as long as the salad didn't sit in the sun too long. I blanch the beans for just a few minutes in salt water with a spoon of "Fruit-Fresh." It's mainly used in canning and preserving but I use it for blanching green vegetables to help retain a bright color. Then I chill the beans until ready to serve. For my version of egg salad I make my own mayonnaise using Greek olive oil, mustard, fresh oregano and a good amount of lemon juice. I like the strong flavor of Greek or Spanish olive oils. Then some finely diced celery, chives and dill relish, fresh dill and celery seeds. One thing that's not in the photo is a garnish of fried onions. Yep, the ones out of the can for some crunch and flavor. The salad is great for one serving or for a larger group, but take my Mother's advice and keep the egg salad chilled!
  24. You've gotten me thinking about tuna and combining it with some white beans that I have from Rancho Gordo. We have one small shop in town that has a good selection of premium imported tuna so that will be just the ticket. Thanks.
  25. I'm going to read that right now thank you. Jellied consommé has always been a favorite and I'm thinking I could work it into a salad somehow.
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