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Dinner! 2005


EdS
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We spent a couple of days in the Belgian countryside, where friends had rented a little house for the week.

appetizer one night:

pate, homemade by another friend of mine. He gave it to me but did not want to tell me what was in it, before I tasted it. It was delicious, now I have to find out how he made it! Served with cranberry chutney. In the background my friends'2.5 year old impatiently waiting for a bite :smile:

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Beef stew with carrots and celeriac, baked in the oven with a cheeseymuffin topping. Served with cabbage braised with garlic, a salad of panfried eggplant with garlic and mint, and bread.

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Dessert: Orange almond cake with mascarpone

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Another dinner: Roast chicken with bacon, fennel and garlic, served with local potatoes and a rucola/ yellow cherry tomato salad. The rest of the orange cake for dessert.

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Duck breast sous vide with slivers of crispy duck skin and a wild berry, ginger, and balsamic sauce. I'm not using my camera so the picture quality isn't that great, but this was an awesome dish. Duck breast sous vide damn near a revelation.

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I have serious duck envy right now!!!

We had friends over last night for a small dinner. One of the guests is allergic to all products made from cow's milk, eggs, chocolate, wheat, soy, sulfites & a few other things, so we adapted recipes a bit here & there, or had alternate items available to keep her safe & happy.

To start a small cheese plate: epoisses, havarti w/dill, brie stuffed with apricots & almonds, goat gouda

Inspired by Jaymes' christmas dinner, we had pork loin stuffed with prunes & dried cherries, drizzled with a mollasses & NSA*wine glaze. This was awesome & is going into my regular repertoire.

There were oven-roasted mini potatoes & carrots, and steamed mini artichokes served with aioli for most, and this garlic saffron sauce for my friend with the allergies.

Our other guests brought a simple salad of greens with vinaigrette that we garnished with mini tomatoes.

1st dessert was bananas sprinkled with brown sugar & then flamed with my new kitchen torch :biggrin: (we need a pyromaniac smiley!)

2nd dessert was eggnog icecream (and apple sorbet for allergic friend)

A really lovely meal in all, and a good reminder that with forethought it doesn't take that much extra effort to cook for your friends with food allergies and it makes them VERY happy.

*no sulfites added (we used a mix of NSA port & NSA table wine in the glaze)

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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One of the best parts of the holiday season is getting together with my SIL and cooking Thai food. Lucky for me she is from Thailand so we get to put together a Thai feast.

Here's dinner:

Son-in-law eggs. Eggs hard-boiled then fried in veg oil till golden then you cut them in half. They are topped with a sauce made of thinly sliced shallots, caramelized in a mixture of veg oil and a splash of sesame oil, then you add 2 tablespoons of palm sugar and 1/2 cup of fish sauce and reduce a bit till it thickens then you spoon it over the eggs. Make a few extra for yourself and enjoy them in the kitchen otherwise you will not get any. :cool:

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Duck spring rolls. These yummy little guys are made with sautéed duck breast till the skin is crispy but the meat is medium. I then sliced and chopped the meat and skin and mixed with cellophane noodles, Napa cabbage, chopped shallots and chopped jalapenos. I added 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, fish sauce, chopped garlic (raw), sesame oil and a little dark soy. It was a nice flavorful mix without one component overpowering the rest. :wub:

Beef Salad - Nam Phok, is sliced sautéed beef, garlic, shallots, jalapenos, fish sauce and ground rice.

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Chicken sautéed with ginger, onions and Jalapenos, it is just that noting else, a nice dish with clean bright flavors.

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Chicken Larb, we all know what that is.

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Rice and Green Curry. Nothing out of the ordinary here regarding prep. But the flavor is outstanding.

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Wines: 1999 Dom Perignon, great with spicy foods, 2000 Pahlmeyer Merlot, when is it not great? You could eat paste with either of these wines and think you are dinning well.

Props to Daniel. I tried to do “bite” pictures of the spring roll and the egg. They came out blurry and in one instance – food “porn” in a bad way. Who knew you could hold a spring roll the wrong way, would not have been a misnomer. I’ll have to work on that.

Bryanz: that is some great looking duck!

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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No pictures :sad:, but it was good! I had my little brother and his new girlfriend (verdict: we like her) over for dinner tonight. She is, as little bro used to say, a vegetable-tarian, so I made all veggie dishes. First up, a salad with baby spinach, endive, and vinaigrette (shallots, mustard, sherry vinegar and olive oil). Next, a vegetable tian (zucchini, tomatoes and potatoes sliced thin and baked on top of sauteed onions and garlic, topped with thyme and gruyere) and a risotto (pea and basil). For dessert, I broke out my new kitchen torch and made creme brulee! All in all, a good night.

ETA: Klary, that cake looks amazing...and the table you're all eating on is gorgeous! I love it - so rustic and homey.

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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It was, Megan---it was nice just to be home together and have a quiet evening. But all these lovely pictures and meals and all your own outings and access to that New York cuisine and atmosphere---we pale to grits and chitlins by comparison.

I love to hear all about everyone's cooking and serving, and especially the great pictures---I scarcely look at BA or G anymore---I'm so spoiled to this incomparable gallery of delights. And everyone is like a friend, recounting a pleasurable adventure and the wonderful moments of the caretaking and sharing and art which goes into the planning and creating and plating and enjoying.

I can dine in New York one evening, in Amsterdam another, and look my eyes full of glorious displays of lovely creations, new and rare foodstuffs and techniques and recipes.

What a fun community, and a daily treat. And y'all are a hoot, as well. Better'n vitamins. Or maybe Prozac.

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Son-in-law eggs. Eggs hard-boiled then fried in veg oil till golden then you cut them in half. They are topped with a sauce made of thinly sliced shallots, caramelized in a mixture of veg oil and a splash of sesame oil, then you add 2 tablespoons of palm sugar and 1/2 cup of fish sauce and reduce a bit till it thickens then you spoon it over the eggs. Make a few extra for yourself and enjoy them in the kitchen otherwise you will not get any.  :cool:

The frying does not give them an unpleasant rubbery texture? I have played with a couple of historical recipes (European) for frying stuffed eggs after they have been split & restuffed. I find it always makes the egg-white a bit rubbery, but perhaps I'm not frying them right...

And again with the duck envy, those duck rolls sound fab!

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Hi, I am new here....

Your menus sound utterly divine and most inspiring. Sigh.

I have far too many children and seem to spend hours cooking, thinking about what to cook and preparing the next meal.

Today we had the rest of the cheeseboard from Christmas, with wholemeal baguettes from the market, cerise grappe tomatoes in a red wine vinegar (homemade) and olive oil dressing with green onions and basil and baked potatoes with the last of the ham, homemade mayonnaise and sauscisson. Fridge looks a lot clearer! :biggrin:

Tonight, terrine of duck with cranberries from the supermarket - made only at Christmas and surprisingly good, followed by a wonderful poule - again from local market - stuffed with the last of the boudin blanc aux truffes, cooked au pot in the slow cooker with local carrots, leeks and turnips which were bought at the market stonehard frozen as it is so cold here at the moment. Boulanger maize bread to accompany. The forgotten English Christmas cake that I dragged back from London in my suitcase as pudding, alongside apple crumble (stall holder was chucking out a tray of apples, couldn't bear to see them go to waste....) with English custard (as opposed to French creme anglaise, which I find too sweet) or creme fraiche.

Poule au pot will make a reincarnation tomorrow evening as a clear soup with sago (japanese pearls, sic) for the kids, and as a broth with the last of the foie gras dunked in, with shreds of green onions and grated apple, for me and my Frenchman.

I actually have a vegetarian daughter who doesn't really know what veggies should or should not eat and I am ashamed to say that I just serve her the vegs from the poule au pot etc and call it vegetarian as there is no actual meat on her plate :rolleyes: Don't know for how much longer this little ruse will work.....

Edited by Bordelaise (log)
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Oh my. Everything looks and sounds wonderful, but all these sous vide dishes really makes me want to try it for myself now.

Yesterday was another futile attempt to clean out my freezer. I unearthed some homemade pasta sauce (a chunky sauce made with a mixture of green market tomatoes and canned organic, peppers, onions, lots of garlic). I reheated it with some parmesan rinds and a bit of red wine, and served it with penne. Leftovers for lunch!

Welcome, Bordelaise.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Okay, I'm a few days late on the promise I made over in that Green Bean Casserole discussion.

But as has been custom chez Sandy for some time, I fixed Christmas dinner for the house and a few friends. I fixed it on the day after Christmas, though, because Gary and I were invited to family Christmas dinner at his nephew's house in Haddonfield.

I tend not to be adventurous when it comes to this meal. Like Thanksgiving, the adherence to tradition is part and parcel of the whole experience.

Of course, it wouldn't be a dinner at my place without cheese somewhere along the way. In this case, as part of the hors d'oeuvres:

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(Clockwise from top left) Celery and carrot sticks, Calabrese sausage, wheat crackers, onion crackers, Fontinella cheese, Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve (no longer New York State? Wassup with that?) cheddar, Hatville Farms cheese spreads: Cheddar Horseradish, Sundried Tomato, Cajun Crabmeat, buttercrisp crackers, homemade blue cheese dip. In the bottle above all this are cat treats Gary's mom bought as a Christmas present for our two cats.

While everyone (including the cook) noshed on all this, I had everything organized for the final push.

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The nuts, seltzer, chocolate chips, tangerine and tomatoes in this picture played no role in the meal. That impossibly perfect, shiny, bright red tomato in the picture is a glass ornament, a Christmas gift from a friend.

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The tools in the foreground are for making the whipped potatoes; the flour and chopped-up giblets in back are for the gravy.

As I'm sometimes pretty slapdash in having things ready to go, I'm rather proud of myself for now being able to get just about everything to the table at the right time without extra assistance.

For Thanksgiving, I tried Alton Brown's suggested method for roasting a turkey (500F for the first half hour, then cover with foil and roast at 325F for the remainder of the cooking time, unstuffed), and the bird came out perfect, with moist meat throughout. But I missed the taste and moisture of the turkey juices in the stuffing. So despite Brown's admonishment, I decided I'd try his method with a stuffed bird this time:

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Note to self: Remove the upper oven rack for the first half hour next time so the turkey doesn't bump up against the top heating element.

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As if any of you needed proof that you don't need a big or fancy kitchen to turn out a great meal...

The bird was juicy all around once again, so if you like your bird stuffed, you can still use the Alton Brown method with good results.

Along with the turkey, I also fixed a spiral sliced ham with honey glaze. Completing the meal: Whipped potatoes, creamed spinach, stuffing, cranberry sauce and Pillsbury crescent rolls, served with a Sangiovese from Spain.

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The last of the turkey that I didn't freeze should disappear sometime today. There's a stock cooking at home in Philadelphia as I type this from the office in Wilmington.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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That sounds great Megan.. I saw you used Sherry Vinegar.. Is that something new in your kitchen.. Its such an underrated thing, I love it...

Thanks, Daniel!

I've used sherry vinegar for a couple of years now...I first started with it when it was called for in a chicken dish, and have been using it (mostly in salads) ever since. I love it - especially how it mellows out just enough when you soak shallots in it (thanks to Pontormo for that tip). Delicious!

I agree with you that it's a totally underrated ingredient, and I like it that way - the good stuff is still cheap! :laugh:

Gorgeous lamb, BryanZ!

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Wonderful pictures, all! MSE---that bird could win the turkey trot in any competition. Beautiful.

And Bordelaise---WELCOME!! Your words painted a lovely picture of all your family's comings and goings and all the family time centered on your cooking skills.

Our last night's dinner was hamburgers right off the grill---we had planned them as a total departure from all the bird-based meals we've had for days...yesterday's lunch featured the last forlorn Cornish hen, simmered in another two quarts of the chicken stock from the freezer, with hunks of celery, onion, and a whole bag of baby carrots tossed in to simmer sweetly tender. Then the last couple of cups of broccoli and cauliflower, with their remaining lemon butter still clinging, were slid in to warm through, along with all the bits of bird boned and cut small, and the cold rice from the night of the bean supper.

So leftovers, begone from my fridge!!! The soup was heavenly, with a sprinkle of my homegrown thyme and parsley, and all that array of fancy party crackers alongside.

Then, the back doorbell rang at five, and a friend came merrily down the stairs, bringing down the chill air and the Spirit of later-than-never Christmas in his wake. He is a retired bachelor friend who seems to survive on takeout meals, immense bowls of M&M's which grace every surface of his apartment, and occasional visits to friends for a touch of home and family.

The two guys grabbed beers and went out to fire up the Weber; I went up to retrieve the stove clicker and found them huddling on the back porch, hatbrims tilted to keep out the sideways rain, laughing and talking as the fire reached toward the lower limbs of the biggest tree. The wet chill did not deter them, and they stayed out there til the meat was smoky and deliciously cooked. I cut sweet onion slices, got out dill pickles and the little Tupperware of dill dip and a fresh bowl of thick, chunky blue cheese dip to go with the Crunchers.

We sat down at the glass-topped table, bowing to the season with a bowl of the steamy soup all around, then the nice juicy toasty-bun burgers. We heard of his travels for Christmas to elderly relatives, his Volksmarch plans for the coming year (he's a 12,000 k or so by now, I think, and travels the world to meets---next month, Alaska) and just enjoyed catching up.

For dessert, we cut the huge, juicy caramel apple which had been in my Christmas stocking--DD had ordered it from a lady on the Food Network, and it was just lovely, with creamy caramel and good rich chocolate, and the crispest, meatiest pecan halves surrounding the crisp, tangy apple. Perfect dessert for a candlelight burger supper with an old friend.

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Ok, it looks like learning sous vide cookiing is going to be my next big technique push. I'll have to hunt up that thread - I avoided it while it was current, and now I see how dumb that was!

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That would be a great recipe. More authentic than mine, I was told last minute I would be making them and did not have time to get the bird chilis, lime leaves or tamarind. They are still pretty ok without the hard to find ingredients.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Certainly better than the one served on Air France. :raz:

How can one search "Coq au vin" on this site? (All words being under 4 letters.)

I still get flashbacks from Air France's coq au vin and that was thirty years ago.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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