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Dinner! 2005


EdS
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1st course was roasted spiced shrimp atop mango and avocado salsa. Then, duck three ways: sauteed boneless breast, deep-fried leg-thigh pieces, & a medallion of duck innards paté -- all over a "bed" of snow peas, with Syrah to drink.

For dessert we are about to have mango mint fool and barleywine.

I miss my camera.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Last night was certainly a feast. I spent the day doing girly things with my mom after she rescued me from a transit hell (Vancouver has the worst transit system) We went to a craft fair and since we were starving ended up grabbing something to eat. We both had Grilled Ham and Cheese on WONDERBREAD! It was wonderful. something neither of us had had in oh, 20 years, but so good.

Then it was off to her place to start cooking. Her husband just fixed my car and as a thank you dinner, I brought a hanger steak that I had in my freezer. It was marinated in some olive oil, red wine and 4 cloves of smashed garlic. Left to sit for about 2 hours. With this we had roasted butternut squash and carrots, and mashed potatoes with feta, sour cream and milk, no butter. The steak was grilled until blue rare and finished on the plate with a green peppercorn sauce. It was so unbelievable good. But, no pictures. Batteries were dead on her camera.

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- Salumi lomo and moroccan black olives on the table with aperatifs

- tomato fennel soup from the Les Halles cookbook, with epi loaves from the Bread Baker's apprentice cookbook (see below pic).

- Marcella's roast chicken with lemon (well, two of them)

- Braised artichokes with potatoes

- Rhubarb compote with either whipped cream or lowfat yogurt

- Espresso, with a square of Vahlrona dark chocolate with orange peel

I think this is just a perfect dinner. What a wonderful, balanced combination of flavors!

edited to add my own dinner of the day, which was much less glamorous:

penne pasta with a leek, chestnut mushroom & porcini sauce, flavored with Marsala, and with lots of Koninglander blue cheese crumbled in. Very satisfying. And I'm about to have some Earl Grey flavored chocolate for dessert!

Edited by Chufi (log)
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I think this is just a perfect dinner. What a wonderful, balanced combination of flavors!

edited to add my own dinner of the day, which was much less glamorous:

penne pasta with a leek, chestnut mushroom & porcini sauce, flavored with Marsala, and with lots of Koninglander blue cheese crumbled in. Very satisfying. And I'm about to have some Earl Grey flavored chocolate for dessert!

Thanks! Maybe when we move to germany we can have you over for dinner :smile:

The earl grey flavored chocolate sounds right up my alley. But then again, just about every meal you've ever posted has.

Now I am playing cook-off catch-up:

Yesterday I made a modified light version of moussaka.

For late lunch today I made Margherita pizza, and even more bread.

(Pics are on the cook-off pages, I won't take up any more bandwidth here.)

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penne pasta with a leek, chestnut mushroom & porcini sauce, flavored with Marsala, and with lots of Koninglander blue cheese crumbled in. Very satisfying.

Chufi that pasta sauce sounds wonderful. When I first read it I thought you meant it had chestnuts in addition to mushrooms, I think a chestnut-mushroom sauce sounds nice for winter.

dinner here was:

Mexican Chopped Salad with buttermilk dressing:

romaine, black beans, corn, tomatoes, pickled red onions, cilantro, leftover chicken

For some reason I hesitated when adding lime juice to the dressing, thinking it would make a curdled mess with the buttermilk, but it seemed fine(I suppose buttermilk is already somewhat soured).

dessert t.b.a.

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Lately I have been in the habit of spending my Sunday afternoons prepping produce and making dishes ahead that will appear in lunches or alongside a la minute things during the week. But by Sunday night the last thing I want to do is apply heat to any more food. So we had a kind of picnic of several cold things, many of which came from the pages of Paula Wolfert cookbooks:

Vegetarian kibbe of red lentils, onions, and tarragon

White bean salad with walnuts, scallions, and parsley

Roasted carrots and leeks with garlic, cumin, and lemon

Green beans, tomatoes, and onions stewed in olive oil (so good!)

Hard-boiled eggs broken up and tossed with sauteed red peppers and feta

Marinated cracked green olives

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Tonight was venison tenderloin with bourbon demiglace and roasted potatoes.

I'd been playing with goat milk some, but the goat milk panna cotta hadn't set yet -- I don't know if it hadn't had time, if I hadn't used enough gelatin, or if goat milk is weird like that -- so dessert was ice cream at Coldstone Creamery.

Kind of wish I'd had something green, and I'm full enough that I'm not about to go make a salad or anything, so I'll bet I end up having roasted asparagus for lunch tomorrow.

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Sirloin burgers grilled over applewood, after the demise and takedown of our dear tree yesterday. She was as hollow as a sodastraw, and ready to collapse at any minute; the danger to passersby and proximity to our ready-to-plant vegetable garden necessitated a fond farewell and replacement with a 6' very leafy young Braeburn.

Accompaniments are of no consequence. R.I.P.

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Friday:

A sort of potato salad with tomatoes, mint, olive oil and parsley. Topped with baby green lettuce in a dijon vinaigrette and last but not least hard cooked eggs all around. t'was a pretty good dinner salad.

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Saturday:

Tom Yum Gung (sp?) or Thai hot and sour soup with shrimp

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Sunday:

Braised beef shanks (a la Osso Buco) with Risotto Milanese and gremolata (all recipes from Hazan)

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Dessert: Ricotta tart with chocolate and orange. This is the best rendition of the classic Italian dessert that I've had (recipe from J Oliver)

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Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Grilled salmon with dill.

Beet risotto served over sauteed beet greens. My husband, who is far more poetic than I am, commented, "A marvelous counterpoint between the sweetness of the beet risotto and the bitterness of the beet greens, like playing tennis with your taste buds."

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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After a visit to the cheese shop, an Italian dinner: Penne, carbonara-style with a touch of curry powder (gives an excellent richness to the sauce) fresh bacon lardons, and portobello slices.... Reggiano of course. Afterward, a salad of frisee, gorgonzola, grape halves, and tart balsamic vinaigrette. Espresso and biscotti for dessert.

Yesterday, grilled shish-taouk-marinated brochettes, with homemade arabic-style tzatziki, and flatbreads. More salad. FINALLY, spring has arrived. :biggrin:

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The folks were in town: A pate, sausage and cheese plate, cioppino, french bread, frisee salad, fruit salad for desert.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Friday:

A sort of potato salad with tomatoes, mint, olive oil and parsley. Topped with baby green lettuce in a dijon vinaigrette and last but not least hard cooked eggs all around. t'was a pretty good dinner salad.

gallery_5404_94_187907.jpg

I love the ideas I get from you, Elie (and everyone who posts on this thread). I hope to put something like that together soon. You also reminded me of that very soup, which I have been wanting to try. It's time for Thai again soon.

..."A marvelous counterpoint between the sweetness of the beet risotto and the bitterness of the beet greens, like playing tennis with your taste buds."

Nicely put!

The folks were in town: A pate, sausage and cheese plate, cioppino, french bread, frisee salad, fruit salad for desert.

That sounds like a wonderful company dinner. It sounds like a wonderful dinner for anybody, but especially doable for company. :smile:

Yesterday we met my son halfway between Daytona and Pensacola to pick up our granddog, Josie. We are babysitting for her for about two months. So after seven to eight hours on the road, we didn't feel like doing much last night, and we had hamburgers and again, corn on the cob.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Sunday: Braciole made with on-sale-cheap round steak, prosciutto, provolone, capers. Rolled up and stabbed with toothpicks. Braised in a garlic/basil tomato sauce with white wine and a little red pepper flakes. The cheese all oozed out into the sauce :angry: oh well. Tossed the sauce with bucatini, put more cheese on top of the meat.

Saturday: Lasagna using wonton wrappers as the noodle. Hot Italian sausage/tomato sauce, ricotta/parsley/garlic/mozzarella. Cheap Pinot Noir; serious headache Sunday a.m. Boyfriend made me VERY STRONG coffee and raisin bread with cream cheese and jalapeno jelly :shock: Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. :wink:

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Fishy nibbles

Roast Asparagus, drawn butter

14 hour cooked lamb; Jersey Royal potatoes, roast cauliflower, carrots and fresh peas; purple sprouting broccoli; jus and mint sauce

Rhubarb strawberries ; treacle pudding; custard

Breads and cheeses

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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In a celebratory mood, I made a "make A. happy" dinner:

Burger with fontina, sweet/hot tomato chutney, red onions and mustard on whole grain bun.

Real Tiramisu -- delicious but deadly.

A was indeed happy. I won't need to eat for the rest of the week. :rolleyes:

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Inspired by eGullet: chicken paprikash with Hungarian smoked sausage and roasted potatoes (I cooked the sausage and potatoes separately because I didn't want the smokiness to overpower the chicken, or the potato starch to thicken the sauce).

Tomorrow, something with skirt steak; probably ropa vieja.

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On this last (please, God) freezing night of this Spring: Chopped liver on skillet-toasted thin bread; long-simmered corned beef brisket on Shapiro's rye; lovely mustard varieties; crisp celery hearts; a tiny cheesecake-for-two with Bing cherry sauce.

Icy beer, then Senseo decaf.

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Salmon Wellington

Any advice or comments are welcome, BTW...

I've never felt tempted to make Beef Wellington, but I came across this very simple dish on the web: salmon fillet, topped with creamy spinach, wrapped in puff pastry -- baked in the oven. This dish is both easy to make, and looks great. With the crispy, golden dough, you don't need to add any starchy vegetables like potatoes or rice, so I tend to go with just some asparagus and Hollandaise sauce.

First off, I debone and skin the fillet. The bones are easy enough to deal with, but skinning is tad harder (but not as hard as getting someone at the supermarket to do it for you; see note at end*). I ended up just picking the sharpest knife, rather than the fillet knife here, in case you're wondering. Getting the fillet knife sharpened asap. I'm not too good at this, but it's actually one of the best attempts I've managed yet...

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Then, you arrange the fillet on the puff pastry. Note: Don't thaw the puff pastry out until you need it -- I left mine in the fridge for a couple of days, and it got sticky and hard to handle... Make sure to fold the tail of the filet up, so you get a fairly uniform piece, as this will cook more evenly -- I've also folded the top right part of the filet in, where it is widest. The fact that it is folded like this will not be apparent once it is wrapped in dough. The original recipe calls for serving-size fillets to be wrapped individually, but I find it less time consuming to just do a single, big fillet. It looks pretty neat too. Season with salt and pepper -- I used white pepper since I had some left over from the Hollandaise sauce.

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Add the creamy spinach, and brush everything with egg wash. The various recipes I've come across use a lot of different things, that possibly might be more in line with Beef Wellington, but I've yet to see anything that appealed to me more than creamy spinach. If it's good enough for Popeye, it's good enough fer me. (*toot* *toot* !) I do drain the spinach fairly well, but the remaining liquid helps keep the fillet nice and moist.

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Finally, fold it up. I like to crush the edge with a fork, and then fold it back. However, if there's a lot of extra dough, you should cut it off, since large chunks of dough isn't very nice. Oh yeah, don't forget to brush the whole thing with egg-wash, so you get that crisp, golden skin.

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Then, it's time to cook the thing. Normally, I do this in an oven around 350 for about 20 minutes, and up it to 400 for an extra 10, to make sure I get a crispy, golden crust. It all depends on how thick the fillet is, of course.

However, in this case, I'm doing it on the grill -- you can do anything on the grill, right? Besides, it's summer time so no need to heat up the kitchen. I'm using medium load of coals here, placed all the way to one side of the grill, to give me some maneuvering-room, in order to control the temperature. I figured I'd leave it directly over the coals, to get some nice grill-marks, and then I'd move it over to the other side. (There's tinfoil-wrapped corn-on-the-cob on the sides).. Looking good -- but not fer long...

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(The only drawback about doing this on the grill rather than in the oven, is that the latter is pretty much "set-it-and-forget-it," whereas the grill requires a bit more supervision. It's a good excuse to enjoy the sun and a brewskie, mind you (besides, the last couple of times the neighbor strolled by and asked what I was grilling, I was doing chicken wings and hotdogs -- Salmon Wellington would be much more impressive. I gotta quit watching "Keeping Up Appearances")).

Ah crap... I'm a really smart cook, so I know to let the grill heat up properly, and oil it, to ensure things don't stick to it -- but on the other hand, I'm an idiot cook, and didn't realize that slapping egg-wash-covered, wet puff pastry on a grill is gonna stick, no matter what I did to the grill...

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Oh uh. I'm thinking, this should not be done on a BBQ at all, or perhaps it might work better, if I had started it off AWAY from the coals, rather than directly over it. I could have put it on tinfoil, but that would kind of have defeated the whole BBQ thing, I think? Notice how I've got nice brownage going on the edge, whereas other parts just look completely uncooked.

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Man, this looks just downright depressing. Salmon and spinach shows through, and the whole thing looks like a half-cooked experiment from KFC that got run over in the drive-through.

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Well, I served it up anyhow, and it actually tasted okay. I had hoped for the beautiful, golden, crisp look that I get from the oven -- but with some spiffy grillmarks, and lovely coal BBQ flavor, rather than this ratty Salmon Roadkill effect, but oh well. You live and learn, I guess.

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* I can understand that the average supermarket might not be able to afford the kind of sky-high salaries that surely are demanded by those capable of such astounding culinary ninja feats as skinning a damn fillet of fish, but I somehow thought that this uh, "Wholesome foods" Market thing was a little bit more upscale -- ah, yeah, uh, nope. I asked the guy to debone and skin it; dude replied that while he could debone it, it would be an utter impossibility to skin it. When I got home, the jackass hadn't even deboned it. Bastard.

Maybe I'm just getting irked by how the place is completely infected by vacuous yuppies buying pre-made lobster bisque, and neurotic hippies fondling the latest herbal Feng-Shui crappola over in the Transcendental Metaphysical Ginseng-aisle. Damn hippies. :smile:

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Wow. That epic Salmon Wellington is downright inspirational.

I made poached chicken on green beans with tomato and olive relish.

French bread and huumus za'atar.

Turns out poached chicken doesn't taste nearly as good as....fried! :biggrin:

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Interesting account of your Salmon Wellington! Thanks. I've made Salmon Wellington using a recipe from Pepperidge Farms/ the frozen puff pastry box. It was wonderful... Mmmm, sounds like something to put on the have-for-dinner list. I'll look for that recipe.

Last night, a rotisserie-grilled roast of beef, sliced raw onion, horseradish, a bunch of fresh vegetables, and as the starch of the meal, some really good Portuguese rolls I found in a new bakery and butter.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Salmon Wellington

What a great idea! I would've baked it though, rather than grilled it. (Maybe hit the grill for a few moments when it's almost done, just to produce the desired grill marks.)

What was your recipe for the "creamy spinach"?

BTW, Costco sells its salmon filleted and skinned. (I usually buy salmon at a Japanese market, though, where it's a higher quality "wilder" tasting fish.)

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Last night was my first roasted chicken in my new oven. A spicy herb butter was rubbed under the skin and I roasted it with potatoes, garlic cloves, a bit of onion and celery. A green salad, toast and glazed carrots completed the meal.

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Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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