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Dinner! 2009


Shelby
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Smoked Sea Bass with Apple Acid and Vanilla Oil, and Asparagus with Smoked Sea Salt

The recipe is due to Joan Roca, http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/JRoca/html/...ss_j_roca.shtml.

I saw thawed Chilean sea bass at Whole Foods for $9.95 for 5.5 oz, and thought that was a little high, but I ended up buying a couple of packages of frozen sea bass for 12 oz for $19 at Andronico's in Palo Alto. The thicker Whole Foods version with the skin on probably would have been better.

The amount of olive oil in proportion to the four pieces of vanilla wasn't specified. I ended up using 1/2 cup of EVVO plus two pieces of vanilla, and the results seemed about right. One cautionary note -- olive oil makes a good anaerobic medium for growing botulism spores, and the temperature used to cook the vanilla isn't nearly hot enough to kill any spores that might be lying around. So if you do fix this, be sure to chill (preferably freeze) any left-over olive oil promptly, and use it within a few days or throw it out.

I didn't have a "liquidator" (?) as described in the recipe, so I used a blender on liquify the thick-cut peal for several minutes. I was prepared to force the remains through a food mill, but I didn't have to. I did add some sauvignon blanc to the apple peal to help liquify it and wash it down the sides of the blender, but that ended up making it too thin.

After reducing it slightly (but not enough), I put it in back in the blender and slowly drizzled in the vanilla olive oil, expecting it to emulsify the way a hollandaise would, but it never did thicken. Duh -- no thickening agent, such as an egg! Nonetheless, the combination of the vanilla, olive oil, and apple made an absolutely delicious sauce, one that was also good on the sauteed asparagus.

For Father's Day, my wife bought me a real masticating juicer, an Omega 8203. (Of course she didn't know that, until I brought it home. -:) We'll try the recipe again using just the juice, without the apple must this time.

Although I used smoked EVOO (pecan smoke flavored) in combination with the fish, the result was scarcely noticeable. Next time, I would use more, or add it bit of Liquid Smoke. The Spanish version uses pine cones, I understand, and perhaps it is more pungent.

I spritzed the fish with olive oil and applied a torch to finish it.

Smoked Japanese sea salt on the asparagus complemented the acid sweetness of the sauce nicely.

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PercyN, mmm, spicy shrimp and fried rice, one of my favorites. Did you buy your dandelion greens, or were they home-grown?

Father’s Day in the kitchen with 50 Great Curries of India . . .

Chicken and cashews in black spices: Grated coconut, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, red chiles, cloves, cinnamon, cashews, and onions, browned in a dry skillet, pureed in the Preethi, and then fried. I should have browned more aggressively; even so, I discovered a new favorite kitchen fragrance. The family loved the chicken.

Lemon rice: Turmeric rice, cooled and then stir-fried with green chile, mustard seed, soaked cashews, curry leaves, and lemon juice. Another great option for leftover rice.

Green chutney: We forgot to get cilantro at the store, so I made this with mint, green chile, lemon juice, sugar, cumin, and cashews.

Grilled yellow squash, courtesy of Mrs. C.

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An adaptation of a dish at Contigo, a restaurant located in Noe Valley in San Francisco.

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Thin spaghetti with mustard greens, pine nuts and golden raisins.

The original uses fava greens and doesn't contain pasta.

Of all vegetables that are available, I'd have to say greens are my favorite. Spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, lamb's quarters, puntarelle, kale, escarole, chicory. They're all great. Sautéed in olive oil, they don't need much in terms of flavoring -- a couple cloves of crushed garlic, maybe a squeeze of lemon or a pinch of salt. Perfect for a quick, easy and simple supper.

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David – for the tomatoes, I slice them fairly thinly, soak them in buttermilk for a hour or so and then dust them VERY lightly in cornmeal (mixed with S&P), then a quick egg wash (thinned down with water – it shouldn’t be too thick – and a little hot sauce), let the excess drip off and then a coating of panko. I like to let them set up for a few minutes in the fridge and then fry in bacon grease. Classic tomatoes are just given the buttermilk and cornmeal treatment, but we always have leftover and the panko crumb ones heat up VERY nicely in the toaster oven.

Percyn – the garlic bread looks wonderful!

Our Father’s day menu was mostly Mr. Kim’s requests. We started with bleu cheese shortbread w/ fig preserves and olives:

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The shortbread recipe was from Paula Deen. It called for strawberry preserves, but I thought that fig would work better. They were delicious and very popular, but I’ll try a stronger bleu cheese next time, I think.

The table:

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There were eleven of us – it was a little tight, to say the least – thank goodness we all like each other!

Dinner was rib eyes w/ sautéed mushrooms. Before:

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Crimini and shiitakes

And after:

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All the fungus folks loved the mushrooms. The steaks were from Costco and Mr. Kim did a great job grilling them, but we had the memory of that gorgeous dry-aged steak in our heads and that interfered with our enjoyment a bit – educating one’s palate can get expensive :lol: ! I also made béarnaise and Mr. Kim’s favorite Bobby Flay sherry vinegar and piquillo steak sauce. (The hot dogs are for a teenager who STILL eats almost no meat but hot dogs and chicken nuggets - and her parents bring hot dogs to every dinner that they come to :hmmm: .)

The sides were Marlene’s smashed roasted potatoes)which were a HUGH hit – I sent everyone home with the recipe), corn on the cob and Panzanella Salad:

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I learned to make the salad at a cooking class with chef Roberto Donna (this was also a huge hit, but everyone assumed that it was complicated, so no one asked for this recipe!)

Dessert was this really country, but pretty and extremely tasty ‘Strawberry Shortcake’:

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I got the recipe from my mother’s lifelong best friend who is a wonderful country cook – everything from canned-good casseroles to from-scratch biscuits and the most delectable preserves and pickles. It consists of sour cream, 10X, angel food cake, evaporated milk and COOL WHIP :blush: ! The strawberry layer is fresh strawberries and that glaze that you can buy in the produce section to make strawberry pie just like Shoney’s :laugh: !

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And after:

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All the fungus folks loved the mushrooms.  The steaks were from Costco and Mr. Kim did a great job grilling them, but we had the memory of that gorgeous dry-aged steak in our heads and that interfered with our enjoyment a bit – educating one’s palate can get expensive :lol: !  I also made béarnaise and Mr. Kim’s favorite Bobby Flay sherry vinegar and piquillo steak sauce.  (The hot dogs are for a teenager who STILL eats almost no meat but hot dogs and chicken nuggets - and her parents bring hot dogs to every dinner that they come to  :hmmm: .)

At the least, give the 'rents props for being sure the kid's got something to eat :laugh:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Shell peas are in season at the farmers markets in the DC area. I got a box and shelled about 1 cup of peas to make soup. Basically, I sauteed leeks in butter, added peas and chicken stock and cooked until tender. Added mint leaves, salt and pepper and pureed. Garnished with croutons and Greek yogurt.

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I learned to make the salad at a cooking class with chef Roberto Donna (this was also a huge hit, but everyone assumed that it was complicated, so no one asked for this recipe!)

Kim, everything looks great. What is the name/recipe title of this salad? Thanks!

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I learned to make the salad at a cooking class with chef Roberto Donna (this was also a huge hit, but everyone assumed that it was complicated, so no one asked for this recipe!)

Kim, everything looks great. What is the name/recipe title of this salad? Thanks!

Thank you so much! That is Panzanella Salad.

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Made an awesome new cucumber salad to go along with our Jerk chicken last night (nothing earth shattering with some Jerk!)

Thinly sliced Cucumber - add chili flakes, roughly chopped spring garlic, couple dashes of rice wine vinegar, some light soy, little sugar, and finished with smoked Spanish paprika...awesome stuff!

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Dinner tonight was a family effort – we had mushroom, cheese and asparagus omelets, Marlene’s smashed roasted potatoes (leftover from Sunday and still really good) and a grilled ham slice glazed with pepper honey. Mr. Kim did the ham slice, Jess did the mushrooms and I did the asparagus and cooked the omelets:

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Following myself again! Where is everyone?

Stuffed potatoes for dinner tonight. Jessica’s was cheddar, chicken and broccoli:

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Mr. Kim’s was ham, Fontina and mushrooms:

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and mine was ham and Fontina:

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We also had corn, rolls, marinated cucumbers and Hanover tomatoes (I bought white bread just so I could have a sandwich :blush: !).

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Last night I made an experimental pureed Yellow Curry Soup.

Background: I have never cooked with curry before and I'm not a huge fan of highly curried dishes, but I have had some very tasty, mild curry dishes at some Thai restaurants recently, so I decided to buy some curry paste at the Asian grocery last time I was there.

Anyway, we wanted a fairly light dinner so I grilled up some chicken apple sausages and served them with the following soup:

One medium carrot - cut into 2" pieces

One stalk of celery with leaves if there - cut into 2" pieces

1 slice of medium yellow onion, 1/4" thick

1 tsp chicken bullion (I use Better Than Bullion Organic)

1/2 tsp sea salt (omit if using high sodium bullion)

1 tsp Mae Ploy Yellow Curry Paste

about 5 tortilla chips

Put the above in your blender and fill to the 16 oz mark with hot water. Blend on the soup setting or until well pureed. (I use a Blendtec.)

Came out very smooth and creamy, even though there was no coconut milk in it. Medium spicy.

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

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Here are a few dinners from the past week or so, i've just realised there's been some cow overload!

First off was some Oso Bucco with Saffron Risotto

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Beef Rendang, there was ome fish fragrant aubergines in the background too:

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And today i char-grilled a lovely piece of Dexter t-bone. Though not as marbled as some i've had recently it had been aged for 6 weeks so was beautifully flavoursome and tender.

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Prawn and menuinprogress, those are gorgeous steaks, but beef rendang and fish-fragrant eggplant would make a pretty ultimate meal for me.

A simple meal with a remarkably high ratio of enjoyment to effort: Thai grilled chicken (gai yang), jasmine rice, sweet chile sauce, and a salad plate of lettuce, eternal cucumbers, mint, cilantro, lime wedges, and various basils from the garden. The chicken was marinated with oyster sauce, chopped lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Wrapping a lettuce leaf around the chicken, herbs, cucumber, rice, and sweet chile sauce yielded a glorious medley of flavors and textures.

Sticky rice (and perhaps green papaya salad) would have been traditional accompaniments for the chicken, but the necessary planning and foresight were sadly lacking.

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Monavano – the chicken sandwich looks wonderful – I adore grilled pineapple! By ‘burger’ did you mean ground chicken, or just a boneless breast?

Percyn – lovely pasta! I have no luck finding light cream anymore, so I usually use half-and-half. I’d like to try this.

Prawn – that T-bone is gorgeous. I won’t get Mr. Kim out to eat cous cous tonight if he sees that!

Bruce – as usual, your dinner looks incredible – both your cooking and your photography are always so perfect!

Dinner last night was VERY basic – grilled hot dogs w/ kraut, French fries (frozen – too much going on to do fresh, besides, I’m a philistine, I like the frozen ones just fine), fixed up canned baked beans and sliced tomatoes:

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Tonight we are going out to Cous Cous with eG’s Zeemanb and Meredith. It’s a Moroccan restaurant – we haven’t been, but since Greek/Mideast/Mediterranean food is probably my favorite ‘foreign’ food, I’m looking forward to it.

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Ohhhh....this looks good Prawn - do you mind sharing your recipe?

Thanks percy, it tasted good too! My rendang recipe is the one from Cradle of Flavour but with the addition of curry leaves and toasted coconut. I haven't found a reason to mess with the original recipe more than that. Though i do tend to experiment with the cut of meat, this one was made using a blade of beef and was very suitable for rendanging.

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