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Dinner! 2009


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For dinner here, a starter of Squash Soup with Creamy Roquefort, from Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. In this soup, the salty assertiveness of Roquefort combines with the sweetness of butternut squash. The croutons were made from some walnut bread. A delicious soup for winter. I know I'll make this one again.

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A main course of Roast Pork Shoulder with Glazed Turnips, also from Wolfert's Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. The pork roast is stuffed with a paste of garlic and rosemary, then slow-roasted. Towards the end of cooking time it's basted with red wine. The pork roast comes out crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside.

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Served with turnips in a buttery glaze, and kale sauteed in olive oil with garlic, raisins, and pinenuts. The turnips were braised in an earthenware casserole and cooked up full of flavor. Turnip-y flavor, that is. Their pleasant bitterness paired well with the pork. These turnips were a variety I hadn't tried before, called golden turnips.

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Looks delicious!

If you are interested in Paula Wolfert's work on Mediterranean food in general or clay pot cooking in particular, check out the topic on Cooking with Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking.

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It's been heartrendingly cold (or what passes for it here in the South; in the mid-20s for the lows), so I've been on a soup kick. First, chili (definitely non-traditional, with black beans and whole-kernel corn) with fried sweet potatos with paprika and cayenne:

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And another evening, cannellini bean and Italian sausage soup, with cheese toast:

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Edited by kayb (log)

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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djyee100 – that roast pork shoulder is just gorgeous – worthy of a showcase dinner!

jnash85 – your ravioli is lovely. That happens to me a LOT with prosciutto and it ticks me off, considering how expensive it is.

Haven’t been cooking much at all – here’s a sample of my recent meal prep:

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scrambled eggs w/ ham and cheese and some pears :blush: !

The only real dinner we’ve had lately was our tree trimming dinner last Sunday. We always have fondue – beef and usually chocolate, though this year Jessica wanted Nutella crepes instead.

Beef and sauces:

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BBQ sauce, Daddies sauce, Heinz 57 (Mr. Kim’s favorite :rolleyes: ) and horseradish sauce

Teeny-tiny little steamed potatoes and béarnaise:

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Crudités & Dips:

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A baguette and some wonderful cheddar rolls that I found at Whole Foods:

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The table and a plate:

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The Nutella crepes:

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Mgaretz, Kayb, some good ideas for warming food in this cold weather.

Jnash85, that's beautiful ravioli.

Kim, as always you set a great table.

I'm still doggedly trying to clear out well-aged food items from my freezer, fridge, and cupboards. Today, an impromptu paella of prawns and chicken stock from the freezer, old bomba rice from the cupboard, and canned piquillo peppers from the pantry. I swung by the market for baby artichokes, a little serrano ham, and fresh mussels. Leftover tuna confit with caramelized onions in the fridge--that got tossed in too. It tasted remarkably good with the saffron rice.

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I cooked the paella in a cazuela, and scorched the bottom because I'm still learning how to cook in that clay pan. But it was easy to avoid the burnt bits during service. And anyway, doesn't that slight smokiness evoke those big pans of paella cooking over wood fires on Spanish beaches? :laugh:

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For dessert, Truffles au Cocolat from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet. I uncovered a small packet of leftover ganache when rummaging through the freezer. How could I have forgotten something like that?? :shock:

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Tonight to celebrate the third night of Chanukah after the candles were lit

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we had minestrone soup, whole wheat bread (20%) right out of the oven, a bottle of Casa Silva Petit Verdot 2006 from Chile,

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for dessert babka baked by Chris and tea.

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The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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A weeknight dinner here, but I had some extra time to cook. A starter of Creamy Bean Soup with Red Peppers, from Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. The beans are the Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman variety, which I hadn't tried before. These beans are dense and smooth-textured, and very flavorful. The chunk of duck fat I threw into the soup (my own addition) didn't hurt either. Towards the end of cooking time, roasted red peppers and slivered black olives are stirred into the soup.

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Free-range Pekin duck was on sale at the market, so I bought one for Slow-Cooked Duck with Olives from Paula Wolfert's Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. The duck is rubbed with herbes de Provence, then slowly roasted in the oven. The duck meat comes out moist, very tender, and falling off the bone. This dish will be one of my go-to recipes for entertaining. Almost all the cooking can be done ahead of time. About ten minutes before service, you reheat and crisp the duck under the broiler, and reheat the sauce with the olives. That's it.

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I served the duck with beet greens sauteed with olive oil and garlic, and watermelon radishes braised with butter and a couple pinches of sugar in an earthenware casserole. When my CSA delivers watermelon radishes, I always wonder what to do with them. This cooking method mellows out the radishes, and makes them sweet, with a texture like turnips.

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No pic, but a special dessert of fresh, local, seasonal, peel-your-own Satsuma Mandarins. (The cook was too busy to make anything more. :wink: )

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A couple of very simple meals in the past week followed by something spicy tonight.

First is fried pork chop with Tuscan herbs (sage, fennel, thyme, rosemary, garlic), green beans and a celeriac remoulade: gallery_52657_5922_82923.jpg

Ostrich burger with triple cooked chips. First time I've tried the triple cooking method. I used King Edward potatoes but they were a tad on the floury side so they broke up a lot on the first boiling. Though the bits fried up very crispy indeed, plus I used duck fat so they were extra tasty:

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Tonight the wife was out so I invited my mates around for an extra hot and spicy pan-Asian meal. Plus it was an opportunity clear some room in the freezer, hence the lack of veggies! Twice cooked pork, Gung Pad Krapow (thai prawns, chilli & holy basil), crispy salt & pepper lamb ribs (piled high with green chilli & garlic), Ox Cheek Rendang and various fresh chilli dips & oils. I knew my mates were chilli fiends, so we were all very happy with this meal, it definitely hit the spot for us!

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Some of you may know that rendang is one of my favourite dishes. I only learned to cook it a couple of years ago and i've tried many different cuts of meat, lamb shoulder (good), mutton shoulder (really good), blade of beef, brisket, shin et al but they all pale when compared to rendang made with Ox Cheek. It has that perfect quality of being extremely meaty with incredible beefy flavour, yet when you pick up a seemingly solid lump of meat and put it in your mouth it literally melts filling your mouth with beefy rendang. No chewing required, it was easily the best I'd ever eaten.

Oh and I also prepared a Mango Cheesecake too. The cheesecake was delicious but alas the frozen mango just didn't have any mango flavour. Will have to wait till April when the Indian mangoes come back into season before trying this again:

gallery_52657_5922_128263.jpg

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Thanks menu, the very special rendang dish is based on the one found in Cradle of Flavour, a cookbook which I know I share a love for with a lot of board members. Of course after many iterations the recipe has evolved a little but it still has the essential familial traits. The recipe can usually be done all on the stove but ox cheeks need at least three hours cooking so half way through the whole lot went into the oven before the final magic browning back on the stove. That was the best dish of the meal with the pork and prawns following closely by. The lamb ribs were tasty but could have been more tender, crispy and a little chewy rather than crispy and succulent.

It's been quite a full week of cooking for me as I'm running the freezer down because I've had to make room for the xmas goose. I was going to save the following classic Chinese dishes for another thread but the Dinner thread is always very amenable.

Chinese air-dried duck leg before steaming over rice. It was made by a family friend and was spot on, I need to get the recipe and try this for myself. Incredibly salty and moreish:

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Sweet and sour pork, simply that, just had a rare hankering for it:

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One of the best things to eat in Hong Kong is Sha Tin Roast Pigeon. It's so rare in the UK, I think I've only eaten it once here about 15 years ago at a wedding banquet. I'm sure the pigeon over there are specially bred for the dish but in my recreation I used the beautiful local wood pigeon. You marinate and poach them in soy based liquor for 30 mins, then deep fry them. It was good but the skin on this pigeon didn't crisp up like the ones in HK, it didn't seem fat enoough for that. Tasty all the same with the salt & sichuan pepper dip, oh and those lamb ribs again:

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Tonight the wife was out so I invited my mates around for an extra hot and spicy pan-Asian meal. Plus it was an opportunity clear some room in the freezer, hence the lack of veggies! Twice cooked pork, Gung Pad Krapow (thai prawns, chilli & holy basil), crispy salt & pepper lamb ribs (piled high with green chilli & garlic), Ox Cheek Rendang and various fresh chilli dips & oils. I knew my mates were chilli fiends, so we were all very happy with this meal, it definitely hit the spot for us!

gallery_52657_5922_287420.jpg

Some of you may know that rendang is one of my favourite dishes. I only learned to cook it a couple of years ago and i've tried many different cuts of meat, lamb shoulder (good), mutton shoulder (really good), blade of beef, brisket, shin et al but they all pale when compared to rendang made with Ox Cheek. It has that perfect quality of being extremely meaty with incredible beefy flavour, yet when you pick up a seemingly solid lump of meat and put it in your mouth it literally melts filling your mouth with beefy rendang. No chewing required, it was easily the best I'd ever eaten.

Oh and I also prepared a Mango Cheesecake too. The cheesecake was delicious but alas the frozen mango just didn't have any mango flavour. Will have to wait till April when the Indian mangoes come back into season before trying this again:

gallery_52657_5922_128263.jpg

Prawncrackers, is their a initiation fee or some kind of quest, a person must go on to become your mate ? I am applying. :cool:

WOW, I don't even like spicy food but I want to eat those dishes they all look so great.

The burger, chips, pork chop wow.....all terrific. Forget a mate, would you adopt me ?

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Chicken with Calvados and Roasted Fennel:

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This is a very French, very rustic, very wintry dish that is simple to make during this busy week of pre-Christmas activities.

Now my technique may vary from traditional recipes you've read, but it works--and good. Simply cut-up a large whole chicken.

Melt about 6 tablespoons of salted butter in a heavy Le Creuset roasting pan, (if you have Le Creuset it's the best). Add the chicken pieces, skin side down. Salt and pepper the chicken and scatter in some peeled garlic cloves. Roast the chicken in a 375 oven about 30 minutes.

Now add some sliced fresh fennel, a Granny Smith apple, unpeeled but cored, and a few torn leaves of fresh sage. Turn the chicken over, skin side up, and roast the chicken another 30 minutes or so.

Now slog in about a cup of heavy cream and let the chicken roast another 20 minutes until it is the above golden brown color.

Remove the chicken from the oven. Take the chicken out of the roasting pan and place it on a large serving platter but leave all the vegetables and apples in the roasting pan with the cream and juices.

Heat up some Calvados, use the authentic stuff--not the American stuff called "Applejack Brandy." Light it with a match and carefully pour it into the roasting pan. The flaming Calvados will mingle with that cream, butter and chicken roasting juice and give you a delicious sauce.

Pour the sauce and fennel around the chicken pieces and garnish with more fresh sage.

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Last week we had our end of year office party

this is the MENU and table setting

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Aperitif

ProSecco

First Course

Retro Shrimp Cocktail

With Heinz Original Cocktail Sauce

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Main Course

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Maine Mussels in Italian Marzano Tomato Sauce

Zuppa Di Cozze

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Green Salad with vinaigrette

Dessert

Zabaione

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With

Home baked bread

Cecci Chianti Classico 2007 DOCG

Perrier

Wishing all seasons greetings and a Happy New Year.

Now I think I will go and cook something.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I made fettucine too Blether though it was part of a very luxurious meal. Fed up with eating the freezer down I wanted to cook some fresh seafood so I went to the wholesale market before dawn this morning to see what was good. I was thinking some Dover sole would be nice and maybe some of those Norweigan Sea Urchin that I picked up last time. But the fish today wasn't that great so when in doubt buy a lobster! For something a little different I shared a small lobe of foie gras between my friend and I. Neither of us have ever cooked with the stuff before but fancied trying something new. Plus it was surprisingly cheap, half a lobe £7 for about 250g, the lobster was £7.50, i went home a happy shopper and had a good think about how to cook them.

The foie was easy, just fried, a little fleur de sel, toasted spelt bread, and accompanied with pears and rocket:

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In the end I "Thermidored" the lobster and had that with some simple buttered & parmesaned fettucine. I say simple but i did make it with duck eggs and saffron, a lovely xmas present for my wife and for myself of course :smile:

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