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Dinner! 2010


Jmahl
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It's been a good one for dinners this week. Mid-week I cooked a pan-Asian meal that included a Vietnamese dish I'd never cooked before, Catfish in Caramel Fish Sauce - Ca Kho, we all thought it was brilliant dish and can't wait to try again. There was Tea-smoked duck, fish fragrant aubergines, choi sum (kept whole to baffle Chris), pickles and salted duck eggs too:

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Yesterday I fancied some seafood, so bought a crab and a wild sea bass. I had a load of lobster legs & shells in the freezer from the massive Chinese New Year meal the other week so made a creamy lobster bisque with them that also included the crab and sea bass trimmings. The crab meat I mixed with chorizo to make tortelloni and plonked those in the middle of the bisque. A really involved dish but so worth the effort:

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To follow I simply fried the filleted bass along with some of the milt that was in the cavity. Braised fennel and pea and some salsa verde to accompany:

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Yesterday I started to cook some pastrami too. I corned the beef using the recipe from Charcuterie but rather than smoking the meat I cheated and just baked it in the oven. The results were never the less incredible. First rested and cold:

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Then gently steamed and sliced we had it with sweetcorn and a potato salad:

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Prawn – do they still say ‘gobsmacked’ in England or is that just in the old novels I love. Anyway, I am always gobsmacked by your cooking. Beautiful, thoughtful, delicious looking and, as always, gorgeously presented and photographed. I really run out of superlatives when I look at your posts.

Dinner tonight:

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Pintos w/ ham, chowchow and onions, collards and corn fritters. A nice meal for a cold night.

Close up of the fritters:

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They really turned out well tonight.

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Thanks, Kim.

...

Plated:

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... The flavor and texture were EXACTLY what I had in my head...

This is the picture that did it for me - those ribs look like they must have tasted absolutely delicious. And I kinda like the name 'Fish Eye' too - let's hear it for screwtop merlot, Miles of "Sideways" be danged.

I'm happy I found the seafood gratin recipe - finally something that approaches the technique that must have gone into a more sophisticated and completely gorgeous gratin (crabs, langoustine, scallop, fish) I ate in a restaurant on the Brittany coast, in the way back when.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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... and salted duck eggs too:

gallery_52657_5922_179871.jpg

...

Hi, Prawn. I'm intrigued by the vessel on the right, with the coriander garnish. What is that wire frame all about ?

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Thanks Kim, yes we still do gobsmacked over here as well as flabbergast. Though I think gobsmacked is the better adjective for food, one up from lipsmacking but not as good as your American term “makes you want to smack your momma”!!

Blether, that’s a small Chinese Claypot aka sandy pot. I’ve seen them with and without the wiring around them. Your guess is as good as mine as to its function; it either a) holds it altogether or b) distributes the heat better. Thinking about it now it’s probably b), as the wiring is too loose really to hold anything together if it cracks open. Though I really can’t be sure.

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Post "Snowicane" we needed some comfort food. I tried Marcella Hazan's Beef Roasted with Onions. Could not be more simple. You poke bacon and garlic into little slits made all over the brisket and roast on a bed of bacon and onions.

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You are left with a delicious bacon, onion jam in the bottom of the pot to ladle over the sliced brisket.

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My boyfriend suggested "berry swirl cheesecake" for his birthday so I decided to do a raspberry and blueberry swirl one with a graham cracker crust. This one was really dense, rich, and unbelievably moist. Very yummy! Apparently it was better than his mom and grandma's. Oops (:

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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That's beautifully decorated, SheenaGreena, especially given how difficult a medium blueberries and rasps must be.

And great-looking brisket, meredithla. Those onions ! I think another way of doing it is with cloves, rather than garlic, isn't it ?

Over here, Awadhi-style ("Oudh-style") Kofta from Uttar Pradesh, from The Classic 1000 Indian Dishes, edited by Wendy Hobson.

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- with saffron Basmati and a crunchy broccoli masala. First try at this recipe, for a dish I've neither seen nor eaten, but I'll definitely be back: ground lamb, lots of garlic, a little ginger, home-blend garam masala, home-grown chillis, cumin & coriander ground from whole, the usual drill. The koftas bound with gram flour and egg. The sauce is nicely tart with yoghurt and a little tomato. I need to finish it looser, I think - there wasn't enough to make a bed on top of the rice, hence the dollop. I need to use the careful composition to hide, rather than highlight, the chipped crockery, too :rolleyes:

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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That's beautifully decorated, SheenaGreena, especially given how difficult a medium blueberries and rasps must be.

And great-looking brisket, meredithla. Those onions ! I think another way of doing it is with cloves, rather than garlic, isn't it ?

Over here, Awadhi-style ("Oudh-style") Kofta from Uttar Pradesh, from The Classic 1000 Indian Dishes, edited by Wendy Hobson.

DSCF0023.JPG

- with saffron Basmati and a crunchy broccoli masala. First try at this recipe, for a dish I've neither seen nor eaten, but I'll definitely be back: ground lamb, lots of garlic, a little ginger, home-blend garam masala, home-grown chillis, cumin & coriander ground from whole, the usual drill. The koftas bound with gram flour and egg. The sauce is nicely tart with yoghurt and a little tomato. I need to finish it looser, I think - there wasn't enough to make a bed on top of the rice, hence the dollop. I need to use the careful composition to hide, rather than highlight, the chipped crockery, too :rolleyes:

Blether, NEVER tell on yourself! If you had not mentioned a chip, I would have thought it was a strong highlight! :laugh:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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For years I have lurked around the egullet forums, admiring everyone's savory and sweet creations which always look so delectable, but never feeling confident enough to post my own results. Well I recently bit the bullet over in the Daily Sweets thread and guess I should just dive in here, too.

That said, here is duck breast with lingonberry sauce over garlic mashed potatoes and haricot verts.

duck.jpg

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Blether, NEVER tell on yourself! If you had not mentioned a chip, I would have thought it was a strong highlight! :laugh:

You mean you only noticed one of them ? Oops.

ManhattanLawyer, it's good to see you in "Dinner!". Feel free to post once a year or once a day, have fun and make merry. That looks right tasty... I'll take duck breast and lingonberry sauce any day. Lingonberries ! Sigh.

Has anyone else noticed that this is the second time lately that Dinner! has reached a new page, then suddenly jumped back half a page, as if half a page of earlier postings has disappeared ? C'mon, 'fess up, who's been deleting their old dinners / chipped crockery ?

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Local day-boat sea bass with clams

Now THAT looks amazing. How far away are you?

Thanks! We're just a wee bit down the coast :-)

The dish was an ingredient-adjusted version of a recipe from The Balthazar Cookbook ("Cod with Cockles and Parsley"). There are a bunch of really terrific fish recipes in that book.

Food Blog: Menu In Progress

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Well, I was in the midst of preparing an emergency pasta frittata dinner with tomatoes, basil, caramelized onions, etc., and in walks my husband with a container of striped bass roe. Hmm... what to do? Well, that frittata thing can just go into the oven for the entire cooking process--no stove-to-broiler necessary-- we'll just pretend it's quiche. And now hubby has donned his college job dining service apron and is set to cook a la Johnny D and Peter the Eater and poach the truly unappetizing things in butter. I'll let you know how it turned out.

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Striped bass roe aren't for me-- not horrible. Actually very mild and pleasant with the butter and lemon. But my goodness, I didn't need that much! The kids opted out after one bite each describing it as soft sea mud. My pasta frittata quiche was good--on a bed of baby romaine and arugula with a vinaigrette. Hubby ate all the rest of the roe. I'll stick with the chicken eggs for now.

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Wow. I didnt even know striped bass roe was something people ate. I swear, I learn more about food from egullet than I learn about anything else, anywhere. It's awesome. I love this place.

Dinner last night was a shrimp and pesto risotto from the Neiman Marcus cookbook (I still have to use cookbooks most of the time; I'm not clever enough to be doing my own inventing yet - at least, not for company). I've also rotated the photo 180 degrees to make it look like less of a face with the lemons as the eyes ...

Shrimp and pesto risotto - Neiman Marcus.jpg

 

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yes, I'm tempted to make that tart also.

Seriously though if anyone does know the real reason for the wiring in those claypots, I’d like to know.

A vendor once told me that the wiring was to help keep the claypot together. But Paula Wolfert has a better explanation in Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking: it improves the heat distribution.

More on Chinese sandpots from Wolfert's cookbook, on Googlebooks, Page XV:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DwtbDDGaQcIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=mediterranean+clay+pot+cooking&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Great meals here, everyone.

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