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Dinner! 2010


Jmahl
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Continuing the shrimp theme . . .

Shrimp in spinach-tomato curry sauce: with coconut milk, tomatoes, ghee, garlic, ginger, mustard, mustard seeds, turmeric, cayenne, and cumin. Coconut milk makes everything better.

”Simplest pulao”: made with chicken stock and ghee-fried onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorns, and a bay leaf.

Eternal cucumbers. Teenaged boys have reverted to complaining about perfectly good vegetables, so we are going back to basics.

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I usually lurk, and have for years, but I Must Know: What are Eternal Cucumbers? I love cucumbers in any way, shape, or form! Please share the recipe! Thank you...

PattyO, I am terribly sorry to disappoint you but “eternal cucumbers” are nothing more than sliced cucumber sprinkled with a little salt. So, you ask with justifiable annoyance, how did sliced cucumbers become “eternal”?

When our boys were younger, cucumbers were the only vegetable that they would eat reliably. Consequently, we served cucumbers with darn near every meal. When I did my foodblog, Priscilla (initiator of the Dinner! thread, among other accomplishments) referred to the ever-present vegetable accompaniment as “eternal cucumbers.”

In compensation for misleading you, here is my favorite recipe for SE Asian cucumber salad (clicky), from Mai Pham's Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table. I hope that provides some consolation. :smile:

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IMG_2867v2.jpg

Bacalao.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Crêpes Suzette.

This is categorizable as 'dinner', because its preparation ended up pushing past dinner time, and subbing for it, although the project was a spectacular fiasco that actually ended up on the floor at one point.

I did this in someone else's kitchen, someone who rather dislikes cooking and considers it a bore, and who sweetly (she truly meant to be kind) chose to hang about chatting, to relieve my boredom while I cooked. Unfortunately, I like cooking and am never bored by it, but do tend to focus intensely on whatever I happen to be doing, and was going out of my mind trying to give my undivided attention to both my first efforts at this dessert and my friend's conversation. I think I looked at each of the instructions about five times before they registered.

I was pushing the two hour mark on this enterprise when I turned on the broiler (if this is making no sense, this was the CI recipe from Sept/Oct 2006). I was intially thrown by the fact that there is no broiler as such in most European ovens: There's a top element, but you need to select the temperature, and I realized that I had no idea of what a broiler's temperature is, other than 'very hot'. I cranked it up to 275 C and hoped for the best.

I was breathing a sigh of relief as I slipped the pan into the oven, when I noticed that the interior of the oven was room temperature, although smoke was issuing from somewhere. 'Somewhere' turned out to be the smaller, lower oven which I'd clean forgotten about. Right. We turn that off, and try again. Once that was sorted, all went smoothly until I removed the pan from the oven and set it, crookedly, alas, on a trivet, from which it slipped and fell heavily to floor – upside down, of course.

The crêpes that did not touch the floor were actually retrieved and eaten, but this I did not see, as, once I'd picked up the mess, I quickly excused myself from the scene to avoid spontaneously combusting from embarrassment before witnesses.

Edited by Mjx (log)

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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5295731626_219f48942a_o.jpg

Baked shrimp, with garlic, parsley and potatoes

Takes about 40 minutes from start to finish. Perfect with a glass of white wine.

Brine 1/2 lb. peeled medium shrimp in 1 cup cold water + 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Set aside for 20 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Prepare roast potatoes as you would normally -- I usually quarter baby Yukon Gold potatoes, drizzle with salt, pepper, chopped garlic and olive oil, then roast at 350 F in a roasting pan or Pyrex baking dish. Takes about 40 minutes if I were just making roast potatoes and nothing else.

Roughly 2/3 of the way through cooking the potatoes, add the shrimp to the pan. Stir. Return pan to the oven and cook until shrimp are done, about 10 minutes. Basically add the shrimp until close to the last few minutes.

Finish with chopped parsley. It occurs to me that the addition of tomato confit and some kind of soft cheese like feta or manouri would seriously ramp up this dish. I'll be making it again, and soon.

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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Lovely photo SobaAddict70. I'm having trouble with the lighting this time of year, since it's usually dark by the time I get home and I'm not very good with artificial light. What do you use?

IMG_2890v2.jpg

Post-Xmas bbq.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Thanks for the kind words.

I have a studio set up arrangement at home. It's really nothing more than a couple of adjustable lamps and overhead lights that I can rotate, depending on the amount of light that I want to throw onto or deflect from the food.

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THAT'S CHEATING!

just kidding.

It seems the light is coming from behind the food and to the left; is that right? What sort of light is it? Is this doable with a couple of desk lamps on clamped on a table, maybe?

Edited by Dakki (log)

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Heh.

In the shot above, the light is coming from the left from about 10 to 15 feet away. I had two lamps at a 20 degree angle focusing slightly off-center off the plate.

I took about 40 pictures from a variety of angles, including some overhead shots. I didn't use most of those, partially because of the glare. Black plates tend to reflect too much light, something I can't fix using Picasa.

The light bulbs are your typical 60 watt bulbs that GE makes. You can get them from any supermarket I imagine. Nothing fancy.

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More fantastically ugly but delicious food.

Lamb.jpg

For my wife's birthday - SV rack of lamb (131F for ~4 hrs, finished with torch), steamed broccoli with sriracha hollandaise, and chipotle cauliflower puree. I would drink a quart of that sriracha hollandaise (but didn't - settled for a 375 of Krug and day 2 of a Siduri Sonoma Coast which was still drinking well).

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Lovely photo SobaAddict70. I'm having trouble with the lighting this time of year, since it's usually dark by the time I get home and I'm not very good with artificial light...

Awhile back I did a "light test" around my kitchen and dining room, just photographed a bowl of fruit in different spots at different angles, with all the available lights on. I came up with 2 or 3 locations where I could just put something down and the available light was OK. In a pinch I have a clamp utility lamp that I bought at a hardware store (like this http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&biw=1280&bih=841&q=clamp+utility+light&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=15405644703087915335&ei=bqMaTb-MAo3GsAOXnc3cAg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDcQ8wIwAg# ), with a 100w incandescent bulb in it. I clamp the light to a door or shelf or chairback or whatever, & point it to the ceiling or wall to illuminate the subject with more indirect light. I rarely use the extra lamp, though--too lazy to get it out of the closet, too anxious to eat.

As always, wonderful dinners here, everyone.

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This is a dish I cooked for Christmas dinner... Deep fried Cornish game hen that was brined with herbs; sour dough cranberry and date stuffing with apple; potatoes that were mashed, seasoned, and then baked; sauteed carrots with parsley; homemade cheddar buttermilk biscuits with sage butter.

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