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Dinner! 2013 (Part 2)


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Thanks, Steve. This is "ivory king" salmon, which, due to genetics, has white flesh, as opposed to the normal pink or red. I find the flavor to be a bit milder, and the texture is silky. I sear it on one side then poach in olive oil. Great fish.

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mm84321, that salmon with peas is actually one of the few posts which you have made which is within reach of my limited skill. I took a good look at your photo and I am convinced that half the reason your food looks so good is because of that lovely soft lighting and the nice colours. What photography setup are you using? What kind of lighting? If you tell me it's just your phone camera I am going to shoot myself!

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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Dejah -- looks awesome.

Kim -- the cakes look great.

liuzhou -- the greens are bok choy or choy sum, yes?

FP -- I'm jonesing for spring vegetables (and spring-like weather). but I'll take the pencil asparagus in the meantime. ;)

ben -- looks vaguely Chinese, and delicious.

scotty -- you're killin' me, man. LOL.

mm -- did you shell peel the peas? I might repeat my experiment from last year, come to think of it.

tonight:

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Black radish and scallop "carpaccio"

If I had the opportunity to do this again, I'd probably freeze the scallop slightly to ensure a firmer texture.

Not bad for hand sliced though.


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Navy bean and baby mesclun salad, with pancetta and red onion

The beans were soaked for 5 hours, then cooked for 90 minutes in 4 cups water along with sliced carrots and fennel, sea salt and bay leaves.

They were combined with crispy pancetta, thinly sliced red onion, fennel greens, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, then tossed with baby mesclun lettuce.


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Spaghetti with scallops, anchovy and radish sprouts

Yes, you're probably thinking Soba's gone off the deep end. It was something I picked up from the market today. They're spicier than your normal sprouts.

The sauce consists of olive oil, garlic, anchovy, tomato paste, probably 1/2 cup finely minced parsley and 1/3 cup radish sprouts. The scallops were cooked separately, then plated at the last minute.

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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liuzhou -- the greens are bok choy or choy sum, yes?

Ah! The never ending Chinese nomenclature for vegetation!

Both 'bok choy' and choy sum' are Cantonese. Round here, as in most of China, we speak Mandarin, where they are 'bai cai' and 'cai xin'. Literally 'white vegetable' and 'vegetable hearts'

However, no matter which language you are speaking, the two terms are applied to a wide range of very different vegetables.

What I used were these. The local name is 小白菜 (xiao bai cai, xiao meaning small) or 上海白菜 (Shanghai bai cai). They have different names in other places.

bokchoy.jpg

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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My second try at recreating my favorite Dominican chicken stew with rice and beans from a long-defunct NYC restaurant.

This time, the recipe for the pollo guisado came from this site. The picture looked closer to what I remember. As always, there are some oddities when cooking from recipes posted by non-professionals: potatoes are clearly pictured but not listed in the ingredients; the list of ingredients is out of order; there is nothing on the strength of heat to use and cooking times are only given randomly. Sometimes I feel like this can be a strength in a recipe, because it forces you to experiment.

It also makes me wonder about the recipe that I used last time, from the Dominican Flavor website, which was similarly somewhat random in its instructions, and curiously referred to "boiling the oil." That version of the stew made the meat too dry - I now wonder whether the author expected you to know to add water to the oil and boil it, which is essentially what this version does. The two recipes do have very specific and unusual things in common, e.g. caramelizing white sugar in the hot oil before browning the chicken in it, so I'm guessing I was just supposed to know.

In any event, this version of the stew was closer to the pollo guisado at Sucelt, though still not quite there. I need to cut down on the green pepper, probably omit the celery, steam/braise for longer, and add something for depth of flavor. Possibly chicken stock instead of water. Possibly Worcestershire sauce (!) which seems to be an approved ingredient in Dominican cuisine, and recommended in the original recipe (I used Manischewitz instead, which was her other option - subbing for "vino tinto").

The beans last time were Rancho Gordo's negro de arbol, and much blacker than their black valentine midnight beans which I used this time. The bean recipe this time was Cuban, from Three Guys In Miami. (Black beans are more Cuban; Dominicans normally use red beans, but Sucelt gave you a choice of either one.) I can recommend this version unreservedly, though I think I want to use a blacker, denser bean than RG's black valentines midnights next time. I subbed red pepper for green pepper.

Next time, I'll also hopefully have sourced bitter oranges for agrio de naranja, the delicious hot salsa - and plantains for maduros, the sweet sticky fried version to go on top. I remember when you couldn't go into a NYC bodega that didn't have plantains - now they're much harder to find, at least on the gentrified East Side where I now live.

Oofff! I didn't mean to write a book. Here's the photo.

dominican.jpg

Edited by patrickamory (log)
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mm -- did you shell peel the peas? I might repeat my experiment from last year, come to think of it.

Yes. I peeled them. I sweat just a bit of finely sliced bacon in olive oil with some spring onion, added the peas, simmered with a little water and a spoon of salted butter. Finished with a bit more olive oil, chopped chervil, tarragon, the flowers of the spring onions and a touch of lemon juice.

mm84321, that salmon with peas is actually one of the few posts which you have made which is within reach of my limited skill. I took a good look at your photo and I am convinced that half the reason your food looks so good is because of that lovely soft lighting and the nice colours. What photography setup are you using? What kind of lighting? If you tell me it's just your phone camera I am going to shoot myself!

Hi Keith. I am using a Pentax K5 (Scottyboy is right that my older photos were taken with my iPhone). I do not have any lighting equipment. I take the pictures at my kitchen table which is surrounded with large windows that flood with sunlight just around the time I usually eat. If I am making something I know I want a nice picture of, I try to time it just right. This is also why the lighting is inconsistent in all of my photos and some look better than others, but I think natural light makes food look best.

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May I go off topic for Scottyboy? Speaking of Costa Rica. Interesting true story.

Many years ago, I made an ecological trip to San Jose, Costa Rica. I stayed at the Villa Blanca Hotel up in the cloud forest. It was Christmas time, and there was not too many staff there because there were very few tourists there, only the manger who also was doing the cooking because the chef was out, as well as front desk duties, and a couple of kitchen helpers.

I complained many times to the manger on how nice the hotel was but how lousy the food was in the hotel and in Costa Rica in general. I made many suggestions to him on how things could be improved. I also cooked a couple of meals with him in the kitchen.

New Years Day, the last day of my stay, I asked the helper how much I should tip the manager. He told me there was no need to tip him.

“ He is the owner, also the former Costa Rican president Rodrigo Carazo Odio”

President Odio couldn’t get me a cab because of the Holiday. So he drove me to the airport. That one hour trip took two hours because it was going thru a cloud forest.

We keep in touch by e, mail until a couple of years ago he passed away.

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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So, I had a eye of round beef roast, and there was some Passover cooking to do. And we had uncooked wings leftover from the stock we made for Chicken Soup.

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Exhibit A, Eye of Round "Pit Beef" smoked on the BGE for about 2 hours.

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Cooked & Sliced Pit Beef

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Open Face Pit Beef Sandwich

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Pit Beef Sandwich Cross Section (yes, I know this looks pornographic)

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Potato Kugel, made with Rachel's "Ultimate" Recipe

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Beef, Kugel, Green Beans w/Garlic

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Lemon Pepper, Honey & Habanero Chile Wings

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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So, I had a eye of round beef roast, and there was some Passover cooking to do. And we had uncooked wings leftover from the stock we made for Chicken Soup.

8587302874_04b1d1e05c_b.jpg

Exhibit A, Eye of Round "Pit Beef" smoked on the BGE for about 2 hours.

8587455428_8e38f73503_b.jpg

Cooked & Sliced Pit Beef

8587447920_4fc8585e61_b.jpg

Open Face Pit Beef Sandwich

8587449758_c8369991a1_o.jpg

Pit Beef Sandwich Cross Section (yes, I know this looks pornographic)

Looks very tasty! I'd like a couple sandwiches, please.

Hmm, but perhaps not rare enough inside - Baltimore folks might raise an eyebrow or two. :-) They might like it a bit more charred on the outside too... [p.s. I like B'more's pit beef... ;-) ]

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rotuts, on 24 Mar 2013 - 15:06, said:

surprising that the food is that bad. No eaters there? they seem to have decent 'produce' and very nice fish.

I wonder if it's possible many Costa Ricans like their food just fine the way it is? Other folks might have different preferences?

Edited by huiray (log)
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Looks very tasty! I'd like a couple sandwiches, please.

Hmm, but perhaps not rare enough inside - Baltimore folks might raise an eyebrow or two. :-) They might like it a bit more charred on the outside too... [p.s. I like B'more's pit beef... ;-) ]

Yeah, I wasn't trying for a Baltimore-type. Different animal entirely. This was smoked, at 225, as one might do a brisket, for 2 hours, as actual BBQ, over charcoal and oak, as opposed to high heat grilling, which is the Baltimore style. It's a 7lb peice of eye round, which I wanted to slice up for a whole mess of sandwiches and salads and stuff. Didn't do a horseradish sauce either, I just used a little bit of Pick A Peppa sauce as a condiment on the top.

This was also a second test of my new CyberQ Wi-Fi pit controller, I wanted to do a larger peice of meat and see how it would do temperature stabilization.

Yes, I know this sounds geeky and very sous-vide ish, and I've said ad-nauseum how much I think the technology is overused. In BBQ, you need all the temperature precision you can get, or you overcook.

As it turned out, I was feeling under the weather today and it was like 90 degrees outside, so I had the computer do all the work and just monitored the meat temp and the smoker temp from the tablet in my air-conditioned bedroom. It kept it at 225 for the entire cooking period. I pulled the meat off at 140 degrees internal temp.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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liuzhou -- and to think that I once knew how to speak Mandarin. of course, that was in another lifetime in some galaxy far, far away.

mm -- I too wondered about your lighting setup. sometimes "simple" is exactly what you need.

tonight:

non-complicated dinner, because of some unneeded stress from a person who shall remain nameless.

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Fried farm egg, challah toast, fried leeks with Chinese lap cheong sausage

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Did a " Chicks gone Wild Dinner" @ my House!!

I didnt shoot any pictures but the ending!!

Toasted Chicken Skin Caramel/Brown Butter Maple iceCream Coco Crisps

" Coolhaus Chicken and Waffle IceCream"

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Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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Costa Rica,

Yeah man, it's just bland here. I always think that a country is much more happy when they're eating their great local cuisine but here...They're super happy and eat crap all day.

Puzzling and can't wait to get back to the states.

It's been a real eye-opener in terms of how spoiled I am in California with ingredients.

Spring is here!

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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Spring is in California, but apparently nature thinks it's still winter in the Northeast. was supposed to snow today, but it rained instead (although it's definitely cold enough to snow, which may still happen).

37 degrees in late March, a week before April. something is wrong with that picture.

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