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Dinner 2016 (Part 1)

Anna N

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 Currently feeding myself is presenting quite a challenge due to health issues but I am determined  to find ways.  This is my interpretation of a salad but seems to be very popular at the moment. Roasted pears, walnuts, bacon and a mustard vinaigrette. No amount of work on my  part could make it look great but it was tasty and satisfying.  It was dinner last evening.  




Tonight I was very glad of a pork chop in my freezer that I had previously SV'd.  I served it over a potato that I had baked in the microwave and then mashed with some butter and sour cream.  Not elegant but definitely satisfying. And there is  enough left for another meal. 



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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant (Torerro's in Cary) for NYE dinner. I got my usual carne asada, which is delicious skirt steak served with frijoles and rice with lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, grilled jalepeno and green onion, really fresh lime, flour tortillas, plus the free chips and salsa. I always bring a baggie with a finely chopped jalapeno to add to the salsa which makes it perfect to me.


The husband had the carne asada burritos.


Both of us had plenty of leftovers to take home and I had two frozen margaritas. They really make those well there. You can taste and feel that there is plenty of tequilla in there, but they still taste really good. Needless to say, I am nearly in a food coma, but I had a lot of fun getting here! :)


Best of all, after I caught our hard-working waitress and pressed $10 into her hand as she passed by (I like to see the tips go to the waitstaff) on another pass by, she said "gracias, senorita". What lady my age doesn't appreciate being called senorita or miss? :B


Happy New Year!

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> ^ . . ^ <



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1 hour ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

Both of us had plenty of leftovers to take home and I had two frozen margaritas. They really make those well there. You can taste and feel that there is plenty of tequilla in there, but they still taste really good. Needless to say, I am nearly in a food coma, but I had a lot of fun getting here! :)


Happy New Year!


I first read this as two dozen margaritas.

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward


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14 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:


Hee Hee! 


If I'd had two dozen, I would be in a real coma. :laugh:


For me it was two mai tai's...


Plan to have MR with dinner, Food 52 roast chicken, wild rice with shallots and mushrooms, broccolini.

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward


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Munchy stuff while watching ballgames, reading, and waiting for midnight with the pooch.




Beer-candied bacon, fresh baguette slices spread with cream cheese and topped with fig and olive tapenade. Because I could.


Happy New Year, everyone!

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Don't ask. Eat it.


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 I did the feast of the seven fishes last night.  It was a lot of food!  We started with some salmon tartare and a glass of champagne


salmon tartare.jpg


Then had some clams casino


clams casino.jpg


My niece made some sushi, this roll is based on her favorite roll at a restaurant we like on Cape Cod called Mac's Shack.  It has tuna, avocado, mango and cream cheese.  I don't like fruit or cream cheese in my sushi so did not try it


gon jah mon.jpg


smoked salmon deviled eggs


smoked salmon devilled eggs.jpg


bacala fritters with garlic aioli


fish fritters.jpg


mini scallop rolls with smoked paprika mayo


scallop rolls.jpg


lobster sliders


lobster sliders.jpg


and the main course, tuna bolognese


tuna bolognese.jpg


there were also lobster stuffed mushrooms that I missed getting a picture of.

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Miso soup.


Water, hon-dashi, bunapi-shimeji & enoki mushrooms, cut wakame, mutenka shiro miso, scallions, negi.


Atsuage, kind-of.

With grated daikon & chopped scallions; grated ginger w/ Higeta Honzen koikuchi-shoyu; and a glass of chilled Rihaku Nigori Sake 'Dreamy Clouds'.


Firm tofu blocks drained for a while then simply deep-fried in rice bran oil.


Zaru soba.


• I used banshu no ito jyukusei soba (this one). Thoroughly rinsed w/ cold water and drained well. Dressed w/ katsuo soft kezuri.**

• Dipping sauce put together by mixing Assi soba tsuyu, Takara hon-mirin & Hokkaido kelp flavour naturally fermented soy sauce, water, zapping briefly, then chilling to a little below room temp.

• Chopped scallions & sliced negi. Kameya hon-wasabi (Izu oroshi-wasabi)  The last three are swirled into the shoyu as desired and the soba picked up and dipped into the mixture.

• Swirly-textured-grain wood chopsticks, antique carved soapstone chopstick rest.


** The kezuri-bushi sticks quite well to the soba - it will not fall off unless one shakes the soba strands with a little vigor. When dipping intothe shoyu they also tend to "stick with" the soba even as they soften and absorb some of the shoyu.

Edited by huiray (log)
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Ringing out the old year.



Ringing in the new had to wait until this morning. We never make it to midnight.

Our tradition has always been to have lobster and champagne on New Year's Eve. Last year we decided to have local Dungeness crab instead.



And this year, we decided to have crab, but to have it in a Cioppino, The crab weighed 2 1/4 pounds, and I added Clams, Mussels, local spot prawns and halibut to the pot.



With home-made bread to sop up all the sauce. 

We shared a bottle of Champagne - Veuve Clicquot.

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Three years ago I didn't make our usual good luck black eyed peas on New Years Day and broke three bones the next day so  i've  made sure to have them on NYD since then.  Today, though, i tried a different recipe and cooked them with chicken stock, onions, ham and bacon in a crock pot.  About half way through, I added about a dozen Collard leaves that had been deveined and chopped.  Son who isn't a fan of black eyed peas like I usually make them, had three or four helpings of this version.  It will probably be the new New Years meal.

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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I started with Serious Eats' Slow Cooker Mexican Beef with Lime Crema and PInto Beans, but modified it a bit. I used my InstantPot, slow cooked a small chuck roast with the sauce and did the Rancho Gordo pinto beans on the side. I added the beans in for the last hour or so. I had fresh spice and was generous with it and my large jalapeno was fairly hot, so it was a spicy dish but in a good way, I mashed avocado and sour cream with fresh lime juice and a bit of milk so I could use the crema in a squeeze container. Some fresh tomato and avocado for garnish.


¡Feliz Año Nuevo!  to all eGulleters! - from Tucson!! 




Edited by FauxPas (log)
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Here's a few meals from this week.  Poached oysters in cream with pork belly lardons.  



Roast beef ravioli from a chuck roast last week and mushroom ravioli made from baby bella's, ricotta and montasio cheese.


And a brisket I cooked today which will be served for dinner tomorrow night.  




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Stuffed boneless chicken legs. Boning out the legs gets easier with practice. Google will turn up several demos. The stuffing is garlic cooked spinach, crumbled blue cheese and pine nuts. I like to start out with chicken leg quarters because they give you a little extra skin if you peel it away from the backbone before removing it. The removed bones makes a great gelatinous stock.

stuffed legs 1.jpg

 Roll the whole thing up, starting at the small end so that you can use the flap of skin to overlap. truss it up in string.

stuffed legs 4.jpg

I have done this a few different ways. The string is the most tedious, but produces the best results. Another method is to roll it up on a sheet of aluminum foil and then roll the whole thing up twisting the ends in opposite directions like a tootsie roll. The foil packages are then poached in chicken broth, but the string trussed ones shown here are browned in a skillet. and any unused spinach added along with a few more pine nuts.

stuffed legs 5.jpg Then just barely covered in a good tomato sauce and baked at 375 F for 2 hrs and chilled. Once it is chilled, skim off the chicken fat and cut off the strings. Add a little more sauce. Cut in half if the legs were big. Reheat and serve.


Edited by HungryChris
Add the bit about using chicken leg quarters (log)
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Choy Kon Tong. ("Dehydrated Cole" soup; a.k.a. dried bok choy** a.k.a. "pak choy kon" soup)


The pak choy kon is trimmed§§ and the bottoms of the stems snapped off, then soaked in water for a short while.¶¶ Pot of water, short-cut pork spare ribs, a "country style" (meaty) pork rib, the soaked pak choy kon, some rice bran oil, dried Chinese jujubes (Shanxi type) broken apart, small dried "tea flower mushrooms" (茶花菇), dried wolfberries (goji berries), couple of dried lightly salted whole cuttlefish,## sea salt, generous crushed garlic cloves; bring to simmer, skim lightly, cover and simmer till sufficiently done (about 3-4 hours) when the pak choy kon is soft enough.††  


** Bok choy when dried and processed the way it is to make "pak choy kon" (白菜幹) is very different from fresh bok choy if it were simply dehydrated - say, in a western-style desiccator or freeze-dry machine.  "Pak choy kon" is a brownish or darker-colored brittle foodstuff which has acquired a different taste profile with its own tangy and savory flavor. Fresh bok choy is NOT a "better ingredient" to use in place of this dried ingredient, certainly not for a soup like this.)

§§ I prefer to do this rather than soften it first; much easier to snap the pieces apart so long as one does it with care - i.e. without reducing it to a thousand tiny pieces.

¶¶ Some folks soak it for hours, even overnight. I prefer to retain as much of the particular tangy flavor of the dried vegetable as I can, so I limit the soaking to "enough to make it pliable" and to enable grit/sand (if any) to be "swishable out from" the folds of the vegetable. I also add quite a bit of the soaking water (sans the detritus) to the developing soup.

## The taste of dried cuttlefish is, again, very different from fresh cuttlefish, and now is a source of a form of umami and a sort of savory taste that goes well with soups like this.

†† Simmering it for longer - and leaving it overnight then resimmering - furthers the softness of the vegetable and also mellows out the soup more, of course.



One variation of an old-fashioned Cantonese style of chicken steamed with ham, 金華玉樹雞, "Jinhua Yushu Chicken".


Deboned chicken thighs (Bell & Evans chicken), cut into thickish slices then marinated w/ good Shaohsing wine, corn starch, ground white pepper, some sesame oil, some rice bran oil, a bit of sea salt. Steamed w/ ham slices (I used both Jamón Serrano (retrieved from the freezer) and a US-produced (Brooklyn, NYC) "Jinhua-type" ham). Plated w/ kai-lan (mainly stems, leafy tops cut off) blanched in oiled simmering water. Dressed w/ a sauce formed from a slurry of Shaohsing wine, corn starch, sufficient water, crushed rock sugar, chicken stock, bit of sea salt, and white pepper brought to a boil briefly and swirling around.


On the way there – chicken & ham before steaming.


Edited by huiray
1) Added embedded link for image set for 金華玉樹雞 2) Added in left-out ingredient for soup (log)
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LiamsAunt, Oh your feast looks so good.  The salmon and the sliders especially.  


Ann, beautiful Cioppino.


Norm, I'm with you.  Never tempt fate by not eating BEP's and greens.  


FauxPas, now I'm craving Mexican.  What a great idea to make your own creama.  I have an avocado that is about to expire, may have to try that.


Steve, great use of oysters.  May have to copy you!  And that ravioli.  Oh that looks good.  I have my pasta maker up from the depths of the basement...may have to try ravioli for the first time.


Chris, your chicken is awesome.  I'm afraid you'd have to come over and truss it up for me, though.  I'm truss-challenged:blush:


Black eye peas in the InstantPot




Stewed tomatoes



Cornbread (Not good.  Don't tell my mother-in-law, it was a mix she gave us.  TOOO sweet.)




Double cut pork chops.  I tried to make them the Food Lab way.  Turned out pretty good for my first try.  You do them at 250 in the oven until they reach between 110 and 120 then throw them in a super hot skillet to sear.  We like our pork on the rare side and they were a bit more rare than I thought they would be , but no biggie, they were still good.



Made a bit of mustard sauce for the chop.





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Dinner last night couldn't be simpler (well, maybe it could...).

Pastrami, "Italian Rosemary Batard", Dijon mustard, scallions (all commercial).


The mustard lightly smeared on the rosemary bread w/ the pastrami was a slightly odd taste, but I found it quite interesting and enjoyable in-between bites of leaving it out.


Plus a couple smaller bowls of the choy kon tong from here, mellowed and softened even more from before.

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Shelby, just early morning here on the west coast, but I have a craving now for oysters.   


Presalted a Sterling Silver Prime rib on Thursday.  Before leaving for work yesterday, I uncovered it and let it air dry in the fridge.  



Roasted at 500°F.  



Served with Yorkshire puddings and homemade horseradish.










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Catching up after the holidays. Dahi murgi with rice, spinach, lime pickle and chili pickle:




Lamb rib chops with a grand cru Burgundy, rice and white cassoulet beans for NYE:










Some road food... Jack's Hot Dog Stand in North Adams, Mass., and George's Coney Island in Worcester, Mass.:






Decided to try to re-create the incredible Sucelt stewed chicken with black beans and rice again (some of you may have followed my earlier efforts). Combining a couple approaches online worked pretty well.


Marinated the chicken in lemon juice, onions, green pepper, tomato (frozen from the summer), garlic, oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper:




After a couple hours I removed the marinade, reserving it. Then I caramelized sugar in olive oil and vigorously browned the chicken on all sides. Added the marinade back with some water and tomato paste and cooked until the meat was falling off the bone.




Meanwhile I had midnight black beans going in the slow cooker all day, with some toasted cumin, black peppercorns, bay leaf, allspice (I know, more Jamaican than Cuban), a whole serrano chili and salt. When creamy I added in a sofrito:




and cooked for another hour or so, adding some cider vinegar as well.


Yeah it was good... I was just missing that incredible homemade salsa they had at Sucelt, I do have a line on a formulation though.






Finally - I don't really eat dessert and I didn't make this (my mother and brother did), but this boûche de noël is so pretty I thought you might all enjoy it. Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!




Edited by patrickamory
duplicate chicken photo (log)
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