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Dinner 2016 (Part 9)


Steve Irby
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Lamb chops, again!  If we must.  Just a few packages left before our new lamb meat arrives.  Broccoli:  steamed then sautéed with garlic, butter, anchovies and pepper.  Last of the corn and rice.  Salad was jicama, cucs, cherry tomatoes and some leftover tomatillo sauce.

 

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Thanks HC

sometimes simple is best.

pre-salted chops in the morning, laid some sliced garlic and rosemary sprigs on top and covered with wrap...into the fridge.

took them out before we left for the pub...it is a two minute drive.

got back from our usual Friday night at the pub visiting with friends.

heated my little ribbed cast iron pan after checking to make sure all four chops fit.  Removed the garlic and rosemary and applied olive oil.

high heat for two minutes first side and one and a half minutes on the second side.  Perfectly cooked.  The meat is of extremely high quality and we could cut it with a fork.:x

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I somehow forgot to take a picture but it would have looked like generic pasta with red sauce - which it certainly wasn't! The sauce was plum tomatoes (Plum Regal) , red sweet peppers, onions and garlic, all roasted at 300 degrees with a little olive oil for 6 hours, seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, lots of fresh basil, red wine) added and pureed with an immersion blender. I made about 4 quarts of this - most going into the freezer. It should help us get through the winter. 

Served with a salad. 

(Tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic. basil, salad ingredients: fennel, tomatoes, green pepper, bitter greens - all from the garden. I will so miss the garden soon.)

Edited by ElainaA (log)
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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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We got to the fish monger again today. The husband had his usual of fried catfish and tater tots. I went with great side orders of fried okra and maduros, and a not so great eggroll. It was filled with not as much cabbage as I like and some kind of paste. I hope it was pork. When I bit into it, I exclaimed, "What the hell is that?!" and took my fork to probe into it. It didn't taste bad. I ate it, but I won't be ordering that again. 

 

I also picked up a pound of wild caught, North Carolina, head on shrimp to try frying them in the shells and sucking out the heads. I intended to eat at least a few tonight, but after eating my sides and eggroll, I was too full. These will feature in tomorrow's dinner, along with a couple of green tomatoes I got at the fish place.

 

I also bought a large mango which is different than the ones I get at the grocery, but I've not a clue what kind it is. The now very pregnant little lady behind the cash register is from somewhere in Latin America and is responsible for the additions to the selections on offer from that area, like the maduros I ate for dinner, so I'm hoping it will be a good mango. I'll report back later.

 

A 2 pound box of frozen New Zealand green lipped mussels in the shell also came home with me. So thanks to those on the board who gave me advice that frozen mussels are good. I am looking forward to these for an upcoming dinner soon. It will be the first time I've had them since the Romano's Macaroni Grill chain dropped them from the menu, which is where I had them the first time.

 

I also found boxes with 4 whole frozen quail in the freezer case, but they weren't priced. I left them there this time because the husband was already complaining about the cost of the mussels. They were $9.50 for 2 pounds in the shell. I don't know if that's a good price or not, but I know they were brought here from New Zealand, and they're literally available no where else in town that I know of. I wanted them! :D

 

Oh, I couldn't resist a bag of NONGSHIM spicy flavor shrimp crackers from Korea. This is such a treasure trove for food lovers to shop with the seafood, and Asian and Latin American influences of the family that owns it. 

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Once you cook something enough times, the recipes literally write themselves.

 

I threw this together in a little under an hour and it was a smash hit.

 

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Take 4 chicken legs and 4 chicken thighs and season them with salt and black pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes to 1 hour.

When you're ready to cook, warm 3 tbsp. of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, skin side down. Brown for 15-20 minutes. If you rush through this step or if you don't brown the chicken enough, it will show in the final dish. Remove chicken from pot with tongs and transfer to a plate.

 

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Add diced bacon to the pot. Guanciale or pancetta will work as well. Fry the bacon until it crisps. Transfer bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour off most of the fat in the pot until you have 2-3 tbsp. Add diced onion, carrot and celery to the pot along with a pinch or two of salt and some black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add bacon back to pot, along with a couple of bay leaves. We used fresh bay leaves, but dried will work as well. Cook until the vegetables are softened and are beginning to brown, about 25-30 minutes.

 

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Deglaze with 1 cup red wine, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits in the pot. We used a cabernet sauvignon, but you can use any type of red wine you would normally drink. Add 1 cup water and 1 cup crushed tomatoes (or alternately, canned whole plum tomatoes that you've crushed by hand). Taste for salt and pepper. Stir a few times, then add chicken back to the pot. Add a couple of diced tomatoes. Raise heat to medium and bring to a boil. Lower heat so that the chicken maintains a steady simmer. Partly cover and braise for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

When you're ready to serve, plate the chicken in a bowl. Ladle sauce over the chicken and top with 1 tbsp. salsa verde.

For the salsa verde:

1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup minced scallions
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 minced garlic clove or 2 minced shallots
extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds or until you have a paste. Transfer herb paste to a bowl and stir in extra-virgin olive oil until you have desired consistency. Use as desired.

 

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Braised chicken with wine and tomato, served with salsa verde.

 

 

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4 hours ago, demiglace said:

 

 

Sparrow juice?

Asparagus.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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image.jpeg

 

Lamb chops and grilled hearts of palm with a balsamic glaze. 

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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

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It was easy to get my husband fed tonight as he had a leftover catfish fillet. I baked some frozen onion rings and reheated the filet for the last 12 minutes. He also had some cantaloupe.

 

Then it was time for the fun part. I made salt and pepper shrimp from this recipe with a couple ideas borrowed from this recipe from the epicurious site. I used only enough oil to come a bit over halfway up the shrimp and flipped them over to cook the other side, and I used salt and pepper seasoned cornstarch to dredge the shrimp before cooking. I also did not have cilantro, but did have flat leaf parsley so that's what I used. I'm sure it would have been even more delicious with cilantro, but these were GOOD!

 

The heads, legs and tails just shattered in my mouth, so it more a case of crunching up the entire head rather than sucking anything out of them. If you do make this with head on shrimp, make sure you do not skip the instruction to snip off the horns and antennae. This is pretty easy with a pair of kitchen scissors, but it is critical. Those suckers are sharp!

 

I found the shells from the body section were not crisp enough to crunch up enough, so I started peeling off that parted after devouring the heads, legs and tails. Next time I might peel the bodies first, as they were harder to shell after frying than raw shrimp is. Hmmph. That would mean losing the legs, which were one of the best parts, so maybe not.

 

I had exactly one pound of shrimp, and there were twenty-six of them. One time when we brought back head on shrimp from New Orleans, I weighed them before and after beheaded and shelling, and the shelled shrimp was only half of the before weight. While 26 per pound sounds like largish medium  shrimp, when you are talking about headless ones, I think these were sufficiently small for the recipe.

 

I also fried the last two cremini mushrooms and one of the green tomatoes and had some cantaloupe. I was only able to eat a little less than half the shrimp, so I hope they will be good tomorrow.

 

An entire roll of Dollar Store paper towels bravely gave their lives in the preparation of this dinner between blotting the shrimp dry before dredging and then blotting the oil from the finished fried food. :smile:

 

Edit: I forgot to add that since I was using less oil in a deep 12"/30 cm skillet, I split the shrimp in two batches to keep from dropping the oil temp, as suggested in the epicurious method.

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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Not quite there yet, but on the way. 

The mud crab production line....

In the red pot on the stove, two crabs boiling. On the chopping board, four crabs waiting. In the sink, one crab cooling, On the platter three crabs ready !

 

image.jpeg

Edited by sartoric (log)
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 Yum @sartoric!

 

I'll be over right away. Well maybe not as you're a world away from me, but I will enjoy it vicariously. More details please?

 

I looked these things up when you mentioned them on the Breakfast thread. They seem to be huge beasts. Are you having a lot of guests over to help eat your bounty? We only get much smaller crabs from local waters, and thanks to government regs, they are almost always pre-boiled and quite dead.

 

We do get frozen king crab legs from Alaska, which are even huger than your mud/mangrove crabs, but they are never sold with their bodies in these parts. Is there any good eating in the bodies?

 

The exception is much smaller softshell crabs which are usually only available in restaurants, and I have never had any that I liked. Too chitininous for me, because you are supposed to eat the nascent shells along with the flesh of the fried whole crabs. Maybe I just haven't been to the right restaurant. These are the crabs that are seasonally molting out of their hard shells so they can grow bigger in a new one.

 

We do get live lobsters here and some Asian groceries sell live fish from their tanks, but no shrimp, alas. Quality can vary according to how long they have been kept in the tanks living in their own waste. I had some bad lobster once from our largest Asian store that just tasted muddy and not bright and delicious like lobsters should. It did not make me sick, thank God, but it tasted pretty bad. 

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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57 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 Yum @sartoric!

 

I'll be over right away. Well maybe not as you're a world away from me, but I will enjoy it vicariously. More details please?

 

I looked these things up when you mentioned them on the Breakfast thread. They seem to be huge beasts. Are you having a lot of guests over to help eat your bounty? We only get much smaller crabs from local waters, and thanks to government regs, they are almost always pre-boiled and quite dead.

 

We do get frozen king crab legs from Alaska, which are even huger than your mud/mangrove crabs, but they are never sold with their bodies in these parts. Is there any good eating in the bodies?

 

The exception is much smaller softshell crabs which are usually only available in restaurants, and I have never had any that I liked. Too chitininous for me, because you are supposed to eat the nascent shells along with the flesh of the fried whole crabs. Maybe I just haven't been to the right restaurant. These are the crabs that are seasonally molting out of their hard shells so they can grow bigger in a new one.

 

We do get live lobsters here and some Asian groceries sell live fish from their tanks, but no shrimp, alas. Quality can vary according to how long they have been kept in the tanks living in their own waste. I had some bad lobster once from our largest Asian store that just tasted muddy and not bright and delicious like lobsters should. It did not make me sick, thank God, but it tasted pretty bad. 

 

 

There'll be five of us, which is probably not enough people to eat this many crabs.

There's always the freezer, once the meat is picked. I plan to make my guests work :)

I weighed one of these guys at 1.7 kg, and yes, loads of body meat is edible. I'll post some photos of the meal later !

 

 

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